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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees us talking about cold, hard cash, the latest from the Wallabies and Womens Sevens, The Rebels adding more to their stock and more controversy around a certain English coach.


Cold, Hard Cash

All Smiles here

All Smiles here

It’s the end of the week, so let’s talk money. Ya know, the thing Rugby Australia focus more on than the management of the game in this country?

But, while it is easy to poke fun at the governing body, according to Raelene Castle, money could be in much more plentiful supply come 2021.

With the next iteration of Super Rugby being ironed out, changes apparently planned for the Rugby Championship format and more tests scheduled to be lined up as the new World League structure takes shape, Raelene is confident Aussie rugby can end up with more money in it’s coffers compared to the previous broadcast deal.

They may be boosted by an even better offer, with Castle and her SANZAAR counterparts engaging in a combined sales pitch at the international sports broadcasting conference, Sportel, in Monaco, prior to the All Blacks-Wallabies test in Japan last week.

“The interesting thing is what package do you take to the broadcasters? You can’t look at Super Rugby in isolation,” she said to the Sydney Morning Herald. 

“Our domestic competition is Super Rugby, [there’s] our international product and then there’s the potential of this World League and that is no doubt a strategic conversation from World Rugby to see if we can maximise our broadcast rights right across the world.

“It’s about what we can do, having broadcast conversations in this market, about the rugby package, that we can deliver. On the package, yes I do think we can grow our broadcast revenues.”

Raelene was back in Sydney this week, announcing a new partnership between Australian Rugby and the Australian Army.

With the future of Super Rugby still up in the air, Raelene did give one thing away: despite the success of the Fijian Drua in this years’ NRC (not to mention the fantastic support they got at home), it is unlikely that Fiji or any Pacific Island nation will get a Super Rugby team in the next broadcast cycle.

“It’s an interesting balance for us in Super Rugby,” she said.

“Is that the place to try and trial new products and bring them into the environment? We know that the financial sustainability of teams has been a real challenge for every nation within the Super Rugby competition and financial sustainability is a really important part of the mix.

“So for us we see the success of the Drua as an opportunity to grow and evolve. Will we see a Fijian or Pacific Islands team in the short term in Super Rugby? Possibly not in the very short term but we continue to have those conversations.”

In other good money news for Rugby Australia, their decision to take a Bledisloe double header to Perth next year has paid off spectacularly: with the news that the event has officially sold out eight days after going on sale. Rugby fans in the west again put the rest of us to shame, yet again.

Scheduled to be held at the 60,000 capacity Optus Stadium in August next year, Castle confirmed that the results shows that the game is still very much alive and well in WA, that there is interest in catching the Wallabies and Wallaroos, and that hopefully, after the controversy surrounding the game the last eighteen months, that some of angry sentiment towards Rugby Australia has subsided.

“I think it does (show sentiment is changing) but I think the important thing is that it shows that rugby is really strong and alive in WA,” she said to rugby.com.au. 

“The combination of rugby, with the Bledisloe Cup for the first time over there, and also the fact this it’s a very mixed environment of New Zealanders, South Africans and also lots of Australian fans. It’ll be a really live audience and it’s really exciting.

“I think the important mix is how do we maximise the great relationship we’ve had with NSW and the history of playing it here…but also thinking about the opportunity the Bledisloe presents to us, both from sharing a brand and the story of Rugby Australia and the Bledisloe Cup with the other parts of Australia.”

Following the news, Castle also confirmed that the governing body are hopeful of adding another Test match to next year’s shortened schedule, ahead of the World Cup.

Stacking up the Firepower

Campbell Magnay played his last game at Suncorp before heading to Japan. Will he be back ?

Campbell Magnay is back again. Just, not for the Reds.

The Melbourne Rebels outfit was already looking disgustingly good.

Now, they’ve somehow been able to find the spare coin lying to around to strengthen their backline, signing Campbell Magnay for next season.

Magnay came up in the Queensland system, playing for QLD Country in the NRC before playing 17 games for the Queensland Reds.

However, since then he’s been plying his trade playing for Suntory in Japan, and learning from a certain bloke called Matt Giteau. 

Competition for the backline in the Rebels will be fierce next year, with Magnay joining the likes of Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Matt Toomua, Reece Hodge, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Sefa Naivalu, Tom English and Billy Meakes.

“I’m happy to be returning to Super Rugby in 2019 and very privileged to be welcomed to Melbourne,” Magnay said to Fox Sports. 

“The Rebels is a pretty impressive set up with their players, coaches and management and I’m looking forward to joining the squad early in the new year.

“I’ve enjoyed my time in Japan and embracing a new experience, but I was always hoping to return.

“My time away has strengthened my desire to consolidate myself in Australian rugby and to work hard aspiring towards the Wallabies.

“The conversations with (coach) Dave (Wessels) and the Rebels recruitment staff made the decision to become a Rebel a clear winner for me.

“The Japanese Top League is very fast and technically precise.

“The teams in Japan shouldn’t be underestimated and I can see now how they can often surprise favoured visiting teams.

“I’m now coming back fitter and faster and I think the experience has made me a much more well rounded player.

“It’s going to be a great challenge for me with the roster the Rebels have to make the team and to work hard to make a solid contribution.

“I can’t wait.”

Let’s just say, with a squad this good and a coach this promising, if the Rebels don’t make their first ever finals next year, I’ll eat my hat.

“Campbell left Australia with a lot of promise and a growing reputation as being a super talent,” Dave Wessels said of the announcement.

“He’s gone away and broadened his life experiences and now he has the opportunity to get back into Super Rugby and work hard to challenge for a place in our team.

“He could’ve gone to another club that might have had an easier path to game time but he wants to come here to challenge himself and to be the best player he can be.”

All the best to them, but in honesty, with the amount of talent they have there I’m increasingly seeing the Rebels as rugby’s answer to the Melbourne Storm. All they have to do now is win a title and not get down for breaching the salary cap.

All things Gold

womens-sevens

Let’s just get the most obvious statement out of the way: the Wallabies have been crap this year and not many folks are optimistic that we can turn things around.

However, Raelene Castle has admitted that she only wants to see one thing, an undefeated Spring Tour. In her mind, only that result will qualify as a pass mark for the Wallabies.

It’s a big ask (especially the games against England and Wales), but Raelene is hopeful that the lessons learnt from getting smacked three times this year by the All Blacks will be enough to achieve that feat.

“They are determined to go there and win all three games,” she said to rugby.com.au. 

“That’s the start point, that’s the pass mark from where they are, from their perspective, that’s the expectation that certainly Michael’s setting for them and there’s no reason why they can’t do that.

“They will be very confident that they can come home with three wins.”

Yep, someone said it. “Very Confident.” What’s that phrase: pride comes before a fall?

Castle admitted that she did see an improved side in Yokohama, (especially defensively), and said that despite the 37 points scored against the Wallabies, it didn’t serve as a true indicator of the match.

“I think the great thing about the third Test was we saw some improvements and some things they identified they were concerned with,” she said.

“I’m not justifying the result – we all wanted a win – but if you think about building into a World Cup, there was some very specific improvements, particularly around the defensive patterns and things I know they had targeted, that Michael [Cheika] had (targeted), as important for that game.”

