Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Super Rugby AU Draw revealed, Super Rugby Aotearoa kick off, English Pay Dispute Gets Nasty and Coaches Up For Rule Tweaks


SUPER RUGBY AU DRAW RELEASED

Stock Photo. Gilbert Super Rugby ball on grass with goal-posts and stadium lights

The draw for the brand spanking new domestic competition was released on Thursday, bringing us all a step closer to a return to elite rugby here in Australia.

Our good friend Staff Writer has the details on Fox Rugby here and it seems the competition follow the same format as the Super W, with the exception of there being a true home and away format.

The ten week format will then be followed by a three team finals series- first goes straight through to the big dance with second playing third to decide who will meet them.

The game times will also be simple to follow with all games kicking off on either a Friday 705PM or Saturday at 715pm EST. RugbyAU interim big kahuna Rob Clarke pushed this saying, “One of the main features of the draw is the consistent Friday and Saturday night primetime viewing slots on Fox Sports, which rugby fans can set their watches to for the next 12 weeks.”

I for one will not miss the thrill of getting up to do the review of a Reds game that kicks off at 130am, as I’m sure others will understand.

Enough about me though, the comp itself kicks off with the Reds taking on the Waratahs at Suncorp on Friday 3 July. Returning side Western Force will have to cool their heels for an extra week before resuming their hate filled revenge mission against the Waratahs on July 11.

I am sure one of the crew will come in with a full preview of the competition but the Brumbies would have to be the clear favourite. They were the best Aus team prior to the break and will have the winter climes of evening kickoffs in Canberra in their favour too. The Force will be up against it, playing (at this stage) all their games away though I am sure their us against the world mentality will help in some regard.

SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA KICKS OFF

KMP-WAR-CRU-1766

Rugby begins this weekend once more, over in New Zealand, and of course much has been made of the fact that fans are back. It will probably be an odd sight to see crowds crammed into venues again but to a fan, I am thrilled it’s at a rugby game.

Largely the squads are the same as they were before the interruption with the exception of the 38 year old elephant in the room that is Dan Carter. Aged he may be, but he will certainly add a calming influence to the ten role with the Blues that they have struggled with for a number of years.  It may have been the lack of rugby speaking but I certainly got goosebumps watching the hype video the Blues put out to announce his arrival.

The competition kicks off with a similar ten week competition as the Australian comp, which will lead into what imagines will be some sort of revised Rugby Championship. This year though, Australia will not be disadvantaged by having most of their teams knocked out weeks before the international season begins. If an international season doesn’t properly resume, it could even be possible for some short format competition with the top two Australian sides playing the top two NZ sides. With everything else up in the air, who knows.

Coming back to this week though, and the first two games are on the agenda. Saturday sees the Highlanders hosting the Chiefs and then on Sunday the Blues take on the Hurricanes in what will be a very noisy Eden Park. ESPN Rugby has the teamlists here. At the time of writing, the Blues and Canes hadn’t published their lists yet, so it will be interesting to see if Leon McDonald tosses in Carter.

Forgotten recruit Beauden Barrett is also slated to make his Blues debut in what shapes to be a pretty potent backline. Quite reasonably the Blues are heavy favourites going in, with the Crusaders having pole position for the overall title.

 

ENGLISH PAY DISPUTE GETS NASTY

Photo by Keith McInnes

Photo by Keith McInnes

The 25% cut to the salary cap of each English Premiership club that was trumpeted only days ago has already got more hairs on it than a Yeti, with the Rugby Players Association (their RUPA) up in arms about what this means for it’s members.

The cut, which equates to 1.4 million pounds per team will put more pressure on a game that already loses some talent over the Channel to France, with the RPA essentially now also holding out Japan (strict limits on foreign players per game notwithstanding) as another serious exit route for players.

The BBC reports that significant legal action is on the cards unless the decision is reversed. In a strikingly similar action to the tone deaf actions of RUPA in Australia, the RPA is demanding the cuts be reversed and transparency be reinstated. The players, who have only had to suffer 25% cuts since March as opposed to the more draconian steps taken here are concerned that this move is being slid in under the cover of darkness.

While understandable this does nothing to address the issue that many clubs were struggling to be much more than viable, and those clubs coming up from the Championship struggle to stay there. Just prior to the break I wrote about a move by the RFU to cut funding to second tier teams which was only going to serve to heighten concerns about the financial state of English rugby.

