As we return to normal programming, the New Zealand teams do what they do best. After three rounds of trans-Tasman rugby, they have absolutely dominated.
The Kiwi teams have depth, skills and coaching to put it over everyone. What they do need is time.
They digest the information from previous games and adapt.
In three weeks Aussie teams have done what they should do and create options and punch above their weight. At some stage depth was always going to play a part.
Unfortunately that moment came in Round 13, 2022.
The Aussie teams were outclassed and outplayed. There was skill from the boys across the ditch and they enjoyed every minute of it.
These are the moments that determine the winner, and I still can’t see an Australian team coming over the top, with the exception of the Brumbies.
Let’s look past the Force and the Rebels for now, as they simply appear to be looking for the catering after the game rather than the match itself. The Force in particular created such wonderful moments but are now cooked and looking for mad Monday. Simon Cron has work to do next year, because they’re better than what they’re delivering.
So we come to the Brumbies, Reds and Waratahs.
The Brumbies have shown that apart from Noah Lolesio, they don’t have much. The direction was pedestrian and without purpose.
When he returns, they can stick to their structure, but clearly their inside backs and kicking game are lost without him.
As Stephen Larkham comes in next year, a second flyhalf is crucial. The Brumbies lost that game; they simply lost control early and then chased.
Again, you can’t chase against NZ teams.
It was sad to see, but they’re still there for the finals, and I think they can cause an upset in the semi-finals if Lolesio is there.
(Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Onto the Reds, and oh my gosh.
I’m a New South Welshman and I actually enjoy the Reds going well. I was extremely proud of what they did last year and how they’ve forged ahead in the first half of this season – but geez, they’re gone.
It is sad to watch. The talent in Queensland is huge. Brad Thorn has developed an awesome squad, but something has gone missing since the ‘unnamed person’ at RA started stating their thoughts.
Coincidence maybe, but Thorn, pull your finger out and do something. This slide is embarrassing. I only say that because the talent on the roster is 60 per cent of the Wallabies over the coming two years.
Onto the Waratahs, and who would’ve thunk it: the Waratahs didn’t win a game last year against Australian or Kiwi sides, but here they are with seven wins and sixth on the table.
The difference is attitude. It’s harder for the Kiwi teams to pick, but there is no one style.
The Waratahs have a ‘play what’s in front of you’ approach. Play the man and the ball – and, most importantly, something both Kiwi and Australian franchises have lost, play for your fans.
It’s all about building to the end of the year. It’s a four-month competition.
The guys are playing with heart. They have not changed the roster too much, but their mentality has been immense.
I don’t think they can win this competition this year, but they will in the next two to three.
They are not playing as individuals, they are playing for the guy inside or outside of them.
This isn’t just a sport, it’s a movement for the code. It’s an awakening. Thank you to Darren Coleman; it’s what we needed.
If the Tahs make the finals, I implore Channel Nine to put every game on the main channel. Please.
The Reds, Brumbies and NZ brothers, please jump on board.
All you have to do is read and be on board. Make the Tahs your second team. It’s an awesome story