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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Fridays Rugby News sees NSW v Qld, Rocket on the big stage, PI’s forgotten, and SA laying down the law


 

 

The State Of The Union

Is what they called it back before those pesky Brumbies materialised out of the scraps the Sky Blues and Reds discarded. Somewhere along the line, someone, I’m guessing they were born north of the border, decided to call it the festival of hate. It kind of took off up here and for better or worse we seem to be stuck with it. In the week preceding the game legends of Reds rugby tour the lunches and dinners telling stories of the dastardly men south of the border and how we vanquished them.

So why am I going on about it? Well, it’s on Saturday night. Here are the teams.

WARATAHS (15-1): Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Karmichael Hunt, Curtis Rona, Bernard Foley, Jake Gordon, Jack Dempsey, Michael Hooper (c), Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Jed Holloway, Sekope Kepu, Damien Fitzpatrick, Harry Johnson-Holmes

Reserves: Tatafu Polota-Nau, Rory O’Connor, Chris Talakai, Lachlan Swinton, Will Miller, Mitch Short, Mack Mason, Alex Newsome

REDS (15-1): Isaac Lucas, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Samu Kerevi (c), Duncan Paia’aua, Sefa Naivalu, Bryce Hegarty, Moses Sorovi, Scott Higginbotham, Liam Wright, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Harry Hockings, Izack Rodda, Taniela Tupou, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, JP Smith

Reserves: Alex Mafi, Harry Hoopert, Ruan Smith, Caleb Timu, Angus Scott-Young, Tate McDermott, Hamish Stewart, Jack Hardy

Here’s Darryl Gibson from the Tahs press release.

Gibson said his side had plenty to work on after their narrow one-point win in round two with his team eager to deliver a strong performance in front of a passionate New South Wales crowd.

“We are facing our oldest rival this week and we want to put out the strongest team we can.

“The Reds are a very competitive unit, we saw that last weekend and saw that in their first game.  We know what we’re in for.

“We know how important these derbies are from a conference standing, so there is plenty to play for,” he said.

Brad Thorn talked himself to a standstill about this game.

Reds head coach Brad Thorn said: “No matter what code or sport, Queensland v New South Wales are always good games. It’s a historic rivalry and I know our men will wear the maroon jersey with pride.

Queensland will be looking to end a nine-game losing streak against their southern rivals, with their last victory over New South Wales back in 2013.

The Reds play the Waratahs at the iconic Sydney Cricket Ground on Saturday evening at 6:45pm AEST

Rocket Back In Gold

This just landed in my inbox! Here’s the unfiltered press relaese.

Former Vodafone Super Rugby Champion Rod Davies will join the Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens team in Vancouver for the Canada Sevens this weekend.

Davies, who is now a squad member with the Western Force, won the 2011 Super Rugby title with the Queensland Reds before earning his sole Wallabies cap against Samoa the same year.

Known as “Rocket Rod”, the 29-year old recently joined the Australia Sevens squad to train with the team before competing at the Kiama Sevens.

The Aussie 7s will meet New Zealand, Spain and France in Pool C at the Canada Sevens in Vancouver this coming weekend.

Qantas Australian Men’s Sevens Head Coach, Tim Walsh said: “Vancouver marks the second half of the season and we need to be smarter, faster and mentally stronger on the home stretch.

“Acquiring Rocket (Davies) has been a fortuitous bonus and enabled the Sevens program and Rugby Australia to build relationships with the Western Force.

“Rod is one of the fastest players in Australian Rugby and the strategy will be to get him into space to showcase his speed.”

Australia remains in sixth position on the HSBC Sevens World Series ladder, trailing South Africa (67) and England (68).

The USA leads the overall series, having won the USA 7s on Monday on 98 points with New Zealand (93) and Fiji (84) rounding out the top three places.

1. Nick Malouf (vc), University of Queensland, 33 caps
2. Jesse Parahi (vc), Norths (Sydney), 42 caps
3. Michael Wells, Norths (Sydney), 6 caps
4. Simon Kennewell, Randwick, 14 caps
5. Jeral Skelton, Brothers, 9 caps
6. Henry Hutchison, Randwick, 21 caps
7. Liam McNamara, Sunnybank, 11 caps
8. Brandon Quinn, Gordon, 13 caps
9. Rod Davies*, Western Force
10. Lewis Holland (c), Queanbeyan, 42 caps
11. John Porch, Norths (Sydney), 22 caps
12. Ben O’Donnell, Randwick, 14 caps
13th Dylan Pietsch
*Uncapped

Pacific Islands’ uproar is justified.

So what about their Super Rugby exclusion? Screamed the rest of Bret Harris’s article over at the Guardian.

And as usual, he makes a lot of sense.m It’s no point screaming about our Pacific Island brothers missing out on a gig in the World League set up when for 23 years we’ve ignored them in Super Rugby!

This from Bret’s article.

Each time Sanzaar re-negotiates its broadcast deal and considers new competition structures, there is talk of one of Fiji, Samoa or Tonga (or a combined Pacific Islands team) gaining admission to Super Rugby. Yet nothing has eventuated to date. Instead, over the 23-year history of the competition, Sanzaar has expanded to include teams from Perth (the Western Force have since been axed), Melbourne, Port Elizabeth (the Southern Kings have since been re-located to Europe), Japan and Argentina.

