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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby news looks at the All Blacks on the war path, as the Wallabies look to bounce back after a disapointing draw, while Moana Pasifika names a strong side for their NZ Maori clash and some major changes for the Rugby World Cup.

 


Wounded All Blacks

Beauden Barrett passes

The All Blacks are out for redemption at Newcastle’s McDonald Jones Stadium for their rematch against the Pumas. The Argentinians beat the All Blacks for the first time ever two weeks ago in Sydney, handing the All Blacks their second consecutive defeat this year, not seen since 2011.

Since the match the New Zealand rugby media has been hammering the side, and the All Blacks are hungry to blow the Pumas away to secure the Tri-Nations.

New Zealand sit on top of the ladder due to two bonus points and a superior points-differential.

“For us as All Blacks, we always put ourselves under immense pressure, whether win, lose or draw and I think we always demand of ourselves that we go out and play really well,” Sam Whitelock said.

“There is a bit of pressure there at the moment but the reality is that there’s pressure every week and you have to embrace it.”

In particular, new coach Ian Foster has been heavily scrutinised, and needs a win to relieve that pressure.

“As the coach he’s always the face of the squad and if we lose two in a row (to Argentina) he’s always going to get the blame,” Patrick Tuipulotu said.

“In this day and age you’re going to get a lot haters, as we call it, but we just move on.

“It’s on us to get a result and perform well.”

Looking for answers

Ned Hanigan, Taniela Tupou , Folau Faingaa  and Angus Bell during anthems

The Wallabies are still reeling from a disapointing draw against the Pumas in Newcastle. A win could have put them in the box seat to win the Tri-Nations, but looked to have missed their opportunity.

All the chat is around “we’re going to get better” and the team is only a few months into a “four-year” journey, but many of the Wallabies admit they blew it.

It was the same old story of the Wallabies creating chances but not being able to execute and close out the game.

“It’s just the detail, the skill, the execution, taking your chances. That’s what really, really good teams do,” attack coach Scott Wisemantel said.

However, the team has made a strong statement, and are striving to improve, with Wisemantel setting this current team a challenge.

“We want to be the best team in the world. It’s a bold statement, a really bold statement, but you have to aim high, set the standards high, set the bar high.

“We could go back and play kick and clap, sit in a corner, pump corners, all the rest of it and, look, you could make progress, maybe go up the world rankings a little bit, but it’s not going to win you a World Cup.”

Battle of the Pacific

Thomas Umaga-Jensen powered through for a try

A new Moana Pasifika side will take on the NZ Maori on 5 Decemeber at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton. The Moana Pasifika side is made up mostly of New Zealand Super Rugby players with Pacific Island heritage, but coach Tana Umuga is hopeful this invitational side is the stepping stone for getting an Islander side in Super Rugby for 2022.

Moana Pasifika is being looked at by NZRU as the team that could be included in the new competion going forward.

“We’re very excited about (the match) and what could come after,” Umaga told TVNZ.

“At this stage, it really is about this one-off game but it’s something that I know means a lot to a lot of people, especially our young players and our players coming through.

“When I reached out to them and asked them if they’re interested… everyone was straight in.

“This is, hopefully, the start of something bigger.”

Umaga’s 29-man squad includes 18 players with Super Rugby experience, with nine internationals.

More transparency

England v South Africa – Rugby World Cup 2019 Final

World Rugby has announced changes to its bidding process for the next Rugby World Cup. The governing body caught some flack following France’s controversial victory over South Africa in 2017 to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The World Rugby Council approved recommendations by its World Cup board that hosting rights for World Cups would be voted on following a risk-based technical evaluation, and World Rugby will no longer make a recommendation to council members after the risk-based evaluation has been completed.

 There will also be an open electronic vote that will be made public, meaning unions will be able to see who each country voted for.

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has backed the new changes.

“Obviously we think the World Cup needs to come south and the more transparency the better,” he told the Herald.

Australia are favourites to secure hosting rights for 2027.

“Sir Rod [Eddington] and I were chatting recently with the board and we’re taking nothing for granted with our bid. Everyone is motivated, we’re meeting regularly and we’ve got the money from the government, which is good. We’re probably the most advanced bid so far.”

