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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the fallout from the World Cup announcement, O’Driscoll calling for Bill to head down under, the Wallabies announcing their squad for the England test and a trio signing for the Rebels.


France’s Fallout

rugby-world-cup-generic

In what was a pretty unprecedented move, instead of going for something new and pick Ireland, or go where World Rugby wanted to go and pick South Africa, the voting parties decided to go where the money was, and picked France as the host of the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The French triumphed 24 votes to South Africa’s 15 in the World Council voting process, with Ireland being eliminated in the first round. Even the other African rugby vote didn’t vote for South Africa.

In France, the mood is beyond ecstatic. The same couldn’t be said for South Africa, with the loss off-field capping off what has been a horrid week for the SARU and the Springboks, as they are still reeling from their embarrassing record loss to Ireland.

And the SARU President, Mark Alexander, wasn’t happy about it.

“The last 15 months were very transparent but the last two weeks were very opaque,” said Alexander on Fox Sports.

“We abided by those rules up till today but certain protocol rules were broken during that process, which we are very upset by.”

CEO Jurie Roux was also similarly disappointed with who ended up voting and not voting for the RSA bid.

“All round probably more disappointed for the country as there were heightened expectations,” he said.

“In the end we all agreed on a process and one of it was a blind vote at the end.

“Like a rugby match, you have to take it on the chin and move on.

“They (the council members) exercised an option and you’ve got to respect them for it.”

“I think we can tell who voted for us and who did not. We are not vindictive and we agreed to this process.

“You stick to the process. If you don’t do that you don’t belong sitting round the table.”

It was even more disappointing for the Irish, who were knocked out early in the voting process, despite the huge political campaign and celebrities coming forward to support the bid.

Ya feeling lucky, Aus?

Johnny Sexton gives Simon Zebo a hug after he scores try

Johnny Sexton gives Simon Zebo a hug after he scores try

Nope, that isn’t Eddie Jones messing around. Brian O’Driscoll has come out in support of Australia hosting another World Cup at some point in the future.

“If I was Australia I’d be putting my hand up pretty soon,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“They’ve done it before. Look at France…repeat World Cups in 16 years.”

He is also confident that his home nation as well will one day be able to host Bill, and found it frustrating that money won out over the opportunity to ride the wave of Irish growth in the game over the last few years.

“It’s not just a shame for those players but it’s a shame for the country because we know we will embrace it like you’ve never seen,” he said.

“There’ll be a time when Ireland will host a World Cup.

“There’ll have to be because we’ve put our best foot forward and shown we’re capable of doing it and we were a viable option this time around, so we’ve got to be selected at some point.”

Ireland have been quick to criticise the process by which France was selected, arguing that smaller rugby nations with less financial weight will be more likely to be overlooked under the current system.

“World Rugby and Rugby World Cup need to decide what tournament they want,” IRFU CEO Philip Browne said.

“There’s the commercial imperative but it shouldn’t be everything and Ireland has, why should we not have a tournament,

“We can run a tournament perfectly well, create significant revenues and we showed we could produce significant revenues.”

World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont dismissed any claims of tampering of the vote.

Wallaby squad named

Bernard Foley kicking

Bernard Foley kicking

The Wallabies have officially named their squad for the starting side to face England, which was released on rugby.com.au last night.

The most notable inclusion was that of Adam Coleman, who returns to the starting lineup after battling a serious thumb injury. He made it the major training sessions, but will be closely monitored before the start of the test.

The surprise inclusion was that of Samu Kerevi, who has retained his spot in the lineup despite many question his defensive capabilities.

While his defence has been improving, Michael Cheika has got plenty of bench coverage in the event that things go south, with Karmichael Hunt named on the bench for the second time this tour.

Check out the Wallabies squad below, (one will be omitted before match day):

1. Scott Sio (41 Tests)
2. Tatafu Polota-Nau (80 Tests)
3. Sekope Kepu (89 Tests)
4. Rob Simmons (80 Tests)
5. Adam Coleman (20 Tests)
6. Ned Hanigan (11 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (77 Tests)
8. Sean McMahon (24 Tests)
9. Will Genia (vc) (86 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (vc) (53 Tests)
11. Reece Hodge (22 Tests)
12. Samu Kerevi (16 Tests)
13. Tevita Kuridrani (56 Tests)
14. Marika Koroibete (6 Tests)
15. Kurtley Beale (69 Tests)

Reserves

16. Stephen Moore (127 Tests)
17. Tom Robertson (17 Tests)
18. Allan Alaalatoa (21 Tests)
19. Matt Philip (2 Tests)
20. Ben McCalman (51 Tests)
21. Lopeti Timani (10 Tests)
22. Nick Phipps (60 Tests)
23. Karmichael Hunt (4 Tests)
24. Henry Speight (19 Tests)

Trio sign with Rebels

Billy Meakes scores for Perth Spirit v GReater Sydney Rams NRC 2017 (Photo Credit: Delphy)

Finally, some big changes have continued on at the Melbourne Rebels, with Billy Meakes, Matt Philip and Richard Hardwick becoming the latest players from the Western Force to sign with the Rebels.

