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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the squads for the weekend, club corner, the Super W final and more on the Commonwealth Games.


God’s Game Returns

Stock photo of GC2018 rugby balls

Stock photo of GC2018 rugby balls

We’re nearly at the halfway point of the Super Rugby season, with round nine upon us for this weekend.

Starting with the Aussie matches, the Rebels will be kicking things off when they host the Jaguares in Melbourne.

Coming off the bye, and the flogging from the Hurricanes, the Rebels are coming into the hardest period of their season, and a win here will be crucial to keeping first place in the Aussie conference.

Among the names who are returning include Dane Haylett-Petty, Sam Talakai, Geoff Parling, Richard Hardwick and Ross Haylett-Petty. Reece Hodge has been ruled out due to a hamstring strain, and Matt Phillip is also missing out on the starting side.

Rebels Squad: Dane Haylett-Petty, Jack Maddocks, Tom English, Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Jack Debreczeni, Will Genia, Amanaki Mafi, Richard Hardwick, Ross Haylett-Petty, Adam Coleman, Geoff Parling, Sam Talakai, Anaru Rangi, Tetera Faulkner. Reserves: Jordan Uelese, Ben Daley, Jermaine Ainsley, Matt Philip, Colby Fainga’a, Lopeti Timani, Michael Ruru, Sefa Naivalu.

The Jags will put up a fight, but I predict the homeside to take this one. Rebels by 7.

The second match sees the Brumbies heading across the ditch to take on the Highlanders in Dunedin, to try and break the dry spell.

The Highlanders have made four changes to their side last week, while, as of Thursday night when I’m writing this, the Ponies are still to announce their squad. I’ll include it in the comments when it’s announced.

Regardless, I’m just hoping for a good match, but I don’t see the Ponies winning this one. Highlanders by 14 or more.

Finally, the other big grudge match of Australian Super Rugby will play out on Saturday night at the SCG, when the Waratahs host the Reds.

The Tahs look to have only one notable change, with Nick Phipps coming onto the bench after recovering from a calf injury.

The Reds meanwhile have had to make three injury forced changes, with Scott Higginbotham, Taniela Tupou and Ben Lucas all out.

Ruan Smith will come on in place of the Tongan Thor, while James Tuttle moves to the starting lineup to replace Lucas. Caleb Timu will return to the back of the scrum, while Liam Wright comes back into the starting lineup.

Oh yeah, and Izaia Perese will be back after missing the first half of the season due to injury.

Waratahs Squad : Bryce Hegarty, Alex Newsome, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (c), Will Miller, Rob Simmons, Ned Hanigan, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson. Reserves: Hugh Roach, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Paddy Ryan, Tom Staniforth, Jed Holloway, Nick Phipps, Lalakai Foketi, Cameron Clark.

Reds Squad: Aidan Toua, Filipo Daugunu, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi, Izaia Perese, Jono Lance, James Tuttle, Caleb Timu, Liam Wright, Lukhan Tui, Kane Douglas, Izack Rodda, Ruan Smith, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, James Slipper (c). Reserves: Alex Mafi, JP Smith, Sef Fa’agase, Adam Korczyk, Angus Scott-Young, Tate McDermott, Hamish Stewart, Jordan Petaia.

It’s going to be a good match, with the flashy Tahs attack coming up against the grinding old-school playing style of Queensland. I’m backing the hosts for this one. Tahs by 10.

In the other matches of the round, the Hurricanes will host the Chiefs in a typically exciting Kiwi derby (I’m backing the Canes), before the Moon Dogs have their best chance all season to grab a win when they play fellow cellar dwellers the Blues. Considering they beat the Blues at this corresponding fixture last year, I say game on.

The only other non-Aussie match sees the Sharks host the Bulls in Durban, and I for one think the hosts will bring their Kiwi form with them and knock the visitors over.

The Crusaders, Lions and Stormers have the bye.

Alright GAGRs, what’s your pick for the match of the round?

Club Corner

Penrith vs Gordon Round 13 (Image Credit- Penrith Emus Rugby Club)

Penrith vs Gordon Round 13 (Image Credit- Penrith Emus Rugby Club)

Club Corner is back for another Friday, and there’s plenty of rugby to talk about.

Starting over in the West, round one saw a couple of one-sided affairs, with Wests Scarborough, Associates, Cottesloe and Joondalup all grabbing convincing wins.

