I am pumped.
Now, of course we all know that trials form is no indicator of how a team’s season will go, but it seems nobody told that to the Tahs or the Reds today.
The young brigade (and can’t even remember most of their names) played, as one of the live stream commentators said , ”like no one was watching” - their off-loading, general go forward, optimism and conditioning was a pure breath of fresh air.
The Tahs went forward all day, cleaned up their spilled ball, got their hands free, backed up and off-loaded intelligently. They tackled the Highlanders out of the game.
McDonald, Bell, Tizzano, Newsome, Harrison and Mason for the Tahs.
Dauguno, Lucas, McDermott and, of course, Taniela Tupou for the Reds – a pretty exciting bunch coming through, with 3 coaches in Rennie, Penney and Thorn who won’t play favourites.
The glue in the middle was James O’Connor who was in everything – dyed his hair dark, almost suggesting that he wanted to be the anonymous quiet man in the middle, and he just kept popping up at the right times, putting people through holes. I see great things from this backline and Petaia wasn’t even playing, today. Will Speight make the starting team?
Shame about the Rebels – they just didn’t turn up and the Highlanders, well, you can’t criticise them, as we all know that Kiwi teams are always going to get stronger going into a season.
Great signs – if we were going through a Rugby drought, we have just seen the first signs of healthy “green pick”.
Felt a bit sorry for Andrew Deegan, who toiled manfully behind a beaten pack.
What a wonderful performance from Daugunu, but made possible by the deft work in the near channels by McDermott and Lucas. Many tries should come in that channel this year.
Overall, some big, tough, young men with no fear, and if we keep that Schools and U20’s and Junior Wallabies program going I can only see us going from strength to strength.
Never again, should we have coaches that have too much power, and play favourites.
We need to find as many opportunities to get the likes of the Larkhams, Hewats and those young coaches on the pathway.
Like I said, early days, and I can’t wait to see the first Brumbies trial, but I am pumped!