Making Rugby Great Again

Until last night the only rugby i had watched all year was the first 50-odd minutes of the Super Rugby TT final (and that was on a small screen with no volume, through a boozed up haze, while simultaneously punting on harness racing and asian gallops), but that test reminded me why i love this game.

I know it’s not great for the purists, or if you actually are supporting one of the teams, but errors make good rugby. Errors offer up opportunity, and when both teams are willing to have a crack at that opportunity, it makes for a spectacle.

What I saw was a young Aussie team with deficiencies in key areas having a real fucking go. You can’t fault their endeavor, just their execution let them down at precisely the wrong time. Veletini was bloody good i thought, made repeated dents in the defense and never stopped throwing himself at the French.

With the ball the Aussie forwards had a heap of vigour, problem was they couldn’t muscle up on defense. And their ruck work was very ordinary. That little 2nd pop pass really is more miss than hit. They played most of the rugby, but could never make it count on the scoreboard. They were still full of running at the end too.

The French were pretty good too. Not much on attack outside of some eye catching counter. it was route 1 football and it was often brutally effective. The hooker had approximately 58 pick-and-goes, the 7 was in to everything, and i was impressed with the work of the skipper at #8. The fullback looked fucking classy as well.

Short turn around to the final test will be interesting. World Cup pool-of-death sort of stuff.

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