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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the matches for the weekend, club corner, Cheika confident in Folau and Gordon pushing for a win.

If you haven’t already checked it out, take the time to have a read of Jamie Miller’s article “Australian Rugby: How to stop it Failing Upwards.”


Squads out on the town

Samu Kerevi jolts a ball loose in the tackle

Samu Kerevi jolts a ball loose in the tackle

And here we are friends. Once again, the rugby is back on this weekend, and we have plenty to talk about.

It’s a pity there’s no Force match on this weekend to lift our spirits, so the boys in Super Rugby are going to have to put on a big show.

The Reds will kick off the round tonight when they head into the lions den to play the Hurricanes at the near impenetrable Cake Tin in Windy Wellington.

The Reds see the return of Scott Higginbotham, with JP Smith also coming in place of James Slipper, who has been left out for ‘welfare reasons.’

Chris Feauai-Sautia has been ruled out due to concussion, so Duncan Paia’aua will come into the side.

Reds Squad: Hamish Stewart, Filipo Daugunu, Samu Kerevi, Duncan Paia’aua, Jordan Petaia, Jono Lance, Ben Lucas, Scott Higginbotham (c), George Smith, Angus Scott-Young, Kane Douglas, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga- Amosa, JP Smith. Reserves: Andrew Ready, Sef Fa’agase, Ruan Smith, Harry Hockings, Liam Wright, Moses Sorovi, Izaia Perese, Aidan Toua.

Many are already writing off the Reds for this game, and it isn’t hard to see why. I expect they’ll turn up after last week’s embarrassing loss, but I don’t think they’re going to win. Hurricanes by 14 or more.

Check out our Reds preview here. 

Next up the Waratahs will be hosting their third Kiwi side in as many weeks, when they play the Highlanders in Sydney.

Ned Hanigan has been ruled out for six weeks with a knee injury, so Tom Staniforth will come into the starting lineup, and Ryan McCauley and Tolu Latu will be named on the bench.

Jake Gordon will also return to the starting halfback role.

Waratahs Squad: Israel Folau, Cam Clark, Curtis Rona, Kurtley Beale, Taqele Naiyaravoro, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Michael Wells, Michael Hooper (c), Will Miller, Rob Simmons, Tom Staniforth, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Tom Robertson. Reserves: Tolu Latu, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Shambeckler Vui, Ryan McCauley, Jed Holloway, Nick Phipps, Lalakai Foketi, Bryce Hegarty

The Waratahs can win this game. They have the talent to do it. They have the skills to do it. But, we’re 39 down so far, so I’m backing the visitors. Highlanders by 7.

Lastly, the Brumbies will begin their tour of South Africa with a match against the Lions. 

The Ponies are still to announce their squad, so I’ll put that in the comments when it’s announced. But let’s be honest, the Brums are genuinely boring to watch right now. They are the equivalent of watching paint dry. There’s no excitement in anything they do.

But, as I’ve said with every damn round that has come beforehand, come on, prove me wrong!

Lions by 20 or more.

The Rebels will have the bye this weekend.

In the other matches from the round, the Sunwolves travel to Hong Kong to host the Stormers, the Blues will look to break their own streak against Kiwi teams when they face the Crusaders,  the Sharks will host the Chiefs while the red-hot Jaguares will host the Bulls in Buenos Aires. That last match should be an absolute banger of a game, and if the hosts win it will be their sixth win on the trot.

Club Corner

Dewar-Shield-Harlequins-Melbourne

Club Corner is back for another week, and we’ll kick off down in South Australia.

Onkaparinga kicked off last round with a 61-14 drubbing of Woodville. Souths went down in tough clash against Burnside 10-17, and Old Collegians grabbed their first win of the season with a 29-10 victory over Brighton.

Round Four Fixtures:

Woodville v Old Collegians 
Burnside v Onkaparinga
Brighton v Souths Suburbs 

Next up, the Shute Shield in Sydney served up a few surprise results in round 6 which opened up the ladder. West Harbour confirmed their rise up the ladder with a 61-22 drubbing of Gordon, Northern Suburbs continued to heap more pain on the Wicks with a 17-28 away win, the Rebels grabbed a much needed 35-33 win against Eastern Suburbs, Sydney Uni pumped the Marlins 45-13, and Eastwood pulled off a surprise victory against the Rats at TG Milner, winning 22-12.

Round Seven Fixtures:

Southern Districts v Gordon 
Eastern Suburbs v Sydney University 
Manly v Warringah 
Northern Suburbs v Parramatta
Eastwood v West Harbour 

Randwick will have the bye.

Next up, the Hospital Challenge Cup in Brisbane served up a lot of matches that saw defence go out the window. Uni of Queensland finished off Wests 45-29, Easts defeated Norths 38-10, Bond Uni grabbed a much needed 39-32 win over Sunnybank, and GPS inflicted a surprise win over current ladder leaders Souths, 26-24.

