It’s the clash of the Aussie titans this Saturday, with the Waratahs taking on the Brumbies.
Plenty is on the line for both teams, and even more is on the line for both sets of fans. The question is simple- who will take the game out, and why? This week I sat down with a Brumbies nutcase who is about as one-eyed as me, Pedro, to go toe-to-toe in a good old-fashioned donnybrook.
Have a look at our arguments and judge for yourself:
Waratahs are going to win
This is a no-brainer. A lay down misere. Michael Cheika will march the Tahs into Canberra with the ferocity of Genghis Khan, and will achieve similar results. The Force and Reds were merely entrees, and we’ve had a palate-cleansing bye to get ready for the main course.
I won’t mince words- this is the year of the Tah. You know it, your mates know it, even your sport-hating girlfriend knows it. The Force and Reds fans certainly know it, and you’d better believe that the one-eyed hicks of Canberra will know it on Saturday night. Resistance is futile, and victory is all but inevitable.
Let’s look at the line-ups. The front row will be an intense battle, but the wrecking ball Waratahs combo of Robinson, TPN and Ryan will be too much for Alexander and Moore (has-beens) and Scott Sio (never was). Douglas and Potgeiter against Carter and… some nobody? Please. And then we get to the backrow. I can’t wait for Cliffy Palu to put Ben Mowen back in his box, and show him who is the real Wallaby #8. Hooper will run rings around Butler, and Dennis will probably knock Fardy out with a right hook in the 3rd minute, if Cheika doesn’t do it in the tunnel before the game.
The backs will be just as one-sided. Phipps and Foley have been playing the house down, and will unleash Beale and AAC with alarming regularity. The Brumbies inside backs will be reduced to spectators- Nic White will get the occasional chance to put a kick-off out on the full, but that will be it. Then the back 3. For the Waratahs there is only one word- wow. Alofa, Betham and Folau may be the most potent back three ever assembled in rugby. And they will take on Mogg and Coleman? Shit, this is gonna get ugly.
The Reds knocked the Brumbies off in Canberra. Remember what we did to them? Then the Force decided to only play 15 minutes of rugby and the Canberrans STILL couldn’t get the BP. And I reckon most under 10 sides could have beaten the Canes last week, if it were a horse race they would be calling for the stewards as the full time whistle was blown.
This isn’t even going to be close. Tahs by 60.
Brumbies are going to win
The Brumbies will be full of confidence following their undefeated tour of WA and New Zealand. The first round loss to the Reds was only due to a lack of Super level match fitness, and will serve as a bitter reminder of the consequence of failing to maintain their usual high standard of effort.
While the Brumbies are without classy open side David Pocock, last week’s performance showed that the plucky ponies will still find ways to win without one of Australian rugby’s favourite sons. Mowen last week described how they talked about “doing it for Poey”, then went further and suggested that Pocock was “on the field” with them. Presumably they passed around some discarded knee cartilage to the loose forwards pre-game, because in reality he was in hospital in Brisbane. Whatever Mowen did it worked, they played like champions. I can only imagine what will happen with Pocock at the ground itself.
The ‘Tahs on the other hand have had a perfect start to 2014, two from two and a successfully negotiated bye week (don’t laugh, it was Beale’s greatest challenge this season, and Wycliff Palu somehow came through uninjured). The nature of the wins, however, can’t be ignored- the Force and Reds didn’t even turn up. What meagre tight-game experience they may have picked up has now been eradicated by the bye, leaving the flowers ripe for the Canberra war horses to feast upon.
Hugh (and many others) have pointed to the Waratahs line up being superior. That’s exactly what the Brumbies want them to think, we thrive on the pomposity of our rich neighbours. We feed on the jaded outcasts of bloated rugby programs with no space for players like (GAGR players of the year) Scott Fardy and George Smith, then selflessly feeding them back to our feckless rivals as complete players (Hooper and AAC) knowing the territory will unearth more talent as surely as NSW will squander it.
In classic style The Tahs have gone off early, they are yet to play away and have neglected to properly learn how to line out, such is their arrogance. The Brumbies have been winning for two years, not two games.
This will be your easiest tip of the season- Brumbies by 41, equalling their largest victory over the old enemy.
So who do you give it to?