Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Days Rugby News sees a curtain raiser, Junior Wallabies named, Sunwolves axed, Scott Johnson talks sense.


 

 

Tahs Curtain raiser.

The Waratahs game against the Sharks at Bankwest Stadium (hopefully you know where that is) on Saturday just got a curtain raiser. West Harbour and the Two Blues will play their round four Shute Shield game before the Waratahs play their round 11 Super Rugby game.

NSW Rugby Union CEO, Andrew Hore, said there is genuine excitement in taking the NSW Waratahs games to Western Sydney, with the region known for producing great rugby talent.

“We are thrilled to be taking the Vodafone Super Rugby to Western Sydney and kicking things off with a double header with two of our Shute Shield teams from the local area playing the curtain raiser.

“Western Sydney Shute Shield teams are known for producing great rugby talent over the years and the new world-class Bankwest Stadium allows us to connect with rugby fans in the area and provide all our members and fans with a memorable rugby experience.

“This year has presented us with a fantastic opportunity to take Super Rugby across our State and take our game to the fans.

“The opportunity Bankwest Stadium offers us is the ability to showcase the different rugby products NSW Rugby boasts.  From the NSW Waratahs in the Super Rugby through to the great talent in our Intrust Super Rugby competition – we can give spectators a great night of rugby.

Sydney Rugby Union President, David Begg, said the new stadium in Parramatta has created a genuine buzz and it will be great to have two competitions coming together again.

“The Intrust Shute Shield has a strong club rugby following and we are pleased to have two of our teams who hail from Western Sydney as part of rugby’s launch at Bankwest Stadium.

“Having world-class stadiums that can host both the Shute Shield and Super Rugby provides a great opportunity for fans to enjoy more rugby,” said Begg.

NSW Waratahs team vs Sharks

1 HARRY JOHNSON-HOLMES
2 DAMIEN FITZPATRICK
3 SEKOPE KEPU
4 JED HOLLOWAY
5 ROB SIMMONS
6 JACK DEMPSEY
7 MICHAEL HOOPER
8 MICHAEL WELLS
9 JAKE GORDON
10 BERNARD FOLEY
11 CURTIS RONA
12 KARMICHAEL HUNT
13 ADAM ASHLEY-COOPER
14 CAM CLARK
15 KURTLEY BEALE
16. TOLU LATU
17. RORY O’CONNOR
18. CHRIS TALAKAI
19. TOM STANIFORTH
20. LACHLAN SWINTON
21. NICK PHIPPS
22. LALAKAI FOKETI
23. ALEX NEWSOME

Junior Wallabies Squad For Japan

Junior Wallabies defend

Junior Wallabies Head Coach Jason Gilmore has named his match day squad ahead of the sides first clash of 2019 against Junior Japan.

The side contains nine U20s debutants including Aussie 7s development player Triston Reilly, with the potential for a further eight off the extended bench.

2018 Junior Wallabies player of the year Fraser McReight was also named as captain of the side.

Following World Rugby consultation, the U20s Championship will be trialling match day squads of 28 players. This trial is being conducted to ensure that player welfare is paramount moving forward. Coaches will still be limited to the normal eight substitutions but will now be able to select these replacements from a 13-man bench.

Junior Wallabies Head Coach Jason Gilmore said: “It’s really exciting to get to this stage of the campaign now.

“We are looking forward to the challenge ahead, the team has prepared well and we’re eager to take on the tough opposition that Japan will be.”

All matches will be broadcast LIVE on RUGBY.com.au as well as Oceania Rugby’s Facebook and Twitter Channels.

Junior Wallabies to face Japan.
1. Angus Bell, NSW*
2. Lachlan Lonergan, ACT*
3. Josh Nasser, QLD
4. Esei Ha’angana, VIC
5. Trevor Hosea, VIC
6. Harry Wilson, QLD*
7. Fraser McReight (C), QLD
8.  Will Harris, NSW*
9. Henry Robertson, NSW*
10. Will Harrison, NSW
11. Mark Nawanqanitwaswe, NSW*
12. Noah Lolesio, ACT*
13. Joey Walton, NSW*
14. Triston Reilly, AU7s*
15. Isaac Lucas, QLD

 

Reserves:
16. Joe Cotton, QLD*
17. Liam Usher, QLD*
18. Darcy Breen, NSW*
19. Egan Siggs, QLD*
20. Max Douglas, NSW*
21. Michael Wood, QLD
22. Patrick Tafa, NSW
23. Carlo Tizzano, WA*
24. Michael McDonald, WA*
25. Ben Donaldson, NSW*
26. Sione Tui, VIC*
27. Kye Oates, QLD*
28. Byron Ralston, QLD*

*denotes uncapped player

Eddie Jones Bemoans Sunwolves Axe

Hayden Parker feeds his back line.

Te Sunwolves are getting kicked out of Super Rugby and Eddie Jones isn’t happy. Now Eddie and I have had our issues in the past, and no Eddie has no idea who I am. I wasn’t happy with his Wallaby and Reds stints but we’ve both moved on.

Eddie thinks that if Japan wants to be a top ten rugby nation then they need their young players involved in a top-level competition and he’s 100% correct.

Jones, who now coaches England, lamented the decision and said the Japan Rugby Football Union should start looking for alternative competitions.

