Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s rugby news has Sean McMahon starting for the Wallabies, Mick Byrne praises Reece Hodge, Taliauli re-signs with the Brumbies and All Blacks make four changes for their match with Argentina.

McMahon to Start

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has named Sean McMahon to replace David Pocock in the Wallabies match against the Springboks this weekend.

McMahon is the only change to the starting side which beat Argentina in Perth.

Sefa Naivalu has been named on the extended Wallabies bench with one player to be omitted.

Team: Scott Sio, Stephen Moore (c), Sekope Kepu, Adam Coleman, Rob Simmons, Dean Mumm, Michael Hooper, Sean McMahon, Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Reece Hodge, Bernard Foley, Samu Kerevi, Dane Haylett-Petty, Israel Folau Reserves: (One to be omitted) James Hanson, James Slipper, Tom Robertson, Kane Douglas, Scott Fardy, Lopeti Timani, Nick Phipps, Tevita Kuridrani, Sefa Naivalu

‘Best Kicks I’ve Seen’

Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne has praised youngster Reece Hodge’s kicking.

Hodge kicked a penalty from over 50 metres in his debut for the Wallabies and is expected to unleash his superboot when the Wallabies play the Springboks at altitude.

“I just remember the first day I worked with him, I was taken aback by how much power he generates with no step,” Byrne said.

“I’d say he’s as good as some of the AFL guys when he gets hold of it.

“Growing up he played AFL, cricket, rugby, rugby league – I think being an all-round sportsman growing up gives you a little bit of hand-eye coordination as well.

“It’s pretty exciting for me as a kicking coach when you get somebody with that much power.

“It’s up to me now to harness it correctly for him so it becomes a real good weapon for him.”

Taliauli Re-signs

Brumbies winger Lausii Taliauli has re-signed with the Brumbies for the 2017 Super Rugby season.

The 23 year old is excited to start his third season with the Brumbies after joining the club at the start of 2015.

“It’s a huge honour to play for the Brumbies and I’m really looking forward to 2017,” Taliauli said.

“I’ve really enjoyed my first two seasons of Super Rugby here in Canberra. It’s the perfect fit for me to stay here and continue pushing myself here at the Brumbies.

“Talking to the boys, we are all looking forward to getting stuck into next season together.”

AB’s Change Four

The All Blacks have made four changes to their side to take on Argentina this weekend.

Aaron Smith has been rested promoting TJ Perenara to the starting team and Tawera Kerr-Barlow to the bench.

Malakai Fekitoa has been dropped from the match day 23 giving Anton Lienert-Brown a start at outside centre.

Liam Squire replaces Jerome Kaino and Patrick Tuipulotu comes in for Sam Whitelock in the second row.

The exciting Damien McKenzie has been named on the bench alongside Lima Sopoaga.

Team: Ben Smith, Israel Dagg, Anton Lienert-Brown, Ryan Crotty, Julian Savea, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Kieran Read (capt), Ardie Savea, Liam Squire, Brodie Retallick, Patrick Tuipulotu, Owen Franks, Dane Coles, Joe Moody. Reserves: Codie Taylor, Wyatt Crockett, Ofa Tu’ungafasi, Sam Whitelock, Elliot Dixon, Tawera Kerr-Barlow, Lima Sopoaga, Damian McKenzie.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Good to see Mick getting in there. I hope he makes as big a difference to the Wallabies as he has to the AB’s. I like the changes to the AB’s it’s going to be a good game and if some of those newbies cut loose it’ll be awesome to see.

    • Knapsta

      Hi KRL

      I agree, the changes look really good. I’m excited to see McKenzie get a chance, I’d really love for him to get some minutes.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate that will happen. Be awesome to watch him cut loose

        • muffy

          Where the fuck is the factory that turns out the McKenzie’s, Barrett’s, Smiths x 2 Nehe’s etc etc?
          Isn’t it time you followed the trend and outsourced your manufacturing? Australia has excellent tax breaks for manufacturing at the moment…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahahaha I know mate, we’re lucky in that we really have got the development sorted. Mind you we don’t have to complete for the players with AFL & NRL. Don’t worry NZ League feels your pain as they are in the same situation in NZ that rugby is here

        • first time long time

          Its in Middle Earth!

