2004 Super 12 Grandfinal
Brumbies v Crusaders
Ref: Andre Watson
Fulltime Brumbies 47 def Crusaders 38
Halftime Brumbies 33 lead Crusaders 14
Well the game could really be a great analysis of coaching ability. Robbie Deans and Mehrtens had that falling out a few years ago now and he had to eat humble pie after 20 minutes and 33 points by putting Mehrtens back onto the park to try and stop a rampaging Brumby that was stomping the Crusaders grandfinal aspirations into dust (well in Canberra, soggy bits of turf).
While Nucifora got told halfway through the season that he was shafted by the players. Yet he hung around and was able to put it behind him to coach his side to a convincing win in the grandfinal. Now I wonder what the Kiwi papers are saying this morning?
Anyway hats of the David Nucifora and the best of luck in whatever coaching role he can now find. Hell he might want to come back to
Sorry for the side track! Now onto the game.
The opening kickoff was not regathered by the Brumbies and I was having some concerns when all the sudden thereís a turnover and lickety split, Joe Roff in the corner equalling Cullenís try scoring record. Then he converts his own try. While my heart is doing a bloody good impersonation of a heart attack.
I drag myself off the floor and just as Iím pouring myself another drink to calm my nerves the buggers are in again. Two tries in the opening four minutes and thereís ĎGentlemen Jackí running down my hands (Itís a drink not what half of you buggers are thinking, I wasnít that excited!).
Bugger me (no thatís not an invitation)! Iím thinking what the hell has happened to the Crusaders. Then just when I think things have calmed down a bit, the Brumbies were in again. My, are they targeting one side of the paddock or what. Blair is having a shocker and it looks as though every time the Brumbies get a turnover they are cashing in at the other end.
I donít know who was more shell shocked the Crusaders or every Kiwi in the World. You know I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall at the Conehead stadium!
Anyway I wonít bore you with the details, as no doubt there are already imprinted in your brain if you saw the game, but after 20 minutes the Brumbies have scored 33 points (5 tries) and then McIntyre gets pulled for Mehrtens. I mean it wasnít McIntyreís fault that Blair gave the Brumbies 2 tries is it? Anyway it was a turning point in the game and the Crusaders suddenly found confidence and started to claw themselves out of the 33 point abyss they had found themselves in.
The substitution worked as the Brumbies point scoring spree was halted till halftime and the Crusaders started to score some points. The bloody usual suspect in McCaw is one of he culprits scoring points as well along with Carter.
Anyway it gets to halftime and it time for all of us to have a breather as well and still come to terms to what was the most dominate attacking display in an opening 20 minutes that I think I have ever witnessed amongst professional players.
Anyway the second half starts and I think Blair can kiss goodbye any chance of playing for the ABís again. As he fumbled the ball and Gerrard was in for his third try of the night. If Gerrard isnít in the Wallabies starting side there is something really wrong.
Anyway enough gloating but just a few more points:
∑ Roff got a double for the night taking him to the all time greatest try scorer in Super 12 history.
∑ The comeback by the Crusaders was a real dig and thankfully Carter missed those 2 conversions so I got my margin.
∑ I can already see the Kiwi headlines concerning Mehrtens and Deans. Can someone please send me a newspaper? As I want to frame it beside the one from the World Cup semi-final.
∑ Samo is going to be a real loss for the Brumbies next year as his ball skills and running ability is sensational and that lineout pinch was a work of art. You poms will enjoy watching him play. Although seeing him in the Fijian side and maybe the combined Pacific side will be a bonus this year.
∑ The Wallabies are going to have to pick some forwards who can hold onto the ball though. Winning by having that little possession can not keep happening, no matter how sweet it is.
So now onto the international series before the main event of the Tri-Nations. (Yes I do know that
So the platform has been set for the Bledisloe with NZ looking as though it might be losing some silverware this year to restock the depleted Wallaby trophy room. As the Super 12 cup is back this side of the ditch and we have our eyes on the Tri-Nations and that big beautiful bastard the Bledisloe Cup it could be a sad looking AB cabinet by the end of the year.