Monday’s Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the Wallabies result provide slight optimism, Twiggy’s competition continue to develop, changes to the Waratahs coaching set up and the Classic Wallabies continue their great work.

Brought to you by the master of Monday News, Ned Stevens 

Better than Nothing?


In the second match of the Spring Tour, the Wallabies have walked away with a 26-7 win over the Italians.

In a game where everyone expected an Australian victory against the 13th ranked nation (only 6 spots worse than us), Cheika’s men continued to show both positives and negatives that continue to frustrate all fans.

An improved defence was offset by some woeful attacking finishing for a side that really should be putting 50 over the men in blue.

The Beale-Foley-Toomua change up didn’t work, with Foley looking out of place at inside centre, a position he has rarely played.

Toomua though seems to me as the most likely piece of unlocking the Wallabies much needed discipline and consistency. Yes, he isn’t going to throw that miracle pass that Foley might have the ability for, however you know what you are going to get from him, allowing you to shape a plan around it. Foley’s lack of consistency is usually the barometer for the Wallabies and removing him for a less volatile option could help reduce the highs and lows.

Against what many GAGR fans thought, our old friend AAC give us something to smile about.

The old fella rolled around once again and showed the same skillset which made him a wallaby regular.

Yet with a World Cup in a year Cheika’s choice will only be vindicated if the form can be carried into Super Rugby and onto the Cup.

If anyone could do it, it’d be AAC.

In positive news Ireland beat the All Blacks, something everyone in the world loves to see with a 16-9 win, along with South Africa scrapping past Scotland 26-20 and England jumping over Japan 35-15.

Australia face England at Twickenham this weekend.

Rapid Rugby Revamp

Western Force swing the ball wide

Western Force swing the ball wide

Andrew ‘Twiggy’ Forrest’s dream competition in the Asian-Pacific region is beginning to take shape with the competitions rules and regulations coming to light.

According to, the competition received the ticket of approval from World Rugby on Friday, with a prize of a million buckeroonies for the first place team.

The competition kicks off in February and will be based out of Hong Kong with teams coming from Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Fiji, Samoa, and Japan, along with the Western Force.

The following trial laws will also be in place for Twigs masterpiece:

- No direct kicks for touch from inside the 22m area to encourage ball-in-hand counter-attacks (Should help the Australians with a lack of kicking skills)

- A power try, scored from a move starting inside a team’s own 22m area, will be worth nine points with no conversion

- Killing the ball for a penalty will not end the power try move

- Penalty goals are reduced from three to two points (rules against kicking, again brilliant for the Aussies)

- Defence a further 5m back at the scrum (Ahhh the old union becoming closer to league trick)

- A team retains possession if the ball is kicked from their own 40m and bounces out in the opposition 22m (Some would even call this a ’40-20’ if they dared)

- No ‘mark’ call in the 22m area

- 10 rolling substitutions

- Reduced time for kick-offs and penalties

- Red-carded players can be replaced after 15 minutes

- An orange-card system for match review officials

Interesting to say the least.

Tandy’ing to the next level

Tahs on top.

Tahs on top.

Welshman Steve Tandy is set to join the Waratahs for the duration of 2018 as defence coach, filling the gap Nathan Grey left when he moved on to the Wallabies. Yep. I just said that. How?

Tandy’s addition will expand the NSW coaching staff after head coach Daryl Gibson took charge of defence in 2018. reported Tandy spent time with the Waratahs during the Super Rugby season this year and quickly established strong relationships with the players.

Tandy’s only 38 but has had strong coaching pedigree after coaching Ospreys for 6 years and will really bring some experience into the young coaching set up in NSW.

He also played at Ospreys for 7 years and isn’t too far out of the game, fitting in with the young talent time Gibson’s coaching group appears.

Tandy brings a wealth of international experience to the club and will provide a different viewpoint to most of the Southern Hemisphere coaches, hopefully bringing some of the crash and bash Welsh defence with him.

“The players responded well to Steve during his time with us earlier this year,” Gibson said.

“He came over here for his own development and provided us with a different perspective on how we approached our game and now has the defence portfolio for him to develop and implement.”

“That is a part of our game that we need to improve on markedly in 2019 and it will be Steve’s role to help us strengthen that area.”

