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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s rugby news rounds up the results from the weekend’s Super rugby matches, Premier Rugby kicks off in another state (well, territory), the Tahs aren’t changing and the Super W season is reaching its crescendo.

OH MY GOD, it’s the podcast with none other than Michael Cheika!


Super Rugby Round Seven

This photo is a week old.  The egg on Thorn's face left him unrecognisable this week.

This photo is a week old. The egg on Thorn’s face left him unrecognisable this week.

The seventh round of Super Rugby has been played and oddly, only one home side managed to win.

The Crusaders continued their early season form and made amends for the previous week’s slip up by dispatching countrymen the Hurricanes 32 points to eight.  The win sees the Crusaders remain on top of the table, the only team with five wins.

While the Crusaders reversed the form that saw them fall to the Waratahs the boys in blue did the exact opposite and a completely different team seemed to show up as they went down to the outcast Sunwolves 31-29 in Newcastle.  Hayden Parker continued to show his inability to miss and it was his unerring goal kicking that accounted for the 2-point margin.

The Blues welcomed back Sonny Bill Williams and kept their streak alive with a third straight win, this time defeating the Stormers 24-9 and clawing their way within one point of a wild-card spot in the finals.

It was grudge central at Suncorp on Saturday night.  The Rebels, with exiled former Red Quade Cooper, lobbed into town looking to take the lead in the Aussie conference.  Cooper, along with halves buddy Will Genia took full advantage of the platform the piggies set and never looked troubled as the cruised to a 32-13 win.

In Durban the Sharks scored two tries to one but the four penalty goals from Handre Pollard were enough for the Bulls to get up, 19-16.

The weekend’s fixtures finished up with the Jags and the Chiefs trading blows right up until the end.  From 20-all after 68 minutes first a penalty to the Chiefs gave them a 3-point lead until a 72nd minute converted try to the Jags saw them take the lead back before the Chiefs scored another try in the last 3 minutes to just edge their hosts, 30-27.

Premier Rugby

GPS win against UQ

GPS’ premiership defence got off to a shaky start.

While the Shute and Dewar Shields are one and four weeks away respectively, the good folks of top-level rugby in the ACT and up here in sunny Queensland have already got underway.

It was the second round of shenanigans in QLD and the results went a little something like this-

After trailing 21-3 at the break, Souths got the first try in the second half before eventually going down 28-8 to the Filth at home.  They are of course, without the services of a certain fly-half this year.

Wests hosted Sunnybank and after 40 minutes it was all tied up, 14 apiece, before Wests piled on 21 unanswered points in the second half to win 35-14.

The battle of the unis saw Bond build on their 22-7 lead at “mid-semester” with a further two tries in the first 12 minutes of the second half to dispatch UQ 32-14.

The final match of the round had Easts hosting the recently crowned Aussie Club Champions, GPS who had skipped the first round courtesy of the bye.

Despite the recent honour bestowed on the horsies Easts salvaged a 18-17 win courtesy (in part) to a 38m penalty with 90 seconds remaining.

Down in the ACT the “John I Dent Cup Premier First Grade” got underway with just the two matches.

Things got off to a classic start too, with Gungahlin overcoming both a one-man deficit for 25 minutes AND last year’s premiers (Tuggeranong) to start their year off with a 29-26 win, a late try proving the difference.
In the other match, Queanbeyan were up 7 nil after only 6 minutes before the Royals ran them down and took the tie 23-10 to get their title defence off on the right foot.

Waratahs Hold Firm on Rotation Policy

Nothing stops. Nothing, or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the refs, I'll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton...

Nothing stops. Nothing, or you will do the hardest time there is. No more protection from the refs, I’ll pull you out of that one-bunk Hilton…

As the world cup is later this year, the Australian rugby clubs have all agreed to rest players as the national side looks to get their mitts on Bill for the first time in 20 years. (wow, has it really been 20 years?)

One wonders what sort of influence the resting of players had on Friday night as the Waratahs, fresh off their heroics in defeating the Crusaders fell to the lowly Sunwolves.  (personally, I thought the ‘Tahs were outstanding across the park vs the ‘Saders rather than pieces of individual brilliance from their top players, also, the ‘Wolves have been vastly improved this year)

ANYWAY, assistant coach Simon Cron has come out in support of the policy, unequivocally stating “I don’t think the result changes it”

His statement is in line with the head coach’s assessment of the situation, “We kind of need to, we signed up for the intent to make sure our Wallaby players are in good condition for the World Cup, I’m still a supporter of that”

Cron continued, saying, “Really it is about what’s good for the player and the squad, and obviously the Wallabies. We will sit down on Monday and we have a rough idea of when and who (will be rested). But at the same time, we are always evaluating it, depending on injury and what happens to the squad make-up”

I suspect Cron summed up their loss against the backdrop of resting their test players perfectly-

“It’s not down to a couple of guys rotated”

The Waratahs face the new and improved Blues this weekend at Eden Park before they ALL get a rest during the next round. (they have the bye)

Super W Finalists, err, Finalised

Frenemies to meet in the final again.

