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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees points to be proven, club corner, Haylett-Petty talking the talk and and bit of positive news out of Queensland.


Point to Prove

Quade Cooper dabbing a little kick through the line.

Quade Cooper dabbing a little kick through the line.

The chat has been growing over the past few weeks, and now finally, the National Rugby Championship is upon us.

And if there is any indication of how valuable this tournament has become for Aussie rugby, it’s the fact that a lot of coaches and players are coming into this competition with a point to prove.

No one has a point to prove more than Karmichael Hunt and Quade Cooper.

With Coops out of favour at the Reds and Hunt out of favour everywhere for his second drug offence at the start of the year, it could be argued that their selection in Brisbane City’s outfit is effectively the last roll of the dice for both.

And both are treating it as such, according to coach Mick Heenan.

“They’re both really motivated,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“They both have a point to prove and they will want to be able to show that they can play at the next level.

“They’ve both had reasonable seasons for Souths and I’m just looking forward to getting into the NRC season.”

City hasn’t won the Toast Rack since taking it home with Nick Stiles in 2015, and Heenan has admitted that he’s much happier with the squad he’s assembled hopes to see the trophy back to Ballymore.

“I feel like I’m better prepared,” he said.

“At the start of last year coaching NRC wasn’t even on my radar so I wasn’t watching games through the lens of who might be suitable for NRC.

“Because I knew from early on this year that I’d probably be coaching City again I’ve been able to assess players in a different light which has been useful.”

A person with an even bigger point to prove is Darren Coleman.

The Warringah and NSW Country Eagles coach has been at the helm of the country franchise ever since their inception in 2014, and he has come close multiple times to winning NSW’s first premiership.

Coleman already will have his hands full this weekend with the Shute Shield grand final, but the upcoming NRC campaign is still very much on his mind, especially after his side lost their semi-final placing in the final match of the regular season last year, at the hands of their regular nemesis, the Perth Spirit.

“It wasn’t the first time we’ve been bumped out in those sorts of circumstances either unfortunately, but that’s just how footy goes,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“We’ve been there or thereabouts and competed well the last few years, so we know within ourselves what we can do to improve.”

Coleman admitted that delayed start will do wonders for the Eagles. It seems almost fate that their first match will be against their re-branded rivals in the Force in Perth. Not only the Spirit knock them out of contention last year, but they also defeated them in the grand final in 2016.

“Not only does it give us another week off to allow the players to gel, but it also gives us a more in depth look at what the Force have been doing this year, as well as what kind of squad they’ve put out in week one against Brisbane City.

“There’s no doubt playing together will have its advantages for the Force, but we are confident that we can head over there and get our season underway with a win.”

Club/NRC Corner

Warringah vs. Sydney Uni (Image Credit - Rising Sun Photography)

Warringah vs. Sydney Uni (Image Credit – Rising Sun Photography)

This portion of the news is getting smaller and smaller by the week.

So, to start off, we’ll recognise the success of Associates in WA, who won the FMG Premiership Competition last week with 23-10 win over Kalamunda. The runners up had a fantastic finals series, but in the end couldn’t pull off a Cinderella finish, with the favourites running them down.

The match sums up what was a fantastic club season for WA. Before we know it, it’ll be the 2019 season all over again.

The last two club competitions get into their finals straps this weekend.

First up, in South Australia the Coopers Premier Grade saw a couple of big upset results during their semi finals series, with Burnside going down at home in a thriller to Brighton, 36-37, while Onkaparinga got put to the sword by Old Collegians, crashing out hard in a 7-39 loss.

Burnside will host Old Collegians this weekend in the Preliminary Final, with the winner going on to face Brighton next weekend.

Preliminary Final Fixture:

Burnside v Old Collegians

And finally, arguably the largest club grand final this weekend will take place in front of an estimated 18,000 fans at North Sydney Oval, with the Intrust Super Shute Shield Grand Final.

Last weekend, Sydney University served up a demolition of Manly, beating them 41-3, while Warringah shocked the Northern Suburbs faithful with a 22-25 win. The win sees the Rats through to their second grand final in a row.

With an intense final looming, should the Students win, it will be their twenty-seventh premiership and their first in five years. Should the Rats win, it will be the first time in their club’s history that they will have won back-to-back titles. It’s going to be a whopper.

Grand Final Fixture:

Sydney University v Warringah

If you’d like to know more about the Shute Shield and club rugby, check out our most recent Dropped Kick-Off podcast, where we chatted to SRU President David Begg.

