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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s rugby news is across ALL the local weekend results, covering uni 7s, emerging states and of course, the NRC.  The Argies have also dropped their squad and it’s missing one of their stars.

NRC Wrap

That one's gotta hurt for the Rays. Sad emoji.

That one’s gotta hurt for the Rays. Sad emoji.

I can’t adequately translate the sound of a DJ doing some “phat” scratching on records into written words, so you’ll have to imagine the sound effects for yourself.

Anyway, the awkward opening sentence is to lead into a quick NRC round 4 wRAP up (get it? I’m extremely sorry….)

Getting things underway in Adelaide we had two teams who it’s fair to say are not living up to pre-season expectations.  With one win apiece going into the fixture both teams’ seasons probably hinged on the result and it was Brisbane City getting the goods over Melbourne Rising 33 points to 28.  Green and Gold’s resident Rebels groupie has pieced together a comprehensive run down of the game for your pleasure.

After the city slickers got the W it was over to the Queensland Country boys up on the Goldy to try to maintain their unblemished record this year when they hosted the high-flying Force.  In contrast to the earlier Saturday match both teams have been living up to their pre-season hype and it promised to be a cracking match.

The opening exchanges were all the Force as they jumped out to a quick lead before Country stage a comeback and only a try 5 minutes from time and Ian Prior’s perfect kicking separated the teams as the Force hung on 42 points to 40.

Sunday saw the NSW Country Eagles host the Vikings in Armidale in an absolutely cracking match. I almost don’t want to give away the result here as it had a bit of everything, tries, tackles, kicks….you know, all the usual rugby stuff but there was also some wonderful theatre that Nathan (who hasn’t replied to my instragram tag…tut tut) has captured just nicely in his rundown of the match.

The weekend rounded out with the Rays welcoming the Drua to Concord Oval. The Rays were desperate to get their first win of the season while a win of any margin would be enough to see the Fijians go top of the table as the competition passes its halfway point.  Unfortunately for the Sydney faithful it was the visitors who kept the locals winless in 2018 taking the match 34-31. All-round writing star Nick has put together this shakedown of the contest.

With four of seven rounds of the NRC completed the ladder is taking shape, Drua, Queensland Country, Vikings and the Force sitting clear in the top four with Brisbane City only 4 points back in fifth place. The Rising, Eagles and Rays are not mathematically out of the running but it’s going to be hard from here.

More Local Results

South Australia and Northern Territory have been flexing their muscle

South Australia and Northern Territory have been flexing their muscle

The Emerging State Championships conclude today after three days of competition between the states and territories where rugby hasn’t as strong a foothold as the traditional east coast markets or the ever-improving west and metro Victoria.

Day one’s matches saw home side South Australia rout Tasmania in an eight try to one thumping, the locals soaring to a 50 point to five win.

The other day one match was an almost identical score line with Northern Territory racking up a half century against Victorian Country who managed to at least convert their try leaving the final score 50 to seven.

Day two saw even more cricket scores racked up as this time Northern Territory blew apart Tasmania 85 to five.

And then, in an effort not to be outdone, South Australia, led by Pita Bulewa’s 5 tries, nearly racked up a ton against Vic Country, the final score ending up 93 blot.

Today’s final matches have Tasmania going toe to toe with South Australian Residents.

And the big showdown between the 143-points-for, 5-points-against South Australians and the 135-points-for, 12-point-against Northern Territory.

A match that will decide who truly are the kings of the 129th-139.5th meridian.

Meanwhile in the seven a side game, Griffith Uni walked away winners in the third round of the Aon Uni 7’s competition after beating fellow XXXX lovers University of Queensland in the 28-7.

In the other final day matches Macquarie took the bronze in their 24-12 win over Sydney Uni, University of Canberra were too good for University of New England to finish the weekend in fifth, seventh place went to Uni of Adelaide after keeping a clean sheet against Uni of Tas and Bond thumped Melbourne to clinch ninth place.

The win moves Griffith into equal first place in the competition standings, they join UQ and Macquarie on top of the table with 54 points.

Round 4 runs from 6-7 October at Bond Uni on the sunny Gold Coast.