 The host nation for the 2027 Rugby World Cup is not expected to be made until May 2022.

  • Steve

    I’d love to see a PI side in Super rugby, think they’d be a great addition either side of the dutch.

    As for the Wallabies, well I’ll believe it when I see it. Sadly this year’s team just doesn’t look any *smarter* than previous years and that’s really the key point.

    Hope Rennie and co have got some more tricks up their sleeves cause they look just as braindead as we are sadly used to.

    • Reds Revival

      I agree that a PI side would be great for the competition, and the growth of the supporter base within Australia. I feel sorry for the teams that have to play against them, as it will be like tackling huge boulders. I won’t be surprised if the injury toll goes up.

    • onlinesideline

      bring back quade mate – love to know what Rennie could have done with him. He could make something from nothing. Who do we have these days. Cant believe he copped that much crap.
      We lack total x factor. Thats the problem. The guy was a game winner.

      • Patrick

        I just cannot believe he got replaced with someone who was inferior in every single aspect of the game except distance between himself and the halfback.

        No the pain has not really gone away!

        • onlinesideline

          Insanity. He’d be feeding Jordy all day. Cant believe the Force dont want him. You telling me JOC is better than him in Wallaby jumper at 10. Palllesssee.

        • Patrick

          Yep we really missed a trick there. I’d have sacrificed Beale on a stone altar in a heartbeat to keep QC and Genia running the backline.

  • Gipetto

    Te Wallaby squad needs two experienced #10s and a better captain.

    • Missing Link

      In theory it was great with JOC and Toomua, however no one could have predicted them both being injured at the same time

      • Reds Revival

        That’s a good point ML. While they have great depth, would the AB’s be as strong if both Mo’unga and BB were out injured – or Sanchez and Miotti for the Pumas? It paints a fairly different proposition for both of those teams.

        • Yowie

          Perhaps we need a handicap system for international tests. The team with top-level players out injured gets to start with 5 points on the board per missing key player.

          Strict rules around the meaning of “would normally be playing” so the dirty Kiwis can’t claim Dan Carter.

        • Mica

          Worst idea EVER :)

        • laurence king

          I agree, we will make sure that our top 15 are ‘injured’, so that’s 75 points start. Lol

        • Yowie

          “We have doctors’ certificates for all of them”.

        • laurence king

          Absolutely

        • I Should be Coach

          AffaDavids

        • Yowie

          I thought “afterdavids” were only for splitting hairs regarding exactly what a person got up to with another person?

        • Damo

          Splitting hairs. He he.

      • Gipetto

        I think To’omua went ino the series with a groin injury, unrelated to his divorce, and the gutsy Jimmy O’Connor is not as young as we remember. It was a big ask for him to play the whole series. If Quade will not come back, Hegarty is quick, reliable and expendable. When Brad bought Bryce off the bench, he replaced O’Connor at #10.

    • Patrick

      The 10s are not the problem, but the captain, yes. Honestly I think if we replaced Hanigan and Simmons and probably Hooper we could be pretty much on track.

      I’m not knocking any of these guys that much, except Hooper for his captaincy which I think has never really been good enough. Simmons does a lot well but we really need someone with more impact as a carrier and tackler, Hanigan is much better, but will probably never have the aggressivity to play international rugby, and Hooper’s workrate is not necessarily relfected in his impact.

      I would love to see 4-8 being Arnold, Philipp, Swinton/Samu, McReight and Wilson.

  • Mica

    For those interested, here is the Moana Pasifika side.
    (courtesy https://www.rugbypass.com/news/26-man-moana-pasifika-squad-named/)

    FORWARDS
    Alamanda Motuga * (Counties Manukau)
    Daniel Leinert-Brown (Canterbury)
    Gerard Cowley-Tuioti (North Harbour)
    Jordan Lay * (Bay of Plenty)
    Leni Apisai (Auckland)
    Marino Mikaele-Tu’u (Hawke’s Bay)
    Michael Alaalatoa * (Manawatu)
    Naitoa Ah Kuoi (Wellingto)
    Nasi Manu * (Otago)
    Pita Gus Sowakula (Taranaki)
    Samipeni Finau (Waikato)
    Samisoni Taukie’aho (Waikato)
    Sione Mafielo (North Harbour)
    Zane Kapeli * (Bay of Plenty)