With no Wallabies tests on, for everyone else in the country now is the time for the National Rugby Championship, which kicks off this weekend.

Check out the squads here.

First up, the Fijian Drua will start their campaign in Nausori (on Saturday, 1pm local time) to a Melbourne Rising side chock full of Rebels. While the Rising will be tough nut, last year doesn’t bode well for them and the Drua are a tough to crack at home, so I’ll be going with the flying Fijians. Drua by 15.

The second match sees, in my opinion, the match of the round, with the Canberra Vikings hosting Queensland Country (Saturday, 5pm local time) in a rematch of last year’s grand final. Country were victorious on that occasion, but the Vikings will have a bunch of Wallabies at their disposal, which makes them a much tougher proposition. In my opinion, that will prove the difference. Vikings by 7.

And, finally Brisbane City will kick off their campaign with a touch match against the Western Force at Norths Rugby Club in Brisbane (Sunday, 3pm local time). While Brisbane City do have a strong squad and will definitely make a game of it, this Force side is full of a lot of class, have been playing together for a few months in World Series Rugby, and will be out to prove a point. Force by 10.

For more information, check out our most recent GAGR pod on all things NRC.

Get along this weekend, and help #GrowTheGame.

Bledis-Low

Dale Haylett-Petty gets around his man.

Dale Haylett-Petty gets around his man.

The Wallabies have a week off following two demolitions at the hands of the All Blacks, which saw a combined total of 78-26 points scored.

While the results pissed off many a rugby fan on this side of the ditch, Dane Haylett-Petty argued that the blowouts weren’t totally reflective of the actual competition. 

“It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water when you look at the scoreline but we actually did a lot of things right, I think,” he said.

“We just killed on turnovers and there’s not a lot of teams in world rugby that will hurt you like that from your mistakes.”

He also had a wee bit to say about fitness.

“I don’t think we’re not fit enough no,” he said.

“We’re probably, I don’t know, it’s something we need to go back over the game plan whether we could work smarter not harder.

“I don’t necessarily think it’s a fitness thing.

“If anything, concentration, we let ourselves down and you see other  teams capitalise.”

Curious to see what our comments section thinks of that one.

Haylett-Petty has been utilising the weekend off to train with the Western Force NRC side ahead of their opening match against Brisbane City on Saturday. Haylett-Petty was the only former Force Wallaby who re-aligned himself with his old club, and the reasons for him were pretty obvious.

“I think it’s always a bit harder,” he said.

“A lot of those (other) guys have shifted their lives over to other teams.

“I’ve still got all my family here, get to come home and spend time with mum and my sister, so it’s probably a bit easier.

“[On the NRC],  in the earlier years the depth might not have been there but you start looking at the teams now Brisbane City have got Quade (Cooper) and Karmichael (Hunt) running around,” he added.

“There’s teams stacked full of Super Rugby players, the Force team pretty much played World Series Rugby, so I’m expecting some high level attacking rugby.”

While the Force squad is still to be named as of me writing this on Thursday night, it is unlikely Haylett-Petty will play for his former club. The last time he played in the NRC was back in it’s first season for the Perth Spirit. 

On a lighter note…

Israel Folau

Israel Folau

And finally, to finish off the week in rugby on a more positive note, the declining participation in club rugby has been reversed in Queensland for the first time in two years.

According to the QRU, club rugby participation numbers in Queensland have increased so far in 2018 by 7.5 percent compared to the previous year, with the biggest increase being in the 8-12 age bracket and in women’s rugby. The increase has also been occurring in many metropolitan areas.

“We’ve seen an increase in club rugby participation throughout the state this year,” said QRU interim CEO David Hanham. 

“We’re seeing growth in the metropolitan areas of Queensland and particularly in junior rugby between the ages of 8 and 12.

“The QRU has been working closely with our clubs to improve participation figures and collectively we are beginning to reap some benefits.”

The jump in Women’s rugby has been particularly noticeable. Coming off the back of the Super W, Wallaroos and now the Aon Uni Sevens, Women’s participation in rugby is up by 12 percent.

“The growth of female rugby – in particular the Sevens format – has seen more young girls participate in the sport than ever before,” Hanham said.

The QRU has attributed this growth to a expansion of the opportunities for girls to play as a big reason behind the growth.

In addition, 15,000 kids were involved in the Get Into Rugby introductory program (up 7 percent on last year), and number of kids participating in Queensland’s Modified Rugby program has nearly doubled since 2016.

I’m wary of loads of statistics at this point. But hey, if there’s anywhere I am certain the game is growing, it’s definitely in Women’s rugby.

