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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News looks at crowd numbers, contract negotiations, the U20 World Championships and the Nations Championship.


No Magic Bullet?

Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne

In GeeRob’s and Blocka Dutton’s article in the SMH this week Raelene Castle, when asked about crowd numbers, is quoted as saying:

“Obviously it’s a concern. It’s a concern for sport across Australia really. There’s a lot of codes, particularly in the Sydney market, are finding that it’s quite challenging,” she said. “There’s no magic bullet, it’s about a lot of hard work.

“The conference formula is probably not ideal, it creates confusion and that’s why we’re going to a straight round-robin in the new broadcast deal.

“It’s a combination of working closely with the clubs, making sure we’re communicating well the upsides with fans, and working with our broadcasters in Fox [Sports] to make sure they’re doing all they can to help us, which they’re really open to.”

But, in my opinion, there is a magic bullet. Winning more will bring crowds back. It’s really that simple. But enough editorializing back to the article.

Crowd numbers are down 1 per cent and the Brumbies, who’s crowds have always been lower, averaged just 8509 punters for each game. This weekends quarter-final against the Sharks should be a financial boon for them but they need to pay them 75k and that many fans turning up would put a big dent in any profits for them.

“The low crowds aren’t sustainable from a business side of things. The people of Canberra need to show their support for the Brumbies and their appreciation for how they’ve performed,” Brumbies boss Phil Thomson said.

Taniela Tupou Gets A Big Offer

Taniela Tupou

Reds fans have had a lot of great players leave over the years, Sharpe, Barnes, Higger, Cooper, Genia, Higgers again. But none of them hurt as much as Samu Kerevi’s departure did. But hot on the heels of that sad news is news of a big long term offer to Taniela Tupou from Rugby Australia.

If the deal gets done Taniela would be one of the top five highest paid players in the country.

 

It’s great to see the value of tight forwards and especially front rowers appreciated in the deals they’re being offered. With fellow props, Alan Alaalatoa also locked in through 2023 and Brumbies loosehead Scott Sio signed until the end of 2022 things are looking pretty bright at the coal face.

Tupou’s negotiations come on the back of a host of exits from Australia’s top players. Long term Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley is off, His long term competitor for the 10 jersey looks to be heading overseas as well. Rumour has it he’ll be joining Will Genia in Japan.

The trio join other overseas- or retirement-bound Wallabies Nick Phipps (London Irish), Sekope Kepu (London Irish), Christian Lealiifano, Adam Coleman (London Irish), Rory Arnold, Curtis Rona (London Irish), Samu Kerevi (Suntory), David Pocock and, most likely, Adam Ashley-Cooper.

On the plus side former Brumbies and Test halfback Nic White is returning home, Matt Toomua joined the Rebels last month, while Tevita Kuridrani re-signed for 2020 last week.

Lonergan Free To Play

Hooker Lachlan Lonergan and Kiwi escorts

The Junior Wallabies will head into the U20 world championship final at full strength after hooker Lachlan Lonergan was exonerated at the judiciary.

Lonergan was cited following Australia’s semi-final win over Argentina for striking no.8 Juan Bautista Pedemonte with the shoulder

While no action was taken on the field during the game, citing commissioner Rafael Bianchi found reason to call Lonergan before the World Rugby Disciplinary Committee for a shoulder charge.

The 19-year-old’s availability is a massive boost for the Junior Wallabies, who face a heavyweight French pack desperate to defend the U20 title they won last year.

Coach Jason Gilmore highlighted his efforts after the match against Ireland and again following the semi-final against Argentina.

“I think Lachlan Lonergan is a very underrated player in our football team,” Gilmore said.

“He’s got a very good set piece, he’s been very mobile and just the work rate around the contact with his tackling and his breakdown work is really good.

“He hasn’t had many pats on the back but he’s a player that is really crucial to us.”

‘Missed opportunity’

News this morning that the proposed Nations Championship is dead in the water. Word is that many countries didn’t like the idea that they could get kicked out of the comp for being crap. I guess they realised it would be pretty hard to get anyone decent to play against when all the top teams are tied up with the Nations Championship. Pretty much like any of the countries who weren’t invited to participate.

“While we are naturally disappointed that a unanimous position on the Nations Championship could not be achieved among our unions, we remain fully committed to exploring alternative ways to enhance the meaning, value and opportunity of international rugby for the betterment of all unions,” World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.

“This includes our continued commitment to competition and investment opportunities for emerging nations to increase the competitiveness of the international game with a view to possible Rugby World Cup expansion in 2027.”

SANZAAR’s response.

SANZAAR is disappointment that the World Rugby Nations Championship (WRNC) concept that was set to redefine international rugby has been taken off the table.

The SANZAAR member Unions despite having some concerns over elements of what was presented, most notably promotion/relegation, had all signed the Offer Letters to enter into the next phase of due diligence with the aim of working through the concerns with all interested parties.

SANZAAR Chairman Brent Impey stated, “The Nations Championship was a golden opportunity to grow the game internationally but is seemingly lost. SANZAAR remains convinced that such a revamped international calendar is the right course of action supported by professional cross-border competitions such as Super Rugby and the various European premierships.”

 

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Don’t normally plug articles from other sites, but I thought I had to after the number of people who told me that: (1) Folau’s case was a slam dunk in his favour, and (2) that there would be plenty lawyers, including QCs, lining up to take Folau’s case for free, and potentially willing to pay court fees also.

    https://www.theroar.com.au/2019/06/21/folau-hoping-to-crowd-fund-legal-case-against-rugby-australia/

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      While I am sure there are people out there who will front up he’s not getting one cent from me

      • Geoffro

        Exactly.Im also concerned it may impact my own Go Fund Me so I can attend the SR final. (short of cash after some injudicious wagers on the Tahs and Rebs this year,but hey,its not my fault they played ike shit)

    • Yowie

      The fund had raised $330 from seven donations as of early morning (AEST).

      One hour of a junior lawyer’s time (and the GST) paid for already. Booyakasha!

      • joy

        Nine minutes ago its 200 junior lawyer hours.

        • Yowie

          Woah, we’re half way 3% there
          Woah, livin’ on a prayer
          Take my hand, we’ll make it I swear
          Woah, livin’ on a prayer

        • joy

          6.0% at 11am.

        • Bon Jehovah?

        • IIPA

          Largest donors are Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen to date.

        • Yowie

          No joke. Eddie Jones spoke at a dinner I attended (years ago). His main theme seemed to be “I got sacked, it wasn’t very nice and I’m bitter about it”.

        • AllyOz

          Did he share his thoughts on his successful stint with the Queensland Reds?

        • Yowie

          I think the dinner/speech was before the Reds stint. I’m sure he would have been a ray of sunshine about the Reds thing too.

      • AllyOz

        obviously others fell differently…it’s now raised $139K. There are people, like Alan Jones, who see this as setting a precedent around free speech etc (yes I know we don’t agree on that). My issue with supporting it would be, would he give the money back if they award him court costs.

        • Who?

          That’s the big question, isn’t it. If there’s no method for securing those refunds in the event of a win, it looks horrible.

        • AllyOz

          Possibly they would do something like donate it to charity but even then it’s less than ideal. I went on to have a look and its interesting really. In some cases there are families on there raising money for life saving operations or for kids refugee camps in Sudan and I think well that’s a much worthier cause but in other cases there are groups seeking funds for their sporting trips to nationals etc.

          Up to $161K now so he obviously has some supporters.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          So if the kid dies do you get your money back? What about the school trip, if it sucks or they loose do ya get ya money back?

        • AllyOz

          No you are exactly right on that Q Reds. And (genuinely) thank you for the correction.

          Just to clarify, after some thought (but previous to your comment), I decided to donate. My decision was not rugby related but I just simply believe that someone, regardless of religion, should be able to express their religious view on their personal account on a public forum like Facebook or Instagram. I think this is a major test case for expression of religion, for employees rights and also that it might halt the the spread of Corporate virtue signalling. I expect Qantas to treat all their workers fairly regardless of their personal beliefs, sexual orientation etc but I significant issues corporations seeking to impose their “values” on other members of society or participating in public and political debates.

          As it happens, as a Catholic Christian, I share at least 80% of Israel’s views, including his views on sinners and hell and I read his Player’s Voice piece (or several of them) and in that longer forum I completely agree with what he said around those issues. As we come from different denominations there are some differences. I have nothing against Muslim players or their expression of religion but I find it difficult to understand how Usman Kawaja and SBW can get an exemption from their governing bodies from wearing a sponsors logo because the rules of their religion are in disagreement with that sponsors line of business (the charging of interest by banks in one case and the promotion of consumption of alcohol in another). Yet we have here a player who, at least in some part, has lost his playing contract because of the expression of his personal beliefs (or even just the direct quotation of a religious text).

          There are articles talking about how Folau is stealing money from poor children dying from diseases. That is just illogical. Just think about it for a minute. People didn’t even know that these people were ill and suffering before Folau went on Go Fund Me. People didn’t go to that site, see Israel was looking for some cash and decide to donate – they went there because they heard about it on the morning news or on Alan Jones show and wanted to contribute. So sick and dying children wouldn’t have missed out on any donations because he has gone on there – they were being ignored or were unknown already. In fact, there is a chance, admittedly slim, that people would have discovered other causes that they may also have wanted to donate too.

          Also GoFundMe isn’t just about sick kids etc. There are all sorts of “causes” on there including parents looking for money to raise kids so that their kid can play in a rep team and even one group of soccer players looking for contributions towards their end of season trip. There are even startups and business funding requests.

          I have used GoFundMe before to donate towards treatment of a player who broke his neck playing rugby. As it happens I donate to a few different causes most charitable but some political (most around freedom of speech and expression). I don’t see this donation as any different from the rest.

          Hopefully enough of you have read this far as I wanted to share the reason that I decided to donate in the end. And its this. Note its capital for emphasis not to suggest shouting.

          “I AM ALREADY CONTRIBUTING TO THE LEGAL CASE AGAINST FOLAU”

          AND SO ARE ALL OF YOU

          Whether its through player subs, club memberships etc, tickets to games, the purchase of Wallaby rugby jerseys, caps or scarves – income coming into RA is being spent on their legal defence against Israel’s court action against them. I have no choice as a contributor to RA’s income on whether they spend it on that legal defence. All I can do is withdraw any finances I provide to them – in which case I also remove the money that is going to the work of RA that I agree with (development programmes etc, funding for 7’s programmes, wallabies coaching etc).

          For me, all this started, not with Israel but with the decision of the ARU (at the time) to support one side of the political debate over SSM. (and i also believe this is when it started for Israel). If the the ARU/RA were truly inclusive they would have issues a statement saying that they supported diversity but that they would leave it to the individual members and stakeholders of rugby to make their own decision on how they voted in the plebiscite. Instead they took a side, and by doing so forced me to take one.

          In the last couple of weeks I haven’t commented on the Folau case or kept those comments flippant or attempted to be humorous. Ideally, I would like this issue settled in the courts and I am sick of the news media – most of whom rarely write about rugby – representing only one side of the debate (with the exception of Jones). I was a lot less courageous in the expression of my beliefs than Israel has been but I believe (and the people that are supporting him) are genuine in what they are doing. Having made these comments though, I will continue to use this site to primarily discuss rugby and I won’t instigate a discussion on the issue as I want to leave that to the courts (though I reserve the right to disagree with their final decision). But if the issue is raised by others I won’t duck it.

        • Yowie

          Thanks for laying out your thoughts the way you have just there.

          I suspect that we would not agree with each other on a number of things at the core of the matter, but you have helped me see where you are coming from and I respect that (and I have learned a bit more thanks to your efforts).

        • Andy

          Well said despite the fact I disagree with most of what you believe to be right. And good on you for donating to something you believe in. I have no issues with that.

          Personally, I believe a business should have the right to impose terms on what their employees post publicly especially where that employee is a public figure of the business and his/her comments (religiously motivated or not) effect the reputation of the business. If you don’t like the terms, don’t agree to work for that organisation and take the salary. Find work elsewhere where it’s not an issue.

          If I worked for the Uniting Church and posted stuff publicly that went against the churches beliefs despite agreeing that I would not I certainly believe they should have the right to terminate my employment.

        • MST
      • joy

        Now he has raised 544 junior lawyer hours

    • Hoss

      You had to do it didn’t you.

      I got up, went for a jog – well from my bedroom to the fridge anyway. Had a sensational cuppa Earl Grey, fed the Crimson Rosellas, knocked one back from Mrs Hoss and deferred her to the calendar that has a big Red Cross on a specific November date took in vast litres of crisp Hunter Valley air and felt at one with the universe and thought ‘yep this is goons be a good day, a Folau Free Friday’ – three posts in and whammy, Sherbert strikes.

      Let the shit show begin – I will summarise to save us all time

      Yes he is
      No he’s not
      So your saying
      We’re does it say that
      Well what about Latu
      Fair work
      Alan joyce
      The bible
      No I didn’t
      Guess we’ll just see then

      Yawn.

      • Keith Butler

        Folau the gift that keeps on giving. I’m rapidly moving from can’t be asked to actively disliking someone which is not me. Maybe he non tax paying church can drop him a few bucks if he’s that hard up. What a hypocrite.