      • McWarren

        I like the way McKenzies size is not an issue with AB’s. They understand the importance of creativity, ball playing skills, running support lines, running at gaps and genuine speed. I suspect he wouldn’t make the wallaby team because we’d think he was too small.

        • jamie

          Damien McKenzie to replace Mumm at 6

    • Tomthusiasm

      I’m looking forward to seeing how the new guys go too, I think Dixon should have a good game off the bench, he probably should’ve started IMO.

  • Nutta

    Great to see Sean get a real shot. I hope he keeps his hands soft and has a cracker.

    I get the feeling this may be Rob Simmons last real crack. I hope he takes it.

    I wonder if the QC/Foley combo doesn’t gel then what is the combination into the future?

    • Seb V


      • Nick Gregory

        QC, Hodge, Kerevi

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m with you mate. That’s the combination I’d like to see

        • Seb V

          YES PLEASE! It could even be QC, Kerevi, Hodge.

        • Pedro

          Agreed, Hodge’s areas of strength seem more suited to 13 than 12.

          I would really like to see QC, Kerevi, Kuridrani. The Kerevidrani didn’t function well with Foley in 10, but I think a flyhalf like Cooper would be much more complimentary. Two big offloading hole punchers suit a fly half that can pick them out. Also the bulk in the centre of the field compensates for any 10 channel softness in defense.

        • Joy

          Just for the record – SIMONE

        • Patrick

          Perfect, Sefa and Speight on each end and Folau running of the shoulders…

      • dsb

        All of the above

      • Tim

        Hodge is 22? Kerevi 23? Could be a future pairing to take us into the World Cup

        • jamie

          Hodge-kerevi sounds fantastic to me.
          Genia-Cooper as a combo doesn’t need another flyhalf outside them. Hodge as a ball player and crashball option would most certainly suffice.

      • Nutta

        Must confess to preferring Godwin get a shot

    • McWarren

      Yeah here’s hoping Sean has a cracker. I’d like to see Timani get 30 minutes at the end but think if a 5/3 bench is picked he’ll miss out.
      QC/Foley, I’d like to see one of them on the bench and a more substantial 12 played, like Kerevi or Hodge. I just get the feeling QC and Foley are confusing each other, maybe its just there lack of game time as a combo. Long term I just can’t shake the feeling that Hodge is more than just a solution but a real game changer.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      They’ll keep the combo for Auckland (hopefully) and after another disaster Cheika will blame the referee, Hansen’s sniping, other players for not stepping up and the crowd.
      I hope Sean steps up as well but I think the real problem is that the wallaby loosies don’t seem to play as a combination. If you look at most other teams, and especially when Berger and Vermeulen were playing for the Boks the really good combinations hunt together and compliment each other. I think the main problem with the Pooper was that the players seemed to be in one role for parts of the game and another for other parts and the combination never really gelled, despite the individual brilliance. I’m hoping that at least Hooper and McMahon can combine together.

    • firs time long time

      I think Cooper has looked his best when he has hard running centres outside him not another 5/8.
      The centres need to be able to pass (so it didn’t work with Pat Mc at 12 not having ago at your man PMc Nuuta but he just wasn’t an international 12) but don’t have to be a backline general.
      He didn’t work as well with either Gits or Barnes at 12 either.
      Hodge and Kerevi would be perfect and I’m sure it will happen soon.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree. He is best when he’s setting up players outside (or inside) him. With both of them doing this it just cuts down the numbers of players that can be set up and adds to the confusion

  • TheMountain


    • MM

      He is and you aren’t. That is all you need to know. He wears a Wallaby jersey and you don’t and people who know a lot more about the game than you continue to select him.