Unfortunately, the elephant in the room is that we have a 3-7 record this year, which is piss poor.

Raelene admitted that the governing body wasn’t happy with it either.

“No one’s suggesting we’re happy with the lack of wins,” she admitted.

“We also play the All Blacks more than any other country in the world, so we have that pass mark and that’s the benchmark that we set for ourselves.

“We played Ireland earlier on in the year, they’re second in the world, beat them in the first Test, arguably should’ve won that series, gave ourselves enough opportunity.

“I think as we move into the UK tour, it’s a slightly different style of rugby, different emphasis and I think the preparation the All Blacks will have given us is the best platform we could have going into that Spring Tour.”

Believe it when I see it. What do we reckon GAGRs? Is there anyone out there who thinks we can pull off a 3-0 win record this Spring Tour?

In other Aussie Gold news, the Aussie Womens Sevens team is in the final preparation for their second round of the Womens Sevens, which is set to begin at the end of this month in Dubai.

Round One in Colorado, USA was a disappointing start last month for the defending champions, with arch-rivals New Zealand taking top honours, followed by the USA, Canada, France and then Australia. 

The girls have been decimated by injury, with Emilee CherryEmma Tonegato and Alicia Quirk all missing from the squad.

Cherry (a gold medallist in Rio), is set to make a long awaiting comeback after she injured her ankle in July, and has begun running again for the first time this week.

“It’s been a fair while and counting since surgery,” she said.

“It’s been pretty slow but it feels really good now so it feels good to be back running on it and running pain-free is nice again.

“We’re not ready to make a call at this stage yet, we’ve still got nearly a month to go so we’ll see how these next few weeks.

“Next week will be the telling sign to how we go if I get back for Dubai.

“It was very hard to be back here and see the girls.

“It was good to watch them on day one, I think they showed some really good signs and if they can bring that into Dubai they’ll have a really strong tournament going into Dubai if they can take that energy and enthusiasm and that defence style into the first day of Dubai.”

While signs are optimistic that Cherry can return, there are concerns that co-captain Shannon Parry will miss out due to an injured leg. She played through much of Colorado, but the prognosis is only looking worse after she arrived back home, with the worse case scenario being she’ll require surgery.

“It’s been really hard with myself, Quirky and Emma being in rehab for a fair while now, that’s quite a big chunk of the leaders on the field so we’ve kind of had to see the other girls really step up,” Cherry added.

“I think they’re beginning to do that and I think Dubai will be a really telling sign for them, for the younger girls to really step up and put their hand up for those starting positions and to show Johnny (coach John Manenti) that they can step up to that next World Series level.”

The Womens World Series Sevens will continue in Dubai on November 29-30.

Absolute Paranoia

Cranky Eddie Jones at post-match press-conference. Not impressed with Stephen Hoiles' question

U wot m8?

The English continue to dig their own grave and bring on #downfall2018, with a brand new biography out about under siege England coach, Eddie Jones.

Eddie Jones: Rugby Maverick, was put together by veteran Australian News Corp journalist Mike Colman, and reportedly goes into detail about Jones’ demanding approach to coaching: a method that has reportedly always been divisive among fellow coaches and players.

The book comes at a volatile time for Jones. After starting with two wins against Italy and Wales, the old enemy suffered a five match losing streak, which saw them come second last in the Six Nations and lose a tour against the Springboks they were favoured to win.

While they eventually ended that losing streak with a 10-25 win at the end of that series, many in England are still concerned about the inconsistency of the national team.

Additionally, in the last six months, a lot of Jones’s support staff have left, including defence coach Paul Gustard (is he free? Can we get him down here to replace Grey?).

Then, this book comes along. And while some have plenty of praise for Jones’ methods, others (like former Wallabies fullback Roger Gould, who worked as an assistant coach under Jones in 2004) say otherwise.

“He has bad managerial skills,” Gould said, as reported by Fox Sports.

“I couldn’t believe the way he talked to people in front of other people. I’ve managed enough people to know that there are some things you just can’t do to people.

“You can’t take away their dignity. People might be impressed that someone works 18 hours a day.

“Working as an assistant to Eddie, you were always having to defend your position. You would put everything on the table and have to convince him that you were right. When he put something on the table, you’d have to convince him he was wrong.

“Trouble was, that never happened.”

Another former Wallaby, Andrew Blades (who worked with Jones at the Brumbies and Waratahs), echoed those sentiments, talking of Jones experiencing paranoia that the coaching staff and players were deliberately not following his game plan when he managed the Wallabies.

However, another assistant coach Ross Reynolds had the most damning thing to say about Jones when success started to wane.

“He was good to have a beer with but when the pressure grew he was not in a good place,” Reynolds said.

“He lost the dressing room. He went against the players.

“Eddie had a group of elite players who had been with him, right through the Brumbies into the Wallabies. When things started to go awry and Eddie lost his cool, the inner sanctum didn’t enjoy it. At one stage they had been winning 80 per cent of their games and then all of a sudden they weren’t winning.

“People started turning on each other. It was a combination of a lot of things, but it became a pretty unpleasant environment.

“The amount of video analysis we did was incredible, probably too much. We got analysis paralysis. After games we would be doing reviews and finishing up at 3 to 4am. You’d send him an email and get an answer straight back.”

However, Jones also received praise in the book from the likes of former media manager at the Wallabies, AJ George, as well as Glen Ella, who argued that Jones has since evolved as a leader.

“He’d belittle players in front of other players (in the past),” Ella said in an interview with Fox Sports in 2016.

“He’s not like that anymore. If he has a gripe at a player, he’ll get the player and they’ll talk privately.

“But he doesn’t rant and rave and have the outbursts anywhere near what he used to.

“He’s got a good squad behind him and when he’s got a good squad that he wants to, obviously, make even better, it sort of gives you acknowledgement that you can’t be doing any more than what you’re doing.

“When he was over here while he appeared outwardly stressed and doing what a coach does, he was pretty well relaxed with the players.”

It also says a lot that earlier this year RA high performance manager Ben Whitaker admitted that Jones is among close to a dozen coaches who are under consideration to be a potential replacement for Michael Cheika post the 2019 World Cup, despite the fact he’s contracted with England through till 2021.

It’ll only matter when the teams hit the field.

This weekend, the November Internationals will kick off, with Japan hosting the All Blacks, Wales hosting Scotland in Cardiff, Ireland hosting Italy at Chicago Field in the US, and lastly, England hosting South Africa at Twickenham.

  • Kiap

    Great that they’ve sold 60k seats in Perth. Is this really down to the pull of the Wallaby? I’d suggest it’s largely generated by an interest in seeing the All Blacks. Might even get close to a blackout.

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      I agree. I think it’s more the pull of the All Blacks.
      It’ll be a black’n’blue out, they’ll either be Kiwis or disgruntled Force fans.

      • Geoffro

        A Springbok v AB’s game would probably have more pull in Perth wouldn’t it.?

