Sat 8 March 2003
Chiefs 43 : Reds 27
19 : 20 half time
All right then I just donít get it. Last week the Reds dominated the possession and this week they struggled to get over 30% in the first half and next to none in the second until the last 10 minutes of the game when it was all over. Yet when the Reds got hold of the ball they could do something with it. That one is easy. It was the return of the proper 5/8, Flatley. But the answer to first question? Well slap on a rubber glove and search them cause I have no ####ing idea!
Well the game starts and Sailor highlights his tackling expertise that he used against France last year. Clap clap (no thatís not a suggestion as I am sure he could catch it). However, in his defence he did make up for it by scoring two tries and it was against better opposition than last years double. (What do the Reds and last years Bulls have in common? They both scored 3 tries against the Chiefs! Aw God!)
Anyway after a bit more penalty trading the Reds finally get hold of the ball and Flatley puts Fairbanks (who is this kiddy?) into a yawning gap and he charges through the line and after a bit of razzle-dazzle Flatley ends up crashing over for a try. Then a couple of minutes later Flatley unleashes Sailor who barnstorms over for a try.
Well Iím thinking to myself this might not be a bad game after all. I then enjoy watching Fairbanks turn the Chiefs backline into the consistency of kiwi roads in summer (I mean what is the story there, it gets to 27 on the old temp gauge and your roads melt?). This is only the second time I have seen this bloke play and he really had a lot of fun. I will of course not mention Lowenís efforts in his demolition of the Reds defensive capabilities.
The late try to the chiefs in the second half was due to poor throwing in from Hardman who illustrated constantly at key times during the match why he was riding the pine last year. Not happy, and while Iím on the subject of lineouts... It is generally considered poor form to launch your team-mate into the air and not catch him. I mean there are enough injuries at the moment without creating more.
Then the Chiefs got hold of the pill in the second half and owned it. Thus they controlled the game and starting racking up the points and all I could do is spit venom at the TV with creative comments about certain players and their upcoming relationships with custom officials. In the last 10 minutes the Reds finally hit the panic button and finally got some ball back only to be denied by good defence until the final minutes to cross for the third try. Good work from Fairbanks allowed Sailor to plant the ball under the black dot.
Fairbanks efforts had to be applauded as he really showed some great spark. His only blemishes appear to be controlling the ball once he is tackled (had the same problems against Canterbury in the trial).
It was good to see Flatley get to play at 5/8 and all we need now is to get a fit team onto the park! Hopefully the bye will do them wonders and a few more regulars return from injury (both Kefus in particular). Then all they have to do is heavily arm themselves and try and stop the Blues backline from tearing them all a new orifice with what must be the best back three in the world at the moment. At least we canít lose this weekend.
Cricket side note the Bulls demolished the Blues in the first innings but they then sucked in the second. However it should be good enough to keep the final at the Gabba.