SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Nine Review

It was a huge weekend of Super Rugby in Australia, where with just a couple of rounds remaining, the teams were starting to fall in place. The Brumbies had a chance to secure top spot in the conference against the Force on Friday night. The big game was on Saturday however, when the Rebels faced the Waratahs with the two sides fighting over the third place. The Waratahs needing a win to keep their season alive while they spend the last round on the bye. Lets take a look at the fixtures…..


It was the Brumbies night to seal top spot in the competition with a round still remaining if they topple the winless Force in the opening game of the weekend and they started off with their usual control, even getting a penalty to the corner in the opening few minutes that sent ominous early signs…..

But the Force held very strong early on and after some early pressure managed to fight their way back with a run of penalties from the set piece and breakdown. Set with a chance inside the Brumbies twenty two, it was a simple game plan for the Force, keep it short, keep it in hand. Fergus Lee-Warner manages to stretch through the tackle and plant it down for the opening try and a 7-0 surprise lead.

The Brumbies battle their way back into the game and spend a good period on attack and even cross the line twice but were denied both times by the TMO for a knock on and an obstruction.

The Brumbies kept pounding away on attack and did eventually break through the Force defence, from range thing time, launching an attack from their own half. Some flashing offloading and a big bust from Will Miller created the overlap for Tom Wright to score on the left edge, but the conversion was away, quite some way away too.

With the half running to its end, the Brumbies completely dominate the match up. Constantly with ball in hand and on the attack putting pressure on the Force inside their own half. Half time could not come soon enough for the visitors, but not before the Brumbies put their second try on the board. The defence was starting to get broken and the speed on Tom Banks was too much after he spots half a gap. Hes rockets home to give the Brumbies a slender lead at the break, despite another missed conversion.

Breaking into the second half, the Brumbies continued to pile on the pressure using their pack. Much like the first half ended, it was the Brumbies who added another try to their total thanks for Will Miller on the left wing. The flanker having a clean five meter run on the outside edge untouched. The perfect times to score, just before and just after half time.

The Force struck back quickly, taking a quite tap from a lineout penalty they smashed their way into the Brumbies danger zone and within just a few phases, Jono Lance slipped through some lazy defence to bring the Force right back into the game. Again, kicking critical as Prior added the extras.

When it almost looked like the Force could fight their way back into the game, the Brumbies completely shut the gate in the final twenty minutes. Two more tries went the way of the home side with Len Ikitau and Andy Muirhead touching down in the final stanza to put it far beyond doubt with a scoreline that almost flattered the hosts.

The Brumbies just know how to win and how to pace their game, something the Force are yet to understand. Irae Simone was a playmaking standout for the Brumbies and the way he partnered with Tom Wright was some class Brumbies back play we don’t see enough.

The Force lacked the commitment once again but showed that early season ability to score tries that had left them for the last few weeks. Key for them was the territorial kicking by Jono Lance that made a massive difference. The front row along with Ollie Atkins in the second is starting to become a strong unit, they just need to keep at the first forty minute level all game long.

Final thoughts on this match, it was great to see Amy Perrett become to first female to referee a Super Rugby match and she did a fine job in control on the game, put the players in their place and was solid in her calls. Promising signs from a ref who we should see more of and only get better. Well play Amy.


This is it for the Waratahs, everything is on the line. Fail to win this game and their Super Rugby AU season is over, but even if they do win, it still may not be enough. It was the cracker of a match we had hope this competition may deliver.

It was the Rebels who got off the mark quicker, a couple of penalties against the Waratahs once again gifted their opponent an easy start. Matt To’omua happy as every to slot over an early three point from the tee.

The Rebel obviously felt guilty for the early gift and swiftly gave one or two right back to the Waratahs, who with a set piece a few meters out from the Rebels line, set their forwards to work. A couple of smashes forward until Jake Gordon spotted the sloppy defence around the fringe and snipped over right beside the posts.

It took some time to get enough structure and phases for any chances for points, but the penalties soon mounted up against the Rebels, particularly offsides. Quick ruck recycling from the Waratahs forwards in very similar style to the first try, resulted in the second. That forward play too strong for the Rebels at this stage and Jack Dempsey planted down for the second Waratahs try.

The match took a massive swing in momentum towards the Rebels just minutes before half time when, after a number of phases and advantages five meters from the Waratahs line, Ned Hanigan was sent to the bin for a likely offside. The Rebels instantly obliged to the kind offer with Matt To’omua bashing his way over off a big run in from the boundary. He converted his own try to bring the Rebels within four.

It was surprising there was enough time for this, but the Waratahs managed to nab a quick penalty after the kick off which Will Harrison knocked over to put that lead back out to seven points for the Waratahs at the break, 17-10.

It took just five minutes of the second half for the Rebels to strike again and it was just as Hanigan returned to the field. A leaf taken from the Brumbies handbook on tries, a lineout maul worked enough to set up the tireless Isi Naisarani to spin off the back of the maul and over the line. The Rebel tie things up with the conversion.

Just as quickly as it took to kick a conversion, the Waratahs had struck straight back! Another penalty giving an easy ride into the twenty two and gave the Waratahs the chance to set about from the set piece again. Keeping it tight in the forwards again and Harry Johnson-Holmes burrowed over right under the crossbar, a clinical response!

A nail is slammed into the Rebels hopes of securing playoffs this weekend as the Waratahs strike again. Will Harrison is running the Waratahs backline sweetly and his switching passes slips Michael Hooper into a huge hole who strikes the overlap with Joey Walton to have a clean run to the line for his first every Super Rugby AU try!

Lady luck is shining down on the Rebels in their next try opportunity. Walton is taken out off the ball and allows To’omua to glide through a massive hole, teeing up on the outside with Marika Koroibete who races to the left hand corner, hits into the defenders, stays in the field of play and slides just to the line to get a blade of grass or two on the ball. Game alive again as To’omua converts.

All the hard work may come undone for the Rebels over the next ten minutes. Matt Philip was dished out a yellow card swiftly after the restart for tackling a player in the lineout. Harsh call for something that would normally be a penalty, but can only imagine its for the team warning for penalties in their own half, but not mentioned by the referee.

A man down has lifted the Rebels against all odds! How amazing is it to see these sides lift when the pressure comes against them. The Rebels get lucky after weathering a long storm in their own half and quickly turn it into attack and when the forwards start to rumble they become hard to stop, Naisarani again the man who is just too difficult to tackle that close to the line. The conversion is away to the right and the Waratahs keep the lead by two points.

If a man has every deserved to be a hero for the Waratahs, its Will Harrison! Hooper makes a fantastic charged down of Andrew Deegans clearing kick which sits up perfectly for Harrison who is miles away from any Rebels player and grabs his first and hugely important try.