“If Japan wants to be a top 10 country in the world, which they do, they need their players to be prepared,” Jones told Kyodo news agency.

“The purpose of the Sunwolves was to give opportunities for young Japanese players to prepare for test rugby,” said Jones.

“What Japan was missing was that opportunity for younger players to go from a good domestic Top League into a higher level of competition without being exposed to test level, and the Sunwolves provided that opportunity.

“It hasn’t worked out for them and I think it is a massive opportunity missed.”

 

 Form Is King! Music to our ears.

Scott Johnson just said the best thing ever. This from Iain Payton over at Rugby.com.au

Scott Johnson has given hope to all Super Rugby players by saying current form – and not past experience – will be the no.1 consideration when comes to picking a Wallabies’ World Cup squad in a few months.

Johnson took up his role as Australian rugby’s new director of rugby last month, and is nearing the end a getting-to-know-you road trip that has seen him spend time at the Reds, Brumbies, Rebels and with the Junior Wallabies. He will be with the Waratahs this week.

“I have sat abroad and in the cheap seats for 12 years. I have got to get down and dirty and that’s what the trip was about,” Johnson told media on Wednesday.

“Don’t let anyone tell us we don’t have talent in this country. We have good talent. It is impressive and I am buoyed by it.

“And the depth is better than I thought from afar. Four teams, it shows there is good talent out there.”

“Players pick players and by that I mean if their form is good enough, they get picked,” Johnson said.

“If their form warrants it, they get picked. They usually determine their fate. It’s the odd choice that we have to split them but if a players’ form warrants selection, he will get selected.

 

  • Gottsy

    First time in a while that I’ve agreed with something Eddie has said. Even though this year’s Sunwolves looks more like a barbarians team it’s been good to see them develop over the years, and it’s hard to not have your heart warmed by the passion of the fans at their home games

    • Keith Butler

      Agree with all that you’ve said. I was howling in Newcastle when they beat the Tahs and the crowd for the game against the Canes last weekend was massive compared to the turnouts at our SR games. It does bother me though that if the Wolves are meant to develop young Japanese players, why are so many of their squad overseas players.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Purely because playing for the Company teams is more important to them. That is the way Japanese rugby is set up.

    • Cameron Rivett

      “The purpose of the Sunwolves was to give opportunities for young Japanese players to prepare for test rugby,”

      They had literally 2 Japanese players start last week, they aren’t developing any real talent through Super Rugby. That was their choice, not SANZAAR’s.

      • Huw Tindall

        Also they flat out aren’t financially viable as they cost all the other teams money and none of the broadcasters in the actual SANZAAR nations place value on the Sunwolves games. So no matter how ‘good it is for the game’ it’s has to stack up financially and strategically.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          In other words, there was no due diligence performed prior to the team’s accession, so now all the people who were given jobs will lose those jobs. That part is on SANZAAR.

        • Gottsy

          Oh yeah 100%, I wasn’t arguing their case, simply saying it’s a shame

  • sambo6

    I live overseas…so ‘bankwest’…u taking the piss?

    • Hoss

      Sounds like a trophy I once won.

      • sambo6

        My eyes read ‘Bankwest’…my brain says ‘wankfest’

    • Nutta

      What the rest of the world knows as Parramatta Stadium. Don’t worry – ESRU SRU and NSWRU don’t know where it is either. I expect they are fitting long-range fuel tanks, sat phones, flares and puncture-proof tires to their Range Rovers & Audi’s today.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        It gets me that they really have no idea of the ill feelings they have built up over the policy decisions they have made over the last 10 years. What a bunch of self centred wankers

        • Nutta
        • Nutta

          This is how sad it is – my eldest daughter desperately wants to play rugby. She is 14 and living on the western edge of western Sydney.

          Guess what she debuts in on Sunday? AFL.

        • juswal

          Good luck to Nutella.

        • From NooZealand

          LOL – very clever

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          In saying that one of my mates plays AFL and she loves it

        • Brisneyland Local

          More money in womens AFL!

      • juswal

        To split a hair, this is the new Western Sydney Stadium (i.e. it opened this month) at Parramatta, rather than the Parramatta Stadium of yore. Same site, new structure.

        Check out the photos from the full house at the NRL match on Sunday. It was a big day.

        Spectator’s comments: https://www.nrl.com/news/2019/04/23/bankwest-stadium-the-fans-view-of-the-grand-opening/

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully, while the comments from the NSW rugby about the game at Parramatta are nice, they’d be a bit more believable if NSW hadn’t spent the last 15 years fucking over rugby in the west. Comes across as a sanctimonious tosser to me.

    Johnson is saying some good things. I’ll believe it all when I see the team and the results. Personally I believe a coach should have the final say but I also think the coach should be accountable for the results. I think I’d rather have Johnson focussing on the last point than getting into arguments about the selection

  • idiot savant

    Scott Johnson is showing his media experience and messaging ‘form’ as a selection yardstick to both incentivise players and calm the hordes of supporters who have gathered at the gates in recent times angry at Cheik’s poor record.

