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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the weekends Super Rugby results, K.Hunt’s return to rugby, the World Cup 7’s format questioned and the Australian School Competition


Super Rugby Results

Israel Folau celebrates a try.

Israel Folau celebrates a try.

Super Rugby provided some interesting results over the weekend, particularly the all Australian, Reds v Rebels match at Suncorp on Friday night.

The Reds, who have struggled to string wins together this year, recorded their 5th win of the season, defeating Melbourne 37-23.

The win all but finishes the Rebel’s chances of securing a maiden finals berth in 2018.

Queensland kept to their strengths, with their powerful scrum forcing 6 first half penalties, a handful more in the second half and directly led to 14 of the total points.

Taniela Tupou, AKA The Tongan Thor, AKA Mr. Tree Trunk legs showed why many or putting his name in contention for a starting Wallabies position with a powerful display at both set piece and in general play.

Another one of the Reds young brigade was Jordan Petaia, who started his first game at outside centre.

Petaia struggled to get his hands on the ball in the early stages of the game but became more involved as it moved on, providing a superb offload for Jonno Lance to stroll over.

The 18 year old starlet oozes class and completed his defensive assignment against Tom English (A hard man to tackle may I add) with ease.

Lance himself scored 20 points for the Reds in a performance that reminded me of his strong Force days while Reece Hodge was also influential, scoring 13 of his own.

Next up it was the Waratahs, who came away as huge winners against the Sunwolves at home, 77-25 on Saturday night.

The impressive part about this win for me is that many people have said that the Sunwolves is a ‘must win’ or an easy fixture, yet it is one thing to say it and another thing to do it.

The Sunwolves stayed in the contest for the first 30 minutes before the Tahs ran away with it, took it to Japan and came back with a ton of points.

There were 60 points scored in the second half alone with the Waratahs outscoring their opposition 53-7. Ouch.

The smooth backline played their part, roaming around and breaking the line at will, showing why they are top of the Australian conference.

Basically it was a bloody good night for the Waratahs and Daryl Gibson agreed in his post match comments courtesy of stuff.co.nz.

“I always knew the potential in this team and I’m really pleased that we’re starting to see that and it’s really coming out,” Gibson said.

“I always said that we wanted to transform ourselves into winners.”

“As you head into the finals you know, it’s going to be tight.”

“There’s some exciting times ahead.”

This also comes at a time where Gibson contract is being reviewed and in my opinion the skill development of this side, particularly in the passing ability of the forwards (as well as the team’s performance) deserves a new contract.

Congratulations on your efforts fellas.

Finally the Brumbies had a heartbreaking 24-19 loss to the Chiefs on Saturday.

Unfortunately the game was marred by some refereeing howlers at crucial stages and with the Brumbies still chasing a important victory to gain a place in the top 8, the errors became seriously important.

The Brumbies are still mathematically in the hunt, but need a fair few results to go their way to still be a chance.

Dan McKellar was spewing post game and had this to stay to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“We’re disappointed. But we look back and we made too many errors, we didn’t turn up from the first minute thinking we could dominate.”

“We did that in the second half and that’s learning for this young group. The learning is to turn up from minute one, roll up the sleeves and get the job done.”

“You can’t come here, turn over so much ball in 40 minutes and be off around the collision area and expect to win. But I’m so proud of that second-half effort.”

Now they head in to a must win clash against an in-form Waratahs side and McKellar is licking his lips.

“It’s is our grand final, isn’t it. The old rivalry, us against the Tahs, she’s gonna be one hell of a battle,” McKellar said.

Special K Return

Karmichael Hunt scores

Karmichael Hunt scores

After much speculation in Brisbane rugby circles, Karmichael Hunt returned to the field this weekend and not for who you might expect.

His club, Norths, made the decision not to play Hunt, taking a similar stance to the Reds in that their young committee did not need a role model that was involved in the use of recreational drugs.

Hunt has been frozen out of Queensland Rugby as a result for the last 7 months and only had the opportunity to play through Quade Cooper.

Quade recognised that his friend was struggling mentally after not being able to do his passion, and reached out to Karmichael to play with him at Souths in order to help him stay in touch with the game.

As a result, Souths formed a million dollar backline on the weekend and Hunt, who came off the bench (and isn’t eligible to play finals) through the pass the led to the match winning try.

Hunt spoke to rugby.com.au about his situation, saying:

“I’ve been trying to get some footy all year – it just wasn’t to be,” Hunt said post match.

“Obviously, as you guys would understand, I have been with Norths for the last couple of years so I wanted to go back through them – Fogs, Eddie and all the coaches.”

“I’m just happy to be back, I want to thank Souths, I want to repay those boys and I want to just try win some footy games.”

“All I know how to do is play footy, help my teammates become better and sure, I haven’t been the best behaved over my life – you can ask mum and dad – but they know the quality and character of their boy and that’s someone who gives his all to his team.”

