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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the teams for the weekend, club/NRC corner, the teams for the AON Uni Sevens and the QRU unveiling a new competition.

Also, apologies for there being no pods this week. On the GAGR front, two of us are overseas at the moment and we were unable to lock in a time to chat with Ben Darwin. We will have one next week for you though.


Back up for the Boks

Photo by Tom Offer

Photo by Tom Offer

After what was a really fun weekend of NRC action and the Shute Shield grand final, we are now thrust back into the roller coaster that is test match footy, with the resumption of the Rugby Championship this weekend.

Michael Cheika has decided to do something different (*shock horror*) with a couple of surprise selections peppering the Wallabies squad that will be coming up against an equally desperate Springboks outfit.

Izzy Folau is back in the starting lineup as fullback, but Bernard Foley has been moved to the bench, with Kurtley Beale starting at flyhalf and Matt Toomua pairing with him at inside centre. For context, this is the first time Foley has been on the bench since 2014, with every other test since then seeing him start on the run on-side. It’s also Beale’s first crack at flyhalf since 2014.

The move hasn’t shaken Foley, with reports surfacing that he is in line to sign a new contract with Rugby Australia next week. 

“I suppose I just wanted to shake it up a little bit,” Cheika said to rugby.com.au.

“I think we’ve had some good things that have happened in the games, I know that hasn’t been brought out but there’s been some good things and I think that Toomua’s return, he’s shown a lot of good things as well around the place and he’s brought some of that on-field as well.

“I just thought I’d try a different combination and give them an opportunity together.”

There is no denying the shitstorm that will envelop Cheika though if he loses this test. Since the two Bledisloe thumpings, there’s been no denying the pressure on him to keep his job has been significantly ramped up (even though there really isn’t anyone who can replace him). A loss would not only make the calls for his head even louder, but it would also drop the Wallabies to seventh in the World Rankings, which would be their lowest ranking ever. 

Wallabies Squad: Israel Folau, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Matt Toomua, Marika Koroibete, Kurtley Beale, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (c), Lukhan Tui, Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio. Reserves: Folau Faingaa, Tom Robertson, Taniela Tupou, Izack Rodda, Ned Hanigan, Joe Powell, Bernard Foley, Jack Maddocks

Springboks Squad: Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Jesse Kriel, Damian de Allende, Aphiwe Dyantyi, Elton Jantjies, Faf de Klerk, Warren Whiteley, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi (c), Franco Mostert, Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff. Reserves: Malcolm Marx, Tendai Mtawarira, Wilco Louw, RG Snyman, Francois Louw, Embrose Papier, Handré Pollard, Cheslin Kolbe

While it would be easy to hound the team again, if there is any time the team needs to step up for their coach, it’s now. This is a back-against-the wall-type scenario. And I’m going with my heart and saying the Wallabies will win by 5. Go lads.

What are your predictions GAGRs and GAGRettes?

Meanwhile, across the ditch in New Zealand, the All Blacks will take on the Pumas down in the beautiful city of Nelson on the South Island. The All Blacks have made nine changes to their squad, with the biggest one being the inclusion of Richie Mo’unga to start at flyhalf.

As mentioned in yesterday’s news, Steven Hansen emphasised that the selections were not a reflection of the way the team see the Pumas.

“This is not a reflection on Argentina but rather a desire by us to grow the experience and depth of our squad,” Hansen said to Fox Sports.

“We also know that if we don’t use the whole squad across a long season, we’ll run out of steam later in the year.

“The high expectation we place on ourselves remains the same, regardless of who we’ve selected. The All Blacks jersey demands this.

“We’re very aware of the Argentinian challenge. We know they’re hungry for test success against the All Blacks and, after their recent win over South Africa, they’ll be coming here confident.”

The Pumas have looked a vastly more dangerous side under Mario Ledesma, and it’s easy to forget that earlier this year, when the Jaguares toured NZ during Super Rugby they won every single game. That being said, they lost to the Hurricanes and Crusaders at home, so go figure.

Only a fool would not tip the All Blacks to win in New Zealand, though I reckon the Pumas will offer up a bigger challenge than many expect. All Blacks by 14.

And, if all else fails and this weekend makes you depressed, look to your right for some rugby that will definitely cheer you up…

Club/NRC Corner

Jack McGregor scores for Western Force

Jack McGregor scores for Western Force

It’s another edition of what’s going on at the more local level, and we’ll start with the obvious one.

The Intrust Super Shute Shield came to an end in spectacular fashion last week as 15,500 fans watched Sydney University outplay Warringah to win 45-12. Despite the return of Super Rugby players for the Students, what undid the Rats more in the end was the small mistakes they made. That, and that their scrum got absolutely monstered.

But regardless, it was great to see that much support yet again, and it served as a great send-off to what has been an interesting season, with the highs of more exposure and success contrasting with the lows of Penrith being removed. Before you know it though, it’ll be back around again.

Many would be thinking the Shute Shield Grand Final is the final club match of the year, but in fact, we have one last grand final for this year’s club corner: the South Australian Coopers Premier Grade Grand Final.

Last weekend saw the preliminary final, with Burnside knocking over Old Collegians 41-35 to book their place in the grand final against Brighton this weekend.

Brighton pulled off an outstanding win during the semi-finals when they defeated Burnside at home, booking themselves a home grand final. Burnside will see this weekend as the chance to get some much needed revenge, and with the quality of rugby on display from those two teams this season, fans in Adelaide should get along for what will be a fantastic match on Saturday afternoon.

Grand Final Fixture:

Brighton v Burnside

With that final club match set to play out, rugby fans outside of Brisbane will have to settle in and watch round two of the National Rugby Championship. This weekend we are back to four fixtures, with the Sydney Rays and the NSW Country Eagles making their return to the fold.

Last weekend saw three fantastic games and the largest opening round crowds in the competition’s history (with 5,000 turning up in Fiji, and 4,500 in Brisbane).

This weekend however, there is a high chance those crowd number records could be broken.

The first match will see the Fijian Drua look to get their first ever win against Brisbane City when they host the two-time champions in Lautoka. While Brisbane City do have a lot of talent in their squad, they were exposed by an unbelievably clinical Force outfit last weekend, and I think it’ll be the same story this weekend. Drua by 14.

The second match on Saturday sees us head to Concord Oval in Sydney, with the Sydney Rays coming up against the Brumbies-heavy Canberra Vikings outfit. There’s no telling what’s going to happen with this match, as the Vikings, even with their Wallabies in their squad last week, couldn’t get the job done against the men from country Queensland. The Rays do have plenty of talent, and could spring a surprise in their first match.

However, I think the Vikings will overcome this Rays side, simply due to the fact that they’ve had an extra week together to gel. Add to that, after last weekend, they’ll be determined for a win. Vikings by 7.

Next up will be, in my opinion, the match of the round, and one that will hopefully see a bumper crowd. The Western Force (as the Perth Spirit) were able to pull big numbers last year at UWA Sports Park. This weekend, they’ve promised a whole array of family entertainment on the surrounding fields in the lead up to the main game against NSW Country, which will also be the first challenge for the Horan-Little Shield this year.

If there is anywhere that will be a tough place to win, it’s here. Country have a lot of firepower, especially up front. However, I don’t see them beating this Force side that have played so many games together, in front of a packed, blue hill. Force by 15 or more.

Finally, we head to Townsville for what looks to be a promising clash between current champions QLD Country and the Melbourne Rising. The Rising were simply outplayed by the Drua last week. But their squad has a lot of individual talent, and they should be a lot better together as a unit this week after their first hit out.

It’s a shame they’re coming up against the current champions, who looked fantastic in Canberra last week. With their first home match in front of a usually vocal crowd up north, I expect Country will want to turn up for this. QLD Country by 14.

