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Sailor vs The State of Queensland

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Reds row: Sailor jokes wear thin

By Greg Growden
Tuesday, February 7, 2006   Print this article
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Queensland yesterday intensified their campaign to target former Reds winger Wendell Sailor, believing that by undermining him he will lose his way during their Super 14 clash on Saturday night.

Although the Queensland Rugby Union has denied it has called on the Brisbane crowd to boo Sailor during the teams' first game of the season, it is still clear they want his first visit north since joining the Waratahs to be as uncomfortable as possible.

Apart from the QRU focusing on Sailor in its pre-tournament publicity, including using his picture in advertisements which query why he turned his back on Queensland, Sailor was the butt of the jokes at yesterday's traditional interstate "hillbilly" luncheon in Brisbane.

The luncheon was more subdued than usual, probably because NSW finally defeated the Reds last year. But it didn't mean that one of their past players was let off lightly. Former Queensland and Test prop Chris Handy was at his comic best when he asked the audience for "some quiet" because he had an important announcement.

"The state of Queensland is about to be overrun by invaders from Planet Dell … fresh from their bonding session at a secret training camp on Brokeback Mountain," Handy said. "The aliens come in all shapes and sizes and many wear diamond-stud earrings. These creatures are known to puff out their chests and make a lot of noise. But believe me, they are totally harmless. :lol:

"Be on the lookout for the insignia worn on the front of their uniforms, near where their hearts should be. They have tried to disguise themselves with letters on their backs. But it is the letters on their front which taunt them: HSBC. This stands for Huge Score By Crusaders and refers to a historic event where they came within 80 points of beating a rival tribe." :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

Handy then stressed how, on Saturday, Queensland would enjoy "one of our greatest victories". Usually it is Queensland who throw all the barbs before the match. But this time, the Waratahs and Sailor have been eager to join in.

Sailor has in the past week upset the QRU on numerous occasions, in particular when he explained one of the prime reasons he left the Reds was because of the "state of administration in Queensland rugby". He was deeply critical of QRU chief executive officer Theo Psaros.

Then, in the official 2006 Waratahs season guide, Sailor questioned the motivation of several of his former Reds teammates. He said Queensland would "start the year well in the trials and move the ball around, but as soon as a bit of pressure would come on, we'd go back to 10-man rugby".

He added: "To me, it seemed like there were a lot of blokes at the Reds who didn't believe in what they were doing and weren't pushing in the one direction.

"Too many people up there were playing for themselves, and the culture of the place went downhill once the guys from the Western Force were putting offers on the table. I've never seen anything like it, and I felt really sorry for blokes like Chris Latham and David Croft, who wanted to play and win while others were worried about everything around the periphery."

The Waratahs team management has also been throwing grenades over the Tweed. When they released the Waratahs' weekly schedule to the media on Sunday, it included the reminder, "Queensland is one hour and 25 years behind Sydney". Within minutes, the Waratahs were receiving nasty replies from members of the Queensland media.

The Waratahs will name their line-up this afternoon but it will not include Mat Rogers, who returned to training yesterday.

At a private team training session, Rogers practised separately, with NSW officials explaining it will be several weeks before he is fit and considered for selection. Rogers will not travel with NSW to South Africa after the Queensland match.

The only NSW player unable to train was back-up halfback Brett Sheehan (neck), but he is expected to be picked on the bench. Ex-Test winger Ben Tune (knee/hamstring) is unavailable for the Reds.


its gonna b awesome when they clash...wooooooooooooooooooooo cant wait for this match to happen...
:lol: :lol: :lol:

Yeah match of the round

If Tune was playin i would have picked Queensland ,but i think the Tahs might just win in a close one.
The Tahs backline has improved a heap with Sailor and Norton-Knight. Ewen has said they will play more expansive football so that is a good sign.
Also the Tahs broke their hoodoo last year so maybe the flood gates will open. However I do like the looks of the Reds team, Barnes I hear will start at 10 which means Johansson is pushed to the bench which is a shame.
Barnes to make his debut
Wednesday, February 08, 2006


New recruit Berrick Barnes will make his Super 14 debut this Saturday night when the QR Queensland Reds take on arch rivals the Waratahs in the opening match of the 2006 Tooheys New Super 14 season at Suncorp Stadium, kick off 7.30pm.

Barnes has been named at flyhalf with regular number 10 Elton Flatley pairing up in the centres with fellow flyhalf Julian Huxley.

The unusual move came about with the pre-season injury to winger Peter Hynes forcing speedy utility Tim Atkinson from the centres onto the wing.

Wallaby Lloyd Johansson will start on the bench but will be a useful impact player when called upon.

Barnes is just one of up to six players making their Super 14 or Reds debut in the opening match with backrower James Horwill and prop Tom Court both named on the bench. Mitchell Chapman will make his run-on debut at openside flanker and utility back Henari Veratau starts his first Super 14 game for the Reds on the bench.