And finally, The Daily Telegraph reported on Thursday night that Israel Folau is set to confirm that he will remain with Australian rugby and the Waratahs until 2021, with the fullback extending his contract with Rugby Australia.

I always take anything the Daily Telegraph says with a pinch of salt (rugby or otherwise), but I digress.

What do we reckon GAGRs? We happy that Izzy is sticking around for another three years?

  • Will

    I’m glad Izzy is sticking around. We are better with him than without.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Personally, I somewhat hope we make a bit of a clean break after the RWC. If his form still dictates being picked then we should pick him, but we have a lot of good outside backs coming up, and I don’t want coaches pandering to Izzy anymore.

      For example, if the future coach wants to play him on the wing rather than fullback, we should tell him that’s where he’s playing, and if he starts complaining he prefers fullback (or his wife does over Twitter) then tough. We don’t need prima donnas in the Wallabies, we need guys that will contribute to a positive culture and who will put in consistent effort week in and week out, rather than go missing in multiple big games in a row.

      • laurence king

        I like him, but as a wingman, pick someone like Qadey too kick to the corners because the currant bun imcumbent can’t and have Baron Folau Richthofen do his aerial magic. And in regard to Quadey getting in the side have someone else pick the side.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree mate. I’d like to see some improvement in his defence, kicking and passing to the right though. I feel he hasn';t really got any better in these areas in the last few years and I find that a shame. It’s almost like “I’m here to catch high balls and run into space – the other things are for someone else to do”

      • Brumby Runner

        From my observations, Izzy is no better passing to the left than he is to the right. Too often the ball sails behind or in front of the intended receiver and straight over the touch line. Why his passing to the left seems to be ignored is mystifying.

        In short, he can’t pass either side and it is just another weakness in his armory.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I have seen him pass okay when under no pressure, but it is terribly slow and telegraphed. His offload in contact is quality but as you say his regular distribution either side is not.

          Also, he’s a hog as much as people accused AAC or Kuridrani of being. Actually, I think Kuridrani has shown more of a willingness to pass.

        • Brumby Runner

          Moreso lately with TK rather than for ever. Think he was just getting into the vibe of the game that McKellar wanted towards the end of the Super season and he had some excellent performances where he set up more running by the wingers than I had seen over the past year or two.

        • laurence king

          I think this is why he should be on the wing, and Banks at fullback as Banks has a more complete game. Folau would definately offer more than Koriebete or DHP on the wing.

      • Happyman

        For me the most telling comment made by Izzy was a couple of months ago. He said “I don’t know that much about the Irish” To me it says he is not a student of the game, he is undoubtedly a tremendous athlete but I would suggest that that he should be watching film independently to improve his knowledge of the game. Surely if you want to be the best professional possible you should be trying to learn about the opposition where possible.

    • Custard Taht

      I actually think the Wallabies would be better without him. He does one thing exceptionally well, and is pretty much below average at every other skill required for his preferred position. He also has a low work rate, basically won’t go looking for work, preferring to wait for the ball to come to him.

    • Hoss

      Agree Will – apart from his play he has a commercial value across many demographics to RA that could not be filled should he wander off. That alone is worth the $$$$.

  • onlinesideline

    Look at the straight running of Herbert, correct passing with dropping of the hips, the forwards linking up, the quick reaction times, the go forward of the forwards, correct body height – where have our skillz gone ?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QICygpyI194

    • Ed

      See the left to right pass from Kefu at around 5:00. Most of our backs today could not that.

      • onlinesideline

        yeah def noticed that

      • Ads

        I thought the exact same thing watching it! That was what stood out to me too.

      • Who?

        Some of the Tahs forwards did that this year, though…
        Seriously, the pace of ball movement in that clip, across all players, especially the Macqueen era of the Wallabies… It looks like today’s All Blacks. It’s not complex, though there’s also some great structure in what they’re doing. It’s just basic skills executed incredibly accurately.

    • Nutta

      Generally not a fan of Roar (too many folk even weirder then me – and that’s saying something) and I certainly don’t want to glorify a fictitious wife abuser, but there is some underlying truth to this article…

      https://www.theroar.com.au/2014/12/28/too-many-weights-not-enough-skill-work-in-modern-rugby/

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        thats a very good article. Mind you that movie is great – unfortunately a lot of truth in it.
        Players need skills over brawn, but without skills brawn does have a role.

      • Missing Link

        The comments section could have used Jeff Wilson as a segue into “what is the greatest All black team of all time” conversation?

