Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the prodigal son return, good form and injury woes in Super Rugby, Australian representatives abroad and some international spice.


 

THE PRODIGAL SON RETURNS

Peter Samu_Randwick.JPG

It’s good to have you back Petey

*Insert Hallelujah Chorus Hymm*

Well it’s finally been settled. The chosen one aka the saviour aka the Melbourne born Crusader aka Pete Samu has finally been given the greenlight by those lovely chaps over at NZRU to selected in the squad for the Wallabies upcoming 3 Test series that starts this week.

Much of the issue was relating to his contract with Tasman but according to the Sydney Morning Herald, Samu will be released from the final year of his deal and will be free to represent the Wallabies during the Rugby Championship as well as the Canberra Vikings in the 2018 NRC season.

Raelene Castle, ironically a Kiwi who has previously caused contract drama (although in a footballing code we dare not speak of), said: “I want to thank New Zealand Rugby for their consideration in releasing Peter for international duties.”

“Our discussions were robust but fair and I’m pleased we’ve reached an agreement to allow Peter the opportunity to represent his country.”

Prior to this announcement, NZRU had received a great deal of backlash of the drawn out decision (and rightly so), with Stephen Hoiles and George Gregan slamming the decision as ‘tacky’ on foxsports.

Hoiles pointed out to a particular case where Tyrell Lomax was released a year early from his contract with the Melbourne Rebels last year in order to pursue his dream of one day playing for the All Blacks.

“young Lomax, he was an Australian under-20, Australian schoolboy — the son of Kiwi rugby league legend John Lomax, so he was a Kiwi of course, but he’d worn the Australian jersey at a number of levels,” Hoiles said.

“The Rebels and Australian rugby let him got back to New Zealand and I believe there was no fee involved on that occasion.”

“We can be comfortable with the decision we made last year and all other countries should be doing the same thing.”

A bit of food for thought for the cuzzy’s over the dutch.

GOOD FORM AND INJURY WOES

Brad Thorn and Darryl Gibson share a laugh after the game

Brad Thorn and Darryl Gibson share a laugh after the game

This weeks Super Rugby performances saw 3/3 Aussie victories including an entertaining Australian derby.

First up it was the Rebels who put on a polished display against the Blues in a 20-10 win at Eden Park.

I caught a glimpse of this game and was really excited but what I saw in some hard, grafting rugby; exactly what is needed to break down the Blues.

Despite their poor results in 2018, the Blues do have attacking potential across the park and this was a major danger game for the Rebels, but their attack shape and ball handling was comfortably superior as well as some strong defence keeping the Auckland based side to just 10 points.

Although I am a Reds fan and Queenslander through and through, I was extremely proud to see the Melbourne men earn the first win at Eden Park for an Australian team since 2013.

Jack Maddocks and Dane Haylett-Petty where standouts and should come into the frame come selection of the Wallabies matchday 23.

In spite of all the positivity, it was a terrible night for talented youngster Jordan Uelese who’s night was ended after just a short stint on the field.

It’s been floated that it could possibly be an ACL injury but we’re all hoping for the best for the young man. Uelese will be further assessed in Wallabies camp in Brisbane today.

Next it was an end-to-end thriller at Suncorp Stadium with the Waratahs continuing their reign on top of the Australian conference with a 52-41 point triumph over the Reds.

Some great running rugby showcased some incredible tries with Izaia Perese running 70 metre’s off a Scott Higginbotham offload to score as well as Mr T impersonator Taqele Naiyaravoro steamrolling 3 Reds players on his route to the tryline.

It was a true representation of where Australian Rugby is at currently with youth and potential illustrating their talents yet demonstrating their flaws with clear defensive weaknesses. I’m not trying to downplay how enjoyable this game was however I felt that if this was a Kiwi on Kiwi fixture (sigh), we would see the same type of rugby but just a smaller scorecard.

News.com.au quotes Hooper alluding to this when speaking about his side the Waratahs. “Offensively fantastic, we were able to pretty much walk in some tries out there but on the flip side of that the Reds walked some in at the back end which is disappointing,” l Hooper said.

Nevertheless, a game of footy which I loved watching.

Finally, the Brumbies won convincingly despite a spirited comeback from the Sunwolves, getting up 41-31 in Canberra.

Hoping for 15,00 at GIO Stadium, the Brumbies had a crowd of 9,521 according to foxsports, missing their expectations.

What’s more important was the fact that the footy was open, expansive and attacking, seeing the nation’s capital team pick up a bonus point as well as a clean bill of health for their Wallaby stars.

phew.

AUSSIE REPRESENTATIVES

Isaac Lucas featured for the u20's, Ben Lucas for the Reds, Matt Lucas for the Brumbies and Tom Lucas for the 7's.

Isaac Lucas featured for the u20’s, Ben Lucas for the Reds, Matt Lucas for the Brumbies and Tom Lucas for the 7’s.

While we’re just about to crack open a ripper of a series with Ireland on Saturday, our U20’s side are 2 games into their Junior World Cup campaign.

