My heart sank today when I read that James O’Connor is about to sign for the Melbourne Rebels. Reports are mixed, with some sources claiming it is a done deal, while others are saying he will stay with the Western Force. Foxsport is particularly confused, with their website saying that O’Connor will sign on Monday, while their on air commentators, before the Rebels game, said that James O’Connor himself was saying that there was no deal.
It has been a tough start to the Super Rugby season for Western Force fans, with David Pocock being injured in their first game and taking no part since. The Force have subsequentially won only one of their seven games and most of their losses have been by 3 points or less. To lose their prodigous all around back would be disaster.
Melbourne Rebels of course signed one the the Wallabies other major attacking forces, Kurtley Beale, from the Waratahs this week. I would hate to see Super Rugby become like the major European Football leagues, the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga, where, very often, he with the most money wins. Melbourne is well known for hijacking sporting events from other cities. We all remember the Adelaide Grand Prix, that is now held there and we know they would love to get their hands on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It seriously looks like they are trying to buy the Super Rugby competition.
Maybe a salary cap is an option to try and even things up, but, as many people are saying, this would probably result in the best players moving to Europe and the big bucks. And we all know that salary caps do not always work, the Melbourne Storm in the NRL are a prime example. Coincidence? Probably not.
On top of all this, the Rebels are wrecking my tipping results. They win when they are supposed to lose and got stuffed 40 points to 18 by the Highlanders tonight, when I did tip them to win.
James O’Connor do yourself and Perth a favour, stick with the Force. You know it makes sense.
Another point of contention for me arose in the first game of this weeks round. Lelia Masaga scored the first try for the Chiefs after being tackled and using his supporting arm, at least three times, to propel himself over the line. The referee awarded the try and the commentators said it was momentum. This type of try is regularly awarded these days. Does no one remember the double movement law?
The Crusaders went on to win the game by 34 to 16. Richie McCaw made his season debut, for the last 30 minutes and the Crusaders have comfortably won their last two games, without the aid of Dan Carter. Which must make them almost unbackable favourites to win the title this year.
By Max Power