Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: 5 Talking Points From Super Rugby AU

5 Talking Points From Super Rugby AU

Darry Worthington takes a look at the five talking points to come out of Round Super Rugby AU Round 2.

Image Copyright - Steve Haag Sports

Jockeys Ride Horses
Darry Worthington gives us his five major talking points from Super Rugby Au which includes James O'Connor's continue resurgence, a solid but losing start from the Rebels and yet another man of the match display from Wallaby talisman, Michael Hooper.

Respect the Force!
The Western Force made their Super Rugby comeback last Saturday and they almost made it an extremely memorable one as they gave the Waratahs and almighty scare before eventually going down 24-14.

The Force were actually 14-7 to the good at half-time. A second-half drop off in intensity was to be expected as they haven't competed at this level in a good while. They will, however, get better as the tournament goes and their stamina levels increase. Their fellow Aussies sides should certainly be wary of the exiles.

Hooper a One-Man Team
Had it not been for Michale Hooper's heroics last Saturday the Waratahs would have started their campaign with an upset loss.

The flanker was the driving force for the men from New South Wales doing his core duties as breakdown menace and tackling machine while also often attacking as a distributor for what was a Waratahs side that was in a coma for large swathes of the game.

Hooper will have to continue producing blinder after blinder if the Waratahs are to mount a title challenge.

Two women looking excitedly at cellphone
Reds the Real Deal
The Reds may have only been able to salvage an 18-18 draw against the Rebels last Friday but that result showed the Queenslanders are here to challenge for the title.

Brad Thorn's side were having a bad day at the office and struggled to assert themselves on the game due to a couple rudimentary handling errors, especially during the first half.

The second half saw the Reds - who trailed 6-0 at the break - start to get into the game with a Filipe Daugunu try and some two penalties from James O'Connor bringing the Queenslanders within touching distance of their opponents. A 68-minute intercept try from Billy Meakes saw the Rebels extend their lead to ten points.

It looked like the Reds would be forced to settle for a losing bonus point when James O'Connor knocked over a penalty late in the game, which brought his side within seven points of their opponents. O'Connor would then spark an attack from 60-metres out that saw Alex Mafi go in for a five-pointer. O'Connor would then kick the conversation that salvaged a draw for the Reds.

That type of desperate fight back is exactly the type of showing that will fill the side with confidence and give them the belief that they are able to come out on top when the odds are well and truly stacked against them.

Billy Meakes Continues to Put Up His Hand
Rebels stalwart Billy Meakes was once again the lynchpin in the Melbourners backline with the burly number 12 putting in a fantastic display that saw him chew up the metres on attack and also score a fantastic intercept try.

While Meakes does not possess the skill set of a Matt Giteau or a Kurtley Beale, he is a very consistent performer who makes a fly-half's job easy with his hard running and excellent defensive reading of the game.

If I was Dave Rennie I would definitely have the Melbourne man in my first Australian matchday squad.

James O'Connor Key to Wallabies Survival
James O'Connor's stocks continue to rise as the Reds recruit put in another solid performance this weekend that saw him excel off the kicking tee.

The versatile back - who has been running the show in the 10 jersey for the Queensland outfit - showed a hell of a lot of maturity last week making up for his errant pass that saw Billy Meakes put the Rebels ten points in front by kicking a late penalty and then sparking the attack that saw the Reds salvage a draw.

With the like of Kurtley Beale and David Pocock having moved on from the Wallabies, O'Connor will have an integral leadership role to play once international rugby kicks off again.

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