One of life’s great lies is contained in the phrase “I don’t like to tell you so” – that’s why it’s always followed with “but…”. So I’ll cut to the chase and take great delight in saying Crikey told you back on 27 June that Lote Tuqiri’s spear tackling would end in trouble, if not catastrophe.

While the rugby media was celebrating Greg Holmes’s try against the Irish, Crikey complained that it should not have been allowed. Instead there should have been at least a penalty and quite possibly a yellow or red card for Tuqiri for his tackle on Andrew Trimble that gave Holmes the chance to rumble.

“The hyping of Tuqiri’s strong defence in the past two tests runs the risk of creating dangerous expectations. He is too important a weapon to risk having yellow carded – and spear tackles are too dangerous to have any part in the game,” we pontificated.

And we wuz right, as shown by Tuqiri’s 11 week suspension, for all that it’s really only one match. If it had been a human being that Tuqiri speared on Saturday instead of the titanium and Kevlar machine called McCaw, Test rugby might have seen one of its darkest moments.

Fortunately, it all turned out to be bloody good stuff. It was a great test and the Wallabies did enough to have the All Blacks worried when they meet next year.

Our scrum gets a bit better every time it plays. We might suspect Giteau will have to start having a go or be replaced and we’ll have a better halfback soon. (And just to bait the diehard Canberra faithful, Gregan did have a much-improved first half, but you’ll also notice he started the same old run, stick out elbows and pass in the second half when we lost the match.)

Last night King George was feted by the Prime Minister and John Eales at a private dinner in Sydney to mark his achievements of becoming the world’s most-capped rugby player and passing Eales’s record for tests as captain. Thanks for many wonderful moments, George, you’ve been a credit to the game. Now we move on and improve.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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