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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News has Cheika saying nothing, the ARU saying I didn’t do it, more Rebels joining from the Force and all the results from  the weekend.


Poor Old Cheik

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika has insisted that he ain’t said nothing about the refereeing decisions on the weekend, saying so post-game.

First of all there was a BeIN Sports interview, which Cheika walked out of after being repeatedly probed about his effin’ and jeffin’. Armchair lip reader think he said “fucking cheat”, but really it could have been “fucking shit” or “fucking sheep”. It’s as if they don’t know the difference between a voiceless palato-alveolar affricate and your regular voiceless palato-alveolar sibilant.

“I’m trying to do an interview without getting stuck into that and you want to try to keep making it (about that),” Cheika told the BeIN reporter (via rugby.com.au)

“Maybe I could’ve said something if that’s the new thing, yeah maybe I did swear. It happens sometimes in life, I’m sure you have as well, have you? Maybe the TV camera wasn’t on you at the time.”

Later on, in the presser, Cheika claimed that his team is about what they can do better first.

“We are doing everything we can to become a team and a nation that plays rugby with no excuses,” he said.

“We can let that echo down throughout our footy. We had opportunities to get ourselves back in that game and we didn’t. We tried to play our way out at the end and made a few errors that allowed them in at the end.”

Asked about the TMO thingy, Cheika replied:

“I am not sure who the TMO was, I am not sure about the process, how many replays for one incident and how many replays for another. I don’t know – he probably just makes his own mind up.” That, to be honest, could be a valid point. If, say, it turned out that watching a replay made you more likely to make the more cautious decision, would it be good to limit the amount of replays?

Michael Hooper, meanwhile really reckons his try should have stood.

“I thought I worked back, (I had my) hands in the air and Marika, who was onside kicked the ball, and put me onside,” he said.

“That is why I went at the ball and got it over the tryline.

“I don’t know what I am supposed to do there. If the kick is put in behind me, ‘Am I meant to stop and not be part of the game?’ It’s hard when you are going at full pace.”

He Said, She Said

Tatafu Polota-Nau in his new blue strip

Rugby Australia, or the ARU, or whatever, have rejected claims that they forced RugbyWA into administration (something reported last week).

The main contention is that RugbyWA owe the ARU legal fees, due to losing a court case against the ARU. That bill is $1.7m, and the ARU have claimed they offered to settle for “less than one-third” of that (via the Daily Telegraph).

“We have tried to negotiate an outcome with Andrew Forrest’s assistance but without success,” RugbyWA chairman Tony Howarth said, according to the same paper.

“The issue for us is we have a likely insolvency event which will arise from their stated intention to pursue us for significant costs. That’s causing significant disruption in our ability as directors to allow Rugby WA to trade.”

With a statement on their website released on Friday, the ARU said “Rugby Australia is prepared to settle for less than one-third of this amount and has communicated this to RugbyWA on several occasions.” The Daily Tele says it’s heard that the ARU offered to settle for a quarter of the bill.

“Our view is that we were still in a negotiation to settle on costs awarded to Rugby Australia by the NSW Supreme Court,” Bill Pulver said, adding it’s important to “set the record straight”.

“Our focus is on pursuing the high net-worth individuals that made commitments to RugbyWA to fund their legal battle and we are continuing to seek only a portion of the total costs.

“We have specifically rejected a RugbyWA proposal to have their community funding reduced to offset some of this cost, and in fact, plan on increasing its community funding. Ultimately, this is 1.7 million dollars of cost to the game and this legal cost cannot come at the expense of the community game.”

The ARU are pursuing the costs given that there were assurances from some wealthy individuals that there’d be financial backing for the Force for any legal costs its case may incur. Now Howarth is saying that ain’t coming, given that financial assurance was only given for the initial writ or something.

“They (the ARU) would like to think all these people are going to stump up but that’s not the case,” Howarth said.

“Those people have all significantly contributed to us, and there is no more. That is certainly our understanding. The issue is that the AEU’s action is Rugby WA, not with the individuals.

“Our view is that there was an assurance given early in relation to the case, the Supreme Court action in Western Australia. That was actually settled. Then there were new cases. They (the ARU) could have, at any time, asked for a costs order. They didn’t.”

There’s more, but eh. You can guess the rest.

More Rebels

lance

The Rebels have signed yet another lot of old Force players, taking their Force acquisition up to 11. Jono Lance and Anaru Rangi have signed up, says rugby.com.au.

The Rebels will amazingly be Lance’s fourth Super team, with the Queenslander having played for the Reds, Force and now the Rebels. He also sat on the bench for the Waratahs. The 29-year-old flyhalf is temporarily playing for Worcester Warriors.

Lance comes in to the Rebels #10, just as Harold Bishop and Jack Debreczeni are doing one to greener pastures.

Anaru Rangi, on the other hand, is a 29-year-old hooker who will be competing with Jordan Uelese and James Hanson.

“We’re pleased to have Jono and Anaru committed to us,” Rebels suit Nick Ryan said.

“As a two-time Super Rugby champion, Jono has a deep understanding of successful high performance environments and will provide us with valuable experience and competition for a number of positions across our backline.

“We’ve seen Anaru grow as a player over the last couple of years through his consistent performance at both Super Rugby and the National Rugby Championship and believe he will add valuable depth to our forwards.”

Force Rebels Incoming: Lance, Rangi, Bill Meakes, Richard Hardwick, Matt Philip, Richie Arnold, Dane Haylett-Petty, Ross Haylett Petty, Tetera Faulkner, Ben Daley, and Jermaine Ainsley. They join Will Genia, Tayler Adams, Henry Hutchison, Geoff Parling, Sam Talakai, and David Horwitz.

All the Results

Sonny Bill Williams post match interview

It was a pretty great weekend for international rugby, with most games being close affairs (the Wallabies game did stand out).

New Zealand barely overcame Scotland, 22-17. At halftime the score was 3-3, but early in the second-half the All Blacks reasserted control with 12 points being put on in 10 minutes. By the 65th minute, both teams had scored a try a piece to make it 22-10. Not long after, two yellow cards (one to Wyatt Crockett, the other to Sam Cane), resulted in about 10 minutes of pure Scottish pressure. However, they only managed one more try.

Meanwhile, France played South Africa in the Crab Juice Classic – the trophy between the two worst good teams in international rugby – with the frogs somehow conspiring to lose to the Springboks at home. Yeah, the Wallabies almost did, but god, France, my lord. Guy Neves and co will be hoping they can wallop Japan to get back some dignity next week.

Italy led Argentina 9-8 at halftime, but at full time it turned into a 15-31 blowout. Not so sure what happened there, but Argentina scored two converted tries and three penalties – 23 points – in the last 12 minutes which is quite a feat and points to them resting a few players on the bench.

Meanwhile, Wales saw off Georgia – there was some chat about Warren Gatland doing something so the scrums weren’t contested – and a second-string Ireland overcame Fiji 23-20. Japan also slaughtered Tonga, while Romania pipped Samoa.

Results:

Scotland 17 New Zealand 22
France 17 South Africa 18
Italy 15 Argentina 31
Ireland 23 Fiji 20
Wales 13 Georgia 6
Romania 17 Samoa 14
Japan 39 Tonga 6
Namibia 36 Uruguay 52
Spain 27 Canada 37
Germany 17 USA 46

 

  • Bernie Chan

    It does seem the application of the offside law is problematic…the penalty against Hooper was legit as he was in front of the initial kicker and made forward progress towards the ball, but as some have noted, every forward in a ruck/scrum would be “offside” every time a box kick is used…only the kicker can play them onside, and only IFF the player did not motion forward. Hooper is the Captain…he should know that rule. Cheika needs to reign in his attitude thingy…he is the Coach, not some mug fan on XXXX Hill.

    • metalisticpain

      Typically forwards are still standing up from the scrum by the time the ball has been kicked. Not moving forward.

      • Brumby Runner

        Not so much the back row. They have usually broken before the ball comes out and certainly before the box kick is put in.

        • Bernie Chan

          Haha…not sure if you’re being ironic (you know…the meerkating backrower etc etc…) but apologise…I was more alluding to the fact that every forward is ahead of the box kicker and almost every one of them wonders upfield towards the ball, and most before the scrum half runs past them…hence are they not all offside and subject to sanction?

        • Brumby Runner

          My reply was directed to Metalisticpain, not at you. I agree with your summation.

