Cobwebs For Al? (Round 1, 2011 – Waratahs vs Rebels)

Thanks to a glorious meeting of Xbox and Foxtel, I’m now able to watch the rugby from the comfort of the lounge. Rock on!

What can you say about the first round of games that won’t be washed away over the next few weeks? Well, I guess it’s all opinion and comment, so .. Here’s my two cents into the fray.

The Rebels performed the way you would expect (but not hope) a new team to. They were ill-formed and mis-type-cast, kind of like the bug-ridden code I write.

It would have been interesting to know how Greg Somerville’s thoughts were proceeding over the course of the game. Probably something like:

Greg Somerville’s Thoughts In Real-Time Game Time

(00:40)     Feeling good. Still got it.

(5:34)     Phew. Bit harder than I remember.

(16:12)     Young punks. I’ll teach em.

(36:48)     Boy do I miss playing with Richie and the boys.

(49:20)     Wasn’t this Cipriani fellow supposed to be good?

(65:43)     Morty’s blowing as hard as me. Nice.

(74:23)     At least I’m getting paid a filthy amount.

(80:03)     I’m too old for this .. game.

** True story.

Quite a few of the opinions I’ve read talk about The Waugh-horse and how well he played. It’s true, he did. Orc Commander on the Battlefield.

The two blokes in the piggies who impressed me were Ben Mowen and Kane Douglas. You could see the "go-forward". They made impact when they hit the line.

Barnes was okay, Mitchell and Beale pursued excellence and Damien Fitzpatrick made a wonderful George-Smith-Style steal 77 minutes into the game.

The "almost the whole team" maul try was pretty cool to watch. I bet it was a cauldron of ferocity in there.

Sam Cordingly made some strange mistakes. I watched a bit of the Toulon / Biarritz game, and watching Michalak was like watching Cordingly. Just wierd.

Speaking of wierd, when you come off the field you have a bloke there holding out a water and a gatorade. Since when did hard rugby blokes need the pampering .. oh wait. Money. As Mr Crabs would say .. "Money money money money money!" Changes things. It just seemed so out of place. Here we have the greatest sport in the world, in the universe (except if there is some form of space-rugby), where we pit brawn and brain together in battle .. And when you come off the field you are asked politely by a waiter-type-bloke if you’d like a spot of tea.

A few years back I remember propping against a Barraba prop who was fairly reeking of intoxicating liquidity, who apparently came out of the bush to play rugby. He was beering it up and half-time. A real man’s man. Not really. Also, not sure where that story is going, but ..

I guess none of it matters.

Whether you play with half a tank of beer or get the choice of placebo-replenishing vitamin drinks, what matters is the game.

So take your gatorades and your waters and the bloke that hands them out .. And win! Play hard. Not Brett Sheehan "punch a bloke in the face once per half" Hard, but "John Eales / Richie McCaw / Martin Johnson – win a crap-load of silverware" Hard.

Stu’s Rating:

5 / 10


** 5 / 10 is a game where, although there was great play, it wasn’t a great game. In Stu Ratings, 5 is good. Very watchable. 6 has a couple of fist-pumps. 7 is Ashley-Cooper swan-diving. 8 is our scrum dominating. 9 is Beale falcon-ing, kicking, chasing and catching. 10 is George Smith winning the world cup with a chip-kick, regather and pass to Latho for his tenth leg-pumping, gut-busting try of the tournament.

My "I’d Like To See That" Wallaby Team

Okay. After reading Greg’s column on SMH, “Dean’s Test Dilemma: Form or Reputation”, I figured if he can spend the article talking about how awesome the Reds are (on Form), and pick a “Form” team with a bunch of Tah’s, then why shouldn’t I give forth my own opinion.

My “I’d Like To See That” Wallaby Team:

This is the team I’d like to see have a run at the All Blacks, Springboks, the Irish and anyone one else game enough.

My Wallaby Test Team, 2010 1. (Loose-Head Prop) – Benn Robinson

2. (Hooker) – Tatafu Polatu-Nau

3. (Tight-Head Prop) – Laurie Weeks

4. (Lock) – Nathan Sharpe <VC>

5. (Lock) – Dave Dennis

6. (Blind-Side Flanker) – Matt Hodgson

7. (Open-Side Flanker) – David Pocock

8. (Number 8) – Stephen Hoiles

9. (Scrum-Half) – Will Genia <C>

10. (Fly-Half) – Quade Cooper

11. (Left-Wing) – Digby Ioane

12. (Inside-Center) – Anthony Faingaa

13. (Outside-Center) Rob Horne

14. (Right-Wing) – Drew Mitchell

15. (Fullback) – Adam Ashley-Cooper

Bench: Saia Faingaa, Rocky Elsom, Ben Daley, Matt Giteau, Josh Holmes

Sadly, it’s just not cricket without George.


We Miss You George (Song)

George Smith, Rugby ExtraordinaireSome folk will tell you that George Smith was good, but not great.

I”ve already dealt with them.

Here”s an ode I composed to the greatest modern player of rugby since .. errr .. since I started getting into it ..

[audio:WeMissYouGeorge.mp3|titles=We Miss You George]

The Problem With Rugby In Australia ..

.. Is that it’s primarily to be watched either at the game or on Fox Sports.

Larkam, Truly Great Now, I love going to games. But I rarely get to, because I make the decision to stay at home with the family most of the time.

But I really REALLY don’t want to get cable.

So what am I left with?

The Tests the Wallabies play are shown on *Pleb* telly, but that’s about it. The great “ONE” channel doesn’t show hide ‘nor hair of Rugby.

ED: This isn’t exactly true. “One” did show some rugby last year apparently. And the ABC has the Shute Shield games, which are pretty cool. Some good rugby is played there.

It doesn’t matter what the reasons are. To me, as a lover of rugby, all that matters is that I can’t watch the regular matches on telly.

I’d really like to see this changing, but it probably won’t. Too much money is involved I would think. But then, they have plenty of League matches over the weekend.

Surely there’s enough room in the pleb schedule for a bit of Rugby?

George Smith, Take A Bow

We’ve been long time fan-people of George Smith. He’s about to hold the Australian record for most tests for a forward.


(Taken from

Kudos to you George. We’ve barracked since that 21st birthday of yours, when you man-o-the-match’d the Lions in 2001.

A Weekend of Abundance

Well. Although my yesterday was taken up with compiling and setting up stuff, I have not lost any of my desire to note down a couple of things about this past weekend.

First. The Rugby. It was a sad, sad evening. Actually, more grumpy than sad. I wonder what it is about losing like that that makes me so .. unpleasant. Hmm. Perhaps I think I could do a better job. Ha ha. Hardly. I do dream still about playing for the Wallabies, and some little part of me will probably hope for the next couple of years, but seriously ..

Second. Harry Potter. Horcruxes or Hallows? What a finish. What a book. Amazing. Just awesome. Sad. Awesome. Sad again about fifty times over. And still, satisfying. Almost too many events, giving the writing a slightly rushed feel .. but that’s okay .. i like that about this book. It’s rushing to the end, the final battle .. the meeting of Harry and Voldemort for the last time.

I’ll probably write some more a little while after, give at least one of the readers of this blog time to finish the book :). You know who you are ..

Third. There is no third. Like the spoon. I’m just fishing for something creative to spark. But it’s not. Maybe later.