Frenemies to meet in the final again.

It’ll be the old enemies playing off this weekend to determine the 2019 Super W champions.

In what will be a repeat of last year’s match up the Waratahs and Reds will again fight for women’s 15s supremacy.

NSW earned the right to host the final after going through the regular season unbeaten whereas QLD had to do it the hard way, needing to do away with the Brumbies at home to make it to the big show.

The Reds had beaten ACT during the home and away season 12-0 and during the early exchanges it looked like this match might be a similarly low-scoring affair.  The only points of the first 30 minutes came from a break within the Reds’ 22 that saw Lori Cramer cross basically untouched just one phase later.

Ivania Wong then got another five points on the board for the home side before Biola Dawa drew the visitors back within a try before the siren sounded for the end of the first stanza.

The Reds clicked into top gear in the second half though as they ran in four tries and restricted the Brums to a sole penalty goal the final score ended up 39-10.

Reds coach Moana Virtue reflected on the good and the bad from the match, “It’s exciting that we’re there and a relief because I’d say that first half there were too many errors and leading into next week, we’ve got to really minimise those to even half to even try to compete with NSW”

Or, putting it another way, “That first half was painful to watch. It was good in the second half though, we did string some phases together”

Waratahs and Reds will play Sunday afternoon at Leichhardt oval.

Carn the REDS!!!

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Ah the joys of inter-city commuting. And the joys of the great unwashed on public transport. My ramblings from the train:
    – Well Reverend Thorn has egg on his face. And I thought Genia and Cooper were gracious in victory. Genia’s comment was a pearler. Peter Ryan should have known better, that comment was always going to come back on bite them on the ass.
    – So Thor, Kerevi and a bunch of others are all looking for outs to their contracts. Some coming to an end, some wanting theirs to come to an end early. Either way there is an exodus coming. Apparently they are not happy with the culture.
    – The rotation policy wasn’t the Tahs problem. They blew it out their ass.
    – So how does everyone’s First 15 look now?
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      You have the inside word on whether Kerevi wants to stay in Japan permanently and whether Tupou wants to leave Aus or switch franchises?

      The Sunwolves almost beat them in Japan. At present I’d say they’re the weakest team in the conference, but they’re also very capable of beating all the Aussie sides too. The Waratahs’ forwards weren’t good enough on the weekend except for Hooper. Mason was thrown in the deep end and told to sink or swim, Beale was terrible and didn’t do anything to take the pressure off and Hunt proved he wasn’t capable of defending at 13.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Kerevi, from what I am hearing is a combination of both money (being Fijian he has a broader family to support ) so this is the chance to help out his family more, and being in a happier environment. He will go there for 2-3 then come back to SR possibly. Thor wants to stay in Aus. Just doesnt want to be in the Reds.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Understandable for Kerevi. But I would look at changing Giteau rule for him.

          Hope Thor stays. He’d be welcome at the Brumbies, but I hear he is very close with Quade so I imagine he might be looking towards the Rebels?

          It’s sad if these players are unhappy with the reds. Is the environment just inflexible under Thorn, or what?

        • Brisneyland Local

          He has created a certain culture. Some are prepared to buy into it. Others are not. It is starting to sound from what I am hearing that a lot of the lads are very unhappy. Most of them want out. If there is an exodus, I wonder how secure Thorn’s cultural change is?

        • Who?

          That’s a big call for you, mate, to bend the Giteau law for anyone!
          I’d have no issue with having players based in Japan available, given the SunWolves exist (and hopefully they can be part of GRR). Or players playing in NZ, SA or Argentina (given they’re SANZAAR countries).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve been a proponent of loosening it for years! 7 years signed to an Aus super rugby team regardless of caps is what I have favoured for years!

        • Who?

          Sorry – I thought you were the other way! Oops…

    • PJ

      I have been told by a close mate (within the reds sanctum) that Thorn will be potentially sacked as early as today as Thor, Kerevi, and Salakaia-Loto have all said they refuse to play for him.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Lets see how it goes. I am hearing similar rumblings!

