Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees Rebels fighting fit, Israel Folau contract news, 7’s World Cup lead up and Australian Schools squad announced.


FIGHTING FIT

Mafi with only the line in front.

Mafi with only the line in front.

Amanaki Mafi has continued to barnstorm his way through opposition defences this season and now through his own teammates, after the Rebels star was arrested for allegedly assaulting teammate Lopeti Timani during the early hours of a chilly Dunedin morning.

Rumours had been swirling that Mafi was going to return to the Rebels next year despite his two year marquee spot finishing up but surely after this there is no return for the Cherry Blossoms number 8.

Both Rugby Australia and the Melbourne Rebels confirmed that Mafi is in police custody after a supposed “altercation” between he and 12-cap Wallaby Timani.

(As a quick side note, a fight between these two behemoths would be great to watch)

The Rebels played as Highlanders earlier on the Saturday night but their loss, combined with a victory for the Sharks, saw the club miss out on its first ever finals appearance.

It is understood that Dunedin Police have kept Mafi on Sunday morning prior to the Rebels flying back.

A police statement which was given to FoxSports said Mafi would face court in New Zealand on Monday, after being arrested and charged for alleged assault.

Timani reportedly received only “moderate injuries” but did not require hospitalisation.

It’s a terrible look for the game (although I’m of the believe that maybe they were fighting because they couldn’t get the physicality from their actual match) and one which puts a black mark on the end of the Super Rugby campaign.

Both Rugby Australia and the Rebels issued a joint statement on Sunday, saying they were conscious of the incident and that no other players were involved.

Rebels chief executive Baden Stephenson expressed his anger and disappointment in a brief statement, saying: “I am bitterly disappointed that an incident has occurred at the end of a season where we have taken pride in our on and off-field behaviour.

“We will respect the process and won’t be making further comments until all investigations have taken place.”

A NZ spokeswoman confirmed an incident had happened in South Dunedin.

“The alleged victim … received moderate injuries following the incident,’ she told FoxSports.

“He did not require hospitalisation. The pair were known to each other.

“As the matter is now before the court Police are not in a position to comment further.”

7’s HEAVEN

Ellia Green was a welcome return for the Aussie 7's in Sydney

Ellia Green is a welcome return for the Aussie 7’s

Our Olympic champions (let’s not forget that) are hatching a new plan of attack to take down their New Zealand counterparts, should both of them make the final of the World Cup.

The cross Tasman rivalry has kicked up a couple of gears this year after the two sides met in 3 of the 5 World Series deciders so far and have only missed the podium once between the two sides.

Australia started this year like a house on fire, taking out two straight undefeated tournaments but since then it’s been the Kiwis who have taken control, defeating our women in both Langford and Paris by a combined total of 72 points.

Ouchy.

The Australian coaching staff has targeted the breakdown as a major weakness of our gameplay, turning the ball over in vital areas and moments.

This tournament will see the return of star trio Ellia Green (human destroyer), Alicia Quirk (team glue) and Sharni Williams (breakdown specialist) and co-captian Shannon Parry believes the last three weeks have the Aussies primed and ready to bounce back and take out the World Cup.

“Against New Zealand it’s obviously crucial at the breakdown – they get a lot of turnovers there,” Parry said to rugby.com.au.

“For us, it’s about being able to control the ball in attack and being more connected in defence so their steppers can’t really step and get around us.

“We’ve changed a few things up and had a solid three weeks at home which has been really good for us.

“Johnny has been able to implement change which has been positive and all the girls have grasped that.”

“We’re looking forward to putting that in place at the World Cup.”

Go girls.

The Aussie men also have a key trio returning to the fold with Jesse Parahi, Henry Hutchinson and John Porch all coming back into the side which has had a few disappointing tournaments as of late.

“If you look at the last couple of tournaments that we did play we had a stacked side,” Parahi said.

“We had a really, really good side that we sent over there and on paper we looked good but when you look at it a little bit deeper, we had a lot of guys coming off long term injuries.”

“Often it takes a couple of tournaments to get your groove back, get your combinations and get your rhythm back.”

“Now that we’ve got that and the guys that have had that blowout, the guys will be ready for this one.”