        • John Tynan

          As someone pointed out, he is firmly on his own list of the damned as a liar after saying he would simply walk away if it was required.

        • Keith Butler

          Ah but John. He will repent and it’s all ok.

        • John Tynan

          If I’m honest, I’m probably relying on a last minute bid for absolution “just in case”.
          In the meantime though….

        • Andy

          And a shit teammate. Thrown his whole team/s under the bus.

        • Who?

          I do have a laugh at the constant whining about religious institutions (churches, also mosques, temples, synagogues, etc) not paying taxes. You do realize they’re basically treated as not-for-profits, right? There’s no shareholders taking profits out of them, any wages they pay are taxed (just like anyone else). Just like your local Rugby club, and RA. The local club president doesn’t take a cut of the canteen money, and they don’t own the grounds due to their job. Similarly, if a church owns a building, it doesn’t count as equity on the pastor’s mortgage, and they don’t take the building when they retire.
          .
          And being treated as a not-for-profit doesn’t mean there’s necessarily much money coming in. Given Folau’s family (who seem to run that church) used to be Mormons, we’re not talking about an institution like the Catholic Church, which still has reservoirs of gold from antiquity. We’re talking about a smallish gathering of people with a history of maybe 15 years (Folau was still a Mormon back then), which is based in an ethnic demographic that is traditionally not economically secure, let alone strong. Which would’ve paid expenses – staff, accommodation (unlike Rugby clubs, there’s generally no government grants for religious institutions). I can’t see that they’d be sitting on a stash of cash. It’d be illegal to donate through them (and the ATO has noted they’re going to monitor that), and there’s no benefit to donors in donating through them (it’s not tax deductible – churches aren’t charities).
          .
          I’m not saying ‘poor churches’, I’m saying that the system where they’re not taxed isn’t unreasonable, and noting that, compared to other countries (in the US, all donations are tax deductible – not the case here. In the UK, the government grants the church money), it’s not the worst system. Especially when there’s still good in the system – there’s failings, largely historical (and thankfully being prosecuted), but there’s still community benefit. Whether you agree with their beliefs or focuses (and it’s pretty clear the majority don’t), they must have some benefit in order for them still to exist.

        • Dud Roodt

          How about this then – churches can keep their tax free status and we won’t complain about them, as soon as they stop trying to influence government policy

        • Who?

          I don’t think they do a good job at influencing government policy. What’s the last thing you saw done that benefitted a church? I honestly don’t know who’s influencing policy half the time – it seems they find a way to tick off most constituents, stakeholders, companies, etc…
          .
          It’s not like other not-for-profits don’t try to influence government policy. FFA managed to get $45 Million from the federal government so they could donate it to corrupt officials without a snowball’s chance of ever winning hosting rights to a FIFA WC. Both major parties came on board with the Ballymore proposal in the last election, promising $15 Million, even though the QRU doesn’t have 10c to scrape together (had to come up with the smallest figure where we’ve still got denominations to make up the sum!).

        • Brumby Runner

          Ahem. Various euthanasia debates around the country? Majority voters support but mainly individual politicians and religious influence continue to hinder its acceptance. A very good example of why conscience votes should never be allowed in politics.

        • Who?

          Perhaps. But I don’t see that as strictly a religious debate, and a law’s just passed in Victoria. We haven’t seen other laws proposed recently. I don’t believe that churches (because referring to them as a single body is inaccurate – there’s plenty of differences in churches) have as much power as they did even 20 years ago, when the NT laws were overruled.

        • Dud Roodt

          Whether they do or not is immaterial – they do attempt to influence policy continually. They released a statement yesterday on Euthanasia in Victoria opposing it.

        • Who?

          So one church stated their doctrinal position, which they’ve held for a good while. On preservation of life, a significant area of interest over the period of their existence. They have identified their position, but they have no power over those who don’t submit themselves to that authority. We don’t live in a theocracy (thank goodness!).

        • Dud Roodt

          Yes but where this becomes an issue is when they do have power over the person who makes policy decisions. It’s illogical to think that someone who ties so much of their being to their beliefs would go against the wishes of the leader of that belief system.
          In my opinion churches should stay neutral on all government policies. Or they should pay taxes

        • Who?

          So should RA pay taxes..? Because they have political interests in campaigns.
          .
          JFK’s position, also largely demonstrated by Rudd and Morrison (I can’t think of anywhere Morrison’s clearly gone with his faith position over public conscience, with the exception of abstaining on SSM, which isn’t voting against public will, it’s avoiding a conflict), but perhaps not so much by Abbott (thinking RU486), is the correct one.

        • Dud Roodt

          Each and every employee of RA pays taxes which is more than can be said for “employees” of churches. But I would be comfortable with RA paying taxes if every church had to.
          They also have never come out and opposed/condemned a government policy.
          When Morrison went against the wishes of those elected him and who he represents, he went against his job in order to not go against his church/beliefs. In my opinion a clear case of not separating (his)church from state. Same as Abbot.

        • Who?

          Employees of churches have to pay their tax. No question. The minister who succeeded me as club president paid his taxes (both from his work as a minister – full time – and from his businesses). The other pastor who had kid in my team paid his income taxes. He was a full time employee.
          I don’t get why people think those employed by churches don’t pay their taxes?
          .
          In terms of abstaining from a vote, I’ve got no issue with that. Regardless of whether or not I’m in favour of the issue in question. And especially when it won’t impact the outcome. Now, if your electorate voted hard one way on an issue, it didn’t align with your personal convictions, and the vote was going to be tight, then it’s tougher, but when it’s pretty clear the vote’s already decided, and decided in the same direction your electorate prefers (as it was), then I don’t have an issue.

        • Dud Roodt

          Do priests pay taxes? Does Brian Houston pay taxes?

          The Church of England has an investment company with £8.3 billion (sickening, right) and they were found to be investing in companies that were involved in arms dealing?

          The Catholic Church uses some of its vast wealth to hire the most expensive lawyers in the world to defend members of their church who have raped kids.

          The Catholic Church when asked to list it’s assets in Victoria in order for a court to allocate damages for the victims of child molestation, did what all good business do – and gave the value of the property at the time of purchase. In some cases valuing property in the Melbourne CBD at the price it paid for the property in the 1800’s in order to ensure damages were limited. Now, if this was a company that did this, everyone would say “well, that’s what any smart company would do”. But it’s the church. unfortunately, a lot of churches are now run as business and should be taxed accordingly.

          In abstaining in a vote that your electorate wanted you to vote one way or the other, whether it’s a close call or not, you have gone against the wishes of those who employ you and therefore should resign your job as you can’t fulfil your role.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          There’s no tax collectable on a $15,000 per year stipend, so no, priests, like anyone else on $15,000 per year, don’t pay taxes.

          An organisation that doesn’t make profits doesn’t pay taxes either. You can apply company rules to churches if you like, but they still won’t pay taxes, because they will just give any surplus to related charities instead of directly retaining some for their own direct charitable works.

        • Andy

          But they don’t always do that do they. Look at Sanitarium as an example.

          I have no issue with religious institutions have a income tax exemptions if it was clear all their profits were going to charitable causes. That’s a very noble act in itself and provides great benefit to the community that governments may not. But this information has to be disclosed which it often isn’t.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I just looked at Sanitarium. It seems that all profits end up for charitable purposes and this is why they pay no tax. If their profits were taxed they would just donate it instead so that their were no profits to tax anyway.

          All religions have to register as charities to recieve the status that they have. They are subject to the audits and tax controls of charities.

        • Andy

          Of course they say this in their website but that’s the issue. It’s very Grey where their profits are going. It’s not been made clear hence why it’s been an issue in the past

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Grey to who? The ATO regulates religions’ taxes according to their charitable registration. It’s the same as any charity. For tax purposes they either meet their charitable obligations or get taxed.

          I presume some of these organisations have public annual reports and some don’t. If you aren’t comfortable with what they do don’t donate (or eat their weetbix).

          I’m sure that some people don’t like tax free money going to the Australian Rugby Foundation. They’d see it as funding people to run into other people, and not worthy of charitable status.

          There maybe a case that charities in general aren’t regulated enough, and I would expect that the non religious ones would be generally as problematic as the religious ones. But it’s not seen as such a scandle as when a religion is in the news.

        • Andy

          Grey enough for bills to be introduced to parliament ect….. They essentially donate all their money to the SDAC which is then spent however they wish to spend it, whether that be on spreading the gospel or donating to charities.

          And I’m not trying to get in a back and forth with you on this. Like I said above I have no issue with this practice as long as it’s done properly which in the case of these guys has been done legally but not necessarily “in the spirit of things”.

          And you’re probably correct on your last point. Churches will always get a harder time over this stuff than say the Shane Warne foundation but that kind of goes with the territory.

        • The Church of England owns a HUGE amount of real estate – it owns all those churches, cathedrals, minsters and so on, and a fair few former abbeys etc, in every town, city, village and so on in England, some in Wales and even a few in Scotland (although the Church of Scotland, and some other kirks own some up there, the Church of Wales has some in Wales too). It has owned them since the first half of the 16th Century.

          If you owned, but some estimates 1/3 of the land in England and you had done so for 500 years, give or take, AND for roughly 400 years you’d had a fair proportion of the population making bequests to you on their death, you’d be a pretty wealthy organisation. A lot of the things its done with its wealth are objectionable in the extreme. But the fact it has an investment fund with that kind of money is really not that surprising.

        • Who?

          I’m confident that Brian Houston has to pay his taxes. I’d imagine that most of his income is from book sales (not from giving at his churches – that seems to be a common thing amongst mega-church pastors), and whatever publishing house prints them would have to be a Pty Ltd company.
          Priests are a more interesting one. Given many of them live in church-provided housing (a clear Fringe Benefit), I’d imagine that a goodly number of them exist on rather low incomes. Maybe that’s one to ask someone like Father Bob McGuire? I’d imagine he’d be pretty open about that. He doesn’t seem afraid to speak up about anything.
          .
          But let’s remember, most local churches are small organisations that don’t have much money. Their employees don’t get paid big money, the churches don’t have much money, they make do with what they’ve got. My town, I think there’s about 70 churches. At a guess, looking at the sizes of venues, maybe half of those churches have a pastor who is paid full time wages (and the vast majority of pastors are still required to have tertiary qualifications in theology). Maybe a quarter of them meet in venues they don’t own, where they have to set up and pull down everything they use each week. I knew a bloke who was officially a pastor (AOG, like Folau’s dad), who was also a part time employee at the local sports facility, and took whatever shifts he could at the local servo. Hardly a lucrative-sounding existence.
          .
          The C of E has existed for 500 years. I’d imagine their £8.3B fund has been accumulated through that whole time, and is used to secure their financial position. I don’t imagine many of their churches are running with an operating surplus at present. But I’d imagine that, for those who are part of their work, they’re crucial. It’s the same as your local Rugby club being legal to make a profit, but, being a not-for-profit, those funds aren’t disbursed to anyone, they’re supposed to be used to further its own work and/or to secure its future existence. When I was running my club, we turned around a $5k annual operating loss to a $10k operating profit. Which meant our future was then a little more secure, and we could look at investing in new equipment. I’m a member of a car club. We’ve got under 200 members. That car club has more assets than – at a guess – 80% of the churches in my region. Including a significant term deposit. Is that right – should it be permitted? Or should finances be held in case of emergency a bad thing. Is a church doing the same thing any different? Bear in mind, the existence of the car club is facilitating the unnecessary emission of greenhouse gases.
          In terms of the ethics of its investing, there’s definite questions to be asked about the C of E’s investments.
          .
          The Catholic Church is an organization that’s existed for longer than any other organized body still in existence. It’s no surprise it has a history of working around other forms of power. Especially in countries under laws that have traditionally discriminated against them (300 years of (initially understandable) discrimination after the English Reformation). That doesn’t justify its actions – far from it. But it might make its regularly defensive position more understood.
          .
          Would you hold the same position if Ed Husic (as a Muslim) had decided to abstain from voting on the SSM bill? Or would you force him to act against conscience, if he felt that way? What about if your electorate voted for you, but the majority position on one of your policies wasn’t the majority position of your electorate – they voted on other issues? There’s greater issues of character, to my mind, than whether or not you’re willing to cross your own conscience to vote in an issue.
          Should my MP be sacked? My electorate voted no in the plebiscite. He voted yes. No one’s given him a hard time about that. And I’m happy about that.

        • Dud Roodt

          Do priests pay taxes? Does Brian Houston pay taxes?

          The Church of England has an investment company with £8.3 billion (sickening, right) and they were found to be investing in companies that were involved in arms dealing?

          The Catholic Church uses some of its vast wealth to hire the most expensive lawyers in the world to defend members of their church who have raped kids.

          The Catholic Church when asked to list it’s assets in Victoria in order for a court to allocate damages for the victims of child molestation, did what all good business do – and gave the value of the property at the time of purchase. In some cases valuing property in the Melbourne CBD at the price it paid for the property in the 1800’s in order to ensure damages were limited. Now, if this was a company that did this, everyone would say “well, that’s what any smart company would do”. But it’s the church. unfortunately, a lot of churches are now run as business and should be taxed accordingly.