        • Brisneyland Local

          A Bok’s game in Perth is a Home game for SA.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          There is a lot of AB supporters in Perth, probable more than Bok supporters so it may be an AB home game

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think that might be right, but it would be a close call.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Definitely. I rather watch the Boks play the AB than the Wallabies

        • Habitual Offender

          Too right Hannes.
          The Boks getting a flogging doesnt get me so depressed.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Will be a better game. Watching the Wallabies getting a flogging is business as usual….

        • Habitual Offender

          Cant disagree with you Hannes

      • Nutta

        Either way it’s cash in the bank to spend on that Parramatta Development officer.

        Sorry. Bad mood Friday.

        • Alister Smith

          Parramatta…moving in the right direction at least but not quite crossing the Nullabor

        • Ads

          Western Sydney would be a bigger population and target Rugby market than WA I reckon. All within an hour of Sydney! Doesn’t need to be an either/or though does it?

        • Alister Smith

          Definitely does not – it would be great to see growth throughout the country and sport in general and rugby in particular would bring a lot of benefits to the population of western Sydney (and beyond).

        • Ads

          100% Alister.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Sydney cannot even fill a stadium for a test, AFL games are better attended that Rugby Union games next door, however Sydneysiders still think that they are the Mecca of rugby . It is this kind of flawed logic that is prominent at the RA Board and why Rugby in Australia is in such a dire state. There is a large country outside Sydney that play the game, want to watch the game, develop the game and loves the game.

        • Ads

          Wanting to develop Rugby in Western Sydney isn’t flawed logic. It is entirely logical. What is of questionable logic is buying 10 tickets to a game as a protest to the people you are giving the money to.

        • Perth girl

          RA kicked Western Sydney to the side until Andrew Forest came along and showed an interest

        • Ads

          Yes I know. But there have been plenty of people interested in western Sydney before and after Forest. He rightly sees it as a great commercial target.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          What is flawed logic is to put all your eggs in one basket where you cannot even give tickets away to get fans to games and shaft areas where rugby tests sells out within days of tickets being released and where rugby is growing. Buying ten tickets for family and partners are in investment especially if we these tickets will also be used to protest against the misadministration of WA rugby by RA – that will be broadcasted all over the world. The 2016 protest when 1/3 of the crowd wore Force blue was such an embarrassment for RA that they preferred not to schedule a game in Perth in 2017 and play two games in consecutive weeks in half full stadia 90 km apart (shooting yourself i the foot thinking). So I think it is more effective than you think.

        • Ads

          The main mistake you are making is seeing it as a zero sum game. The game can grow in Western Sydney and Perth (and country NSW, and Melbourne, etc…). So your comment about it being “one basket” make no sense. I’m also not sure anyone all around the world will give two shits if some people in the crowd are wearing blue jerseys or not. They probably wont even know what it means. So all you have done is give money to people you dislike. It is really weird logic. Hope you enjoy the game.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          The game cannot grow in Western Sydney and Perth if RA choose to concentrate all RA resources to pay for Warratah players that are not performing like a Hooper and Beale. The game cannot grow in Perth if there is no pathway to professional rugby (no Force), if there is no funding, if young players cannot see their idols play test matches etc. If you putt all your resources into your one basket – the basket case it comes at a cost to everyone else. I will enjoy the Blue and Black All Black tests in Perth, Rugby Australia and the TC cameras may try to ignore the protest by local rugby fans but not everyone will be. It will be on social media and Rugby Australia will have to answer some embarrassing questions.

        • Ads

          I’m struggling to keep up. I thought all Rugby resources were being wasted by the RA board. And/or on propping up Melbourne. And now it’s the Waratah’s players. Were they wasting money when the Force had to import a majority of their players from Eastern States (and still do)? Are any of the Qld or ACT players not performing or is it just NSW? I know having 4 teams doesn’t suit the myopic view from WA of East Vs West as “one basket”. I think RA will be laughing at you as they keep your protest money. I know I will be. I think the real shame is what you are showing to the young players, by not supporting the national team properly. There is also massive irony that the test in Perth will not be used for young players to see their idols play but instead as a protest. Do you agree that Western Sydney is a far more attractive Rugby market than Perth? If we have a finite pool of resources as you say, surely investing in the area most likely to have the biggest reward makes sense?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          No I do not agree that WA should be shunned in favour of a Western Sydney team for a couple of reasons:
          – there is a professional pathway in Sydney just a couple of km from West Sydney. The closest pathway to Perth is more than 3,500 km away.
          – The participation numbers in Perth for mens and womans teams has been the fastest growing market in Australia prior to the betrayal of WA by RA. Just an idiot pull out of your fastest growing market
          – Sydney is controlling rugby at the moment with 9 of the 11 RA Board members living in Sydney. Yes Melbourne has been a drain of RA resources and RA “pet” project, however In my view the money allocated to Melbourne is a failed attempt to block AFL in their heartland as Rugby in losing ground in rugby’s perceived heartland – Sydney that is losing ground to AFL

          It may be news to you but rugby is played, supported and even financed in WA. We stand on our own feet and gets almost nothing from RA. When even provided West Sydney with an option to join GRR that NSW and RA blocked. West Sydney rugby supporters are waiting for someone to rescue you and has been waiting for RA to do anything for decades. If it was not for Twiggy nothing would have happened.

        • Ads

          As I suspected disappointingly. You prefer to put vested self-interest ahead of what is good for the sport overall.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          A bit rich for someone from NSW to accuse anyone else to put vested self interest ahead of what is good for the sport overall. What is good for the sport is that it is played everywhere in Australia like it is in NZ and South Africa and that there are pathways for kids to aspire to become international players. It is not in the games interest if it is only played in Sydney – now that is vested self interest Ads. My focus on WA is to ensure rugby at least survive in WA after it has been betrayed by RA

        • Ads

          Ideally yes the sport would be played everywhere. If it can’t be played everywhere it should be grown in the largest most accessible untapped market. Then the next. This is what i asked you and what you said was a bad idea. This is out of spite and vested self interest. I also never said it should only be played in Sydney. As above I have already criticized your opinion of it being a zero sum game. You reference Melbourne’s AFL dominance and ignore the same in WA. It can only be vested, myopic, delusional self-interest.

        • Nutta

          If we want to talk bang for buck investment in-terms of getting value out of development spend then I’ve posted this before but it’s well worth considering here:

          If we were to get fair-dinkum at professional rugby and the numbers required to make proper professional athletes, then we simply have to go where the numbers are best. To give an idea of the scope of the issue then consider the NFL guys each year:

          High school players = 1,100,000
          High School Snrs = 310,000
          1st Yr College players = 17,500 (-94.4% drop-off)
          College Snrs = 15,500 (-11.4% drop-off)
          Combine = 350 (-97.7% drop-off)
          Drafted = 256 (-26.9% drop-off)
          Still playing 4yrs later = 150 (-41.4% drop-off)
          So for a Highschool Snr (310,000) to make a 4yr pro Player (150) the probability is 0.05%.

          Now equating the NFL to Super Rugby and reversing this back up to Australian high-school level through to Wobblies, that would mean: 4 Teams at 35 players each plus some floaters = 150 guys at 0.05% probability/success rate.

