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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Horan on the pooper, McCaffrey on athletes, Junior Wallabies racking up points, TJ and Beauden’s ton


Horan Say No World Cup With Pooper

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.28.18 pm

I’ve been saying this for ages but not even my family pays any attention to me. They’re both great players and in lots of cases, you can just squeeze two great players into any position they fit. But I like to think of the back row as one position played by four players every game. If you pick the wrong guys the position is not greater than the sum of its parts.

But it’s not about me it’s about Tim Horan agreeing with me over on Foxsports.

“I just don’t think we can go deep into a Rugby World Cup having David Pocock and Michael Hooper in the backrow at the start,” Horan told the Fox Rugby Podcast.

“I just think we need a very big six and a big eight, that’s what’s happening in world rugby, you’ve got to have these ball carriers.

“I like the way (Jack) Dempsey’s been playing, I like the way that Isi Naisarani’s been playing and there’s other players as well that might come to get an opportunity in these five Test matches pre-World Cup.

“And do you start David Pocock and actually have Michael Hooper on the bench as a captain from the bench?

“There’s all these different combinations in that backrow but I’m a big believer, I think you need two big second rowers who can carry, you need a front rower who’s a really good carrier of the ball and you need a six and an eight who can carry and tackle because World Cups are about getting across the advantage line and giving yourself a platform.

“And then you could potentially bring David Pocock on later in the game.”

Pocock’s pilfering abilities remain exceptional when fit but Horan didn’t think that part of the game was as crucial as it had been in the past.

“In Test matches now, because the cleanout is so quick and players are so quick to the breakdown, I don’t think you’re getting as big an opportunity as David Pocock got two, three, four years ago,” Horan said.

“I’m a big believer that when you look at Ireland, England, South Africa, All Blacks — those four teams have really got big backrows, big ball carriers and are bending the defensive line.

“That’s something we’ve got to really look at.”

Judge us on the field, not the gym

Lachlan McCaffrey

I caught Locky McCaffrey on the Fox rugby Podcast today and what he had to say about his journey into and out of and back into Super Rugby made a lot of sense. I’m glad someone made it into an article to make it easy for me to quote. McCaffrey wants coaches and selectors to concentrate on what happens on the park and look less at what happens in the gym.

A Sydney schoolboys and Australia under-20s product, McCaffrey played one game for the Waratahs in 2010, seven for the Force in 2012-13 and eight for the Brumbies in 2014.

Frustrated by a lack of regular game time, the skilful loose forward then packed his bags for England, signing with battling London Welsh

“Going overseas isn’t the first choice when you’re 24 and trying to play Super Rugby and make it to the Wallabies.

“I went over to a team on minimum wage and we lost 42 games in a row.

“I played nearly 100 Premiership and European games in three years and I think what that did is you get to show your skills as a rugby player.”

After impressing with London Welsh, McCaffrey moved to traditional Premiership powerhouse Leicester Tigers where he really stamped his mark on the English scene.

He hit it off with their coach Aaron Mauger — now guiding the Highlanders — and noticed big differences to what he had experienced in Australia.

“A lot of Super Rugby in Australia, over the last five years, from my perspective, if you’re a good athlete and you’re good in the gym and you’re fast over 20m etc, you normally get the first jersey,” McCaffrey said.

“And overseas, especially the rugby I played in England, they weren’t too worried about what you lifted in the gym or how dynamic, how explosive you were or what your speed test was.

“They just looked at you on the field and if you played good rugby they kept picking you.


Junior Wallabies are 2019 Oceania U20 Champions

Junior Wallabies are 2019 Oceania U20 Champions

 The Junior Wallabies have started the World Rugby U20 World Championship at a sprint. In Santa Fe, Argentina smashed the Italian u20’s 36-12.

Australia scored five tries to Italy’s two with flyhalf Will Harrison leading the scoring on 11 points in the bonus point victory, which was built on a strong defensive platform in a similar vein to the team’s Oceania Championship triumph over New Zealand last month.

Australia currently sits on top of Pool B with five points, alongside Ireland who defeated England 42-26.