Get along to enjoy your club rugby and NRC action this weekend, and as always, stay classy.

(BREAKING NEWS: Speaking of NRC news, just before I published this it was reported on rugby.com.au that the Melbourne Rebels are launching a major push to sign Quade Cooper for next year. It is reported that Queensland are in talks are open to find any way to clear the $650,000 they still are contracted to provide Cooper from their books. Dave Wessels is apparently behind the push to bring Cooper south, and Will Genia has been talking up the chance of the deal actually happening. Stay tuned).

A-ON AGAIN!

University of Queensland won their third Gold medal, and are still to lose a game

University of Queensland winning again…

Attention, Canberra rugby fans!

You think there’s no footy on this weekend in the nation’s capital? You’re wrong!

Round Two of the AON Uni Sevens kicks this weekend down at the University of Canberra, and all eyes will be on University of Queensland, as they look to go back-to-back after their first round win down in Hobart.

However, a lot of the newer teams showed they’ve got plenty of chops, including Sydney University (who finished in 4th).

“Even from Aussie youth (Sevens), it’s a major step up, coming and versing all the big girls and the girls on the World Series circuit from a lot of different countries,” said Uni’s teen star Jakiya Whitfeld to rugby.com.au after Hobart.

“I think you’ve just got to give it your all, don’t be scared because, otherwise they’ll see that.

“Just take that step up and give it to them.”

“I think we came in here not really knowing what was going to happen.

“I think we really gave it to some of the teams and definitely showed girls what Sydney Uni is made of.

“I think we just work from here and get better and go back hard, train and hopefully get that medal next time.”

University of Queensland will still be deserving favourites, however Hobart did show that they could be beaten, with the Macquarie University Team (the Rays), beating them on the first day.

With the likes of Aussie Womens Sevens players  Samantha Treherne coming in for Griffith and Emily Chancellor for Mac Uni, the quality of rugby on display will certainly be good.

POOL A

University of Queensland

University of Sydney

University of Canberra

Bond Uni

University of New England

POOL B

Macquarie Uni

Griffith Uni

University of Tasmania

University of Adelaide

University of Melbourne

Check out the full fixture list here, as well as the squad lists for each team here.

Speaking of Sevens…

GPS win against UQ

The QRU announced plans to rapidly expand their sevens program, unveiling a new competition featuring that will feature each of the nine Queensland Premier Rugby clubs.

The new competition, titled the Queensland Premier Rugby Sevens will kick off this month. The format will be much the same at the current AON Uni Sevens tournament, with four rounds taking place at four locations between September and November.

Round One will coincide with University of Queensland‘s AON Uni Sevens leg on September 22. The three remaining tournaments will be held at Brothers on October 6, Wests on November 3 and Easts on November 17.

“The growing popularity of Sevens has all the Premier Rugby clubs engaged and interested in the game, so it made sense for us to have our own competition,” Sunnybank GM Gaven Head said at the launch. 

“Previously clubs have played in other competitions elsewhere, which can be expensive, and given the quality of our 15s competition, it seems fitting for us to come together and have a Premier Rugby Sevens competition.

“Queensland Premier Rugby as a competition and brand is well regarded and all nine clubs are on board.

“The competition secures the Sevens pathway in Queensland. Players join Premier Rugby clubs to chase their aspirations in the 15s format, and now they can do the same in Sevens.”

There is no denying, that with the benefits the Uni Sevens has had on the Aussie Womens Sevens team, that having this competition will be hugely important for the mens side.

On top of the nine Hospital Challenge Cup sides fielding an outfit, there will also be three invitational teams. Reportedly, the Australian Defence Force, Northern Territory, and a Barbarians side from Sydney will make up the numbers.

The matches will see the pool games played during the day, before the finals kick-off in the evening.

“The unique format will be special, one day and on one field,” Head said.

“We will have night session and people can enjoy it live or watch online. All the teams will still be playing in the night session whether they’re at the top of the ladder or at the bottom.”

“We’ve had an established pathway for Women’s Sevens in Queensland,” said QRU Sevens High Performance Manager Lachlan Parkinson.

“With the help of the QAS, for a number of years and have had players such as Demi Hayes and Emma Sykes go on and star on the World Series and at the Commonwealth Games. We hope we can create the same clear pathway for the Men.”

And, of course, you will be able to stream the games live on redsrugby.com and rugby.com.au.

  • Hoss

    Testing, 1,2 – is this thing on ?

    After a week of kicking stones and general rugby malaise I have given over to an invigorated optimism, almost fervent redemption.

    Saturday sees a chance for atonement and for a change, the sheister has picked a half way reasonable side. Sure we can argue at the margins, the Pooper shits me, Tupou should start and Korobete is like an erection in a nunnery – looks good, but ultimately useless. The team, specific to this test, looks good. More mobile tight 5, good reserve piggies, some flair at 10, some control at 12. Look, it’s not a team to win a RWC, but this isn’t the RWC, It’s against a BOKS team rolled by the Falkland Island Silver Medallist’s.

    Not a lot between the sides, but a home crowd
    Too help rally the troops and the Boks already with one eye on the darkness next week (now that’s a game that will tell us we’re we are really at v the AB’s) and whilst our 10 is new, there’s is flaky.

    Add in that Dusty is fresh, Tupou is fresh, Toomua has a lot to offer,Sauce was good against the ABs and Eldrick has been solid I am prepared to put my last good functioning man-bean on gold.

    Wallabies 32 The Dutch’s Evil Cousins 23.

    • Huw Tindall

      Really hoping Toomua gives us a more conservative game plan with solid exits and sound tactical kicking so we play in the Yarpies half. That has been my only really strong ongoing criticism of Foley so hopefully it’s rectified! Some more starch in midfield defence isn’t a bad thing either.

      I’m going to say it that I’m happy to see Hanigan back as well. Great motor, makes his tackles, genuine lineout option. No point having shortish Samu on the bench if the only person he is going to replace is Tui.

      Along with Erasmus opting to select a bit of the B Team (Marx on the bench thank Christ!) these little tweaks could tip things in our favour. Here’s hoping.

      • Who?

        It’ll be very interesting to watch Hanigan. I’m not big on his tackling, I’m not sold that he’s a big factor at the breakdown (and we can’t afford to have two non-factors at the breakdown in the loose forwards. Yes, talking Hooper. We can afford one, but the other two have to go hard there – like Mowen and Fardy did alongside Hooper in 2013)…
        But his running game for the Tahs at the end of the season was excellent. He was running at holes and offloading to his support runners. It was a major improvement on his previous efforts (where he was more upright and tried to run through people), some good coaching and development, and I’m very interested to see the outcome of it all against the Bokke, who have some pretty handy loose forwards of their own.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah Ned (and all the Wallabies) coukd do with improving the clean out skills. Hopefully Thor the other Folau and Rodda can inject agro into the tight stuff.

        • IIPA

          Good analysis guys and again some enjoyable diversions into the dating scene of Eastern Europe and the mind of Hoss.

          “Falkland Island Silver medallists” !!!!!

          Concerns for me:

          SA speed although not sure if Suncorp going to be a dry track.

          Carrying three or four players who for sure aren’t fully fit / recovered.

          Starting two players who are on track to attain Qantas Platinum status within a six week period.

          Bongi gets injured in the first five minutes and we end up having to deal with Marx for a full game anyway.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I’m not sold on him at all. Yeah he’s a line out option and you’re correct he does do well in space. However, he’s not dominant in either attack or defence, he gets brushed aside by forwards smaller than him and he doesn’t contribute much at the breakdown. No pilfering, no clearing out and no friggen impact

        • Who?

          Never said I’m sold on him, just interested to see how he goes in the area that he’s improved. Because last year, he didn’t have an upside other than attitude and intensity, and we all know Cheika picks teams based off training intensity. I’ve clearly said that I don’t rate his breakdown work…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          fair enough although I’m not sure a critical must win games is the place for this

        • Who?

