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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the Wallabies squad cut down, Steve Hansen playing mind games, Reds changes continue and QPR comes to a finale.


 

Squad Cut

Michael Hooper and MIchael Cheika press conference

Michael Hooper and Michael Cheika excited

Well the final squad is in and Michael Cheika has gone against his natural instincts and only named to uncapped players in the 28 player Bledisloe Cup squad ahead of next week’s opening Test.

That’s right, just two!

Tom Banks and Jack Maddocks (who have both been chosen in previous training squads) have survived the cut alongside experienced trio Scott Sio, Michael Hooper and Dane Haylett-Petty who all passed fitness tests to be included.

The squad is one of real promise and on the surface, seems to have a nice blend of youth and experience, as well as cohesion.

After completing the week long training camp in Cessnock, boom Brumbies hooker Folau Faingaa, Rebels prop Jermaine Ainsley, giant lock Rory Arnold, Reds Caleb Timu, and Rebels winger Sefa Naivalu were all left out.

Interestingly, all three of the so-called ‘alternate’ options at 13 in Curtis Rona, Billy Meakes and Jordan Petaia have also been left out from Cheika’s group.

This leaves Israel Folau and Reece Hodge the two most likely to pull on the 13 jersey, although Cheika has time and time again reiterated his beliefs that Folau is a fullback meaning Hodge is firming to start.

Reece adds a heck of a lot to the group in both his catch-pass ability in that role as well as an extra kicking option we so badly need.

Am I the only one who sees just a lil bit of Sterling Mortlock in him? Just a thought.

Foxsports spoke to Cheika about the smaller squad size and what it would add to the group.

“We’ll have some extra players in there on Monday and Tuesday, so we can get our training done and then I just think that I want to have a bit more focus on the group that’s going to play the game,” Cheika said.

“I just think that little bit of extra focus on a smaller group of players in there can build our alignment and cohesion.

“Everyone’s focused on the one task, everyone knows what their role is.”

The full Wallabies squad is:

Forwards: Allan Alaalatoa, Adam Coleman, Ned Hanigan, Michael Hooper, Sekope Kepu, Tolu Latu, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, David Pocock, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Tom Roberston, Izack Rodda, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Scott Sio, Lukhan Tui, Taniela Tupou.

Backs: Tom Banks, Kurtley Beale, Israel Folau, Beranrd Foley, Will Genia, Dane Haylett-Petty, Marika Koroibete, Jack Maddocks, Nick Phipps, Joe Powell, Matt Toomua.

Hanson Hilarious

Steve Hansen listens. A first

Steve Hansen listens. A first

Steve Hanson’s classic New Zealander, dry and ironic humour has struck again, this time with a great little quip about how the Wallabies are supposedly favourites heading into this years Bledisloe Cup.

Rightio Steve.

The defending Rugby Championship holders and long-time Bledisloe Cup hogs arrived in Sydney last night, six days before their match at ANZ Stadium.

Good Old Stevie wins so many games he basically does what he likes nowadays.

He had this to say to rugby.com.au about the Ireland series.

“They won that first one and the second two games they didn’t get much luck did they, so it could have gone either way that series,” Hansen said.

“I thought they got a lot of intensity, they played with a lot of skill.”

Hansen also complemented the work of skills coach Michael Byrne, who previously had a similar role with New Zealand Rugby.

“The work Mick has been doing with them, their running lines are really good, their passes have got a lot better, so it’s going to make them even more dangerous,” Hansen said.

He also thinks the Wallabies will be better prepared for the physicality and energy of a Bledisloe opener as the Leichardt Oval trial allowed some players to stretch their legs and still stay match prepared before kick off.

“I think they have learnt from that haven’t they and they’ve had a game,’ Hansen said.

“Every year we have a bit of a game for the guys that don’t make it too far in the (Super Rugby) finals and I think that’s all the difference was.”

‘It was a titanic struggle for the other two games.”

Just last week the big heffa declared Australia were worthy of favouritism this year.

A bold claim for a country who have held the prize for 15 years.

He reiterated that opinion on Sunday.

“They won the last one, they have to be (favourites) don’t they?” Hansen said.

He is also of the opinion that Reece Hodge will wear the No.13 jersey, but was irritated when reporters asked if they would try exploit this channel given the jack of all trades Hodge had not started a Test there.

“I can’t go telling you that,” Cheik (Wallabies coach Michael Cheika) will fix it up,’ Hansen quipped.

“No, I think he (Hodge) is a good footballer.”

He loves a cheeky mind game doesn’t he?

Reds Rumours continue

Brad Thorn making decisions

Brad Thorn making decisions

The Rebels have emerged as a genuine contender for James Slipper’s services next season reports rugby.com.au.

After being exiled at Ballymore by Brad Thorn, Slipper has taken a different stance to his Queensland counterparts Quade Cooper and Karmichael Hunt, telling media in the lead up to the Wallabies trial that he’s eager to play Super Rugby in 2019.

A move away from his hometown Reds looks the only option for that to happen under Thorn and it is understood the 29-year-old has informed the Rebels they are his first preference.

The rumour that has been doing the rounds is that Ben Daley and Slipper will change places.

The Waratahs have already said they’re not in the market for Slipper and the Brumbies are well stocked for props.

This leaves the Rebels, who are well stocked across the board, the opportunity to do a player swap where maybe everyone wins, except maybe some Reds fans.

The detail of a possible move for Slipper to Melbourne is yet to be discussed but with Amanaki Mafi, Lopeti Timani and Geoff Parling all leaving, the Rebels have the financial ability to sign Slipper as well.

Any cash taken off Queensland’s hands is a massive win for the cashed-strapped organisation, given they will still be paying Cooper and Hunt for next season unless circumstances dramatically change.

Added to this, applications for the Reds’ attack coach job close on Wednesday.

Despite saying no to the job 12 months ago, former coach Phil Mooney’s name has once again been thrown up, with premiership-winning attack coach Jim McKay also in the mix.

Mooney is a wonderful coach and is the man credited with laying the platform for Queensland’s 2011 Super Rugby title. He is settled in Brisbane as Grammar’s director of rugby, so it is little surprise to see his name raised again.

It would be interesting if Phil took the job, given he turned down the role previously.

I wonder whether this has to do with having a young family, his current job or issues with Queensland Rugby, or maybe a combination of some sorts.

Jim McKay, the attack coach that led the Reds to the 2011 crown, was most recently the coach of Japanese Top League side Kobelco Steelers but departed the club at the end of last season and is available.

Another name supposedly in the mix is Shane Drahm, who is currently coaching Brisbane Boys College’s 1st XV.

Drahm led Nudgee College’s 1st XV for four years prior to that, while also running GPS’ attack alongside Shane Arnold.

Drahm would be a massive outsider for the role and a left, left, left field option, but an option, nonetheless.

Interesting times ahead.

QPR Final Incoming

Matt Gordon (Easts), Jayden Ngamanu (Souths), Tate McDermott (UQ) and Tom Kibble (GPS)

Matt Gordon (Easts), Jayden Ngamanu (Souths), Tate McDermott (UQ) and Tom Kibble (GPS)

The preliminary semi-finals have wrapped up in my home state (sorry for the slight Queensland bias on this news piece) and GPS have overcome Easts 52-14 to have a shot at the big dance with the University of Queensland this Sunday.

Titled starved GPS will be looking to capture the club’s first premiership in 22 long years at Ballymore after absolutely demolishing Easts yesterday.

Eight different clubs have held aloft the Hospital Cup since Wallaby Daniel Herbert and the 1996 GPS team were good enough to reach club rugby’s summit.

Astute halfback general James Tuttle maximised the dominance of the GPS pack in the commanding 52-14 statement against Easts.

It will be the same formula to knock off Uni although GPS may be having to take the field without influential Reds prop JP Smith, who lasted just 18 minutes with a suspected cheekbone fracture after an accidental head clash with teammate Dan Gorman.

