Confucius say ‘always blog after upset win’

Much like this piece’s title, the following has always been one of the more popular proverbs from the divine Rugby Confucius.

‘If furthering your XV down the path of rectification is for what you strive, then one must firstly temper weaknesses and/or splash funds on talent.’

In 2013, the Waratahs have made it their trademark to start slower than a circa 1996 laptop, and it’s one of several factors that have cruelled their drive for improvement thus far.

However, last night against the Chiefs they channelled the words of rah-rah’s Buddha and addressed this irksome shortcoming by discovering a choke button and engaging it before halftime.

Nothing says 'upset win' like a vertical stacks-on.

Nothing says ‘upset win’ like a vertical stacks-on.

What resulted was a high-octane opening for the home side and a gutsy 25-20 victory, although with a bullish Chiefs riposte wedged in between that nearly had the fans reaching for the spiritual analgesic incense.

It was a dose of unlikely success against high-grade Kiwi opposition for the Waratahs and another stepping stone in the evolution of optimism under the tutelage of cranky grasshopper Michael Cheika, which he has made no secret of is more tortoise than hare.

With an obvious focus on reversing the trend for sleeping in, their bright beginning was powered by some appealing ball-in-hand play which propelled them to a deserved 15-0 halftime lead. It had the faithful tentatively high-fiving in the aisles and cautiously contemplating an unlikely boilover.

Despite this, it seemed normal transmission of heartbreak had resumed in the second half thanks to a barnstorming Chiefs bushfire which incinerated the Waratahs newly turned leaf, and five minutes from time when the 134kg Ben Tameifuna battered his way under the posts with minimal finesse to catapult the visitors in to the lead, the 15,000 faithful at Allianz had probably wished they were next door watching the Swans get pumped.

Cue the dice rolling required in these situations, a backtracking Chiefs defence and the hungry backing-up of former doorman John Ulugia, and the winning try was dotted down for the Waratahs to pinch sweet victory.

Like all Super Rugby wins in NSW these days, it was crucial for the Waratahs and their grand scheme. If they are serious about successfully implementing coach Cheika’s plan of just falling short of a semi-final berth this season, they desperately needed points at home before embarking on the always-unfriendly South African leg of their campaign.

Folau's excitement may subside if that attempted reach-around is successful.

Folau’s excitement may subside if that attempted reach-around is successful.

Those famous words of Rugby Confucius rang in the ears of many when it came to selecting the best on ground for NSW.

Like any cliché-laden backs-to-the-wall dogfight win against a top-ranked side, there were many contributors who made claims for the unfinishable pewter mug of booze granted post-match to those who left nothing in the tank.

In last night’s case, the standouts for the victors were the off-season pick-ups of Michael Hooper and Israel Folau.

Hooper is seemingly on long life batteries in the trenches and last night was no different. It’s difficult to ever remember him having a stale performance whenever he steps on a rugby field, and I find it hard to believe that some dirty tabloid scribe hasn’t linked him with Steven Dank.

As for Folau, he once again put on a blistering display of wide hole-running that was capped with points when he soared on the flank to take a Bernard Foley cross-field kick and touch down in the shadows of halftime.

But it was more so his desperate toil in defence that showed his leaps and bounds improvement is of Olympic triple-jump calibre when on two occasions he popped up as the last line to snuff out certain Chief tries.

Many will argue that he is far from the complete rugby product yet, but he nonetheless deserves my apology at least after I questioned his purchase by NSW Rugby earlier this year and wondered where he would fit in their high-profile backline.

He’s a padlock selection for Cheika nowadays, and he could be more than just bonus attacking arsenal on Robbie Deans’ bench later in the year.

As for the Waratahs, next it’s the Bulls at the High Veldt, a historical crime scene plentiful with many discarded cans of whoop-ass administered by the home side in contests past.

But with the words of Rugby Confucius in the scented air around the squad and it’s fans, I reckon they won’t be feeling too bad about taking on the South African powerhouse after the encouraging display of last night.

 

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2 Comments

  1. This is the best title ever. Where do you come up with this stuff?

    Reply
  2. It’s a deadset Confucius life rule. He loves footy and he also loves to blog. He went absolutely bonkers on the keyboard after Adam Scott’s Masters victory and received many spiritual hits.

    Reply

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Dane Eldridge Tries Hard

Contemporary rugby league surrealism and hot takes on Shane Warne

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