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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees Super Rugby AU Week 9, More Players Going on Sabbatical, The Weekend Ahead in Club Land and Fans on Trial In England

 

SUPER RUGBY AU WEEK NINE

2020 Western Force jersey GRR

With just two rounds left in the regular season, four of the five teams are still in the running for the three final spots on offer. While the Brumbies have one of those spots locked away the other two spots are still anyone’s, particularly the third spot.

This battle for third makes the Rebels clash with the Waratahs vitally important for both teams, especially the Tahs, who face a nervous bye next week, so this is a game they really need to win with a bonus point.

The other big news for the weekend is the late breaking announcement of the referee appointment for the Force v Brumbies game. Amy Perrett will become the first woman to referee a Super Rugby game. After having AR duties for several years as well as refereeing on the Sevens circuit, Perrett will get the lead role tonight. This could not have come soon enough, with a number of GAGR regular forum contributors calling for this for a while now. In my view, I wish I didnt even have to write this last paragraph, but here we are, and I’m happy to say I’m also the last GAGR news writer to have to do it. News.com.au broke the story here

First up this weekend though is the Brumbies welcoming the Force to Canberra on Friday evening (705pm EST, Fox Sports and Kayo).

The Brumbies have kept a fairly stable squad after dismantling the Waratahs last week with a team viewed by many as second string. The only change to the starting side is Joe Powell returning to the side at the expense of Ryan Longergan, with Ressjan Pasitoa coming onto the bench for Tom Cusack. This means no Folau Fainga’a or Scott Sio in the starting side and no Tevita Kuridrani in the 23.

With nothing else to play for other than pride the Force have made a number of changes as they seek to notch their first win in what has been a particularly hard re-acquaintance with Super Rugby. Into the starting side come Henry Stowers, Henry Taefu and Marcel Brache, while two of their best players in Bryn Stander and Richard Kahui move to the best. Winger Byron Ralston drops of out the 23 altogether as does veteran hooker Heath Tessman and Tevin Ferris.

Let’s face it, the Force will struggle here, the length of time being away combined with their obvious lack of depth is really beginning to tell and only strength of will keep this game close in what will likely be a frigid night in Canberra.

Saturday night (715PM EST, Fox Sports and Kayo) has the clash between the Rebels and the Waratahs. After being done over by the Brums last weekend, the Waratahs have made a call from left field in an attempt to keep their season alive.

Former NRL backrower Tepai Moeroa has been called up to make his first start at 12, after Karmichael Hunt was ruled out again with a hamstring injury. The loss of Hunt was noticeable last week in that Will Harrison seemed less effective at 10 so coach Rob Penney is hoping Moeroa will straighten the attack a bit and give Harrison more time. Backrower Will Harris comes back into the 23 after a few weeks out in the only other change to the squad.

On the Rebels side, they have had the benefit of the week off and have also named a relatively settled side. There are three changes to the 23 with Jermaine Ainsley coming into the starting side at tighthead and Tom Pincus and Michael Stolberg going onto the bench.

Last time around, the Rebels squeaked past the Tahs in a game that was much closer than it should have been. For the Rebels there were a few parallels to the now infamous Reds game in that they had mountains of possession but struggled to get over the tryline, showing that the performance in Brisbane was not a one-off. Expect another bruising encounter as the abrasive Tahs pack look to rough up the Rebels and pound them into submission.

Teamlists for both games courtesy of rugby.com.au here

Tips: Brumbies by 25, Rebels by 5

 

MORE PLAYERS ON SABBATICAL?

 

Toomua_Wallabies

After Michael Hooper announced his rather well earned sabbatical for 2021 to Japan, the news soon filtered through that there were a few other Wallabies also looking at taking similar nest-egg building ventures overseas.

It emerged that a small group of Wallaby players who would generally be seen as key planks in the build to the 2023 World Cup have been offered a similar opportunity to Hooper, in the hope this will keep them in the country when they might otherwise be lost. This is especially true for a number of players who have been loyal servants for a few years now, but would be lost to Test duty due to the Giteau law.

For the Melbourne Rebels, this includes two key cogs in their explosive backline, Matt Toomua and Dane Haylett-Petty. Both players fall under the 60 cap floor so they would be ineligible if they took up a more formal contract overseas.

