Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ireland's ladies get off to a flyer,and the Waratahs finally get their name on the Cup!


I got to watch two tense, close matches this weekend, result! First up Was the Irish ladies team taking on the USA. The USA sit one point above Ireland in the World Rankings, in 5th, so it was likely to be a close affair. And what a good match! Both teams played to their strengths, and the match had a good tempo. Ireland have a really well drilled side – scrumming isn’t their forte, and the Americans had the upper hand there, but they have just about an unstoppable maul. And they’re good at holding on to the ball, going through the phases, and keeping the pressure on. I thought Mary Louise Reilly at 4 was outstanding for Ireland, safe hands at the line out, and busy all round the park. After closing out a tense match, they play the All Blacks on Tuesday, who had little more than a training run against Kazakhstan.

Then on Saturday, it was the Waratahs welcoming the Crusaders to Sydney. This was the third time they’d met in the final, with the Saders winning the first two. No exaggeration to say that’s one of the best matches I’ve watched, played at frantic speed. This was no cagey conservative match, this was full blooded rugby, with both teams prepared to spread the ball wide and gamble. Adam Ashley Copper always amazes me, he’s had a great career, he might not be the most skilled out, but he knows where the try line is, and crossed twice this match. The ‘Tahs came out of the blocks at a million miles an hour, and were 14-0 up in no time. Full credit to the Crusaders for never lying down, and hanging in there, right until the end, with the lead changing hands twice in the last 5 minutes. Nick Phipps was the MOTM for me, great crisp passing and game management, and game saving cover tackling. Foley excelled, the ‘Tahs loose trio was epic, and Folau ruled the airways. For the Crusaders, Todd was everywhere, Nadolo was impressive, but let’s face it, every starting player and every sub for both sides put their hand up. Great to see a new name on the cup, good news for the Rugby Championship too as they will surely invigorate the Wallabies.

Super Rugby
Saturday , August 2
Waratahs 33 - 32 Crusaders   

01/08 - 13:00    New Zealand    79 - 5    Kazakhstan   
01/08 - 15:00    Canada        31 - 5    Spain   
01/08 - 15:45    Australia    26 - 3    South Africa   
01/08 - 17:00    USA        17 - 23    Ireland   
01/08 - 18:00    England        65 - 3    Samoa   
01/08 - 20:45    France        26 - 0    Wales

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