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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News looks at the Poey’s Calf again, Wallabies attack woes, All Black news and, Thor staying home.


Poey’s Out Again

Poey – rampaged

It’s the Wallabies training camp gift that just keeps giving! A plethora of players reeled out of the camp with injuries but Pocock and to a lesser extent, Coleman seem to be the worst affected. coleman’s season seemed to be clearly affected but Pococks has been non-existent.

Yesterday’s news that Poey’s cameo in Canberra’s club rugby comp has been put on hold just adds to a long list of ‘delays’ in his comeback. This from the Crimes.

Just 78 Seconds!

78 seconds. A little over a minute. It’s not very long, is it? Un-impressively that’s the total time the Wallabies have spent in the oppositions 22 in their first two Rugby Championship games. The rest of the southern hemisphere big guns have all managed about five minutes each. About four times as much time.

That is despite the fact the Wallabies (42) have made a similarly high number of turnovers compared to New Zealand (41) and Argentina (46).

The competition-leading Springboks have made just 15.

One of the factors in the Wallabies spending so little time in the opposition 22 is that they’ve made three errors (one handling, two penalties) in the nine possessions they’ve had in the attacking zone.

Interestingly, 50 per cent of the Wallabies’ turnovers are in their own half which is significantly higher than their rivals (New Zealand 41.5%, Argentina 26.1% and South Africa 13.3%).

Fifty per cent of the Wallabies’ runs have come from their own half, which is well above New Zealand (41.1%), Argentina (37.7%) and South Africa (28.7%).

The Springboks are playing a territory game whereas the Wallabies are attempting to play a ‘full court’ match.

A look at the Wallabies and Springboks kicking games is fascinating, with halfbacks Will Genia and Faf de Klerk each making 10 kicks last weekend.

All but one of Genia’s kicks were for territory, whereas six of de Klerk’s were contestable ‘up-and-unders.’

Almost all of them came de Klerk’s own 22m and the halfway line and were essentially attacking kicks.

On the one occasion Genia put a contestable kick up the Wallabies got possession back, while half of de Klerk’s kicks saw the Springboks regain possession.

No SBW For Wallabies

Bernard Foley makes a crucial save late in the game, recovering a Sonny Bill Williams grubber

Sonny Bill Williams is set to miss the clash against the Wallabies next weekend. The 33-year-old has had his fair share of injuries over the last few years and it looks like the All Black coaching team want to wrap him in bubble wrap for the next couple of weeks. Coach Steve Hanson has also recalled Forward Scott Barrett.

Williams will head back to play provincial rugby with Counties Manukau for the next two weekends before returning to the All Blacks squad for the second Bledisloe match in Auckland on 17 August.

Barrett returns after being sidelined for a month with a broken finger, replacing stalwart Brodie Retallick, who dislocated his shoulder.

Hansen has trimmed his squad for the two Wallabies matches, cutting Asafo Aumua, Josh Ioane, Dalton Papali’i, Karl Tu’inukuafe and Shannon Frizell. Those players are now unlikely to be picked for the World Cup unless there are injuries.

Frizell’s omission, after he started in in Wellington on Saturday, means Vaea Fifita remains in the race to be the starting blindside flanker in the absence of Liam Squire.

Rookie loose forward Luke Jacobson has retained his place in the world champions’ squad after his Test debut off the bench in the opening Rugby Championship win over Argentina in Buenos Aires earlier this month.

“The Bledisloe Cup is the second most important trophy for us, after the Rugby World Cup, and we’re really looking forward to the next two Tests coming up,” Hansen said.

“Two weeks together will give us solid preparation towards growing our game understanding and getting our execution honed, so that’s exciting.”

Tupou Staying Put!

Taniela Tupou

Taniela Tupou has declared he owes it to Australian rugby to stay home and reject the money on offer from Europe. This, fellow rugby fans, is music to my ears.

Taniela isn’t the first rugby player to stay in Aus and he won’t be the last but with what seems like hundreds of players heading overseas after the World Cup it’s wonderful to hear that at least one key player is thinking of staying.

Rampaging Reds tighthead prop Taniela Tupou said he hadn’t “done anything” yet in the gold jersey and indicated he would take up a three-year extension worth up to $1 million per season to turn that around.

