The Rogues Rant

RoguesRantWelcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby.

An interesting weekend of trial matches around the district this week. At Campbelltown on Saturday the Illawarriors will be having another much needed hit out against Southern Districts. University, Wollondilly and hosts Harlequins will also be involved in seven matches played over two grounds starting from 12.45. The Illawarriors had a rigorous afternoon last Saturday against Queenbeyan which saw the ACT side run out 5 tries to 2 winners in the main trial. Clearly in need of more match fitness this week’s hit out is just what the Doctor ordered. The top grade match will start at 5.00PM. In what should be a very interesting afternoon at Eridge Park, Bowral will be hosting Canberra club Royals and reigning Newcastle Hunter Premiers, Hamilton Hawks in trials from 1.00PM. In other trials Shoalhaven are opposed to Wagga Wagga at Shoalhaven Rugby Park from 3.00PM and Camden host Briars from 1.00PM at Camden Rugby Park.   

Where to now for the Waratahs? What’s the point of having some of the game’s best attacking Backs at your disposal if you can’t be competitive in the scrums and at the break down? The Tahs form so far has been far from convincing despite showing their willingness to play the full eighty minutes. Matches riddled with handling errors and the set piece somewhat of a disaster, it looks like Tahs fans may be in for another frustrating year. After a strenuous couple of weeks traveling right across the Southern Hemisphere the Waratahs are drawn to play the in-form Melbourne Rebels on Sunday in Sydney. I hope they get plenty of rest this week, they are going to need it against a very much in form Rebels outfit.

West Australian businessman Andrew Forrest has announced the creation of World Series Rugby which will see the Western Force play seven international matches from May to August. Starting with a match against Fiji on May 4th, the Force will also play matches against the Crusaders and Rebels during the Test window in June, when Super Rugby will be in recess. The matches will prepare the Force for the National Rugby Championships in which they will replace Perth Spirit.

With an arduous two weeks traveling behind them things don’t get any easier for the Waratahs drawn to play the in-form Rebels on Sunday in Sydney. The Tahs have struggled to hold the ball in their opening three matches, with their scrum coming under plenty of pressure as well. On the other hand the Rebels have taken all before them displaying a very physical and efficient game so far. It will take a significant turn-around of form for the Tahs to get away with this one. The Brumbies are back at home for a match up with the Sharks who are a bit of an unknown at the moment. On form the Sharks are probably entitled to start favorites but it will be a close one and a must win for the Brumbies. The Reds start their couple of weeks traveling with a game against the Jaguares who are looking good early. The Reds have shown a marked improvement from their first outing against the Rebels, but will be up against it here. Five out of seven last week for the Rogue. My tips this week: Chiefs, Crusaders, Brumbies, Blues, Lions, Jaguares, Rebels.

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.

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