        • Happyman

          It would be so QRU to do this. While I am not a fan of everything BT has done he clearly has a vision of how it should be run. For the last five years the Reds have been an Omnishamles of the highest order so something has had to change.
          Cultural change is difficult and takes time, Apart from the treatment of QC and Slipper I have been happy with many of the changes. Unfortunately BT does seem to want to build a strong culture but at this point in his career he is unable to bring others along for the ride.
          My understanding is that Kerevi stayed for much less money last time and now wants to get paid which is fair enough considering his output.
          The others I do not know enough about.

        • Who?

          Thorn’s seen how it’s done, but seeing how it’s done and having the tools to do it yourself are completely different things. Thorn’s been retired from playing since when 2013, 2014..?
          I don’t know whether it’s a culture issue in the playing group or in the administration. And a lack of intelligence in the coaching stocks.
          Clearly the issues with culture aren’t around specific personnel, because those players have been moved on and been found to be excellent contributors in every way at their new clubs. Hunt is arguably the best Tah back this season. Slipper’s the form LHP in the Aussie conference. Cooper (and his mate, who wanted to sign with the Reds but was unwanted) is the form 10 in the conference, and together with Genia they’re leading a backline that looks very happy and cohesive. So clearly those guys can fit into a culture, or even set a culture under good leadership. Why couldn’t that happen at the Reds? Why couldn’t the QRU do it? This isn’t just about Thorn, it’s about the overall administration.

        • idiot savant

          Agree with much of what you are saying Who and BL. On the QC and WG front though we should be careful not to rewrite history. WG was a poor influence in his last season with the Reds – disinterested, slow to distribute, clearly not happy. QC also left the Reds and had a history of behavioural problems after the 2011 premiership season. They are both brilliant players but also clearly difficult personalities. The change appears to have been good for both of them. They may not have been as good or as good an influence if they had both gone back to the Reds. And I think there is enough evidence there for someone who wants to change the culture to say perhaps we are better moving in a fresh direction.

          I admire what Thorn is trying to achieve and perhaps he would have been wiser biding his time until WG and QC had retired. It hasn’t turned out to be good timing. I get what Thorn wants though. There really isn’t that big a gulf in the ability of athletes between kiwi and Aust sides. The real gulf lies in intensity and in rugby smarts. You can only get 80 minutes of intensity by having a culture where everyone wants to die for the jersey. Smarts is harder because kiwis learn it from birth but even so there is basic minimum risk rugby which can be learnt eg strong set piece, kick for territory, tackle your guts out. Intensity and smarts are what?80% of what it takes to win? Thorn is on the path to instil this. Game plans, strategy, planning for the opposition are finer points maybe 20%. Thorn is not there yet and looks like he will need help achieving this last 20%. But if he is cut adrift mid way through this development plan, pretty much everything will be lost.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well after almost three years of Woody Graham who wouldn’t have behavioural issues. Other than Link, QLd recruiting of coaches has been below par. The players left, because they saw option but to.

        • Who?

          According to Scott Johnson’s first presser, you’re on the money about the lack of rugby intelligence. He didn’t talk about power, intensity or anything like that. Only about the lack of rugby smarts.
          .
          In terms of waiting until Genia or Cooper retired, I don’t see their retirement or otherwise as being relevant to Thorn and the timing of cultural change. Thorn’s appointment was questionable in several ways (after one season, let’s sack the bloke who won two NRC titles and replace him with a bloke who’s won one, let’s grab a bloke who’s coached almost no one), that timing was a bigger issue than player retirements.
          .
          And I’ve got to agree with BLL – I can’t blame any player who loses heart, motivation, confidence and desire when they’re consistently playing for terrible coaches. Graham and those who appointed him are still to blame for much of what’s going on with the Reds. They took a winning team with great attitude and removed the strength from it. They changed styles, they failed to work with players. The fact that Cooper and Genia came back to Qld (or at least tried to return) says more about their loyalty to their mates and their fans than it does about personal ambition, because no sane person would’ve gone back to Qld based on the Rugby program. They haven’t had a good one since 2013. Just look at the talent that’s either been wasted, moved overseas or retired through 2014 through 2019. There’s a prospective team listed in the comments on the Reds/Rebels article which I believe would be strong enough to beat a current Wallabies team. Names like Liam F Gill, Genia, Cooper, Slipper, Hunt, Simmons, Horwill (still playing, going well by most accounts). Five of those guys have over 100 caps. Most of them are still 30 or under.
          .
          So even if Genia’s attitude was poor in his last season with the Reds, it’s understandable. Cooper’s attitude wasn’t poor in 2017. He played most of the season injured. Then he played club for the next season. His old team mates still seem to love him – how quickly did Kerevi get over to give him a hug after the game? They might need some good coaching, but wild horses are worth taming.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well when pretty much every good player you have is wanting to leave, there is a major problem. I dont have a problem with cultural change. By god if any team needed it, it was the Reds. But it looks like he couldnt take the team with him. If he has lost the dressing room, the the QRU have a major decision to make.
          Of note, I am the first to bitch and whinge about the player power that ousted Link. I am not a big fan of a player putsch. SO per se dont like the idea of this at all. If that is what is happening. But from what I am hearing, the players are not saying its him or us yet. But they are saying that they dont want to play there any more. Which is their right as a player. either way, it does not bode well for the Reds or for Aus rugby.

