Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Super Rugby AU Week 4, Super Rugby Aotearoa, The Weekend Ahead in Club rugby and World Rugby Sets International Window

SUPER RUGBY AU WEEK FOUR

107900510_4275374759169716_591684795749457571_o

Last week brought us two tight games, probably tighter than a lot expected on paper. While the results were what the odds-makers had predicted they certainly got the margins wrong, having used the goat entrails of prophecy to forsee large margins.

Instead we got one cracking game (Reds v Force) and one game of a team playing on maybe five of their eight cylinders (Brumbies) against a very game Waratahs outfit. This week the Reds have their spell while two more games pop up, with the boffins again expecting fair margins in both.

Friday night (705PM Fox Sports and Kayo) sees the Rebels play the Waratahs at the SGC, with the Rebels firm favourites, although I am not sure how. The Rebels had the bye last week and team wise welcome Trevor Hosea and Reece Hodge into the starting lineup. Campbell Magnay drops out after an injury at training and Hosea replaces Michael Stolberg at lock. Cameron Orr comes into the starting side for Matt Gibbon.  The Rebels have opted for a 6-2 bench, clearly recognising the aggressive and abrasive nature of the Waratahs pack.

On the NSW side, there have been a few changes with Joe Cotton, Chris Talakai, Jed Holloway coming onto the bench in the forwards along with Jake Gordon in the backs. This should be closer than it suggests, and another bruising forward encounter awaits.

Saturday (715PM EST, Fox Sports and Kayo) has the Western Force searching for the elusive win against the Brumbies. Having been at the press conference last week after the Reds game I saw how bitterly disappointed coach Tim Sampson was and there is a genuine belief that success is just around the corner. Will it be against a misfiring Brumbies side that has won, but unconvincingly against the Rebels and the Waratahs?

The Brumbies have made a few changes, some through injury and some not. Scott Sio comes into the starting side for James Slipper, Nick Frost comes in for Darcy Swain and Will Miller starts for Tom Cusack. In the backs Bayley Kuenzle starts for Noah Lolesio due to injury and Solomone Kata starts for Andy Muirhead on the wing.

Coming into their third game the Force have been forced to make a number of changes. Captain Ian Prior is out after coming off early against the Reds, replaced by former Red and recent signing Nick Frisby. Jeremy Thrush takes the captain duties in Prior’s absence. On the bench there is room for former All Black Richard Kahui, and Tom Sheminant comes in for Greg Holmes who is out with a broken thumb.

If the Brumbies struggle to fire the Force might be a chance here, the sheer aggression caused the Reds headaches for much of the game and only some panicked play toward the end when they had the man advantage really told the difference then.

Tips: Waratahs by 4, Brumbies by 8

SUPER RUGBY AOTEAROA

New-Zealand-Rugby-Union-Logo-since-2013

 

With only three rounds left, there are still three teams in with a mathematical shot of winning the title, although it is fair to say that the Crusaders are the very strong favourites.

This weekend should see the gap widened further with the unbeaten Crusaders hosting the Hurricanes in Christchurch. While the Hurricanes have been on the improve since week one, the Saders are on the back of an astonishing 36 games home unbeaten streak and have conquered all before them thus far. This game is Saturday (505PM EST, Fox Sports and Kayo).

Team wise, the Crusaders are in the midst of what coach Scott Robertson calls an injury crisis, with David Havili gone for the season. The competitions leading try scorer, Will Douglas, is the rather handy replacement. In the midfield Fetuli Paea replaces the injured Brayden Ennor.

For the Canes, Dane Coles is out with injury, meaning Asafo Aumua comes in, and out wide Wes Goosen comes in for Kobus van Wyk, along with some bench changes. On the left wing, Ben Lam marks his 50th game which will also be his last, before he moves on for the riches of overseas.

The other game sees the hapless Chiefs travel to Auckland to take on the Blues. After snatching defeat from the jaws of victoty last week can the Chiefs finally break through. It is possible against a Blues outfit that has looked a bit wobbly the last two weeks, albeit against the two top sides. At the time of writing the teams are not out for this game.

Stay in touch with the team news courtesy of ESPN here.