The other results saw Wanneroo Districts beat Kalamunda in a really entertaining match, 34-20, while Arks and UWA played out a bizarre match that saw both sides at 0-0 at halftime. The scoring was tight, and eventually the Students ground the resilient hosts down, winning 7-15.

RugbyWA Premier Grade Round Two Fixtures:

Nedlands v Palmyra
Wests Scarborough v ARKs
Cottesloe v Coastal Cavaliers 
Kalamunda v Southern Lions 
Joondalup v Wanneroo Districts 
UWA v Perth Bayswater

Associates will have the bye.

Heading over the Canberra, the John I Dent Cup matches were a lot closer, with all matches being decided by a margin of two points or less. Easts grabbed the inagural Bob Hitchcock Territory Shield when they beat Uni-Norths 22-20, Tuggeranong lost out in a thriller at Viking Park to current champions Royals, going down 31-32, while Queanbeyan had a high scoring thriller of their own when they hosted Gunghalin,  eventually going on to win 39-38.

John I Dent Cup Round Two Fixtures:

Uni-Norths v Queanbeyan 
Gungahlin v Tuggeranong
Wests v Easts

Royals will have the bye.

Heading over to the Instrust Super Shute Shield, Southern Districts put Penrith to the sword, Eastern Suburbs edged out West Harbour, Manly left TG Millner Field with a convincing win over Eastwood, Randwick smashed Gordon, and Sydney Uni overcame a stubborn Parramatta outfit.

The broadcast match saw Northern Suburbs get some much needed revenge over the Rats, with a 27-18 win at North Sydney Oval.

Shute Shield Round Two Fixtures:

Gordon v Eastern Suburbs
Manly v Northern Suburbs
Parramatta v Eastwood
Penrith v Sydney Uni
Warringah v Randwick
West Harbour v Southern Districts

Note: due to the Commonwealth Games, there will be no broadcast match this weekend on 7Two. 

And finally, we head to Queensland for Round Three of the Hospital Challenge Cup.

GPS continued their winning ways with a well fought 36-31 win over Bond University, Wests lost at home to Sunnybank in a thriller, 19-22, Souths defeated Easts 39-31 and Brothers pulled the upset of the round by defeating University of Queensland 24-19.

Hospital Challenge Cup Round Three Fixtures:

University of Queensland v Bond University
Easts v Brothers
Norths v Souths
Sunnybank v GPS 

Wests will have the bye.

Get out there and enjoy your club rugby this weekend, and lets #makeclubrugbygreatagain.

Super Wonderful Finish

Chloe Leaupepe scores the first try of Super W for NSW

Chloe Leaupepe scores the first try of Super W for NSW

Just in case you don’t forget, in between the Super Rugby matches and the Commonwealth Games, the Super W final is on next week.

The competition started out with an old school grudge match between NSW and Queensland, and it makes sense that these two sides will close out the debut season.

The final match will be played at Allianz Stadium on Friday April 20, playing before the Waratahs match against the Lions.

On top of that, the match will also be broadcast live on Fox Sports at 4:45pm.

“We have seen some fantastic rugby in the first season of Buildcorp Super W and I know the final won’t disappoint as both team’s fight to be champions,” Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said to rugby.com.au earlier this week. 

“I know rugby fans will really get behind this game by coming to Allianz Stadium or watching the match live on Fox Sports and we wish both teams the best in their final preparations.”

“As a coach I have been really impressed with the whole competition and I know the Final won’t disappoint,” added Wallaroos coach Dwayne Nestor.

“We have seen the steady improvement of all teams and there are some genuine selection battles going on to make the Buildcorp Wallaroos extended squad.

“There will be no love lost between NSW and Queensland as you’d expect, and I can’t wait to see what the teams bring when they run out at Allianz Stadium.”

It’s been a good year so far for Womens Rugby, so make sure you get along to see this match next week!

Speaking of Womens rugby…

Time to Shine

Ellia Green during Aussie Women training session

Ellia Green during Aussie Women training session

The Australian Commonwealth Games team have been absolutely tearing it up on the Gold Coast, with us currently winning (as of Thursday night) 62 gold medals, 46 silver medals and 46 bronze medals. By the time you read this, there probably will be more.

But, this Friday and Saturday, our Womens and Mens Sevens teams will be competing for the chance to add to that tally.

For the girls, a win here would see them become the first ever Sevens team to be both Olympic and Commonwealth Champions to go with current World Sevens champions.

