Loose Cannon Sinks Ships
ACT Brumbies

Loose Cannon Sinks Ships

Loose Cannon Sinks Ships

Canno just loves a scrap

Brendon Cannon has come in for a bucket of criticism lately for his off-the-wall comments on Timana Tahu and the Melbourne Rebels but I agree with all of them.

Don’t you just get sick of the same old hacks soft-focussing around subjects, too scared to tell it how it is (not withstanding the defamation laws that is).

Canno went straight for the throat like a good former front rower should. Ken of Kensington be afraid, be very afraid.

I can’t wait for Canno to tell us what he thinks about Colin Love’s hair, Danny Cipriani’s girlfriend or Kevin Rudd’s integrity?

Let’s face it, Timana Tahu IS a space cadet, peanut, pelican, impostor, mercenary and muppet. He was no loss to rugby union when he scuttled back to mungoland with his tail (was that his dodgy hammies I can hear twanging?) between his legs.

The poodle-faking sook couldn’t make it in union, or should I say didn’t have the intestinal fortitude to stick it out and become a success.

It’s one thing not having the talent to quite succeed at this level but its another matter entirely to have the talent but not the ticker, or have one the size of the aforementioned peanut.

He was given a Wallaby jersey ‘on spec’ by those who should have known better. They thought they were buying a road tested 2007 Alfa Romeo GT, but they ended up with a 1967 Mk1 Morris Minor with broken wing mirrors and a governor.

It’s anathema to rugby’s culture warriors that flakes like Tahu can flit in and out of our game with ease – surely its time to put the brakes on that. As Winston Churchill once said “why do we always fail to learn the lessons of history”.

I don’t know what you think about Izzy Folau and his attempt to bump up his bargaining price Canno, but it seemed to get a few hearts racing in the rugby community that this wunderkind would be the next great white hope like ummm…..Wendell Sailor…..or Lote Tuqiri…..or ummm Timana Tahu, perhaps?

History suggests that all of these guys were far from risk free. Most leagueys are just trying to crank up their price (it worked in this case) so I think the outcome was fairly predictable.


The guy doesn’t even like rugby union. Then again, why would you want to join the Melbourne Rebels with a lineup like that?

Canno let loose on the Rebels’ signings this week and he’s right. He also questioned Rod McQueen’s time out of the game as potentially a factor, a position that I’ve also written about in the past.

They’re going to be in all sorts of trouble next year if they aren’t able to secure some experienced internationals.

I’m concerned about their susceptibility to injury with some of these guys.

Stirling Mortlock was a champion and a leader, but he spends the majority of his time off the park these days.

Adam Freier is another who’s morphed into ‘injury prone’ territory. Greg Somerville is a good signing but has had a number of major injuries in the past couple of years, a broken arm in March the most recent.

Of their 14 forwards signed to date, at least six or seven you’d describe as journeymen, three are untried youngsters – take away Freier (who’ll be on the sideline more often than not) and that leaves who? Maybe Delve, Lipman and Weeks.

This is not a situation that will inspire fear in anyone. The Western Force will be licking their lips when it comes time to play the Rebels.

In the backs you’ve got a similar situation. A leaguey and youngsters who’ve yet to find their feet and Australia’s slowest fullback (Gerardo).

I don’t think he would have gotten faster in Japanese 2nd Division rugby, do you?

The prodigiously talented Danny Cipriani is another flake according to some of his former teammates (I’m really looking forward to his girlfriend’s spread in Playboy though) and as for Sam Cordingly, well – hasn’t he retired yet?

Julian Huxley will be an asset but Jimmy Hilgendorf is another rugby journeyman. Do you get the picture?

They’ve still got 7 or 8 senior signings to go. Where are your millions Big ‘Arold? The report card to date: “Could do better”.

Canno saw this and didn’t hold back. He’s obviously got a talent for straight shooting. Go after a few sacred cows next Brendon.

I like the cut of your jib. Keep on sinking ships…..

  • Stoff

    As a former Alfa owner and enthusiast, the busted up Mini is ten times more reliable than any Alfa.

    • Lance Free

      Not in this instance Stoff. Maybe I should have chosen a Volvo?

    • It depends on which Alfa. Sometimes they get it completely right. Mostly they turn out shite.

  • dbla

    While I fully support his comments about tahu I must say I think the comments about the rebels are hardly what is needed for a franchise that is trying to break into an already tight sporting market.

