Trevine Rodrigo

JULIUS FERDINANDS IS NO MORE – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Julius_Ferdinands

 

Julius Ferdinands lived his life as a fierce competitor in his life’s work or on the cricket fields or Golf courses around Melbourne.

But life outside the passions of this caring dad, husband and wonderfully warm friend was tragically cut short at the age of 57, cruelly taken away by Cancer which left a distraught family and hundreds of friends grieving his demise.

A passionate Collingwood fan who wore his heart on his sleeve, Julius was known to let the neighborhood know who he barracked for whenever his beloved Pies were in battle. He fought his own battle similarly when challenged with the dreaded disease.

A fun-loving man who made inroads into culinary fare that delighted thousands in Sri Lanka, where it all began, then the Middle East and finally in Australia at restaurant and ending as a Chef at the prestigious Crown Casino in Melbourne, Julius was a much-loved man who helped many in the field progress and his outgoing personality and caring nature of others endeared him to many.

 

Married into a family that mostly delved into Catering and other related matters, brothers-in-law Desmond Foulstone (Silverline Catering), Chabo De Kauwe, Chas Cabin Restaurant in Hallam, it was a challenge at the family functions too although they were a close knit and harmonious group. Wife Romayne runs a Prestigious Travel and tours group, Jet Travels and Cruise, which he latterly got involved in as his health deteriorated.

 

The massive turnout at his passing was clear testament to Julius’s popularity among Sri Lanka’s expatriate community and with wife Romayne, their generous hosting of anyone and everyone and donations to worthy causes with no expense spared has gained them numerous grateful friends both here in Australia and overseas.

 

Struck down with the dreaded disease for about a year, Julius, a humble God-fearing man battled valiantly against the odds to the last until death sadly grabbed him away.

 

May his soul rest in peace.

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Wounded Lions seek solace in New Zealand and Australia – Trevine_RodrigoBY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

 

 

 

 

SriLankaCricket-Gunatilleka

 Gunatilleka has much to prove.

Dimuth Karunaratne

Dimuth Karunaratne will be key to Sri Lanka’s revival.

 

Sri Lanka’s wounded Lions desperately seek some form of solace on their tour of New Zealand that has just begun after a humiliating home series drubbing by the Englishmen recently.

 

And if New Zealand looms large, the Lankans face the acid test of pitting themselves against Australia followed by similar hostilities in South Africa in the beginning of next year.

 

Two Tests against the New Zealanders followed by three one-dayers and a T20 game will set them up for the tougher encounters against the Australians , two Tests before they depart to the African leg which will test their worth.

 

Indifferent form, bad selection and a huge question mark hanging over coach Chandika Hathurusinghe who promised much and has delivered nearly nothing has the Island nation’s cricket in a head spin much akin to the political situation gripping the country as its leaders valiantly attempt to wade through the blundering process of ascertaining the true meaning of democracy and the cricketers the meaning of sportsmanship.

 

A reasonable showing in New Zealand away from political meddling may yet see an unlikely turnaround although that seems an uphill task against a home team that has been making giant strides at home and away unlike the Lankans who are currently on an all time low in the past few years.

 

Hathurusinghe left Bangladesh with the credentials to steer a Sri Lankan turnaround and the prospect of a home-grown coach for once taking them to the top of the world game. But the ploy appears to have backfired so far and the popular belief is that internal meddling or some form of interference in the Coaches direction has pushed the talented nation back further than they have anticipated.

 

With their confidence destroyed at home which the impregnable fortress of visiting teams was once, where to from here is the question on every Sri Lankan fans lips as they ponder what needs to be done to restore lost pride.

 

Obviously, it is in deciphering where the weaknesses lie and rectifying it. But their inconsistency with the bat and a mediocre bowling attack further compounded by atrocious fielding has them in a position where everything cricket must be addressed. Huge task for a new coach and a fragmented support team from reports coming here which is a clear recipe for a bad brew.

 

History suggests that a local coach will always struggle to come to terms with having his way in Sri Lanka due to overbearing influences from outside the coaching staff. Furthermore, there is questions lying around the roles of the batting and fielding coach who are said to have extreme views on some players whose natural style is being tampered with creating uncertainty and failure among genuine young talent.

 

Fielding is crucial to Sri Lanka’s revival considering the few opportunities their limited attack possess.

It is understood that Australian legend Steve Rixon has been roped in to fill this important void and though critics challenge the validity of his selection due to him being a former wicket keeper, he has proved to be invaluable in this role and should be given the opportunity to prove his worth.