          Agree with that, too. I’m just trying to emulate Adrian and find some glimmer of light in a dark storm, to accentuate the positive (I’m completely incapable of eliminating the negative, though).

        • Brumby Runner

          I seem to remember a very embarrassing fend off by a back (winger I think) when the Tahs last played the Sunwolves. He offers zilch in the way of dominance in either attack or defence. Just another Mumm-style of player.

    • onlinesideline

      If we DO happen to play well and win well, we are going to have to conclude once and for all, that when it comes to those pesky little sheep shaggers over the dutch, we have a problem and its all upstairs. Its a mystery. Maybe there is some spell in that Haka…as anyone ever researched that. I know the last time some Moari bloke flashed his eyes at me like that, I ran for the hills. Admittedly I was only 7 but ….

    • Parker

      Bravo for the fine rhetorical flourish in describing Korobiete. That’s worthy of the Honey Badger Cummings Award.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Love the positive outlook mate. TBH I actually agree with a lot of it and I’m hoping that my dismay with KB at 10 is misplaced. To me the answer isn’t about swapping players around like a speed dating pissup, it’s having people sticking to their guns, making the right decisions under pressure and using the ball to beat the defence

    • Kokonutcreme

      The Boks will attack the Wallabies in a very different manner to the AB’s.

      They’ll play more off de Klerk than Jantjes and will direct more runners at the fringes of the breakdown and more pick and drives. This will suit Tui’s game better, it will be a similar paced game to Ireland.

      They’ll also drive more from lineouts than winning quick ball off the top to attack wide.

      They’ll back their scrum even when the replacements are subbed on.

      I’m not convinced about their midfield as a combination Am looks good in Super rugby but hasn’t transferred that to test level yet.

      Le Roux will be as involved as a second receiver as the Wallabies utilised Beale and is as influential as de Klerk.

      Scoring tries hasn’t been a problem for the Boks this year, unlike the Wallabies.

      They’re clearly targeting next weeks game in resting key players, and I don’t think they’re that good a side yet to not field their best XV on the road.

      Backing Wallabies to win a close one but it won’t be as high scoring.

    • Kokonutcreme

      Does anyone know if Tom Banks wasn’t considered because he’s injured or just didn’t make the cut?

      • Hoss

        Purely from mate. Phipps was ruled out today rib soreness, Simmons for lack of impact, heart and contribution, Kepu for advancing old age. For mine Bastard is an absolute must over Koribete

    • Adrian

      On the money Hoss.

      I think we’ll win, probably by 5, as bookies suggest.

      I NEED however for us to win by 15+.

      If Pocock, Folau and Tuopo are injured, reduce our score by 5 per man

  • Huw Tindall

    Just realised I’m going to be in an A380 somewhere over the Indian Ocean at kick off. Such poor planning.

    • onlinesideline

      Mate thats easy. Just call in a suspicious package before checkin and then scoot up to the bar. Done it plenty of times.

      Oy wheres her number ?

      • Huw Tindall

        How about you call it in and I’ll give you Zsuzsanna’s number. Deal?

      • Huw Tindall

        Also bloody Hoss staying up late to eliminate our Northern Hemisphere GMT timezone first mover advantage on the GAGR forums. What’s that about?

        • Hoss

          Sincere apologies. Been crook all week and can’t sleep. My quack tells me it’s Cheikamysytosis. Fear of bewildering fucking selections and game plan abandonment.

        • Who?

          Is that a World Health Organization recognised condition, like video gaming addiction? Because I think it should be… But the name might be a little harsh. Much as I’m not a Cheika fan, we mustn’t ever forget that he’s far from the first – and sadly, I predict he’s far from the last – coach to disappoint us. And there’s plenty of other nations and clubs that have felt let down by their coaches/managers…
          Maybe we’re onto something here – maybe there should actually be a proper term for it?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Tip of the hat!

        • I Should be Coach

          Too funny Hoss

    • Brisneyland Local

      Oh Huw, that is very poor planning!

    • Missing Link

      give yourself an uppercut son ;)

  • Who?

    Quade Cooper. There. I started it.
    We all know he’s the most polarizing player in the game, well, probably this millennium! Because everything has to be at the most superlative and extreme level with him. He’s either the best attacking player in the world, or he’s the worst defender in history. There’s no middle ground. Many from south of the border and even a few north of the border (generally those who like a Connolly game, more 10 man rugby) think he’s rubbish, anyone with a sparkle of youth – especially among those north of the border – think he’s awesome (and he’s always been great with the kids).
    We don’t need to debate any of that. I think we can all agree, it’d be fantastic if RA and the Rebels can make things happen, and get some value out of his salary for next year. It doesn’t do anyone outside Brisbane Premier Rugby any good whatsoever for his salary to buy such little publicity, and no match benefits.
    Now, the sideways question… If Slips is looking likely to head to the Brumbies, Quade goes to the Rebels… That’s something like $1 Million off the Reds’ books for next year. And I’m sure they’ll be looking to do something with Hunt, too. If they’re suddenly motivated to do that, does that mean they’re giving it a red hot go to grab Folau..? I’m speculating – the timing is interesting. I know, they’ve got no cash, but that never stopped anyone before (not Firepower, not RA, not the Rebels, not the Tahs, not the Reds…).

    • onlinesideline

      AND – we can finally see with our own eyes just where he is at and put this issue to bed once and for all. Either call it, thats hes still got it or call it we have indeed been put under a spell ( in my case, in Hoss’ words, the spell of the Hungarian beauty) But no excuses – hes got his old partner in crime who knows him backwards and I would say the absolute green light from Dave to let er rip.

      One more thing. When is the next Rebels – Reds match?
      Im booking my flight from Budapest now.

      • disqus_NMX

        Agree this could put it to bed, but…. only if Wessels actually backs him fully and gives him the freedom to run the back line his way, like McKenzie did at the Reds. I’d suspect, and hope, that QC will be asking those questions before he accepts the contract though.

        Given that one of the Rebels biggest weaknesses was at 10, the results will speak.

        And yep, I’m picking the biggest crowd at Suncorp next season will be the Rebels game! See you there!

      • Metootootoo

        Saturday 30 March, Suncorp

        • onlinesideline

          Time for a cartoon sketch of BT dressed as a priest on the sideline pointing a cross at Quade, quielty chanting “Christ compels you” and then Quade turning back at BT doing a mini Haka ending and then BT taken a back and going “HUH” ?

      • laurence king

        I think the more interesting game would be with the Waratahs and who comes out on top between Quadey/Toomua and Foley/Beale.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Well we’ve now had the Quade v Stewart runs with Stewart coming of far worse…… .looking like the poor inexperienced flyhalf Thorn had got himself stuck with. To think what a Quade trained Stewart could have turned out like this year.. ….

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha go you Who

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      If Quade signs a two year deal this Rebels team will be unbelievable.

      1. ???
      2. Uelese
      3. Ainsley
      4. Philip
      5. Coleman
      6. Jones
      7. Cottrell
      8. Naisarani
      9. Genia
      10. Quade
      11. Koroibete
      12. Toomua
      13. English
      14. Hodge (at 12 until Toomua arrives)
      15. Maddocks

      16. Rangi
      17. That young bloke they have that looks great.
      18. ?
      19. ?
      20. Hardwick
      21. Ruru
      22. Naivalu
      23. DHP

      What a team.

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah that is a fucking amazing team. Gees the pressure will be on Wessels with that squad and a year under the belt. We’ll really see his mettle and his readiness for a move into the Wallabies fold.