        • Happyman

          Agreed

        • Brisneyland Local

          Like QC, the Reds were my team for near on 20 years. Been a member, and a corporate sponsor for a lot of it. I didnt walk away lightly. In fact it hurts to see the Reds disintegrate like this. But it is akin to the Wallabies. I love them, and watching them implode since the Cheikmeister took over hasnt been pleasant either.
          BUt watching the Rebs and Dave wessell’s is bringing me great joy.

        • Happyman

          Mate probably gone down a similar but different path. I am still a rusted on Reds supporter but it is more through habit than connection. Peripherally I now really follow all teams with the exception of the Tahs which is a step too far.
          I have been getting my rugby enjoyment from the Club scene as you get to see good quality rugby in a more organic situation the replays and TMO at the super rugby seems to just suck the joy out of the experience.
          I saw QC last year a few times last year and his interactions with both his and opposition supporters alike was exactly what you would want from a player and a person. I would suggest that he is still the most liked Rugby player by Queensland juniors. As a business the QRU made a mistake by letting him go. I have no doubt he is difficult to coach but good coaches have done really well with him.
          The QRU has always had a problem with retention as a long term supporter you could point to Brendon Cannon, Nathan Sharpe, Jason Little, Berrick Barnes, then lately Rod Simmonds, WG, QC, Slipper Those last four all had over 100 caps and were punted.
          Dave Wessells seems to me to be a very good rugby coach and for mine it comes down to the fact that he is a coach and not an ex player. Look at the youtube of his reaction after getting pumped by the Ref after the lions game and you see a man who is on point all of the time.

        • Who?

          Can’t agree with your last paragraph more!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Great response HM. QC and WIlly G were hugely popular at the Reds. On Rookies to Reds days the kids would line up for miles to get them to sign stuff and have photos. And too there credit they stayed there and signed and selfied away. I have great photos of my two daughters being taught to pass by QC and Willy G. Helps when your nephew is also in the squad. ;-)
          At the Souths club games that I went to and the Bris City NRC games, QC was hugely popular. Everywhere he goes he draws a crowd. whether they be lovers or haters, he gets people through the turnstiles. And that is good for rugby.
          I dont know that he would be that difficult to coach, you just have to harness his energy and involve him as a key stakeholder in the development of the plan. I would assume like most humans, if he has had a key role in developing the plan, then sure as god made little green apples he will believe in it and sell that plan! And if he sells it to the junior players they will too!

        • Who?

          BLL:
          you just have to harness his energy and involve him as a key stakeholder in the development of the plan. I would assume like most humans, if he has had a key role in developing the plan, then sure as god made little green apples he will believe in it and sell that plan!
          .
          And that was Macqueen’s strength. Link was one of his apprentices, so it’s not surprising that he’d use that tool. I’m sure that Wessels, being the student of the game he is, would also be using all the tools at his disposal. He doesn’t seem the kind who’d ignore a means of getting ahead. There’s no excess of ego, pride or arrogance there.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Absolutely!

        • Brumby Runner

          Being Assistant to Jake White at the Brumbies wouldn’t have hurt his development either.

        • Who?

          Didn’t Jake bring him over? As in, wasn’t he already under Jake’s wing before he arrived in Canberra? He’s certainly been a great signing for RA, and his attitude will take him a long way. We can only hope that he chooses to remain in Australia (as he did when Munster were chasing him).

