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ACT Brumbies

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees players coming up the hard way, The Hurricane feeling the pressure, Get Cooper and Tough decisions for Tuilagi.


 

McCaffrey’s come the hard way!

Locky McCaffrey is making a pretty big impact in the Brumbies backrow. but it hasn’t been easy for the number 8 to get where he is. The photo above is the only one we have of him playing Super Rugby in our substantial library. The next year he was unwanted by the five Australian franchises and was faced with the choice of returning to Sydney club rugby or trying his hand overseas. Luckily an offer came in with Leicester and a path opened up.

Rather than be put off Locky took the massive 45 game season as an opportunity to learn and spent the next three years doing just that from some of the brightest rugby minds on the planet.

“It wasn’t really a decision, I actually didn’t get any offers in Australian Super Rugby,” McCaffrey recalled of his move to English club Leicester in 2015. “People probably think a lot of people go overseas to the U.K or Europe for money, but my decision was because it was the only option I had to keep playing rugby; it was either go back to club rugby in Sydney or go over and have a crack in the Premiership…I’d been at three Super Rugby clubs in the Waratahs, Force and Brumbies, and came to the point where there weren’t any coaches in Super Rugby who wanted me in their squad.”

“I got a lifeline over there in the Premiership, I loved the standard of rugby over there and got a good crack in terms of being able to put games together. In Super Rugby [I’d] played a lot off the bench and [it was] hard to get your foot in the door.

“But I think going over there and playing 75 or 80 Premiership and European games in three years was the best thing for me, and I had some great coaching in Aaron Mauger, Richard Cockerill and Scott Hansen, who’s at the Sunwolves now.”

McCaffrey returned to Australia and the Brumbies in 2018 and hasn’t looked back becoming one of the mainstays of the Brumbies backrow. At 194 cm and 108 kgs he’s probably a little shorter and lighter than the classic No:8 but he more than makes up for that with speed and aggression. Us old timers would say he plays heavy and it’d be true.

Hurricanes Looking For More Pressure

Ngani Laumape scores with some help

The Brumbies play the Hurricanes this week but it’s not quite a rosy across the ditch. They lost to the Crusaders who starved them of the ball and go forward. The Brumbies had no such problems blowing the Chiefs off the park and racking up 50 points.

Which leaves the Hurricanes with a lot to fix and very little time to do it. In an article on stuff.co.nz about the Hurricanes talented winger Ben Lam, coach John Plumtree lamented the lack of involvement from his backline strike weapons.

Plumtree said they wanted to get the ball in the hands of their finishers more often against the Brumbies on Friday night in Palmerston North, but that couldn’t happen without pressure first being built.

“It’s about us being patient and making sure when we give the ball to Ben he’s actually got a little bit of space or one-on-one opportunities.

“We’re probably just a little bit guilty of not building enough pressure. That’s been our big focus. We know that if it’s not on, we’ve got to build and build through our forwards.

“That’s something we’ve talked about and worked hard on, but it’s got to come into our game. That’s where I’ve put the players under pressure a bit [this week]. That our momentum game around our work up the middle of the park is good and that we do pick the times to go to Wes and Ben and Vinnie [Vince Aso].”

Hurricanes: Chase Tiatia, Vince Aso, Matt Proctor, Ngani Laumape, Ben Lam, Beauden Barrett, TJ Perenara, Ardie Savea, Du’Plessis Kirifi, Vaea Fifita, Liam Mitchell, James Blackwell, Ben May, Dane Coles (c), Chris Eves. Reserves: Ricky Riccitelli, Xavier Numia, Jeff To’omaga-Allen, Isaia Walker-Leawere, Reed Prinsep, Richard Judd, Jackson Garden-Bachop, Wes Goosen

Brumbies: Tom Banks, Andy Muirhead, Tevita Kuridrani, Irae Simone, Chance Peni, Christian Lealiifano, Joe Powell, Lachlan McCaffrey, David Pocock, Pete Samu, Blake Enever, Rory Arnold, Allan Alaalatoa, Folau Fainga’a, Scott Sio. Reserves: Josh Mann-Rea, James Slipper, Leslie Leauluaialii-Makin, Darcy Swain, Tom Cusack, Matt Lucas, Wharenui Hawera, Tom Wright.

 

Get Cooper

Public enemy #1

how good is this 2011 photo of Quade!

The Highlanders after getting a bit of a scare from the Reds last week come up against the southern Red… I mean ah… Rebels this week. And they’ve come up with a plan that no one has ever thought of before. GET COOPER. I’ll admit that this has worked in the past but it doesn’t take into account the other guy playing in the halves for the Rebels this week. In my mind the more important part of the partnership. A guy called Will Genia.

To make their plan a little more difficult the Highlanders have rested their own super halfback Aaron Smith, along with full back Ben Smith and Second row Luke Whitelock.

