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By johnboy 28 April 2007 29

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.

There may not have been a try scored in Canberra but this was a game of near-Test match intensity — not surprising if you consider six of the 30 starting players had more than 100 Super Rugby caps.

The Crusaders weren’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

What’s Your opinion?

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Mess 3:53 am 30 Apr 07

The Eddie Jones memorial crapper

VicePope 9:05 pm 29 Apr 07

Kennardly – Roff was magificent and responsible for many of my best Brumbies memories. My sadness was that they did not name Brumby Jack yeccch!) after Craig Sweeny, an ageing genial giant of a lock from the early days whose nickname was Horse. Knox, Kafer, Robinson, Noriega, Caputo and so many others have contributed and their names should all be recorded somewhere. Perhaps name a beer tap after Justin Harrison.

kennardly 8:59 pm 29 Apr 07

Joe Roff should at least get one of the Terraces named after him – he was simply brilliant.

Mess 8:15 pm 29 Apr 07

haha yeah, this is why i mainly sit in the south terrace, that way if someone stands up in front of me i dont have to throw beer cans at them to get them to move.

VicePope 6:46 pm 29 Apr 07

Crabb – the weather was looking a bit iffy and icky, and one of the group I was in had to think hard about going. I felt much the same. Projected over the whole crowd, it suggests there may have been more presales than showed up.

Mess – you are dead right. If you get there early, you can relax and watch the pre-match stuff (last night a pretty good game between Wests and Tuggers, the latter with a number 10 who will go far). On the other hand, you know that you will have the first 10-15 minutes of the first half destroyed by the dopes (mostly, I’m sure it’s necessity with some) who (a) show up late, (b) can’t work out why they can’t find their seat in the wrong bay, (c) stand in the stairs between bays blocking everyone’s view while they try to work out (b) and then (d) decide they need a (i) beer/(ii) pie/(iii) toilet visit/(iv) ciggie every 5 minutes.

I think someone should open a venue with no football but with overpriced pies and beer, crowded, stinky toilets and the opportunity to obstruct views of anything at all and try to get that end of the crowd to attend. They would see as much football as atpresent, and be able to focus on what they really want to do – irritate other people.

crabb 6:30 pm 29 Apr 07

Anyone else surprised at the size of the crowd? I would have thought that this game, of all of them, should have been a sell-out.

VicePope 6:27 pm 29 Apr 07

I wondered if Stanhope was trying to be funny. Or whether he was just a geek who didn’t know the difference (cue Bob Carr, Paul Keating). Ultimately I out it down to the Karl Rove McManus effect – you know, the slips everyone makes and no-one gives a monkey’s about unless they’re playing some kind of political game. But I might be over-analysing.

b2 6:05 pm 29 Apr 07

i was there round 7, stood in line for max 5 mins. while there were alot of people, they were entering the gates pretty quickly

Swaggie 5:47 pm 29 Apr 07

“”expressing what an ornament to the game of Rugby League they had been”” That’s not a typo then – jeez…

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