      • Happyman

        Mate good article. I know a stack of colts who are very skilful players who are already into there offseason weights program as they see themselves not being considered because they are too small. I actually put it down to the 23 man squads these days it makes the players more power and less endurance athletes. The days of a smaller but fitter and more skilful player working over a larger player over the course of a game are unfortunately gone.

        Many boys at First XV level these days are 130 KG plus and they get subbed off twice a game.

        • Hoss

          That’s not a typo – you do mean ‘subbed off twice a game’

          Was going to get the boots out of mothball there for a second.

        • Nutta

          I’ve spent +40yrs now playing rugby. I spent my first 15yrs playing rugby as a loosehead. Worried about being typecast I moved to Hooker for about 10yrs. Then in the interests of learning more about the game and doing something different I spent the last 15yrs or so at tighthead.

          The way I generally play now is that I play my game of whatever grade then coaches usually send me on with 30min to go in the next grade up. I’ll spend 10min rotating through each position before the full-time whistle. Thus I’ll clock up a game and a half (or so).

          Now if a fat old busted-arse like mine can still tackle that, then some fat, pampered private school twat can handle it.

        • Happyman

          Correct mate last year a School that won a premiership had a kid at 140Plus he started the game did the first 15 than would sub off for about ten and play the last ten of the half. o the same in the second half also if the game was tight.

          Pretty shit in my opinion.

        • onlinesideline

          Its a great point mate. I was going to hastily type that its maybe a reason for our declne but on retrospect its an equal playing field. Im sure there are loads of same across the mitre 10 cup and currie cup who could never see themselves get near Super rugby sides let alone ABs.

    • Custard Taht

      Ah the glory days, where players took responsibility for improving their own skills.

    • Patrick

      Tune schmoon how good are John Eales’ cameos in that?? :)

      • onlinesideline

        the players of theat era seem to have an on field awareness where their teammates were and what they were doing. They were the ones it looks like “played whats in fromt of them”. We look so sterile compared to the,. The would run rings around us.

        • Patrick

          Yes agree. They were also relatively more robust in contact – maybe this is just the game moving on but almost all of them seemed to be fairly hard to put down.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, Looking forward to seeing if Quade can set things alight again as I think it could open the door for him. Not so sure that Hunt is in the running rgardless as it’s not a rugby issue with him. Bit of a shame but to be honest I feel he still has a lot of development needed as I’m not sure he’s managed the transistion that well. Still gets caught out of position in defence and doesn’t instinctively get it right in attack yet.

    I think DHP is sounding awfully optomistic for such a shit display and result myself but maybe he’s just passing out the feel good party line.

    • laurence king

      With all due respect to DHP, I think things are as bad as they seem. After my melt down and nervous breakdown of yesterday I have pulled myself together after Hoss’ s soothing and consoling words. My heart is no longer hanging out my rear end like an engorged blood pudding and I have pondered, even mulled over the thrashings that DHP thinks aren’t so bad. I have asked myself a question, ‘Would Ireland under Joe Schmidt have rolled over so comprehensively’?
      I think not. I believe that the Irish would have made life very difficult for the ABs, defending well and not picking turnstiles, holding onto the ball like it was a pot of gold, kicking judiciously, playing for territory etc.. The Irish may not have as much to work with as we do, but they use it with a great deal more wisdom.
      I believe Mr Schmidt is a rather pragmatic fellow and while he may only have variations on potato to work with, with a bit of salmon or bacon, it seems like a feast. When he goes back to NZ to replace Mr Hansen he will be welcomed and they will kill the fattened lamb and he will have a veritable smorgasbord of choices to whip up a dish to delight the senses, and undoubtedly he will.
      Meanwhile in Lalaland Mr Cheika has I believe, for the most part some excellent ingredients to cause Mr Hansen some serious culinary competition. But what do we get, second rate soggy fish and chips.

  • Nutta

    Hey Professional Athlete, are you unfit?
    No I’m not.

    Are you sure? I mean your profession depends on you being fit yeh?
    Yeh thanks for that. No, I’m not unfit.

    Ok then, how else do you explain being fkn toweled up then? If it’s not fitness it’s skills yeh?
    Well we weren’t really toweled up that badly.

    Weren’t toweled that badly? The score was 78-25 over the two tests so far. You fkn serious?
    Well, y’know, it’s more complicated then that. There are systems. And lines. Oh yeh, and ‘defensive redundancies’ too. It’s complicated mate. We just didn’t defend well on turnovers.