      • Kokonutcreme

        Personally I’d prefer Naivalu at center, as that combination of Toomua and English looks solid and dependable but lacks penetration and pace.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          English’s is Aus’ best defensive 13 after TK. Naivalu is more flashy in attack, but English is no slouch and you don’t win many matches without a good defensive outside centre.

        • disqus_NMX

          You pretty much described the Reds centers 2011.

          QC, behind that pack, and behind Genia, will put any of those boys into holes. He will drill them to expect the ball anytime, anywhere, even if QC is 4 blokes away and facing the wrong way. And will drill them to put themselves into a hole or into space and know that QC will see it before they do, and the ball will hit them on the chest if they actually back what they see and put themselves in the right spot.

        • Damo

          What I wouldn’t give to see some off script rugby being played by an Australian team again.

        • Packy

          I had to standup and fist pump when I read that

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And no matter who you are or what you like…… that works amazingly well. Far better then another simple shovel the ball out to the next guy we’ve grown accustomed to in the Wallabies in recent years with Foley. Attacking vision is sorely missing in Aus 10s. If you look through the ranks ATM too many young playmakers are just small centres who got pushed into 10 cuz they were too small for centres.

      • Bernie Chan

        It would pain me to see QC in Rebel’s colours, but Sanchez-QC-Toomua is the best combo in any Oz side. That is (potentially…) some side Wessels has to work with…

      • Brisneyland Local

        I might be a Reb’s fan next year! ;-)

        • Adrian

          You’ll need a new name BL

          Perhaps Brisneyland Weekend Expat?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Brisneyland Rebel!

      • IIPA

        No room for Meakes, Ross HP, Jeffries there either. I still think they are light on in prop depth and outside back depth unless Tupou, Tuipolotu come on.

        Cooper can’t be expected to last a full season so will still need cover at 10. Plenty of depth at 9 with Ruru and Goddard

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I guess they just hope he lasts until Toomua arrives.

          10. Toomua, 12. Hodge is very good also.

      • John Miller

        Tasty team DB. I’d probably spruik for:

        6. Cottrell / Jones
        7. Hardwick
        8. Naisarani

        But, could easily live with your selection.

    • laurence king

      I live way south of the border in the Apple Isle and I have no sparkle of youth but to see Quadey at the Rebels, alongside Genia and Toomua, Madocks and company would be wonderful. Who thought that at my age that I would change allegiances?

      • Who?

        If you’re interested in taking risks, you have that sparkle of youth. Age is a number, but that spark of youthfulness is a mentality. :-)

      • Greg

        No relation to Deny are you?

        • laurence king

          No, a reasonably new arrival, three years ago from western NSW

  • dastropsiho

    LOOOL ︀T︀h︀a︀n︀k︀s︀s︀ ︀B︀r︀︀o︀o︀o︀!! I︀’︀v︀e f︀o︀u︀nd t︀h︀︀e︀r︀ee m︀y T︀e︀a︀c︀he︀r N︀a︀︀ke︀d ! ︀m︀wa︀ha︀︀h︀

    • dannazmeeva

      ︀H︀a︀a︀h︀h︀a︀hh︀ lu︀︀c︀k︀y ︀d︀u︀d︀e︀

  • mikado

    Haahaha! T︀h︀e L︀︀i︀st w︀i︀︀t︀h N︀a︀k︀e︀d︀-︀Rugby-Coaches f︀︀r︀o︀m Sydn︀ey h︀a︀s b︀e︀e︀n p︀u︀b︀l︀i︀s︀h︀ed!!! Does that mean Spanners no longer has his blackmail!?!11!1!

    • Dud Roodt

      Far out! Check out the likes that post got! I had no idea all those people were GAGR followers!!

      • Brisneyland Local

        I dont think they are. That post is broadcast across a bunch of other disqus groups!

        • Dud Roodt

          haha I know mate. They’re all fake profiles

      • Missing Link

        who thought all those years of replying to russian emails would result in this. I’ve been sending them “check out my picz here: greenandgoldrugby.com” for a long time now :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          did you ever get any replys?

      • mikado

        Got a couple of replies too, from equally legit- looking accounts. I reckon we owe nannaln thanks for bringing so many new members (so to speak) to GAGR!

  • John Tynan

    Can I just say for the record that I reckon “GAGR” is a unisex term. No need for GAGRettes. GAGRettes sounds like an oral Ipecac delivery system – “Light ‘er up and watch ‘em blow!”

    • Brisneyland Local

      I was just thinking that JT. But your response is pure gold.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. I agree with JT, GAGR’s is a unisex term. However I will defer to Kate Elizabeth and SFR for their learned opinion. Ok here we go with another ramblings of a mad man:
    – Some how I have ended up with Corporate box tickets to this game. As most GAGR’s know I am abstaining from purchasing anything that financially supports RA. But freebies! Hey I will take those anytime! ;-)
    – It is going to be a wet track in Brisbane on Saturday night. I will say there will be a storm before the game starts and will probably rain through out the match. I think this will favour the Dutch dirt farmers (thanks Hoss). Their pack will be too big and in tight during the wet me thinks.
    – I am torn on the Wallabies team. I am trying to be optimistic. It is amazing that Spanners Foley has been dropped to the bench, but making Beale 10 against a huge pack like that where he has less room to move? Also I would have preferred the Pooper to be gone, and the Thor to start, and why we are persisting with Korobeite. But hey I will try and be positive and say, at least Cheika has been forced to make some changes. Of note, the key phrase. Forced! He aint doing this out of his own accord.

    SO for predictions, if it is wet like I am predicting Boks 17 Wallas 12. Dry 23 All.
    Over to you GAGR’s

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Hey Nick thanks for this.
    Good to see Qld moving forward on the 7s. I think this more of the game has got potential to be the equivalent of the Big Bash for cricket and could be a huge positive move for rugby here.
    Not so sure on the game against the Boks. I’m not sold at all on Beale as a 10, I think he works better out wide and in broken play. I haven’t seen anything this year to indicate he knows how to control a game and has the distribution skills needed at 10. TBH I’m worried and if there is a win I think it’ll be close <5.

  • Brumby Runner

    If Quade moves to Melbourne it will reignite two of the best player combinations that Aus rugby has put out in the past ten years.

    The Genia/Quade combo is well remembered. But it will also bring Quade and Matt Toomua together again when Matt returns. I still recall the dominance they had as a combination on the EOYT a few years ago. This could be just what the Rebels need to bring out the best in what is a very strong Super Rugby roster.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Certainly a tantalizing proposition

      • Hoss

        Agree completely mate – and I immediately put $50 on them (paying $51) To win the plate in 2019. Naisarini, Toomua,Jones and Cooper added to a fair roster already. A reasonable coach in his second year with the club, a more composed roster, more experience – nothing but wins for Oz Rugby. I just don’t see him in gold for a variety of reasons.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Let me guess. ….. just Because……

        • Hoss

          Because for the reasons outlined earlier $51 is good value. They are also offering $51 on the Reds – for example. We know who is more likely of the two.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I was referring to you saying he’ll never be in gold again…. .. seeing as we’re desperate for an attacking 10…..and if someone like Stewart for eg was playing like Quade has this year….. he’s be straight in there.
          There is NO solid reason why QUADE Cooper hasnt been in the Wallabies squads!
          It’s just “because”…..

        • disqus_NMX

          Jeez, you put money on the Rebels winning the title because obviously you think QC is good enough to make that happen with a good team and a good coach around him, but nah, screw having him for the Wallabies, because…. wtf? When was the last time you put money on a team because they signed a particular player?

    • Brisneyland Local

      9/10/12. that could be the spine of the Wallabies moving forward.
      Arghhhhhhh! Who am I kidding Cheika would never pick him. even if a selection panel made him!

      • disqus_NMX

        Cheika will be gone

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am not so sure on that. I personally think it would be a good move. But alas I am not the Benevolent dictator. we will have to go to Hoss for his decision.