          That means we need 300,000 across 4yrs = 75,000 players PER YEAR just to fill the Super Ranks from which to pick the Wobblies if we were playing at a comparable level. Given we are not at that level we can’t hope for that. But it’s a useful insight for keeping stuff in perspective.

          Against all that, bear in-mind we have approx. 30,000 kids doing HSC in western Sydney this year vs 17,000 in all of Perth. So I know where I would spend my shekels.

        • Perth girl

          More like cash in the bank to spend on some more ageing Wallabies!

        • metalisticpain

          I love the comment that they still want to take it back to Sydney cause that’s were it’s always been. Despite selling about as well as Dr Pepper in recent years.

          If you can fill stadiums elsewhere why don’t you. I’m sure Adelaide might like a haha once in a while.

      • paul

        And a new stadium.

      • Hoss

        Yep, no better way of spiting RA then spending your cash attending an event that leads to RA coffers – that’ll teach em.

        • Missing Link

          The sellout is a protest vote against RA and the Wallabies. If the Force were still in Super Rugby WA people would be as apathetic as ever, same as the crowds at WSR, it’s a “call to arms”. You can’t start turning up to games after your team is cut and claim victim status.

          WA have a history of not turning up to Force games as well as test matches, despite getting a lot of Springbok games and with all the expat saffas in WA, you’d think they’d fill the stadium. In contrast if you look at the 4 Bledisloes Melbourne have had, 3 were near sellouts at the MCG, one was a near sellout at Docklands, and the Lions Test in 2013 was a complete sellout at Docklands. Melbourne have a history when it comes to Rugby which is often ignored by those willing to push their narrative.

        • Hoss

          Shall i name the next 5 responders to your post mate…………..

        • Habitual Offender

          Got cash riding on that hoss?

        • Hoss

          More a fearless prediction

        • Missing Link

          I’m not far off being blacklisted from entering WA altogether :D

        • Habitual Offender

          Na, your always welcome here ML.
          Theres some great sites to visit here, Pentecost River in Wyndham would have to be your first stopover… :p

        • Habitual Offender

          Force still in SR..apathetic crowd… your prob right.
          Says a lot more about SR than anything?

        • Singapore Sling

          There should be a box to check when you buy a ticket to identify who you support. Kiwi’s crawl out of crevasses in a +2,000km radius so AB tests. I’d bet is north of 60% NZ for both Melbourne and Perth.

        • andrewM

          Biggest load of BS you’ve written for a while ML

          Attendance of Wallabies matches in Perth is consistent with crowds across Australia over the past 10 years for those teams that have played in Perth.

          As for being a protest vote I can tell you that Force fans across most forums have been divided roughly equally between Being there in Blue or not going. I am in the latter camp.

          Of course Rebels crowds have continued on their meteoric rise again this year haven’t they? Now where’s that figure – Average Force crowds over a 1000 bigger than Rebels crowds last year and 6,000 this year. Note Melbourne couldn’t even get 30,000 against Ireland

          your narrative whilst having some truth falls short of reality.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The ground record for AAMI park is 29,871, so complaining about not getting 30,000 is pretty silly. It’s never going to have 30,000 for any type of football match.

        • andrewM

          And there are no other grounds over 30,000 they could have used in Melbourne??

        • Kevino

          29018, really giving out about that last 1k?

        • Kevino

          Wallabies should play more games in Melbourne, after all they have won 72.73% of test matches played in Melbourne, higher than any other city in Australia.
          Perth is close at 68.75% but still not really good enough considering most of those wins are against Argentina or week Irish sides. And yes that’s a Irish fan saying those sides were weak.

        • andrewM

          Huh? Not making much sense Kev – is this a Melbourne thing??? Wallabies test matches in Perth.

          2001 vs South Africa (draw)
          2004 vs South Africa (Australia)
          2005 vs South Africa (South Africa)
          2006 vs Ireland (Australia)
          2007 vs Fiji (Australia)
          2008 vs South Africa (Australia)
          2009 vs South Africa (South Africa)
          2010 vs England (Australia)
          2012 vs South Africa (Australia)
          2013 vs Argentina (Australia)
          2014 vs South Africa (Australia)
          2016 vs Argentina (Australia)
          2017 vs South Africa (Draw)

        • Bakkies

          Ireland weren’t weak in 2006. They should have won the Six Nations and went on to flog the Boks and Wallabies in the AIs that year playing attacking Rugby in the wet and mist.

        • Kevino

          Wallabies should play more games in Melbourne, after all they have won 72.73% of test matches played in Melbourne, higher than any other city in Australia.
          Perth is close at 68.75% but still not really good enough considering most of those wins are against Argentina or week Irish sides. And yes that’s a Irish fan saying those sides were weak.

        • Kevino

          29018, really giving out about that last 1k?

        • Habitual Offender

          Melbourne have a history of not turning up to Rebel games as well as test matches, despite getting a lot of Springbok games and with all the expat saffas in Vic, you’d think they’d fill the stadium. In contrast if you look at the 4 Bledisloes in Perth, 3 never happened, 1 was a sellout at Optus, and the Southern Lions played at Success in front of a crowd. Perth have a history when it comes to Rugby which is often ignored by those willing to push their narrative.

          Sorry ML, couldnt help myself..

        • Perth girl

          Gee you know so much about WA don’t you ML. This from a person who admitted he doesn’t attend Rebels games!

        • Oliver James

          So you’re comparing SA and Argentina games for Perth, against Bledisloe and lions games for Melbourne.

        • Kevino

          No, compared to Ireland and England both selling out AAMI park. Both Lions games being sellouts, France got 35k.

          Only time Wallabies failed to get a crowd was Fiji.

        • Bakkies

          What about the poor crowds at England, France, Italy and Scottish tests in Melbourne? There were poor attendances at the 2003 RWC quarter finals. Even the Irish and Kiwi support couldn’t help with filling seats for those games.

          Only the first Bledisloe test at the MCG was close to a sellout. The others were between 70-80,000.

          There was a test against England in Melbourne circa 2007 that barely got 30,000. Now June tests are played in a shoebox more suited for provincial Rugby due to poor attendances.

        • Habitual Offender

          Held my tongue for a while over this Hoss but its finally got to me …Isnt that about the equiv of you attending a Tahs game during SR, or the Wallies test.
          Same brush and all that?
          What teaches a lesson may just be solidarity, East and West, All in unison against the Empire.
          To go along with it as East has done, allthough offering condolences occasionally, is about the equiv of what the Players Assoc did, sweet FA.

  • Ian Rodger

    Jeez, the rebels backline will be stacked in 2019 and even more so when Toomua joins them at the end of that season. Not sure how they are going to make them all fit in, though. 3 of hodge, toomua, Meakes, English and Magnay are going to miss out.

    • BarneySF

      Just don’t call them the Real Madrid of rugby

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Toomua won’t realistically be there until the very end of the season.

      9. Genia
      10. Quade
      11. Koroibete
      12. Hodge
      13. English
      14. Naivalu
      15. Maddocks

      21. Ruru
      22. Magnay
      23. Maddocks

      I imagine something like that will be the first choice team, and there are always injuries, so Meanes will have plenty of game time also.

