'No, stuff it': Genia opens up on THAT try, and why he's 'drawn' to McDermott

Super Rugby - AU
by Christy Doran

We all remember that moment.

Even non-Queensland Reds fans remember the time when Will Genia ran and time stood still.

With the scores locked at 13-13 in the 68th minute, Matt Todd trudged the ball up from a standing start and the ball spat loose at the breakdown when Richie McCaw attempted to clean out the Reds tacklers.

Seconds later, the world's best young halfback made history, and on the eve of the Super Rugby AU final, Reds halfback Tate McDermott almost had his own Genia moment a week earlier against the Melbourne Rebels on that same Brisbane turf.

To watch the Super Rugby AU final LIVE, purchase a Kayo subscription here.

But before we get there, this is how Genia remembers his match-winning try, which, funnily enough, was watched in the Suncorp Stadium stands by a 12-year-old McDermott.

"I was just fortunate," Genia told The Rugby Nation.

"Our plan was to play a lot of contestable kicks during that year, we kicked a lot off 9 whether it was little toppies over the top to find space or contestable kicks.

"I remember we got a turnover, I was chasing into that breakdown, got the offload from Anthony Fainga'a and went out to kick to the corner and Dan Carter had rushed up on the outside of me and forced me back on the inside and there was just space.

"Richie McCaw was just to my right and I thought to myself, 'I'm going to try and get away from him otherwise there's going to be a turnover' and there was just space, space galore.

"I remember running and thinking 'surely someone's going to catch me, surely, where's the defence?' and then I started to hear the crowd just roar.

"Obviously Suncorp packed to the rafters with 52,000 people was unbelievable and I was thinking, 'I'm going to get here, I think I'm going to get here' and even just before the line I was looking for someone to pass to and I thought, 'no stuff it, I'm just going to go myself' and I was fortunate enough to get there."

Nine years later McDermott almost had his own Genia moment.

LISTEN UP! Super Rugby champions Joe Roff and Will Genia join Nick McArdle and Christy Doran on The Rugby Nation

The 21-year-old, who on Sunday celebrated being called into the Wallabies squad for the first time, made a break just shy of halfway in the 50th minute against the Rebels as he spotted some space on the inside of Matt Philip after Cameron Orr threw himself into the breakdown. 

"I guess there's a lot of similarities to when Tate made that break on the weekend," Genia added.

"I think the unfortunate thing is if you look at that game, Marika comes from absolutely nowhere to run him down. Marika runs high 10s (seconds), so you're not going to outrun Marika."

And in that moment, McDermott took a leaf out of Genia's playbook and played "heads up" rugby.

"I love the way he plays," Genia said of McDermott.

"I love the heads up rugby that he plays, just that attacking mindset to the game where he wants to play to space.

"It's not about sticking to structure, where you play where you're supposed to go, it's about playing where the space is.

"I love watching his game and I'm really drawn to it because I enjoy that type of rugby."

McDermott will wear the No.9 for the Reds in their final against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.


SUPER RUGBY FINAL TEAMS: Bombshell as Brumbies recall playmaker, Reds shift Petaia

HISTORY: The Reds haven't won in Canberra since 2014 but Thorn says travel won't be an excuse 

FROM COOPER TO O'CONNOR: How Thorn turned the Reds into one of the hottest teams in Super Rugby