The move would keep Tupou at Queensland until the end of the 2023 Super Rugby season and ensure he is available for the next World Cup in France that same year.

“There’s an offer on the table and we haven’t made a decision yet about what I’m going to do for the next few years,” he said.

 “I owe Australia, I haven’t done much here, I guess I need to stay here.

“I’ll make my decision in the next few months but I think I still owe Australia something and I think I might end up staying here.”

The former New Zealand schoolboy star, who signed with Queensland in 2015 as an 18-year-old on a two-year development contract, now says he was in a lonely place but turned his season around after learning to ask for help.

“At the start of this year I went through a lot, some personal stuff, and it was really tough for me,” Tupou said.

“There was one point there when I didn’t think about the World Cup, I just forgot about everything.

“But finally I started to speak up about it and talk to people and finally spoke to the coaches and they realised what I went through.

“We did some work on it, I had to miss some games, off the bench and stuff, just to help me get my head in the right space. Now I’m enjoying my footy.”

Tupou joins a trio of players RA has pinpointed as anchors for the Wallabies in the lead-in to the 2023 World Cup.

Brumbies prop Allan Ala’alatoa, young Reds back Jordan Petaia and Australian captain Michael Hooper are all on long term deals.

  • Gun

    Impressive Sully, it’s not even Friday and there’s news!

    • It’s got to be Friday somewhere Gun!

      • Who?

        NZ?
        And it’s even on the front page – well done! :-)

  • Steve

    First of all Sully, 78 seconds is plenty if you know what you’re doing.

    Secondly, things really not looking good for Poey. The consistent promises+delays kind of say that he hasn’t really pushed it and keep finding out new limits. I’d give him all the time possible to prove his fitness, but feeling less optimistic by the day.

    Glad to hear 7As is pretty much ready to go, but what happened to Banks?

    Big money they’ve offered to TT, not sure what they gave 7As when he re-signed recently?

  • onlinesideline

    you can do a lot in 78 seconds. Just ask Hoss ?

    • Nutta

      Some stuff may even be done twice

      • Yowie

        Not after you turn 35

        • onlinesideline

          dunno, ask Hoss bout fine wine ?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Stud

    • Hoss

      I dream of 78 seconds in the ‘opposition 22′. Much like the Wallabies though i wouldn’t know what to do when there and the opportunity would be lost again with returning visit on dates unknown or November 22 (birthday) whichever comes first.

      • Missing Link

        “Don’t rely on your rolling maul from 5 out and don’t be tempted to use a dummy switch, scissor or decoy play, simply play what’s in front of you”

        • Hoss

          ‘Route 1’, so to speak.

      • Damo

        I’m a bit lost these days on one half of the double entendre we are working on here but on the other side I know for sure the Wallabies do suffer from acute attackus interuptis- and I really hope they are seeing someone about it.

        • Hoss

          The Hungarian bloke started it.

      • Yowie

        Is your attacking structure rigid or does it get flexible (contrary to coach’s orders) sometimes?

        • Hoss

          It’s the dropped balls that worry me.

        • Yowie

          Well, the commentators did mention the slippery turf conditions.

  • Damo

    Michael Cheika, do not waste another game. Poey has become an RWC longshot. Get another 7 into the mix now i.e. play him against the AB’s next week. We made this mistake in 2011. Let’s not repeat it. Wright for me.

    • Frosty morning

      My crystal ball can see what will happen…. Pocock’s first game in 6 months will be against Fiji at the RWC, he’ll be good but not great, he’ll play 60 minutes, then we won’t see him again for the rest of the tournament. You heard it here first.

      • Brumby Runner

        Along with a few others who would be expected to get a run against Fiji, like Powell, Banks, Wright and maybe more especially if Fiji win.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Cheika has said in the past that he considers Pocock our best player. I think it’s more likely that Cheika rushes him back to the Wallabies and Pocock is injured again.

        I think that if Pocock is fit by the World Cup, he is playing.

      • You mean when he limps off?