Tips: Crusaders by 9, Blues by 6.

CLUB RUGBY WEEKEND PREVIEW

Shute Shield is now closer to Subbies than the Wallabies

After the opening of club rugby in the ACT and NSW now have a good chunk of club rugby to get our teeth around.

Over in WA there are still five teams unbeaten after three rounds with Associates, fresh off a 38-0 win last week, and Nedlands leading the way. Associates also feature in what looks like the  Match of the Round in WA, taking on the fourht place Cottesloe.

In SA, Old Collegians, Southern Suburbs and Brighton are unbeaten through four rounds and should gap themselves further from the others after big wins last weekend. The best match this weekend should be 1 v 2 with Brighton and Old Collegians locking horns. Both teams have a +160 For and Against after four rounds so will each be looking to make their mark on the others. SA Rugby Facebook will be streaming the clash between Woodville and Onkaparinga.

ACT saw the start of the John I Dent Cup, and most of us missed what seemed like the most epic of finishes last week, with Owls scoring three tries in the last five minutes to come back and beat defending premiers Royals 26-24. Only Queanbeyan were outplayed last week and they will look to repair that when they take on Gunghalin this weekend. Check out the John I Dent Facebook for the match of the round between Vikings and Royals.

In Sydney, the expanded Shute Shield played and new comers Newcastle were beaten but not totally embarassed by Randwick last week, and the returning Penrith had the bye. The TV game this week is Eastern Suburbs v West Harbour, with both sides looking to open their account after losses last week. Penrith face a stern test in their return against a Northern Suburbs outfit that comprehensively did away with West Harbour last weekend.

Tasmanian Premier Grade also gets under way this week with perennial heavyweights Deveonport and Taroona expected to lead from the front again.

And finally, the Darwin Premier Grade Round 9 has already commenced with Uni downing Darwin Dragons 14-0. The remaining game sees Palmerston take on Casuarina.

For some more detail, colour and news around the club traps of the nation, take a look at Nick Wasiliev and his column on Rugby.com.au. He does the club scene more justice than I ever could in this little column.

WORLD RUGBY SETS INTERNATIONAL WINDOW

world rugby_ball

 

In an effort to give some certainly to member nations, World Rugby has set the dates for a window for internationals to be played later this year. This has flow on effects for both hemispheres as our end looks to schedule the Rugby Championship and the northerners look to tie the loose ends up on the yet-to-be-completed Six Nations.

As reported on ESPN Rugby here, the plan is to have a temporary (ie only for this year) window from October 24 to December 5. This will allow the mooted six week Rugby Championship to be run along with players serving any sort of quarantine period as set by the host nation.

In the north of the world, the plan is to finish off the Six Nations first, then from November 14, have a series of other Tests played. Given the current state of flux of most of the world, there is no discussion yet around who those matches may involve, but it figures to be those countries involved or nearby that prove the easiest.

This will leave nations like Japan, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and others in the cold, although given the large numbers of players from the Pacific Islands already in Europe it is perhaps also feasible that they could end up playing European nations.

Like most things in rugby, this is only a proposal at present, with the actual decision to be made by the World Rugby Council on 30 July. It will be interesting to see if the clubs push back against this, given they are also hurting from lack of revenue, ticket sales and TV money in the same way the national bodies are.

 

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben, I’m feeling that you may be right on the Rebels/Tahs game. I still don’t get what Wessels is doing with his continual changes week after week and I think the Tahs will have the edge on this as they are a more settled team. I hate to say it but I think you’re also correct in NZ and my Canes will struggle away to the Crusaders. Heart says Canes, brain says Crusaders. Blues over the Chiefs for sure. Gatland needs to review his coaching because whatever he’s changed hasn’t worked and when you get a player like Sam Cane looking poor you are doing something wrong.
    Another game for me this a week so looking forward to that. I’m just glad club rugby is back. I’m still not convinced that many internationals will go ahead purely because of the travel restrictions. SA players having no games at all and then being expected to come to NZ, have 14 days lockdown, a couple of weeks training and then take on Australia and NZ with players match hardened through the Super play is going to be a big ask and unless the COVID starts improving I’m not sure the risk is worth it

    • Keith Butler

      Got me completely tossed about what’s going on in Wessels head regarding selection. Had a good squad in 2019 albeit a bit top heavy in the backs but seemed to chop and change on a weekly basis. Rinse and repeat for 2020. Must admit to not keeping up to date with player movement but where is Narisarani, injured or moved on? Totally agree about internationals but in the end money talks.