Lock Mitch King, 27, was the spiritual leader of the GPS dominance up front, scoring a hat-trick of tries.

“Playing for each other not for ourselves has been the big message of this season,” King told the Courier Mail.

“That first 15 minutes against Uni is crucial to set our tone for the grand final because you don’t want to be chasing them.”

This weekend’s fixture will see a number of bright young stars of Queensland Rugby light up Ballymore.

University have a host of Reds players in abrasive trio Angus Scott-Young, Harry Hockings, Adam Korczyk and young dynamite Tate McDermott.

Young flyer (and I mean flyer) Will Eadie will take the field along with a host of other youngsters led around by 23 year old flyhalf James Dagliesh.

GPS have Reds contracted bash brothers in JP and Ruan Smith and James Tuttle along with a hardened forward pack led by inspirational leader Michael Richards.

Tom Kibble, the young flanker, has played 1st grade all year and stood out, so look for him to shine also.

An exciting week in rugby coming GAGR’s, I’m excited!

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    It is difficult to support the Wallabies with decisions like this. Arnold and Timu* cut but Hanigan and Samu retained?

    Personally, I would have started Arnold. I understand the logic of wanting Rodda to partner Coleman as the starting lock, but Arnold is by far our best impact lock off the bench. Do we seriously think Simmons will come off the bench and have a bigger impact than Arnold?

    Anyway, I think the Wallabies can still put out a decent side if well selected, but these decisions make me nervous.

    Slipper sounds like he is making a good call. He was vastly improve the Rebels’ scrum if he goes there.

    * Please no one tell me that Timu didn’t play well against Ireland. First, I will point out that Hanigan, as much heart as he has, has neither good international form or Timu’s impressive SR form to fall back on, and, second, that Timu had an okay first test with little impact, and had a big run in the second test to set up Beale’s try before almost immediately getting an ankle knock and playing injured for the rest of the half.

    • Pedro

      I agree, Hannigan was playing we’ll towards the end of the super season but he still lacks any “weapons” at test level.

      I feel like Arnold has been down a little this season, maybe niggles have meant he’s moved down the pecking order. I think he’ll get a run at some stage in the campaign though. It’s good to have the competition there.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Arnold started slowly but for the last half of the Super Rugby season at least he was our best lock by far. After the June break even more so.

        Hanigan’s just hasn’t got the power to be dominant at Super Rugby level, let alone international level. Your blindside flanker has to be your enforcer. Hanigan is not yet that in attack, defence or at the breakdown.

        • Ed

          Arnold was the best performing Australian lock post-June test series. Cheika could have balanced his bench with Simmons and Timu or Arnold and Hanigan. Instead he has gone for the higher workrate yet less impact players.

    • onlinesideline

      Samu ahead of Timu but Timu ahead of Ned for mine. Samu has been part of a back to back winning SR forward pack. It translates into alot of rugby smarts. But agree Timu is exposive and can take a match by scruff of neck..

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        It is worth noting that despite Taufua’s injury Samu was on the bench in the SR final, so was perhaps their 5th choice loosie. I think he’s a good player, but I do wonder whether we overrate him a bit on account of playing for the Crusaders.

        I wouldn’t be against Samu starting with Pocock and Tui with Hooper on the bench given he hasn’t played since his injury.

        • onlinesideline

          but he did play in the final though didnt he ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah he did, he came off the bench from memory.

        • Mica

          He’s behind Read at 8, and Bedwell-Curtis at 6 (who’s a different kind of 6 to Samu) and Taufua (who was injured). No shame in this – Read needs no introduction, Taufua has been a really good player over the past couple of years (since he stopped being a grub) and Bedwell-Curtis has had an outstanding season. Typical Crusaders – they just keep churning them out. Remember when we all thought they’s struggle for a bit when Carter retired. We were all right of course, just that a bit meant about 2 – 3 matches until Mo’unga found his feet.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Fair call, guys. I wouldn’t be averse to him starting over Hooper. Hoops has had a hammy, remember?

    • Braveheart81

      Simmons in the backup lineout caller. Arnold doesn’t call lineouts.

      Hanigan is a backup 6 option that can cover lock. Timu plays 8 and can cover 6. They’re not like for like selections. Neither would be in my 23 (I’d have Samu in the 20 jersey).

      I would have probably started Arnold instead of Rodda but at this stage we’re only going to see Arnold playing if he’s starting. He doesn’t fill that backup spot due to not being a lineout caller.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Rodda calls the line out for the Reds from memory. Arnold still outplayed Rodda if you want Simmons as backup caller.

        Hanigan cannot cover lock at international level. The bloke is 110kg (allegedly) and 194cm – he is on the small side for a 6 and lacks power there, let alone at lock against Brodie Retallick and Sam Whitelock. Preposterous claim.

        • Brumby Runner

          DBTB we’ll just have to accept that Rob Simmons will be in the 23 until the day he turns 100. There just isn’t anyone else who can learn the mystical skill of calling the lineout.

          Not that I’ve seen a lock call a fucking lineout in the last couple of years anyway. The lineout call is decided by committee and translated to the hooker by a prop before the lineout forms.

          But let’s just reconcile ourselves to the fact that an unnecessary skill is keeping a lesser skilled player otherwise in the side at the expense of better performing players.

        • OnTheBurst

          +1000000000

          I am going to print out this comment in massive lettering and post it on my wall

        • Braveheart81

          OK mate. Hanigan and Timu are a like for like selection in the squad. Their position(s) of choice are exactly the same.

          Yes, Rodda does call for the Reds. He hasn’t been the Wallabies lineout caller yet and seemingly that change isn’t being made right now. Arnold misses out because Rodda has been preferred to start and Arnold doesn’t call to cover the bench role.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          At least if we just say it honestly it is easier. Hanigan and Timu are realistically competing for the third back-rower position or the bench back-rower position, and Cheika opted for Hanigan. Additioanlly, we will probably already have four locks in the 23 between Coleman, Simmons, Rodda and Tui.

          Yeah, don’t like Cheika’s logic. We already have two locks capable of calling the line out starting. Arnold should be in the 23.

      • Adrian

        It totally pisses me off that Arnold can’t/won’t learn lineout calling.

        In a couple of interviews I have heard he seems proud of that too!

        Perhaps this is indicative of something else that Cheika has noticed.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Interesting through, Adrian. I personally am sure that if the Brumbies wanted him to do it, he would…

          But you’re right, it is interesting.

          I must say I’ve never heard him appear ‘proud’ of it. Do you have any such links? I’d be interested to see them.

        • Adrian

          I’ll get back to you on that.
          Last year I think

        • Bakkies

          Fairly recently he said it. I doubt Enever does either as he is often on the bench when Carter and Arnold are fit.

          Let’s not forget that the twins only got in to Rugby when the local team were short of locks and found them in the pub.

          Calling is important against the ABs as Read can steal without being lifted. Neither of the Wallabies hookers are great throwers. Rodda should take charge for the Wallabies as I thought he showed up better physically than Coleman against Ireland. Coleman gets a lot of knocks and hasn’t completed an AI series yet. That concerns me as a full RWC program takes six weeks.

        • Braveheart81

          I think part of it is his late start in the game. He’d always be up against people who have been doing it for a much longer time. From a team perspective to try and make it happen you would need to dedicate a lot of your training time involving the whole pack. Given you only have limited time to train it probably isn’t worth it for anyone to focus on.

        • Who?

          Good call. Maybe it’d work if he and Richie were throwing it in, they’d just know where it was going..?

      • Ian Rodger

        Maybe somebody who played second row can explain it to me, but what is so difficult about calling a line out?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nothing unless you’re fucken stupid

        • Parker

          By that logic, how come Simmons can call?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ba-boom!

        • Patrick

          From experience it can be hard to come up with something that all of your secondrowers, props and hooker can remember in the five minutes you spend on it before the match.