      • BarneySF

        Meakes 23 then

      • Geoffro

        Still doesn’t overly excite me except the interest in seeing the halves combo back together again

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It looks a hell of a lot better if you get to the finals and have 9. Genia, 10. Quade, 12. Toomua.

      • Singapore Sling

        That’s a very good backline if they can get half decent ball. It’ll be interesting to see if Wessels develops a horses for courses game plan for different opposition.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Just hope the forwards can win them enough ball to play with

      • Keith Butler

        You’ve hit the nail on the head KWL. Potentially great back division with plenty of competition. Not convinced that we have the same firepower in the front five though.

        • Alister Smith

          They have added Jones and Colby Faingaa was one of their best at the end of the season. Not sure why they didnt chase Slipper.

        • Keith Butler

          Is LJ there as a lock or a 6 though. Props are my main concern, hooker not so much with Rangi and Ulesse both very good players.

        • Missing Link

          The forward pack seem pretty good, Is weeks coming back? Faulkner and Ainsley aren’t bad but they’re not world class, I really like the look of Sa’aga, if he improved just a little bit, and Talakai wasn’t bad either last year.

        • John Tynan

          Hopefully 6 – then we’ve got Dempsey, Jones, Scott-Young all putting some pressure on Flanders.

      • Huw Tindall

        100% – the Rebels were bossed around at set piece too often this year and Coleman and Phillip can only do so much enforcing without a good front row. On top of that, as promising as Naisarani is I doubt he’ll be at Mafi levels next year.

      • Ian Rodger

        That’s the big question for the rebels this season.

  • Huw Tindall

    To answer one of the questions posed – I think we can do 3-0 on this tour. We’ve got the wood on Wales, Italy appear to be getting worse every year, England have been ravaged by injuries and have had an average run of late, and most importantly none of the teams are the ABs.

    Not saying we will but it’s not beyond the realms of possibility. Other than the ABs games we haven’t been totally smashed by any sides this year. We are a shot.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I can also see 0-3 as being well within the realms of possibility.

    • Ed

      We are going into the EOYT in worse form than last year.
      In 2017 we had a close loss and a win against the ABs – this year we were not at the races against the ABs. We didn’t lose to Argentina or South Africa last year whereas this year we have.
      Wales have evolved in the past year, moving away from the style using Jamie Roberts and co to bash it up. If England lose to the Boks and the ABs, they will be under the pump to win against us, while it will be our last test.
      Cheika’s Wallabies have lost their last test of each year since 2014.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Weirdly, I can easily see us going 3-0 and just as easily see us going 0-3.

        Strange situation.

        Wales have improved, but I still don’t rate them as the third best side in the world.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not so sure that Italy is a real threat but I agree the other two matches could go either way. Wales have improved but they haven’t played any of the other top 5. Mind you at 7 I’d still be worried.

        • Geoffro

          An improved Wales desperate to end their losing streak against Wallas in a bit of disarray at Millenium stadium.Sure the smart money will be on the Welsh

        • Singapore Sling

          For the first time in forty years every side is a realistic threat to Cheika’s Wallabies.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Huw are you joining Adrian in the realms of eternal optimists? ;-)

      • Nutta

        Yeh but he may just be right. I can see how they may swing it.

        That said I can also well see the opposite…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Alas my learned friend. I am not that confident!

      • Huw Tindall

        Mate I’m a platinum member – i’m naturally a white hat rather than black hat thinker and i’ll be fucked if I’ll let rugby politics dampen the joy of a test match. I’m not naive by any means but I’ll build first before tearing down.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I was a corporate sponsor, but once bitten twice shy.
          As a problem solver (and no I am not the Christopher Pyne Fixer type), but by personality type, I cant, not, engage in constructive analysis. I love my rugby and always will. And like many others I am finding a lot of joy and solace in the NRC, especially my beloved Drua!
          Keep up the positivity! Throw some in for me!

      • Adrian

        Ha ha BL.

        I think Huw could be right actually.
        “Could”, not definitely.

        For what it’s worth, I think pressure on Cheika from Castle will have an impact, but Cheika won’t (of course) acknowledge that.

        The Wales match will tell us a lot.

        I think areas like players being overloaded with information from the coaching staff will improve probably, as will simpler game plans and tactics.

        • Brisneyland Local

          My brain is telling me 2 Losses (Wales England), 1 Win (Italy).
          And I think Italy will be close.

        • idiot savant

          Agree the Welsh game will give us a bearing. If we dont sort the lineout it will be close. I think our scrum will be solid. Who knows how our backs will perform. They have been the most disappointing part of our rugby this year.

          And on the tactics side, you are right we only need simple go forward rugby. None of the sides we are playing are that tricky. Englands tactics will be obvious. We have talented athletes. They just need to do the basics to be competitive.

        • Adrian

          It’s in fact possible idiot.

          Just go out and do it without unnecessary complications

    • Missing Link

      Agree, last time Wales beat us, I was a younger more handsome man, hence why we should be able to beat them again. I don’t recognise any of the names in the Italian squad, maybe one or two, they should be on Roman time and turn up after the final whistle. Then we have England, that will be the big game. Injuries have taken their toll, and Cheika will be wanting to get one back on Eddie Jones.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am normally not concerned about Italy. But I want to the Wallabies Italy game at Suncorp last year. Shit they almost rolled us. If it hadnt been for a very dubious reffing decision they would have. On top of that, our performances since then have gotten worse.
        Like you I am not familiar enough with the Italian team, but at the moment we are weak. I am not 100% confidant.

        • Happyman

          Italian teams are now doing OK in the Pro 14 and have taken some pretty good scalps. So it will be closer than people think.
          PS the try/No try you are referring to was on a par with some of the worse decisions made that year.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah it was a shocker! I really felt sorry for them.

        • Happyman

          Even the Aussie supporters groaned when they made that call. Personally I was pretty ashamed and felt we had Kiwi’d the Italians on that one.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep was at the ground and could hear the crowd! It was embarrassing!

        • Bakkies

          Their under age is getting stronger too.

      • Ads

        So surely that all means we will lose to Wales and Italy and best the poms?

    • Adrian

      Agree Huw, I think that Cheika will put results above loyalty to his assistants some how.

      3 wins for a pass is plenty of pressure

      • Funk

        Like he has done with Foley, Hooper and Beale????

    • idiot savant

      I think if we play like we did against the ABs in Japan, we can win all 3. Particularly if this new forward runner strategy Genia alluded to is used. Wales is the danger game as the present Welsh combinations are newish and haven’t been tried against us. I think they had only just moved to lighter faster backs when we played them last spring tour and they seemed to lack confidence. But they will have more confidence now.

      England look very gettable. They will play a territory game, kick it out of their half and use line speed defence to try and force us into error. We have no excuse for not preparing to counter that. We know its coming.

    • disqus_NMX

      We certainly have the raw playing talent to achieve 3-0, but we also have the coaching talent to achieve 0-3.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    More tests? That’s the last thing we need.

    • Custard Taht

      Why ever so? The more tests, the more lessons. Though we all the lessons the Wallabies have learnt to date, they should almost have their PhD.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Well they are coached by Socrates and captained by Plato.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold mate

        • Keith Butler

          Two great Brazilians.