    The more I think about it though I reckon the selectors will agree on all but a few names. (For the conspiracy theorists, all 3 selectors are NSW born and bred). No team has won a world cup without a huge clutch of experienced players. When it comes to the knockout stages experience counts for a lot as mistakes can mean a quick tournament exit. Players need experience not just in game numbers but also in Cheik’s systems. We cant have a repeat of Kerevi racing from side to side trying to remember where he has to defend in a knockout match, so players will need to be familiar with Grey’s algorithm. This means that the squad will almost entirely be made up of guys who have already played for the Wallabies. The only arguments the selectors might have will be around flyhallf and back row but not in terms of the squad, just the match day 23.

    I suggest that barring injury the two team squad for Japan will look very like this: Sio, Slipper, Faiinga, Latu, AAA, Kepu, Rodda, Arnold, Coleman, Simmons, LSL, Hanigan, Hooper, Pocock, Dempsey, Naisarani, Genia, Phipps, Foley, Cooper, Kerevi, Toomua, TK, AAC, Hodge, Korobete, Maddocks, Naivalu, Beale, DHP. Will the 31st player be a halfback or hooker? I suggest Gordon and Fitzpatrick would be the candidates.

    Unlucky players would be Rangi, Tupou, Phillip, Jones, Holloway, McCaffrey, Powell, Hunt, Meakes and Banks but with a few exceptions these players have less experience or minutes under Cheika.

    The match day 23 discussions between selectors might be more robust. I expect though high risk players will be less likely to be chosen. This includes Latu, Cooper and possibly Beale. So I expect the selectors will argue about the make up of the back row, reserve halfback and reserve hooker and where to play Beale. The rest will be decided very quickly. What do you guys reckon?

    • Brumby Runner

      I reckon more of the same will probably see the Wallabies miss out on the Quarters.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think the Wallabies will get to the quarters. After then, anything could happen. I can actually see another Wallaby run to a semi or final.

        I don’t actually know if I would be happy or disappointed with that outcome. But the Wallabies could easily have gone out in the quarterfinals in 2015, in which case Cheika wouldn’t have been recklessly re-signed before the England series when he still had a year on his then current contract, he would have been punted after 2016 and the last few years would have been much better.

        • Patrick

          Totally not sure if we do more of the same. All Georgia will need is a bit of heart and they could get us – isn’t that what Chieka tells us is all you need???

    • Huw Tindall

      Pretty fair squad guess there mate. At least the good news is there will be plenty of unlucky players. This must be what Kiwi rugby fans feel like.

      On current form I wouldn’t have Sio or Latu or Coleman. I’d also cut one of Marika or Sefa. I’d really want to find space for McCaffrey and Jones too. Probably at the expense of Hanigan, Dempsey, LSL or Simmons. Hunt would be the best utility back out of the ‘unluckies’ to take the extra back spot.

      Really looking forward to the second half of this super season and TRC actually! Lots of excellent selection battles to come.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I’m scared by some of the names on that list, scared because I think you are right:

      – Latu: I’m surprised this bloke is even let back in the Tahs. He is an utter liability, but Cheika loves him

      – AAC: slow grandpa that doesn’t look up to the pace of super rugby

      – Hanigan: no one doubles down on a mistake like Chieka

      – Dempsey: what has he done since 2017? And he wasn’t even that good back then either.

      – Koroibete: I don’t even think he should make the Rebels’ 23

      – Beale: sadly your right.

      – Fitzpatrick: nowhere near Australia’s best 3 hooker right now.

      Unfortunately, I think you’ve pretty much nailed it.

      • Andy

        Nic White will be available apparently. Will be interesting to see if the independent selectors overrule Cheika on Nick Phipps. Because we all know he is guaranteed a spot by Cheika.

        But if White is available and Phipps is still playing second fiddle at the tahs there is literally no way his selection can be justified and those other 2 will look like donkeys towing the line on that one.

        Hannigan fits the same criteria. There are so many 6’s ahead of him now that his selection will seriously affect the other 2’s reputations not just amongst the fans…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          May be available, if he signs with an Aussie side. White may push Genia for the starting 9 spot. Would be a godsend.

    • Geoffro

      Cheika has also annointed Pulu as a candidate.No problem for me there;hes quick and unlike Korobeite,knows his way around a rugby field

      • idiot savant

        He is a good player but also a penalty risk and he doesn’t know Cheik’s systems. Its hard to know with Cheik. I remember hm praising Korcyck the week before dropping him from the squad. He has a history of pumping up players in the media to appease sectional interests but may not have any genuine plans to select them.

        • Who?

          Remember, Cheika’s a big supporter of Cooper……………..
          Even Nick Bishop laughed at that!

        • idiot savant

          Yes I imagine the rhetoric will continue to be supportive of Cooper… right up until selection day. I dont get the feeling Cooper has the support of Johnson and O’Connor. I suspect Cheik will lean on Wessells to ‘rest’ Cooper when Toomua returns to get a look at his preferred second option for 10.

        • Brisneyland Local

          And i am 100% sure Wessell’s will tell him to go and fuck himself,

    • Adrian

      That will be pretty close idiot.

      I actually think that Johnson and O’Connor will have a significant input, but that will only change the team by 10%. Matching the team to the tactics is more crucial.

      I believe that form will count, and there are more guys than “normal” in form.

      For what it is worth, I reckon that Jones and probably Gordon will be in, and Hannigan and Phipps out.