Rugby.com.au has been reporting on the games and the Junior Wallabies lost their first match 26-21 to a strong Welsh outfit but beat the Japanese in the wee hours of the morning 54-19.

In order to progress through to the next round of matches, Australia will have to beat the baby Kiwi’s, a tough task due to the fact they recently defeated us in the lead up oceanic tournament 43-28 at Bond University.

With a fair few of our best under 20 players (Harrison Goddard, Hamish Stewart, Harry Hockings, Rob Valentini and Jordan Petaia) left at home to play Super Rugby, the team are missing some of the star attractions but have conjured up some great play of their own.

The match against New Zealand will be aired on Fox Sports at 5:00am on the 8th of June.

The 7’s boys are also on tour, this time in England for the London 7’s.

After winning all the group games, Tim Walsh’s men faced the host nation in the quarterfinals. It was a tough ask for the men in green & gold and they eventually suffered a heartbreaking 21-17 loss.

This put us up against New Zealand in the 5th place semi-final but Australia ultimately went down 38-7 in a disappointing display, with Boyd Killingworth the only Aussie to put his name on the score sheet.

According to Rugby.com.au, the team are now heading to Paris and are looking to redeem themselves.

INTERNATIONAL FLAVOUR

Photo by Tom Offer

Photo by Tom Offer

It’s been a busy weekend in rugby and it would be unfair of me to skip over both the South African-Welsh match as well as Jordie Barret’s naughty antics.

Starting with South Africa, they went down 22-20 to Wales in one of the most bizarrely organised games of all time.

For starters the game was played at Robert F Kennedy Stadium in Washington, which was a weird location due to the fact that the Washington Capitals Ice Hockey team were playing in the Stanley Cup final for the first time in 10 years and the game was taking place just seven miles away at the Capital One Arena.

The ground hadn’t been in use since it’s MLS side took the field at home in October and added to this, the conditions in the opening moments were described as “a combination of humid conditions and steady rain” by Wales Online.

Two experimental teams were also thrown into the mix due to the fact the game sat outside the international break window, with the Telegraph that “both teams were missing key players” in their match report.

The game itself went down to a nail-biting finish with a late try to Wales stealing victory from the grasps of defeat.

In spite of the negativity, any rugby in America is probably good for the game and should be encouraged.

 

Taking a different tune, Jordie Barrett has been caught in a comical headline regarding his behaviour in the wee hours of the morning.

The New Zealand Herald reports that Barrett was discovered by 2 women in their student flat.

Odd Jordie, very odd.

Supposedly he was at a post-match function (out drinking) and wasn’t heavily intoxicated (was off his face).

Barrett apologized and all is well over the funny mistake. “We never intended to do anything wrong. The door was unlocked and we thought it was our mate’s place, which it turns out is over the road.” Barrett said.

Classic.

  • IIPA

    Dunedin must still be on those joints you hear about in folklore where they don’t lock their doors still.

    • Bobas

      No breathalyser there either. So everyone drives when theyre not intoxicated, so smart keys are banned by not being invented yet.

      • Missing Link

        no worries bro, just keep your left wheel in the gutter and let it guide you home aye

    • Funk

      This will be hush hushed by NZRU, swept under the carpet and quickly forgotten about as is 99% of off field indiscretions by abs.

    • teach

      Yeah, it is. Particularly in student country. The cops are forever running awareness programs to get the buggers to lock up. To anyone who has lived in Dunedin,his story is totally believable.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Hope you all had a good weekend. Not much new in the way of news this morning, so I thought I would put out a few questions of my own to generate some deep and venerable discussion:
    1. does anyone know when the cheikmeister will announce his 23?
    2. What do GAGR’s think the squad “Should be” as opposed to “what it will be”?
    3. After the weekends games are there any additionals that we would add to the squad?
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Mart

      I think the questions on starting team are who will be the wingers? and the starting 6 and 8?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep I think you are probably right. Mind you I am very happy to re-visit who should be the starting 7 and Captain! ;-)

        • Bobas

          They’ll name the team on Thu. They’ll stupidly put Kerevi and Beale in the centres then cover them with Hodge and Koroibete causing the kind of position switches that reignite vast critism of Grey.

        • Ed

          It would be either Kerevi or Rona at 13 if you go by the three Brumbies Cheika did not want to play against the Moondogs yesterday, so no Tevita for the test?

        • Bobas

          And when Rona gets found out like a regular Tahu, they’ll play Tevita again… Same thing every year. Hard to have super rugby form when you’ve been playing outside Harewa. If TK was playing for the tahs and Rona the brums there would be no question who is the better international player.

        • Ed

          I would not be surprised if it was Rona as they would want combinations for Saturday due to the short time to prepare, and also adjusting to Grey’s defensive tango.
          Then if defence is an issue, something the MSM bar Paul Cully has failed to mention, Tevita returns.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We tried not playing Tevita at 13 last year. It failed. We brought him back.

          I think Tevita or Samu would be best.