Uppem boys.

IZZY COMING HOME?

Israel Folau

Israel Folau

Reds coach and absolute Kiwi nutcase Brad Thorn is dreaming of better days, particularly ones where Israel Folau heads north to join Queensland in Super Rugby next season.

Again, this rumour has been going around for a while now and it’s starting to get louder, with many believing that a Reds jersey will be part of his new contract which ties him to the Wallabies for the Rugby World Cup and beyond.

It is being said that the move will be announced in the gap between whenever the Waratahs finish their Super season and before we kick of the Rugby Championship.

Thorn spoke to Rugby.com.au last week and expressed a sort of weird, dreamy desire to spend some time with Israel.

“I guess it’s one of those things where you have those dreams at night and some people see sheep jumping, I see Izzy in a Queensland jersey,” Thorn said

“Izzy is playing his footy and his manager is running that stuff and we aren’t hassling him or anything.”

“If we heard he was interested in coming here that would be exciting and you imagine those (cross-field kicks).”

“He’s a real talent and I’m sure NSW and all other clubs feel the same way.”

“Along that process you’re getting positions filled and getting into that next season.”

I’m not sure he swings that way Brad but he would be a much needed boost for the game in Queensland.

There is more upheaval in his squad with Andrew Ready and Sef Faagase confirming their depature late last week along with Kane Douglas, George Smith, Nick Frisby, Jono Lance and Eto Nabuli all having their departures confirmed.

The Red also have Karmichael Hunt, Quade Cooper and James Slipper on contract for at least another season.

The young talent time in Queensland continued with young giant Angus Blyth making his debut on Friday night and a whole heap of young guns expected to take part in the NRC for Queensland Country and Brisbane City this season.

If a move for Folau does materialize, the Tahs are said to be targeting exciting young outside back Izaia Perese, despite him having a contract for 2019 (If that actually means anything these days).

BACK TO SCHOOL

australia a schoolboys v tonga

A champion Australian Schools side of the past

The Australian Schools championship wrapped up last week, with winning side NSW 1 dominating a 42 man Schools squad named at the conclusion of the event on Saturday.

Fifteen players from the NSW 1’s championship winning side made the squad, along with 12 QLD 1, 3 from the ACT and 1 from Victoria.

The squad makes up both the Australian Schools and the Australian Schools Barbarians teams which take on New Zealand and Tonga later this year in October.

Australian Schoolboy coach Andrew Moloney highlighted the overall quality of the tournament as really positive sign for Australian Rugby

Moloney was quoted on RedsRugby website saying:

“It’s been a really good week. We’ve been really impressed with the attacking mindset of everyone and were saw some fantastic tries throughout the championship,”

“The big thing for us was the physicality particularly in the contact areas. That was a fantastic final and the physicality was great.

“The attitude of the boys really stood up on the last day; we’re very excited about the squad we have.

“The Tri Nations Series is something we are really looking forward to. It’s a great tournament to play in and we’re really excited by that.”

The Australian Schools extended squad:

Daniel Ala, Lachlan Albert, Angus Bell, Angus Bell, Will Chaffey, John Connolly, Vincent Creagh, Zac Crothers, John Downes, Lachlan Dring, Apinesa Driti, Matthew Dutallis, Tane Edmed, Haloti Fonua, Harry Fox, Donny Freeman,Carter Gordon, Will Harris, Zane Hogan, Lachlan Ilias, Spencer Jeans, Brendan Jimenez, Aiden Kelso, Tyrell Kopua, Thomas Lambert, Luca Moretti, Zane Nongorr, Reesjan Pasitoa, Billy Pollard, Luke Reimer, Will Roach, Seb Strang, Bailey Tautau, David Tejcek, Fred Tricks, Tom van der Schyff, Harry Vella, Dennis Waight, Joey Walton, Jeremy  Williams- Jack Winchester

  • onlinesideline

    Mystifies me how the hell things like this end up in police hands. Surely 2 big bruisers just sort it out amongst themeselves. I cant imagine either bloke getting too much of an upper hand over the other. So how does it then become a police matter. Surely Timani would not be the one to think in terms of calling the police himself, just out of pride, so it must of been another team mate unless it was right out in the open somewhere near a club and pub and a bouncer called the police. Weird.