      Where it will be tricky is around (for example) guys like Coleman, who haven’t been in form, but have lots of potential. I think that he and/or Simmons might scrape in because they “call” lineouts, as does Rodda. LSL, Rodda, Phillip and (more recently) Arnold are in form.

      • idiot savant

        Yeah I agree that Hanigan might struggle to hold his spot. Jones will need to play all the RC matches if he is to replace him. Knowing the systems will be key in the knockout stages. Phipps and Gordon are a toss of the coin though.

    • Who?

      players will need to be familiar with Grey’s algorithm.

      Which is why we will lose, because Grey’s system requires players to be significantly fitter than their opponents – a fitness differential that it’s impossible to have – in order to have anything left in the tank to use for attack.
      .
      Nick Bishop did a great article pointing out how little Nic White’s required to cross the field in defence for Exeter, in comparison to the manic sideways running required by Genia under Grey’s defensive system. It was incredible how much more difficult – and, ultimately, less effective – Genia’s significantly higher workrate made the defensive system.
      .
      It’s incredible we’re still 6th in the world, given the challenges the team faces with Cheika’s non-communication of selections with his attack coach, the fact the attack coach and head coach were reading from separate books, the defensive system’s complete failure as a concept, carrying of players who just aren’t ready or Test standard, compromises in selection that leave core responsibilities unfilled………

      • Greg

        I will argue that it is not “Grey’s algorithm” but “Grey’s reaction”. If you give a defense coach a 10 and 12 and perhaps 15 that can’t tackle… what do you do except resign?

        • Who?

          Grey was the defensive coach at the Tahs. He’s worked with Beale and Foley for six years. He could’ve worked on their defence, but there’s been little evidence of any improvement in the past six years.
          .
          Cooper was shuffled to 15 by Link, but that was to get the ball in his hands more – he has a good boot and organised the defence well. He’s still a little suspect under the high ball, but his cover defence is at least the equal of other backfield defenders, and I’d have him comfortably ahead of Foley (I can’t imagine Foley tackling Foketi as successfully as Cooper did last weekend). But Foley at 15 is clearly an attempt to hide the bloke – it’s not for his kicking, and he doesn’t generally counterattack hard from back there.
          If I’m coaching a team and I see a weak tackler, I don’t put him into situations where he’ll have to tackle opponents one on one. I stick him in the middle of the line, where he’ll be supported. And I work on technique.
          .
          Beale at the back is a much less questionable option. He’s a great broken field runner and has a strong kicking game from the hand. His near-try against Wales in 2010 is one of the greatest individual efforts I’ve ever seen (just wish he hadn’t bombed it!). The bigger question is why Cheika ever picked him at 12 (especially when JOC had been playing a ‘Fly-Back’ role for a couple of years).
          It’s worth noting how he was used when he went to Europe. They tried him as a rushing defender at 12, then I believe they sent him back to 15.
          .
          That said, it’s not ‘just’ the player shuffling that’s in question here, it’s the quantity of extra running and positioning that’s required under Grey’s system. Genia and Cooper are often (not always) in the backfield for the Rebels. But they don’t run nearly as much there as Genia is asked to run for the Wallabies. Koroibete’s run metres for the Wallabies must be insane. He still does those chases for the Rebels, but they’re only as required, rather than switching wings in defence constantly as he does for the Wallabies.
          .
          So, the question isn’t about whether there’s some lesser defenders, the question is whether it’s close to the right solution. And the fact that Grey’s still the only one running that scheme – that the Tahs are defending better with the same players without him – must say a lot.

        • I think the thing about having your 10 (and sometimes 9) in the backfield – which is not something just the Reds do, is that it’s become common when you’re expecting a kick. You can put one or both wingers depending on the situation and their skills, a full back and a ten in the backfield. Kicking to space is suddenly really hard, and everyone that catches the ball is probably in a position to either make a running play or a kicking play as needed.

          Adding a 9, who is often running as a sweeper but is usually good at catching awkward ball and can kick just gives you another option, and lets you leave your wingers up if they’re better used in the defensive line.

        • Who?

          The way the Rebels are swinging Cooper and Genia back, they’re kind of playing them like 2 full backs (spread widely) based on territory and what’s happening (i.e. is it first phase, second phase, general play, did the sequence start from a kick, lineout, scrum, etc).
          But I agree – it’s a situational thing for most teams. It doesn’t so much seem to be the case for the Wallabies, and the running requirements for some of the players are off the charts.

        • Patrick

          Amen to every word

      • I don’t think it’s remarkable we’re 6th in the world still.

        Losing matches against teams with much higher rankings (the ABs for example) don’t cost many points (0 away, still practically 0 at home) – it’s a sliding scale and if they’re more than 10 points ahead, there’s no points change, there’s a +3 points “home benefit” in there too. If you’re a massive underdog and you beat the opposition by 15+ points you can pick up +3 ranking points (that would be us winning in Eden Park for example), but if we won in SA by that margin, we’d get more like +1.5, SA would get -1.5 – just enough for us to swap places with them.

        So if you look at our record, we lose some points (but not many) in the November series, because Ireland, England and Wales are highly rated. We basically swap points with SA pretty much. We occasionally lose points to the AB, when we play them at home, when we play them in NZ they’re too far ahead for them to take any points off us. Because we’re quite a chunk of ratings points ahead of Argentina, we don’t get many points from beating them (a few more at home). So what really costs us, in terms of the rankings points is things like losing to Argentina. They’re lower ranked than us, so they take a chunk of points off us. We tumble down the rankings. Losing to Scotland will cost points too (but that’s going back 18 months), Losing to Wales in November (before the Grand Slam, so they were lower ranked) and so on all cost points. It’s a slide down the rankings, even with Cheika’s win rate.

