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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees All Blacks Near Full Strength,  Argentinian Ambush? , Autumn Cup Preview, and Rennie Backs Red Card Discussion

ALL BLACKS BACK NEAR FULL STRENGTH

Dave Rennie and Michael Hooper in the post-match press conference

After last week resting a number of players right through the team, All Blacks coach Ian Foster has rung the changes once more, reinstating key positional players ahead of this Saturday’s clash against Argentina.

Clearly not happy after the performance last week, Foster has named what looks to be close to the strongest possible All Blacks line up, with a couple of players in particular unlucky to be dropped from the side.

Key to this reshuffle is the return of Aaron Smith and Richie Mo’unga in the halves, which forces Beauden Barrett back to fullback and Jordie Barrett to the wing.

Caleb Clarke returns on the other wing, with the unfortunate Rieko Ioane who only managed 20 minutes on the park before the red card forced him to leave the game. In the midfield, Jack Goodhue returns at inside centre, forcing Anton Lienert-Brown to shift out one spot.

The forward pack is not immune from the changes either, with a new front row of Joe Moody, Dane Coles and Tyrel Lomax installed. The second row sees the return of Patrick Tuipulotu and Shannon Frizell returns at blindside flanker.

When quizzed about the changes for this game, Foster was unapologetic, telling rugby.com.au that, “The Argentinians are well coached by Mario Ledesma and we have a lot of respect for them You only need to go back to Buenos Aires last year, when we had a real arm wrestle with them, to know how tough they can be (the All Blacks narrowly won 20 -16).

“They’ve been in Australia for a number of weeks, they are well-prepared and this is their first Test of 2020 so it’ll be a massive occasion for them and their country so we have to be ready.”

So despite Argentina having only two games of rugby against an Australia A type team and little else in months other than training, Foster is sending his top team to face them as opposed to against an Australian side that while hadn’t gotten on top of them to that point were battle hardened and had plenty of rugby under their belts?

Either disrespectful or a catastrophic error on the part of Foster last week by resting so many key players and putting out the strongest team he can is the only way he knows how to fix it. Interesting.

ALL BLACKS (1-15): Joe Moody, Dane Coles, Tyrel Lomax, Patrick Tuipulotu, Sam Whitelock, Shannon Frizell, Sam Cane (c), Ardie Savea, Aaron Smith, Richie Mo’unga, Caleb Clarke, Jack Goodhue, Anton Lienert-Brown, Jordie Barrett, Beauden Barrett

RESERVES: Codie Taylor, Alex Hdgman, Nepo Laulala, Tupou Vaa’i, Hoskins Sotutu, Brad Weber, Rieko Ioane, Damian McKenzie

ARGENTINIAN AMBUSH?

Argentina

By the time of writing, Argentina had named their team to face the All Blacks on Saturday, but coverage of it is still sparse. It was announced on the Puma’s twitter feed but there has been no accompanying media. Which is interesting as rugby.com.au was very keen to discuss the AB’s team selection.

As a result there is little insight that I can bring to the team selection, in terms of the view of the coaching team or an interview with players.

So let’s look at the team as we can see it, and then discuss the chances of springing what would have to be a massive upset. Of course, we said that about last week didn’t we?

Team: 1. Nahuel Tetaz, 2. Julian Montoya, 3. Francisco Gómez-Kodela, 4. Guido Petti, 5. Matias Alemanno, 6. Pablo Matera (C), 7. Marcos Kremer, 8. Rodrigo Bruni, 9. Tomas Cubelli, 10. Nicolas Sánchez, 11. Juan Imhoff, 12. Santiago Chocobares, 13. Matias Orlando, 14. Bautista Delguy, 15. Santiago Carreras

Replacements: 16. Facundo Bosch, 17. Mayco Vivas, 18. Santiago Medrano, 19. Santiago Grondona, 20. Tomas Lezana, 21. Gonzalo Bertranou, 22. Lucio Cinti, 23. Santiago Cordero

Good parts of the team would be familiar to many observers with a decent knowledge of rugby with Montoya, Petti, Matera, Kremer, Cubelli, Sanchez, Imhoff and Orlando having decent experience. The key question with this team is how ready are they to face an All Black team back to full strenghth and keen to prove a point after last weeks very non All Black like performance? This of course would have been the case no mater what team the Pumas put out on the park.

With no real rugby since the closure of Super Rugby early in the year, and a disjoited start to their preparation marred by multiple positive COVID tests then an escape to Uruguay to continue training camp, then several weeks in Australia with only two friendly games with an Australian selection.

With a lead up like that you could almost expect a drubbing or at least excuse a big loss on their part, and this is still the more likely result.