Hopefully we will continue to see Super Rugby improvements with coaching decisions like these and improved rosters.

Classic Wallabies role out


The classic Wallabies continue to do such an amazing job in promoting our game, this time by putting on a brilliant day in Orange.

Several hundred youngsters and a few oldies got to the chance to rub up against some of the stars of yesteryear when they turned up at Endeavour Oval over the weekend. 

A ton of kids turned up for the clinics early in the day, and later on we saw the likes of Radike Samo, Morgan Turinui, Sam Payne, Stephen Moore and Justin Harrison take on the Central West Barbarians. 

With a team boasting experience of over 380 Wallaby test caps and over 1100 Super Rugby caps, the Classic Wallabies were going to be a challenge for the Baa Baas. The lads from the bush though made a game of it, eventually going down swinging 44-21 to the men in gold.

Stephen Hoiles however emphasised that with the Classic Wallabies, the emphasis isn’t on winning, but to spread the word to young kids in Australia about the game.

“The idea of it is to be fun,” Hoiles said to the Daily Liberal.

“Obviously we want to win, it’s rather embarrassing if we don’t but we want a competitive side and they were, they were tough, it was played in good spirits and I think the crowd saw that.

”You look at the scoreboard and that’s the best score you can hope for.

“You just know you’re playing an over-35 side, so you’re relatively like-for-like.

“We knew they’d have some players a little bit off the pace and some who are very good and can turn it on when they want to, pretty similar to us.

“We had variety, players who are 10 years retired players who one year retired, it’s a lot of fun. That’s probably what makes a lot of the entertainment.”

The festivities continued well into the night at the after-match function, what a surprise.

I really do want to give a big wrap to the Classic Wallabies. These are things that help our game. There is only so many articles you can write kicking and screaming about how bad everything is.

Eventually you just have to do something.

Great to see.

  • Steve

    “Yes, he isn’t going to throw that miracle pass that Foley might have the ability for…”
    Which passes are we talking about here? None spring to mind.

    What does come to mind is that Toomua consistently runs with shoulders square to the defence, makes good distribution choices and doesn’t throw intercepts or get charged down.

    I actually wasn’t surprised when George Ford described Toomua as far and away the best 12 he had ever played with.
    For mine it’s just disappointing we don’t have a decent 10 so he can slot in where he should.

    • Brisneyland Local

      We might soon.

      • disqus_NMX

        Absolutely nothing stopping him from being picked and put on the plane today, except for an Ass Clown coach that only likes yes-men.

        • Brisneyland Local

          True. would think after the NRC finished a few weeks ago, he would not be match fit. But sure as hell I would have him in the squad and training.

        • disqus_NMX

          He’s only playing 10 mate, not 7 :P Anyway, he’s more match fit than any player coming back from injury, or any player in history that’s been picked straight from club rugby. I’d put him straight into 10, and if perchance he gets gassed, sub him off and move Toomua in a spot. Anyway, it’s all hypothetical with Ass Clown in charge.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good point on both counts.

        • John Miller

          QC would probably match-fitter than recently long-term injury returned, moderately NRC effective Dempsey, or Japanese league retiree returned mid-30’s AAC. He’d sure as hell be a better flyhalf than either.

        • Brisneyland Local

          He is a better fly half than spanners Foley. But so is David Peterson the Fly half from the Wagga Wagga U15 D Grade.

    • Funk

      “Which passes are we talking about here? None spring to mind.”
      Pretty sure he was thinking about those miracle intercept passes he is well know for throwing.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Toomu is almost as good at 10 a season 12, but I do agree that our ideal 10-12-13 going forward is likely to be 10. Quade, 12. Toomu, 13. Kuridrani.