With the Rebels acquiring the services of one of World Rugby’s most exciting coaches in Dave Wessels, it seems that the trio are moving over to continue to build on the constructive partnership they had with him over in the west.

“We’re delighted to have Matt, Dickie and Billy join us,” Wessels said to rugby.com.au. 

“All three of them work incredibly hard and want to be part of the Wallabies team at the next World Cup.

“They’ll be a great addition to our squad both on and off-field.”

Wessels has also found himself an exciting new prospect in NSW Country Eagles flyhalf Tayler Adams, who has signed for a year.

“Tayler has shown exceptional potential this year with his consistency and game management for West Harbour and NSW Country Eagles,” said Blood.

“The four will add to our depth and versatility, as well as create healthy competition among the group.”

With these three officially confirming their destination, this leaves several Force players still unresolved in their future commitments. This includes high-profile current Wallaby Adam Coleman, flyhalf Jono Lance, and utility back Curtis Rona.

  • Jason

    Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan well were fucked. I’d have started Timani and/or McCalman over either/both of Simmons and Hanigan. (And I think very little of Timani, I don’t know how he was taken on tour.)
    I’m assuming Tui is still injured. Jesus it would have been handy to have him fit for this game.

    I don’t mind leaving Kreivi in the starting side, he’s wasted on the bench anyway.
    I do think Koroibete could be a liability in defence, but I don’t know if starting Hunt at 14 is better.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m with you mate. I just don’t understand what the coaches see in Hannigan. Simmons has played well at times but how he keeps getting selected I think is just because of injuries to others. Kerevi is OK but he does need to step up

      • Jason

        Nah, I think Samu was very much the focus of much of Welsh defence but that being said if you take out Beale’s 40 odd meter run away try Kerevi has the most meters in the team (54) and the most runs (14, the next being 10 or 11 IIRC). I’d say for a crash ball inside center that’s about job done. One thing Kerevi does very very well is suck in mutiple defenders, if you try to tackle him one on one he’ll normally get the offload away or pinch another 3 to 5 meters because he’s such a strong runner, if you commit multiple players to tackling Kerevi you have fewer players available to defend out wide.

        TL;DR Kerevi is the wrecking ball who earns us the right to go out wide!

        • onlinesideline

          theres a song in there somwehere

      • Tom Phillips

        I think cheika sees in hannigan, a young bloke who has all the attributes he looks for. I agree he’s not the finished the finished product but I don’t buy into the constant unfair bagging of him. He has good hands, runs direct, makes his tackles, is aggressive and usually avoids being penalised. Yes he will need to put on another 10kg over the next few seasons to begin to dominate his collisions but at this stage he has not let us down notably and If the coach continues to pick him then he obviously sees something us keyboard warriors don’t, and I trust a premiership & super rugby winning coach who got us to a RWC final to pick the man he thinks is best for his team.. fair?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree he sees something we don’t but I disagree on him being thrust in at the top level and consistently failing to achieve anything constructive for the team. Don’t get me wrong this is Cheika’s issue not Neds. OK so he’s got good hands, runs direct, makes tackles and doesn’t get penalised. He is also not a dominant player and in every one of those runs and tackles he goes backwards and the opposition makes ground. To be honest I find him marginally less effective than Mumm and I always thought he was the most ineffective 6 in Test rugby. Personally, and I know it matters not, I think there are a number of players who would make the team more effective and it disappoints me when I see Ned constantly being hung out to dry by the management team.

        • Braveheart81

          If Dempsey was healthy we wouldn’t be having this discussion, but Hanigan is there for the lineout. If ball running was the primary need out of the position to balance the rest of our pack we’d be picking McCalman. Timani’s form is completely average and he is the worst of the three in the lineout.

          Hanigan had a solid game against Wales. He’s clearly one of the weakest picks in the side but he’s there to do a job and fill gaps in the skillsets of the rest of the backrow, not to be an impact player or match winner.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah I think this is where it’s at. If Dempsey and Tui weren’t injured everyone would be pretty happy with the side – even with S Kerevi at 12. As you point out Braveheart, Hanigan is there to do a job which he does well. The lineout, especially against England, needs to be up to scratch and Coleman, Simmons and Hanigan fit that bill.

        • McWarren

          Yeah, but the kid is good at lineouts because he is 85kg wringing wet. Not much use for the other 77 minutes of play.

        • RedAnt

          Interesting logic, BH! Dempsey is a ball runner, so because he’s injured, we’ve picked someone who’s a jumper.