He also spoke about his desire to still be involved in the NRC, after it was revealed last week that this was most likely not a reality.

“Definitely keen,”

“I tried to contact Mick on Thursday and we have been playing phone tag but I’ve made him aware that I’m definitely keen to play for him.”

I wonder if there is another opportunity for Hunt. Only time will tell.

7’s World Cup format questioned

Tim Walsh during Aussie Women training session

Tim Walsh during Aussie Women training session

In a fortnight’s time the Sevens Rugby World Cup tournament will kick off in an unfamiliar format to those who are players, coaches and fans of the Sevens World Series.

The tournament is a knockout from the very beginning and there are no pool matches to kick off proceedings meaning that every match is a sudden-death thriller.

Australian sit 4th on the overall Sevens Series standings, 1 point above England after a few disappointing series in Hong Kong, London and Paris.

Coach Tim Walsh isn’t the biggest fan of the tournaments set up, believing that it doesn’t give an accurate picture of how the team actually performs, more so the result of a particular game.

“It remains to be seen, I think we have to go and experience it but it is an exciting format because every game is a grand final and you’re not day one, cruising through, it’s cut-throat,” he said to rugby.com.au.

“But again, is it going to reward consistency, (if you have) a bad day or a bad game?

“I don’t think it (has) longevity for a world series but we’ll see how it pans out and we can do a review on it afterwards.”

Australian Schools Tournament begins

Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

Photo Credit: ARU Media/Karen Watson

State Representative sides from all around the country have come to Sydney to compete at the annual Australian Schools Tournament.

The competition has produced many of Australian rugby’s players (is this a good or bad thing?) and will once again showcase the talents of many fine young players.

QLD 1 and NSW 1 are arguably favourites for the tournament, despite the ACT coming in as winners last year.

The first day of results saw QLD 1 beat WA 67-12, with electric winger Glen Vaihu (who is still in year 11 might I add) crossing for 4 tries.

NSW 1 also dominated their opposition Victoria on the first day, romping home with a 80-5 home victory.

Tane Edmed, the flyhalf from NSW 1, steered his side around superbly and is the early favourite for the coveted flyhalf position for the Australian Schools side which will tour Europe at the end of this year.

ACT kept their title defence alive with a strong 18-0 victory over QLD 2 in what was a hard fought victory.

Brendan Jimenez, the fullback for ACT is returning for the second straight year (and was of high quality last year when I watched his matches), was a standout for the ACT in the game and is another front runners for the Australian Schools side.

NSW II also got up on day one, beating the Combined States side 45-22.

Good luck to all the students involved.

  • cantab

    “As a result, Souths formed a million dollar backline on the weekend and Hunt, who came off the bench (and isn’t eligible to play finals) through the pass the led to the match winning try.” A few things wrong with that sentance, mainly that South’s didn’t win.

    (Otherwise good stuff)

    • Gareth

      did he throw a pass that was intercepted? Like he was from drug dealer to club…….

      • onlinesideline

        mmm ……. not sure the benefit of this comment.
        Its sort of funnyish
        but …..

        • Gareth

          no benefit, just a pure and simple dig at a guy who threw away a wallaby career for some white powder. So many of us would give a left nut to play again, not even at the wallaby level just a park game. very talented and a wasted opportunity

        • onlinesideline

          Call me a clairvoyant, but I think he gets that by now :)
          If he reads this, do you think this will help or hinder a bloke wanting to move forward ? Im sure you want him to move forward dont you ?

          PS ….. at the TIME of the offence, I didnt hesitate to agree with you.

        • Gareth

          No i want him to piss off somewhere else where he is not costing the QRU lots of $$.

        • onlinesideline

          Hes been financially punished under the terms of the contract QRU signed up to … the rest is contract stuff outside Hunts remit … cant blame him for that.

        • Gallagher

          Dump Thorn for not knowing how to coach a backline, or use the compettitions best front row to his advantage. Bring back Quade to train the young backs on how to run a backline, bring back Hunt as he’s served his time. Happy Days.

        • onlinesideline

          Point 1 – Thorn has done too well in forwards not to like him.
          Points 2 and 3 – yep. I agree.

          With Hunt I would tell him this season is over and that hes back in for 2019. 1 x season sinbin is what works for mine. Its painful, humiliating enough, time enough to think but not career ending.

          Thorn should tell Cheika to not select him until next year etc so as to avoid sidestepping the punishment in eyes of public.

          This puts an end to it. Gives the guy a chance to move on and look forward to next year – fresh start. It also clears the air for rest of team, good energy for preseason etc.

        • Who?