      You know, the one our precious (and far superior) coach recognised was best 5 years ago?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I think going forward it’s Toomua/Quade/someone new 10, Kerevi, 12 and Petaia 13. I’ve said for a few years now that I think Kerevi is the best 12 in Australia and I think he proved that on Saturday. I’m not sure he has the defence and distribution skills needed at 13 but he’s very good at 12. I know people have said his defence isn’t good but I put that down more to that dickhead Grey’s stupid system than the players.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t see any difference in terms of distribution skills required for 12 and 13 – both centres should be able to pass well and consistently, but I agree he doesn’t have the defensive nous to play 13. Better to use him at 12 where he creates more space, has more front on tackles and can use his really soft hands to set away his outside men. I agree, he’s a decent defender at 12, but average at 13.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Oh ok. I see them as being really different although I admit that’s more because of how NZ employs them. The 12 is more of the rock able to smash an attack or defence through power and strength whereas the 13 is more of the guile and clever player using the ball rather than brute strength.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Is that really the case anymore though? ALB and Crotty have played at 12 most this season. SBW aside, the All Blacks sent to currently prefer the player with guile to someone like Laumape.

          It was only really Nonu that was a rock, and he had good distribution and passing since 2010 at least.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah it is because the preferred starting 12 is still someone who straightens the line, takes the ball up hard into a tackle and provides a dominant defence. All of the players and SBW play that way at 12. It’s actually interesting to see the different way Crotty plays at 12 & 13. I think ALB is more of a 13 than 12 but as a reserve he covers both

  • Bobas
    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Brilliant. :)

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, Well done Ireland that was a fantastic game and Ireland obviously wanted it more. No excuses it was well played and they absolutely deserved the win. I must admit I’m not that concerned. I think Hansen is on track. At the start of the year he said that the ABs were changing their play to bring in new tactics as he felt everyone else was catching up. He didn’t expect it to go smoothly and said that the team isn’t there yet and there’s still ongoing work to cement it. I’m happy with the progress and I think we’ll be fine for September next year.

    Mate, my biggest problem with the Italian game is the number of players who went on tour to hold the tackle bags and weren’t used. Who would blame any of them if they turned their backs on Australian rugby and looked off shore for their future. The rubbish that the coaching team are dealing out is killing Australian rugby.

    Not that happy with the rule changes. I think it takes the game too far away from World Rugby rules and provides too much of an excuse for the Wallaby coaches to ignore anyone playing in this competition.

    • Happyman

      Mate I always disagree with the wanted it more comment. I would always go with a lack of execution. I would suggest that no matter what country you play for you everyone wants it the same. It is just ability and systems execution that creates results.

      Could not agree more with the tackle bag statement. My god you have a team that is not playing with any confidence but there is no pressure to perform.

      Agree on the last but one would suggest evidence suggests that RA don’t look any further west than Parramatta for the players to make up the Wallabies.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I guess it depends on what you mean by wanted it more. I think this game meant for the Irish than it did for the ABs in that for a couple of years they have demonstrated they can win at home but just never quite got there. If the ABs won then; “ok good”, However the Irish winning is like “OMFG!!!!!!!! this is so friggen awesome” so that’s what I mean by they wanted it more.

        • Damo

          KRL, it such a good test match. 2 very skilled sides throwing the kitchen sink at each other. Full time and so many players from both sides sprawled over the field, totally spent. The efforts and desperation of Read and Retallick trying to regain the momentum of the game in the last 15 mins was something to behold.
          The stark and unfortunate contrast for me on the day was the performance of Jacob Stockdale, skill and commitment the whole game vs Israel Folou’s lazy dialled in effort for the Wallabies. There is something very shaky in the Wallabies camp culture. Until this is fixed it actually won’t matter what team we select.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agree 100% mate

        • Happyman

          I think the Irish will now have self belief and the ABs will now have some self doubt. All in All I firmly believe that the RWC is not the AB’s to lose anymore, whichever team gets some form at the right time will win it. It could be any of the following IMHO.
          In no particular order

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think Ireland, NZ, England, SA and France for sure. Not so sure any of the others will get to the finals based on current form.

    • Human

      Clutching at straws KRL….it is clear to an unbiased observer that the AB’s are past it…2 losses so far this year; 1 from 2 on the northern excursion (equal with the Wobs); and failed to put 50 on the Wallabies in 3 tests this year – that is a slide in any language. Sorry mate, jump on the green and gold train while there is room…the Wobs have equaled their longest winning streak this year and are clearly on the rise.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha gold mate. Still my 2nd team but getting hard to keep excited for them

      • Missing Link

        Some may say that the most telling observation this year is that the Wallabies are the only team to beat Ireland this year, however I think the more interesting one is this is the first time NZ have lost 2 tests in a calendar year

        • Human

          Bugger, they won Bill that year.