        • Tom Phillips

          Yep I agree with you and he certainly wouldn’t be in my team but I do believe Cheika is a better coach than me and you and if he keeps getting picked then clearly he is doing a good job by the people who matter I don’t feel he warrants the hate he receives keeping in mind there is a need to develop multiple 6’s for RWC

        • McWarren

          Tom I don’t believe Ned is getting hate, more sympathy than anything else. But how many tests does it take for us the supporters too see what Cheika sees in training? Thankfully he has taken the same approach with a prop. And I wish Cheika would give someone else a go at 10, even if we’re Hodge for 7 tests this yr. We have heaps of depth at 6, but apparently only 1 option at 10?

        • Tom Phillips

          ye to be honest i was probably responding to hate thats been coming from all sorts of other pages actually not so much on here, my bad..

          And I’m also pretty concerned with our 10 depth, I’m not liking the idea of having to shuffle the backline every time we replace someone

        • jamie

          He’s 110kg. He needs to harden the fuck up more than gaining any more size. More size and he becomes a slow lock.

          Aggressive? When?

    • Braveheart81

      Hanigan is selected primarily for the lineout. If we needed a ball runner McCalman would get the nod. I don’t think Timani has shown any sort of form in the last few months and doesn’t benefit the lineout. I hope we go with a 5-3 bench and he drops off. I don’t really see value in him replacing McMahon late in the game.

      • Patrick

        I don’t know how they think we’ll be doing lineouts if they can just win the rucks. McMahon and Hooper need to play like Batman and Superman for us to win this.

        • Braveheart81

          Our whole team needs to clean out effectively. Hooper and McMahon are likely to have the most breakdown involvements but every forward will have at least 10 involvements where if they fuck up, we’ll most likely lose the ball or give away a penalty.

        • Jason

          Not that Hooper has been anywhere near his best in his ruck work of late. Too many lattes.

      • Mart

        If Hannigan runs into contact like he did against Wales, expect a lot of turn overs

        • Bobas

          He needs to go to the Tevita school of getting your knee to ground early, then somehow managing to make another 2-3 metres and diving back again to present the ball to Genia.

      • Jason

        Here’s the thing, we have Coleman and Simmons both very good lineout jumpers. You’d say McMahon is handy, but we can’t keep doing this ‘pick your best two then make up for it with the third’ Hanigan is miles of Test Pace at a minimum they should be looking at someone like Tom Staniforth (really a lock but has the motor of a back rower), or having someone like Timu likely a good lineout option and can give you ball running.

        I agree Timani is largely useless and I do see the logic in having a backup in case Koroibete is proven suspect, plus bring on a fresh back is always nice late in the game, I’d just rather it be another utility player in the squad rather than Speight who can only really play on the wing. Izaia Perese or maybe Jack Maddocks would offer more flexibility. But as always Cheika loses the game before it’s even played.

        • Braveheart81

          Timu has burst on the scene in the NRC. Not really likely to join test squad and start playing immediately. Staniforth is ok but he never transferred his effectiveness at NRC level to Super Rugby so far. I think currently Hooper and McMahon are so far and away our best back rowers that they get picked and we pick a third player to work in with them. Of the people on this tour I think Hanigan is the best option out of them.

          I think the concern about the lineout (particularly against England) is justifiable.

          I agree that Hanigan will need to improve a lot next year to retain his spot because Dempsey will be back and new players such as Timu, Ross Haylett-Petty and Isi Naisarini are likely to be strong options. McMahon won’t be there but Pocock will be back.

        • McWarren

          Sorry BH I don’t buy the argument about Staniforths SR form. Let’s face it if SR form had anything to do with Cheika’s selections Hanigan, Foley, Robertson, Simmons, Folau, Kerevi, Timani, Phipps, Speight and Hooper wouldn’t be in the side. It can only be that Hanigan has really beaten up the tackle bag better than Staniforth. I doubt very much Staniforth would have been bent in half and man handled backwards by Alun-Wyn Jones. But hey at least he won a line out.

        • Alister Smith

          If we picked on Super Rugby form we might not have been able to select a 23 at all

      • the same could be argued for simmon’s inclusion re:lineout. is it time we got past selecting players for one aspect of their game? Chieka said (strangely) 5 tests ago that Hanigan shouldn’t have been selected for his 4-9th tests? how is he still there?

        • Braveheart81

          Dempsey got injured is why Hanigan is still there. If Rodda was healthy he’d probably be playing ahead of Simmons (or at least on the bench). If Tui was healthy he might be in the 23 too. Simmons is strong in the lineout and scrum and those are important aspects of the game.

          It would be like saying let’s pick Timani at lock because he is a better ball runner and tackles hard except he is crap at the aspects of the game that we ideally need out of a lock, particularly with the skillsets of other players.

