Wrap up of the last five Games Canes, Stormers, Bulls, Cats and Sharks, so it is rivalling ‘War and Peace’ in length.
Part A: Could have, Should have, but didn’t
(Canes lay claim to Ballymore points)
4 April 03
Reds 23 Canes 26
The afternoon opened up with a storm blowing in and the game ended up being played in intermediate storms. So I was thinking that handling might have been an issue and hoping like hell that the Canes don’t capitalise on the dropped ball. But was I ever wrong about handling by the Reds.
I couldn’t believe the difference one win and a change in the hooking spot had done for the QLD. They were dynamic in attack and really tested the defensive capabilities of the Canes in the opening stanza. Unfortunately the Canes were up to it and time after time denied what looked like a certain try. It really got the crowd baying for blood in frustration as committed defence repulsed wave after wave of attack.
However, I was surprised at the number of times that QLD would take in the ball into a ruck and it would then come hurtling out on the canes side. I thought hands weren’t spost to be in their Andre a bit like the last ruck of the game, which should have been another penalty! But hell, if the ref isn’t calling it, keep doing it. Yet again Andrea shows his dislike of the Aussie sides.
I just wished that the Reds had kept the ball in hand rather than kick to set up the potential try scoring opportunities. Like Tune’s efforts, which must have left one hell of a bruise in Cullen’s sternum. At that stage as Cullen was lying on the luscious Ballymore turf I was thinking that it was only fair as Latham was getting his ankle x-rayed at hospital.
Once the canes finally got into the QLD 22 they cashed in as Valentine was cooling his heals after his second slightly latish tackle. I mean those tackles were on time if say you compared it with the public transport system. Umagna was sensational in both defence and attack.
QLD ended up scoring three tries to two but the difference in the gaol kicking was crucial. If he only that bloody Canes kicker had on the boots he used against the T’ahs it could have been a different story.
You know if the Reds had pulled that one out of the bag the Canes wouldn’t have been able to defeat the Highlanders like that as they wouldn’t have had the confidence.
Overall I really enjoyed the game and don’t really mind it when the Reds loose after playing so well all you can really do is lament the missed opportunities.
Part B: 14 QLDers demolish a hometown Storm
(the wrong person got red carded)
12 April 03
Referee: Paddy O'Brien
QLD 41 Stormers 20
The game opens up with the voodoo doll boy being at fullback where I have in the past suggested he should play, if at all, as then he can use his boot. (see comments re Crusaders game) but hell I was worried about missing Latham.
QLD looked really shaky in the opening minutes with the Stormers running the ball at will and only last minute try savers preventing the Stormers from cashing in. Then the incident that cost the Stormers the match and McIssacs a chance to make the Wallabies occurred. Admittedly he was stupid and shouldn’t have hit the bloke after he received an elbow but a Red card who are we kidding.
Talk about appeasing the home side supporters. What a joke and then to top it off he gets 2 weeks suspension. While just before the half time hooter someone savagely stomps S.Kefu (if he had hit his head like a certain Blues player he would have got 12 weeks) and just gets a yellow. Great consistency in decision making you bloody one-eyed kiwi white maggot (just had to pinch that phrase from AFL).
Okay I’ll be honest voodoo pinup bot did have a good game at fullback. And his two tries were good but give me Latham any day.
Qld took the game by its scruff of the neck and ended up tearing apart the Stormers chances of making the finals. Talk about giving a rugby lesson. They were on fire and Flatley got behind a dominating forward pack and weaved his magic all game long.
It was nice listening to the Newlands crowd trying to tear their own side apart from the sideline. Luckily for the Stormers it looked as though Pieter van Zyl wasn’t at the game or they all would have copped one on the jaw.
This was a great game of rugby and I started thinking to myself that after 3 good games in a row that the QLD season had finally turned around for the better. But boy was I ever wrong about that.
Part C: Oh for #### sake
(Still Pissed Reds demolished by Joost)
Reds v Bulls
Saturday, 19 April
Reds (19) lost Bulls (39) full time
I’ll keep this one really short.
It looked as though the Reds thought they would walk away from this one with an easy win and had been drinking all week to celebrate last week’s heroics by destroying the Stormers with only 14 men.