As Rebels coach Dave Wessels explained to AAP via ESPN Rugby, he is all for the idea, with one caveat. That being that only one of them can go overseas next year. Wessels explained, “The way it works is that both of them can’t go together so if one did decide to go, they’d have to alternate years.”

“Both of them are pretty big parts of our team and both of them are pretty committed to staying at this stage and we’re obviously hopeful it plays out that way,” Wessels added. So it seems the only question is how do they decided on who goes first? Coin toss? Kick off? Pistols at dawn? Any good ideas, please let me know.

It also begs the question of which other players have been offered this opportunity? Who deserves the chance to make some more coin but then be welcomed back into the Wallaby fold for next years internationals?

CLUB RUGBY WEEKEND PREVIEW

Adam Korczyk UQ QLD Club GF Photo Credit QRU Brendan Hertel

Time to take a spin around the country and smell the metaphorical burger on the grill that is clubland.

In Western Australia, the top two teams have cleared out from the rest, with a logjam from third to sixth. Up top, Cottesloe remain undefeated with Associates close behind. The best game looks to be Associates and Nedlands, which is second against fourth. A win for Associates will open the gap on those below and a loss means they come closer to the chasing pack.

In the Coopers Premier Grade in South Australia, Brighton have cleared out from the chasing pack, with eight points separating them from second placed Old Collegians, who in turn have Onkaparinga and Burnside hot on their heels.  In a comp where there have been some big scores racked up in recent weeks it seems Burnside and Brighton- 1 v 4 will be the pick of the games this weekend.

Over to the ACT, tight contests have led to a tight table and last weekend was no exception with Vikings scraping past Owls 26-25. Owls remain on top however the gap has narrowed to the chasing pack. This week sees Whites taking on Eagles, Royals and Vikings, and Wests hosting Owls.

The Shute Shield is continuing with the game of the week on 7 TWO being Randwick against Eastwood, a battle of first and fourth on the ladder. Gordon are third and unbeaten while second placed Uni have the bye this week. Hunter, Penrith and Western Sydney are yet to get their first wins, but the Wildfires came close against Manly.

Devonport continue to set the pace in Tasmania, with a tight contest from second to fourth. All teams have notched at least one win, with Stags and Harlequins game this week likely to go some way to sorting out the top four come finals time.

In Brisbane, an Easts side led by a monster pack is setting the pace, and they will be looking to keep it up this week when they take on Bond Uni away. Other frontrunners include Uni and Souths, who meet this week and GPS who take on struggling Sunnybank. Wests will be looking to open their account for the season against everyone’s favourite rival, Brothers.

As always, have a look ar  rugby.com.au and the hard working and good looking Nick Wasiliev’s column for more colour and all the links to watch games being streamed.

FANS ON TRIAL IN ENGLAND

320px-Premiership_rugby_logo_2018.svg

 

With sport generally in England seemingly able to operate relatively well with most codes of football, cricket, golf and racing all functioning at the elite level the next step for them all is to start bringing people back in through the turnstiles, much like we have managed in Australia.

To that end, as part of a UK Government program to stage and test this approach we will see the first fans in English rugby on September 5 when Harlequins take on Bath. The tickets will be limited to 4,000 which is about 25% of the normal capacity of the ground.

BBC Sport has an article here about the broader trial which will see crowds come back in small numbers in a number of sports. This all starts with a EPL friendly between Chelsea and Brighton this weekend.

An earlier plan to get fans back to sport was halted when there was a surge in cases in the UK last month, with snooker of all things being the victim.

Any return of fans, at any number will be a boost to rugby clubs who (along with all other clubs in other sports) have suffered enormously from the lack of revenue caused by games being played behind locked doors. While rugby has been relatively lucky in terms of club solvency, many jobs have been cut at club and RFU level.