  • Fatflanker

    We were always going to be hard up against it to win this game, especially with the missing personnel, and Cheika should have graciously played to that pre-game instead of whining about England targeting players and being bullies. He then comes across as a petulant loser with thinly veiled criticisms of the refs – FFS man, we all have eyes and know the WBs got the rough end of the pineapple…why not accept it with a bit of grace instead of coming across as Eddy’s b—ch. Its a shame because, a few selections aside, I think the Wallabies are on track for another dominant RWC performance.

    • onlinesideline

      eddie’s b..tch – hahaha – brutal but sort of true – for guy who is a proud warrior he just hasnt learnt to bottle it whatsoever. Its amazing how this weakness can bring a bloke down. Its just the reality of life, absolutely no-one likes a whinger, no matter what.

      Is a good RWC performance really that important ? If you said, we can have a 4 nations comp beating the darkness fair and square in a good fashion and then win the Bled in 2018 and keep it in 2019 and at same time get kicked out of the RWC in semis, I would take it. The RWC is essentially 3 really hard matches on the trot and in the final everyone is so pumped you just wreck yourself anyhow knowing you on the beach in 1 week. Bled and 4 nations say your a team thats really good and consistently good. Based on that Cheika is not doing well and I predict a Wallabies loss against Scotland next week.

      The Wallas are a team with no presence. No David Wilsons, no Owen Finegans, no Poidevans, no JohnEales, no Phil kearns, nor Mortlocks. Sean Fitzpatrick for example, the prick that he was on the field, had presence, leadership. Maybe its the era, maybe Cheika has selected brawn over brains …. mystery to me mate. I suspect that its true what people say that he doesnt like strong personalities. WTF Fardy was given the cold shoulder we will never know, but him more than anyyone says alot about what could be going on. Just look at the mild mannered personalities of the team at present, the mild mannered Fijians, Foley is very mild mannered, Macalman, Simmons are very quiet personalities. Something is wrong here. Look how Eddie has transformed Hartley, could MC ever do that, I doubt it.

      • Chris Bennett

        Fardy – from my (English) point of view he was easily one of the better Oz players in the 2016 tour – but he seemed to be asked to perform the role of all 3 back row players with not enough support then blamed when it didn’t work out against a big powerful English unit.

        • onlinesideline

          I totally agree mate.

        • Bernie Chan

          Spot on…

      • I also disagree with you. Kurtley Beale is a wonderful leader and role model.

        • onlinesideline

          Ive got no problem with Kurtley, hes grown up – gotta move on. Many players get frustrated and pressure the ref. It doesnt look good but hes he wasnt totallly ridiculous about it, he just pushed the envelope a bit because he knew the gravity of the situation. But its not a good thing for betterment of the game, I agree.

        • Yeah, I agree he has matured since smacking Delve, and his fanboy days with JOC and QC, but IMO he is still short on leadership, to say the least.

    • I disagree with you completely Faflanker… his criticisms certainly weren’t thinly veiled. ;)

  • Who?

    We have specifically rejected a RugbyWA proposal to have their community funding reduced to offset some of this cost, and in fact, plan on increasing its community funding. Ultimately, this is 1.7 million dollars of cost to the game and this legal cost cannot come at the expense of the community game.”
    Umm… RuAu closed the Force. What does RugbyWA do other than community Rugby?! It’s the only budget they really have! Their NRC budget wouldn’t be that big, and without the Spirit, there’s no point in them continuing (as the game will only shrink to invisibility even more rapidly).

  • adastra32

    More than a little disingenuous Mr Hooper. You raised your arms the moment you knew you were offside…

  • Julius

    “I don’t know what I am supposed to do there. If the kick is put in behind me, ‘Am I meant to stop and not be part of the game?’

    Yes. That’s what the law says.

    • Tomthusiasm

      That’s the captain of a national team speaking those words with his mouth

  • juswal

    Imagine the media and coaching chaos if Scotland, Fiji and Georgia had got the job done.

    • Tomthusiasm

      It’d be funny, but I don’t think anyone would’ve been sacked. Besides, Wales and Ireland played second string teams so understandable results really.

    • P00chie

      I’m sure that Schmidt, Hansen and Gatland would still be holding 3 of the 4 safest jobs in world rugby

  • metalisticpain

    Hooper should watch a replay.

    “I thought I worked back, (I had my) hands in the air and Marika, who was onside kicked the ball, and put me onside”

    Not if you never cease moving forward. You need to stop. Holding your hands up whilst continuing to move forward keeps you offside.

    “I don’t know what I am supposed to do there. If the kick is put in behind me, ‘Am I meant to stop and not be part of the game?’

    YES, you are offside. Are you serious. He gets paid to know the rules doesn’t he…

    11.1c

    Offside and moving forward. When a team-mate of an offside player has kicked ahead, the offside player must not move towards opponents who are waiting to play the ball, or move towards the place where the ball lands, until the player has been put onside.12

    Sanction: When a player is penalised for being offside in general play, the opposing team chooses either a penalty kick at the place of infringement or a scrum at the place where the offending team last played the ball. If it was last played in that team’s in-goal, the scrum is formed 5 metres from the goal line in line with where it was played.

    • The Jackal

      Let me start by saying I am not trying to be confrontational or say that you are wrong but I have looked at the no try a few times with some fresh eyes. What I see is Hooper easing off as soon as TK puts the kick through, he can’t come to a stand still immediately, and then as soon a MK is level with him he speeds up again (we are only talking about a second of elapsed time between the two).

      Does law 11.1c still cover that or recognize that a player cannot stop on a dime due to simple laws of physics? Regardless I would say it is harsh and then instances of this must happen all over the field throughout any given match. Someone on yesterdays forum put forward the question ‘Does this make every forward at every ruck where a box kick is attempted perpetually offside?’

      Tough luck anyone trying to pick up Rugby Union later in life….complicated.

      • metalisticpain

        In my book, he needed to 1) try harder, and 2) still stop take a step back of needed and then go again. The fact remains if he had stopped he wouldn’t have been close enough to score.

        As for rucks and scrums, forwards are not typically moving forward at set pieces, and the kicker usually moves forward to put them inside.

        • metalisticpain

          Also be could have turned and pivoted backwards using momentum. We’ve seen the reverse when you spent four a ball that’s been kicked back behind you.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Momentum doesn’t help people turn around, by definition it’s the thing working against changes in speed and direction.

          From a fast run it takes a number of steps to stop or change direction. From full speed you can maybe do it in 6 steps if you really try hard, or 10 with medium effort. He wasn’t going full speed and could have stopped a bit quicker than that.

          I agree Hooper could have tried harder. He did the minimum that players reasonably often get away with. It’s a question of judgement which understandably went against him in this case.

        • metalisticpain

          Still, he can turn and go sideways. I don’t think he did the minimum that players reasonably get away with at all . Key is to stop advancing. Even if that means coming to a stop even after the played passes him. This isn’t best efforts, that would be even worse to officiate.

      • he didn’t make an effort to stop at all. he slowed down. He knows the rules. If you watch any good ball playing forward nowadays, they often run in front of the ball to get to the next breakdown quicker. IMO, that’s what he was aiming for, he just did not expect the kick.

      • Keith Butler

        He should have stopped and been played on side by TK. Still not clear to me whether MK touched the ball. If he did it was very fine.

        • Who?

          MK was onside, though, and an onside chaser can put onside offside players. It happens with every other box kick – it’s not common for the kicker to chase through… So, therefore, Hooper was put onside within 3m of the kick (i.e. before he’d made 3m past the point where he was when the kick was made) by Marika’s charge. Which was still more than 15m upfield from where Hooper was penalized.

        • Parker

          Very clear that MK touched the ball.

    • I remember a ref telling me in, maybe in under 10’s, that just because I put my hands up, doesn’t mean I’m on side. #amateurhour

      • metalisticpain

        Exactly

    • Missing Link

      I still can’t believe Koroibete didn’t just dive on it, possibly risky considering the weather conditions but less risk than going for a toe poke right?

      • Seb V

        Way less risky then toe poking it, if he dives he slides to the line and we score the try. Hooper should not be blamed for this, Koroibete should have scored that. Jonathan Joseph showed him how it was done later in the game.

    • Seb V

      I think your reading a little too much into Hoopers statement. I’m sure he knows the rules all he was saying is ‘its bloody hard to stop while the game is going at full pace’ plus he was eventually put on side anyway when Koro kicked it the second time. Does he still need to stop if the ball is kicked a second time? I’m not the rules cover that?

      • mikado

        He needed to stop after the first kick. What happened after that was irrelevant. If he couldn’t stop then he at least needed to avoid interfering in play.

        • Seb V

          Either way the no-try isn’t his fault. Koro could have and should have dived on it and slid to the line.

