Crusaders, Leinster, Waratahs, Cardiff, Stormers. Could the Celts be in Super Rugby’s future?
The Roar: This shapes as a really interesting weekend of rugby. I reckon Round 11 has a bit of a ‘moving weekend’ feel about it.
There are two groups of teams that this applies to: the Crusaders we already know are going to be there or thereabouts, but the three teams immediately behind them on the table – the Hurricanes, Bulls and Highlanders – have a really good chance to put one over teams in and on the fringe of the top eight.
Below them, the Sharks, Brumbies, Waratahs, and the Blues all have a chance to remind the top eight teams the they need to keep an eye over their shoulder. So here’s some Round 11 talking points:
- Is Super Rugby’s future Celtic?
- Rise of the third bananas?
- Make or break week for the Blues;
- Will Steven Bradbury top the Australian conference? And..
- Neutral referees: I reckon it’s happening.
ESPNscrum: Andy Withers, Sam Bruce, and I discuss how Warren Gatland outcoached Michael Cheika but didn’t get the result he deserved at Twickenham, after Wales suffered white-line fever. But the Wallabies coach is smart enough to recognise the valuable lessons he was delivered ahead of the Rugby World Cup finals.
I think the England and Wales wins sit in the top five Wallabies wins of the last 25 years. Image via Wallabies Facebook
The Roar: How many times in the last week-and-a-bit have you heard or read someone attempt to put the Wallabies’ successive and outstanding RWC wins over England and Wales into the broader context?
And how far up the list did they put them?
I was asked during a radio spot last weekend where the England win ranked, and whether it was the best one I’d seen. I told ABC Grandstand Breakfast that the England win would have to sit up alongside the 2003 Semi-Final win over New Zealand, in terms of importance.
But where do these twin wins rank in the grand scheme of Wallabies history? And how different would my rankings be to the next person’s, when it’s obviously such a subjective exercise?
The Wallabies’ defensive effort to beat Wales at Twickenham was just outstanding. Image: ABC Grandstand
I thought the Wallabies’ outstanding performance over England would take some topping, but just a week later, and with top spot in Pool A and the ability to avoid South Africa and New Zealand on the line, a epic defensive display has done just that. Here’s my reaction for The Roar, in which I recap just what got the Wallabies over the line..
“That’s one of the best wins I’ve been involved with, with this team; I’m so proud of all the boys,” Wallabies Captain Stephen Moore said on the ground immediately on fulltime.
It was Moore at his understated best, because I can’t think of any performance from this team that would come close to topping what the Wallabies were able to achieve in their epic 15-9 Rugby World Cup win over Wales at Twickenham in London.
It was a good thing I had to stay up and write this reaction, because going back to sleep after that desperate, character-building Australian win would have been impossible.