Posted by John Gates on

I first published this on The Runners Sport, today. I hope will visit their website:

Tonight, I was a witness to something that we Brumbies - nay, all Aussie fans have not seen in quite a while.

An Australian Super Rugby team putting a New Zealand team  (Kiwi, as we refer to our brothers "across the ditch") to the sword. But not just any Kiwi team - the Chiefs, who are leading the NZ conference and who recently beat the benchmark Crusaders. The team coached by master coach, Warren Gatland, who has had massive success, coaching Wales and the British and Irish Lions over the past 9 or so years and has just returned to his native New Zealand.

The Brumbies won an enthralling contest against the Chiefs by 26-14, but that score does not reflect the effort that they put in. The Brumbies came out firing from the kick-off with a complete shutdown effort  to be leading at half time by 19-0, and I cannot remember the last time that a New Zealand team went into the dressing shed at half time with not a point on the board.

The second half result was 14-7 to the Chiefs but they never looked like winners, and as we Aussies know, the way to defeat NZ sides is to break them down and defeat them mentally. It’s the only way to make sure that they “drop their bundle”. To do that against the Chiefs was a very special thing.

So, I started writing this heavily tongue in cheek piece - if you don't fully understand the nuances of all that follows, bear with me, readers, as all will be revealed in coming articles. You need to know that I am not just a Rugby journalist, but also a passionate fan of my teams, of which the magnificent Brumbies is at the epicentre of my Rugby world. We'll get into my other teams in coming articles.

I participate in lots of commenting on other Rugby sites and often note that, certainly in the off-season of Rugby the journalists seem to struggle for original content, so I thought I would phrase my article in the way of giving them a hand, following the magnificent way in which the Brumbies won today, so here it is.

If you don't understand all the nuances leave a comment and challenge me - we are Rugby blokes, after all and we love a bit of confrontation.

I understand how hard our hard working journo's and editors work and that they are always under pressure to come up with great articles and great headlines, so I thought I would give them a bit of a hand this week and here are some sample articles that they could write (and if they don't I will):-

Journo's, you have my permission to help yourselves!


  1. When was the last time that a Gatland team went into the sheds at half time, with no points on the board?
  2. Memo to Mr Rennie (new Aussie coach) - don't worry about the rest - just pick the Brumbies
  3. Best Aussie team beats best Kiwi team
  4. Let's get the Mumps more often.
  5. If Mackellar is not the next Wallabies coach ........ [insert your answer here]
  6. How Good is [pick any Brumby]?
  7. How do you mould a magic team? Ask Mackellar, Hewat and Friend?
  8. How good is it to watch a Kiwi team in disarray?

11.How good a forward tactician is Laurie Fisher?

12.How good a backs tactician in Peter Hewat?

13 How good are the new kids?

  1. Didn't win - we @#$!! it in
  2. An absolute classic
  3. Thanks, Highlanders, you prepared us for this game, very nicely, by narrowly beating us last week – beware a beaten Brumby
  4. Brumbies - you bloody beauty.
  5. Horses for courses, the Brumbies don't recruit superstars - they just fit good people into the "family".
  6. Ice in the veins! (thanks, Marto)
  7. It Would Be So Hard to be a {Rebels, Waratahs, Reds] supporter.

Well, that probably opens up more questions than it has answers for, and those will be the themes of my future articles, but you need to have some  understanding of the rivalry between Aussie and Kiwi teams and the fact that the Kiwis have been rubbing our noses in it for a few years, in a brotherly way of course, where it has been uncommon for Aussie Super Rugby teams to win in New Zealand (not to mention the Wallabies).

It looks like this year might be seeing a bit of a turn around, but it is early days yet.

Last year’s Under 20's Wallabies team unearthed some massive talent and, already those young guys are stepping up, injecting themselves into the game and playing with no fear. Optimism abounds in Oz, post 2019 World Cup. Out with the old and in with the new and a great breath of fresh air.

Watch this space and don't hesitate to bombard me with questions, comments and challenges - don't mind butting heads - I was a prop, after all.


Leave a comment