Back to fifteen men again, the Rebels swiftly get back into the Waratahs half and opt for a shot at three to bring them within six points of the lead.

The Rebels cant get themselves another chance to snatch that lead away and the Waratahs try their best to shut it down. Reece Hodge plays the smart hand inside his own in goal and ends the game with his side behind by six, enough for a bonus point to keep both sides seasons alive. It all comes down to next weekend…..

The Rebels never got on top of this match, were always chasing and kept letting the Waratahs right back in as soon as they scored themselves. Poor focus and silly errors cost the Rebels. Their gameplan was focused around Isi Naisarani and Marika Koroibete on attack and as good a job as they did with all that ball, it was almost to predictable. Brad Wilkin was again fantastic in the breakdown.

The Waratahs play their best rugby with their backs against the wall and we saw that this round. With his first start in Super Rugby, Tepai Moeroa looked to bring things to the game other similar power running midfielders had struggled with all season. He was strong with ball in hand and recycled very quickly. On a night of firsts, it was also great to see the amazing Will Harrison and Joey Walton pick up with first Super Rugby tries. Crucial ones they were too.

So its all down to next weekend, the Western Force have a pile of new fans and the chance to dictate who will make that top three. As always, I will see you for the preview in a couple of days!

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!


SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Nine Preview

Its a huge weekend for the competition coming up with what could be seen as a quarter final match up on Saturday night between the Rebels and the Waratahs to ultimately decide who will take that third spot into the qualifying final weekend. Before that big game, we have our Friday night feature between the Brumbies and the Force to kick the weekend off. The in form Reds get the weekend to rest and recover. Lets check out the action coming out way…..


Here is the chalk and cheese match up of Super Rugby AU. Its first against last, the Brumbies who have hardly looked like losing many matches throughout the season and are up against the Force who, lets be honest, aside from their opening couple of shock treatment opening cracks, haven’t looked like they would be beating anyone this season.

The Brumbies have been the team to beat since day one and nothing has changed. They have suffered their wake up call loss to the Rebels a couple of weeks ago and have just stepped since that night. Whats more impressive, or scary for their opponents is how much better they have been scoring tries away from their forward pack and the lineout maul. Its now becoming a case of defences not knowing if they should commit fully to the lineout or keep the cover out wide. As a squad they have tested depth that is now forcing selection headaches and injury cover like Bayley Kuenzle making us forget who Noah Lolesio even is anymore.

The Brumbies have already secured their place in the playoffs and with the second placed Reds on the bye this weekend, will confirm their place as the top finisher with a victory this weekend. In the final game of the season, they meet those Reds which with both sides secure in the finals will leave some interesting selections for both sides who wont want to give anything away ahead of a possible grand final meeting. These two sides met back in round four with a pretty convincing 24-0 victory to the Brumbies, neither side will want to settle for that again.

Its a tough way to wrap up the season for the Western Force, away to the Brumbies and then away again to the Rebels. While I say the Force are away, they have been and will be away all season long which has been a tough deal for a side which has such a passionate home support that could have made a real difference to their performances. The Force are not ones to make excuses though and will be out to win this game regardless.

They need to go back to what was successful back in the early rounds. Sure, they don’t have that surprise factor one how they were going to play that really shock up the their opponents, but the quality of performance has fallen away since then also. Rest and rotation are two words we all dread to see and its something to Force cannot continue to work with. Their backrow is the biggest weapon and that early unit of Stowers, Ferris and Stander needs to be united back together again. Get that territory game running again and get the best out of the finishers like Byron Ralston who has been fantastic this season for the Force. Can they? Yes. Will they? No.

RESULT: Brumbies by 16.

REBELS vs WARATAHS – Leichhardt Oval

One of these two sides will finish in the finals, the other will miss out. That’s the simple situation heading into this big clash of the weekend. Most people will likely recall the last meeting between the two sides where it ended 29-10 to the Rebels with the only Waratahs points from a converted intercept try and and penalty, hardly a contest.

Now the Rebels are back at home as well and the confidence looking back at that match must be overwhelming for them. They have somehow slipped below the Waratahs on the table by one point but a win this weekend will be all they need to secure their place in the finals. The Waratahs sit out next weekends action and the Rebels face the Force, a free four point minimum.

The winning template is already there for the Rebels, especially against the Waratahs. Don’t feed them errors and force to pressure into their own half and the Waratahs have struggle to make anything happen from back there. Their selections will be interesting, they spent last weekend on the bye but recent matches before that they had been moving Matt To’omua out one with mixed results. The continued movement of Reece Hodge is always a worry for the Rebels who keep using one of the key men like putty to fill any gaps and holes in the lineup each week. Hes needs the ball and needs to be in the action. Selection will be key.

Regardless of the Rebels selection, I still think this one will be a tough one for the Waratahs to win. The old firm in their pack just lacks to modern game to compete and will again rely on that mental bully game they have employed all season long to get up over their opponent in the forwards. They are the most penalised team in the competition and if they continue to give away those each yards, they Rebels will turn that scoreboard. One man again is the massive key for the Waratahs in attack, Will Harrision is the only man in my view who has impressive in this Waratahs team and is a leading light for Australian Rugby. He can control a game and a scoreboard if allowed, to keep the Waratahs in a match. The pressure is all on the Waratahs to pick up this win and with the bonus point too and only that will secure their place in the finals in two weeks time.

RESULT: Rebels by 3

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Eight Review

We learnt a lot this weekend about how Super Rugby AU would wind up come the end of the regular season. Two big results for the winning sides that secured their place in the finals of the competition. The Force hosted the Reds and the Brumbies went up against the Waratahs who were fighting for one of those finals spots. Lets take a look at how the action went….

FORCE 5 vs 57 REDS

The Force were back at “home” this week while still searching for that opening win of the season. The Reds were in town after an incredible defensive win against the Rebels last weekend. Will the boys in blue get themselves a W on the board or will it be business as usual from the Reds cashing in on whats being deemed an automatic.

Both sides had good periods on attack during the opening fifteen minutes but neither side looked like getting over the line. The Reds were denied a try to Taniela Tupou who crashed over close to the line after penalties got the Reds close.

Once denied, the Reds took the penalty to the sideline and a nice lineout move put Filipo Daugunu clean through a hole and in under the sticks for the opening points.

It was a half of injuries for both sides in the open forty minutes with a number of players getting HIA’s, lengthy injury breaks or requiring replacements.

The Reds were by this stage fully in control of the game, as the Force were struggling to get forward progression on attack and were forced to make decisions that lost possession, often kicking the ball away aimlessly, hoping for a good outcome.