    So does this mean Mafi is tat-tars ? Is there no room for anything like this anymore. A sit down and a talk ? Maybe a sandwich or a cookie or smoke the peace pipe ?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      They’re of a similar size but Mafi seems to have far more aggro on the field at the very least. Timani seems more introspective :P – more scholarly.

    • Missing Link

      Mafi and Timani were signed elsewhere prior to the altercation anyway.

      I’m sure it was sparked by a throwaway comment from Timani about learning to pass the ball :D

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Pretty sad to see Timani going to be honest. I think he performed well at international level (more consistently well than he did at Super Rugby level) and deserved more chances than he got.

        And now, rather like Godwin, as soon as he discovers some consistently decent form he is off overseas.

        • Missing Link

          Yeah, you can say that again, he is a big unit but seemed to be on the outer this year with both Wessels and Cheika so I guess it made it easier. The last thing we need in the Wallabies is a few back row injuries to test our depth.

        • onlinesideline

          Next Year we will have Dempsey, Tui, Macmahon

        • onlinesideline

          Cant agree with you on this DBTB – I think Timani is the biggest dissapointmet per kilo in the gold jersey for a while. The guy just can not stay on his feet. For a guy with his tree trunk legs he should be busting through humans like a Rhino but he just looses his feet way too quickly. That was my biggest bugbear with the bloke. He also seems to smother players he grabs and take them to the floor as well. Instead of sending them backwards he just bear hugs people like a wrestler. Slow and methodical and no game changer. Rarely he did some big plays in Gold but wayyy too rarely. Exit stage left – he had his chances but just did not deliver. Bring on Dempsey when he gets fit, which still seems to be weeks away. ( must of been one hell of an injury)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Wasn’t a huge tackler, but he didn’t miss many. He made all his tackles and put his man down almost every time, even if he didn’t make highlight reel tackles. This is what Pocock is so good at too.

          His ball-running was actually okay when I analysed it from a few matches in gold, although he looked at his best running in slightly wider channels as opposed to the really tight ones. But he ran decently enough in tight and quite well out wide, and had good hands also. Extremely good at clearing out too.

        • Patrick

          OK seriously you can’t think he was a bigger disappointment than Hannigan, that other NSW guy, Skelton, some other guy with a pale blue jersey, his brother…. !!

    • Pedro

      I think Mafi lay on the ground until the police came and called a penalty.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Jeez, well the Tahs are surely fucked if Izzy goes to the Reds, especially post-2019 where we can assume a lot of guys like Beale and Simmons may look to go abroad.

    • Brumby Runner

      Don’t forget that Naiyaravoro is also off next year. That would be the two main attacking weapons for the Tahs. They will struggle in 2019 if they lose Folau, who incidentally is the side of the equation that makes Beale look so good at 12.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think that Beale is actually just a talented player in general, but I agree that Folau helps a lot. Foley at 10 without Folau at fullback will be interesting though. I’m not sure he and Beale will work as well as a pair without runners like Naiyaravoro or Folau to bend the line. I don’t think Rona is that man.

        Did anyone else notice that the Waratahs’ backline functioned better after Hegarty replaced Foley at 10? It felt to me like Beale was playing 10 most of the time that Foley was on the field though, with Foley positioned at 12 or even wider at 13.

        • idiot savant

          I would have Hegarty as Australia’s back up 10.

      • disqus_NMX

        Beale is, and always has been, one of the Tahs and the Wallabies best players. He will be just fine. The ball runners thrive off having someone like Beale or QC putting them in holes just as much as the playmakers thrive from having good runners running into those holes. Folau is more of a guy who creates his own breaks from broken play rather than running onto good ball anyway. That all said, the Tahs will miss Folau. And I’ll be curious if the Reds dysfunctional backline coaching will negate Folau’s strengths, or if he will manage to play well regardless.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          From 2012-14 he was certainly not one of the Wallabies’ best players. I don’t think Beale is the guy who puts people through holes against set defences, he’s a world class counterattacker like McKenzie or Hogg. Common denominator – all of them have played their best rugby at fullback, and that includes Beale in 2010, when I think he was probably the best fullback in the world.

