Luke Romano left Leichhardt Oval tonight with lots of hard work on his sleeve at No.4 (second row position) for the Blues. He still has so much physicality to unpack alongside his vast World Cup and All Black winning-experience at the age of 36 which is amazing. All he did tonight was protecting his team’s defensive line, as well as being a huge presence going forward so the Blues know where to score through the gate. And having talked a bit about leadership a bit earlier on, he’s good at talking them up especially when passing over his word to these youngsters. Not only it helped the Blues respond to the Tahs’ double try from Mark Nawaquanitawase in the 2nd 40, but he also inspired his side with the win they wanted at the last minute.
The next Blues player after Romano is Zarn Sullivan who wears the No.15 shirt at full-back. He’s gotta be the complete package here; he’s very mobile with the pace where he bursts his way through the channels, as well as being able to track back and tackle in defensive mode, and most importantly, his kicking accuracy. He also credits the Blues change of tactics in the last 40 with a couple of fresh faces off the bench, and him replacing Jock McKenzie as the leading kick taker, whether it’s via line outs or taking a shot towards the goalpost. That favoured kicking responsibilities was also another good reason why the Blues never stopped fighting with an extra edge of a few successful two-point conversions, until Sullivan secured his drop goal moment not long after the final hooter delivered his Blues team a game-winning result.
And we can’t get enough of Mark Nawaquantawase’s finishing on the wide right for the Waratahs. His back-to-back tries helped his side lead at one point with credit from the renewed momentum following the half-time break. However, he wishes that more of executions would’ve been done at the start, despite creating numerous chances that was gifted from these winning penalties. Unfortunately, it’s one huge weakness that puts so much pressure to stop the Blues defensively before it’s too late when Zarn Sullivan broke their hearts.