Captain Charlotte Caslick admitted that the teams success came a lot down to them wanting to play for their coach, Tim Walsh.

“He has let us be who we want to be,” Caslick said to rugby.com.au. 

“He didn’t try and change the fact that I like wearing ribbons in my hair and all that sort of stuff.

“He just took it as who we were and that was really special for a lot of us – that we could be rugby players but we could also keep our girlier side, I guess.

“For women’s sport in general he has been a massive leader in putting us on an equal playing field with the men.”

With Walsh departing the team after the Games, there is extra motivation to send him off in style.

The motivation looks just as important for the Mens team, with a pumped up side out to win gold for two of their injured captains, James Stannard and Lewis Holland. 

Both Skippers were selected in the team, but Holland was unable to recover from injury, and Stannard was the victim of a one-punch attack that left him with a fractured skull.

Andy Friend has admitted that he hasn’t seen a team this pumped up in a long time.

“We knew about Lewi four weeks ago but Chucky was a massive surprise and a shock to everybody but it’s happened, we can’t change it and we will use that as energy moving forward,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“We’re very tight anyway as a group so we probably didn’t need it, as we have other reasons why we want to perform well.

“We set three targets at the start of the year.

“One was to win Sydney, one was to win the Comm Games and one was to go and win at the World Cup.

“That’s been a big focus for us so we are tight as a group but given what’s happened we will use that as energy for us and we will use that as inspiration to win it, for Chuck.

“It’s a tough competition and it’s going to be tough here, too.

“We’re on our home turf, it’s been a big focus for us and we will be giving it everything.”

The Men will kick off their campaign on Saturday.

  • McWarren

    You know it is half way through the super season and I feel like I’ve watched bugger all rugby. Is there a weekend in the round when all four Aussie teams play an overseas opponent either in no or at home so I can watch 4 live games and feel like I have some skills n in the game. Fucking home derbies are doing my head in.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I know. Trouble is all the reviews decided that home derbies were what people wanted to see.

      • Ed

        Rounds 10 and 15 are when the four AUS sides play games against either NZ or SA opponents.

        The average crowd for a Reds match against AUS and NZ sides:
        2016 – AUS (16,302), NZ (16,815)
        2017 – AUS (14,695), NZ (17,685)

        The highest attendance in 2016 was 19,073 for the Moondogs.
        The Tahs match had the biggest crowd, 18,781, in 2017.

        Figures are from the QRU annual reports for those years.

      • McWarren

        I obviously missed the review.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I’m not sure I saw them either but it’s what Gorgina is saying so it must be true :-)

    • Huw Tindall

      I agree. When it was Super 12 is felt like there was more ‘local’ games. Although only the Tahs, Reds and Ponies were in more often than not you’d get 3 games in the Aus/NZ timezone. Less ‘derbies’ but more ‘locals’ if that makes sense. Scheduling has become a massive f#ck now.

      • Alister Smith

        I would rather we got as close to home and away as possible even it was home one year away next and played each team once. I think Super 18 might have even worked like that. I probably enjoy watching the Aussie teams against the Kiwi team as much or more than derbies. with the SA teams its a little harder to get into the rythmn of following them. If we played H/A within our conference that would be 8 games and then each of the other teams H or A in alternating years it would give us 18 games (??) and we wouldn’t have a situation of teams making it to the finals not having played each other at least once during the year.

  • Custard Taht

    Looking at the Tahs team, I think it could be another bad weekend for the Reds….Tahs to win 41-18.

    The only caveat on this, is the mythical Brad Thorne…..if the rumours are true, it wasn’t Moses who parted the Red sea, but Brad Thorne. But being the humble guy that he is, let Moses take the credit.

    • Huw Tindall

      Isaac Moses the (in)famous player agent?

      • Custard Taht

        I am going to say yes…..would not want deeply offend anyone by using the religious figure.

        • Who?

          I didn’t think religious types were allowed to be offended anymore..? If they are, then why is it now seemingly passable for people to blaspheme Christianity in prime time? Without the old Catholic pretence of adding ‘Mary and Joseph’ to the end? Only those who blaspheme the prophet have need to worry?
          But honestly, if people were going to be offended over that, they must have thin skins… Offended at other people’s opinions or statements that don’t have any impact on them – scandalous! :-P

        • Custard Taht

          It is the ones who take offence on other’s behalf and those who religion offends. Either way, there is no greater offence than offence.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha gold. I can’t see them winning that big but I think it may be a step too far for the Reds at the moment. The problem with them is unleashing their backs that they don’t do well yet. The delivery of the ball is just too slow. I see them being better in defence but not sure they have the attack they need to win this game.

