It was ugly but it was GOOD.
Saying goodbye to local legends George Gregan and Steve Larkham as well as the amazing Jeremy Paul the Brumbies went straight up the guts and smashed the previously impervious Canterbury Crusaders through the forwards.
Their were two black spots in the night, one was the lack of tries, and the other was Jon Stanhope, while unveiling the “Gregan-Larkham”stand, expressing what an ornament to the game of Rugby League they had been. When the crowd started booing he explained it showed “where I come from”. Some might take this to mean “go to hell I hate you”. Not only was it Our Brave Leader’s first Brumbies game but he also put out a media release.
Keo has an impartial take on the match.
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There may not have been a try scored in Canberra but this was a game of near-Test match intensity â€” not surprising if you consider six of the 30 starting players had more than 100 Super Rugby caps.
The Crusaders werenâ€™t at their best, losing seven line-outs and often struggling at scrum time. The Brumbies also blew several scoring opportunities, most memorably when Stirling Mortlock knocked on late in the game with an open tryline in front of him. However, despite the high error rate it remained an absorbing contest.
Big thanks to Mick for taking up my offer of a free ticket. Brumbies management should note that the most vocal crowd of many years coincided with my return to the members section. Sort out my seat and some free beer and it’ll be just like the good old days.
[One of seven lineout wins against the throw!]
Even at 30 minutes to kickoff the queuing just to get in was significant:
Before kickoff the ‘Saders drilled their scrum hard, for all the good it did the hapless pygmies.
For all the good it did them, the Brumbies backs dominated the pre match. There might be a lesson here.
We couldn’t see the sign from where we sat, but here’s what they’ve put on the roof of the smaller covered area while the violent Queenslander (in my opinion) holds the big stand.
Bumbies walk on
We were very worried about doing firework celebration before the game.
We really stuck it up the champs in the scrums
At half time the Navy flew a Seahawk into the stadium to lash us with rain driven into our faces and impress us wit the awesome power with which they could make spectators miserable on a cold wet night. We weren’t sure if the light on the rotors was St Elmo’s fire or just light on water.
And after the game it came to goodbyes
Larkham gets lifted