While in many ways you cannot blame the players for trying to preserve what is a limited earning window, at the same time there will be a very limited window if clubs go bust, so finding the reasonable middle is key;

Clearly all is not well with the private investment model for the Premiership that was spruiked as the salvation to the money wars being waged by the French clubs, and perhaps those keen on a similar model here should tread carefully.

By way of further update, the English Premiership is currently planning to resume their season on August 15, with Exeter Chiefs currently leading the way.

 

COACHES EMBRACING THE RULE TWEAKS

Brumbies Coach Dan McKellar

Brumbies Coach Dan McKellar

While not all the changes have been set quite yet, the coaches of the Australian franchises are positive about them and the opportunity to try new things during the upcoming Super Rugby AU competition.

Fans get to see some of the new rules for the first time in the Super Rugby Aotearoa but there are no certainties all of them will make their way over the Tasman. The big changes in NZ include the ability to replace a red carded player after 20 minutes and golden point extra time.

Some of the proposed changes here go further than those in NZ, with a few of them already trialled in the NRC in 2019. Things like the 50/22 rule, limiting scrum resets, line drop outs for held up and eliminating marks in the 22 are all in the mix.

Beth Newman over at RugbyAU reports that the Australian coaches are largely positive, with the emphasis being on ensuring any changes don’t hinder our ability to play under the more traditional rules when back in the international fold later in the year. This was emphasised by Brumbies supremo Dan McKellar who said, “When we talk about these law variations and these discussions that I’ve obviously been involved with, the number one principle was that we don’t lose the fabric of the game and that we’re making sure we’re developing players for Test rugby.”

Waratahs coach Rob Penney was thinking a bit the other way aroumd, hoping the demonstration of any changes may lead to reform at a global level. Brad Thorn at the Reds was, perhaps a bit sceptical, saying “(If it were up to me) we’d just be scrumming all day and mauling, I’m probably the wrong guy.”

For the record I am with Thorn, especially when you look at the way the Reds squad has been constructed. They are a bit of a blood and guts team that relies on a very strong set piece, and of course why would you want rules that limit scrum resets and remove 5m held up scrums if that were the case. It may be a case of rethinking the team, and swapping out an out and out scrummager for someone who is a bit of an allrounder.

The Force of course are fine, having played under the Twiggyball rules and the NRC changes last year. The only issue for them will be the lack of light up goal posts, will they know where to aim for?

 

  • Yowie

    The players, …. are concerned that this move is being slid in under the cover of darkness.

    Nobody likes that sort of thing.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/9804adcef69d6bae72a174093f599148e7bf7e56b944f0c8bd9d47b5402cf02a.jpg

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I like it

      • Yowie

        That would be right. Alan Jones retires right when another New Zealander need someone to dish out sock-based encouragement to silence.

  • Hoss

    Good morning Rugby loving lovers of Rugby,

    Its back. Rugby Australia’s own ‘Spite of Origin’ Series’, I want to run the rule over the 4 teams that matter and some lot from West somewhere and look at their prospects for Glory, bragging rights and just who becomes the historical & inaugural winners of Super Rugby Gondwana (if the Kiwis can make up words, well so can bloody well I)

    – The Ponies. Out and out favourites. Borders closed (not that anyone would notice) and simply gone bout their business quietly, no dissent, rumbles of fractions evident amongst their camp. Before the beer-flu hit they were clear cut Gondwana Powerhouse and only getting better. McKellar has built something special down there. Strong squad, no obvious weaknesses, well coach, good culture. Much to (begrudgingly) admire from even this Tah’s fan.

    Fearless predictions – Finish First and take both minor / major titles.

    – The Reds. Hard to gauge. They lost three turds called “Goodbye, Good Riddance & their fly-half Fuck-off’ but apart from Goodbye (any overrated lock at best) what did they really lose ……….nada. Events like that can galvanise a squad and its easy to forget the barnstorming form of really exciting young crop like – Harry Wilson, Fraser McReight and Hunter Pastrami, JOC, Jock Campbell – plus the ‘veterans’ like The Abattoir, FKA and co. I like this Reds squad and don’t underestimate 10 weeks off to shake off niggles and complaints that tend not to heal during a regular season PLUS – bet you last dollar the Padre will have em match hardened and fit – raring to go.