          In abstaining in a vote that your electorate wanted you to vote one way or the other, whether it’s a close call or not, you have gone against the wishes of those who employ you and therefore should resign your job as you can’t fulfil your role.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Lol they certainly would come out with opinions if they were made to pay taxes…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Hek I’d argue Governments have nearly ALL the power! It’s them that allow religious orgs to function, as they mostly help keep communities schooled about basic principles that societies need to run smooth! Just read an article where in Russia the government up and declared the Jehovah’s Witnesses a “terrorist org” and swept up all their land n buildings! All because the govco wants to restrict certain christian ideals out growing the national churches…… so they targeted the JWs knowing others would back out but at the same time not angering any big American orgs!

        • Dud Roodt

          As BR mentions – they have attempted to influence government policy there. They also heavily implied who their supporters should vote for in the last election.

        • Who?

          I don’t believe that implying party preferences is new or necessarily effective. We’re not the US. I actually think the letters that went to parents of private school kids (a greater percentage of the population than would’ve heard anything inside church walls) was probably more effective. If Mr Shorten had replied…

        • Dud Roodt

          I know it’s not as insane here as it is in the US, but there would still be a fair few people who think the word of their priest/reverend is worth more than the word of others and would have taken advice on who they should vote for.

        • Who?

          But does that make them any more uneducated than, say, the woman who on election day was asked about who she was voting for, railed against the person she was voting against, and then spouted off all the policies that person was going to oppose – which were actually the candidate’s policies?! She was voting against the candidate with the policies she wanted. And it was so wide ranging that no one could accuse her of being misled by a scare campaign – she was just clueless. And given how many had no idea who ScoMo was, and even how many struggled to know who Bill was, it’s very arguable that following a pastor/priest/vicar’s advice is no worse than any other source.

        • Dud Roodt

          Well in my opinion it is as I don’t think religion should have any sway over the politics of this nation. Of course there are a huge number of ill-informed or downright stupid voters, but as a secular society I don’t believe religion has place in parliament house.
          It shocks me still that politicians recite the lord’s prayer before the sitting season starts.

        • Who?

          I’m completely in favour of separation of church and state. Yanks go on about how good it is, then make themselves complete hypocrites in how they behave. It’s interesting that Buttegieg (sic) is trying to win over the Christian left, pointing out that no party has a monopoly on faith and patriotism. He’s correct.
          .
          I’ve got less of an issue with religious organizations – any of them – trying to have an influence on social values and moral issuesi n politics than companies. I don’t have an issue with companies trying to influence employment law and economic policies (we’ve discussed my opposition to them having a voice in non-core areas before). If a church was trying to tell us we couldn’t have public health services (in general – I’m not referring to areas where they see moral hazard around sanctity of life, which is common across all religions), say, because it was socialist, I’d have an issue. If a mosque said we couldn’t trade with India because they are at war with Pakistan, I’d have issue. But on areas where it directly touches their chief area of focus, or inhibits their capacity to operate, I’ve got no issue.
          .
          That said, I do have significant issue with impeding justice, in any faith group.

        • Keith Butler

          I suppose I was asking for that so fair play. I do find it slightly ironic that someone who was earning allegedly over $1m per year feels the need to go begging for money.

        • Yowie

          Perhaps a TV charity appeal is in order? Example:-

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

        • Who?

          Completely agree about it looking horrible for a bloke who was on such big money to be asking for money. :-)

        • This isn’t really the place for a long debate about religion and cultural institutions. And actually I think there is some good being done and some of it in places that other people complain about. Bishops holding the government to account (or trying to) for their policies that make people homeless and in poverty and making them use food banks more often is a great example of non-elected political power being used as exactly the kind of thing it should be used for IMO.

          That aside, I’m not really advocating for churches to be banned but I wonder whether they have a measurable benefit or if they exist because of habit, cultural inertia if you like. And if there are benefits, for some at least, do they outweigh the undoubted costs?

        • Who?

          I agree with all of that. I think that, in Australia, we have an ok balance. We treat them the same way we treat any other not-for-profit. Like Rugby clubs. We don’t fund them (like the UK), we don’t give tax deductions for donations to them (which makes them more powerful in the US, where tax write-offs are king). Most churches in Australia aren’t flush with cash.
          .
          In terms of measurable benefit, I think that, like most not-for-profits, that varies from local church to local church. Undoubtedly there’d be cultural inertia (great term), where others are growing. Some are very externally focused (I know of one particular group in my area who are always on the news, looking for another means to fund their ongoing work in a particular disadvantaged group in my community), others might just be the equivalent of a Men’s Shed or the CWA. I don’t think any of them are of no value at all, but clearly some will have a broader impact than others.
          .
          If you’re talking about costs, what might they be? Lack of tax on income that is largely already taxed (i.e. it’s donations on taxable income from individuals), that is largely handed on to employees, who are taxed? If they didn’t spend the money as donations, there’s no guarantee that they’d be any more direct in creating employment for others, or that the cash would end up taxed at a higher rate. I honestly think the lack of tax take might be a bit overblown. Especially when you consider that the outcome of not having religious institutions would be that some communities would lose cohesion, seeing increased loneliness (we don’t have a minister for that here – yet), and requiring increased mental health support. Or, best case scenario, people would jump into some other similar not-for-profit, and the final financial stays the same as present. Maybe that would benefit some Rugby clubs, but I can’t guarantee that anyone would want that extra heartache…

        • Well, pertinent to this overall discussion, one Mr. Folau thinks his religion tells him it’s ok to tell me I’m going to hell. (A number of other adherents to his nominal religion disagree.) That’s a cost that’s hard to quantify and resulted in me raising a couple of fingers in his direction. But I’m a tough old broad. If I were 35-40 years younger – I went through some pretty dark times. It’s hard to think back to then from now, but one LGBTQ+ kid committing suicide and putting Izzy in their note… that’s an appreciable cost.

          Someone that loosely claimed to be an adherent of the same religion shot a load of worshippers of a different Abrahamic religion in Christchurch not all that long ago. Distinct cost of religion in the broader sense, in today’s world. You can argue, I might even agree, he’s loosely a nut job (although not insane in the legal sense) and would have found other “inspiration” for his acts but he has cited religion as the basis for them.

          RA has taken out an insurance policy against the possible $10M claim that Folau has lodged against them, and is going to have some large legal fees. I don’t think the decision to take out the insurance policy is the wrong one in the circumstances, and they don’t have much choice about the legal fees, but I’d rather they were spending the money elsewhere – on rugby in Australia for example.

          The bible tells us, if you read it like Izzy, that man is given dominion over the Earth. Certain nut jobs – I’m using the term as advisedly as above – use that to found a religious objection to doing anything about climate change. One of them is VPOTUS. Likewise they use them to say all life is sacred, and a group of white-haired (and white-skinned) men try to deny women the right to abortion in the name of God.

          I could keep going… Churches in Australia, a lot of churches on a local level do a lot more good than wrong. But any organisation, at any size, has costs. You say, rightly, people might be lonelier, but if you organised the people who go to church to spend that time going to every house down their street and getting to know all their neighbours, clean their gutters, mow their lawns, do joint DIY projects or whatever (OK maybe not Hoss, BL and KRL – are they all the ex-Army types that might shoot them? :D) rather than singing hymns… maybe the world would be better off? It would certainly be different.

        • Who?

          I get that teenagers have a rough old time with what Folau said. I have a niece who lost her relationship with her now deceased grandmother (it wasn’t restored) over her grandmother’s naïve insensitivity to the motivation behind questions the niece raised as a teenager (immediately before putting rainbows all over her (the niece) Facebook page, before having multiple boyfriends – without pressure from anyone at home – over the next 7 years, before suddenly having rainbows all over her FB this (pride) month). And that’s only one story. A significant part of the problem with Folau’s statements is that they’re broadcast. He’s saying they come from a place of love, and I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt on that. But how do you express that love and concern for personal welfare at a distance? I don’t think many – even those who might hold similar theology and beliefs as him – would think that it’s anything like helpful for anyone.
          Another part of it would likely be that he comes from a position (a common historical position) that acting on sexual impulses is the sin, not having the impulses (just as it’s a sin to be an adulterer, but human to notice other people). Which is why you still see ‘pray the gay away’ camps – it’s to work out how to get away from the impulses. In that world, sexuality is an act, not a definition. Whereas, for the majority in the LGBTIQ+ community, it seems that sexuality has come to define them as people. I get it, but it’s maybe not ideal. In that someone can’t just be a comedian, they’ve got to be a gay comedian. And the labelling, I look forward to a day when we don’t need it (when we can just have comedians who happen to be gay, straight, male, female, rather than gay comedians, straight comedians, female comedians, etc). I understand we still do need it, because it does help those who need role models, people they can point at and say, “I can be a successful, functioning human, just like that person.” In the same way that there was much attention to the arrival of Black Panther (a superhero who looks like me! For all the non-white kids) and Fat Thor (for all us overweight men!). But it’ll be great when we stop boxing people.
          .
          A bloke who says, “I’ll see you in Valhalla,” before killing a heap of people whilst expecting to be killed himself most likely doesn’t affiliate himself with a church… More a race than a religion.
          .
          RA is intelligent to take out their insurance. They also do it at RWC’s, in case they win and have to pay out players cash they don’t have. In terms of spending the money more intelligently, well, it’s hardly the first example of waste…
          .
          I believe that religion being used to deny climate change is more about politics using the church than the church using politics. I don’t see how even being said to have dominion over the earth means climate change can’t happen. Arguably, it means, “Look after the earth,” take care of it, use it but don’t abuse it. So to claim it means, “the climate can’t change,” is rubbish.
          Sanctity of life is a fascinating one, because it’s one that is common across all religions. And that philosophy of the sanctity of life has done a lot of good things for us over the past 3,000 odd years. It’s meant we’ve treated each other better than previously. But we live in very different times to the past, and the extreme hardline views espoused by minorities who happen to be in power elsewhere… No compassion. How can you make it completely illegal, even for rape, incest, etc? There’s arguments that we shouldn’t have to pay for contraceptive laziness (because by the time it’s surgical, there’s lots of chearp options that have been ignored), but legislating morality is never effective or right.
          But these issues are hardly unusual, because it’s common for humanity to take concepts and extend them. To take, “The Jew(ish leadership at the time) gave Jesus to the Romans to be killed,” and turn it into the anti-Semitic “All Jews are Christ-killers!” Without fact-checking the statement (Jews weren’t permitted to kill people in the Roman Empire), and with reflecting that, without Christ being killed, then Christianity doesn’t happen.
          .
          .
          .
          Your last paragraph is arguably the most interesting one. Doing DIY instead of singing hymns? At the moment, there’s a movement that’s creating ‘pub choirs’. Where people go to a pub in order to have a sing-a-long (not kumbaya or whatever the old campfire song was, more 70’s/80’s/90’s pub rock songs, I think). Communal singing has a long history, not so much in Australia. But miners used to sing together, it was used as a rite of passage for teenage boys to join the ‘men’ singing (after their voices broke). Communal music is a big deal.
          But in terms of finding other ways to volunteer and build community? It doesn’t work. And I say that from experience.
          When I was president of my (then) local Rugby club, we had some ‘old school’ volunteers. Largely country folk. They would complain and whine about how no one would come and help with volunteer roles. Almost no one was ever willing to hang around after their kids had finished playing. Instead, in this accelerating world, people would then find other things. I look back, and it seems that, 50 years ago, at least 50 years ago in country towns, all day Saturday would be spent at the sporting club, and most of Sunday would be spent at the church. Everything else mostly got done (housework, etc, largely because mum would stay home while dad went to work – non-nuclear families were very rare, not saying that was right, just how it was). At the weekend events (church or sport), the parents would go to their friend groups and do their jobs (women working way harder, dads doing not much! Kids disappearing until they were called to go home.). Now, we’ve got two parents working full time and beyond, kids with multiple commitments… No one’s got much time. Especially in lower to middle class regions. And if people have time, they might clean their own gutters, not someone else’s. They’re more likely to try and renovate, to increase the value of their home and move. So many neighbourhoods are places where people don’t know their neighbours. There’s little sense of community through geography.
          It seems to me that we’re in a time of disconnection, and we can’t afford to lose any sense of connection, any place where community happens. Be it a sporting club, a religious gathering, or a men’s shed. Because those things are really hard to build.

        • I would argue that for many people in the LGBTQIA+ community their sexuality is not what defines them, at least not at all stages of their life. I suspect most of the people here didn’t know it’s how I identify for example, or not until yesterday. There are definitely people for whom that’s not true, and times in your life when that’s not true. But then, from observation, for a lot of teens and young twenties men, being heterosexual is kind of what defines them – to put it somewhat crudely they want to get laid as often as possible. There are an approximately equal number of heterosexual women meeting that need presumably. That doesn’t raise eyebrows because it’s the majority behaviour and our parents did something similar at that age, so did theirs. In the last n-years (where n depends on the country in which you live) it’s become more and more common and acceptable for it to not just be a young man and a young woman, but be two men or two women.

