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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Super Rugby Round Four, Super W week two, Six Nations back on deck and Upheaval in English rugby funding


SUPER RUGBY WEEK FOUR

Brad Thorn coaching Reds

This weekend marks Round Four of the Super Rugby Season, and with it, the first home game for the now well-travelled Queensland Reds. They come home on Saturday night (605pm Brisbane time) on the back of three losses to face the Sunwolves  who have performed better than expectations thus far. It really is crunch time already for the Reds, with certain quarters already questioning coach Brad Thorn and his methods. The always insightful guru of this site, Rugby Reg has the preview here.

The Brumbies travel to New Zealand on Saturday afternoon (505pm ACT time) to take on the Chiefs, with the mumps seemingly playing havoc with their preparations to boot. They have a fight on their hands but a win will see them with a handy gap over the rest of the Australian teams. Brumbies guru Steve Lenthall takes a look at that game here.

After notching their first win of the season last week, the Rebels will be looking to make it two on the bounce as they take on the Sharks in the rugby heartland of Ballarat. (Sat 245pm Melb) The Rebels will be counting on the Sharks defensive woes of last week to continue as they battle with the loss of key players Reece Hodge and Matt Toomua.

Other games see the Highlanders meeting the Crusaders, Stormers meeting the Jaguares, and the Blues travelling to take on the Bulls.

Tips: Crusaders v Highlanders- Saders by 14,  Rebels v Sharks- Rebels by 3, Chiefs v Brumbies- Chiefs by 14, Reds v Sunwolves- Reds by 19, Stormers vs Jaguares- Stormers by 8, and Bulls v Blues- Bulls by 16

Teamlists courtesy of ESPN

SUPER W WEEK TWO

 

QLD Reds Womens Team Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Week Two of Super W sees the tide turned for Rugby WA as they are the main attraction in Perth on Saturday. The Western Force will be the curtain raiser when they tweak the Global Rapid Rugby preparation against Sydney club side Eastwood.

The Rugby WA women will then take on Qld in the Reds first competitive outing after their 29-10 loss to Fijiana last Sunday in Brisbane. In what is a rare event in elite sport, a mother and daughter will pair together in the starting front row for WA, with Freida and Erica Ah-Sam making two thirds of the starting three. Emma Greenwood via Rugby AU has that story along with team news here.

In the story, WA coach Sebastian Delport looks to bounce back from last weeks loss to the Brumbies, saying, “Our focus this week has been on ensuring that the players have recovered fully from round one and a long weekend of travel.”

Queensland will field a very strong pack containing an all-Wallaroo tight five and six internationals in the scrum. Having made the final both times so far, Queensland will be looking to start off the season proper against a team that has given them close runs in the last two seasons.

In the other game this weekend, the Rebels will take on the Brumbies in Ballarat. The Rebels are still looking to win their first ever game in Super W, and should be pleased with a decent effort last week against the Waratahs. They will have to be wary of a good looking Brumbies side who after doing away with Rugby WA last week, welcome 2019 Player of the Tournament Taylor Sandford back. Rugby.com.au take a look at the team news for that game here. 

Both games will be on  Rugby.com.au with the Rebels/Brumbies game taking place 1215AEDT Saturday (also KAYO/Foxtel) and Rugby WA/Reds kicking off 715AEDT Saturday.

 

 

SIX NATIONS RESUMES

KMP-G&G-Wallabies-Ireland-7745

The Six Nations resumes this week after a brief spell, with two of the games having real input on the final outcomes of the tournament.

Firstly, Ireland will be looking to really tighten their grip on the overall as well as their grand slam ambitions alive when they face England at Twickenham. Eddie Jones’s team will want to also keep their chances of an overall win burning if they come out on top. This match keeps the family spirit of today’s column alive, with Andy Farrell coaching the Irish against his son Owen.

Scotland will be hoping to knock Italy off and continue the Italians dreadful run of form, in what will likely settle who holds up the bottom end of the table.

The other big match sees Wales host France, with the French also hoping to keep an unlikely Grand Slam dream alive and Wales trying to stay in touch. A Wales side boasting 859 caps in the starting side welcomes experienced Gareth Davies and Ross Moriarty to the side, with coach Wayne Pivac telling the BBC, “Gareth was unavailable round one and came off the bench last time out so he is full of energy and we are looking forward to him bringing his game on Saturday.”

“Ross has impressed off the bench so far and brought a lot of energy and communication as well so he deserves an opportunity to start.” Pivac also was pleased Dan Biggar passed a fitness test after a head knock against the Irish.

Tips: Ireland vs England- England by 5, Scotland vs Italy- Scotland by 12, Wales vs France, Wales by 3.

 

ENGLISH SECOND TIER UPHEAVAL

London Welsh v Exeter Chiefs - Aviva Premiership

 

With all the recent controversy in England with the uncovering of the Saracens salary cap scandal, you would think the RFU would be content to see that all put to bed before causing more upheaval on the club scene.