    Ok, so is it that complicated? You just said you didn’t defend turn-overs. Not scrambling well in D isn’t complicated. It’s fitness to get there and skills to chat & tackle. Is it you didn’t get there in time (fitness) or got there but couldn’t make the tackle (skills)?
    Sorry, gotta go. I’ve got training…

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yep. Horseshit that turns people away because it comes across so poorly

    • Custard Taht

      It does my head in that these guys are “professional” yet for the majority of them, their skills are no better and in many cases, worse than amateurs.
      The powers that be need to start wielding the axe on players with sub-standard skills, and tell the states that if you want our money, these are the strings that are attached. Those strings should be attached to fitness and skills benchmarks and in some cases positions.

      Too many players, coaches and executives feel too comfortable.

    • Kiap

      I’m not on board with Nutta’s post.

      Why? It’s not because Wallaby fitness levels and skills are the best in the world – because they ain’t that.

      Cheika publicly claimed before these tests that fitness had definitely been improved. Ditto skills.

      Do the players now contradict this and call him a bullshitter … or do they go with the coach’s deposit in belief (yada yada yada) and stick to Cheika’s line on it?

      I’d suggest it’s the latter.

      You’ve got to ask who has the responsibility for the team’s deficits in ability against the world’s No.1.

      It firstly lies with the head coach (although it’s not his fault). Yeah, the players themselves, but if a player isn’t working the coach shouldn’t select him. Then you go down the chain to the dysfunctional super provinces, shortage of good development coaching at grassroots levels, etc, etc.

      The elephant in the room is the fact that Australian rugby has been in steady decline for nigh on two decades. That ain’t Cheika’s fault, or the fault of individual players. It’s systematic and stems from the poor administration of the game over a long time.

      We don’t really have the cattle now to win the Bledisloe. Simple as that. The team has been ranked in the 3-6 range (even third is a pipe dream now) with daylight behind No.1 for many years. That’s where we’re at. It needs a lot of work from top to bottom to move from there.

      • Nutta

        All fair points there Kiap. There is certainly more to it than 1 guy and his training regime. There is public disconnect, there is insularity preventing growth, there are competing groups thereby excluding whole population bases, there is a lack of any purchase with an audience beyond local clubs etc etc

        My post is only to point out the stupidity of sending a well-meaning guy out with a poorly thought through message and somehow thinking the disgruntled Punter will continue to swallow such Golden Tripe.

        • Kiap

          Fair enough, Nutta. My take may be slightly different (will expand on this below) … but we might agree on message delivery.

          If I’m not mistaken – and it’s possible I am – did this story not emanate from RA’s mouthpiece at rugby.com.au?

          For RA to be in this game (and there are pluses and minuses with it) it’s not like the rugby people quoted there are on that site by happenstance. Your description of “being sent out” may be on the money.

          Is this a good way to go? Gotta admit I’m not a huge fan of players supplying commentary on other players or staff performance, although in this case it was more about the overall team preparation.

          Anyway, whether or not the guy was the right choice to deliver it (not the best TBH), let me get back to the message itself.

          What if he’s actually right in his comment that it’s “not necessarily” a fitness thing? I mean fitness tests are objective measures – if the coach has those numbers then I give him credit for knowing what they mean.

          Even fit athletes can hit trouble, if they go too hard early under conditions where they’re not controlling it (the Scottish marathon runner at this year’s Comm Games comes to mind; he was not ‘unfit’). I think several factors went into the Wallabies being blown away late by the ABs.

          A better bench and use of that bench. Dictating and managing the pace of the game. Skills at the breakdown, clearing out and getting quick ball, exploiting the turnovers, and so on, and so on.

          To merely lump it down to ‘fitness’ is convenient and lazy, IMO. And most likely wrong.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Or if the fitness regime is hitting the wrong area and they are absolutely fit but not for the way the game is being played. TBH I actually think that is more the case and I think the ABs have changed their fitness program so they are fit in the context of what game they are playing. No hill running or the like because it’s about being quick to react; quick for the first 10 meters and quick to change focus. I’m not sure the Wallabies are fit in the same way.

        • Human

          Agree, KRL. The AB’s also seem to play to the pace of the opposition in the first half (I.e. a little within themselves), absorb the adrenaline fury of the first 20’; content to stay in touch at halftime but then really lift the pace from the very start of the second half. The opposition come out expecting the pace to be similar to the end of first half and just get blown away.

        • Kiap

          You could be right there, KRL and, yes, I am aware there are different types of fitness and training (also over-training). Also that programs used are regularly tuned.