          Also sometimes it is tricky to be heard out there.

          But yes, I would have thought that people who get to professional rugby which I was never within a country, let alone a country mile, of, would have worked out solutions to those problems.

        • Ian Rodger

          You would think they have plenty of time during training to work on line-out calls and stuff! So Coleman runs the line out for the rebs and Simmons for the tahs but who runs them for the Reds and Brumbies? Is Simmons so much better? I can’t really imagine he is!

        • Who?

          It’s not all pre-planned, though – you can’t just go with the pre-arranged call. Because it’s also about how the other team sets up, and how they move after the set, in reaction to your set up. Reading the defence is a major part of the art of calling, and reading the caller is a major part of the art of defender. Then, it’s not just about jumping. It’s about positioning, timing, and speed off the ground. Part of the reason Etzebeth is a great lineout operator is his capacity to get off the ground quickly. Scott Allen did some fantastic analysis on his technique in getting up quickly. So, even if you’ve set up in the right spots for your call, if the opposition can read that and react quickly, if your jumper isn’t quick enough off the ground, you can still lose that throw.
          And all that is supposing that your lineout thrower is accurate in the throw – accurate in the timing, the speed, the height, the loop. Something that I noted from our lineout throwers in Brisbane (watching them warm up and during the game) was that both were rather flat in their throw – there wasn’t much loop. It took Taf YEARS to develop any loop on his throw, and when he did, he was suddenly much more accurate and less picked off. Why’s that critical? Well, if you don’t have loop (and Latu was poorer for it than BPA), then defenders can throw someone up at 2 to cut off a throw that’s meant to go to 6 in attack. Your thrower has to get the ball over the front jumper. And then make it land – accurately – on the bloke at 4, 5 or 6. So that a bloke jumping at 5 doesn’t steal a throw to 6, and so it doesn’t go over your jumper at 5 and land on their defender just behind or at 6.
          But your jumper at 6 also has to do enough to hide the exact location of the jump, and the timing of the jump. Especially for a loopy throw to the back – that loop getting the ball over the defender at 2 can also give time for a defender to get up at 6 if you’re not subtle.
          When you consider all that, running a lineout is like running a backline, or running an NFL down at quarterback. It’s a tightly arranged, intricate set piece duel, between skilled operators where split seconds make a huge difference. So it’s down to body language, watching eyes, feet… We’ve all talked about how it’s wrong to think that someone like Reece Hodge or similar should be parachuted into 10 for the Wallabies without having any time to learn the trade at a lower level. The same is true for lineouts – and training isn’t the same as game day experience (just like at 10).
          I don’t have much recent contact with coaches connected to Super level, but I had a bit back in 2013. Back then, Simmons was king of the Aussie callers. No question, according to most – he was the only Wallaby-capped caller after Sharpie’s retirement. But the Reds coaching staff had MASSIVE respect for Ben Mowen. They thought he was the best defensive reader in the country. So games against the Brumbies were a major – and thoroughly enjoyed – challenge, because you had the best two operators in the country running the lineouts. And if you watched our lineouts on that 2013 EOYT, with Mowen calling (and choices between Simmons, Horwill (I think? Or Douglas?), Fardy and himself), our lineout was a weapon.
          Haven’t watched enough Brumbies this year, but Reds would be Rodda (Douglas never learned to call a lineout), and Brums is likely Carter when on the field. And whilst Coleman’s running them for the Rebels, I’m sure he’d have been spending a lot of time with Geoff Parling, given his renowned lineout expertise.

        • Ian Rodger

          Thanks for the answer mate! Really helpfull! Lot of things you don’t consider as an outsider to Aus rugby, don’t get to watch it much from here in the Netherlands unfortunately. Makes the choice for Simmons on the bench at lot more logical.

          Is it something you’re just able to do and then develop it or is it something everybody can learn if they put in enough practice?

        • Who?

          I have to preface this by saying I’ve not run a lineout myself. That said… I’m sure there’s a capacity to be coached and develop these skills. But you don’t want to learn them against Whitelock, Etzebeth, Mostert, etc. You want to learn them at Shute Shield level.
          But beyond that, I’m also confident that there’s natural aptitude. A major (and massively underrated) part of the skillset of coaching – especially in juniors – is identifying natural aptitudes and attributes to best utilize players. Many will just stick their big/fast kid at 10 (which is dumb rugby), smarter coaches will look for kids who have a natural aptitude for identifying space and a willingness to pass. Because you’ll develop them further as a 10 than you’ll develop a kid who runs well and gets congratulated for scoring tries himself every weekend.
          So natural aptitude means that some will develop faster and/or further in those skills. Which is why Mowen was so highly rated, in spite of being supposedly handicapped by playing 8. His aptitude meant he developed those skills (over team mates) even though he wasn’t in the ‘natural’ position to be a lineout caller. Higginbotham’s also done some calling (though not nearly as much, given he played a lot with Simmons) from 6 and 8. Horwill, to my understanding, didn’t ever develop the skill to nearly the same level.
          Now, I think that every player should develop every attribute they can – when I was coaching juniors, I wanted my kids to tackle off both shoulders, pass off both hands, ideally even practice kicking off both feet. I got frustrated when kids flat out refused to do that (even moreso when those same kids were picked for rep teams off natural attributes, and then felt they could cruise in my team). So I believe that all lineout jumpers should be looking to develop themselves in that role. But I’ll also accept that some just aren’t going to make the grade, and it’s easier to learn such a skill earlier.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        What the fuck is this shit about calling a lineout? FFS it’s not that friggen hard and if it’s a reason to keep the best performing kick off the field then the problems must go so much deeper. What a load of cock

        • Ian Rodger

          You would think every second rower who trains at least 5 times a week, should be able to call a line-out.

  • Nutta

    Whilst I am loathe to see big Rory left out, it’s great to see serious competition for spots. I remember not so long ago there wasn’t. That said, we need a viable alternate 10 to stand up.

    Given everything else happening, Hodge at 13 feels about right in the absence of K-Train.

    Don’t focus on Stevie. He has no reason to say anything the least bit helpful for Oz rugby. We only feed the Beast if we give them attention.

    Stick to your guns Brad.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’d prefer the competition for spots was based on some on field displays rather than a percieved preference for a player that is not rated as good by anyone else. But I guess it’s his call so hope it comes off for him. Personally I think that with a Pooper that is unbalanced and lightweight players your pack will struggle. I agree Hodge is probably the best bet at 13 it’ll be interesting to say the least and he needs to be a bit smarter about how he interferes as in the past he’s had a tendancy to give away soft penalties.

      Ignoring Hansen is the smart play and to be fair it’s the press that buys into it not the players or the management so I also ignore it all.

      • Nutta

        That’s what Big Mick The Check gets paid for. For me, if we play Poop then we need a blindside who is effectively a 3rd Lock for size and lineout options. Flanders strikes me as a guy who gives his all but he’s no Owen Finnegan or Fardy and thus not what we need. I would actually rather a Cliffy Palu / Vunipola type No8 Crusher who could jump at 2 and so play Pooper left/right but we don’t have a power-running 8 anywhere abouts atm.

        But like I said, that’s Cheks call.

        • Bakkies

          Billy V and Palu aren’t lineout options. It is like when Eddie picked Lyons with Waugh and Smith.

          You need a Picamoles, Read or Hairydonkey type 8 to work with Pocock and Hooper. Number 8s that are better than a lot of locks in the lineout.

          Neither of those two players are like a Nyanga, Le Roux or Dusautoir who could jump at the tail of the lineout which is where the Wallabies need to attack from.

        • Nutta

          Yeh I reckon you can build a No2 jumper out of a big man with variation and speed off the mark. No2 is less about height and more about owning the space.

