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Markus

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Appreciate the article but “Any sense of optimism has evaporated” is speaking only for yourself.
My team just missed out on going into overtime against the competition favourites in their home fortress, and could just as well have won it by cleaning up a few simple things. I’m excited for the next few weeks of games.

Why Australian rugby should go it alone

Brumbies with Slipper, McInerney, Neville, Cusack, Brown, Samu, Tucker, Miller out and still fielding a competitive starting pack, but bench coverage really starting to wear thin.
Confident that they will be better for it though. Scott has shown he is at this level, Reimer has had some good moments, Swain and Frost stepping up and Tom Hooper another who I think has potential.

Happy to see Kata back. Muirhead and Hansen have both been good this season but Kata provides a real point of difference, some powerful ball running that I think the team has lacked a bit outside of Valetini.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 1 teams: Brumbies name new half for Crusaders clash

I would be shocked if a 19/20 year old prop felt hard done by. I’m sure Nongorr knows where he is at currently and where he needs to be.

Yeah Bo Abra was with the Vikings during the last NRC comp, I think he has real promise and should feature far more as Holmes and Longbottom wind up and Medrano moves on.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 1 teams: Brumbies name new half for Crusaders clash

The breakdown pressure put on McDermott this year has really highlighted the weakness in his passing game. Hope they can find someone to work with him on that over the off season.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 1 teams: Brumbies name new half for Crusaders clash

Yeah even in Moeroa’s schoolboy rugby footage he looked like nothing but a huge crash ball runner put in the centres to get more touches.

Given their lock problems, maybe Swinton into lock with a backrow of Moeroa Tizzano Harris could be worth a try? As a NRL lock he would certainly have the engine and work rate for it.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 1 teams: Brumbies name new half for Crusaders clash

I think a lot of it is explained through two points:
– Fotuaika is their second best scrummager, on either side.
– Nonggorr is a project player not actually ready for Super Rugby yet, so has only really featured in the 23 when other props have been injured, and only got minutes against easier packs when games are already in the bag.

Super Rugby Trans-Tasman Round 1 teams: Brumbies name new half for Crusaders clash

Great analysis Nick. It was shaping up as the battle of scrum versus lineout, it was clear the Brumbies had the wood on the Reds but I didn’t realise just how much they dominated them in this aspect. It makes it even more cruel that the nail in the coffin for them was a failed lineout on their own throw.
I won’t get into a “we was robbed” about the cards, but they were aggressive, and for the maul carding, not consistent with previous rulings issued by Berry in games between the teams.
For Swain, no prior maul offences from the team through the game, no warnings, questionable on it being cynical (it was through the gate and onto the ball), yellow.
In the first 5 mins of round 8 between these teams, two maul offences from the Reds one after the other, Berry warns the next will see a yellow. Next play immediately sees another maul offence, no yellow (though the Brumbies did score).
The yellow for multiple offsides, I won’t say a bad call, but could have been handled better. He seemed to be claiming more infringements than he had made calls of advantage, and again no verbal warning. Clearer directive could have helped address this if this was the approach he was going to take in the final minutes.
No issue at all with the Valetini one. It was accidental but under the current directives had to be a card and I support referees not backpedalling on this goal to avoid tackles that could result in head contact.

The straight story: How scrum trumped lineout in the Super Rugby AU final

“I’ve heard some say Richard kahui and rob kearney at force is bad for wallabies and Oz rugby as it’s blocking pathway for young Aussie players.”
I don’t agree with the premise anyway, we have seen at the Waratahs this season what throwing a bunch of youngsters in without experienced players around them does. The Force do need another couple of young backs especially in the centres, but Strachan, McGregor and Ralstan are all getting time and would be benefiting from the knowledge that Kahui and Kearney bring.

The two lingering questions from an incredible weekend of Super Rugby finals

100% off the boot is a little more than good. He also set up Banks’ try and put in a pinpoint kick-pass to Muirhead to pin the Reds down in the corner.
“but that doesn’t offset his poor defence”
100% tackle success for the game and 91% for the season. If that is the bar for poor defence then the Wallabies won’t even field a starting XV this year.
“(and requirement to be hidden)”
He defends in the front line, with the exception of dropping back for kick counter attacks as pretty much every flyhalf does.
“tendency to blame people around him for his mistakes”
I saw him tell off his forwards once all game, and it was deserved.
“and general immaturity”
A very vague statement that could not have come from hearing him speak.
He’s not ahead of O’Connor yet, but at 21 he is already in the top two form Australian flyhalves by a comfortable margin.

Brumbies DIY player ratings vs Reds: The results

Many comments about the Brumbies talk as if they are a team who peaked and is on the wane. They have had as much player turnover in the last 3 years as any other Australian team, and are rebuilding basically everywhere except their starting front row.

If they can retain their core, both finalists are only going to get better in the coming years and it is going to be great to watch.

