The talking points: round 17

by Staff Writer

Well the Brumbies and Waratahs are finals bound but we still don’t know who will finish top of the Australian Conference of Asteron Life Super Rugby. Will Genia and James Horwill farewelled Suncorp Stadium while the Rebels ruined the Bulls Top Six dreams.

But here are ‘The Talking Points’

1. Aussie aspirations alive

So we know the Top Six, just not the final order. The Waratahs and Brumbies can either finish as high as second or as low as sixth but a bonus point win for the Tahs would lock it up, thanks to their superior record. Second spot will ensure a week off and then a home semi-final, while sixth would mean having to play finals away. Third place would guarantee a home play-off in the first week but then it’s all travel after that. The Tahs have the Reds at home this week, while the Brumbies take on the Crusaders..

2. Aussie hattricks

We started the weekend raving about David Pocock, three tries in another dominant display that now has him 5th in the top try-scorer standings. Then we were treated to a (late) Saturday night special from Israel Folau. Three tries of his own while the fullback is currently the overall leader in linebreaks, offloads, tackle busts and run metres per game. He’s also a measly second overall in try assists.. Izzy even human??

3. Speight to wait on ankle

A bit of a headache for Stephen Larkham and the Brumbies from Friday’s win, and that’s Henry Speight’s ankle injury. The winger rolled it in the opening minutes and battled through, until finally succumbing in the 66th minute. The Brumbies’ physio will be working overtime this week, with both Speight and Matt Toomua battling ankle issues.

4. Sean McMahon continues to grow

If 2014 was the year that Sean McMahon burst onto the scene, 2015 is the year he has established himself as a bonafide Super Rugby star. At just 20 years of age, McMahon dominated the big Bulls pack on Saturday, even getting over for his first Rebels try. Already a demon in defence and a top ball runner, McMahon can play on both sides of the scrum and is developing his jumping at line out time. Michael Cheika is already a keen admirer but McMahon has a battle on his hands in the Wallabies congested back row.

5. Genia and Horwill say goodbye

A sad sight on Saturday with Brisbane waving goodbye to two Reds legends. Genia and Horwill were two of Queensland’s best in their disappointing loss to the Chiefs but they weren’t the only ones saying farewell. James Hanson had his last run in red at Suncorp Stadium ahead of his move south to the Rebels, while was it Quade Cooper’s home swan song? Liam Gill is also off-contract as is back row partner Adam Thomson, who has indicated he wants to stay in Brisbane next season. Either way, expect the Reds to be big players in the off-season recruitment drive.

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