          If I recall correctly, the major AB training change you refer to was made some time back; it’s not bleeding edge rocket surgery for 2018. Punters here know something about it and you would presume the wallaby camp has heard this (or maybe not). :-)

          But my question here is this … Is tweaking the sprint and power training the *one*and*only* thing standing in the way of back-to-back Bledisloe match wins for Cheika?

          This punter says No.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely not mate. It is however a start

        • Nutta

          Fellow Logical Thinker,
          1. How dare you apply logic to rugby?
          2. Who do you think you are?
          3. The basic tenants of rugby in my opinion are 4-fold:
          a) Skill & strength creates momentary opportunity
          b) Fitness and cohesion allows exploitation of said opportunity
          c) Gameplan and match preparation sets game-level strategy within which skill & fitness may be applied
          d) Coaching and Talent-pool management creates the herd from which to select who best matches C

          A sits squarely on the Player (along with the 10,000 others that industry sub-set enables)
          B sits squarely on the Trainer / Asst Coaches to create fatigue-sessions that generate and test small-unit tactics (lineouts, scrums, backline moves etc)
          C sits squarely on the Coach – Big Cheks
          D sits squarely on RA – our friends at St Leonard’s.

          So if it isn’t A or B then we are at C and/or D.

        • Who?

          Nutta, the problem for Big Cheiks is that there’s another two components, E and F. E doesn’t apply nearly as much at club level as at the top level. E is player selection. F is player rotation.
          He’s solely responsible for E and F. So if we’ve got a poor match of players to game plan, or if players aren’t meeting their responsibilities in Point A (strength and skill), then why is the coach selecting them? And if they’re needing a break, why isn’t he giving them that – be it a game off, or subbing them? He’s been beaten to the punch on the subs by Hansen the last two games.
          In fact, one might argue that E is really before A. At the top level, the correct order is probably D, A, E, C, B, F. ‘A’ happens early, but the reality is that if it’s not close to the required level, that player’s not considered.

        • Nutta

          Your E & F are in my C (strategy bit).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          logic? Pfffft!

        • Brisneyland Local

          How dare you bring logic to this site!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        while I agree there are bigger issues in RA, Cheika selects the players and support staff, defined the game plan, manages the rotations and sets the attitude.
        While I agree he owns the changing room (although would argue its because he sacks those who challenge his decisions) and is a very good motivator, I’m not sure he’s got a lot of rugby smarts or that he understands rugby tactics.

    • Damo

      It’s been a (long) while now but I remember when I was playing that if we were doing things in a game and it was working i.e. we were scoring tries & heading for a win, we could run all day. Everyone wanted their hands on the ball. Everyone was hitting the opposition attackers mercilessly. However if we were being handed our arses loser’s fatigue would set in. You didn’t quite get to where you needed to be and what the hell good was it going to do anyway. Barrett must have sprinted 5000 metres last Saturday night but wouldn’t have blown out a candle. That particular chase of Hodges in the 2nd half had that ‘oh fuck, not again” look about it and he gave it up.
      We talk a bit in rugby about defence being a great form of attack. Give the opposition the ball, control them in their own half and force the mistakes. Their is certainly a bit of this in the game plans of the top tier NH teams. They have certainly done it to us successfully in the last couple of years.
      I reckon the All Blacks run the flip side. Use attack as a form of defence. Throw the kitchen sink at the opposition in attack, get the points when it matters and watch the opposition shoulders slump, the D loses energy and structure and in the last 20 the points really flow. Of course it depends on quality execution and good game sense which this current team has across the field.
      Somehow the Wallabies need to pick a team, put together a game plan, use whatever tactics etc etc to score tries in the 1st 20- 30 mins. Somehow- have a crack at something. IMO what they are doing at the moment is too easy to read, too easy to shut down, and exhausting. It seems to me a very poor risk: return game plan. They get to half time and still have no idea what might work. Physical and mental fatigue.
      Try something different, generate some points and I have a feeling the fitness will be there. Do we have much to lose?