    • Dally M

      Doesn’t 11.2 (c) apply as well:

      11.2 Being put onside by the action of a team-mate

      In general play, there are three ways by which an offside player can be put onside by actions of that player or of team mates:

      (a) Action by the player. When the offside player runs behind the team-mate who last kicked, touched or carried the ball, the player is put onside.

      (b) Action by the ball carrier. When a team-mate carrying the ball runs in front of the offside player, that player is put onside.

      (c) Action by the kicker or other onside player. When the kicker, or team-mate who was level with or behind the kicker when (or after) the ball was kicked, runs in front of the offside player, the player is put onside. When running forward, the team-mate may be in touch or touch-in-goal, but that team-mate must return to the playing area to put the player onside.

      • mikado

        No, he gets penalised under 11.1 before he’s put onside under 11.2, because he didn’t stop running.

        • Dally M

          If that’s the case, should not the ref have blown the penalty or indicated advantage straight away rather than waiting until the TMO review?

        • mikado

          I guess he wasn’t sure.

        • Who?

          It’s more that he wasn’t bothered at first. Because in 75% of the kicks in that game, there were offside chasers – generally chasers who were either never put onside, or chasers who only were placed onside by the actions of the kick receiver (i.e. they weren’t inside the ‘exclusion zone’ around the ball when it landed, and then the recipient ran/kicked/passed).
          Hooper was running, but it wasn’t full pace and it was as much sideways as forwards. He did slow as the ball was kicked, and 11.2c applied within 3m of his progress after TK kicked the ball. It was a very minor offside. If that’s the extent we’re chasing to disallow tries… Meanwhile, Beale copped a YC because the Poms took a quick tap penalty in front of the mark (i.e. the penalty should’ve been called back). Balance is key here, because we can all go hyper-technical if we really want.

        • HK Red

          I’m not sure that Youngs even tapped that ball. I thought he just picked it up and started running.

        • mikado

          If the ref was sure about the Hooper offside he wouldn’t have needed to consult the TMO.

          Hooper was in breach of the rules and his continued run allowed him to get to the ball first to touch it down. It would have been a poor decision to have allowed the try to stand.

          I agree all sorts of other transgressions occur in a game of rugby, but it’s not practical to take them all to the TMO. However try decisions are going to go to the TMO.

        • Who?

          Not all try decisions go to the TMO… In the Daly try, there was no checking of offside, no checking of the illegal turnover on the ground by Launchbury that started the whole movement (which was inside the 2 phases window allowed by the TMO). Similarly, they didn’t fully check whether Robshaw was genuinely behind the last feet of the last breakdown before Koroiobete ran into him. They didn’t show footage that clearly gave a line for where those last feet were.
          It was a technical ruling, and a debatable one, as the infringement occurred 15+m back upfield and it’s quite arguable that Hooper didn’t gain any advantage due to it (especially given that he had to change direction from running towards the sideline to running towards the posts).

        • mikado

          No, they don’t go to the TMO if the ref and TMO didn’t spot any problem in the first place.

          (And the ref decided Robshaw was onside, by the way)

          But the ref can’t just ignore Hooper being offside just because he missed things elsewhere – that would be ridiculous.

        • Hoss

          i agree mate and i initially thought it was Launchbury – it was actually Hartley (watched it again last night) at the very least it should have been referred to TMO for closer inspection after the try was scored up other end – there was enough smoke to suggest fire.

          But, the ink is dry, its one for the historians now.

          The next focus is rolling a good Scottish unit.

    • P00chie

      Most reports empathised with him.

      Rule book says he’s wrong but let’s not hound him because he’s not Mr.Popular here.

      I agree with concerns over his suitability to captain the side and would be happy to see Pocock assume the armband next year.

      • onlinesideline

        I think Coleman has great leadership potential. Pocock is a beast but I was never in agreeance of his captaincy. He is quite an awkward bloke, very reserved, a bit shy and in my view not the worlds best communicator.
        ( not berating any of the above, we are all different and nothing wrong with being reserved and whatever) Yes he may motivate by example but you need more. I thought his chatter with the refs looked strained and un natural.
        Hopper will get better. I still think the refs respect him because he is such a tryer but I do think he needs to reign in his yellows as he is the captain.

  • Patrick

    I think Cheika, Hooper and Foley aren’t working in their current roles.

    1. Hooper needs to be vice captain or club captain or whatever the heck keeps Cheika happy, but someone else such as Pocock if he’s there, or McMahon, needs to be speaking to the ref and making the calls on the field.

    2. As for the calls, Foley shouldn’t be kicking, not for touch, not for points. He should also be on probation for fly-half, because kicking apart he is generally doing ok there, but we should be looking for some real improvement in getting second touches and in picking his outside backs.

    3. Cheika needs to pull his head out of his arse and give up selecting. Hanigan seems like a great bloke and had a decent game, but we needed someone other than him in every game he’s played so far. And Simmons is the past not the future and we should be selecting accordingly. And, finally, we have to simplify our game plan, and back our kicking game (after we fix point 2!).

    • Woolfe

      Pocock would be unavailable as he would have chained himself to some random earth moving equipment.

      • Greg

        Maybe more what we need?

      • Brumby Runner

        Inane.

        • Woolfe

          Sooo you think the Green supporting loon would make a cohesive Captain of the Eastern States llabies? Actually yea you are quite right, go for it!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah but Pocock chanied to a piece of earth equipment is still a better captain than Hooper will ever be.

      • McWarren

        Well said Wolfe, I can’t stand people who stand up for what they believe in!! Selfish bastards.

        • Woolfe

          Egggsactly Mcwateva, it’s not about a captain to unite and lead but all about meeeeeee

    • idiot savant

      Some good points Patrick. I dont think Cheika will ever pick a person like Pocock as captain. If Hooper gets injured I think he will pick Genia or Beale.

      I think Foley should kick for touch only when the distance required is less than 25 metres and accuracy is needed like when we are going fora line out in the corner. Hodge kicks it too hard in these situations and often doesn’t make the metres. A good captain will have noticed this and choose between kickers as appropriate. I think 9 out of 9 entitles Hodge to have first dibs at goal for a while so agree there.

      I feel for Foley a little bit now that Cheika is opting for the Beale as key playmaker at 12 thing. He simply isn’t able to take command, not that it was ever his strong suit.

      Hanigan’s repeated selection is pure Cheika defiance. With the exception of Dempsey (coming back from injury at the time), he created the situation where he didnt have anyone else to choose from. He got rid of Higginbotham, Korcyk, never selected RHP, claimed Timani could only be an 8, wouldn’t play McMahon there. Anyone of these players given a dozen tests in the role would have made a better fist of it.

    • P00chie

      1 and 2 fair enough, 3 less so.

  • Is it just me or has the Wallaby’s poor performance been overshadowed by our National Coach’s inability to lose gracefully? the fact of the matter is that the ball didn’t go out. Even if it did, why didn’t Beale chase? He was the sole reason the English scored that try. School boy stuff to chase until the whistle blows.
    The ref explained why Itoje wasn’t binned. Within the rules, it was right but yeah, but a bit unfair. Beale was sent like many others before him, why is he different?
    I’m also thinking if Moore wasn’t in front of his player, Robshaw would have had a much different target to hit.
    Regardless of all of this, personally, I see it as a very poor reflection on Australian Rugby how many, including the coach, responded.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Rebels looking like a mighty strong team next year. Is it possible we could get two Aussie teams in the finals??

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep, Rebs and the Reds (caveated by If Brad Thorn can work his Mojo with the Reds side like he has with the Qld U20’s and the Qld Country NRC sides).

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’m picking Rebels-Brumbies as I’m concerned about the number of poor defenders in the Reds’ backline. Also think the Brumbies have the superior forward pack.

        It’ll be those three leading and the Waratahs behind, however.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pretty sound view. I am hoping Brad Thorn can weave his magic with the discipline, fitness and defence issues of the Reds. They have the cattle! I think this could be a really interesting season! In fact I am really excited about it!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m most interested to see how him and Quade hit it off. A few people have suggested things won’t be good between them, due to history with Richie, but I think Quade has grown up and I think that Thorn is a good man.

          I can see him being a good leader and mentor. Hopefully he helps Quade with discipline and his defence, and even gets him confident in attack.

        • Brisneyland Local

          My mail is telling me that they actually get along quite well, courtesy of a year together already. So lets hope it gets even better.

        • Tommy Brady

          I hope you are correct BL. I hope also that Brad Thorn is not getting lumbered with outsized expectations by QLD fans desperate for some form of turnaround. As finer player and person that Brad Thorn is and was, he is still a rookie professional Head Coach and as we all know, Super Rugby is a huge step up from NRC.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Quiet optism on my behalf!