However, ‘Joost do it’ was back! Once he got injured in the NZ tour the Bulls haven’t won a game and doesn’t his influence do them good. Just ask the Crusaders! (Couldn’t resist a cheap shot. I mean when you are down as low as this you have got to get back up swingin!)
I just got angrier and angrier as I was watching this game! While the Bulls kept their consistency as the Reds playing prowess collapsed faster than QLD state government increasing taxes.
The Bulls ran out easy winners in this Reds debacle. Okay voodoo doll did score a try but when he butchered the second the wind wet out the sail in the whole red side.
Talk about embarrassment. I thought you were meant to improve during a season not keep disappearing into potholes. Really Ugly game no 1.
Part D: last plays second last and didn’t it show
(Home at last for Ugly game no. two in a row)
Reds v Cats
Saturday, 26 April
Reds (41) def Cats (13)
This one is even shorter as lets face it was a dull game. Back at home at last to Ballymore and they haven’t won at home yet.
The only bright spot in the game occurred after the game when T. Kefu stated that QLD wanted to finish higher up the ladder than any other Aussie side. Talk about lighting a fire under the neighbouring states to get their arses into gear and it did work.
They really have adopted the Knuckles game plan to a tee, unfortunatly they aren’t using it as well. Keep the ball in the oppositions half and exploit any mistakes. So when opportunities did present themselves the set moves generally resulted in tries. This was at least good news.
The scary news is that when the Cats actually had the ball they looked more dangerous in attack and only constant poor handling cost them, try after try.
The only other real benefit of the game was watching Sharpe get back and literally drag the Reds up the field by shear hard work. While the voodoo doll didn’t get onto the park.
Part E: Worst game of the Year finalist
(Thrid ugly game in a row)
Reds v Sharks
Sat 3 May
Reds 19 def Sharks 13
Look this game was just ####ing terrible. It was an embarrassment to them as it is for me to write something. I rate this as the worst Super 12 game I have seen this year. And haven’t the Reds had their fair share of shockers this year.
I personally blame Slack for this debacle.
Look I have no problem in the notion that S. Kefu hasn’t been playing to his potential after he was stomped against the Stormers (still pissed that McIssac’s gets 2 weeks and he got none) but to put voodoo doll boy in at IC now WTF. I mean for #### sake he is a screaming liability anywhere apart from fullback. And didn’t he highlight his attacking limits by continually kicking. At one stage I thought I was watching a game of farce-e-backs or an English club match.
The best part of the game was the cheerleaders! At one stage I started yelling for them to come on as I might as well have got something enjoyable to watch for the money I paid.
If Slack wanted a change at IC then put in Fairbanks who was the standout player against the Chiefs or give Pelesasa a run. But no he didn’t! This game was so dull and uninspiring I nearly left at halftime and now regret that I didn’t. I ended up fuming away until the last 10 minutes to go when the frustration finally got to me.
Look lets face facts the Reds were not going to make the finals and should have played an expansive game. But what did they do. They went for kick after ####ing kick. It was a bit like the West Indies aiming for a draw against Australia in the Cricket.
The standout players for the Reds during the game were Valentine (he has a real shot at making the Wallabies squad), Sharpe who just does a mountain of work up the guts, Sailor is providing the attacking flair but he should be running at OC, and Hynes who had a real go. I liked everything Hynes did that night including the tackle. He was after that ball faster than a kiwi finding someone to blame for the America’s cup loss.
While this issue of who should be starting between Cockbain and Heenan is interesting as both players are playing well.
Its just so annoying that some players are putting in the hard work that time after time they are being let down but not playing it high wide and handsome.
Lets face facts the win against the Stormers was probably the best QLD have played all year. With one man down all game they just dominated the game and made the Newlands’ crowd boo off the locals. While the traditional NSW thrashing was a joy to watch it has just meant that these last three games that I have had to put up with have been exasperating. A bit like trying to tell a seppo that “no you cant travel to Brisbane by bus from the US!”
This weekend’s game is important as after three s### games they have got to put in a decent effort and kick the highlanders out of the top 4 to repay them for last year’s loss so that at least it isn’t a total kiwi dominated event. As they have played like c##p at home all year and it looks as though they are going to move from Ballymore to Lang Park next year so they have better send the best rugby ground in Brisbane off with a bang.