Rugby News, Waratahs fought back in the 2nd half but not enough to get past the Brumbies in RD3 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

What a way to close out Round 3 of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific, having witnessed such a close encounter with the Brumbies v Waratahs Saturday night match-up last night. Brumbies fired off with the early lead in the first half (17-6), although the Tahs have made up for some lost time after the break but fell so short by seven points (27-20).

The Brumbies were so organized when it comes to their forward pack, especially in the first 40 with two tries on the board. They handled the Tahs well thanks to the opposition team’s poor start, where they took great use in return while building persistence before the Brums were able to get the job done. Now the home side may have begun to falter with the Tahs rebound in this next run after half-time, despite the additional TRY from Irae Simone in the midfield. However, a few late changes and a huge defensive shift towards the end saw the Brumbies come out unscathed.

Meanwhile, unlucky from the Tahs with a much-improved team after half-time, where they almost extended this game through golden point & have an extended shot towards upsetting the Brums in the process. The change of attack spearheaded by fly-half Ben Donaldson saw him successfully find his path through the gate, having called out 1-2 support numbers, such as Angus Bell & Will Harris, to finish the playmaking work for him. They just wished they marry up their brilliant 2nd 40 into the first half, when a poor start saw the Tahs fall left behind before they left it too late with not much time to stay in contention.

The Tahs will be back playing on 2 pm next Sunday v Western Force at Leichardt Oval in Sydney, while the Brumbies travel to Melbourne on Friday night v Rebels at AAMI Park.

Rugby News, Top 3 players from the Brumbies v Waratahs Game in the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific

Hats off to Rob Valetini who was outstanding last night on the blindside back row at the Brumbies, as he never backs down every time Valetini has the ball on hand. It goes to show that Valetini has so much physicality and some speed to burn down, having played a huge part in the Brumbies’ fantastic first-half performance that includes a try for himself. And he’s blessed to contribute in this forward pack while firing on all cylinders, where Valetini was rewarded with Wallabies experiences by his side at Super Rugby level.

Next up is Nick Frost on the second row at No.5 for the Brumbies, where he also put in a full show last night. Like Valetini, he has the tall and physical package that kept the Tahs quiet under his toes, especially when Frost made good use of the opposition’s slow start earlier on, before he held them back defensively. The Brums did pull him off the bench for a bit after he started 70 odd minutes, but he came back two minutes later where Frost prevented the Tahs from leveling the score into golden point. Imagine what Frost could do all game with credit from a productive Brumbs forward line, having scored the team’s 2nd try in the first half, as it wouldn’t be possible to get the job done without him.

And Ben Donaldson gave the Brumbies a few nightmares when running into their end, especially in the 2nd half, as he was the standout player last night at fly-half for the Waratahs. We love how he injects some pace and kicking power when Donaldson has the ball in hand, in which he can control the ball whatever he likes to play with the attack. His two assisted tries to Angus Bell & Will Harris after half-time have put the Tahs back in the contention, that almost went into extra time & have another shot towards winning, but they just left it too late following their poor start in the first half. He’s 22 right now with so much playmaking and kicking quality potential to nail down a starting Tahs spot at No.10 every week, as his contribution will send a much decent threat to any other Super Rugby team out there under his watch.

Rugby News, NSW Waratahs v Queensland Reds RD2 match-up of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific at Leichardt Oval

Great to see the long-running New South Wales v Queensland rivalry return for another year last night, even with the wet conditions that went extra competitive while playing through the rain. Both teams were level at the break (10-10) after a close first 40 with one TRY and penalty goal apiece, but it’s the Reds who ran away in the end with another win by a narrow four-point buffer (16-20) at Leichardt Oval.

The Reds fired off very well with the early head start thanks to Jordan Petaia with the TRY & James O’Connor for the kicking and assist to Petaia, having shown patience when they had the ball in hand. Although they were tested with the scrum at times that led to lost points over to the Tahs’, the away team though managed to come out unscathed. We love how they took care of the ball with excellent planning and communication thanks to the Tahs’ mistakes in the 2nd half, which eventually gave sub-back rower Ryan Smith a way to get past the Tahs’ through the gate down low. Excellent teamwork by the Reds’ players and their use of substitutions that got the best out of ways to win games by their head coach, Brad Thorn.

Meanwhile, the Tahs’ responded well to the Reds’ early start when exposing the opposition’s weaknesses in defense, which has helped them level at half-time, 10-10. The scrum looks spot on with or without the ball feed, where Will Harris successfully converted into a TRY during the first-half at No.8 alongside some winning penalties. However, they were just unlucky not to hold them off until the end, not to blame Ben Donaldson’s brilliant kicking into the goal posts at fly-half. A few mistakes made in the 2nd half with a poor line-out, isolated executions, and defense eventually cost them by a narrow four-point margin.

The Reds will now travel to HBF Park in Perth next Friday at 7 pm local time/10 pm AEDT where they will face the Western Force, while the Waratahs will have their first away game of 2022 next Saturday night v ACT Brumbies at GIO Stadium in Canberra.

Waratahs bound head coach Darren Coleman guides LA Giltinis to a Major League Rugby Championship in its inaugural campaign

Congratulations to incoming Waratahs coach Darren Coleman who just guided the LA Giltinis to an Major League Rugby Championship on their first ever season.

This is a massive achievement through a group of star-studded characters that can pass on these hometown players & learn a thing or two from them at this club.

It’s something Darren would do to bring this vibe when he returns home from Los Angeles later this year, as we haven’t seen much of this kind of structure since Michael Chieka left after 2015.

As it stands you got Jake Gordon, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Lalakai Foketi, Ben Donaldson, Alex Newsome & Angus Bell staying on, while a number of key players are coming back too such as Michael Hooper, Jed Holloway & Ned Hedigan.

And some of the new players he’d like to see at Daceyville would be the best produced & proven at club rugby level, having coached in the Shute Shield for many years including Warringah & Gordon with two titles in 2017 & 2020 respectively.

These two important characteristics shows why a three year contract is enough time for Darren to rebuild this franchise.

We’ll also see if Adam Freier and Stephen Hoiles follows Darren as well or stay in LA.

Up to the board now to back Darren with inside knowledge of the NSW rugby system & get the Tahs back to winning ways from next year regardless of the Super Rugby format.