          Agreed on all points. But let him (and Cooper, and, when he’s through his suspension, Slipper) play NRC!
          And if you don’t want Hunt and Slipper back for reasons of ‘one strike and you’re out’ (Thorn’s apparent illicit drug policy), then at least try to trade them, understanding that they’re within their contract and you’re liable for them, regardless of whether or not you like that. By which I mean, don’t expect to get away with sending them off to other clubs and expect the player to accept a lower contract with the new club, the way it’s been suggested that other clubs were happy to pay part of Cooper’s contract, but the QRU refused to pay the remainder.

        • idiot savant

          It will be interesting to see what happens from here now that Cooper and Hunt have made a public provocation. It looks like both of them are publicly taunting Thorn and dont have any interest in playing elsewhere. Hunt is being provocative by training at Ballymore within sight of the Reds.

        • Who?

          A public provocation! :-D
          I wouldn’t say they’re taunting Thorn, but they’re certainly trying to maintain a public image, Cooper trying to show he’s continuing to do what’s required of him and that he’s trying his best, and Hunt trying to show he’s not just sitting on his hands, he’s eager to do what he knows to do. His statements about being poorly behaved but a great team mate are quite interesting…
          How’s Hunt training at Ballymore? Do you mean in public spaces, outside QRU property?

        • idiot savant

          I read somewhere that Hunt had said hes been training there and run into some of the boys, presumably on one of the back ovals and in the gym.

        • idiot savant
        • Gareth

          Good suggestion re: the 1 year off and start again. Still enough message there to help the qru culture – which is showing better signs this year.

        • Gallagher

          If you look at the forward pack though, what has he done that Stiles didn’t setup for him? Only a few new names. Tupou, Rodda, Douglas, Smith, Timu, Higgers are all carry overs from an already excellent pack, the young stars in Tupou and Rodda are just a year older, Stiles would have experienced the same rate of improvement…

        • Funk

          “…a guy who threw away a wallaby career for a xanax table.” FTFY
          The charge for cocaine was dropped due to lack of evidence.
          So his career is now teetering on the edge of collapse due to one tablet of a prescription medication.

        • Gareth

          so should he be rushed back into the side as he has done nothing wrong?

        • disqus_NMX

          Yeah he did wrong (according to the rules, which in themselves are controversial and debatable), and he’s been punished according to his contract, and the QRU and RA rules. And now he is being extra punished because of a lot of moral high ground taking. If we only played guys who’d never broken a law, there wouldn’t be much of a team. Hands up here who has never broken a law (I can already hear the crickets chirping). Let he who is without sin cast the first stone. One thing I’ve really noticed in life, when it comes to the line in the sand that people draw, the lines are all over the place from person to person, but they always miraculously fall in the place where that particular person hasn’t crossed.

        • onlinesideline

          No, he shouldnt – I agree with you !

          But should he be rubbished forever until he is completely and utterly destroyed as rugby player and human being ?

          He’s got the message. When is enough ?

        • Funk

          I didn’t realise that 7 months (15 super rugby games and potentially 3 tests) is rushing someone back???

        • onlinesideline

          No, he shouldnt – I agree with you !

          But should he be rubbished forever until he is completely and utterly destroyed as rugby player and human being ?

        • Andrew Luscombe

          He isn’t throwing anything away. At this stage the waste is all due to various people in positions of power within rugby. A court has determined an appropriate punishment which has been complied with as far I am aware. Rugby Australia policies have been applied. We are now into the stage of various people and organisations shunning him according to their own made-up high-horse “morality”.

        • Gareth

          They stuck by him the first time and supported him all the way despite the crap he brought with him to union. Now the message we say to younger players fans is your one chance is now limitless. Yeah – made up high horse morality.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          People can’t make up punishments after the fact. It’s a basic principle of law and any sensible enforcement regime that punishments for transgressions must be written or well known. You can have a two strike policy, and I can see where you are comming from with that, but you need to tell people that there is such a policy. You can’t silently apply one as and when you feel like it.

  • Missing Link

    Mixed bag of results, Waratahs put the foot down on the Sunwolves which was going to happen but 15 vs. 14 made it a lot worse. Frustrated about the Rebels, I mean hey, well done Reds for getting it together but at the expense of the Aussie conference cannibalizing itself, and the Brumbies hard luck at the end, it would have been nice to see a team knock off 2 NZ teams this year. I still think a benchmark for us is getting 3 teams in the finals, that’s a great result, 2 teams should be a given, 1 is a disgrace. The Rebels are their own worst enemy, they could have been sitting on top of the log, with a guaranteed home finals berth. Now they’re facing a must win against the Highlanders in NZ and sweating on a few other results like the Sharks losing and maybe Jaguares? not going to be easy at all but can only blame themselves, if things do fall into place, they would probably be facing the Crusaders at home (may as well not get on the plane) or a trip to the republic where they’ve never won! Should have beaten the Tahs and the Reds, Wessels opted for mobility against strength up front and mobility got served.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I hear you. The lost opportunities are something they need to reflect on in the off season and look at how they can overcome those. However, I’d also say that the results have been better than many would have predicted and I think are a fair reflection of where the team is at. The good thing is they showed enough to give belief that they can improve further next year.