      • disqus_NMX

        Lightweight?! The All Blacks run and even lighter weight pack usually!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but yours is lighter in the locks and loosies. Probably bigger front row but that’s all

  • Brumby Runner

    Like DBTB. I wouldn’t have dropped either Arnold or Timu from the squad, and it must have been tight between FF and BPA for the third hooker spot too. My preference would have been to keep Arnold at Rob Simmons expense and Timu in place of Hanigan. I believe the Wallabies would have their best chance of upsetting the ABs with the most aggressive forwards pack they can muster. Arnold and Timu are certain to leave more bruises on the opposition than Simmons and Hanigan.

    However, it is what it is. The squad is a strong one, and imo has a very good chance of running the ABs close or if the stars align to get the win. Go Wallabies.

    On Slipper, I hope he can find a home for 2019. But I’m a bit lost by the comment that the Brumbies are well stocked for props. After Scott Sio, who are the LH props on the Brumbies’ roster? Benny A has played TH most of the past 4 or 5 years and is yet to sign as far as I know. A rumour that Harry Lloyd might return, and while I rate him, I doubt that many fans from other franchises have ever heard of him.

    If it turns out Slipper is a swap with Daly, then the Rebels will again have got by far the better of the deal.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Agree he would be very valuable in Canberra.

      If Thorn doesn’t want him in the squad then Thorn really has to take what he can get. Surely he cannot afford to be paying Quade, Hunt and Slipper not to play?

      • Brisneyland Local

        DB he cant afford anything. Hence why the Folau deal fell through. At the moments the Reds lost of one of their major sponsors. That has pegged a huge loss. RA is currently having to prop up the Reds with financial support to stop them going into insolvency whilst they look for another major sponsor. They are struggling to find one because the crowd and membership numbers are so low. A number of them have said, put QC on and we will give you the money. That has been rejected so they are relying on RA hand outs.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Seriously?! Is that why the Folau deal fell through? Did the sponsors really say that?

          I knew Quade was popular up there, but I didn’t realise he was that popular!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Folau deal fell through because they had no money! None at all. They couldnt afford him so talks failed. The QC issue was seperate but related. I.E. There are people willing to sponsor, but they want the number one draw card back. They see every weekend at club rugby QC pulling any where from 500-1000 people. The Reds are barely getting 7000 to a game. Sometime upto 10,000. But really struggling in the numbers department. The sponsors want return on investment.

        • Happyman

          Also the QRU look like fools as any sponsor looks at the QC’s Intagram and sees all of the stuff he continues to do around town whenever asked. BL I think it is also allied to how incredibly dissattisifed the rugby public are with the QRU. They have literally exhausted any and all faith any supporter has with them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. I (as in the company I own) was a minor sponsor of the reds for many years. I stopped contributing financially to their delinquency about three years ago during the Woody Graham era. They bullshit their members and treat them poorly. They dont understand the basic elements of communication and change amangement. As a rugby club, you lose your fan base, you lose fullstop.

        • Bernie Chan

          100% agree with the sentiments…we went from lifelong Platinum Members…to nothing…nada. The QRU treated us like mugs. Why would any potential sponsor give the QRU any money after the SNAFU this season…? We’ve seen some dodgy decision making before, but the QRU seemed to reach a nadir with the QC/Frisby mismanagement situation and then went even lower by the way Slipper has been treated…a prop with over 100 Caps for the Reds and 80plus Tests!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just when I think the QRU hit rock bottom.
          They pull out an excavator and keep digging!

        • Happyman

          Did you see they charged entry for the Saturday club finals on the weekend. $12 for a ticket to watch 6th, 5th and 4th Grade also colts 2 and 3. Very smart to gouge your most loyal supporters being the lower grade players and their families.plus $5 for parking which was run by about 8 labour hire people. The spreadsheet in my head says they could not make money doing that or break even for that matter.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wouldnt be surpirsed. They are shite!

        • Bakkies

          Don’t the QRU owe money to St George Bank over Ballymore?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes lots!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      mate I agree with Arnold and Timu. I don’t think the squad is hard enough to take on the ABs and I think they’ll struggle in both the tight and the loose. You’ve got a weakened pack without those 2 and the Pooper that is not a threat anymore.

    • Bakkies

      ‘The Waratahs have already said they’re not in the market for Slipper and the Brumbies are well stocked for props.’

      The Brumbies are barely stocked for props. Makin is supposed to be off, Alexander hasn’t extended, Erasmus is off to Melbourne.

      • Brumby Runner

        And worse again was the loss of Nic Mayhew. Could see him developing into a serious contender for Wallabies, but he might have decided there was a better chance of national representation for a prop on the other side of the ditch.

    • idiot savant

      Maybe he doesn’t want to go to a depressing city.

      • Bakkies

        Melbourne has the most depressing Winter weather in the country. At least the sun comes out in Canberra.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Happy Monday. I spent the weekend in ‘Bodies in a Barrell’ Land and survived! BL’s ramblings of a Monday morning:
    – LIke Nutta, I am ignoring Hansen, and I hope Cheika doesnt take the bait. If he does he will just prove how interminably stupid he is. Whether we like Hansen, or agree with what he is saying or not. It doesnt matter. Dont get drawn in to the game.
    – I hope Arnold makes it back into the squad. He had a slow start to the SR season, but was definitely building.
    – I think I would like to see Timu back in the mix.
    – Looks like we will proceed with the Pooper, and have sk8tr boy as captain again. With the ‘Pied Peyper’ holding the whistle, I personally would rather have Poey doing the talking.
    – I will miss slipper from the Reds. I understand why he is going. Just a sad siuation really.
    – Significant rumours up here that Thorn has a very divided camp. A bit over half the squad in the Thorn camp. The others not so. Definitely not enjoying pre-training sessions prayer group.
    – still dont know how Roberston makes the squad.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Ed

      You do want Cheika to ignore Hansen’s comments but surely you wouldn’t want Michael to ignore what his opponent can bring to the field?

      This is from Wide World of Sports on Sunday:
      Asked by panelist Richard Freedman: “what’s changed about them?”
      Cheika: “About who?”
      Freedman: “The All Blacks?”
      Cheika: “Mate, I don’t know.
      “I want to focus on my team only.
      “I don’t think that looking at them is going to help me at all. The other coaches will have a look and see and we’ll talk about some tactical stuff.
      But I want to invest everything I’ve got into our players and get them to a point where they are so focused that come kick-off time that nothing is going to stop them.”

      Hopefully Cheika is just kidding around, but I would not be surprised he was serious.
      I bet Hansen, Eddie Jones, Joe Schmidt and Gregor Townsend – coaches with winning records against Cheika’s Wallabies – would not just focus on his own side and but also spend time working on how to exploit the weaknesses of the Wallabies and try to negate their strengths.

      • Greg

        sure…. but what would you expect him to say?

        • Ed

          That the ABs would be a stronger side than the one that played against France in June by the inclusion of Retallick and Read in Sydney as an example.

      • Brisneyland Local

        “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” Sun Tzu
        From my combat experience I truly belive this!
        I do hope the Lebanese silk trader is pulling our legs. But I agree, he is probably not.

        • mikado

          “To know your Enemy, you must become your Enemy.”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wow that is deep for early in the morning!

      • onlinesideline

        Of course Cheika & Co have analysed the ABs. Cheika is not stupid. But what would be stupid is if he admitted it in public and started to analyse what the opposition’s strengths and weaknesses were and and why on national television a week before a test match. Its just not the thing to say or do.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Cheika in the past has said that he doesn’t do much opposition analysis, and he thinks winning games is about getting your own team prepared as well as possible.

          Consider the fact that since 2015 the first time we demonstrated any expansion in tactics was against Ireland.

        • onlinesideline

          mmm – mate I think you are selling the guy short there. Of what I’ve heard about Cheika from ppl who know him he is a shrewd cover all his bases kind of guy. Its more likely that he loves the game but in truth doesnt hold the press in very high esteem and just rattles off the most standard answers he can think of. And TBH I dont blame him. And he also doesnt want to start getting involved in a tit for tat thing with Hansen this week because he wants to remain laser focused on the boys frothing at 8.00pm on Sat night. He wants to win this one big time Id imagine.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t deny Cheika’s obvious intelligence. I’m not selling him short, mate, I am repeating what he says about himself, which his also what is reflected on the field.

