Author: Shane Sullivan

Just another Rugby tragic.

In their last two games the Reds have taken on the top two Kiwi teams and come away with two wins. They played one of those games in front of an Australian Super Rugby record crowd — surely the highlight of any Super Rugby team’s season. It certainly took a bit out of this old punter; I can only imagine how I would feel if I actually had to run out and play instead of juggling a beer and a kebab while watching these epic matches unfold. Wouldn’t it be great if they could have a little rest before the…

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Ah, this takes me back. An impressionable teenager in a movie theatre in outback Queensland. The rebellious youngster in an epic battle against the bigger, stronger opponent. Sitting on the edge of my seat as the movie climaxes and they finally face each other. “Did the Waratahs tell you what happened to your father?” “They told me you killed my father” “No, I am your father.” “NNOOOOOO” But seriously. Both teams had a bad day last time out. The Reds decided not to play the first half in Wellington while the Rebels got smacked around the SFS for 80 minutes.…

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In my preview I suggested that the result of this game would come down to who wanted it more. It now looks like both teams wanted it pretty badly. The Hurricanes reminded everyone that they are a New Zealand rugby powerhouse and the Reds were in it until the final kick of the game. The Reds looked powerful from the kick-off. Two strong runs from Will Chambers helped Scott Higginbotham to barge over for the first score 80 seconds into the game. It looked like the Reds intended to dominate the match and for the next five minutes the Reds…

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Few punters would have backed the Reds to be equal first or the Hurricanes to be 13th, here at the halfway point of the 2011 Super Rugby tournament. When the sides meet in Wellington tomorrow evening the Canes will be desperate to salvage something from this season, and the Reds will be keen to maintain their 11-point lead in the Australian conference. It’s been a huge week for both teams. The Reds have stuck the pins in their Waratah-shaped voodoo doll and removed the huge monkey off their collective back, while the Hurricanes have had the very long flight home…

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Here’s the first thing you need to know about the scrum: it’s not broken! It’s the same scrum. We all played with this scrum. The positions are the same, the binds are the same, you still push the same way. So why is this scrum falling over? Neglect.Not player neglect and not coaching neglect. The people neglecting the scrum are the referees. The same thing that happened to the ruck and the maul is happening to the scrum. And as with the ruck and the maul, the fix is for the referees to simply apply the laws as they are…

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This was a game that all but the diehard fans thought they couldn’t win! But by 3:00 am AEST on Sunday the Reds had achieved the seemingly impossible: they had taken apart the Stormers’ defensive line and beaten them 19–6. It was the nature of the win that was most impressive. This wasn’t the run-at-all-costs Reds that we had seen in the past, the one that fell apart at crucial moments in the season. The Reds last night were composed. Will Genia and Quade Cooper led them around the field like seasoned 15-year professionals, not the very young men they…

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Week 8: One o’clock Sunday morning brings us a top-of-the-table clash of monumental proportions. The Stormers play their rugby out of Cape Town and bring power and an almost impenetrable defence to the game, while the Queensland Reds bring speed and unpredictable attacking flair. They are two very good teams playing to two very different game plans. The Stormers have retained the team that won against the Sharks — that’s never a good sign for opposition sides looking to move up the ladder. They will try to dominate with their magnificently balanced forward pack and play for field position off the…

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The Lions came into this match with one win from six matches, having lost four-from-five by less than seven points. The Reds were sitting atop the Australian conference with four wins, but still looking for the attacking form they showed last year. After the game nothing much has changed: the Lions are still picking up losing bonus points, and the Reds are winning without appearing to be in form. The afternoon match started with promise as both sides looked to play attacking rugby. The Lions employed the old head and accurate boot of Andre Pretorius to keep the Reds pinned…

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On Saturday at 2:40 pm the Reds play their first game against a team outside the Australian Conference. They come up against a Cheetahs side buoyed by their first-ever win on Australian soil. Their win against the Waratahs was a lesson in sticking to your game plan. They attacked the Waratahs’ ruck and set piece with vigour, played it tight and kicked for field position. Heinrich Brüssow’s pilfering gave his side a ton of possession, while the rest of the forwards took every opportunity to smash their opponents off the ball. The Waratah backs had no easier time with Berrick…

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The family and I went along to Suncorp Stadium on Friday night to watch the Reds take on the Melbourne Rebels. We were confident of a win — Gillian (known as Redslug on Superbru) had picked Queensland to win by 5; I was even more confident to the tune of 12 points, mainly due to Mark Gerrard’s absence, which I believed would have a significant effect on Melbourne’s game. What we saw was a 53-to-3 massacre that seemed to come out of nowhere. As a Reds fan, it would be easy for me to fall into the trap of praising…

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