It’s a glorious day today, for the Brumbies are not in the Super 14 Rugby finals. Despite having lived in Canberra all my life, I do not support the local side, in fact I can’t stand them. I’m a Canterbury Crusaders fan (that’s a short but interesting story that I’ll get to in a minute), and despite not following the Super 14 all that closely, I can honestly say that I am very pleased with the way the premiership season has ended.
The Brumbies needed a few things to go their way to get in to the finals. They needed to defeat the Highlanders, which they did 29 points to 10, but they also needed a rather large victory by last placed Queensland Reds over the Bulls. The match got under way at around 3am Canberra time, and before long it was obvious that the Bulls were going to easily win the match and rub the Brumbies out of the finals. The Bulls did so in style, convincingly thrashing the Reds 92 points to three. A perfect way to end the Brumbies’ season from distant Pretoria, South Africa in my opinion.
Also interesting (and good for the team involved) is the news that the Sharks are the first ever South African team to finish on top of the ladder in the Super 14. Admittedly the Super 14 hasn’t been going for all that long, but it’s an important record which will be carried with pride by the Sharks.
The finals consist of the Sharks, Bulls, Crusaders and Blues, which means that no Australian team is in the finals.
Now, the story about why I follow the Crusaders…it dates back to when my age could still be expressed in single digits, I was about three or four at the time when Dad asked me who I wanted to follow in the AFL, after listening to a list of teams I picked out the Bulldogs (then Footscray, now Western), and subsequently chose the same team mascot in the Rugby League, effectively choosing the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs. Moving on to when I was about seven or eight years old, it was a Sunday night and National Nine News was on the television, and they were reporting on the Rugby Union results, they said that Canterbury had won, I latched on to the name thinking that it was the same area as the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, and despite it not being the same area, and instead being across the Tasman Sea, the name stuck and I have followed them ever since.
This could be why I despise the Brumbies so much…they are the local team and the local media treat them with some bias, and it is something peculiar about Canberra that we have so few local teams that they all get treated with some favourable bias, but I think the Brumbies are a special case. In the NRL the Raiders get some favourable bias, but the media tend to accept that a lot of Canberrans don’t give two hoots about the Raiders and support other teams, however the Brumbies, being one of only two teams within hundreds of kilometres, get treated like they are the entire competition (RiotACT provide roughly the same amount of Brumbies bias  as the rest of the local media, see the linked article for an example), they are an annoying waste of excess media time in this town, and I for one just can’t stand them. The news that a thrashing of another team many thousands of kilometres away has directly affected and destroyed their hopes of a finals berth has made my day, and possibly my week!