The Reds grabbed their second try and the second for Filipo Daugunu. It was all created by some slick, quick hands from the Reds backline offloading the ball in the tackle and drawing more than one defender. The score up to 12-0 now and ominous signs early for the Force.

With the half wearing down the Reds opted to tick the scoreboard over, James O’Connor chipping a penalty to send the lead up to fifteen and put even more pressure on the Force.

With time near up on the clock, Tupou split through a Thor sized hole in the defence and thundered near thirty meters before dropping the ball in the tackle just one meter short, a fitting highlight to end the half at 15-0.

The Force fired out of the blocked quick smart putting a penalty just a few meters from the Reds line just a minute into the game. The lineout maul was came quickly after and the Force charged their way from quite a few meters out and as we have learnt from a good maul, any hooker worth his weight will be waiting at the back. Andrew Ready was there to grab the five.

The Reds put the pressure straight back on. Fraser McReight was denied another Reds try for a double movement on the ground but the pressure was proving too much for the Force who suffered the first yellow card of the weekend when Kieran Longbottom was send to the bin for collapsing the maul. Reds hot on attack and placing scrum after scrum just five meters out.

The constant pressure finally broke the Force. The attacking swinging left and right before finally O’Connor took out two defenders and offloaded to McReight who got things done the second time of asking.

Things are starting to get out of control for the Force, Tate McDermott shows just what he brings to the Reds, quickly sniping down a very narrow blind side channel just inside the Force half, slaps down a cracker of a left foot step and leaves the fullback grasping a thin air for a brilliant solo try by the scrum half.

Oh now hes just showing off! McDermott takes a quick tap after the Reds pick up a ruck penalty and off he goes, sidestepping defenders for fun, breaking ankles and not caring to take names. Beating at least five defenders on his way to scoring his second try and again, solo brilliance from McDermott! The scoreline has ballooned out now, 36-5 to the Reds.

The Reds are just rubbing salt into the wounds of the Force now. James O’Connor grabbed the try this time but it really was a quality team effort from the Reds. Tupou playing like a midfielder running in open spaces and just that ability to keep the ball alive and find supporting players is far too much for the Force who are completely out of their depth now.

McDermott was denied his hattrick try soon after, but it was a sign that the floodgates were well and truly open. Another two tries were added from Bryce Hegarty and Tuaina Tualima in the final few minutes of the match to blow the score way out past the fifty point mark as the Force just had nothing left in the tank.

The Reds far too good in the end, withstood the Force pressure and then fired back with plenty of their own. Taniela Tupou in devastating form, Tate McDermott was electric throughout and the backrow was a major threat for the Reds at the breakdown. The best part of this performance from the Reds is that they played their own game regardless of how their opponents were playing. We often see teams get dragged down into a poor game from a weaker side but the Reds were ruthless this weekend.

Again, not much to celebrate for the Force, just the one try and plenty of errors in defence. The Force suffered nearly twice the amount of penalties and missed over forty tackles. The usual suspects stood out, Stander, Kahui, Ralston, and were clearly trying to drag their team up but with no success. The attack was blunt and kicking aimless. One of the few times they have really let the heads drop in the season.


An age old Australian derby between these two sides has this round of Super Rugby AU set up for a grandstand finish to wrap up the round.

It was a messy start to the round that saw both side struggle to get into the rhythm and shape but the Brumbies found it and instantly changed that game. The short kicking plan found the Waratahs short.

That’s how the Brumbies found their way on the scoreboard too.

Ryan Lonergan and Andy Muirhead both getting on the end of kicks, a little grubber for Lonergan and a cross field cracker for Muirhead. The game plan was working a treat and the Brumbies were cashing in with two tries inside a ten minute period.

The Waratahs get on the board in between the tries, Will Harrison grabbing a couple of penalties before and after Muirhead’s try.

The Waratahs often never look like scoring tries but with the half running to an end, they grabbed what should go down as one of their best of the season. Jack Dempsey grabs the points for dotting it down in the left corner, but it was some incredible work from hooker Connal McInerney, normally used to sitting at the back of mauls close to the sideline, this week he was brushing defenders aside and offloading like a champion in his combination with Dempsey.

That late try for the Waratahs brought things close at the break with the Brumbies only just leading by a point, 12-11.

The Brumbies fired out of the blocks in the second half, grabbing their third try of the game just a few minutes into the half. Irae Simone delivering a huge floated pass out to the left wing where big number eight Pete Samu was sitting and waiting. A quick in and out followed by a powerful drive over the tackle of Alex Newsome, saw him rumble into the corner.

The turning point of this match into the Brumbies favour was the ten minute period between the 50th to 60th minutes. Tom Wright joined the party but it was Nic White with the vital hand in both tries off the bench, despite the class fifty minutes from Lonergan.

The first try was simple a good scrum half flat fast pass close to the line, cutting out the defenders and allowed the fast feet of Wright to skip of in the productive left corner.

An overthrown lineout allowed White to once again run the show. With a bit of space and time on his hands, another fire pass to Irae Simone put him behind the defence and put his speedy winger away in the corner once again. White and Wright, it was game over for the Waratahs.

The scoreline had blown out the Waratahs but Pete Samu wasn’t done just yet. Featuring on the wing more this weekend than his whole career in Brumbies colours and it made a massive difference to him impact. When he received the ball, he had a good four to five defenders between him and the line and just five meters to work with. Well, Samu, he took them all for a ride with him down the chalk. Stop him if you can, they just couldn’t and it was a fitting finish for the big number eight.

It was a clinical display from the Brumbies in the second half, controlled the tempo of the game, shut the Waratahs out of any good attacking areas and just forced them out of the match. Pete Samu was the obvious choice as the standout player, two fantastic tries in the match and was near impossible to stop at times. Spending time on the wing against much smaller men had him looking like a monster!

A solid first forty by the Waratahs was blown away by the clinical Brumbies. Jack Dempsey had a strong game for the ‘Tahs, leading in meters run for the side and attacking weapon. Joey Walton keep developing with his game time at this level as well, looking much better compared to his first few matches. Plenty to work on for the Waratahs if they want that finals spot and next weekend is going to be critical for that to happen.

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Eight Preview

Super Rugby AU has the full spotlight of Southern Hemisphere rugby fans from this weekend forward. The round kicks underway when the travelling Western Force are at “home” against the resurgent Queensland Reds on Friday night. On Saturday evening, the Brumbies, who are actually one of the few sides who can play at home, will host the NSW Waratahs. Lets check out the two matches…..