          Even consider the fact that the difference between when we play well and win and play poorly and lose it isn’t down to a variance in tactics, it is just about how the team plays their game. Against Ireland we began to see some high ball game in the first test and Ireland couldn’t deal with it as they didn’t expect it. After the first test we did the same thing in tests 2 and 3.

          Ireland adjusted and nullified Folau and our kicking game; we didn’t adjust and lost.

        • onlinesideline

          OK but you are talking about adjusting on field tactics when things dont work out for x reasons. Player selections is a different thing and is based on what you want to bring mostly bearing in mind to some degree who the opposition are and how they play. The Samu, Timu, Ned decision should be based on what kind of game Cheika wants to play. He knows Hansens approach by now and Im sure thhey know who they are up against and what they present as challenges.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Cheika’s game plan wants fast forwards with high work-rate to tired the opposition. We’ve gone for the same type of back-row regardless of who we play for two years. Hooper + best available 7 option to partner him + low-impact and high work-rate 6 (Mumm or Hanigan were first choice).

          Equally, we do not vary our wingers and fullback depending on how much kicking we expect. It is DHP on right wing (if injured then Hodge) + fastest winger on left wing.

          In game 2 the Wallabies should have expected Ireland to adjust to combat Folau, they obviously had not and hod not idea what to do. By game 3 they kept using the same tactic that did not work in game 2.

          If we do much opposition analysis I fail to see how it is reflected in our selection and game plan? Against Ireland I thought the expansion in tactics was a great first step.

          Personally, I hope Cheika was just doing media speak and is preparing for the All Blacks, but who knows.

        • onlinesideline

          Ok so who should he have selected that missed out and why based on what the ABs skills / weaknesses are / way they play – may I respectfully ask thee ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure I see relevance compared to what I said? In this case I care less about selection and more about game plans and tactics.

        • Ed

          I remember Retallick’s look to Hanigan after Ned tried to clean him out in Sydney last year. Brodie looked at him like Jaws from the Spy Who Love Me.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          For what it’s worth mate, I hope you’re right and he has done All Blacks analysis and is just keeping his cards close to his chest. I think the assistants have, but wonder whether that is really what Cheika personally focuses on?

        • Brumby Runner

          Forget Ireland. What is needed for the ABs is a big, aggressive pack of forwards who can take the Blacks on and maybe get some domination up front. Rolling out the lightweight pack that has mostly represented the Wallabies in all of Cheika’s time probably isn’t the way to go, but without Arnold and Timu in the squad, there is very little likelihood that Saturday’s pack will be any different. That is the sort of change-up that is needed for this opposition.

        • Who?

          I think he’d cop more for appearing to be so arrogant as to choose not to analyse an opponent than for admitting what every team does.

        • Patrick

          I’m torn, because I believe everything you’ve said onlinesideline but then again he has actually looked like a Putz a few times. I think his problem is that he needs a Pocock at captain who can actually step out of the game long enough to address the players and make the players on the field react without waiting for halftime.

        • Who?

          I don’t think DBTB has. Because I also remember comments from Genia about how, under the previous coach, the game was too complex, changing week to week with the opponents (to attack through relative strengths against relative weaknesses, the way you attack when you’re intelligent!), whereas Cheika just wanted them to follow their game plan because it could beat anything…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Surely Genia did not seriously say that Link’s plans were ‘too complex’?

          Surely he wouldn’t say something like that about his old mentor?

        • Who?

          I was stunned. It was back in 2015. It was, to my ear, heresy. I don’t see how picking and choosing which parts of the game receive focus each weeks hould be considered complex, but…
          Maybe the fact he was sitting next to Cheik at a presser at the time was part of it, and he was just looking for an answer to the questions asked (which I think was, “What do you find different with this bloke compared to the last one?”)..?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I just searched for it and all I could find was this – it isn’t Genia, but it was Martin who said it was too complex.

          https://www.google.com.au/amp/s/amp.smh.com.au/sport/wallaby-will-genia-facing-the-chop-20130910-2thjs.html

          Sad if true. I wish Link had never left. Cheika would still have been coach after Link most likely, but I felt like we were really building to something with Link.

        • Missing Link

          exactly, I would hazard a guess that the Wallabies have multiple analysts carving through footage for countless hours.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Pretty sure he’s not ignoring the Abs totally but also that his focus should be inwards to what he wants his team to do. He’ll take note of the players in the ABs and will plan accordingly. The good thing, or maybe bad thing, is that they do all know each other pretty well so there won’t be a lot of surprises.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Pre-season prayer group?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Before most training sessions the grab the lads and “cop a knee!”

        • JS

          The prayer meeting tend in some clubs is a bit of an elephant in the room. If you are not a believa, do you get a choice. Must be wierd.

        • Brisneyland Local

          When I worked with the Americans, it happened a fair deal.
          Bu to their credit they never gave me a hard time when I opted out.
          I told them, that I was only kneeling out of a sense of not wanting to offend them.
          They told me that they wouldnt be offended if I opted out. If you believe then kneel, if you dont then dont!
          They were cool either way!
          Dont know if it the same at the Reds!

        • IIPA

          Just don’t kneel during their anthem…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I would never do that. I respect nationality more than religion!

        • Brumby Runner

          There were some very reluctant looking players, mostly white players, after the Western Force game when the WF went into their after game prayer huddle.

        • JS

          You are right BR I noticed that too with the Force on friday last. Surely the coach gives his players a choice. Maybe not. Would faith be mentioned at the recruitment table in some clubs.

        • disqus_NMX

          Hmmm, maybe BT will have a winning team when all the non-believers have left, and all the best Christian players in the country have joined. Maybe only then will he have created the “culture” he is aiming for.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The culture of the righteous!

    • Pedro

      For what it’s worth Robertson has played pretty good this season. I still wouldn’t select him, but he’s a better player than he was the last time he was inexplicably selected.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. He by his standards has had a great 2018. Just against the AB’s pack I wouldnt be putting a light weight forward on the paddock!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, he is good around the park, but his scrum stats haven’t been good still, which is the most crucial thing. He did okay in June but was supported by Latu and Tupou, two of our best scrummagers, coming off the bench.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is my concern. After watching tehSR final that Saders pack are so big and so agile. They will form a big chunk of the AB’s pack. We need big guns to hold scrum at worst at parity. At best dominant. Any thing that changes that will not be a good move.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      mate I ignore most of what the coaches say. It used to be good banter with a fair bit of humour and some smart stuff. Now it’s just crap.

      I also rate Arnold and hope he gets back. I’m wondering how much of it is a franchise issue as I still think Arnold and Coleman are the 2 best locks here at the moment. Pity Timu missed out but I guess Cheika had to bring in his love child Hannigan somehow.

      Interesting on the comment about the dressing room. I am thinking some of BT’s scathing comments post gtames this season wouldn’t have endeared him to some of the players. I think he was over the top a couple of times and won’t be surprised if he loses the dressing room unless he changes. I still think his biggest issue is the lack of mentoring and support that he needs to modify his approach.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. Agree on all points there mate.
        Hope you like my Sun Tzu quote with DBTB.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Loved it mate. So true in so many areas

  • Missing Link

    Bledisloe week, very excited! let’s do this! We need to go 1-0 on Saturday otherwise it’s au revoir to the Bledisloe for another year. Have toyed with reverse psychology and thought about wearing an All black jersey during the game to see if it makes them lose, because wearing a wallaby jersey for the past 15 years has made them lose!

    Hansen Schmansen, Cheika has to rise above this nonsense, it happens every year. just don’t take the bait.

