peteg's blog - noise - sport - 2011 07 09 SuperRugby RedsCrusaders

Super Rugby: Queensland Reds 18, Canterbury Crusaders 13

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I headed down to the Duke of Gloucester for the first time in ages to watch a Super Rugby match. This one was far superior to the Brumbies versus the Western Force farce from a few months ago, almost enough to restore my faith in Australian provincial rugby. (Now if the Waratahs could field a full-strength side for more than half a season...)

In brief, there was some great work from the Reds early on when they lacked possession but still scored first points (Cooper kicked a penalty after Carter missed one). I was slightly worried when Cooper made a massive knock-on under no pressure whatsoever, as if he was auditioning for the Wallabies circa 2005, but no, that seemed to be his only egregious stuff-up for the night. He didn't get to do much, which was unsurprising as the Crusaders are canny enough to shut out the playmaker more often than not. Genia worked hard, as did Saia Faingaa. The personal tries for Genia and Ioane were awesome, both untouchable, as was Carter's effort. All reminded me of Latham's ability to score from anywhere, something Kurtley Beale is doing for the Waratahs and the Wallabies. Hopefully they can play off each other.

Richie McCaw was all over the rucks, and one can only hope that Pocock will address that for the Wallabies. Also the Reds scrum was pushed around pretty much all night, which doesn't bode too well. I see that the Reds number eight Radike Samo is making a return to the national squad, and I hope he is more disciplined there than he was here in the dying stages of the match.

I have never seen so many people in a pub in New South Wales barracking for Queensland and New Zealand, or so glad to see a Queensland victory.