6 May 2007

For want of some tries the season was lost.

| johnboy
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[First filed: May 04, 2007 @ 23:56]

There’s still a very outside chance that if the Reds win against the Bulls in Pretoria (complacency or a well placed lightning bolt might produce a win there but don’t bet on it).

If so, and the Brumbies win very big against the Highlanders tomorrow night then we might yet squeak into the finals. But if you’re feeling that lucky I’d advise buying a lotto ticket.

Keo reports on both the dismal Force game (hard to win without a half back), and the more exciting but very disappointing Chiefs game.

There has been some moaning about the bonus point system, or only having four finalists. At the end of the day the Brumbies knew that tries brought bonus points and chose to spend much of the season playing dour negative rugby. No one to blame but themselves if the teams that went for the tries and scored the bonus points got ahead.

UPDATED: Keo reports on the thrilling game in which the Brumbies fulfilled their side of the bargain with a thrashing of the Highlanders racking up our first ever Dunedin win. Three tries in the first half and then, without George Gregan, just the final score deep in injury time. What a difference driving for the line made!

A possible win by the Stormers over the Sharks, by an unlikely 40+ points could still squeeze us in, as would a much less likely win for the Reds over the Bulls.

But for two games lost in the last minute and a general aversion to try scoring we could have been hosting a home final with what is, in many respects, the strongest ever Brumbies side.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Needing the South African sides to lose I’m very pleased I went to bed around 1am and thus missed four hours of crushing Saffer superiority. The Sharks not only failed to lose big, but the Bulls thought so little of the Reds they decided to fix their for and against difficulties with a 92-3 frolic. All South Afican home finals next week with a high probability one of them will win the tournament.

The SGS view: I thought readers might like to know that Samuel Gordon Stewart is really enjoying our pain:

It’s a glorious day today, for the Brumbies are not in the Super 14 Rugby finals. Despite having lived in Canberra all my life, I do not support the local side, in fact I can’t stand them.

This could be why I despise the Brumbies so much…they are the local team and the local media treat them with some bias, and it is something peculiar about Canberra that we have so few local teams that they all get treated with some favourable bias, but I think the Brumbies are a special case. In the NRL the Raiders get some favourable bias, but the media tend to accept that a lot of Canberrans don’t give two hoots about the Raiders and support other teams, however the Brumbies, being one of only two teams within hundreds of kilometres, get treated like they are the entire competition (RiotACT provide roughly the same amount of Brumbies bias as the rest of the local media, see the linked article for an example), they are an annoying waste of excess media time in this town, and I for one just can’t stand them. The news that a thrashing of another team many thousands of kilometres away has directly affected and destroyed their hopes of a finals berth has made my day, and possibly my week!

You and the horse you rode in on Sam.

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Confusing the Bulldogs with the Crusdaers, obviously a man of great intellect. Stick with the inane latte chatter and wooly jumper wearing commentry.

You hate the team because of the media interest/bias? Hmmmmm. Maybe worry more about the sport & less about how the team is spoken about. The Brumbies are a class team…& have been for many years. I admire them because of that.

If this season has meant nothing else, it means that it is time to get the putrid Sth African referees out of the game. If that means losing the SA teams as well, that’s fine. But a genuinely neutral ref is one who is impartial about the result and seen to be so, and that is problematic when a loss for the best-performed of the Oz teams equates to a win for a SA competitor. I see some significance in the fact that refereeing decisions ultimately brought about the last gasp losses that were the difference between the Brumbies being first and fifth.

SGS: It is rude for me to say that I would piss on your grave. So I won’t say it. Just keep in mind that on any day of the week a Brumbies article will be 100 times the size of your obituary.

And… if you talk to any REAL Crusaders fans they will have nothing but respect for the Brumbies. They would laugh at you and also feel sorry that you couldn’t go out and enjoy the brilliance of Roff, Larkham, Gregan, et al.

Short but interesting story – what?? You followed the Canterbury Bulldogs so then you started following the Canterbury Crusaders – well blow me down.

SGS, feel sorry that you missed out on the last 12 years of the best football you’ll ever see. Not your fault mate, but geese I feel sorry for you.

From the sound of it, SGS will be there to greet them – with a shotgun.

I suspect it’s all sour grapes…his blog ain’t in Australia’s top 100, is it?

Anyone know when the Brumbies fly back in to Canberra?

Pakistani room service for Eddie Jones?

92-3. Thanks Reds. Not.

Fairbank’s defence was superb tonight as always although I have some doubts over his passing options. Huxley proved that he is should be the Wallaby fullback right now.

Steve_Pedestrian7:57 pm 05 May 07

Concur on the expansive game theory, its like when we tried we buggered it up and didn’t know/forgot how to do so. Although we did have a great defensive effort on the year.

Unsure about the Highlanders ‘fling’ at the end but they did have blokes leaving too so maybe they were trying to give one of them a try to send them on their merry way?

I see where you’re coming from Steve, but I can’t help thinking a more expansive game wouldn’t have seen enough points scored to survive last minute comebacks.

Also any thoughts as to the highlanders sporting refusal to kick in the finals minutes?

Do they like us? Or do they hate the Jaapies?

Steve_Pedestrian7:30 pm 05 May 07

You could put it down to 1 of 3 games really.
1) Vs Auckland when Kraplan gave that rubbish yellow card to Al Campbell after ZERO warnings to us and 3 to them and the final try/conversion caper
2) The after the siren try by the Hurricanes to dud us yet again
3) Vs Stormers when we were trying for the Bonus point try, yet gave them a try.

If for some reason the Bulls choke and Qld win I’ll be going to NZ for the game then send Eddie a thank you card

What a game!


swissbignose5:49 pm 05 May 07

Yeah, true… just the Reds to win.

I think we only need the Reds to win.

I have a headache from the tension! How many times have we scored three times in the first half and then not manage to be able to get across the line for ages if at all.

Showed great character. The Highlanders helped us at the end by not kicking it out which would normally happen. Now I have to get up and watch the Bulls game – it might happen….

swissbignose5:17 pm 05 May 07

A win with a Bonus Point!!!

C’mon Reds… beat the Bulls. C’mon Stormers… beat the Sharks!

For mine, we had our final last week – it felt that way at least.

I think the bonus point system and a top 4 is brilliant – look at the interest it has produced at the end of the season.

If we win at the house of pain this weekend then we have had a brilliant season and once again finish ahead of the other “big” Australian provinces.

Now, lets go Nucifora for another title. What a coach…..

Well the contempt being shown to the Reds is the only thing they’ve got going for them at this point.

If the Bulls turn up thinking the game is already won then that’s a small advantage the Reds would otherwise not have had.

That’s scant comfort but we’ve got to take what we can get.

The minor matter of thrashing the highlanders in Dunedin has to first be overcome.

If the 79 minute brumbies hadn’t grasped a loss from the jaws of victory against the ‘canes and the blues at the beginning of the season – we would have guaranteed a home semi.

Losing games on the last play is unacceptable – especially at Bruce.

I see Gandolf is saying that if we win by 10 or more, with a bonus point…and the Reds beat the Bulls, we can still get there.

If the latter happens, I’ll eat my great great great granduncle Hannibal’s leather tunic.

Too true, johnboy.
No good being the best defensive team if you can’t attack as well.
That said, let’s hope for our first ever win at the House of Pain.

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