        • Tommy Brady

          Gotta believe!!

        • idiot savant

          Amen to that. Stiles was crucified by the expectation that he should’ve transformed a cellar dweller to comp winner in one year. A ridiculous and incompetent view for a board to hold. Having had a glimpse of the talent coming through in the NRC, it is even more important that this view not be held and that a side be built for a tilt in 3 years time. This year should be about changing culture and getting game time into young players. George Smith should be prepared to transition into coach / mentor with occasional bench stints and no more.

        • idiot savant

          The Brums potential back row is making my mouth water and the pack will be damned good. They will probably have the least potent backline but if they play the kind of 10 man rugby they have been playing in recent years and tackle well I can see them winning the Australian conference again.

          I cant pick any of the other 3 sides over each other tho. The Rebels may struggle with cohesion and passion, the Tahs are due to rediscover their passion, and the Reds will have too many young players so anyone of these 3 sides can come second.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Perhaps it is the least potent, but with the exception of Godwin it is still pretty good in attack, and way better than anyone’s this year aside from the Reds. Lealiifano is the second best attacking 5/8 in Aus after in-form Quade, Speight has always been lethal at SR level, Banks is a future star and TK is very good if not the player we had hoped he would become.

          We will also have the best defensive backline in the conference I believe. Lealiifano-Godwin-Kuridrani is as impregnable a 10-12-13 as Australia can or produce. Probably the best we can do even at Wallaby level.

        • idiot savant

          Yep and defence is more important than attack at SR level. I think the Brums are the team to beat in the Aust conference.

        • Bakkies

          Attack is still very important. Brumbies have missed out on finals in the past due to lack of attacking bonus points. Had enough wins but teams with at least 10 bps shot ahead up the log.

    • Tommy Brady

      The fate of the 2018 Rebels will be dictated by the attitudes, efforts and leadership of 2 players who have never previously worn the jersey and who previously have never displayed any commitment to the franchise. Will Genia and Adam Coleman.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Has anyone since Mortlock and Cooper Vuna really shown any commitment to the Rebels? This is essentially a completely new team, made up with the bulk of the best Force players.

        • Tommy Brady

          Strong point. Doesn’t that open up questions about culture, winning attitudes, environment, standards of excellence etc.? For the past 3 seasons the Rebels have been dreadful and the Force poor. Who is it in the conditioning room, the training paddock, the meeting room or the playing field who says “those aren’t the standards we accept around here mate!”? Like all forced mergers, there must be a collective coming together of the 2 systems. Dave Wessels can only do the creating – it’s the players who must “buy in”. It always starts with your leadership group.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep. We will have to wait and see. However, from everything we’ve heard from Wessels and from the Force players this year, and based on their actions, it seems like Wessels succeeded in creating a great environment at that club, and that there was an excellent relationship between he and his team.

          Turning around the Rebels is the hardest job in Super Rugby though. Even Rod Macqueen couldn’t instil them with a winning culture.

        • Tommy Brady

          I believe you are correct on Wessels. Were the 2017 Force though riding an emotional wave of solidarity in a “Us vs The Rest of Australia” seige mentality that bound them together? The emotions next year will be very different.

          It will be fascinating to see it unfold. Let’s all hope it’s successful, there must be unity in Australian rugby.

        • Andrew Miller

          I’d suggest that their performance was already on the way up before the announcement was made to cut a team

        • idiot savant

          I don’t think the Force were poor. I think their forward pack matched most oppositions but they lacked enough real class in the backs. And Matt Hodgson was exactly the sort of ‘buy in’ culture leader a team needs. Whether Wessels can replicate this leadership now is the big question. I worry about Genia. He was just awful in his last season with the Reds. And your point about the displaced players being unsure of their allegiances is well made. I think this will be the biggest challenge for Wessells.

        • Miss Rugby

          Especially when you see comments like this from Genia “I don’t know where it is. My manager is taking care of that, so I’ll just wait and see where I’m going to play.” (back in August) Gave the impression he doesn’t care where he ended up.

    • Ed

      The draw will help us compared with 2016 and 2017. Our sides will play each one match fewer against kiwi SR sides next year. In total, 16 matches in 2018 compared with 25 during the past two seasons.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I also think that most of the Kiwis sides have been significantly weakened. Especially the Chiefs.

    • onlinesideline

      that will justify Clyne and co sadly

    • Bakkies

      We will see as buying a team has rarely worked in Super Rugby. Just look at the Brumbies in 2011.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Yep, what an absolute disaster that was. That being said Wessels has the respect of the Force squad, who will basically constitute the main core of the 2019 Rebels (not speaking the ethics of destroying the Force to just send most of the team to the Rebels…) and so won’t be subject to the same player power issues as Friend was. Also, he won’t have guys like AAC and Giteau and Elsom in the team, which was ruinous for Friend from what I’ve heard.

        I suspect that since the Force constitute the core of the team, rather than it just being a totally new team made up of players from everywhere, it will be easier to adjust. That said, I can see guys like Stirzaker and English being alienated as a result, and feeling on the periphery of what was their own team. Developing a strong team culture and ensuring the Rebels players feel included and comfortablewill be one of Wessels’ challenges.

        • Miss Rugby

          Thought I saw rumours in the rebels forum that Stirzaker could be going? Word there is that Wessels would rather have Ruru (i think, didn’t spend too long skulking there). That IMO could get the few “original” Rebels offside a bit.

  • ForceFan

    The WA public is used to the double speak from the EARU.
    Just Google the frequent public comments from EARU officers about the future of the Western Force. Especially how much support for Rugby in WA was to be made available under the Alliance Agreement. Very little was forthcoming.
    Even the National Coach didn’t visit WA between the Pumas Test in 2016 and the Boks Test in 2017.
    Coaching support was a single 5-day visit from Mick Byrne during the 2017 pre-season.
    He made the same visit to all of the franchises.

    All double-speak from the wise men from the East!.
    This was clearly shown during the Senate Inquiry.

    The action and talk about paying the legal fees is all about the end of year accounts.
    RugbyWA had little choice but to bring in the VA to protect its Directors under Corporate Law.
    The EARU’s EOY accounts will most likely include the potential income from the payment of the full amount. It may be the only thing which stops the EARU from having to do the same.
    To accept the RugbyWA offer would realise the hit in their EOY accounts.
    In order to stay “solvent” in 2016 the EARU had Qantas provide 2017 sponsorship before the end of 2016.
    It will be interesting to see what accounting “tricks” are applied in 2017.

    RugbyWA have now lost it’s major income stream with the axing of the Force and the closure of professional rugby in WA. But it still has all of the outgoings of running rugby in WA. Former WF players have lost the support of the WF program and even access to the gym.

    Any ongoing individual payments are of little comfort. It’s no wonder that they are seeking shelter/support from the Melbourne Rebels.
    I’m sure that Dave Wessels and the former WF players can help lift the Rebels from the bottom of the table.

    Those who closely watched the drama unfolding will remember that the Rebels were supposedly advised at an early stage (well before April 2017) to work out who they wanted from the WF player group.
    And so it has come to pass.

    The EARU has done its best to kill Rugby Union in WA. There is no longer any development pathway to elite rugby in WA. Our better younger Club players are already relocating East for next season

    The IPRC is the ONLY way forward. But it will need a period of rebuilding the support base in WA. Thanks Andrew Forrest. Bring it on ASAP.
    GO THE PERTH FORCE!!

    • P00chie

      Hate to say it but I can’t see any reaction from the Western Australian public beyond utter indifference to the IPRC.

      Best case is just to keep the Force in existence until if or when we can say goodbye to the current incarnation of Super Rugby.

      Hope I am wrong, but.

      • Andrew Miller

        I’m thinking the opposite, I’m thinking the core Force Supporters will come out in droves, if only to spite the ARU. Maybe not the 30,000 odd we had in 2006, but 10,000 would be a nice start.

        • Alister Smith

          It will depend to some extent on the quality of the opposition. If Singapore turn up led by Matt Giteau and a couple of former South African internationals or Dan Carter leads out the Beijing Wildfire with two other All Blacks and a couple of Fijian international then I think people will go to watch it. But if they can’t hook some big drawcards and its national sides from Tier Three countries at the start then people will possibly lose enthusiasm pretty quickly.

