Well whatís been happening this side of the ditch since the Bumblebees snap froze the Sharks and sent them back home with nothing but bruises and damaged pride?
Well the Lions are in town and the Maoriís decided to entertain.
The weekend opened up with the first chance for most Aussie sportsmen and women to get their first sighting of the mythical pommy pussycats, who have been extinct in this paradise since 1989. The pussycats decided to warm up and play their opening game against a bunch of kiwi expats who have decided to become sandgropers after they could not take the economic downturn and cold any longer in the land of the long white depression.
The kiwi expats and a few local ring-ins crushed their previous best scoring effort against the pommy pussycats by scoring 2 tries (their previous best score was 3 points). Unfortunately the lions played like feral cats and mauled the WA side. Somebodies mothers didnít teach them itís not nice to pick on those who are defenceless.
This was followed by the even more noxious invader that gets the quarantine inspectors in a spin, the dreaded Maori. Now the Maori has been relegated to a myth to rival the Bunyip. As the last pack of this unpredictable and dangerous creature was believed to be exterminated back in the 50ís after it got in and wiped out some wallabies. However, rumours exist that the lesser Maori, the kiwi does infest coastal towns throughout Australia. These are considered a parasite rather than a predator like the greater Maori who has been know to take down wallabies in full flight. Note for non-NZíers: please do not confuse the All Black with the Maori as great offence can occur, especially at the pub. It has been too long since the Maori side has travelled across the ditch to entertain the faithful (or less full, depending on how much you have had to drink) Wallaby supporter. This probably has something to do with its aggressive nature and exciting play. It was great to see the wallaby side take on a decent quality side before they are expected to cull the pommy pussycats and then retain the Tri-Nations cup.
The wallabies looked the goods, a lot of the time they barely looked as though they got out of second gear. The even better news is that they were going to use my fantasy backline until Roff decided to have a rest. Flatley was doing what Kafer has done all year for the Brumbies and took the pressure off Bernie but unfortunately not the targeting. Iím sorry but if you do decide to tackle someone late and high do expect the ref to have a word with you. Now you can whinge all you like about the ref but it doesnít change the facts. While we are on it Bernie was on-side for that try too. Donít forget the ref is always right.
It was an unfortunate incident as it penalised the Maoriís after scintillating play to cross the line. What must have been even more disappointing was Walkerís ability to carve a new orifice in their backline after he was put into space by Kefu.
The most impressive effort for the night came from Nick Stiles the new loosehead prop in his first game. He got one try of his own and broke over the gain-line twice and if Chris Latham had been able to hold on to that pass he was over. The scrum was still a concern though. At least it will get some practice on Sat night when the Reds take on the pussycats.
For the Maoriís Spencer is not a fullback as there was space for all Wallaby kickers as they had vacant lots to kick into all night. Can you please keep Randell in the number 7 jumper, as he is just great. Just ask Walker and Herbert: on the way to the try line just how easy it is to get pass him?
The best players for the Maoriís were the Chiefís players as a whole who had an outstanding night and they gave it their all.
I'm sorry but the worst moments during the game were by the Ch 7 commentators. Was it just me or did it look like Bray (name like nature) had just spent the week in the tanning salon. An inability to know the names of the Wallabies, a failure to understand the refs hand signals, and they donít know the laws. Home of rugby my arse, I kept hitting the mute button to enjoy the game.
Then on Tuesday night the baby Reds took on the pommy pussycats. Damn I needed that game to keep me going. What a first half, the second string side of benchwarmers really gave it to those upstart cocky northern bastards after dishing it out to the WA side. Ramsay and Pelesasa were brutal in defence and kept knocking those internationals flat on their backs. The whole side really gave it to the pussycats with vigorous tackling and dynamic backline movements and Drahm was having a field day. Even Williams was playing well. I hate to say this but they missed him in the second half.
Unfortunately the second half was not the same intensity and those pussycats mauled the benchwarmers. Damn it.
Ahhh and now for this Sat night when the Reds are going to organise a skinning party and nail a wet bleeding pussycat carcase to the bar before they down their first drink out of Lionís skull. I am looking forward to the mighty maroons adding another scalp to their seasonís collection and getting rid of this exotic plague of wildlife that has descended onto these pristine shores. I would be that confident if Rauluni, Latham, Eales and Tune were going to be playing. At least there is no Williams.
I also forgot to mention that league sucks, who the $%@! was that cheating son-of-a %^%&% that decided to even up the series by calling the game through his $^%%$#@ (&%. Ah for @%#ís sake even Roy and HG were having trouble understanding what the brainless cheating ^#$!# ref was doing. Congrats to the NSW boys Barge but donít forget who are the Reds bunnies in the real game.