        • Ed

          I agree but that is for the sole selector to decide.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Indeed. I suspect he will go to Samu as he is one of Cheika’s favourites. I can’t really say I blame him as Rona has been only decent and Kuridrani has been in poor form (although how much of that has been due to the 10-12 inside of him?).

        • Andy

          Different types of players. Once is an ad line centre and one is more a ball player. Brumbies would probably do well with a guy like Rona at 13. Especially with the pace of their back 3.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Bobas, thanks for the Thursday titbit!
          Yep. so will have an unbalanced back row. A captain that no one, including the referump will listen to, and a 10-15 line that predominately cant defend. Gee I am looking forward to this!

        • Ed

          It is about all out attack BL. The Irish won’t be able to defend against our razzle dazzle!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. But we know we cant defende against their’s! Infact we know their defence is better than ours. And their attack is on par with ours. So they just have to hold out 1 or two more tries than we do, knowing we leak like a parlimentarian!

        • Ed

          BL/onlinesideline,

          Sarcasm doesn’t come across online. ;)
          We are playing a very smart side who will know how to slow the pace of the game down, pin us in our 22 with a superior kicking game and they know how to hold the ball for ages.
          Also, they will be less likely to deny kicking penalties unlike us and Sexton can kick drop goals to keep the scoreboard if need be.
          In the week leading up to the first Bledisloe in 2017, most of the MSM media’s stories was about our attack, Kurtley is back etc. The first time Tom Decent from the RA propaganda unit, the SMH, mentioned the Wallabies defence was in his match report following the massacre at Homebush.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Maybe we institute a new GAGR business rule.
          we insert a (s) at the end of our statement when we are being sarcastic? I must admit I failed to pick it up, as it was too early on a Monday morning, and my caffeine levels were still dangerously low!
          Your points are very true! Particaulrly after watching the Tahs exits from inside the 22 on the weekend. They scared me! Not as a Tahs fan, because I was going for the Reds, but as a Wallabies fan, I was crapping myself!

        • Ed

          I agree. What I can’t understand is if Bernard can get the restarts and kicks to Folau on the wing right, why the issue with punting the ball out of our 22/touch finders? I am sure Foley is working on his technique but then the coach has to say – we need another player in the team that can ensure we are not having defensive lineouts in our 22 due to crap kicking.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think it’s pretty simple, Foley has an accurate but short ranged boot. He simply cannot kick it hard/far and make it accurate. When he tries to kick long he loses accuracy and thus it rarely goes out. So he either keeps it accurate and punts it really short to just outside the 22 or he boots it long and in. Unfortunately, he cannot do the Frans Steyn thing where he boots it 60m downfield on the full so that even if it doesn’t go out the defensive line has time to get set up near halfway.

          I think it was Hodge has a beautiful clearance from his 22 to about 15m inside Blues territory. We need to be focusing our energy in improving the speed of his kicks. If not him then Beale clears better than Foley.

        • Missing Link

          Sums up Foley well, when he tries to extend his range, he loses accuracy. He should kick within his means and if it’s a stretch, hand over the reigns to beale or hodge.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah yes but that would mean admitting that our 10 is a crap kicker! (Tactical )

        • Andy

          Quite a lot of those kicks on the weekend were within his own try line. And he was forced to kick under pressure due to Phipps complete inability to box kick. Hence, the defence always knew it was going to him.

          And when your kick isn’t great in the first place it makes it that much harder.

          Watch Ireland manage exits this weekend. Murray will get 40 metres at least from with the 22 on turnover ball. On the odd occasion he’ll pop it to Sexton and watch as he’ll be under no pressure from our chasers. All because they will probably be trying limit Murray’s effectiveness.

          Makes such a big difference having a halfback that can kick especiallly under pressure.

        • Happyman

          Mate I always make it completely clear when taking the piss online example (sarcasm) mode on) Nathan Grey is the greatest defence coach in the world (sarcasm mode off).
          I am with you BL the irish scare me as they are a very smart team. forget our attack our wingers need to be footballers first. So my back three would be Falou, Banks and DHP. At least then we have a chance under the high ball as they are the best kicking team in the world and we need decent exit plays.

        • Andy

          I’d be happy with that back 3 outside the tahs inside backs.

          To beat Ireland we are going to have to score tries. A backline of foley, DHP, Beale, Rona, Banks and Folau has tries in it.

        • SuckerForRed

          Red’s exits weren’t much better…. #JustSayin

        • Brisneyland Local

          Morning SFR. Correct. But those kicking those exits wont be playing for the Wallabies and deservedly so!

        • onlinesideline

          Our razzledazzle can be denied though. ABs do it every year. This game will be a forward battle. The Irish are well aware of our backs. They will be right up in our faces.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s a dangerous possibility. But I would still have Samu defending at 13 if he has a strong defender like Hodge inside of him.

          Koroibete’s decision making in defence is worse than Samu’s!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true! I reserving my tip for Saturday’s game til the game day 23 is announced. Actually that is a bit of a lie. I am tipping Ireland. I will nominate my margin after they announce the 23!