          Coleman is the only complete lock we have right now. All the others have weaknesses to their games and a couple are unavailable through injury.

    • juswal

      I’ve seen a few comments this week about Koroibete being a defensive weakness. I reckon you blokes should try running the ball up Marika’s wing and see if you can get past him. When you recover consciousness, let me know if you’ve revised your opinions.

      • Yeah what a load of shit. For what reason is it being suggested Koroibete is poor defensively? lets talk about the defence of Foley, Beale and Kerevi before he is even thought about being mentioned.

        • Jason

          I’d say two things to that, firstly Kerevi isn’t actually bad in defence he just isn’t super at defencive reads if he doesn’t know who he should be tackling — easy enough to fix with TK playing outside of him, Kerevi is a very good tackler and with someone like Hunt or TK directing the ship defensively 90% of his weaknesses will be ameliorated.

          Foley and Beale we hide in defence so for them defence is optional, and we make sacrifices on the counter attack particularly because of that, personally I disagree with this ideologically but it’s the system we have in place, but Foley, Beale and Folau basicly don’t defend and that has it’s price.

          As for Koroibete, I do think he’s quite similar to Samu in that he’s a very good tackler but playing on the wing there is less support around him to guide him and wingers in Union have a much more complex role as kicking the ball is most always a threat, as well as needing to worry about recovering the ball from the breakdown.

          I think what most people are referring to when they talk about Koroibete in defence is his response to the tactical kicking (this literally hasn’t been tested by any opposition yet even in Super Rugby), and his tendency to shoot out of the line to ‘jam in’ and stop the ball from getting out wider. This second one is risky if teams expect it as all they need to do is get the ball free and they are outside our last defender this has been tested a little by teams but thus far Koroibete has been up to the challenge thus far, but even when we played New Zealand they weren’t as well drilled and organised as EJ will have his English side.

          Personally I say he’s suspect until he’s proven he’s not of if no one has exploited him after a full season. But look at Renshaw in the cricket — he’s been found out and has gone from being rock solid for a year to being a sandcastle.

        • I can’t disagree with you enough. Kerevi has shown at the reds that he is a turnstile too often. he’s Not much better for the wallies. Defense certainly isn’t f’n optional. FFS. You want 2 players out of 15 to be hidden in defence??!! I’m glad you don’t think its ideologically okay for our 10 and our fullback to be poor defenders? NZ not well drilled? are you drunk?
          Can’t say I read the rest of your post…

        • Haz

          Jones will have noticed the opportunity to test his positioning with respect to kicks and defensive reads so I expect that to be tested. Also multiple runners running down Kerevi/Foley’s channel to see if there’s any chance there.

      • Chinese Dave

        That’s a bit silly mate, we’re not playing on the wing for England. I got nothing against Koroibete’s defence BTW, but saying you can’t comment on a player unless you can beat him means I can’t say Foley’s in play kicking is rubbish or Quade Cooper can’t tackle well.

        • juswal

          I’m suggesting an in-person experience because it’s educational. I suspect anyone who’s judged MK’s defence as deficient rather than an asset, based on what they’ve seen on TV, has a vision issue.

    • Any further input regarding Koroibete’s defence Jason?

      • Jason

        Haha, well yeah, he was fucking outstanding. I’d point out I did say he *could* be a liability, because I did think he was largely untested (the AB’s weren’t really the AB’s when he played them). I’m not 100% sure he’s not going to have issues, and I’d like to see him tested a little more with a really good kicking team trying to target him but look they saying goes ‘you can only beat the teams in front of you’ and by that measure he’s outstanding.

        I still think Hunt would be superior in defence, but frankly after that game you’ve gotta have a sake up of the whole team, I don’t think you can continue with Hooper as the captain after that ‘childish display’ and Beale would be closely following Hooper (more for Beale’s poor form particularly his laxed defence).

        • “A really good kicking team”. ??? Engand, in the wet not good enough? They peppered the back 3 all game? Comparing kori to KHunt is pointless because hunt is not a winger and Kori not likely to play anywhere but on the wing for wallies.

          Agree with beale. Unless he is gifted space, hes just average. Hooper on the other hand, arguably needed to play that ball. Is what it is but po will be skip when he returns.

  • mikado

    That’s a good looking team. I think the starters are fractionally better than England, but England’s bench is much stronger. Let’s hope for a great match

    .

    ..

    …ending in a crushing victory for England.

  • Nutta

    Timani over Hanigan. I understand going for experience and aggression vs England with Simmons but I would hook him at the first dumb penalty and make sure he knew it going in before the game.

    And surely Hunt defending at 12 over any other bastard we have other than Hodge. Bring in Kerevi to run at tiring defences at 60min.

    Looking forward to the game. Can’t say I’m looking forward to the usual mindless Filth efforts both on the field and from the trolling that will come afterwards win/lose/draw. But that’s what we always seem to get vs them.