          I didn’t say it fundamentalists, a subset of them anyway, take the line about having dominion over the Earth, didn’t mean climate change doesn’t exist, I say they take to mean to they don’t have to do anything about it. I think it comes from the intersection of politics and religion, but I was asked about the costs as I see them of religion, and while that intersection produces some benefits, as I’d already said, it produces some costs too.

          I think sanctity of life is quite interesting to debate, but again this isn’t the right place. I agree, it’s led to some improvements for the human condition over the years, but it’s had some huge costs too. I’ll give you just one more: man is created in God’s image, so it was illegal to study anatomy by dissecting bodies. No idea how long that delayed the advancement of medicine by…

          None of these things are clear cut. Every facet has an up and a downside.

          I don’t think rugby clubs are the right venue to organise the voluntary work. I’m sure there’s a cross-over between the people that go to church and the people that go to the local rugby club, although again that will vary with location. I was thinking more of a different organisation to replace the church, not it being something the rugby clubs should do. And while it’s entirely possible to sing and work, it’s just more likely I undervalue the effects of singing – if you’d ever heard me “sing” you’d appreciate why I took up the sax!

        • Who?

          I reckon there’s no one else reading here, Eloise. It’s almost a private chat at this point (and a good one – usually is with you). :-)
          .
          I agree that, for many in the LGBTIQA+ community, it’s likely their sexuality doesn’t define them. I say likely, because I’m willing to admit I don’t know everything in these areas. I’m from a country region that voted no in the SSM plebiscite. I don’t know that many people who identify as LGBQ (I don’t know any who identify as TIA+). I get what you’re saying about (many) straight people being defined by their sexuality, my point of difference is that they just live it, rather than identifying and living it. It’ll be great when people in the LGBTIQA+ community don’t feel a need to identify it as well as being able to live it. When it’s not an obligation to ‘come out’.
          .
          True – you didn’t say those people don’t think climate change exists. But many of them do believe that… As a cost of religion, I see it as an issue of politics controlling religion, more than vice versa. Many would see my view on Northern Ireland as wrong, but I see the Troubles there also being political (I’d say ethnic, but the reality is that Scotland – and the protestants identify themselves as Ulster-Scots – Scotland is mixed ethnic heritage with much Irish in there, reflected in the title ‘Scotland’ – ‘Scot’ is the old Roman term for Irish!), rather than religious (because religion was the simple means of differentiating with which group you happened to be affiliated. Native Irish being predominantly Catholic, imported Scots being deliberately Protestant). Religion is used as a carrier for political positions, even though there’s no basis in the religion for what is carried.
          .
          Sanctity of life, great point about dissecting non-living humans not being permissible. Which is interesting (they’re not living, who cares? A better reason is that we don’t want to spread whatever mystery ailment it was that killed them, back in the days of miasmas and the like). At the same time, I read a story of a second century Jewish Rabbi who was walking down a road. He saw an ugly, beaten homeless man, and didn’t help him. Later, he felt immense guilt over it, and came back to help the man. After he’d done what was needed, he apologised, saying, “I saw your woe, but failed to see that you were made in the image of God.” Like you say, they’re not clear cut, but I believe they’re best held in tension against each other. And very healthy to discuss.
          .
          Volunteering, I was using the local Rugby Club as an alternative place for community and connection. Because the best clubs feel like family, in the same way that churches are supposed to be a family. Not advocating that it should be the default. Reality is, as Jeremy Clarkson once said, “Owning the same car as someone else doesn’t mean I share anything else in common with them.” Enjoying the same sport doesn’t mean that two people will see eye to eye on anything else. We all have different preferences, and fit best in different social circumstances. It’s why my town/city has a church for roughly every 1700 people (even though most of them would have under 100 people in the church).
          Singing? Yeah, I don’t do that in public…… And not every pub does pub choirs. But for some (many – especially in the UK), it seems to be important. I’ll stick with keys and guitar.
          .
          Is the reno still coming together for you?

        • I’m pretty sure you’re right it’s just us now.

          I kind of agree with what you mean about a queer identity (it’s an umbrella term not everyone likes, but there’s a long history that I’ve lived with and I’m going to use it) being something that you live and identify with. I think, perhaps, that’s because while it’s not a choice to be whatever flavour of queer you are, it’s a choice to express it. Perhaps the best analogy is one of these two – if you choose your sports team to support, and support the same side as everyone else down your street and in your family, no one notices. If you support “the other side” (where I’ve just moved to, that would be Sunderland and Newcastle) it’s suddenly a big thing. The alternative example I was thinking of was a teenage rebellion. That’s usually more deliberate but you suddenly stand out against your parents (in particular) although you may fit in closely with a particular crowd. (And if you get the timing wrong as parents have children older, you may rebel in exactly the same way they did, goth parents and emo children was a thing in the UK.) But the point with both of these examples, in other places, other situations, these groups wouldn’t stand out. A Sunderland fan in Sunderland rather than Newcastle, A Rebels fan in Melbourne rather than Queensland and so on don’t stand out. Put an Emo teen in a crowd of goths and emo kids rather than a suburban street and they fit right in. Someone whose just come out and is experience all that being a lesbian in the big city has to offer a young woman who visits a small, anti-SSM community stands out like a sore thumb. Give her 10 years to settle down, find a long term partner, get a mortgage together and all those fun things and you might think differently about how she identifies. You might not in this case, but that’s my experience, unless she becomes an activist. That identity remains because, as the psychologists would have it, it’s self-actualised (you take the label and apply it deliberately, rather than just growing up with it and accepting it like straight people do) but it’s not shiny and new and it just becomes part of you, not the biggest part of you.

          I like your Rabbi example. To come back, I think there are non-religious frameworks like humanism that have a sanctity for life and things that are usually treated as religions such as Taoism which in their strictest forms don’t have a particular regard for human life, although Confucianism and many of the sects of Taoism actually disregard that central tenet. Shinto doesn’t place human life above other forms particularly as I understand it either, although I’m not a particular student of Shinto.

          We have a date for the bathroom to be installed. While we’re both reasonable competent at DIY tasks, plumbing in a toilet is something I’d rather be 100% sure is done right and a walk-in shower is a job that’s just a bit too big for us.

        • Who?

          I wrote a long reply, but I’ve lost it… Summary is:
          .
          I understand. And I agree. I get it. I just look forward to a day when people don’t feel they’re constantly fighting against the tide. Where they don’t have to go to self defence mechanisms and block people out. That they can recognise there’s more safe spaces than ever before.
          .
          I do enjoy hearing when people go to tell their parents things they think will shock their parents, only to have the parent reply with, “Yeah, we knew years ago. So?” As if being gay (or whatever else it is – being emo, etc) is nothing, and clearly showing that it changes nothing in how the person’s valued. I do wish that were a more regular story. I think it’s becoming a more common experience.
          .
          I also like stories like Mayor Pete Buttigieg’s coming out in public story. Mayor of his town, thought, “I want to start dating, I better tell people,” mainly out of courtesy, to remove any shock. He did it in the lead up to a campaign, and his vote was unchanged (well, given he got 80% of the vote, he may actually have increased his vote). They didn’t care about that, they just cared about his record. Because character’s not determined by attraction.
          .
          I’ve not studied Taoism or Shinto, so it’s interesting to read that they’re not nearly as concerned about the sanctity of life. I guess you can be that way when you’ve got so many adherents? Whereas the Abrahamic religions all have a history of being tied to rather small and vulnerable groups, where survival of the tribe was crucial, and was the only way the faith itself would also survive. The story of Abraham is all about his struggle for an heir – that’s got to have a hangover. No heirs, no Abrahamic religions.
          In fact, I’ve pondered whether perhaps the prohibitions on homosexuality are also tied to the sanctity of life. There’s stories where some Greek men, at the age of marriage, weren’t keen on putting away their young men. If you’ve got life expectancy of 40, high child mortality and no artificial insemination, etc, then it’s arguable that you can’t afford the ‘distraction’ of actions that don’t lead to children. It’s a thought. Also worth noting the power imbalance of the day, where it’s prohibited for a man to lie with a man, but there’s no consideration of a woman with a woman. Not mentioned, technically not banned..?
          .
          Great to hear you’ve got the bathroom all scheduled in! I didn’t do my own plumbing when I did the ensuite. I think it’s achievable, but I didn’t want to warrant my own work, and I think you’re required to be certified. You’re also required to be certified for waterproofing in Qld, so I didn’t do that, either. But I did my tiling. Would’ve been much quicker to pay someone else, but I did ok. Mostly. I think! My wife may disagree…
          It’ll just be nice when it’s all done. I’ve still got another bathroom over my head (it’s functional, but not nice). One day (maybe when I don’t spend heaps of time online! Not really… It’s a month long job for me).

        • Attitudes towards being LGBTQIA+ have changed in my lifetime, have changed in the last 10 years even. I’m not sure where we’ll be in another 10 or 20 years – in a better place as the Trump’s and Pence’s of this world simply die of old age I think, and the Folau’s get ignored, or just barred from polite society. I’m not a Christian, but when you see pastors in Australia standing up and say “Folau is just wrong” it warms the cockles of the heart.

          The sad thing is, at the moment, it’s pulling rugby onto the front pages, here in the UK, for all the wrong reasons.

          I do hope we move to a place where, broadly speaking, it’s just accepted and normal, and I think we will. But I don’t think it will ever be 100% normal. I think teen rebellion, the desire to shock your parents, explore who you are by rebelling against them, is probably part of human growing up. Even in quite repressive regimes you see it, just not in quite the same ways as you see it in the West. And, of course, for a lot of people sexuality becomes an active thing at the same time. So I think in a teen who realises they’re queer, they’ll want to try and shock straight old mum and dad because it’s a point of difference, a place to assert their own identity, in the same way as teen (try to) listen to loud music their parents don’t like and so on.

          I’m less sure in the case of Shinto, but I think as an animist religion it doesn’t value human life as something special, whereas all the Abrahamic religions have that “man is created in God’s image” line. In the case of Taoism, the stricter forms adhere to the philosophy that the world (or the universe, you can read it either way), began with intention, divided into the taiji (the yin-yang symbol’s proper name), then the five elements, and from the interaction between them, the “10,000 things arose.” Ten thousand things is one of those special counting words (its direct translation should be myriad most of the time, which at root means 10,000 too in fact) and it’s a poetic form that broadly means “all life” or “everything we see.” Humans are a part of that but a taoist philosopher will tell you to wait and watch, and act when the time is right – they would regard a thunderstorm as part of the “energetic life” of the world too for example and ask someone who asserted they had dominion over the earth exactly how the ruled the thunderstorms, the tornados and so on… Confucianism is a kind of parallel religious framework that doesn’t quite put humans at the centre, but has a lot of add ons for humans, to justify the rule of the Emperor, the rule of the aristocracy, and the rule of the head of the family. If you poke (at all really) you can see the joins. However, it takes what can be a very remote, supremely complex paradoxical philosophy almost more than a religion, and applies comfy padding so that it fits into everyday life. I suspect it’s like the difference between being a medieval friar in one of the elite orders, a Dominican or a Franciscan say, and just a regular church-goer who would regard themselves as devout but probably still needed the priest to lead them in prayers every week.

          Large populations may make a difference – religion is a product of the culture after all – but there are some quite big differences in the starting point that get to very different end points too.

        • Greg

          I am just wondering if my gofundme donation will be tax deductible?

      • Custard Taht

        I would only add;

        It’s the Vibe
        It is the constitution
        F3, I fucking cleared F3.

        • Hoss

          I use the F3 line everyday – gold.

        • Custard Taht

          One of my all time favorite lines…that and the Faruq llne, in Lebanon we put bomb under car and blow it to fucking sky

    • Keith Butler

      Well boo fucking hoo Izzy.

    • John Tynan

      The guy on $1.2M a year (or more?) wants me to crowdfund his bid to take my U-15’s subs money to tip into his $10M hate fund?
      The lord truly does work in mysterious ways….

      • Keith Butler

        Maybe he can pray for some manna from heaven.

        • John Tynan

          I’d be happy with some manners.

      • Parker

        Sums it up perfectly. Socialism is only acceptable when it favours only the wealthy.

      • Cunning Linguist

        Yep, i’m a devout Christian and when i read that Folau was hitting up the average Joe for the coin to pursue his own personal workplace dismissal case i was appalled. In the words of Derryn Hinch: “Shame, shame…shame”.

        • John Tynan

          I get that he believes it, I can also accept that he believes he is doing it “from a place of love” (but not understand!).

          I also (despite far from being a devout christian!) don’t think he should have been sacked over it.

          However, quoting a meme based on 1500 year old scripture doesn’t make it any more right and only slightly more justifiable than quoting Mein Kampf.

          Regardless, it seems the counsel he is recieving is leading him into a place where he is “losing the middle” and I think it will be his undoing that he is taking such a hard line and not demonstrating his own request for tolerance through his actions, or indeed backing up his previous words (that he would walk away) with his current actions.

      • Keith Butler

        Plus a Lamborghini, a $2m house and a $1m investment property. I do not begrudge any of these because the life of a professional athlete can be over in a second. However, to ask for others to contribute to his legal fees in rank hypocrisy.