    Fearless prediction – second at end of season and pipped by Ponies for the Gondwana Cup, but reckon they will be stronger than many expect

    Here’s where it gets messy 3-5 and i reckon its a dogs breakfast.

    Twiggies Team – How do you know the form? Lets be honest, they’ve been playing giggle-ball since being nailed by Patsy & Co a few years back. Form against the Taiwan Thunderbirds and The Kurri-Kurri and Districts under 23’s is hard to gauge isn’t it. Yes they won the NRC but so what, i mean the Leyland P76 also won Wheels Car of The Year once, so even an ugly dog is capable of licking its balls occasionally.

    I would however not underestimate spite as a motivator and the desire to ‘stick it up’ the establishment so see them as ‘best of the rest’ and an honourable third overall. An unknown quantity, but with fire in the belly, a few months to prepare and ambition, desire and hunger aplenty they might surprise. If not will start a push to ave them kicked out of the comp again……….

    The Rubble & The Tah’s – lets face it. They are both poo for not entirely opposing reasons

    One team has a strong roster and a poor coach.
    One has a poor roster and seemingly a good coach.

    You do the maths. I am tipping equal 4th and one gets into the finals on ‘For and Against’ only – based on the need for a ‘top 4′ for finals footy. Both sides are uninspiring, both sides are perennial underachievers and both sides frustrate the Jehovah out of their followers. But one side is from NSW so naturally IQ, breeding, climate and nearly all life’s advantages reside with them, so all is not lost.

    So there it is – Ponies, Reds, Force and ‘who cares’ in that order. With The Ponies getting the chocolates and maybe playing the Saders in a Trans-Tasman showdown at some point, beer-flu and pending Chinese invasion aside.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold old boy!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha love it mate. No arguments from me and I think you’ve pretty much nailed it. The only thing that I can see making a difference is the way the Tahs have over the years been able to get the better of the Reds. I think there’s a mental block there and I’m not sure it’s gone yet. I think the Force have lost too many of the players that made them good in the NRC and that they will lack depth. They will absolutely be well motivated though and that could be enough.

    • Brumby Runner

      Hoss, the finals will only involve three teams; 2 plays 3 and winner plays 1.

      • Hoss

        Cheers BR, a font of knowledge as usual. I have a long, steeped and immovable tradition of never letting facts impede on my pieces. So the Tarts & Rubble are there for volume only and should already be planning their (limited) end of season trips. One would suggest the People’s Republic of Qld is probably out of contention as a destination until Chairperson Ballustrade frees her people and opens the border. God knows that DNA pool is already rather shallow as it is………

      • Yowie

        Rock & roll. Get the “2020 Finalists” club merchandise printed now on a three-fifths chance it will be useful!

    • Juan_Time

      Thanks Hoss.
      Has it been confirmed that it’s 4 teams into the finals? I missed that – thought maybe 2v3 with 1st straight to Final.
      Re rankings, I think Force will have fire in the belly as you say, but will need more than that in a 10 week comp. Being kind, they have a modest, hard working team, although the inclusion of Holmes, Lance and Godwin will provide stability.
      Really, for mine it’s Brumbies and the rest. I think the rest will take games off each other, but see Reds and Rebels battling for 2nd, and Force and Tahs the spoon – but who really knows.
      Reds have the most upside, but lost some depth in the pack (whilst not disagreeing with your sentiments) – full strength side still looks schmick though.
      Feel you have been a bit harsh on Rebels. To’omua looks like he is really embracing the senior player role and whilst rumblings about future, there is an under-utilised young group I’d love to see given opportunity eg Hosea, Haangana, Fa’amausili, Tupou etc. It will be interesting how the three 7’s players will fit in to the squad also.
      Tah’s – how do they get back up. Has Beale left? Fitzpatrick retired.

      • Hoss

        Thanks Juan – yep, BR below corrects me on the finals is #1 to the big dance and 2 v 3 for the other spot.I hadn’t heard that Fitzpatrick had pulled the pin, but Gilbert is around till seasons end and then chasing the Euro in Frogville. Interesting Gilbert couldn’t name the coach of the French side he is heading too when interviewed these last 7 days -yep, completely committed………..

        You mention a name that i took an interest in last year at the Rubble – Fa’amausili, is he the goliath who plays prop. I looked at him and though ‘sheeeeeeiitt’ thats a big unit. Cant see his side of the scrum getting moved much.