      While I was impressed with the Tahs keeping it together for the game as it’s very easy to lose form and become very loose in that sort of a situation, I’d also temper this with the team they were up against. Next week should be a cracker of a game and it’d be very easy for the Brumbies to do a “Reds” on them if they aren’t careful. Every game is a final from here on in.

      • Happyman

        Boys my thoughts on the weekend.
        Reds a very limited team who will improve next season. But until they get some creativity they will be middle of the table at best. Having said that as a reds fan I would take that at the moment. Does anyone know of any decent 10’s who are available (Sorry)
        Rebels just a wasted opportunity should be playing finals but have a soft underbelly so at best if they make it they will be early cannon fodder.
        Tahs actually a good team and can put now put teams away. I like how they stuck to the task against the Moondogs.
        Brums For mine they were well shafted against the Chiefs. Both of the really big calls in a close game went against them probably the most egregious was the forward pass no try the Chiefs effectively form the next passage went down field and scored 14 point turnaround. The knock on was a close thing and surprisingly there was no replay to be found by the host broadcaster until the scrum had been set. They chiefs were very cynical all game and how they did not get a man in the bin for that alone beggars belief. But I am a firm believer in reducing the use of the TMO so play on.

        • IIPA

          Deegan at the Force? Sam Lane at Manly? Jooste up in Qld or pinch Tayler Adams from the Rebels?

        • Archie

          No mention of the Brumbies’ knock before their second try… allowed to play on??

          If we’re going to comb through all the referee’s transgressions, why leave any out?

    • Keith Butler

      Until we get our scrum ( which must be the most penalised in SR) sorted out and find a 10 who is a playmaker not just a kick/passer we will struggle to be serious finals contenders. I’d be more than happy with a decent all round performance against the Highlanders and maybe be a bonus point that be slaughtered in Christchurch. Of course, now they’ll go and bloody win.

    • Nutta

      Not attacking, more thinking out loud… A KPI has to be owned by someone. No one can own the KPI of 3 teams in finals in a decentralised administration. Whilst I support the idea of it as a worthy target especially as improved performances was a justification for cutting a Super team, it’s a national based target which means a national based role would have to own it and to do that, their authority would need to match their accountability.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yep and that will never happen under the current setup

  • Greg

    I just saw the replay of the red card in the waratahs game.The only angle I have seen is the one below. Gosh it looks a soft red card.

    2:25 @ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxHvNHv1IJk

    • Who?

      Missed the match – seriously, what was the penalty for?! Tackling a player legally (i.e. with arms) just a fraction late..? If it’s lifting, Foley was looking for the ground – Koroibete’s lifting tackle that copped a YC in the Irish series was worse (and the YC was the correct level of punishment – because it was an unnecessary lift, it was a stopped tackle then Marika decided to lift him, whereas that tackle on Foley looks far more fluid) – there shouldn’t have been a penalty, let alone a suspension… Poor bloke.

  • John R

    Morning all. My thoughts on the weekends events:
    – Red card was way too harsh in the Tahs v Wolves game.
    – I feel sorry for any loosehead that has to pack against Tupou.
    – Banks running down the McKenzies makes me feel good about rugby, and he should never have to buy himself a pint ever again.
    – Beale is better than we deserve, and should be the first person on Foley’s Christmas Card list for saving the Tahs from Foleys recent bumbling performances.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I thought Banks should have been introduced off the bench in June as he was a guy that could actually make a difference against tiring defences, with a mind to him becoming a starter in the back three for the Rugby Championship. Now I think he should still be introduced off the bench against the All Blacks.

      • John R

        We’ve got to get a look at him in gold at some stage, get a 23 on his back. Great boot on him too.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think it is fair to say his boot is improving. It is accurate, but not as consistently big as I would like it to be.

          My issues with the back three we had in June is that DHP didn’t really have the power/speed to finish opportunities, but knew how to get in space, while Koroibete had the power and speed, but had no idea how to get involved and put himself in the positions that he needed to be in to threaten to score. An issue Folau had in tests 2 and 3 too, too often he is neutralised when teams stop kicking and he didn’t adjust. I think Banks actually recognises where he needs to position himself (like DHP does) and has the power and speed to damage teams (like Koroibete does).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Maybe because Banks is actually a rugby player, not a convert from another code who doesn’t have the instincts built from years of playing the one game. I think this is a critical point, all these converts from the other codes have somne very good skill sets, BUT (in capitals because it’s a big but) they have not had years to develop the instinctive skills that come to the fore when things dobn’t go to plan. That’s why they are so often out of position in defence, why they miss so much in attack and why it takes a few years for them to become proficient in their role. It took SBW about 7 years from the time he started playing rugby to be quite good and he still gets caught out every now and then in ways that Crotty, Lumape and others aren’t because they have the instincts. I think that a team can carry one, or two at the most of these converts but each of them requires the others to constantly get in their ear about where they need to be as the game develops. I don’t think the converts in the Australian team are there yet, what’s worse, I don’t think they are getting the direction they need on the filed either which is why they are so consistently out of position.

