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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the results from the weekends, more excuses from the coaches, more on Moody and the ref incident, and the Leinster picking up honours.


Murphy’s Law

GGWF027a

You know, last week I asked myself: how much worse could it get? Well, this week we found out.

Everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. No way were the Reds going to lose to the Sunwolves right? No way are we hitting that level of crap?

Well, the Moon Doggies showed up and played some outstanding footy, sending the Reds home with 63-28 smack in the face and their tail between their legs. That is the first ever victory the Sunwolves have had over Australian opposition, and they thoroughly deserved it.

As for the Reds, you know it says a lot when the commentators are saying the way you are playing is actually aiding the opposition in the game.

Check out our review here. 

Next up, the Waratahs showed some fight and gave the Crusaders a fright in the first thirty minutes of their game, leading by 29 points at one stage.

While there were one or two moments of controversy around the refereeing (which we’ll get to in a bit), there is one stat that is undeniable: this was the largest ever comeback in Super Rugby history, and it was absolutely gutting to see us come out on the wrong side of it. Especially against a Kiwi side.

If there was any doubt that the mental block of not beating Kiwi teams is weighing on Aussie players, it was all but quashed as the home side scored 31 unanswered points to win the game. These matches actually hurt more than a flogging. The fact we could have won one this one is what really hurts.

Check out the Tahs review here. 

And finally, if it wasn’t enough, my Brumbies disappointed me yet again, blowing a 14 point lead against the Rebels to lose 24-27 in front of just over 5,000 fans in Canberra. It’s the clubs second lowest ever attendance, after only 4,000 turned up in the 1999 against the Bulls. That is genuinely sad to see.

Full credit to the Rebels, they came back and did well to close out the game. The Ponies left so much out on the paddock, and deserved to lose.

Check out our review here. 

If there was any indication that rugby fans are turning away from the game, it could not have been epitomised more than this round we just had.

But, to finish off a more positive note, the Western Force proved once again to be the highlight of the weekend. It wasn’t quite the sold out crowd of last week, but the Sea of Blue were in full voice at NIB Stadium, as the men from the West put the boot into Tonga, winning 47-17.

Watch the highlights from this game. For a moment, put Super Rugby out of your mind.

This is what happens when you build and include the community around the game. Rugby is not about the game. Rugby is about the community, about bringing people together. When you all work together and include everyone, this game can accomplish wonderful things.

Keep doing what you’re doing Force. You’re giving this bitter rugby fan something to be cheerful about.

Leinster take the chocs

leinster heineken cup crowd flags

The European Champions Cup finished up over the weekend, with the Irish continuing to have a golden year. Leinster picked up top honours, downing Racing 92 15-12 in Spain.

The win sees Leinster equal Toulouse‘s record of four championship titles. Of particular mention was the efforts of Scott Fardy, who played an instrumental role in knock the French team over.

Racing 92 were affected in the lead up to the game, with Dan Carter being ruled out due to injury an hour from kick-off, as well as losing first-choice playmaker Maxime Machenaud. They also lost Pat Lambie two minutes into the game.

However, despite those setbacks, the opportunities went begging and their lack of discipline proved to be their undoing.

“It was a real arm wrestle. So delighted to come out on the right side of the result,” Leinster coach Stuart Lancaster said post-match. 

“I thought Racing were outstanding today, really put pressure on us at the breakdown.”

“We failed. They did what they had to do to win the game. They deserved to win,” said Racing coach Laurent Travers.

“We were very close. I think we could have won. At our level it is all about details and our discipline was poor in the first half,” flanker Yannick Nyanga added.

“We had a big heart today, but that’s not enough.”

In the end, no tries were scored and it turned into a battle of the boots. And it was a battle that Johnny Sexton ended up winning, which doesn’t bode well for the Wallabies in a months time.

Across the ditch

kiwis win GC7s

Now, we have to talk about some of the calls that took place during the Crusaders-Tahs match.

I honestly would ask how any rugby fan would look at the Joe Moody hit on Kurtley Beale and say that it was legal and that try should have been allowed.

Now, in a real case of cold comfort, SANZAAR has come out and judged the hit to fall within the red card threshold.

The Foul Play Review Committee considered it on Sunday afternoon, and handed Moody a two week ban. The strike was considered to be at least a four week ban, but Moody was hit with a reduced ban because of his previously clean record, ‘excellent character’ and early guilty plea.

Daryl Gibson expected that the incident would be handled by SANZAAR when he spoke on Saturday night.

“I thought the Joe Moody incident with the elbow, the referee’s missed (that),in my book it’s an elbow to the head, I’m sure the powers (that) be will be looking at that,” Daryl Gibson said.

By comparison, Saders coach Scott Robinson had nothing by praise for the prop.

This weekend has only added to the perceived belief that Kiwis are cheating more and more off the ball. Last year, there were a lot of claims of similar behaviour during the British and Irish Lions test series, which came to a head in an article written by Mark Reason. 

Highlighting the Chiefs game last year, Reason claimed that this method was coached into players, and has apparently reached an epidemic level across the Tasman.

“The first time that the Lions put up a high kick against the Chiefs Johnny Fa’auli looked over his shoulder and ran straight across Elliot Daly. Fa’auli had absolutely no intention of trying to play the ball,” Reason wrote.

“The Lions are fed up with this sort of nonsense, as the whole of rugby should be, and have decided to make a concerted protest. Gatland said in the week, ‘The frustrating thing for us is the amount of blocking that’s going on.’

“‘The off-the-ball stuff, it makes it difficult to complete attacking opportunities and situations because there is so much happening off the ball in terms of holding players or subtly holding players. We’ve raised it with the ref already. It’s part of the game in New Zealand, all New Zealand teams at the moment are doing it.'”

“They are and, of course, the real name for it is cheating. This is the sort of thing that has New Zealand calling up the great Sir Colin Meads to defend the honour of the nation.

“Before the 2011 World Cup it was suggested that Sir Richie, the Crusaders and the All Blacks were repeatedly and deliberately holding players off the ball.

“It was coached cheating and it was subsequently confirmed that the head of World Rugby‘s referees had warned the ABs about the practice. Of course half of New Zealand still threw up their hands in horror at the suggestion, aghast that such things should be said. Pass the port to the left, said the lords of rugby, and don’t be so uncouth.

“Well, sorry to say, but New Zealand has been called out again. I do have some sympathy for the Chiefs, because they have taken the view, if you can’t beat em, join em. Back in 2012 they got so fed up with Crusaders blockers that they warned Craig Joubert before their Super semi that they would be taking them out.

“When the Chiefs started blasting through them, the likes of Sam Whitelock threw themselves to the ground as if they were re-enacting the death scene from Camille. Joubert took no notice. If you want to cheat, you can take the punishment, he seemed to imply.”

I keen to hear everyone’s thoughts on all this, especially our kiwi readers. Considering this seems to be coming up time-and-time again, do we think is it a case of coached cheating, ore are all international teams all just not good enough?

What’s your excuse this time?

Dan McKellar and Sam Carter post match press conference

Dan McKellar and Sam Carter post match press conference

The coaches responses to the results from the weekend were exactly what we’re used to: ‘yeah, this performance was awful, but we got to keep looking forward. We’ll review it on Monday, and go into it next game.’

Like the previous weeks worked.

Starting off, the only Super Rugby team that won, the Rebels, at least had something positive to talk about. Dave Wessels was glad to see some much needed fight from the boys, particularly after being down by two tries earlier in the game.

“The game, for me, was really won in that 15 minutes after half time where they never left our 22 and the boys just gutsed it out,” Wessels said in the post-match conference.

“It’s nice to see the fighting spirit never left us.

“That ultimately set up the platform for us to win, which was good.

“The last 30 minutes where we started to get our hands on the ball and started to play, I thought we were causing them real trouble.

“We will get some confidence out of that, as well.”

Wessels also had lots of praise for skipper Adam Coleman, who guided the team around well after Will Genia was injured last week.

By comparison, Brumbies coach Dan McKellar did a Brad Thorn and lashed his team for not taking their opportunities, saying that they ‘lost the unloseable.’ He also said the squad he’ll take to South Africa will look very different compared to the one from the weekend.

“You review it and you’ve got to start learning and some aren’t doing that, so I’ll have to make changes. It’s frustrating,” McKellar said to rugby.com.au.

“It’s about 2018 and not about 2019 or beyond that but we’ve got to start to learn from the mistakes that we’re making.”

“We spoke out there about momentum shifts and how we’re going to manage them and I just feel like we’re banging our heads up against a brick wall,” Christian Lealiifano added.

“We’ve got to do something. Whether it’s a big change or adjusting something, we’re sitting here really frustrated with just seeing the same stuff.”

Daryl Gibson‘s response was being proud that the Tahs turned up, despite the fact they were on the wrong end of the largest comeback in Super Rugby history.

“I’m incredibly proud of our team,” Gibson said post-match. 

“At the end there, we had no locks, we had a prop in the front of the scrum. WE can go away and be proud of our effort and disappointed that we’ve let one slip.

“It’s important we frame that for ourselves and the fact that two weeks in a row, all the media saying Australian teams can’t compete with New Zealand teams, and we should’ve probably won.

“We’ve got another two to go, pick ourselves up and get back out there.”