The Pacific Islands have been overlooked by Sanzaar for the same reason they were reportedly overlooked by World Rugby – commercialism. The three Pacific Island nations have a combined population of just over one million – Fiji (905,502); Samoa (196,440); Tonga (108,020) – which is too small to generate the revenue demanded by elite professional rugby, particularly all-important broadcast monies.

He goes on to point out that although Fiji, Samoa and Tonga only have a population of 1.1 million but 20% of rugby players worldwide are of Pacific island heritage. Just let that sink in for a second. It’s a big number.

Since the leaking of World Rugby’s plan to bypass the islands for the massive Japanese and American markets they’ve promised to considers the tiny nations in the proposal and that’s great but I still have to wonder where’s the money coming from?

I’ll let Bret finish this one.

Maybe the Pacific Islanders will not offer much in terms of domestic broadcast rights, but they would potentially add significant value to foreign broadcast rights, particularly in the northern hemisphere, which is under-pinning the finances southern hemisphere rugby.

And, of course, Pacific Islanders offer the world in terms of their talent, skill and passion for the game. And if Sanzaar was truly concerned about the Pacific Islands, it would admit them or a combined Pacific Islands team to Super Rugby when it re-negotiates its next broadcast deal.

 

 SA Rugby to be strict with overseas clubs over players

Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi and Coach Rassie Erasmus

Springbok coach RassieEramus has put European clubs on notice saying South Africa will be enforcing World Rugby’s regulation 9 that makes players available for their countries for 14 weeks a year, making them available for all South Africa’s Tests in June, the Rugby Championship and November Internationals.

There are currently 36 South African players at Gallagher Premiership clubs in England, and 42 in France’s Top 14.

Others, such as C.J. Stander and Quinn Roux (Ireland), and Willem Nel and Josh Strauss (Scotland), have gone on to play for the national teams of their adopted countries.

Regulation 9 is there to make sure that all countries can compete and stay relevant on the world stage, and unfortunately with our exchange rate we are one of those countries now,” Erasmus said at a press conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.

“Up until now, we have had give-and-take because there are players’ lives that are affected.

South Africa recently scrapped the 30 test minimum required before an overseas player was eligible to be picked for the springbok and this just seems to be Eramus letting everyone know that he’s just going to pick whoever he damned well wants.

“We are now saying that from 2020 we are going to enforce Regulation 9 because we can’t pay people at that level [to compete with overseas contracts].”

“It is not about playing hardball.”

“It is about being proactive and explaining to the clubs what we are doing.”

“It gives the club who wants to sign a player the option to consider whether they want to go ahead. It gives the player the chance to decide whether he wants to go over there.

“Does he want to retire from international rugby and pick money now over playing for the Springboks? It is not a threat; it is a reality.”

I’ve got to say I’m not in favour of the same thing happening here. While Our rules could be tweaked to include Super Rugby games I don’t think opening the floodgates will help our Super Rugby clubs one bit.

  • Huw Tindall

    Good selection of articles Sully and I’ve been waiting for the World League thing to come up in the news. What a shit show hey? How did they let the PR get away from them on this one? RA-esque in the incompetence. Maybe it was just a mistake and the news that got out was not the full picture but regardless now it looks the backpedaling they’ve done over recent days makes it seem like scrambling for credibility when all and sundry bagged them.

    Yes the revised plan which came out yesterday looks to have addressed the promotion/relegation thing but it still has the problems of player welfare, traditional 3 match series, EOYT ‘grand slams’ and other fixtures of international rugby.

    The fact they still bang on about every test match having a meaning is insulting. I will never pull on a Wallabies jersey but I can imagine the reaction of telling anyone who has played a test if you told them the match didn’t have any meaning.

    Re the PI team. Isn’t Twiggy looking to get them involved? Drua in the NRC has been a success so I can’t see why a PI team in Super wouldn’t be. Even if you based them out of West Sydney for half the games or something to get more bums on seats than in Suva. I would rather watch the Tahs v a PI team than the Moondogs.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Funny getting to the news first, eh Huw? You’d have still been at lunch!

      In case you missed my belated post the other day, here’s the reaction from my neck of the woods.
      https://www.rugbypass.com/news/georgia-rugby-chiefs-3-minute-rant-at-snub-nosed-retrograde-world-rugby-officials?fbclid=IwAR2JFthemoyB3eK1HZYTk_DpV95yf9lmOcMZqwJQyFLhgny82Kjpf9dGR-g

      • Huw Tindall

        Checking for the GAGR news is my first task around lunchtime GMT mate!

        “snub-nosed, retrograde officials” gave me a chuckle. Is that some Georgian derogatory term?

        I’m still amazed that Rugby is a thing im a small country on the far some of the Black Sea. How did it even start there?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Interesting question. There’s a game called Lelo Burti, which is about 250 years old but is now only played between 2 villages once a year at Easter. It involves the men from each side – ALL the men, hundreds of them – vying for a fat ball (burti) and pushing the other side over a line (tug-o-war-style). People sometimes die, but that’s where the word for ‘try’ comes from (lelo) and also the name of the national team (the Lelos). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCwCFrfjhPM

          Then there’s the national passion for wresting and judo – they’re just built for it. But the real thing came in the late Soviet period, when some guy who’d seen the game abroad decided it would be a good way to get troubled youth off the streets. They doubled down during the tough times of the ’90s.

