I am pumped.
Now, of course we all know that trials form is no indicator of how a team’s season will go, but it seems nobody told that to the Tahs or the Reds.
The young brigade (and can’t even remember most of their names) played, as one of the live stream commentators said , ”like no one was watching” – their offloading, general go forward, scrummaging, optimism and conditioning was a pure breath of fresh air.
The Tahs went forward all day, cleaned up their spilled ball, got their hands free, backed up and off-loaded intelligently. They tackled the Highlanders out of the game.
Michael McDonald, Angus Bell, Carlo Tizzano, Alex Newsome, Will Harrison and Mack Mason for the Tahs. Filipo Daugunu, Isaac Lucas, Tate McDermott and, of course, Taniela Tupou – a pretty exciting bunch coming through, with three coaches in Dave Rennie, Rob Penney and Brad Thorn who won’t play favourites.
The glue in the middle was James O’Connor who was in everything – dyed his hair dark, almost suggesting that he wanted to be the anonymous quiet man in the middle, and he just kept popping up at the right times, putting people through holes. I see great things from this backline and Jordan Petaia wasn’t even playing. Will Henry Speight make the starting team?
Shame about the Rebels – they just didn’t turn up and the Highlanders, well, you can’t criticise them, as we all know that Kiwi teams are always going to get stronger going into a season.
Great signs – if we were going through a rugby drought, we have just seen the first signs of healthy “green pick”.
Felt a bit sorry for Andrew Deegan, who toiled manfully behind a beaten pack.
What a wonderful performance from Daugunu, but made possible by the deft work in the near channels by McDermott and Lucas. Many tries should come in that channel this year.
Overall, some big, tough, young men with no fear, and if we keep that schools and U20’s and Junior Wallabies program going I can only see us going from strength to strength.
Never again, should we have coaches that have too much power, and play favourites.
We need to find as many opportunities to get the likes of the Stephen Larkhams, Peter Hewats and those young coaches on the pathway.
Like I said, early days, and I can’t wait to see the first Brumbies trial, but I am pumped!