        • Missing Link

          True KRL, I think Deans was on the money with Folau on the wing and Cheika insisted on him playing FB. I would like to see the Wallabies with Koroibete/Naivalu on one wing, DHP/Banks/Maddocks at FB and Folau on the other wing. Wallabies also desperately need depth at 10.

        • Nutta

          My understanding is that Folau at 15 is a contractual/Marketing/promise thing related back to the perceived higher value of FB’s over Wingers.

          For mine, Folau is, always has been and always will be a Right Winger. Coincidentally, put DHP at FB (which is what he actually is) and a lot of DHP’s shortcomings at Wing disappear (eg outright speed). Go figure. It would be like taking the worlds best 7 and making him play 8. Wouldn’t that be funny? Oh Yeh… Oh wait… Fk.

        • Nutta

          And then we look at someone like Hodge and say “Yeh, lets’s get an obvious 12 and play him at 10, 14 and occasionally even 13! Fk Yeh! That makes sense! Fk it, let’s try him at 9!?!?

          This garbage goes back to Matt ‘You have no right’ Burke who was arguably the worlds best 15 so we shifted him to 13 to accommodate Latham. FMD.

        • Happyman

          Agree KRL I am sick of Aus rugby recruiting League players who just don’t understand the rules.

        • Keith Butler

          Laumape is the dog’s. Should be the NZ 12 imo.

        • Brumby Runner

          It was a good match up Laumape v R Ione on the weekend. While Laumape scored a bagful of tries and in the making showed up some defensive weaknesses for Reiko, Reiko actually also beat Laumape a couple of times one on one to score. Great attacking players but both a bit suspect defending at 12.

        • Keith Butler

          Reiki does have some toe. Was a very good matchup. ABs fortunate to have such class at 12 and 13 to chose from.

      • Missing Link

        I will admit I never rated Banks more than “just a super rugby player” until I saw him run McKenzie down, he should be given a go at some stage. I just hope he’s not a Jessie Mogg 2.0

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Haha, he’s thing like Jesse Mong except insofar that both are quick.

        • Hoss

          hes ‘thing’ is like Jesse Mongs ? I know your a fan Sherbert, but thats a step too far…………….

        • onlinesideline

          LMAO

        • John R

          The best thing Jesse Mogg has ever get done is get picked up and driven back 2-3 metres by Hooper in the 2014 Super Rugby Semi Final.

        • Andy

          He’s not a complete pussy. His defence seems to be very solid. Hence, nothing like Mogg

        • Missing Link

          But if you switch the first letters of their names, they make other words, like Bomb Tanks and Messy Jog. So there are similarities :)

      • IIPA

        Agree ! I reckon all Oz coaches this year incl Cheika been pretty conservative with selections and won’t make changes unless it’s injury forced.

        Look at Rebels at 10, Wessels won’t make the brave call. Speight and TK have hit a bit of form now but really should have been dropped mid season. Nup.

        Gibson playing Wells at 8 and Miller at 6 is about the only risky / bold selection I can think of.

        Cheika missed an opportunity not to get Banks or Maddocks onto a bench or two in June

      • Andy

        Id almost start him. I think he’s that good. Push Folau to the wing and chuck him at fullback. Alas, we have another kicking option

    • Happyman

      Really soft three weeks. I am coming around to a firm belief that there is Bias to the Kiwis.

      Moondog gets three weeks for that.
      Neck roll on Pocock “Nothing to see here.”
      Moody on Beale “Nothing to see here”
      French dud gets his head fractured “Nothing to see here”
      Higgers Gets three weeks in round one “Nothing to see here”

      I would be interested to see the stats but for mine there has been a fairly decent sample size and objectively there does seem to be a pattern.

      • John R

        Did Masarewa get three weeks???

        Don’t forget J Savea’s suplex on Pocock as well. When Liam Gill did that to Nic White he got 2 weeks, but just a warning will suffice for J Savea.

        It’s not the NZ team’s fault, as they aren’t making these decisions. but ya know, when the nationalities of all the overlooked incidents seem to be the same, then people will start to ask questions.

      • Missing Link

        Copied from the Internet = “Unconscious biases are:

        – attitudes beyond our regular perceptions of ourselves and others
        – reinforced by our environment and experiences
        – the basis for a great deal of our patterns of behaviour about diversity.

        Research is proving that we are biased towards the world around us and use stereotypes all the time. Our brains are wired towards patterns and similarity, while difference is harder to accommodate.”