Round Seven Fixtures:

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

Bond University will have the bye.

Over in WA, the Premier Grade gave us some delicious encounters in round six. Perth Bayswater grabbed an important 31-26 win over Palmyra, Joondalup went down 18-30 to Nedlands, Wests cleaned up UWA 18-34, Associates defeated Kalamunda in an armwrestle, 24-29, the Southern Lions came off their bye with a 54-22 win over the Cavaliers, and ARKs went down 28-33 to Cottlesloe.

Round Seven Fixtures:

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

Perth Bayswater will have the bye.

Next up, the rugby served up in the John I Dent Cup in Canberra was a lot closer than their other club counterparts. Queanbeyan came off the bye with a 20-29 win over Easts. Royals got back to winning ways with a 26-24 last ditch win against Uni-Norths, and Wests now find themselves on the bottom of the ladder with a 17-35 loss to Tuggeranong.

Round Seven Fixtures:

Uni-Norths v Wests 
Queanbeyan v Royals 
Gungahlin v Easts

Tuggeranong will have the bye.

Lastly, we head down to Melbourne for the Dewar Shield, which saw Footscray continue their poor recent form with a 17-37 loss to Moorabbin, Harlequins defeated Power House 31-10, Melbourne slaughtered Box Hill 72-5 and Melbourne Uni grabbed a vital away win against Endeavour Hills, 10-19.

Round Five Fixtures:

Endeavour Hills v Footscray 
Melbourne v Harlequins 
Melbourne Uni v Moorabbin 
Power House v Box Hill 

Remember to enjoy your club rugby this weekend, and remember, let’s keep making club rugby great again!

Won’t Walk the Walk

MIchael Cheika oversees warm up

MIchael Cheika oversees warm up

Michael Cheika is busy in squad assembly mode, and has had to answer repeated questions around Israel Folau‘s inclusion in the Wallaby squad.

Izzy has been causing a bit of a firestorm of controversy over the last few weeks, with his usage of social media being seen as critical of homosexuality.

Cheik confirmed he has spoken to Izzy about the matter, and also has reminded the Wallaby squad of their conduct on social media. However. he remains confident that Izzy will stay on in Aussie rugby.

“We need to be focusing on footy and getting ourselves clear on a big series coming up against the northern hemisphere champions,” Cheika said on the radio. 

“To do that, we’ve got to have everyone focused on footy.

“So this has been done. It’s been dealt with, so it’s not going to be an ongoing issue.

“We’ve spoken but I’m not going to be reading the riot act about that (online conduct) to anybody.

“I’m going to be reminding guys what the team is about, what it means to be part of the team and then guys make their decisions from there.

“And Izzy wants to be part of the team, not just now, in the future as well.

“There’s a lot of people that think that he’s trying to use it as some tactic to get out of playing. If he wanted to go, he could go easily.

“He wants to play rugby, he understands that he doesn’t want to affect the team around those things because that’s my responsibility to the team.

“And I think, like I said, if it’s not ongoing, it’s not going to be an issue.”

Izzy has also been pissed about being on the Wing at the Waratahs, but Cheik all but confirmed where he’d want Izzy to play.

“Fullback for me. He’s too invaluable around defusing high balls,” Cheik explained.

“You saw what he did on the weekend.

“If you want to get him on the edge to play kick ball to him, you can manufacture that to him, just like the Tahs did in that game when he was on edge.

“He was devastating in that space.”

Knock that nail in

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Speaking of the Tahs, the last few weeks they’ve been the closest (at least in scoreboard terms) to defeating a Kiwi side and ending the streak.

This weekend they come up against the Highlanders, and Jake Gordon has made it clear the Tahs need to make use of their possession if they are to grab a ‘huge’ win.

“That’s been our aim (to break the drought),” he said to rugby.com.au. 

“The last two weeks, we haven’t had as many errors but the little analogy (is) just to keep knocking the nail.

“For us, at the moment, it’s in those pressure situations, it’s holding onto the ball and not giving the ball over easy.

“We kept fighting (against the Crusaders).

“I think it was maybe 10 phases into that last two minutes in the game and I felt like we put ourselves in a position to win that game.”

Gordon himself has a had really impressive season so far, and many folks are looking to see him break into the Wallabies squad. With the Irish series coming up though, he made sure that his focus is on the Tahs for now.

“We’re against another Kiwi opposition and personally, (it’s) just keep playing good footy,” he said.

“For me, it’s working on those little things that I’ve been doing in training and bringing them out on the paddock.”

Gordon will go head to head tomorrow night with All Black flyhalf Aaron Smith, which will be the biggest test for him so far in his career.

  • McWarren

    Potentially another winless weekend for Aussie teams. Though I suspect the Tahs are a good chance of rolling the Highlanders. There has been a lot of focus on the Crusaders come back being the Tahs fault and not a product of a bloody good Saders team. I thought the tarts were outstanding and unlucky last week. I’m going to pick them by 6.