 

Sri Lanka’s on going commitments in New Zealand and Australia will benefit from Rixon’s inclusion to the coaching staff due to his important input into local conditions.

 

What they need to establish in faster and bouncier conditions in this part of the world will be for the young breed to adapt quickly and find consistency or the tour may end in major embarrassment.

 

There is plenty of talent in the current Lankan squad but harnessing it and getting them to perform on a consistent basis is the key as the Australians are currently finding out against the world’s best Indian side.

 

Australia unlike Sri Lanka have natural fighting qualities and will give their all in any situation as was witnessed in the first Test in which they went down narrowly.

 

Much will depend on Skipper Dinesh Chandimal who has been impressive on previous tours to this part of the world with Angelo Matthews and they should find support from Dimuth Karunaratne, Niroshan Dickwella, Dhananjaya De Silva, Roshen De Silva and Dhanushka Gunatilleka who are showing clear signs of being the future generation.

 

 

 

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Whispering Hope for Cancer sufferers in Badulla
badulla_hospital_cancer_unit

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

Ruwanal Senewiratne and Philomena Mather form an evenly balanced combination in their daily lives 
and activities and although their academic interests contrast sharply, their mutual interest in social life and welfare of the greater community settles them on an even plane.

Very much the socialites among Sri Lanka’s large expatriate community in Melbourne, Ruwanal and Philo throw themselves vigorously into most activities associated with Sri Lanka’s much respected ethnic contributors to Australian society having a hand in many projects that are aimed at raising much needed funds for those ailing, and others in need, in the land of their birth.

As leaders of a charity organization named Whispering Hope, Philomena Mather is the current President, the duo have managed to secure an Ambulance, a four-wheel rugged terrain vehicle that would ideally suit the needs of the Badulla Cancer hospital. The vehicle has been shipped to Sri Lanka with the blessings of the local Ministry headed by Haren Fernando who have waived all associated red tape to do with import duty, so it can be fast tracked to be utilized for patient transport in the Badulla area.

Whispering Hope has over the years contributed in a significant manner towards the welfare of the Badulla hospital and its on going projects which help Cancer patients seek and get required medication for the deadly disease.

Thousands of dollars of urgently needed medical equipment such as Surgical microscopes, Staplers, Multimonitor, and other sophisticated instruments and gadgetry used for surgical procedures have been purchased and sent to the Badulla Hospital before the purchase of the $18,000 Ambulance which will be handed over to the hospital by Minister Haren Fernando. The ambulance is being shipped to Colombo by Transco Shipping company in Melbourne.

The activities of Whispering Hope is ongoing says Ruwanal and Philo and the support it receives is mostly due to the generosity of its major sponsrs such as Haileybury College, Keysborough, Sunnyhurst Nursing Home, Prestige Wardrobes and Showerscreens, Patterson Cheyney Toyota, Krysborough, Jet Travel and Cruise, and The Sandown Regency (Walawwa) who together with regular sponsors such as, Upali’s Restaurant, L.J.Hooker, Sri Luk Auty Pty. and Cinex who have donated for quite a few years.

Whispering Hope have benefitted from Esric and his late wife Sandra Jackson who, time and again performed at no cost to provide entertainment at the fundraisers. Rodney and Pam Jansz, Kit and Elaine Abeywardena, Tilak and Carmen Ganegama, Alex and Viv Cooray,89 and Bertie Ekanaike are among many others who regularly throw their hat in to help in whatever way possible says Ruwanal and Philo making the task of the fundraising committee so much easier to handle in their efforts to help the hospital cope with the treatment of patients in the Badulla district.

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Sri Lanka Minister Daya Gamage in Melbourne to boost investment opportunities

Daya_Gamage

Daya_Gamage

Pics. Courtesy AusNews Lanka, Melbourne.

 

Trevine_RodrigoBY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Sri Lankan Minister Daya Gamage was on a flying visit to Melbourne wooing businessmen and potential investors, mainly of Sri Lankan descent at a formal Media briefing organized by local news agency Aus News Lanka, at the Sandown Regency, (Walawwa), recently.

The Sri Lanka Minister was on a whistle stop tour of the Asia- Pacific region on a mission strongly sponsored by the Government in a concerted effort to increase potential trade and business opportunities that are aimed to primarily to lift the dwindling economy of the Island nation.