 

 

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben, isn’t it great to see the competition to go to the wire here. So much better than watching the Crusaders cruise to the win again. At least my Hurricanes beat them once. I think if the Tahs do miss out this weekend, the season won’t be based on this game and they need to look at some of the other games earlier in the season that they should have won before they blame anything that happens this weekend. I think your calls for the weekend are correct but I think if the Rebels do win they’ll win by more and I’m picking 12+
    I wonder if Toomua and DHP will toss a coin for this. I think both of them are getting to the stage that if they don’t do this next year they may actually not be around to do it the following year. Both are getting on and have younger guys snapping at them and both run the risk of the swan song away being their last action. Good luck to them.
    Good to see the crowds going back, albeit a smaller one. Things are slowly getting better but I’ll still be surprised to see any internationals this year

    • Geoffro

      Fully agree on Petty and Toomua.Their days in G&G are numbered and they probably should go make a few bucks while they can.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah and fair enough too.

  • Hoss

    Congrats Amy Perret – well deserved and good luck. Also kudos RA for the move.

    As part of my egalitarian ways I look forward to hanging shit on Amy for any howlers.

    Go the Force and bring it home my beloved Tah’s.

    • Geoffro

      Its about time.Interesting to see if the lads’ behaviour is any different.Maybe less scowling from Lee

      • Dally M

        About time.

        If you’d ever want to make your top level debut you’d want it to be in Union where the players are far more respectful than any other winter ball code to the ref.

        Can you imagine how it would go in League with the abuse they hurl at the male referee’s!

        • Geoffro

          Yep.It’s difficult being a woman in mungoland.Ask Erin Molan

    • Nutta

      You had me until line 3…

      • Hoss

        As I proffered gods chosen ones only yesterday – ‘Ours not to reason why, ours but to win and bye’

        This page has needed some kulcha for ages

        • Yowie

          All the world wondered” seems apt for the post-2015 Cheika Wallabies stint.

        • Geoffro

          Unlike your esteemed self I usually keep my fandom to myself (in the hope of not putting the mockers on them,though doesnt seem to help) Wot the hell.Gods chosen by 3 and ponies by pahlenty

        • Nutta

          Very apt spelling.

        • lose and cry?

        • Hoss

          Wheres my IT guy, i am sure i set my spam filter to block WA, you know, the ‘Clyne Setting’.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          It’s in your refrigerator and called yoghurt

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m with you there

    • Custardtaht

      I love your optimism, however I feel as thought the Forces light sabre is going to be as a flaccid as a pecker with brewers droop.

    • Greg

      Great news to see Ms Perret given the game.

      It will be interesting to see how the players adapt and how she goes keeping the rabble in line.

      All the best to her.

      • Missing Link

        They’ll have to adapt to calling her “ma’am” for starters. I wonder who is going to look like a dick head first and shout “offside sir…err… umm…ma’am”

        • Greg

          It is a pretty safe bet their shirt will have a 9 on it!

    • Mica

      I was about to upvote you until I read the second part of your last sentence. To quote Seinfeld “No vote for you!” :)

      • Geoffro

        Nazi

        • Mica

          Damn it – I forgot he was the soup nazi! :(

        • Geoffro

          And now you’re a ‘Tah nazi.S’ok , a few about.Bloody fascists.

    • Can I give you 3/4 of an upvote, 7/8 even?

      While you’re perfectly entitled to your misguided love affair with the Tahs, go the Rebs!

      But I agree with everything else. Let me just say I hope Amy has a good game with the whistle. So tempting to say she has a pretty low bar to be the best this year…

      • Hoss

        Evening EP,

        Hope you are well and sane up north. The little I’ve seen of Amy’s officiating she is calm, composed, communicates well and has a good feel for the contest – hoping that translates to a good showing in her SRA debut.

        10 weeks back before the revised SRA kicked off I predicted a Ponies, Reds 1-2 with the Tah’s likely battling to avoid the WA curse, sorry, wooden spoon.

        They have some young raw talent that could be something in a year or two, but me thinks whoever makes up the third spot will only be in the finals for a week, the Reds are my special to win, but the puppy killers (Ponies) will take some beating

        • Morning, Hoss,

          Normal level of aches and pains. Sanity, not sure I ever had that… but I’m not a danger to myself or others so they don’t lock me up! How are you holding up?

          I think you’re more or less right about the Tahs. Not sure they’ve all got what it takes, it’s hard to judge when there are so many youngsters running around and trying to gel into a team, but there are certainly quite a few that, in a year or two, will look good I think.