The Wrap: Suncorp buzzes as Super Rugby final delivers three winners

Agreed, was not speaking on the law so much as how it could be perceived from a viewer. Fotuaika had a reasonable amount of time to try and ground the ball, and better opportunity than most needing only to get it past the smallest guy on the field as opposed to through a pile-up of bodies, but failed to do so.

The Wrap: Suncorp buzzes as Super Rugby final delivers three winners

Not just the time taken but the inability to ground the ball on repeated attempts.
Held up initially on White’s knee, the next attempt to force it found White’s foot, the third attempt actually still found White’s hand right above the turf, before finally managing to ground it at a time that sounded like it was after Berry had blown the whistle for the TMO.

The Wrap: Suncorp buzzes as Super Rugby final delivers three winners

“Part of the problem seems to be that he’s just not a winger. He’s better when you get the ball into his hands early in the play and give him some space. He’s a strong runner and got great feet so he should probably be in at #13 instead of on the sidelines.”
Petaia was at 13, he was moved out to wing because he was playing terribly, getting his hands on the ball earlier and more often resulted in more mistakes.

What to do with Jordan Petaia? Leave him at Super Rugby level until his form actually warrants a test call up.
Same goes for Tom Wright, he might get a first shot at a starting wing spot because of his last test performances, but he needs to clean up the silly mistakes quick.

Seven talking points from the Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa finals

LSL 4 runs for 0 metres, 2 handling errors and the Reds lineout was terrible. 6 is fine if not generous.

Reds DIY player ratings vs Brumbies: The results

Not a bad summary of all 4 centres, both pairings effectively nullified by their opposites.

VOTE: Super Rugby AU final DIY player ratings

Best for each team would be:
Valetini for Brumbies, even with 10 in the bin. Stats don’t reflect his impact, he drew 3 tacklers in the run immediately before Banks’ try. Smashed Petaia and won the penalty to put them 7 up. Frost surprisingly good as an 8th string backrow pick, got through a lot of work and put huge pressure on the Reds lineout.

For the Reds one of two. For individual performance, McReight who was immense across the park. For influence on the final outcome, Tupou. Enough whining has been done on here already about his form, the simple fact is that it only works if you already have the dominant scrum. Brumbies have had no answer to him for 2 seasons now, it has been the turning point in their last 3 games and almost was in the 2020 final too. First name picked for the Wallaby front rower for sure.

VOTE: Super Rugby AU final DIY player ratings

He didn’t get it down until after Berry called time off. Even once he finally got it off White’s leg it went back on to White’s hand first, before his 4th attempt finally got it to touch grass.

Super Rugby thriller! Last-ditch James O'Connor try hands Reds the Super Rugby AU title

Stan showed the stats in a game earlier this season, it was around 45% scored off line outs, but that is everything including first phase set backline plays. 80% is imagined.
Absolutely agree on the variation in line out attack. Opposition have gotten better at maul defence but it takes a lot to stop it, they know that so target the inevitable gaps elsewhere, or go back to the maul if teams don’t commit enough.

Super Rugby thriller! Last-ditch James O'Connor try hands Reds the Super Rugby AU title

Injuries really didn’t help, being forced to call up 4 different players from outside their squad including a club player debuting for them in the grand final.

But yeah Another big back rower and a bigger TH prop on the list. Solomone Kata should be back to provide impact out wide.

Super Rugby thriller! Last-ditch James O'Connor try hands Reds the Super Rugby AU title

Financial bottomless pit? The one Aus SR team that hasn’t been bailed out by the ARU?

Super Rugby thriller! Last-ditch James O'Connor try hands Reds the Super Rugby AU title

Source? I see one article about Super Rugby viewing figures, and it is from the Murdoch owned The Australian so I am inclined to believe that the truth is literally the opposite of anything they claim.

Super Rugby AU final teams: Reds change captain, Brumbies hit hard by injuries

You’re always one step ahead! I look forward to it.

Why a moral victory was not enough at GIO Stadium

Good team, I like you’ve picked Neville to start. It probably isn’t likely he will debut at his age but his form warrants it.

I prefer to see both Tupou and AAA remaining at TH. For the first time in however long we have two strong players there, I want it to stay that way. Pone can keep learning to scrum at SR level first, Slipper and Sio are fine covering LH with Robbo and maybe Orr in support while Bell develops and we see what happens with Eloff.

Why a moral victory was not enough at GIO Stadium

With Jahrome Brown and Tom Cusack still out, Rory Scott will definitely be in the 23 at least (Will Miller may come in to start at 7 if fit). If Samu doesn’t pull up then he will be expected to start.

Why a moral victory was not enough at GIO Stadium

I can’t speak for the others as much, but the strike rates for Lolesio and Lonergan have definitely been impressive with the amount of tries scored in either corner, from a driving maul or from Wright/Samu tiptoeing down the sideline.

Why a moral victory was not enough at GIO Stadium