    I used to play for a great club that kept a ‘Book of Hate’ where they compiled every misdeed and slight both real and imagined ever done to the club by opposing clubs they played. It was filed in order of Club so then it was pulled out after Thurs night training at the pub to refresh memories of the bastards we were to play the coming weekend: ‘…and in 1974 when Barry in 2nd grade was bitten by these animals from …’ . In that same spirit, have a gander at some of the garbage comments posted from last time, knowing that the true gems have been deleted…

    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/preview-wallabies-vs-england-2/

    • wilful

      Sounds like got played for a dwarven hold with your Great Book of Grudges. Hatred vs greenskins?

      • Nutta

        ??

        • BigNickHartman

          i think that’s a warhammer reference…don’t worry Nutta

      • AardvarkOz

        Bwahaha!

    • Gipetto

      Coleman and Hooper were giving away the penalties against the Welsh. Try watching the games sober.

  • lee enfield

    RA cut the Force because they were under performers and the cause of all that ills Rugby in Australia. Now those same players and the coach are being parachuted in to strengthen the Rebels, despite the spreadsheet saying the Rebels were the stronger and better franchise.

    How many Rebels players would have been parachuted in to strengthen the Force had the Rebels been cut?

    • Andrew Luscombe

      A high number. Both teams had trouble signing players with both being threatened for much of the contrating period. Both teams therefore had a lot of vacanicies, and whichever was cut was going to have a lot of players go to the other.

      The players knew this and that’s why they got together after they played each other near the end of last season.

      • lee enfield

        There may have been a number of Rebel players who would have been given contracts with the force, but only 2 or 3 would have actually strengthened the Force.

        • jamie

          Hodge, Timani, Uluese, Weeks, Naivalu, Koroibete aren’t good pickups for any team?

    • Missing Link

      The Rebels play their home games at 7:30PM in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and 5:30PM in Perth. Kiwis can watch the Rebels at 9:30PM

      The Perth timezone is the problem, their games start at 9:30PM in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and average Joe Aussie would have already tuned into 2 games by then and is all rugbied out, while the Kiwis are either too drunk or counting sheep by the time the Force games start.

      My opinion is that one of the reasons the Force were cut was TV timeslots and having more games in the 5:30PM – 9:30PM AEST timeslot will better suit Foxtel’s requirements.

      Of course this explanation is hard to swallow if you’re from Perth because 7:30PM is the perfect time for Rugby if you’re in Perth, but bigger picture it makes sense.

      • HK Red

        Love watching Friday night Perth games, as I roll into the pub straight after work in Hong Kong. Perfect timing!

        • Missing Link

          I don’t really have any stats about viewing numbers of each timeslot, it’s just a theory I have why the Force were cut. Super Rugby needs bums on seats and faces in front of screens. Rugby tragics like us don’t count, we will watch rugby until our eyeballs go oval shaped, it’s the “I wonder what sport is on TV?” people who they are trying to capture.

        • Moz

          Not wanting to start the whole argument again, as I think the Inquiry Report spelt out a lot of the reasons, but I don’t really think it was the viewing time slot that was the reason why the Force was cut – Broadcasters need a whole range of games being played, spread out throughout the weekend. I agree, we don’t know what goes on in the mind of the broadcasters and SANZAAR when they were looking at the options, but I’m not sure they would necessarily pick another team already in the same time zone as three other teams, rather than picking a 2 hour different timezone, which gives them more options? With the current 4 teams, and even if they had gone down to 3 teams in the East as well as WA, they could have always had at least one game in East States friendly viewing time, and the rolling on into a later game once we have kicked back on the couch for the evening!

        • Alister Smith

          I think they were cut because they were the easiest and cheapest to cut from a legal perspective – ARU had the rights, Melbourne had a contract, Brumbies too much history of good results reds and tahs nonsensical – once they decided one had to go it seems they only had one option – personally I would have preferred LILO but in retrospect it I don’t think rebs were ever considered

      • Moz

        So that means you have all of the 4 Aussie teams all on the same timezone. I thought it would have made a little more sense being able to spread out the time zones, so there wouldn’t necessarily be the obvious potential clashes? I know that some of the Force games started at 6 – 6.30pm, which would have been 8pm – 8.30pm over east. That means a new game could have then rolled into one being played in the Eastern States friendly time?

        • Missing Link

          There’s potential for clashes mate for sure, I just think it’s the exposure the Force have in their timezone is limiting to viewers outside of WA. it might be OK for people in Asia but Foxtel will be aiming to get people in NZ, NSW and QLD to watch the Rebels or Force and I personally think it would be easier for them to watch the Rebels as it’s in a more convenient time slot. Just my theory mate. The Force would have to start their games in the afternoon, how bad is the sun setting across the Indian ocean for players to negotiate? I know It’s a weak excuse “the sun was in my eyes” but just like cricket that transition period in a day/night one day match can be hard to negotiate as the lights take over.