          The Reds’ backline has improved a lot since Paia’aua has been broght back in.

        • disqus_NMX

          Totally agree that Beale is a world class fullback. Wasteful that he’s not being played there.

          Paia’aua was good. I’ll reserve my judgement on the effect on the entire Reds backline until we see a few more games. I thought Sorovi/Stewart was going to be the fix, but it hasn’t especially been so. I suspect the real problem is the backline coaching, and nothing will really change no matter who is in the team until the backs coach gets replaced.

      • Missing Link

        With Naiyaravoro leaving, I really hope the Tahs give Newsome more game time. Impressive kid.

        • Hoss

          Agree Link – goes looking for work and plays above his weight. His hands at the start of the year were like feet, but he come along in leaps and bounds.

        • John R

          He has looked good given his chances hasn’t he? Not a bad pass on him.

          And, similar to Hegarty (and Carraro before him), he seems unselfish, doesn’t need the glory, happy to just play his role as the team needs it.

      • onlinesideline

        You dont think Kurtley has done his fair share of setting up Izzy over the years ?

        • Brumby Runner

          Yes I do. That is the other side of the equation. I just think they have a symbiotic relationship which will disappear and perhaps not be replicated with anyone else when and if Folau leaves the Tahs.

      • Adrian

        I reckon they should buy Naiyaravoro back

        • Bakkies

          For the third time? He broke his three season contract at Glasgow halfway through his first season there due to the lure of the Wallabies jersey. Didn’t even get selected. Don’t fall for Cheika bait again Taqele look after number one or your family if you have one as you can’t be on much.

    • 22DropOut

      I don’t think so.

      As fantastic as he is running the the ball, he can’t pass, kick, defend and is a huge drain on the wage bill and a controversial squad member.

      You could bring in a world class midfielder for that money and have lots of money left, push Beale back to 15 (or do any number of things) and be in a much stronger position.

    • Who?

      I just wonder how the Reds can afford Israel when they’ve already got over $1 Million of unused headlining backs playing club…

  • Funk

    So the way the ladder finished up and the way the finals work, it looks like the tahs are in with a very good shot of making it to the final…
    Who’d have thunk it?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Are they? Beating the Highlanders (I know they’ve done it already) isn’t easy, and will then likely have to travel to Joburg to play at altitude a team that spanked them like 31-0 or whatever it was in Sydney.

      • Funk

        I’d say they are, like you said they have beaten the ‘landers before, and the Loins have been fairly inconsistent this year. i’d say they are in with a good shot of making it to the final…much more so than if they were on the other side of the finals draw…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Perhaps, but let’s face it, they were horrendous against the Brumbies, average in the first half vs the Sunwolves and poor against the Rebels.

          The Lions have had better results than the Waratahs in 2018, eviscerated the Waratahs in Sydney and will be playing with an altitude and travel advantage if they win. I would be very impressed and rather shocked if the Waratahs made the final.

        • Funk

          It’s not like Ellis Park has been a fortress this year. I’m not saying the tart’s are a shoe in but they have a decent chance of making the final.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s not like the Tahs have been a force this year. And yeah, I’m not saying they won’t necessarily make the final, but I also wouldn’t be surprised if they go out against the Highlanders.

        • Who?

          Whilst the Lions are only 9-7, it should be noted that the Tahs went 7-1 in the Australian conference. If you can so dominate a conference, it’s always going to help you record, regardless of the quality of that conference. And it’s not like the Aussie conference was clearly better than last year – we had one team make finals (same as last year), and another two within spitting distance (not completely different to last year). The Tahs did beat a Kiwi team, and were close in all Kiwi games, but they weren’t consistent like a Kiwi team in their results. :-

        • Crescent

          Sorry, but I just don’t see the Tahs going deep into the finals series this year. Some come from behind wins have masked some pretty nasty deficiencies. While I have been pleased at the wins they have grafted, they have failed to find some consistent form.

          I would love for them to prove me wrong and take out the whole thing, but on the patterns of form seen this year, they are going to lose bravely and bow out before the big show.