    I’m not going to complain about Cheika’s selections, a few head scratchers but hey we put the faith in the coach and this is what he’s come up with. I think the players who were cut were a little stiff but ultimately the squad had to be trimmed down. We don’t know what the reasons we’re, perhaps some injuries although I think Timu was stiff, showed a few flashes of brilliance in that internal game.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Not sure the reverse psycology thing but I’d love to see you in a black jersey mate. I think it’s the press that causes all the issues in the coaches comments and TBH I’m not interested in what either of them say. Say it on the filed next saturday because anything else is meaningless.

      • Missing Link

        I have a spare Wallaby jersey if you need it mate ;)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha my brother in law and I have a standard bet that the loser has to put up a Facebook photo wearing the winners jersey. Only had to do it once so far

  • onlinesideline

    any betting agencies taking bets on intercept tries within first 5 mins ?

    • Brisneyland Local

      They would be paying out already!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Righto. to fire up some discussion, here is BL’s Picks for the match. I know this isnt what the Cheikeister will pick:

    (1) – Scott Sio
    (2) – TPN
    (3) – TonganThor
    (4) – Arnold
    (5) – Adam Coleman
    (6) – Tui
    (7) – Poey (c)
    (8) – Timu
    (9) – Willy G-man Genia
    (10) – Nard “Spanners” Foley
    (11) – Koribette
    (12) – Kurtley Beale
    (13) – Reece Hodge
    (14) – Banks
    (15) – Israel Folau

    (16) – BPA
    (17) – AaAaaaa
    (18) – Kepu
    (19) – Rodda
    (20) – Hooper
    (21) – Gordon
    (22) – Matt Toomua
    (23) – Jordan P
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Missing Link

      Interesting, I know a few weeks ago, I questioned the inclusion of Petaia, and I know he’s no longer in the squad, but his effort to score that try in the internal game was decent and I think the kid could be something. Get a full season of SR under his belt, and I’m sure they’ve got a finger on the pulse, a good season and get him hanging around the Wallaby camp.

      also how dare you select a well balanced back row? :P I know Cheika will pick Kepu at 3, Simmons with Coleman at Lock, Tui 6, Pooper 7 and 8 and also think he’ll start DHP at 14. Phipps will be the reserve 9, with Toomua and Banks/Maddocks on the pine. I think that’ll be the biggest question, who gets their potential debut off the bench. Despite Banks being impressive, I think Cheika will go with Maddocks as he’s been around the squad longer and I feel that Cheika is a man who believes in doing your time and earning the right.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks ML. Yeah that is what I am worried about. I have picked my squad based on a bit of “delivered all season” and also a little bit of “potential”. About an 80/20 split of those factors.
        Personally I wouldnt have Spanners at 10. But really there are no other options.
        And a balanced back row has a lot going for it.

    • Fatflanker

      Rodda to start for mine, otherwise pretty fair run-on team there. I’m a tad worried about Sio, especially with his shoulder seemingly on ice, but who else is there really? TPN and Thor would be tasty.

      • Brisneyland Local

        MAte I have to admit, I changed and changed back Rodda frombench to start and back again. Really close call.

    • Brumby Runner

      Cheika certainly won’t pick that side. Too many players not even in the squad.

      I do also wonder why some posters believe DHP is on the right wing and Koroibete on the left. It seems to me that they have always been selected the other way round, which incidentally is what I would do too.

      • Braveheart81

        Haylett-Petty has played in the 14 jersey in almost every test he has played.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    I am a bit worried about the Reds tbh. I can understand the move here: it’s been six disappointing seasons, and a culture change is in order.
    But at the same time, I feel like with Cooper, Slipper and Hunt, there needs to be a clear distinction. Brett McKay said on our pod a few weeks that it should be a case-by-case basis. Cooper, for all his talent, does have issues when it comes to following game plans, and Hunt is a repeat drug offender. So I can understand the tough line the Reds have taken with them.
    With Slipper though, the bloke admitted he did wrong, admitted he was going through a tough patch, and has proactively aimed to clean up his act. He is an experienced prop and he’s passionate about Queensland Rugby. Add to that, he’s a veteran who has been around the organisation during their most successful years. I reckon you need a bloke like that to stick around.
    Remove too many old heads, and you run the risk of blooding young talent too soon, and the negative losing culture only continues. It’s a tough line to walk for the Reds management and for Thorn…

    • Brisneyland Local

      NW. I have a family member that was a member of that squad and he verhmently refutes that part about Cooper not being part of the game plan or not following. He was inside that piece and said to me it didnt happen.

      • Nicholas Wasiliev

        Stand corrected.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am split on Slipper. I would like to see him stay, but can understand why he is going. Hunt I have no problem with being moved. I just dont understand the Cooper issue.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        This is a guy who was there under Graham/Stiles? I heard it was under those two that Quade wouldn’t follow the game plan.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Correct weight, race nine go on!

        • Nicholas Wasiliev

          Slipper has been at the Reds since 2010. So his first three or so seasons were under Link when the Reds were doing well, and he must have been playing alright footy as he got selected for the Wallabies.
          I’ll give it to you though, it’s been tough to hang around the Reds during the Graham/Stiles era, but the player still has what it takes, and that’s invaluable to the Reds right now

        • Who?

          Slips, at the end of 2010, had 100 minutes of Super Rugby and 10 Tests. So I’m not sure he was playing great Rugby – I think it was more that Deans was playing talent spotter at a national level.

        • disqus_NMX

          Who in their right mind would follow a Graham game plan if they had any ambition at all to win? My respect for QC, and disgust at the Reds management only grows when I hear these stories.

    • Bakkies

      I don’t have an issue with Cooper going against the game plan. Dan Carter stated that was the difference between the top tens and the rest. The ability to go off the game plan and see what it is in front. I hazard a guess that the old Brumbies teams and Cooper are the only to do it regularly in modern Australian Rugby as everything seems to be pre programmed.

      • HK Red

        Didn’t Ruchie imply in his biography that under Deans, they’d listen to the pre-match instructions, then when they ran out on the field he’d gather the players together and say, “Right fellas, forget all that, this is what we’re going to do”. Incredibly talented squad, high degree of success, the whole thing worked………even though they weren’t following the coaches plans.
        So going against the plans shouldn’t be an issue, if it works. QC had a pretty good record against the ABs and one of the better winning percentages overall.

        • Bakkies

          Don’t know about McCaw saying that. Knox definitely was off the cuff like Quade not many Aussie tens would pull off the lobbed kick over the Canes’ defence that Mitch Hardy scored off in the ’97 semi. He varied his trademark loop too in that match.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick. While it isn’t often I’ll agree with all of any coaches selections I think the Wallabies will miss both Arnold and Timu. I’m starting to get amped for this weekend. Got a Subbies final to referee first but already starting to focus on the night.
    Boy the Reds administrators can’t seem to get a lot right. Reminds me so much of the abortion that is Auckland. Funny how the results are similar. Good move by Slipper but it’ll effectively end his time in yellow unless there is a rule change.
    While I tend to ignore the tripe spewed out annually by the coaches, I do agree that this game will be close. Bounce of the ball, the odd poor decision by players and/or officials and this could go either way

    • Brisneyland Local

      MAte I think your being nice. After seeing the AB’s trial games against Otago and Cantebury. I think we will behaving things done to us that Hoss’s favourite porn stars wouldnt do.
      And accordingy to Hoss. that aint a lot!

      • Hoss

        I remember 20,000 Forint got me an under 30’s netball team for two hours in Bratislava in the 90’s. Took me three weeks to get the taste out of my mouth. Ahhhh memories.

        The AB’s, i reckon it’s time fact trumps fantasy. Previous AB’s (11 & 15) been an awesome sides and this teams no slouch, BUT……..they are beatable, the culture has shifted, there stars ageing, some key players a bit off form and i just sense a chink in their armour and an arrogance not present in past sides. The fantasy and myth of this AB team doesn’t match this side’s reality. I reckon they are right for the picking.