        NZ, if they fell to Cheika’s win rate, could easily lose 10-15 rating points quickly, because they would give away a lot of points quickly with every loss. That would still only put them between 5th and 8th.

        There’s a reason they call them tier 1 and tier 2 nations…

        • Who?

          Hi Eloise.
          You’re right. When you look at the ranking systems, it’s not really a surprise…
          But when you consider our record last year, and especially that we were lucky in a few games in 2017, 6th in the world is generous. Because I’m not sure that I’d feel confident going into a match against any nation in the top 10, especially if not at home. It’s right according to the rankings, but I guess that just shows the confidence – or lack thereof – I have in the team…

        • I think the ranking system is pretty good tbh, it’s a bit of tricky in implementation for the average punter perhaps, and weights the RWC a bit heavily maybe, but overall it’s pretty solid.

          However, one of its big flaws is that it’s quite conservative. On any given day, like you, I’m not overly confident that Australia will beat a top-10 side, so being 6th feels a bit generous, we’re benefitting more from former glories than reflecting our current real status. Something like 8th might be a more honest reflection.

          It feels wrong to discuss it this way, but… a loss to the Boks in SA is a realistic result. A loss to the Pumas in the build up to the RWC not impossible. Losing at home to NZ by a huge score, lets just say yes shall we? Losing in Eden Park then doesn’t matter (although a surprise win would). We could just about fall to 8th place that way. That first match in the RWC would be 8th v 9th in the world… tense! The winner would probably be the runner up and take the second quarter final spot (although Georgia would like to think they have something to say about that too).

    • Damo19

      I think your selection crystal ball is pretty well spot on IS- for the moment at least. But here’s the thing. This team has performed very poorly against top tier 1 opposition for the last 3 years at least. During this time we have used basically the same game plan and the same squad core. Surely we’re not actually planning to perform as poorly at RWC 19. If not then we have to be changing the game plan. Why on earth was Kerevi running from side to side. No one else has this kind of defensive structure. So if the game plan isn’t the same then there must be some flexibility in terms of personnel chosen.
      I guess we are all fearful that nothing will change- including the results.

      • From NooZealand

        And whatever “experience” they bring, it will be a loosing one. So maybe a fresher mind is needed. Go the Wallabies.

  • Bobas
    • idiot savant

      That was 6 years ago…. How do you fit him into the squad? You could leave Cooper out I suppose…

      • Nutta

        Yep.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Why would you have to do that?

          On form, Quade has had the best super rugby season but has had some shit matches recently, Foley has had one good match and Lealiifano has had the best Aussie 10 performance since Quade’s 2011 season against the Chiefs, and performed very well in other fixtures, including outplaying Foley against the Tahs, playing well against the Lions and well again last week.

          31 man squad picked purely on firm is shaping up to be something like:

          Props: Alaalatoa, Tupou, Slipper, Sio, Kepu
          Hooker: Faingaa, Rangi + 1 other
          Lock: Arnold, Salakaia-Loto, Rodda, Coleman
          6s/8s: Jones, Naisarani, McCaffrey
          7s: Hooper, Pocock (cheating with this one, but let’s get real)

          Halfback: Genia, Powell, Gordon
          Flyhalves: Quade, Lealiifano, Foley
          Centres: Toomua, Kerevi, Kuridrani
          Wing/15: DHP, Banks, Naivalu
          Utility: Hodge

          + Speight, Pulu, Hunt or Maddocks

          Some would say Maddocks is unlucky, but he’s not capable of playing winger at any level beyond super and realistically I think he should be playing fullback for the Rebels. No clue when to pass and when to go to ground on the wing, lacks strength through contact, not that fast or elusive and not that strong in defence. Fairly quick guy that is excellent under the high ball, who has excellent vision for the game and a great passing game. He’s a flyhallf or fullback, but isn’t getting the chance there.

        • Nutta

          Triggered…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          No, just baffled. It’s strange that Cheika is so willing to pick the same blokes that haven’t worked out before, in the hope that when they’re a year older and in worse form, they’re likely to perform better. And the fact that so many fans seem to agree with them.

        • Nutta

          Seriously tho…
          Props – yep. Fairly self-selecting 5.
          3rd Hook would be Mafi in my opinion
          Locks – yep. Again fairly self-selecting 4. Phillips unlucky.
          6/8 – It’s a real toss-up for me btwn Jones & Dempsey. One misses out to make 4.
          7’s – completely agree on names and intent
          9’s – leave off Gordon. 2 is plenty and if needed Tate would be my 3rd.
          10’s – I withdraw. Call me a coward if you will. But take 2.
          Centres – Given I haven’t seen the guy play Too’s misses the bus. Add in English and Hunt to make 4.
          Wing/15/Baggage – Sauce, Banks, Naivalu, Hodge, Maddo.