        • Bakkies

          Plato? Don’t you mean Pluto?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick,

    Big expectations there by RA. What will be really interesting is what happens if they aren’t met. Good to see high expectations on the money but a shame there’s no plans for the PI teams.

    Good luck to the girls, those injuries are hurting them and I hope they can get back soon.

    Jones certainly is a polarising guy. I dare say there’s a lot riding on these games for both him and Cheika that will make the clash interesting.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      There’s nothing riding on it for Cheika. RA have shown they will back him whatever happens.

      For Jones, yep, things could get ugly.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Sad but true.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    What should be news and is not reported is that a Bleddisloe test match sold out in Australia for the first time since 2006 in only 6 days. Despite Rugby Australia decided to dump WA from Australian rugby: they cut the Western Force, they dramatically cut funding and gave their annual test match for the Good Coast (where it was predictably played in a half empty stadium just 90 km from where a Wallaby test was played a week before). The evidence that Rugby Australia got the decision wrong is building and Cameron Clyne still have not grown a backbone and take responsibility for his Board’s mistake and resigned.
    I am very proud of WA rugby supporters and especially Twiggy that despite having the odds stack against us and a spiteful and unsymphathetic RA organization thst tries to derail us, stood together and is crafting a bright rugby union future independent of the misadministration called RA. Can’t wait for WSR to start next year and for the wheels to come off the administration so that much needed reform can occur.

    • Huw Tindall

      Juat when everyone was ready to move on…

      • ForceFan

        Only if your perspective is conveniently from the East looking West.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        WA is not part of the Australian rugby landscape, despite having the 3rd most players. How can anyone expect us to move on until this is rectified? RA has done fabsolutely alcohol to mend the bridges, but continue to try to derail WSR when they offer no alternative to WA. It is easy to move on when you are not impacted, however in WA the rage will continue until those responsible are kept to account and RA restructured so that WA is again part of Australia. The “black and blue protest test” will provide evidence that this view is widely held in WA. I bought 10 tickets, the cheapest I can find to give RA the least money possible for the “honour” to watch Rugby Australia being embarrassed on and off the field. Coward Clyne will probable not even show his face.

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      Not reported?!

      It’s in the literal first segment of the news mate…

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        What is not reporting is that WA put RA in the shame again, that it will be record crowd in WA smashing the previous record of 43,000, that RA wasted 2018 on games in a narrow strip between Brisbane and Sydney – all poorly supported, that Rugby Australia was caught asleep at the wheel again and failed to leverage the brand new stadium while competitive sports did and that WA again vindicated that the whole farce to axing the Force led to no benefits and that no-one at RA has been kept accountable.

  • Brumby Runner

    I find it odd, weird even, that an administrator can state that three losses to the ABs is a good basis for expecting an undefeated tour of the North by the Wallabies. If there was any substance in that proposition, the Wallabies would have been swimming in wins over the past four years as we’ve consistently been handed our arses by the ABs. Where TF do we get these geniuses to run the show?

    And I also get the flavour in her statement that any failure to achieve the three – nil tour will be all down to the players. Cheika has given them the target and it’s now up to the players entirely to bring it about.

    • Brisneyland Local

      That was my interpretation! But then again BR, I am not renowned for being the smartest of blokes!

      • Brumby Runner

        BLL, too modest. Anyone who sees it the same as me must be smarter than the average bear.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Touche!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate that’s so true. It’s just bullshit

  • Huw Tindall

    Well done WA on the Bled – I’m not going to venture into the politics and bullishit surrounding Force but in the end we are all rugby fans. We should rise above and support our team.

    • Missing Link

      I’ll be supporting the Wallabies, not the Force and never the All Blacks

      • andrewM

        Rest assured ML I’ll support the Wallabies, but definitely not corruption of the ARU and Rebels

  • Crescent

    So we need to ask The Pirate a very important question. If a 3-0 Spring Tour is a pass mark, what happens if the Wallabies score a fail?

    Be still my beating heart – could there be the slightest chance that we get the belated clean out before an ignominous exit from RWC 2019?

    While I will tune in and hope against hope the Wallabies finally put in some creditable performances, I have little faith in a 3-0 result based on the scattered and witless performances we have been treated for some time.

    Maybe I need some of Adrian’s Kool Aid to restore my faith….

    • Brisneyland Local

      Good Points crescent. I also share your concerns.

      • Crescent

        Having read the source article, clearly too early for hope. The Pass/Fail is not from The Pirate, it is a belief of The Clown Prince and his band of ne’er do wells.

        So no hope for the necessary clean out – just more of the alternate reality where training well counts and playing like beheaded chooks is just a learning opportunity.

    • Hoss

      ‘When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.’

      • Brisneyland Local

        Look for someone else to blame!

        • Funk

          It’ll most likely be the fans’ fault, for not believing enough…

        • Brumby Runner

          Could be, but my reading of what was said is that it wll be entirely the players’ faults if they fail to get 3-0.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold!

      • laurence king

        If all the critics would simply take a step back, it would look like the Wallabies had taken a step forward. It’s a bit Jedi, a bit Zen but it might just work

    • laurence king

      If we lost to Wales and England, we’d find out what the board are made of at least.
      As much as what is going on at the moment annoys the hell out of me, I could not bring myself to barrack for either Wales or England as that is a bridge too far. Even with all the stuff ups, poor selections, baffling defence plans etc., etc., they are our Wallabies, and our coaches. It would be like letting the devil have one of my miscreant children

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate nothing will happen. There’ll be a few platitudes about the learnings from the game, a bit of shit dribble about intensity, Kearns & co will blame the referee/TMO/weather/…… The board will “qualify” their statement to show they fully support Cheika and we’ll continue to slide down the mediocrity table. It’s just bull shit.

        • laurence king

          Yes, and I would guess that that is how most supporters would envisage the board’s response. If we lose, and if the Board simply tries to spin it and then retreats to their offices and attempt to avoid or hose down the criticism, again, nobody will be surprised

  • John Tynan

    We’ve got no problems with the “pride comes before a fall” – it’s more of a “pride comes AFTER a Yellowbeard style stagger, stagger, roll, stagger, crawl, stagger, stagger”.
    Yep, I’m that old….Youtube it, you Gen Y mofo’s.

  • Hoss

    Morning my fellow Australians and those in the West………..

    Anyone think Mr Segall will be brave enough to run a few fringies against the Norther Kiwis ? I don’t know that starting them against the Pasta Lovers will tell us much. For all the Italians alleged passion they do go belly-up pretty quick when behind on the score board and we will win by 20+. Hard to gauge those same fringies in what will be basically an opposed training run.

    No doubt we will run-out our ‘A’ Team against the Soap Dodgers, but the Welsh test looks like a real opportunity to give some a run.

    My Team for the NK’s

    1 Sio, 2 Seaweed, 3.7A’s, 4 Felix, 5 Stirling, 6 Sour-mash, 7 Lee Magors, 8 Brian, 9 Bovine Sprinkler, 10 Two Cows, 11 Sefa,
    12 Gilbert, 13 Kerevi,, 14 Dusty, 15 Bastards.