        • Hoss

          One ‘if’ on a website today and turgidity reigns supreme.

          I sense the worlds largest daisy-chain forming with you John Denver fans soon.

          I envision he will never play for the wallabies again.

        • Adrian

          Probably

        • disqus_NMX

          It must be a hard discussion to stomach for a QC hater.

        • Damo

          I reckon Wessels would be a coach who could get good results out of Quade.
          Plus breaking news- Pocock out. Yikes!!!

        • Hoss

          Yuck. Samu is in, I wonder what Timu has done wrong ? I guess Pete is an on-baller though. That changes things – a lot.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          its going to make Hooper play as a 7 or you’ll lose every play. Not sure he knows how to do that

        • John Miller

          I suspect that’s why Samu was thrust into he starting team. To compete on the ground. When he fails, he’ll be the scapegoat.

        • Adrian

          I think he’ll go at 100mph and do ok. I wish Latu was there

        • John Miller

          Hope you’re right Adrian. He’s been very good for the Saders but I’m worried he’s going to get hung out to dry if the breakdown work is a demolition job. Marx on in the second half is ominous.

        • Damo

          We all hope he goes well. Of course at the Crusaders he isn’t asked to singlehandedly own the breakdown, as we seem to require of David Pocock, to the ultimate detriment of the side since he can’t play tomorrow. The rest of the Australian forward pack need to turn up with a very very hard attitude on Saturday night.

        • John Miller

          Samu is actually a good ruck support merchant – has a good cleanout technique, is solid in contact (particularly for his modest size) and has a nose for the staying close to the ball. He was a good foil to Matt Todd. But he’s a blindside bantamweight (more a quasi-openside) and not a noted ruck monkey.

          My hope is that the breakdowns are a collaborative backrow effort and Hooper plays close to the ball (as he did in his early Brumbies iteration).

        • Damo

          I think Pocock’s absence will see both the Wallabies & Boks tweaking their game plan. How it plays out is anyone’s guess. Makes for an interesting night!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          The issue is that at the Saders he was part of a well drilled team of loosies. Here he’s compensating for the lack of any sort of team approach and where the others have to spend all their time compensating for the imbalance of the trio

        • Hoss

          It’s not just that mate the whole balance of the forwards is now screwed. I reckon if Brian was ruled out early Latu gets on the bench and Timu starts with Samu on the pine and Tupou starts.

          Real game changer.

          Marx will be the difference – damn it.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate it always was, except at lock. I admit I think it’s worse now

        • Adrian

          Agree re that shuffle, and bringing Latu in

        • Hoss

          Folau now out. Banks in.

        • Adrian

          Yes, a bit more shit.
          I’ve changed my prediction to a draw, not that I’m likely to actually achieve that. I accurately tipped the second draw v SA last year, so I tell myself I’m on a roll.

          In my view Hoss, we still have the cattle to win by 15…. just is I’m not tipping it to happen!

        • Hoss

          Fingers crossed mates

        • Adrian

          Don’t tell anyone, but I’m going to the movies. Last minute family decision. Will watch from 1/2 time onwards, and MAYBE 1st half replay after that

        • Who?

          Really? I’ll have to go tell everyone! :-P
          Maybe the fact you went to the movies is why we won… Maybe you’ll have to do it next week? :-
          Honestly mate, with the score 23-18 at full time, I was expecting a try out wide and unconverted to go with another 23-23 draw. Especially given BLL was also tipping that in here yesterday!

        • Adrian

          Ha ha. I watched 2nd half, …and just finished 1st 1/2.
          I had predicted a draw too. I’m glad to say I wasn’t going for an unconverted try in last few minutes…. very much

        • Who?

          I wasn’t wanting a try, I just figured that Murphy’s Law predicted one…

        • Adrian

          I felt the same 90% of the time at that time to be honest

        • Funk

          “I wonder what Timu has done wrong ?”…theological differences???

        • Mart

          say good bye to the breakdown. Glen jackson will let it fly

        • Ed

          If we know how Jackson refs the breakdown, then surely our coaches would adjust their tactics to cater for Jackson’s quirks. A smart coach and captain would.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Any coach should be able to get good results from Quade. Just let him play rugby…. .. he’s a natural.

        • Gareth

          .yes it is, not a hater but we are talking about a guy who had one great season 7 years ago and has been average since.

        • Who?

          That sort of line ignores reality. Didn’t you watch 2013..? Which is the source of the excitement amongst Rebels fans who are looking at a 9/10/12 line up of Genia/Cooper/Toomua – one that first gelled in 2013. Did you forget that he was 10 for most of our wins in 2016?
          I’m not saying he’s the solution to our current situation, I’m not saying that he’s our greatest ever 10. But where those who don’t rate Foley (which I’ll readily admit includes myself) are constantly harangued for underplaying the credit he deserves (a player whose championship Super year was based off an absolutely dominant forward pack (not the case for Genia/Cooper), whose best game (England, RWC) was really about the guy outside him (Beale)), those who berate me for my comments are more than happy to ignore Cooper’s times in the sun since 2011. He’s had a checkered run with injury since 2011, but when he’s been fit, he’s had some incredible moments.

        • Gareth

          Firstly, i saw 2013 (5years ago) and secondly id like to state that I am not a Foley fan, the Nard is our best 10 at the moment which is just sad. Yes QC has had some incredible moments between 2011 and now, but we dont need a 10 that has great moments and then is very average in between. Watched him last week and through the season with souths and yes he can pass and yes he has great vision but he still cant kick and still cant tackle and has plenty of yellow cards for doing really lazy tackles and just dumb stuff. thought he was outplayed by deegan in the NRC game as his game management (test match stuff) is all over the place. He would be great for the rebels, he is just not a solution for the wallabies.

        • Who?

          Point is, you said, “One great season,” and failed to credit anything else.
          Still can’t kick? He gets pilloried for one missed kick off in 2011, yet Foley and Beale have more regular issues with the sideline (i.e. not finding touch from penalties, touch on the full on re-starts, Beale put an unpressured kick into touch on the full at Eden Park), and Cooper’s boot is far longer than Foley’s (he and Beale are similar). And that ‘one great season’ in 2011? Cooper and Genia kicked away 44% of the Reds’ possession that season. It was their varied kicking game that saw them win. There was only one team that year which kicked more than them – the Crusaders…
          I’m not going to argue that he’s a great defender. He’s not. But only one of our current options at 10 is (Toomua).
          In terms of last week, I can’t comment. I didn’t see the NRC game. But the reviews were, as is the tradition, mixed. He’s either golden or horrible. Normally you’d take the average reading, ignoring the outlying opinions. But the problem with Cooper is that EVERY opinion is an outlier. Everything’s an outrage. The same way he’s only, apparently, only had one good season.
          I’m not saying Cooper should or shouldn’t play for the Wallabies again. There’s a lot in that – form, coaching, game style. But we’ve gotta stop the hyperbole.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          You should watch the game then bro.. . . .. Quade was exceptional. He made one cut out pass that went dead when the winger cut inside last second. ……and missed some place kicks, one hittng the posts. He also made 2 amazing flick passes that went to ground. Both occasions the ruling was open, he flicks the perfect flick pass into the bread basket and both times the dripped it cold. As usual it’s Quades fault they stuffed up. And then you read the Fox News writeup and they say he missed tackles, was erratic and poor positioning. Absolute GARBAGE. No wonder there’s so many sheep who don’t Rate quade…..he didnt miss a single tackle but rather put on some big hits. Even had the commentators all excited again.. . ..

        • Who?

          Is there anything more frustrating than seeing a player running, given a decent pass, and dropping the ball? Same as Genia’s pass to Beale the other week at Eden Park – at least Beale was smart enough to know he’d messed up and dropped something he should’ve swallowed.
          No Fox here…….

