Discussion in 'Super Rugby' started by Jaguares, Jul 26, 2014.
I'm watching the replay on tape delay. I love Super Rugby!!!
Brillant game of rugby I called that it would be tight and my god they delivered happy for the Tahs and AAC such a hard working player glad he gets his moment of glory.
I've sobered up a bit now and got my arse home, but just to clarify this I say this is better than the '99 RWC for more personal reasons. Of course in the context of international and Australian rugby in general winning the '99 RWC was a way bigger deal. But the ecstasy it brought doesn't compare with tonight for a few reasons.
To begin with, in 1999 the Wallabies were still beating the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup and had retained it that year, whilst only missing out on winning the Tri Nations by a whisker. On top of that, Australia had won the Rugby World Cup fairly recently, with the team being the second side to hoist it in 1991, so success was to a certain degree expected of the team. As for the World Cup itself, Australia dominated the tournament in a lot of ways, suffocating teams out of their matches with their defence and then running them ragged. The match against South Africa was a heart stopper, but the ecstasy of a semi-final doesn't come near a final, and that brings me to the other critical difference: in the Final itself Australia were rarely threatened and won quite convincingly, so we'd already started celebrating before the siren.
By way of contrast, the Waratahs have been expected to succeed since the formation of Super Rugby in 1996 because they represent Australia's biggest state (per capita and in rugby terms), but have been painfully consistent underachievers. So for the past 19 years we've gone into each season hoping and expecting that FINALLY our well resourced team from our most influential rugby state will make good on their potential. But each year the team has fallen, making poor decisions at the board level, in the coaches box, and on the field.
In pursuit of glory, coaches have employed a wide array of tactics in their desperation. Before Cheika, Michael Foley had us playing conservative 10 man rugby in the stupid belief that playing ugly rugby is what wins championships. Under his guidance the team were booed by our own fans for their lack of spirit and enterprise.
We made the final twice, in 2005 and 2008 under the tutelage of Ewan McKenzie, who brought a varied and pragmatic approach to his tactics. We played all kinds of rugby, but funnily enough were more set-piece based even if the team should some great attacking skills. Unfortunately, both times playing the Crusaders and whilst both times we got pretty close (leading most of the way in '08), the Crusaders were at the peak of their powers and it always felt just a bit beyond us to match their attack.
So for this year, under Michael Cheika we've gone back to our roots and played hard running, ball in hand rugby all year. We've dominated all the stats and for the final we played the mighty Crusaders - the seven time champions and authors of our disappointment on the only previous occasions we've made it this far. A team we haven't even played this year, and who looked menacing once again coming into the match. So to beat them makes the win just that extra bit sweet, but to e beat them precisely when all looked lost, with only a minute to play makes it absolutely indescribable!
Seriously, the build up of emotion and the shock and ecstasy of it all is just pretty hard to describe if you're not a long suffering Waratahs fan... it may not be a bigger deal in the over all scheme of things than the RWC was, but to us in New South Wales it has just been a very very long time coming and it could honestly not be sweeter.
uhm, well thank you for all that sanzar, but I'll extend to you the untamed anger I feel right now towards you for indirectly forcing me to read all this. It's like when somebody starts a speech to a few people and they all leave and you realize the guy's talking just to you now and there's absolutely no way out, it's just etiquette to listen to everything that guy's yappin' about...nah kidding, interesting read.
And yes I'm sorry we couldn't make a better final appearance and a worthier foe Australia, but I'm sure you can forgive us since we'd taken NZ out of the World Cup for you
I see. Had no idea the Waratahs represented so much for Australia. They're kind of like our Toulouse more or less, yes ? And yeah not winning for so long, you must've developed a complex, feeling it's just impossible to win a SR title. Even today was close as fkn "close" gets. Foley's kick baaaaaarely over the bar, just Hollywood blockbuster stuff. I felt absolutely zero emotion and was brought to believe the SR championship didn't mean aaaaaall that much to its fans, so I'd have imagined Aussie fans and Tah fans specifically to be very happy, because in a way they beat NZ, even if it isn't the All-Blacks per se. But it's informative to read and understand that yes it does mean a whole lot.
The Waratahs have looked beautiful all season long, and never disappointed in those last 4-5 games of the season, which I all watched fully. Best team won. And to beat the Crusaders, who were just coming off a destruction of the Saffa best Sharks; the Tahs scoring tries on them and everything...and plus, the seasoned veterans and experience the Saders had...huge task, huge result. Very, very well done, it's impressive.
Was an epic game, Tahs deserved the win, they just started to quick and the Crusaders got too far behind to quickly, great recovery by them.
The one thing that concerns me this season is the degrading referee performances, they seem to struggle to see enough or see it properly to make good calls consistently enough, and with each referee calling it differently it must be hard for the players as well.
In saying that Heinz is a moron, comes on, does a box quick that is out on the full, then does another with 2 minutes to go, if you gonna kick with 2 minutes to go, kick to the 22 and have a line chasing up, not kicking to Folau with no real pressure.
If the Crusaders want to blame the loss on anything it would be him, absolute **** he was. Especially since Mauger said at half time, we need to retain the ball to win.
Warratahs, Warratahs, playing the game like it should be played..
Fantastic game by both teams but the victors were thoroughly deserved. A good season, played a great final.
I hope Heinz ain't beating himself up, he's played a great season for the Saders. Very odd to box kick at that time though.
Nadolo was the only one I was cheering for, he's too much.