        • Bernie Chan

          I’m close to 60 than 50…if there is or was a more popular player among the kids (Hint for the QRU…get the kids and the parents come along for the ride…!) than QC then I haven’t seen him. My lad is a very decent soccer and touch footy player, never played rugby, but anytime I said I was going to watch a rugby game, be it Souths (I’m a QLD Uni supporter), Bris City or the Reds, he’d ask “Is Quade playing?”…if the answer was “yes” he’d ask to come. The kids just love the guy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! And they just fucked it up!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Your point about being a coach and not an ex-player is very pertinent. It is so sad to see so many ex-players turn into pretty crap coaches, not just here but everywhere. NZ has had this happen so often and I just don’t understand how the unions can let so many unproven coaches rise so far so fats, especially as so many of them fail big time.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’ve hit the nail on the head mate. It is the lack of meritocracy in the whole process. There is a mistaken assumption that the best players make the best coaches, and more pernicious than this I also think there is simply a attitude of rewarding one’s mates regardless of whether they are the best options.

          The result is both that current players are saddled with average coaches who were once great players rather than great coaches who were once average players; and, worse still, quality coaches stop coaching because they hit a glass ceiling.

          Tragedy for the current and future players, and for the quality coaches who have their career prematurely ended by nepotism.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That part about mates looking after mates and creating a glass ceiling for good coaches coming through is a big issue for sure.

        • Keith Butler

          Martin Johnson my UK example.

        • Happyman

          Mate my personal view is really good players see the field just differently than us mere plodders. They see space where we don’t. Thus players who are journeymen make better coaches as they have to work really hard to make the most of the ability that they have. I also hold the view that much like Australian Rugby’s player focus we are just focused not he next big thing and not development. A Coach should never be considered unless he has done at least a season or two at club level followed by NRC with success at each step.
          BT had a season at NRC and off the back of eight games was handed one of the top five jobs in Australian Rugby. I think he can be a good coach but he has been promoted to soon I personally hope he can develop on the job and turn this around.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Agree with all that. The trouble is it’s harder to go back and then come on again. Wayne Smith did it but it was a big call

        • disqus_NMX

          Especially very hard to go back when you’ve come into an organisation, cleared out a heap of key players in the name of culture, and had your “culture” backfire on you so badly and turn into a player exodus. You’d be insane to employ him as head coach. Maybe he might fit in with the Hillsong First XV, but who else would he fit in with with his “culture”?

        • Who?

          Didn’t I see that BPA’s signed elsewhere for next year? As someone who attended Hillsong’s Bible College, his departure might signal it’s not necessarily what you’re thinking…

        • disqus_NMX

          Well how about that! It wasn’t actually my point though, it was just a postscript. Remove that last sentence and you get my main point.

        • Who?

          It’s a great line, and given some of the conversations on here, it’d be a fair point of contention. I’m just pointing out that perhaps Thorn’s appeal isn’t even broad enough to span the breadth of the number of Christians in the team.

        • disqus_NMX

          Good point!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hillsong 1st XV. Love it

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          One has to differentiate between a coup (small group of people taking power for their own gain) and a revolution (a grassroots movement committed to change against a regime that has lost legitimacy).

          The reason that the player power that ousted Link was so abhorrent was because it was a small faction of players that had acted poorly wanted to have their own man in charge and undermined him, when the majority of the team still supported him.

          With Thorn, it appears to be more of a revolution than a coup.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I would agree with that!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That does make sense – sort of

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’ll be very disappointed if player power pushes him out. I think the player power, and along with this the sense of entitlement it brings, over here is a huge part the problem with rugby and it needs to be curtailed.
          The real issue is the lack of accountability with the boards that allow this situation to develop.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think so. I dont think the players are trying to push him out Circa Brumbies and Wallabies style. I just think they are making their own decisions and choosing not to be there next year!

        • disqus_NMX

          Is it entitlement, or is it “we are sick of your bullshit, and you randomly kicking out our mates, who also, in some cases, happen to be club legends.”?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think there is absolutely some truth in that and maybe I’m being too inflexible in this case. A small group of self entitled players is bad, however if you’re the coach and you’ve lost most of the team and won’t change 5hen probably time to move on

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          To be honest I think installing Thorn was a mistake to begin with. He didn’t have the resume, started off firing some of his most experienced players, seems to have little coaching acumen in terms of game plans and if the rumours are true has managed to isolate his remaining quality players.

          There is nothing inherently wrong with player power. The approval of the team is indicative of a competent coach, while a team that doesn’t like their coach is often indicative of a sick culture. A coach has to get along with his players and have them willing to follow him and work with him at a minimum, if not love him; not control them with a dictatorial, inflexible personality that alienates the squad.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Actually after reading another post about small groups compared to the main group I can see a difference. I still think some players have far too much self entitlement and cause issues. But if you’ve lost it then it’s timeto move on

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep, and that isn’t to say that the majority always makes the correct decision.