 

To their credit, the big wigs at the Canberra bunker aren’t waving the white flag but are trying almost anything to get people thorugh, and make it easier for them to do so.

Think again, because the boffins at Twickenham have decided to slash the funding to the Championship (second tier) clubs and if you guessed that anyone having their money taken off them would be mad, you are spot on.

The proposal was to see funding not quite halved, from £534,000 to a 2015-level £288,000 per club. The RFU argues it is necessary as a number of targets linked to the funding were not met, including numbers of players who played in the Championships progressing to national teams.

Clubs are furious, claiming they weren’t warned of the impending cuts and that it will make it almost impossible for clubs that get promoted to build squads that could survive in the Premiership once promoted. They see the Premiership clubs trying to ringfence themselves and avoid the prospect of long spells in lower tiers.

Players concerned about opportunity and income are also chiming in with a number of former and current players using the social media hashtag #iplayedchampionshiprugby to draw attention to the issue.

The RFU don’t seem to be backing down with the only real compromise being discussed is phasing the cuts in over two seasons, as reported in a piece by the BBC here. 

What this means is unclear for Australia, although it may keep some fringe players from at least going to England. A number of Aussies already ply their trade in the Championship including ex-Red Adam Korczyk among others. Whether it keeps them in Australia or sends them elsewhere such as the US based MLR we looked at a few weeks back is the question.

 

  • Patrick

    France will be pumped for Wales, should be a great game. France should win by 10.

    • Reds Revival

      You’re talking about France, right? The same team who pumped England, and then almost lost to Italy. They are consistent in their inconsistency.

      • Geoffro

        Nothing changed with Les Bleus , stil no idea what sort of performance will be offered on the day

      • Nutta

        Yeh but that’s the point. They had their off weekend and still won. They will swing back the other way now.

      • Greg

        A french colleague described the Wallabies as the France of the South Pacific.

      • Keith Butler

        It was said back in the day that like their wine the French do not travel well. Not sure that’s true now. Could be a close one in Cardiff.

        • Yowie

          Another fun one that comes out after a good French victory in a tournament is “the souffle only rises once”.

        • Patrick

          Effectively this will be the test. I think that with Shaun Edwards as defence coach and Galthie as head coach, they will be prepared.

      • Patrick

        This is actually imho the best team they have fielded in 10 or so years. Some evolution to come but a very young and very promising team, and (finally) a head coach that sticks to 2 or 3 changes a week and a proper defensive coach.

        But I think you all underestimate how motivated they must be by the world cup QF that they nearly won a man down for more than half the match.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben, I hope the Reds get a few breaks go their way this weekend. What they really need though is to sort out their poor discipline and stop giving opportunities to the opposition. They obviously have the goods as they have shown a number of times but need consistency and discipline. Personally I think JOC is not the answer at 10 and I think he needs to go back to 12. Both the Rebels and Brumbies have got a hard weekend ahead of them and I’m not sure they’ll be able to get up. I think the Rebels have the easier game and it may be a litmus test for them.
    Great to see the girls playing again and there should be some good games there. It’s been great seeing the game develop for the women and hats off to RA for making this happen.
    I’d love to see a France and Ireland win this weekend. I think England will be very hard at home after some poor displays this year so far and Wales will have point to prove as well. But my hearts in this and I’m pushing a French and Irish win.

    • Wonky Donkey

      I though he JOC did really well to put people through a few holes last weekend. But that could have been because of more touches at 10 and quicker ball from the ruck. Im not sold on his kicking game yet

      • Yowie

        Im not sold on his kicking game yet

        PTSD triggered

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKah87aJLMw

        • Reds Revival

          Well, he did put the Sharks player through a hole. Does he get the try assist for that?

        • Yowie

          Gold

        • Damo

          I remember that vividly. Why couldn’t he have done it at 2am in Durban? Looks a bit like one of KB’s speccy chip kicks.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          -1 added to his try assist tally.

    • Michael Hassall

      Here’s hoping the reds discipline is better at home. JOCs passing game to outside runners has been really good, and Hamish Stewart has been good at 12, maybe JOC to 15 and give the young Isaac Lucas a crack at 10 with Hamish Stewart and JOC in the backline.

      We will see what happens tomorrow night. Gee it would be great if the reds play like the first half against the Jaguares.

  • Kevino

    Hoping Ireland and France can both win, would be great if they meet in the final round in the final game both with Grand slams on the line.

    • Brumby Runner

      Thought Ireland went down to Wales in Round 1?

      • Who?

        No… Ireland beat Scotland in Round 1, Wales smashed Italy. Wales were favourites to beat Ireland in Round 2, but Ireland got up.

  • Yowie

    I literally just had a walk-in to the office from a Brisbane Lions rep giving away kids’ Sherrin footballs and plugging game attendance for corporate types.

    I’ll have to bin the footy so my young fellow doesn’t turn to the dark side.