      • Parker

        DHP makes the important point that they need to work “smarter not harder”, which is quite opposite to the Cheika doctrine. His emphasis on harder then even harder is what gets us outsmarted every time. I simply don’t think MC can do the smarter not harder thing.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Well we are an accurately angry bunch this morning. And that is a good thing. We still care enough to be angry. If we didnt, there would be no one one here baring our rugby heart and souls, in this GAGR Men’ Shed environment! BL’s thoughts for the lunatic asylum:
    – Poor Old DHP. It was your turn on the roster, to go and get interviewed where you have to sit there and dribble out the party line. For the record, yes you guys are unfit! Say “we underestimated how much the AB’s would turn up the wick this year and we came in a little undercooked. We are desperately trying to fix it!” Your skill levels are shit. so say “Yep, again we havnt developed our skill levels to where they need to be. Mick The kick isnt a miracle worker. we have come off the low base that is Australian rugby, and we are trying to improve it game by game!” We did a lot of things right! Really I think you did most things wrongs! That is why you got your asses handed to you in a silver Bledisloe Cup! So say “It is really disappointing to work so hard yet fall so short. We need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a better plan. One where we play players in the correct positions, we utilise people to their strongest skill sets, and if you cant defend you dont get picked!”
    – On a brighter note, I am off to the fathers day game of Brisbane City vs Western Force. My little cherubs will be taking me to the game with a picnic blanket, cheese,nibbles and numerous bottles of wine. And I dont even have to drive home! Hoorah!
    – I dont think locking Izzy in on a long contract is worthwhile. we will pay shot loads of money but his usefulness after the RWC is questionable. As it is likely we will fail miserably, and then their will be a boots and all review, and I think their will be a clean sweep. But again we will be locked with legacy contracts on Hooper and Izzy. And probably by the Foley too. Arghhhhhh

    I hope all the Dads out there have a great fathers day!
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      Envious of you being looked after by your kids at Norths on Sunday! Sounds like a perfect day.
      I’m down in the country this weekend so I’ll be missing a lot. Got a vibe there’s going to be some good footy played.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. Mind you letting a 9yo and an 11y0 build the picnic hamper might be scary. I back them on the cheeses, as they do like their King Island Blue’s and Goats milk Chevre’s. But they simply will struggle to match the wines to it! ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          its all alcohol mate

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah but despite all of my quirkiness, I am a total wine and scotch snob!

        • Nutta

          Blasphemer

  • Hoss

    Morning all and happy Father’s Day for Sunday to the gathered faithful.

    A buck short and a day late as usual but I Watched ‘Kick in the Face’ on FUX Sports last night hoping for some insight, analysis and someone to ‘think new’. Nope. Splinters was at his hard hitting best, the Governor was considered and analytical, Lemon Lips was at his surly, private school boy, sulking best and White Noise rounded out the panel with his usual inane waffle.
    At one point Splinters actually apologises to Lemon Lips for even implying that Cheika ce considered for replacement.

    I don’t know what Lemon Lips brings – apart from inside jokes and access to the ‘inner sanctum’ so we can discover who what’s the best playlist, is the messiest room mate, is the worst tourist and makes the best fart jokes. Wow, helpful. I would like this…….’so Adam just why did our line out suck last week ?’ Lucan why did you take so long ro get off the deck to cover Bo Derek on the outside-in play where he scored untouched under the posts ??

    Anyhow – I am sick of hearing myself whine this week.

    Excited for the NRC and just read some of the new / modifies rule interpretations. They are actually really clever and will
    enhance the spectacle – go NSW country.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      “Lemon lips”! Gold

    • Greg

      oh gosh…. lemon lips is?

    • Nutta

      Lemons $hits me to tears. He seriously reminds every time I see him of of the self-promoting ‘too cool for you’ elements in rugby I despise the most. He has even managed to displace Hoiles as my most-despised wannabe commentator whom I have struggled to forget/forgive over his inane Private school Boater-Wearing Chork-Chork idiocy at Eddie Jones. I don’t watch anymore.

      • Hoss

        Over its several re-inventions over the years it was ok. The Rugby Club, Rugby HQ etc. I believe the guy who ‘developed’ the footy show for mungo ball came acxross a few years back and coincidentally the format / quality has been lowered to the current inside-joke, boys club clique.

        Sad.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I know your nick names for players, but you will have to set up the Legend / Key for nicknames of the Commentators idiots.

      • Hoss

        Sorry mate, makes perfect sense in my world of one and helps drown out the incessant voices i continually hear in my mind.

        Splinters – Nick McCardle – sits on the fence for every issue – never takes an interrogative line on anything. Also Souffle would suit as that’s how hard he hits on issues.

        The Govenor General – Georgie Gregan (GG) – actually enjoyed his analysis of resetting broken play defence within 2 phases, sacrifice territory but dont fracture your line – ‘jockey’ for defensive position – really good example of Wallabies defending t/o pill v Nearlies. Nearlies calm, eyes up, communicating and all in one line. Wallabies had Lee Majors or Hodge sprinting out (ad nausea) to close down attack, which surprise surprise left a gaping hole.