Outlining a plan by the current Government in Sri Lanka, Minister Gamage put forward the mutual benefits that investors and the country could achieve in the on going drive to boost export potential from Sri Lanka to lucrative markets such as Australia and New Zealand.
He said his current tour gave him plenty of insight into the viability of Sri Lankan produce similar to some of the other Asian nations that have flooded this region of the world.

The visiting Minister stressed the need for collaboration between Melbourne’s business community and the export industry in Sr Lanka in order to achieve bilateral trade and investment benefit for both parties while helping lift the country’s current financial dilemma caused by the alarming recent depreciating rupee.

Minister Gamage is one of many Sri Lankan emissaries to recently forge business opportunities between Australia and Sri Lanka as the country desperately seeks to lift its image in Asia and around the world in a bid to exploit its underused export potential while attempting to lift the country out of its current financial instability.

The Minister was accompanied on his visit to Melbourne by his wife who is the Deputy Minister for Petroleum in Sri Lanka.

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Music industry shocked at the sudden passing of Ronnie Leitch – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Ronnie Lietch

Ronnie_Lietch and Trevine Rodrigo

MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

The tragic passing of iconic Ronnie Leitch the night after he and fellow artiste Mariazelle Goonetilleke had vowed the Old Anandians in Perth has sent ripples through the music industry in Sri Lanka and added to it an outpouring of shock and grief among his countless fellow musicians and adoring fans.

Ronnie Leitch suffered a massive heart attack in the early hours of Sunday morning on October 1, hours after he and Mariazelle had entertained a mammoth crowd in Perth, hosted by the Ananda College Old boys Association. He was 65.

The talented performer left this world on a high and how many other artisteS would love to go, after another thrilling and most entertaining performance much like most of them he delivered for over four decades.

Ronnie Leitch won himself thousands of fans in Sri Lanka and around the globe for his multi-talented ability to sing, act and play the consummate comedian skyrocketing himself from humble beginnings as a young aspiring musician from Dehiwala, to become an icon of the Sri Lankan music industry.

My memories of him are filled with nostalgia particularly as a young lad where he made friends easily because of his open affable nature and his ability to connect with anyone through his sharp wit and the universal language of music. As aspiring young men, (some of us wannabes), we sang at Talent contests in Sri Lanka with such current great names as Geoffrey Fernando, Ben Nathanielsz and several others at the time. But my fondest memory of him was when he used to door knock Desmond Foulstone and I at our home in Quarry Road Dehiwala and invite us to join him and sing at Min Madura, a restaurant at the Dehiwala Zoo. Our fee, free booze and dinner. And oh, were we happy to oblige him.

He attended Arethusa College in Welalawatte but being a boy from Dehiwala, he had friends from all schools mainly St. Mary’s College and those he hung out with at Christ Church in Dehiwala, a place of worship he continued to attend to this day.

He had no limit to his repertoire starting off as a English singer then latching on to Sinhala, Tamil and Hindi music with the ease of a true professional while receiving an early boost from many established legends of today such as Sunil Perera and the Gypsies, Sohan Weerasinghe and the X’Periments, Corrine Almeida, Dalreen Suby, Desmond De Silva, and several other top musicians before finding his own direction and establishing his own image as Thattaya, (Bald man) which made him a household name in Sri Lanka and his ardent followers around the globe.

What made Ronnie a standout from many great performers was his selflessness and empathy for anyone, in fact everyone, judging the many reminisces I was able to gather since his passing. He never spoke about payment for performing said Melantha Perera, formerly of the band Mirage and now music tutor at the Riversheen Music School. If the event was for charity, he would accept a bare minimum or offer his service at no cost. This sentiment was echoed by one of his co-actors on the Sri Lanka TV channel ADA DAVASA who interviewed a visibly shaken Mariazelle Goonetilleke no sooner she returned to Sri Lanka as she tearfully recounted her harrowing ordeal. It was she that found him deceased on the morning of his passing.

Singing soon became only a single medium for him as producers soon discovered his sharp wit and acting skills to be an added attraction to his vocal ability. It started a journey that blossomed into one that will live forever in Sri Lankan folklore as Ronnie Leitch cut a niche for himself in the hearts and minds of people from every walk of life especially during the civil unrest in the country which proved to be a welcome distraction from the fear and trepidation which gripped the nation at the time.

As his popularity grew Ronnie Leitch, a burgher by descent, soon captured almost every music buff, especially those into Sinhala musical comedy, more for his originality and versatility than others who have gained immortality among music lovers in Sri Lanka. He was rubbing shoulders with those before him such as M.S. Fernando, Sunil Perera and the Gypsies and several others who provided hilarious compositions to the lighter side of Sinhala music.