    I think everyone in the rugby community wants the rebels to succeed so when a rugby identity publicly declares that he can’t see them doing well it doesn’t exactly help put bums on seats does it. I doubt cannon would have appreciated comments like that when he was starting with the force…

    • gothereds

      I like the more journalists should shoot straight part, but Cannons always come across as a tosser, always biting off more than he could chew. Agree with the comment above, everyone wants the rebels to succeed, and negative publicity is not exactly going to help them with signing quality players, or endearing them to the Melbourne public. I sense a fair bit of bias with some of the comments, same old anti mexican rubbish.

  • Boomer

    Couldn’t agree more. Straight shooter. This country used to be based on it. We’ve gone soft.

    And, by the way LF, beautifully structured piece of writing. Great transition pars. You clearly know your way around a keyboard. Need a job?

  • miguel

    whats with cannon’s scar? is that from the car accident or mealamu and spencer?

    • Noddy

      car accident. I’ve seen the pics. How anyone survived is beyond me.

      • Juan Cote

        he got glassed also

    • Blue

      Bakkies bit him.

  • Langthorne

    Very well said Mr Lance Free. I’m a fan of Cannon’s style too.

    I have no time for overpriced mungos AT ALL. Even the very best of them have been merely average.

    The Rebels are struggling to sign enough quality players. I don’t think it is because of it being a new venture, or because of concerns about the coach. I think is has to do with what they are able to pay, and the that top class players (both in Australia and overseas) are likely to be contracted elsewhere.

    I don’t think it really matters. As long as they can find enough guys who are physically fit for the competition, a good coach should be able to mold a competitive team.

  • Who Needs Melon

    Canno no doubt has the odd clangor and (like all Oz commentators) his comments are often coloured by his past affiliation with his clubs, etc. but ffs don’t call for censorship every time someone offers an honest opinion.

    As for the Melbourne Rebels, do we really have to say everything is rosy or not say anything at all? I happen to 100% agree with Canno (and you Lance) that they have been very underwhelming. The guys with experience seem to be well past it. And they seem to be missing the exciting young things who seem to be scattered about waiting for a chance – Alcock, Morahan, perhaps some of the young Sevens guys… We all still wish the Rebels all the best but our expectations are generally pretty. Frankly I think that’s not a bad thing.

    • Who Needs Melon

      “pretty LOW” I meant to say.

  • Juan Cote

    I agree it is great when someone speaks/writes what’s on their mind so it was a shame to see him backing-away from the comments when questioned on the Rugby Club..particularly about Macqueen.

  • Robson

    Why do you want to sink the ship before it’s been launched?

    It might have some design faults and some of the crew might look like they’ve been press ganged, but let’s see if it floats first. There’s obviously plenty of work to do on it yet, but do they not realise that? Or are the only luminaries in Oz rugby to be found on these pages?

    Bad question, I think I know the answer to that.

    And now just to get in a shot across the bows of my own. Greg Sommerville was only very average as an international prop. A hard worker and a good guy, but only a plodder as international front rowers go. I don’t think he will do much for them frankly.

    That last sentence sounds a bit like Graham Henry, but it’s accidental.

    • Lance Free

      ‘That last sentence’ actually contradicts your first….

      I like to tell it how it is. And that’s what I think it is down there. We all want it to succeed but to me the recruitment process has delivered very little to date – no oomph or anything special. A bit like ‘Paradise Postponed’?

      I was expecting (a lot) more.

      • DPK

        So how come no-one will “tell it like it is” when it comes to the Western Force?

        Maybe because its difficult to sink a shipwreck?

        • Lance Free

          The Reds were in the same boat (to keep the nautical theme) last year. Now look where they’re heading?

          The Force have underperformed this year but you’d have to say there were some mitigating circumstances for this.

          I think you need to judge them over the time they’ve been in the Super 14 and the report card would also say: “Could have done better”.

          I suppose they have another difficulty (as the Rebels will but perhaps not as significantly) in that they’re half a world away from the rugby mainstream.

          I think they need to take a new direction right now and a change of coach would probably be a start. Not because he isn’t a good coach but his time is up.

          In addition, recruiting a decent five eighth, prop and a few others is a must. However, there’s a fair way to go with this team. To give him his due, the coach has introduced a lot of young talent into the Super 14 and like Link found, it will be of great benefit to his successor.

