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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News looks at the Wallabies, Fiji, Tonga at the World Cup and, Castle on the next Wallabies Coach!


A Couple Of Surprises For The Wallabies

By now you would have laid eyes on the Wallaby side to face Fiji tomorrow and either be quietly happy with the return of the Pooper or seething with anger with the return of the Pooper. I find myself, slightly, in the second group I guess. I can see the dual openside working against Fiji but come the time we face up against a top-flight lineout or a muscled up back row, or both, I can see things going to poo, without the per.

For the full lineups head over to Bobas Announcement post. If you can’t be bothered here are his key points.

  • The Pooper (Pocock/Hooper) backrow has been selected with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto dropping to the bench. Completing the starting backrow is Isi Naisarani, whose name sounds like its been taken from the dialogue of a certain hateable character from The Phantom Menace.
  • Folau Fainga’a has been overlooked in the 23 in favour of the less experienced Jordan Uelese, where as Taniela Tupou has made way for the more experienced Sekope Kepu.
  • Nic White and Christian Lealiifano are chosen to start in front of Will Genia and Bernard Foley, with only the former being named on the bench.
  • Former NRL player Semi Radradra has been named on the wing for Fiji.

The starting side is almost a replica of the one that ran out in Perth in the record defeat of New Zealand last month, with David Pocock’s inclusion at flanker the only change to the team that took the field for the opening Bledisloe Cup Test.

Rory Arnold has overcome a hand injury that ruled him out of the second Bledisloe Cup clash in Auckland while Nic White and Christian Lealiifano return in the halves after sitting out the Test against Samoa earlier this month.

The starting side boasts 600 caps of Test experience between them with a further 436 caps amongst the reserves.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said: “Our goal is to win. I’m sure every team comes to every World Cup believing they can win, and that’s what makes it such a great tournament.

“We want to do two things; to do our best to win the tournament but also to show young people in Australia who are watching, how beautiful the game of rugby can be and inspire them to play rugby back home in the future,” Cheika said.

Who Are These Fijians Anyway?

Fijian Haka

Luckily Nathan Williamson and The Guardian have done the research for us and frankly, this is not the easy lead into the world cup many are expecting. This is not the Fiji from ten years ago but the Fiji who’s players, mostly, trade their wares in Europe’s top competitions. Who are used to professional setups. Who is ranked ninth in the world! Only three positions below us and above Japan, Argentina and, fellow group D member Georgia.

Nathan reckons we should look out for

Leone Nakarawa
The Racing 92 superstar was named European Player of the Year last season after an impressive campaign which saw the 31-year-old lead the Parisians the Champions Cup final. Nakarawa is among four Fiji squad members at the World Cup who also won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics in 2016 and he will have to draw on this experience, along with his freakish length and speed if they want to cause a boil-over.

Over at the Guardian Kelvin Anthony says,

But Japan 2019 is Fiji’s time. They will feature in their pack some of the biggest stars in rugby. They enter rugby’s showpiece tournament with depth, experience and form – a team with firepower across the pitch.

Players such as Leone Nakarawa, Peceli Yato, Semi Kunatani, Viliame Mata will lead from the front for the halves duo, Frank Lomani and Ben Volavola, to let loose the menace contained in the backline in the form of Semi Radradra, Josua Tuisova, Levani Botia, Waisea Nayacalevu, and Filipo Nakosi.

Fiji have taken huge strides in recent years, beating Scotland on home soil and France in Paris. They outmuscled the Maori All Blacks, beating them for the first time since 1957, in June.

They did falter in the process, defeated by an excellent Japanese side in Tokyo in the Pacific Nations Cup, which highlighted areas Fiji needed to brush up on before this tournament. The Pacific Nations also allowed them to try different strategies and player combinations.

In their final Test before the World Cup, Fiji overcame Tonga in a physical battle. These gains have planted a seed in the minds of Fijian fans. There is an expectation that this team will deliver.

All this makes this Wallaby fan a little nervous.

Tonga In Fine Voice

Credit: Getty Images

All over Japan, the locals have been embracing the teams based in their local area. The Wallabies are overwhelmed with their welcome in Odawara. The Wales side had 15000 locals turn up for a training session! Now there is news of the Tongan ‘Ikale Tahi impressing the locals with there singing.