        “Kiwis are the best rugby players in the world”
        “Kiwis are the best rugby players in the world”
        “Kiwis are the best rugby players in the world”
        “Kiwis are the best rugby players in the world”

        maybe this is why?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’ll go with that mate

        • Who?

          Exactly – if there’s a bias, it’s not conscious, it’s not intentional, it’s not a conspiracy. It’s just a long term pattern of events that’s entrenched a positive perception that’s now paying dividends for Kiwi players. Nothing untoward (though not right, either).

        • Nutta

          There was a report years ago from the NFL correlating higher penalty counts with bright coloured kit. Folk shut up about it real fast once they realised the impact it would have on kit sales. So logically what happens when one group of fools wears damn-near fluro yellow and the other wears black (or at worst grey)?

        • Who?

          Or Blue and White, Red, or Green, or… Works in every situation.
          It is, however, fascinating that both NZ and England are the most penalized and carded nations in world rugby over the past few years – black and white…

        • Nutta

          So you’re going for the side with the greater contrast to collect more penalties? There is an element of common sense to that I guess

          What’s your source for the Eng and NZ being the most heavily pinged?

        • Who?

          You were pointing out yellow against black, I was thinking the other nations against black, too.
          I don’t have a source for the card and penalty report, but I’ve seen it reported at least half a dozen times in the last few months.

        • Nutta

          Ahhh… Forgive me. Call me Ruprecht…

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eJ0iGZ7Ms8

        • Keith Butler

          England get penalised because they’re fucking idiots in white jerseys who cannot adapt to game changes. NZ because they’re NZ.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Black wins mate. Apparently it’s a proven fact

      • Archie

        See that would hold some water if you didn’t just ignore instances of these inconsistencies going against the Kiwis. Plenty of examples of this relating to on-field calls, yellow/red cards and judicial processes in last year’s Lions series.

        • Happyman

          Settle down Kiwi
          Please feel free to point out an example this year where a Kiwi was suspended where you thought it was excessive.
          My point is about the inconsistency of the judiciary.
          I read an article from the NZ herald that pointed out that while ten players had been send off v the AB’s only 3 AB’s had every been sent off. The bias exists but you will never see it.

        • Archie

          And what’s the possible motivation for your theory of ‘bias’?? … Perhaps it’s a World Rugby conspiracy to keep NZ rugby dominating (… cause I’m sure one nation winning everything will help grow the global game); … or maybe that cash rich little Pacific nation (smaller in population than Sydney) is just paying off World Rugby to keep the ‘bias’ alive and well.

          Or maybe… just maybe it’s simply a convenient excuse to deflect the constant failures of one’s team(s) to beat them.

  • Hoss

    Morning all,

    Up and down weekend of emotions from an Oz Rugby point of view.

    – The alliance (credit Nutter) are the Greg Norman of Oz Rugby – can choke from anywhere at anytime – but i agree the signs are ok for 2019, but only with a proper 10 – its sure as Shit not Super Boot or Deborah-somebody. Maybe an off-season investment of Maddocks with Larkham could pave the way (Toomua carrot anybody ?)
    – Reds – dont know whether to laugh or cry – the best scrum in Super Rugby and only 5 wins – the Fairies had better hope the Piggies dont square up at the end of the year as a payback – i mean with that much quality pill i could lower Centrelink payments in Cessnock, let alone win more than 5 SR games
    – The Tah’s. I am a fan and i owe them an apology. Start of the year i had them bottom 5 in the ladder (due to small forwards). Gibson deserves much credit and an extension. Bar a bounce here and a refs call there they could / should have nearly topped the whole thing and were unlucky not to scalp 4 of 4 Darkness sides. Foley is still a poor 10. He is so poor at critical times and his ‘giving up’ on that kick chase that didnt go out………………that’s appalling for a captain, could you imagine Hooper giving up the chase. I think hes a decent human, but he fades in and out and is costing the team opportunities, opportunities that finals teams wont give you 2 & 3 goes at. Can the Tah’s win it – it would be a big call, but stranger things have happened.
    – The Ponies, you could insert my Alliance comments in here. They need a 10 & 12 and i am not sold on Powell. Put Valentini back in the mix, farewell CLL get a quality 10 / 12 and they are a finals team and so they should be. 2018 will be a frustrating review for the Ponies – they are better than they showed and should be in the top 8 mix.

    Roll on all the permutations of the final round and go the Tah’s a home quarter & possible semi – who’d a thunk it !!

    • Missing Link

      100%

    • Guest

      And a possible home final…
      Finish second, all home teams win the quarters.
      Tahs win their semi and the Canes beat the ‘Saders.

      • Hoss

        ‘I have a dream…..’

    • onlinesideline

      Im really impressed with Gibson. One reason among a few is the culture and work ethic. They are likeable as a team and seem to front up every week consistently without getting a nine iron shoved in their faces prior to running on. Which means they are well coached. I fully support his extension.