          I’m inclined to agree, the final will be Brumbies v Reds. Whoever ends up as the other side will be swept aside, not necessarily by as huge a margin as that suggests, but that big loss seems to have sparked the Reds into life.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m with you on the low bar, some of the refereeing here has been a bit off. I reckon I could do better

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    “The Melbourne Rebels, this includes two key cogs in their explosive backline, Matt Toomua and Dane Haylett-Petty”

    I might need to go to Specsavers or get tested for mehllennialism, as I either missed the explosions or I find explosions to be but a fizzle.

    • Yowie

      I have hipster tastes in certain types of explosions. You’ve probably never heard of them.

      • Custardtaht

        Are you the Scatman?

        • Yowie

          I have a glass coffee table for non-sicko reasons thank you.

        • Geoffro

          Ones with legs more than six inches are banned up there anyway. aren’t they ?

        • Yowie

          Worse than that. If you buy four small pavers and a tarp at Bunnings in the same transaction, you have to sign a Stat Dec saying it’s not to raise your coffee table.

        • Geoffro

          and a return guarantee waiver

      • Geoffro

        Wot ? in my day hipsters used to play bongos.Have the new age QLD versions just discovered them {and tossed those banjos)

    • Geoffro

      “Mehllennialism”…My favorite new word of the day !

      • Custardtaht

        the Mehllenial was my response to their Ok Boomer crap.

        • Geoffro

          Came after generation Fedex aka “post” boomers – spiritual leader Jeff Bezos-and before gen Zzzzzzzzz who consider themselves the woke generation but far from it

        • laurence king

          Sounds like teenagers to me

  • Jason

    Honestly, I’d not be picking someone like a DHP in a Wallabies 23 knowing he’s likely to go overseas for 6 months on me. Toomua is probably perhaps more integral to your team and can’t as easily be replaced. Although a few 12’s floating around are beginning to look promising, and if we have a young 10 stand up over the next year then O’Connor is an easy choice to replace Toomua at 12.

    With both of them (and Hooper IMO) if you are committed to your Wallabies spot and you aren’t RWC Kerevi good then I’m’a look elsewhere. If you are under selection pressure and I know your going to leave for 6 months then that gives the other guy the edge.

  • Nutta

    Good luck Amy.

    I’m a fan of sabbaticals – it lets the faithful horse to freshen up and it allows the next colt a chance to run. It’s healthy.

    Yes, English fans should be put on trial.

    I’m assuming Moeroa has a rugby history and is not a cheaper re-run of the Sam Burgess experiment?

    Go Scum. Go Donkeys.

    • Geoffro

      Glad they got a chance to blot out those rowdy and violent snooker fans though.I like your analogies but if DHP was a racehorse hed be glue by now

      • Steve

        Jesus, being ‘the glue in the Rebels backline’ sounds like a pretty bad deal now.

      • Nutta

        I like snooker fans. It’s sort of like Mass but with smoking still allowed in the pews. Those bloody darts fans though… Geez…

        • Geoffro

          Ahhh Darts.Would be the only sport where their best players are blokes with a massive beergut and a pint in one hand

        • Brisneyland Local

          And a durry hanging from their bottom lip.

        • Yowie

          Darts might suit golfer John Daly.

        • Brisneyland Local

          true. But distance isnt an issue in golf.

        • Yowie

          I’d just love to see JD’s massive exaggerated wind-up to throwing a dart really hard.

        • Geoffro

          Yeah,it’s awesome till it bounces back off the board and lodges itself in your arm (personal experience)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep that would be gold.

        • Geoffro

          Speak for yourself

        • Brisneyland Local

          FOr long John Daley I am talking about.

        • Geoffro

          Amateurs. If you watch elite level you’ll see them sporting adidas nico patches so they don’t get smoke in their eyes

        • Nutta

          ‘The Baldies? They shave their heads bald so their hair doesn’t get in their way when they fight!

          ‘They look like a bunch of Pricks with ears.’

        • Geoffro

          I’ve seen “The Wanderers’. The Baldies were the scariest

        • Nutta

          The Ducky Boys gave me issues.

        • Brisneyland Local

          For real?

        • Geoffro

          Sure…(Im just going to draw some stripes on my supply of patches to prove it to you}

        • Nutta

          Now it’s surely 5th grade half time you’re confused with…

        • Brisneyland Local

          I remember seeing an interview with Wally Lewis, and he talked about his days in the NRL and State of Origing that there were guys having a lung buster at half time.