    If my Reds can defend like the game against the Lions then it won’t be a slaughter. But I’m sick of relying on ifs for hope.

    Brumbies will more than likely get the tails handed too them. Can they use the tour to turn around fortunes. Interesting to me how the Tahs toured early, copped some flagging but seemed to have gelled as a team on and off the field.

    If Cheika tactic talks are any more confusing and waffaly as his media appearance then it’s not surprising our Wallabies look clueless at times.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate gutsy call. I thought they lost focus once the ball stopped being kicked to Folau and didn’t really seem to make opportunities when that stopped happening.

      Yeah hope is for lotto. Other than that it’s hard work, planning, ethos, skills and practice.

      Good luck anyway

      • McWarren

        Thanks mate. Enjoy the slaughter.

    • Adrian

      Good analysis I think McWarren, especially re Crusaders and Tahs.
      I too think Tahs a chance, but not game to pick them, given they are getting 5.5 points start. I have a slight worry that last week exhausted them mentally and physically. A few fresh faces will help, especially Latu

      I think Reds will be beaten, but will be very focused. Smith might annoy Barrett and put him off his game.

      Brums with a back row of Pocock, Valenti and Naisarani will be very competitive I think.

      Cheika is just being Cheika,…the players do understand him I think, despite his public double talk

  • paul

    Its Okay everyone Raelene has a vision.

    I have been in my role as chief executive of Rugby Australia for four months. During this time, I have met with many people in the game, from a variety of different roles, backgrounds and experiences.

    These conversations have covered a diverse range of topics from community rugby to professional rugby, the business of rugby, and everything in between. I have been welcomed by the rugby community wherever I have gone and there has been a willingness and openness to share views and opinions with me.

    What I have learnt is that Australian rugby has strong foundations, however not all elements within the game are working in unison and our organisations are not aligned as effectively as they could be in their thinking or delivery. The positive, though, is that the sport is driven by passionate rugby people all over Australia, including players, officials, volunteers, administrators, former players, coaches and fans who all want to see rugby thrive.

    They recognise that there are challenges facing the game that need to be addressed, structures that need reshaping and hard decisions that need to be made if we are to see success at every level of the game.

    From those many discussions there have been two major recurring themes — Super Rugby team performance and grassroots rugby. I want to focus on those two topics in this article.

    The rugby landscape

    The reality of the current rugby environment is that our performances in Super Rugby are not at the level we expect or need them to be. This narrative dominates the media, public and loungeroom conversation and overshadows some of the positive things that are happening in the game.

    I will get to these soon, because it is important for rugby fans to know that the game is progressing despite some of the results at the top level.

    The Super Rugby competition has some obvious challenges, which are felt more in our country when our teams aren’t winning. From an on-field point of view, Rugby Australia and the four Super Rugby organisations are working extremely hard to generate more consistent performances from all our professional teams through a renewed, collaborative approach to administration, coaching, and player development.

    From a playing and coaching perspective, there is an agreed focus on player fitness and skill development and our Wallabies coaching staff are supporting this across all the Super Rugby teams. There has been some early progress, however we know this work needs to convert quickly into winning teams across the board and we are confident that it will.

    From an off-field perspective, the future of the Super Rugby competition is currently under review through the SANZAAR partnership and there is a lot of work being done to ensure that the structure that is signed off for beyond 2020 gives the competition the best opportunity to be successful in the future and importantly, from an Australian Rugby point of view, can deliver what we need as a commercial and fan proposition in our unique sporting environment.

    Elsewhere, the success and growth of the men’s and women’s sevens programs has been a hugely positive influence on the rugby landscape with men’s sevens participation in rugby clubs growing by 21 per cent and women’s participation growing by 47 per cent over the past year. These new participants to the game are finding an alternative route to engage with rugby rather than through the traditional XVs channels, and the community clubs that are running sevens competitions are experiencing the benefits.

    For rugby to remain relevant in a congested sporting market, it is important there are multiple ways that people can engage with the game and there are participation options for new entrants picking up a rugby ball for the first time.

    Where we are targeting these new entrants is public schools, where our Get Into Rugby (formerly Game On) program has seen more than 70,000 kids experience rugby for the first time since the beginning of 2017, including no less than 5000 indigenous children. Significantly, 68 per cent of these students have been from government schools, and 40 per cent are girls.

    Get Into Rugby is an inclusive, fun skills program introducing children to the base skills of the game and all participants start by playing our non-contact version, Touch 7s.

    Our plans are to build and expand this program to develop and foster relationships between schools and our rugby clubs.

    To support this, we are investing further in growing our development workforce to connect these school participants with clubs. Rugby is facing aggressive competition in this area from other footy codes, so it is important that our product is appealing and the message to students about our game is a positive one. One of those important messages is around the safety of our game.

    Rugby was the first sport in Australia to launch a size and age dispensation program for contact rugby that addresses the challenges of variable size and age in relation to safety.