        Lemon Lips – Drew Mitchell – always sulks if some mere mortal challenges the Wallabies, Cheika, ‘the lads’, ‘the boys’, ‘the guys’. Last episode he even had the temerity to basically ask us to feel sorry for the sacrifices they make. You know time away from loved ones, earning $1.2m per year, being waited on hand and foot by doctors, physios, sports psychologists, cooks, nutritionists, kit managers etc. Flying business class around the world, staying at 5 start resorts and then parachuting into well payed gigs post Rugby Careers, like, say Lemon Lips himself. The only things they need to concentrate are well illuminated by Professor Nutta above. Sorry for them my large, sagging white arse – hey Drew, me and just about everyone on here PAYS THEIR FARKING WAGE AND FOR THEIR PROFESSIONAL RUGBY LIFESTYLE – how bout you feel sorry for our ROI !!!

        He went further (my bile is rising again) to say that how dare we compare the lads against the Nearlies as they are, well, you know the rest. Than i thought are The Haggis Eaters also worlds best (record loss to them in November 17 and second loss in a row) are the Soap Dodgers (lost 5 in a row) also worlds best, FFS the Fijians nearly toppled us in June 17 – the Nearlies are the farking least of my concerns. To finish this line – are we really, truly content that the Nearlies are a THREE times better side than us…………………………(78 points to 25, for every one point we score they score 3.20, ipso-facto 3 times better ?)

        Greg Martin – White Noise – just whenever he opens his mouth all i hear is static.

        • Hoss

          Sorry – Bo Derek – Beuden Barrett – perfect 10.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I guessed that one! Must be picking up what you are putting down!

        • Brisneyland Local

          I must admit that I dont have FUck Sports! I refuse to financially contribute to their delinquency. However, now that I have read your nicknames they are accurate.

          Splinters – Very Accurate.
          GG – His analysis is very accurate but will not rock the party boat.
          LL – Is a dick. I sat next to him on a business class flight last year. He was soooooo rude tot he Hosties that they filed a complaint to fox! What a cock.
          MArto – Lives just a block from me. When you meet him in person he is a lovely guy. On telly it makes me cringe what a tool he is.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Not usually one for milestones, but I just want to say thanks to everyone for all the support in the podcast.

    This morning, we cracked one million total plays. Think this is an awesome achievement, and it all comes down to the great support and Rugby community we have here.

    Cheers folks!

    • Hoss

      Well deserved mate. Great site, respectful, insightful and a hoot.

    • Brisneyland Local

      well done Nick.
      I think you should suggest to the Lads to involve a regular poster once in a while.
      I reckon, Hoss, Nutta, KRL or Missing Link to start with would be great to involve in a Podcast.

      • disqus_NMX

        And yourself, of course. And “who?”, who is my favourite for insightful and knowledgeable posts. Probably a few others worthy too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thank you, But I doubt they would include the likes of me!
          But thanks for your vote of confidence

        • Hoss

          I would pay to hear Nutta and Briz

        • Nutta

          I swear too much. But I do have a head custom-made for podcast & radio

        • Brisneyland Local

          I only swear in writing! But like you I definitely only have a head for radio!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That would be a hoot

        • Brisneyland Local

          I reckon it would be, so lets get Nick to make it happen.

    • Happyman

      Well done boys on the highlights is listening into your podcast. Just goes to show there are plenty of avid Rugby followers still about.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Awesome Nick. Provides a lot of fun listening this on the drive to and from work

  • Adrian

    I’m glad lots of guys are having a run this weekend.
    I’ll pressure those that aren’t playing will do plenty of fitness work.
    Being fit at the beginning of June, doesn’t mean fit now.
    I do actually suspect that Castle is pushing a few things in the background, and her statement about possibly giving Cheika some extra resources could be code for changing the defence coach.
    I’m wondering too whether she has a view on Hunt and Cooper’s availability?

    Next week’s match is super crucial, because we pretty much HAVE to win it. Yet, we also have to work out transition patterns that will work for all matches going forward, including NZ.

    The team also can’t look like “more of the same”

    It’s tricky.

    I’d go for both more size and grunt in the forwards to start (ie Tuopo) + more speed in the backrow (Samu?) and backline (Blaki) + a more co-ordinated backline defence (coaching, practice, Hunt or Rona)

    The players should be trying to play that way this weekend if they are playing

    • Brisneyland Local

      it was Raelene Castle that demanded that they be included in the NRC. Initially KH & QC were not going to be selected. Heenan said as much. RC stepped in and said “that as RA are paying their wages they will be playing so stick them in your squads and use them!”

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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