  • AllyOz

    alternative headline suggestion “Gone in 78 Seconds”

  • Bernie Chan

    Great to hear Tupou is staying in Oz rugby (if he does sign…!)..he can only get better at his craft as he is still a very young TH…
    So the guy who was/is considered the most important player for the Wallabies, and once the fittest man in Oz rugby, is still carrying the consequences of an injury sustained in some kind of fitness regimen imposed by the coach…? If only Brian wasn’t just ‘Brian’ but that other bloke with healing powers…

    • Yowie

      Wolverine? He’d be a good number 7 I suppose – nuggety enough.

      [Also, full marks for writing “regimen” not “regime” – pedantic types notice and appreciate that sort of thing.]

      • Who?

        Which version? Of the Wolverine? The comic books version, or the movie version? The comic books version was something like 6″ shorter than the movie version, so he’d definitely have been an onballer…

        • Yowie

          Comic version. He needs to be wearing yellow.

        • juswal
        • Yowie

          After that Sparks music video last week, that lactating wolverine thing is only the second freakiest thing I’ve clicked on as suggested on GAGR forums.

        • Who?

          That makes sense. And the movie version can go back to singing the anthem?

        • Yowie

          Jackman could do “Advance Australia Fair – the Musical!” with a dance number and everything I reckon.

          That would take the sting out of the Haka.

        • Who?

          Wonder why he didn’t do a dance number last time..?
          https://www.youtube.com/embed/dN29UaCjbK4
          I always thought we sang Waltzing Matilda to take the sting out of the Haka – get the Kiwis thinking about sheep… ;-P

      • Damo

        Yes, a damaging fitness regimen created under the Cheika regime.

  • Hoss

    Bad news for Wales and terrible luck for one of my Northern favourite players – Toby Faletau, good news for us though.

    https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/wallabies-rugby-world-cup-legup-as-star-wales-forward-toby-faletau-ruled-out/news-story/0f408b158f3fb505a57932fa4ca1578b

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think ts a tragedy for all rugby fans, although being a Wallabies fan does make it easier to stomach. He is one of the best players in the world. Although Ross Moriarty is no slouch, he isn’t Faletau.

      • Hoss

        Agree Sherbert. The absolute heartache of 4 years of effort, sacrifice and plain hard work lost for something so innocuous that he probably done 10,000 times before.

        • juswal

          Bummed, for him and for fans.

    • Max Graham

      Oh yeah. I’m devo. Retallick injured too! This World Cup won’t be worth winning now – hope nothing happens to the rest of the Welsh and AB teams…..

  • I hope waiting for Pocock is worth the wait. Super great player BUT seems grossly unfair to pick him when he has virtually not played. Give the jersey to 100% players like Pete Samu or Lachie McCaffrey. Better the jersey to a very good player who always gives 110% than a great player – perhaps the World’s Best #7 – who right now can’t give anything.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Pocock is a bit of an exception. For the last decade he has been our best player whenever he has played. He is a point of difference as a player, a guy who can make us competitive against the best teams in the world, and put us in the position to win matches we have no right to win.

      I have a bigger issue with two of the hookers, although to be fair to Latu he did play well.

      • Hoss

        What – did you just soften towards Latu ???? Well I never. There’s hope for you yet Sherb my boy.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          When the facts change, my friend, I change my mind.

        • Andy

          I feel the same way. Complete moron but with amazing talent. Hope he can get his act together

    • Max Graham

      Fair? Life isn’t fair. Remember the name of that bloke who should have swum the 400m at the Olympics when Thorpy has the false start? Neither do I. I remember Thorp and his gold medal though. By the way, 100% is the max effort any player can provide. And…. McCaffery showed against the Argies in the finals that he still has a way to go before he’s ready for test rugby.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        McCaffery showed against the Argies in the finals that he still has a way to go before he’s ready for test rugby.

        Not fair at all. Salakaia-Loto, Hooper and Naisarani have all had abysmal games this year. Not fair to judge a player on one performance.

        • Max Graham

          Fair point. Which game did Hooper play abysmally?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ll give you one from super rugby this year and one from (one of two) internationals this year:

          Waratahs be Sharks, super rugby 2019; Wallabies vs Springboks, Rugby Championship 2019.

        • Max Graham

          Fair enough.