        • Moz

          Sure ML, I just thought having some different time zones gives more options. The SANZAAR deal involved 13 different broadcasters, so they are not just looking at broadcasting in NZ, the East Coast, and Yarpieland. Obviously content is being picked up in other countries and time zones as well. Satanta have the Super Rugby throughout Asia, and the timezone in a lot of the countries here is better suited to WA than over east, and especially NZ – the first game out of NZ on a Friday starts broadcasting at 3.30pm. Unfortunately with the stupid work hours up here, I’m not in a pub watching footy by that time (they dont know the meaning of POETS Day here……)

        • Bakkies

          The Force games often come on at around 12 pm in the UK which was perfect as it leads in to the afternoon games from SA or the other European comps they have rights too. Europe also kicked in far more bob than last time due to competition for rights.

        • Ads

          I quite liked the kiwi game, followed by the eastern states, followed by Perth…You had a chance to catch some footy before, during or after whatever you had planned on a Friday/Sat night.

        • Missing Link

          yeah for sure, most of my saturdays consist of super rugby marathons. we live and breathe rugby like it’s an addictive opiod, I’m just trying to see it from a different angle, how many rugby nutters are there, and are we worth anything to them as a business, we are guarantee’d revenue and they are not growing by appeasing us, they’re going to want to target new markets and demographics of people in hope to convert them into rugby fans.

      • BigNickHartman

        wait, weren’t they brought in before Melbourne *because* of their TV timeslot? and also, you forgot to include South Africa in your game times ;)

        • Missing Link

          Good points mate, but if SA go north as we keep hearing, that WA timeslot isn’t anywhere near as important. maybe there is some truth to those rumours? I dunno

      • lee enfield

        As others have mentioned, it was good when the Force had home games, you could watch 3 games in a row on a Saturday night.

  • Rob Malcolm

    I think the focus and concern on #6 and #4 in open play is misplaced. Against NZ sure, the arguments matter more because they play an open style. Against England our set piece is going to be put to the blow torch. Line outs, scrum and restarts. If we win those we are half-way there.

    I hope Sio can find his absolute best because if he fires we have a really good shot at removing 5 x 3 points from the England score.

    The line-out is the next order of business. Simmons and Hannigan are jumping and catching well. Against the equal best lineout (with NZ) I think we have to have our best jumpers, which is why they are both picked. The question is, can TPN hit them 100%?

    Restarts haven’t been great. Can we make them ours again?

    Sio and TPN are definitely our best #1 and #2. Whether they execute at scrum and lineout is my worry.

    • John Tynan

      Cleanout accuracy is the piece that set play doesn’t address – Hanigan not effective here, Simmons generally OK but can be inaccurate (what people sometimes call his “stupid” penalties). I think England’s evolution away from set piece and one-dimensional attack is what the main difference is since Eddie came on board, and the old argument of “hold your scrums and win your lineouts” against Les Pommes is not as much of a wrapped up solution as it used to be.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree mate. Eddie has changed the way the Poms play and I think they are more of a threat now because of it

      • Alister Smith

        against “the Apples”??

        • John Tynan

          Weird hey?
          In the spirit of not letting reality cloud thinking, I take liberties – acknowledging, totally incorrectly, but hey, Internet = Exhibit “A” – from Pommes Noisettes because I can’t get rid of the link in my head between such delicious fare and old school English front rowers.
          And it sounds like Poms.
          But a little bit fancy.

        • Dorothy Ball

          I refer to them as ‘The Atoms’ for want of piece of rhyming slang akin to ‘Sepos’.

        • Alister Smith

          I like it!

    • Mart

      I hope you’re right. It feels like there are better options to be developing at 6

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m not sure that I agree with you about the open play as I think that if it’s true the English are less open then a mobile hard hitting 6 is a pretty good weapon. However, my issue is more that the 6 must be dominant. Of course not every time as no one can do that but Hannigan moves backwards in every collision and he loses hard won ground. OK he gets lineout ball (when TPN is accurate) but I don’t think that makes up for the lack of dominance in every collision outside the lineout. I also think the English lineout will give him more trouble than he’s had in the past.

    • mikado

      I hope there won’t be many scrums. I’m really not looking forwards to 80 minutes of Dan Cole and Scott Sio repeatedly collapsing.

      The lineouts will be interesting. Australia competed very well against the Welsh lineout, but I think the English will be a level above the Welsh. TPN will need to be on his game.