        • RedAnt

          I remember seeing the magnificent Serge Blanco score one of his typical length-of-the-field tries against the Wallabies at Ballymore and then wander off for a Gitanes at half-time. Inspiring stuff!

        • Brisneyland Local

          They were the days! ;-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          They were the days! ;-)

        • Yowie

          Apparently the sport of curling is pretty heavy on the drinking before/during/after games. The approach to p!ssing it up at the Olympic level would be interesting. Eg. if it’s a dry game, do the regular players fall to pieces from the DTs?

        • Geoffro

          Man,those guys with the brooms definitely look like they got em anyway.

        • Nutta

          I knew I felt a natural affinity for that idiotic sport for a reason.

        • Greg

          Pint in one hand?

          What about resting on their beer gut.

        • Geoffro

          I think you’re confused with the hybrid sport ‘Synchronised Dart Swimming’

        • Nutta

          Sounds like half-time in 5th grade…

        • Geoffro

          Hahaha..gold.

        • Damo

          My old man was a pretty decent lawn bowler once he had knocked back a few ponies (5oz) beers. “They don’t have time to get warm in the sun”.

        • Geoffro

          Wisdom

        • Brisneyland Local

          180!!!!!!

        • Mica

          One hundred and eighty!!!

    • Reds Revival

      Moeroa played Australian Schoolboys rugby. He knows how to put a good hit on. Worth watching his highlight reel.
      I liked his motivation for coming back to Rugby – He said he wanted to be a part of the Wallabies winning back the Bledisloe.

      • Nutta

        Cheers RR. I’ll buy that for a dollar.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Great to see Amy Perret get her first game but will be watching closely how she officiate the scrum. I thought as Assistant Referee she got a couple of calls wrong. I would also like to see Graham Cooper get more games after he had an excellent first Superugby game a couple of weeks ago.

    • Nutta

      Yeh but she will be no better or worse than the other Numbats who have never had to experience that amount of physical pressure. I’m not knocking her (and I know you aren’t either), but given most Refs are ex 9’s & 7’s it’s something difficult for anyone not ‘so schooled’ to get a good handle on. But then again I am starting to sound a bit like Matt Burke there, and that’s not right either, so I’ll stop…

      • Yowie

        Unless you’ve been Matt Burke, you shouldn’t comment on what it’s like to sound a bit like Matt Burke.

        EDIT – ah sh!t, I wonder if I can say that if I haven’t been Matt Burke.

        • Reds Revival

          Is that like “Being John Malkovich”?

        • Yowie

          Exactly – except you’re allowed to criticise players’ performances after you get spat-out on that New Jersey street.

        • Nutta

          Whoa… that’s some scary Existentialist multiverse $hit there… and it’s way too early in the day-time here for those sort of disco-bikkies and smoke-hazes conversations.

        • Geoffro

          And I hope MB is not reading this,he’d be jizzing all over himself seeing his name mentioned so many times

        • Geoffro

          its ok,I’m sure Matt has put himself in his own shoes enough times to appreciate what it woud be like not to be Matt Burke

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Was at a training night in NZ and some idiot started going on about watching where the props put their feet and Lyndon Bray said”I haven’t watched a front row in years. If the balls coming out who cares what the props are doing”. I tend to follow that mantra

        • Who?

          Sadly, that explains a fair bit about Kiwi refs the last decade… :-(

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Sadly? Sorry what part?

        • Who?

          Bray talking about the way Kiwi refs have controlled and reffed the scrum. Especially Jackson. They haven’t been trained to watch enough of the setup in an era where there’s actually time to watch the way the teams are setting up. Under the old (pre-2013) practice (because it wasn’t a change of law), it got to be very dangerous and very much a lucky dip. But under the new system, there’s a chance to ref more accurately, with the hit relatively depowered and improved opportunity for scrums to stick.

          Crouch – check the setup, make sure everyone’s close enough, looking ‘straight’, locks are bound correctly. Bind – make sure the binds are accurate/long enough, check that the 8’s have their heads in the scrum (i.e. no room for slingshotting). Set – check to see that they’re pushing ‘up’, not down (i.e. angles at hips), and angles. There was no time for that before CTPE, and CBS is better again. I think taking away the ‘yes 9′ was a mistake, in that the ref should have a chance to ensure that no outrageous shenanigans are going on. There’s always something going on, but that time meant the ref had a chance to ensure no early pushes and nothing too egregious.