          The Highlanders are going to love the amount of ball the Tahs will throw away through poor field kicking and handling. If we don’t fix the lineout, it’s just another place where we leak possession and field position.

          Back to a full strength team, the Highlanders will thrive on the volume of possession. On form, the real game changer will be which side wins the Red Card Lottery. Highlanders down to 14 again, could sway things in our favour. If the Tahs side that fronted this weekend come against the Highlanders, they will be looked at an ignominous exit.

        • Funk

          Ok, everyone has convinced me….the tarts may as well not even show up and kick off their mad monday today.
          All I can say is if your at the bar beside Phipps tonight, you better hope you are wearing your gumboots!

    • Perth girl

      They would have to play a lot better than they did against the Brumbies! Its the second season in a row they have finished the regular season with a very poor loss

  • Missing Link

    How gutting for the Rebels but they only have themselves to blame, the game against the Highlanders should have been a formality, not a do or die game. In saying that the Rebels almost pulled it off, and yet again, poor decision making let them down. 2 really obvious moments, were Mafi taking a quick tap (when he ran into the back of Jackson) and was immediately turned over one or two phases later, Hodge could have set up a 5M line out from that position. Second was Ruru being stepped by Sopoaga, then throwing a leg out and earning a yellow card. Do you think that would go unnoticed on TV? The Highlanders scored 14 points during Ruru’s time in the bin. Despite that, the Rebels still held a handy lead before the Highlanders cleared the bench and tried everything to win, which they did. Could have been a different result if the Rebels had played their cards better. Will be interesting next year, with a few departures and arrivals, a genuine 10 to say the least.

    • Bobas

      While I wanted to see the Rebels make the finals for the first time, this wasn’t the year to do it. Staying in NZ to get pasted by the sanders, even if they rushed Genia, Coleman and DHP back I don’t think would have been beneficial to anyone.
      Next year, with Genia/Toomua they will be a lot more consistent, regardless of who is around them.

      • Missing Link

        If Genia can stay on the park, he’s had some real bad luck this year.

        • Bobas

          Needs to follow Dave Pocock’s diet and Hoopers conditioning. Maybe Pete Evans will open a paleo cafe where he can get a morning bone broth.

        • onlinesideline

          These bone broths have peaked my interest. Going to take the plunge I think. Not into the bone broth challenge but definitely going to add to diet. Someone wrote once that there are no true Vegans based on the observation that all the millions of dead animals in fact nourish the soil and plant / veggie growth needs these animal proteins to be heathy themselves. Never really thought about it but on relfection makes perfect sense.

          So next time a Vegan proudly tells you he / she is a Vegan (which he will) just say “Nahh, no such thing as a true Vegan” – wait for the trigger – then give him that little speil and see what they say.

        • Bobas

          http://www.davidpocock.com/davidpocock/2016/2/17/bone-broth-in-the-am

          Only Pocock can, ‘Whack everything in the slow cooker and fill (with water) to 1cm ABOVE the rim.’ Reminds of that black books episode where he makes the tower of soup.

        • onlinesideline

          this is definitely the direction I am headed in. Dont know where you based mate but if in Sydney check this guy out

          https://www.instagram.com/petesorganicmarket/

          Im basically returning back to great parents diet
          Bone broth, liver and kidneys, full fat milk and good butter, lots of fermented foods for gut. Light on the carbs. The museli after weighing it up, sort of didnt add up for me anymore. Fruit yes but morning carbs failed.

          I presently dont live in Sydney but when I return will be first place I visit.
          This chick has me drooling too (for the right reasons)
          https://www.instagram.com/staraniseorganic/

        • Missing Link

          is bone broth the next kombucha?

        • Missing Link

          so you’re telling us we’re all just eating decomposed dinosaur :D

        • onlinesideline

          YES

        • Patrick

          tell him veganism is an evolutionary dead end because if it wasn’t for eating meat we would never have made it this far :)

      • Rebels3

        Sorry Bobas cannot agree with that logic at all. Would much rather make the finals and get panned than not make them at all. I’d hope there wasn’t one person in the dressing room that shares that sentiment, otherwise they should be shown the door (i don’t think there would be tho).