And, as for the Reds, Brad Thorn did exactly what we’re used to, and lashed his team for being shit.

“For us, with a team where we are at – at the moment – I can tell usually pretty early where we are at,” Thorn said to rugby.com.au. 

“You saw not being able to exit, battling away with pretty basic skills – it wasn’t looking sharp there.

“We got exactly what we deserved.

“There was a lot of basic footy out there, we got what we deserved and well done to the Sunwolves.”

“We just weren’t there mentally, in my opinion. We played the top team in the African conference two weeks ago and you saw the attitude and performance there.

“The performance you saw today was just worlds apart.

“The big thing with this club, this group, is that mental (part) – where we are, our mindset.

“It was a great day for footy out there so to dish that sort of performance up – it’s pretty darn frustrating.”

  • Kiap

    Great day out for both men’s and women’s rugby in Perth with the Western Force.

    As reported on SBS …Pre-match fireworks, dancers, a magic show, and even a sideline marriage proposal entertained the 16,323 crowd.

    • onlinesideline

      On the east coast, down in Canberra there were only tears, the cheerleading has been stopped starting next year, there was a kid with a hat and a rabbit but the rabbit ran away and got hit by a car, one couple started divorce proceedings after the match and the ponies are out of the finals.

      • Richard Patterson

        You seem surprised? The Brumbies are a poor
        side playing a very outdated style of Rugby. They lack imagination, lack skill, lack top-end conditioning and have several prominent players badly out of form. On what basis is that a recipe to attract fans, build atmosphere and deliver a worthwhile event?

        The bigger concern is this was an Australian Derby match – not a little known visiting team from South Africa, Japan or Argentina. If local rugby supporters around ACT have little enthusiasm for the Brumbies, what does it tell you about the pulling power of the neighbouring Melbourne Rebels?

        • Missing Link

          That’s like saying if the nobody cares about AFL on the Gold Coast, what does it tell you about the pulling power of neighbouring Sydney?

          The Rebels are back on track, and with further wins, the crowd will come. The Rebels have a break then the opportunity to grab a few more wins. To be honest, if it was cold as it was in Canberra on friday night, I would have preferred a couch, red wine and an open fire.

        • Habitual offender

          Nother reason RA should have kept WF over the Rebs, too bloody cold in Melbourne?

        • Missing Link

          no I’m led to believe that the Rebels are pulling close to 10,000+ for each home game with the exception of the Jaguares game which was scheduled at the same time as their local rugby comp so effectively anyone playing local rugby couldn’t go and see the Rebels.

          For the record, not the first time I’ve said this but cutting a team was not the right call. If they absolutely had to go to 4 teams, a merger was a better option. Either Melbourne with Perth or Canberra and split the home games between each city. Maybe Melburnians would not have cared about the merger but there was a lot of push back from force and brumbies fans, probably because they thought melbourne would be the team to go anyway.

        • Habitual offender

          Just having a niggle ML, cos i can.
          Watched the Rebs/Brums game, Rebs played some great running rugby from around the 62min mark.
          Hopefully the upcoming ForcevRebs game is going to be a burster.

        • Missing Link

          All good mate, I couldn’t catch the Force last night unfortunately, but will be watching as many games as I can. It’s not a good time for me but I’m happy that they are varying the time slots.

          I’m making a point on here to promote the Rebels as much as I can. There used to be 4 or 5 vocal Rebels fans on here but they seem to have gone away since the whole RA shambles last year, I have a feeling they got sick of the negativity towards their team.

          A lot of commentary today is about how poor the Reds and Brumbies are and how the Waratahs were stuffed/choked. Let’s not forget our 4th Super Rugby team, back on the winners podium, came from 14 points down and could pick up 3 more wins before the end of the season, and possibly top the conference. I hope everyone in Aus will get behind the Rebels and we can finally put the “they don’t deserve to be in the comp” comments behind us.

        • Habitual offender

          No argument from me ML.
          I like the rebs and the brums so it was real novel to watch a game where I wasnt turning red, hurling abuse at the TV and having to wipe the spittle of the screen afterwards.
          All power to the Rebels!!, except when they travel west of course.

        • Richard Patterson

          I understand your point Missing Link. However, right now it appears some want to attribute blame on the current state of Rugby in Australia to the format of Super Rugby or the confusing conference system.

          Saturday night in Canberra featured 2 Australian franchises with plenty of Wallaby players on display. Very few people chose to go and watch. Was it a belief that neither the Brumbies and/or Rebels would serve up a game worth the price of an admission ticket? If so, that is very disturbing.

        • Dud Roodt

          I think the situation is far more complex and nuanced than “if the crowd wants derby’s why didn’t they show up on Saturday night?” – the game here is on it’s death bed. Not even died in the wool rugby fans care about Super Rugby, so they’ve got buckleys of enticing new fans. And simply having derby’s now won’t fix that. It’s too late.

        • Richard Patterson

          Thanks Dud – it is really a concern.
          Analysis of A League data makes for interesting reading. An Australian domestic competition with one NZ team. No conference system, no multiple time zones or games played at odd hours. Competes largely with cricket’s Big Bash over the summer and then the early rounds of NRL & AFL for 2 months. For the recently concluded season, attendances were well down, TV ratings were also down. The overall profile of the sport is down.
          I watch NRL matches featuring 2 well established Sydney clubs at ANZ stadium and 9,000 are at the ground. I watch NRC games and 3,000 are watching.
          People’s appetite to watch live sport in Australia (ex. the parochial AFL lit in Melbourne) feels weak. A disturbing theme.

        • Joe King

          This is where RA gets it wrong by thinking that extra derby matches in SR will attract Aussie rugby fans. Derby matches within a closed conference system might work. But derby matches within a national domestic comp mean something very different to people compared to what SR offers. If SR were a champions league/cup format, that would be very interesting.

        • McWarren

          Richard the crowd bodes well for an Aussie only comp filled with Wallaby and Super team B players. I can’t wait to see that drivel.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That is friggen gold mate. I almost snorted my coffee reading that

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Tip my hat to the Force, you keep doing what you’re doing. It’s the one ray of light poking through the thunderstorm of super rugby.

        But I completely agree about the Brums. This is piss poor. A lot of people at Brumbies HQ have a lot to answer for, especially the coaching staff. All I knew about McKellar before this season was that he had coached the Vikings in the first year of the NRC, and it was their worst season in their entire history, in both NRC and ARC.

        Nothing he has done at all has given me confidence in the ability to manage this team.

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          Yet another “jobs for the boys” ruining rugby in Australia. It’s endless.

  • Who?

    So, two years in a row, we’ve seen a team captained by Michael Hooper with a title starting with ‘W’ get out to a massive double digit lead off the back of some great counterattack involving Folau and intercepts in a match against the strongest possible opposition on the South Island, and let it slip… I’m not pointing out commonalities in personnel to blame them, just to show a pattern. Because regardless of any other headlines that can be pulled out, it certainly shows a difference in mentality and mental strength.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Don’t forget the “Iceman’s” kicking in both games either.

      It is like a nightmare on repeat.

      • Bobas

        Somehow a worse iceman than when Schwarzenegger player Mr Freeze.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As least Schwarzenegger’s was a joke. We have to wake up every day and not only realise that Foley has been the incumbent 10 since 2014, but that there is not even a backup for him in the squad.

      • Who?

        I could’ve gone into a few more commonalities (Iceman, Hooper, Beale, Folau, Kepu, all key players in both teams, and I’m sure there’s others), but really wanted to focus on the mental aspect. What sort of team gets out to 29-0 and stops? Tries to defend a lead, rather than continuing to play? Shows the mental fragility that they could get overhauled..?

        • Missing Link

          to add further insult, the Tahs could have been 2-0 against kiwi teams in 2 games.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          In the first one we have Hanigan missing an easy tackle to let in a try that shouldn’tbe scored and then Beale doing something absolutely mind-numbingly stupid when the team is on attack to win the match, and in the second we have Hooper being unable to rally the troops when the momentum changes and Foley missing match-winning kicks at goal.

          It is like a “highlights” reel of all the fears we have about our guys: Hanigan not being up to it; Beale, for all his brilliance, making poor decisions; Hooper’s captaincy not really being good enough; Foley missing key kicks.

          Ugh. The difference between us and the Kiwis shouldn’t be 38 straight matches. How many have we lost at the death due to bad decisions (Beale), bad skills (Foley’s kicking), bad attack (Brumbies vs Crusaders rd 1 last year), and just bad luck (Crusaders last year).

          Our players need some serious sports psychology when going out to play the Kiwis.

        • Ed

          In the 39 matches, eight have been decided by seven or fewer points.

        • Patrick

          I’m not sure that last point is right. I think the coaches need some serious kicks up the arse and a decently serious cricket bat to the head (at least).

          How f*ç%en hard can it be to say:
          – “Mmm, grunt, you kick shit, you kick never”???
          – “OK, grunt, you best kick, you kicker”???
          – “OK, grunt, you run lots, but brain very small, you run lots, grunt, you never talk to ref. Grunt. You not captain!”???
          – “OK, grunt, you inspirational, everyone love you, even ref and in fact other team, grunt, even the f*ç%en greenies, you captain”

          FFS. On this site, 90+% of whose members, certainly me, are far better with a laptop than a rugby ball, 99% of us have been saying it for about 10 years, and yet, near a dozen coaches, selectors and CEOs later, SFA has changed.