    • joy

      How much did you chip in?
      In other news which wont please bloggers, McKellar has named a backrow of Pete Samu, Tom Cusack and Rob Valetini for the Super Rugby quarter-final. McCaffrey and Brown benched.

      • Bernie Chan

        Jeez…McCaffrey…that’s a bit of a surprise..

        • Hoss

          Dont mind it Mr Chan. The Dutch Dirt Diggers are going to go route 1 from the kick-off and between The Other Samu, TC & The Granite they will tackle all nite. McCaff with 30 to go when Saffas tire and game a bit more open.

          Go the ponies.

        • Keith Butler

          Hope isn’t Like the Ponies/Sharks game a few years back. They were 1 and 2 on the ladder and playing great attacking rugby but it turned out to be a kicking festival. Someone counted over 50 kicks per side. Did a disservice to the word boring.

        • Hoss

          The Beast being out for the Shorks is a win for the Ponies. Like all games but, gotta win the battle up front first.

          I am liking the Ponies for this and if – a big if – they can avoid a trip to FISMville i like em to go deep into the finals – real deep.

        • Keith Butler

          Hope the Ponies make the final. Failing that i’ll Have to go with my NZ team the Canes, which will please KRL.

        • Hoss

          Just when i thought you were one of us, ‘whack’ right to the forehead. i am jolted awake again.

          failing the Ponies anyone but the Saders will do me. We all know how good they are, but fuck me it still makes me a bit jaded.

        • Keith Butler

          ?. Got to support an Aussie team and as the Ponies are the last turkey in the shop it has to be them. Hell would freeze over before I supported the Saders and I do like the way the Canes play.

        • Hoss

          Shes our queen too.

        • Geoffro

          As a second team to root for I’m well satisfied.After all the ACT is really just part of NSW isnt it.Bit like a fenced off paddock where they put the cattle which are a bit quirky.

        • Hoss

          Love your thinking mate. yes, ACT is Cenral South NSW, like Dragon & Crowded House are Australian.

        • Who?

          A couple of the guys in Crowded House claimed it was American, after the passing of Hester. The old, “One Kiwi, two Aussies” argument counted against us, as they got an American drummer and had the existing American backing singer/guitarist/keys player… :-
          So we’ll just have to rely on the good old, “They were formed here (in Melbourne)” argument. Even though it’s a bit irrelevant now, given Neil’s playing with Fleetwood Mac.

        • Hoss

          So what you’re saying mate – is that Fleetwood Mac are Australian also, well, bugger me (note to Izzy – its just an expression not an act)

        • Who?

          Hadn’t thought of it that way! So now we can claim Rumours and anything else that might be considered worthy as Aussie albums, and able to be played on ‘Straya Day?!

        • juswal

          Heard their new track? ‘You Can Go Your Own Way, But You Better Be Home Soon’

        • Who?

          Looked on YouTube, they still appear to do them separately.
          But very nicely done mate. :-)
          .
          Neil, when interviewed (I think last year by Andrew Denton after signing up, before touring) was bemusedly saying that they were telling him that they wanted to write new stuff….

    • Dud Roodt

      Folau is fuckin’ kidding himself isn’t he?

      Asking his happy clapper mates to chip in their own money to a multi millionaire athlete to fight against being dismissed for breaking his contract.

      I might donate 1c. can we still donate that amount?

      • Bernie Chan

        “A fool and his money are soon parted…”. Don’t do it mate…

        • Dud Roodt

          Alright, you’ve convinced me.

          I was this close to pressing “donate” too!

        • Yowie

          If you can make up your own name as donor that could have been fun.

          Eg “Manlove 4Eva”

        • Dud Roodt

          “Gays4Folau”

    • Bernie Chan

      Wonder who is “advising” the guy…one of his highly paid lawyers? Seriously…who thought it was a good idea to ask for crowdfunding to sue RA for $millions?
      Asking for $3million…after saying he would happily walk away if his presence was damaging…! I’d only be curious to see what demographic thinks this is a good idea.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Well for starters his “walking away” statement needs to be put into context! Context that is hardly used sadly!
        That statement refeted to the I initial controversy only! But some love to rehash it as if nothing ever changes….. because “headline”

    • Who?

      Have to admit I was surprised to see it (wasn’t going to post it – didn’t want to ruin another day of ‘IFF’ Days, as poster Greg had tracked on here previously).
      Terrible idea to go crowdfunding that sort of thing. Reads terribly. “Give me money to help fund my fight to make money.”
      It also contradicts what Alan Jones was saying. I’m wondering if the lack of recent air time is hurting his capacity to maintain the rage amongst those who were on board for the free speech/freedom of religious expression argument?

    • Greg

      Despite saying often that we should focus on rugby and not Mr Folau…. here goes….

      He can have whatever religion he wants.

      That doesn’t relieve him of an obligation to meet his employers behaviour expectations and doesn’t give him a right to put others at risk.

      But what does he believe and who is advising him?

      1. He said he would walk away from the game last year if he was affecting the game “that I was hurting Rugby Australia, its sponsors and the Australian rugby community to such a degree that things couldn’t be worked through – I would walk away from my contract, immediately”
      2. Now he says he will go to the high court and wants someone else to pay the bill. “There is every chance that a prominent test case like this could take years and eventually end up in the High Court of Australia.

      1) and 2) cannot both be true.

      Honestly, I wonder if the whole exercise is simply to fund operation and expansion of his father’s business.

      We have challenges enough in Australian Rugby. This guy is not helping anyone except himself.

      I am over him.

      • Hoss

        In the interest of balance, before converting to Islam last week (its starting to wear thin by the way, i love pork) i went to said Church and attended a sermon to balance my decision.

        It was hard to find and the name needs some work. ‘Fundamentalist Unique Christian Kinship Worshipping in the suburbs’ – it doesn’t sit well, there’s just something about it.

        Anyhow, this time next week i have enrolled in Scientology crash course – see how that pans out.

        I like shopping religions, there’s something for everyone

        • Yowie

          At least the Scientology view on being gay (and famous) seems to be a bit more relaxed than some of the other religious options.

        • Dud Roodt

          So Hoss is in the (going) clear there but they don’t believe in mental illness or fixing said mental illness and Hoss is completely off the rails

        • Who?

          Hoss is the sanest poster on these boards! :-D

        • Dud Roodt

          What a sad indictment on the rest of us!

        • Who?

          Exactly. :-)

        • Hoss

          i live my life to the Mark Twain creed – ‘Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect’

        • Gun

          Or Groucho’s I’d never join a club that would accept me as a member.

        • Hoss

          15 doctors cant all be wrong.

        • Dud Roodt

          15 doctors for 3 personalities isn’t that bad really?

        • Hoss

          ‘3 personalities’ – shhhhhhhhhh, the other 8 are sleeping and you dont want to wake Mother

        • Dud Roodt

          I can assure you – I have no intention of waking Mike Pence’s wife.

        • AllyOz

          I thought they weren’t real keen on the gay thing and had found wives for Tom and John T to cover it all up. Are you suggesting that the New Idea is spreading falsehoods?

          Actually I might join Scientology and pretend to be gay if I thought they would line me up with Katie Holmes.

        • Yowie

          “Enthusiastically cured” might be the verdict after that exercise.

        • Dud Roodt

          Unfortunately for Katie (who we all know and love from her Dawson’s Creek days obviously) – 10 years chained up in Tom Cruise’s basement hasn’t been too kind.

        • Who?

          You obviously haven’t read/watched below surface level there. Scientology is a product of its times – the 50’s. LGBTIQ rights wasn’t on L. Ron’s radar.

        • Geoffro

          Scientology is the product of a crackpot/conman.Cant say much more than that.

        • Who?

          Careful mate – they’ll be after you! :-P
          .
          I’m not saying you’re wrong (I’ll note that many would say the same about most/all religions). Just pointing out that, whilst the public face of Scientology has softened towards homosexuality, former members are very clear in stating that Scientology’s internal documents view LGBTIQ people the same way they would’ve been seen back in the 1950’s. That’s their choice (same as anything that’s considered to be a religion), just noting it.

        • Geoffro

          Got conned off the streets at Central Sydney in the seventies while a teenager to sample their wares.I’m not the brightest tool in the shed but it only took about 5 mins before I was running for the hills

        • Brisneyland Local

          Say gday to Mr Cruise and the Packers for me!

        • Hoss

          Looking forward to standing next to him, isnt he like 4’6″ or some-such ?

          You’d look like a father on a stroll with his toddler son !

        • Brisneyland Local

          I met him once at skydive Dubai. I was over there cracking out a couple of jumps. He came in to do a jump with the Sheik, who also happens to own the drop zone and set it up. A very passionate skydiver. TC is pretty short. and I looked like a giant next to him.

        • Hoss

          You’re a fucking Australian James Bond mate – ;Jimmy B’

          Look forward to plying you with a few Elijah Craigs soon and delving deeper.

        • Brisneyland Local

          God no. Just happened to be in the right place at the wrong time. Up until a few years ago my only hobby was skydiving. I have done about 3500+ jumps. I farkin loved it. Then I had kids. And as we all know once you have kids those hobbies go out the window.

        • Hoss

          I hear you. I used to love sex, then I got married.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Amen brother!

        • Andy

          What’s that? Can’t remember if I’ve heard of it before

        • Pearcewreck

          Lol, classic.

        • Bernie Chan

          FYI ..they also frown about your love of whisky…

        • Hoss

          Yep, i should read the fine-print. Got my lawyers looking at it now. One of them suggested a Crowd Fund page…..

      • Geoffro

        He now has a go fund me page and has raised nearly 30k into a 3mil target for his legal expenses.Does the bible say anything about having no shame

        • disqus_NMX

          He is an idolator, worshiping the idol of money, and he will burn in hell.

        • Geoffro

          Nah,he’s just a not too bright young man at odds with his faith,the greed for the filthy lucre and his sporting instincts.I reckon the people sitting on his shoulder whispering in his ear have more to answer for.

        • John Tynan

          “the people sitting on his shoulder whispering in his ear have more to answer for.”
          Amen to that.

        • Pearcewreck

          You mean $310K I think, as at 3.20pm.

      • disqus_NMX

        Yes, he is a liar and he will burn in hell.

      • Pearcewreck

        1. How did he breach his employers expectaions?
        No clause, it is a private Instagram account, nothing to do with work.
        2. Yeah, he said he would walk away, but that was them, this is now.
        So Greg, have you never changed your mind on an issue? Some people see changing your opinion on an issue a part of growing as a person. I certainly have changed my mind on issues, and will do so in the future I’m sure.
        3. THis is one of the most important Legal Cases in Australia at the moment, so good on him.
        BTW, donations to his Go Fund Me just hit $310K, and they are streaming in.

        • Greg

          See my last 3 paras. They still stand.

          I think he is getting advice from people that do not have his best interests at heart.

          imo he will not play rugby in Australia again. He will fight his battles and there will be an outcome. I am over it.

    • Jason

      1) it’s a slam dunk against Folau (I’ve studied employment law)

      2) if it was a slam dunk in his favour he might have lawyers lining up to take his case, but it isn’t and no one wants to take his case.

      • Andy

        My brother (partner at tier 1 firm in said area) has said something similar.

        • Jason

          Yeah, I don’t work in employment law so wouldn’t call mine a considered opinion, but from what I know it’s pretty fanciful.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,

    Great to see some real justice at a rugby judiciary, it actually blows me a way as it is so different from the crap we’ve had from SANZAAR over the last few years. Having everyone for the final is good and I hope they go well. Even if they don’t get up it’s been a fantastic tournament and well done to all of them.

    TBH I’m not that worried about the players leaving. Most of them won’t be missed that much and it’ll provide the chance for new blood to come through and this is desperately needed. My pick is that once they get to an organisation where you are held accountable for mistakes and poor play a lot of them will be looking to return as they’ve never played in that environment and won’t know how to take it.

    Weird that Raelene can’t see that if teams started winning consistently then people would come back. Although the lack of people at the Brumbies matches does seem to argue against that. I still think it’s something that flows down from the losses the Wallabies have had over the last few years and their drop down to 7 and now 6 in world rankings. When they were 2 or even 3 there was a feeling of “up you” to the Northern Hemisphere and that helped garner support. Put on top of this all the bullshit around Folau, losing the Force, the seeming arrogance of the people who run and play at the highest level and people are just pissed off.

    I think that rugby will eventually get to a world competition of some sort but it needs a lot more work to get all the different egos and interests aligned. I’m just glad it won’t interfere with the RWC

    • Parker

      “does seem to argue against it”…more like resoundingly refutes it. Winning is good, winning pretty is better. But I think you’re right about the general malaise caused by a cascade of negative events generated by the froth at the top.

    • Patrick

      Kerevi will be missed!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        True as will Coleman and a few others

  • Simon Barnett

    Gibson just quit Waratahs.

    • Custard Taht

      Gibson announced as Wallabies attack coach.

      • John Tynan

        We will not get close with the Tah’s throw it wide attack strategy….

    • Hoss

      Good man, decent decision – shame about the timing though with losing Cron.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Shows there is one man in the set up with integrity. Wish Cheika had done the same 2 years ago.

      • Bernie Chan

        Apparently you may get the Attacks Coach prediction correct…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I so hope not!