      • Metootootoo

        Not much change over the last few weeks at all. Magnay is injured (as is Naisarani). Orr starts ahead of Gibbon who went of off with head nock two weeks ago Coming back slow.

        • Keith Butler

          Cheers. Looks like injury changes.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Boy we got that one wrong didn’t we? The Tahs were very poor tbh but still????

  • Yowie

    The Brumbies have made a few changes, …Nick Frost comes in for…

    He was very funny in Shaun of the Dead too. I’m surprised the team sheet says that he’s a lock, with his prop physique.

    • Huw Tindall

      Did you see him move in Cuban Fury though? Would be kicked out of the front rowers union with those twinkle toes.

      • Bobas

        Props can’t look up

      • Yowie

        What sanction did the Front Rowers Union hand out to Matt Dunning on the charges of:
        1. attempted drop goal;
        2. successful drop goal; and
        3. messing-up attempt to mess-up a drop goal?

        • Nutta

          Don’t. Just don’t. Stop talking.

        • Hoss

          He’s still a prop though. His technique was impeccable the result terrific – the maths, shit-house.

        • Yowie

          If Dirty Harry were a prop, he’d be genuinely asking the “punk” how many shot’s he’d fired.

        • Hoss

          Or Sean Connery – ‘just like a prop to bring a knife to a gunfite’

        • Keith Butler

          Used to have a .44 Magnum but now shoot blanks!

        • Tah Tragic

          Have to disagree on the last point. While he got the goal it was the ultimate mess-up. Tahs needed a bonus point try are pressing the line and he … goes for the drop goal. He messed up the mess-up of the mess-up (my head hurts).

          I love the look on his face just after he did the drop goal. In the pic below he is literally in the middle of saying sorry to his team mates. He made all front rowers proud of him that day.

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/585766c35b9c584330691c115aab0da5a1c5a606c0ce5e29a63fb424bce8c110.jpg

        • Yowie

          When searched on youtube for “Matt Dunning drop goal” (just for a bit of Tahdenfreude) the second-ranked search result was “Matt Dunning intercept”.

          How is this man allowed to call himself a prop?

        • ATrain

          Just don’t search Dunning vs Sheridan

        • Nutta

          I’ve got a pretty healthy two-way relationship going with a few Mungo Mates. They jag me incessantly over rugby’s complexity parallel with Fantastic Mr Fox Whackbat and I rip them holes over the fact that the average age of their players is still higher than their combined IQ. But Christ on a stick did I cop a dead-set pasting over that episode… I still get shivers about it.

          https://youtu.be/HNPyZsPH8TI

        • ATrain

          Never seen that before – very funny – I didn’t pick Owen Wilson’s voice for a while

        • Greg

          Just send off both front rows and get on with it.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          I’m not normally a fan of portmanteau words, but I’ll make an exception for Tahdenfreude.

        • Yowie

          Haha, cheers. I hope it gains a bit of common usage.

        • ATrain

          f*ck i only just got that – 18 hours to process it I suppose…that was very funny as usual

        • Yowie

          Thanks very much. I am unusually pleased with it.

  • Huw Tindall

    Meant to be seeing the sites of Naples and Amalfi this weekend so may miss all the rugby which is on mid morning euro time. Can you chuck a sickie on holiday and let the GF go out on her own for the morning?

    • Ed

      Seriously Huw – that part of the world over a few rugby games unless you are stuck indoors.

    • Hoss

      Name dropper. I am off to Heddon Greta on Saturday nite for the Drive-ins and maybe a tour down Kurri-Kurri main street and the still glowing embers of burnt out cars to warm the cockles a wee bit.

      • Yowie

        Doing a tour of the artisanal methamphetamine cellar doors?