Junior Wallabies Captain Fraser McReight said: “It’s always enjoyable getting out on the field, playing for both Australia and with your best mates.

“We were a bit disappointed to concede some late points but overall it was a positive start and we’re now looking forward to our next couple of matches and hope to continue to play our style of rugby.”

The Junior Wallabies will now take on Ireland in their second Pool B match on Saturday, June 8 at 11.30pm AEST.

Will Harris opened the scoring for the Aussies after an early break from Isaac Lucas to score under the posts in the early exchanges.

Then, on the back of a turnover, winger Mark Nawaqanitawase made a break out wide and found hooker Lachlan Lonergan in support to register the team’s second try, which was converted by Harrison to open up a 17-0 advantage at the break.

A powerful Australian offensive continued in the second half, with Triston Reilly crossing 15 minutes into the second half, extending the lead to 22-0.

It was at this point Gilmore ushered in changes, bringing Sione Tui on for Reilly while Nick Frost came on for Trevor Hosea, making his Junior Wallabies debut in the process. These reinforcements sparked an immediate change of pace, with Australia scoring back to back tries through Lonergan and Noah Lolesio to make it 36-0.

Joe Cotton’s yellow card with five minutes to play opened the door for the Italians to cross twice late in the contest, through Niccolo Taddia and Jacopo Trulla, but it was all too late with the Junior Wallabies running out 36-12 victors.

Junior Wallabies 36 (Lachlan Lonergan 2, Will Harris, Triston Reilly, Noah Lolesio tries; Will Harrison 4 cons; Will Harrison 1 pen) defeated Italy 12 (Niccolo Taddia, Jacopo Trulla tries; Giacomo Da Re 1 con)


 Beauden and TJ hit the Ton!

Beauden Barrett

All Black pairing TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett will play their 100th match as an inside back combination for the Hurricanes against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Sunday

The pair had their first match as halfback and first five-eighth respectively for the Hurricanes in 2012.

The pair, who have both played 123 times for the Hurricanes, has forged a partnership which has seen Barrett become the club’s leading points scorer (1223), while Perenara has scored 52 tries, the most by any halfback in Super Rugby history.

It’s easy to believe TJ has been around that long but Baby faced Beauden Barrett is another story. He’s 28! Has played Super Rugby since 2011 and been a test player since 2012 clocking up 73 appearances and 595 points so far.

Check this out!

  • Nutta

    Morning Fellow Drunkards and Fornicators.

    Good to see something new being talked about, like playing the worlds best 7 at 8 again. There is a lot to be said for having power players at 6 – WilliO in 91 and Melon in 99 come to mind. Personally, I would want real footballers at 8 especially (like a McCafe) but I’m old fashioned and not a new-age scientific boffin so I guess it’s more important to train well yeh?

    On a side note, I always got the feeling that BB and TJP don’t actually like each other that much.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      More of a drunk than a fornicator these days mate.
      I find it interesting that in this the last year of Cheika’s reign we are starting to get people challenging his decisions. The cynic in me says they are only doing this to try and make sure they distance themselves from the worst coach in Australia history. They’d be a lot more credible if they’d done this 3 years ago.

      • Brumby Runner

        There have been quite a few critics all along but were probably outnumbered by the Cheika defenders on the site. Many of the defenders seem to have disappeared rather than openly changed their opinions, but there are still the odd ones come out of the woodwork from time to time.

    • Keith Butler

      Nutta, your first sentance is prodding the bear – stop it. Being old school as well i’m all for a dynamic ball carrying 8 and a 6 with a bit of mongrel with both offering a line out option.

      • IIPA

        Yeah let’s ban all I$$y Folau talk please.

        Some good highlights from the U20s thus far. Ireland and England looked pretty good. France and Fiji would’ve been fun based on the highlights.