    This policy was applied nationally this year to ensure players in the under-8 to under-13 age levels are playing against other children of similar size and physical maturity, through mandatory assessment of players to determine their appropriate age grade. This essentially allows for players that are too big or too small for their age level to play up or down a grade.

    This, combined with the national roll out of the blue card system to recognise and remove players showing signs of concussion on field, reassures parents that rugby is doing all it can to ensure their child’s safety.

    While we are excited about the expansion of rugby into non-traditional schools, we are not ignoring our traditional schools and competitions. Rugby Australia has developed a national schools strategy to improve areas of safety, growth, competition structures, governance, and resourcing.

    This work is being led by former Wallaby and Rugby Australia board director Paul McLean and we look forward to keeping the rugby community informed on its progress in such a vital area for our game.

    The challenge of keeping our most talented schoolboy players in the game is not a new phenomenon but is an area of focus given the increased pressure from well-resourced rival codes.

    We are reviewing our contracting system specifically to address this issue and will announce some changes in this area shortly, all designed to ensure our top-priority talent remain in our game after school and have opportunities to experience off-field development and on-field success.

    There is a clear pathway for boys from junior clubs and schools through to the Wallabies and the same can now be said for the women’s game with the advent of the Uni 7s Series and Super W completing the development pathway for women’s Sevens and the Wallaroos (XVs).

    Our priorities

    Our priorities for the immediate future include, first and foremost, strengthening the partnership between our national, state and territory organisations to create greater alignment on strategy and the delivery of community and professional rugby programs, with a focus on building winning teams.

    The Super Rugby competition review is another area of immediate focus. This work will continue at Rugby Australia, and with SANZAAR, ahead of the commencement of the broadcast negotiations towards the end of the year.

    We will work to maximise our opportunities to bring new revenue into the game to deliver greater investment into the community game.

    We will drive participation by ramping up our efforts to expand the Get Into Rugby program in schools, with a strategic focus on government schools, and foster relationships between Get Into Rugby schools and their local junior clubs. We will also double the number of participants across the country playing our non-contact product, Foxtel Touch 7s this year.

    We are taking advantage of the global strength of rugby through a new international strategy to capitalise on the fact that our national teams spend more time out of Australia, playing in our major trade and export hubs.

    We will bid aggressively to win the rights to host the 2021 Women’s World Cup and 2027 Rugby World Cup. Securing these pinnacle events will drive participation, engage new fans and importantly, create new revenue for our game.

    And we will work harder at developing and keeping our most talented players through the implementation of the national schools strategy and new contracting initiatives.

    The challenges rugby faces are well documented and widely debated but I believe there is much to be positive about and many of the building blocks are in place to take these challenges head on.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Am here early for once, thnks to my EA finding some space in my calendar for me to sit, reafd my favourite blog and have a wonderful cup of Kwoffeeeee! The simple things in life. Now to the hard stuff:
    – Yep probably going to be another bad weekend for Aus rugby.
    – Israel Folau just had his Land ROver seized by the company, taking it back after his twitter spiels!
    – Glad to hear that SANZAAR are definitely punishing O’Keefe. Reffing the Reds if definitely punishing him. Anyone having to endure watching a game with my team playing is a harsh harsh punishment.
    – If the Reds are inside 50 points of the Darth Saders, I will be satisfied. But after shipping soooooooo many points to the mooon doggies this has a very ominous feeling about it.
    – Tarts are going to get done too.
    – So are the Brumbies.
    – And Cheika is still a dick!
    On those positive notes. Over to you GAGR’s

    • Happyman

      Bl Reffing the Reds is a horrible punishment after last week but being a young team I am expecting rocks or diamonds. Diamonds this week but they will still get spanked like a UK parliamentarian. Can you imagine outcry if the TMO intervenes and sends one of the Reds off for something behind the play.

      I cannot blame the current coaches they are a product of a broken system that does not nurture and promote talent on merit either players or coaches.

      I think the Tahs are due but the Highlanders will work them over in the Piggies.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. I agree the coaches are limited to their background. But the system should see by now, in fact should have seen long ago, that our coaches arent up to the mark. Keep them as assistant coaches. Bring in some guns, mentor our guys til the are ready and sufficiently skilled to take over.
        Instead we put them in positions that they lack the capability to ful fill, and the duly sack them when they fail. this is a fault of the State Rugby boards and the RA.

        • Habitual offender

          Have to agree, though I usually dislike laying blame.
          Dont think I’ll bother for a few days, till Im all better.
          Broken system? Was asked a few days ago to do some assistant coaching, logged on to find according to the database that I hav no ref or coaching accred anymore except a JPP… Noone seems to have an answer.
          Like kids trying to organise a fkn tea party.

        • HK Red

          Is it one of those “don’t pay your subs, lose all accreditation” things? I know it’s like that with some diving accreditations. Don’t pay your subs for more than 12 mths, lose all qualifications, need to do the course and the exam all over again. At some point it becomes just about the money rather than the passing on of knowledge.