          That’s 31.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Jones and Dempsey similar? It’s at times like this when I don’t know if I am watching a different sport, or what criteria others are using for judging. Jones has been, probably, the best loosie any position this year. Hooper is the only guy who comes close. Dempsey had done virtually nothing. I could see an argument between he and McCaffrey as they are similar players and Dempsey has the Wallabies caps, but I just don’t even see a contest between him and Jones. They’re also totally different players.

          I think it’s a risk to only take two halfbacks. What if one is injured in training during the week?

        • Andy

          Jones is the first 6/8 picked. We might even steal some lineout ball with him on the park.

        • idiot savant

          That might be Cooper’s best chance…

        • Nutta

          Dude, out of around +30 names selected we differed on 3 – Gordo v Tate, dropping a 10 to get English and then Jones v Dempsey – and you’re asking if we are watching a different sport? Calm the fk down Dude! Seriously though, dropping an extra 9 is simply to make room. Fly Tate out if one gets hurt. I get the risks but we either take a 3rd 9 or a 3rd 2 and not both IMO. That said, given our 10’s have pretty generally been pretty shit all year I am almost in-favour of running 2×9’s to stretch the centre-field defence and fk having a 10 at all! Blasphemy I know, but I’m a Frontie.

          Regarding Jones v Dempsey, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I like Dempsey because he uses footwork to hit a weak shoulder and so make metres after contact. That bends the line. The only other loosie in Oz rugby doing that at the moment is McCafe. We don’t have a Kefu or Vunipola train-smashing defensive lines to rely on so we have to use graft or else keep loosing 5m on each hit-up like nearly every other Oz Super forward is doing ATM because they fkn catch the ball flat-footed PLUS refuse to latch. See, for me it’s simple, if you are a mere mortal you either run solo and catch on the move and punch a hole (like the Kiwi’s do) or you catch flat-footed and use a latch to spear a hole (like Saffa’s). We don’t do either! We run solo but catch flat-footed! It does my fkn head in. But given that’s what we do (for some unknown reason) we need to pick guys who can make yards after contact. Our best guys for that are Rangi, Coleman and Sal-Loto along with Dempsey. Holloway is good at it too but as an 8 forced to play Lock he won’t get picked. Jones is a good player no doubt. But he has a penchant for hard hands at critical moments and he doesn’t get the post-contact metres of Dempsey.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Naisarani is the bloke to pick to bend the line. I am impressed with Dempsey’s footwork through contact, but his strength through is contact is weak, he is not that great in the line out, is not a big hitter in defence.

          I don’t think the Wallabies need flashy forwards. They need guys that will do the tight stuff and set a platform at the breakdown, in defence, in the line out and in the scrum. We’ve been burned for so many years by opting for flashy forwards rather than those that don’t make highlight reels, but do the core stuff. The line out is probably the most important attacking platform in the game. Jones means we will have the chance to win a lot of our own ball, and with he and Rodda, attack opposing line outs.

          Dempsey is also more of a typical 8 than a 6. A smaller guy that lacks a bit of overall power that is skilled, good at linking with the backs and running in the wider channels.

        • Nutta

          I’ll give you Jones is certainly a better line-out option then Dempsey given Hooper/Poey alongside McCafe/Nisi. In terms of flashy forwards, our historical problem has been picking fat back-rowers as a 1/3/4 and not getting the tight-work done. For the first time in a long time I think we are not in-danger of that ATM.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Since Fardy we haven’t had a big 6/8 that did the tight stuff well. Win your line outs, disrupt the opposition and have loosies that hit hard in defence and get through loads of work and things will go well. Worry about the flashy stuff later.

        • Nutta

          Owen Finnegan…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He did the tight stuff though. His flashy brilliance was in addition to his core responsibilities, same with pre-Ireland Rocky and Kieran Read.

        • Nutta

          Oh i completely agree. I was being whimsical and reminiscing on good ‘ol days.

        • Mica

          Pre-Fardy

        • Nutta

          Dude I am old but I’m not that old…

        • Mica

          That’s only because since Fardy we’ve only really had the Pooper, Hannigan and Dempsey.
          Pocock does some of the stuff you’ve called out, but he’s not the ball carrying or lineout winning 8 (obviously)

        • Brumby Runner

          Nutta et al, I am surprised that there is no discussion of Pete Samu as a 6/8. He has been in and around the Wallabies since before joining the Brumbies and he consistently makes good ground in contact, often breaking through the line. He is a better ball carrier than Dempsey imo. He is betterover the ball too, and could be a very good backup 7 if required. Surely, he has to be in the conversation.

        • Nutta

          Completely agree about Samu’s high points. And he is a guy who knows how to win (Cru background). But who stays out for him? He is certainly call No1 if Hooper/Poey fall over (it kills me that looks increasingly likely for Poet). But leaving that aside, who is left behind for him? Does this moot the Dempsey/Jones discussion altogether?

          And as much as I say this through gritted teeth, we have not been realistic and factored in the Hannigan-Halo either.

        • Mica

          Agreed, but I actually think Samu and Dempsey are very similar players. All the points you’ve made could be equally applied to Dempsey.

        • Mica

          Naisarani is pretty good at making contact yards. He’s no Kef (yet – hopefully this will change).
          Valetini can do this too, but he needs a good 2-3 years minimum, plus all his injuries doesn’t inspire confidence.
          Agree on Jed too, but he’s well and truly ensconced as a lock at the mo. Long term this time may make him a better 8 if he gets back to this position.
          If I were coaching the Tahs (ha ha) I would be inclined to put Staniforth at lock, Jed at 8 and play Wells off the bench. I think based on form too Staniforth deserves the start. He was immense against the Cru.

