We’ve well and truly come around the final turn and are in the home straight for Super Rugby Pacific.
Not all final positions have been locked in but we do know the Blues, Crusaders and Brumbies will be hosting in week one.
This week’s column is being typed out while I smoke a bunch of pork ribs so please excuse any typos on account of my greasy mitts.
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TOUGH AS TATE
Queensland were forced to dig deep against Moana Pasifika and none tapped their reserves more than Tate McDermott.
How he got up after being sat down by rookie of the year nominee Timoci Tavatavanawai is beyond me.
Why he went in looking to drop ‘The Tank’ again just moments later is even crazier, but stop him he did.
The Reds skipper obviously does plenty in attack but his ticker in defense is just as impressive. He even ended up on the wing late.
McDermott + Jake Gordon + Nic White = plenty of awesome selection headaches for Wallabies boss Dave Rennie.
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‘MARKY MARK’ AND THE SPUNKY BUNCH
Mark Nawaqanitawase and the Waratahs continue to shine, with Sunday’s win against the Highlanders their first against that opposition in New Zealand in 5195 days.
Nawaqanitawase was still in primary school when the Tahs last won in Dunedin when Lote Tuqiri was on one wing and… wait for it, Timana Tahu the other!
The trajectory Eastwood local ‘Marky Mark’ is on, is, well, jaw dropping.
It’s always wonderful seeing talent realized and there’s no question the 21-year-old is getting into his groove.
GUESS WHO’S BACK
Last weekend this little column asked where Brumbies fans had slipped to, well, they returned with some venom on Saturday night.
I’ve been working the stadium for 14 years now and that was as loud as I’ve heard them in a long while, despite their side going down to the table topping Blues.
They questioned every decision, lifted with every local defensive effort and surged when Noah Lolesio landed what could’ve been the match winning conversion.
The fulltime whistle was also met with a chorus of boos, which gave us a somewhat surreal soundtrack to Beauden Barrett’s heroics.
KEPU KEEPS KEEPING ON
Stan Sport colleagues Drew Mitchell, Andrew Swain and I caught up with Moana Pasifika captain Sekope Kepu following their loss to the Reds where the big guy filled us in on how much he’s loving his rugby at the moment.
The good times with Pasifika will hopefully lead to a Rugby World Cup campaign on the say so over to Drew, who hammered the idea into Keps.
“Go to France, play with Tonga, it’ll be awesome,” suggested his former teammate, over and over and over.
SEVENS SERIES CROWNED
The Aussie women are coming home with a little extra carry on baggage following their series-ending tournament in France.
There was the silver medal in Toulouse and Charlotte Caslick was crowned player of the series.
Madi Levi picked up the rookie of the year trophy and those two were joined by Faith Nathan and Madi Ashby in the tournament ‘Dream Team’ as well.
Get home safe ladies and we look forward to your next run of events starting soon.
GET YOUR TICKETS
Eddie Jones has named his England squad to face the Wallabies in July and it is a doozy.
The three Test series gets rolling in Perth where 13 per cent of the local population have migrated from the United Kingdom.
Tickets are moving but will start really running as we close in on that first Saturday of the month.
You can avoid missing out in the west by going to wallabies.rugby/tickets.
Which usually highly intelligent, well liked member of the Stan Sport team was denied a hire car and entry to the bar across the weekend due to his ‘digital licence?’
When we pressed him on it, he didn’t flash his government approved app – instead a photo he’d taken of his license on his kitchen benchtop.
Wonder if he’ll try the same with his passport at Customs around Bledisloe time?
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