Hooker Sean Hardman will provide the experience in between two young props, Greg Holmes and Rodney Blake, with Stephen Moore coming off the bench.

Lock Mark Connors is still under an injury cloud but will be given until match day to prove his fitness. Lanky back-rower Cameron Treloar is on standby for Connors should he not pass the fitness test.

Reds backs coach Damon Emtage made the following statements:

On Berrick Barnes:

"This team was picked on form and Berrick's form was irrepressible. He basically picked himself."

"Things happen when Berrick's on the field and with the regularity that was happening we had to consider him in the fly-half role."

"The team functions well with him there, his decision making ability is a special talent and that will compliment way we want to play on Saturday."

On the Elton Flatley-Berrick Barnes combination:

"Berrick and Elton have trained together for the full three months of pre-season and what the trials showed was the combinations that we're going to start and finish the match with will provide the most competitive edge to win the match."

On Lloyd Johansson starting from the bench:

"It's just for this match. We see Lloyd's contribution as very valuable to the team. His ability to be strike weapon will suit us well for Saturday."

Team to play the Waratahs

Greg Holmes

Sean Hardman

Rodney Blake

Mark Connors

Hugh McMeniman

Mitchell Chapman #

David Croft

John Roe

Sam Cordingley

Berrick Barnes *

Drew Mitchell

Elton Flatley

Julian Huxley

Tim Atkinson

Chris Latham

Stephen Moore

Tom Court *

James Horwill * / Cameron Treloar *

Tom McVerry

Nic Berry

Lloyd Johansson

Henari Veratau ^

* denotes player making his Super 14 debut

^ denotes player making his Reds debut

# denotes player making his run-on debut

Notes: Cameron Treloar is on standby for Mark Connors. Should Connors not be fit, James Horwill will start at number 4 and Treloar will start on the bench.


Reds 12 Waratahs 16
By Peter Jenkins
February 12, 2006

NSW survived a nightmare revisited - and Wendell Sailor left his former home town fuming - as the Waratahs last night opened their Super 14 campaign with a breakthrough victory over Queensland.

Sailor's air punch directed at the crowd after flanker Rocky Elsom scored the match-winning try 12 minutes from full-time sparked a flurry of empty plastic cups being hurled harmlessly in the winger's direction.

The relief from Sailor as Elsom touched down after charging on to a well-timed pass from replacement centre Shaun Berne was an outward showing of emotion others in the side no doubt shared.

For long periods of the second half, NSW struggled to carry the play out of their half as the Reds grafted their way to a six-point lead.

Queensland should have converted the territory to more points but a glut of backline replacements, forced by injury and an unusual outbreak of cramps, left the Reds in a position where the departure of centre Elton Flatley had to be covered by a standby back rower.

The Waratahs leave for South Africa today with their first win over Queensland in Brisbane since the advent of professional rugby as yet another milestone to be reached in the past 12 months.

But while they will revel in the result, they will not treasure the performance.

On a night when Queensland halfback Sam Cordingley made the season's first challenge to Test halfback George Gregan with a spirited display from the scrumbase, the Waratahs' best included second rower Dan Vickerman, flanker Phil Waugh, centre Lote Tuqiri and Sailor.

In his first major game for NSW, and back on his one-time stomping ground, Sailor came with a point to prove to the noisy masses who had wanted to see him fail.
The chant started early as "Wendell's a ******" rang around Suncorp Stadium.

Sailor savoured the return home, the reception from the crowd setting fire to his motivation. The former Queenslander pointed to Reds players, he taunted and teased them. He fired one verbal volley at under-sized opposite Tim Atkinson, who joined the game and cocked an ear feigning not to hear.

And all that was within the first five minutes as interstate rivalry bubbled. Referee Matt Goddard was called on to put out spot fires before a bead of sweat was dropped.

Reds flanker David Croft tried to monster NSW halfback Chris Whitaker. Waratahs prop Matt Dunning was involved in a stoush with Queensland hooker Sean Hardman. Three Reds, in a separate set-to, had Whitaker pinned to the ground.

While Sailor set a record for involvements off the wing, Tuqiri added the finesse alongside Morgan Turinui.

From a steal by number eight David Lyons, NSW were awarded the penalty that brought first points from the boot of winger Peter Hewat. But his 45m effort in the 11th minute, and another penalty on 29 minutes were cancelled out by the twin strikes of Reds centre Elton Flatley.

While Flatley was busy, Berrick Barnes, 19, drafted from the Brisbane Broncos, showed wonderful passing skills, a neat step and the ability to take the ball straight to the line. He will be one to watch.

The Reds took the initiative after the break. Elton Flatley added two penalty goals to push the home team out to 12-6 after 54 minutes before Elsom scored to break Queensland's resistance.

Queensland Reds 12 (Elton Flatley 4 pen)
NSW Waratahs 16 (Rocky Elsom try; Peter Hewat con, 3 pen) at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
Referee: Matt Goddard. Crowd: 38,947.

The Sunday Telegraph

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