    • Mike D

      I think reffing the scrum must be the hardest area at the elite level – 16 massive, cunning blokes working black magic from front to back and side to side. And first priority is making sure the scrum’s safe, then watching for all the sneaky stuff. Perfectly happy if she makes no more “mistakes” than any other ref on their first Super Rugby hit out.

      For comparison, imagine if we were considering a first time tight-head player instead. We’d all be saying, “Yeah he was good an passionate, but he got schooled by the old cunning bloke. And that’s ok – he’ll learn and grow into it.” Pretty sure there were comments to that effect about Tupou in his first few matches. Amy will be the same with her role – she’ll learn and grow into it.

      • Nutta

        I am the father of 3x daughters. Any mention of any female, someone of the dimension of Tupou and an expectation that said female will grow into something comparable should be well avoided MikeD. For your own well-being believe me. Being misconstrued (deliberately or otherwise) is a permanent state of being for me.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          My sympathies…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yep 3 girls as well. They soon learnt to toughen the fuck up though

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        She has been prepared to make a call, even from 20 meters away I hoped she learned from the previous experience. The golden rule is penalise the clear and obvious and not to guess.

        It is technical but the best referees get a lot of coaching and the differentiates Nigel Owens’ from the rest.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        It’s not as bad as you’d think. On the hit you’re looking at the loose head up and straight, tight head straight and then from the top watching for any angle change as they push. As long as the ball comes out the rest doesn’t matter much

    • The trouble I have with watching how a ref officiates the scrum is that they call what they see from one position in real time. We get a different point of view, often several, and we see different things, and the benefit of replays.

      Scrums have a huge amount of moving parts, lots of things that can wrong, and before saying “OMG, the ref got that wrong” we should try and get as close a view to the referees, only that view, and consider what we’d do with only that perspective. It might not be the “objectively correct” decision, whatever that means, but that’s what the referee has to decide on…

      Now, I still think there are referees who totally guess. There is guidance for referees and what to look for, and the front rows know what it is and play to exploit it. Referees miss things, because there’s lots going on. And referees make mistakes.

      But judging from the TV and saying “but that’s what happened, how didn’t the ref see that?” is not always fair. They can’t see everything, you see the arm being pulled down, right in front of them, from a low angle shot. They might be checking the far side for the prop angling in at the moment that happens because they’re stood up looking down and across, and just see the aftermath of the front rows going down…

  • Custardtaht

    I hope no non qld players get injured whilst in qld, they won’t be treated in Qld hospitals.

    • Hoss

      Surely they will be taking their own oxygen as well, i mean that Qld oxygen is for yokels only, And they sure as shit better make their own Banjo Top 20 playlists, they will not be allowed to listen to any when their up there on BANJO 103 FM – to be fair the FM band stretches through BANJO 103 – Banjo 199.9 though, so there is some variety.

      • Nutta

        Could not be helped…

        https://youtu.be/gsC4kf6x_Q0

        • Hoss

          Jeez Tate McDermotts versatile aint he just.

        • Nutta

          And Thorns dancing was pretty special too I thought.

      • Yowie

        There is also Banjo Talkback on the AM stations where the Qld version of Alan Jones rants about the fathers of female banjo players “dying of shame”.

        • Nutta

          Any chat of hessian sacks and deep water?

        • Who?

          You’ve forgotten that Alan Jones is a Qlder…

        • Yowie

          Keep it down a bit FFS. He made his name in NSW and he’s cringe-inducing so he’s a Cockroach.

          George Smith is a Queenslander (played for the Reds).

        • Who?

          Scary thing is that, even as someone who makes Methuselah look like he died young, along with Howard and the late Mr Hawke, he’s still amongst the sharpest debaters (even when not bullying!) in the country. Says a lot about the leadership qualities, mental agility and lack of loquacious articulation of the generations following (including myself in that).