        • disqus_NMX

          Got a link where we can watch it?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          It’s already been posted bud. Or just UTUBE the highlights.. …..

        • disqus_NMX

          Already been posted where? I’ve seen the highlights on youtube, but where can I see the whole game?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          What a load of garbage. He has been absolutely lauded by everyone at the games for his big defense all year at South’s. And if you think Deegan had a better individual game as a pkaymaker than Quade did last week. …..i rest my case. QUADE directly involved in ALL cities points except the 15s solo try. ….. Deegan.. …not a single direct involvment in points. His team won because their forwards DOMINATED the city forwards around the field, plus the dodgy yellow card. Without Quade city score 5points. Without Deegan the force score exactly the same points.

        • Huw Tindall

          Talk about trading on past glories. Super Title and some Wallabies success. Then repeated injuries, failure at Toulon, injuries, average Super Rugby season, dropped by Thorn, plays Brisbane club rugby for Souths all year and doesn’t make the final.

          I’m not a QC hater by any means but he isn’t up to his previous standards by any shadow of the imagination. Still, I’d like to see him in the Rebels. They’ve lacked an experienced 10 since forever so could really help open them up with Toomua/Meakes alongside keeping him company. He is probably good for a few extra thousand fans too which is always nice!

        • Hoss

          Nope, not a hater of anything, just not a disciple of the anointed one.

        • disqus_NMX

          Well maybe I misread your comment, but 2 days ago you seemed to say that QC was like the ‘Fred’, who was the poison in the well in the sales team, and when you fired him, the company’s results trebled (https://disqus.com/home/discussion/gagr/wednesdays_rugby_news_372/#comment-4079478554).

          Since QC got fired from the Wallabies, the Wallabies have fallen from 2nd to 5th. Since he got fired from the Reds, the Reds went from 5th last to 3rd last. And since he got hired by Souths, they went from 7th to 3rd. Crowds have dwindled at the Wallabies and Reds, and have gone up at Souths and Qld City. As far as I can see, he is far from being the poison in the well.

        • Adrian

          I think NMX that Hoss was replying to my comments re Genia.

        • disqus_NMX

          Well yes he was, but then he threw QC in at the end of the story. It was a great story, but it reads to me like Hoss thinks QC is the ‘Fred’ of Australian rugby. He may have just been saying that the numbers in front of your face don’t tell the full story, and that the numbers that say that teams are more successful with QC in them might not tell the full story. But if so, it was a terrible analogy. Fred’s personal numbers were excellent, but the team around him failed when he was there. In QC’s case, the team around him succeeds more when he is there than when he isn’t. He’s been given the firing treatment that Hoss advocates, and team results got worse, instead of trebling. There are obviously some poisons in the well in Australian rugby, but QC is definitely not one of them.

          Either way, Hoss isn’t replying to clarify. And from all his other comments, he clearly isn’t a QC fan.

        • Hoss

          National apology to the QC generation.

          It’s with deep regret I can confirm that I do not rate John Denver as a future international 10.

          Whilst JD had some moments in the sun and does possess some fine skills I personally do not see the advancement of the Wallaby cause with him in the mix.

          I know this Fran concession will cause angst and pain in the community and my apology has been a long time coming.

          Whilst I remove my endorsement of him as a future leader of the Outside Backs I should mention that I congratulate John for his career and probably more so, for the advancement he has made as a person and his contributions to the game

          I wish John well in Sunwolve / Rebel Land and again apologise for the temerity to think different to you all.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          All great points, points that no other player can boast and not for along time. He must REALLY rub some up the wrong way too leave such a crowd favorite and amazing talent on the sidelines. I’ll NEVER understand this chapter of Aus rugby and whats happening with Quade, the Reds and Brad Thorn.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Well your missing a lot of great wizardry by the talent that is Quade Cooper. …….in a position on the rugby field were that is needed and sorely missed in wallaby gold.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I dont think he will either. But Doesnt mean I dont want him to.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree mate, however I also think he’d be great for the Rebels

    • Keith Butler

      Sounds nice but a bit tough on Bill Meakes who was rock steady last season. My main concern is our front row. Needs beefing up as we got turned over too many times which ended in penalties and YCs.

      • disqus_NMX

        I wonder how Paul Alo-Emile is going, and if the Rebels have been putting feelers out to him.

        • Who?

          Yeah, that’d be logical. Not because it’s the Rebels, but because it would make sense for Cheika to see a player go overseas, then go out of his way to get RA to pay to help him pay to break his contract so he can come home and not play any Tests… ;-

        • disqus_NMX

          Lol, well I was just talking about Rebels needing a decent scrummaging prop or two so they don’t get destroyed up front when they do play the Reds. But yeah, too true about Cheika lol.

        • Bakkies

          Pretty sure he has been capped by Samoa.

  • Happyman

    My ramblings for the morning as I was out and about until yesterday afternoon.

    Congratulations to the Queensland Premier clubs for putting the 7’s together. My mail is that the main driver was the clubs themselves and they did all of the heavy lifting and handed it to the QRU who will obviously take the credit.
    The format is pretty exciting and it has been put together so that it dovetails into the Byron Bay and Noosa 7’s as well as other events up until now events have been clashing with no real structure. Other teams will be involved.

    Unfortunately I will be out of town this weekend so will miss the Brisbane Test. The real question will be if the Wallabies are killing it without Foley what happens next. I honestly think he has been held to a different standard to other 10’s in the country over the last five years.

    If the Melbourne Rebels get QC they obviously have a Salary Sombrero similar to the Roosters in League. If it does happen I may actually support another team when they play the Reds next year. He actually showed enough in the Brisbane City Game on the weekend to say he still has it and the Reds should bring him back in.

    • Brisneyland Local

      HM, yeah I cant wait if he does sign with the Rebs to go to Suncorp. That will be a really interesting game. the crowd will be very vexed.

  • onlinesideline

    Time for a cartoon sketch of BT dressed as a priest on the sideline pointing a cross at Quade, quielty chanting “Christ compels you” and then Quade turning back at BT doing a mini Haka ending and then BT taken a back and going “HUH” ??

  • Missing Link

    Welcome to Melbourne Quade, you’re going to love the food and coffee but you’ll also need to acquaint yourself with a winter coat.

    • onlinesideline

      and he can use that coat on EOYT as well :)
      why not ?

  • Adrian

    Thanks Nick, good points.

    For us to win:,
    1.Our reasonable to large sized forwards have to run onto the ball and make ground, then recycle quickly
    2. Beale needs to back them up
    3. Beale/Folau connection needs to be used
    4. Kicks to Folau in attack
    5. Toomua and Hodge form a partnership in defence, not just stand next to each other
    6. Beale grabs turnover ball and does something with it immediately

    It is all possible, just as it has been all year.

    We must have a strategy to get in front in the first half, not just cruise along and think we’ll lift in the second half, because that’s what SA will do unless we score lots of early points

    Australia by 5, but really it has to be by 15

    PS playing injured players will fuck us just as much as not starting them. They NEED to be fit

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep very true.
      What about if it is a wet game, which it most likely will be.

      • Adrian

        Yes, I reckon the wet might suit us.
        Highly experienced Pocock, TPN, Hooper, Genia, Toomua all know how to play in the wet. Hopefully Cheika doesn’t over coach them re what to do.

        My very minor worry would be that Toomua might get kick happy in the wet, without others knowing what is going on. I think though that Beale will call the shots mostly, and that suits me.

        • laurence king

          Pocock out injured

        • Adrian

          All of a sudden a line all game, wet or not

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gee I hope Genia is doing the talking to the referumps!

        • Adrian

          I probably agree, but I hope he isn’t having a spooky day

        • Brisneyland Local

          Me too! I hope they are all having A1 days!