          Then along came Bidzina Ivanishvili, billionaire oligarch (shady Russian money), one-time PM and now effectively grey cardinal, pulling the strings of just about everything. The good news is, he decided to pump millions into rugby, deciding it would be good for national identity. He got Milton Haig (whom I’m about to go and get a jersey from for a charity event) in as coach.

          Soccer used to be their passion, and is still really popular, but it’s much harder to be successful at that when your male population are built like trucks. The Eminence Gris made a good call.

        • Huw Tindall

          Wow mate that is a brilliant story! You couldn’t mate up a better tale.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Sorry for the repetition – it looked like the first hadn’t gone up (having laptop issues).

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          I don’t speak Georgian, but I guess he’s finding a way not to swear. And has an imaginative translator.

          Good question about how it started. There’s a game called Lelo Burti, which is about 250 years old but is now only played once a year between 2 villages. The entire male populations of both turn out to push each other across some gainline (a la tug-o-war) – and some of them still die trying. Check it out from the 1-minute mark here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCwCFrfjhPM

          Burti means ball, and Lelo is the name they give for a try in rugby, and also the name of the national team (The Lelos).

          In the late Soviet period, some bloke who’d been abroad decided rugby would be a good way to engage the disaffected youth and get them off the streets. This turned out particularly useful in the troubled ’90s. They love judo and wrestling, so rugby is a great fit for them. Hence their scrum dominance.

          Then along came a billionaire oligarch named Bidzina Ivanishvili, one-time PM and now pretty much the grey eminence over all things important. He decided to pump a fortune into rugby and sought out Vern Cotter. Cotter declined, but proposed his protege Milton Haig. Milton has taken them as high as 12th in the rankings. I just met with him this morning to get a team-signed jersey to auction at a charity tomorrow night. Good bloke (y’know, for a Kiwi). They’re playing Germany on Sunday in the 2nd-tier 6 Nations – how are they supposed to climb above 12th (hence the president’s rant)?

          The national game is still soccer, but rugby is definitely gaining ground. You can’t compete at the former when your blokes are all Kenworths.

    • HK Red

      “I would rather watch the Tahs v a PI team than the Moondogs.”

      well said Huw.
      And if that meant a loss to a team playing high quality rugby, then so be it. Although the Wolves are acquitting themselves quite well this year.

      • Huw Tindall

        Ha yeah I thought about that when writing that statement. They are playing some good exciting rugby now but still they feel like an exhibition or made up team. PI has the passion and history which you can’t manufacture.

        • HK Red

          completely agree and when you read “The World in (Union) Conflict”, you realise just how much of senior men’s rugby globally is made up of PI players. It’s a sad indictment on rugby history, the way these players have been treated.

        • Huw Tindall

          The stat in the article was damning….1.1m people in the PI and they make up 20% of the pro players worldwide! They should create an international players union. 1/5th of the workforce would have some power!

        • HK Red

          the threat to boycott the 2019 RWC, if it was honoured by all PI players in all nations, would decimate the tournament and really would (I bloody hope) make the global administrators sit up and take some notice.

        • Huw Tindall

          That would have been glorious. Really stick it to the man.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Unfortunately, the reality of the economic situations in those countries mean those players would probably still be treated poorly, as they need the money to look after their extended families/village.

          Burn you’re right, it would much improve things for them.

    • andrewM

      Given current form Huw don’t you mean ‘ would rather watch the Moondogs v a PI team than the Tahs”? ;)

      • Huw Tindall

        On second thoughts the Moondogs are essentially a PI team anyway ;)

        • disqus_NMX

          There’s not too many teams in the world, at any level, that aren’t basically a PI team!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        hahaha yep

  • HK Red

    Jeez this match fixing story is a bit of a concern. We’ve had some woefully unexplained losses over the years (Argentina last year in the Gold Coast, missed conversions from right in front vs Scotland) and some terrible referring displays against us, but match fixing?? Christ on a bike, just when I was starting to hope that there might be some joy on the horizon of Australian rugby. I need a new sport.

    • Twitter has a bunch of people saying RA refute the story, there is no investigation. The “reporter” may be trying to stir up attention….this is extremely poor performance on behalf of the reporter if indeed it is fabricated.

      The match referred to was 7 years ago or so apparently. Any idea which one it would be?

      • It’s hard to work out because we lose so much now.

        Sorry it was “several” years ago, but is written as though players in question are now retired.

        • Huw Tindall

          Maybe this is how Chek got all his money really? I’m mean Chek doing fashion? Come on.

      • HK Red

        That Scotland game in Newcastle was 7 years ago, we also got pumped by France that year on the end of year tour. If it is a media beat-up and I really hope it is, then that’s terribly poor journalism

        • i think a local match-fix is more likely. easier to coordinate with whoever is doing the fixing…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          If it’s a media beat up then I think we can probably assume there will soon be threats of defamation until the story is retracted.

          Didn’t Gits miss a kick from right out in front in that Scotland game?

        • Ads

          Unfortunately I was at the game Vs the filth that gits buggered the kick from in front to lose the game. That was back when i still had delusions we were good!! Maybe he missed two and I only remember the England one though.

        • John Tynan

          If anyone could fix that wind and rain in Newcastle, they were doing well!

        • Hoss

          I was at that game mate – the conditions made match fixing impossible

        • Happyman

          Agreed and it was such a lovely afternoon the only thing missing was the meteor shower.