A simple conversation with him would unravel the characteristic nature he dispossessed laced with hidden connotations and rib tickling humour which made it hard to walk away from him. His aura was indeed magnetic.

Tributes flowed like a river bursting its banks from around Sri Lanka and the globe because there is almost no one in music who did not know him.

Joey Lewis, now residing in England, paid glowing tributes to his childhood buddy as did Rukshan Perera who composed a song to fit his passing. Other icons such as Annesley Malawana, Chandral Fonseka, Melantha Perera, his co-partner on the Australian tour, Mariazelle Goonetilleke, Desmond De Silva and hundreds of fellow musicians took to social media to voice their shock, sadness and disbelief at his sudden demise especially in the prime of his illustrious career.

My photographer mate from The Sun/Weekend newspapers in Sri Lanka, Thilak Seneviratne, a close friend of Ronnie over many decades and one of the last people to capture his final performance in Perth had this to say:

“My dearest friend Ronnie, I never thought this was going to be the final portrait photograph in your life. You left all of us within a couple of hours after this photo was taken.

We used to meet very often in good old days, either after a musical show or a wedding reception in Sri Lanka. You and I were so pleased that we met again on the 27th of September at “Marrons Night-2018”, that is after 20 years of long time and you decided to celebrate it soon, before you were going on to the stage with Mariazelle.

When I met you yesterday, you were so excited to see your 94 year old aunt who lives in Perth. Your words are still echoing in my ears…” Machang, she is 94 years old, so it is good for me to go and see her before its too late…I might not see her again” …I really thought you were trying to convey a different message to me…because your Aunt has lived a good life…but I now understand that you knew about your secret journey…but still I ask myself, then why you made a promise to carry some of my equipment, when Maria proposed to bring them alone with you’ll when visiting Ozi again in December. I always remember the last drink that we had together to celebrate our friendship, even though we both have given up taking high spirits many moons ago.We love you my dearest friend…God bless your soul and do rest in peace buddy!!

In Melbourne top musicians such as Esric Jackson, Ben Nathanielsz, Ash Jayasinha, Sonali Lindsay, Cherrie Chamari, Shyane Fernando expressed sorrow and grief at his sudden departure from the music world. Some of them had performed with him during his last visit to Australia and spoke of his joviality and lighthearted nature.

Ronnie Leitch was laid to rest in the surroundings he was so familiar with, ‘Galkissa Cemetry’, in Mount Lavinia after a funeral service in the church he always attended, Christ Church Dehiwala. He will undoubtedly be an asset to the heavenly choir that had several recent iconic inclusions.

Ronnie Leach at the “MAROONS NIGHT- 2018” – Organised By: Old Anandians association of WA – Photos by Thilak Sen

 MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen  MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Organised By Old Anandians association of WA - Photos by Thilak Sen

MAROONS NIGHT- 2018 - Perth" - Photos by Thilak Sen

 

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Debonair Desmond De Silva continues to command the stage in his own inimitable style – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE
Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

  Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

Desmond De Silva

 

Desmond De Silva

Trevine-Rodrigo

Trevine-Rodrigo

“Yanna rata wate” is one of Desmond De Silva’s favorite Sinhala hits that has plucked at the heartstrings of his numerous fans and endeared him over the decades, and although the rest of the lyrics has a decidedly different message, this could not be more profound in describing this tireless travelling globe trotter whose performances around the world continues unabated.

 For many years Desmond De Silva has personified an image like no other and the magnetism of his performances has seen him conquer frontiers that many others of his vintage fear to tread. His passion as a singer/ entertainer in this respect finds few parallels in versatility and continuity at a high level as consistently as he does.

 Possessing a down-to-earth demeanor is one of the weapons he has in his multi-faceted amoury for success. Capturing the audience with his clever choice of music and delivering it to perfection to fit the occasion is the other.

 Just this year he would complete nearly 30 gigs not just in Australia but around the world, shuttling from Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary in Canada to Melbourne, on to London, several cities in USA, Sri Lanka, Sydney, Canberra and on it goes in a program that would give most mere mortals a dizzy head spin.

 What takes his audiences by surprise is the fact that he has been around the traps for a considerable length of time and you would expect that most would have tired of him. Not so in his case because every Desmond De Silva performance is laced with the unknown and an energy that is mind boggling. Such is the versatility and creative genius of this aging icon of Sri Lankan music. His repertoire, which is unlimited, is a case in point as he continually challenges himself to stay abreast with the changing trends in music and appreciates it.