The Tongans are in pool C and face One of the tournament favourites first up in England but that won’t stop the people of Kochi loving every minute of their stay.

Only The Final Will Do For Raelene

Raelene Castle and Scott Johnson

Look don’t get me wrong, I want the Wallabies to do well this World Cup but I’m ready to move on from the Michael Cheika coaching era. This supposed to be his last hurrah in Australia’s top rugby job but, along the way, I’ve heard snippets of news saying that Michael would consider staying on if things went well in Japan.

And I’m not okay with that! And that’s why when Raelene Castle says only making the final would be a pass mark for the Wallabies it eases my concerns a little.

“When your previous performance was a World Cup final, that is everyone’s expectation,” Castle told the Sydney Morning Herald at the launch of a limited edition $2 Wallabies coin.

“We know that and we know fans want to see the Wallabies turn up in the final. That would be amazing.”

Castle said the internal expectation within the Wallabies is that they can go one better than their defeat in the 2015 final at the hands of the All Blacks. Doing so would net each player a $125,000 bonus.

“I know the team want that and the team want to go one better,” Castle said. “Certainly that is the internal expectation of the team and that is what they have been working towards and building towards for the last four years.

“I know the fans expectations are no different and we are really confident that they will get there.”

Whether Castle’s confidence in Cheika’s men is justified remains to be seen but pass mark aside, the RA boss stressed the importance of capitalising on the interest the World Cup generates through consistent Wallabies performances in the next few years.

For me, the part in bold is the key. Limping along with a 50% win-loss record is not going to cut it. Going deep into the tournament makes it more likely. But as a life long fan that’s exactly what I want.

  • Bobas

    Have the tahs named a coach for next year yet? Surely Cheika can go back there post world cup.
    Even if we were to win I don’t want him coaching the wallabies next year.

    • I’m guessing the Waratahs new coach is involved in the World Cup and they are waiting until it’s done to announce him. I really hope that’s what’s happening because the alternative is grim.

    • laurence king

      Not even that please, we don’t want him stuffing up any more young players, playing favourites etc.

      • Dud Roodt

        If memory serves he did OK last time around

        • laurence king

          He did, I’m thinking more about his selection shenanigans over the last few years.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I am not a Tahs supporter in any way shape or means. But even I wouldnt wish Cheika back on the Tah’s!

      • Hoss

        I’d have him back.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Would you really? The Lebanese silk trader. Spose it is easy to pick a Tah’s in your team when the team is the Tah’s!

        • Hoss

          At provincial level – yep, in a heartbeat.

  • Who?

    Isn’t Cheika contracted through 2021? Wasn’t that deal done a while ago? And the only hint that he’d not be there after this RWC was from Cheika himself, who said that if he didn’t win he’d walk..?
    Which means a SF/QF/Pool exit doesn’t give RA any greater legal authority to move him on (i.e. it doesn’t get cheaper), it only gives them ‘moral’ authority, and I’d have thought some of the earlier results (especially those in June each year) would’ve been enough for that.

    • juswal

      Cheika’s contract ends this year but it has a clause giving him an option to extend if he wins the cup.

      • Hoss

        Correct.

        • Yowie

          That fact will make me feel a bit better if/when the Wallabies exit the world cup without the trophy.

          Conversely, if we go into the final as favourites I’ll have mixed emotions.

        • laurence king

          There certainly would be a bad after-taste drinking out of that mug.

  • Dud Roodt

    Fuck I’m whipped up for kick off tonight boys and girls.
    I usually find it hard to concentrate at work, today I’ve got buckleys.

    • Bobas

      Just leave and say you’re going to the climate change rally.

      • Human

        Oh bugger, i’ve Missed it

      • Parker

        Gold Bobas. But I thought the climate change rally is what the FIFA World Cup is going to be as it’s played in an increasingly torrid desert country.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate you and me both.

      • Custard Taht

        Bad news for you though, as you are going to be mourning the loss to the Saffas.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha Nope. We’re going to kick arse my friend

        • Custard Taht

          What a game to kick off the 1st round of games with. Hoping it lives up to my expectations.

    • Hoss

      I like the cut of your jib young man.

      I have committed to doing NO work today other than reading about, thinking about, dreaming about and blogging about Rugby.

      We have waited 4 years for this and I, for one, am gonna savour every waking minute of it !!!!!!!!!!!