Here’s Highlanders coach Aaron Mauger on stuff.co.nz

“Quade is one of those guys that if you give him too much time and space he can really hurt teams,” Mauger said.

“So, there’s been a bit of focus on making sure we don’t give him any time or room to move, and if there is a little bit of time making sure we’re working together in our three and our fives defensively.

 “If we do that hopefully we can put those guys under a bit of pressure and get some good ball back to strike with.”

It sets the scene for a spicy clash in Melbourne, where the Highlanders will be determined to bring Cooper back down to earth after the Rebels No 10 marked his return to Super Rugby with a promising performance in round one.

Highlanders: Josh Ioane, Waisake Naholo, Thomas Umaga-Jensen, Teihorangi Walden, Josh McKay, Bryn Gatland, Kayne Hammington, Elliot Dixon, James Lentjes, Shannon Frizell, Pari Pari Parkinson, Jackson Hemopo, Siate Tokolahi, Ash Dixon (c), Daniel Lienert-Brown.
Replacements: Ricky Jackson, Ayden Johnstone, Josh Iosefa-Scott, Tom Franklin, Marino Mikaele Tu’u, Folau Fakatava, Patelesio Tomkinson, Marty Banks

Rebels: Dane Haylett-Petty (c), Jack Maddocks, Tom English, Billy Meakes, Marika Koroibete, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Isi Naisarani, Brad Wilkin, Angus Cottrell, Matt Philip, Luke Jones, Sam Talakai, Anaru Rangi, Tetera Faulkner
Replacements: Robbie Abel, Matt Gibbon, Jermain Ainsley, Adam Coleman, Richard Hardwick, Rob Leota, Michael Ruru, Reece Hodge

 

 Racing 92 Wants Manu

Manu Tuilagi is facing the questions most professional rugby players come across at least once in their careers. Family or country? Okay, maybe I’ve exaggerated a little.

In Manu’s case, he has to decide whether to take the Mega dollars available playing for Leicester and England or give up playing for his country to collect the mega-er dollars on tap playing for Racing 92 in the French Top 14. What to do? Stay in England and put up with daily Brexit news or move and put up with the French?

It’s a lot to consider. I’m back with England and I loved playing at Cardiff, even though we lost. I love playing at the Tigers too. I need to take some time after this campaign, put everything on the table and make the right decision.”

So far Eddie Jones, the England coach, has made no concerted attempt to influence Tuilagi’s decision, other than to make jokes about the player eating baguettes and croissants.

“We’ve not really spoken about it … there’s nothing to be spoken about because I haven’t made a decision,” said Tuilagi, insisting reports he had already signed were premature.

“When I saw that [piece saying he had signed] I didn’t know what to say really. I haven’t made a decision yet, so everyone [in the squad] is cool about it.”

One potential compromise might be to go to France for two seasons and then, in a perfect world, return for one last tilt at a World Cup before the next tournament in France in 2023.

Chris Ashton and James Haskell have already proved it is possible for England players to have their gâteau and eat it, and Racing’s offer exceeds anything Leicester can afford.

As things stand Tuilagi seems genuinely in two minds. “I haven’t thought too far ahead. At the moment I’m still committed to Tigers and England and all my focus is here and on trying to finish [the Six Nations] on a high.”

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    McCaffrey seems like a top bloke – the honest toilers thar great teams need to stay grounded. Great to see guys like him working hard their entire career, for it to come to fruition later. I hope he gets at least one Wallaby cap.

    Thanks for the news, mate.

    • John Tynan

      A footballer as Nutta describes him, not just an athlete.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Good description. He reminds me a lot of Ben Mowen actually. I think he would make a quality captain. Not the best player, but potentially the best leader.

        • Who?

          Interesting comment from Sully that he’s not the normal size for a #8. But then Sully lists him at 194cm and 108kg. 194cm is exactly the same height as Cliffy Palu… He’s just 12kg lighter. But whilst he’s lighter, he’s also more mobile, and a much stronger lineout option. And he’s a real footballer (not saying Palu wasn’t!).
          I agree with Brumby Runner – we’ve got plenty of good players right now (not that we haven’t had most of those options for years…).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Guys like Faletau and Read (the two best 8s in the world) are closer to McCaffrey in size, than they are to Palu.

          Palu was too big and slow to be a top class number 8. Couldn’t run in the wider channels or link with the backs well enough.

          I think we’re obsessed with thinking 8s are behemoths. When in reality, if any of the back rowers are behemoths, it is usually the 6s.

        • Human

          Behemoths like…Ned

        • laurence king
        • Will Honeycomb

          McCaffrey is the same height as Cliffy plus he’s taller than:

          Kieran Read
          Duane Vermeulen
          Jamie Heaslip
          Billy Vunipola
          Ross Moriarty

          (These are all the no 8s I checked)

          Sully is more demanding than Brad Thorn

        • Zinzan Brooke is my go to 8 man. But he was from a different era. And onle 190 cm and 102 kgs. He always looked bigger to me. Maybe because he was lighter.