        Isaac Lucas having some great touches for the WBs

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I hope Lucas ends up at 10 and isn’t shifted to fullback. Looks like he could have a huge future.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        No way mate love it. Always bound to find someone to upset and that’s always fun

        • Yowie

          As someone who has had a few “issues” come up lately trying to fornicate after drinking, I’m all triggered and offended now >:|

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold mate

    • Geoffro

      TJ doesn’t appear to like anybody,cranky bugger,he loves the Haka though where he can really vent

  • While Horan is as entitled to his opinion as I am to mine, and he gets paid a lot more to express it than I do, I think he’s got the Hooper/Pocock pairing the wrong way round, assuming Pocock is fit.

    What Pocock brings, or brought anyway, was not just his pilfering, although that is vital, it’s his presence, his ability to slow the ball down by a second or two (legally or otherwise) and give the defensive line a chance to reset. He does that at every ruck, well almost every ruck. That means every other player gets another breath, a second to count numbers, talk to the players on either side and make sure they’re numbered up. Heck, a second to make sure they’ve remember Grey’s crazy plan for their current position and they’re in the right place. That’s priceless.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Absolutely Eloise, he also dominates the contact in a way Hooper never has been able to do consistently. I think starting with Pocock and finishing with Hooper is the best option, although I actually wouldn’t be that upset if it was someone else finishing either

      • In theory I wouldn’t have a problem with one of the young guns replacing Hooper on the bench, and then coming on to replace Pocock if needed. In practice, they haven’t been given a chance at this level and I’m going to vacillate.

        I think, in a properly balanced back row Australia probably has better genuine 7’s than Hooper. I appreciate there are many who will disagree with me, and there are few with his heart, but I think there are several with better actual impact at every, or almost every, breakdown, which is what you are looking for. But, thanks to the last four years of what is laughably called a selection policy, none of them have experience at test level. We can all think of players, in every country, who looked great a level down and never adapted to test level. We can all think of several who made it but took 10-20 tests to adapt to the faster pace and higher intensity. Who do you want to pick ahead of Hooper that you’re sure doesn’t fall into either of those camps?

        I might take the risk on a third 7 and pick him for TRC, see how he goes but much though it rankles, I’m prepared to take Hooper to RWC knowing he’s not the best but he’s got the experience.

        The situation at 10 isn’t quite the same – QC and L’fano, even 2Cows all have test caps, maybe not recently, but they’re used to the game at that level.

        • Patrick

          Eloise Pasteur are you me??

          I agree 100%.

          Also with KRL about the dominating contact part – Hooper makes more meters but he chooses his moments and as we all painfully saw against the Bulls can be absolutely thrown aside at times whereas no-one ever relishes seeing Pocock in front of them.

        • Yes, I’m one of the evil voices in your head that you don’t listen to! I’ve escaped on to the internet… tremble in fear, all your darkest fears will be printed for the world see.

        • Patrick

          Except you are obviously one of those I do listen to since i agree so absolutely with what you said ;)

    • Custard Taht

      Well put. Too many people underestimate and under value slowing down the opposition ball.

      For mind, the games we have pushed NZ, or clutched defeat from the jaws of victory, were the games where Pocock was being a ruck pest and slowing NZ down.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate from the time I was playing as a skinny little kid in primary school, my coaches emphasised slowing the ball down for the opposition. Unlawful was what the referee picked up and I had to play to that.

        • Custard Taht

          Unfortunately our head coach is not always of the same opinion.

        • Missing Link

          It must have been awe inspiring having Richie McCaw as your coach :D

        • Who?

          Got it all wrong, ML – KRL coached Richie, not the other way round. ;-P

    • Brisneyland Local

      As always Eloise great writing and oh so true. It is sad that a person like Horan who was a great player doesnt get these simple things.

      • Geoffro

        Timmy played most of his rugby with Dave Wilson at openside who combined the best attributes of Hooper and Pocock.He was an unsung hero in many wallaby and reds victories.Probably difficult for Tim to decide which aspect of these players games he values most

        • Brisneyland Local

          I also see it as Tim H not knocking the hands that feeds him and toeing the party line.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on mate

      • I was going to ask how much he doesn’t get them and how much he chooses what he says for his audience. In this case his audience is not the viewers so much as the people that employ him. Badmouthing Hooper probably doesn’t fit well at Fox.