      • Keith Butler

        Do you mean drive by’s?

        • Hoss

          No mate, we still have one of only a handful of drive-ins left open in the state. The little-ones love it. Reverse the SUV in, tailgate open. The kids sit in the back in a sea of pillows and blankets. Mrs Hoss and i sit outside on some chairs, rugged up, nice red or two and pretend its 1985 again.

        • Keith Butler

          Slightly tongue in cheek on my part. What could be better than a family evening out. Enjoy. Sorting out tonight’s entertainment for me and the Mayoress. South meets North. Homemade meat pies and mushy peas washed down with a bottle or two of Theakstons Old Peculiar and then ritual humiliation for the Rabble against the Tahs. Off to the cinema tomorrow to see Shirley.

        • Yowie

          Don’t forget to put your beer in the oven early enough for it to reach optimal drinking temperature for soap-dodgers.

        • Keith Butler

          Already warming up to room temperature. Brings out the hoppy flavours.

        • Keith Butler

          Beer update. All my English beers say serve chilled or below 10degrees C. Does that class as ‘warm’.

        • Yowie

          Not by Qld standards. Point taken.

        • ATrain

          drink it in 5 or 7 ounce glasses in Qld so it doesn’t get too hot – that is what the old timers at the bowls club used to tell me

        • Yowie

          I think Tom Cruise drinks his beer from a small glass so that he looks bigger in comparison.

        • Nutta

          I grew up in a mix of country pubs and farms. As a little boy I well recall what was called a ‘Shearers Shout’ which was a 5ounce of chilled port alongside a 7ounce of beer. Generally was a Carlton, Resches or maybe an Old. The port would generally be a McWilliams red-label half-gallon flagon kept up the end of the under-bar glass chiller. The old guys would get thin-lipped pissed-off if anyone handled a glass anywhere but the base of the glass – ‘Don’t put your cock-fiddling fingers where my fkn mouth goes Boy!’

        • ATrain

          many of the old blokes who worked in the bowls club where I worked would be waiting for the doors to open – arriving 5 – 10 minutes before the 10 am opening and the first order of the day was a rum with a chaser – straight shot of bundy usually and a middy – they would have half a dozen of those and go home for lunch. Not sure what they got up to in the arvo – I suspect a siesta but I never saw them on the rest of my shift which would finish at 4

        • Keith Butler

          Reminds me of the first drink I had in an Aussie pub back in 1980. Asked mistakenly for a pint and got a blank look. Then asked for the biggest glass they had and was given what looked like a thimble (slight exaggeration) but not more than a half pint.

        • Yowie

          I was born here and it’s still an issue.

          The number of times I’ve had to say “ok, what types of beer glasses do you have?” after initial requests for pints/schooners/whatever.

          Probably doesn’t help that there isn’t a nationally consistent system for pots, schooners etc. (WTF is a “middy”?)

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          A middy is mid-way between a schooner and a 7 (no doubt prompting a new question). S.A. is really confusing – they call schooners ‘pints’ (with no apparent reference to the renowned liquid measure) and middies ‘schooners’.

        • Yowie

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-09-08/curious-adelaide-south-australia-beer-glass-sizes/8874960

          The “7” thing intrigued me to look it up. Even the sharpest investigative minds at the ABC can’t figure out what SA is up to with their beer glass sizes.

        • Greg

          I remember drinking a real ale in Yorkshire years ago. it was sleeting outside and about 2 degrees. An icy beer might have killed me.

          A kind Yorkshireman, on learning we were from were from Australia, said (imagine accent) Aye lad, we got it wrong years ago… we should have sent ourselves to Australia and left you lot here!

        • Keith Butler

          Who said Yorkshire men didn’t have a sense of humour. Just short arms and deep pockets.

        • Hoss

          Where abouts in Yorkshire did you live ???

        • Yowie
        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes

        • Brisneyland Local

          You mean you put the hard word on Mrs Hoss at the Drive in, and she, like 1985 tells you to fuck off?

        • Hoss

          1985 was a few Mrs Hoss’ ago thank you very much. I’ve donated a number of dwellings to people who hate me over the years.