        • Yowie

          Waffly opinion follows:

          I don’t think its generational. Some people are just born with different talents. “Agility with words in the moment” is just one of those talents. Using rhetorical techniques and slight-of-hand wordplay to run rings around the interviewee (or opposition debater or whatever) doesn’t make the talented talker “clever” or “right”.

          It’s like a faster, verbal version of the “weasel words” approach to a press-release or legal argument that glosses-over the weaknesses of the position.

          I’ve known people who were lazy and sh!t at their actual jobs, but run rings around their bosses in performance reviews with every quick-witted rhetorical trick in the book, including going on the surprise offensive to knock the employer off their game.

          Likewise, some stand-up comedians down the more improvisational end of the range talk about the adrenaline-induced “super brain” that they acquire in the moment on stage to come up with very funny responses-to-audience much quicker than if they were writing the show at home.

          I don’t consider some talented athlete to be a good intelligent leader because they can catch & offload a ball better than most. Likewise, in my opinion being a silver-tongued f*cker with a bag full of rhetorical tricks is not necessarily a good intelligent leader either.

        • Who?

          Waffly opinions are great. :-)

          I think we haven’t seen those talented debaters developed in nearly the same way, or pushed to the forefront of the public discourse in the generations since those three. There’s a reason why Jones has maintained his place of power in the public discourse for so many years, in spite of holding many positions that are well beyond their sell-by date.

          I agree – being a great debater doesn’t make a person right. But it sure gives them capacity to convince others they’re right. Being able to come up with a convincing answer on the fly without stuttering like Sarah Hansen-Young (have you ever watched her interviewed live?! I think the news must edit her soundbites massively, to take out the multi-second pauses between each word. Because she sounds clear and coherent on the news, but disjointed and ill-formed live. That’s not a criticism of her politics, or even of her abilities. It’s an observation that formulating her positions on the fly isn’t her strong suit) makes people think you’ve considered your position, that you’ve thought through the alternatives, and refined it to a point that your issues are infinitesimal and irrelevant, and that your point is impregnable.

          Weasel words sounds like weasel words from the off. They sound pre-planned. A great debater or orator doesn’t sound that way.

          But it’s worth noting that Howard and Hawke were arguably the best performed politicians in the last federal election, and Jones still seemed to hold more sway than the many younger broadcasters with more centrist positions on a few key points (noting that it’s not across the spectrum, because Jones had a few issues where he aligned with those he’d normally oppose, such as “shut the gate” and mining in his home town). The only politicians who I look at post-Hawke/Howard in age who had the same ability to connect and sell the impossible were Bill Clinton (same era as Howard, but way younger) and Peter Beattie (who’s lost his powers since – perhaps it’s being affiliated with the NRL?).

          Being a great orator doesn’t make one a great leader, I agree. But it certainly gives a much better opportunity and platform from which one might mount a campaign to become a leader than someone who might otherwise have better character, empathy, wisdom and intelligence. I studied engineering. When I studied, there was no mathematical prerequisite to study Engineering; there was an English prerequisite. Why? Because they’ll train you in the maths. But an engineer who can’t communicate is useless. What’s the point of understanding the secrets of the universe if you can’t explain how to exploit them?

          For all we know, the last Wallabies coach may actually have had a clue on how to play the game well. I highly doubt it (I doubted it for years, longer than most, if not anyone!), but he may have done. Same with Robbie Deans. But Deans’ language was impenetrable. And Cheika? He had issues communicating. “Ya know what I mean..?” :-P

      • Custardtaht

        When flying in qld airspace the NDB navaids are practically useless, every time you dial one up, you either get the morning banjo or drive home banjo radio shows or radio re-runs of state of origins past….thank god they are phasing NDBs out!

        • Yowie

          At minimum cruise altitude (or “outside of buckshot range” as it’s called up here) you should be able to navigate visually anyway.

          “Bikies and w@nker-types everywhere” indicates Gold Coast. “Burning cars” indicates Logan. etc.

        • Nutta

          Pragmatic approach. Sensible.

        • Custardtaht

          Except despite the claims, the weather in qld isn’t always beautiful one day perfect the next, sometimes you need instruments!

        • Yowie

          Instruments?
          Well take off with sufficient banjos stashed in the plane FFS. Enough chewing tobacco and moonshine too. Do we have to teach you southern types everything about flying?

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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