        • Brisneyland Local


    • Bernie Chan

      And yet…Horan also says that Hooper is a great captain when the evidence suggests otherwise…
      Pocock should be the Captain and the starting #7 and 2 big and abrasive types for the #6 and #8 jerseys….not Hanigan nor Dempsey as neither can hurt the opposition. McCaffery going as well as any #8 but will Krusty pick him…especially after this barb…?
      We know it won’t happen, but we can dream…

      • Yes, well, Hooper is clearly not a great captain. He’s a petulant brat who winds up the referee and while the players may feel otherwise, he seems to fail to lead them as a group from what we see.

        Honestly, does anyone know why Genia isn’t the captain? I think I might pick him over Pocock.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,

    Nice to see Horan get on board but he’d have more credibility if he’d started this 3 or 4 years ago rather than wait until Cheika was nearly gone. Cynically I see this as him trying to distance himself from Cheika’s incredibly poor record more than anything else.

    Great win by the U20’s and let’s hope it continues. Doing well in this tournament would be a godsend for Australian rugby.

    Love those clips of BB. What an incredible skilled player. Those 2 try saving tackles were as brilliant as his attack. Seeing that you can see how lucky we have been having him available. And he’s only 28. Going to see a few more years of him yet I think.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Weird to me that he cites Jack Dempsey as either in form or a really big back rower. He’s the same size as many 7s around the world (albeit a better line out target than most), hasn’t played that much this year and when he has played I think he has only been okay and not a standout.

    • IIPA

      Yep Dempsey needs some NRC more than he needs a two month training block with the WBs in Japan.

      Could be a good player for the WBs in 2023 but no way is he currently deserving of a squad spot as would be purely on reputation. Swinton, Cusack, Cottrell is have ahead of him as well as obvious ones like Jones, LSL and Ned ( in Cheikas eyes not necessarily mine )

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think the loosies going to Japan should be Hooper, Pocock, McCaffrey, Naisarani, Jones and maybe Cottrell. Lukhan, to me, is a lock… but he should be on the plane too.

        • IIPA

          Agree as a lock but still not sure he’d make my squad. How many locks would they take?

          My lock depth chart would go something like:

          Arnold, Rodda, Philip, Simmons, Coleman, Lukhan, Carter….. great depth when you factor in young guys like Blyth, Swain and Hocking plus Skelton.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think I’d have Lukhan over Coleman and maybe Philip.

          We’re in a good space with locks though, you’re right.

    • Nutta

      I’m a bit more generous towards Dempsey. And I’m no Tart fan. I like the way he shifts before contact and so always seems to make more metres post contact. That’s really valuable. That said I feel Jones from the Scum has the wood over him especially lately as his hands seem to have softened. He’s turned into a bloody good 6 and if-fit would get my nod (for the little it’s worth). And given his recent form, N’ani would need to go in there somewhere as-well. CSL from Qld is a big hard body who runs hard. But I get worried about his general game-smarts and he seems to run a bit too high making his susceptible to strips. He would probably get a spot on the bus as a reserve lock option anyway.

      6. Jones / Dempsey
      7. Poet / Hooper
      8. McCafe / N’ani

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Yeah he’s not a bad player at all. But he’s a lighter, loose forward, he’s not a guy brilliant at the tight stuff. He’s also not a big guy good at running in heavier channels – he makes most of his meters in the wider channels.

        To me, he performs a similar role to McCaffrey (Dempsey definitely a more natural 8 than 6 to me), but has played worse than McCaffrey this season.

    • Who?

      Exactly what I thought. “We need a big bloke at 6, like Jack Dempsey, who’s smaller than Pocock and barely bigger than Hooper!”
      Not saying he’s not a good player, just that he’s nothing like a big bloke.

  • Keith Butler

    Just seen the Rebels team. Genia and Cooper (replacement) rested with Maddocks and English on the wings. Ulese at 2. Strong Crusaders team. Rebs will be in for a world of pain.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      It’ll be interesting to see Toomua at 10. I remember his game at 10 for the Brumbies and I think if he captures that form then it’ll be a good option for both Rebels and the Wallabies. I’m excited

    • Hoss

      The Rebels might even ‘declare’ at half time.