        • Juan_Time

          Yes, giant of a man. I was like you. Haven’t seen enough of him to get a good gauge. I think they may have also given him some time in the back row for impact too. Neither Gilbert nor I would want to get in the way.

        • Hoss

          I look forward to watching him closely against the likes of The Abattoir, Eric Clapton, The SS, 7A’s, even young Bell at the Tahs seems a red-hot prospect. The Reds also have another huge unit as a prop too, he played a bit (i think) earlier this year and maybe buggered his hand ??? Name stars with ‘F’ also, colossus of a young man, even showed up Tupou a few times from memory. One things for sure our propping stocks are certainly better than ever and slowly the names of ‘Baxter & Dunning’ (rightly sounds like the name of a Folk Band – they played rugby like one) and the term ‘uncontested scrums’ fade from memory – oh the horror, the horror……

        • Yowie

          Are my scrumaging methods unsound?

          I don’t see any method at all, sir

        • Hoss

          I blame Al Baxter for everything.

          That afternoon at Twickers was the start of the calamity that now befalls the once noble halls and parlours of RA. You can be the greatest 7 of all time, skipper your team, cheat at the ruck, come in sideways, be perennially offside, date a Welsh ref who subsequently rules in your favour 106.3% of the time, hell you can sandpaper your balls on national tv all you want and i can shrug it off, but you call for uncontested scrums, without injured players in them and their goes every shred of manliness the code in our country ever aspired to have.

          My elders ask me where i was when JFK was shot and i reply in my fathers Vas deferens not yet released, but ask me where i was the day the music died for Aussie Rugby, well……….

        • Who?

          I blame Ben Darwin. If he’d not copped that career ending injury, poor old Le Fuse wouldn’t have had to learn how to prop playing at international level. By the time Robbie retired him (after Joubert demonstrated his incompetence in reffing at Eden Park, penalising Baxter when it was clearly the Myth who was constantly folding – directly costing us 9 points in a game we lost by 6 – a result that reportedly saw Joubert apologize to Baxter in the airport), Baxter was quite a strong THP. As evidenced by Twickers 08 – The Return of Le Fuse. A day that should go down in history, almost at the same level as the Grand Slam and RWC titles. Because there’s few things better than watching English props scrummaged off the park at home.
          .
          Regardless of all that, it shows that we can’t afford to return to a mere 3 Super sides. Because that’s what we had in 03, when a baby (in propping years) had to play THP in a RWC Final for us. It’s how many we had when we continued playing props that were smashed every game in 05, because the other two provinces couldn’t provide an alternative.
          .
          Without that day in 05, we wouldn’t have our current propping stocks. It brought a new focus to the front row. I think it’s fair to say that, even with the loss of our most capped prop (Kepu), our propping stocks are as deep as they’ve ever been. In spite of losing some Australian developed talent to other nations (thinking about 6A’s and PAE propping against us last year).
          .
          Nick Bishop’s similarly very excited by young Bell at the Tahs. There’s some great talent there, they just need time, and maybe some locks… Maybe they can pick up Rodda? And/or Hockings?
          .
          Hope you’re keeping well mate. :-)

        • David Creagh

          Disagree Baxter was highly over rated and plenty of people bashed him. He had poor technique and lacked physicality. He was serviceably at provincial rugby but completely out of his death in international company. A THP needs to be able to be steady and strong on his own ball and able to pressure the opponents ball. Baxter looked under pressure ALL the time.

        • Who?