        • Who?

          I’m not saying McCaffrey’s a big bloke – Mowen was 200cm at #8, I think Higgers is similar. Just noting, though, that McCaffrey, whilst not being Billy Vunipola or Nathan Hughes, is still in the ball park. :-)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Mowen was 195cm tall. But excellent in the line out!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          A legend of a player. 1st and last points he ever scored for the ABs were both drop goals from outside 40 meters

        • John Tynan

          I’m still not convinced of Wallaby level ability, but love a grafter.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m far from convinced too. But we won’t know unless we see him given a go.

        • David Creagh

          If memory serves he used to Captain Eastwood when they were going really well. Did a good job then. Tim Davidson was his nemesis at Sydney Uni

    • John Miller

      With McCaffery and a plethora of other Australian backrow options, the hackneyed “but there’s no one else” refrain has never rung so hollow for the national side.

      Cheika can’t even use the “but these players fit The Plan” excuse. A 40% post-RWC win rate confirms it’s not just time for better selections, it’s long past due for smarter attacking and simpler defensive strategies.

      Forget the halves combination or the back three alignment, the true litmus test for the integrity of this new coaching structure and selection panel is the Wallabies backrow. Everything else is just window dressing.

      • Brumby Runner

        I think the tight five is fairly well established atm (although I would tinker with the locks) and the back three is well covered as well. The makeup of the backrow might be the first indication of any influence selection panel might have over Cheika, but I think they will need to look at the mid field as well. Just as the emergence of a couple of good No 6s and 8s should lead to the return of Pocock to No 7, the form of other No10s, 12s and 13s also means we can get away from poorly performing players in those spots too.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think the right 5 is well established.

          Who is our best front row?

          1. Sio, 2. Fainga’a, 3. Tupou?

          Or is it 1. Slipper, 2. BPA, 3. Ala’alatoa?

          I am actually not sure of any of those positions.

          And what do we do if Kepu remembers how to play rugby, or if TPN wants to come back for the World Cup, or Uelese comes back strong?

          It’s great news precisely because we have so many guys competing.

        • John Tynan

          I think they are the two front rows to base a campaign on?

          All my opinion:
          Kepu needs some form this year to make it, father time, etc…
          TPN – that ship has sailed – father time, etc…
          Uelese simply doesn’t have enough footy over the last World Cup cycle to be entertained – 4 years of unrealised potential does not an X Factor player make.

          BPA is the only one in your 6 that I am still uncertain of, but he was admirable in Irish tests, and there are no other compelling candidates.
          Latu is a loose cannon, Rebels hookers not tickling me at Wobs level, Tah’s backups admirable backups but not Wobs.
          Mann-Rea and Fitzpatrick would give it all if called on, but….

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Uelese played in 2017 after virtually no minutes, and played better than FF did for most of his first 3-4 tests; and while BPA was solid, he was far from showing highlight reels.

          Who else will be our third hooker if you think TPN is too old?

          – Rangi? Can’t throw is straight and not a strong scrummager.
          – Mann-Rea? He’s 37 years old.
          – Fitzpatrick? Realistically, he’s barely big enough for super rugby.
          – Latu? A joke.

          If Uelese came back and played well, I would probably have him ahead of Faingaa. At this stage, I think TPN has to be one of our three World Cup hookers.

        • John Tynan

          All good questions that probably deserve an answer!!

        • John Tynan

          Looks.like we’ll get a chance to check out the TPN solution sooner than thought!

        • Who?

          Didn’t Mann-Rea have a birthday last week? Thought there was a graphic when he came on saying he was 38 years 4 days old…

        • Damo19

          What if every Oz SR player was motivated to play the house down every week because they believed that because of the change in the Wallaby selection structure that the RC and then the RWC squads will be truly selected on form- in every position?
          And what if that was true?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I’d hope that the success of their super team would be enough. But hejeekt the selection panel made a big difference.

        • T.edge

          Looking forward to how Sio plays tonight getting his first start. I rate Tupou but there is something about his scrummaging that I feel he’s still finding his feet and wouldn’t be starting for the Wallabies and I don’t know why Arangi doesn’t get much discussion, he has been solid and Uelese will need to play out of his skin to replace him as starting hooker but thats what I’m hoping for. Very promising.

        • John Miller

          Thanks BR. To clarify, certainly not suggesting other Wallaby selection changes aren’t desperately needed. They are. Rather, that the true integrity of the new test selection process and personnel will be gauged chiefly by the backrow selection. Cheika would sacrifice Foley, Phipps, Hanigan, Robertson, Folau, Dempsey, Dean Mumm, your mum, his own mum and eldest male child to keep Michael Hooper @ 7. This stays. Nothing really changes.

  • Huw Tindall

    That QC mullet. Had almost forgotten that. Classic 3 amigos. Between Cooper, QC and JOC they’ve had lifetimes worth of sh!t lids.