        • Julie T

          Totally agree!! Anything that has NOTHING to do with Rugby Australia / ARU control will absolutely get the core Force supporters on board. It is not indifference you are hearing just that 2019 is a long way away and all we can see is bit by bit losing every single player we had or had developed. There will be nothing left by 2019. But whatever we end up with will be ours and supported in spite of ARU

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well Happy Monday fellow GAGR’s! I have returned from RAdelaide, and I didnt end up a body in a barrel. Always a winner in my book. BL’s random thoughts whilst shaving for today:
    – I have copped the wrath of many a Cheika loving tin foil hat brigade lunatic bloggers before, but will risk it again. Cheika isnt the coach we need. Not only for his un-adaptable coaching skills, and team slections but for his appalling behaviour. The media should be concentrating on what made our performance poor?What we can do to improve? Instead we are focussing on the coach and his lack of maturity and professionalism. This only brings the game and the team into disrepute.
    – I am concerned that Chieka’s attitude and outburts are infecting the side. Hooper and Genia’s dealing with the referee were not professional at all. Neither was Beale’s. I expect that of Beale and Hooper, but Genia to date has always been smarter than that. It vexes me that he now see’s fit to touch an umpire and then question the adjudication of the yellow card. This is concerning!
    – It also worries me in the statements Hooper has made in interviews that he clearly does not understand the rules of the game. There has been much mentioned about this already today in the blog so I wont rehash. Other than to say that is concerning for a national Captain.
    On a Positive Note.
    – Gee the Rebels are going to have a cracking squad for this coming SR year. Truly dark horses.
    – With the Brumbies consolidating, the Reds under the new tutilage of Brad Thorn, and the Rebels cracking squad and new coach, we may have ourselves a ball game.
    – I, after the brilliant NRC season, am actually starting to get excited about the coming SR season.
    – This Scotland match is a concern. I do not think that this will be the easy game that some of the pundits claim it will be.
    Over to you GAGR’s.

    • onlinesideline

      mate I dont think anyone in their right mind think this will be an easy game – pundits included.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Good morning my friend. On here most people are fairly realistic. However on the other blog (that shall remain nameless). there are people saying the Scotts will be a cake walk!
        I, like you share those concerns!

    • Keith Butler

      Have an up tick BL. I have to admit at being a Pom albeit with an Aussie citizenship. Agree with all you’ve said. I’m sure that Cheika’s attitude must rub off on his players, hence Hooper walking away from the ref when he’s being spoken to. He’s a great player and I’d have him in the England team at 7 in a flash. But for me he doesn’t cut it as captain. I know it’s going back a good few years but Martin Johnson was a great player and exceptional captain but he had half a dozen lieutenants that could take some of the pressure off. I’m not sure that the Aussie’s have that pool of players that can provide the support the captain needs. On a more positive note, as a diehard Rebels supporter I’m looking forward to the coming SR season. 2016/17 was an aberration. Too many injuries and bad coaching. Even with a fully fit squad I doubt we would have been any more that mid table dwellers. Looks like we have the backs but we need a strong front 5 to complete the squad. Coleman would be handy to lock the scrum with Parling but Steve Cummins is getting better and better.

      • Brisneyland Local

        KB, As much I always disliked Martin Johnson, it was purely that he was the English Captian. I surely respected his leadership, his standards and his integrity. He was a great servant for English rugby, and you were right he had some good senior players around to help out.
        I think the Wallabies had that in Willy G, but I am now fundamentally concerned that MC attitudes and behaviour are influencing Willy G as well. Which is sad. Having watched the way he has played and Captained, as well as at Reds juniors days watching him interact with children and especially my daughters, I was a huge fan.
        Good luck for the Rebels this year! I think they will be uber competitive.

        • Keith Butler

          Cheers. Good luck to the Reds as well.

    • P00chie

      “Gee the Rebels are going to have a cracking squad for this coming SR year. Truly dark horses.”

      Dark Horses for the competition outright? I think they will win the Australian conference. Rebels had some really good players, bringing in the cream of the Force and a top class coach will be huge. I think that winning Super Rugby is a stretch though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Sorry I meant for the Aus conference not over all. But certainly think they might even get a couple of Kiwi teams next year (as in beat them).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think they are dark horses for the conference. I think they are favourites and will have to handle the pressure of expectations. Something the Reds couldn’t do last year.

          Which is why I suspect the Brumbies will top the conference again. Same core team as this year, bolstered with some returning top players like Gandalf, CLL and Pocock + a few new strong signings. New coach, but as he was assistant last year he offers continuity.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I think you are right.
          I certainly dont see the Wallatahs being that competitive!

      • Alister Smith

        I am not sure we can be certain they will even win the Australian conference. The Brumbies were the leading side this year and they will add Pocock, Nasarani (sorry about the spelling) and Leilifano and while they will lose Larkham as coach they will gain Laurie Fischer. Queensland had a reasonable team on paper last year and will have a coach with a strong defensive focus who will work hard on adding some dominance in their pack. Melbourne now have some excellent depth but they have to gel the team and sometimes that take 3-4 weeks to settle a team down and build understanding and to understand a new coach etc. And the Waratahs….well…I’ve got nothing

        • McWarren

          I’ll help you on Tahs side. Wallabies from 1 to 23. Say no more.

        • idiot savant

          I agree the Brums are the side to beat. Wessells has a massive job on his hands trying to unite the Rebels. But dont write off the Tahs. They have the most lethal attacking back combination in the country (Foley, Beale, Folau) so if Dempsey can fire the forwards up they might win the Australian conference.

        • Alister Smith

          Yes I guess my concerns for the Tahs are more in the forwards – a new coaching assistant but the addition of Simmons based on current form doesn’t inspire – would have rather they chased some of the Force locks

    • Tommy Brady

      Australian rugby at their most dangerous when they are thoughtful, innovative and lead the world in skills and execution. It starts at Super Rugby level and the Wallabies are just the pinnacle of that. For 2018 Australian rugby will be relying on 2 Kiwis and 1 South African to set the bar.

      One lesson from 2017 is that’s it not difficult to beat Australian sides – I think England exposed the model again on the weekend. You target their flawed defensive set-up’s, you play the game in their territory and challenge their skill levels to work their way out. You then assault their sub-standard kicking games when they resort to kicking possession away and destroy their ineffective kick chase with dynamic kick return.

      2018 is shaping as an extremely important year. After the setbacks of 2017 what lessons have been learnt, changes been made, areas of weakness been addressed? Australia desperately need quality 9’s and 10’s who can control the flow of the game and execute basic skills at very high levels. Oh – and a 10 that stays in his channel on attack and defence. Anything less becomes a liability. Just see Saturday at Twickenham for the latest case study.

      • Brisneyland Local

        TB, there is the blueprint!

        • Alastair Robinson

          First time poster (Englishman) here and I can honestly say that whenever I see Foley’s name on the team sheet I feel like we have a good chance of a win. The guy just cannot run a back line and he’s got too many weaknesses in his game to do so. True he tore us a new one in RWC 2015 but how many chances does the guy get before you move on? He’s never gonna be the 10 that wins you a world cup. Ever.

        • Brisneyland Local

          AB, thanks for that! I along with many other posters on here have been saying that for yeras. But alas I think he has a video of Cheika fucking a goat. Because he can drop a turd in Cheika’s hands and still doesnt get dropped!
          (Apologies for the colonial language!)

        • McWarren

          Adelaide has done wonders for your decorum BL.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nah mate. A 6 week self imposed exile because of the tin foil hat wearing cheika / foley / phipps loving brigade! Adelaide just helped my top up my wine cellar to the tune of about a dozen cartons of wine some of my favourite haunts! God bless the Barossa!
          God bless not ending up in Snowtown! ;-)

      • idiot savant

        Tommy your ideas are so yesterday. Cheika is pioneering a completely new way to play the game that mere mortals cannot grasp. Its quantum calculus. 7 plays 12. 8 plays 7. 12 plays 10. 12 plays 15. 15 plays 14. 15 plays 10. And so on. Then they all swap numbers and do the rhumba. Very soon, sides playing the Wallabies will be so bamboozled they will need Boris Spassky to unravel the complexity. The World Cup will be ours.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      tin foil hat brigade lunatic bloggers! Almost snorted my morning coffee over that

      Morning mate. Finally saw the weekend games on YouTube yesterday. Really poor decision making under pressure from key players combined with an average game from Genia and a very very poor game from Foley to me caused most of the problems. I thought the team played well at times and can’t fault most of their hard work. It looked to me though as if they didn’t have a plan to execute and so were relying on someone to do something special rather than a dedicated way to contain and move forward. England’s ability to take advantage of mistakes was good but boy they had a few to choose from.
      Scotland are playing well. Kicked too much and I think that cost them but yes they will be a real challenge.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Glad I generated a giggle. Yeah I was surprised Genia’s game was so poor, as he has been in cracking form. But agree completely with your assessment. Foley is shite. And I have been saying it for a while now. But our mistakes and dropsies were back again in significant quantities.
        Scotland will be a real challenge.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Did you see Cully in SMH saying Foley was one of the best on the field? I used to like him but this week his articles have delusionary.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just another part of the mafia pushing forward their view to protect their flock!