        • onlinesideline

          dont you remember Kerevi being absolutely outrun in Bled 1 last year when Dixon outsprinted him down sideline (despite Geys system)
          I think he will be targeted this week, i really worry about his slowness when turned around.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I do, and I do think 12 is his better position. But he was coming back from injury and underdone in abler 1 – both he and Cheika admitted he shouldn’t have been on the field.

        • Brumby Runner

          Out of left field, I’d like to see Kerevi at 12 and DHP at 13. Kerevi is developing nicely this year as a straight running No 12 who can and does off load in the collision area. Has set up a few good tries lately with his play.

          DHP would provide the creativity at 13 that we haven’t had for a long time. He showed on the weekend that he is returning to form, and I think the wingers would benefit immensely from someone like him at 13.

          Wingers then would probably be Koriobete (though I am not at all impressed with his defensive capabilities so far this year) and maybe Maddocks as a composite winger/fullback type of player, who incidentally happens to be in very good form atm too.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          In attack DHP would be great at 13 but I just fear he would miss too many tackles.

          What do you think Maddocks actually has over Banks? To me he seems slower, worse in defence and less elusive. Perhaps similar under the high ball. Maddocks just has a bigger beat and a better pass?

        • Who?

          Perese played his first season of NRC – and I believe his U20’s games – at 13. He played 13 for Queensland Country (with Thorn at lock) the day they beat the undefeated NSW Country Eagles in 2016. I agree that he’s got real potential there in the long term…

      • onlinesideline

        who will be the 6 and 8 has been the biggest question before every test match we’ve had since 2014 – its weird following this team. Its like being in supporters twilight zone.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I feel like it is bound to be Pocock and Timu.

          Is there really any other possibility at this point?

        • onlinesideline

          Do you like Tui at 6 or 8 ? I like the idea of Coleman, Rodda and Tui on the field at same time, cleaning out Irish props, just reminding them they are on tour. (If our cleanout is ineffectual, we are fuked)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe, but I would have liked to see him play a bit of 6 at Super Rugby level rather than throwing him in there against the Irish…

          Who do you take out to play Tui? Pocock is our best breakdown exponent so if Tui is in there for cleaning out he would be behind Pocock. Timu is just a better 6/8 as it is his natural position. That would mean he would be replacing Hooper, but we just know there is zero chance of that happening under Cheika.

          And if he was going to move Hooper to the bench why not Higginbotham at 6, Pocock at 7 and Timu at 8. Higgers is the best Australian backrower at pinching opposition ball.

        • onlinesideline

          but higgers didnt get picked did he ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Nah, Cheika backed Hanigan….

          I think Tui would be a better bench option than Pete Samu as loose forward reserve given Tui can cover lock/6.

    • Ed

      The XV should be announced on Thursday. Whether Cheika wants to play silly buggers and delay naming the bench until the next day is another question.

      • Brisneyland Local

        He has done that before hasnt he?

        • Bobas

          Switching Locks and an Extended Bench. He’s tapping into the Home Reno baby boomer fan base.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold. Mate you are on fire this early for a Monday! mate I am still struggling to down my second coffee, whilst reading through the “Staff Attrocities” committed over the weekend!

    • Mart

      There sees to be a heap of wingers putting their hand up. Both reds wingers are very solid prospects. Taqele is devastating in attack and poor on defence. Cam clarke is getting better by the day. Henry speight, (see Taqele)
      Koribete and Maddocks are very good. And the bloke who can’t even make the starting team for Rebels, Niavalu is in my opinion probably the best winger in Aus.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. It is good to have that many options. I wish we had these options in all positions!

      • onlinesideline

        Im with you mate on Sefa. Teams shit themselves we he gets some space.

        • Mart

          yeah is he in the squad?
          he’s got pace. Knows how to finish and can put some shots on in defense and scrambles well

        • onlinesideline

          he’s in

        • Missing Link

          I’m not sure why he hasn’t had many minutes this year, perhaps eased back from injury that injury against Italy last year. Just checked his stats, pretty good returns from a player who’s played less than 500 minutes of rugby, 5 tries and over 500 run metres. good defender and can put the burners on when required. a better defender than Koroibete that’s for sure but lacks the Jason Robinson-esqueness of Koroibete in attack. I guess it’s kind of hard with Maddocks on the other wing who is playing some really good ball and DHP in there too. I guess it’s better for the Rebels to have depth but seems silly having such a weapon on the bench.

    • Hoss

      Here’s my 23 based on weekend games

      1. Sio
      2. Latu-D2
      3 Methuselah
      4. Princess Leah
      5. Powder Puff
      6. Timu
      7. Energiser bunny (c)
      8. Mr Pocock
      9. Sideshow bob
      10 Spanners
      11 Maddocks
      12 KB
      13 Rona
      14 DHP
      15 Dusty
      16. 7A’a
      17 BPA
      18 Thor
      19 Rodzilla
      20 Tui
      21 P.Samu
      22 Bovine Sprinkler
      23 Hodge

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate, had to do a bit of Cryptic crossword to identify some of those players. But well done on that.
        I think you are pretty close on that one.