But the Kiwis know they will at least be in for a fight, with games between the two in recent years perhaps closer than one might imagine, including last year when New Zealand escaped with a four point win in Buenos Aires.

Clearly the Argentinians will still rleish the contest but you have to image the brains trust of Ledesma and Cheika will be really looking towards the games against the Wallabies to really stick it to their former employer, and fans will still remember the debacle of a game on the Gold Coast in 2018.

AUTUMN CUP PREVIEW

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With the Autumn Cup upon us, the new, prestigious, annual and inaugural event is in store to set the hearts of rugby lovers the world over aflutter. So with that in mind, lets have a look at the tournament, some of the key storylines and have a stab at some predictions.

First off, the competition is comprised of eight teams that have been split into two pools of four. Pool A is England, Wales, Ireland and Georgia, and Pool B consisting on Scotland, France, Italy and Fiji. All teams will play the other in their pool, culminating in a finals weekend over December 5-6 where first in Pool A will play first in Pool B and so on to determine all the placings. This means a plethora of rugby for those with either sleep impairments or room on your recording devices.

While it is a great opportunity for Fiji to play more prominently on the world stage the real chance is for Georgia, who have been making a case for years that they should either join an expanded Six Nations or flat out replace Italy. While Georgia are arguably in the tougher pool. some strong efforts should give more weight to their case.

Let’s face facts here, this tournament is nothing more than an attempt by the Northern unions to bring in some much needed TV revenue which has been decimated by the COVID pandemic.

While on paper you would consider England and France likely to be the favourites to meet in the final, typical French behaviour might make their pool more interesting. In an attempt to hammer a deal out with the powerful French clubs, the FFR had to agree that if a player played in against Wales and Ireland in the matches in late October, then they could only be picked to play once Nations Cup game, so we could be seeing a weakened French outfit at times.

With so little on offer prestige wise it is likely we will see some experimentation from the traditional Six Nations powers, as they look to blood new players and look at combinations ahead of the Six Nations, which is scheduled to commence in February.

The competition starts with Ireland taking on Wales at 450AM EDST Saturday, followed by England and Georgia (Sunday 1250AM EDST), and France and Fiji (Sunday 1150PM EDST).

RENNIE BACKS RED CARD DISCUSSION

Dave Rennie during warm-up

Dave Rennie during warm-up

After Bledisloe Four was changed/ruined/enhanced/insert view here by two red cards last weekend, there have been varying calls from pundits of all types about whether the cards were merited, the length of the suspensions handed down and also the framework around the process for issuing the cards.

After the Kiwi team weighed in yesterday about their views on the system, Wallaby coach Dave Rennie has offered his perspective on the situation saying that he would welcome a discussion about it.

He told ESPN Rugby that, “I’m certainly not arguing with the decisions made on the weekend, I thought Nic Berry handled them very well, he went through a process and made his decisions.

“Under the current law, contact with the head you’re going to run the risk of being sent off and unfortunately two men did. But I think the safety aspect of our game is really important, obviously the judiciary agreed with both decisions and both guys got suspended.”

Rennie went on to add that he was looking as much at the overall foul play framework as opposed to simply the tackle rule, things like taking a player out in the air and the like have come up for scrutiny in the recent past.

Like it or not, under the current frameworks, both the tackles were red cards. But there has been considerable debate around whether the framework needs to be loosened to give more leeway or if the actual issue is the red card removing a player for the remainder of the game is the real issue.

Some have argued that a “red card” should be losing that particular player for the rest of the game but being able to replace them after 10 minutes. The question is whether that is enough of a sanction for an offence that warrants the removal in the first place? Would foul play be less or more prevalent if players knew their team would only be short for 10? Hit us up in the comments and have your view.

 

 

 

  • onlinesideline

    Tipping an absolute belter on weekend. Have loads of respect for Argies. If they can temper their errrr “tempers” and reign in their discipline, they will be a huge chance to win. Ive observed they actually fair better against the All Blacks than us – for whatever reason. They will have fresh legs, darkness maybe be getting wiery. Will be vunerable out wide though, they prefer keeping tight against darkness, up the guts.

    With the added weight of all that peroxide in the hair of half the AB team, maybe the last 10 minutes could be telling.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      ABs by 15

      • Geoffro

        Tough ask for the Pumas.4 tests in 28 days against fairly tuned up opposition.I can see this first up being a real blowout too.Think they’ll be lucky to come anywhere near 15 point loss

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          It is a big ask but they are all experienced players and whilst I think Cheika is a shit coach he certainly knows how to motivate players so I’m expecting a pretty intensive start to the game by the Argies. I’m even considering a bet on them scoring first and being ahead at half time

        • Geoffro

          Geez,you`d be wanting some decent odds I reckon.I s`pose I`ll have to get the missus to fire up a 14 day free Kayo trial so I can sneak the two games and maybe a bit of the NH stuff

        • Reds Revival

          From what I saw of their two warm up games against Aus A, they have a pretty impressive offload game, which is hard for any team to defend against. They may surprise a few people, including the ABs.