        • John Tynan

          I could never believe the uproar – the MOST Scottish conditions I’ve seen outside of Scotland or Invercargill….

        • Hoss

          Samoa anyone ????

        • AllyOz

          It’s got to be one of our games against the All Blacks, we were certs in all of them.

      • HK Red

        Also who you following on twitter? Think I’m only linked to our intrepid in-house reporter Reg. want to make sure I’m not missing out on other good rugby journalistic talents out there. ;-)

        • Yeah there are lots : gagr, drivingmaul, rugby ruckus, morgan turinui, Tom decent, Paul cully, brumbies boy , Nick from gagr, huw tindall are all worth following for a start- these are off the top of my head, so there will be more!!

        • HK Red

          Great, added another 4-5 to my list. Thanks

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        How can the match apparently be 7 years ago and also apparently not be under investigation? It isn’t like Growden mentioned that, and if RA are denying it, who else would known when it was?

        That makes no sense.

        • “Seven” was meant to be “several”

    • Huw Tindall

      It’s Greg Growden again isn’t it? Just click bait and muckraking and inside jokes.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’d usually assume so, and I am still sceptical of course, but there’s a difference between making snide comments and click bait to making clear, unambiguous claims like this. He didn’t couch things in terms of opinions; but stated he was told by insiders.

        If he is making things up in these terms then it opens up immediate threats of defamation, which I don’t think Growden would want to walk into. But then again I don’t know…

        If it is true, my mind immediately turned to the two losses to Scotland in 2017 – especially the home loss.

        • He was careful (or smh lawyers were) – he didn’t name names and didn’t even name the game. As such it is unlikely anyone was defamed. It’s entirely non-specific but will get a lot of attention.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But he clearly mentions the Wallabies and RA. As a legal entity, can sue for defamation.

          If these allegations do have nothing to back them up whatsoever, then I would expect a retraction.

        • I agree : I was thinking of individuals rather than entities. Are the wallabies an entity? RA certainly is. I think the article was non specific with respect to the game or even period intentionally.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I would presume the Wallabies is a brand of RA or it’s own legal entity, precisely to be able to threaten defamation?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate this is all news to me. Have you got a link to the article?

    • Hoss

      Morning my communist friend.

      You are looking at this all wrong. If true it’s GREAT news for Oz Rugby. It means we are not as bad as I thought we were, but we’ve been paid to take a dive.

      The bad news for mine is if the fix was for only one game…….then how do we explain post 2015, my theory becomes a fraction pouros then

      At this point a win for diehard fans.

      • Tah Tragic

        I was thinking a similar thing. The article says “numerous strange incidents, including dubious forward passes, easy tackles being missed, confounding knock-ons and easy midfield kicks going nowhere near their target.”
        Has the reporter followed the Wallabies in the last 5 years? There is nothing strange about it; standard Wallaby skills.

      • AllyOz

        Yes we have been successfully “throwing” games against the All Blacks for over a decade and someone is making a fortune on the $1.01 the Blacks are offering.

    • Brumby Runner

      Areas of concern mentioned on the ABC this morning include forward passes, missed tackles, ineffective mid-field kicks and dropped ball. Sounds very familiar and current, doesn’t it?

      Also mentioned three or four players with late night issues, some still in the Wallabies and some still involved outside the Wallabies. Can’t imagine who that might be.

      • AllyOz

        “forward passes, missed tackles, ineffective mid-field kicks and dropped ball” I thought that was Cheik’s “Plan”

      • David Creagh

        Maybe the last few years are the cover plan to hide the instance referred to.
        In all seriousness. If true, and I don’t care who it is; Brumbies, Force, Rebels, Reds or Warratahs, they should suffer a lifetime ban.

        • Brumby Runner

          Absolutely.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Honestly, the moment I heard the match fixing story, I thought it it was bunch of crap. I love how it was first reported in the SMH by an idiot and then was picked up by the NZ sites. Only then did Fox report it guys.
    If this crap was true, why is it being brought up now?! The only argument you can make is the results of the “top secret investigation” had a ruling which meant it couldn’t be reported on for a set period of time.
    But even then, that often would only be a few months… and if anyone is going to publish it, why does only one Aussie newspaper and a whole bunch of kiwi sites get priority first on an Aussie Rugby issue?
    If you read it, it is literally just “A source says…” “a game a few years back…” without any referencing or any specific whatsoever. Sounds like click bait to me…

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      It’s entirely possibly click bait.

      However, stories are often broken by one paper, due to a specific journalist having specific sources.

      If there is no evidence for it, then why would the SMH publish it and why would Growden risk his reputation?

      Entire situation is baffling.

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Yeah, but Growden has already got a pretty mixed reputation, and has got it wrong plenty of times before.
        His entire purpose is to get people reading his column and talking about it, which is what is happening here. I think it’s just Growden being Growden…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          True, but there’s a difference between that and blatantly making something up. Makes me think of an article Spiro wrote on the Roar last year, which was quietly retracted later that same day.

          But if he just made this up, why would anyone read him ever again? Why would the SMH risk putting the Wallabies and RA offside, and losing the obvious privileges they have with favourable stories being provided to some of their journalists, with no evidence? Are they not concerned with defaming the Wallabies (I say this assuming that the Wallabies are either a legal entity in themselves or a brand of RA which can be defamed)?