        • Brisneyland Local

          You see I was worried that the wet would suit them more. Big pack, in tight. Especially with Pocock now scratched.

        • Adrian

          Big pack yes, but nouse about what to do probably rests with us. Genia, Beale, Toomua and TPN used to this.

          I think Janjzes can be rattled.

          Still a line-ball game with us slight favourites.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Please send me all of your positive vibes. I will be at the game in a corporate box pro-actively drinking to numb the pain of what I think is coming. Well that and eating all of the smoked salmon and nibbly bits, party pies, spring rolls and what ever else I can get my greedy little hands on! ;-)

        • Adrian

          Yep, make the most of it.
          Food/drink is real

          The stuff on the ground is just a game,…..chess with physicality if you like BL!

          Actually, I wish I was there, but I’ll be sipping lattes and nibbling bagettbag at home.

          Our guys include some very good players, its just that they all have to click at the same time, and we need to direct the game towards our strengths, not our weaknesses.

          In 50+ years I have seen some good all-round players playing for Australia, but mostly we’ve had guys who were freaks in one or two things, and other guys who were really just journeymen who filled every second slot and did their job. It has mostly worked, and occasionally we have punched above our natural weight, and been rated in the first two or three,… but mostly not.

          On their day, TPN, Arnold, Hooper, Tuopo, Genia, Beale and Folau can do some things better than anyone I’ve ever seen.

          It’s just not all things, and not every day

          It just needs to be the right day, and everyone to have self confidence.

          Let’s not forget that key guys in the past like Dick Thornett (couldn’t jump, but could catch anything), Rob Hemming (could jump higher than anyone at 35, and catch, but nothing else), Greg Cornelson (preferred attack to defence), Campo (preferred attack etc), Mark Ella (preferred attack etc), Greg Davis and Phil Waugh (preferred defence) etc etc
          …..were great players.

          I’m not sure we are slipping despite Bledsoe results against the best team I’ve ever seen.

          Being competitive v Springboks has historically been a plus. A win has been a bonus.

          We are doing ok

        • Ed

          We haven’t shown much nous in six of our last seven tests.
          Both fly-halves can get rattled – Beale is not immune. His last test wearing 10 was a nightmare.
          It is time for so-called “great” forwards like Coleman to perform in a big test.
          TPN will last no more than 50 minutes, considering he played off the bench in England to add to approx 35,000km in flights in eight days. He and Toomua would not have had a proper recovery after either match.

        • Adrian

          Agree Ed, I wouldn’t have picked the frequent flyers for this match.

          Agree we haven’t shown much nouse, and with Pocock out we’ll have less to show.

          Agree re Coleman too, he wasn’t in my team.

          50 minutes for a starting forward ok by me, so long as they go flat out for first 10 minutes of second half, then the bench guy can go flat out for 30.

          My optimism re nouse is a bit reduced after Pocock scratching, but really, I think the guys will feel it, as they’ll perceive that the rocket that Cheika got from Castle was meant for them too.

        • Huw Tindall

          Happy with Toomua being ‘good’ kick happy. Pin the Bokke in their half and keep us out of our own 22.

  • laurence king

    News just in, Pocock out with a neck injury (go figure) and replaced by Samu.

  • Dud Roodt

    Not sure if anyone else has posted this but Pocock is out of the test with the neck injury

    • Brisneyland Local

      POcock out and a wet weather track. we are screwed.

    • Tah Tragic

      He really should stop sticking his head into Kiwi rucks. What does he expect?

    • Happyman

      That is one of the reasons Warburton retired. Funny how no AB was cited for that particularly the Franks one. Someone is going to end up in a wheelchair the way people are getting neck rolled and shoulder charged directly onto backs.

      As Warburton put it in a podcast if you think it is not a problem imagine picking up a cigarette off the ground and someone taking a run up with there shoulder onto your back.

      • laurence king

        With the pounding he’s been taking, it’s always been a possibility. In fact now he can have a break and his health is a little bit more important than this game, Samu will do all right I imagine

      • Funk

        Listen, I can’t say I have ever stopped to pick up a cigarette off the ground, but if someone spots me doing it can you please take a run up and shoulder me in the back…thanking you in advance.
        Sorry not making light of the issue, just sounded funny “picking up a cigarette off the ground”

        • disqus_NMX

          Could have been picking up a bar of soap instead :D

    • Huw Tindall

      hopefully just mind games and Poey runs out in the 7 with a (c) next to his name in the indigenous jersey then singlehandedly defeats the Adani mine proposal whilst simultaneously officiating over a gay marriage before pilfering a ball with 30 seconds to go and popping a pass to Beale to run 90m to score

  • andrewM

    Quade moving to Melbourne?
    What a joke, farce, whatever you want to call it. I thought the reason that he stayed in Qld last year despite not being wanted by Thorn was for family reasons, yet now, once again, the Rebels are the beneficiaries. I wonder what deals were done to make this happen, what rules were bent? Amazing the lengths that Australian Rugby has gone to make Melbourne a success, to the detriment of every other team. Hope they have another year of pathetic crowds that they need to justify this time next year

    • Missing Link

      gee tell us what you really think. Like it or not, we have 4 super rugby teams at the moment and the Rebels are one of them. Those 4 super rugby teams will produce the best players which we need to fill the Wallabies with. You could move the Rebels to timbuktu and nothing would change, except perhaps the conspiracy theories.

      • Tah Tragic

        I do worry about the financials of the Rebels. Regular crowds of 5k cannot support that playing roster. We desperately need the Rebels to succeed but we can’t have RA pouring money in indefinitely.

        • Missing Link

          One match last year drew a crowd of around 5k – against the jaguares. There were 2 attendances over 13k, sure they were probably ex-pat kiwis but they still paid to get in, and most of the other games drew around 10,000.

          A lot of people single out the Rebels, but the Reds, Tahs and Brumbies aren’t exactly filling their stadiums either.

        • Tah Tragic

          True all SR teams are under pressure. It does appear that the Rebels are the most active in buying in big name players. That could just be me have a “grass is always greener” moment and yes now have Steve Austin. It would be interesting to see the player’s salary bill for each team.

        • Huw Tindall

          Pretty sure Qld will chip in as well in some sort of deal. Better them paying him 300K to play in Melbourne than 600K to not play at all!

        • Brisneyland Local

          The Reds are barely getting 8-11k at best per game. Yet they are shelling out well over $1mil for players they arent using. Plus their sponsors are either being arrested or deserting them. Plus the RA are paying their bills as they are technically insolvent. So no different really.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          QUADE will instantly boost that single handedly…..paying for himself.

        • Custard Taht

          If Quade comes to Melbourne, the crowd will become 5002. Haven’t been to a super rugby game in ages, was burnt one too many times by the Tah’s, but this move would get me back through the gates.

          Ageed, the rebels need to up their attendance levels. Signing Quade is a good start and if the rebels can start winning more, this should help people come through the gate.

          The other thing for them is scheduling, they should avoid game time clashes with the afl like the plague.

          They should look at ways of getting the storm fans to the games. Maybe some sort of dual membership arrangement. Being single teams in the same stadium means they aren’t really “enemies” as they aren’t really competing for fans against each other.

      • Custard Taht

        All I know is a backline built around 9. Genia 10. Cooper 12. Toomua should be the best in the country. Actually, the last time this combination was in use for the Wallabies it was the best we had had in years, and better than any combination since. Though the 9. Phipps 10. Cooper 10. Foley in New Zealand was a belter.
        This spine for the rebels could give Cheika a headache for the world cup next year. Though I am pretty sure he has already started pilates, yoga and trambopalining to ensure he can spin his way out of it.

      • andrewM

        Just telling it how I – and many others see it. 12 months on we have RA still dragging their feet over WSR but in the same time have seen them shift heaven and earth to get Genia, Toomua and now Cooper playing for the Rebels. All purely to justify their ‘we made the right decision’ mantra. I have nothing but complete contempt for them.