        It exposes players to big games, keeps sponsors happy for the extra exposure, club gets extra exposure (another week of radio interviews, etc.) which is tough in a crowded market, keeps TV companies happy with the extra local content, makes the club more attractive to players wanting to stay/sign etc. The experience would be brilliant for both players and fans. Plus you just never no what might happen

        • Bobas

          There wouldn’t have been a game of anything other than club rugby in Melbourne for the rest of the year, if they made it, which they didn’t. (unless the Rising have a home final?)

          My thinking will be when they do make the finals there will be more of a fairytale story and Melbourne likes well hyped games, (like the rebels first season), the BIL ground record at Etihad [now Marvel], full Aami parks for Ireland & England.

          Having no finals history will generate more buzz, than ‘we made it last year and the other team scored more than 50.’

  • Hoss

    Morning WWF fans,

    Video footage of the skirmish has emerged and its interesting

    * Mafi beats three security guards but runs entirely the wrong way and is isolated
    * When finally cornered he looks confused as to what rule he has actually broken
    * Timani looks set to charge at Mafi, but drops his schooner and all impetus is lost
    * Ben O’keefe is a witness, he sites Maddocks drop his hanky, gently deflecting off the foot of Hodge – Maddocks is sent to his hotel room awaiting punishment / suspension
    * Zoolander Meakes seeing an opportunity to get a Kebab out wide, throws up a speculator, no on else knows whats going on and a homeless guy intercepts and runs 40m out of site.
    * Meanwhile the Waratahs were supposed to be there but couldn’t care less, didnt turn up and miss the whole thing.
    * The Brumbies, who were there don’t get involved as they have joined Poey is a rousing Kumbaya near a campfire and realise its too late to make a difference anyhow
    * The Force maintain they would have won the fight if only given the chance
    * RA issue a statement saying the whole affair is regretable and they think what Izzy thinks anyway.

    Another day in the life of an Oz Rugby Fan.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Pure gold mate. That’s Australian Rugby in a nutshell right there

    • Keith Butler

      Cheers Hoss. Brightened up what is an otherwise stormy morning in NW Tassie. By the by, my wife admires your wordsmithery.

      • onlinesideline

        Tassie – what a great place. I bought some kit out of the closed down paper mill in Wesley Vale years back. The mill was perched up on a hill overlooking the ocean and I remember one afternoon, while on the job, I walked outside to have a sit down and a cuppa soup and I looked out over the whole bay, aftermoon sun on the water, forest close by, mountains on my left, the friendly mill secretary on my right walking back to the office, local stray dog at my feet wanting some of my steak and kidney pie. Could easily live in a place like that. I am one human who is severly over cities.

        • Keith Butler

          To true. Moved here from an overcrowded Mornington Peninsula late last year, best move we’ve ever made. Just a Hodge penalty from Bass Strait with mountain backdrops. And the pies are awesome.

        • onlinesideline

          I think alot of ppl are waking up to what you are doing worldwide. I know Im out. Had enough.

        • Julesie Bolwell

          As a born and bred Tassie myself who spent the majority of my early years away from home, I must say I love it being here too!

      • Hoss

        Solid three years of secondary education, at your service.

        • Keith Butler

          Must have been a good school, ‘approved’ in uk parlance.

    • onlinesideline

      This was in Dunedin ? – Clearly footage was by the same bloke who filmed the Poms throwing a number of friendly dwarfs.

      • Hoss

        Didnt Mike Tindall get in a spot of bother, throwing his dwarf into a local (so to speak)……………

    • Habitual Offender

      meh
      Force would have been there, but had a scrap organised with another 23 of Samoa’s finest.

    • Bernie Chan

      Good season wrap…

    • Dylan Langes

      This has made my day, well done Hoss, well done.

  • bob

    Here is a prediction; Isreal moves to the QLD Reds, tweets something about gay marriage , rugby Australia lose it and he can’t play super rugby and joins QC and KMH playing for South’s and makes the club rugby Dreams team.

