My wife had met him before at Cone Stadium, so after a warm welcome she took her book upstairs – wise move!
So there we were, a slimmed down “faithful” crew supporting the Boys.
A nice start to the game with a moments silence for the death of the Queen Mum, and then Mr. Kaplan was blowing his whistle and starting the fun.
Fairly even start with both sides making some promising moves and stuffing them up, a couple of penalties here and there and a try to the Brumbies – dammit!
We were finding the go forward hard to get and the Brumby backs had stolen our loop around move. Not sure why as they seemed to be able break the line fairly much at will, thankfully they didn’t get away with it too often.
There was usually a Brumbies forward lurking behind the line-outs, and it worked a treat for at least one try.
The kick through which bounced off one of the Mauger boys shins into the arms of a Brumbie was fairly lucky - good reflexes to catch it, and quick thinking to score. A bit rough that this was judged to be a charge-down putting the catcher on-side. But lets not bother too much with it.
Caleb Ralph has made it official that he is the “Canterbury crowd-favorite” Aucklander of all time. That was a great team try, and for the left winger to finish a right wing move is fantastic support.
You wouldn’t think that NZ needed another good winger at the moment, but young Joe Maddock obviously doesn’t care. He is so fast and does the work to ensure that he is going to score tries – mate! it brings a tear to me eye just to think about it !-)
I’d like to personally thank Andrew Walker for his contribution of the two knock-ons. But otherwise the guy was just one of many Brumbies who were giving DH and I the sh*ts far too often.
Bloody Larkham and his fend on Norm Maxwell… Stirling Mortlock is good when he gets knocked out in the first few minutes, you Aussies should try that more often – but surely there is a IRB law against having such a big bastard at centre? He should be a lock, or out on the wing with the rest of the juggernauts!
The difference in the end was the Canterbury forwards and their ability to take the game by the scruff of the neck and rip some go forward from its screaming writhing body. The rolling maul and the pick and go were exactly what was required, and not just because it was a good tactic that sucked in the forwards. The Bambi forwards well and truly got the idea that we were better at both disciplines!
It is often underestimated how important it is to psyche out your opponent by simply knocking him on his arse and walking straight over his face! Just as well really because the Brumby looseys were all over us!
I was glad that the Crusaders showed the character to change their game plan to one that worked, and this against the “best team in the competition” - it warms a joker's heart!
Oh and did you notice that the Crusaders are now the only unbeaten team? Just thought I would mention it…