Author: Shane Sullivan

Make Australian Rugby Great Again

Digby Ioane took just 60 seconds to celebrate his 50th game with a try in the Reds’ defeat of the Blues in Auckland tonight. Ioane was heavily marked by the Blues centre pairing of Nonu and Ranger. And surely he’ll feel Nonu’s tackles tomorrow. The big Blues enforcer didn’t miss. But the Reds were all business from the moment they regained their kick off till the 80th minute when they turned over a Blues ball to end the game. There were more than a few occasions where this fan’s heart was in his mouth. This wasn’t the 2011 Reds but…

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Anthony Faingaa is back! I’ve been hearing the rumours for days but I wasn’t getting my hopes up until I saw his name on an official team list. Well the QRU media release just hit my inbox and there he is at 22. The Starch in the Reds defencive line will finally reappear to scream orders at his team mates. Oh how I’ve missed that high pitched scream when the Reds have their backs to the wall. I’m excited Anthony Faingaa is back! But this game isn’t all about Anthony Faingaa (he’s back). The Blues and the Reds have had…

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The Reds have defeated the Brumbies 20-13 in a tight, hard-fought game. Important for the Reds, there was a return of commitment. Commitment to defence, a commitment to contest at ruck and lineout time, commitment to the game plan and a commitment to retain possession. ‘Retain possession?’ I hear you say, ‘They kicked the ball away 50 times!’ But the possession I’m talking about that won at the ruck and maul. Most of the marginal passes off the floor were gone and that’s a good thing. The defence had structure and sting. Also a good thing. The attack was willing,…

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I’ve been there. I’ve stood exactly where the Brumbies fans are standing right now. Their team is performing better than their wildest dreams and they are riding a wave of optimism. Their team is bigger than the sum of its parts. The forward pack is a well-oiled machine and the backs are starting to find space. And for most of the Super Rugby season I’d be happy for them. But not this week. My team, the Reds, is not bigger than its parts. It used to be, and we rode our wave of optimism to a premiership. Now I find…

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The Reds are counting the cost and crossing their fingers after a brutal encounter with the sharks in South Africa. In a game marred by injury to both sides the Reds seemed to suffer the most with both flyhalf options injured before the fifty minute mark. Despite the rain and wind streaming across the ground both teams played open, positive attacking Rugby. But for the injury worries and the result I’m very please with the way the reds went into this game and how they toughed out the second half with a major backline reshuffle. There will be talk in…

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The Sharks lost JP Pieterson in the warm up. A late change to any team is disruptive but the sharks seem to handle it with no problems. The expected fine weather has not eventuated and it looks like another wet game for the Reds. The first try comes to the Reds off a 15 metre lineout. Horwill soared high for the ball and in the ruck slips it to James Hanson, who takes off for the line carrying two men over in the act of scoring. The sharks have made most of the play so far and the Reds have…

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Warren Gatland has named 5 debutante in his 6 nation squad. The uncapped players are Blues wing Harry Robinson, scrum-half Rhys Webb, centre Ashley Beck along with Scarlets trio Liam Williams, Rhodri Jones and Lou Reed. They join French based players James Hook, Mike Phillips and Lee Byrne and England based Craig Mitchell, Rhys Gill and  Andy Powell effectively putting a red line through Gatland’s welsh based player policy. Stephen Jones has missed selection and it’s hard to see him coming back into contention on recent form. Unlike Gavin Henson who gets another chance to stake a claim in the…

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Coming in to this Super Rugby season I had hopes of the Reds making the top 6 teams and maybe getting a home final. I had no expectation of winning the title. Even in the days leading up to that last game I didn’t believe we would win. It had only been two years since I had suggested to Mrs Sully that we had put enough time into supporting the Reds and maybe this season we might forgo our season tickets. She basically told me to go out the backyard and give myself a few good uppercuts then come back…

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Let me start with an apology. The guys at GaGR have been so excited about RWC that we forgot to write about RWC. We have had endless hours of top class rugby to watch and that’s what we’ve been doing instead of writing a preview for Australia and Ireland’s most important pool game. On to the game. What do we know about Ireland? If you listen to the media they are old, out of form, never beaten us at RWC and ranked way below us on the “official” IRB rankings. all these things should point to a Wallaby win. And…