          I’m gonna give you the benefit of the doubt that perhaps you didn’t fully read and comprehend my post… So I’ll try to clarify it.
          .
          I ‘blame’ Darwin because he was injured, which meant our next most experienced prop was a baby. I mean, Darwin didn’t choose to cop a neck injury – no one does. So I’m being facetious in blaming him.
          .
          But reality is that Baxter was – as you say – lacking in physicality and technique for most of his tenure in Gold. Why? Because he was a baby. He wasn’t ready. Props traditionally aren’t developed until they’re closer to 28, and traditionally don’t peak until the other side of 30. But Baxter wasn’t picked after he was 30.
          .
          You can’t say Baxter as over rated, because no one ever rated him. I didn’t rate him. They never had reason to rate him. By the time he finally learned how to prop – 2008, after a LOT of focus on scrummaging at the Tahs post-2005 – he had barely a year of international Rugby ahead of him. Even then, no one really talked him up, he was just competent. Until Twickers 08. There, he gained some respect.
          .
          We currently have a few guys (Tupou, 7A’s) who have matured early by prop standards. In that, they’ve been able to deal with the rigours of international Rugby at a younger age. But they’re the exception, not the rule. Because it takes years to develop that core strength, and then to learn the tricks of the trade. Baxter certainly took years at the top to learn the trade.
          .
          The problem for us – and for Baxter – wasn’t that he wasn’t good enough. It was that there was no one better, and he kept getting picked. We had three Super sides. Darwin was the Brumbies’ THP. His backup at the Brumbies didn’t push Baxter hard. The Reds didn’t provide anyone for a while, and even then, Baxter managed to push them out of the team by being the best Australian THP at the time.
          .
          The real tragedy of Baxter’s time – for Baxter AND for those of us who suffered through his apprenticeship – was that, when he was finally ready to impose himself internationally, to demonstrate he’d learned the lessons of the five years of his international scrummaging education, he was incorrectly penalized out of an Eden Park Test by Craig Joubert (who favoured a diving Myth Woodcock), and Robbie marked him “Never to be picked again.” Instead replicating the Baxter experience by picking a couple of very young props who had no idea about scrummaging to learn their trade at international level. It was a move only a former Back with no understanding of the stresses placed on forwards would make – sticking green props up against monsters. We went to a very young Ben Alexander (who would eventually be known as ‘The Hinge’), and James Slipper (who finished his first season with 100 minutes of Super Rugby and 10 Tests). Both converted LHP’s. All the while, the form and dominant Australian THP in Super Rugby was Baxter.
          .
          That pattern of picking inexperienced and underdeveloped props at THP didn’t stop until Holmes was drafted back into the Wallabies, to play THP with Kepu. We finally had experience there.
          .
          Let’s be clear – I’m not saying that Baxter was an International standard THP his whole career. I’d say he was only that for the last 18 months. But to blame him for being selected and giving his best (even though it wasn’t nearly enough and he clearly wasn’t up to standard) is a bit unfair.

        • Brumby Runner

          Good bit of history ther Who? But I recall it was Baxter himself who earned the nickname Hinge. I don’t recall Benny A being called that, though there were many who questioned his technique when he moved to the TH side.

        • Who?

          Baxter was the Hinge, but by 2013, those on here called Benny A The Hinge, too. Which is unfair, given he was asked to swap sides, and not necessarily well supported by coaching staff. Same deal as Baxter – had to learn the position at the top level.
          .
          It’s worth remembering that Benny A was the top try scorer for the Brums in 2010, and then copped criticism when he did almost nothing there for the Wallabies when he was playing THP. His best defence came from Baxter, who pointed out, “Playing THP, literally half the game your quads are jelly, it’s a different loading to LHP. I’m impressed he can carry the ball at all after playing THP in a Test!”
          .
          But, if we’re talking Baxter, the real lesson has to be about the absolute dearth of talent in key positions that existed when we only had three professional provincial teams. It’s very pertinent as we talk about the future of the game locally. Increased numbers of professional teams hasn’t necessarily given us better results at Super Rugby (though also arguably not worse – 25 years of the comp, 4 titles, in years 6, 9, 16, 19… Hang on, are we due to win the comp again in 2021, and 2024..?), but it’s worth noting the absence of any form of Australian coaching IP and coaching development for years now. The only Aussie paid head coach locally is McKellar.
          And it’s worth noting that, where we haven’t imported too many players in a singular position (as we did at 10 – in 2017, we had a Saffa at the Force, a Kiwi at the Brums, a Kiwi at the Rebels, then Cooper in Qld and Foley in NSW – i.e. 60% of the regular starting 10’s in Aussie teams weren’t Wallaby-eligible), we’ve actually developed good depth. Better depth than any time in our history. Look at our tight five last RWC. We had options. We ended up seeing Liam Gill – good enough to play 7 in any Test team – go overseas, because he was our fourth choice 7. That’s crazy! When have we previously had that sort of depth? If we can’t maintain the professional game, we lose all that. Immediately.

        • David Creagh

          It has taken Australia years to recover from Steady Eddie’s folly and realise that a prop needs to be able to scrummage first and foremost. Ability round the park is a bonus.