        • Sevenwithasixonmyback

          At the break, I knew how the ‘Saders were going to play the second-half. You knew how they were going to play the second-half. Everyone else watching knew that the NZ side would come back out composed, focused, determined and patiently play their game.
          Everyone it seems except the ‘Tahs. They allowed themselves to be completely dominated (though that really started from the 30th minute in the 1st when the CSs got a bit bored of being on the back-end of a hiding).
          Everyone knows when a (good) NZ side want (read that as WANT, not simply need) to pick up their game, they usually do just that.
          And the ‘Tahs should have known that was coming and played the same outstanding attacking game that they started the match with. Instead they changed tactic entirely and couldn’t hold back the tide.
          Whatever happened in the ‘Tah sheds at the break was inherently wrong and whoever did it should sit on a bench for a few weeks or go altogether. Whoever actively altered a so-far successful game plan to one where an historic come-from-behind victory was achieved was either sadly mistaken or professionally negligent. That’s all that can be learnt from this.
          Shambles.
          What a rollercoaster of an afternoon.
          Nearly cried.
          Swore lots instead.

  • OnTheBurst

    Only 2 weeks for moody is a disgrace.

    At least in the case of dangerous tackles the player at fault is actually playing the game.

    Moody’s action was off the ball, dangerous, cowardly and cheap. 2 weeks? Total joke.

    • Dangerous Dave

      Agreed
      I don’t understand how Kepu last year got a longer suspension?
      If moody used his shoulder would it be a longer suspension?

    • RugbyM

      2 weeks is an absolute scam. People have gotten more for less deliberate actions, who showed concern for the affected player etc etc. I could go on, but I won’t.
      Just another reason to have an independent (or overarching) commission for these things, rather than the wheel of misfortune which sees 4 weeks for a deliberate elbow to neck reduced to 2 for “good behaviour”.

    • Richard Patterson

      I could not be in stronger agreement with you. 2 weeks for Moody is an absolute disgrace. It just highlights the continued biases that exist and the headwinds that must be faced on a continual basis. When will it stop?

      Seriously, if this matter is not taken up before World Rugby then they are all a bunch of spineless cowards. I mean all we ever want is consistency right and a belief that it’s a level playing field for everyone.

      I hearby conclude with what I believe most people here are referring too. With Joe Moody’s unblemished judiciary record it should have been no more than 1 week.

      • Dud Roodt

        Which is why I propose, that in the court of law, should someone be found guilty of murder thus; if it is their first murder, they shall be issued with a very strongly worded letter in lieu of a custodial sentence

  • Patrick

    I’ve got to say that ever since watching Frank Bunce occasionally get onside I’ve always thought that if the player was offside you should just run straight into ‘em, and then when they fall and whine the ref sees how far offside they were… and if you think they’re going to block you, take the ball like Joe Roff used to with your studs leading at 90° and see if they don’t change their own minds.

  • OnTheBurst

    I read a few articles saying that SANZAAR was embarrassed by the miss by the 4 Kiwi refs (including TMO) of the Moody incident.

    I’d suggest it should be NZ Rugby who should be embarrassed. Not suggesting deliberate bias (necessarily), more incompetence…

    • Nutta

      After an evening of reflection and recognition of the realities of professional sport and the duties that entails, I have come to a fairly sad junction.

      The officiating team is made of 3 onfields – 2 of which have specific accountabilities for off the ball issues – and 1 off field who has the benefit of height, replays and clean air away from nattering players.

      For them, with all that help, to miss that incident, in the context of immediately preceding a try and being thus furnished with further opportunity to review, means:

      1. They are incompetent to the point of incriminating not just themselves but also whoever appointed and oversees them as intolerable risks to the integrity of the game.

      Or

      2. They were cheats on the take.

      I am not actually sure which one is worse for the game. All I know is that in professional situations, this is not an accident or an oversight to be put aside.

      If this were my workplace, someone would be losing their job.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        It was poor but I think it was a bad judgement rather than anything puposly unlawful. I agree though the TMO in particular should be removed. The only counter is that in the last Hurricanes match we had a TMO who pulled up every little thing from minor off side that actually didn’t interfere with the play to forward passes and the like and it was an awful experience. In saying that foul play is something that should not be missed. personally I didn’t even see it until it was brought up after the game and while I laugh at the FOX commentators and their passion in reporting this, even they didn’t bring it up until after the game so they didn’t see it either when it happened.

    • Richard Patterson

      It was clearly a mistake by the officiating crew. Let he or she who has not made a work place mistake cast the first stone.

  • OnTheBurst

    Geez we’d love Fardy back in gold.

    Is there any remote possibility of this happening?

    • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

      Not while Cheika is still coach, it would appear.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Correct. For some reason he’s got a real hard on against Fardy. Pisses me off.

        • Fed

          Cheika preferred and worked hard on developing Hannigan while a beanpole rather than giving him time under Fardy – absolutely bizarre.

        • Bobas

          In nz, what is a hard on?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          hahahaha sorry it’s just that being against Fardy is more of an issue than being for anyone else

        • Nutta

          Didn’t answer the question…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry. It means your cock gets fat

        • Greg

          glad we cleared that up…..

    • Bobas

      Maybe a Fardy law where if you have won the ECC you can be picked? Could bring back more than Fardy with that law too :)

  • mikado

    Regarding “coached cheating” all good teams play at the fringes of legality and if coaches aren’t coaching this then they are failing their team. Similarly, if the opposition is cheating then the captain needs to have a quiet word in the Ref’s ear (or a word with his own players to do likewise).

    Ireland are good at this – be warned!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yep, they are. Not as good as us yet but they’re certainly onto it

  • Jack

    Nice work Nick

  • bluesfan

    The questions around cheating are sad and sadly are reflective of where Australian Rugby stands today.

    Quality teams find a way to win and the idea that NZ are somehow “cheats” or are “thugs” is silly – all teams will infringe if in danger of having their line breached – your own captain is the most Yellow carded player in Internationals – does this mean that the Wallabies are Cheats – they have selected a captain who beaches the law often or have they selected a captain whose position at 7 necessitates that beaches of the law will sometimes occur and accordingly will receive YC’s?

    In the game between the Crusaders/Brumbies – C.Peni came in with a swinging arm into Dagg’s head – Dagg was taken off for a HNA and subsequently did not return to the match, Dagg in actual fact is still out injured from the Knee injury resulting from that tackle – unlike Beale who was not injured in that play..

    Peni’s punishment was 5 weeks on the sideline – due both to the severity of the tackle and Peni’s history of Head High Tackles – did you see Kiwi Newspapers claiming that Oz rugby players are thugs or cheats or did you see people acknowledging that he should have being red-carded but that the SANZAR Judiciary was in place to review and if necessary hand out a ban based upon the incident. This is what they did as they done subsquently with Joe Moody.

    It’s an easy excuse to look at that incident and complain – however anyone with sense should rather question how a side that was leading by 29 points subsequently lost the match – the Waratahs were in the box seat half-way through the first half – no side should lose from that point and that they did should be the main discussion point.

    • Greg

      “did you see Kiwi Newspapers claiming that Oz rugby players are thugs” well…. yes!

    • Pedro

      Peni got a yellow at the time tough right? Plus it was an on the ball incident that was reviewed at the time and the player penalised.

      You might not like people calling anyone a cheat, but in this instance it’s somewhat understandable. Contact to the head, off the ball and directly leading to a try.

      • bluesfan

        Did Beale have to be replaced?

        Dagg was lost for the night and Peni was back on after 10 minutes – How is that fair – didn’t Peni deliberately set out to hurt Dagg with a swinging arm – he has done this a couple of times now and that is why he got a longer ban than Moody.

        How many points would have the Crusaders put on the Brumbies if they had 15 vs. 14 for 60 odd minutes – remembering that they put 2 tries on the Brumbies when Peni was off – so let’s put another 20 or 30 points onto the scoreline of that game?

        Or

        Are both incidents part and parcel of what occurs in Rugby and it’s why we have a judiciary – both Peni and Moody will now have private conversations with their coaches around their play – organisations generally don’t like to pay people to sit on the sideline due to their dumb actions.

        Calling people Thugs or cheats – well problem is that can be easily turned back just like the above example.

        • Missing Link

          Moot argument mate, Peni’s incident occured when contesting the ball, it was reckless and deserved what it got. Unfortunately Dagg was injured in the incident.

          It makes zero difference if Beale left the field or not, Moody charged out of the line and elbowed Beale in the face, off the ball. He clearly had intent otherwise he wouldn’t have been standing there, considering he was 1 – 2 metres in front of the ball.

          Also a huge difference between a cheat and a thug. Moody’s act was thuggery no doubt.

        • bluesfan

          What you have is commonly called double standards

          Peni had a swinging arm into Dagg’s face – he had to go off for an HNA and did not return – how exactly does that not count as being a thug?

          An independent judiciary decided that 1 player has a 2 weeks ban and 1 player has 5 weeks – The player who was given 5 weeks was due in large part to previous actions – this is what they released:

          “With respect to sanction the foul play review committee deemed the act of foul play merited a mid range entry point of [six] weeks,” Hampton said.
          “The player has received two previous periods of suspension for similar incidents in the preceding 12 months, and the foul play review committee added a further week to the sanction for that aggravating factor.
          “However, taking into account mitigating factors including the Player’s remorse shown on field and his pleading guilty at the first available opportunity, the foul play review committee reduced the suspension to [five] weeks.