    • UTG

      Isn’t Banks the only player not to have got any gametime on the tour thus far (excluding Petaia and Arnold who were originally named but injured)? I’d have liked him to start but it’s a bit misleading to suggest there’s a whole heap of them holding the tackle bags.

      • Human

        Valetini is another I think.

        • UTG

          Yeah I’d have love to have seen him play but he’s been picked as a development player and rightly or wrongly they’re never given a trot.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah maybe not a heap but honestly this was the perfect game to rest players and some obviously need it.

    • Singapore Sling

      The ABs were no doubt a bit jaded at the end of a long season. Ireland were very good though. Coaches do make a difference, take note Ms Castle.

      My son plays colts for his Uni and is home on holidays. The Italian game was on at a reasonable 10pm here and we both started watching it. My son got up after 20 minutes and said “I can’t watch this rubbish”. Was hard to argue that but I stuck it out. It was like watching a spaghetti western while Unforgiven played in Dublin.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Sad when the up and coming fans can’t get excited.

        • Singapore Sling

          Yeah mate. I asked him if he and his team mates watch Super rugby and the RC games. Only if the coach puts on a BBQ….wtf! It’s amazing how much of a draw Quade is for the younger players. They would try to get to his club games when possible. He reckons they also watch most NRL games, especially when their favourite teams are playing. RA needs to sort it’s house out fast.

      • Patrick

        Mate there are some damn good spaghetti westerns out there.

  • Happyman

    Thanks for this Nick
    My output has been down this morning waiting for my fix of GAGR
    My thoughts on the weekend.
    – The Australian team just seems to be playing with a lack of clarity at the moment. We as the general unwashed don’t know what the plan is and I am sure the players do’t also.
    -Foley is not a 12 and I would suggest there are players at club level in all states who are better in that position than him he needs a break.
    – AAC was good but father time is undefeated and one wonders how he would cope with some real speed against him.
    – I firmly believe that someone needs to tell them to square up they are far to lateral in attack.
    – We need a plan that both the supporters and players can get behind at the moments we have no belief.

    AB v Ireland was just the reason we all love the game and when played at its best the other codes cannot compete. The Irish are the real deal and may have ambushed our sheep loving friends in Chicago but they came locked loaded and ready for battle and were repelled by a mature composed and brutal rugby team. At least we can say we are the only team to beat Ireland this year.

    Scotland v SA awesome game played and to suggest that Scotland are 7th and we are 6th is a breakdown of the system.

    Stephen Hoiles and the Classics are doing more for the sport than Ra and the rest of the states he should be on the RA board as he seems to genuinely love the game and want the best for it.

    Over to the rest of the great unwashed.

    • Huw Tindall

      The sideways running was more infuriating in this game because we had front foot ball for days. I wouldn’t be surprised if the forward runners were getting over the gainline 75% of the time and making decent metres. They were playing deep to try and get around the Italian umbrella defence. A few of our grubbers didn’t come off but they were looking to try something to keep the defence back a bit. Wouldn’t mind seeing the crossfield kick on attack instead of grubber/chip.

      Like Quade I’m happy to consider AAC if he can prove he is good enough. AAC made that first step today along with Quade who had his first day as a rebel at pre-season training. Quade needs to be the best 10 in Super Rugby. Simple as that. AAC needs more/higher quality games than Japan. Hopefully he gets gig in Super after his Japanese commitments finish otherwise I think he could be undercooked. He’ll struggle anyway with Tevita back but at this stage I’d rather AAC on a wing than DHP, Marika or Sefa.

      • Bernie Chan

        It will be interesting to see how Wessels’ approach to using QC differs from that of BT and Cheika…it is no secret that in the Link coached Reds, QC and Genia were able to do what Link always promoted…”play what’s in front of you…” and were not forced to curtail their instincts. BT and Cheika are so risk adverse that they don’t value players they can’t “control”. Wessels has said “it’s my job to create the framework and then within that you expect players of world class calibre such as Quade and Will to produce some magic…”. You could add Toomua too…but sounds promising for the Rebels as they already had a decent squad, but lacked a game-breaker.