  • idiot savant

    Thanks for the linguistics lesson. That makes sense now. I think he was just ordering ‘fish n chips’. Its outrageous that the Bein Sports journo could possibly think he said anything else.

    The replay issue has me flummoxed tho. Surely the number of replays is determined by how conclusive or inconclusive the evidence appears to be?

  • onlinesideline

    I have the rugby blues today.
    Lose again in 6 days time and I’m afraid 2017 is at risk of being coined
    “annus horriblilis”

    • P00chie

      In terms of defeats perversely it is one of the better years of the decade. We lost more games in 2016, 2014, 2013, 2012 and 2010 (and the same in 2011).

      Naturally, you can counter that by selecting other stats to confirm the undeniable fact that our results are not in keeping with what we traditionally expect from the Wallabies. Fact is that results aren’t good and if we are building towards the World Cup in 2019 then in 2018 there cannot be more excuses.

      Personally, I would give the side a pass for 2017 irrespective of what happens in Murrayfield. I am a lot more optimistic this year compared to last year as we have brought in a lot of new players and showed progress. The South African draws and the 2nd New Zealand defeat could easily have ended in our favour. Alas, they did not.

      2018 is time to show (a lot) more progress, no more excuses, or else we may need an emergency coach replacement for the 2019 World Cup.

      • onlinesideline

        Re your progress point, why then does it feel like groundhog day ?
        The progress we have made is what exactly ? Lets be absolutely brutally honest here ( without holding on for dear life, to the “we have great attackers” line) . We are are not good. We have to say it. And when I mean by not good, we have to base it on a comaprison to what we all know we are capable of as a rugby nation. For instance the Rod Macqueen 2000 Wallabies side. When we are measured, composed, purposeful and operate as a pack with nous, impact, size, brains and presence with a small dose of aussie sporting snobbery and aloufness then I will agree with you that we have progressed. We have blooded 10 -15 guys, 5-6 of which look like keepers. Other than that please tell me how we have progressed.

        Additionally Ireland and Scotland have TRULY progressed, which weakens the idea we have progressed which sadly I predict will be confirmed in 6 days time.

        • P00chie

          Good is subjective but I agree we are not as good as I would like us to be.

          Progress, we are better than we were last year, we have played with more coherence, we have brought in fresh talent, we have lost less games, beat New Zealand and could have beaten them twice and won the Bledisloe. Surely we can agree that there has been progress compared to last year? Not as much as we would like of course.

          Next year we will have have new talent bedded into the senior set up, our Super Rugby teams should be stronger (not a defence of cutting the Force btw), Pocock will be available and I hope that we will take advantage of the fact that we have a better option than Foley when it comes to penalties.

          I have hope that 2018 can be a positive year for us. I did not have any hope at the end of 2017.

          If we do not buiid on this year we will achieve similar results to this year but be white-washed in the June test series and Cheika will be gone before November.

        • idiot savant

          I agree with this and I dont mind if we lose games as a result of blooding new players for the RWC so if next year isn’t better because of this I dont mind. The ABs after all lost the Rugby Championship immediately before winning the RWC for this reason.

        • onlinesideline

          I want to agree with you, alot but I cant and I think we need to face the music. Why, becuause, everyone is progressing, all the time, the game is evolving, and fast, on all levels ( I wont bore you with the list). But every one of the top 10 nations, (maybe not Argies) can say at the end of the season that, “we have blooded a few blokes, a bit more cohesive, a bit this a bit that” Everyone pretty much feels this optimism at years end, every single year. But just blooding a few blokes is 20% of the equation. They are not being well coached. You can see it, plain as day. New guys wont translate into a better team next year. They look clueless to me, mentally frail as a result too reliant on moments of individual brilliance. But the other top teams have brilliance as well. Only true coaching will fix this and Im afraid to say MC in my book, while I admire his grittiness, doesnt have it.

        • idiot savant

          Cruel…. but fair.

        • idiot savant

          One area we have definitely progressed is the scrum. And I think Cheika has progressed in some areas – he now values the line out, allows general play kicking, and has made Hooper play tighter all of which have been important in our improved win loss record this year.

          I fear two things going forward – 1. that we may not have the right selection and game plan strategies to consistently beat the ABs and England; and 2. that Cheika’s leaders (Hooper, Genia, Beale, Foley) lack composure under pressure.

        • onlinesideline

          1. We started making progress with scrum in 2015 and its just been continued so its not really a 2017 triumph is it ?
          2. Your last 2 points which I agree with are a huge deal breakers for me…they are massive issues and reflect very poorly on MC. So why will things change. If he has the best players in the world but cant coach them properly, it amounts to poop.

        • joy

          Come on. The A scrum last weekend was the best I’ve seen in recent years against probably the most destructive scrum around. The B scrum needs a bigger prop (around the 135kg mark) and a giant hooker (about 123).

          The stocks in the second row are big progress. All these big tanks in the tight 5 allow a small high octane back row. With Pockcock due back that’s big progress.

          Koroibete on the wing is a massive improvement especially in defence. He ran down that (Pommie proclaimed) fastest winger in the world in under 20 metres towards the end of the game. Hodge’s boot is good progress as long as he’s allowed to use it.

          Player fitness and hardness are also good progress especially in the forwards. And there is more ahead.

        • onlinesideline

          No argument we are getting some size depth but without a coach who really knows what hes doing they will always struggle. Look at the amount of big, skillful, athletic tanks the Saffas have. And look where they are as a team. Poorly coached and poor results. The game is a full spot decision making that alot of people dont really see or understand. Being big, strong and athletic is the starting point only. What rugby brain have they developed through their journey to the national side ? What does the coach do with them to make into a formidable team ? Yeah we are getting harder, but we were soft when he took over in 2014. Yeah Hodge is awesome and so is Koribete, they are great finds but ….its no so simple.

        • Haz

          A 135kg prop? Really don’t think that’s the answer at all

  • onlinesideline

    look at min 70.35 of the game and what Hooper does when he grabs the ball from our lineout. This is not good quality football that our national side should be playing. He runs, straightens and then attempts to pass it (throws it) at an angle that is not in alignment with where his body is pointing, No wonder it missed and landed at Phipps feet. I understand the plan was to put Koribete through from Phipps but this is so badly thought out. Why isnt this shit being coached out of the team. Its terribleeee. Its headless chicken stuff. Would an All black ever do this, ever, would David Wilson ever do this ?

    its min 41.30 in this vid
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZyvKo4SM1wk

    • McWarren

      See my remarks below. I doubt Cheika and possibly Hooper have the ability too assess themselves critically.

  • McWarren

    Cheika’s comments above confirm my suspicions about him:

    He says in a what I read to be negative overtones about the TMO ‘…. he probably just makes up his own mind’, gee like an official trusted with task of officiating close calls could make up his own mind.

    The rest of his comments just go to show how little sense he makes when he loses his cool. He struggles to communicate a point at the best of times. I can’t imagine the drivel being shunted down the mike when Hoopers try was disallowed. When Koroibete try was canned at the point of the game when you need cool heads and leadership our coach is speaking in tongues and completely detached from reality.

    The fact that our coach and captain don’t understand the rules enough to accept in hindsight that Hoopers try being disallowed was correct, illustrates too me that they are incapable of admitting when they are wrong or learning from there mistakes.

    • Bakkies

      ‘What about the stupid abhorrent law changes that caught the Lions out in June? The new kick the ball out change at half time caught the Lions out in a tour match as the opposition took a quick throw after time was up and came close to scoring a try from it.’

      What do you expect when the people running the game in Australia behave exactly the same way and can’t admit that they f..ked it up and got it wrong. It would be highly hypocritical if they cracked down on Hooper and Cheika.

      • McWarren

        Considering all their other less desirable attributes I would think hypocrisy would fit in nicely.

        • Bakkies

          They would take it as a complement.

    • Dally M

      “He says in a what I read to be negative overtones about the TMO ‘…. he probably just makes up his own mind’, gee like an official trusted with task of officiating close calls could make up his own mind.”

      If you watch the whole presser he was talking about the number of replays before making a decision, given some were replayed a gazillion times and others not so much, and it was in response to a question from a journo, he didn’t bring it up.

  • Andrew Miller

    Curious the ARU hasn’t pursued the former ‘high net-worth individuals’ that purchased the Rebels. Double standards

    • McWarren

      That would be awkward at brunch.