      This could get ugly.

      • Keith Butler

        I’ll take the win then.

        • Hoss

          Fixed now – already thinking of the long weekend

          World Cup Soccer, Cricket, Super Rugby, U20’s World Cup – too much sport is never enough

      • Missing Link

        Nah the Rebels will we down by 4 – 6 points at the 80 minutes mark, hot on attack inside the Crusaders 22, and someone will knock the ball on. I’m not a betting man, but if I was I’d bet against the Rebels every week but less than a converted try.

        • Hoss

          You’d be a Tah’s fan………..

        • Keith Butler

          And then you woke and found that it was all a dream and we were in fact 30 points down with a prop in the bin and it wasn’t even half time. I have a bad feeling about this one but I will watch nonetheless clutching a bottle of wine.

        • Custard Taht

          It won’t be a knock on……it will be a box kick.

  • Footyyy

    Geeze Beauden’s a special player. What the Wallabies could have achieved over the last 5 years with a player of his caliber at 10…

    • Some of the shit he does is just freaky!

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      He’s not just a 10 that distributes the pill. He OWNS that pill. Takes it where he wants to. puts it where it needs to be and if the wrong bloke has got it, he simply stops ‘em.
      On a string.
      Why doesn’t every 10 try to play like that?

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        But he also struggles with his distributing at times. Passing technique isn’t as sound as most international 10s. He really either takes it to the line and try to go for an offload OR passed behind the line.

        He’s a great player, but he has his weaknesses, and they’ve been exposed by rush defences from the Crusaders and NH sides. Not omnipotent.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely mate. I thin this is what Hanson and co have been working on more than anything else and you may see some new tactics or game plan at the RWC for this. My feeling is they’ll try some of it during the RC but not a lot as they don’t want to give anything away and then really imbed it in during pool play at the RWC.

          Fuck it’s great having a smart coaching team

        • Hoss

          That’s enough now – back in your box please.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha you know it’s true brother

        • Hoss

          We hold these truths to be self-evident.

        • Damo

          KRL, I reckon you are going the see the AB’s really use the speed and catch & pass skills of their forwards and really ramp up their offload game. Accurately executed, it is the perfect foil to rush defence. Think Retallick, Reed and Savea and others. They will have defenders scrambling and provide a lethal platform to go wide.
          I just wish the Wallabies had a similar game plan or skills to execute it. Anyway I guess all will be revealed over the coming months.

        • Who?

          We arguably have the players to implement it… Arnold and Simmons at lock, probably Higginbotham at 8. 7, you’d have to go for McCaffrey or Samu to match like for like with Savea (in terms of style, not necessarily level).
          It’s a question of tactics and selection.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree that’ll be part of it and was probably behind Hanson’s statement that some of our tight forwards weren’t doing enough.
          I also think there’ll be more kicking, but also more targeted and shorter for the contest

        • Yowie

          But have the AB’s prepared tactically for Australia to run at them repeatedly in a similar manner regardless of the conditions or state of the game!? It’s the last thing they’ll expect.

          It’ll be “chiek-mate” on that clash. Muhahaha

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha tactics! What tactics?

  • Damo

    Yes Tim, we need line benders. Cheika will pick line dancers!

  • disqus_NMX

    That BB highlight reel reminds me a lot of QC!

    • Hoss

      What has that bastard stolen a TV too ?

      • Brisneyland Local

        It was a laptop! ;-)

        • Hoss

          That’d be right – puny little outside backs couldn’t lug a TV…………soft, now when i was a boy……..

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah but the important thing to ask is who’s laptop was it?

        • Hoss

          Julian Assange ?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Julian Assange doesnt need a latop. He can acess everyone else’s computer by pretending to be a journlaist and getting poor confused people to steal data for him. ;-0

      • disqus_NMX

        Ha ha!

ACT Brumbies

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

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