          It’s just a very strange situation. If the story is untrue, then I would actually given Growden the benefit of the doubt given all of the above, and assume that his source provided him the story and said he had proof, and that Growden published it without first seeing the evidence.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The media purposely gives a false impression about most stories to get as much attention as possible. It is an industry that generates its money out of getting attention and selling that attention to advertisers. They usually do it by selecting which facts to emphasis and which to ignore, so as not to be seen as outright liars, which would loose them attention in the long run. Journalists are highly trained and experienced professional “blowers up out of proportion”. If a source said something, and the story would be of interest if true, then just report the source said something.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree with all of that. But I’m sorry, I’m not totally clear on your point?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          You stated it’s a strange situation, but it’s a normal situation.

        • IIPA

          True Nick. Growden is the Weidler of Rugby. No reputation to tarnish

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But his employers do.

        • John Tynan

          The Australian Rattue.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not that bad yet

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      mate the NZ rugby trolls are always looking for bad news on rugby and will jump on anything faster than a fat kid at a lollie scramble. The idea that they should check the facts and confirm anything is always secondary

    • Damo19

      Lots of things have changed in our wonderful game in the last 20 years- some not for the best. However the possibility that one or more players might pull on the green and gold and then throw a game is simply not possible.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Why is it not possible?

        • Damo19

          Maybe I should have just added”…or I would hate to think it was possible”

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I hope you’re right. And it wasn’t the case.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Interesting response on the match fixing incident from RA. At least it didn’t take them 48-72 hours like it normally does…

    RUGBY AUSTRALIA STATEMENT REGARDING SYDNEY MORNING HERALD REPORT
    MARCH 8, 2019
    A headline attached to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald today suggested Rugby Australia had investigated a Wallabies Test match “from several years ago” in relation to the possibility of match fixing.

    Rugby Australia wishes to confirm it has seen no evidence in regards to inappropriate betting activity or match fixing and has no record of any such investigation occurring in the past.

    Rugby Australia takes any allegation of match fixing very seriously and would always thoroughly investigate should any person or entity ever provide information to the Integrity Unit.

    ENDS

    • Brisneyland Local

      Mind you RA dont even know what rugby actually is. So their response is worth very little.

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Fair point.

    • Happyman

      Nicholas I would suggest that I would want to see more on this from the original Journo before I agreed or disagreed with anything. Making these sort of allegations without fully laying out all of the groundwork is pretty poor IMO.

      If I were in his position I would be going to print wiht all of my ducks in a row as this story will end careers either the Journo’s or if proven the players and rightly so in both cases.

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        The original journo was Greg Growden, who when it comes to getting his facts right on Rugby… has a pretty sketchy record, to put it mildly…

        • Happyman

          Does he have a league background I always wonder if some Jouro’s have a second agenda. making allegations of cheating is a big call.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Alan Jones wrote a good article in today’s Australian. Worth people checking out.

    Highlight:

    ‘Was his game perfect? No. But the performance by Cooper was a massive job application for the Wallaby number 10 jersey. In fact, on current form, Cooper and Christian Lealiifano are miles ahead of the predictable Bernard Foley.

    It shouldn’t take Wallabies coach Michael Cheika and his newly assembled selection panel too long to understand that.’

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/sport/opinion/quade-cooper-the-risktaker-is-the-wallabies-best-hope/news-story/53ee2d8e0cc0d22ca642031d09007564

    • Brisneyland Local

      And Cheika will still Pick Spanners!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Hopefully, O’Connor and Johnson step in. Quade at 10, Kuridrani at 13 and then somebody at 12. Not convinced that Kerevi and TK will combine too well with one another, but would love if they proved me wrong.

        Was it Anthony Faingaa’s interview on the Fox rugby podcast you recommended the other day? I listened, and it was fantastic.

        • Brisneyland Local

          DBTB, I am hoping and even as a heathen praying that O.Connor and Johnson will have that level of influence. KHunt is my wildcard. He has been looking better every game. Amazing the effort people put in when they are playing for their lives literally.
          Yes it was the Pod I recommended. I found it a great listen. I was slightly saddened, because you could hear him lose train of thought a few times during the conversation. Haven spoken to him before he is a lot sharper than that, normally. IMO.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          If Quade is 10, I wouldn’t want Hunt at 12. If Foley is at 10, I would want Hunt at 12.

          He’s more on the playmaking than line breaking side of the spectrum, and I don’t think Quade needs a player like that. And if he is to combine with another playmaker, we know he combines well with Toomua.

          Foley does need that semi-playmaker to 12. Quade needs a guy that runs good lines ideally.

          To be honest, I just thought he sounded introspective, not slow.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Watching QC and Hunt play together during Club game, and NRC games. They synched really well together and were quite complimentary.
          But I see where you are going.
          Re Ant F, maybe that is just my perspective based on the previous meetings. BUt I loved listening to him. I found his insite fascinating to listen to. And the fact that he isn’t on the payroll and trotting out the party line.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, but doing well at NRC and doing well at international rugby…

          Considerable difference in terms of defences, and difficulties in making line breaks.

          Yeah, I agree. He’s got a good brain on him. That interview was far more illuminating than most.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ture, but good combinations should adapt to the level.
          The interview MAkes you really understand how Ewen Mc got the most out of his team.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Even 10. Foley, 12. Beale looked deadly in super rugby last year, but was horrendous at international level. And the step ion between NRC and super is greater than super and international.