        • Nutta

          Agreed. Play a lock as a lock and an 8 as an 8. Too revolutionary an idea I guess.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Heresy!

        • Greg

          even a 7 as a …. no… let it go…

        • Mica

          Yeah, nah – Jones has been good and has a high work rate, but McCaf’s been the best – absolute standout before being injured.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t agree personally, but luckily they play in different positions!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Don’t be a pussey…. pick a 10. Your team of wallabies is useless without a playmaker running the show. You need to score points! (think Cheika has forgotten that)

        • Nutta

          If it is truly my team, in that case I’m picking L’fano. Best of a bad mob. But I would want KHunt alongside him and it means having Hodge playing too. So…

          Slipps/Rangi/7A’s
          Arnold/Coleman
          Poet/McCafe/Jones
          Gins/L’fano
          Hunt/K’drani
          Hodge/DHP/Banks

          Sio/Fingers/Tupou
          Rodda/Dempsey
          Joey/Foley/Kerevi

          If it were the Bill Final I would start Kepu and 7A’s to bench. It would not take much for Hunt/K’drani/Kerevi to get subbed for English or to swap Dempsey/Jones or rotate any of the Locks.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          See that setup at least looks refreshing, in form and solid aswell! I’d be ok with that!

        • idiot savant

          I think the guys that can make mistakes that can lose you games are going to struggle, regardless of how much X factor they have. O’Connor has already been reported making a cautionary comment about Cooper in that regard. For that reason I cant see Pulu making it and I reckon Johnson and O’Connor might argue in favour of Fitzpatrick against Latu as reserve hooker. He would have to play all the RC games though to learn the systems. But being able to hit a line out target and not give away a silly penalty might be more important late in knockout games. Cooper’s record as an offender is long. So is Beale and I reckon thats where the selectors might get worked up. Although he was a bench player under Cheik at the last RWC so maybe Cheik has the same reservations.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep but Hooper has more Yellow cards than any other professional player. So that argument doesnt hold water.

        • Nutta

          Riddle me this Joker – has that high yellow card strike-rate been consistent throughout his career or has his strike-rate fallen away over the last year or two?

        • Bobas

          Quade hasn’t missed a tackle or been carded for the Wallabies this year or last.

        • Brisneyland Local

          HAs decreased this year. But last year he was a medium offender, but that took him to the poll position of yellow cards.

        • idiot savant

          True, but we all know Hooper is exempt!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Exempt from a lot of things.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          BAM

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Bernard ‘charge down’ Foley is as much of an offender as Quade. Especially at international level. Toomua or Lealiifano are the only 10 options we have that are in any sense safe. Not the sort of 10 that Cheika goes for though.

          I think Cheika might end up opting for Uelese, or BPA.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah agree there is no standout 10 to choose from. Not sure Lilo is quick enough anymore. BPA is now reserve hooker for the Reds so I cant see him making it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          DC wasn’t quick in 2015, Sexton wasn’t quick last year and Wilko wasn’t quick in the latter part of his career. Not saying Lealiifano is in their class, but just that I don’t think speed is the ball all end all of a 10.

        • idiot savant

          With test defences maybe not but gee speed over the first 3 metres is important in super rugby.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Lealiifano has been a defensive rock. Check out his stats. Also setting up plenty of tries.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep and thats a great thing but if it’s a tie between a great attacker or a great defender…. the attacking sure wins as that’s a primary role of a10. Tackling blokes is not…

        • Nutta

          Slow 10’s aren’t a problem. I give you Lloyd Walker gentlemen. Lloyd allegedly once lost a 20m sprint to Tom Lawton. Fk me. Or even David Knox.

        • Who?

          Exactly. Even Ella didn’t consider himself quick. More important to be quick between the ears, have great vision and know how to keep the ball in front of the pack.

        • Human

          And Noddy, not quick either. Paul McLEAN was probably the quickest

        • Who?

          Isn’t that partly because he’s going overseas..?
          Also, Tupou’s often the bench THP.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Don’t agree….. Quade Cooper is still equal or better than Mounga as the best 10 so far this year….. and Mounga is in the “Crusaders” and hasn’t had to deal with a forward pack getting dominated. Quade hasn’t had “amazing” games the last 2 weeks but they certainly weren’t poor considering the circumstances and what he was given to work with! If Quade had the year to date record that Lealifano has had wed say he hasn’t been consistently good enough. If he’d had the year to date that FOLEY has had we’d say he’s only had 1.5 good games all year! Instead he was the form 10 the whole 1st half of the season with 5exceptioanal weeks and leading plenty of great stats!

        • Who?

          Mo’unga put a kick off out on the full tonight…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I actually payed close attention to him tonight. I can’t believe how little he is used….. So I checked the stats and Mounga actually touches the ball very few times! It really only goes to him if all the forwards are tied up…. but he always looks for a wide play or a runner on an angle! Very interesting! He also put in a very UN Foley like cross field kick with great precision and good timing! (actually created an opportunity) Interesting…

        • Who?