          That’s how it is over there…..

        • Robson

          Lance Free says:
          June 4, 2010 at 9:42 am‘That last sentence’ actually contradicts your first….

          You picked that up then.

  • Batmann

    I loved the response he got for his comments on Ta-who? on the Telegraph website, which were spot on.

    All the mungos came out crying foul and asking who Cannon was etc. Perhaps they should have searched for him on youtube and seen the Mealamu punch…lol

    I really think League is in trouble. Union is growing again, with the 7’s in the Commonwealth & Olympic games, expanded Super Rugby & Argentina coming into the mix. And domestically AFL is growing taking the talent & limelight from League. Meanwhile League cannot fund itself & a new TV deal isn’t going to fix that.

    Let’s hope this proposed hybrid game gets what it deserves, thrown in the bad ideas basket. Union doesn’t need it.

  • Goochmeister

    I’ve got no problems with Cannon telling it how he sees it. Surely the ARU has realised high priced mungos are not worth the $$$.
    Also the Rebels are struggling a bit, but I still think that if they can put in a solid first season, their recruiting will take off next year, after the RWC.

  • meatsack

    I have no problems with his articles. I do get a little annoyed when he responds to every ignorant dickhead in the comments section. Don’t give them the satisfaction Cannon!

  • Pedro

    An opinion on an opinion, nice.

  • Suzy Poison

    The Rebels need a bunch of cheap saffa forwards. There are loads of beasts stomping around in the Currie Cup. Surely they can be persuaded to part with their biltong and castle lager, and swop it for VB.(It’s Melbourne) and meat pie? I agree with Cannon. The only League player who made it in Union was Jason Robinson, and that was only because the other Pommie backs were so average.

    • Robson

      There are exceptions to every rule and whilst Jason Robinson is the first to come to my mind there must be others.

      On the other hand Robinson could manufacture some magic in most situations where others would struggle. I don’t really think that the calibre of the company he kept was the reason why he looked so good.

      I think he looked so good because he really was so good.

      But that’s a long way from Brendon Canon and his comments. It’s good to speak your mind on important issues, but sometimes I’m left with the impression that all Canon is doing is speaking his mouth.

    • Robson

      Cheap Saffa forwards??? The fact that they roam the high veldt in droves looking for their next meal doesn’t make them good candidates for a brand new Australian franchise wanting to make an impression. In Melbourne they could starve for the want of a decent sandwich. Joking. I’ve had some nice sandwiches in Melbourne.

    • dbla

      I think it is a bit rough to say lote wasn’t a success in union, the form he was in at the end and the way he left the game has coloured people’s impression of him as for the majority of his time in union he was good for the wallabies.

      • DPK

        And his form wasn’t even that bad.

      • Patrick

        Yea Lote was about as good as you could ask, really, I don’t think he was selected ahead of anyone else on anything other than form and class.

    • Who Needs Melon

      Like Hendrik Roodt?

      • Blue

        Big melon it seems. There are way better guys running around the CC. Was Roodt injured I think? Does he still have a contract?

        He looks very, very slow for the bit I saw him though.

        Maybe the Tah scouts got him and Flip vd Merwe mixed up and contracted the wrong guy? It’s possible. Big dutchmen. We all look and sound more or less the same.

    • Patrick

      My mate lives in Melbourne and makes (commercially) Biltong. So no need to make that much of a sacrifice!!

  • Blue

    100% support Canno. These League c*nts lay into rugby at every turn. Phil Gould, Weidler and the entire c*ntbus. Fuck’em, they’ll take the money but when they discover that it’s a more complicated game than they thought they run like pussies. Sorry Timana, you didn’t crack it buddy.

  • Suzy Poison

    On the subject on Bakkies. He along with Matfield, Burger and Smit are the only dinosaurs that have survived from 2003 World Cup, Camp Staaldraad.(means camp wirefence for the Aussies) All that naked bro-mance scared the living daylights out of most, but forged some kind of twisted uber-rugby beast of the the survivors, like something straight out of the Lord of Rings, Orcs on steriods. Bakkies is the ultimate niggle merchant, in Lions game, he told Mike Phillips (Wales) what beautiful blue eyes he had. Jake White and Pieter Div have kept him on, well if you were a coach, would you have the balls to tell him that his dropped? He is a very angry man.

ACT Brumbies

Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

More in ACT Brumbies