    Big fan of McCaffrey after the little I’ve seen and his story makes me like the cut of his jib even more. Premiership is decent quality and playing 75 games makes him almost a centurion when you add on Super caps. That’s a lot of games. Shouldn’t be surprised he knows his business. Compare that to Hannigan and Valentini etc who are still pups compared to that level of experience.

    • It makes a mockery of concerns for player workloads in Australia doesn’t it?

      • Bernie Chan

        I know rugby is a collision sport (as is league..) but the player workload concerns is curious…Don’t mention the phrase “we play too many games” to a member of our Matildas!

    • Happyman

      Mate I am always a fan of playing as many games as possible. Players learn how to play making good decisions about where to put there bodies in game situations only.

      Game smarts also means you don’t waste useless energy chasing lost causes within a game so each involvement is more meaningfull

      The gym and training can only do so much

    • AllyOz

      I think that is what QC’s been missing … the mullet and of course Will Genia on his inside shoulder

      • Who?

        And Digby (or similar) between himself and Sanchez. This is the first (potentially) strong backline coaching setup he’s been under since 2013 at Super level.

      • Huw Tindall

        He’s sorted 1 out 2 so there is hope for the mullet yet

  • John Tynan

    Thanks Sully.
    This line from your Brumby/Hurricane write up worries me about the Reds selections for this week: “..lost to the Crusaders who starved them of the ball and go forward..”
    Really hoping to be shown up as NACA, but without anyone who goes hard at breakdown ball, and off in breakdown accuracy, I’m fearful of a momentum sapping repeat from the ruthless ‘Saders

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks for this Sully,

    Interesting to see so many players go off shore and then come back better. Not sure if it’s just more games so more experience or is there something fundamentally broken in the development and coaching of players over here. I’m not sure but I think there is a sense of entitlement at times that prevents players from doing the hard work needed to improve and a feeling in the management that they can’t force them to do what they don’t want or they’ll go. Whatever the ins and outs of it is it probably needs to change.

    Going to be an interesting weekend of rugby to see if the potential that was displayed last week can be maintained. Some tough games for the Reds, Brumbies and Rebels and it’ll be interesting to see how they go. I’m obviously backing my Kiwi teams to come through.

    I think Tuilaga’s decision, like a lot, will come down to how much time he’s got at the top. I think if you move on it needs to be when you’re still at the top and not when you’re starting to regress – ala Julian Savea, so that you can still contribute. England will miss him if he goes.

    • Nutta

      Sorry Dude but it’s a raw nerve for me. We’re soft. Simple as that. The myopic, insular, incestuous set-up we have of private school and dad’s network dominance means all too often we see the Chosen Few identified from the Rarified Air Locations from an early age, everyone else is left out, and these Chosen Few become the Cadre moving through.

      Now the Chosen Few Cadre is neither big enough to sustain casualties nor a large enough sample size to sustain what happens when they get beyond Schoolies. So whilst they spend their first few years either getting shattered on field because it’s boys vs men, or they spend the same time sitting in the stands in their No1’s watching others play and pigging on the buffet when they should be back in club-land learning their trade. Everyone else around the edges falls away to either mungo, OS or the couch.

      Then, once the Cadre has shrunk, the Chosen Few can get as way out of line as they like – fat, soft, hot-tubs, missing planes, snorting the sidelines etc – because under it all there is nothing and no-one else to take their spot. And guess what? They’re right! So they do and the keep getting recycled!

      And we’re back where we started…

      Happy Friday.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        mate, I think there is a fair bit of truth in what you say and Deans mentions it in his book as well. I think that this prevents the development of good coaches coming through as they quickly learn the players are more important to the club than they are.

        It makes for an interesting position post RWC as who the f*ck would really want to coach a team of such self entitled people? I mean you come on board with players who have multi million dollar long term contracts that you might actually not want in your team. It’s going to be a nightmare

        • Ed

          Mate,
          Would Deans’ book be worth a read to see what his thoughts on Oz rugby were/are?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes it is. I am half way through it now.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It is but remember it’s only as he sees it and at that time

        • Moz

          That reminds of the George Gregan autobiography. I always thought he continued playing on for a couple of seasons too long – until I read his book and found out how good he was in those last couple of years, and how wrong everyone else was to doubt him……

        • Ed

          I remember Djuro Sen on an old Ruggamatrix podcast saying Deans was shocked at how the Australian players would always look for a shortcut in training instead of putting the hard yards in.

        • AllyOz

          Finished it a week ago. Very interesting perspective. I didn’t quite agree or understand his explanation for picking JOC at 10 against the Lions but he did have his reasons and on almost all other points I thought it was very illuminating. I think we wasted the opportunity he gave us as a coach honestly. Had Deans been given the same operating procedures as McKenzie and certainly Cheika then his impact may have been more successful and longer lasting.