      • Nm

        … supporters like his power broker dad at the ARU.

        • Dud Roodt

          Yes I’m sure that’s it. I’m sure what happened is John Mumm put a machete to Michael Cheika’s throat in the hallways of ARUHQ and said “you’d better convince my fucking son to come home from Exeter, and when he does, you best fucking pick him in the national team! Understood you little pissant?! And remember, snitches get fucking stitches!”

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I thought it must have been that

        • It was definitely a part of Chiekas grand plan but i cant see why. He wasnt playing better than many before he left, while in the UK and yes, i could probably name about 4-5 (conservatively) 6s that I think should be there instead of him. Coaches call… Cant agree and am fruatrated. Hope we dont lose more overseas because of it. GO Wallies!!

        • Parker

          All this sound and fury about Mumm and nobody’s commented that we’re still bloody stuck with Bernard Foley

        • MM

          Better get your tin foil hat out and do some reading, that was put to bed long ago.

      • jamie

        I’m not, but I can name half a dozen 6’s that are and that are better than him.

        • MM

          Go ahead.

        • jamie

          Lopeti Timani
          Jed Holloway
          Scott Fardy
          Ned Hanigan
          Jordy Reid
          Luke Jones
          Sean McMahon
          Chris Alcock
          Dave Dennis (lol, that’s saying something)
          Jack dempsey (who mumm replaced when injured at the tahs this year IIRC?)

        • MM

          You’re dreamin’. Timani does not play 6 and isn’t a solid line out option.
          Holloway is injured or I reckon he’d be well in the mix.
          Scott Fardy, I’ll grant you that, he’ll be back.
          Ned Hannigan, Can’t even make the Waratahs run on team but I think he has a great future, but not yet.
          Jordy Reid – seriously, do you know what is required of a 6?????
          Luke Jones, Just no.
          Charis Alcock is a 7 (and a bloody good one).
          Dave Dennis, the screaming and squealing would be worse than with Mumm – and he’s off to Europe.
          Jack Dempsey. I have no doubt he will pull on a Wallaby jersey but not yet.
          I thought you were going to pull a great mystery No6 out of your arse that Cheika had missed. Pfft, glad you aren’t a selector.

        • jamie

          And yet I don’t ever recall any of them missing 7 tackles in a match…

          Remember Mumm wasn’t even a starting Tah when they had their 1st choice XV.
          Timani at 6 and a mccalman or Fardy at 8. More lineout options than we had last test.
          Jordy Reid would be a good 6 IMO. Hard hitting on attack and defence, decent lineout jumper, good breakdown work, part time pilferer. What part doesn’t sound like a 6?
          The rest I can just disagree with as I still think they bring more to the 6 jersey than mumm.

          You his mum or something? You’re getting very very aggressive while defending an, if anything, very average wallaby.

        • Pedro

          Not to take a side but for a bolter for six I pick Staniforth. Ordinarily a lock, he has played 6 for the entire NRC and been amongst the best performers each week. With his size, ability in the tight/loose and lineout jumping he could be very useful.

        • MM

          Yes, there are some big bastards running around but most can’t get a regular Super start. I think the future is looking good, Figg is another but they need some Super starts.

      • Hitcho

        Apart from being a uncalled for comment champ, maybe those who “know a lot more about rugby and continue to select him” could start to string a few winning games together, which might make your comment more credible.

      • muffy

        Settle down guys, I think that The Mountains comments are an emotional reaction to a very legitimate question.
        Mumm show glimpses of excellence and long periods of FA. Personally, I ask the same question, I think Lopeti and Fardy are ahead, I would even like to see Sean Mac at 6.
        But as you point out…. I’m not a pro footballer, and never have been, It’s not looking to positive in the future either!

      • McWarren

        Could the MM actually be muMM?

