It’s a huge week in Aussie rugby.
The Rugby World Cup hosting announcement is coming on Friday, the Wallaroos are in action again on Tuesday, the Brumbies have just rolled the Chiefs and now have the Crusaders.
It’s all very tasty, so this week’s column comes to you from the Between Two Posts bunker where Mehrts and I are furiously gearing up for a wild seven days.
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Tears flow in emotional national anthem
THEY’RE BACK, BABY
Last weekend’s action got rolling at Suncorp with the Wallaroos dismantling Fijiana and in the process taking a big step forward on their ‘Road to NZ’ World Cup campaign.
There was a ton of emotion throughout the anthems with tears being shed left and right as beginners and veterans alike were overcome at being back on the field after a 958-day absence from the Test arena.
Nine hundred and fifty eight days!
The result fell the right way for the side and they celebrated with a booming post-match team song, led by Grace Hamilton.
They’re definitely back.
READ MORE: ‘Complete shock’ as former Waratah dies at age 32
READ MORE: Leali’ifano’s beautiful 1000 point moment with son
READ MORE: Brumbies firm as championship contenders in NZ
Australia take sevens title in thrilling finish
TOP OF THE POPS AGAIN
Hats off to the Aussie women sevens team who are top of the world once more, crowned series champions last week in Canada.
The combination of up-and-coming talent (Maddison Levi, Lily Dick etcetera) and established guns such as Dom du Toit, Charlotte Caslick and Demi Hayes has proven irresistibly good.
Strangely, there was some confusion in the aftermath around how much coverage their huge result received.
Now, like everything, there’s always room for improvement, BUT I saw and heard multiple outlets cover their achievement.
The Big Sports Breakfast, usually heavily NRL skewed, even found time to celebrate and recognize the women.
There’ll be more plaudits to come and there should be, they are an exceptional outfit.
Leali’ifano’s heartwarming 1000 point moment
1000 AND COUNTING
There were gorgeous scenes at Mt Smart Stadium with Christian Leali’ifano becoming the first Pasifika player to score 1000 Super Rugby points.
What made the moment that little bit more special was Christian’s son Jeremy running out the kicking tee for the milestone shot.
We can’t get enough of that kind of thing.
It was incredibly touching and beautifully played out. Take a look (above).
WORKING CLASS MEN
There’s been a real hardened, dig in and have a go approach at the Waratahs this year.
Those efforts have seen them set up a realistic chance of a top-four finish off the back of a dogged performance in Auckland vs Moana Pasifika.
Fitting then, that a few of the boys got a chance to meet Aussie rock icon Jimmy Barnes in the lead-up to last week’s game.
You’d think if the Tahs can keep trending the same way, there might just be some cheap wine and three day growths down the track.
I’ll see myself out.
UP THE HIGHLANDERS
I caught up with Highlanders coach Tony Brown at the team’s hotel rooftop bar in Brisbane on Friday night. What a champion blocks he is.
An early adopter of the Peaky Blinders-style cap for match days, the former All Black was all smiles after his team put themselves back in the finals race with a win over the Reds.
His squad was given the chance to have a couple of cold ones to celebrate, with each of them happy to help with selfies and chat to the locals.
Quality stuff all round.
WEST IS BEST
This column tipped the Western Sydney Two Blues to have a massive 2022 and boy are they delivering.
Their latest scalp? Southern Districts!
That makes it Gordon, Sydney Uni and Souths as beaten opposition in the last three weeks.
The rest of the comp are on notice.
The Two Blues last won the Shute Shield in 1986 – the same year the Wallabies last defeated the All Blacks at Eden Park!
Just gonna leave this factoid for later.
Which Stan Sport commentator forgot to tip his colleagues into the horse he part owns, which saluted at 25-1 a few weeks back?
And which commentator has backed the same horse every start since, only to see it run backwards from the home turn every time?
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Australian rugby greats share classic stories and relive major controversies on Stan Sport’s Glory Days series
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