World Rugby Committee Comes to Town

WRCEOBrettGosper

Local lad Brett Gosper and his buddies are in Sydney this week

World Rugby is meeting in Sydney this week and there is a heap of issues on the table.

Of keen interest to Australian fans, well, maybe interest isn’t the right word to use, but it certainly reared its head more than once during Super Rugby and during the southern hemisphere’s test window was the issue of RED CARDS.

World Rugby’s CEO Brett Gosper spoke to the media before the meetings kick off this week and was quizzed on the topics of tackle height and the cards handed out to go with them he seemed to very diplomatic with his response, “We’re trying to lower the tackle height so we can reduce the incidence of concussion and injury and we know from evidence that that’s what that does”.

And added what I’m sure is the best thing Aussie fans have heard since the Reds’ ground announcer started playing Daryl Braithwaite’s The Horses during quiet periods in play, “We just have to be consistent with our calls and make sure it’s very clear what we mean by a head high tackle or a tackle that’s too high and so on and I think we’ll get there but you always go through this period of people believing there are too many cards because you’re adjusting player behaviour”.  Consistent….? Please make it so.

There was more for local fans with Gosper touching on the unique TMO-related grief seemingly only experienced on this side of the globe (the French may disagree) and SANZAAR’s request for a review of the whole shebang,

“It is possible there could be changes,” Gosper said.

“We had a working group looking at that, they’ll report into the rugby committee this week so we can’t share the results of that because rugby committee haven’t discussed it yet”.

“There were some discussions, there were some sensitivities out here in particular”.

It’s not all TMOs interventions and red cards they’ll discuss though, there’s next year’s men’s World Cup, the 2021 women’s World Cup and apparently player welfare is on the agenda….although you’d think that falls under TMOs and/or red cards.

Stay tuned.

Argies Squad to Face All Blacks

Ramiro Moyano flies high, this guy got SKILLZ

Ramiro Moyano flies high, this guy got SKILLZ

Looking to build on their wonderful Rugby Championship to date Argentina, have suffered a blow with hot-stepping, try-scoring winger Ramiro Moyano not named as part of the 30-man squad who will face the All Blacks this weekend in Buenos Aires.

The 26-test veteran picked up a rib cartilage injury in Los Pumas’ win over the Wallabies on the Gold Coast and will not play. It’s not going to help Argentina as they hope to go one better than their best result against New Zealand, a draw in 1985, which coincidentally was also in Buenos Aires.

SQUAD,

Piggies

Matias Alemanno
Agustin Creevy
Diego Fortuny
Santiago Garcia Botta
Ramiro Herrera
Marcos Kremer
Tomas Lavanini
Juan Manuel Leguizamon
Tomas Lezana
Pablo Matera
Santiago Medrano
Julian Montoya
Javier Ortega Desio
Guido Petti
Nahuel Tetaz Chaparro
Juan Zeiss

Show Ponies

Gonzalo Bertranou
Emiliano Boffelli
Sebastian Cancelliere
Tomas Cubelli
Santiago Alvarez Fourcade
Jeronimo de la Fuente
Bautista Delguy
Bautista Ezcurra
Santiago Gonzalez Iglesias
Martin Landajo
Juan Cruz Mallia
Matias Moroni
Matias Orlando
Nicolas Sanchez

 

  • Kokonutcreme

    World Rugby rumoured to scrap end of year tours in November after this year and replacing with a League of Nations tournament instead.

    Tournament will alternate between hemispheres each year.

    • Andrew H

      Where’d you hear/read that?

    • Dud Roodt

      So pretty much a mini-world cup every single year?
      Not sure it won’t devalue the actual RWC

      • Greg

        I still want to see some three game series. Hopefully this will be kept alive somewhere.

      • Christopher

        Worth a shot. They need to do something drastic to revitalise interest. I think North vs South once every 4 years is too much. Is this the answer??? – willing to find out.

        • Dud Roodt

          ” I think North vs South once every 4 years is too much.”

          As in too long between?

          I’m just worried that this will make the RWC a bit unnecessary for anyone other than the teams ranked from 12-20 (although on the positive side, we could well be in that group!).