    • I will say that is a bit harsh, but, i still dont know how he has been selected where he has been for ao long and in the wallabies in general.

      • MM

        Perhaps its just the simple lack of an outstanding alternative at the moment, and that Cheika is looking for some kind of stability and leadership within both the pack and the team generally. There are some fine young players coming up but there have been a lot of new players introduced this year and the mix of old and new needs to be managed. The best of them, Holloway is injured and Higginbotham isn’t around, or I’m pretty sure we would be seeing a different pack.

      • Parker

        Harsh? This isn’t the Synchronized Swimming Forum.

        • Well pointed out. Your comment has no relevance what so ever.

    • Canuckruck

      I think it is because of his insight into English rugby for the next time the Wallabies play England

    • McWarren

      TM I think it’s the capitals that have people so upset. Oh and how dare you offer an opinion about a rugby player on a forum about rugby!!!

  • first time ong time

    What is it with the extended bench every week?
    Is it to keep the opposition guessing? Does it really take up till the day before a game to know who you want on your bench.
    No one else seems to do it unless bracketing someone for injury purposes.

    • jamie

      Usually Cheik has a 6-3 extended bench, so I reckon it’s for the conditions. If it’s raining and muddy, Cheik drops the back, while if running rugby is to be played, he drops the forward.

      I would expect a 6-2 at altitude (leave hooper and McMahon on) and leave Naivalu on the bench (11, 13 14 cover. TK can only cover 13)

      • first time long time

        Due to weather huh…. well considering the weather bureau is correct approximately 50% of the time, similar to Cheika he could just look at the BOM =: )
        If you’re wondering, that is my devil-horned smiley face.

  • Moz

    Can we get Matt Burke to comment on Dean Mumm – he is the only person qualified to answer this, not us!

    • Bobas

      Matt Burke interviewing Dean Mumm

      • jamie

        Dean Mumm interviewing Matt Burke

  • Adrian

    I wouldn’t have picked Mumm either,
    Cheika sees things that he has that (for example) Fardy doesn’t.

    No matter what lots of people here think, Cheika isn’t an idiot.
    Maybe he’s stubborn, maybe he’s a risk taker, maybe he isn’t.

    I think that he sees some “on the ground” leadership in Mumm, some all-round athletic ability, and some lineout agility.

    He’s trading off Foley’s scavenging ability and orthodox lineout for this.

    It’s not just about workrate and stats. If we do want a stat though, it’s that the lineout has worked better with Mumm hanging around

    • first time long time

      He does hang around doesn’t he.
      I’m sticking to my guns here….. MILFO!

    • Joy

      Agree and Cheika is loyal to and patient with his players. Too much for some though.

    • Parker

      Finally someone talks about the 300lb Gorilla Foley. Oh but…

  • first time long time

    I don’t like the look of the recent head to heads.
    Wall’s at home have won by less than a converted try.
    SA at home have won by more than 2 converted tries and we are playing in Pretoria where we have never won before.
    In saying that there is the Wayne Barnes “we don’t lose when he refs” factor…… either way one hoodoo will be broken tomorrow night.

  • Phil

    Mate,the only fuckwit here is The Mountain.Disgraceful comment to make about someone who has achieved a fucking lot more than he(or I)will ever have on the rugby field.
    For sure everyone is entitled to be critical but it can be done a little more reasonably than that.

  • Hitcho

    I don’t necessarily support the way in which TM’s comment was made, but I do understand the frustration it stems from. I do however agree with you that it could have been voiced more reasonably. In the same way MM could have disagreed without being a cock about it.

  • first time long time

    Careful Phil,
    I don’t want to put words in your mouth but there are 7 other people who have given The Mountain the thumbs up and by association you would be calling them fuckwits….

  • first time long time

    Make that 10 now

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    On ya mate. I like to see positive support no matter how misguided

  • First time long time

    And you can add me to that list

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Wallabies seem to be missing something. Looked so good at the start and in places but boy they managed to throw it away


Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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