        • Huw Tindall

          It will be very interesting indeed. Wessels has been a much vaunted coach in a short career despite no major titles. In his second year at the Rebels and with even more firepower in the lineup than the first year he really needs to have a good season.

        • Bernie Chan

          Lots of pressure on Wessels to ‘deliver’…Rebels likely to be favourites for the Oz conference as their squad is packed with talent in both the forwards and backs. Not sure how they shoehorn all the wages into the salary cap…

  • Adrian

    Thanks Ned

    A serious sense of deflection in the air this morning.

    If you’ve followed Rugby since the 60s you wouldn’t be too depressed about our ranking, though you would as someone “how come Italy isn’t playing soccer?”

    My thoughts are more around whether Pocock is badly concussed or not concussed at all?

    My guess is that he is concussed, and Cheika thinks he is playing “mind games” with Jones.

    “Stinger” in the neck doesn’t cause your eyes to glaze over…I didn’t think, but I am not a Doctor

    • Brisneyland Local

      The stinger in the neck could have caused concussion from a whiplash. But I am more worried about how many neck shots that man can take, with head rolls already included.

      • Greg

        yes. It will be a travesty for the game if he retires early.

        Whether it is balanced or not… every time I see him stretch his neck I think of the attacks and lack of action in the NZ game.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Whilst that wasnt good, I have seen that happening in club rugby and NRC. I just think the referumps need to come down on it and hard, before the first person ends up in a wheel chair.

      • Darrin Briggs

        Actually the modern laws at the ruck have brought this on as the only way of a turn over is to set yourself in a position where the back of your neck is exposed and the only area that a defender can target…I believe there are going to be slot more of these types of in injuries.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very good point.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Bang on Adrian. I won’t be surprised if he plays on Saturday but I will be worried.

    • Brumby Runner

      The alternative is that he wasn’t concussed but still needed to come off because of the effect on his neck. But at that time there wasn’t a suitable replacement available so he had to feign a head knock/suspected concussion to allow Dempsey back on. But in that scenario, surely either the concussion was confirmed or he passed the HIA. In the latter case, would not Dempsey have been required to leave the field again once the HIA established no concussion had occurred? Whatever, the outcome of his injury/HIA test etc should be known to match officials and also passed on to viewers for the sake of integrity in the game.

  • Nutta

    Cheers Ned

    Rapid Rugby – don’t muck about with the product too much. The game is pretty good as is. We just need to speed up lineouts and scrums as a re-start as we lose too much time there and we need to be faster to bin offending players inside the 22 (how many penalties did the AiB give away on the weekend in the red zone for 0 binnings?). But besides that, the game itself is pretty effective. Don’t make it rugby’s 20/20 FFS. Rather, set up and run a broad-based, effective competition that provides a good financial platform and good footy. Don’t let RA off the hook by being able to say it’s a different product.

    In terms of the rule changes themselves, I don’t agree with replacing a red-carded player and I’m not a fan of rolling 10man subs. We need the fatigue element. I would make a yellow-card in the red zone 15min.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I like the concept of a shot clock when kicking for goal.
      Also a shot clock type thing for lne outs and scrums. So we dont faff about for 5 minutes every bloody line out and scrum.

      • whatwouldberniedo

        should be time off completely for scrums until the ball is put in. it would change the tactics/selections around front row and general field play completely. it would also make the championship minutes contested, rather than adjudicated.
        ATM , if you are up by more than 3 and less than 7 with 5min to go, and out of kicking range, your best option is to knock on. 3-4 resets and possible lineout from the conceded penalty eats pretty much the entire last 5 min. this means that a rested squad has to defend 1 attacking raid in 5 min to win a match. imagine how that would change if the clock stops between resets.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah but it is the fucking around setting the scrums that pisses alot of non hard core rugby fans off. Speed it up and we will keep the masses intersted.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Welcome back Nutta. I agree mate the rules take too much away from what is a pretty good product. It just makes the game less relevant and provides a perfect opportunity for it to be ignored by RA.