      • 22DropOut

        I’m on the fence. His tenure up until this point has been, at best, disappointing. At worst you can describe it in much harsher terms.

        There has been a coaching team reorganisation in the last 12 months too.

    • 22DropOut

      “Gibson deserves much credit and an extension. ”

      Or Cron deserves a promotion…

      • Hoss

        Yep, i reckon that’s the clear line of succession for the Tah’s.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Hoss.

      To be fair the best scrum in Super Rugby has only really come off in the later part of the season. They were pretty avereage early on.

      Both the Reds and the Alliance need a good 10, and a good back-up 10 which will transform their game. If Thorn and co aren’t on the worldwide search for one now then they are not meeting their responsibilities. personally I’d look at a good NH 10 who would relish the lifestyle in Australia as a start point and make the development of his replacement in a couple of years as part of his role and funding KPI.

      Tahs played well I admit but winning! Maaaaate you’re dreaming :-) This weekend could be a pace setter for them.

      • Who?

        Get what you’re saying about the Reds needing a 10 (*insert standard Cooper line here*), but please no world wide searches. We can’t afford to be in an even worse position going forward than we were last year. We need to develop local 10’s, which means perhaps we should be on a global coaching search (bring back some of the IP we have overseas, because the local guys aren’t good enough).
        So no searching for foreign 10’s when there’s only one Wallaby eligible player with more than 10 Test caps at 10, and no clear alternative at the level down.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think if they are smart about it – big call with previous lack of smarts – they could get someone who would provide them what they need and also develop the home grown 10 going forward. The thing is at the moment there are only 2 choices:
          – get Cooper in at 10 – can’t see that happening now
          – Use an inexperienced 10 to learn on the job – No one to guide them means they’ll be on the back foot for a long time and it won’t make them better
          If they get the right import who can not only play the game for a season but also guide in his replacement and develop the backline attack to match the forwards so that when he goes the team is better off.

        • Who?

          I agree that Cooper’s not going to wear the Reds 10 again. Thorn’s an absolute fool for being that stiffnecked and stubborn, but them’s the breaks, he’s only punishing himself. And the state.
          But with a decent coach, an inexperienced 10 could do better than this year. The question is all about coaching. I feel like I’m turning into a prop by saying this, but Carozza… He’s a winger. What do wingers know about Rugby? :-P
          I’m half serious here. His playing career wasn’t about his ability to run a backline, or to strategize the game. I don’t know his off field CV. It’s been years, so presumably he’s done something before dropping into the NRC with Qld Country and then the Reds, but I’ve not heard much, and I’m not seeing anything that he (or McGahan) have done that shows consistent improvement in attacking structures and in decision making from the Reds’ halves.
          The Crusaders have hired ROG. To me, that’s a really humble hire from the Crusaders. The franchise that’s created Merhts and Carter and now has Mo’unga has decided to haul in an Irish 10 who never beat the ABs (I know,only 1 Irish 10 has done that, ever, but still). They know he’s going to learn a lot from them, but they’re going to learn as much as they can from him, too. Where’s that humility in selection of coaches, selecting people who can over rule you as head coach, who can see the game differently to you..? If Thorn’s learned from the best coaches, like Henry and Hansen, then he should’ve learned the value of having strong assistants.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah Who but remember the great unwashed management of QLD also hired McGahan to provide the mentoring so I wouldn’t put it all in Thorn. Not against what you say but I can’t see the QLD management pulling their heads out of their arse long enough to see common sense

        • Who?

          Agreed. I probably don’t focus enough on McGahan, but that’s because I don’t see that he offers anything at all – positive or negative… He’s just a nebulous presence, undefined.

        • Nutta

          I’ll get howled down but I would pay Brock James’ Manager a visit. One last season in Oz before retirement sort of angle…

        • Patrick

          I saw him at the Australian schoolboy’s championships in 1999 (or 2000? 1998?) and he was excellent, already knocking them over from inside his own half. I couldn’t believe he never “made it” here.

      • Missing Link

        Northern Hemisphere? Look no further than Andy Goode or Danny Cipri…. OK I’ll show myself out

      • Hoss

        I love it when you get nervous KRL….(one day i’ll be right with my predictions – law of averages)

        Just checked other sites for rankings and the last round fixtures – the top 7 are pretty set, maybe not finishing position, but regardless will finish in the 7 somewhere.

        8th is a bit of a dogs-breakfast, its all over the place.

        – Rebs must win, then nothing else matters, they cant lose #8th spot.
        – If Rebs lose Ponies must have big bonus point win over Tah’s (currently for/against minus 23 – will depend on Rebs win / loss and differential.
        – If Ponies win and Lions win – Tah’s are on the road for the finals and three parts of F.A chance winning it
        – Sharks must win with a bonus point and hope Rebs lose
        – If Sharks win (no bonus point) and Rebs lose with a bonus point it will go on points diff.