        • Habitual offender

          Could very well be HK, start again as a qual’d touchy by the looks.
          Makes it hard to stay positive…

        • Who?

          No, all the accreditations are limited time accreditations, just like your drivers licence. Unlike your drivers licence, though, you can’t simply pay your dues and get it again. You have to go through the accreditation program. So, every two years, you have to pay to update your Smart Rugby. A Level 1 accreditation has traditionally lasted 4 years – that’s around $100, and a full day. Level 2 coaching accreditation is a 3 day course, held only in major centres (i.e. Sydney and Brisbane, so, accommodation costs and time off work), it was (from memory) around $500, you apply and hope. They’re always oversubscribed and they always prioritize the school coaches over anyone else (even their staff!!! Our local DO was L3 accredited interstate, but it wasn’t recognized here (it was the same accreditation!!! Still ARU), and when he applied, in spite of their need to get him accreditation so he could run Foundation Courses (i.e. L1), they didn’t get him through).
          I get the value in getting people to update their qualifications – provided there’s meaningful content provided. But given the absolute farce that is RugbyLink, it’s yet another blockage to participation…

        • Habitual offender

          Makes it all a bit clearer Who, thanks.
          Have a talk with the guys and see what the next steps are I guess.. maybe to the nearest local…

        • Who?

          It used to be, until 4 years ago, that you could just nominate to your club or the sub union and you’d be in the course. Now it’s all got to be done online for courses that are often not well publicised and aren’t always on the website with much lead time.
          RA’s decision to go to “member controlled online only” was a farce, it’s makes it much harder to be a ‘club’ as opposed to a bunch of individuals who turn up for a game, and it’s making it much, much harder to organize/manage registrations. It might be ok for digital natives with bucket loads of cash in the inner city, but in the real world, it’s costing registrations. And in my region, it’s about to destroy the upper half of the teenage competition. One idiot decided to throw a stone, without considering the fact that everyone’s living in glass houses and they’re all built on foundations of dynamite.
          I’ve been talking about this problem (not consistently on here) for three years. No one else is. As much as everything else is pretty negative at the moment, this may be the thing that ultimately kills off the game…

        • Habitual offender

          Yup, fuck it.
          Ill go Level1 spectator, only $40@month with Fox

        • Who?

          That’s where my son’s gone with continuing his refereeing. He looked and thought, “I lose my Saturday mornings, for no payment, then the local sub union and referees association are going to expect me to be involved with seniors (and that’s serious travel)… And I have to go sit through a three hour course at my own cost..?” And that’s without the kerfuffle of dealing with other parties for online registration.
          When clubs managed registrations and course enrolments, clubs could choose to cover fees for volunteers. That’s no longer possible – it’s got to be coordinated, or paid and repaid. It’s too much effort, for a system that was supposedly going to make life easier.
          But $40/month with Fox is also too much. Who wants League or AFL? Not me. Rugby Pass is $20/month, just a shame you have to violate its EULA to use them in Australia.

        • Habitual offender

          sad innit.
          Well… Im off to the big smelly city to watch some club rugby, least theres fun to be had there.
          Enjoy the weekend all

        • HK Red

          Damn, that all sounds unnecessarily convoluted and frustrating. Agree if there’s valid new content, then it does make sense. However, if it’s just about a refresher course or small updates, that could be made available online.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thats really disspointing to hear HO! We need more people out there coaching not less.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Man I’d hate to see your negative notes.
      Not so sure the Tahs will get totally owned but they need to work it out themselves rather than wait for the opposition to kick it to Folau.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think Folau will be too busy Looking for his Land Rover!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha that’s friggen gold. I feel more inclined to buy a Discovery now

        • Brisneyland Local

          I want the Velar!

        • Hoss

          You want to get anywhere – but a Land Rover – you want to get back again – buy a Toyota.

        • onlinesideline

          I want this – fun starts at 2.30 – (dutch guy has insane test drives)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHZ5pgiAOCQ

        • Habitual offender

          Thats just evil, be crap on the beach though…

        • onlinesideline

          lol – true – but autobahn tends to bring out the evil in every driver. What amazes me about this clip was the way it was only revving 7000 at 300 km/h – basically cruising. Insane stuff, insane channel. Check out the AMG C63 1000 HP – bit off topic though for GGR but somewhat similar. Rugby too Its all about power and speed – haha

        • Missing Link

          nice, does it come with a toilet roll dispenser?

        • onlinesideline

          actually no but the reason he was driving so fast was he actually had to take a crap. Station was at least 50 miles away.
          Night All.

        • Greg

          You see the challenge of driving on the Autobahn at about 5:00… he is cruising at 300… and the next car in the fast lane is doing 100. This go wrong very quickly with that difference in speed. you will notice as well that as he winds back to 190 at one stage he takes one hand off teh wheel and relaxes :-)

        • onlinesideline

          when a tad homesick – I watch a rerun or two of the Bush Tucka man. Europe is beautiful but tell ya what mate OZ is special.