    16. Palestine, 17 The Abattoir, 18 Methuselah, 19 Gene, 20 Rodda, 21 Blair, 22 Commissioner, 23 Spanners

    • Singapore Sling

      Is that a team sheet or menu from a hipster cafe?

    • onlinesideline

      you had me at the opening line

      • Hoss

        I am preparing for a tilt at the Senate mate – make Gondwana Great Again

        – build a large wall – venue TBA, but i am looking West
        – reverse federation
        – base GST distribution on population – more money where it should be
        – Sell Tasmania – WTF do they bring to the table anyhow ?
        – Annex, sorry, liberate Queensland – its wasted on those banjo players
        – Nuke SA, will anyone really notice ??
        – Sell Safari Packages to NT
        – Victoria – well someone has to clean the houses and make coffees for NSW….

        Looking forward to a spirited Mass Debate about it all.

        • onlinesideline

          You intend to run this whole show from the Hunter ?

        • Hoss

          Yes mate – the cradle of democracy.

        • idiot savant

          Is that Hutt or Hunter?

        • Hoss

          Hey – i resemble that !!

          I’ll be damned if i will let some some of the finest Shanties this side of Soweto be mocked by you dear chappy.

        • laurence king

          Sell Tasmania, nobody could afford us, hehe, Australia can’t afford us.

        • Brumby Runner

          Move the Rebels there and RA will save the whole bloody Island.

        • laurence king

          We would probably need to rent a crowd, but we just might do better than Melbourne.

        • Hoss

          You’ve been on angry pills this week my wild colonial boy.

          My Pop always told me to count to 10, only ever got to 6 and I was off on the hunt, farking younger brothers

        • Geoffro

          My debate/response Hoss
          -We can’t afford a wall but Twiggy can when he becomes POTWAR esconced in the blue house in Perthtoria he can build it
          -Federation has been in reverse sine 1901
          -Abolish GST and introduce tipping (Aussies won’t tip if a shark bit em anyway so more money)
          -Is Tasmania a place ?
          -Send in the paras to encircle Bundaberg and secure the rum.Leave the rest to the hillbillies
          -No need to nuke SA they’ll all murder each other eventually
          -NT safari’s.Do you really want a bunch of grey nomads running around the outback with guns
          -AAhh Vic,the bitrhplace of Ned and men leaping about in short shorts.All the non melbournite mexicans will eventually move north anyway and the rest will be so immersed in vibrancy and culturalism to realise anything is happening.

        • Bakkies

          Why would Aussies tip waiters for poor service and earn around $19 an hour plus get extra loading for weekends and/or bank holidays..

        • Geoffro

          Why would Aussies tip anyone for good service or going the extra mile ? They generally don’t regardless.

        • Keith Butler

          If Fraser Anning can get into the Senate on 14 votes you’re a shoe in and have my vote. Us Tasmanian’s bring very fine wines and excellent trout fishing to the table.

      • laurence king

        Good points mate, I think that the ABs really set out to do a number on us mentally in that first game, we went in with some confidence but the intensity that the darkness brought to that game was more than our players could cope with. I think that Foley, Beale especially got shredded mentally, they were good for the Waratahs and against Ireland and haven’t been the same since, gun shy may be the appropriate term. I think that the only players who could go in without those sort of mental scars would be Toomua and Quade because Toomua wasn’t there and Quade always seems to play because he’s having fun.

    • Adrian

      Hoss, I think that team is closer to Italy game..though I forget some of the stage names!

      I’m thinking only one or two experiments v Wales, then via bench.

      Mind you, I don’t mind your team at all

      • Hoss

        Yeah, i get the thinking mate and you are right (as is Briz). Just you learn more from yourself under pressure than when cruising. Thought the NK game might be a chance to expose some to actual test match pressures and get their measure.

        • Adrian

          Certainly some of these guys are (IMO of course) just as good as the incumbents, but not everyone will agree on who they are. A couple of the guys you mention certainly.
          I think we can have 1 or 2 without negatively affecting the result anymore than the incumbents would have.

          We have to effing win this one though!

    • Brisneyland Local

      I think the Wales game he is going to have have to run the A team, or we will get done. Unless he trots out the old addage of that was an experimental side, so the loss doesnt count.

      • Hoss

        i believe you are right again oh tall one.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep That Wales game scares me. If they win it will be harder to face them in our pool match at the RWC because we will have lost that psychological edge.

          As will the Fiji game in the RWC. I think they will be beat us!

        • Hoss

          The only worry for me with the NK’s is the longer our winning run has gone, the closer we are to a loss.

          I dont reckon they’ve got the backs to beat us, we will get parity (at worst) in the piggies.

          I am prepared to call it a win for gold – mid 20’s to mid teens, i reckon we are 10 point winners there.

          The Pasta Boys – we will win by 20+

          The Poms – how much do you reckon Dr Evil is targeting this game – i reckon the Nearlies will help us here though and belt the bejeezus out of the up-starts to remind them of global pecking orders. Close, but us by 6.

          I am with Hew – we win up north 3-0. Round out the year 6 from 13. It’ll be like French kissing Nan again, will feel good, but wont get us anywhere……

        • Brisneyland Local

          Your predictions seem sound. I just dont think we were as good as when we last played them. SO I think that we are ripe for the plucking so to speak.
          Re the Pasta boys, man they came so close to beating us in Brissy. One really atrocious call lost them the game. If they are up, like they were that day, I tihk we might be in trouble.
          Us vs the soap dodgers will be harder to pick than a broken nose. Two super ego’s going head to head.

        • Hoss

          Maybe i am backing the Jamie Oliver Plan too much.

          On a separate note did you see the story about the alignment with our Army boys with RA ? Was going to ask what your KRL & OLSL thought ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I need to read that. I’ll get back to you

        • Brisneyland Local

          No didnt see the article. But the former AU and the ADF particularly Army have always had a close relationship. The GG Sir Peter Cosgrove when he left the military was on the Board of the ARU. Rugby was the dominant sport within Army when I was there. For a while, in some of the organisations I served within, rugby and touch were banned as sports. Because we spent millions training our operators, and then broke them playing sport so they werent available to deploy.
          But send throughthe article or link to it and I will let you know my random thoughts on it.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I don’t know how you rate the backs so high. Genia is good but being screwed with the defence system that has him knackered 30 minutes into the game. Foley is more cold than hot and leakes like sieve so has to run away and hide. Beale has got progressively worse all year and is now so ineffective he may as well not be there, when he is he runs sideways and cramps up the outside backs . If Kerevi plays 13 then things will improve even if he’s out of position but Rona or Folau there are crap. Koroibete still doesn’t know how to play rugby and makes more mistakes than he does good. Folau at wing is ok but is lazy, doesn’t look for work and still doesn’t know where to go and when to go there. DHP is good but slow and gets caught. On top of that your defensive plan has people running backwards, forwards, side to side and not knowing what the fuck they’re up to.

          I can see a loss to Wales and England with a win against Italy primarily because that’s when Cheika will pick other players.

          Sorry rant over!