        You know what its like in business, a lot of little 1%, telling indicators are there that the time is now, the time is right.

        As the great 21st Century poet and philospophiser once said about the chance…………

        You own it, you better never let it go
        You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
        This opportunity comes once in a lifetime

        I think there’s something in that for all of us dont you.

        A different tomorrow starts today.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Love the eminem reference. e I am you and giggy with it!
          I less worried about the AB’s and more worried about us.
          We have forgotten how to win. Forgotten how to put pressure on and keep it on.
          We are good in 30 min bursts. But generally they arent the last 30 mins.
          Dont want to rain on anyone’s parade, but if we are going to win one it will morethan likely be the game in Nippon!

        • Hoss

          You mean the RWC 2019 Final – i like the cut of your jib oh tall one.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Was more thinking the third beldisloe game whcih is in Japan this year i think!

        • Missing Link

          Every year Hoss, I live in hope that they’re not the same All Blacks as last year, then we get beaten like a red headed step kid.

          *however* this year we’re in a situation where they don’t have Coles and Read is probably never going to reach his former greatness due to the recurrence risk of back injuries. But they have Whitelock, Retallick and Cane. Then you have A.Smith who has lost a bit of form since he was held hostage inside a toilet cubicle by a crazed fan, Perenara tends to either be amazing or shit the bed when under pressure, same can be said for Barrett who is also under a concussion cloud, SBW is out, Crotty is also one of two concussions away from forced retirement as well as B.Smith. There are a few question marks over their key players, and although they have depth, their depth is either inexperienced or also under injury clouds like Milner-Skudder. I think they’ll play Naholo and Ioane on the wings which will be massive threats. Naholo can also be a risk if he opts not to use his arms when tackling.

          Sure it’s a biiiiig stretch, but maybe if the coin falls our way and they are forced to make a few changes and do things they weren’t planning on doing…. like losing :)

        • Hoss

          Agree mate – thats the vibe i have hinted at today. Now, more than ever they are vulnerable. There 9 & 10 are twitchy, their warriors – bruised, the usual suspects showing the physical scars of battle.

          We have a chance, a small chance maybe, but a chance none-the-less, but for the first time in (fill in blank)…..years. we just might go up 1-0 in the series, imagine the shot of adrenalyn that gives the young Gold Turks.

          Off to the gym now, but i will leave you with another lyric from an all time favourite…………’from little things big things grow’

        • Missing Link

          You like Industry Super funds?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Red headed step kid! Love it

        • onlinesideline

          redheaded step kid

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Dream on white boy

        • Hoss

          Gold mate and one of the classics – ‘then wake up to a brand new day’……………….

        • Brisneyland Local

          For the Wallabies I am working on the following saying:
          “You dont have to be good to start. But you have to start to be good!”

    • Greg

      @KRL Why would a move to the rebels spell the end of Slipper in gold?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Sorry I just re-read the post. For some reason I was thinking he would be going to the Sunwolves and that would spell the end. Going to the Rebels would be a great move for him. Mind you I’d like to see QC do the same. While I understand where he’s at now I think he needs to compromise a bit as well just to keep things moving.

        • Greg

          QC to TH at the Rebels?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well at least he’d be on the field

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Fingers crossed Slips will have the appropriate support networks to rely on in Melbourne. Leaving one’s family and friends when you’ve been through something like his recent turmoil is not easy (I know). I also hope that the Rebels are serious about addressing those cultural issues they’re experiencing – perhaps Slips can be influential in that regard and help himself at the same time.

        • Ads

          woah woah woah! Don’t you just go calling our yellow’ish jerseys yellow!

        • disqus_NMX

          “Canary yellow? That’s Australian gold my friend and don’t you fuckin’ forget it!”

  • Archie

    Who gives a FF whether a coach claims the other team is favourites… what difference will it make??! Seriously slow news day if the media have grasped on to this and even worse if fans think it’s going to affect their team’s chances either way.

    Hansen’s ‘quips’ are inconsequential. Don’t worry move on. In fact most mid week comments from coaches are the same.

    Just like does/should anyone really care when when Chieka throws his toys about the referee after nearly every game? … nope. Just him doing what he does.

    Coaches will be coaches and say what they say to the media. Only their actual coaching behind closed doors influences the fate of their team.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I care when Cheika carries on like a tool when he doesnt like the decision. It is embarrassing for our national coach to behave that way! And I dont think I am on my pat malone there either!

      • Bakkies

        Agreed BL you have to be careful at Twickenham as coaches boxes are open there so you are amongst the public. Bob Dwyer was swearing in front of the Queen in ’91 and four letter words weren’t as socially acceptable back then.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true!

  • Hoss

    Good morning productivity wasters,

    It’s Cup week and the promise, nay, anticipation of a victory lingers in the air, the sweet nectar of victory can almost be tasted

    The Dothraki are extremely beatable, we had a great hit-out against the Irish, we are settled, battle hardened, a bit street smarter, more depth than previously, some young guns with X-Factor and speed (Banks) whilst the AB’s never rose to dizzying heights against Les Bleus, were at times rattled and i reckon this current team is more myth than might. Easy to say – sure as shit yes, but i recall a Noble Laureate once saying ‘the times, they are a changin’

    The side, no point losing sleep over who & what i think. I have faith in masters Cheika and co. I foretold no Arnold or Timu last week and had banks as my only rookie – i reckon the squad is a sum of its whole, not individual parts. I would throw one more prediction into the mix – Banks to Start on the wing with Sauce on the bench.

    Bench

    16 Latu
    17 6A’s
    18 Thor
    19 Hannigan
    20 SImmons
    21 Sauce
    22 Phipps
    23 Toomua.

    Got the flag already flying from the top veranda at home – Wallabies by 6 – go you golden good things.

    Bring it home Cheik.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Love your optimism mate. Not a hope in hell though. AB’s by 13

      • Hoss

        I would have expected nothing less mate, but your time at the top of the heap is ending.

        Pride comes before the fall.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah mate, when the Bledisloe goes it’ll be a smashing and boy will I cop it. Already prepared for the worst.

        • onlinesideline

          Trust me mate, when it happens and it will, after a 15 year drought we wont be smarting too much.

        • Hoss

          Speak for yourself – i have 15 A4 pages of taunts aimed at KRL, itching to use them.

        • Greg

          The problem is that KRL will say “well played, the wobs deserved to win”. Maybe some former trolls will be around.

          Go gold!

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are so right!

        • Ads

          His objectivity does get bloody tiresome doesn’t it?

        • Adrian

          If I get to give the positivity award (to Hoss), KRL should be delivering (and/or receiving) the objectivity award.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry I’ll try and be more of an arsehole

        • Brisneyland Local

          Hoss we cant belittle the only Kiwi worth talking to!

        • Hoss

          I know mate – he has assimilated into the human race well.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Indeed!

        • From NooZealand

          Hi BL, I am also a kiwi that now and then I make some small noise and mainly to support the wallabies.

        • Brisneyland Local

          FNZ, welcome aboard. Sorry to leave you out!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bring them on. I’m guessing sheep, gum boots, sheep, ugg boots, other sports we don’t care about and sheep

        • Hoss

          alright so i have half an A4 page of taunts………..

    • onlinesideline

      Well in context of 4 year development – depth, selections, time to stamp his own whatever it is upon the team – create a winning team, this is it for Cheika in my book. If he cant get a team together to beat the ABs in a match like this, its going to be hard to say he has acheived much except depth and thats all.

      Full SR season and June series for both sides, no injuries for Wallabies, beginning of RC one year out of 2019 World Cup, home game, good prep in best facilities money can buy, a lot of talented footy players to pick …. and according to Google, even a dry pitch.

      • Hoss

        Yep – agree on all fronts and some genuine depth in the squad.