        • Geoffro

          Gotta take my hat of to you mate,you called it (bet you never thought they’d win so comprehensively though)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Everything except the final score. Hahahahaha

      • Greg

        hopefully All blacks with 15

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          good point and well brought out

        • Greg

          I see Barret has been dropped.
          Quite apart from his yellow card, he was doing some weird stuff last week. I saw him “flop” onto a few rucks rucks, get up and flop again.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah trying too hard to make an impact. he needs to stop that shit and just focus on playing the game

        • Reds Revival

          Sounds like Scooter got a flat tyre…

        • Greg

          I see Barret has been dropped.
          Quite apart from his yellow card, he was doing some weird stuff last week. I saw him “flop” onto a few rucks rucks, get up and flop again.

    • Timbo

      Last week was really a struggle between who’s hair was more stupid. Reiko won it I think but The high speed, low drag get-up that the Barrett trio share seems to mirror their talent. Or maybe their rugby smarts is determined by how silly their haircut is. I think someone with better creativity than me should review all Tri Nations games and the haircuts that are worn.

      • onlinesideline

        Im just glad LSL has seen the light and lost that super tight man bun with the super not tight Gene Simmons sides. That was just un-fair – Ive noticed his rugby has improved since.

      • Yowie

        Sort of a Moneyball for haircuts?

        I like it.

        • Geoffro

          The mullet craze scared me.We all know people rockin that style are capable of anything

        • Yowie

          although “anything” usually takes the form of getting through lots of cans of bourbon & coke and doing burnouts in a car park.

        • Geoffro

          Sadly.Im sure Joe Dirt undid all the good that McGyver did for the mullet.

        • Yowie

          Surely 80s mullet-rockers get a leave pass because nearly everyone had one then.

          Otherwise we’re just as bad as all these uni students looking to hang shit on historical figures just because they reflected the attitudes of their day.

        • Geoffro

          It’ll be a sad day when they topple Billy Ray’s statue in Memphis for sure

        • Yowie

          I disagree. People who write sh!t songs that become hits for no good reason deserve what’s coming.

        • Geoffro

          You can’t wipe out half the music industry mate

        • Yowie

          If I get the Thanos Gauntlet I’ll give it a red-hot go.

        • Damo

          Thanos Gauntlet would be a great name for a French tight forward. Like Jean Condom.

        • Yowie

          I think they both played at Racing Metro at the same time as Pierre la Bastarde

        • Alister Smith

          Not a bad band name too. Not sure if they would play folk influenced prog rock or some form of metal.

        • Alister Smith

          I had one with a William Gunn centre part at the front (ask your dad Howie he will know)

        • Timbo

          The Mullet is the hair equivalent of the dad bod. Could have been an excellent sportsman, but liked pies too much.

        • Geoffro

          maybe that could be the next challenge for Kiwi players-who can get the best dad bod.In fact,I’d like to see it

        • onlinesideline

          And picking fights with blokes who are just normal blokes, with normal fighting skills, like me, after getting their black belt in martial arts at 17 years of age, because they started at 6 years of age and its just dawned on them there is a power trip to be had.

        • Yowie

          I am a chain belt kung fu. Bruce Lee was my teacher, watch this…
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUvKIubY6OY

        • Hoss

          One of the greats and a topless Jamie Lee for good measure.

        • Yowie

          https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-11-13/newcastle-road-rage-cars-rammed-pedestrian-hit/12880540

          Anyone you know representing the fine motorists of Newcastle there?

        • Hoss

          Tame. Centrelink day at Newie and NUTHIN comes between a meth-infused police hit and some cash – nuthin.

        • Yowie

          When the tradie filming the mobile phone footage shouted “punch him out bruva!” I incorrectly assumed he was doing something unusual in reaction to the road incident specifically.

        • Alister Smith

          Rod Stewart was a pioneer of the mullet (and blond streaks)

      • Geoffro

        That Papali guy fro SOO the other night seems to be a keen judge of hair,maybe he’s up for it

        • Timbo

          He has silky hair and silky hands too. Papalii is one of the few Mungos i’d like to see in the 15 man game.

        • Geoffro

          Sunsilky hands from what I saw.

        • Timbo

          Much like his Rugby Union career, It won’t happen overnight, But it will happen

        • Yowie

          Shout-out to Rachel Hunter.