Its been a tough old season in the Force’s return to Super Rugby AU. They are still yet to pick up a victory but with the rounds quickly running out its tough to see them grabbing the win this weekend. As the season has worn on, the Force run on side has been lifting in strength as injuries return to fitness. The concern for the force this weekend is the absence of the key back rowers, Henry Stowers and Tevin Ferris. Brynard Stander remains at number eight but his combination that developed over the season has been the key to their success.

The front row looks much stronger again with the additions of Pek Cowan and former Red Andrew Ready starting together. The Force have developed as a side who fire out of the blocks the entertain and ultimately fall away to a team who has some idea how to construct a full eighty minute game with most of these changes.

Of course we cant wrap up with the Force without talking about the impact the midfield combination has had on this team. Kyle Godwin has been dragged up from his mediocre performances by Richard Kahui. Those two together work in tandem very well and not only added those stacks of experience but also a belief within the squad with how they play.

The biggest missing name in the Reds lineup is the injured Hunter Paisami, which makes a little bit of a mess with their midfield. What I thought would be the obvious answer is to put Jordan Petaia into thirteen and plug the right wing from the bench of Flook or Hardy. Instead, Josh Flook has come straight into midfield with a direct swap, leaving Petaia out on the wing.

With the Force mixing up their back row options and leaving out the big names that have served so well, it gives a huge advantage to the Reds who have named their three standouts in those same positions. Captain Liam Wright, Fraser McReight and impressive number eight Harry Wilson will again stack the back of the very impressive looking Reds pack.

Two weeks ago the Reds had a nightmare weekend against the Waratahs, easily the lowest point of their season so far. The lessons must be learnt from that and the response that we saw, particularly on defence against the Rebel was a welcome return. Brad Thorn wont let this side sit around on performances like two weeks ago, now it goes back to that main word we keep talking about, consistency.

RESULT – Reds by 13


Is facing the Waratahs an easy win like the Force has been? Or is it a real top of the table clash. We really don’t know. The Waratahs are a side that can step it up or completely fall to pieces. Against the Brumbies however, I expect we will see their better rugby rise again.

The Brumbies have been some exciting looking selections to their side too for this match.

For week after week, Tevita Kuridrani has just ambled his way through the season as part of a good performing side without really making an impact. That ends this weekend as his place in the side is gone and he makes way for another similar player from the wing in Solomone Kata. Now we see if Kuridrani has been sub par this season. Kata is fast, powerful and difficult to tackle. Moving him in off the wing will give him more ball in more traffic and look out if the Waratahs don’t make their defensive plays on him.

The Brumbies have mixed up their halves combination again too, reuniting a Junior Wallabies partnership with Ryan Lonergan and Bayley Kuenzle in the halves together. A new one for the Brumbies but I expect the two youngsters will know each others game well from previous encounters.

The Brumbies have the glorious ability to make changes like these while still keeping a strong lineup, which just goes to shop the depth this team possesses.

The work has been set for the sporadic Waratahs. This is not a game they can rest on and beating the front runners like the Brumbies are is the sort of thing the Waratahs thrive on.

Their side in largely unchanged for this weekend which will come as some comfort for the side.

The Waratahs have struggled for points in a lot of games this season, aside from the Reds match, often struggling to convert those try scoring chances and having a lack of flair to score tries.

How do they solve the issues? Well, I’d be on the Waratahs staff if I could answer that, but when the pack often holds its own against opposition then it must be looked at where it goes wrong outside there.

With the young fly half like Will Harrison often leading the charge, his fellow backs are not following his lead. Karmichael Hunt made a small impact on his return but the man who has struck a difference in this team is Jake Gordon.

Gordon is a fully committed player who, as all good scrum halves should, will be following up any half breaks, any chances and be one of the first in support to the ball carrier and that’s why hes often the man celebrating the five pointers.

While I think they Waratahs will be at the party for this match, the Brumbies have been burnt already this season and are a far to professional side to let slip again. The Waratahs have always struggled to put eighty minutes together without have some kid of breakdown during the match, that’s all the Brumbies will need.

RESULT – Brumbies by 6

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU- Round Seven Preview

So, Flake has had a few issues, so you are stuck with me for this week’s Super Rugby AU preview! As we head into the second half of the competition, the table-topping Brumbies hit the bye, leaving the door open for the Rebels to move into top spot this Saturday when they travel to Queensland to play Brad Thorn’s Reds. The Friday night game, says the winless Force ‘host’ the Waratahs. Let’s crack into the games!

FORCE vs WARATAHS – Cbus Super Stadium
In rather peculiar, yet not unusual circumstances, the Western Force will be hosting the NSW Waratahs in Queensland this weekend. The Tahs’ sit third on the table and had struggled until they burst into life with a 45-12 thumping over the Reds. The Force, sit 0-4, although they will feel they have deserved better than that.

Last time these two sides met, the Force stormed out a 14-0 lead before surrendering 23-14.
The Force will have felt they should have one that, and the fast start continued, repeated itself the following week before they tasted defeat against the Reds. The Waratahs have improved since then and you sense the Force have a rather large mountain to climb this weekend.

The game itself should be an exciting one, as both look to pedal to the medal. Some dodgy weather around kickoff, however, might mean a kicking battle is on show, which could well suit the experience of Ian Prior and Jono Lance. If the Waratahs start fast then the Force could be in for a long evening.

The Waratahs head into this one on the back of their surprising win over the Reds last week. While some predicted the result, it was the scoreline that shocked most people as they raced out to a 45-0 lead thanks to a Jake Gordon hattrick. The Waratahs worked well as a unit, showing what they were capable of. Young Will Harrison looks like a talent and a half…

As for the Force, they might be targeting this one as winnable. Coming into the competition, nothing was expected of them, many thought they were there to merely make up the numbers. They have been better than that. They really could of and should of beat one of if not both the Waratahs and the Reds, while they managed to take the Rebels to SUPER TIME. They are worth a win, and with the experience in the backline, including Richard Kahui this week, they might well be able to beat out the inexperience of the Waratahs.

If the rain comes, the chances of the Force increase. Can they cause, what would be an upset? Jono Lance could easily kick them to victory, but after last week, the Waratahs confidence will be sky-high.

RESULT- Waratahs by 6

REDS vs Rebels – Suncorp Stadium
In what should be the game of the round, the Reds will be looking to pick themselves up after they were resoundingly thumped by the Waratahs, while the Rebels will look to power to the top of the table after they dispatched of the Brumbies 30-12. Can the Reds bounce back or will the Rebels roll on?

When these sides met back in round two, we saw the first-ever Super Time as the sides were locked at 18 all. Unfortunately, Super Time was not so super, as we treated to kick every 30 seconds, as both sides feared giving away a penalty. Barring a 50m penalty attempt from Bryce Hegarty, neither side got close to breaking the deadlock.