      • juswal

        You left out the ‘n’, Hoss.

        • Dud Roodt

          The cu*t of my jib stays firmly hidden thank you juswal!

        • Hoss

          Not with that hem line.

        • Dud Roodt

          Oh.. you did notice!

        • Human

          Have you chaps all been drinking?

        • Dud Roodt

          Not for hours!

        • Damo

          This is like a M*A*S*H* script!!

        • Hoss

          is that an offer or a challenge – cause i accept.

      • AllyOz

        yeah but you’re the boss…

        • Hoss

          I paraphrase John Winston Howard – i serve for and at the discretion of the team and its an honour to lead them – for now.

        • AllyOz

          yeah but you’ve locked your office door and are watching Classic Wallabies episodes on Kayo on your phone in-between typing on GAGR so you don’t actually give a f%$# about the discretion of the team do you.

        • Hoss

          I believe in a facsist democracy, encourage ideas, nuture team work, develop succession plans, get group ownership, all the while nudging them towards my desired outcomes.

          ‘Great idea AllyOz, wonderful efforts and my thanks for taking ownership of that situation. Tell me though, what do you think would be the outcome if we varied it a little, like this for instance………’

          I am a corporate Yoda.

        • AllyOz

          “we don’t need to see his idenfitcation” Hoss “these aren’t the droids you’re looking for”

        • AllyOz

          BTW you said nuture team work. I think that should be nurture. Unless you meant neuter team work, which is more in line with my approach to working relationships – do what I want or …. chop chop

        • Hoss

          It’s a hybrid of the two. Encourage whilst simultaneous undermining. Waiting for the word to be accepted into a modern dictionary. You’re welcome world.

        • Yowie

          Gold. “nuture” – the management cousin of the “backhanded compliment”.

        • Jcr

          Neuter?

        • Yowie

          You’ll need to Read AllyOz’s and Hoss’ comments above for the full context.

        • Damo

          Is that the “garrotte and the stick” method?

        • Huw Tindall

          I thought you were more of a corporate Jaba according to BL and KB and co.

        • Hoss

          Corporate jabberer more like it.

        • AllyOz

          oh sorry that’s me … I was projecting…PROJECTING…that gives me an idea, I can hook my phone up to the conference room projector and book it out for a “client” meeting this arvo

      • Dud Roodt

        I would be lying if I said I haven’t been listening to The World In Union on repeat for 48 hours…

        • onlinesideline

          listening to that – name me a single sport that unifies the world like rugby that has integrity from players through to spectators, a great competitive spirit and is actually awe inspiring to watch from a skills and fitness persecptive. No sport comes close. Rugby is magic.

        • Dud Roodt

          It really, truly, is the greatest game on earth. I love other sports, but nothing comes close to the feeling I get when I hear The World In Union come on at the start of a World Cup.
          It brings back such amazing memories for me.

  • AllyOz

    “The Wales side had 15000 locals turn up for a training session!” some of them might have been SP bookies

  • Jcr

    Wonder if it turns to shit for Cheika , the pirate axes him with the parting terms “ he didn’t seem to be enjoying his rugby “.

    • Bobas

      ‘We dont share the same rugby philosophy’

      ‘I just think the other options bring more dynamism’

      • Who?

        ‘He just wasn’t showing any intensity on the training paddock.’

    • Brumby Runner

      “Overweight and not fit. Back to club land to sort yourself out.”

  • AllyOz

    The expectation from RA ahead of last year’s end of season tour was 4 from 4 and we fell well short of that. I don’t find anything surprising in that. I think it’s a possibility that we may win through to a final if the cards fall our way, with injuries and upsets and a good campaign that is possible. However, I find it less likely that we could beat whoever we face in the final. We have lost series at home to England and Ireland, and continue to struggle against South Africa and the All Blacks and we have most recently lost one off games against Scotland and Wales. Even against Argentina at home we have been lacklustre. Momentum and a solid pool performance and a couple of injuries to others could change that but I don’t think we have enough to win a final personally.

    • Bobas

      Wasn’t that all Larkham’s fault though?