          I’m not being rude about Hunt as he is great at what he does, but I don’t remember him ever making a line break in super rugby. That’s not the sort of 12 I want running off Quade.

          It does, doesn’t it. And it makes a mockery of the claims that he was a terrible manager and that Patson was incapable, as was claimed by a few specific players in 2014.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes all those claims were made by NSW players to posture for cheika.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Absolutely. It was a crock of shit.

        • Brumby Runner

          That being so, BL, I look forward to Quade/Meakes filling the Wallabies’ 10/12 spot unless of course Quade/Toomua takes over.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I could well be wrong on this – and if I am it should mean it was the right call given the selection committee – but I am calling it right now: Billy Meakes will not be the Aussie 12.

          I sincerely hope he proves me wrong, as I love these grafters who work hard and force their way in late despite the lack of opportunities the ‘stars’ have. But I just cannot see the selectors opting for a guy who last year was average at best at super rugby level. But time will tell.

      • AllyOz

        No Spanners is a specialist 12 (when someone else is picked at 10)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep wasnt that painful to watch

  • Thomas Murray

    But how do you explain the other 100 games they have been shit at

    • Hoss

      Consistency.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Well some very interesting things around today. Here are BL ramblings of a madman!
    – Re Match fixing: Never put down to conspiracy what could be adequately explained by incompetence!
    Lets face facts, we are not good enough to rig a game. To do that means at some stage you have to retard your skills to lose. We dont have any skills to retard!
    – Red vs Wallatahs is going to be an interesting match. Reds by 5.
    – Ponies vs Johnny Rebs. This will be another bang up game. Rebs by 3.
    – I know I am a bit late to this one, but why do we always fuck over the Pacific Islands! Just so disappointing!
    – I watched a few of the NRC games that Rocket Rod played in live last year. Gee he is still quick. He would be a better choice in the Tahs than AAC.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I love that line about incompetence. I see that as a far more likely reason to be honest.

      mate I think a lot of players would have been more use than AAC but the Old Boys network is just too strong on this

      • Brisneyland Local

        Morning KRL. Yep an oldy but a goody that one. And proves to be true 9/10 times.

    • John Tynan

      “…Never put down to conspiracy what could be adequately explained by incompetence!…”
      Gold!

      • Brisneyland Local

        I have my moments.
        Not very often according to Mrs BL, but I do have them!

    • David Creagh

      The thing I find interesting is the statement along the lines of “a player in financial trouble”. Those overpriced show ponies earn significantly more money than I do, how are they in financial difficulties?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Gambling or drug addictions I would guess.

      • Brumby Runner

        Poor investment choices. There were stories of a few who had lost considerably 6 or 7 years ago with what turned out to be a poor investment.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Morning Sully, thanks for this, there are some good discussions here.

    I am so looking forward to this “State of the Union” match. I’m hoping it turns out to be as good as it looks as though it will. I think Qld lose a bit with Kerevi pushed to 13 and Paia’aua in at 12 but It all depends on their inside backs anyway as DBTB and I discussed yesterday. My heart is saying Reds but my head says “either way” TBH.

    Good to see Davies back. The &’s team seems to be lacking composure a bit this year. I don’t think they are far off the top but they do seem to be pushing things a bit and not waiting to take their chances. Good luck for this weekend in Vancouver, hope it’s not too cold.

    I think the Boks will have some problems with their new ruling. While I can understand it and think it’s certainly within their right, what it may do is push some players into early retirement from the international game so that they can get the full value of a NH contract. In a lot of ways I hope it works as a full strength Boks team vs the ABs is a joy to watch.

    Now I’ll probably get a bit smashed for this but I have slightly different feelings on the PI issue. The reason that there is no PI team in Super rugby is absolutely about commercialism, but the whole idea of Super rugby is based on that so I’m not sure what the whinging is about. I have a bit of an issue with all complaining about the players being “stolen” by other teams and countries. For lots of reasons, the PI countries cannot, and have never been able to, provide the amount of money that can be provided from NZ, Australia and other countries. Rugby players leaving those islands to play elsewhere is no different to other people leaving to work elsewhere and make the money there they can’t at home. Yes the rugby teams of the nations they play for are improved by these people but so are the factories and other businesses where the rest of them work. Sure SANZAAR could spend a lot of it’s funds to get a PI team in but the questions about which one – a combination or a country has been the most common touted but having the national team play in Super rugby doesn’t make sense and a combined team has more issues than most people realise. The real issue though is the sustainability and governance which is currently missing. If a PI team would come in then that would have to be found and funded and where is that money coming from? Taking it from SANZAAR means less money for the other teams and I’m not sure that would work, or it means a separate and sustainable long term funding line that just doesn’t exist. Currently the PI teams survive as national teams in world rugby with the same issues on funding, player retention and governance that every other Tier 2 team has. I think there are other ways to assist the PI teams that are sustainable and these should be looked at first. For example allowing players who are not wanted by a Tier 1 team to return to their country and play for the national team rather than being barred from this because they have represented another team in the past would be a massive step forward. Playing more tests between the PI teams and the other nations would be a better proposition than ignoring them until the RWC every 4 years. I think that people like Bret Harris have looked at one very small part of the problem and taken this out of proportion to what is a very much bigger issue. I know a lot of people out there will disagree with me but that’s the way the world runs.