          So Chance Peni has now had/having 3 suspensions over high hits on players – is he a thug – judicary seems to think so as reflected by the punishements given out.

        • Missing Link

          they’re two separate incidents, one while contesting the ball and the other wasn’t. both deserved to be punished, both can be viewed as thuggish.

          Peni’s actions don’t excuse Moody for his actions, I’ve seen a few “uts not tuddlywunks” comments from kiwis in relation to Moody, fact is mum’s wont let their kids play if they see that as being normal behaviour in rugby. We need to keep the game clean, otherwise our future stars will be kicking a soccer ball around instead.

        • bluesfan

          Never said they did – Moody’s action was stupid and his coaches will not be happy, if not for the incompetence of the Ref – he would have being red-carded and unlikely that the Crusaders won – though I wouldn’t put it beyond them.

          My general point is that Kiwis or Aussies are not cheats/thugs – rather individuals are and accordingly will be caught by the judiciary and attempting to paint an entire nation as cheats is silly.

        • Missing Link

          I’m not suggesting the tahs would have won had Moody been red carded. simply stating that a thug act like Moody’s damages the game. Players like Moody should think of the bigger picture, reputational damage to the game, not just win at all cost. That’s probably where the issue lies, maybe kiwi teams aren’t coached to cheat, they are simply coached to not accept failure and hence sometimes the human reaction is to win at all costs, do things you know are not acceptable in the game as long as the result goes your way.

        • bluesfan

          Why not say players like Moody and Peni (considering he was a 3rd time offender)?

          And yes – I would agree with your point – but I don’t think that a “Kiwi” rugby mentality – but rather a winning mentality that transcends Nationalities. For example – I do recall a minor incident with the Australian Cricket team recently – who apparently had a win at all costs approach/mentality.

          And I would now highlight that Australian Rugby teams are being encouraged to cheat by ex-Wallabies/Media Pundits in the Media – NZ are no angels – but then neither is any successful country in whichever sporting contest

        • Missing Link

          fair enough let’s call it “win at all costs” no matter where it’s from. when faced with adversity, how far would a person go? I guess if you are poor, do you a. get a job/better job/work longer hours, or b. rob a bank. we need everyone to take option a.

        • Pedro

          My point is, next time something like this happens, try not to be so surprised at the reaction.

        • Pedro

          My point is that it was as cynical an action as you’re likely to see which was rewarded with a try. If anything is going to trigger a cheat/thug response this is it.

  • Kokonutcreme

    As we’re all on the outside looking in we’ll never know if cheating is coached.

    Certainly NZ sides are often accused of cheating. This is the collateral baggage consistently successful teams carry, some of it is accurate however often at the expense of a blind eye by critics being turned towards their own teams cheating indiscretions.

    Should Moody have been red carded? Absolutely but does that automatically translate to a Tahs victory if the try was disallowed? No it doesn’t.

    At least we’re all talking about an on-field controversy for a change.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I was never taught to cheat so much as to play to the line of the law and that line was where the referee defined it to be. It’s interesting; law 6.A.4.(a) states that “the referee is the sole judge of fact and law during a match”. I use this all the time when an irate coach comes up and starts saying how I pinged his player who wasn’t off-side, playing the ball etc ect. I just say under law 6,1,4,a he was. Only had one ask what that law was and he laughed. The thing is that it is very much up to the referee to rule on these things and so learning where they are focussing is important. There are so many rules that trying to follow them all is hard. That’s part of the controfersy during a game. Every ruck and maul could probably have 5 or 6 things adjudicated on depending on where you look at it from. The good referees are those who get in the right position to make the best ruling in the context of the game.

      The only thing I’d add is that Foul play was never part of that. When I was at high school a plyer who committed a foul play usually had a weeks detention afterwards as well.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Well said KC.

  • Jeff Putt

    While it’s disappointing the ref missed the Moody incident – I wonder how many of the morally outraged actually saw it on first viewing. Certainly twitter didn’t light up until after the game when the foxsports guys brought it up (and again, they didn’t mention it at their halftime recap). Again – disappointing the ref missed it but I’m not sure it was what lost the Waratahs the game. They missed 25 missed tackles, conceded 18 turnovers, and lost 10% of their own rucks! but no one seems to be mentioning those things as a potential ‘fix’ to get them back on the winning path – just sack the ref….

    • Nutta

      Hello Jeff

      A couple of considerations:

      Firstly, the Tarts blew a 29pt lead. No one else did. No one else has in Super Rugby history. The Tarts own that. No two-ways there. The Cru won. Even when the two-bob watch idiot McArdle opened with such tripe in the post-game the ex-players at the table were quick and unified in stopping that argument cold.

      But are you proposing that because the ref didn’t see it in real-time then it should not be sanctioned? And because the idiot-world living on-line immersed in instant narcissistic gratification failed to notice it or cry-out in emojied outrage in 140 characters beyond their own black-screen reflection then it’s unworthy of questioning? If so, then what’s the point of touchies and a TMO and a citing commission in the first place?

      Fk it man. Lets just get in a ring and rip in yeh? We can be judged by the self-obsessed taking selfies instead.

      • Jeff Putt

        Howdy Nutta,

        No – not at all. It should be sanctioned and he should miss games. Ref’s (and in this case the TMO also) miss stuff – all the time, on both sides…. My point is, the miss here wasn’t as egregious as everyone is claiming given that no-one else appeared to notice it at the time… The problem is focussing on only one side of what the ref has missed and the subtle/not-so-subtle implication of home town bias, might make people feel better in the short term – but doesn’t help the team get better (and I know it’s just the baying masses and hopefully behind closed doors, the tah’s are pulling this apart to examine why they missed those tackles, conceded those turnovers and lost those rucks). It also brings our game down to the level of those other codes… I coach an U11’s side – and don’t tolerate *any* negative talk or accusations of bias about the ref from my 10 yr olds – so it’s really disappointing for the bulk of the Foxsports coverage to dwell on that (and having to explain why they can question the ref when my kids can’t)… Maybe I need to watch the game with my boys with the sound down :)

        • Nutta

          Reasoned chat is always good.

          ‘the miss here wasn’t … egregious … given that no-one else appeared to notice it at the time’

          I disagree as that implies the severity of an incident is governed by the outcome. So if I trip a guy and he breaks his leg I get (say) 8wks but if I trip a guy but he suffers no injury I get nothing. That means we sanction on the basis of hurt. I say that is wrong. That’s not justice – that’s revenge. I say (and the common law says) we sanction the incident itself and the severity of any resulting harm is a secondary (eg aggravating or extenuating) circumstance.

        • Jeff Putt

          Sorry mate – I mis-spoke. I didn’t mean the incident wasn’t bad. It was and he should have the book thrown at him. I was reacting to all the outrage and conspiracy theories around the ref missing it – and was trying to highlight that given none of us noticed it at the time – that his missing it wasn’t because he was cheating etc – just that he missed it. I believe he (Moody) should be sanctioned because he hit Beale illegally., regardless of the circumstance or severity of the hit.

        • Nutta

          We have agreement then regarding that aspect. Grand. Let’s tackle world peace next…

          I’m not a fan of conspiracy either. Another guy on here – KRL – spoke well on that point earlier regarding the idea is simply preposterous given the epic size of organizing such a scam. Unfortunately that means (by process of elimination) that the incident was missed by incompetence as it wasn’t missed by 1 but by 4 professionals charged with policing that exact issue (the laws of the game). Now if they missed a guy getting stabbed at the bottom of a ruck where no one could see then fair enough; we can’t see through players. But open-field and into the only defender within Coo-ee…?

        • Maybe we should appoint the TMO’s from a panel of contributors to the Waratah forum. Credit to them, they picked up on it immediately.

    • Greg

      The loss is down to the Waratahs. No question. 29 points; two opportunities to kick winning penalties…

      The Moody effort was poor.

    • Dud Roodt

      It helps that the local broadcasters never replayed it (funny how they didn’t spot that but seem to spot every indiscretion an Australian player will make and play it over 400 times until the ref sees it (this is not the ramblings of a bitter and twisted individual – while I am both of those things, it is a well known occurrence that the local feed will not show infringements by the local team but will play multiple times infringements by opposition players)

      • Bobas

        Also they did check the Folau offside, and he was on side. Don’t let the flying monkeys fool you.

      • Nutta

        It’s also why the Twickers overhead camera has not ever been in working order since the last world cup game the Filth played against Oz – all their special little scrum shenanigans were broadcasted on worldwide tv!

        • Habitual offender

          Pity too, was a great coaching video.

        • Nutta

          And credit where it’s due as well; well done on that front Mr Rowley

    • Dally M

      No one is saying that was what cost the Waratahs the game, not that I have seen.

      You can’t deny that a red card & no try would have changed the dynamic of that game.

      Yes, ref’s do miss stuff but it was right in front of him. The assistant also should have seen it. How do you not see a bloke going down in the defensive line, at the hands of a Crusader ahead of the attacking player?

      What about Izzy being at least 2 metres offside for the cross field kick? What were any of the officials watching. It would also have been replayed ad nauseum by the broadcaster.