      • AllyOz

        Oh yes I forgot that….but what if it was Larkham’s influence that got us to that final in ’15 and not Cheik’s masterful tournament coaching pedigree

    • Geoffro

      Tend to agree,the ast four WC finals have thrown up less fancied challengers that have fai

    • laurence king

      Deliberate ploy of flying under the radar

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully,

    I’m a bit with you on the Pooper as it has demonstrated to be a failed solution in the past. The saving grace this game is that at last they have a real 3rd option rather than a lightweight like Mumm or Hannigan. That may be enough to give it some life back. While I do agree that Fiji offer more threats than Samoa did and are dangerous in places I think it would be a huge upset to see them win this game.

    Nice of Raelene to just throw some added pressure onto the team before the first game.

    I am so glad this weekend is here and struggling to concentrate at work today.

    • Brumby Runner

      Nah, I think Raelene is just as pissed off as we all are with Cheika and his very poor results. So she’s setting the bar at a level she thinks he can’t achieve.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah but unless he’s held accountable, which he hasn’t so far it’s pretty meaningless

        • But at the end of this year he’s out of contract. Last year, if they replaced him, they still needed to pay him… this year, they simply fail to renew and get some fresh blood in.

  • Bernie Chan

    There’s a video of Tonga in full voice on arrival into Japan. There was an Asian lady sitting in among the players, and I’d say she was a bit bemused…
    There should a RWC sing-off…the Welsh, Fijians, Tongans and Samoans….It would be epic!

    • Hoss

      No other code mate, no other code.

    • Geoffro

      Glad you didnt include our boys,a few need to brush up on their ‘Straya Fair at the very least let alone belting out a few watzing matildas or tie me kangaroo downs

    • Brisneyland Local

      Fark yeah that would be gold!

    • Bernie Chan

      Only those 4 nations get automatic entry for the RWC sing-off. All others need to qualify…

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        I think you’re overlooking the Italians and the Georgians. The latter boast World Heritage listed polyphonic singing. Awesome when they crank it up at parties.

        • Bernie Chan

          Are the Georgian fellas those that do the chanting songs? If so they get a guernsey…that’s it, 5 seeds….
          Get Outlook for Android

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          That’s the one. Here’s a sample. These guys are obviously pros, but you hear it if enough chacha (kind of grappa) is consumed. So pretty often… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3M7YAfc1-BU

        • From NooZealand

          Thank you for this. I have enjoyed this and other. Greetings.

    • Yowie

      “And they’ll sing! And they’ll sing! And they’ll SING! SING! SING! SING!”
      And the more the Grinch thought of this Rugby World Cup Sing,
      The more the Grinch thought, “I must stop this whole thing!
      Why for thirty-two years I’ve put up with it now!
      I must stop Rugby from coming! But how?”
      Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
      The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!
      “I know just what to do!” The Grinch laughed in his throat.
      “I’ll make a quick referee hat and a coat.”…

  • Hoss

    Good morning Ladies & Gents,

    It’s’ head out of arse’ day today.

    The 4 years of selections and results are done, its time to move on and get behind the chosen ones as we blaze a trail across Japan not seen since the heady days of the American Airforce of 1945.

    There are more fancied teams, more skilful players blah blah blah blah blah – but there’s only one Wallabies – over to you JFK to take us towards the promised lands…………. “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.”

    Amen

    • IIPA

      Yep, in the words of the great Mark Gasnier ‘Fucking Fire Up’….. there was also something about squirting sauce but that only applies if the Wallabies win the damn thing.

      Bloody excited for the next month and a half.

      • Dud Roodt

        Toey humans got a mention from ol’ Gaz too, so we’re all included

        • IIPA

          One of the classic 3am lines ever uttered…

        • Dud Roodt

          I’ve never known a girl to not get excited by some neanderthal shouting at her “Fuck me fire up, you sad c*nt”.

          And people say romance is dead!

        • Yowie

          “negging” is such a subtle art…

    • onlinesideline

      Will be incredible tournament for simple reason that at least 4 of the top teams are the best they have been for years. England, Ireland, SA and Australia. Plus kiwis always on, on the big stage. This will translate into incredibly tight games with breathtaking moments at the games end. Hearts in mouth moments comin’ a plenty, heroics, wins by a hair. Couple that with some absolutely awesome stadiums … going to massive spectacles.

      I have a great feeling about the aussies but really it means no more than we have a shot. All post pool matches will be epic and who knows…. we will need luck like any team but as the saying goes, fortune favours the brave. We have to have a real crack under pressure and for the backs to have a real crack but there is no room for errors and we have to pick our moments. Will our backs have the maturity ? I think our forwards do, not convinced yet about backs.

