7:30pm, Sat 6th April 2002
Referee: Peter Honiss
Qld 49 : Stormers 46
27-18 at half time
I was nervous going into the game. Reds are 0 from 2 in their last 2 outings and the loss to the Hurricanes was embarrassing. Also after that game I think the Reds have picked up the Hurricanes disease (i.e. one week crap, next week good, or we are so inconsistent that it gives our supporters the shits). My daughter also went to her first full game dressed in red and I was wondering how she would cope.
I would like to thank Mark McBain for finally turning on the attack switch in the Qld side but I just wished he remembered that it shorts out the defensive nature of the side and that it needs to be reset. They have finally unlocked the try scoring potential that was noted in the last years final game when they slaughtered the Tíahs (34-17) by scoring 6 tries and the backs, on occasion, looked fantastic when they receive the ball once the forwards are going forward. However, the stuff ups in the Qld defence and Rossouw's reading of the play really kept the Stormers in the game especially when you consider they were 16 pints down, lose their prop and then score 22 unanswered points. Too bad they had to rely on Mr Hair for their kicking, though.
Did anyone else notice the difference in quality service and decision making from the Fijian halfback when the forwards are going forward?
The Qld side finally started to get things going right in their offensive attack and the handling was great by the bulk of the players. The notable exception was again the overpaid league recruit who is shocking and breaks down when he is needed most. I wonder if the ARU can get a refund?
I donít think I do a full game analysis rather I note what I saw what was not captured on camera. This primarily involves the league recruit.
The crowd was yet again waiting for Wendell, or ďDellĒ as he prefers to be called, to tear apart the Stormers and single handedly destroy the Stormers into a gentle puff. I on the other hand, was waiting for him to make his first mistake.
Sailorís positives are that, yes he has great leg drive and on occasion he can run the ball up very effectively and make easy metres when the defensive line isnít set. However, his body position is wrong when he runs and he can get turned over or gets pinged for holding-on. He is also not trusting his pace and he is attempting to cut back inside as soon as he gets the ball rather than attempting to burn them with speed on the outside (unlike Nalatu who canít even make the bench). He also seams to not understand the different angles that are required in union.
He also fails to get involved and this is killing his general play. He waits out on the wing and expects that the ball will automatically come out to him all the time. Tune and Latham however, know that the Reds do not play like this and they go looking for the ball (e.g. the number of times that Latham and Tune get the ball on that inside channel next to the breakdowns). Sailor is also standing too far away from the rest of the Reds, even in attack, and they are not going to pass him the ball after the amount of intercepts that were occurring in that game.
His general handling and decision making is suspect. Mr knock-on is becoming a liability and Latham has to do a lot of unnecessary cover work. The attempted pass to Latham on the line brought back nightmares of Campoís pass to Marto that cost the Wallabies the series against the Lions in 89.
It is his poor play that is also making him very niggly and he is becoming involved in numerous handbag incidents. If he keeps this up he will soon be marked by the refs and will be spending time on the sideline but no-one will probably notice the difference in his performance. With the lack of ball and stuff-ups he is causing his confidence is shot.
With his performance on field and the money offered to him to switch sides means that (well my perception of the situation) the rest of the Qld players are pissed off with him and they are deliberately not going to pass the ball to him. There were numerous times I saw that they (the whole team) could have got Sailor involved but chose not too. In my perception they are carrying him and I do not know why he wasnít subbed off for Pelesasa with 20 minutes to go when the Reds needed an attacking option that is willing to get involved. What Junior is doing on the bench is beyond me. He was one of the most dynamic players in the Reds last year and now they have him festering on the bench. What did he do to piss McBain off?
In regards to my daughter she soon got the hang of yelling in the right places and seamed to be enjoying herself and fited into action a damn site better than Sailor is into the Reds.
Now this week it is the Bulls. Any bets on whom in the back three wont get any tries?
Note: 2 more Kefu's were in the warm-up game. One as a centre and one as a loosie. Can you imagine 4 Kefu's playing for the Reds at once next year? A combination that would rival the Ella brothers!