 His uncanny ability to just step in and perform with any band is a characteristic that stumps most, mainly if it is a young band unnerved by the chance to back an icon of his nature. He breaks down barriers by encouraging the new breed using his vast experience to blend in seamlessly.

 From Ballads, to Rock -and- roll he can transcend to Raggae, Mowtown and Country making him one outstanding performer in any category. His prowess in Sri Lanka’s favourite Bailas is legendary and although dropping off the pace in his own new compositions at present, has produced enough culturally meaningful Sinhala hits that has and will live through Sri Lankan culture for many more decades to come.

 Just recently he was in Sri Lanka taking the hill country capital Kandy, by storm in what was described by producer Damayantha Kuruppu as one of the best events he has witnessed in his many years of productions. He had the Kandyans in a frenzy as he reeled out most of his Sinhala hits which has been etched in the minds of many generations.

 Evidence of his impact through Sinhala music could not have been demonstrated better than a recent incident at our residence when a young CCTV installer recognized him and was all agog revealing that he was a big fan who listened to his old hits at home every day. The young man then added to his story by saying that his three-year-old daughter was also a big follower of his hits going on to bring her back and getting her to perform in front of her idol, much to Desmond’s delight.

 Though the years roll on there is no sign of the popular singer’s demand waning and he says that he is blessed by the almighty to have been able to command the stage for as long as he has.

 Already indications are that he has a full calendar for 2019 as his limitless musical journey continues on its merry way.

 A summary of the hectic year was compiled and sent to me on request from wife Phyllis and it gives ample indication of Desmond De Silva’s brilliance as one of Sri Lanka’s best ever singer/entertainers and his continuing demand from adoring fans.

 > Year in Review for Desmond De Silva 2018.
>
> 12th January – in Vennuppuwe dance singalong for approx 650 pax

> 14th January – Concert at BMICH  to celebrate 100 concert events  produced by Damayantha Kuruppu

> 3rd March – Ananda/Nalanda big match SSC Cricket grounds in Sri Lanka – specially invited to perform at the Ananda College stand – had the crowd especially the younger crowd singing and dancing.

> March – 17th March St Paul’s Millagiriya dinner/dance in Sydney was a great success and tickets were sold out.  It was viewed as the best dance that SPM have ever had and Des was invited to perform for SPM Melbourne & London both engagements he could not accept due to clashes in his diary.
>
> April – 8th – Sinhala/Tamil New Year celebrations – Open Air Concert in Dandenong, Melbourne.  Amazing attendance and audience participation and appreciation.
>
> 21st April. – Joy Club inaugural Dance & Singalong at the Dutch Club Sydney.

> 24th April – Dinner Dance in Canberra on the eve of ANZAC Day was also another SOLD OUT event that had the Deputy High Commissioner  for Sri Lanka as Chief Guest.
>
> 5th May –  St Thomas College dance celebrating 150 years in Toronto Canada.  Tickets were sold out well in advance and the dance exceeded all expectations.  Reviews after the dance declared the entertainment provided by Desmond to be simply the best…..he gets better with age was the comment made by a guest.
>
> 12th May – Museaus College Dance in Melbourne
>
> 2nd June – Issipatana Dinner Dance in Melbourne.
>
> 13th July – recorded Ma Nowana Mame – a celebration of old Desmond’s favourites of songs by CT Fernando, Mohideen Baig, Dharmadasa Walpola and & Eddie Jayamana which went to air on 10th August on Derana TV and can been viewed on uTube.  Desmond received many accolades for giving these songs a new lease in life and introducing them to the younger generation.
>
> 14th July – Sing-along & Dance at Pegasus Hotel Sri Lanka
> >
> 21st July –  ‘Those were the days “Concert at BMICH.  Bringing back the music of the 60/70’s era with Mignonne Fernando, Noelene Honter, Conrad de Silva, Mariazelle Goonetilleke, Annesley Malawana, Maxi Rosairo, Priya Pieris and Desmond that had the audience entertained and asking for more.  By popular demand there will be part 2 of the concert lined up in 2019.
>
> 28th July – St Peter’s College dinner dance in Sydney – EVENT WAS SOLD OUT 3 MONTHS AHEAD.
>
> 4th August – EX- SERVICE & POLICE ASSOCIATION Dinner dance in Melbourne.
>
> 2nd Sept – ‘Yesterday Once More’ Singalong & Dance at the Golden Crown Hotel Kandy, Sri Lanka

