The NRL was not the only place where thrashing were being handed out recently, as the Waratahs dealt a 51 – 27 sledge to the conference leading Melbourne Rebels at Allianz Stadium in Sydney.
While the Waratahs were obviously delighted at seeing their season back on the rails, certain images from the game made it seem almost as though there were more players than fans in attendance.
Unlike the NRL match between the Eagles and the Eels to which we earlier alluded, this one was a bit more interesting.
The ‘Tahs were down by 17 points at one juncture before they went on a scoring binge to send the Rebels down for the first time in 2018 Super Rugby League play.
Wallabies superstar Israel Folau was the ringleader of the comeback, setting up tires for Rob Simmons Bryce Hegarty and Taqele Naiyaravoro (excuse us while our spell check wrestles with that last one).
The Australian conference of the Super Rugby League competition kept the Waratahs within distance of the Rebels and the conference is looking interesting, even if bums in the seats were at a premium that leaves one wondering if the rugby codes have reached a point of oversaturation.
Had the Waratahs folded when down 17 points, the season would have been in jeopardy for the NSW side and Daryl Gibson’s job security looking perilous, especially after the Rebels sprinted to a 20 – 3 lead with early tires by Tom English, Amanaki Mafi and Jack Maddocks.
Tahs’ Captain Michael Hooper was lavish afterwards in his praise of Folau, saying, “Anywhere he goes, he’s magic. His intent during the week to get his role right on the weekend was fantastic.”
It seemingly was a good move to switch Folau from fullback to wing, a position he has not played in five years.
Now, if Gibson et al can maintain that sort of production, maybe some fans will come back.