  • Bakkies

    The Romania result is a surprise and there is another result that didn’t get mentioned is that Brazil beat Belgium away from home. Belgium have been in the ENC division one. As far as I know Brazil aren’t in the Americas Five Nations.

    • Tommy Brady

      Well spotted. The ability to grow the game in South America beyond Argentina and Uruguay is an important challenge for World Rugby.

  • Happyman

    I thought MC was actually quite reserved at his Presser the “Lady” Journo who was interviewing him when he walked away was obviously trying to wind him up. Twickenham is obviously up there with Eden Park in terms of the hostility and one sided decisions made against travelling teams and for mine he handled it quite well.

    I am certainly happy that our coach cares about the result and does not trot out the “One week at a time:” rhetoric that bores the daylights out of Fans from all codes around the world. It is the same with Steve Hansen like him of hate him at least he says something.

    I think it is fair to say that we copped the rough end of the pineapple when the English commentators are saying it on air. I watched the BeIN sports commentary post match after the Scotland game and even a level headed guy like Justin Harrison was getting wound up by the English Twat who was the lead broadcaster.

    Scotland will be a difficult assignment for the Wallabies if they can play at that level two weeks in a row. Passion ambition and execution they were unlucky not to lose.

    I am now at a point where when I am watching a game I look for who the TMO is rather than the on field official. Honestly most of the guys with the whistle are pretty good and the Kiwi on the weekend was in the same boat.

    But the plonker Simon McDowell TMO had the biggest outcome on the game. Something needs to be done with the local broadcasters putting things on the big screen this affects outcomes of games evertyone is just as bad at this.
    Italy copped it in Brisbane.
    Austrralia At Eden Park
    Everyone at Twickers

    It is not a good look for the game.

    Enjoy GAGR’s

    • onlinesideline

      did I hear a commentator right when he said the ref was just 20 years old ?

      • Who?

        28. And an ophthalmologist!

        • Happyman

          28 and clearly inexperienced. I just watched the game again and he said he was happy Robshaw was onside WTF

        • Bakkies

          Wayne Barnes burst on to the scene in his mid 20s. Barrister by trade. Dealing with Dylan Hartley and aggrieved fans is more enjoyable than court.

        • Who?

          Not sure many Kiwis were happy about it in his first few years. ;-P
          I don’t actually have an issue with O’Keeffe’s age. I thought he generally reffed the scrum pretty well. I don’t think Eddie did him any favours by smirking and saying he’s the best ref in the world on the day. I don’t know that he was ready to deal with the cauldron that is Twickers (it’s not uncommon for refs to have a howler there – it’s an intimidating place). But I also don’t have the greatest confidence in the Kiwi reffing system at the moment. Jackson’s supposedly their best, and I wouldn’t want him reffing U13’s.
          O’Keeffe may be quite a decent ref with a bit more experience. Like Barnes, he’s not a one trick pony (i.e. he’s well educated away from the game). But England/Australia at Twickers was the biggest international of the weekend, arguably the biggest of the month, and I’m not sure he was the one to have it. What was Nigel doing..?

        • onlinesideline

          its his delivery – needs more authority and presence.I thought he reffed well actually. But I find the pre engage free kicks a bit much at times. It didnt have the desired affect of getting both sides to stop doing it, so I wonder if its harder to control the weight than ppl think. Usually after an illegal pre engage dont both sides even it up anyhow waiting for 9 to feed. Is it that much of an advantage ?

        • Who?

          I’ve got no issue with the pre-engage FK’s. It’s the law. There is an advantage – it’s about body positioning. Forcing the front rows to stay apart longer means they’ve got to be more balanced, and if they’re more balanced, the theory is they’re less likely to go to deck after the engagement. Further, if they’re pre-engaged, then rather than engaging on the ‘set’ call, they start shoving, and that’s also not permitted. The scrum is meant to be ‘square and steady’ before the ball is fed, and that’s hard to achieve when everyone’s shoving. There’s not meant to be any push until the ball is fed – the scrum doesn’t officially commence until the ball is fed. Further, if there’s pushing before the ball is fed, it’s that much harder to hook (it’s not safe for the hooker), so the advantage of the scrum feed is significantly diminished.
          Brian Ashton did some really good work on the scrum engagement sequence, it’s just a shame we’ve very, very rarely seen it implemented according to his direction. O’Keeffe did ok with it.
          Where I thought he struggled was that he was feeling the heat of a BIG Twickers crowd. Which is understandable – he’s still a young bloke.

        • Alister Smith

          an opthamologist? Should have gone to Specsavers!….sorry

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold

    • Simon

      Suggestion for the local broadcasters thing:

      Currently the ref needs to give an on-field decision of try or no try and ask “any clear and obvious reason?” That has already been pared back from asking “try/no try?”

      My suggestion is that when the ref calls the TMO he/she needs to give specific things to check, as this ref did for Koroibete’s try. He said something like “My on-field decision is try, I just want you to check the grounding and that 6 White was onside.”

      That should be all the TMO is allowed to rule on. It wasn’t until the video went up that they started debating Moore’s alleged obstruction. And then while he was focusing on this he completely missed that not only was Robshaw offside from the previous play, he was still playing under Wallabies’ advantage from the previous penalty.

      The only exception should be if the TMO spots foul play or dangerous play. Anything else, if the on-field ref doesn’t call it for referral, it should be inadmissible. If he later spots something dodgy on the replay, it’s too late. This does mean there will be occasional instances where a try is awarded that shouldn’t be due to something that the on-field ref missed, but IMO that’s a small price to pay to prevent this blatant interference by local broadcasters. It just takes us back to the time before video refs where slow-motion TV replays were already showing those things up – and the game wasn’t ruined by it back then, so it won’t be now.

      • Who?

        To be fair to the TMO, it wasn’t the TMO who made the call on Moore. It was O’Keeffe on the field, after being badgered by Owen Farrell for 3 minutes. Whilst it’s fair for us to be a bit embarrassed by Beale and Genia’s behaviour when Beale copped his card, Farrell’s behaviour was worse. Because it was prolonged. It’s just that we didn’t see it, as it was all off camera as the cameras were showing the replays the whole time.

        • Simon

          Probably shows O’Keeffe’s inexperience – can’t imagine Farrell getting away with that from Nigel, Angus, Wayne etc.

      • McWarren

        Why bother with the TMO at all then. Why not just go back to refs call. TMO only for foul or dangerous play.

        • Simon

          Well, you bother with the TMO so the ref can call on them to clarify pretty much anything – grounding, offside, knock on, obstruction etc – but the ref needs to know what he/she is calling for. The ref might be unsighted and know that they’ve missed the grounding, so they can call to check it.

          I’m sure it’s not a perfect solution but I’m getting really fed up with this. It happens all the time in SA Super Rugby games too.

    • Phil Kcraig

      Yes I care more that Cheika is passionate and wants to win then whether he might be a little ill tempered and rough around the edges in political correctness in a game of rugby – ok he might have mouthed cheat or something else from where he was seated- who knows and really is it worth putting him over hot coals as he did not go on with it…but yes don’t want him put under a bus as cripes a coach passionate and caring enough to be frustrated…can’t see that as such a bad thing….

      • McWarren

        A coach who loses control of his emotions, loses the ability to communicate and loses the cognitive process to make decisions on the go is useless. Even if you dress it up as passion. I held the same opinion as you when Cheika was ridiculed by the Kiwi’s papers. But it’s got worse and he no longer has control of himself. In fact his outburst look more and more like those of a frustrated man who knows he has painted himself into a corner through his idiotic selections and behaviour. A man who isn’t emotionally capable of admitting he fucked and doesn’t have the skill to correct his mistakes.

        • Phil Kcraig

          You are probably right that his indiscretions pushed some limits. Fair point

        • Garry

          Cheika pretty much agreed with your sentiments in the post game presser. It’s worth a look on the ‘tube.

          (BTW , My device just auto corrected Cheika to Chroma?!? The games in the bag Cheika, flame it up .)

  • Adrian

    A few points:

    Of course most of those 50:50 calls were technically correct.

    I’m wondering why 5 minutes of TMO were not allocated to seeing if there was a second kick before the Hooper “try”

    It just didn’t look right.

    Of course Cheika should be better able to accept decisions that look dodgy.

    Of course the senior players get effected by the coach’s attitude.

    BUT

    The players did brilliantly to only cencede 3 and score 3 when Hooper and Beale were in the bin.

    From time to time teams get rattled, and this week we did,…much to my disappointment.

    It happens,… and we’ll learn, whether the coach concedes this.

    All understandable, now move on.

