The Taylors Wines Top 5, brought to you by RUPA’s Official Wine Partner Taylors Wines, brings to you five of the best Australian Rugby interviews in the media this week.
This week in Super Rugby the Burmbies have a bye, but the other four Australian Super Rugby teams all play one after the other for what truly is a Super Saturday! The Rebels kick things off against the Lions at AAMI Park at 3pm, before we head across the ditch to see the Reds take on the Chiefs at 5:35pm.
It's then back to Australia and Allianz Stadium, where the Waratahs will be looking for two in a row against the Blues at 7:45pm, before the Western Force take on the Sharks in Durban at 11:05pm (all times AEST).
1. Rip off the bandaid!
Melbourne Rebels star Tom English took the words right out of the mouths of almost every Australian Super Rugby player when he urged the ARU to make their intentions clear in the ongoing saga surrounding the reduction of Australian teams.
Your job as a professional player first and foremost is to focus on the game but that's not to say that it doesn't play on your mind," English told AAP's Mel Woods.
"The ARU needs to come out and make a decision because they're playing with people's lives so rip the band aid off because indecision is just going to lead to more players leaving to play overseas."
2. Dreaming of a Gold jersey
He grew up in New Zealand and his father was the All Blacks' Doctor, but Brumbies prop Nic Mayhew has his sights firmly set on playing for the Wallabies.
"You've got to make the most of every opportunity and not worry about what's too far ahead; that's when the Brumbies opportunity came up," he explained to the Canberra Times' Chris Dutton, when speaking about his move from the Blues to Canberra.
"Most of my career I've been in teams with international props ahead of me and I think that helps, because it makes you step up and learn off those guys.I haven't thought too much about the Wallabies but it would definitely be an amazing opportunity. At the moment, I'm just approaching it game by game and the rest will sort itself out."
Afer returning to the winners' circle with a gutsy win in Brisbane against arch-rivals the Queensland Reds last weekend, Waratahs' flyhalf Bernard Foley told the Daily Telegraph's Jamie Pandaram that his side's seasonal aspirations remain the same despite their indifferent form.
“Our objective this season has always been to win the Aussie conference, we’ve made it tough on ourselves but that’s still something we can achieve,” Foley said.
There were plenty of positives to be found in attack against the Reds.
“Our set-piece attack, off the back of a really good platform from the forwards, at times was really good,” Foley said .“We made a number of linebreaks from first phase."
Foley also explained to Pandaram why he was carrying a golf ball around at training all week...
4. Back to the Dogs?
Curtis Rona has been a revelation since switching codes and joining the Western Force from the NRL's Bulldogs this season, however the continued uncertainty surrounding his team's future in Super Rugby may well see the potential Wallaby lost to the fifteen-a-side game.
"If it all fell apart, I could possibly go back there and play in the NRL. Everyone is just waiting for the signal; we're not sure what's going to happen," he told Adrian Proszenko of the Sydney Morning Herald. "It's frustrating not knowing what the decision is. Once we know, we can put things in place with other clubs and codes.
"If I was to come back to the NRL I would be asking the Bulldogs first. We're not too sure what the ARU are doing at this stage; they've got to make a decision and they've got to do it fast so everyone can move on, not just myself. Obviously I will keep all of my options open for next season. I came back to Perth to be close to my family, but if the case is that I have to move I will have to look at every option in rugby and league.
"Some of the Force boys joke about [switching codes]. Everyone is different, some might want to explore their options in rugby league. Plenty could make the transition and a few have said they would take that path if they had opportunities.
"Our focus is on playing good rugby in the west, but we are uncertain about what will happen in the future."
5. Positives in defeat
They may not have held on for the win against the Waratahs last weekend, but the Queensland Reds took plenty of positives out of their performance and will be looking to replicate many of those features this weekend against the Chiefs in New Plymouth.
"We're trying to carry on the attitude, the intent and the preparation to the game this weekend and into the rest of the season," Hendrik Tui told Rugby.com.au's Sam Phillips.
"It's not easy coming back from a loss. The close games that we have lost this year have been disheartening but the boys keep on turning up at training each week and we're staying positive."
And finally, for this week's Taylors Wines bonus tip...
When it comes to food pairing, the simple trick of white wines with chicken and fish, or red wines with beef will always do the trick, but what flavours are the most troublesome to pair with wines?
A few prime examples of tough to pair ingredients include:
- Capers: Alone, these tiny, flavour-packed orbs can be impossible to match with a wine. But when combined with a fresh salmon sandwich, you’ll be fine when pairing with a Pinot Gris.
- Artichoke & Spinach: These two ingredients on their own make your glass of wine taste like a steely tin shed, but when cooked in a creamy cheese sauce or splashed in an acidic dressing, they pair beautifully with Chardonnay or Sauvignon Blanc
Few ingredients alone can ruin the flavour of your wine, but paired with the right dressing or cooking method, you’ll be making food and wine magic.