          I’m not sure the game needs revitalisation anywhere but in Australia. They don’t struggle to sell out games in the North

        • Christopher

          Sorry yeah – too long a wait. every year maybe too much though, maybe every second would be good.
          One positive element is the idea of making top 12 not top 8. Based on current rankings this gives Fiji, Japan and Tonga much needed big game practice (and almost Georgia). Nothing to stop a 13-24 tournament with promotion/relegation. That is one of the biggest issues with bridging the tiers is the fact they never play “inter tier”.

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah I agree with all of that.
          Certainly one major area WR needs to look at is what to do with countries like Georgia who certainly deserve a crack at the big time.

        • Nutta

          Off-set it to run 2yrs after World Cup. That way there’s a tournament every 2yrs and not conflicting each other.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree with that mate

    • Packy

      12 teams into 4 pools gets three teams per pool.
      And they play three games each? must play someone twice.
      But go for it World Rugby.
      A League of Nations cup sounds good

    • disqus_NMX

      At our current trajectory, it won’t be long before we wouldn’t qualify.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Ouch!

  • Andrew H

    Morning friends, my personal take on the weekend-
    How good is the NRC? Tight games, anyone can win, the skills on display.
    How good is the emerging states comp and the NRC going to Adelaide? Rugby in oz needs to do more to engage the community and I hope this helps bring the game to new folks in Adelaide.
    How weird is the mid-championship break? Although my liver enjoyed it…
    And regarding rugby’s red-headed step child, if Slater escapes suspension I’m not watching the grand final.

    • Custard Taht

      My only question about the NRC, is Nathan Grey the defence coach for all the teams?

      • RugbyReg

        That’s a bit of a common whinge about the NRC. But remember when Super Rugby was at it’s peak in the mid-late 90s? Scores were massive. Lots of tries.

        I don’t see anything wrong with teams scoring tries.

        • Greg

          Lots of tries is great and puts bums on seats…. provided we are learning to defend somewhere as well. Otherwise the step up to Super Rugby and Test Rugby is a real challenge with some messy results.

        • Custard Taht

          As Greg mentioned below, defence still needs to have emphasis for the next levels.

      • Andrew H

        Do you think the try-scoring stats are influenced by the almost gentlemen’s agreement that seems to exist whereby (almost) no penalty kicks are taken? Just a suggestion.

        • Custard Taht

          Quite possibly….but the defence still needs to be broken for tries to be scored.

        • Andrew H

          For sure, for sure.
          Still a cracking round though, the biggest margin was 7 points and even that came courtesy of a try after full-time.

        • Custard Taht

          Hopefully the crowds build and it becomes a commercially viable competition.

      • Happyman

        Keep in mind the NRC is played in Spring with warn temperatures and fast grounds. If you look at he English Prem at this time of the year you will see high scoring games. As the winter takes hold up there the games get tighter with lower scores.
        My other point is that teams have little time to together before the season starts and that means a lack of cohesion and defence is most affected by time together.

  • Greg

    Thanks Andrew and Good Morning all.

    Here is the herald take on the team to play Sth Africa.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/wallabies-aren-t-working-selectors-must-tear-up-the-script-20180923-p505ib.html

    I would keep Folau on the wing and try Toomua at 10 with Foley off the bench.

    • Andrew H

      I’m just happy the writer used “fewer” instead of “less”. I think he’s mad to suggest that team though.

    • Happyman

      I really stopped paying attention when when he said Foley to ten. It will happen but it is really a retrograde step. He has actually regressed since 2015. Also based on that article only players from NSW are any chance except Naivalu who has more mistakes in his game than any winger in Australia.

      • Who?

        Not sure how Naivalu could have more mistakes than Koroibete…

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And besides Naivalu has showed more at Wallaby lvl

    • Hoss

      Me thinks he is nuttier than squirrel droppings.

      • Funk

        It wouldn’t surprise me at all, to read a news article in the not to distant future about Foley taking out and AVO against Cully…I think Cully’s man crush on Foley might be getting a little bit too much for all of us!!!