      The yellow card for Mr T that has been a penalty at most all season long. And this guy had already taken about 4 intercepts already, but somehow it was an intentional knock down?

      What about the tip tackle that was right in front of the assistant who seemed to mention it, was brought to his attention by the captain, who also asked him to review it – all ignored.

      Seeing as you seem to have all the numbers, what were the possession stats in the 2nd half?

      • Jeff Putt

        There was also a punch by Simmons in the first half (or at least that’s what it looked like). I’m not saying that ref’s are perfect, I’m just rejecting the accusations of bias (intentional or accidental)… We’re all watching with our coloured eye patches on – light blue vs red and ‘see’ what we see. The ref wasn’t the only person to miss the Moody incident – I was watching it with 4 others (including a couple of tah’s supporters) and no one commented on it.. I know we’re not on-field being paid to look at it, but the fact that it was missed doesn’t automatically mean that it’s cheating… My point is that the refs all miss stuff on both sides (I think you agree with this, no?) – and that, combined with the stuff they do see and disagree with our point of view on again doesn’t mean they’re cheats (I note you didn’t level that accusation, but others have)… As Brisneyland says below – the referees panel will sort their performance out… My disappointment with the coverage was that was immediately where foxsports went – implying Kiwi refs were cheating to benefit a kiwi team etc etc… really undermining the credibility of the game, in my view…I believe the broadcasting agreement should have a clause where they’re not allowed to bring the game into disrepute – because I believe the way it was reported has done that. All this and I still believe it did deserve a red card – and he’s been dealt with by the judiciary…

        ps – I was just using the numbers from Opta provided on the NZ Herald report of the game – unfortunately they don’t break it out by half…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          mate no one listens to those broadcasters anymore except the sad ones looking to justify their own misery. Honestly they are crap and how Kafer is allowed to keep both this job where he continually smashes the coaches and his job at RA where he’s meant to support them is beyond belief. To be fair the Kiwi and SA commentators are just as bad and anyone who listens to them for any unbiased an accurate reporting is living in a dreamworld.

        • Jeff Putt

          Yeah Good Point!

        • RahRah

          I have to agree, only the Aussie commentators seem to be getting worse every year. Malone? Mitchel? absolute disgrace, they are complete and utter crap.
          The only Aussie commentator worth a pinch of goat doodoo is Clark.

        • Nutta

          To be fair, the NZ commentary on Fri night was by a lass who appeared to know her stuff and I generally find the input of Gregan to be balanced. For pure unadulterated and unashamed bias you simply can’t go past the Jarpies. They are in a golden class of their own and it’s actually sort of entertaining.

        • onlinesideline

          whooo is that older guy with the really strong saffa accent in commentary over there ? Its not afrikaaner, just strong tradional SA accent, maybe a bit well to do. He drives me nuts – the younger bloke sitting next to him, I think hes an ex-bokke is alright but that older guy, you know the second you tune in, its a horrible sound.

        • joy

          Goodness gracious. What’s biased about pointing to the fact. The video clip spoke for itself.
          I actually like the commentary from all three countries. I expect a different perspective and I’m not offended by it.

        • Missing Link

          If you know Rob Simmons, you’d know that if he punched anyone he’d have broken his wrist :)

        • joy

          What a load of tommy rot. Its nothing to do with whether its noticed or not. It has nothing to do with red or blue tinged glasses. An offside player that takes an opponent out with an elbow to the throat is brutality full stop. You can use euphemisms like cheating but it doesn’t change the fact.

          By the way commentators that call out brutality do not bring the game into disrepute, they are saving it from disrepute.

        • Jeff Putt

          Howdy mate, I think you missed the context of my original post – I was disagreeing with the fact that because the ref missed the original incident that he must be a cheat. The commentators calling out the ref as being a cheat does the ref, themselves and the game a dis-service,
          in my opinion. I agree that acts like that are unwelcome in the game – whether they are noticed or not, and luckily the judiciary did notice it and he has been suspended.

        • joy

          Agreed. The ref needs to follow the ball but he has three assistants. The TMO in particular should have picked this up. He has access to tapes.
          The main thrust of my comments were about the incident itself. These comments are apply whether the refs see it or not. In my view an elbow is worse than a punch. A punch in these circumstances would have attracted a much bigger sanction. Two weeks looks weak and in seems designed to have Moody available for the test season. This would be cheating at the highest level The whole thing reeks and does nothing for rugby.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Jeff I think there is a bias – sort of. I find it hard when you have a dominant team to not sort of reward them for positive play. I don’t do it consciously but looking back I do think that a positive team being dominant gets the rub of the green. I think that’s why knockons like Hooper’s and off sides like Folau’s are missed. I think all the officials were guilty of ball watching and that’s why Moody’s hit was missed. I also don’t think the TMO goes back for every try unless he/she has noticed something and wants to check it. Not having noticed it the try was left.

        • Jeff Putt

          I think you’re bang on the money here, KRL. And it becomes a positive feedback loop as well – the team that is dominant gets the benefit of the doubt/rub of the green/vibe of the thing etc… and it becomes even harder for the team under pressure to get out from under that pressure. The Tahs were on top at the beginning though only slightly – they weren’t on top as much as the scoreboard suggested, (at least. In my opinion), but once the Crusaders got out from under the pressure and began stringing the phases together – it sort of had an amplifying effect – unconscious bias of favouring the dominant side. That’s why momentum shifts are so exciting in rugby… also the Crusaders for all their other attributes real or imagined are one of the very best at ramping up the pressure and keeping their opposition there – through good play and good decision making. (It’s also why repeat mistakes hurt so much when you are under pressure)…

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Morning Nick. Hat’s off to putting in some good work on what must have been a pretty downer of a day. Great to see the Force continuing to build and I really hope RA swallows its pride and gets in bed with Twiggy for the NRC. Unlike some here I don’t see it replacing Super Rugby as despite the $50M talked about I don’t believe there is enough sustainable funding to bring this to the level needed to keep the Folaus, and the like in Australia. I think that Australia is starting to reap what it sowed when it restricted the search for coaching talent to the back parking lot of the organisation. Both McKellar and Thorn are very inexperienced coaches with a very small CVs and their lack of experience is showing. Coupled to this is the lack of a senior mentor they can approach to guide them and things are not going to improve for a while.

    Now the biggie…… I don’t agree that NZ teams cheat more than the opposition and that there is some world wide conspiracy for it to be allowed.To me that’s the issue as it’s a bit like people thinking that referees were somehow all in sync with not penalising McCaw because if it was true then allreferees would have to get together and agree on it and that’s just conspiracy theory at its best. I’d also be very careful taking anything either Mark Reason or Rattue ever say as being a basis for a sound argument. Both of these two have a long history of writing inflamartory articles to both gender some feedback – living by the rule that bad advertising is still advertising – and also to try and hurt NZ Rugby and the NZ rugby establishment. I think both of them must have bad experiences at school with the 1st XV or something because they really are nasty little trolls.
    I was actually amazed during the Canterbury game about how many times the Warratahs took out men off the ball and how often they hit rucks from the side and got away with it. Don’t get me wrog, I think all players should play to the referee and that, apart from foul play, if the referee allows it then go for it. I think that NZ players are better at reading the referees and picking up what they referee like, but that’s just part of the training in the mental application of the game that Australia in particular is semmingly ignoring.

    • Greg

      Good morning @KRL. All valid points I think.

      You know my beef about kiwi teams playing cynically when under pressure. You can call this “reading the ref” if you like but i think it is bad for the game. They are also good enough teams and players that it is almost always unnecessary but seems to have been coached into the players.

      The Moody behaviour was something different and, imo, under-punished.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I get that and to be fair if I was on the receiving end of it I’d be as upset as you. The thing is it is up to the referees to police.

    • Happyman

      Agree KRL the Kiwi’s read the ref better than anyone. The attention to detail is outstanding and yes IMHO it is more gamesmanship than cheating. The amount of times you see a Kiwi in the tackler fall not eh wrong side and get out of the way just quickly enough to not get penalised but slowly enough to effect the next play allowing the defence to reset slowly strangling the momentum of the opposition is quite outstanding.
      I have always put it down to the fact that elite Australian players do not play enough game growing up and they do not have the rugby smarts to cope.

      • joy

        Or maybe it’s that Aussie concept called a fair go.

    • Richard Patterson

      Well summarised as always.

    • Dud Roodt

      I think one point of contention is certainly the lack of consistency in punishment. I firmly believe that if it had been any Australian player who had done what Moody did it would a) probably have been picked up at the time by the ref and b) a much more severe penalty passed down by the judiciary

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        While I can understand you feeling that way I actually don’t agree with either, I’d certainly hope not anyway.

        • Dud Roodt

          I mean, we only have to look at punishments handed out this year alone to see a certain level of inconsistency!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah the problem is that in Super rugby the citing commission is from the country the game is played in – This alone will get the conspiracy flags waving again. However, I do think that there is a slight difference in how each country sees the application of laws and I don’t think there’s a lot you can do about that unless SANZAAR spends the cash to have a single central commission that each country participates in and where the chairmanship and members are rotated between the different countries. I’m sure though that even with that setup there’d still be issues at times. In some ways I think it’s just part of the game

        • joy

          Is this an admission that the citing commission may be in on the cheating too? I didn’t think of that one!!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          of course you did mate. You always look for cheating in NZ teams.