          To place something on the record, when I hang sh!t on New Zealanders I’m never picking on Rachel Hunter.

        • onlinesideline

          Shout out to Rod Stewart for errrr ….. I think you know.

        • Nutta

          Papa is a bit of a Marko Vunipola type.

        • Alister Smith

          Where would you play him? 8? Hard to know where some of these blokes would fit with scrum and lineout requiring a certain body type. Most of them would be backs or (shorter) loose forwards.

        • Timbo

          Yeah hard running and tackling no 8. Perfect link man too as his short passing game and offloading is excellent.

    • I’m thinking the AB to win big. Normally the AB put out a second string side against the Pumas. This week, it’s basically a full strength side.

      You can argue X was unlucky – Ioane on the wing certainly springs to mind – but their strength in depth is not there yet, although it’s doubtless developing. Their younger players are also not slotting comfortably into the current style of play, at least when you’ve got a chunk of them, and that will come with time too.

      I might have gone with Jordan and Clarke on the wings, but Foster can see what’s happening in the camp and I can’t.

      • Reds Revival

        I think you are selling yourself short there EP. Foster could certainly do with your eagle eye and intuitive game analysis, but I would certainly prefer you to work with Team Rennie. I would hate to see all that IP go to the Dark Side.

        • I happily apply my eagle eyes to all the sides where I’ve seen them play. One of the oddities of living in the UK is that I get to see Mitre 10 cup matches but not Shute Shield and the like. I get to see GP and Pro 14 too obviously. So I often see Kiwi youngsters developing before they get picked up into SR franchises.

          I think Jordan is a great player, and he’s likely going to redefine those Kiwi winger roles. They typically play with an attacking winger – Clarke in this weekend’s selection – and a defensive winger – Jordie this weekend – who can be a displaced FB (think of Ben Smith out there, Cory Jane too, but there are others). They’re not necessarily there to score the tries (although most of them do, because they’re fast and exploit space like all the Kiwi backs) but they’re there to drop back, cover a line on opposition kicking plays, cover the backfield if the FB runs and so on. Jordan does all of that at SR level, but he’s got the attacking instincts of a genuine winger too. His scoring streak for the Saders was immense.

          I think he offers more in some respects than Jordie, although Jordie’s kicking probably edges him out.

        • Reds Revival

          If that is your job application, I am forwarding to to Scott Wiesmantel and Dave Rennie straight away!

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Ben. I guess no one really knows how the Argies will go so it makes sense to have your best team out there. Tbh I have no idea on most of their players. I guess the good thing for them will be the support they are likely to get from the crowd.
    Sorry Rennie disagree 100%. Anything that lowers the effect of a red card will just open up the game for cheats to take advantage of it. Teaching your players to adapt to the laws is a much better option, the chances are if they’re too stupid to do that then they’re too stupid to be great players anyway so no real loss.
    Interesting issues up North and a bit of a wake up down here for teams looking at private ownership. Lots of ups to it but also some downs and losing control of your players and their availability for the national team is just one.

    • Happyman

      Mate I disagree for mine an orange card with say twenty Or thirty minutes off and the player replaced. I feel like the sanction is to harsh at the moment for acts of misjudgement eg the weekend. Acts like the Farrell one I uploaded yesterday are grubby plays and deserve a long suspension And the offending team playing with 14 for the rest of the game.
      Let’s be honest a red card on your record used to be a stain on you reputation. I would argue a forward even a club player who plays until say 30 can probably expect to get at least two red cards in his career.
      I often say to the kids I coach go out and try to tackle between the bellybutton and club crest and try to dominate the contact but TBH it does not leave a big margin for error.
      Still it is nice to see a Wallabies coach being the adult in the room very refreshing.

      • Yowie

        Still it is nice to see a Wallabies coach being the adult in the room very refreshing.

        I tensed-up when I saw the headline “RENNIE BACKS RED CARD DISCUSSION”, but was mightily relieved to read that Rennie backed the referee.

        • There’s a discussion about should the laws be adjusted which is totally separate to did Berry apply the current laws correctly. Thankfully Rennie, unlike a certain He Who Shall Not Be Named, is capable of coherent comment on both parts…

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I know I’m probably on the outer here but I can just see a situation where in the final of the RWC for example England are playing Australia and you are relying on Lolesio to guide you with no specialist backup as you’ve got generalists and more forwards. Eddie Jones says to one of his players “Take Lolesio out of the game, don’t worry about the red and the punishment, I’ll give you $100K after the match”. So Lolesio gets taken out with a high late hit that sends him from the game and not to return, whilst he’s replaced, it’s with a player who isn’t as good and it disrupts the whole game plan. England win the game and the RWC. The player pleads guilty and so gets a slap on the wrist and is banned for 8 games. But he still picks up the $100k and is available the next season. Now I know that’s a bit disrespectful on Eddie but if anyone thinks it won’t happen I think they’re dreaming. What really gets me though is it’s all about the laws and the referees ruining the game which is just bullshit, if anyone ruined the game it’s the dipshit player who made the dumb tackle. The focus should be on them, not the laws or the officials.

