Time for a review of my previous Tahs’ musings and hopes for the season. Despite my regular Dalai Lama mantras and Anthony Robbins’ reading, it was an excruciating year.
Without doubt I am now more annoyed with the Board and management than I was at the beginning of the season. That the coach got punted was not surprising, it is the easy solution in professional sport.
It is the lack of accountability by the Board, recognition of the problem or an explanation as how the Tahs got here.
Maybe it was this from Chairman Davis “We will button down, hope to learn and pray for a better future,” that sent me over the edge.
Everyone knew we needed a tight-head and a couple of big, experienced locks, how the largest state in Australia could not get them over the last couple of seasons amazes me.
(I will not go into the lack of succession planning or player development.)
What was I hoping for and what did I get?
In my humble opinion, for a first up season Stan Sport/Channel Nine have been a true blessing. It really has shown what rugby has been missing over the last few years.
Apparently FTA numbers were up too, hopefully Channel Nine is happy.
A big tick to have introduced the Japanese Top 14, Rainbow Cup and have delivered on showing the Shute Shield and Hospital Cup. We now have a smorgasbord of rugby.
Apart from some new camera angles, I am just loving the 20-minute summaries of the games, a great way to catch up when there are still only 24 hours in the day.
The commentators get a tick of approval I’m sure we can all nit pick some things but overall no complaints from this couch.
However, a big, big problem is the lack of coverage at the pub, that is an enormous error and concern.
The win/loss ratio, I had hoped the Tahs might jag a win or two, if lucky, but to no avail. As for seeing the youngsters in action we did see that, it was Colts-like at one stage when the two locks and No. 8 were all 20/21.
The start of the season with Jake Gordon, Joey Walton, Lalakai Foketi, Ben Donaldson injured and Izaia Perese suspended really had an impact. But there have been some highlights.
Perese is a lot better than I expected, Donaldson shows some real calmness and skill, Will Harris showed what he has after shrugging off his injuries last year.
Having a bias it was pleasing to see a couple of Manly Marlins get a run – Dave Porecki played well even though he is not a beast of a hooker. I was extremely impressed with Douglas for a 21 year old, who hung in there, trucked the ball up, took a hit or two and racked up more minutes than he would have expected.
The away jersey, I am still a fan of the Argentinia-inspired strip, it even got me to pull out an Argentinian Malbec, which was a pleasure.
We did go out to a couple of games and sampled the sponsor pie and continue to support the beer partner. At this stage I have not indulged in the rum sponsor Brix, but it is on my to do list, maybe after a win over a Kiwi team!
For Tahs’ supporters the season has tested our resilience, and it sure was a challenge keeping the glass half full but it still is.
So have I enjoyed Super Rugby AU, in short yes, but as a Tahs fan it was probably a tougher season than I had hoped. But as the French say – C’est la vie !