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Join us from 1:30pm AEST for live coverage and wanging on as the Wallabies play Italy in their opening World Cup match. Simply refresh the page to get minute by minute coverage. Match Details Ground: Eden Park, Auckland. Match Officials Referee: Alain Rolland (IRE) Touch Judge: Jonathan Kaplan (RSA) Touch Judge: Chris Pollock (NZL) TV match official: Giulio De Santis (ITA) Head to Head # Australia Italy 1 Sekope Kefu Andrea Lo Cicero 2 Stephen Moore Leonardo Ghiraldini 3 Ben Alexander Martin Castrogiovanni 4 Dan Vickerman Carlo Antonio Del Fava 5 James Horwill Cornelius Van Zyl 6 Rocky Elsom…

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And so it begins. On Sunday Australia comes up against a side that have trouble them a fair bit in the last couple of years. I don’t know if we have just not given them enough credit or that there is just something about their style that stuffs us up. Don’t get me wrong they haven’t beaten us. Yet. But they are improving.

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It’s been a huge day in Australian rugby. Many of you picked the demise of Matt Giteau, a few picked the inclusion of Rob Horne. But no one saw a new Wallaby skipper in their crystal ball. Oh, there were plenty calling for Rocky Elsom’s head, and a few even went a far as saying that James Horwill should replace him. But no one thought Robbie Deans would have the chutzpah to change horses this close to the World Cup. What’s my opinion? James Horwill is the best choice for Wallaby skipper right now. And this will allow Rocky to…

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Join us from 1:00am AEST for live coverage and wanging on as the Wallabies play for a hat-trick of victories over the Springboks. Match Details Ground: King’s Park, Durban Referee: Bryce Lawrence Assistant Referees: George Clancy, Carlo Damasco Television Match Official: Shaun Veldsman Head to Head Our quick match report will be updated below as it happens, please refresh to see the latest news. Pre Match The ground is packed and the crowd look excited. Bryce Lawrence blows the whistle to start the game after a terrible effort on the Anthems from the South Africans First Half First 5…

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Last Monday the Wallabies held open training at The Southport School. I grabbed the family and we drove around the corner and joined the couple of thousand other fans watching the Wallabies play a bit of touch rugby then sign autographs for an hour. But this started me thinking. Why couldn’t I just rock up to one of the regular training sessions and see what really goes on. I found out that they were training most days at The Southport School at 10 am so I organised a day off work and trotted down to the school just in time…

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Here we are: the first game of the international season. An understrength Australian side against an unknown Samoan one. How do you preview this game? I don’t know, but let’s see what happens. Australia: The Australians have named an eclectic side: a mixture of new caps, old heads and last chancer players. Throw in some guys coming back from injury and you have only a couple of spot left to fill.  The Queensland Reds players have, for the most part, been rested, with only Digby Ioane and Rod Davies making the run-on side. Davies was elevated to the XV after…

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I confess to knowing very little about the Samoan team playing the Wallabies on Sunday. We don’t see or hear much of Samoan players (or those from the other Pacific Islands nations) between World Cup years, other than occasional mentions of those earning a living in the northern hemisphere competitions. So when the Samoan team was named this week I decided to do a little digging in to the  players’ background — and what I found was a lot more talent, and perhaps a higher fitness level, than I expected. I have set out pictures and a little info on…

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When the two finalists of the 2011 Super Rugby tournament ran onto the field last night the only people confidently picking a favourite were the bookies. And the bookies were the only people to be wrong. This was a game that wasn’t decided until the final whistle blew, and even then it took a moment for the result to sink in. Then the players, the staff and the predominantly Reds crowd went berserk. The week building up to this final was perhaps the strangest I have ever witnessed. There was a feeling of great anticipation among rugby followers in Queensland.…

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The battered Reds head for Waikato Stadium without three key men: Beau Robinson, Anthony Faingaa and Ben Lucas have not recovered from their injuries. The Reds need a draw or better to take top spot on 2011’s Super Rugby Ladder. The Chiefs have plenty of reasons to want a big game this week. Coach Ian Foster, captain Mils Muliaina, Sitiveni Sivivatu, Mike Delany and Dwayne Sweeney all finish up with the club this weekend. Emotions are certain to be running high and no stone will be left unturned to send some of the legends of the game off on a…

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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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