With thunderstorms forecast for Saturday, all be it clearing by kick-off, we could be in for an interesting affair. If the field is wet, then the Rebels will likely look to control the game, something they are likely to be able to do better than the inexperienced Reds. Reece Hodge will be licking his lips.

The Rebels go into this one as strong favourites for me, as the Reds may well require a week to pick themselves up after that defeat last week. With the finish line not a million miles away, the lure of top spot and a direct route to the final will surely be enough motivation for them.

The Queenslanders are a young side and they will be in shell shock. Can big Brad Thorn wield some magic, or will this be another car crash on the coast? Unfortunately for them, I am feeling the latter.

RESULT- Rebels by 16

Hopefully, this was informative enough for you! As we head back into the unknown in New Zealand, stay safe, while the same goes for everyone worldwide.

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SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Six Review

Super Rugby AU is firmly into the second half of the season and the return fixtures are always an interesting highlight. This round saw the once undefeated Brumbies put to the sword by the Rebels in the first shock of the weekend. The upsets weren’t done there however, the wobbly Waratahs were firm favourites to get hammered by the Reds and that couldn’t be further from what happened. What a crazy weekend of Super Rugby AU. Lets catch up with how the action went down…..


The weather conditions were less than ideal for the opening match of the weekend. Consistent rain throughout the game made handling a problem for both sides and made the kicking game a far more tactical option as the ball was skidding across the pack.

The way the sides played you would almost think it was a dry weather game and it was expansive play towards the right edge that picked up the first try. Reece Hodge taking advantage of some poor defending out wide by the Brumbies, who weren’t trusting their inside defender, and left a stack of space out wide.

Remember its wet…. The Brumbies were having a good period of attack in the Rebels half until they tried a little grubber kick which was blocked by Campbell Magnay and chased back the other way by Marika Koroibete who showed his tremendous acceleration and speed to toe the ball ahead a couple more times before winning the diving tussle a couple meters short of the line and popping it up to a charging Brad Wilkin to crash over. Completely against the run of play, that was a big blow by the Rebels.

The Brumbies battled back into the game and little surprise it was mainly through the lineout maul and penalties. But it wasn’t the usual suspects that delivered the points. Joe Powell snatching the ball out of the grasp of Folau Faingaa at the back of the maul to scuttle around the short side to finally put the Brumbies on the board.

The rest of the half was all Rebels and huge concern for the Brumbies. Matt To’omua rubbed salt into the wound with a little grubber of his own the Reece Hodge raced through, splashing through the puddles to beat the defender to the ball.

To’omua wasn’t having the greatest night off the tee with a couple of conversion missed already, but a nice handy penalty got him another three to his name.

With the half wearing to a close it was long periods of control by the Rebels. Their pack getting the better of the exchanges and the Brumbies decision making was appalling.

After pounding away at the Brumbies defence for what seemed like forever, the Rebels finally broke through again, Jordan Uelese planting it down from close range to give the Rebels a tidy twenty point lead.

It got worse for the Brumbies as the Rebels instantly got back on the attack with seconds to play. The defence this time held out enough but they lost Tom Cusack to a yellow card and were lucky to hold out to the half time break without conceding again! Off to half time we go, scoreline reading 27-7 in favour of the Rebels. Surprising half!

The Brumbies survive the early period after the break while being a man down without conceding any more points and even looked decent enough at getting into attacking areas themselves.

Back to fifteen a side, the Rebels get themselves even further in front via the boot of Matt To’omua once more, to extend that lead to twenty three points.

The majority of the second half is the Rebels focusing on defending that strong lead they had built up while throwing to the Brumbies and saying, bring it back and we will keep you out. They did that extremely well.

The Brumbies did finally battle over in the last couple of minutes, Will Miller crashes over after a number of penalties and quick taps taken from the Brumbies.

Could easy sum this game up in a few lines, Matt To’omua at twelve, he guided his Rebels around brilliantly, kicked well, and the Rebels ultimately played the better wet weather rugby. The question mark of Andrew Deegan at ten was well rewarded with his good territory kicking.

I’m struggling to find any real positives for the Brumbies on this game. The backs could not catch kicks, the forwards could not hit the ball up. The kicking was aimless, their gameplan was clueless. The worst Brumbies match in quite some time. Full time 30-7 to the Rebels.


Its the old rivalry of New South Wales vs Queensland to wrap up the sixth round of Super Rugby AU. The Waratahs just back from the bye and looking to get their season back on track.

They started the better of the two sides too, finding a lot of space out on the left side with James Ramm and the Waratahs cashed in with three early points off the tee.

The Reds went quickly on attack but their lineout is getting smashed by the Waratahs and the Reds are just not winning any of their own ball off their throw. That causes all sorts of issues for the Reds and the Waratahs have possession and possession against the throw. The left edge proved profitable again as Ramm slips through the defence and some superb offloading welcomes Jake Gordon back with the opening try of the game.

Before that opening try, it was about the final attacking chance for the Reds in the first half. The Waratahs took over and it makes you wonder what happened during their bye week, or perhaps what happened to the Reds over the last week….

The Waratahs went on a FIVE try rampage in the first half, three of which came from scrum half Jake Gordon. The lineout was a continued area of problems as Gordon’s second try came from Reds lineout, the first was more exposure down that left wing where Ramm was running without problem.

It was down the left again the Jack Dempsey found half a hole and an offload to Jack Maddocks extended the lead even more. Gordon added his third soon after and then it was Alex Newsome who went flying, quite literally, in the right corner when some ball finally went out to the his side of the field.

It defied belief to look at the half time scoreline, 38-0 the Waratahs thrashing the Reds at half time, five tries and nothing thrown back at them.

The second half was, as you would expect, a lot more tame. The Waratahs happy with their first half work and set about defending it with territorial rugby.

They still couldn’t help scoring tries and hooker Tom Horton got a rare one for the forwards who hardly had a chance to lay the ground attack close to the line. They cash in on the chance and extend that lead even more, out to 45-0, yes, forty five to NIL! Its explainable.

The Reds do fight back into the game, getting their opening points of the game a few minutes later thanks to a lucky bounce from a James O’Connor cross field kick, off the head of Jack Maddocks and bouncing fortuitously into the hands of Jack Hardy to finally put the Reds on the board.

The rest of the game was a Waratahs side happy to camp down and run down the clock against a Reds team throwing every desperate play they could at them. Their set piece was shot, their hands were just as bad and nothing went right for them at all. It was not a night for the Reds at all and continues on the Australian sides complete inconsistency.