      • Happyman

        Morning Nutta

        I agree with all parts of your assessment except the first we are not soft. here are plenty of hard players how are highly capable who never get the chance. Every time I see a kid with a youtube video from a well known school or a well known surname get picked ahead of a better player I just want to throw something.

        In this country if you don’t get picked up by 15 you really don’t stand a chance and the coaching set up is so incestuous that it is self perpetuating. A development officer at the QRU or NSWRU is just as likely to have a second job at a school as a coach. Can anyone say conflict of interest.

        I could go full rant mode on this and fill another 500 words but you put it well enough.

    • Keith Butler

      Got to have some sympathy for MT. Given his injury history he could be one serious knock from early retirement so you couldn’t really blame him if he moved. Wilkinson made the move to Toulon admitted at he end of a stellar career, kept injury free and became a Toulon icon. I personally doubt that MT would make the 2023 WC and while he will be missed, Ben T’eo can step into the gain line busting role. Also gives us the opportunity to mix up the attacking tactics because imo the current plan is a bit predictable and as Wales showed (and credit to them) can be effectively negated.

      • Who?

        Agree, but… Just want to note, isn’t Manu younger than Te’o? If so, perhaps there’s something to be said for the player management Te’o was under, compared to Tuilagi’s over use by club in the UK?

        • Keith Butler

          Yep. T’eo is 32. MT 27. And yes player management is an issue in the UK premiership imo but quite a few disagree. My personal preference is a second playmaker at 12 and if you had a 10 and 12 with a left and right boot even better. Whether that 12 is Farrell is anybody’s guess. EJ seems to have gone right off Ford at 10.

    • John Tynan

      A lot to be said for playing footy, rather than being “Sports Scienced”

  • Bernie Chan

    See the latest on fux…appears Raelene and RA have caved to in the $ dealers and agreed to a World League…2 pools…6N sides and RC sides+USA+Japan. I guess the Pacific nations can get nicked…? Sad state of affairs when rugby is no longer a world game.
    Waiting to see more news about this…

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Lots of posts about the players not happy and it will be interesting to see how it pans out. It is certainly a kick in the guts for the Pacific Islands

      • That story came in late. I think we’ll have a better idea of how things stand by monday. There has certainly been some push back from players and PI nations. And a hint of a backdown from WR.

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      And Georgia as well. It’s almost as if the 6N powerbase wants to keep Italy as the unofficial ‘bye” and don’t want those scary Georgian forwards adding to their bruises.

    • John Tynan

      If true/as being reported, this is actually going to get me to outrage, letter writing level, to be honest.

      • Bernie Chan

        All rugby fans should be outraged if this is true…one of the great things about rugby is that it is a world game. The self interest at the ‘top’ is breathtaking…the so called Tier 1 Nations are happy to steal talent from the Pacific Nations yet give nothing in return. What about Georgia, Germany, Kenya, Namibia, Canada…
        If RA doesn’t want the Wallas to play Fiji/Samoa/Tonga each year, then maybe the Oz Super Rugby sides should make it an annual game (even if sans some Test players..). I imagine fans would fill Ballymore to watch the Reds play Fiji, Samoa or Tonga.

        • AllyOz

          or a double header with the Reds playing one and the other two playing the lead up game. I think the rugby league has got good numbers to a pacific nations double headers before. Brisbane would be good and it might also work in Western Sydney (new Parra stadium) or Melbourne.

        • Bernie Chan

          The annual Fijian XV v Samoan XV at Ballymore attracts a very enthusiastic crowd and the players all play in the local comps. Imagine how well the National teams would be received…if only RA would look a tad further than their upturned noses…

    • Brendan Hume

      As an annual tournament I couldn’t agree with you more. There absolutely needs to be a promotion/relegation system and a second tier competition – preferably with four teams moving up and down out of the top 12 comp. Rugby has an incredible opportunity with this concept – it’s a global game loved by many – but a failure to take risks (ie by countries being averse to losing their spot in the top tier of nations) means a failure to reap the rewards.

      A bi-annual WLR tournament with alternate annual competitions based on regional location or something similar, or a heavily subsidised (from tier one) second tier competition with development teams from first tier nations.

      Sadly though, we don’t play those second tier teams anywhere near enough now – the ARU are very quick to forget the debt owed to Fiji Rugby.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Am working from home today, so am sitting on my balcony laptop on my lap, coffee in hand, beautiful Brissy sunrise. No EA to bother me, as I havent turned my phone on yet. Tin lids scraping their ass out of bed to get ready for school. Life is good. Over to rugby:
    – McCaffery looks to be an interesting prospect, honest lad, hard worker. Lets see how he develops.
    – Targeting QC like that is an interesting one. I agree with Sully, Genia and QC are such a fused entity that you have to target both of them to disrupt the flow of ball, and the direction of play. In the past that psychological pressure may have disrupted QC. But he appears to have matured heaps, so it will be great to watch.
    – Brexit vs the Cheese eating surrender monkeys! Hard question. As long as they are serving wine with the cheese I am in.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      And I’m stuck in the office in Sydney being harassed by my boss for a Opportunity Review on NSW Justice. Life is so unfair.