        • Gun

          Good old Les. Was s funny bloke. Used to turn up to the mess with his .45 magnum in Darwin.

        • onlinesideline

          what do you mean “was” – dont tell me he passed away ?

        • Gun

          Not sure, bad turn of phrase. He’d be getting on since he was a digger in Vietnam in the 60s.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! As you know I ride bikes. But this was for a family truckster!

        • Hoss

          Like most of them mate – it will be on a tow truck heading back to a dealer for repairs. Owned a Rangie once – never again

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I hear you! I want the Velar because it looks good. But All of my mates that own Rangies say dont bother!

        • Missing Link

          They punished Folau for his comments by making him drive an RR Evoque for a month

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold!

    • Adrian

      BL, you are a bit hard on Reds. The bookies say 28.5 points start, out a bit from yesterday’s 27.5

      They say 5.5 points start for NSW, which is probably right, so I won’t tip them, …but faaark I’d like to

      Bookies say 15.5 start for Brums, which might burn them. With Pocock back, Brums will be 200% smarter on the field. Back row of Pocock, Valenti and Naisarani is mouth watering, even if the backs, and especially the inside backs are pedestrian. Potential upset here, but I’ll confirm my views a bit later

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I hadnt considered that.
        I am only hard on the reds because I am a fan! For the years of torture they have put me through.

      • Huw Tindall

        I’d have but some $$ down on the Reds with that start….wish I did now but I’m not a betting type of guy. Would rather lose my money on pints down the pub. Guaranteed win.

    • Funk

      If you want a slight positive…how about Ned Hannigan out for 6 weeks (now I wouldn’t wish an injury on anyone, not even Wyatt Crockett) but does that 6 weeks out include the entire Ireland series??

      • Brisneyland Local

        Apparently it does! I agree not wishing injury on anyone. But at least we wont have to endure that!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Just win Jake. TBH I’m not interested in how well you’re going, how good your training is, how you’re giving or not giving penalties. Just score more points than the opposition and friggen defend. Save all the boring bullshit talk for when you have won because until then we won’t care.

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      It was so refreshing to read this comment.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Thanks Nick

      • Brisneyland Local

        How is the GAGR Podcast going Nick?

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Did people hear that it looks likely Sean McMahon will sign with the Reds for 2019 due to the Japanese league being called off for a year? That would make him eligible for the Wallabies this year.

    Any bets on whether we will see the McPooper in June?

    • Brisneyland Local

      I wold like to see McMahon and Pocock. Dont care about Hooper much!

      • Tah Tragic

        So would that make it the McPo or the McCock?

        • onlinesideline

          oh FFS nooooooo – dont start this again
          (macock?)

        • Brisneyland Local

          I will go with the McCock!
          sounds Like a great new MCD’s burger!

        • Fed

          McCocks – they sell those in NSW? jokes jokes easy

        • Brisneyland Local

          Tip of the hat!

    • Will

      Wouldn’t that be great! Watching him smash through kiwis at the last bledisloe game in Brisbane was a sight to behold! Just need another 22 more with his mongrel.

    • Christopher

      Thats sounds right. QRU sign a marquee player in the position they have easily the most depth in.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Do they? Smith is retiring I believe and I’m not yet convinced by Korczyk or Wright – I think the addition of McMahon means your back-row goes to a huge strength. He can play 6, 7 and 8.

        • Christopher

          Plus ASY, Tui, and U20s Blyth and hockings (may be both locks) they aren’t world beaters but have performed well consistently thus far.

          C.f. our halves, centres and non full back. Only second row are we stronger.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Your starting open side flanker is retiring. You’re looking at getting in an international quality replacement in that position.

          I fail to see where the issue is. There’s nothing to suggest that the Reds are overlooking top class fullbacks or halves in order to sign McMahon.

          Australia has a dire lack of distributing 10s and 12s. Maybe you’ll try and sign Barnes, I don’t know, but between Stewart, Paia’aua, Kerevi, CFS and Perese you have depth in those positions. That’s even ignoring the QC elephant in the room.

    • Adrian

      I don’t think it qualifies him for this June, but does for next season… leading into WC

      I’m not sure if the subtle things McMahon needs to learn will be learnt in Queensland.

      Also, Reds issue isn’t about hard work, it is about smart work….IMO of course

      • Who?

        If he signs for next year, he’s in the same position as Douglas in 2015 at the RWC, and Peter Samu this year (and people are talking about him playing in June). So I’m not sure you’re right there?
        But I agree with your other points.

        • Missing Link

          You’d think the logical choice for Samu would be the Rebels. They mentioned he grew up there when the Crusaders played at AAMI park.

        • Adrian

          Ok

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well GAGR’s Ralene Castle has just spelled out her vision for Australian Rugby. It is published in the Australian. (Apologies to all those that cant read the Pay per view). I must say it seems more to counter the AJ articles than to actually spell out any path forward. In fact it was thoroughly uninspiring! Oh dear!