    • Brisneyland Local

      To quote Austen Powers and Hoss:
      “That coffee tastes like shit.” “Thats because it is shit Austen!”
      “Oh….Its a bit nutty!”

      I am scared that that is exactly what Cheika is going to roll out, and it is going to have things done to it that wouldn’t be done to $2 hooker on pay Thursday!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Cully has such a man love on Foley and Folau. I hope it doesn’t happen this way and while I agree with TPN being dropped he needs to go all the way as there are better 2’s coming through. I’m pretty sure Folau at 13 won’t happen. I hope he stays on the wing but won’t be surprised to see him at 15

      • laurence king

        The side is not much different than what I think Cheika will pick, apart from Beale at fullback. All the usual suspects. Being a Waratah supporter, I guess I’ve never really believed the the whole thing about favouritism towards the Tahs, but I’m starting to think there may be some unconscious bias happening. I just think that there will be just minor tinkering. If it was one of my canvases, I’d hose the bloody thing down, and not, I repeat, not get out the smallest dam brush and tinker.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but that’s normal. I’d go for who I knew as well. I agree he won’t put KB at 15 I just hope he doesn’t move Folau. The idea that he’s a good 13 is just laughable

        • Adrian

          Agree KRL… Izzy at 13 defeats most of the reasons for him being there.

          Sure didn’t work with Tahs in 2016…and it was tried for about 4 games.

        • laurence king

          Kurtley is fantastic running from FB in my opinion, however, he always struggles catching the high ball if there is any pressure on him and as the saying goes, ‘I can cope with anything except pressure’.

        • Adrian

          I don’t think he favours Tahs but does inadvertently favour those he knows.

          In the end he’s judged by results, and he knows it.

          I think he’s loyal to those he appointed (assistant coaches) and trust his own judgement more. The current style is nothing like Cheika’s 2014 style.

          Re players, Hannigan, Phipps, Robertson are in much better form now, than when they were first slagged off in 2016/17. I think others are better, but not much in 2018. They haven’t caused the losses

        • Brumby Runner

          That’s a stretch Adrian to say that Phipps has improved since 2016/17. I haven’t seen it myself. In fact, I reckon most posters on here would agree that he has gone backwards and are looking forward to him being replaced by either or both of Gordon and Powell.

          Ned Hanigan has been written up as having improved his aggression and impact on games this year. Again, I haven’t seen the evidence. He was a weak performer (toughness-wise) in a weak Tahs pack and will continue to be dominated at test level if and when he gets picked.

          Robertson has improved this year, quite noticeably, and has put in some very good shifts with the Wallabies. But he is in the very unfortunate position of probably dropping down the pecking order once (and if) Kepu establishes himself on the LH side, James Slipper makes a return to test duty, and/or JP Smith becomes eligible and puts pressure on the selections.

  • Xaviera

    TMO protocols will change and we’ll see those changes trialed in the November Test window. Less involvement from the TMO and more empowerment for the referee which will the referee to lead the discussion, rather than be beholden to the TMO. Sounds like a positive step.

  • Hoss

    Morning Faithful,

    Test match week and much too discuss.

    Would love to see Gus Cotrell get a start this week. I am a fan of his Fardy-esque willingness to get in and mix it up on the physicality side and his sheer grunt. Nothing flash, but a good ol’ fashioned six who can take some heat off Brian at the breakdown and maybe also provide some protection for him as well. I would need a Frebel Fan to enlighten me on his use at the Line-out, don’t recall seeing him used much as a jumper (surely the only point Ned outpoints him ??). I would start him for the expected heavy hand-to-hand combat and have Ned for the last 25-30 for his motor and line-out skills.

    Would like to see a Toomua at 10 and Eldrich at 12 this week, but i suspect Foley is an addiction Cheik just cant shake and Spanners will start, with i suspect, Toomua at 12, with Beale on the pine (deservedly so).

    Would surprise me to see a Sanchez / Gordon pairing in the halves. Sauce to stay at 15 and Dusty at 14 with Banks to get a go at 11.

    Up front Fainga has to start, Taf has aged 12 years in the last 6 months and i cant see him at RWC19, More likely Latu/ Uelese / Fainga.. Backrow Coleman & Arnold.