      I think Mauger is smart enough to know to target both and I think he realises that the old QC has developed further. TBH regardless of what they say I think they’ll be targeting the forwards more than the backs. If they prevent the ball from getting to the backs, who cares how good they are?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Couldnt agree more. The forwards are the rebels weak spot. I think Wessell’s plan is about his forwards maintaining parity. He can work with that. Mauger will target that, and make it forwards superiority for his lot. Space and time as he said is Genia and Cooper’s area to exploit. deny them of it and the game gets closed out.

        • laurence king

          Can’t remember, apart from the scrum, did the Brumbies dominate the Rebels in the forwards?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Definitely in the scrum. In open play there were phases the Ponies had dominance, and periods of parity.

      • Happyman

        Makes me feel happy just thinking about you in the office mate while I am also on my deck in Gods country doing some bookwork.

        The key to beating the Reds of old and the Rebels of new was slowing down Ruck ball. It will be interesting to see how a SAFA ref will adjudicate that area of the game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Now I’m hurt! being made fun of just because I’m one of the few Kiwi’s here not on the dole :-(

        • Happyman

          Think of yourself as a statistical anomaly a kiwi who is a good bloke and not bitching about how good it is back home even though you will never live there and advising us on how much you hate Australia.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are a unique Kiwi in many regards KRL. That being just one of them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Saffa Ref, that changes things.

      • AllyOz

        do you pronounce Mauger as major? I have always wondered. I have read his name more often than I have heard it pronounced

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          yes

        • Hoss

          Famous south island name isnt it mate ? My favourite Kiwi sports person of all time was a phenomenal motor bike rider called Ivan Mauger.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Galloping Mauger, the Speedway king. Yep he was a demi god! 6 time world champ if I remember correctly.

        • Hoss

          Impressive Briz.

          My old man actually toured with him as commentator and stayed close for many years.

          Ivan and his bike were one, so fluid and stylish. Saw him race many,many times.

          Even saw Dale Buggins set the world record jump too – ahhh, the good ol days.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Lucky you! I never got to see him in person, or meet him. But he was certainly a hero of mine. I still ride motorbikes to this day, infact have a mini collection of them. Would have more if Mrs BL would let me.
          You and I have very similar tastes!

        • Hoss

          I don’t ride mate, but i loved watching those guys back when. Ivan, Ole Olsen, Billy Sanders, Phil Crump. Steve Davies – flat out, no breaks – kinda like i lived my early life (the pieces are slowly starting to come together at last). I am a classic Yank Muscle car fan mate, based on watching Chevy Comaros & Monza’s, Pontiac Tranz-Am’s dirt track racing out here. Owned a 68 Stang till about 18 months ago, 3 speed, 289 Windsor – getting misty just writing about it, but hadn’t driven it in nearly 2 years with the arrival of the little ones, it sat in storage. I can tell you now there a bit older i have a REAL itchy trigger finger. Wont tell the Mrs, just turn up with another one one day and beg forgiveness (easier than getting permission)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wow. I had a ’67 Mustang. Two door hard top. 289 with a 4 speed top loader. I spent three years restoring it. But after the first two times I drove it, 1. Car ran a red light and hit it. 2. Went to the newsagents to get a coffee and sunday morning paper, came back to the car to find a 14 yo running a key down the side of it. So after I throttled the little fucker and held him til the Johhnies arrived, I repaired and sold it. The joy was gone.
          So now I tinker with bikes. I loved the speedway, but heart was in the road racing. I have been to the Isle of Mann, I was even fortunate enough to meet the legendary Joey Dunlop.
          I am teaching the girls to ride dirt these holidays. Cant wait. Mrs BL used to ride pre-kids, now rides on the back. She is very tolerant to my addiction, to bikes, planes, helicopters and skydiving. However her tolerance to my BASE jumping reached its limits with kids, so now that is off the list.

        • Who?

          In one line, you said,
          “I just work on the principle that with a wife and two daughters I will spend the rest of my life broke”
          Then you say,
          “motorbikes to this day, infact have a mini collection of them. Would have more if Mrs BL would let me.”
          Are you sure it’s the wife and kids keeping you broke..? :-P
          I know mine are – so much money on school and extra-curricular activities, all of which are so dramatically unappreciated… :-(

        • Brisneyland Local

          The bikes have been accumulated over 10 years. And cost less than $20k in total.
          My wife and kids cost me that per quarter!

        • Who?

          So you just need to get through school fees, then you’re right… I’ve got another 12 years (including this one) to get through that… But my biggest year of fees is much sooner – 2022. My wife will be out of uni by then (re-educating herself), so things will be easier.
          But I still expect to be working well past 70. Oh well.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have 8 years of school fee, and the biggest cost is the renovation ‘we’ are doing.
          That is definitely like having my wallet removed via my ass.