          To use a rugby specific example, Nelson Mandela in Invictus when he steps in and argues against the majority of his party who wants to force the Springboks to change their name to the Proteas.

          I think that is the example of a visionary leader whose opinion was better than that of his party.

          But I think in general you know to govern with the consent of the governed…

          On governments – your PM in New Zealand comes across very well by the way. She seems to be a dignified, kind, compassionate person.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          True. The mass can often be the mass of stupidity.
          Yeah I’ve been very proud of the PM. Don’t agree with all her policies but she has stood out as a very compassionate leader of all the people

        • Bernie Chan

          The self entitlement that befell the Wallas and led to Links demise is an issue…but I don’t think Kerevi is that kind of guy, as he is always humble. If (say…) a cluster of the Reds top players all suddenly want ‘out’ then even those idiots at the QRU will start paying attention…I note BL saying no player is presenting a “me-or-him” scenario…
          Imagine the funk we (the Reds..) will be in if we lose Kerevi, Thor, Timu, Salakaia-Loto, Hegarty, DPA, Saivalu…just for starters! We’ll prop up the bottom of the ladder for a decade…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree Kerevi is not one of the self entitled group and he will be missed a lot

        • Bernie Chan

          If Kerevi leaves, then it speaks to a greater malaise in the Reds organisation…

        • disqus_NMX

          BT may well have a vision (who doesn’t), and he clearly has some good aspects to his coaching skills, but his man management and judgment around human factors is clearly woefully inadequate.

          Let’s face it, QC is the super hero of the Reds of the last decade. A massive crowd favourite, a squad favourite, a loyal Reds centurion, the magic key player to the Reds winning the 2011 title, and arguably the Reds best player of the last decade.

          Thorn’s misjudgement to get rid of QC in the name of culture actually makes him untenable as a coach or any position of management. At the Reds, or anywhere else. End. Of. Story.

          And don’t get me started on the QRU, but suffice to say that the entire board needs clearing out, and has had that need for a long long time.

        • Brisneyland Local

          That board needs an enema!

        • disqus_NMX

          You could replace the board from random selections from a hat full of names of commenters on this site, and you would do a damned sight better than what they have now.

          Put BL as chairman of the board, and you’ve have all of the Reds problems fixed in short time.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope it is QLD. They will roll up at my house with pitchforks and force me to drink XXXX. Wont end well at all.

      • Missing Link

        Another kiwi coach, another decimated Aussie rugby team. coincidence, or conspiracy….. you decide :)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Conspiracy mate. Nothing coincidental about it

      • Bernie Chan

        I don’t ‘pray’, but…

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Whoa… if this is true, I’ll buy you a beer or 10 when you’re ever in Canberra, and pump you for information on JFK and the Roswell incident while I’m at it too!

      • Happyman

        It is April 1st but nothing would surprise me

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Wow! I’d be thinking April Fools but it’s almost not surprising

    • disqus_NMX

      Thorn was also quite gracious in defeat, repeatedly talking up the feat of the Rebels travelling from SA, and then winning an away game. And through gritted teeth, he was even gracious about the inevitable question about QC and Genia. The expression on his face, and the words he chose, had me laughing out loud though. My gosh that must have hurt.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=erZ8VR1vVb4

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep that must have hurt to say!

      • Who?

        So… Thorn vs Cooper at Suncorp.
        2019 – Rebels beat Reds, win to Cooper.
        2011 – Wallabies beat All Blacks, win to Cooper.
        2011 – Super Rugby Final, Reds beat Crusaders, win to Cooper.
        2011 – Super Rugby Round 15, Reds beat Crusaders, win to Cooper. 48k at the ground!
        2010 – Super Rugby Round 2, Reds beat Crusaders, win to Cooper. Side note, final try scored by Thorn, but 41-20 is a pretty solid win.
        2008 – Super Rugby Round 13, Crusaders beat Reds 27-21, first game between the two.
        .
        We might also add that, whilst Cooper lost to Thorn at Eden Park (2011 RWC SF), in Sydney (Bledisloe 3, 2010), in Christchurch (SR 2009 Rd 13) Cooper’s also got results in Honkers (Bledisloe 4, 2010), Dunedin (SR 2013 Rd 7)
        There were games with injuries, in 2014 – Reds beat Highlanders at Suncorp, Cooper didn’t play, Ben Lucas was the 10, can’t see if Thorn actually played.
        .
        So, in games between Cooper’s teams and Thorn’s teams, Cooper is 7 – 4. At Suncorp, he’s 5 – 1, and that loss was 11 years ago. In Tests, they split the games 2 apiece, but Cooper’s team won the only game between them at Test level at Suncorp (2011 3N’s).
        .
        I’ve gone to these stats as the game on Saturday night just felt so much like the Reds in 2011, in terms of the style of running the game. The Reds in 2011 never felt like they were dominating. Not physically. They felt like they were always trying to use every scrap of possession to add points to try and get away from opponents who looked bigger and tougher, as if they were just going to bulldoze the Reds, opponents who never felt out of the game (even if they were), opponents who felt like they had capacity to exert physical dominance and turn it into points, even if they rarely managed to achieve that. So the Reds played smart rugby – they attacked where they could, they made sure they took territory when it was on offer, and so after 80 minutes it didn’t feel like an easy win, regardless of what the scorecard said. It felt like they’d tried to run and hide, and succeeded.
        .
        Because it’s not at all about Brad and Quade personally, is it..? :-P