    Pine riders. TPN, Thor, Kepu, Simmons, Hannigan, Timu Gordon, Beale.

    • OnTheBurst

      Eldrich? sorry missed that one…

      • Hoss

        Always looking for a hole – like Tiger Eldrich Woods

        • Greg

          The Americans have a habit of saying “get in the hole” at golf games. Extremely inappropriate at times.

        • Hoss

          Could call him Gilbert, i have never seen a faux 10 get hit in the head three times with the Gilbert in a career – probable stamped on his forehead by now.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          trebliG

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very witty! Mustn’t have had enough coffee today as that took a while to register.

        • Hoss

          Gold

        • Brumby Runner

          KB surely was the original Gilbert Hoss.

        • Who?

          That’s the old nickname from the Bloemfontein game in 2010. :-) Amazing lack of self preservation for it to happen three times in a career!

    • Brumby Runner

      Not a Frebel Fan Hoss, but a Gus Cottrell fan. I really like his abrasiveness on the field. In the lineout, he has been mainly jumping at No 2 for the Rebels and doing an excellent job there. But for the Rising he played No 4 a couple of matches ago and was their main lineout operator jumping in the middle. Against Qld Country I think, and up against the likes of Hockings and Blyth iirc. Just remember he got all of his takes and looked the goods. The evidence is that he would not be less effective in the lineout than Hanigan.

      Of course he would offer a lot more in other play than Hanigan imo.

      • Hoss

        Hi mate. Yep, there’s a lot to like about Gus and i think he compliments Poey & Hooper (lets face it, that combo aint gonna change). It gives us a second on-baller to help Poey and allows Hooper to play that bit wider.

        No down side to starting Cottrell in my book.

  • Greg

    You have some surprises (for me) there.
    Cooper? really? Whether a good idea or not we honestly don’t know but will he be “enjoying” his rugby enough to be selected?
    What’s your thinking with the two captains.

    • Adrian

      Cooper?
      A bit of SR next year + a bit of Castle + a bit of other politics + a smile + no-one else + tallenred lad

      • Funk

        If we lose the next two games and Castle forces a selection panel on Cheiks…anything is possible???

        • Adrian

          Based on what Castle said and didn’t say, I reckon something along those lines is certain after RC, irrespective of whether we win the next 2 games or not.

          It might not be called a selection panel, but something will happen along those lines, even if it is called a “Director of Rugby”, …or similar

        • Hoss

          I reckon its a lock mate, regardless of the results against the Dirt Farmers & Silver Medalist’s.

          Reckon you can lock in a selection panel of 3.

          Cheik can coach, but he’s a dogs breakfast as selector.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It’s going to be interesting on how that is managed. Cheika is an alpha male who likes being boss (and before all the keyboard warriors get on board that’s not a negative it’s a description) and if there is a selection panel it’ll have to be pretty clear on how it’s managed.
          It has the potential to allow Cheika a ready made excuse of “well if I’d been allowed to pick X then………”

        • Hoss

          At 50% win rate the last train to Excuseville has well and truly left the platform.

          If he doesn’t like it he may choose to pursue his happiness elsewhere.

        • Who?

          After this RC, we’re very likely to be looking at a 2 and 7 record. After Tokyo, 2 and 8. From a team not in transition, not in flux, with established coaching staff, an established captain, a largely settled backline (i.e. we know Cheika’s preference is Genia – Foley – Beale and Folau at 15, DHP and Koroibete on the wings, and one of TK or Kerevi at 13 pending injury).
          The only reason a coach isn’t marched in those circumstances is that the employer can’t afford the payout.

  • Greg

    A “team and coach selection panel” of KRL, Hoss and BL?

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    couldn’t do worse mate. I’d back you there as I think you also understand Cheika better than most

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Andrew, I only actually saw the 2nd half of the Drua vs Rays. I thought the Rays threw it away actually as they tried to go expansive when they didn’t need to. Should have closed shop once they were ahead and force the Druas into that tight rugby they hate.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I normally wouldn’t bet against you mate as you do seem to be pretty spot on. However, here’s where I think you’ll be wrong.