        • Who?

          I’ve only got the bathroom to do on the reno… I’m a draftie, but I’ll do most of the work, all bar the required plumbing jobs.
          Did the new master suite and ensuite 2 years ago, bought all the tile and most supplies for the bathroom then. Also did the shed, painted, floors… Last year I paved a large area in the backyard, between Christmas and New Year I bought a deck……..
          Reno’s are horrible on the wallet, but they’re not as bad if you can do most of the work yourself. And it’s kind of fun – unless you do that work all day. A change is as good as a holiday.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You see with my back ground I am better at the blowing up (deconstruction) than I am at teh reconstruction.

        • Who?

          My background, I’m best suited to sitting around doing nothing! :-P

        • Brisneyland Local

          pure gold.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Saw him race once as a young fella. Very cool

        • Hoss

          what he was young or you were young ??

          that’d make you around 96 in human years then KRL.

          Like an old kodak, the picture of your life slowly develops……

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha no mate it was near the end of his career and I was about 8 I think. My old man loved him and wanted me to see him before he finished. Althoug( I think it was an exhibition race

    • Keith Butler

      And I’m here is sunny Sulphur Creek NW Tassie with no office to worry about. Just the ongoing tussle with Telstra about the crap internet. About to embark on my next project, construction of an outside table for Mrs B, to be followed by a fantastic weekend of rugby accompanied by fine Tassie beer and wine. My favourite NZ side the Canes taking on the impressive Ponies. Ponies to shade it but not at a canter. The my Rebs against the Landers. Pity they cannot put out a full strength side but it will be a tough game. As always it will depend on the Rebs front five holding their own. Go Rebels. And then tomorrow night El Gordo (as the Spanish say) – the Big One. Reds and Saders going at it hammer and tongs. There will be blood and I can feel the bruises already. Go Reds. Life sucks doesn’t it.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Ah from that description it sounds like you have practical skills. THe skills from my old job, are not useable in the real world. ANd currently allegedly people pay me for my brain. Personally I think that they should be worried if I am viewed as smarter than them.
        Ah but alas the rugby. I can not wait!

        • Keith Butler

          Only acquired following retirement. Spent my working life in Oz putting people back together through exercise.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah well not having kids til 40 means I wont be retired til I am dead!

        • Bernie Chan

          Retirement…what’s that? You’re in a very big club…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I just work on the principle that with a wife and two daughters I will spend the rest of my life broke regardless of what I earn.

        • Bernie Chan

          Wife n 2 boys…not good but 2 daughters would have done me in! Our oldest seems to have some kind of “full sponsorship” agreement which empties my wallet…but I’m told ‘happy wife-happy life’…:)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah it is the happy wife happy life thing that is sending me broke! ;-)

        • Hoss

          Yes mate – Mrs Hoss also has a black-belt in spending.

          I will be at it well into my 80’s at this rate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte I wont make my 80’s at this rate.

      • laurence king

        Nice little area around Sulphur Creek, friends in Penguin. My team can’t lose this weekend, don’t know about the rest of the season though.

    • Damo19

      Got a feeling Wessels will be ready for the targeting of Quade. Which is probably what the Highlanders coach is expecting since he has admitted it. And Wessels will expect he will expect…
      Bit like the WW2 spy double crosses.

      • Brisneyland Local
        • Damo19

          QC is no one to be trifled with!!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

        • Brendan Hume

          Inconceivable!

        • Brisneyland Local

          I dont not think this words means what you think it means!

  • Hoss

    Good morning, good morning, good morning – lets play ball.

    A spring in my step, i seem to be standing just that fraction taller, perhaps a new follicle or two growing on the Lunar Landscape that is my skull – its great to be alive. Autumn is here, there’s a hint of the change of seasons in the cooler nites, whats not to like !!

    I’ts Friday baby and three mini Bledisloe’s to look forward too.

    Have we got a chance, on paper, no sirrrreeee Bob – thank fuck the games not played on paper then.

    I’ve already made my tips and seen, nuthin, nada, zilch or Sweet Fanny Adams since Monday to alter my picks

    – Brumbies by 12
    – Rebels by 9
    – Reds by 12

    I hear all the talk, i see all the kerfuffle and i read about how bad we ‘used to be; – that’s just it, yesterday is for the historians – the ink is dry, tomorrows history, WELL that’s yet to be writ…….and in a two horse race each horse stands some chance.

    Aussie rugby is at the dawn of a renaissance and i cant wait, sure the Middle Earthians have their skills, their pedigree and their plans, but as Iron Mike said – ‘everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth’

    Swing away boys, swing away.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Oh so true. Everyone has a sluggers chance.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahaha Love the enthusiasm mate.