        In my original post i dont have Samu in the squad and believe it or not, its to get Banks on the paddock.

        Latu gives us a line bending / on-baller that Samu would otherwise bring so that allows a 5-3 bench. But it does mean Hooper & Poey must play 80.

        If Samu does get a nod i reckon DHP might be a casualty. I agree he has never put a foot wrong at test level, but i just reckon you dont buy a Ferrari (Bnks) to keep it in the shed – you grab the keys, open it up and see what it can do.

        • onlinesideline

          Im a Latu fan too.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I think the lack of TK is a factor that gives Cheika a bit of leeway.

        We don’t need to win in my eyes… But we do need to be competitive.

    • Brisneyland Local

      The Dothraki will be the stallion that mounts the world.
      and the concept of being pounded by that stallion isnt very enticing!

    • Fatflanker

      High time for the Dothraki to be ‘Unsullied’ of that damn cup, that’s for sure.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I concur! But we have no Grey Worm!

    • Tah Tragic

      Sorry but who is Sauce again? I think I need a cheat sheet near my computer.
      Also, why have you taken an A from 7As?

      • Who?

        Maybe Hoss is dreaming of getting 7A’s little brother Michael (aka 6A’s) back..?

        • Hoss

          My bad, i cant keep up with the Vowels v The Consenants in the squad.

        • Greg

          Warning pedant alert….

          What does “My Bad” mean? “bad” seems to be an adjective pretending to be a noun.

        • Mica

          Aaah rugby and grammar lessons. Does it get any better on a Monday arvo??

        • Brisneyland Local

          A horrible Americanism that has crept into Australian vernacular via that horrible thing called reality tv.

        • Hoss

          Chill homie, its dope brudda.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Zachary

        • Brumby Runner

          Nah, just like the 7th A in A Ala’alatoa, the noun is silent.

      • Moz

        Dane HP = Sauce

      • Hoss

        Inflation ! Or is the 7th A silent………..

        • Missing Link

          surprised you haven’t dubbed BPA “plastic”

        • Hoss

          Hey – i will do the funny stuff ok.

          FFS.

          I had first heard Hoopers deal was $6m dollars – so i had ‘Lee Majors’ already to roll out – then i heard it was ‘only’ $5m – waste of a good nickname

          I will officially unveil my new nickname for Poey though – ‘Brian’ – mistaken for the Messiah.

          From hereon in, the chosen one shall be called ‘Brian’.

    • Adrian

      I think you are pretty right Hoss.

      What I’d like is for the starting front row to be Tuopo, TPN, Sio and the finishing front row to be Kepu, Latu, Robertson…. coming on after 50 min.

      Tuopu and TPN starting (along with Coleman) would allow the team to go up the guts early, with Foley, Beale, Hooper trailing. Cheika knows this style from his Tah days.

      Then change to fast switching controlled by Beale, and backed up by a slightly more mobile finishing pack.

      I think having Kepu on at the end gives greater stability and nouse.

      Robertson has been in great form, despite his reputation. Both Sio and Alaalatoa have had injury worries, but I expect at least one to be ok

      I’m minorly worried that Latu won’t be picked, but BPA is ok.

      I agree re Banks on wing rather than DHP, but not sure it’ll happen either. DHP good catcher, but slow runner!

      I also think that Toomua is only guaranteed a bench on a 5:3 bench arrangement. I’d do 6:2 for this match because some of the forwards are short of a gallop

      • Hoss

        Was impressed with this thought when you posted a few days back mate and it has real merit. I floated the idea of the young buck starting against the Emerald Isle boys in June and i am a fan for exactly what you raise above. Poise, experience, calm and lest we forget – talent to close out a tight one.

        I am not budging off a tight Wallaby win.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That makes a lot of sense but the risk of the young bucks failing early will be one that is almost too high to contemplate which is why I doubt it’ll happen.
        The trouble with an all out attack is that it opens too many holes if it’s not really synced up. I see this happening more on the northern tour than this game

        • Adrian

          Understood KRL.
          I think though that only one young buck (Tuopo), with TPN alongside him isn’t a huge risk

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Don’t get me wrong mate I agree but I think the conservatism of the management will not run with it

        • Adrian

          I think you are right Kiwi

      • Ed

        “(along with Coleman) would allow the team to go up the guts early.” This is where Arnold would be beneficial to the side.
        Coleman will have to lift his game considerably from the Irish series in regards to runs: he made nine runs for two metres in three tests. The Irish do defend tighter around the ruck than the ABs. I do worry for us as I don’t see too many of our forwards making those metres in tight. I hope to be proven wrong but I won’t be surprised if we don’t.

  • Braveheart81

    For all the people that love complaining that Cheika picks players out of position a lot of those same people are happy to select Allan Alalalatoa at LHP despite not playing a minute there this season and potentially for a couple of seasons.

    • Brumby Runner

      Not me BH. I’d have him as starting THP with Tupou on the bench. I will also add that I am more than happy with Robertson as the back up LHP.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think that is more reflective about the quality of the other LHP options.

      For example, I doubt you’d hear many complaints if, with a backrow of 7. Pocock, 8. Timu, Cheika opted to select Hooper at 6 over Hanigan, despite Hooper being a 7 and Hanigan a 6.

      • Braveheart81

        I don’t really care so much about players being “out of position”. The non-preferred or usual position in the scrum is a far different situation than “out of position” in general play though. Given Robertson’s good form I wouldn’t be picking Ala’alatoa to switch sides when he hasn’t played there for a long time. I think it would be recipe for disaster.

        I think the biggest weakness to overcome with Hooper and Pocock starting is the lineout which is why I would pick a jumping backrower in Tui over Timu. I wouldn’t pick Hanigan in my 23. I think he is there though because the preferred option to fill the backrow is a good lineout operator rather than a bigger bodied runner.

        I think Tui is the best abrasive ball carrier out of the three though and I would select him. I would have Samu on the bench in the 20 shirt.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think Robertson has been good around the park but struggled at scrum time. He was okay against Ireland in the scrum (excellent around the park) but he benefitted from Tupou and Latu and was lucky not to be penalised once or twice, and the All Blacks’ scrum will be much more dangerous. I do agree Robertson is playing well though.

          Ala’alatoa was switched to tightbead against France after, so far as I’m aware, never playing there at all.

          The line out was actually solid vs Ireland when Timu was on the field also, despite POMs line out prowess. I would opt for Tui starting at 6 with Pocock and either Timu or Hooper, with the other on the bench.

        • Braveheart81

          Ala’alatoa played THP through the under 20s. I think it has always been his preferred position.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ah okay, thanks for the info.

          As I said, I’d be okay with Robertson at LHP, but if Ala’alatoa had been scrummaging there in training and doing okay he would probably be my preference.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Btw, mate, as much as I don’t always agree with what you have to say, I think your posts are great and I love your contributions. You make me reconsider things and, such as with this post, teach me new things also. I appreciate it.

        • Parker

          Hanigan has no business being in the team. Out of his depth.

  • Adrian

    Bookies give Australia 10.5 start.

    I think odds will shorten during the week.

    I’m not game to be too specific until I see the teams, but at the moment Australia look a real chance.

    Cheika has gone a bit conservative leaving Arnold and Timu out, but if he picks the other guys right, he’ll have enough players that can make good ground up the guts on the field at any one time.

    I think that having 3 or 4 crashing on at any one time is enough. More than that and they won’t get used.

    We need at least 3 of Tuopo, TPN, Kepu, Latu, Coleman, Tui on the field at all times. Sio and Alaalatoa need to lift if selected. Selection of the bench is crucial.

    I’m a heavy runner fan myself, but I do see that a few other forwards are required too in a balanced team

    • Hoss

      All right, i’ll bite – ‘balanced twat’ ???

      • Adrian

        Edit done now

        • Hoss

          If Nutta is on here today i think you guys should talk – a typo, or sinister insight ???

          Nutta – you online ??

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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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