    • Fed

      Can’t read it but isn’t that an example? Rugby isn’t accessible nowadays lol

      • Mica

        Is it not on RA website?

      • Brisneyland Local

        touche!

    • Bakkies

      In other news the Government response to the Senate Inquiry is now up.

      • Brisneyland Local

        How does that read?

        • Bakkies

          They stated that they have taken on board recommendations in to the ASC looking in to governing body structures, said the WA Government should look at the deals with the RA and that ASIC is ongoing with their investigations.

          Here’s Nick Taylor’s take

          https://thewest.com.au/sport/western-force/asic-probe-into-western-force-decision-continues-ng-b88840541z

        • Bakkies

          Further to add there’s an error the report says the IP has been returned to WA however it is actually been loaned and the IP Australia search confirms the RA still owns it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks mate. that is an interesting read!

  • juswal

    Just pasting what I posted in a comment on yesterday’s news: ‘What Cheika says to the media has no resemblance to what he believes.’

  • onlinesideline

    https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/folau-raised-question-of-hell-so-let-s-really-look-at-who-belongs-there-20180517-p4zfva.html

    Now we have Leaguies trying to butter up Izzy to come back to NRL by calling Union players overpaid imposters in between a religious lesson and a green light to speak freely at will – phiffftt.

    Crafty NRL Crafty

    • Who?

      He won’t go back, he’s focused on the afterlife, and Rugby’s the game they play in heaven. :-P

    • Adrian

      They have some rules re things that can be said…as do other countries

  • bob

    It is amazing that the AFL is playing it’s second on game this weekend in China. And they are making a massive deal out of it and rightly so it is easy self promotion. And yet now super rugby is playing their first game in China tomorrow and we haven’t barely heard a peep from anyone. This is easy hype story for Super Rugby self promotion yet still nothing.

  • Hoss

    Morning gathered brethren,

    For no other reason than its Friday, i arrive to this sacred site full of optimism, verve, vigour and buoyed by our weekend prospects and fearlessly predict 2 Aussie Wins, both against the forces of Voldemort across the ditch.

    Yep, our form is just so inconsistent we have to win – its a lock.

    Reds – beat the lions, get rolled by WWII Silver medallists, we are a lock to win and by 13+ (yes my delusion knows no bounds)

    Tah’s – as my spiritual inspiration, well-being role model and all round good-guy Mr Meatloaf says – ‘2 out of 3 ain’t bad’ – that’s right 2 losses, one win and its this weekend – also 13+

    Bets are on. Fridge loaded and not even some dumb as fuck staff are going to derail my complete and utter focus on Aussie glory (Rose tattoo anyone) – facts, form and forecasts be damned – its my party and ill cry if i want too…..

    As Chair of the GAGR Future Development Fund i have also launched our investment strategy with $10 on the Reds – head-to-head (paying $13) and $10 at 13+ (paying $51 – was paying $126 last night – the fix is in)

    Strap yourself in, oil up, get a volley of profanities ready – its on like Donkey King lads.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Hey folks, the Brumbies have announced their squad for the Lions game:

    15. Tom Banks, 14. Henry Speight, 13. Tevita Kuridrani, 12. Kyle Godwin, 11. Andy Muirhead, 10. Christian Lealiifano, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Isi Naisarani, 7. David Pocock, 6. Rob Valetini, 5. Sam Carter, 4. Rory Arnold, 3. Allan Alaalatoa, 2. Folau Faingaa, 1. Scott Sio.

    Reserves: 16. Robbie Abel, 17. Nic Mayhew, 18. Ben Alexander, 19. Blake Enever, 20. Lachlan McCaffrey, 21. Tom Cusack, 22. Matt Lucas, 23. Andrew Smith.

    All I can say is, thank bloody god Poey is back. At least with him on the field the Brumbies will start to look vaguely interesting.

    Still think the Lions will win this one.

    Thoughts?

    • onlinesideline

      geeeze thats not a bad lineup at all. You’d think they would be a chance, but being 2018 ….

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Aside from the introduction of Valetini, Pocock and Naisarani (long overdue, but Cusack and McCaffrey are good players too) and Muirhead over Peni it is virtually the same team from the start of the season.

        I mean, thank goodness Hawera isn’t at 10, but we still have no-defence Speight and no-attack Kuridrani starting. Where are the consequences for their performances? Smith to 13 and Dargaville or Verity-Amm to the wing.

        • Adrian

          I think that both Kurandrani and Speight need to be moved in one spot, and the Brumbies accept that they don’t have inside backs in their squad that can create anything.
          Different tactics need to be used if the previous ones have failed week in, week out with half a dozen different combinations and permutations in the 9,10,12 area.

