Brumbies top Australian conference; will host the Highlanders in Quarter Final

Matt Toomua scored one and had another disallowed in the Brumbies’ win of the Force last night. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Brumbies did enough to beat the Western Force 24-10 at Canberra Stadium last night to top the Australian conference, and set up a home Quarter Final against the Highlanders next Friday night.

But it’s fair to say it was a far from convincing win, and they have a massive week of preparations and improvement ahead of them to prevail against a red-hot Highlanders next week. Here’s all my post-match interviews and the ABC Grandstand highlights and wrap from last night…

The Australian way in urgent need of upskill

Scott Fardy looks to offload for the Brumbies. This has generally been a rare event for any of the Australian teams in 2016. Image: ABC Grandstand

Busy times of late – I’ve still been writing, just haven’t really had the time to post. But I’m back on the horse, so to speak, resuming with today’s column for The Roar

There’s no two ways about it, that was a rough weekend of rugby results for the Australian team.

The stat trotted out on Saturday night was that this was the first time since April 2005 that all five Australian teams have lost in the same weekend, but it’s much, much worse than that.

It’s the first time in the history of the universe that all five Australian teams have lost in the same weekend!

And one common element in the five Australian losses, was a chronic lack of second-phase play. Offloads were occasional events, rather than distinct plans, as the Australian players across the weekend hit the ball up directly into defensive walls with no real intent to look sideways…

The June Internationals talking points: Everyone gets a bench spot

England coach Eddie Jones has thrown down a defensive gauntlet to the Wallabies ahead of the 2nd Test in Melbourne. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: The first weekend of international rugby down this neck of the woods has resulted in two results that two countries were kind of dreading.

But if anything, the Wallabies and Springboks’ losses have really added some spice to this second weekend of Tests; try and imagine the build-up if England and Ireland were touched up last weekend.

As a result, the anticipation for the Tests in Melbourne and Johannesburg is far more pronounced, which will, in turn, be matched by the level of nervousness of the respective supporters.

It’s another big weekend of international rugby, and here are the talking points for the weekend’s fixtures.

The talking points: very weird mid-season rugby-free weekend

The Socceroos: what you’ll find when you attempt to watch Super Rugby on Saturday night. Image: ABC Grandstand

The Roar: I still don’t get it. And I don’t really know it took me until on a fortnight ago to put two and two together. But here we are. Super Rugby ended last weekend; the first June Tests start next weekend. It’s dangerous times for the southern hemisphere rugby fans.

And there’s no point me telling you what to do this weekend; it’s every rugby fan for themselves. Some will elect to head down the sappy path and go and ‘reconnect’ with their ‘families’. Others will see an opportunity for the long overdue comeback on the playing field.

I don’t know what path you’ll take; I just hope you avoid the ambush of odd jobs around the house. Here’s the talking points for whatever we’re supposed to call this weekend:

  • So, why do we have a weekend off?
  • Judiciary lotto strikes again;
  • ARU takeover has a lot of potential for the Western Force;
  • Sonny Blues Williams, and
  • Oh no, Eddie Jones is on to us…