      I have a hunch Genia has something special in him come the pointy end. I think Ulesse will shine and Tupou will have a moment or two. Sio and AAAAA – its there moment to take the step up and be the worlds best.

      Enjoy the comp Hoss !

      • Hoss

        Great piece mate. Cant wait, simply cant wait. Its Christmas for grown-ups !!

      • Parker

        Reading your summation makes me thank goodness we have O’Connor in the line up. I’m expecting him to really step up.

  • Yowie

    Isi Naisarani, whose name sounds like its been taken from the dialogue of a certain hateable character from The Phantom Menace.

    You might need to narrow it down a bit Sully. Not many “likeable” characters in that steaming turd of a film.

    • Who?

      Me’s-a thinkin’ Isi Naisarani be Jar-Jar’s buddy me’s-a friend. :-P

      • Yowie

        I can’t recall Darth Maul sounding like such a f*ck-head, but it’s been a while since I watched it (1999)

        • Who?

          Jar Jar, not Maul!!!!
          And I say that as someone who watched it once (around the same time – not at the cinema though), and generally doesn’t care about Star Wars!

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    The best that can happen to Australia Rugby is to not making the finals. We need a crisis to shock those that can affect change into action as rugby in Australia is plagued by narrow minded interest groups. Nothing provides a more compelling mandate and reason for change than a big crisis. Just look what NZ done with their 2007 crisis. I will reluctantly support Fiji – all for the greater good as some short term pain could be worth the long term gain.

    • Dud Roodt

      Jesus, what a surprise. Everyone getting real fired up about the greatest sporting event on earth and you have to try and drag everyone down because your club team got ditched from a tournament we all don’t like 2 years ago.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Off course I am excited about the RWC, but I am also excited about the possibility that much needed change may be near.

        • Dud Roodt

          Cool. We get it. It’s a pretty weird time to bring it up though. If you’re excited by the world cup, perhaps something along those lines would have added to discussion. We all know how you feel about RA

        • Huw Tindall

          I don’t get it. You never hate on the players who are so far removed from the corporate management of the game. It’s disrespectful in the extreme to the 31 guys who’ve worked their butts off to get there. No matter who is in charge at RA I’ll back the Wallabies.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          There will be no change in the administration until there is a crisis on the field. Despite administrative crisis after crisis nothing changed. I do feel for the players that have to perform despite of the administration and I do feel for the

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I still like that tournament

        • Dud Roodt

          I was perhaps speaking in hyperbole. I still like it too. I just wish it was a lot better run!

        • Brumby Runner

          I liked it better when we had the Force in it.

  • Dud Roodt

    If anyone needs something to do between games over the next 6 weeks, this podcast from rugby.com.au is a pearler

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/09/13/rugby-world-cup-1999-podcast-keepemnude-launch

  • Who?

    For those without a Kayo subscription, or Foxtel, 10 BOLD is showing the opening and the Japan/Russia game tonight. As well as Australia/Fiji tomorrow.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks Who. I am making the two little BL girls sit with Daddy tonight and watch what a momentus occaision it will be for this first game of the world cup. Go the Cherry Blossoms!

    • Yowie

      You Sir are a champion. I knew about Aust v Fiji on free-to-air but not the opener.

      On a vaguely related note, thank f*ck channel 9 has nothing to do with it this year after the deliberate shocker they made of the world cup in NZ.

      • Who?

        So glad 10 has it!!! No idea why on earth the ARU and IRB ever thought it was a good idea to have 9 involved with the game, when they run the competition, which constantly degrades the game they play in heaven.
        .
        I went through the EPG on my computer (I record everything to HDD) and set to automatically record anything called ‘Rugby World Cup’, which picked up tonight’s game (and tomorrow morning’s replay of the game). :-)

        • Yowie

          With that auto-record setting you’ll probably also tape some foreign-language erotic thriller called “Vampire Nuns of the Rugby World Cup” on SBS

        • From NooZealand

          LOL

        • Who?

          Nah, I’m more likely to miss games than tape extra stuff. It’s only applicable on the one channel – almost missed today’s game, because it moved from 10 BOLD to 10. Glad I checked – didn’t get to watch the game live…

        • From NooZealand

          Thank you very much. I can see some good games now. Yes from here ..

