The first home semi for Cone Stadium ver 3.0 saw a gathering of the RugbyHeads Clan and others who were nice enough to not shake their heads too much at us.
The rumour that the corporate box had been walled up to prevent a "clean stadium" issue, was brushed aside as we made ourselves ready for an evening of wide screen surround sound S12 Rugby action.
Semi Final #2 - Chefs vs Horsies
Crap! Was going to say "crap on a stick", but it really wasn't that good.
I only watched the first half, and although I forgot to drink my coffee which is usually a good sign, I then decided that I wanted to cycle home in the freezing cold in preference to sitting through the second half.
This lack of enjoyment may have had something to do with my supporting the Chefs, and the quality of the play that they supplied in turn.
My support obviously wasn't doing much good, so like a good Worryahs supporter... I left early.
However... a big thank you to the Chefs for taking out Special Agent Mortlock as he was looking dangerous.
The remaining question I have about the game is: Did Roff manage to clear his throat in the second half? He appeared to be choking!-)
And of course I look forward to a match report from Tesrof.
In fact it was such a let down that I very nearly forgot all about:
Semi Final #1 - Mighty Crusaders vs Much Travelled Stormers
Half Time Score 12-13
Full Time Score 27-16
As the Sage Fitzy (not that one!-) used to say, "it was a game of two halves"!
And just look at what the teams can do with their dominance of territory and possession.
1st half - Stormers 2:1 in terr & pos = 1 point lead
2nd half - Crusaders 1:1 = 11 point lead!
Probably something about finishing, or defence. Actually it was both!
Nice to see young Danny Carter still slotting the kicks, but even better to see the forwards put in a renewed effort after 40 minutes of near constant tackle practise.
The lineout performed remarkably well considering the lack of giraffe on our side - the few scrums that there were, were consistent if not dominant.
Andrew Cole gave new meaning to appalling refereeing, ably supported by both his touchies. It is my fault however as I handed him my "He's the best ref in the world!" comment far too early in the match and it obviously went to his head.
Still it didn't hurt either team too much and he seemed to get better in the second half - either that or the teams started playing better and didn't really need him any more.
No heroics were required from Marika V this game, but his confidence and skills stayed high, and he did some really great work.
Carter and Ritchie MaCaw stayed in the hunt for automatic AB selection.
Mexted quote: "They are the only ones you would select."
Cone Stadium reply:
(1) Eh... I'd pick a couple more as well thanks, Richie and Dan are bloody good by 2-15 isn't very fair.
(2) Yes, I'd at least select a prop!
(3) No wait, no props means you could opt for golden oldies scrums, a brilliant tactic!
(Oh yes! The RH chums were in good stead on Saturday!)
Meg Marshall had a bloody good running game, and was well placed to finish another great Crusaders team try. I was a bit worried about the skipping, but as long as it got the crowd going.
TV One news on Sunday night excelled itself with the comment "Is this our new All Black captain?" as they showed Marshall's post try crowd exhortation. That one I will gladly leave to the selectors.
Ralph almost redeemed himself with his try. Obviously a set piece, but one which was as sweetly executed as you will ever see.
And the reward for this victory? A trip to Canberra for the final!
The main problem with the final is that the Brumbies know how to start with a hiss and a roar. The Crusaders had better start strong or they won't see the ball in the first half.
I know that 1 point is enough (don't the Brumbies know that) but I also quite like the "last minute try denying the bonus point" move as well!
But mainly from the Crusaders!
(Dear BT, does this story make up for not realising that last weeks game against the 'Canes was on a Friday evening and only finding out when I saw the front page of the Saturday paper?)