        • joy

          I wonder why?

      • HK Red

        I also think, though happy to be proved wrong, that we are a little naive in the replay of infringements. I think our on-ground producers tend to move on, whereas in NZ and certainly in SA, the producer replays the incident ad-nauseum until the officials notice and act.
        I don’t agree at all that the officials should be influenced by the TV replays unless they specifically request said replay. I hate that a TV exec in a booth can have such an influence on a game, it’s annoy that it seems to happen so regularly.

        • Dud Roodt

          I hate that too. They’re big on it in NZ and big in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s not far off a member of the crowd calling out to the ref to see a bit of footage he shot with his phone. Outrageous the number of times we’ve seen refs look up, see it and blow their whistle

    • Nicholas Wasiliev

      Great points KWL. I definitely agree that it is more of a case of reading the referees than anything else, and I think that the coaches play a big role in that.

      Honestly, it’s yet another example of playing the game smart. Reading the ref allows you to stay on his or her good side. Wish we would do the same.

      I for one found it quite concerning that Gibson was proud of the Tahs for their effort. Yeah, they turned up, but you should not be proud when your team gives up a 29 point lead. You should be disappointed that they took their foot off the throat and allowed the Crusaders to capitalise. That was a game they should have won. And to me, that feeds into the real problem with Aussie Rugby, that most of our coaches are not at Super Rugby level. Wessels has shown the most amount of potential so far, even despite the five match losing streak and problems at the Rebels. Everyone else, meh at best.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        too much pc from Gibson and too much blame from Thorn and McKellar. It needs a balance

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Of course the Kiwi teams bend the rules more. They’re better at doing it. The Brumbies were masters at it when playing under Jake White. The penalty Mowen conceded after the siren penalty in the second Lions test when the Lions had the ball just outside of Halfpenny’s range was another brilliant piece of playing on the edge of the rules.

      ‘Cheating,’ for me, should be reserved for the very worst behaviour. The disgustingly thuggish behaviour we saw from Moody on the weekend was about on the cusp. Utterly acceptable that that occurred and that neither the referee nor the TMO checked it.

      • joy

        Moody on the “cusp” of foul play. You’re kidding. What mother would agree to her children playing a game where thuggery like this is excused with a two week ban?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It was definitely foul play. I think it was on the cusp of cheating as I don’t like to condemn without being sure of his intentions. For me, it is cheating if he meant to take Beale out and/or hit him in the throat. If he just messed up and instinctively raised his arm to Beale’s chest and had it slip up it is just foul play and stupidity.

        • joy

          You should know that you wont change Mother’s mind.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am in complete agreement with you?

    • Brumby Runner

      A couple of responses KRL. Dan McKellar at the Brumbies has Laurie Fisher on the coaching panel. Wouldn’t Laurie be experienced enough to act as mentor? I think there is a much deeper problem atm at the Brumbies.

      Not one referee this year, nor probably last year iirc, has had any interest at all in players entering the ruck from the side when in attack. Defenders will get pinged, but not those on the attacking side. Sealing off is also rife but rarely penalised. Those aspects are more likely a reflection of general incompetence or responding to some direction from the head of the referees’ appointment board to keep the game flowing. The almost blind eye of all NZ referees to knock ons falls into the same category. Failing to see foul play is a different matter altogether, and any discussion of that issue or alleged cheating should not hold Richie McCaw up as an example of virtue.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        you would think Laurie is doing that. However is he being listened to? I didn’t see him in the coaching box on tv so maybe he’s not.
        I agree on the refereeing. I have to tell my halfbacks when I reff that it’s not Super rugby so the ball has to go in straight. I remember Steve Walsh at one training day he hadn’t watched a ball go into a scum in years, too many other things to watch

        • Brumby Runner

          The scrum feed is certainly another annoyance. If the ball has to be thrown straight, with little room for error, into a lineout, why can’t a scrum half be required to feed the ball straight to the middle of the two front rows. I get that some argue the feeding side should have some advantage, but why should the throwing hooker also not be allowed that advantage? And where in the Laws does it say there should be an advantage?

        • Who?

          WR completely bottled the scrum engagement sequence when they introduced it in 2013, because they didn’t emphasize nearly enough the requirement for ‘square and steady’. Lineouts, you don’t have a huge gap, but you have a gap. If there’s no gap, then the throwing team complains until there is a gap. With a scrum, you can’t be expected to throw it in straight if the thing’s shunting around all over the place because the ref isn’t requiring the two teams to withhold pushing until the ball is fed (which has always been the law – no pushing until the scrum commences, and the scrum commences not at ‘set’, but when the ball is fed).
          It’s really not hard – all they had to do was implement the sequence properly. Crouch, bind (ref checks that binds are long and #8’s have their heads in (i.e. no slingshotting), set (check the binds, hold for stability), signal the 9. The loss of the ability to hold the feed means the 9 can dump it into a scrum that’s never been steady, and they’ll do that if it’s moving to their own advantage. If the scrum’s going backwards, they won’t feed it (and refs don’t penalize for pushing off the mark near often enough), or they’ll squib feed it because it’s not fair to ask a scrum to be fed straight when the defending team is pushing ahead of the mark.

    • joy

      Here is the real biggie. You are attempting to defend a thug.

    • Hoss

      I hate it when people use calm, reason and a well thought argument on this site.

      I understand some of the venom on here re the length of the ban for good character (WTF) – does a person of good character elbow someone in the throat off the ball and not involved in the play….hmmmm.

      But more importantly on here, the pack has lost site that the Tah’s still blew a 29 point lead.

      So in the hierarchy of blame (my copyright), i see the list something like

      – Tahs 23
      – Captain Hooper
      – Chief Play maker @ 10
      – Goal Kicker (also our 10)
      – Will Miller – bit rough, but to the trained eye (mine) his passing and hands are dreadful. Great engine, but his catching and passing suck. He through 3-4 howlers against the blues and then after KB pulls off a strip to relive pressure (a few plays later Saint Moody elbows him in the throat for his problems) and when trying to go wide on the counter (for a possible 36 nil) he throws it 5 yards behind the outside backs who were drooling to be let loose,a bing-bam-boom, St Moody scores under the posts after elbowing KB, stepping on a kitten, defecating on an image of Mother Teresa and fornicating with Skippy – a national icon (good character my arse & i want his lawyer on retainer) – but it started with Will Millers shocking mistake a 5yo wouldnt make.
      – Coach
      – Referee
      -TMO
      -Touchies.
      -General NZ peoples, their ancestors and anyone who has visited the cheats paradise
      – Ritchie McCaw – he started all this.

      I posted last night that at 29-0, good decisions, bad decisions, your are master of your domain and the little minutia shouldn’t matter in the end given that lead.

      Yes the decision re St Moody was a catalyst (3 tries in 5 minuets) and the ciorrect decision would have seen Tah’s v 14 players for 45 minutes(and a prop at that) basically a 7 point swing back to Tah’s, the momentum sapped from the Saders etc etc etc – i get that – BUT…………….

      The Tah’s just weren’t good enough to win, dont have the belief, the skill or the cattle and even in the 77th minute we got handed ANOTHER chance to win and the rest is history.

      I hate this quote because its used 100 times a day, but whats going to change at the Tah’s if they don’t make changes – real, long term (harden the fuck up mentally) changes – insanity anyone………….

      • Nutta

        Now Dude…

        I must correct these flagrant inaccuracies.

        The Rutchy line. He didn’t start it. A guy called James Allen did (go-on look it up!).

        • Hoss

          I stand corrected before the alter that is Master Nutta.

          Yours truly
          Grasshopper.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        sorry we’re such aresholes mate

        • Hoss

          A fair few classic ‘ugly Straylens’ on here today mate.

          National pride is wounded and a few firing off like drunken Gatling Guns.

          Blame is always an outward projectile.

          Ready, fire, aim………….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I try to ignore them mate as by far the people here are pretty good. I find when I argue they just bring me down to their level and beat me with experience. Plus most people have their up and down days and it’s a combination of the passion I love and frustration at some of the shit that causes most of it. Then again there’s the odd person who’s just a cock

        • Habitual offender

          No need for the apology in my book KRL.
          Acceptance is the first step I’m told.

        • Hoss

          They say possession is 9/10’s of the law.

      • mikado

        “I hate it when people use calm, reason and a well thought argument on this site.”

        Ha! That’s not what the internet is for!

        • Hoss

          Gold mate

      • Ed

        Re your number 1 Hoss – the matchday 23. Paul Cully tweeted that the Tahs tight five, starters and replacements, ran for a combined 10 metres on Saturday.
        If you are going to play with a light back row, hard runs over the advantage line has to come from up front.

  • Richard Patterson

    So following a weekend that saw a team from Japan secure a terrific maiden Super Rugby win in Tokyo, the Crusaders and Waratahs deliver an intense Super Rugby contest in Christchurch and teams from New Zealand and South Africa play out a very high quality Super Rugby match in Dunedin we want to debate whether New Zealand rugby cheats? Or is it about favourable officiating?

    Personally, I marvel at the skills of modern day New Zealand rugby players. From 1-23 their array of skills beyond core roles is impressive and continues to improve. The weekend showcased some outstanding rugby players from Japan, Australia and South Africa. The more of them that emerge the better the entire sport will be.