        • laurence king

          But apart from those few things that you have constructively criticized, everything is going to plan

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I know. I’m just so frustrated with it all. My bad

        • Hoss

          So your saying we’re a shoe-in ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sigh! Yep getting frustrated

      • John Tynan

        BLL (AND ANY OTHER INTERESTED RUGBY TRAGICS) – a mate (ex-services) organising a Veterans game at Wests in Toowong on 11/11 for 100th anniversary. Part of a full day of stuff to raise funds for Toowong RSL, which is associated with our footy club. Remembrance service at the Cenotaph on the adjacent hill, then U13, U16 and over 35’s games during the day with heaps going on around the field apparantly.
        If you’ve got any mates, particularly services or a link to ANZAC, the more numbers the merrier.

        • Brisneyland Local

          JT thanks for that. Will def come along and take a gander!

        • John Tynan

          Email from the mate organising with some details. If you know anyone over 35 that would want to play, especially with a services link, they would be more than welcome to make sure we get rolling subs – I reckon it’s going to be hot (there’s modified rules to remove high impact at breakdown, non-contested scrums, no lifting lineouts)

          “Thankyou firstly for your time next Sunday on the 11th of November. Not only will a game of Rugby be played but we will recognising the 100th Anniversary of Remembrance Day and raising money for the Toowong RSL with all proceeds going directly back to veterans within our community. A very worthy cause. The play book for the day is as follows:

          · Ceremony at Memorial (on top of hill at Wests rugby) at 1100. Can you all please be present and pay respects for this event as it is the main reason the day exists.

          · There are three games on the day U13 @ 1200, U16 @ 1330 and our game, the main entertainment, at 1500.

          · We will have proper referreeing!

          · The squad has been split in to two groups to form Allies vs ANZACS. Allies team wearing Wests Bullfrogs and ANZACS wearing new ANZAC Kit.

          · There will be entertainment, not us, before kick offs with Bag pipes and anthems.

          · There will be military displays, Jumbo slide, jumping castle, ice-cream vans and more on the bottom oval.

          · And there will be beverages…..

          This is a family event and I encourage you all to bring families and friends to watch some good rugby, well at least from JNR teams and help support the RSL with your attendance. Feel free to pass the word.”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks mate!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      2 cows?

      • Hoss

        Two-moo-a

  • onlinesideline

    If you didnt sign this 6 months ago – heres your second chance. Takes about 10 seconds.

    Stop LIVE EXPORT NOW – sorry it takes 15 seconds …. my bad

    https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/take_action/live-export-shipboard-cruelty/

    • Geoffro

      making people aware of something that is a national disgrace is appropriate enough for me.

      • onlinesideline

        Thanks mate.

        • Geoffro

          Yep,another betrayal by our so called representatives . Good people don’t condone this sort of shit

    • Custard Taht

      Signed it….bloody disgusting.

  • Muzz

    Does anyone know if the non-Wallaby Spring tour games will be available to view? I know there’s only a few games this weekend but they don’t seem to be on Foxsports

    • Muzz

      Ah, just found there’s games on Bein sports. But it’d also be nice to see the NZ Maori v USA game and I can’t see that anywhere

  • Brisneyland Local

    @Hoss Had dinner with KRL last night and he mentioned a winery catch up next year for GAGR’s!
    I gather this will be a Hunter region gathering. Plenty of food and vino, and many tales regaled to us by Rich Uncle Hoss!

    Is this the case?
    Count me in!
    What are the details?

    • Hoss

      Sorry – just saw this mate.

      Yep the Sky Blue Apostles are playing the Moon Doggies in Newcastle Friday 29th.

      Thought maybe a Friday seafood lunch harbour-side at Scratchleys http://www.scratchleys.com.au (March is a great time, days are warm and clear in Gods-own) and a few vino’s, a bit of sight seeing and a pub or two and then onto the match for an imperious Blue Victory and then a tour of the grape juice places on Saturday and one or two nice drops and lunch at the Circa 1876 at The Convent http://www.convent.com.au. One weekend in Gods-own mate and you will sell up and relocate here

      Book yourselves in at the Crown Plaza, right on the water in town

      I can get you from the airport

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Me and the missus are in.

      • Geoffro

        My mum spent her last years in Kurri and then Marks Pt.It is quite special around there if you avoid the metro areas (I hate cities ,bailed out of Sydney many years ago)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate I am in Syd Mon – Fri now for the next 12-18 months. I have a place in Syd now. But will organise to stay down that weekend. Might even bring Mrs BL down that weekend.

  • Perth girl

    Yes Raelene, Rugby is strong over here in the West despite RA doing everything in it’d power to shut us down.!

  • derek byrne

    Being a North of the Border Banjo player….. Why should QLD have to pay out parts of Slipper’s contract?(would Snorter be an ok name?). RA had the 1st result and didn’t disclose it to the Reds. Shouldn’t they have kicked in and said…… Well Jimmy has tested positive once before so beware what you sign? So why didn’t RA advise before the signature took place?

    Higgers? Has a chequered past with Boys in Blue(navy blue not sky…) keeps his spot and is now Captain of the Ship.

    Would have loved to seen Quade run around with either the fast bowler or Sir Robi in the Reds. Could have been fun times or fark me, what were they thinking…. I think Jimmy Turtle is that. Show’s promise but not enough next step up.

    Hooper being Captain? He’s the accidental Captain. others were injured. Get’s a nice deal and one can’t blame him for that but…. How many 7’s will depart our shores and just make some money while their bodies can handle it? LFG? Sean? Even Qld new 7 Liam could be ripe for the poaching.

    Salary Caps and Super Boring Rugby(unless I watch the kiwi sides play) What size war chest do the Rebellion have?

    The shit smells. Starts off as a bad odur and gets reek by time it reaches us.

    I’m just waiting for some yellow sandpaper to bring this house down.

    Oh and sorry if this stuff is unrelated to anything current except the lack of a viable business plan from RA.

  • metalisticpain

    There’s no changing sentiment in WA. It’s the fact it’s a Bledisloe. WA have never seen the AB’s play plus a big NZ population.

    WA loves Rugby, they’ll pay to watch. I think it will be a big mix for black, blue and gold in the stands.

    Why would sentiment change? What has RugbyAU done these last 18 months for WA?
    The only reason the Bledisloe is going is because the WA gov bid the most. Not from RugbyAU wanting to give WA something. Sydney Bankers run the joint…

    • andrewM

      Actually I have seen the All Blacks play twice in Perth – just not against the Wallabies

    • Custard Taht

      You are clearly asking the wrong question. It is not what RA has done for WA, but what has WA done for RA.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That is gold

  • Human

    GAGR’s it is worth buying The Australian today just to read Mark Ella’s piece about outside centres…he writes what most sensible rugby lovers know.
    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/opinion/samu-kerevi-the-best-mr-inbetween-for-wallabies-at-no-13/news-story/cf60eab9035f48ed505882a58264f454

    • Slim 293

      Generally, is it worth buying? No.

      Mark Ella’s opinion pieces? Not interested.

  • adastra32

    A deal too much wishful thinking in the Jones/England piece I think. As far as journos with a story to pitch goes, the only arbiter of success will be results. Like today’s.

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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