Why the facile, pop, shallow intro linked to an equally as puerile music clip? Because the Wobblies performance on the weekend gone deserves about the same depth of recognition. It showed about the same level of complexity, gravitas and contribution to the larger good of rugby. That’s why. Seriously, when considering the rugby-nous, the emotional maturity and game smarts of our squad displayed last Sunday morning, I’ve seen more depth in a coat of paint. I’ve seen more organised structure in fairy -floss. I’ve savoured more complexity in supermarket green cordial. And I’ve seen goldfish show more application for longer.
After that display on the weekend, against an opponent known for its answer to everything being to get even more physical, against a coach known for his answer to everything being to get more confrontational and from our team who knows its greatest challenge is its lack of consistency, I’m more convinced that ever that our problem is not cattle, size or skills. It’s squarely between the ears. Or more precisely, it’s the lack of anything between said ears. Our game intellect and emotional maturity is lower than… well I bloody well don’t know what right now.
But I’m going to stop there and let others talk about that.
Welcome to the Chewsday Chew episode 22. As I commenced last week, my intention for the next few weeks is to see if we can arrive at a Team of the Tourny once the Wobblies, Desperados, Catholics and Grandes Aterradores have all had their crack at each other.
For those with lives and so don’t know what I’m talking about I’m comparing, contrasting and selecting a team each week from the two southern international matches of the previous weekend. I’m rating the players strictly head-to-head via jersey number and I’m applying the following points system:
Now the team sheets coming into Wk2 looked like this…
Given the Desperates put in one of the gutsiest games I’ve seen from them in some time, they have a fair representation this week – certainly better then the previous week. That said, the Catholics didn’t play badly and so they maintain a strong presence. Some may feel aggrieved that the Grandes demolition of the Wobblies deserved more credit than I will give them here via selections and ratings; however, I would contend that the Argies didn’t win so much as the Wobblies lost that game (pathetically I may add).
So, for Week 2, the Southern Belles, as I saw it, looked like this;
Front3 – Gallo & Montoya were both huge and owned their jerseys and given no other No3 really stood out (particularly our own), Kodela gets in but only with a Combo score.
Locks – Big Sam ‘Whitebeard’ Whitelock and Lavanini both owned their jerseys against all comers and Sam was perhaps unlucky to not get the BOG extra point.
Loosies – Kolisi was better than the average bear as was Sam Cane. Cane played a monster match, but I don’t think he clearly earned a 5. Bobby V was the standout No8 for mine and the lone Wobbly on parade this week.
Halves – Berty was the best of the 9s but Hollard clearly owned his jersey for the 2nd week running.
Centres – Havili was better than the average 12s again, however Lukey Am was a standout of 13s and so (for mine) also earned the BOG of the South extra point. How Reiko Ioane got the TV gong over L.Am mystified me.
Back3 – Caleb Clark, Boffy and JordyB were all best of their respective groups of average bears.
No16 through 19 belonged to the Catholics again but not as decisively as the previous week – likely because they were spent too soon and so weren’t so overpowering. But they were still pretty damn good at what they were there to do. I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again that Karl Marx just goes from strength to strength.
Akira Ioane was gutsy but not an absolute standout in his jersey and same to be said for the best nose in world rugby – Kwagga ‘FromWagga’ Smith.
B.Baz was the best of those average bears in No22 while Willie le Roux was a standout in No23 and how he is not the Catholics starting 15 every week remains one of the mysteries of the universe to me (unless it’s deliberate workload management).
Therefore, the points for this week tallied as…
When combined with Wk1, the Southern Belles as of Wk2 look like this…
Big BobbyV is leading the charge after 2wks of 5 scores. Kitshoff and Big Koch are right there as well along with Handy Pollard. It’s becoming clear that rotation will hurt the scores of some, especially in the Tight5. But dems the breaks.
So there it is sweethearts. Let’s all have breakfast together sometime. But for now, tell me I’m right, or dare to tell me why I’m wrong.