With time well up the Reds finally managed to do four things they failed to do all night long. Firstly, the won a penalty and found touch with a good kick. Secondly, won a lineout… yeah that was a big deal. Thirdly, Tate McDermott made a rare half break off the bench and then finally the last piece of the puzzle, managed to put an offload to hands that actually caught the ball and just like that, like magic, James O’Connor scored the try.

The Reds may take a little heart at winning the second half, but when your down by 45 points, there is near nothing you can take as a positive. May as well cover the away side first because there was very little you could say they did well. The standouts, if you want to stretch, James O’Connor looked OK in a dreadful side, but overall, no one can hold their head up high. I don’t even recall hearing or seeing Jordan Petaia on the ball and his left edge got smashed early on.

The Waratahs on the other hand, have plenty to take from that game. James Ramm was devastating early on and set the tone for the game. Jakes Gordon of course cant miss out on a hattrick mention and often for the Waratahs, if Michael Hooper has a good game, so do the Waratahs, that was the case again in this one. Hopefully, the Waratahs can back that up next week…..

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Six Preview

We roll into the second half of Super Rugby AU with an expected clear leader at the top of the table. The front running Brumbies are on the road to take on competition contenders the Rebels on Friday night. Then in out Saturday evening clash, its a big chance for the Reds to cement their number two place when they travel to take on a refreshed Waratahs. The winless Force will watch on from the bye this weekend. Lets check out the games……

REBELS vs BRUMBIES – Leichhardt Oval

This may be third place up against the top side, but I cannot even see this one being much of a contest. The Rebels have struggled against everyone they have come up against, looking good against the better team in losing efforts or looking terrible against the Force and winning it in SUPER TIME!

This screams of a side that dictates their play more on their opponents rather than focusing on their own game. That was plain to see against the Force last weekend when the Rebels continually did just enough to stay in front or on par right to the end and cashed in during the extra time.

Now the sides have all played once before, we can look back to round one when the Brumbies hosted the Rebels and it ended in a 31-23 scoreline to the home team. The featured of that match up was the domination by the Brumbies on either side of half time that ultimately seal their victory.

The Brumbies just look so much more complete than the other Australian sides. They know what works for them and use it to extremely good precision. We all know I’m talking about the lineout maul. Give them a penalty inside your own half and you can nearly chalk up at least five points, normally for Folau Faingaa.

Its tough to see where the Rebels can gain an advantage in this match up. The pack will be on the side of the Brumbies, when their backs have got a little ball they have been deadly with guys like Tom Wright in some cracking form.

The Rebels need to use their points of difference, power running of a Pone Fa’amausili, thunderous boot of a Reece Hodge and the finishing skills of a Marika Koroibete. Just don’t give up those penalties in your own half Rebels, or its going to be a long night I fear….

RESULT – Brumbies by 10

WARATAHS vs REDS – Sydney Cricket Ground

The Waratahs will be nicely rested after the bye week last weekend but I’m slightly concerned if that rest is going to make any better or the possibility of being worse…..

If we talk about some Australian sides looking quality on paper but not transferring those abilities onto the field, the Waratahs are on the top of that list. Aside from the one good performance against the Brumbies a few weeks back, even the Force will be keen to have another crack at them!

This ones pretty clear cut for me as well. The Reds have really turned up the heat this season with not only that quality mobile forward pack we know and expect to see galloping around the field, but with the interplay into the backs and flowing offload game.

They have had good consistent selections with a much more mature James O’Connor leading their backline and generally playing the sensible game very well.

I am excited to see what they can manage against a wayward and disjointed Waratahs side and think we could be in for a bit of an exhibition this weekend from the Reds if they keep improving like that have over the last few weeks. There’s no doubt for me who the second best side in Australia is, Brad Thorns boys leading the way.

RESULT – Reds by 5

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Five Review

Round five of Super Rugby AU promised to be one worth watching and the games in action was right up there again, with one of the best weekends of the competition. Maybe we should put the Waratahs on the bye each weekend…. We got our second match of Super Time this season in the weekend opener, that actually delivered between the Force and the Rebels. Then on Saturday night, the game of the round saw the Brumbies sneak home with the greatest get out of jail card, after the full time hooter against the resurgent Reds. Lets take a look at how it all unfolded…..


This was a grudge match for the Force after the battle these two sides faced three years ago, as it was one of these two teams faced with getting the chop from Super Rugby and we all know how that story went.

The conditions were perfect for a running game of rugby and both sides went about their game early with that in mind, with plenty of passion in the play to boot.

The Force seemed intent early to score again in groups of five and seven but finally put that to the bin in favour of getting on the scoreboard this week, Jono Lance happy to chip over the penalty and set the scorers in action after eleven minutes of play.

It was the 50th cap for Isi Naisarani, but the celebrations were cut short when he was sent to the bin for a number of ruck penalties near the Rebels line. The Force had no intentions of going for the posts this time, hitting consecutive penalties to the corner.

The lineout maul was the order of the day for the Force, twice from the penalty and the second time they got it spot on. The forwards charging ahead and the backs jumping in for that little bit extra to help the pack over for the opening try. Fergus Lee-Warner from the second row credited the try, nope hes not a hooker but a lock. With the Lance conversion, it extended that good start lead they love to play to 10-0.

A man down, no problem for the Rebels. With a lineout five meters from the Force line, the Rebel pull out the training pitch set move down the narrow front of the lineout. Some quick, slick hands and Jordan Uelese bounced his way over in the corner to put the Rebels finally in this game. To’omua’s kick was outstanding from the sideline and cut the lead back to just three.

The Rebels ended the half with a shot a goal from half way, which Reece Hodge struck over off the post. That evened up the scores to 10-10 at the break, an entertaining and very even half of rugby from the two sides.

The second half was a stalemate for the opening ten minutes before the Force had their captain Jeremy Thrush sent off for the killing the ball in a ruck a meter away from his own line. The Rebels turned down an easy three at the first asking, but when receiving another penalty quickly after, decided to grab the safe option and take the lead.

Once again, a player down gives a lift to the side missing! A sensational dummy and short pass from Nick Frisby put Jono Lance in a gaping hole and launched the attack that went through a couple more sets of hands before the try scoring sensation Byron Ralston, finished brilliantly in the corner to complete a fantastic move and give the lead back to the Force, 17-13 with the conversion.

That sparked the Rebels into life. A mistake quickly after the kick off opened up the chance for the Rebels to hit back and swiftly they did. Matt Philip doing it all himself, twisting in the tackle, busting through multiple defenders from a few meters out to plant it under the sticks for an easy To’omua conversion and the lead back, 20-17.