        • Gallagher

          Begs the question why Thorn thinks anyone would except that his reason for dropping him is cause he cant “manage a game, attack or defend”, when all he did against Thorn is beat him.

        • Bernie Chan

          Crikey…that’s interesting reading…:)

    • Bernie Chan

      Peter Ryan obviously drank some kool-aid…what a daft comment about a guy who played over 100 games for the Reds.
      BT should have said…”Genia and QC killed us…and showed us what we are missing”.
      Lose half of your best, most experienced players who have yet to peak…or dump the coach…?
      With no less than 8 Wallabies in the XV…Cron is right. No excuses…Hooper, Beale, Hunt…why didn’t anyone step up and take some pressure off Mason?
      Was happy when Luke Jones returned to Oz, now even more so…surely he is in the ‘pole position’ in any Wallas XV right now? The Rebs backrow is the dominant one in Oz. Hooper the only Tahs backrower in the mix…maybe Dempsey…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Peter Ryan got sucked into that one. He is an experienced operator, and should have seen that coming a mile away. If I were Cooper I would have personally sought BT out and gone and shaken his hand and said “No hard feelings!”
        QC has no proven his point. He doesnt have to say anything anymore to Thorn!

        • Bernie Chan

          Yes…then we would have really seen BT grimace…:)

        • Who?

          I don’t believe Ryan family have any respect for Cooper as a player. I know Pete’s brother never rated Quade… He’s not their type of guy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          then even more dumb ass him for making a stupid quote and getting it shoved back in his face.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Really? What a lame attitude. Because everyone knows there’s a mould for the perfect rugby player and if you fall out of that your garbage and deserve to be disrespected in public at any chance. ….

        • Who?

          They’re a very tough family. As in, they’re physically tough – never back down, never accept an injury. I was told that Pete played U8’s for three years because he started so young – just shows that determination and steely hardness. Tough as teak, hard as nails. Don’t give an inch. Given that internal strength and mentality, they don’t rate anyone who might have a hint of unwillingness to front up to every physical challenge thrown at them. So with the constant hullabaloo that Cooper was unwilling to deal with physical contact… It just didn’t sit with them.
          .
          Don’t get me wrong – they’re great people. I saw this guy work closely with kids who weren’t as tough as their family, and he had great results. Those kids achieved a lot under his tutelage, and showed courage otherwise unimaginable. I have a lot of respect for the family. But they definitely see the game a certain way, and if players fall outside that mentality (and they can’t change that mentality – say, if they’re not coaching the players directly), then they’re not fans.
          .
          I actually think Pete and Thorn would have very similar mentalities, both tough, reasonably fair (as in, fair most times, but occasionally – like us all – a little biased, but maybe a bit harder to shift in opinion than some), both people who I’d respect in day to day life. I just don’t know that I agree with all their game philosophy decisions.

        • idiot savant

          Good points. This hardness can be weakness at coaching level because there will always be multiple personality types in a side. Dr Phil Jauncey was a very successful team sports psychologist because he got players to tolerate others they didnt see eye to eye with. Thorn could possibly do with this kind of influence. And Thorn should be reminded that hard as nails is alright for a second rower but I dont remember Thorn or Ryan ever creating anything on a rugby field. They were followers.

