The Rogues Rant

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

I can’t help but to feel for the Wallabies in their loss last week against Ireland. Having said that, it’s hard to argue that the Irish were not the better of the two sides over the whole series and deserved to take the cup home. The sin binning and subsequent suspension of Israel Folau though was ridiculous. The only reason Irishman O’Mahony was in any danger was because his own player who lifted him failed to give him any protection on the way down. This was a perfect example why the practice of lifting players in general play should be outlawed. It’s a practice fraught with danger and it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt. The IRB should outlaw lifting in general play now before it’s too late.

Three rounds to go in Super Rugby with the Waratahs clinging to the lead in the Aussie conference by one point over the Rebels. Friday night’s match in Melbourne will go a long way to deciding who will finish on top of the Aussie table and take their place in the finals. The Waratahs have the best run of the two into the finals with matches against the Sunwolves and the Brumbies to follow. The Rebels can’t afford to lose this week’s match with games against the Reds and then the Highlanders away in the last round to come. Depending on results over the next three weeks it could come right down to the last round match between the Waratahs and the Brumbies to decide who goes through. I don’t think that will happen though. I’m tipping a Tahs win in Melbourne this week to make life that much harder for the Rebels to make it through. My tips for this round are: Blues, Waratahs, Highlanders, Hurricanes, Bulls, Lions, and Jaguares.

There’s a couple of very interesting matches locally this week. Clubs will be without their Country reps again for Saturday with the Cockatoos up against arch rivals the Qld Country Blue Heelers up in Goondiwindi. Avondale are clear at the top of the table by four points but there is only six points between second placed Bowral and fifth placed Shoalhaven. Shamrocks on twenty six points are now in a must win situation if they are stay in touch with the top five sides. This week’s matches could create considerable change in the top six positions, a situation that given the competitive nature of this year’s comp we could see happen on a weekly basis from here on in. Avondale are at home in what is a first against last scenario. Avondale to win. Camden and Vikings meet at Camden Rugby Park which should see Vikings retain a top three spot. Vikings to win. Tech Waratahs will be looking to get back to a winning formula this week against Kiama at Kiama Showground. I think they can get that winning feeling back here. Tech Waratahs to win. University will be heavily affected by the Cockatoo match for their home match with Shoalhaven. A loss for the students will see them drop out of the top four. A win for Shoalies will see them re-enter the top group. I think that’s how it will go. Shoalhaven to win. Match of the Round this week is at Ocean Park with Shamrocks hosting Bowral. Shamrocks had a strong win last week over Tech Tahs despite being a little depleted and have shown that they should not be discounted just yet from making the finals. The Rocks will be a real test for Bowral but I don’t think they can get the points here against a very much in form Blacks side. Bowral to win.

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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