    The Joe Moody incident was extremely disappointing. Understand though, a player perceived to carry discipline risks has no future in New Zealand rugby. It is typically a terminal offset against any perceived benefits that player may bring.

    Will New Zealand rugby ever be free of incidents of foul play? No.
    Will New Zealand rugby ever stop pushing the boundaries in skills execution, mental preparation and physical conditioning? No.

    For the sake of the sport we all enjoy, I tend to focus on the latter, not the former. At a time when Rugby in Australia needs all the positive attention it can receive, let’s hope the same mindset applies there too. Anyone think a media beat-up of NZ Rugby is a strategy to bring more spectators to grounds or more viewers to Fox Rugby?

    • Missing Link

      I also marvel at the skills of NZ Rugby Players, seems like they’ve added Jiu Jitsu into their repertoire :)

      • Richard Patterson

        Perhaps they have Missing Link. Anyone familiar with martial arts training will testify to the emphasis placed on mental calmness in the battle. The Crusaders showed plenty of that at halftime and throughout the 2nd half on Saturday night. Compare that to the team in blue opposite them. You know a good martial arts expert? Perhaps you can refer them to Daryl Gibson, Michael Cheika or Raelene Castle.

        • Fed

          Good post – blaming and complaining isn’t really gonna go far. Really needs introspection, finding out where we are failing, have vision and courage to execute (which will mean breaking old-school thinking and need innovation) and simply upskilling.
          Skills are learned so there is no reason why each coach in each team at any level can start honing and fostering skills so that our pool of players is collectively more skilled.
          Front office change etc will be harder, but I’m not sure why our skills are lagging. I know in NZ they play touch before training and so they have the awareness and skills that comes from that.

        • joy

          Accepting thuggery and adopting the tactic ourselves will go nowhere either. Two weeks?? They are sick.

        • Richard Patterson

          For those who have the time, I encourage anyone attending a match featuring any of the top 4 NZ franchises to get to the ground 45 minutes early and watch their pre-game build-up’s. Drill after drill emphasizing ball work, skills execution and situational rugby. It builds towards a very intense last 10 minutes. It is great learning.

          Note: I’m hesitant on recommending the Blues. They are last in NZ for a reason.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree mate. I think they have the physical skills but are missing the mental skills needed to execute them under pressure.

        • Missing Link

          No I recommend Krav Maga, an israeli self defence technique. Had the Waratahs been skilled in Krav Maga, Beale would have had the ball and sprinting toward his try line while Moody would have been wondering what day it was :)

        • onlinesideline

          Krav Maga is real life mate.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely mate. In the words of General Melchett himself “machine guns for full backs”

    • Ed

      I took your stat on the Tahs discipline re 8 of 10 games where they have conceded more penalties than their opponents and looked at the other AUS sides. The other two matches were a tie (Brums) and one fewer in their game against the Rebels. Conceding four more penalties than opponents in a game will cost against better sides.
      Hopefully the Wallabies management has noticed this as we play against a super disciplined team next month who won’t refuse penalties if they are on offer.
      Rebels conceded fewer penalties in three matches, while Reds and Brums were penalised less in six games each.

      • Richard Patterson

        Interesting stats Ed – thank you for sharing.

        Josef Schmidt is a very intelligent rugby coach. His touring side will be very well prepared on all fronts.

  • Happyman

    My issue with the Moody incident is the poor officiating and as a Queensland fan that he only got two weeks (insert expletive here).
    Higgers three weeks for a high table in a tackling contest.
    Tui Three weeks for a high tackle in a tackling contest.
    Peni Five weeks (Which I can live with as it was a high swinging arm).
    Moody Try scored while running a blocking line in an illegal play unprovoked attack on the head and he only gets two weeks. For mine that is the real disgrace and an abrogation of the responsibilities of the referees.
    The unbridled bias of the NZ commentary team makes Australian Cricket commentary seem balanced. For the live feed to not pick it up and replay it shows a level of disrespect to the viewing audience that only makes the viewer turn off.

    PS I m also fairly sure this is the same ref who got the sadder home against the Reds last year with the late penalty but I have not checked.

    On a humorous note I jumped on a NZ web site for an alternate view and this came up on my phone I hope the link works. (Nothing to see here)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3ee99851ee097d0c0c5de53354558efb21003fa29e4036176b201678aa5e4151.png

  • Greg

    Let’s call time on the Moody discussion. The judiciary hearing is over.

    Perhaps we should go back to discussing Folau’s religious tweets? :-)

    • Mica

      God NO – pun intended! :)

    • The hearing is over but just telling someone to get over their anger is pointless and counter-productive. It makes people more angry to know that they feel so helpless in the face of gross injustice.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s!
    Well I have calmed down a little about the Reds ‘crap-ness’, so now I will
    venture onto other topics. These are my views and not being shared to get a
    rise or to stir the pot. They are what they are! Here we go:

    – Well done
    Twiggy Ball and the Western Force. Just watched the replay and it was an
    enjoyable game, great crowd and overall is embarrassing to RA and the general
    level of ineptitude shown.

    – I can
    understand the level of frustration with the Referumps for Waratah’s fans. IT
    sucks I get it. But the whole ‘cheating’ thing gets my goat a little, christ we
    are not the Aussie cricket team here!. Play the way you play, and let the
    referumps sort it out. We know O’Keefe is a shite referee. It just happens that
    he is a Kiwi reffing a Kiwi match. If he was a Saffa or an Aussie he would
    still be just as shite too. SANZAAR and the Referumps group will sort O’Keefe
    and the rest of them out. But there were a number of penalties not given
    against the Waratahs that probably should have been given. Perhaps not as
    crucial in timing as some of the others, but they were definitely there.

    – The Waratahs
    had a bucket load of chances to win that game and they buggered it up. 29
    points up is a stunning margin, infact a very defendable one. So the bad
    decisions are easier to blame it on, then the fact that the team had every
    chance to win the game and blew it. I thought Hoss’s view as a completely
    biased Tah’s fan was the least biased
    that I have read!

    – For the June
    Tests I am now excessively worried. Foley is blowing dog badly. There is pretty
    much no other option that Cheika is going to look at. Hooper’s decision making
    is shit, he cant be captain. So what are our options and if we are not changing
    the incumbents, what do we think the results will be.

    – Our coaches
    comments are worrying. BT’s especially. AJ’s ten point plan is starting to look
    quite appealing!

    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Morning BLL. Nicely put and I agree, the referees will now look at his game and either get him to relook at how he approaches the game or provide him some training advice on making better decisions. At the end of the day the referee’s job is all about decision making under pressure, even more so than the players and it is that aspect that needs to be addressed.

      I think you are 100% correct on both Foley (who I admit I don’t like) and Hooper for the June tests. I agree that both have a record of failing to deliver but with no other options, in part because of his own making, Cheika will pick them again. I see this continuing through to the RWC in Japan as despite a record number of new players being brought in there has been none at either 10 or 7. I’m hoping that if the fail occurs that it is a friggen big one that no one in the RA heirarchy can ignore so that they make the changes the game here desperately needs. It’ll hurt but I think the game needs this to move forward.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concur. that is why I am secretly hoping that we get beaten by Ireland (3-0). Dont getme wrong, I dont ever want to lose. But maybe a whitewashing this close to the RWC will finally let people know once and for all that Ass Clown Cheika doesnt have the minerals to do the job. And that some external pressure and guidance on slection may just change the outcome.

        • Dud Roodt

          Who’s going to come in and save the day BLL?

          Pretty shit house attitude to be honest mate.

          I think it was fairly obvious that once McKenzie quit, quite a few people were baying for Cheika’s blood and couldn’t wait for him to fuck up.
          What no one can seem to answer for me is this; if our Super Rugby teams are horrendously, all-time, terrible – how can we expect anyone to pluck 23 players out of that mob to beat the top 5 teams in the world?

        • Brisneyland Local

          I understand that view point DR. But the reality is Cheika isnt the coach we need, and there arent a number replacements in the Australian system. Wayne Smith would be a good start point. But that is just one option.
          Re our players, we have what we have, but there are better players for the positions and roles. Firstly Hooper isnt the best 7 or Captain. But Cheika will pick him anyway. He has to pick the best players in their position, if he did that, our results may improve a little. But he also has to build a game plan around defending in position and in lane. Hiding your 10/12/15 because they cant defend well is going to hurt. Having a 10 that cant kick taking our inplay kicks hurts.
          Sadly we dont have other options, and you are right, we probably dont have the cattle to win, but we can certainly do better than what we are presently doing.
          The first step is always admitting that we have a problem. I dont know if RA are there yet or still in denial. And Cheika is more than likely, true to form, will blame the referump and call them “Fucking cheats!”
          Like most other rugby fans I am very frustrated, because these are indemic and systemic long term failures coming home to roost!
          Something has to give, and the reason that I made the comment about losing (which I really hate doing) is it is starting to look like we have to hit rock bottom to finally realise we have a problem and someone has to do something about it. Doing more of the same whilst “training hard on the paddock’ aint going to fix anything!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good point mate and I must admit despite not liking Cheika and thinking the team has gone backwards since he took over the totally flawed approach to Super rugby here with its disjointed state based regime where no one state supports any other means that there is no local replacement. He’s actually all you’ve got. You guys are going through what we did which culminated in having that idiot Mitchell put in charge. Henry took over a complete basket case that crashed out of the 1/4 finals of a RWC. This was the chance for those people demanding change to actually get it. TBH I think the change to the current approach is all BLL actually wants because without it you’ll just see Cheika resign and another person come in to manage the same basket case.