  • Bobas

    someone make a meme with thorn as anning and qc as eggboy

  • Keith Butler

    Reporting in with the Tasweigian report on our trip to the land of the Hoss. I have to say that Hoss took defeat with good grace although some of the two fingered gestures in our direction when Mrs B and I let out howls when the Moondogs scored tries we’re not cricket. I really thought that the Tahs would take this one but it was a distinctly lack lustre performance. Mason was made a bit of a scape goat when he should have had more support from his senior colleagues, Gilbert in particular. Couldn’t argue with the result though. The Sunwolves played a very simple game plan and it paid off. How they can be kicked from the comp is beyond me. The weekend got even better when the Rebs turned over the Reds in a scrappy game. I’ve been critical of QC in the past but he is now a team played. His set up for the Maddocks leap and his defence was top notch. He and Genia have got to be the half back pairing for the Wallabies and Luke Jones also put his hand up with another good performance. On the social side Newcastle was full of surprises. Apart from being a large working port it’s fast turning into hipsterville. We started our trip with a few swifties in the Foghorn Brewhouse. Hoss let the side down badly though. How can an ex rugby player not drink beer? They were 16 different brews on tap. I managed 3 schooners while Hoss stuck to his sour mash. With hindsight I should have gone with the four glass tasting paddle but there’s always next time. Belted down with rain on Saturday morning so the winery trip was cancelled and with both our wives going down with gastro we repaired to Rydges for a cheese platter lunch and a few more drinkies, talking rugby and relating stories before parting company. Hoss was a great host and truely larger than life. Thanks for a great weekend mate when you read this. We’ll Be back.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Thanks for the report. Was so upset I couldnt come. But am glad I missed out on the Gastro!

    • Who?

      Hipsterville, hey? Yeah, that sounds like Hoss!

      • Hoss

        If prison taught me anything – its that always keep an open mind to new experiences……….

    • Hoss

      My pleasure Mr & Mrs KB. The gods conspired against us a bit, but give you cause to return to experience the Hosspitality and the ‘insiders’ tour of the Vineyards.

      Cant thank you enough for your visit and i say again, i am so sorry the Tah’s gave us all the shits, some of us literally…..

      • Keith Butler

        How was the plum vodka and the chutney by the way.

        • Hoss

          A tie for first place ! Your talents are wasted Mr Butler.

        • Keith Butler

          Will have a brew ready for 27 July.

        • Keith Butler

          Mrs B has suggested plum vodka and plum brandy. Mmmmmm! Plus the jam bi products of course.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Really sad I missed this. Looking forward to the next one

      • Keith Butler

        Nothing like putting faces to names KRL. Plans are afoot.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Andrew,

    While I’m gutted for my Canes and feel for the supporters of the Tahs and Reds, I do think that this year the not knowing who might win on the day is pretty good and keeping the interest up a lot.

    I do think if anyone is blaming the rotation policy for the loss by the Tahs they really are dreaming. To me there are a lot more issues there than can be explained by having Foley and a couple of others away. They were poor in so many areas. It will be interesting how all this develops and Tahs vs Blues next weekend will be a cracker.

    • From NooZealand

      Not a Blues’ guy, but they are coming back. Agree: the not knowing who might win on the day is pretty good and keeping the interest up a lot. I had 15 yellow reasons to be unsure of the result Saders v Canes.

  • Who?

    So… Is there any word on injuries from the weekend?
    I saw a report that a player from western Qld suffered a serious neck injury over the weekend. I’m hoping that the player’s injuries aren’t as bad as first hinted, and that whatever’s happened, the player can have a safe, strong and full recovery, and that everyone else is able to be assisted with the difficulties that involvement with such and incident can create.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Wayne Smith had an article that I couldn’t read due to a lack of an Australian subscription that said that Pocock is still out from a calf injury that he picked up at Cheika’s moronic camp at the start of the idea.

      I guarantee you at that camp Cheika was in a bucket hat and a bib, with a whistle in his mouth with him roaring about intensity every five minutes; while the All Blacks had a team of boffins in lab coats and electronics measuring everything.

      • Bobas

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gqwuYX3fZZc

        Also who has that link that bypasses subscriptions? I forgot what it was again.

      • Bernie Chan

        Camp Cheika was so clever…it injured a bunch of the fittest Wallabies!

    • Bernie Chan

      Like many here, am not particularly a fan of fuxsports…but a good news item was penned by Adam Peacock (it’s in the football section…) about former Wallaby Richard Tombs and his ongoing recovery and rehab from a neck injury suffered playing park football. Retired players from all codes playing 6-a-side football in the Tombsy Cup to fundraise. Participants included Nick Farr-Jones, Steve Waugh, Adam Goodes…and the LFC legend Craig Johnston.

  • Who?

    Nah, Thorn didn’t cost them that game. Quade and Will didn’t need the help. ;-)

  • disqus_NMX

    Ah, how much fun have we all had today ha ha!

Rugby

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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