    BACKS
    Asaeli Tikoroituma * (North Harbour)
    Dwyane Polataivao * (Tasman)
    Etene Nanai-Seturo ** (Counties Manukau)
    Fetuli Paea * (Tasman)
    Folau Fakatava (Hawke’s Bay)
    Jone Macilai (Northland)
    Josh Ioane * (Otago)
    Leicester Faingaanuku (Tasman)
    Salesi Rayasi ** (Auckland)
    Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki)
    Tomasi Alosio **(Wellington)
    Vince Aso (Wellington)

    *Test Capped Player
    ** 7s Capped Player
    Etene Nanai-Seturo – NZ
    Salesi Rayasi – NZ
    Tomasi Alosio – Samoa

    • Yowie

      Full credit to the game commentators if they are not already fluent, experienced pronouncers of Pacific Island surnames.

      • Reds Revival

        Check out this brilliant ad from the lead up to the 2011 RWC.
        https://youtu.be/wtuHMkYtl5A

        • Yowie

          That’s brilliant.

          Sort of the polar-opposite to commentating the Welsh domestic comp. Only 3 or 4 surnames needed.

        • Mica

          Jones to Davies to Jones to Williams to Williams kick through collected by Jones to Davies for the try.

        • Yowie

          “Rhys-Jones is now appealing to the referee….”

        • Missing Link

          Jones
          Williams
          Davies
          and
          Faletau

    • onlinesideline

      Ive got sore ribs just from reading the list.

    • Mike D

      Well most of those names are easy enough, except that Daniel Leinert-Brown – that last bit has my tongue in knots.

      • onlinesideline

        Franceissmelly – Sotooisitaly

    • Got to say, that’s a decent looking side. I wonder if we’ll get coverage up here, I want to see this lot v the NZ Maoris.

  • Timbo

    Wondering if Maradona’s untimely passing will play into the Pumas psyche this weekend?

    • Yowie

      Perhaps an Argie knock-on (undetected by officials) will lead to an Argie try.

      • Timbo

        And win? Here’s hoping.

        • Yowie

          I’m not into soccer, so I’ve just been brushing-up today. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-26/diego-armando-maradona-obituary/12894296

          FFS he had a wild time off the field.

        • onlinesideline

          He did, but Fidel Castro takes first prize if ya know what I mean.

        • Greg

          I remember reading about the England soccer player George Best saying….

          90% of what I earned I spent on wine, women and partying. I wasted the other 10%.

          might be an urban myth…..

        • Mica

          Two liver transplants (IIRC) would confirm this mantra. It’s scary what a woman can do to your liver….. :P

        • Alister Smith

          I not sure that you have it directly but he did say it yes. It was actually

          “I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

          A couple of his others:

          “If you’d given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from thirty yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both.”

          “I used to go missing a lot… Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.”

          “People always say I shouldn’t be burning the candle at both ends. Maybe they haven’t got a big enough candle.”

          “They say I slept with seven Miss Worlds. I didn’t. It was only four. I didn’t turn up for the other three.”

          “I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town.”

          He certainly didn’t appear to lack for confidence, but I guess it goes with the territory when you are best in the world at something. I think Yowie and Hoss might have written some of his material.

        • Yowie

          Gold.

          He sounds like a real life Flashheart (Rik Mayall’s recurring character in Blackadder)

      • Damo

        All Blacks are still using “the side gate of God”.

        • Yowie

          the “on-side line for defenders off the ruck of God” seems popular with the ABs too.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Absofriggenlutely

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          The side gate of NZ god mate

    • Patrick

      Probably motivate them, as if they needed it! I think it is easy for us to underestimate, they failed in the World Cup and are looking now at being the most succesful Pumas team ever. If they go home undefeated against NZ, not to mention perhaps Australia as well, they will have acheived a lifetime’s successes for almost any rugby player in the world.

  • UTG

    J Bar starting on the wing, A Sav at 8, TJP on the bench, even after two successive losses Foster still retains these guys. Not good signs for NZ supporters.

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Mad rugby supporter from Newcastle. Offering unbiased takes on why the Brumbies are the best team in Super Rugby.

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