  • Perth girl

    So for the third year in a row Australia only gets one team in the finals but RA are putting the spin on that the results are better, how does that work! Stronger as 4 I don’t think so!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      A few points here or there and we could have had two other teams in the final too. Evidently, results have improved.

    • Gareth

      Clearly all sides have improved, the results are certainly better in 18 than 17.

    • andrewM

      Pretty amazing how quickly they got that news bite out too. Australian teams have improved this year ( how could they get worse?) but the correlation with axing the Force is extremely weak and tenuous.

  • Waz_dog

    I had to turn the reds v sun wolves game off once the red card was given, fait accompli and couldn’t get over the stupidity of the officiating. What has happen to the great game of rugby?

    • servo

      Yep, the contest is diminished or non existent when the red card is given. Just like the Tahs vs Sunwolves I turned the channel and watched something else when it happened.

  • John R

    I can’t really see Folau’s motivation to go to QLD? Maybe he just reallllyyyy loves the Maroon’s?

    I’d be okay with a straight Izzy for Izzy swap though. Perese is young and full of potential. Folau is obviously a gifted athlete, but he’s coming towards the end of his tenure. Plus as a result of his tweeting habits, he’s no longer allowed anywhere near Oxford St.

    • Adrian

      He would go to Qld for ✝️

      • idiot savant

        Yes he wants to join the Red Christian fundamentalists. I hear Thorn is replacing the backs coach with a missionary from the Pacific Islands.

        • Adrian

          We’ll…..if that’s his position….?

      • John R

        God told him to play for the Reds.

    • idiot savant

      I believe most of his family live in Brisbane, so he could be the homecoming queen.

      • John R

        Ah I see. Well that’s a fair enough reason.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Apparently Perese isn’t on a huge contract either, is what someone told me.

        • John R

          Yeah I saw a similar comment, apparently the Bronco’s offered him an $80k a year or something?

          $80k would go a long way for most folks, but would seem a rare fortune to a 21 year old with a young family to support aye.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, absolutely. Hope we can keep him in rugby though, no matter where he goes, as he looks like he could be something really special. I was hoping he would play outside centre outside of Kerevi at 12 next year as I can see those two being the Wallabies’ centre partnership for a long time post-2019.

        • John R

          Definitely would be a kick in the nuts if he code jumped.

          This Jordan Petaia bloke looks pretty special as well. If they wanted to persist with him at 13, then Izzy could come in at fullback.

          I’d be keen to keep Duncan P in there too. But not sure how to make all the moving parts fit together!

        • Bernie Chan

          Play DPA at flyhalf, Kerevi at #12, Petaia at #13…? Methinks DPA is a better ball-player than Stewart. Stewart has a booming kick, but can he play fullback?

    • joy

      I don’t think he cares.

    • 22DropOut

      If he wants to go for lifestyle reasons that is fine, I wouldn’t judge him by it and if he thinks that spiritually his family would have a better environment in Queensland then again that is fine.

      If he goes, i wish him well. I think it is a natural time to part ways personally and I do not think the Waratahs should be paying what they are for him. If that money is made available for another player/other players I could see the Waratahs being quite a bit stronger next year. Folau would also strengthen the Reds and also be a great publicity coup and hopefully help reinvigorate rugby in QLD

      • John R

        I find myself feeling somewhat similar.

        Like a year or two back I’d have been up in arms about it (that’s how I reacted to the rumours of him going to the Blues anyway!), but yeah not too fussed now I gotta say.

        I feel for my northern cousins as well, and as you say, help reinvigorate the code up there, that’s all good things.

  • cantab

    The rebels didn’t get eliminated until 4.30 am NZ time when the sharks beat the jags.

    So did the rebels go on a bender with a 50/50 shot of playing their first ever final in a few days time?

  • Bernie Chan

    No probs w NSW dominating the Schools squad as they dominated the Championship this season…but that highlights the farce last season when ACT went through undefeated but only got one ( or two…?) into the Oz Schools squad…

  • 22DropOut

    I’d be happy for Folau to go if the money remained available to the Waratahs to re-use.
    It’s good for everyone

    • John R

      I’d be happy for the Tahs to take some of the reds tight five as well if they’re on offer!

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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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