    • Jason

      Firstly, our scum has had issues every time Simmons is on the field. Secondly our lineout will not and will never be a weapon so long as TPN is throwing, automatically before you even pick your jumpers you are losing at least 1 in 12 lineouts even with TPN’s much improved throwing this year.
      Hanigan particularly has taken next to on line outs, yes he’s not going to be taking 100% of the lineout throws but you’d expect him to have taken at least 25% given he’s literally in the side ‘because the lineout’, sure he gives us an option there but we don’t have the personnel to use it our maul isn’t at all a weapon. You look at the Queensland Country NRC team they used their lineout as a weapon running trick plays where they change the point of attack, they would fake to set up the maul etc. but they could do that because they had a genuinely monstrous pack particularly before Rodda had surgery, because of their size they could threaten the maul drive without actually using it too often, the Wallabies have opted for a light weight forward pack this means the maul is no threat, if the maul is no threat then England are free to put up jumpers with impunity further disrupting our lineout.

      Honestly there is no way the Wallabies win at the set piece because we have selected such a lightweight pack.

      But I think the real danger England will have is their vastly superior kicking game Foley has been struggling to make it out of our own half even off the back of penalties — England are going to lock us down in our own half, deep inside our 22 and after a clearing kick we are at best going to be at our 40 meter line with England getting the ball back to send us back into the meat grinder.

      • jamie

        Regarding your last paragraph.

        Have you perhaps heard of our lord and savior Reece Hodge?

        • Jason

          While it’s very easy to say post the fact, I think it’s incredibly telling to look at the kicking stats Hodge 7 kicks, Beale 9 and Foley 16. Moreover every kicking battle we lost by at least 5 to 10 meters.

        • jamie

          Exactly. Why the fuck Cheika lets Foley kick at all when we have a boot and a half in hodge I will never understand.

          I guess the same reason we lost against England. Jones just knows how to coach better than Cheika.

  • Dud Roodt

    The team is good in my opinion, apart from the obvious (Hannigan and Simmons).
    My real concern is that Coleman, McMahon and Hooper will have to do a lot of the work to make up for their frailties. Hannigan isn’t fit to carry Itoje’s bags, and Simmons the same for Lawes.

    I still think it will be a very competitive game. As long as we can knock some points over early through the boot of Hodge and have that in the back of England’s mind, I think we can do well.

    My gut thinks England by 10

    • Huw Tindall

      I’m a bit worried about the breakdown reffing. That was a good point on the GAGR podcast this week – the Wales game was the first game the Wallabies played under the new breakdown rules where the tackler has to ‘go through the gate’ as well. Before the tackler could get up wherever and go for the ball, even if they fell on the opposition side in the tackle. The impact in the Northern Hemisphere comps this year has been more ball retention and phases as it’s even harder to jackal!

      Also the offside line needs fair reffing. Wallabies got pinged a few times and Wales none! With Wales intense rush defence they must have been offside at one point!!

      • Dud Roodt

        I’m worried about everything in regards to this game. I don’t know, I’m just a worrier I guess. That’s why my friends call me whiskers.

        We need to beat these fucking fucks. and shut that mouthy Judas up too!

        • HK Red

          I like the anger, well played!
          .
          Everything about this game has me worried too.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Eddie Jones has discovered the secret of perpetual motion and inserted it into his jaws. He just can’t shut up

      • jamie

        I didn’t realise the new laws required tacklers to go through the gate. That sucks.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      And if they are covering for Hannigan and Simmons then they can’t be as effective in their prime role. A double negative mate

      • Alister Smith

        Hannigan will get there …may not do anything but he will get there

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          In which case why bother

  • Moz

    Well, thank you ARU ! RugbyWA goes into voluntary administration. Always good to be kicked when you are down.

    RugbyWA is going into voluntary administration after the state’s rugby body said it cannot afford to pay legal costs being sought over two failed legal attempts to save the Western Force.

    The development comes after the Force was cut from the Super Rugby competition earlier this year.

    RugbyWA took legal action to try to save the team, but was ultimately unsuccessful.

    President Hans Sauer said the ARU had pursued the organisation for costs.

    “The amount of money that they are chasing us for is such that we just don’t have the resources,” he said.

    “We’ve made an offer and it was actually very generous.

    “They rejected that, they want every single cent, every drop of blood they can get from us.”

    http://mobile.abc.net.au/news/2017-11-17/rugbywa-into-voluntary-administration-after-western-force-fight/9160868

    • Ads

      The ARU shouldn’t have pursued that agree. Insert yesterday’s comments about being right not always being right.

      Also think RugbyWA should consider legal action against whoever gave them advice originally. Those legal attempts were never going to succeed, and shouldn’t have been pursued. That was (understandably) driven by emotion more than any likely chance of success.

      Why isn’t Twiggy paying the bill though? Sounds like they would all prefer to wipe the decks, deny the ARU any funds and start again.

      Disappointing all around.