        • Patrick

          We have Link, we have Laurie, we could just give the bloody job to Pocock…

        • Jeff Putt

          How about they make an offer to Joe Schmidt before the AB’s do ? Spend more money on coaches and less money on players…

        • Dud Roodt

          Don’t think it’s going to happen.
          I’m fairly certain the Kiwi’s aren’t ever going to pick someone who coached the Wallabies, and if it’s the ABs job he wants, he won’t be taking our poisoned chalice

        • Jeff Putt

          yeah, good point.

        • mikado

          Yeah, if Schmidt is on the market then snap him up as fast as humanly possible!

        • Fed

          Agree the pool of players aren’t good enough.
          But also agree that Chieka ain’t the right guy – his temperament doesn’t build long-term grit and growth mindset. His personality-type usually produces short-term change, but even then (in the short-term) aint much happening lol. Should pluck a Colin Cooper out of NZ with long-term runs on the board rather than Gibson/Thorn who were relative newcomers.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I actually think the pool of players is good enough if, and a big if, the coaching comes right. Unfortunately with the current crop, including the national setup, that’s a l9ng way away

        • HK Red

          To be honest, I thought a 3-0 hosing at home by England, would have been enough of a fail to elicit change.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I did as well. But it didnt! So we are where we are.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          You’d think so wouldn’t you. I think Cheika’s biggest issue, we’ll one of them, is his inability to change once a decision is obviously wrong. To me he reeks of someone thinking that changing his mind is showing weakness and so sticks with even bad decisions. Classic narcissist behaviour.

        • Bernie Chan

          IMHO…BT is exhibiting similar traits…mores the pity.

    • Jeff Putt

      Well said Brisneyland.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks mate. Just a very very frustrated rugby fan here!

        • Jeff Putt

          Yeah after the weekend I can imagine. But you guys (the Reds) are onto something. If the administrators can trust Thorn – he is a dead set winner. The youth of the Reds squad and the discipline and rigour he’s putting into them will be a 3 year project in my opinion. But in 2-4 years they’ll be at the top of the Aus conference. (assuming the conference/competition still exists!)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes, great long term build. But the he has to bring the fans with him on that journey! And he and the QRU are not doing that!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          If they are allowed to plan long term. It does seem that there is more of a short term requirement with the power brokers though

    • Bernie Chan

      Notice the QRU is still hiding under their “cone of silence”…no one in the decision making roles (Barker, Cordingley et al..) accepting any responsibility for the SNAFU. BT is too inexperienced and seemingly too proud…(isn’t “pride” a sin…?) I mean picking Stewart at fullback because Lance “if fit will be our flyhalf” looked like folly, and turned out to be folly. But everyone knew that BT is inexperienced, yet the QRU went ahead and repeated the same error they made the previous season (Stiles also won the NRC, with Bris City…). They replaced one inexperienced coach with another, gave the new coach an inexperienced assistant coach and then added a ‘mentor’ who has one of the worst records in pro rugby! And no one in the QRU had the gonads to say…that’s the squad as signed and costed…instead they let BT and his clique get rid of Frisby and QC and sign three players (Lance, Lucas and Toua) in desperation to fill the gaps. Agree about your referumps…they were poor, but even players have poor games, but the Tahs should never have lost from 29-0 up, and no ref could have saved the Reds shipwreck…

      • Brisneyland Local

        All so true! Deathlky silence from the QRU as usual!

        • Bernie Chan

          In the context of our (Reds…OK…all of Oz…) lack of playmakers or creative players that are able to play the high paced up-tempo game like our Kiwi cousins (and due kudos to their coaches…), I note Eddie Jones is taking Danny Cipriani on the SA Tour, as Jones is looking for a ‘point of difference’ to the current one-paced game played by ENG. Jones alludes to other coaches wanting to curb Cipriani’s instincts to “suit a system” whereas Jones want to see if Cipriani can improve the way ENG is currently playing with his flair. I think Jones knows ENG can’t win the RWC playing they way they are playing now…Though Jones did observe that Cipriani needs to be a bit more “north-south” vs “east-west”. Does Cheika really think we can win playing the way we have been playing, with the same shuffle defence and no exit strategy…with the same under performing players? Does BT think the Reds can win without a playmaker? No great fan of Eddie Jones, but at least he is looking to fix the ENG weaknesses…while our coaches stubbornly stick to type.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think Eddie has made a change because he has been forced to. Both on Ciprianni’s form and the English rugby “community’ shall we say. Prior to that Eddie didnt want him based on his cultural and bahvioural track record.

          If we lose 3-0 to Ireland I think Cheika will be forced to make changes to his selections. But by then it will be too late.

        • Bernie Chan

          Cipriani is no ‘angel’, but I would have thought a key metric for a modern coach is player management? Jones was (certainly in his time at the Reds…) a “my way or the highway” type of coach, but methinks reality has hit home. ENG were once able to win by simply being bigger and faster, but other teams have advanced to a point where ENG no longer has the physical advantage and also have creative players with a decent rugby IQ….and coaches willing to harness them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! Agree wholeheartedly

        • Brumby Runner

          It will then be too late, and certain posters on this site will tell you that (usually with some disparaging remarks), just as they will tell you that the end of last year was too far out from the RWC to be mucking around with selections and that the incumbents should be persevered with.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I hear you!

    • Richard Patterson

      Well said as always BL.

      Rugby in Australia should be single-handedly locked into a strategy aimed at collectively turning the code around. Over analysis of an incident involving a non-Australian player, refereeing decisions and judiciary outcomes is merely deflecting attention away from that primary strategy.

      2 years ago Rod Kafer labeled the non-citing of Owen Franks on an alleged eye-gouge accusation the single biggest story of the 2016 rugby year.

      2 years later Rugby in Australia feels to have regressed and Rod Kafer is now in a very important role with Rugby Australia. I hope he and others are smarter this time around. In so many areas, the game needs him to be.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Kafe will say what his masters tell him to!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hiding the real problem behind some headlines they know will get the majority wound up so they don’t have to address them.

  • Corey__84

    I’ve come up with a very simple solution to counter the Kiwi Teams blocking, holding and ruck interference – #pushthecheat

    When a player is held off of the ball, or blocked – their response should be to push (Open Palmed) the offending player to the ground.

    Rule 86 states “The assessment of the seriousness of the Player’s conduct (The Aussie Player’s Conduct) must be determined by reference to the following matters (The Kiwi Player’s Conduct):

    (d) the nature of the actions and the manner in which the offence was committed, including which part of body used (for example, fist, elbow, knee or boot) – (Push the Player to the Ground);

    (e) the existence of provocation – (The Kiwi Player’s Intentional holding/blocking);

    (f) whether the Player acted in retaliation and, if so, the timing of that retaliation – (The Aussie Player needs to push the Offending Kiwi Player at the point of the holding/blocking);

    (g) whether the Player acted in self-defence (that is, whether he/she used a reasonable degree of force in defending himself/herself) (Pushing is reasonable force in self-defence of the Offending Player);

    (i) the effect of the Player’s actions on the Match (Ruining the Flow of the Game = Team Offence);

    (k) the level of participation in the offending and level of premeditation (Again – Team Offence = Cards).

    Our coaches need to THREATEN to coach our players to do this to draw attention to it in the media.

    If no action, we could actually start doing it against the Kiwi Teams. Sure, there’ll be plenty of cards in the game, but imagine how powerful the post match press conferences would be. “If the referees don’t take action, then we have to take action, within the laws of the game, to rectify the problem. We have done nothing contrary to the rules.”

    Bam! Thoughts?

  • juswal

    The line from Mark Reason’s article, “This is the sort of thing that has New Zealand calling up the great Sir Colin Meads to defend the honour of the nation”, has more irony than a battleship in the context of vicious off-the-ball assaults and cheating.

  • Adrian

    To change the subject:

    Does anyone know:
    1. I’d Duagunu is Wallaby qualified? and if not when?
    2. How close to returning is Jack Dempsey?

    BTW..There was a little thing in Rugby.com a couple of days ago suggesting that Latu is not entirely out of the running

    • Who?

      If Latu doesn’t play Super Rugby, under the new ‘Quade rule’, he can’t be picked for the Wallabies. ;-P

      • Adrian

        True, but I have a 50/50 hunch that he might play a bit of Super soon.

        I think Larcombe said that didn’t he? …not that it changes much

        • Who?

          Yeah, it was Larkham, not Cheika. Messed that up though – could’ve gone a little alliteration – the ‘Quade Clause’! :-P
          Has Tolu been injured, or just out of favour..? He’s always a quandary, that bloke. Heralded as the next big thing in 2015 and every year since, but we’ve seen so little of him…

        • Adrian

          Last year both Cheika and Gibson said fitness. Then Gibson ditched him for going to girlfriend’s graduation and not training. This year, 1/2 game, but “didn’t take his opportunities”
          http://www.rugby.com.au/news/2018/05/12/one-percenters-may-13

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@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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