        • onlinesideline

          Moral of the story pick a decent sized 10 – REECE HODGE through to 2023. The guy can tackle hard, run it up hard, has a phenomenal boot, has good hands, has a chip, a grubber. What on earth else could you want. For mine, hes the find of the season. Lolo will get crushed by saffas and Poms and Irish. I dont think he is our man. There I said it.

          Bit off topic KARL but while we talking 10s…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          WoW! Big Call One game and now he’s the future. Personally I’d wait for a bit and see how he goes. What will be interesting is whether he now gets game time at 10 in the Super Rugby. TBH I’m a bit on your side and certainly he impressed me on Saturday like he’s never impressed me in the past and it may well be his best position. I never liked him as a wing or centre and even at 15 while it was his best position I thought others were better. It’ll be interesting to see if this 10 gig gets legs

        • Damo

          KARL, I’m not sure about Hodge either but if he does turn out to be good there it highlights the myopia of the previous Wallaby coach who kept picking a 10 who turned in one ordinary performance after another while he had this guy mostly sitting on the pine.

        • Alister Smith

          He hasn’t been playing 10 for his club though so I don’t think that is one I would blame Cheika for. It was mainly desperation that saw Rennie use him – he was probably his 4th option with JOC and Took us out and Lolo having a poor game the week before. In any case Cheiks did pick Hodge at 10 against Japan and we won quite comfortably but I ddint see anyone calling it a anyone calling it a masterstroke then.

        • Mike D

          I think the way Rennie got him to play was the master stroke, rather than just picking him. If he can back it up with more cleverly thought-out play in future, then that would really confirm it. I still really see him as the specialist bench back, that is a genuinely useful addition to the team and may be his “best” role.

        • onlinesideline

          you said it mate.

        • Reds Revival

          KARL, after all the time you have spent on this site, surely you must realise that it only takes one good game from a Wallaby to be hailed “The New Messiah”! Who in all reality, is probably just replacing last week’s Messiah, because he had a shocker.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahaha gold

        • Alister Smith

          Yes – if the bounce of the first chip goes left rather than right or low rather than chest high the ABs potentially race away 60-70 m and the whole complexion changes. Hodge played well and we were deserved winners but it was still close and it is only one game. But Hodge has shown he is deserving of a place in the side – just not sure what position. His kicking skill is unique for us, he is a good defender and a calm head. Maybe he could be 12 with JOC at starting 10 or perhaps 15 but he won’t be there in club football.

        • Geoffro

          At 5’11 and 90 odd kg Lolesio isnt that small,he’s bigger than Mounga and about the same size as Toomua and JOC

        • onlinesideline

          yeah but look at Mounaga and 2cows physique
          I dont think JOC is a 10 even tho hes a freak.

        • Too Little Too Late

          I’m in total agreement, it might not happen at the World Cup even but club or suburban rugby finals.

          The onus is on the player to not commit a foul that draws a red card. Not have some lighter penalty.

        • Mike D

          Agree with you there. Instead of Lolesio, say Mo’unga or Barrett. It’ll happen.

        • Alister Smith

          Instead of Eddie say Foster or Rennie …..

        • Andrew Luscombe

          If found out, Eddy’s player would be banned for years if not life and fined more than the 100k, and so would Eddy.

          Truely strong sanctions come after the match, and they can only come after the match. During the match, all you can do is send someone off. Aftwards you can do a huge amount more.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          If it comes to light maybe

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Even where there is no more evidence than what is seen on the playing field, the strongest sanctions occur after the match, even for yellow cards.

          This is why many sports can function well without leaving teams a player down.

          You can double or triole sanctions for finals if you are concerned that they are particularly vulnerable to cheating. You can even have a sanction of overturning the result in cases of premeditated cheating as in your example.

          Rigby can function better without leaving teams a player down, provided the after match sanctions are handled well.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Actually you make some good points there mate and if there is a way to include the score and changing the result then I think it would be a way forward. The only thing is there I can just imagine the lawyers getting involved and we’d end up with a game but not knowing who won for 6 months. The system would need to account for that

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Yeah. Maybe for any match changining results, you limit the time everyone gets to speak. You could televise it 10 minutes after the match. Refs speak for at most 2 minutes. Then player’s defence for say 3 at most. Then give each another minute. Then the panel of 3 votes after a couple of minutes – maybe they vote for a point penalty. During the whole time whoever’s talking can get the TMO to show things. Whole thing done in 10 minutes, and within 20 minutes of end of match. Might be interesting TV for some people.