      • Moz

        Andrew Forrest made commitments to fund RugbyWA’s legal case. Clayton Utz on behalf of the ARU tried to move an action through the Supreme Court in WA – when RugbyWA first injuncted – that the case should be dismissed as weRWA could not fund its legal battle. RWA had a number of people put their hands up to say they would help fund this battle – NOWHERE did they commit to fund ARU’s battle, accept losses, damages etc. Once RWA went to Arbitration and into NSW RWA’s commitment became null and void. Andrew together with RWA, made an offer to the ARU that exceeded 50% of their $840,000.00 claim and a commitment that over time RWA would endeavour to pay more. It was a “take it or leave it” offer and when left – Andrew quite rightly withdrew his offer.

        So, Andrew made an offer, ARU knocked it back as they want the lot – need to pay for the new rebranding I guess!

        • Ads

          Making a commitment to fund RugbyWA’s legal case to me would also include awarding of costs, as this was the most likely outcome. Again – poor legal advice!

          In the interests of closing things off I still agree accepting the 50% is probably a wise decision and what they should have done.

        • Moz

          RA are also going to be possibly on the hook with nib Stadium, as they had an agreement to use the stadium next year – that obligation sits with the ARU as they had taken over the Force. So, ARU are going to have to pay out that contract!

        • Ed

          How much would that cost?

        • Moz

          Base of about $250,000 plus potential loss of earnings from F&B, etc (not sure if that can be brought into it).

        • Ed

          Thanks.

        • lee enfield

          They should tell RA that the money owed is to the ARU and with the name change from ARU to RA, that agreement/order is no longer valid.

  • Adrian

    Not a bad side.
    The surprise is that there is no surprise.

    My thinking is that Hanigan is there to be involved in every ruck/maul, … ditto Simmons, and the rest are there to make impacts in attack and defence. It’s an ok use of resources, and my friends all agree, notwithstanding it’s not popular here.

    I’m hoping it’s a 6:2 bench, not so much for the purpose of getting Hannigan and Simmons off, as to provide a bit of grunt at the end, given our replacement front row isn’t that dynamic,…but probably the best we have for a match against England.

    Some say Timani is out of form, but it’s hard to say, given he hasn’t played. He was Australia’s top rating forward in SR in the 1st two rounds. Suspensions and injury put an end to that, but I’d really like him v England.

    I think Cheika is playing ducks and drakes in the backs.

    He wants Jones to think it’ll be a re-run of June 2016, with Kerevi at 12. It won’t be because Beale will be at 12 much of the time, and Kerevi will stand at 15 somebody the time, as Brian Smith illustrated in his review of the Wales match. The idea would be for Kerevi to make take busting runs ala Folau. It could work.

    The bookies are given us 8.5. That’s about right IMO, but I can see us winning if everything comes off.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hannigan and Simmons don’t get involved in rucks and mauls, they are just useless lumps who either lean on the opposition with no effect or go backwards. I think we’ll get smashed in the forwards and make some good moves in the backs that won';t be enough to cover the smashing

      • Adrian

        Hope you’re wrong, but you might be right.
        I’ve tipped Australia by 1

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Love your optimism mate. If things go their way then they could pull it off. I just think they need too much to go their way and will need England to have too much of a bad game for it to happen

    • McWarren

      Adrian, I might not always agree with your posts but they do fascinate and entertain me. I’m glad all your friends agree with you mate. Have a good weekend and enjoy the game.

      • Adrian

        Thanks McWarren
        You too, and enjoy the game (s).
        Wallabies by 1

        • McWarren

          Not sure my heart could take a 1 point win. Wallabies by 8.

  • Ned Hanigan now has more tests than Lopeti Timani. Just saying…

    • Nutta

      I’m a simple guy. Uncomplicated. I know which one I would rather run at. I’ll give you a hint; he’s the one I would rather tackle too.

  • Adrian

    Without Coleman, I can see us hitting it up in the centres a lot, with abrupt switches to TPN, Kepu and Sio to hit it up,..
    …. with the money balls coming when Beale is up, and feeding Kerevi running from the deep ala Folau.

    I can see an old Cheika trick, of Hooper following TPN and Co on the occasions when they do run.

    I still want Timani on early.

    My biggest concern is that Simmons might stay on too long, …. because he is the only recognised line out caller. Hopefully Enver, Phillip or Hannigan know how it’s done!

  • Andy

    With Coleman now out of contention and looking at our pack they are going to likely get towelled up by England. Very little physicality and just too light imo

  • Ben Fox

    South Africa shouldn’t be rewarded with a World Cup because of gov interference in the selection of teams.

  • mikado

    Wallabies really, really unlucky there. Every 50/50 went against them. England very mediocre for 60 minutes and could have easily been behind, in which case a whole different end to the game. The end of the game was just crazy. Chieka’s press conference will be entertaining.

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@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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