 

> 7th Sept – Retro party at the Restaurant BMICH

 

> 8th sept – MAS Concert BMICH – backed by Mahesh Dennipitiya Orchestra

 

> 22nd Sept – Mahanama Dinner Dance Melbourne
>
> 6th Oct – Hantana Night – Desmond & his band the Impressions.
>
> 13th Oct – Invited to perform at Coyles Dinner Dance  (Chamber of Young Lankan Entrepreneurs)an exclusive event at the new 7 star Shangri La Hotel Colombo.
>
> 14th Oct – Fantasia Concert – Ave Maria Auditorium Negombo backed by Mahesh Dennipitiya Orchestra
>
> 20th October – Vancouver Canada

> 27th October – Calgary, Canada
>
> 3rd November – St Sylvester College Dance in Melbourne
>
> 24th November – St Peter’s College Dance in London
>
> 13th December – Clarence Wijewardene Commemoration Concert at Nelum Pokuna Sri Lanka
>
> 29th December – Dinner Dance in Sydney.
>
> 31st December – New Year’s Eve in Brisbane.
> >
> That’s year 2018 in in a nutshell  for Desmond De Silva!!!
>
> 2019 is shaping up to be an excitingly busy year too!  Des’s wife Phyllis has a full programme schedule in celebration of Desmond’s significant milestone birthday. Named DESMOND DE SILVA…..HIS JOURNEY is scheduled in July, followed by an Free Open Air concert in his hometown Matara.  A Gala concert at the BMICH will follow and an After Party Singalong Dance Meet, Greet & Celebrate with Desmond De Silva also planned for next year.  Celebrations will continue at venues around the world during the second half of 2019.

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It’s not all doom and gloom for the Wallabies –
By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE

 wallabies-rugby

Tough critics following the Australian game are all doom and gloom as they lament about another Bledisloe series defeat that stares in the face of the Wallabies who must now confront and overcome the enemy at Eden Park which is the fortress of New Zealand rugby.

But the flamboyant French recently showed that the Kiwis can be unsettled to an extent even at home, despite losing the recent series. The Wallabies must therefore approach this game with the ferocity they displayed in the Sydney loss and hope that fortunes go their way in opportunistic moments that present themselves like the Kiwis did last week.

Beaten in Sydney 38-13 by what looked like a hiding, the Wallabies can reflect on their performance as one where they had the required arsenal to match it with the mighty All Blacks but let themselves down at crucial stages of the game in the second term to completely nullify a gallant performance in the first half.

The All Blacks were forced into an uncharacteristic brand of rugby in Sydney which made them look vulnerable throughout although the final margin of victory looked staggering and indeed flattering. Take away the opportunistic moments that changed the course of the match and the score line could have been much tighter.

Plenty of work is needed in the scrum and line out in particular, which caused the most amount of damage by turnovers making this a work ethic that needs urgent attention. The All Blacks will exploit any chink they sense in these close contests.

The Wallabies played a well-orchestrated brand of rugby drilled on foiling the All Blacks pressure and by it they were able to change the visitor’s strategy to scrambling in defense rather than their renowned silky-smooth skills when they have control of a contest for most of the game. In fact, the All Blacks struggled for fluency in the first half because of the relentless defensive effort of the men in Gold resulting in an uncharacteristic morass of mistakes.  

In contests such as these two committed halves is the required minimum, but alas for the Wallabies, their fiery first half appeared to have sapped their momentum and the resultant stream of basic errors caused the blowout.

If lessons have been learnt Michael Hooper’s men must ensure the lapses are rectified. But expect a more committed All Black comeback too as Steve Hansen will not be satisfied with his charges effort being the perfectionist he has been.

The All Blacks for their part can review this as a wake-up call to the closing gap between themselves and the hungry pack in their wake bent on bringing their glorious run at the top of world rugby to a halt.

Returning skipper Kieran Read seemed to have made a difference to the All Blacks previous woes tightening the defense to near what it used to be and stifling many a threatening Wallabies counter attack which would have opened them up.

It all points to a riveting series and if the Wallabies can penetrate their graveyard where they have not tasted success for 32 years. An unlikely success could yet bring back that elusive Cup that has been away from Australia for too long.

springboks-rugby

South Africa and Argentina also figured in a titanic encounter before the Springboks took control of the game in the second half to win 34-21. The 2018 Rugby Championships promises to be closer this year than ever before.

 

 

 

 

 

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