SUPER RUGBY OPENING ROUND TAKEOUTS
JANUARY RUGBY ISN'T EASY
There's nothing new about mistakes in week one but they're utterly inevitable when the it's still the first month of the year. Brumbies coach Dan McKellar had one word for playing in 39C heat - dangerous - as his team won an error-prone contest against Queensland in the Canberra cauldron.
BRUMBIES HOME COMFORTS
Three successive games in Canberra could help the defending Australian Conference champions take early command of the division. They were creaky against Queensland - not surprising given the heat and loss of key players from last season - but have the nous to win tight games built on their Wallabies front row brigade.
By contrast, the Reds embark on an early trip around the world and must do so without injured hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa, the first notable injury casualty of the season. James O'Connor looks a class act at inside centre while Harry Wilson appears a real find at No.8.
WARATAHS ON THE RISE?
Rob Penney's new-look outfit were well beaten by the Crusaders but that could be a familiar story for most teams this year. What did impress was a willingness for the NSW backline to use the ball and counter attack - a rare sight in 2019.
It's hard to imagine a worse start for Melbourne, who are traditionally the quickest Aussies out of the blocks. Despite two consolation tries, they still lost by nine points to a Sunwolves team everyone expects to be easy-beats in their farewell season. The Rebels' defence was a shambles heading into two all-Australian contests.