          Having said all of that, Pocock, Valetini and Naisarani might spring big surprises themselves by grabbing turnover ball and steaming through the ruck edges. I’m not sure yet, but a distant possibility in my book

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Kuridrani at 12 is potentially worth thinking about, but at the end of the day the only thing he potentially offers over Godwin is better ball-carrying (and even that is questionable based on what he has shown this year). Godwin is a better tackler (he’s probably the best defensive 12 in SR….), better skills and a better boot. He isn’t ideal, but he’s okay.

          Speight can’t defend on the wing, and so I definitely don’t want him making decisions in defence at 13. The issue isn’t only his decision-making either, his technique is rubbish and he rarely accelerates into the tackle.

          It was clear from day one that 9. Powell, 10. Lealiifano, 12. Godwin was probably the best combination. They just needed to be coached better.

          The back-row looks very good. Excited to see it.

          You’re 100% right about the new tactics and coaching. That is issue number one.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That 9, 10 & 12 is good and you’re correct coaching and tactics failed them. If I was in charge of the Brumbies my first task would be to address the coaching

        • Ed

          Isn’t that an Oz wide problem though KRL, coaching?
          TPN is the most accurate in his lineout throwing during his career now after a season in Leicester.

        • Adrian

          I see what you mean DBTBBr e Brum defenders.

          I think however that the Brumbies biggest issue is attack not defence.

          I used to play and coach with a defence first philosophy, but seeing League coaches Bennett and Bellamy, and the ABs Hansen maximise attack, I can see that in some cases there is a need for readjustment.

          Put very, very simply, and talking about playing in the centres (Godwin 12, Speight 13….where he has played), I’d say Godwin gets 2/10 for attack, and 7/10 for defence (9/20 overall). IMO Speight would get 8/10 for attack and 2/10 for defence (10/20 overall)
          Either way, it’s fairly elementary, and not enough to make big differences

    • Hoss

      What no Hawera – what will i complain about next week ??

      Love the look of this lot.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate dont worry. I am sure we will find something. It is an Australian team for gods sake!

        • Hoss

          Come on mate – you’re in an existential funk.

          I have looked into my crystal ball – Mondays Courier Mail headlines

          ‘Oz Rugby 3 – All Comers Nil

          All is right with RA’

          i know its been 4 score & 7 years since we tasted that sweet, sweet nectar of global domination – but trust me mate – THIS is the weekend, we the downtrodden, the victimised, subjugated masses rise up and claim what is rightfully hours – through birthright – crowing rights over those thumb-suckers across the detch.

          Best Elvis voice now……………..Glory, glory, hallelujah – his truth is marching on

          All together now……..

        • Tah Tragic

          Hoss, you were encouraging us all to take a little blue pill earlier in the week. You’re definitely taking something. Whatever it is keep taking it, I love your optimism.
          I was pissed off at Brookvale and just angry last week. I’m just going to head to the game tomorrow and enjoy the show, not get too riled up and enjoy a stadium all to myself.

        • Hoss

          Its liberating my Tah’s buddy – i have abandoned reason, logic, form, other forums, common sense, dooms-dayers and naysayers and am completely at peace living on planet Hoss, where anything could and will happen and the snozberries taste like snozberries – population = 1.

          My only logic – the Oz sides are so inconsistent that anytime soon the planets will align and they will fluke a massive upset.

          Having surveyed the population on my planet i have arrived at a resounding 100% majority who have decided this is the weekend for such a result.

          Stay tuned

        • Brisneyland Local

          Another Cheeseburger please!
          Make it deep fried
          (Done in my best Elvis voice)

    • Adrian

      Great backrow

    • Adrian

      Pitty about the inside backs

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Yeah hit the nail on the head there mate. I reckon the Piggies will really have to step up in this game.

  • Johnno

    Raeylene Castle did an article in “The Australian” today, on her vision for OZ rugby…. Super rugby/Grassroots rugby got a big blug.. She has spoken about reforms for schoolboy rugby etc, and where to for super rugby etc..

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep, I read it! It was most dissapointing!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Excellent. that is good news! Other wise we were going to subject the airwaves to me, KRL, Hoss, Missing LInk, Richard Patterson and a number of others dribbling shit! well me dribbling shit, and the others probably making some intellectual comment.
    For feedback to the guys, can you suggest that potentially Sucker For Red or Kate elizabeth get interviewed or be a guest on their pod. It would be great to have some ladies on the Pods!

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Hey GAGRs,

    On a small note, we’ve got a couple of newbies starting to do the news next week. We’ve got some exciting guys coming through, so look out for them next week.

    Rest assured, I’ll still be around though to do a news day or two, you can’t get rid of me yet!

    • McWarren

      Have we lost you to Europe or Japan Nick? I hope you qualify for gagr’s Giteau clause.

  • Perth girl

    There might not be a Western Force mens game on this weekend but I’m off to see the WF Women take on Hong Kong Women tonight and tomorrow I’ll be at the Wests Scarborough v Joondalup game with a group from the Roaming Sea of Blue. Happy Days!

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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