Sunday, 15 May 2011

Only One Team To Watch In Australian Rugby

By only watching Reds games, Australian fans can save themselves a lot  of wasted time in front of the box each weekend, because the rugby played by the other Australian franchises is woeful.

The Waratahs, contributing a quarter of the weekly rubbish dished up by Australian sides, play like a limbless torso floundering around in the SFS mud, expending much energy for naught. Empty seats are increasing exponentially with every home game, while the bright idea of a forum inviting public criticism only serves to call attention to their clueless administration.

Williams, Kennedy, Dwyer, McKenzie, Hickey……. over the years the coaches have come and gone, but the song remains the same. Unless the franchise is taken away from the incompetent NSWRU and handed to a consortium of private enterprise, the tale of Sydney's boring under-achievers will continue.

Things aren't much better to the south and west, from where the remaining 75% of uninspiring rugby originates. Since being labeled rugby’s Real Madrid, the Brumbies have been a major disappointment, every week sinking deeper into the abyss. They are a team miserably playing out time while awaiting the arrival next year of their anointed saviour,  Jake White.

Further south, Danny Cipriani has driven a stake through the heart of the Rebels, leaving them spiritless, rudderless, and their debut season in tatters.

Across the Nullabor, the Force are a franchise that has been transplanted too far from rugby's roots to ever reach any heights in this competition.

The Reds are the only Australian team worth watching. Genia has claims on the title of world’s best halfback. Cooper, when on song,  has the magician's sleight of hand. Samo, Higginbotham and Ioane are powerful and inspiring players who get the team on the front foot. Queensland have self-belief, there's depth in the squad, and they are astutely coached.

After a bye, the Crusaders will be the Reds next opponent.  Despite the Saders' loss last weekend, the Twickenham game showed that the combination of Dan Carter and Sonny Bill Williams (who could be the player of the tournament in this year's world cup) can be almost unstoppable. 

The Reds, however, will have the home ground advantage, in front of 30,000 roaring fans. It should be a cracker!


  1. Has Australia ever gotten a better export from Papua New Guinea than Wil Genia?

    Empty seats don't seem to be just an Aussie issue-looking at the games being played in New Zealand, it seems like there are a lot of empty seats at most of the games.

  2. Steve,

    In NZ, the problem of empty seats is worse in some places than others, and seems to be related in part to whether the team is going well or badly. The Crusaders, for example, usually play to packed houses. Plenty of empty seats in Waikato where the under-performing Chiefs play, and no need a book a seat in advance at the Hurricanes games (although this is exacerbated by the big stadium where the 'Canes play, which is obviously harder to fill than the smaller provincial grounds).