      • McWarren

        Pretty close I reckon

        • Hoss

          with only 2 opposed sessions for the week i reckon Cheika will stick largely with state combo’s for this one. I like DHP on the right wing (left footer) & Maddocks / Banks as a toss-up for the other. All 3 can kick, good under the high ball and great on the counter. More threats than just Dusty chasing the ‘Gary Owen’.

        • Who?

          I’m pretty sure DHP prefers his right boot… As in, he can kick off the left, but if he’s taking a touch finder (especially a penalty), he uses his right hoof.
          And as I said elsewhere, ability under the high ball is completely irrelevant for our wingers, as they’ll be up in the defensive line covering for Foley and Beale, who’ll be in the backfield trying desperately to deal with the aerial bombardment that’s coming their way. :-(

        • onlinesideline

          what happned to Peacewreck this year Who – you know ? – the guy who hates kiwis.

        • Who?

          I’ve no idea. What made you read my post and think of him..? :-P

        • onlinesideline

          i dont know. I thought you were somehow connected both being Queenslanders … I just happen to think of him…dont knwo why – just random thought.

        • Who?

          I’m pretty sure Pearcewreck’s from just west of the Blue Mountains (i.e. Lithgow/Bathurst/Orange, maybe even Dubbo), I’m in Qld (but, like Brisneyland Local, grew up in NSW and don’t consider myself a Qlder – I grew up as the only kid in my northern NSW class supporting the Blues in Origin, before I completely and utterly abandoned the heresy and adhered solely to the ‘true faith’). We (Pearcewreck and myself) had some rather heated debates last year… He was around when the whole Folau off field drama started to unfold, I thought?

        • Ed

          What is crap about this is those wingers defend on the wing for their SR sides, unless they are in the Tahs, then have to adjust where they are in the defensive line as we pick players who lack one of the core skills of the game.

        • Hoss

          Left foot, right foot – its all semantics.

          I think we can all agree – he kicks with one of his feet.

        • Who?

          Or both of them, but one more happily. :-P
          :-)
          He’s certainly been a good foil for Folau over the last few years.

      • Braveheart81

        Assuming 3 is Kepu, why Methuselah?

        • Hoss

          He’s been around forever and the old man of the pack.

      • Andy

        I like it. But I’d personally have Rodda starting over Simmons.

        I’d almost start Thor and PA over Latu and Kepu. Our pack will need grunt against these guys but I get experience will cont for something as well.

        I’d also have banks in there over Maddocks

        • Hoss

          Yep – said the same on a weekend blog mate that i would keep Kepu as a ‘finisher’ and that a few old heads off the bench with 30 to go would be ideal with their experience and temperament – that coupled with some young Hookers and props and forwards in general – some calmer heads need prevail in those critical minutes when the games in the balance. No good being in the balance and have the ‘young-uns coming off the bench with 20 to go – that will bugger us all.

        • onlinesideline

          thats exactly right, thats why I would start Thor and let him go beserko while he is on, have free reign (without attracting the whistle obviously) in first half, let him bash and smash and outsprint the wingers and then let wiser heads replace him when it gets tense. He hasnt proven himself yet on big stage in tense match.

        • Hoss

          Yeah mate, as far as the piggies go, ideally i would be starting 1 experienced head for 1 x inexperienced head and same off bench.

          Sio
          Latu
          Thor
          Coleman
          Simmons
          Timu
          Hooper
          Pocock

          7A’s
          BPA
          Kepu
          Rodda
          Tui (to 6) – Coleman or Simmons to go 80.
          P.Samu

        • onlinesideline

          I like Tui. We are yet to see the Ulesee, Thor, Kepu, Sio, 7A’s, Tui, Dempsey, Rodda, Coleman, Poey, Hooper combo…..cant wait.
          What you think about JP Smith ? Is he like the present day version of Greg Holmes – good scrummager ? Is 7As good at the moment ?

        • Hoss

          Excited by Smith mate, although i would say Robertson has really improved over last 2 months. Thor maybe got him once, but the Tah’s scrum went better than (i) expected against a very, very good Reds scrum.

          Cheika cops plenty here – some rightly, some not so. For mine I still lean towards being a disciple, i cant recall a better time for depth in Wallaby ranks, but frustratingly though – not at 10, the one spot you need two – three choices (thinks AB’s 2011 RWC) and Hodge is, and will never be a 10, KB could for 30-35 minutes at a pinch, but it doesnt suit him style of play as a permanent 10.

          I dont pretend the next 3 weeks will be easy nor do i believe the Green Slime will be push-overs, but equally nothing has shaken my belief / resolve in a 3 zip Aussie win.

        • Who?