        • Custard Taht

          Gibson is probably the best choice for attack coach under Cheika. He has worked for Cheika previously, they seem to be on the same page, and have had success together.

          Not saying he is the best option, just the best option for Cheika.

        • Brisneyland Local

          CT, understand your logic and hard to refute it.
          Just is appalling that is where we are at!

        • Missing Link

          Huge risk for Gibson, he might end up jobless in a few months

        • Custard Taht

          Or….he has just gained an extra 3 months worth of Aussie dollars, as he is now jobless.

      • Pearcewreck

        Yep BBL.
        One day maybe, we can only live in hope.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I pray everday.
          Oppppssss I forgot I was a heathen and actually dont pray at all. ;-)

      • Andy

        He’s jumped off a sinking ship. The tahs barely have a roster next year with that many guys off contract.

    • Geoffro

      Will Anthems get the gig.Probably not considering the Tahs backslide this year.

  • disqus_NMX

    Has anyone else noticed that the Junior Wallabies have on their playing list: Will Harrison, Will Harris and Harry Wilson. 10 points if you can name their playing positions without tying yourself in knots.

    • Yowie

      News just in:

      The Welsh are laughing at the confusing/repetitive names in the Junior Wallabies team list. Davies, Jones & Thomas were rolling on the floor laughing about it.

      • Dud Roodt

        “Davies, Jones & Thomas”

        All 23 of them? That’s a lot of rolling

        • Yowie

          The function room at the Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Tavern is big enough though.

          Myfanwy can still get around to collect the empty glasses.

        • Dud Roodt

          Listen, not everyone here is from the Mother Country like you and I, so there’s no point giving the abbreviated version of Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochlllllllllllllllllllllllllllygwwwwwwwwwantslaggggllcaernllabervagenyy OK, it’ll just confuse people?

        • Yowie
        • Hoss

          I miss humour like this.

        • Keith Butler

          And I have the whole series on DVD. Brilliant. Ben Elton at his best.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s gold

        • Timbo

          You missed the rest called ‘Williams’

      • Gregory Parkes-Skell

        And I hope they continue to do so. While sitting in the stands. Watching Will Harrison, Will Harris and Harry Wilson play and hopefully with the U20s final.

  • disqus_NMX

    “Long term Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley is off, His long term competitor for the 10 jersey looks to be heading overseas as well. Rumour has it he’ll be joining Will Genia in Japan.” I’m confused, so is Foley off to Japan to play with Genia? Or is Foley’s competitor (presumably QC?) joining Genia?

    • AllyOz

      The story I read said Genia and QC were going to Kintetsu (maybe 2nd Div) and Foley playing for Kubota (he gets a free tractor as part of the deal).

      • Custard Taht

        Being a plodder, Foley is a great ambassador for tractors.

  • AllyOz

    Today’s thoughts.
    1. Magic bullet? I know what I’d do with a magic bullet.
    2. Unfortunately it doesn’t look as if winning is the only solution to getting the crowd numbers back, otherwise they would be hanging off the rafters at Canberra. There has been so much bad press around ARU/RA and the Wallabies running back through all of Bill Pulver’s reign and the poor results at the highest level. However, pockets of the rugby community are still able to attract crowds – some areas club rugby, some of the Force games this year, school games. In club rugby and schools (and country rugby which is a lot of my experience) you don’t go to a game just because the team is winning but primarily because it’s YOUR team. Crowds are definitely bigger if you are winning but I think there is a sense of community that is at the base of it. I think part of the issue is that people don’t feel, for whatever reason, that they are part of the Super franchises, that they are OUR teams and also this applies a bit to the Wallabies too. If you follow a contact football code the only one with a real contest at international level as an Australia is rugby and we used to get a bit more out of that then perhaps we are now.
    3. Good to see the U20s being at full strength for the finals.
    4. $1M for a prop. I don’t know. I think something is worth what someone is prepared to pay for it. Taniela is only young yet and I am not sure if a couple of years in France might even make him a better player if we knew we could get him back. It is hard to see with all the negative headwinds facing the game how any player could earn $1M – in the NRL there are only a few players in this group and they are mainly playmakers. Still rugby is a different game and if Taniela can become a world class scrummager AND deliver some of that ball running ability on a more consistent basis then he will be a pretty special player.
    5. I am not sure what I think about the demise of the Nations Cup or whatever it was called. I am not surprised that the 6 nations weren’t prepared to cut or change a comp for them that has centuries of tradition. Their product isn’t broken so I’m not surprised they weren’t prepared to change it for us. I kind of like the end of season tours how they are anyway but I would still like to see some changes around Rugby Championship – perhaps with the top two teams from the Pacific Nations Cup. We play home one year and away the next and the Wallabies play an extra game against the All Blacks for the Bledisloe – 6 tests in total.

    • Who?

      Loss of the League of Nations is bad for the budget, leaves things in a state of confusion, but leaves a little breathing room for Lions Tours and for the NRC. So it’s all still up for grabs…

    • Pearcewreck

      Good points AO,
      1. Ahhhh, OK, not quite sure what that means.
      2. Personally, having been a member of the Brumbies since the late 90’s, and gone to many a game at Bruce, I don’t think it is a great stadium.
      Iti is OK, but most seats are set too far back from the action. It is like a mini ANZ stadium. So, I think that hurts crowd numbers in the Nations Capital.
      3. Really hope U20’s go all the way, but France are defending champs, so they will be tough. Interesting to see NZ lost to Wales,so they have had a shocker by there usually high standards. Best they can finish is 7th I think.

      4. Yep, TT has some a bright future.
      5. I thnk the demise of the Nations Cup is really sad but as Paul Keating said,”There is no interest like Self Interest.”

      • AllyOz

        yes bit vague on point number one. Raelene Castle said there are no magic bullets I was just joking that if I had some bullets (magic or otherwise) I have a few ideas who I would be shooting them at on the RA board.

  • Jason

    $800k to $1m is too much for a yet unproven Tupou, perhaps after a strong RWC campaign if he moves into the number 1 prop spot — and I’m a Reds fan still crying about Kerevi. But you can’t over spend on someone like Tupou who is yet unproven – if nothing else it sends the wrong message to the other young up and coming players. You’ve not got a shortage of props Allan Alaalatoa being probably the most prominent to note.

    • Who?

      These sorts of contracts need to be written to allow room for an increase. Performance based measures (though factoring in injury). We want the long term contracts for young bucks like Taniela, but I agree, you can’t write in too high a base rate.

      • AllyOz

        They are like the elastic waist band pants of contracts. The ones you where when you go to the all you can eat buffet.

        • Pearcewreck
        • Who?

          But that’s only fair. It means you sign the player allowing that they’ll earn the big bucks, but not being stuck with them on the big bucks if they don’t reach their potential.

    • Hoss

      I think its more about securing his services than his actual skill merits at this point.

      What stunned me more was that he is currently on$800k now

      • Andy

        Huge coin…. but legitimately has the physique and game to be the best prop in world rugby and possibly the best all round prop that’s played the game.

        • Geoffro

          That’s a big wrap and possible.Still a lot of money for someone who hasn’t made their bones.

        • Andy

          Agree. Especially from an organisation that is broke.

      • AllyOz

        Yes and at the beginning of the year not in the run on at the Reds and for good reason. Still he finished the season well but its some good coin.

  • Happyman

    Connect the dots boy Darryl Gibson just resigned as Tahs coach. Which team needs an attack coach.
    Surely they could not stuff this up more?

    MC hold my beer

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The gift that keeps on giving

      • Happyman

        I cannot wait for BL possitivity to evaporate when it gets announced. Will be like DK Lillee off the long run.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Low and behold it’s not him. Some other no name instead

        • Happyman

          I know my disappointment is evident. New guy probably from Randwick so at least that is on point. It certainly has spoiled my Monday I would have been like you coffee in hand refreshing every 12 seconds waiting for the outburst.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Damn they didn’t pick him. I was waiting for that rant as well mate. Coffee in a cup with a lid to prevent spills and no drinking until after I read it.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    I cannot believe it. Izzy is a multi-millionaire across multiple codes, who has more money than any of us will earn in a lifetime. He may say he’s on a crusade from god, yet he’s basically saying that he wants to take RA to court for $10 million, and he wants us to pay for it. I’m sorry, but that’s hypocritical as shit.
    RA are not perfect, we all know this. When it comes to managing the game nationally, they have a pretty dismal record. But I don’t want them to be bankrupted and have no ability at all to manage our national rugby programs, like our sevens, our women’s game and our u20s side, which have all made a lot of progress in the last few years.
    Izzy can claim he’s doing this for religious reasons, and I call bullshit. He’s in it for the money, plain and simple. And if he wins, that will be money taken out of our game.
    I would be devastated if he meets his goal, because I’m willing to wager the people who want to see him win just to hurt RA.
    Rugby needs to make a lot of changes, and RA is a part of that, whether we like it or not. In the past I was just sad about the whole state of affairs: we don’t get to see Izzy play, he will never get to represent our country again, and nobody wins.
    But today, he’s shown his true colours. It’s money, and nothing else.

    • Missing Link

      Folau has a few Cardinals loose in the upper presbytery, if you know what I’m saying

      • AllyOz

        hey don’t drag us catholics into this one…we have enough troubles of our own. Izzy is pentecostal – they don’t have all that hierarchy

    • Who?

      I would be devastated if he meets his goal, because I’m willing to wager the people who want to see him win just to hurt RA.

      That may be true for some, but not all. I’ll guarantee you that Lyle Shelton doesn’t give two cents about RA.

      • Geoffro

        I’m devo that some numptys would even consider donating their hard earned to him before a worthy charity.How many of the fucking zealots that contribute to his fund have ever thrown a cent at who,save the children,salvo’s,the elderly dogs fund etc,etc,etc.Quite a few I’m sure but I’ll bet there are plenty who don’t either and are just feeding their own indignation.

        • Pearcewreck

          Get stuffed you ignorant tool Geoffro.
          How dare you insinuate that people who contribute to this fight don’t donate money to other causes.
          Do you want me to give you a list of charities me and my family donate too, and give time to as well?
          You absolute tool.
          Get off you self righteous high horse.
          I have been posting on here for years, but your disgusting comment has made more mad than any other post on here.

        • Geoffro

          Thankyou Pearce,I am now suitably chastened and promise to repent my evil ways

        • Pearcewreck

          Yeah, good on ya …… tool.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          What’s funny is half the community charities ARE run and funded by your so called CHRISTIAN “******* zealots”
          They are funding Folou because they either believe what he does…… or believe he shouldn’t be allowed to be fired for Sharing those beliefs. It’s pretty simple!

    • Yowie

      https://www.betootaadvocate.com/breaking-news/israel-folau-takes-part-in-ancient-christian-tradition-of-crowd-funding-his-own-salary/

      “Folau, a staunch Pentecostal Christian who converted from the Mormon church around about the time where most young men would have to sacrifice a year to go on missionary service, has today taken part in the age old Christian tradition of crowd-funding his own salary.”

      • Pearcewreck

        Thanks for posting that piece of garbage.
        The ignorance in that article is scary.
        Left wing drivel is all that is.

        • Yowie

          Yeah, I can’t believe how the Betoota Advocate can be taken seriously as a news source with the sort of rubbish they publish.

        • Pearcewreck

          Whatever, I’d never heard of it before, not until you put that link there, so …… I have no idea other that garbage.

        • Been living under a rock?

        • Who?

          It’s satire, Pearce. Yowie’s having fun with you in his reply.

        • Greg

          Indeed it is satire….

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Sadly only for some…..

    • Andy

      It was always his aim. He doesn’t know any better. Think about it. He was making serious money and was in the headlines as a 17 year old. The way he left league was an indication of his character. It’s always been about him and he wouldn’t be able to see it any differently. I’ve never been convinced this was all some religious thing and he was doing it on principle. And his actions prove it.

    • Pearcewreck

      You idiot Nick.

      Calling Folau hypocritical, when RA are the rank hypocrites.
      Just look at the treatment of Latu compared to Folau.
      Please engage your brain before posting Nick.
      RA get all they deserve from this, I hope he wins, says forget the money, just get rid of Raeleen, Clyde and Cheika and give me my job back.
      Otherwise, pay the full $10M.
      Your rant is a joke, he isn’t going for the money.
      They have to nominate a figure as a starting point, I bet he will negotiate less dollars in return for what he really wants.
      Also, he is making a stand for freedom of speech, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
      You’re embarrassing sooky dummy spit has convinced me to contribute some of my hard earned to help fund what may well be one of the most important cases in Australian history.

      • Happyman

        Just for clarity mate you are being a douchbag. Regardless of my views with respect to Israel Folau this is not the sort of forum where we call each other idiots.
        My view is this.
        This is not about religious freedom of speech it is about a clear breach of his social media obligations as an employee.
        I fully support his right to express those views as a private individual but he is not a private individual he is a professional. As an employer I would not tolerate an employee who damaged my brand by his social media posts. He or she would have received a warning then termination which is exactly what has happened in this case.

        • Pearcewreck

          Mate, I know I am going over the top, but no issue has made me as mad as IF’s sacking has for years.