Congrats to the Waratahs and commiserations to the Crusaders, it was honestly one of the best games of Super Rugby I've ever seen and the best final. It had everything including a result that could have gone either way.
Ellis had done exactly the same thing -- crusaders won a scrum cleanly and Ellis kicked the ball straight to Folau, a dozen phases later Cooper scores. i'm guessing he was ready to be replaced. -- that's an intense position for 60 minutes.
But Heinz..... I just screamed, head in hands. There was doom written all over it. It was a Steve Waugh moment -- he had been dropped in a world cup semi, and he said to the South African fielder, ' Mate, you just dropped the cup.' Well I'm sure a Waratah should have said, 'mate you just handed us the cup.' Except it wasnt a physical mistake, he freely chose to do it. It's not string theory ---- 2 minutes to go, 2 points in front, you dont give them the ball !!!!!
Pity the saders lost it, good comeback thou, Tahs being the better team all season, well derserved. Curious to see if this will reflect on the rugby championship with AUS being a bit more dominant this year
Better team this season won it.
Classic final, rugby is alive and well
Unlikely as they're front row is always an issue and hooker seems to be serious problem now
Just a few more quick(ish) thoughts on the game:
- I thought Crockett was very quiet. He struggled at scrum-time in the 1st half, and wasn't his usual self around the field. I wonder if the knee injury that forced him to leave the field have been bothering him for some time?
- Whitelock was superb, but I thought Bird was pretty quiet. He is a good player, but he needs to add something more to his game apart from being freakishly tall.
- The Crusaders played dual opensides in the weekend. One played superbly (and has been all season). One was a bit quiet, missed some crucial tackles, and gave away some silly penalties. Unfortunately the one that played superbly isn't even in the current AB's squad, while the other in the AB's captain. I'm certainly not suggesting the AB's should drop McCaw (and I know they wont), but purely on individual performance he is clearly no longer the best 7 in NZ rugby....
- Andy Ellis is still one of the best 9's going around. His pass in Nadolo's try was a thing of beauty. The Crusaders need to develop a better backup than Heinz (Drummond looks promising).
- Slade had a strong match in my opinion. Now that his body is right he is playing some pretty good rugby. He isn't in the same class as Barrett, Cruden, or Carter, but is a handy back-up to have if there are injuries.
- Speaking of Mr Carter..... I'm seriously worried about him. He struggles to play more than a few matches these days without getting injured. When was the last time he managed to stay on the field in a crucial match? Unless he can sort out these injury problems I wouldn't be starting him for the AB's. Cruden and Barrett need as much game-time in the 10 jersey as possible before the next RWC, as I don't think we can rely on Carter being fit for the entire tournament....
- Taylor had a strong match when he came on. He has had a disappointing season, but he is a quality player (not quiet AB's standard IMO, but not far below) so hopefully he will bounce back.
- Fonotia played quiet well. Nadolo had a mixed game though. He had a shocking 1st 15 or so minutes when he was continuously exposed by the Waratahs kicking game, but he bounced back well and made a couple of good runs throughout the match. I still think he is very limited, but one thing he does (run straight and hard out wide) he does probably better than anyone else in the game....
- I was quiet happy with Dagg's performance this week again. I'm often critical of him, but his positional play / kicking was superb (as usual), but he looked far more keen to run the ball back this week than in recent times. He wasn't as effective as some other fullbacks on the kick return, but at least he was keeping the ball in hand rather than lobbing up yet another bomb....
EDIT: Just read that Dan Carter has cracked his right Fibula, so will miss the next few tests in any case...
British Irish Lions
Clearly DC's lower legs, especially the ankle, achilles and calf areas are the major problem, even after a 6 month sabbatical doing extra conditioning training in that area. Such a shame, as what a great player he is when he is fit. Unless he can last the remaining RC and November internationals, then it's difficult to see how he can make a World cup, where it's up to 7 matches in 7 weeks.
Exactly, can't see him doing it and the selectors need to make that call soon and let Cruden and Barrett know that they are it.
nooooo, how could I missed that? on holiday the last three weeks and totally forgot about super rugby. Hope I will find it on youtube or somewhere to catch up on it
''The final penalty against the Crusaders was also incorrect as there was no tackle. This was indeed a very disappointing end to a very well refereed match, and the Crusaders would have reason to feel a little hard done by.''
great game apart from this, clear bad call like this late in the game leaves a bad taste. Crusaders did an amazing job to be winning away in front of a hostile crowd after being 14-0 down with 2min on the clock. Right up to this bad call. McCaw did absolutely nothing wrong. Two great sides met and the referee decided the result, there can only ever be one winner.
I take it you missed this bit:
''The work of the TMOs was a borderline disaster until the latter stages of the competition, but there was also an incident once again in the final where it appeared as if Nadolo's foot touches the line on his way to scoring the Crusaders' second try,'' Kaplan said.
Yep - if we take away those 3 Waratahs points on the basis of a referee error we will also have to take away 7 Crusaders points. The Waratahs were awarded a penalty early on after one of their players knocked the ball 20m+ forward so we can take away those 3 points from the Waratahs too..... Final score 27 -25 to the Waratahs
Seriously though I don't think the referee decided this game. The best team on the day clearly won IMO.
Yeah, it surprises me that people can bring up the McCaw penalty but ignore the Nadolo "try" - he both has a foot in touch and loses it whilst going over and thus never technically "grounds it" as required by the laws of the game. To me that was a significantly more controversial and costly call, and had the Crusaders won because of it, it would have been a travesty.
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