  • Human

    I may be deranged but have been wondering lately if perhaps Cheika does have an RWC plan and has been working at it for 4 years. It is up-tempo, hence the focus on fitness, and sees us play as we did versus los Pumas last year and v AB’s in Perth this year. He will not use it in every game at RWC but will use it when it matters. Am I mad to have these thoughts?

    • Yowie

      So Cheika is a bit of a Keyser Söze. Convincing everyone he has no strategy, only to pull off the greatest 4-year strategic coup that the game has ever seen.

      • Human

        Possibly.

      • laurence king

        And four years of game videos that no one will ever watch

    • Huw Tindall

      The fast pitches in Japan perfect for Chekia’s style of rugby. Building to it for 4 years even when it’s pissing rain and slippery underfoot he’s had the team playing ball in hand. No need to Gatland and his baby oiled balls tricks.

    • Alister Smith

      Yes I think it’s possible…that you are insane

    • I Should be Coach

      Human – you’ve let the cat out of the bag. I’ve known Cheika’s plan since just after the last WC. I overheard a conversation with KB at a training session. It went like this –

      MC – Hey Kurtley. Come over here son.

      KB – Yes boss

      MC – I have a plan to win the next WC. You in?

      KB – Yes Boss. I’m in. It’s gonna be like a Shock and Awe type of thing.

      MC – No son. That ones been used. It’s gonna be like Smoke and Mirrors

      KB – I’m confused. Explain.

      MC – Well. The next 4 years, I want you to play like shit. Crab across the field, drop at least 50% of the highballs and miss about 75% of your tackles. The other teams then will think you are weak and then you catch every high ball, run straight and make every tackle. It will throw their game plan out the window. Completely fuck em.

      KB – great plan Boss. But it’s gonna be hard to drop all that pill, miss tackles and run like a crab.

      MC – Son, you were once part of the Three Amigos. If you’ve seen that movie, then you know you can do it.

      MC to himself – right. Let me go give Spanners the same talk.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Funny Fact…… Spanners never got that talk……..

        • I Should be Coach

          Very true. I heard that he told MC that he was busy Grooming his Mo.

        • laurence king

          Who’s Mo and how old is he?

        • Yowie

          Andrew Bolt says it’s fine and Spanners is an innocent man.

        • I Should be Coach

          Still chuckling LK

  • Adrian

    My tips (first named team) for 1st 12 matches as per ESPN tipping….any unofficial GAGR tipping anyone?:

    Japan vs Russia
    Australia vs Fiji
    France vs Argentina
    New Zealand vs South Africa
    Italy vs Namibia
    Ireland vs Scotland
    England vs Tonga
    Wales vs Georgia
    Samoa vs Russia
    Fiji vs Uruguay
    Italy vs Canada
    England vs United States
    Bound to be upsets at near upsets (eg Argentina could be France) but this is me for now!

    • Human

      Hard to disagree with you on those. I will take the Boks and Pumas though.

      • Adrian

        Quite possible

      • Adrian

        Pumas being widely written off because of an allegedly weak scrum.
        Their coach improved our scrum massively between the RC and WC in 2015, and I expect he’ll do the same thing with Argentina this year

        • Patrick

          France will be better than you expect, especially their scrum, 9 and 10. Check out their tighthead, 9, 10 and 11 during the match.

        • Adrian

          Should be a great game.
          I wouldn’t under-rate either for the whole tournament, but I agree French halves are good. I’ll look out for 11

        • Patrick

          I meant Penaud, who is wearing 14. Not Huget whom you know already.

    • Huw Tindall

      Think you’re right but 4 games I’d be nervous betting on. My comfort levels are as follows:
      Aus v Fiji – 60/40
      NZ v Saffa – 55/45
      France v Arg – 60/40
      Ireland v Scot – 65/35

      NZ v Saffa the toughest call. Was tempted to go 50/50 after recent results and seeing the teams but on balance got to tip NZ.

      Good luck with the tipping mate!

      • Adrian

        I think that’s roughly as bookies see it Huw, though perhaps they have Australia closer to 70/30 over Fiji

  • Parker

    It’s half time in the game against Fiji and I am wishing Cheika will be replaced for the second half.

  • laurence king

    Well, that was a searching examination from the Fijians. And we passed. Boys played very well second half

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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