The points were flowing thick and fast now, Thrush back from the bin, the Force quickly grabbed themselves a penalty just inside the Rebels half and swiftly looked to Jono Lance who slots the penalty to tie it back up again. Super time was sniffing…..

As the match was wearing into its final stanza, the Force were starting to get a grip on the game and look like they may cause an upset. A couple of big turnovers launched them up the field with five to play and and gained an opportunity to grab a penalty shot at goal. Sadly Lance split his kick to the left and it remained 20-20.

With time up on the clock, the Rebels received a penalty sixty meters from the Force line which Reece Hodge stepped up to take but his shot fell just a meter or two short and we were heading into SUPER TIME!!!

Just as quick as it started, Super Time was over again! An error by the Force captain Thrush off the kick off gifted possession back to the Rebels who really pumped up the tempo and the big forwards hit up into the twenty two. A few phases later and Isi Naisarani crashed over to put the feather on his 50th cap with the winning play.

A harsh result for the Force, who I feel were the better side throughout most of the match up and deserved to grab their first win. Jono Lance and Kyle Godwin were great in the backs, that experienced worked well for the Force. The usual suspects in the back row were again a “force” to content with and continually put their side in good positions.

Matt To’omua had a really good game for the Rebels on attack and defence, sadly a lot of his team mates were half asleep around him. Was good to see Isi Naisarani back in action and showed glimpses of what he can do for the Rebels.


The two undefeated sides in Super Rugby AU were set to do battle this weekend to leave only one remaining. The Brumbies back at home and still the leading contenders despite some indifferent form, they know how to win.

The Brumbies know their strengths and set about enforcing their dominance in the forwards from the first minutes. A number of penalties inside the Reds twenty two gave the Brumbies plenty of chances to put that play in effect and almost inevitably, Folau Fainga’a crashed over at the back of that lineout maul.

Although most of the first half following the opening points was positioned around the middle of the park, the Reds played their way into the game with some good periods of control, but ultimately couldn’t finish any chances off with errors and some aimless kicking.

When the Brumbies got back in the right area of the field, its a copy paste of what happened earlier. Lineout, maul…. try! Folou Fainga’a getting a double and the Brumbies with one trick in mind when the opportunity strikes. The Reds do get on the scoreboard through the boot of O’Connor to open their account shortly after.

The Reds will feel harshly treated as they sit in the sheds for half time, having a try disallowed by the referee who was watching the home town big screen of a big tackle four phases before they go eighty meters to score. The ref deeming the thumping hit on Tom Banks after losing the ball to be high and dangerous even after the Reds went the length of the field and scored an outstanding try by returning Jordan Petaia. An incredible harsh call for a tackle that was hardly even a penalty.

The Brumbies Bayley Kuenzle blows the penalty shot at goal wide and the two sides head for a break with the score fourteen points to three.

The Reds get instant revenge very early in the second half. A messy exchange from the Brumbies falls eventually for the Reds who finally manage to clean up the loose ball. Its that man Petaia again who half breaks and offloads brilliantly to Harry Wilson and the number eight bolts over in a footrace against his opposite number. The Reds are back in the game.

The momentum had fully swung heavily to the Reds. Another extraordinary run from Harry Wilson perfectly in support of Filipo Daugunu after O’Connor send the flying winger through a hole with a no look inside pass. Angus Scott-Young is quickly on the ruck just a meter or two out and crashes over the line. An outstanding turnaround by the Reds who now lead by three.

James O’Connor continues the Reds period of dominance with a big forty meter penalty to drag the lead out another three points and out to six in total.

The Reds had done so well to keep the penalties clean in their own half but with just six minutes remaining, an offside penalty from O’Connor gave that chance again for the Brumbies to strike. Into the corner they go and with no Fainga’a on the field, its instead his replacement Connal McInerney who rolls over in the corner to cut the Reds lead to just one point as the conversion sails wide to the left from Mack Hansen.

With just three minutes remaining, who will have the nerve to finish this game off!? The Reds impact off the bench from usual starters like Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight could have been the difference maker.

With time well and truly up, the Reds give up a penalty forty meters out from their own line and step up a man in only his fifth Super Rugby game, the new hero, Mack Hansen! A calmly struck penalty turns the lead around denies the extremely impressive Reds from what would have been an incredible victory. The Brumbies and the lineout maul get the job done, as tough as it was, by just two points, 22-20.

An incredible twisting and turning match to close out the round of Super Rugby AU. Plenty of standouts but I am impressed from the early showings from young ten Bayley Kuenzle. Speaking of young guys, Nick Frost was another who stood out but the Brumbies pack as a whole again stood up and even though you know whats coming, they make it near impossible to stop.

Oh the poor Reds, how good they were for a lot of this match! James O’Connor controlled the game so well for the Reds and the return of young Jordan Petaia was a joy to watch as he made every meter look easy. Big number eight Harry Wilson was the main standout though, not just in his core jobs, but the way he supports his team in possession is a quality attribute.

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Five Preview

Sadly round four of Super Rugby AU didnt back up the hype of round four and was back to being another disappointing round. Heading into this new round, the Western Force kick off the action on Friday night taking on the Rebels and then on Saturday evening the Brumbies will be back at home to take on the Reds, in what should be our game of the weekend. Thankfully we don’t have to see the Waratahs this weekend. Lets take a look at the two matches…..

FORCE vs REBELS – Leichhardt Oval

After such fiery starts in the first few rounds of Super Rugby AU, the Force ran out of steam before the game even started last week but hopefully that’s not a sign on the rest of their season. Coming up against a Rebels side who much like themselves, are having a road trip season without home games.

The way the season has gone so far, this isn’t expected to be the thriller we would like it to be. The Rebels have got better as the season has progressed and make short work of the terribly wasteful Waratahs last weekend. I hope they don’t get as easy a ride this Friday night though.

The Force threw away a lot of chances to take points last week, instead insisting on going for tries, which has normally been a solid plan for them. Against the Brumbies however, maybe not the smartest idea. They really need to be taking those chances, turning the scoreboard over and keeping themselves in the game.

The start for the Force is incredibly important. They will either scored a couple of cracker tries themselves or concede them down the other end. Its a surefire way to know if this match is going to be a solid contest or another write off. They have a strong territory game and are fixated on scoring in fives but are good enough to vary their game, hopefully we see that this week.

The Rebels just need to keep playing their game, its working well and the squad as a whole actually looks like its getting the job done. Then again, any side against the Waratahs last weekend probably would have looked fantastic too. Their real test will come from the Reds and the Brumbies as just like south of the ditch, after a few weeks the competition is starting to see its contenders and pretenders.