          If Cheik gets no blame for the lack of depth in some positions (10, but also 2 (we have what, 6 caps total playing in Australia?), 6/8 (as in, players like Read/Kaino who are selected and sizeable)), then he shouldn’t receive credit for depth in other positions.
          The crazy thing is we’re talking about depth in certain positions less than 12 months after losing a club because we supposedly didn’t have enough depth in players… :-

        • Hoss

          I understand what your saying, but its man-management to leave TPN out of June for a refresher for RWC and Taf has played 315 tests (may need confirmation). Uelese is just plain bad luck. Latu – i only know what i read here and (Adrian i think) has referenced some poor training / eating habits and Folau & BPA – well one was a non playing 2017 tourist and the other risen through the grassroots to a gold squad, bit harsh to say theres no development at 2….10, i agree – he has a Foley ‘blind spot’ and Spanners will either lead us to the Holy land (like his 2015 RWC form) or have us burning effigies of him in perpetuity (his form sine 2015 RWC)

        • Who?

          I agree that Taf needs to stay in Europe (I don’t know that we should be selecting him again). And I agree that Uelese is bad luck.
          But we’re looking at a time when we have less than 10 caps of experience available across all hookers in the country, and it’s a position where we ALWAYS use a sub in every match. It’s sort of like 9 and 10. It’s not unusual to have your 10 play the full 80, so it’s not uncommon to have inexperienced 10’s supporting the regular 10. But 9’s, we pretty well always sub the 9, so the backup 9 should have a lot of caps before they are needed as the regular 9. But when you use two very experienced 2’s, or 9’s, all the way to retirement, you end up with a dearth of experience. That happened to use when we lost both Gregan and Cordingley from the Wallabies at the end of 2007. Cordingley played on for the Reds in 2008 but signed with Grenoble, so wasn’t available for the Wallabies. Whitaker had only been gone two years, Burgess was his replacement at the Tahs. Henjak was the heir apparent, but played up and fell out.
          For mine, there was more justification in Connolly using Cordingley in 2007 and failing to find a second back up (i.e. someone behind Henjak), as Henjak’s departure wasn’t able to be foreseen, and, critically, Knuckles was trying to win us a RWC. In playing Taf and Squeaky almost all of last year, Cheika wasn’t trying to win a RWC. Or beat the Lions. He was ‘just’ trying to win Tests in an average year. It was good that he blooded Uelese, but that’s one player.
          We’ve got a similar situation at 9, and we discussed it last June. We had Phipps injured, and played Genia 80 minutes through Tests in June. We had Powell on the bench, and didn’t give him game time. We were lucky – what would’ve happened had Genia gone down injured in the first Bledisloe? We’d have played a backup 9 with about 12 minutes of Test Rugby under his belt. That’s ok when there’s no choice, but there’d been a choice, and the choice was that Cheika wouldn’t give Powell valuable minutes in June. I get that we want to win games, but there’s more to winning games than ‘just’ playing your best players. Your structures need to be strong enough that they can survive damage like losing your best players. Your best players’ USPs shouldn’t be essential to the game plan – they should be bonuses to the game plan. But that’s not how Cheika’s been operating, which means he’s facing this trouble.

        • Adrian

          I’ve been checking all afternoon to see if Latu is in. It seems 6 or 7 hookers have been considered this year. Not bad for a 4 team pool!

          If not Latu, I’m sure there is something going on behind the scenes.

          An argument for starting the “smaller” guys like Kepu is that we’ll be composed right from the kick off, then bring the monsters on at about 20 to go,… when Genia goes off, because he’ll be exhausted. The monsters driven ahead by Phipps ala Tahs in 2014 might be a handfull for Ireland, and Cheika knows how to coach this style. The backs and Hooper run off the half breaks through a backpedaling defence is how it works. Under this scenario, the team starts off swinging it every who way to tire the Irish, and Beale and possibly Foley kick/pass/switch to the outside backs.

          The other way is to start with the monsters, and absolutely crush them, allowing our backs to pick up the pieces.

          Frankly, I am happy with either scenario

        • onlinesideline

          green slime – lmao
          Im with you mate, through all the dark aspects of aussie rugby over last 2 years and the resulting digging deep, determined spirit shown by the franchises and the debuting that Cheika has also done (which you have to credit him with) the cattle is starting to emerge. But not having somene to steer the ship at 10 with that on field bravado (gits, Cooper) we are lacking …. that intangable aussie winning (lost for words) thing.

        • joy

          Near perfect tackler.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t mind the players selected but I’m not expecting to be that happy with the final team. It’ll be Pooper so you’ll struggle in the loose. If Simmons gets picked you’ll be weak in one area in the tight. My preference in the backs is KB to 15 to get space, Kerevi at 13, Folau to 14, Rona 13 and Maddocks at 11. TBH I just think 10 is fucked because there are no options. However I think that’s so far from what’ll start I won’t like it either

      • Parker

        You’ve got two 13s there KRL. Which one do you want at 12?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Kerevi is a 12 in my book mate. He can take the ball up hard, tackles well at 12 and makes the breaks in the middle.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate I think you are on to something there!

  • Missing Link

    Uelese’s injury was the low point for this weekend, if it wasn’t for that it would have been one of the best weekends in Super Rugby for a long time.