          Alternatively, what about a red is the same as a yellow, except there is also a ten point immediate penalty (or whatever amount of points is enough) and the offending player is out of the match. No need for anything after the match.

          One thing I don’t like about a red card is that its affect diminishes through a match until it is the same as a yellow within 10 minutes of the end.

          Or, (I’m going on a bit now, but last point), all penalties become just points – 1 for an ordinary penalty, 5 for a yellow, and 14 for a red. No more place kicks at goal, and no more playing with 14 players. Maybe for a red the player is gone, but replaceable.

        • This is why I think there needs to be Yellow, Orange, Red system.

          The yellow pretty much stays as it is (although I wouldn’t mind the PT + automatic YC being revised, but that’s another discussion), orange is used for “technical” reds. Hits like the ones we say on the weekend that are RC under the current framework, but where the player looks to be making an otherwise legal tackle and it’s not clearly malicious, it’s just high. They automatically get reviewed and can be upped off field to a red. Two yellows become orange. Red cards are reserved for acts of wanton thuggery. Punch someone, kick them, launch yourself and hit their head with your straight arm with no intent to tackle… straight red. A red card could be downgraded on your record to an orange.

          And red card suspension is suspension without pay.

          I can’t find the framework they use for the week’s suspension – no coffee yet – but lets tie it roughly to that. The six weeks they used as the entry point for those two tackles should be orange. The Farrell 12 weeks is clearly red. Somewhere in the middle… maybe nine weeks is the right point, but I’m not sure what means, so I’m speculating.

          This puts extra pressure on a ref, we ask them to judge intent and “how bad the play is” but we ask top-flight refs to make a lot of these sorts of decisions anyway. There will be some grey areas where they probably get it wrong, but there’s an automatic review of that that can tweak the colour of the card.

          I think the retention of a red for “bounty hunting” type hits while retaining a sanction for dangerous play that still sees you sent off and suspended for a chunk of time will encourage players to tackle safely while ruling out the “well, I’ll just sacrifice a player for ten minutes to take out their star play-maker” tactic if you have three levels of sanction.

        • Alister Smith

          Would the Orange Card be the Trump Card…..I crack myself up sometimes

        • Thankfully in a few weeks time your joke will lose relevance!

        • Alister Smith

          I don’t think he is likely to go away. At the very least he will be a constant presence (annoyance) on Twitter, and he will possibly start campaigning for 2024 almost immediately (even if he never runs). I think it is wishful thinking that he will fade away…as to relevance, some would say he was never relevant.

        • Maybe, but after Jan 20th he’ll be a private citizen, not a world leader. If he keeps tweeting rubbish, he’ll get banned.

        • Mike D

          With luck he’ll be tried for treason.

        • Mike D

          Nah – then it would have to be reserved for mouthing off at the ref and whinging that the game’s rigged ‘coz “we were winning at halftime, and now the other side’s got all these points.”

        • Reds Revival

          I really like your idea of suspension of pay for a red. That will definitely get a change in attitude and execution.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I can just imagine trying to manage that in a club game with no ARs, no video and a bunch of cynical senior players. Just nope! I think there is merit in the judiciary looking at it from a deliberate, reckless and careless view and I also think sometimes it is just an accident. However, with the long term effects of concussion starting to become more apparent I’m still onside with the ruling. The issue for me is more one of consistency by the judiciary. Farrell has been let off lightly for years and that makes a mockery of the system

        • Without ARs etc you’ll go out and do your best. It’s worth noting without the TMO, Ofa’s RC would have been, from memory, play on. I can’t remember if he called it penalty advantage or just play on.

          You ref what you see, you aim to be even handed, and if you decide to err on the side of “Hanging Judge KARL”, well, everyone will know where they are with you.

          I think you’ll be on the losing side of this argument. I’d like a system that still encourages the individual to tackle low, and the team to teach them to that, but distinguishes between the ones where they don’t quite get it right and the ones where they try to rip someone’s head off.

          Farrell is not a good example. People on this site bitch about the AB getting unequal treatment. How Farrell got away without being carded and cited for so long I have no idea. Half the examples in the framework support document were pictures of hits from Farrell that went unpunished… first one after the framework is in place, his entry point is 12 weeks!