      • Darrin Briggs

        My observations for what is worth, i might be old school but i think the product of rugby in the modern game is boring it’s like watching mungo ball with 15 players. Endless recycling of the ball endless phases, no room or space left on the ground to attack…..dull

        • onlinesideline

          Agree mate. BUT with more subbies under twiggy ball, youll get bigger blokes – more of this wrestlng like takedowns and slower play. I would have thought the thing to do was lessen the allowed subbies so smaller nippier dudes could shine at the end of the game. Not sure how 35 min halves speeds up the actual speed of play either ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate that’s got more to do with the coaching and the tactics than the game. If you look at the Scotland vs South Africa game above you’ll see some great rugby.

    • Brumby Runner

      I support the replacement of a red carded player after 15 minutes Nutta, because I believe the offending player should be punished, not the team as a whole.

      • Nutta

        99% of the time I’m with you, until the time I see the localised versions of Richard Loe taking out Dan Carter. Getting your headcount back after 15min may well be a door-opener to targeting for the truly nefarious.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m with you Nutta. There are unscrupulous coaches and players out there and with a lot riding on a game a team could well have a hit man sent out to take out a key opposition player knowing that while the numbers are even after replacements the skillsets aren’t.
          A red card deserves a team to be punished and should stay as it is.

        • Patrick

          but that can be made up for by the judiciary, in principle.

        • Bakkies

          Judiciary I don’t think so. They struggle as it is with a shoulder charge to the head.

        • Who?

          That’s an issue of consistency but, also, WR directives. I don’t think that an incident should need to meet the RC threshold before it’s worthy of a suspension. A RC is a team punishment as well as a player punishment, a suspension isn’t as great a punishment for the team. Arguably, it’s a greater punishment for a wider range of people, but a lesser punishment for the individual player. I’d rather WR lower the threshold.

        • Huw Tindall

          Could just have a black card for pre-meditated foul play – punching, high shots, eye gouge etc. The ‘accidental’ reds we get now through tough contesting of the ball or two yellows can have the 15 min card or something similar.

      • Bakkies

        I hate the majority of the law experiments particularly the thug’s charter with the 15 minute sub after a carton rouge. Where’s the punishment for the modern day Dickhead Loe and Gerard Cholley when they knock out the opposition’s key player/s and get substituted after 15 mins?

        Rugby is a team game coach and captain have to maintain discipline and temperement.

    • Who?

      Nutta, I think the only justification for Rolling Subs is that they’re going to be playing in Malaysia. Otherwise, I’d completely agree with you.
      How’d you see the scrum battles on the weekend? I thought our starters were harshly treated by Gauzare (they hinged, we got penalized), but our replacement front row was annihilated. And NZ/Ireland, fantastic scrum battle. :-)

      • Nutta

        Subs – you raise a fair point about Malaysia. That would be hard-yards.

        The Saffa victory in NZ and now this Irish game this weekend will be the only 2 games I will keep my recordings of from this year.

        In terms of the Irish v AiB front rows, there wasn’t an excessive amount of gamesmanship going on. It was pretty well reffed and more simply two scrums fairly giving it to each other – similar to the Scots and Bokke.

        The Italians are crafty scrummers – much like the French – with lots of pre-planned sotto impacts and step-overs. I wasn’t surprised to see Ainsley cop his hiding but it will do him good.

  • onlinesideline

    I just cant come to grips with this decision or ruling. This is a genuine attempt to intercept. The result may have been he slapped it forward but his intention was clearly a genuine attempt to intercept. Isnt that the important thing when ruling on this ?

    Min 5.12

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Some great tries in this match. What a cool game to watch. Loved that lineout try by Scotland. Yeah I thought that was a harsh call. In my mind he was going for the intercept. Very poor refereeing, lucky it didn’t matter

      • onlinesideline

        But is it up to the ref / TMO to make a call on his intention or is the ref bound by a law full stop. If its former that would be one of the worst decisions I have ever seen. Le Roux started his attempt basially 12-15m out and was intent for a few seconds to intercept. Just shocking reffing.

