JavaScript disabled. Please enable JavaScript to use My News, My Clippings, My Comments and user settings.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

If you have trouble accessing our login form below, you can go to our login page.

Five things we learnt from Super Rugby

Date

Paul Cully

Ready for the Wallabies ... Dave Dennis of the Waratahs.

Ready for the Wallabies ... Dave Dennis of the Waratahs. Photo: Getty Images

1. The expansion teams are in the mire. The difference between the Rebels this year and last? By this stage in 2011 they had one more win and presumably a smaller wage bill. The Melbourne side awarded themselves the week off against the Brumbies, presumably as reward for beating the Blues, and are no closer to understanding what it takes to be consistently competitive in this competition. Much more sympathy goes to the Force, who might have been able to build something had James O'Connor stayed. As it is, not even their coach believes they can serve his ambition. Does anyone have Nick Mallett's number?

2. Bernard Foley has that little bit extra. Not for the first time this year the Waratahs fullback showed that priceless knack of offloading in contact, in the counterattack that led to Tom Kingston's try. The skill has become essential to get through modern defensive lines. Foley has pace, confidence and a refreshing lack of fear.

3. Dave Dennis will play against Wales. The Waratahs blindside breakaway is getting better as the season progresses and attention now turns to see how Michael Foley fits him into the team alongside captain Rocky Elsom. He could be an interesting prospect at No.8 if the injury gods continue to play their cruel game with Wycliff Palu.

4. Pat McCabe 1 James O'Connor 0. In the head-to-head clash with the most Wallabies repercussions, McCabe dominated O'Connor in Canberra and probably killed off O'Connor's chances of playing at No.12 in the big Tests ahead. O'Connor is a decent defender, but he is not ready to handle the traffic that comes through that channel.

5. Brodie Retallick will play for the All Blacks, potentially this year. Every now and again, a young tight-five forward comes along who is so good that you can pencil him in for Test honours way ahead of schedule. At 204cm the giant Chief dominates the lineout, but it is the 20-year-old's workrate that is really exceptional. He loves tackling, cleaning bodies out of the way and driving Sona Taumalolo over the line. The best second-row prospect out of New Zealand for a very long time.

4 comments so far

  • I agree Paul with 2, 3 and 4 at least. Haven't seen enough of the Chiefs player to comment. Dave Dennis had a good game against the Force and it will be interest to see whether Rocky matches him. I think JOC should play 10 against Wales but not sure about McCabe. He had a good game against the Rebels but i'm still not convinced. Great defender but more of a bash and barge centre - rarley passes!! Foley has impressed this year. Good shot for the Wallaby bench i reckon.

    Commenter
    Dirk
    Location
    Avoca Beach
    Date and time
    April 17, 2012, 11:15AM
    • 2. Not Test standard
      3. Not Test standard. Hands are bad in contact.
      4. Berrick at 12. O'Connor never to play at 12 unless injuries.
      5. Will only play this year if there are injuries. 20 is too young for a Test match lock. Test matches are not Super Rugby.

      Enjoyed the read but was more impressed by your insights last year.
      Out of form Cully? It's catching! Except for Higgy.Nice to see at least one Kiwi rates him because you Aussie scribes don't.

      Commenter
      cutter
      Date and time
      April 17, 2012, 1:31PM
      • Be4rrick at 12? He's been terrible this year.

        Commenter
        Brendan
        Location
        ACT
        Date and time
        April 17, 2012, 3:35PM
    • Was lucky enough to be in Canberra and watch the Rebels get their arse kicked by Brumbies last weekend . JOC had an shocker with so much traffic coming at him , just not big enough guy to play at 12 in the modern game . I'll back all the aussie teams generally , but can't get excited about the 'culture club' , feels so phoney and made for TV .
      Foley will not make the bench this year for wallabies .
      Berrick Barnes had ONE run only in the whole match last weekend . He's sitting deep in the pocket and looks to be avoding contact ( as I would after that many head knocks last year !) Pat Macabe at 12 for sure .
      Dave Denis , Pollcock and Hingers best loosies after 8 rounds . Rocky and Palu need way more game time before they join the fray .
      Retalic is a monster and looks to pick up where Thorn left off , and them's big boots to fill !

      Commenter
      Tah fan
      Location
      Manly
      Date and time
      April 18, 2012, 7:01AM

      Make a comment

      You are logged in as [Logout]

      All information entered below may be published.

      Error: Please enter your screen name.

      Error: Your Screen Name must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Your Location must be less than 255 characters.

      Error: Please enter your comment.

      Error: Your Message must be less than 300 words.

      Post to

      You need to have read and accepted the Conditions of Use.

      Thank you

      Your comment has been submitted for approval.

      Comments are moderated and are generally published if they are on-topic and not abusive.

      Rugby Internationals 2014

      Round 1
      Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
      SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
      FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
      NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
      AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
      Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
      RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
      ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
      USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
      CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 2
      Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
      SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
      FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
      NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
      AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
      Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
      RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
      CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
      ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
      USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 3
      Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
      ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
      FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
      JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
      AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
      NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
      Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
      RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
      USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 4
      Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
      RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 5
      Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
      BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
      USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 6
      Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
      ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
      ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
      WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
      FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
      IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
      SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 7
      Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
      ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
      ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
      WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
      SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
      FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
      Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
      IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 8
      Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
      ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
      SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
      IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
      WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
      ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
      FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
      View All Fixtures
      Round 9
      Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
      ENG vs AUS 01:30Twic
      WAL vs RSA 01:30MilS
      View All Fixtures
       
      Featured advertisers