How ‘bout them Reds, eh?
The Queensland Reds are into the Super XV Rugby final - the first Australian team to make the final since NSW lost to the Crusaders in 2008.
The Brisbane-based team will now meet the Christchurch-based Canterbury Crusaders, in what will surely be billed as the battle of the two cities which nature attacked, or some such.
Speaking to friends on the weekend, both in person and on social media, a disturbing trend emerged. People who normally support other teams, like the NSW Waratahs and ACT Brumbies, were actually cheering for the Reds. Former Puncher and current news.com.au editor Paul Colgan was just one such turncoat.
No way would this ever happen in any other sport. Imagine if they played AFL in NZ and South Africa. Now imagine Collingwood made the final against one of the foreign teams. Reckon fans of other Australian teams would barrack for the ‘Pies? Neither do I.
There are two legitimate excuses for the de facto Reds cheersquad. One is that the Reds have been basket cases for years. The other is that this is a World Cup year. And if Australia is to make a mark in said tournament in New Zealand, we need one of our five domestic rugby teams to fire.
When the Wallabies won the Rugby World Cup in 1999, and came within a kick of defending their title in 2003, the national team’s strength was underpinned by the ACT Brumbies, who made five Super XII (as it was then) finals between 1997 and 2004, and won twice.
The Brumbies in those days were all about George Gregan and Stephen Larkham, in the 9 and 10 jerseys respectively. The Reds, likewise, are all about the 9 and 10, in the shape of Will Genia and Quade Cooper.
The similarities between Cooper/Larkham and Genia/Gregan are quite remarkable. Cooper, like Larkham before him, is a playmaker with silky skills and an ability to slip through the smallest gap. Genia, like Gregan, belies his size with his toughness.
It won’t shock you to learn that Quade Cooper orchestrated most of Queensland’s tries in a brilliant performance. He really is a superstar. Oh, and he’s been romantically linked with Steph Rice, a nugget of information which is largely irrelevant, but hey. It’s almost Sunday. Sunday journalism is all about the social pages.
By the way, I didn’t watch the game as there was an excellent Norwegian film about Nazi Zombies on SBS. Come to mention it, aren’t all SBS films about Norwegian Nazi Zombies? Anyway, if you msised it, here’s the trailer. Chilling stuff.
Did you watch the Super XV? Were you impressed? Do you think it’s wrong to support another state if your state has had a poor season? Are there really Nazi zombies roaming the hills beyond the Arctic Circle?
Answers below please.
Oh, and if you want to talk about Essendon beating Geelong in the upset of the AFL season, or indeed Penrith upsetting the Bulldogs in the NRL, feel free to consider this your weekend sport open thread.
Read all about it
Up to the minute Twitter chatter
The latest and greatest
Good morning Punchers. After four years of excellent fun and great conversation, this is the final post…
I have had some close calls, one that involved what looked to me like an AK47 pointed my way, followed…
In a world in which there are still people who subscribe to the vile notion that certain victims of sexual…