RESULT – Rebels by 9


This game should be some good rugby. Thankfully its part of our Saturday night double header so we may get two decent games in a row, lets hope! Its the Brumbies and the Reds and in my opinion so far, the two best sides in Super Rugby AU.

Although the Brumbies did the job quite comfortably last weekend against the Force, it was a very stop-go performance that you could have slept through twenty minute passages and caught the action packed minutes at each end of the halves. That more sums up their attack than anything because defensively they were outstanding throughout against a side that was adamant on scoring tries and tries alone.

The Brumbies wont get that ride against the freshly rested Reds who have shown all season long they are happy to take points on offer and you can only put that down to being the happy Super Rugby side as opposed to that renegade like the Force who are out to make statements.

While its easy to look at this match up and the two amazing packs these teams possess, I’m expecting this game to be more exposed out in the backs. Both sides know what the pack will be against on the other side and will both feel they could get that upper hand elsewhere.

Of course the set piece will be an intriguing battle for the whole eighty minutes and I think that both sides will have joy and pain at those times.

The Reds will want the most from their experienced playmaking options like James O’Connor and Hamish Stewart, who should be really sharp and lead the way for the Reds there.

Its outside those guys that the Brumbies will be licking their lips. Tom Wright has been in exceptional form and when you add him to Tom Banks, Solomone Kata, Tevita Kuridrani and Irae Simone, they will be wanting those guys to get ball in hand as much as possible.

This is a game I am looking forward to watching. As much as I am enjoying the Reds and think they have a hugely successful future in Australian rugby, this wont be their season for glory. Maybe in a year or two, but for 2020 they will push the Brumbies and be that next best thing.

RESULT – Brumbies by 4

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!

SUPER RUGBY AU – Round Four Review

After a fantastic round three of Super Rugby AU, expectations were high to see another weekend of some good high quality rugby that they have struggled to produce. The begin the weekend, the Waratahs took on the Rebels on Friday night and then later on Saturday, the Western Force has their first “home” game against the benchmark Brumbies. The Reds sat this weekend out on the bye. Lets take a look at how it all went down…..


The SCG looked in prime condition for our weekends opening match, conditions were dry, although it was a little dewy on the grass, it still looked primed for attacking rugby.

It was the Rebels who has first attack at the line, led by a Matt To’omua scything run on half way that set them up into the Waratahs territory and an early offside penalty put the first three points on the board.

The first try came completely against the run of play, the Waratahs getting hammered by penalties early, Alex Newsome with a crucial intercept when faced against a two on one overlap and made the telling play set the home side away for the night to a 7-3 lead.

Those penalties again allowed the Rebels to hit straight back at the posts a couple of times and put them back into the lead by two points before the Waratahs joined the act to see-saw the lead between the sides.

We know how much Angus “Cardner” loves to rip out his yellow cards and this game was no different, Michael Hooper found himself on the wrong side of his team giving away stacks of penalties in their own 22 area and was sent to the bin and gifted the Rebels another three points and the lead once again.

With the man advantage, the Rebels took control of the match up. Camping themselves down in the Waratahs 22 area before eventually crashing over with scrum half Ryan Louwrens off the back of a scrum near the end of the half.

The Rebels were content to play the rest of the half out without causing any trouble and went to the sheds with an impressive lead over the Waratahs at 19-10.

While we at least had some points in the first half, there was nothing of joy from most of the second half. The Rebels were building a small town in the Waratahs 22, they were there that long. A stack of penalties kept mounting up against the Waratahs and eventually there was little choice but send another to the bin, Jed Holloway had been on the field for just seconds before being sent back off. That gave the Rebels three more and a twelve point lead now.

Marika Koroibete had the final say of the match, busting through from the base of a ruck unopposed to seal the Rebels first win of the season. Pushing the score out to a quite comprehensibly victory.

The Waratahs were a mess and the memory of their performance last weekend against the Brumbies is now nothing more than a fluke. Will Harrison is the only guy who looks like doing anything and experienced guys like Michael Hooper, who like many others conceded a stack of penalties, were nowhere to be seen.

The Rebels dominated territory and possession in the second half and did not let the Waratahs play. Their pack carried well and set piece was decent enough. Andrew Deegan made a good bench impact but this was a game of how poor the Waratahs were as opposed to the Rebels being good.


It took just over a minute for the Brumbies to show the brilliant hands from deep inside their own area from a defensive scrum. Picked off the back from Pete Samu who somehow found Joe Powell and two or three more hands before they set loose Tom Wright to speed away. From twenty two to try line, it was something special from the Brumbies to light this game up early.

If you want entertained, the Brumbies were here for you this weekend. Stealing a turnover off the Force again inside their twenty two, the overlap out wide set away Pete Samu again, breaking tackles and offloading, Tom Wright on hand drawing the last defenders and finding Irae Simone who strolls in on that left edge for the second time. It was only five minutes in and the Brumbies were setting a clear tone for the match,

After a frantic start, the match died off for the rest of the half. The Force going close on a number of occasions but were unable to turn it into points. The Brumbies hands had left them after that outstanding opening ten minutes as the game turned into an arm wrestle, kicking duel, away from the entertaining counter attack we had early in the game. The Force were happy to go to the sheds as soon as possible, holding the Brumbies out near the end of the half and heading for oranges at a 12-0 scoreline in favour of the Brumbies.

Its been the night of Tom Wright so far and the spark he had in the first half was quickly reignited in the second. After a superb 22/50 kick from Simone, Wright found himself left with too much space which you cant do against a player of his pace and ability. His angle lines had the defence struggling and once on the outside, fed Will Miller who powered through one tackle and slid his way over for the Brumbies third try and put them even further away.

As the game aimlessly wobbled its way towards the final quarter, the Brumbies put away any backline play and locked it in with the forwards. Of course, a lineout maul! Replacement hooker Connal McInerney one hand to grab yet another maul try. This game was long over at this point, the Force trying to do anything they could to gain some points but the Brumbies defence was always too strong so far.

That was about all the highlights the match had, no joy at all for the Western Force. They will be massively disappointed to be kept to nil. The rain that started falling mid way through the first half put a bit of a damper on the whole event and it cost both sides their hands and will to play any running rugby.

The Force had plenty of fight and grit as you would expect, but always chasing the scoreboard saw them turning down shots at goal to try at five instead. Tom Wright stood out for the Brumbies and it was the usual suspects for the Force, the backrow, led by Henry Stowers who was a powerhouse again.

Previews and reviews are right here Behind The Posts for each and every round of Super Rugby AU! Rugby is back in Australia! Let me know your thoughts on the action this weekend in the comments and thanks for stopping by Behind The Posts. If you would like to have your say here, get in touch on the contact page today!