80 Games and nothing to show for it: Robbie Coleman’s quest for greatness

Robbie Coleman, in action last weekend against Brisbane City, admitted this week that he has at times let himself down with his professionalism. Image: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

Robbie Coleman, in action last weekend against Brisbane City, admitted this week that he has at times let himself down with his professionalism. Image: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley

rugby.com.au: At the end of an otherwise garden-variety press conference last Friday, in the lead-up to the 2015 National Rugby Championship Final replay with Brisbane City, University of Canberra Vikings flyhalf Robbie Coleman dropped a bombshell, admitting that he’d had cause to reflect on what he’d achieved in his career to this point.

In admitting that he’d had the proverbial good, hard look in the mirror, Coleman said last Friday that a series of meetings with Brumbies Head Coach Stephen Larkham, and inspirational co-captain Christian Lealiifano brought him to the realisation that “…the last three years have gone so quick for me, and I feel like I’ve just wasted them as far as my rugby career goes.”

This week, I caught up with Coleman for a really honest follow-up on what is a pretty brutal self-assessment from a professional athlete…

The key players who delivered semi-final berths

Beauden Barrett was excellent for the Hurricanes in their QF win over the Sharks. But was he the best 'Canes? Image: ABC Grandstand

Beauden Barrett was excellent for the Hurricanes in their QF win over the Sharks. But was he the best ‘Cane on the park? Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: Ultimately, the four best teams in 2016 have won through to the Super Rugby semis, after a weekend of quarters that delivered surprising result after surprising result.

Even in the wet weather, the general consensus was the Highlanders would have too much for the Brumbies, yet the home side were in a position to make the winning play for most of the final ten minutes. The Lions were widely favoured to topple the Crusaders, but I can’t imagine too many saw the 17-point margin coming.

And similarly, the only plausible explanation for anyone suggesting they had the Hurricanes and Chiefs winning by 40 is that they’ve either mastered time-travel, or they’re lying…

The talking points: Super Rugby Quarter Finals

The Crusaders seem vulnerable to me, with the loss at home last week, the virus afflicting some members of the squad, and now the whole travel-and-play-at-altitude thing that’s suddenly upon them. And that’s a week after wondering if they were the best-equipped team to win in the Republic. Image: ABC Grandstand

There’s no mucking around today on The Roar. It’s Quarter Finals time, and we’re straight into it. Here’s the talking points for the first week of the playoffs:

  • 6pm kick off. On a Friday night. Come on, seriously…
  • Brumbies cannot afford to chase;
  • Hurricanes very well placed to avenge 2015;
  • The African job, and
  • The curly Kiwi question.

Will there be more Super twists?

The relative up-and-down form of the Chiefs in the second half of the season has me thinking that a win for the Stormers is very much on the cards, in this weekend’s quarter-finals. Image: ABC Grandstand

In my latest column for Rugby365, and after an eventful final round, I wonder if we’re completely done with all the twists and turns in this year’s Super Rugby season…

After months of calculations and predictions, then more predictions and recalculations to rectify some over-enthusiasm around some sides, the Super Rugby finalists for 2016 have been decided.

How did my own predictions go? Well, I’m not so glad you asked…

I did manage to get the quarter-finalists right, but I’m sure I wasn’t alone in getting the final order a bit out.