    • Happyman

      Mate this is the internet well reasoned arguments are frowned upon. Your points about the PI teams are well stated I recently listened to a pod while in the car I could not tell you which one. But it spoke about the shambles of Samoan rugby a few year back and the lack of governance and straight out fraud.
      Culturally the PI nations have some of the biggest rivalries so putting them together while a good idea on the surface could cause more issues such as the Welsh situation at the moment. Can you imagine some of the selection issues.
      Australia and NZ are at particular fault IMO in that they could have set up a two match tour for each team home and away rotating through Tonga, Samoa and Fiji at the start of each June window which could have provided the islands with much needed funds and the NRL with a insight into how insular and provisional it really is.

      • John Tynan

        “…well reasoned arguments are frowned upon…”!
        Gold.

      • Brumby Runner

        Even if the games against the Islands were mostly for the Australia A players, it could be a winner.

    • AllyOz

      I think it would be good for the Wallabies and the All Blacks (and possibly Japan) as part of their preparation to play match ahead of the Rugby Championship against the second tier Pacific Island teams each year. This is most likely not workable as it wouldn’t fall into the international window for overseas based players, allowing them to play and the international calendar won’t be well locked in.

      I think we could perhaps see Andrew Forrest’s comp pick up some of these second tier nations players allowing to play a relatively high quality comp perhaps a half a notch below Super Rugby. It is possible that Japan’s current Super Rugby team (and perhaps another) could join GRR and perhaps a second Australian side from the East Coast. That would provide a good lead in comp for a wider group of Islander professional players leading into the second-tier of the world league (or for Fiji and Japan the top level) as well as growing the game in key Asian countries.

      • John Miller

        “Perhaps a second Australian side from the East Coast”.

        Western Sydney is a large rugby-loving population only cosmetically supported by Super Rugby. Shame Forrest hasn’t given them a run.

        • AllyOz

          He had one ready to go but I think it was part of the agreement with RA to approve the comp that he pulled back and didn’t include them in the first season. He probably does have to work with RA if he wants to offer the chance to players in his comp that they can be selected for Australia so it is a bit of a compromise.

          It would be good to see what he would do if his hands weren’t tied to a degree.

  • dsb

    I know it has been suggested before but why not a PI/western Sydney team in Super Rugby.The Fijian team in NRC has been good.Then again, I’m still waiting to get Western Force back. 6 good Aussie teams, more local derbies will do me.

  • Hoss

    Now to more pressing matters – The Waratah’s subjugation of uppity Australian Rugby Provinces.

    Bets are in:

    – Tah’s 13+
    – Ponies 1-12 and the obligatory ‘multi’.

    Heritage Tah jumper arrives today, visit Dan Murphy’s during the day for a nice French bottle of Sour Mash, a packet of Mexican corn startch, maltodextrin, monosodium glutamate and emulcifiers, sit back and watch the carnage begin

    Go you good blue things.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Big calls mate. While it’s nice to let the heart rule things I think it can end in heart break

      • Hoss

        Look KRL, i have been restrained, but i feel i do you a disservice by not being honest and frank..

        I feel the time of the Nearlies is like that of the Dinosaur – its about to end in a large fireball and like the Mayor of Hiroshima said ‘what the fuck was that ?’

        Reid going and unintentionally switching off.

        Shag going and already practising his short game.

        Schmidt – no thanks, rather stay home.

        Gatland – last man standing and a shoe in.

        I will let the one and only EAP say the rest…………………..

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUi6PzCoAa8

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahahaha mate people have been saying that about the ABs ever since the first time they played in the UK all those years ago. Yeah we’ll miss Read and Shag, just like we missed Richie, Henry, Nonu, Smith and all the other very good players and coaches that have retired over the years. Not too worried about Schmidt and Gatland not coming in as despite their successes overseas there are actually pretty good reasons why they didn’t progress in front of Henry, Shag and co in NZ.

          This is NZ mate. There will always be more coming through and the people coming through will take the game to new and better heights all the time. It’s just how we roll.

        • Hoss

          Delusion island – population 1.

        • From NooZealand

          Nope count me in as well. Middle Earth is Magic you know.

        • From NooZealand

          So well said, expressed and delivered.

        • Greg

          You missed Richie? What about the refs for all those years?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Dont poke the bear!

        • Hoss

          Wish i had that advice on a few drunken Saturday nites in my youth……

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah, you and me both.
          I learnt that being right, does not make you bulletproof!

        • Brumby Runner

          The Mayor of Hiroshima! One of the funniest, if non-PC, statements ever to appear on the site. Had both my wife and me in tears.

        • Hoss

          I dont do PC mate.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Gentleman of the Ponderosa. All things were correct until you tip the two wrong teams!
      But that aside, isnt it good to be excited by rugby again.

      • From NooZealand

        I am with you and have already mention this to Mr Hoss, but people like to dream I guess. Go the Reds

        • Brisneyland Local

          I called the rebels by three, and was spot on. Lets hope my call on the Reds is close.

        • From NooZealand

          We live in hope, as I told her many years ago trying to convince her that it was a good thing ((:))

    • Happyman

      I would happily give you Tahs by 13 plus. the rules of Nutta meat first then gravy. I am afraid your Tarts are bringing a knife to a gun fight.
      Ponies are due a good one after laying an egg last weekend I will take the Rebs for my multi.

      • Hoss
        • Happyman

          Mate it is Red wine that keeps me from finding a high powered rifle and a tower.

          Let me guess you cunning plan involves decking it at every opportunity.