    TPN won’t make it, unless there is a dramatic change up in the remaining games this year.
    Not so sure on Skelton and I think if he plays well Richie Arnold may be a surprise selection.
    I don’t think Cooper will get selected but he’s as good a bet as anyone unless someone does actually step up next year

    • Missing Link

      I reckon Matt Philip will earn a spot over both of those blokes

      • Hoss

        Youve got Luke Jones coming back too at 4/5 & 6

    • Adrian

      Understood KRL.

      I reckon the Cheika “plan” involves blooding young hookers, one of whom will go to go WC along with experienced TPN, and mid-level Latu. I reckon TPN certain, so long as he’s fit, and will probably be on bench with Kepu.

      Skeleton aparently taking lineouts and playing well in this his last English season. Available for a Wallaby and/or Waratah signature next March,..but could sign sooner. Not sure Cheika likes the Arnold style, so won’t like twin I’m thinking.

      I’m punting on QC getting selected because I think Castle is trying to cleanse RA of recent incongruent and stupid anomalies and thinking. She knows how stupid it is, and looks when someone is getting $600k and not being picked, particularly when there is no-one else in the frame. She’ll force the issue if necessary…IMO

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think a lot may rest on the next two weeks and what occurs in SA and Argentina. If there is more than one loss I think you might see some changes in the team management and that will have an impact on the team.

        I think if the 2 losses occur then you could see QC in the mix but I think it’ll still rest on him playing for a super team next year.

        I also think Cheika will keep Hanigan because he won’t admit he’s made a mistake and he believes he offers cover at lock and 6.

  • laurence king

    I just loved that tackle (I use the term loosely) by Quade on the tryline on the weekend. It reminded me of the french wingers sidestep of Jonah Lomu in the semi of the 99 world cup. Quade’s tackle would have done a bull fighter proud the way he slid around the oncoming runner.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah sort of questions his ability to come back. I’d love him to play at 10 for the Rebels but if I was his coach I’d have him practice tackling from basics right through and I’d tie his contract to his performance at tackling. I actually feel sorry for him because he’s obviously never been trained properly at the skill. Too many coaches in love with his attacking skills and not focusing on his shortfalls

      • laurence king

        Your being too hard on him, I hear he’s been offered a contract in Madrid

  • Huw Tindall

    Never too early to talk selections!!

    I feel it may just be a little too far for TPN but who knows. It’s a shorter season without June tests so maybe he can make it. Probably still the best scrumming hooker we have but he has lost pace and lineout is still a bit sus.

    What about the Smith brothers in the front row? Think they are eligible too. Ruan has been cutting it up in NRC. Could be smokey selections.

    Skelton would be interesting. Has been out of the side for a while though so could be tough to get back and learn all the patterns. His set piece needs to be top notch though so if that’s developed give him a look.

    You’ve dropped Hanigan I see. May be tough on the lad but with Naisarani eligible, Dempsey on the return, and McMahon potentially coming back there is a lot of competition. Hanigan is definitely the best lineout jumper at 6 and can move into 4/5 if he has to. Cheika seems to like the 4/5/6 utility player.

    Only other thing I’d question is Naivalu. He’s done nothing for a while and is trading on past form. Surely DHP is in there? I’d personally question Koroibete as well. Just hasn’t shown a enough learnings to be a class winger. Room for Banks maybe but then we’ve got a lot of 15s and not many out and out wingers.

    • Adrian

      Yes, tricky Huw.
      Hannigan a chance of course, and he’s been ok. If no McMahon, then Hannigan.

      Naivalu for speed really, which would make DHP very unlucky.

      I kind of like Banks, and he might trump them both. I’ve seen him make huge mistakes,..but who hasn’t

      • Brumby Runner

        Looking for speed, don’t forget Tony Pulu. Playing for the Brumbies next year, has terrific pace and I believe is Aussie eligible.

        Personally, I wouldn’t include either of Skelton or Pulu in the team until they prove their worth through Super next season.

        • Adrian

          I wouldn’t pick them either Brunby until they show something.

          That is just the team that I think will be picked after everyone has shown their wares!

          I’d forgotten Pulu, but I hope he’s in the mix

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Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

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