        A lot to play for this weekend and the Brumbies could be the making or breaking of the Tah’s final aspirations.

        A Tah’s win – stay at home, familiarity & routine, winning form heading into a Quarter Final, good prep, settled squad – a lot to like / a lot to play for.

        A Tah’s win and home QF sees 2 v 7 – so could be any of Highlanders, Rebels, Jaguares. I like our odds against any of those three

        My advice KRL, stay away from water – the tide is turning mate.

        • Missing Link

          Question for Wessels is, does he throw Maddocks in at 10 in an all or nothing roll of the dice, or does he stick with Hodge for more of the same

        • Hoss

          I like your thinking young man.

          Easy for me to say, but I am with you. The patterns of play with Hodge at 10 are pretty mundane / simple – so Wessell’s wouldn’t be re-inventing the wheel and Maddocks does straighten the attack. With it all to play for i would roll the dice. Better to have tried and failed than never to have tried and besides it would be a curve-ball the Highlanders would not be expecting.

        • Missing Link

          Trouble is they will have to find a way to keep Hodge in the XV. he is too good a player not to be, but not good enough to stay at 10. That “ahh stuff it I’ll just take the drop kick” penalty was pretty impressive.

        • Hoss

          Hes a 13 / 15 for mine.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’d love to see him do that. You know that old saying of “do what you’ve always done and you’ll get what you’ve always got” I think a curveball like that would be a great idea and could set the tone nicely for next year as well.

        • Keith Butler

          Maddocks at 10 shit or bust and then the Saders in Christchurch. As long and have all our props injured in the first 2 mins and uncontested scrums piece of cake.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          it’s ok mate since being over here I’ve learnt to swim.

          It’s great to see so many chances of different options so late in the season. I think the Tahs are gaining some ground with a lot of confidence but I think they’ll struggle if they have to play the Canes or Crusaders away and unless there’s a big upset I think they’ll have to do at least one of those. I also think the Highlanders could be dangerous in a SF as they have been able to lift for big games in the past. But I agree if it’s the Jaguars or the Rebels they should win well.

        • Hoss

          Great for fans mate – the last game of the regular season will / could determine all – Sharks v Jags – Kings Park.

        • Missing Link

          Rebels beat Highlanders and set up a final against the Tahs at Allianz. Rebels beat Tahs much to the delight of Phil Kearns :D

        • Hoss
        • disqus_NMX

          If we are going on form, then I’m forecasting a refereeing controversy to take the Tahs out at some point in the finals :D

    • Keith Butler

      Ah Hoss you make my day with you pithy comments. Cheered up an otherwise hard working day laying pavers. No joke for a retiree. I posted earlier about giving Maddocks a shot at 10 in the NRC. Couple that with some Larkham mentoring could be the answer although other have posted that he’s too big. What’s to lose as there are bugger all 10s on the horizon. Rebs scrum is a penalty machine. Coach the props how to scrummage or get some that can, a decent 10 and not ‘utility backs’ and 2019 could be ok.

      • Missing Link

        I thought Sa’aga was good when he came on for Faulkner?

    • Human

      The Tahs are only where they are because of the big kid from country QLD – you know who I am talking about. Imagine what QLD could have done had they kept him – behind Tupou – that would be an unstoppable scrum.

      • Bernie Chan

        The pain of watching the QRU f@$k up royally…the Theodore Kid, Sanchez, QC…not to mention LFG…!

    • Nutta

      ‘with that much quality pill i could lower Centrelink payments in Cessnock’

      Gold Dude.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6t9vcVpsT8

      • Hoss

        Would race home from after-game drinks on a Sat nite to watch the late show – brilliant stuff.

        They dont make comedy like this anymore. The money i lost on Dufflecoat Supreme…….

        • Nutta

          Champagne comedy.

        • juswal

          It’s hard to believe now that people stayed home/went home early on Saturday night to catch The Late Show, but we did. It wasn’t enough to tape it, you had to see it on the air.

        • Nutta

          I talk with a couple of mates of my vintage and we still quote Shit Scared, Piss Weak World, Shirty The Slightly Aggressive Bear, Barge Arse, Charlie the Wonder Dog etc etc.

        • Patrick

          Barge Arse, my all-time second-favourite TV cop behind Dirty Harry

    • idiot savant

      If the Tahs play their style without fear they can beat any side in the competition. And the refs should be promoting their style. Its by far the most enjoyable rugby to watch in the whole comp.

  • 22DropOut

    Frisby signed for Glasgow in the Pro 14

  • Andy

    I agree Adrian. Our teams are playing a lot better than last year and there has been a lot of improvement across the board. The Tahs improvement has been the most surprising. Notibly their forwards. Gibson and Cron have done a superb job with “that” pack and have adapted a game style to suit the players at their disposal. And what’s better, it’s really good to watch, win or lose.

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

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