          I rate McCaffery and think he’s one of the smartest players in the country. But, I have him behind a host of players that I believe can offer more. To suggest he deserves a spot over Pocock is absurd. If fit, Pocock is World XV and proven match winner against some of the best teams that have ever played the game. Apparently Pocock might soon be fit, so the debate over his selection is null and void in my opinion. McCaffery is a solid player at Super Rugby level, but plays kind of like an 8. Does Australia want to return to a small, non-jumping 8? He can play 7, but he’s not in the top 3 open-sides at the Brumbies, let alone worthy of test selection – He wouldn’t make any of the full strength Oz Super Rugby teams at 7. He wouldn’t make the full strength Brumbies’ back row. So let’s look at 6 – is he better than Valetini? Can he move bodies and bend the line like we need? Not really. That’s not his style. He’s similar to George Smith with his smarts and all round skill set; however in addition to being a ‘complete footballer’, Smith was also as good as anyone (including Pocock) at the breakdown. Smith also hit like a train. McCaffery is a good ‘all rounder’ but as a specialist 6, 7 or 8 cannot match it with the best – even though he likely boasts a higher skill level than all of them. He’d be an interesting option as a bench utility and is better than many who’ve worn gold in recent years but Pete Samu has far more rights to feel aggrieved at non-selection in my opinion.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He was actually the Brumbies first choice 8 all season, and can also play 6. Samu only got a run ahead of him when McCaffrey was coming back from injury. I like Samu, but McCaffrey has a better season than him (as Nick Bishop on the other site said after analysing plenty of Brumbies matches).

          He does jump well in the line out (he’s 193cm, athletic and light so can be easily lifted). Certainly jumps better than Naisarani or Dempsey.

          Personally, I think that 6. McCaffrey, 7. Hooper, 8. Naisarani is the best option we currently have. McCaffrey a strong jumper and Naisarani a decent jumper. McCaffrey competes super hard at the breakdown, which is the weakest part of Naisarani’s and Hooper’s games. And he is certainly, with the possible exception of Higginbotham, our more skilled forward. He might not have the necessary physicality at the international level, but he deserves a shot after the season he has had.

          I can’t even include Pocock as I have no idea if he will be free of injury by the World Cup. If he is, then he is of course the first name on the team sheet.

          Samu doesn’t jump, although he is a quality player.

        • Max Graham

          Had all been fit, I cannot see Samu or Valetini being on the bench. Having said that, it’s just my opinion. It’s also my opinion that Naisirani is clearly the best 8 in the country and I’d have Samu ahead of most as a backrower. The forwards selected this year were good – no passengers or coach pets. McCaffery was perhaps unlucky, but I can’t see which players should have missed out on his behalf. It is certainly not Pocock, Hooper or Naisirani.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am a fan of both Salakaia-Loto, Jones and Dempsey. But Salakaia-Loto is a lock and not a backorder, Jones has had a very poor second half of the season and Dempsey has been both injured and poor for years now.

          After Hooper and perhaps Naisarani, McCaffrey would have been my third uninjured backrower in the squad.

        • Max Graham

          I would have been happy with that. However, if I expected Pocock, Samu and Valetini to be back to fitness by the tests, I couldn’t have him in front of any of those. LSL has a few flaws, but my bet is that they want a 6 that moves bodies at the ruck and shores up the line out. He does this well; however he’d certainly not be my choice. I see him as a starting 4 or in the stands. . Reckon McCaffery’s only shot would be at 8 – Naisirani is clearly the best and Valetini is probably next best, so hard pressed to see how he’s been particularly hard done by.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          McCaffrey outplayed Samu and Valetini all season. I think Rob has a huge future and will be a longterm Wallaby, but he was nowhere near as good a second guys like McCaffrey and Samu this season. He is mostly there on potential at this stage, and isn’t a strong line out jumper.

  • Who?

    Yeah, it was disgraceful…
    Don’t think I’ve seen anyone else mentioning the true motivation behind the use of the song, and John Williamson singing it. ;-)

  • Right. No more negativity and time to back my team.
    I swear, even if they suck harder than James Dyson on nose beers, I will be a 110% diehard fan for the World Cup.. Go the mighty Wallabies!

    • Also, as ever, I will be betting a $50 on the home country and have my fingers crossed for early retirement and a win by the USA!

  • Liam

    If you think tupou is staying or has much loyalty to the systems that developed him, you havent been paying attention to his story. He’ll go overseas and be a star in france with big money and good for him

All Blacks
@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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