          Yeah, I was going for those two guys as the third hooker. SO much better than Latu, bigger and more dynamic than Fitzpatrick…
          Though I’d not be surprised to see both of those guys (or one plus Latu) make it, and Rangi miss. Even less surprising would be if Taf was there…

        • idiot savant

          I forgot Taf. Scratch Latu from my list. Taf will be the reserve hooker.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          What about Foley’s Error ridden game on the weekend?Half the southern media put him as the 10 for the round over a very solid Lealifano! I saw far more risky gameplay, stuff ups and mistakes from Foley!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Interesting to me that Toomua was always the 10 and Lealiifano the 12. Why has this been changed around?

        • Mica

          Because in Australia, they are just numbers. We like a second playmaker and you can just swap 10s and 12s around willy nilly. Don’t you remember when Cheik played Cooper? Foley was then the natural choice for 12 because they are just numbers………….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ah….. I knew there was logic around

        • GO THE Q REDS

          That is NOT why Foley was at 12……. and we need another playmaker because Foley is at10. It’s very simple really….

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Thing is like EVERY player he has his flaws….. but he has exceptional vision having a background at 10. When on the wing he has been out performing Wallaby wingers hand over fist by combining well with those around him! He’s a rare exception to me that we could deff look at squeezing in somewhere…..

    • Who?

      It’s amazing to think that’s six years ago, that Johnson thought Leali’ifano was our best 12 in spite of Toomua’s performance on that tour (even though Christian debuted at 12 in Brisbane that year, lasting 52 seconds (I have a photo of him with my son after that game)), and that we still managed to get the win in spite of the Dublin 6 being suspended.

  • Valzc

    …spent time at the Reds, Brumbies, Rebels, Junior Wallabies &Tahs….. Apparently he’s unaware that Western Force players are also eligible for Wallabies selection? Oh….. that’s right…. west of Sydney. Fkn joke of a board.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I am a bit disappointed by the fact that RA haven’t made more of an effort to include or promote the Force after everything.

      Not the first time I’ve been disappointed with RAs administration though, to be fair.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Very disappointed with RA stating they saved $14 million from axing the Force in 2018 when the Force only costed them $4.3 million in 2017? Is there a journalist brave enough to ask the question: what was the other $10 million saving coming from? What else was cut?

      • Perth girl

        And what journalists are asking where the so called RA profit has come from !

  • Nutta

    Western Sydney Shute Shield Teams… the Boss Man of NSW Rugby just used a plural. But there is only one western team; Parramatta. Whoever says Eastwood or West Harbour really needs to have a good long hard look at both a map and themselves. Even talking Parra as proper western Sydney is a joke when you have a proper look at where the population is actually based and realise it’s further west in Sydney than Parra is. And this is coming from the guy who is on-record saying no to Twiggy because NSWRU as an extention of ESRU I mean SRU had such grand plans for ‘the west’. The west of what? Bondi Beach?

    Wanker comments from wankers. May I ask if he was wearing a cashmere jumper 2 sizes too small whilst making those comments out the window of his Audi parked outside a Double Bay hotel?

    I also wonder if the Beale-inspired phone updates have been carried out so those true-blue Tarts players and supporters can even find Parramatta stadium?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Nah. The Tha’s will put on a bus. To make sure their players get there safely. They know none of them have ever beenthat far west in their lives, also they will be scared that they will get mugged, or that their Audi’s will get car jacked!

      • Nutta

        I am seriously thinking about getting a bunch of ‘I Luv Penriff’ bumper stickers and just going for a walk around game time…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold mate. It is embarrassing for NSWRU, and the Tahs!

  • Bernie Chan

    The NSWRU is in danger of snatching the trophy for incompetence from my QRU…

    • Nutta

      Oh no Dude. NSWRU have long held that crown unchallenged. All that money, all those players, all the venues, coaches, support, corporate backing etc etc etc and STILL can’t organise a piss-up in their own brewery. Granted QLDRU has done some one-off dumb-stuff – even done it pretty consistently over the years – but they have nothing on the decades worth of myopic self-servery willful reckless dysfunctional shit-bagging that is NSWRU. Stand aside ye mere amateurs and watch the true masters of dystopian destruction continue to fk that Koala.

      • Bernie Chan

        Alright…I stand corrected! But the QRU still suck…
        Will anyone go out and watch the Tahs play at the new venue? From much of the commentary over recent times, it appears the SRU/NSWRU has willfully ignored the west, so are they hoping rugger types will be so grateful for a Tahs game that tens of thousands will show up? I hope a decent number attend, but no optimistic…
        I lived out Bankstown way and my in-laws farmed out at Parklea, but I wonder how many people who live east of Homebush even know their way around Parramatta..? BTW…worth visiting the west and south-west just for the food!

        • Nutta

          Completely agree. I’m convinced there is a map in both NSWRU and RU that has a big black line running up ANZAC Parade delineating the civilised world from the outback!

  • Brisneyland Local

    I think with the losses the Rebs have had, Wessell’s will put the best team he can on the paddock to win. Rest plan can go heave, so can Cheika the Ass Clowns crazy plans!

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Yeah agreed. Wessels isn’t stupid and won’t be drawn into Cheikas games. History has allready shown too much of that allready….

NSW Waratahs
@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

More in NSW Waratahs