      • From NooZealand

        Totally agree. It’s like professionals vs amateurs.

    • John Tynan
      • Hoss

        Gold JT and my pre-11am work face as well.

        • Brisneyland Local

          We are all on fire today. That is only because we cant wait for this evening to come and the games to begin.
          That and the booze we consume with it to dull the pail of our dreary lives! ;-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fuck that is so true. I was thinking the same thing. Everyone putting up with the work day because tonight is looking so good

        • Brisneyland Local

          YEah baby!

        • Hoss

          That and the GOT Season 8 trailer is out. I am like a giddy school girl.

        • Brisneyland Local

          6 weeks to go til those puppies land!

        • Brumby Runner

          Doesn’t it just set up a huge downer for around half of us poor sods?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Where one wins the other loses.

      • From NooZealand

        Who Peter or Hoss?

        • John Tynan

          Hoss for sure. Deluded.

    • Keith Butler

      Nothing like to derbies to get the pulses racing. My heart says Rebels but my head says Ponies as they will be smarting after last weekends performance. The Tahs have backs to die for but will their pack have their heads shoved up their arses by the mighty Reds. And then on Sunday we have the 6Ns. EJ has selected T’eo at 12 and Tuilagi at 13 plus Cokanasiga at 14 whose 6ft 4” and weight in at a miserly 18st +.Off to get bottles of fine Tassie red and white plus a six pack for your truely with either my home made lemon cello or plum brandy to finish. For food we have my home made pastie and chips for Friday and lasagne special on Saturday. Yummy. Rugby you’ve got to love it.

      • John Tynan

        A typo KB – you put the word “will” in the wrong place.
        It should read:
        “…their pack WILL have their heads shoved up their arses by the mighty Reds…”
        You’re welcome.

        • Keith Butler

          Thanks JT. Looks like your off Hoss’s Xmas card list.

    • From NooZealand

      Hi “cousin”, It will be the Rebels and the Reds celebrating and we will be reading one of your most famous comments on the Blues and I am looking forward to read your mind and composure [ or lack of it ((;)) ] in your comments; which I truly enjoy.

      • Hoss

        I love receiving the passionate, fearless and wrong predictions from gaggers mate – so thank you.

        A brief history lesson if i may.

        Every family has a dim cousin, their lovable, harmless, a little too attracted to their sisters and can often be found down the back paddock, pants half down and the distressed sound of a potty-calf to be heard, even over the sound of banjo’s – for us over here, that’s Queenslanders.

        There’s a famous mungo ball player recorded screaming ‘Queesnlander’ when he ran from the tunnel’s one day. Poor soul was lost, dazed and confused as he had too dress himself – simply not fair.

        Stories of Queenslanders are what we, in Gods Chosen State, tell our children to frighten them and keep them on the straight and narrow – like ‘White Walkers’ in GOT.

        Even Jehovah tries to smite those up north for their sins mate – locusts, floods. cat 5 storm cells – what does that tell you ???

        Look, we all love a good underdog story, but Unlike Average Joes, these little Crimsons (not really a red) and the Padre will return north with tales of their grand trip to the big smoke and no matter how they tried, they got smashed up against a bright,blue & glorious wall.

        Here endeth the lesson.

        • From NooZealand

          And a good lesson it was. I told you. I enjoy reading your writing. Wish you would write / publish something longer. Thank you for taking your time to reply.

        • Habitual Offender

          Shameful behaviour Hoss.
          Unfair statements about QLDers, no matter how accurate

          Thankfully for you, they cant read so you maybe safe.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Lucky I was born interstate, and didnt move there til I was 20.

        • Hoss

          Possession is nine tenths the law young man.

        • Brisneyland Local

          True. Kind of funny because I am only living there 2 days a week at the moment. But wish I was there full time!

  • John Tynan

    10.5 seems a lot on this season’s form so far. We’ll be knocking on just to scrum.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Sorovi has his sniping moments. But if their piggies fire, it could be a long night. Especially if the Tahs end up with some in the bin from a scrum penalty.

    • Adrian

      He’s certainly good BL

      We’ll see re scrums, but I think Tahs will cope with run-on guys, then TPN will hold the replacement props in place via sheer strength.
      Locks will have practiced a bit under Cron too I think.

      I suspect that the main points of attack will be via Kepu feeding Folau running at an angle, kicks for Izzy to jump for and set piece plays involving Beale

      I like Duncan P, but it won’t get to Kerevi at 13 as quickly as last week, simply because of extra hands.

      I think Qld strength is Tuopo and Lukhan running in open play, linking with supports

      • Brisneyland Local

        I tend to agree.

  • Andrew Luscombe

    Super Rugby is a compromise between a development league for the nations that run it and a professional money generation league. The south pacific nations aren’t one of the nations, and they don’t have any money.

    They are nations though, and are part of World Rugby, and so World Rugby needs to ensure they are treated reasonably well.

    It’s quite reasonable to advocate on the pacific islands’ behalf via World Rugby, and discuss test match revenue sharing, access to any World League, and similar things, but not advocate for their inclusion in Super Rugby. I don’t see why top level south pacific players would attract more spectator interest playing together in a team than they do currently spread throughout other teams in the world.

    The Fiji team is a good inclusion in the NRC – subsidised by World Rugby, and exposing players who live in Fiji and wouldn’t otherwise get much attention outside Fiji.

Fiji
@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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