          Snow the framework is embedded it’s basically working. Idiots in commentary grumble, but it works and players and fans understand it. I’m really just proposing extending it a bit.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think I’m on the losing side too mate. TBH I’m less concerned with the changes and more with hoping they make sense. A lot of the hits are total accidents and I dont think it’s fair to lose a guy for an accident, maybe reds should be just for those that are obvious deliberate. I think if that was the rule then Swindon would have remained a red but Tuungafaasi may have got a yellow. Imagine the whining if that happened

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I know I’m probably on the outer here but I can just see a situation where in the final of the RWC for example England are playing Australia and you are relying on Lolesio to guide you with no specialist backup as you’ve got generalists and more forwards. Eddie Jones says to one of his players “Take Lolesio out of the game, don’t worry about the red and the punishment, I’ll give you $100K after the match”. So Lolesio gets taken out with a high late hit that sends him from the game and not to return, whilst he’s replaced, it’s with a player who isn’t as good and it disrupts the whole game plan. England win the game and the RWC. The player pleads guilty and so gets a slap on the wrist and is banned for 8 games. But he still picks up the $100k and is available the next season. Now I know that’s a bit disrespectful on Eddie but if anyone thinks it won’t happen I think they’re dreaming. What really gets me though is it’s all about the laws and the referees ruining the game which is just bullshit, if anyone ruined the game it’s the dipshit player who made the dumb tackle. The focus should be on them, not the laws or the officials.

      • onlinesideline

        Id say Swintons hit had a lot more malice in it that Ofa’s. Swinton lined up Whitelock from a distance, there was nothing lack of judgement about it. He knew exactly what he wanted….to send him into orbit.

        Ofa on other hand I thought was quite harsh. Tom Wright was jinking and stepping 3 or 4 people all within a small space. All of a sudden Tom Wright was head on with Ofa in a split second, after stepping other kiwis and Ofa had a split second to drop his shoulder turn his head and make a tackle. It also happes to be Tom Wright is pretty short. I thought his red card was pathetic and just the ref trying to appear consistent.

        • IIPA

          That’s a nice bedtime story except Ofa got red carded first

        • onlinesideline

          Another one of my beautiful theories murdered by a bunch of facts.

        • Damo

          I hated trying to tackle “jinking and stepping” wingers.

        • Reds Revival

          Halfbacks were even worse, but it was always worth the effort. If you ever nailed one, not only did you get an enormous sense of self satisfaction, but you also got shouted beers all night.

        • Damo

          Later on as a coach, and obviously scarred by the grasping thin air experiences, my mantra with defending the steppy guys was to focus on their hips, the least moving part. You also weren’t getting a red card there either.

        • Reds Revival

          My coach used to say, “They can’t run without their heads”. It was a different time back then…

        • Damo

          Apart from chickens in my grandfather’s back yard. Or at least they ran for a while.

        • Patrick

          I remember hearing that one. Also, “get your first hit on the five-eigth in early, even if it’s late” … different times! (not that I was ever likely to injure anyone bigger than a 16yo girl in a tackle)

        • Yowie

          …focus on their hips, the least moving part…

          Good luck tackling Aaron at an airport.

        • Damo

          Stand and deliver!

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Halfbacks are wingers with an extra h after the w.

        • Strangely, years after I had to stop playing, I learned how to read them in a totally different context. Taiji would teach you to read a point just about level with the top of their hips and in their centre line. All your movement drives around that point. Rugby would then say tackle through that… you’re nice and low, so no headshots, but high enough to be out of the way of the knees and you’re aiming to just miss the pelvis and ribs with your head so you stand a decent chance of not injuring yourself too.

          Never actually put it into practise mind, but in theory it works, and it helps me track the little darlings on the TV at least.

        • Alister Smith

          I was always taught to try and hit the diaphragm and aim to put your shoulder 6 inches through the player- pretty much as you’ve described but different cues

        • Reds Revival

          I was always taught to put them on the deck. How, was never an issue for debate (or question).

        • Alister Smith

          I know you’re joking to some degree but not teaching good tackling technique is, I think, one of the reasons why we see more head injuries and injuries in general than we need to. It is difficult to get everything in the right place in a dynamic game but good technique can make a more effective tackle and a safer one.

        • Who?

          Coaching a couple of years ago, the lines I picked up were:
          Eyes on thighs (basically the hem of the shorts)
          Toe to Toe (i.e. get close before driving through – don’t dive or ‘arm tackle’ – if you’re toe to toe, you get your shoulder in)
          Cheek to cheek (Face to ball carrier’s backside)

        • That’s probably a pretty good set of axioms to be fair.

          A lot of what I learnt from several years of taiji, I probably wouldn’t have listened to when I was playing rugby. It’s not suitable for the elderly, but you mostly see it taught that way. At around 35 I was, by quite some way, the youngest person in my classes. And I just wouldn’t have listened aged 15.