          I would say I’ve nearly seen a lot of movies at the old drive in over the years.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold.
          Like the Rod Stewart saying.
          “Next time I will save my self the whole bother by finding some woman I already hate adn buy her a house!”

      • IIPA

        Is Heddon Greta the posh bit of Greta ?

        • Hoss

          They wish ! Heddonites look down their nose at Greta. I am confused about ‘Kurri-Kurri’ though. Apparently its firs peoples for ‘First’ so is it first-first which actually makes sense or is it such a ripping place they named it twice. Like ‘Wagga-Wagga’ ?

  • Happyman

    Looks like the Ballymore upgrade has been locked in.

    As a now old man I yearn for the glory days of the old stadium and would prefer a boutique stadium. But at least they are doing something with the old girl as it is sad to see what it has become. My reason for a boutique stadium is at least you would get the bar from say a 20,000 seat stadium.

    That and Suncorp is a soulless place with less than 35,000 in it.

    https://www.news.com.au/sport/rugby/queensland-government-confirms-lucrative-ballymore-upgrade/news-story/0e50e5eecae12aaa2d4cc1220bb1ccf3

    • Brisneyland Local

      And with a new stadium at Ballymore there will be proper bars. Last Time Iw as at Ballymore last year for an NRC game it was utter shit. Had to que for 25 mins to get a crap beer.

      • Yowie

        At Suncorp you can get crap beer in half that time!

        • Brisneyland Local

          nless you go to the little corner pop up stall where you can get Rodgers on tap!

        • Yowie

          That’s such a tasty beer, let alone a midstrength. I’d get a carton of it at the bottle shop more often if the proper Little Creatures wasn’t calling out “we’re over here mate, for about the same price”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes they are both good. Mrs BL loves Rodgers, so therefore I am allowed to buy it with gay abandon! And i do!

        • Yowie

          Rogers and Little Creatures are on the “too tasty, buy sparingly” list at home. Mrs Yowie quite likes the Tinnies Tropical XPA (which is not bad) and I don’t mind the Tinnies Pale Ale for a bit of flavour and bitterness. Each is $50 for a carton, which is bloody good value for the type and favour of beer.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Thanks for the reccommendation.Have you tried Bricklane yet? I am looking for a reco.

        • Yowie

          I think the Tinnies range is by Bricklane (commissioned by the Coles liquor group). I haven’t tried the regular Brick Lane offerings.

          I have craft beer tastes but a big-brewery-product budget in the bottle shop. In pubs (remember them?) i’ll try anything crafty on offer.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Anything crafty on tap thanks!

  • Dally M

    Thanks Ben.

    RA talking tough this morning and calling NZ’s bluff over the comp next year:

    “The expression of interest I’m not interested in and if they send it over I won’t open it,” RA chairman Hamish McLennan said. “If [chairman Brent Impey] and Mark [Robinson] want to chat with Clarkie and myself, I think next week’s the week to do it.”

    Supposedly our Plan B is an eight-team competition featuring the 5 Oz sides, a Fijian Drua team, an Argentinian side and the second coming of the Sunwolves.

    It’s probably 2 teams short of an ideal comp but it’s not a bad comp for 2021 with the option to add for 2022.

    Will be interesting to see what NZ’s move is now as they are being criticized by the press here, in the UK and Sth Africa.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      An Argentinian side iin a comp like that is a travel and timezone nighmare. Argentina would be better off putting two teams in the Pro14. The travel is about the same as South Aftica for them, but the time zone is a bit better. The Pro14 is the best matching comp for them.

      Alternatively or additionally, the new South American comp, which only played 3 matches before the virus caused it’s suspension, could take 6 or 8 Argentinian teams. It probably couldn’t fund the top Argentinian players, but it would still help the standard of rugby.

      Not sure Japan wants to resurect the Sunwolves either with them trying to further develop their domestic league.

      Twiggy has two pacific island teams and Hong Kong that he might want to include. That would get to 8.