          Sorry, but I think Nick’s comment was also over the top.
          If he is going throw some heat, he has to expect some push back.

          In reply to your comments,

          1. There is No Social Media Clause in his contract, so what obligations as an employee.
          2. Private Instagram Account, so it is private. The only way he could be more private is to be silent. Maybe that is what some want, but that sets a very dangerous precedent.
          3. I too am an employer, and I would not for one, moment dare to think I has any right to intervene in my employees private lives.
          4. His post recieved over 13K likes, so how did it damage any brand? How did it damage RA? It is RA turning it into a massive issue that has damaged RA’s brand.
          5. Unless of course Alan Joyce forced RA to sack him. BTW, Alan Joyce has admitted he wanted action taken against Folau.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry mate but he’s a c*nt

        • PW – I’ve deleted your personally abusive comments and if you continue to make them from here on you’ll be banned from the site.

          Everyone knows the rules of G&GR – regardless the topic you don’t get personal.

          cheers

          Matt

        • Pearcewreck
        • David Creagh

          Admins, can we block this guy? I am here to read about Rugby not have his opinion rammed down my throat (and others).

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Well your confused mate! He was fired on grounds of religious expression. There was absolutely zero social media obligation on Folou other then the law!
          But I’m guessing YOU as an employer would also RIP up Latus contract? Beals aswell? Hunts? List goes on……
          This will in court 100% be about religious freedoms in public…….

    • Keith Butler

      Spot on Nick. As Folau loves quoting from the bible here’s one for him to reflect on “it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven”. Any respect I had for the man has disappeared.

      • Pearcewreck
        • Waz_dog

          God willing this figure is reached quickly and the proceedings kick off promptly. RA has already taken out an insurance claim for $10M in the event they lose this case, so those who say this is going to cripple RA have no idea what they’re talking about.

          Whether this is a money making exercise or not, it is a public display that Christians in Australia support this cause and the leftist media simply can’t dictate terms with their socialist, God denying propaganda.

        • Pearcewreck

          Really, to take out $10M insurance obviously means they are worried.
          I hate to think what the premium on that is?
          Memo to Raeleen: How many grass roots players could be funded by your insurance premium Raeleen? Why have you spent that money on insurance Raeleen, and not on the game?

        • Hoss

          PW – mate, take a breath. The banter on here no way detracts from your belief and faith and it’s importance in your life. Freedom of speech and religion cuts both ways, believers, non-believers and those in the middle. Golden rule of GAGR, by all means, play the ball, but not the person.

          Any prudent business takes steps to minimise risk, of course RA will do same. I’d imagine many of the main religions did same during recent Royal Commissions

          I leave you with the words of my god – well for this week at least. Next week I am off to delve into the chantings of L Ron Hubbard so it may change.

          ‘Kindness is a mark of faith and whoever has not kindness, has no faith’

        • Keith Butler

          Nice one.

        • Steve

          Good words Hoss.

          Pearcewreck – Clearly religion and the right to express it without persecution is an important thing.

          99% of discussion on the internet is infested with this tribal, mud-slinging, I win/You lose rubbish form of argument. Let’s keep GAGR to a place where we can discuss issues with some dignity. Nobody cares about screenshots of Izzy’s crowdfund, or the fact that you just spent a perfectly good $25 on it

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Now I hope you police those around here that attack the opposing view aswell champ……
          And actually mate I CARE. That’s interesting to me as I had no idea the amounts and find it worthy of applause someone willing to support what they feel a worthy cause! Perhaps some perspective both ways on your finger wagging would help huh…….

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Hoss I’ve never seen you step in and plead for the many blokes here that spit utter verbal contempt at Folou and his beliefs and or if they feel he’s hurt the sport! Why now?
          What some seem to amazingly forget here is that there actually isn’t 2 fair sides here! Because whoever sides with RA here is directly offending and hurting those with the same beliefs! Possibly like Peacewrecker! IF RA win it won’t be legal to share your religious beliefs in public! Alot of people take that seriously. I don’t share Folous beliefs but I sure as hell think what they did was extremely unethical and puts us on a very slippery slope!

        • Andy

          He hasn’t been arrested for his posts. It’s completely legal what he did. It just breached the terms of his employment contract according to RA. That is what is being challenged as far as I can tell.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Oh really? I would have thought he’d dangerously threatened many lives multiple times….. drink driving, inciting people to violence, launching attacks on gay’s, blah blah…..
          I mean what’s a DUI charge worth to a RA contract and their image these days? 3k? Man….. Folou raked up 5mill worth of damages……. Perhaps the Green mile?

        • Steve

          IF RA win it won’t be legal to share your religious beliefs in public! Alot of people take that seriously/blockquote>

          Not when you are a public representative of your employer and your statements directly conflict with the values of that employer GTQR. I used to work in finance and thought that a lot of financial regulation was stupid and pointless. But if I came out and declared that as a public representative of my company, I would rightly expect the sack.

          I wouldn’t expect a lot of sympathy under the guise of ‘freedom of speech’ or any such.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Totally diff things. Defamation is a legal matter….. professing your beliefs publically is a human right Aus has agreed to enforce! Folou didn’t say anything negative about Rugby, RA or it’s players! He quoted a Bible passage that is followed and beleived by millions. Are we now too check religions before hiring? Let’s just hope no-one finds out what sharia law is and that over 70% of western Muslim’s want it introduced!
          I feel there is an AWEFUL lot of naivity going on with RA, Qantas CEO and Folous stated belief and what happened!

        • Steve

          That’s not a question of a defamation…that would be saying negative (and particularly untrue) things about a company or individual

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Sure it is! You can not directly come out and say negative things about your employer! If Folou was to defame RA or anyone their emplyer it’s a MASSIVE difference to finding out an employer shares a different belief than the company owner!

        • Hoss

          Cheers GTQR. Appreciate your input. Right from the get-go I have found this to simply be a case of breach of employment contract and I still do.

          I don’t profess to have any inside knowledge of RA / IF conversations,
          the signed contracts or COC’s simply what I’ve garnered from various media sources and the protagonists themselves.

          From that my opinion is IF has never been denied his freedom of religious expression as evidenced by his numerous religious offerings prior to April this year it’s only when the one in question appeared that actions started.

          I head a company of over 240 staff and a turnover north of $400m.
          It’s the collective effort of every one of the team that allows us the success we enjoy. It’s the success we enjoy that allows us to pay above industry rates to that team so they may support extended families, loved ones, travel, further their education, but properties, Invest in their children and plan for the future.

          Now, if one of our team caused damage to that through their actions I would speak with them, outline our position, try to understand how and why it occurred and put in place an agreement to stop it happening again and remind them that they have an obligation to the rest of their team, not me, not the company, but those who pull together and share in the spoils.

          Roll forward a short time the same individual willfully repeats the action, puts the business in financial jeopardy and opens up the possibility that his actions would seriously financially impede the business and directly impact the team – well I would fire them on the spot, based on Serious Mis-Conduct under the Fair Work Australia legislation – specifically causing financial harm and reputations damage to the business.

          As for my point above to PW.
          I don’t expect nor care if people agree / don’t agree, that’s their right. Nor should it impede your religious freedoms. But surely we can be respectful of differing positions, have a laugh along the way and get back to hanging shit on Cheika and co.

          The courts may prove me totally wrong. And Dusty is entitled to challenge the interpretation as far as he and his crowd funding will allow, that is his legal right and the beauty of living in a democracy that allows same and differing opinions as well.

        • Gun

          Good one Hoss.

        • Andy

          You telling me you run the Gentlemen’s Haven in Lambton? If so, I hear your employees are getting fantastic wages.

        • Hoss

          For the discerning gent.

          Discounts for all GAGR members.

        • Andy

          Wholesome entertainment with a little something for daddy. You’re a great man Hoss

        • Yowie

          I tried to explain the GAGR discount thing to the young lady on stage but she wouldn’t give me any change from a tenner. Can you please have a word?

        • Hoss

          Sorry mate. Svetlana, new girl and Ukrainian – always trouble

        • Yowie

          Beautifully written and on-point.

          Most people somehow manage to fit their beliefs and their work around each other without issues OR they choose a job that doesn’t clash OR they publish their fringe views in a way that doesn’t reflect back on their employer (spectacular anonymity f*ckups notwithstanding – hello Dr Christopher Kwan Chen Lee).

          I doubt there are many long-term vegan abattoir workers p!ssing off their colleagues about how evil everything is or publishing distressing smartphone videos from work.

        • Hoss

          Occasionally I have these fleeting windows of sobriety and clarity. Thankfully they are rare and the vast majority of my ramblings are waffle and show borderline mental health issues.

        • Keith Butler

          Commonsense at 8.00 in the morning is a bit of a worry. Well written mate. Come 5.00 after a few Elijah Craig’s could be a different kettle of fish.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Fair enough of course Hoss….but let’s not be naive. What was the breach of contract? Making a post online? Nope nothing wrong with that…… It was the content, his religious beliefs! He attacked no-one, incited no-one…… just shared his opinion of his beliefs online!
          As for the people at your work…. and perhaps even yourself as seen on here often…. Would you fire one of them for having an opinion or making an offensive dig that you didn’t like? Like your comical religious digs! The things you write on here would have got Folou an extra life sentence! Is that right?
          Saying its simply a “breach of conduct” is about the most naive cop out one could make…. and I doubt it will hold up in court either.
          But this “agreement” you say you would implement if one of your workers did something….. there was no such thing for Folou. Zero. So he’s therefore under his original contract, which is beholden to human rights….rights which say he can express his religious views publically!

        • Yowie

          What if those religious views were that non-believers deserve to be killed in this lifetime and true-believers had best get on with the purge sharpish?

          In our diverse free society is there a crossover point between Person A’s right to express religious views and Person B’s right not to suffer harm (actual or threatened)?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Your little conundrum there is exactly why speech should never be policed. Calls to violence obviously can’t be allowed but thats allready illegal!
          But your initial comments are a bit silly. “deserve to be killed” That’s not any sane religion your describing….. it’s either a cult or some archtypre abusing religious power to conduct genocides!

        • Hoss

          Respect your position and your views mate, just don’t share them.

          As for my religious digs. I will always target those where hypocrisy and duplicity dwell. Organisations that for generations have abused and degraded children, lead to suicides, addictions and an endless cycle of misery, hate and suffering – they will forever be on my list for derision.

          How bout a Crowd Funding Page for those victims?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate you’re fighting a losing battle here. Too many self righteous religionists can’t let it go or their beliefs built in a house of cards will come tumbling down. TBH it’s only fun if you smile, stir the pot and then laugh at the bites. Sort of my plan

        • Hoss

          I support the Tah’s mate – I am used to losing battles

        • Keep the faith Hoss. One day…
          At least the rest of us can feel superior.

        • Keith Butler

          Enjoying your irony. Is Oscar Wilde one of your heroes?

        • Andy

          Fox sports is leftist?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Ever seen a foxsports headline? But maybe it’s a coincidence they’ve run story after story designed to smear Folou. A primary school lvl of investigation finds there content wildly exagertated,untrue and no grounding! Headlines alone tell the story mate…….

        • Andy

          I agree. I don’t like the journalism on that site. It’s very average. But I wouldn’t call it leftist

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I certainly would! Actions of groups and big $$$ companies using their platform to spread bought agendas, agendas that are as far from conservative and actually for the people you could possably be! Sounds VERY left to me!

        • Andy

          Lol. So on that basis the whole Murdoch press is left wing. Hate to see what you believe is balanced…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Balance has Zero to do with it…… It just has to be Honest journalism without bias

        • Andy

          Sorry mate. Can’t agree with you on this one.

        • Steve

          Man, that was a load of American garbage rhetoric in one sentence. What has the ‘leftist media’ and ‘socialism’ got to do with any of this?

          As I recall it was a dismissal of an employee by his employer for what they considered to be breach of his contract. Whether that plays out in court of not we will see.

          But please keep the Trumpian rhetoric for your Reddit threads.

        • Keith Butler

          Last time I looked most of the media here had a distinct rightist slant and was in the pocket of that ex Australian Murdoch.

        • Geoffro

          Yep,and I heard Rupert was crowd funding so he could take over the B.Advocate

        • Who?

          That used to be the case, but these days, no one reads print media. So whilst the print media mostly has a right of centre slant (with the odd exception like the former Fairfax, and new online sources like The Guardian), most broadcast media has – to varying extents a left wing/progressive slant. And while broadcast media’s slowly dying, they still exist in the online world.
          It’s actually concerning – Russell Crowe’s perspective on Colbert (Thursday US, Friday here) about Roger Ailes’ predictions and actions shows that what happened in the US could be replicated down here, and that’s the last thing we want.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Jeez PW you need to take chill pill mate. I’m glad you’re happy for Folau and the stupid people giving him money, but no need to continually rub it in here. Anyone who’s interested can find out for themselves and the rest who aren’t don’t need your gloating in their face. Let it go mate

    • Pearcewreck

      Suck it up Nick, he allready has $300,000 as of 2.45 pm today.

    • Pearcewreck

      Thanks Nick,
      Your sad little rant inspired me donate.
      Only $25 bucks, but it all helps.