      • Custard Taht

        I agree, I think the reds will be much improved this week. No way the lads will back up last week with a repeat performance.

        The Tahs will win by 3-7.

  • John Tynan

    Thanks for Club Corner, I appreciate the wrap of all the comps. While Brisbane Wests have a premier grade bye, those itching for action can head to The Kennel tonight to see the mighty Wests Bullfrogs take on the Thirsty Old Lions from the Sunshine Coast in VRQ action.
    VRQ=Veterans Rugby Qld, and action probably deserves airquotes, but hey, $8 pints of Guinness….rugby is the winner.

    • Who?

      VRQ team names are universally awesome!!! I can’t think of a dud club name…

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Sorry to hijack the comments section to yet again talk about Folau, but I thought that Alan Jones’ article today is of note to the day’s news:

    Jones wrote ‘My understanding is that Folau told Rugby Australia that if they were worried about the sponsorship and the money and they couldn’t accommodate his views, he would be happy to walk.’

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/rugby-union/rugby-australia-is-failing-and-folau-is-all-they-can-think-about/news-story/3e3f377a43e0bd2aadd849838b482ab4

    • Greg

      Bon voyage!

      Enjoy the walk.

    • Dud Roodt

      My understanding is that Qantas have basically said to RA that either he goes, or they go. If Izzy has the same attitude, it appears we may not be seeing much more of him

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Where have you heard that Qantas said that? I had heard it was either (a) Folau keeps his mouth shut, (b) Folau goes or (c) Qantas goes. It seems like it would be in rugby’s interest for (a) to occur.

        Failing (a), it would be best for Folau to go and for us to keep Qantas’ money I suspect…

        • joy

          It would be in shareholders interest for Joyce to go. Christians might boycott Qantas.
          Last census 52% Christian, 8% other religion, 30% no religion. How dare you aethiests have a point of view.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think so, somehow.

    • joy

      He also said he would back him in any legal action. For Jones free speech trump’s hurt feelings.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        No one has clamped down on his free speech. Folau has his religious freedom, but should he utilise it to public such comments? The issue is whether Folau wants to be offered another big contract once this current one is up.

        • joy

          Nonsense. Sponsors are leaning on RA to shut Folau up. A good number of contributers on this site are trying to achieve the same thing. For so called progressives speech is free only when they approve of what is said.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’s not the same as him being denied his freedom of speech or religion. Freedom of speech has never meant the ability to say anything without any consequences – it is the freedom to do so without fear or legal or physical reprisal.

          That doesn’t mean Qantas is forced to continue giving funding to RA if their posterboy is espousing views Qantas disagrees with. It also doesn’t mean that rugby fans shouldn’t call out views they consider bigoted or unpleasant.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Looking forward to the 7’s. Of course hoping NZ wins but if the girls do get up, and they are likely to, it will be a fantastic result for them and a real positive for rugby here. I know most of NZ is hoping for a mens win but getting past Fiji will always be hard and for them to be Olympic and Commonwealth winners would be fantastic for them as well.
    I think the Brumbies beating the Highlanders will be a big ask and maybe they would be better holding off until they face the Blues. Going to be interesting though.

    • Tomthusiasm

      I feel like Fiji sending the same team to Hong Kong and the Gold Coast could go give them an advantage over other nations. I think it’ll be an Aus vs NZ womens final again.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    NEWS UPDATE:

    slightly late, but better late than never.

    Here’s the Brumbies squad to face the Highlanders:

    Tom Banks, James Dargaville, Tevita Kuridrani, Christian Lealiifano, Chance Peni, Wharenui Hawera, Matt Lucas, Isi Naisarani, David Pocock, Tom Cusack, Blake Enever, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio
    Reserves: Robbie Abel, Nic Mayhew, Leslie Leuluaialii-Makin, Sam Carter, Michael Oakman-Hunt, Joe Powell, Kyle Godwin, Andrew Smith

    Yeah, a lot of talent there, but I don’t see them beating the Highlanders.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Stranger things have happened!

      …. haven’t they..?

Rugby
@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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