The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit www.geoffparkes.com Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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It is Fin, but a tiring Tupou is still a formidable beast. In short, he’s no ‘normal’ front rower, and consistently plays long minutes.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

I can assure you mate, it’s a humble, hard-working group. And remember it’s Melbourne. Most people here don’t know who they are, let alone pumping their tyres up.

As for what their issues are? They’re a small number of good players short. Trevor Leota tried hard on Sat, but he’s no elite SR lock. They’re missing Philip and also badly missing Naisarani’s go-forward.

Same deal in the backs, with Ili and the three 7’s players all new this season. Not just new to the Rebels, but new to SR. Powell new as well. So, compared to Brums and Reds, significantly less continuity. At this level, that’s enough to make a difference.

That said, as disappointing as that performance was, they’ve lost three matches at the siren, so they’re not miles off the pace.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Good question, Jacko.

I agree that there were a couple of times they were well used on the weekend. We’ve also seen a couple of fails. And luckily, the Canes didn’t have to rely on poor James Blackwell to use it, he couldn’t even figure out to play with the wind!

Not for me, mate. Call me old fashioned but I like to see the players play, and the referees referee.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

They’ve scored a few nice tries AH, but you’re right, not enough of them.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Most excellent point Robbo, about the effect of golden point on the ladder. NZ Rugby should take note of how short term thinking/tinkering has provided them with a poorer long term outcome.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Andrew Dereham, JDK. Not exactly a youngster, ex Force, now in Japan.

Rebels have Carter Gordon, who def is a youngster, but I suspect they’ll push on with Holland at 12.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Yeah, wasn’t that a great passage of play, Perthstayer? Both those guys played really well.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Yeah, it was a throw back to the old days wasn’t it? When lineouts were more a 50/50 raffle.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Yes, good example Mz. That one was a shocker.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

The other way to think about it, is that the players on their feet have rights to the ball.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

No argument RT that the Rebels failed to create enough opportunities given the weight of possession. Just challenging the notion that it was an attitude problem.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Silver Lake, Muzzo.

People are right to express concerns, but what invariably happens is that things get twisted. ‘Selling off the haka’ and so on, for example. That kind of talk is not really helpful for people’s understanding of what is actually going on.

That said, it’s up to NZ Rugby to explain things clearly.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Mate, you’ve got me there. If it’s in the Courier Mail then that’s the end of the matter!

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Thanks for all that Fox. Yes, interesting times ahead for SA. They’ll sort something out, although I’m picking it won’t be with the Japanese league…

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

That seems to be where it sits right now Richie. If the Brumbies can achieve parity in the scrum, that might be enough to tip things their way in a final.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Good observation and same last week too, Fin. The first try came from a great left foot kick by Stewart.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Tough marker, Tooly. I guess you could argue that Petaia was only any good for 80 minutes on Saturday….

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

The defensive line was strong Piru. As you say, like it had been all night.

But contrast what the Rebels were doing with how Mo’unga went about making those crucial yards forward. It’s tough at the end because nobody wants to be the guy who drops or pushes a pass, but you have to try to initiate something. Looping a long pass back to a guy standing on the 10m line isn’t going to cut it.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Interesting idea James, and maybe some of the fringe squad members will be getting a run, but I can’t see it happening for the main squad. They’ll be wanting to keep the environment fairly tight and controlled.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

I’m no John Nash or Russell Crowe on the maths John, but just quietly, I reckon the Tahs are struggling to make it…

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

If there are a couple of easy wins to NZ sides when the crossover comp starts Scotty, expect the usual ‘Australia isn’t worthy’ stuff to start up again.

But for people who follow the game more closely, it’s obvious that with respect to talent, things are changing.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Yes, long day on the road today Chook, but with the ‘co-driver’ taking a stint, a chance to sneak in a few replies!

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

I wouldn’t be rushing Petaia to 15, Connor. He’s just had a great match on the wing, let him cement that in, I reckon.

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

I think that’s a wee bit harsh on the Brums, Fin. They’ve always been a well drilled side, so it can appear that way, but guys like Valetini, Banks, Muirhead are those kinds of player. Simone too, I thought he had a good match.

The main reason they lost was their scrum, and the possession and territory given up from those penalties

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final

Lots of anticipation building around the cross over comp Rob. And genuine interest on both sides of the Tasman about how where exactly the Brums and Reds sit. Tipping comp will be very difficult!

The Wrap: The Reds ride the bumps all the way to Super Rugby grand final