      • ATrain

        I thought the – is it called MLR – in the US might pick up some of Argentina’s players. From memory I think some of the teams have 2 or 3 Uruguayans. Either spread across a few sides or perhaps allow 2 sides from Argentina into their comp. No time zone issues that way and it would be a quick way to boost the quality of the US comp – perhaps better than buying 35* yo former stars

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I think from a MLR marketing point of view they wouldn’t want 2 full strength Argentinian teams winning their comp every year, and their salary cap arrangements wouldn’t allow it either.

          If the 2 Argeetinian teams were normal MLR strength, it would still be problemmatic due to no traditional rivalry between the US and Argentina in anything.

      • Tah Tragic

        I thought they were talking about basing the Argies somewhere is OZ. It is still be a logistical nightmare but would overcome the weekly travel issue. Probably more a thought bubble than an actual plan at this stage.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Just a comp to fill in a season, rather than moving towards a good long term comp.

      • Dally M

        The word out of Japan is that the JRU are back on board having some involvement to improve the national team.

        If the start date is pushed back then the Top League may be finished and essentially the national team playing as the Sunwolves could be in.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          If they are going to let all the top league players be available, including foreigners, then maybe two Japanese teams would be the go – a West Japan based in Osaka and an East in Tokyo. With a bit of rivalry between those two, it might even generate some serious money.

          Add 5 Aussie teams and 5 NZ, with proper salary cap and free movement of players in Aus and NZ, and you’ve got something with real potential.

        • Dally M

          The way it’s going i can’t see anything happening with NZ.

          They seem intent on believing they are the epicentre of all things rugby in the world and everyone will bow down to them.

          It’s such a shame because we could put something good together that would appeal to broadcasters & fans all in our time zones etc.

          The Kiwi’s are negotiating like the Wallabies played Rugby under Cheika, our way ignoring everyone else and no plan B!

        • Yowie

          It’s been a good day for evergreen “copy & paste” sentences from the archives. First in the news it was

          “the Crusaders are the very strong favourites”

          now

          (NZ) “seem intent on believing they are the epicentre of all things rugby in the world…”

    • ATrain

      I reckon 8 would be OK to start. I think anymore than 12 is a problem – 22 round games with home and away plus 4 weeks of finals is a 26 week comp – 2 weeks of trials – that means its 28 weeks – 7 months as a regular season. Any more than that and you have to move away from full H/A – 8 teams gives you 14 weeks plus 4 +2 so probably 20 all up – 5 months – but with our heavier national team commitments and that is pretty good

  • RedSheep1989

    what price and who were the rebels favourites with lol? you had me excited to put a cheeky one on the tahs for a moment there, now the tahs v rebels are 1.83 v 2.00 on sportsbet…

  • IIPA

    Nice to see some club rugby on GAGR

    Weather doesn’t look great but otherwise Randwick and Warringah at Coogee on Sat arvo would be a ripper. Wicks have half the Aussie 7s team running around in a lethal looking backline incl Hutch at 13, Lochy Miller at fullback and Moz Longbottom on the bench.

    Good on McLennan….maybe he’s been watching and listening to V’Landys style – talk hard in public, look after your own patch and ignore public criticism. The latest has Vlandys talking to his mate Mick Fuller to have NSW Police allow Sonny Bill to skip hotel quarantine….after he’s talked to his mates at the AFP to allow Sonny Bill to even enter the country…..

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Pleased to see Nick Frisby back to add some depth at 9. A terrific talent, now hardened by a few seasons as a key player at Glasgow under some bloke named Dave Rennie.

    • Nutta

      Funny that…

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Why, oh why did I bother checking the final score of the Tahs v Rebs game? I was having such a nice day…

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

More in Rugby

  • Thursday’s Rugby News

    Thursday’s Rugby news previews Bledisloe III, with some hints at selection changes for the Wallabies, and club rugby gears...

  • Wednesday’s Rugby News

    Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at a possible change for the Wallabies, O’Connor’s role heading forward, the Reds...

  • Tuesday’s Rugby News

    Tuesday’s Rugby News Looks at the All Blacks squad, what colour is gold, more recruits for the...

  • Monday’s Rugby News

    Monday’s Rugby News recaps an exciting round of club rugby, Irae Simone ready to jump at a...