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, all five Australian teams are in action within the space of 24 hours! The Reds host the Waratahs on Saturday at 7:45pm (all times AEST), before the Force host the Lions in Perth immediately afterwards at 9:55pm. At 3:30am on Sunday morning, the Rebels will be on the hunt for their first ever win in South Africa as they visit Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium to face the Kings, before Sunday afternoon Rugby sees the Brumbies host the Blues in Canberra at 4:05pm.
1. Captain Kerevi
Reds and Wallabies star Samu Kerevi has retained his side's Captaincy for the visit of the Waratahs this week, after leading the Reds for the first time ever against the Kings a fortnight ago. He spoke to Jim Tucker about what the honour meant for him, as a young Pacific Islander.
“Hopefully, I’ve inspired some young Pacific Islander players,” Kerevi said. “Obviously, a lot of Pacific Islander players who are quiet and from humble beginnings may think they are not made for a leadership role.I’d say ‘express yourself, extend yourself’ and I don’t mean just footy but with life in general to be a doctor, a teacher or whatever you want to be."
Tucker also spoke to RUPA Player Delegate Sam Talakai about the high percentage of Pasifika players in the Reds squad.
2. Pek keeps positive
One of just two foundation players remaining at the Western Force, there isn't much that shocks prop Pek Cowan but he admits the team's current injury list is the biggest he has ever seen.
“Injuries are the nature of the beast in Super Rugby and our depth is being stretched, no doubt, but the way we are playing and being able to manage it has been great,” Cowan said. “That is testament to Davey (Wessels) and our management. We’ve seen it coming as opposed to trying to react and that proved with the result we had last week.
“Our depth was the biggest test last week. In the past we might have struggled a little bit but the team played extremely well.
This year in particular it’s been about having fun and making sure that we throw punches as a group. Have a dig, have a rack.”
The injury crisis sees youngster James Verrity-Amm named to make his debut this week, with scrumhalf Mitch Short a chance to do the same from the bench.
3. Worry for twin
The current Super Rugby uncertainty is affecting everybody involved with Australian Rugby, and in some instances that includes family members. Take the Brumbies Rory Arnold and Force's Richie Arnold; the twins are both at teams whose future has been questioned during the months of speculation, and as Rory told Chris Dutton it's not been a pleasant experience.
"I'm pretty close with Richie so I talk with him every second night," Rory said. "The players still don't know. It's not good how long it's been dragged out for and it's a nervous time for the boys at the Force and the Rebels."
The ARU have committed to honouring the contracts of players if a team is cut, and Rory addressed the possibility of being reunited with his brother in Canberra.
"I'll always have a bed for my brother and it would be awesome to play with him, but I don't know if we'd want to be fighting for the same spot ... This is people's livelihoods, it's tough. I'm feeling for them."
4. Nullify Nard!
Wallaby flyhalves Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley have spent plenty of time working together as they've shared the Wallaby 10 jersey in recent seasons, and have plenty of respect for one another, however that will be put to one side this week as they clash in Super Rugby.
Cooper said that putting a stutter in Foley’s game was the best way to limit the influence of dangerman Israel Folau and his 39-try thrust for NSW.
“Nard (Foley) has been the cornerstone of their attack for a long period, he’s where it all evolves,” Cooper said. “If we stop it (the play) at him and Izzy doesn’t get the ball or the momentum is slowed, that’s going to put us in a good position.”
5. Blue pride
Still on this week's lone Aussie derby, and Waratahs scrumhalf Nick Phipps says that pride in the blue jersey will be the key to his side hitting back after last week's disappinting defeat against the Kings.
“That’s something this week we have talked about a lot (this week)," he said. The pride of playing in the Waratahs jersey, the pride of representing your state.
“There are other teams out there who are just franchises. What we believe in is that we are representing a lot of people and the privilege of going to Queensland and pulling that blue jersey on is something that is not lost on our group this week. It is a massive thing for us. The vast majority of our squad is from NSW so that pride is felt passionately and genuinely by our guys."
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.