    – Rebels beat a kiwi team, in NZ, at Eden Park!
    – Brumbies looking much improved, some will say it’s only the sunwolves, but the confidence gained as a team is important. “Winning Culture” and all that.
    – Waratahs vs. Reds Battle Royale. What a game! Defence has been criticised but honestly who gives a fuck, it was an epic match.
    – Paratroopers infiltrated the fortified island of New Zealand, located the missing rugby player Pete Samu, who was held hostage and tortured to within an inch of his international rugby career. Samu was rescued and returned to safety. Unfortunately, the rescue team were unable to find Michael Alaalatoa who is still missing behind enemy lines.

    I await Thursday for Cheika’s announcement, but here’s my team:
    1. Sio 2. Latu (will come in for Uelese) 3. Kepu 4. Arnold 5. Coleman 6. Samu 7. Hooper 8. Pocock
    9. Genia 10. Foley 11. Koroibete 12. Beale 13. Kerevi 14. DHP 15. Folau
    With 1 or 2 debutantes coming off the bench

    • Bobas

      Arnold still has a week suspension left.

      • Will

        yeah I’d like to see Rodda in over Simmons. Rodda’s carries this season are strong and dominant as is Colemans. Simmons against the Irish will get held up in the tackle at every opportunity, I know he can call the lineout but so can Coleman…..

        • Braveheart81

          Coleman, Rodda and Simmons will almost certainly be the locks for the first test with Arnold suspended. I think the starters will depend on who the two lineout callers are. One will start and one will be on the bench. I too would start Coleman and Rodda.

        • Brumby Runner

          That (Simmons being held up) would only account for one or two turnovers Will. It’s everywhere else that he is also less than effective that we should be worried about.

          Simmons has the worst set of stats for a lock this year when compared with all of Arnold, Coleman, Rodda, Carter and Philip.

      • Missing Link

        Bugger, in that case as below I would like to see Rodda, but Cheika will pick Simmons

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      You’d suspect Cheika sees Latu as behind Paenga-Amosa/Faingaa, but who knows with Cheik hey…

    • Ed

      Samu/Hooper/Pocock – that backrow will resemble hobbits against humans.

      • Missing Link

        rather derogatory referring to the Irish back row as hobbits :)

      • onlinesideline

        Even with Timu in there its too small. Our problem is our 8 is always too bloody small. Its should be a Higgers or a Tui. The Pooper is killing us. Every test team has a big 8 or 6. I agree, we will hobbitised or “held up” a couple of times a match. And that fires teams up because lets face it, its man handling. Drives me nuts. It all gets back to people playing in national squad different to super position.

    • Adrian

      I think Arnold suspended for next Saturday, but ok for the one after Missing

    • McWarren

      No Reds forwards ML? I’m shocked!!

    • joy

      Amosa will start regardless of Uelese’s fitness, Rona to outside centre for fluency, Timu to 8, Thor for Kepu, Simmons for Arnold and Brumbies crash tackling fullback in place of Hallett-Petty. I’d also have JP Smith in for Sio if that was possible.

    • Samu will be on the bench or not at all. Can’t have 3 non-jumpers in the back 3. Even two, in Pooper, is causing warranted consternation.

  • Bakkies

    No club results?

  • Bakkies

    Detective Chief Ruck Inspector Neil Francis put out an interesting article on Folau in the Irish Sunday Independent

    https://www.independent.ie/sport/rugby/neil-francis-israel-folau-is-great-but-hes-no-role-model-36972319.html

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Aside from Uelese’s injury, that was the first time in a long time that I had a great time watching Super Rugby.
    Seriously, every team turned up and played smarter, more entertaining rugby. Is this what hope feels like!?!?
    I worry about what the impact might be on the Wallaby preparation, but the assistant national coaches have been helping out the Super clubs all year. And hey, at least the players who played won’t come to camp unfit.

  • onlinesideline

    I really want to see Kepu have a run. Hes a beast when he gets going. And I want to see Sio get around the park quicker. And out hooker who ever the f..k its going to be be rampant too. I have no doubt Poey and Hoops will be pumped but we must have our piggies and locks playing out of their skin. If they dont we wil be beaten.

  • onlinesideline

    Would be nice to see Foley turn the Irish around by doing some long distance touch finders, along the line, a la Gits, a couple of 40-20s NRL style. He NEVER does this – resulting in opposition constantly moving forward into his face, because they know he never kicks. Eventually he gets flustered, tries a clearing punt and it gets charged down. This is what makes me throw the neighbours cat out the window in big test matches. We dont have ways of RELIEVING PRESSURE with Foley, this is what always worries me in really big matches. Thats when dropped ball starts, forwards over running the pass, full court press by opposition. This is why I would prefer Quade, even with his brain fades. At least the guy mixes it up and turns teams around. Shitt Foley is pissimg me off already and its only Monday.

    • Groucho Jones

      I went to sleep and it was 2013.

    • Can all 7 queenslanders who upvoted this please retire to a quiet place and give themselves a deserving uppercut. Foley can’t strategically kick for shit. And Quade has a decent kicking game. But he isn’t even being selected at
      provincial level. His own coach would rather eat $700k than play Cooper. I’d argue against that, but certainly not against him not playing in the national team.

