Almanac Rugby – The Rugby Championship: Round 4


The spectacular return of Quade Cooper to the Wallabies No 10 spot has been the major talking point in the rugby world over the past week. While many South African fans may have found it too painful to confront their team’s shortcomings, perhaps briefly averting their eyes to a new, shiny competition about to kick off that includes all of their provincial teams, they would have known that the return bout in Brisbane on Saturday was a day of reckoning.


The mantle of world champions can be a burden for some teams, but the Boks have cavalierly thumbed their noses to the chattering classes since their World Cup triumph almost two years ago. The avalanche of criticism about their playing style and general demeanour has been cast aside. That, of course, has been made possible by duly wracking up wins. They desperately wanted to reassert their hegemony and teach the upstarts in gold a lesson.



Wallabies 30 Springboks 17

In the most clinical performance of Dave Renne’s tenure, the Wallabies were magnificent in this match. Rather than relying on mistakes or half-chances, the men wearing our coat of arms were ruthless in all aspects from the kick-off.  The first twenty minutes were peppered with so many highlights.


Taking advantage of a yellow card, Len Ikitau crossed twice while the Boks were down to fourteen men. Pollard kept the visitors in the contest, slotting four penalties in the first half to ensure that the advantage of those two tries was largely nullified by halftime.


After the break, the Boks crossed for their only try of the game and got their noses in front. Koroibete got in the action and got two five-pointers himself. One of his tries was from a superb offload by the Tongan Thor. Tupou, brought into the starting XV, was a juggernaut all night. His impact was on a par with our illustrious skipper.


Michael Hooper captained the Wallabies for the 60th time, breaking George Gregan’s previous mark, and showed us all again why he is a national treasure. Dogged at the breakdown, sublime in open play and an immovable object in defence, his performance will be talked about for years to come.


There were just so many aspects to this performance to admire. The effort of every player was noteworthy. Cooper’s role as a calm rudder in a raging sea is proving to be a Rennie masterstroke.


The Wallabies jumped to number three in the world after this effort, only headed by the two combatants facing off in Rounds 5 and 6. I saw a few reports about the excitement this group could generate over the next two years leading up to the next World Cup. I’m here to tell you, I’m already excited.



All Blacks 36 Pumas 13

A lone hand from Emiliano Boffelli in scoring all of Argentina’s points put a little bit of respectability into what was otherwise a night of carnage. The ABs flaunted their depth yet again and put down a marker for next weekend.


In Townsville on Saturday, the clash of the world’s two best teams kicks off proceedings while the Wallabies go up against the Pumas. The ABs v Boks clash will be fascinating. The men in green must dig deep to avoid more embarrassment.


However, I like seeing them getting whipped so I hope the Kiwis turn it on. Either way, it fits in nicely as a curtain-raiser to the AFL Grand Final. Let’s hope it’s more entertaining than Meat Loaf…





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Grew up playing the rugby codes in suburban Sydney. Moved to Melbourne during the Carey era so becoming a Shinboner was the natural call. Still love the game they play in heaven. Took an interest in MLB a few years back and have become infatuated with America's pastime.


  1. Ow yeh Ruminator! Nothing better than seeing good International rugby being played by our Wallabies!! Nicely put re Quade – the calm rudder in a raging sea. What a selection!!
    A pity this Saturday clashes with the grannie.

  2. kieran Dempsey says

    I agree that this was the current Wallabies standout performance. So pleasing to see tries scored as the result of great leadup work, not just a pushover or an intercept. The first try is replayed on highlights from the pass from the half back, but it was an amazingly well rehearsed and inventive linepout move that set it all up.

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