We’ve become accustomed to putting Force victories down to the brilliance of Matt Giteau, but as this season has moved on, so a new star has risen for Western Australia – James O’Connor. So far in my mind he was still really in the ‘talented kid making a cameo’ role, but with this game he’s started to take centre stage.
In putting these highlights together, what I came to notice on top of all the skills and awareness is the work rate. Whether it’s chasing the charge down with Gits, tackling the big boys around the rucks in the dying minutes, making a second effort on Metz (who was the second guy he was marking) or making himself available for another pass to finish off the move, he was always there.
I’d go close to saying he was more responsible for this victory than Gits, who seems to be shaping up as a bit of a role model for the young prodigy. What might a Beale give for that guidance?
Speaking of young prodigies, I couldn’t resist slipping in a few snippets of David Pocock’s work, in case you’re wondering what they’re doing there!