  • skip

    I’m missing something here & I’ve not got an answer on other forums, so here goes. Samu is eligible for the Wallabies, he has been picked and the IRB rules are really clear that he must be released. If Tasman and the NZRU didn’t factor this possibility into their contracting with him then they didn’t do their due diligence properly and it’s their problem, not the ARU’s and certainly no grounds to ask for compensation.

    If you’re a NZ club/super side you’re surely aware a huge number of your players who don’t make the test side leave for money abroad and you really ought to factor this into your contracts. If they don’t after this and Brad Shields then they’re gonna be right back here soon enough.

    I can see the idea point that they developed him and so on but it’s such an easy fix in a contract with a simple clause – “if you are picked, we don’t pay you while you’re gone” and then some other issues they might want about decreased revenue due to a top ITM player not being their and not drawing the fans (that part is a hard sell given the popularity.in NZ).

    So what am I missing?

    • Who?

      You’re missing that Samu was also NZ-eligible, and as such, there’s a sub-clause in the WR regulation that enables NZR to retain him (and Shields) as an NZ-eligible player until the end of their contract if they so desire. In Samu’s case, his contract went all the way to the end of October, where Shields’ contract ends in July.
      If we were talking about Michael Ala’alatoa, who’s not yet (not until later this year) NZ-eliglble, then there’s nothing NZR could do to stop his selection under the WR regulations. The only regulations that would prevent 6A’s selection are RA selection criteria.

      • skip

        they’re gonna have to fix this as I cannot see the IRB welcoming a legal test to dual eligible players wishing to play for test side other than their host union. The IRB will want to retain the test game as the primary level of the game and not be superseded by club competitions the way soccer is and I cannot see them accepting quietly that the clause in a contract signed by the NZRU supersedes and has primacy over their regs as the governing body. It’s this view (the primacy of IRB regs over a national union’s contracts with a player) that makes me ask the question.

        • Who?

          What you’re missing here is that it’s a World Rugby regulation that you’re wanting here. NZR’s contracts comply with the WR regulation. It doesn’t have primacy – WR’s Regulation stipulates what NZR can do, and they’ve adhered to that regulation.
          What it means is that, should Tupou have been halfway through a 2 year contract when he hit eligibility last year, there would’ve been no requirement for immediately blooding in order to prevent NZ from selecting him. The regulation basically ensures that, if two nations have claim to a player, the one that has a current contract has first dibs. That’s arguably not a bad thing. Especially when you’re talking about a country like NZ or Ireland, where they have central contracting. Because you’re not talking club over country – you’re talking country against country.
          Beyond that, I’d really rather we either select only Australian-based players with the exception of RWC’s where the Giteau law can be invoked (but hopefully not), or organize some form of reciprocal agreement with all SANZAAR nations to allow us to select players from all SANZAAR clubs. We could arguably already do that, with the exception of players in Samu’s case (i.e. players who have dual eligibility – be it by birth (such as James O’Connor, who as NZ and SA eligible by family tree), or by residency, which will get harder with the five year requirement as of 2020), but making it a reciprocal arrangement would arguably facilitate a bit more goodwill… Which might be a good thing right now.

  • andrewM

    Quite frankly, I find this new found optimism in Australian Rugby is like the Emperor’s New Clothes.
    After a disastrous 2017, both on and off the field we are lauding the Rebels win over a ‘pathetic’ Blues team as worth crowing about and the Waratahs beating a 14 man Highlanders almost as newsworthy as the second coming of the Messiah. The Tahs vs Reds match is being praised as what Australian Rugby can achieve. How curious that it seems we have already forgotten how they gave up a 29 point lead against the Crusaders. Now that would have been a win which would have stated inextricably that Australian Rugby had truly turned a corner. They had been building towards that result in the weeks before but then lost the script.

    As I have said previously, not until every Australian Super team has beaten at least one NZ team each in a season (I think I said more, but I’ll go with a lower bar) will the culling of the Force be justified, and it seems Australian Super teams are still a season away from achieving that.

    Looking at the Australian Super Teams game day squads, it does beg the question – Has the redistribution of the Force’s playing group been reflected in the increased competitiveness of the remaining teams? If you take the Rebels out of the equation for obvious reasons and look at the other teams, it’s debatable at the very least.

    This leads to the inevitable follow on question – How many wins against NZ teams would you have expected Australian teams to have had this year had the Force not being culled? Given the dreadful performance of the Blues this year, it would not have been unreasonable to say four, yet here we are at the end of Round 16 with only four more opportunities against NZ teams and Aussies teams have only achieved half this. Was there an expectation or a benchmark that the ARU were aspiring to?

    I was disappointed that the Brumbies did not achieve their goal of 15,000 fans for this round, and the ongoing apathy towards the Rebels in Melbourne merely gives us Force supporters more ammunition to fire at the ARU – how ironic and so delicious will it be that the biggest crowd the Rebels play in front of this year will be against the Force in Perth this weekend?

Rugby

A self diagnosed rugby snuff who loves wet weather footy and still can't figure out how to put a photo up of myself

More in Rugby