        • Bernie Chan

          No idea how the Toomua signing happened as such, but Sanchez went south because the wonderfully administered Reds had 3 scrumhalfs already signed…naturally, Frisby was punted by BT after Sanchez accepted the Rebels offer! QC was staunch in his efforts to stay n play in QLD but moving to play alongside with his great mate (don’t forget Toomua is also a QLD lad…) Sanchez with the (remote I know….Foley is still the Cheika ‘chosen one’…) possibility of forcing his way into RWC reckoning must be tempting. RA had little to do with either Sanchez or QC leaving the Reds…that is entirely the fault of the QRU and BT. The Rebels could have a the best 8(Naisarani)/9/10/12/15(DHP) spine in Oz rugby….The Rebels have a quality pack and outside backs that need direction, and the possible 9/10/12 axis provides plenty of game management ability. IMHO, few Reds fans would blame QC for going south…

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Well your wrong about Quades family being the reason why he didn’t more to the Rebels or the Brumbies last year. It was the deals they could offer. Not even close to paying out his contract, so hence the deals were never actually REAL offers. …. …just testing the waters. A new year opens up deals and cash/player flow options. Something not possible at the time of season BRad Thorn chose to dog Quade.

  • Mart

    Oh great Pocock out!
    Glen Jackson ref. We are screwed. The only way you win playing with Glen Jackson is have someone menace the breakdown. It will be a mess. The only plus is No Marx starting. Is it too late to get George Smith over here!?!?!

    • Huw Tindall

      Real chance to see what Samu can do over 80 minutes then. This is when it would have been really handy to have Latu in the side for his on ball presence.

  • John Miller

    I like Jones too DB. I actually think Cottrell should currently be in the Wallaby squad, and – if Jones’ impact is as good or better than when he left – Jones too when he is available. I suspect neither will be as long as Cheika reigns.

    I just like Hardwick’s fierce, on ball focus, appetite for central collisions and work rate. Not too dissimilar to Cottrell but perhaps a slightly more aligned skill set.

  • OeildeNuit Nighteyes

    Beale is not good enough to wear the 10.He does not make better people aroubd him. And he can’t manage his feelings. I do not rate Folau very highly. He is still the same player, his pass is still bad,etc.
    Last year, when you beat the ab, you had a 8 (mcmahon i think),where is he ? He was good !
    Good luck. I hope you trash the bocks. La France vous soutient.

    • disqus_NMX

      McMahon went to Japan. Big loss to the Wallabies, he is a machine.

  • Gipetto

    Neddy Hannigan, Michael Hooper (c), Lukhan Tui, Tatafu Polota-Nau remain liabilities. Hopefully Timu gets the #8 jersey in place of Pocock. Fainga’a needs to come on after 10 minutes. Maybe they have learned to defend on an organised manner in the fortnight available to the coaching desperados.
    The Reds beat the Rebels at their last outing. Quade may go south if his partner approves. He is permanently out of the Wallabies so he may want to collect the remainder of the AR$, torture the ungrateful Reds by taking their cash for another year , then head to Europe and make it big like fellow deemed has-been Danny Cipriani.

    • onlinesideline

      Hes experienced the Wallabies scores of times, all over the world and lived his dream. He will go to the rebels because he is a good bloke that loves his rugga and enjoys beng challenged as he is a good athlete. He wont walk from the deal just because he wont make the Wallbies again.

  • Adrian

    Interesting point, without getting too complicated.

    Looking at replays of NZ tries, and some SR footage,….I wonder if the trend towards attacking via 12 alarm Nonno, SBW and in Australia Beale and Duncan P is now being reversed?

    It seems that more mobile defenders are getting out to cover people running off the 12 fairly easily.

    What these quickly spreading defenders do, is slightly thin out defence in the 10 channel.

    Ideal for Barrett, ….and maybe Beale!?

    • Huw Tindall

      Back to the old pick and goes and one out runners!! Everything old is new again!!

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Spot on Adrian. We’ll lose. And with all due respect Fuck the PC Crowd. I am a proud ANZAC

    • Adrian

      No worries, me too
      Not sure PC extends to Anzac, I was just being a smarty-pants.
      I’m always an Australia first, NZ next , then Ireland, then England’s enemies sort of person, but have at times supported NZ underdogs against us in things like cricket and Rugby League

      • Who?

        I’m the same, except swap Ireland and NZ (due to family). It’ll be nice to see NZ shred someone other than us this weekend – we can watch their skills happily, rather than feeling pain.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Maaaaate. Apart from the first 2 I’m with you mate. I don’t see a lot of Australia underdogs although the cricketers might take that for a while

  • GO THE Q REDS

    Well I for one hope with all my heart Quade Cooper goes to the Rebels (at full price as well). I’ve been a huge Reds fan for many years. .. .. but the way the Reds allowed Thorn to so abruptly dump Quade at the massive cost of the Reds performance wise this year……ill gladly ship my loyalty to the Rebels while Quade has a crack down there. Here’s hoping the deal pulls through. .. . and screw you BRad Thorn!!!

  • Huw Tindall

    To quote myself, “my only really strong criticism”.

    Made 18/21 tackles in Bled 1 and 2. Kicking at over 85% in Super Rugby this year. Great runner and a mountain of try assists and some of his own. He was the 10 in the Australian conference players choice Super side.

    Not flawless by any means. Would love a longer pass and longer boot but he is the best most consistent 10 we’ve got right know. Says more about our 10 depth really but some exciting youngsters coming through like Deegan, Mason and Stewart.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Haven’t seen much from Mason or Stewart yet. Deegan has showed some glimpses.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      OK then let’s be more precise, you said “ongoing” criticisms. Foley had terrible defence stats once again this Super season. A tackle efficiency of only 64% is shocking. He also missed nearly 50 tackles… ..a number only 1 other fly in Jantjies CAME CLOSE too. And on attack he touches the ball more than any other flyhalf on Super rugby. Nearly 800 touches with half of them passes and less then 1m gained per touch. 800 touches for 10 try assist isn’t something that should be blowing down the doors at wallaby camp either. And let’s be honest here his place kicking is good. ….82% not “over” 85%… but there’s still 6 other flyhalfs alone with a better %.
      Bernard Foley is NOT a international quality player and hasn’t been for many years. Statistically for the last 5 years he’s been in the bottom 5 worst defenders amoung all backline players, not just 10s. And that’s not even touching on his lack of attacking vision. Feel free to check the stats yourself on Fox Sports. Because I can see some “ongoing strong criticisms” there quite plainly.

  • Adrian

    Hmmm

  • Bakkies

    Brumbies sign Murray Douglas a fifth lock which is not needed. If it comes to that point get someone from the bush.

  • Bernie Chan

    Newsflash…Izzy’s out! DHP to fullback, Maddocks to the wing and Banks called up to the bench. Wet track, no Pocock, no Izzy…could get ugly. Will Erasmus pull a ‘swifty’ and start Marx?

  • Adrian

    Folau out!

    I know it probably won’t be, but I am tipping a draw. I correctly tipped the second draw last year, so who knows.

    Having said that, I still believe that Australia has the cattle to win by 15, if they go for broke early

  • Adrian

    Nup… still don’t.
    Your alterego?

    PS Folau out. I’m tipping a draw, which of course won’t happen.

    We have cattle to win by 15, I still think

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Perhaps having a name closely linked to Brisbane and the Qld Reds may need to be changed seeing as we’re talking about our loyalties shipping south to the Rebels for a bit. ……

  • first time long time

    What am I missing? I think Jed Holloway would be a better bench option than the oversized version of Joe Powell.

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician, second rower. Still trying to make sense of the 21st century. About to drop a book...

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