    We are missing Coleman, Dempsey and Folau dreadfully, but we are still a chance v Scotland

  • Greg

    There has been a lot of discussion regarding Beale’s knock down and Hooper’s off-side.

    Like them or not, they seem to be offences under the Laws.

    That said….. I think Hooper gained no advantage from his infringement and I think Beale was genuinely reaching for the ball for an intercept.

    1. Would it be unreasonable for an off-side penalty offence to have a condition added to the Law such that the offending side gained an advantage for a sanction to be required?

    2. Was the white knock down also a yc? if not, why not? Is more clarity required in the Law?

    3. As an outside-the-square idea… what if both front rows were sent off after (say) 5 scrum resets in a game (or half). Would we have so many scrum resets?

    One of the things that buggers up the appeal of Rugby is the complexity of the Laws. Conversely the Laws of soccer are very simple; anyone can understand them. It is fine for us to debate the Laws here but the general public just says…. “too hard”

    • Jerry

      Ok, care to explain how Hooper didn’t benefit from advancing towards the ball when offside? He wouldn’t have got to the ball otherwise!

      • Greg

        I disagree. he was not running toward the ball until he was behind the ball kicker. He initially ran towards the sideline. arguably, he slowed down. Once the ball kicker was in front of him he turned and accelerated.

        He actually needed to slow down/stop so that he did not overrun the ball.

        • Jerry

          It’s not really a matter of discussion – he runs about 10-12m and changes direction before being passed. If he doesn’t do that, he’s a lot further behind play and doesn’t get to that ball.

          https://i.imgur.com/bu0ZU8b.png

    • Jerry

      Also on point 2 – the Beale one was a potential try scoring situation, the Itoje one wasn’t. That’s a pretty important distinction when determining if a card is issued.

      • Greg

        Interestingly, I searched through the Laws of the Game and the applicable section seems to be as below.

        This would mean that the interpretation of the referee was that, but for Beale’s intervention, a try would most likely have been scored. That being the case it would seem that a Penalty Try should also have been awarded.

        This discussion supports the point I was making above. Maybe my interpretation is right… maybe it is not… but it is all too complicated.

        ————

        10.2 Unfair play (a)
        Intentionally Offending. A player must not intentionally infringe any Law of the Game, or play unfairly. The player who intentionally offends must be either admonished, or cautioned that a send off will result if the offence or a similar offence is committed, or sent off.

        Sanction: Penalty kick

        A penalty try must be awarded if the offence prevents a try that would probably otherwise have been scored. A player who prevents a try being scored through foul play must either be cautioned and temporarily suspended or sent off.

        • Jerry

          Yeah, it’s not really reflected in the laws but there are often cases when a try scoring situation results in a card but not a PT. There’s also a case to be made for Itoje’s being an intentional offence but – despite the wording of the laws – something like that will rarely get a card without some other exacerbating circumstances.

  • Jerry

    Has anyone told Cheika it’s not the ‘fking’ that’s the problem? No one cares that much about him swearing but calling the ref a cheat is kind of out of line.

    • Who?

      Agreed. What’s the point of calling him a cheat, anyway? If someone’s cheating, they’re bending/breaking the rules to their own advantage. How does a referee ‘win’ a test match..? Don’t call him a cheat, call him biased, clueless, something relevant! :-P

      • Jerry

        Seriously, there are SO MANY things you can call a ref without resorting to ‘cheat’!

        • Who?

          Exactly. But also, they actually make sense, whereas ‘cheat’ doesn’t! It’s not even a resort, because the ref can’t turn the laws to his own advantage, as the ref has no advantage, being the neutral (I’d say impartial, but that’s beyond humans) arbiter.

        • idiot savant

          Guys, I think the word he said started with c but it wasn’t cheat.

        • Greg

          only one to call a ref….

          Sir

          If he was called a cheat that is appalling.

          As someone with a little experience lip-reading “shit” and “cheat” look quite similar unless you are quite experienced. The emotion in the face also makes it more difficult to resolve these two words.

        • Jerry

          Mmmmmmayyyybe.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah when he said that (and it was clearly f..king cheats) and clap at the same time sarcastically, that was the petulant boy inside the man. No maturity or self control whatsoever.
          No bloke can have these issues without it surfacing in other aspects of his coaching / selecting / calls on strategy. Its out and out rage that he clearly carries this around with him, lets be honest here. In old school talk is a massive chip on his shoulder. Whether its rooted in being discrimated against as a Lebanese rugby guy in a racist private school scene of the 80s or something else, its obvious it owns him at times. The thing is even though its bad behaviour and he has to stop, even though he comes across at pressers as defensive and a bit whiney, I still like the passion he has for the jumper and the reality is he is probably a pretty decent bloke. He seems to take pleasure in handing guys their debut jersey. Its a compelx thing. But I think he needs Laurier Fisher in there but that aint gonna happen. A real strategist.

    • Haz

      If he’s called the ref a ‘fking cheat’ then he deserves a ban imo. There’s no place for it in the game.

      • Alister Smith

        We aren’t certain he said cheat but even if we are we are certain he directed to the ref – even though context might suggest he did. As someone who has plenty of history (unfortunately) of saying the wrong thing at the wrong time i think I would let him slide on this.

        • Haz

          I’m not so sure. I think the precedent is everyone’s favourite player (Hartley) who got banned for exactly this – calling the referee a ‘fkin cheat’. However he maintains to this day that he directed it at his opposite number and not Wayne Barnes. Barnes thought it was at him and gave him the red and he got a ban after if I remember correctly.

          I guess I’m not quite sure why it should be any different for a coach compared to a player?

        • Who?

          The difference would be that Hartley was in Barnes’ earshot, Cheika’s over 50m away. There’d have been about 40k Poms between Cheik and O’Keeffe, largely shouting their own advice at the ref (since that’s what everyone does at a game!), so it’s not near as intimidating as having a 100+kg bloke less than 3m away saying it (regardless of where it’s directed).
          That doesn’t make it acceptable, but it’s the difference between a fine (for Cheika, if it happens) and an 11 week suspension (Hartley).

      • Alister Smith

        Actually i didnt see the approach to the other match officials at half time. I think that is pointless and would have only antagonised the situation.

  • fatdog

    I hope GAGR put on a match analysis with video of those controversial calls to help settle the debate. For me Hooper was correct decision – no try. The Ball touched the sideline – no try to England. Koroebiti – try to Aust. Beale 50/50 -but Im pretty sure I saw England do the same halfway through the second half and no penalty. Hooper yellow card – No, but final warning for sure (on this basis the entire NZ team will be playing 3 men down every game). Finally 5/6 ‘short arms’ for scrum infringement – is there point when the short arm repeat infringments should be upgraded ?

    • Who?

      Depends on the cause of the short arm. If it’s a second offence for an early shove, then it should be a full arm. But I believe that O’Keeffe gave a little leeway to both teams when the replacement front rows came on (in fact, I think we got away with a second FK when he should’ve full armed us).

  • Chinese Dave

    Melbourne Rebels are the new Waratahs. Supported to the hilt by the ARU at the expense of everyone else, having their pick of Wallabies. Now I know what it feels like to be a Brumbies supporter (besides the part of supporting a team that actually achieves things semi regularly).

    • Who?

      If FIA is Ferrari Assistance International, does that mean Rugby Australia (RA) is Rebels Assistance? :-P
      Not meaning to have a go at Victorian fans – you’re just the ones unlucky enough at the moment to have the least competent management structure. I’m sure that honour will again eventually pass to both of Qld and NSW…

  • onlinesideline

    I wonder how Nigel Owens would have handled that Moore obstruction moment ?
    My guess is that he would have ruled the try on basis that it didnt make any difference.
    “minimal and inconsequential” (in that accent of his)
    He owns the game when he refs.

  • onlinesideline

    the reason Cheika wont get fined by six nations is that Eddie Jones was filmed saying f..k a week earlier. Yeah the word “cheats” is worse than Eddie saying own team is f..king stupid but it would look too inconsistent by authorities if just MC was fined.

  • Alister Smith

    So far I have only watched the highlights but it’s hard to say we would have won that. Pretty hard to say the ball went out, the Beale thing …well i thought he was trying for an intercept but it would be easy enough to see it the other way and Moore does look to get in the way a bit even though I think the try would have been scored regardless, captains get done for repeated infringements all the time and we seemed to make some costly errors. I don’t blame Cheika for swearing in the stands, he is passionate and wears his heart on his sleeve and I do think he genuinely tried not to whinge this time in the interview but it was too much for him. Still it would be better IMO if he could channel Wayne Bennett a bit more in the box and a bit less in the press conference.

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