        Also felt the Italan 9 was well on side when he made his intercept. Shocking call to. World rugby need to spend some bigger bickies on ref careers, because its clearly behind the growth of the game. I generally think the reffing is international level. The French refs are the worst communicators, inconsistent, have no peripheral vison and seem constantly flummoxed.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Every rule is up to the referee’s interpretation mate. I agree this was a very poor call

        • Andrew Luscombe

          The Italian 9 seemed to be in-field of the 15 m line before the ball left the line out. This is one of the ways of being off-side at a line out.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry missed that second part. The Italian 9 was off side because he was outside the 15 meter mark on the filed and so not part of the lineout. Anyone not part of the lineout has to be 10 meters back and he wasn’t. It seems harsh but it is well within the rules.

      • Greg

        to be fair, I think they have been pretty consistent on this all year.

        I don’t like the decision but it was not a surprise.

        I thought at 7:30 the white player was not released by the green tackler. I guess that is why we have referees.

    • Happyman

      Poor decision

    • Who?

      Horrible call, but right under the current laws, I believe. He was never in a position to regather it after he tried the intercept. No question it was an attempt to intercept, but if it’s not either caught or realistically catchable after the first deflection, the automatic ruling these days is deliberate knock on. If it’s a deliberate knock on and in an attacking position – relevant given Willie was the last defender and he’d vacated the backfield to make that intercept – then it’s likely a YC.
      So, I dislike the call, I’m not a huge fan of Mr Poite, but I think that he technically got it right under the current laws and interpretations.

      • disqus_NMX

        Agreed that it is the current interpretations. But I think this entire law needs scrapping. It’s a travesty of justice that a player can go for an intercept, be mm’s short and knock it on, and get a YC for the effort. If the attacking team can’t pass the ball without an opposition player getting a hand to it, then it was never on in the first place.

    • Mart

      Such a shit rule

  • Sequel

    Wallabies backs are very lateral because they are trying to go wide before they go forward. The team seems obsessed with width and having pods of forwards 25m from the ruck standing flat footed, no wonder they struggle to get over the gain line.

    Take a look at Ireland and the ABs forwards operating in much narrower channels with the express purpose (I assume) to suck in defenders and to get fast front foot ball.

    I must hand it to Ireland their patience with the ball was incredible, if it wasn’t on they got their head down and someone got over the pill and started again. The execution to go with the patience was also 1st rate. The plan is simple, when you’re up against the best attacking team in the world you keep the ball away from them as much as possible and use your kicking game well – long for position or short and contest. Rugby really isn’t that complicated.

    The Wallabies last 6-7 phases and run out of ideas and either give the ball away or loose it.

    I expect the Wallabies to be belted by the Poms on the weekend.

    • ALJ

      Ireland forwards also run some good angles close to the ruck. Often they were runnings unders type lines and getting in behind the previous ruck which made it harder for the retreating AB forwards to set up in defence. Their forwards were also looking for the extra short pass to another forward similar to what the AB forwards do.

      Wallabies on the other hand – our forwards hit it up always one pass of the ruck, and we always run that line drifting outwards that wastes even more space. Cant criticise the effort but we just aren’t as rugby smart as other teams right now .

      • Bakkies

        James Ryan 20 tackles and 17 carries, Josh van der Flier 16 tackles just 1 missed and at least three key breakdown wins for his team. Note Cheika that is proper work rate not flicking hair out in the centres and ruck inspecting (Coleman is becoming guilty of that).

  • ForceFan

    A bit tragic when G&GR relies upon RA’s website to get up to date info on Global Rapid Rugby. Ned, I suggest you get linked to to really know what’s happening.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    This is why I’m not worried overly much with a couple of losses this year. I think the team is on track for next year, it’s just taking time to get there.

    • Human

      Reading the comments made me think they were discussing the Wallabies…same issues with selection, players out of position, etc. Maybe Cheika is not silly?

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Ned. Been a while, if I’m not mistaken.

    Went to a cold and uninspiring match between Georgia and Samoa on Sat. Georgia got the chokkies 27-19, featuring a 17-0 second-half comeback. But really, it was only interesting between the 50- and 70-minute marks.

    The main reason I’m writing is I want to let everyone know that scrum half Lobzhanidze is a superstar. Don’t know why he doesn’t start, but he’s Quade-like in his wizardry. Can pass, kick, step, run. And he’s only about 22. I first saw him during the U20s World Cup in May 2017 and he was certainly one to watch from that point on. Can place kick from 55m. World class and he was the difference on Saturday.

    Tonga this weekend. Should be a cracker.


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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