    • Nutta

      No 24hr pre-warning or permission sought? Illegal entry. Fairwork hearing NOW.

      • Yowie

        haha, it’s not a unionised building site.

        • Nutta

          They created undue distress and tension. You are now an emotional wreck. The workplace did not protect you. In-fact given the Bosses known proclivities it may even be argued they intended this abomination to occur or were at least recklessly negligent towards the possibility. Sue.

        • Yowie

          Good point.
          He’s also discriminated against my atheist traditions by not supporting my business-hours drinking. I’d go so far as to say he’s discouraged it.

        • Nutta

          That’s a willful interference with your emotional well-being and stability. Undoubtably that has caused you further harm and likely a type of PTSD. Dude by the time you finish with this mob you may never have to work again.

        • Yowie

          You remind me of Jim Carrey as the divorce lawyer in Liar Liar

          JC “You’re the victim here. Driven into the arms of another man.”

          Client: “seven”

          JC “Whatever.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Religious discrimination then.

          Or maybe since rugby is the game played in heaven and aussie rules isn’t, you could get him that way (or your employer or someone), but you’d have to see the light.

          Or, maybe sand paper the “Sherrin” and red colour off the ball and tell your son you found an old worn out rugby ball from the 1980s.

          Its all the helpful advice on this site that makes it worth coming too.

        • Nutta

          Yeh, but when you’re caught using the sandpaper, be careful to keep your wife and kids handy so you can use then as bumpers to keep HR and the Boss off your back whilst you leave the office.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Always recomended to sandpaper your balls in the toilet rather than out in the general work space in front of the boss.

          Sorry, It was near negligent of me not to add that important detail.

        • Nutta

          We all err sometimes. It’s good you recognise it though. Go in peace Brother.

        • Yowie

          Cheers for the late tip. “Apparently” now I may never work in childcare again.

    • Yowie

      FFS, now the boss is all geed-up about going to some AFL games. This contagion needs to be quarantined on some hell-hole Pacific island.

      • Who?

        Did you point out it’s not a sport?
        Then again, that might make him realize it’s just an excuse to go drinking for the afternoon, which may push him closer to going……. :-(

        • Yowie

          The boss’ kids play AFL to a reasonably high level, but yeah, f*ck it, I’m going to walk in there right now, give AFL both barrels and call his kids a bunch of time-wasting non-sport-playing c**ts.

        • Who?

          Oh, so the boss is already deceived…
          If only we could remove the scourge of AFL, League and Soccer, we’d be so much better off. As a nation. :-)

        • Yowie

          Yeah, but if Leagies had no choice but to play Union, the quality of spoken grammar for player interviews would decline. Think of the bigger picture here.

        • Who?

          I did think of it, but didn’t want to be exclusive and elitist. There was a bloke who excluded people from his version of an afterlife who copped last year, even though many/most consider it to be a fiction. Rugby’s very real – I don’t want to keep people from it…

        • Yowie

          You’re right. Since you put it that way, a purge of AFL, League and Soccer is the humane and inclusive thing to do.

        • juswal

          Speaking of League (if we must), there’s a photo on today’s SMH of a slimmed-down Michael Cheika at a Sydney Roosters training session in Barcelona. He’s described as a ‘recent addition to the Roosters’ coaching staff’.

        • Yowie

          It’s good that he’s found a place for his “keep running it repeatedly” tactics. He’ll just need to remember that kicking it after the 5th tackle is the done thing.

        • Funk

          That shouldn’t be hard, can you recall many times under Cheika that the Wallabies got over 5 phases?

        • Who?

          I remember a good number of times. Often in those times, I was sitting there thinking, “We’re losing ground, kick it!!!”

        • Nutta

          That frightens me. After listening to the “Yeh Nah” dribble that came out of Beale the other night and contrasting that against the simple eloquence of Tom Wright in his half-time grab (last week I think) … well … I think Rugby may be losing that high ground …

        • Yowie

          To be fair to Beale, he’s been around Chieka for how many years now? Enough time for sloppy language habits to transfer across – a bit like picking up an accent.

        • Patrick

          To be fair to Beale he never had more than three brain cells to rub together, and he’s lost a few recently due to Gilberts

    • Damo

      Surely you could have invoked your office dress code inter alia. “…shirts worn in the office must include sleeves at all times”

      • Yowie

        Good point. I must have been distracted by his dreamy big strong arms and…ah sh!t, hell awaits.

  • Nutta

    I was thinking the other day, has anyone here ever seen a game of rugby played by professional men serve as the curtain raiser to a women’s game?

    I don’t think it has ever happened before. Fantastic.

    Whilst I acknowledge the strength of the Qld ladies, I hope the WAG’s (WAGirls) beat them. It would be great in-front of their own crowd.

    Plus here’s to the Jenny’s beating the Scummies. Go Jane.

Rugby
@Ben_Marczyk

Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

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