        • onlinesideline

          couldnt pull anything better from my thesuarus – it was late where I am

        • I think, as I’ve said before, Ofa’s was borderline YC/RC. It wasn’t clearly wrong, but I thought if you looked at his back leg, it was buckling from a tap and he was lower and faster into the tackle than Ofa expected which makes mitigating circumstances. But… it wasn’t really clear. I’m wondering if the split decision from the panel had someone arguing that case?

          I’d agree Swinton’s was clearer. No possibility of mitigation. But not harder and deserving of a bigger penalty after the event.

          So I think justice was done.

        • Who?

          Tom Wright’s 6’2″. He was straightening up after jinking and stepping when Ofa hit him. The issue is that Ofa is 1.95m – 9cm taller than Wright – he wasn’t bent at the waist (only at the knees), he led with the shoulder and he drove up. Bend Ofa over at the waist, and there’s no penalty, let alone RC. It’s just a huge hit on a smaller bloke.

        • onlinesideline

          his knees were bent and he did bend his back. His head actually hit Wrights arm to begin with.
          Wright had no chance to straighten up. He steped right then left in Ofa with half a second. I would call that straightening up. To me it looks like a case where Wright had stepped 3 or 4 blokes and actually ran straight into Ofa who didnt have a chance t set properly,

        • Who?

          I agree that it looked like Wright arrived in Ofa’s face before either of them expected it. I wouldn’t describe Ofa as being even bent at the waist though. Not at the moment of contact. The footage from Ofa’s left side was very instructive. Ofa’s knees were slightly bent and he straightened them as he drove up to meet the rapidly arriving Wright. I still maintain that, had he not driven up, he’d have been in a much better position to avoid penalty. It’s the fact he drove up.

          Also, Wright didn’t straighten much, but his last vertical movement was straightening, rather than falling into the tackle. He was significantly lower two steps earlier. He certainly didn’t make contact with Ofa any lower than he’d been through the previous two steps, which removes the mitigating excuse that Wright was falling into the tackle. The wording Berry used was “and I don’t see that there’s a significant drop in the body height of the ball carrier, for there to be any mitigation. It’s a red card.”

        • Mike D

          Well in most aspects of the game Ofa has an advantage for being bigger, in this case a smaller player has an advantage. I think this is a good thing, because it brings back into play the lighter, shorter guys who would otherwise miss out, but might be really skilful. Suddenly the 5’6″ winger is an option running at your lock – who has to back peddle to tackle legally or cop a RC.

        • Brumby Runner

          Tom Wright pretty short. In height? 1.86m doesn’t look short to me, nor I’d guess to Ofa.

  • Mike D

    Foster brings back his first choice 15. This game has become a must win for NZ. Dangerous for Argies’ score line – could be a drubbing- but equally dangerous for NZ players’ safety. Last must win game was Edin Park, Moody took a major head-knock for the team. Could see similar efforts here. I just don’t see the clear, calm on-field leadership NZ used to have that gets the sensible win, and now they’ve got too much riding on it.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nah not at all. Just rewards for good players and a message to the others that poor performances won’t be rewarded the next week. I wouldn’t read too much into it

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon ladies,

    Greetings from Port Stephen’s were we are all ‘one and free’, although some of us are much more one than others.

    The hectic wallaby schedule had taken it out of me so I have absconded to beachside paradise of Port Stephen’s for 4 days to let niggling injuries incurred during fandom heal and spend a quiet moment or two with JOC2.0 for some serious introspection, spiritual cleansing and sour mash absorption via capillary.

    Looking forward to the FISMS v a chastened Nearlies 23. FISMS will be up large for this, as too the Nearlies who will be brooding and counting the minutes for a chance to exorcise the demons of Suncorp where they were soundly and rightly beaten – on reflection the scoreboard flattered them. Have watched the game 2-3 times since. Probably going against the tide here but I thought Nic Berry was pretty good on the night. Reds were reds. The Exocet didn’t deserve a yellow as the mini-bus flopped all over the pill and should have been penalty Oz, but how many times / examples for all sides does said ‘sealing off’ happen in every game – far too often.

    A FISM win would be great for the comp and make the Wallabies v FISMS in my backyard a real cracker.

    Have opened the bar early and then off for a afternoon constitutional walk along the beach with Christian Porter as we ‘scout’ potential staff, chances are he could be scouting their brains out if the opportunity arises.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nice place enjoy. AB’s have got this one mate

      • Hoss

        Hail storm at present and awesome storm rolling in – metaphor for Nearlies v FISMS me thinks……

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Metaphor for “another whiskey please” more appropriate

  • Who?

    Pssst… Ben… Reiko stayed on the field. It was big brother Akira – on debut – who had to leave the field after 31 minutes to be replaced by the bench THP last weekend.

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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