        • Juan_Time

          Something akin to the Carpenters or Air Supply maybe?
          If props were monopoly properties, you’d pay more for the unfashionable one like say a Bill Young or Dan Crowley than the REO Speedwagons mentioned.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Bread. Has to be Bread.

        • David Creagh

          Won many a game of Monopoly with Old Kent Road and Whitechapel. Not flash but good little earners with a bit of development.

        • David Creagh

          I can’t keep up with the nicknames Hoss. Abbatoir? Clapton? SS?. Can you provide an update to the Hoss Nicnamearama?

          Love your work though.

        • Who?

          Abbatoir – the thing that kills pigs. Tupou.
          Eric Clapton’s known for cocaine. Slipper.
          SS – Scott Sio.
          7A’s – Allan Ala’alatoa

  • Andrew Luscombe

    “In a strikingly similar action to the tone deaf actions of RUPA in Australia,”

    RUPA is one of the members of Rugby Australia, and has the right to see the books. As soon as the financial information was made available to them, they reached agreement very quickly. It’s unclear why RA dithered on this in the first place. Perhaps Raelene Castle didn’t understand that RUPA is one of her bosses. Maybe she thought she was their boss.

  • Reds Revival

    “It may be a case of rethinking the team, and swapping out an out and out scrummager for someone who is a bit of an allrounder”.

    The Shane Watson experiment never worked, except when it did.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben, really looking forward to the rugby and happy that both NZ and Aus will be on Foxtel. IT makes the cost of the system almost worth it. I’m not so sure Dan will get a lot of time at 10 and I think his main role is to guide and mentor the team. I’m hoping h helps Barrett with his goal kicking, I think the issues have been overstated as he has kicked some fine goals, but he does miss critical ones at times and maybe Dan can assist with that.

    The English Rugby was always going to go down this pathway. The revenue hasn’t matched the costs for a long time and it was never sustainable. I think we should watch how it goes as I think salaries down this way are also going to fall due to the lack of revenue and players may react the same way, especially the self entitled ones. Maybe those three Reds getting out early and cashing in before this happens have actually been the smart ones.

    I’m still a bit Meh! on the rule changes. While I enjoy running rugby I also enjoy the tight contest and it is this which defines the game as being so much better and different than League. If all people want to do is watch people run and get tackled while half the team run bac and forwards and do nothing then watch NRL. I played league for about 3 seasons as a Lt in the Army and found it boring as batshit

    • Yowie

      If all people want to do is watch people run and get tackled while half the team run back and forwards and do nothing then watch NRL…boring as batshit

      If Origin is on but I have other stuff to do at the time (anything at all really), I find that keeping an ear out for Ray Warren’s voice getting more excited is a reasonable guide to whether it’s worth having a look at the TV – eg a fight or a big try is on or something.

      Apart from that, “set of 5 then kick x infinity” doesn’t require my supervision.

  • Perth girl

    “Hate filled revenge mission, needing light up goalposts to know where to aim”. It sounds like someone’s a bit nervous! For the record here over in the West we only hate, Pulver, Clyne, Robinson, Clarke, Eales, and the rest of the former RA board.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Now that the main culprits moved on we are still outside SR, WA Rugby is still in a dire financial state and the Western Force players still struggle to get noticed, Clearly the fight to gain recognition and respect must continue even after Clyne, Robinson, Pulver, Clarke and Eales etc. moved on as well as reforms at RA.

  • ATrain

    G’day Fellas – I would like to submit an article for consideration? How do I do that?

    • Yowie

      It’s tough. GaGR have persistently refused to publish on the main page any of my poems about the Women’s Sevens team. They said I “clearly needed help” whatever that means.

      • Reds Revival

        There once was a girl from Lucknow,
        I said would you like to..”
        Never mind

      • ATrain

        I think they were more limericks than poems to be honest Yowie

  • Who?