      BTW, it is up $306K now.
      https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ec299352b59f2fde25b4834ffc4a9dce67b4e2b3bd29c8171acc8a520f74c275.jpg

    • Pearcewreck
    • Will Honeycomb

      If RA are found liable and have to pay Folau a lot of money, that’s RA’s fault. In Folau’s eyes, and in the eyes of a lot of people, RA are in the wrong. A legal process will determine whether they have to pay damages.

      I hope Folau is successful. But the legal outcome isn’t down to what I think, or you think, or how much money RA will have afterwards.

      I can’t shed a tear for how RA has repeatedly mismanaged the game. In this case, they were dancing to the tune of their Qantas paymaster. So it really is about money

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Fair points Will, however I disagree on some level with your view.
        My problem isn’t Izzy taking RA to court. It is a complicated issue that deals with public values and either side could be found liable. I definitely agree with you that there is no love lost between many folks and RA about their management of the game, I myself have been frustrated and angered multiple times by their actions, and am expected to be further.
        My problem is the fact that Izzy, being a multi-millionaire with multiple sponsorships and loads of money coming in (despite his actions), is asking fans to foot the bill of his legal costs. $3 million is a lot of money, even by legal standards. Considering he said that if his religion came between him and Rugby, he would walk away, what message does that send?
        Him asking for money says, at least to me, that he’s not sticking to his moral rights of religious beliefs. He’s basically saying, I want this amount of money in damages, help pay for me to get it. It’s like a televangelist asking folks to donate money to their church so they can buy a jet.
        Also, if he does win, what message does that send? And if you are supporting him because you don’t like RA, are you really coming out ahead here? That’s my issue with this.

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Fair points Will, however I disagree on some level with your view.
        My problem isn’t Izzy taking RA to court. It is a complicated issue that deals with public values and either side could be found liable. I definitely agree with you that there is no love lost between many folks and RA about their management of the game, I myself have been frustrated and angered multiple times by their actions, and am expected to be further.
        My problem is the fact that Izzy, being a multi-millionaire with multiple sponsorships and loads of money coming in (despite his actions), is asking fans to foot the bill of his legal costs. $3 million is a lot of money, even by legal standards. Considering he said that if his religion came between him and Rugby, he would walk away, what message does that send?
        Him asking for money says, at least to me, that he’s not sticking to his moral rights of religious beliefs. He’s basically saying, I want this amount of money in damages, help pay for me to get it. It’s like a televangelist asking folks to donate money to their church so they can buy a jet.
        Also, if he does win, what message does that send? And if you (not you directly, more folks in general) are supporting him simply because you don’t like RA, rather than thinking about how this actually benefits our game, are you really coming out ahead here? That’s my issue with this.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          What you guys are missing is no-one is forced to pay Folou money. And if they do it is a way of showing their support for more then just Folou personally, but to also be a part of and support the fight against RA and their horrific decision to fire someone becsuse of sharing their religious views! This isn’t Russia!
          I think you many allow themselves to be brainwashed by the corrupt media these days too. Barely an honest thing has been reported about the Folou incident…..and even then always with some extremely miss leading catch phrase title like “Folou launches another attack on gays” or “Folou BEGS for money”!

        • joy

          Junk press = Fake news. There’s no misleading reports in the Australian. There 4 articles today that explain what is going on. Greed is not the issue. It’s all about companies interfering with our private lives and the promised protections for free speech and religions. Folau has become a test case.

          Folau clearly states on the funding site that he will pursue this as far as the high court if necessary. That’s where its likely to end up. His donors identify from all quarters of society with rugby fans being supported by Christians, Chinese, conservatives and even Muslims and other religious groups. Lots of women too. These people are not naïve. They know how big this issue is and they are more than happy to fund Folau to fight their cause.

          What is it that a certain cohort on this blog a missing that leads them to think this issue is driven by greed? Nothing that a bit of research with an open mind wont fix.

          Here’s a taste from The Australian:

          “What the election result also should do is burst the insider bubble surrounding so-called corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is leading companies to support progressive social causes publicly.
          Many corporate elites — like many members of the political class — tend to live, work and socialise with like-minded elites and do not question self-reinforcing progressive agendas.”
          and
          “This is why the increasing amount of virtue signalling being undertaken by companies is not only bad for business; as the Israel Folau case shows, it is also bad for the future of Australia as a civil society in which people with different views can work and play together. Unfortunately, there are few post-election signs Australian business is reconsidering the political meddling by major companies in social issues that have little, if any, connection to shareholders’ interests.”
          and
          “The implications for Australia’s future as a civil society have been spotlighted by Rugby Australia’s sacking of Folau for expressing his Christian faith in a way deemed to have violated a “diversity and inclusion” CSR agenda.
          In a democratic country that respects the fundamental freedoms of all, companies — like sporting codes — should be places where citizens can overcome our political and other differences, and join together for good and truly inclusive purposes, be it playing games or producing wealth-generating goods and services.
          The choice facing business is whether it divisively contributes to further fostering the hyper-politicisation of society in the name of CSR, and establishing (as Folau’s sacking demonstrates) de facto political tests of employment dressed up as a commitment to so-called diversity.”

        • Keith Butler

          Folau says that Satan is causing children to change their sex. FFS this bloke needs his head read.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Can you point me too where he’s quoted saying that mate…. missed that one! I did however see his speech about how schools and the govco are taking the power away from parents to look after their kids…… Telling them they can’t tell their little girl she’s a girl for eg!

        • Keith Butler

          That’s the one, the Devil was in the detail.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Righteoo! Your as guilty as the rest of em if you think flippantly twisting words and making stuff up is fine!
          I’d go as far to say 99.9% of parents in Australia will NOT be OK with having their right to tell their children that they’re a boy or a girl!
          THATs where his words were aimed at and I challenge you to back up your claim! One I feel is extremely irresponsible when talking about such touchy subjects….

        • Keith Butler

          Sent from my iPad

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Spot on Nick. What a c*nt!

    • AllyOz

      …and Nick whose money will RA be using to fund their action?

      Yours and mine as playing members, club members, ticket and merchandise purchasers. Parents of kids who take their kids to learn how to play rugby. We are already contributing to the action against Israel against my choice. I am now quite comfortable with my decision to support him and primarily to support his point of view. Legal cases cost money. RA’s funding their case with yours and mine.

    • joy

      There are none so blind as those who will not see.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Funny Fact though…… a rather small amount of people will help fund Folous side…… While every single rugby fan is paying through RAs side! RA gets their money from us……
      I certainly wish I could choose to watch Australian rugby AND choose that Latu doesn’t get to play football the day he’s caught 3x over the limit drunk at asleep at the wheel…… As opposed to choosing to support Folou…..

  • Yowie

    “That’s 220 junior lawyers per hour”

    Fun fact, also the record of “Chester the Molester”, the worst sexual harasser in the history of the legal profession.

    • Hoss

      Yowie – you keep me young !!

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    So Shaun Berne has the gig to replace Bernie and mindlessly implement the attacking strategy that Cheika has dreamt up.

    I’m not sure that Real Madrid I mean Melbourne thrilled us all with their attacking prowess delivered by the star-studded backline, did they?

    • Geoffro

      He’s a Cheika boy- Randwick,Tah’s,Leinster etc.No surprises there

    • Hoss

      Are you hypothesising mate or extracting the urine ?

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Tweeted by Wayne Smith from the Oz. He’s a reliable old-school journo and has lots of ‘sources’.

        • Hoss

          Must have been those electric 8 points scored over last two games that sealed it.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, Bernes appointment make sense. From Cheika’s eyes;

          1. The Rebels trained well all year.
          2. They showed such great intent to score zero points in the two most important games. The 8 points against Chiefs almost cost Berne the job, as Cheika saw it as waivering of intent.
          Berne just blamed his assistant attack coach, Cheika just nodded understanding.

          3. The most important reason, Cheika can still keep calling his attack coach Bernie. Will make it easier for Cheika to keep selling it was Bernie’s fault.

        • Hoss

          Gold mate

        • Pearcewreck

          So every game day can Weekend At Bernie’s.

        • Who?

          Aren’t Berne and Cheika both Randwick men?
          Doesn’t really make that much of a difference – he’s only there to implement the game plan Cheika’s already explained. And the Rebels, playing flat and trying to have big runners, were probably the closest team in style to Cheika’s 2014 Tahs team…
          .
          It’s all starting to make some sort of crazed sense here – someone get me out of this spiral!

        • Custard Taht

          I would not be surprised if this decision was made fairly early on in the season.

          It would explain the Rebels having a “Cheika” style Plan A, rigidly sticking to plan A, and making no changes to plan A, when as Genia said, teams had worked them out.

          Maybe I have been too harsh on Wessels. Maybe he doesn’t have the freedom to coach what is in front of him, but is having his strings pulled by Cheika and RA.

        • Who?

          Very interesting hypothesis, mate. Very interesting. There’s an awful lot of logic to the idea.

        • Hoss

          Your mail was spot on mate.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Well yeah they did pretty good! It was primarily the forwards continually making errors, dropping ball and simply getting overpowered that impacted the Rebels the most this year! The stats back that up and I’m surprised anyone who watches the games didn’t work that out….

      • IIPA

        No it was their flat backline alignment worked out pretty quickly by opposing teams, shuffling Hodge around and therefore weakening their best centre pairing of Meakes / English, an alarming drop in form from Genia and Cooper, Toomua being very underwhelming and then Hodge, Maddocks and DHP performing like the three stooges in the last two games of the season. Forwards weren’t perfect but backs were worse.

        I’m surprised anyone who watches the game didn’t work that out.

        • Who?

          I didn’t see the drop in form from Genia and Cooper. Saw most of the rest, except that I’d add that it was their flat forwards in front of their slightly less flat backs that were the real issue. The forwards were definitely dropping lots of ball, the timing was often off, then the backs were shuffled (the biggest impact being in defence)…
          .
          Piggies win games, backs determine the margin. I don’t think the last margin was anything like reflective of the forward battle (what with all the tries from kick returns), but the match against the Tahs certainly went that way.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          I literally couldn’t disagree more…… so much so I couldn’t be bothered showing stats that prove it…..AGAIN!

  • Who?

    No guarantee that neither of Foley or Cooper will be starting the first games next year. Both will be Giteau-law eligible. But at least the young guys will get a run at Super Rugby.

  • Keith Butler

    chances of that happening Buckleys and none.

  • Greg

    Peter Fitz pointed out the words below. Interesting…..

    “In making this contribution I acknowledge that my contributions are made freely as a gift on the basis previously affirmed and that there will
    be no obligations on Israel Folau to do anything for me in recognition of the gift or to apply the funds in any particular way with respect to his legal action, and that I hold no expectation to receive anything in return for my contribution.”

  • Greg

    well… no…..

    for better or worse in the catholic church you can’t start a business and declare it a church and declare yourself a pastor.

  • GO THE Q REDS

    How would you guys know……. your attitudes baffle me. Well actually not really. You’ve probably just been lazily reading foxspirts articles! At a distant glance I would think the guy would sink the money directly into his COMMUNITY church or his family…….

    • James Pettifer

      No, I read his players voice article which said that he would walk away and then see his actions which are completely the opposite.

      Not exactly the actions of someone who is true to his word and has integrity.

      A multi millionaire asking for donations is pretty sick. Not as sick as the kids who are dying because they don’t have money for the right medical treatment.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        I was thinking about directly quoting that article just to prove how stupid some of you are who take those words of Folou from last year and try to use them in the current circumstances!(look it up and READ it for yourself) Talk about naive, gullible and often straight up decieving!
        Folous comments about leaving the sport were directly about last year’s event and at the time RA chose NOT to take him up on his offer! Things are FAR different from then…. he hadn’t had his career,livlyhood and right to share his beliefs stripped of him!
        Very very simple! Too many sheep just listening to fox commentators and media headlines…….

        • James Pettifer

          I can not see how you think that the events are different. Last year he made offensive comments about gays and said he would walk away.
          This year he made offensive comments about gays and is suing RA.

          It is pretty clear from his article that he understood what he had done was inconsistent with the values of his employer and how he breached the code of conduct. He knew what he was signing up for when he resigned.

          He has intentionally done the same this year and was rightly fired.

          If I did what he did as a readily identifiable member of my company then I would get a warning for the first time and be fired second time. Some people have been fired first time for social media posts in much less prominent positions.

          I note that he hasn’t had both his career and right to share his beliefs stripped from him. He has had his contract terminated. He can still share his beliefs. He can still go out and find a new contract – of course if he did find one, then his damage bill would be materially reduced.

  • Geoffro

    Jags v Chiefs just got interesting.Hope Jackson has an armed escort lined up if the Kiwi’s get over the line.

  • Custard Taht

    For the GaGR commanders in chief.

    Is it possible for Izzy news to be its own thread. So news threads don’t continually descend into the repetitive name calling and insults from both sides, who are in a rush to be seen as the victims and moral superiors.

    I know in this case it organically grew from introduced news not from the gagr news. But in situations like this, create its own thread and let those who want to play on the merry go round, have at it.

  • For those who donated or followed her story.
    Saddened, and a bit close to home.
    RIP Princess Piper

Rugby
@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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