    • Happyman

      I love the enthusiasm but often the light at the end of the tunnel is the oncoming train. I expect those from Mordor to bite back pretty hard and if we go 3 from 3 this weekend the world will end as they know it.

      Hope but no expectation.

    • Those are some pretty good drugs Hoss!

      • Hoss

        We do call Cessncok the ‘South Pole’ as there is more Ice here than there.

    • T.edge

      3 mini Bledisloe’s, Gold!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      1st one down and gone mate. Chiefs were bad and now welcome to reality

      • Hoss

        Same with Ponies tonight – they were awful and made the Canes look better than they were.

  • Rebels Ruck

    The Get Cooper plan might have more to it than we think. While Willy G is dangerous, the Rebels don’t really have a second play-maker in the backline, with Meakes and English being runners rather than pass/kick play-makers. Even if Hodge comes on, he’s a better straight runner than play-maker. Maddocks has promise but is untested at 10 or 12.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I for one have never been the biggest believer in the second play maker theory.
      When the Reds won 2011, they did it without a second playmaker.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree mate. I don’t even know what it means to be honest.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! I understand the concept but just think it is an excuse for playing deep because you dont have penetration.

      • Who?

        Actually…. They kind of did. Ant did play 10 in the past (think he even played there at the U20 WC?), and the final was Jono Lance’s 5th game for the Reds. So they arguably had THREE playmakers out there!
        HOWEVER!!! It’s about how they were used. It was clear that Quade was the backline playmaker, and the other guys could make plays. One general, with a couple of strong lieutenants. If Quade wanted to play wide, Ant would step in at 10 and shift the ball quickly out to Quade at 12.
        Compare that to the Tahs/Wallabies set up, where it’s two generals, one as a default and the other as their swashbuckling, freewheeling renegade general.
        The Reds’ setup was more traditional – it was like the Bernie/Gits and Bernie/Flats playmaking arrangements the Wallabies had, where the second bloke was a runner who could step up when the chief was out of play (i.e. Bernie had taken a run and been tackled). You didn’t regularly see Giteau demanding Gregan or Larkham give him the ball so he could run a play on the other side of the breakdown, overcalling. And you didn’t see Lance or Fainga’a do that, either. But that’s what happens all the time with Foley and Beale.
        Going to the ‘second playmaker purely as a backup for when the 10’s tackled’ role… We didn’t have that in 2008 after Barnes’ season ending injury. Deans played Mortlock, Tahu and AAC there. He may even have stuck Cross in there once or twice, too. With NO recognised back up playmaker, Giteau’s game at 10 became ridiculously predictable. He wasn’t confident to take on the line (a major problem for him, given that he, like Beale, was at his best on the run, even if he was a stronger playmaker and better passer than Beale). So he would simply shovel the ball out, threatening no one, not slowing the drift of the defence. Giteau lost all confidence, went into his shell, and our attack died.
        So, with all that in mind, I think it’s important to have structures whereby there’s a recognised second playmaker in the backs. But they should be a secondary playmaker, as opposed to having two equals, or a left and right playmaker.
        And of course, all this talk about overcalling, chiefs and generals ignores the fact that, ultimately, the 10 is the secondary general, behind the 9, who decides whether or not they’re going to answer the call for the ball. Genia and Gregan are/were masters of this…

    • Brendan Hume

      I think Meakes has huge potential in that role – simply feeding second touches to Cooper. Quade is the best distributor in the game at the moment – he doesn’t have the pace, defence or carry abilities of a lot of the other top 10’s but he has incredible vision and ability to put the ball where the opportunities are. If his backs can play with patience and find holes in a second line of attack, Quade will find them. They’ll need some hard running from their centres and forwards to create defensive disorganisation, but this is really an opportunity for the Rebels to show some nous in the coaching department.

    • AllyOz

      they will have the second play maker late in the season with Toomua but at the moment the two centres are good line runners though i think Meakes showed a little bit extra to his game last week.

  • Damo19

    Anybody else just a little excited and positively anticipating the 3 Oz SR teams in action this weekend? It’s a nice change to feel that way.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Bring it on!

  • Greg

    The cooper short pass for a try just now was a thing of beauty!

    • Who?

      The ball from Meakes to English looked like a Cooper pass, too, in style. Tiny movements of the hands for the dummy outside then the pass back inside – it was a better inside ball than many 10’s throw!

      • Greg

        very sharp indeed.

  • Greg

    The grubber just now was not bad either.

    • Who?

      Just a bit ridiculous, really. Actually felt sorry for Gatland – that could’ve done for anyone.
      Who’d have predicted the Rebels’ scrum could win a match, let alone dominate a Kiwi team?
      Worth noting Talakai’s starting role, and Ainsley struggling to get on the field… Talakai’s seriously underrated, was the starting THP for the Reds after Holmes and before Tupou, and that was always a strong scrum.

ACT Brumbies
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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