    So…. Is anyone going to discuss how stupid the rule changes are?
    No marks in the 22 and goal line drop outs. That’s a straight deference to NRL rules. Because obviously we love that game where the only way to score a try is to put up a bomb to land on the tryline. This is completely the opposite philosophy to Twiggy’s 9 point tries – that encourages ball retention and ball running. Having the mark in the 22 and a 22 dropout for kicks into the in goal is an attempt to punish inaccurate kicking and encourage playing with the ball in hand.
    If such laws (laws punishing inaccurate kicking) weren’t in place, Australia doesn’t have one of its greatest Rugby moments. The laws had recently changed to be such that a kick through the dead ball line wasn’t the easy territorial win it had been. SO Bernie had to go for drop goal, and make it look like a real attempt. He wasn’t expecting the kick to go over.
    .
    I’m not convinced that any of the law variations used in the NRC were remotely successful. But I’m not an administrator, I’m a Rugby Law Conservative. Don’t change unless necessary, unless there’s a proven failing. But even then, check that the current laws are being enforced accurately (because, far too often, they’re not). Fix players sealing off the ruck, deliberately collapsing the ruck, entering with their head below their hips, and suddenly the ruck becomes a more viable contest, drawing numbers out of the defensive line, creating space, reducing the requirement for artificial means of creating space like the 50-22.
    .
    RA’s managing to ruin itself, but it’s also still, in conjunction with the WR Laws committee, desperately trying to ruin the laws of the game.

    • Brumby Runner

      I have an uneasy feeling that you might be right about the abolition of the mark in the 22. That could quite feasibly lead to more League-like kicking when on attack.

      I am not so unsure about the goal line drop out. The attacking team will invariably regain possession and be able to launch new attacks, but it also gives the defending side a chance if they want to be adventurous.

      An alternative I think could be trialed when the ball is held up or knocked on in goal by the attacking side would be to set a scrum with the defending side having the feed to reward good defense on the goal line. ATM the 5m scrum with feed to the attacking side just is weighted too far in their favour, and usually leads to a succession of scrums, penalties, lineouts and mauls and yellow cards. All the things we want to see reduced, but the goal line drop out might not be the best way of doing that.

      • Who?

        Knocked on in goal is loss of possession, isn’t it? Therefore a 22 drop out.
        .
        The real questions with these things should be:
        1. Is there a real problem here? And,
        2. Is the solution a clear improvement?
        .
        I’d hazard that the supposed problems aren’t real, and that the solutions proposed are actually negatives. The goal line drop out doesn’t sufficiently punish a team for taking the ball in goal and grounding it, or reward the attacking team for creating that pressured situation. Not in comparison to a 5m scrum.
        But for all other situations, it doesn’t punish the attacking team for not valuing their opportunity in the form of territory and possession.
        It all feels like change for the sake of change, or worse, change to closer resemble an inferior game (a game that I hate, finding it interminably boring), and those are not sufficient arguments to warrant change.

        • Brumby Runner

          From the announcement on the Rugby.com.au site:

          LAW CHANGES
          1. When an attacking player carrying the ball is held up in the in-goal or knocks the ball on play restarts with a goal line drop-out

        • Who?

          Yep. So the player held up is punished a little more (i.e. they don’t get the scrum feed), but the player who knocks on the ball is punished less. Punishing the player less is a mistake. The drop out for held up, it’s arguably a greater punishment than the 5m scrum, but it’s still likely to give them possession, just a bit further back.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Is it only me that think this draw set the Force up for failure? Why didn’t they swap Round 4 and Round 9 venues for a Force vs Brumbies? Now the Force need to play a home game away in Melbourne! Not. Inch of a home and away competition if it is only for some… A bye on the first round is not really a bye, is it? The Force also have more 6 and 7 day turnarounds than any other team. There should be little to complain about if you are a Tah supporter with byes spread optimally and an extra 8 day turnaround… It is as if RA thought that the Tahs will have the toughest travelling schedule that they had to take into account…. However the team with the worst travelling schedule Is in WA. Like most thinks RA come up with this schedule makes no sense.

    • Who?

      The Force might be joining Adam Simpson in thinking that McGowan supports their opponents..? Obviously WA’s done a great job, but I’d have thought they could’ve quarantined a team flying in for game day, and I’d have thought RA (in spite of their regular incompetence) could’ve factored that into their draw. :-(

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Restrictions may have been lifted by July therefore playing the Brumbies in round 9 at home instead of in Melbourne in the 4th round seems obvious. RA is biased not incompetent as they deliberately setup a game schedule that disadvantage the Force and favour their Tahs.

        • Who?

          That’s what I mean about RA factoring it into their draw. :-)

ACT Brumbies
@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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