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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News has the Brumbies CEO saying yes to arvo games and no to scrum resets, Daryl Gibson reading his team their rites, and a Super round up


No 2 Resets

Jaco Peyper watches scrum Waratahs & Crusaders 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

A few boffins are scratching their heads after 6,311 turned out to the conference-leading Brumbies win against South African City and/or region Bulls on the weekend. Some people said it was because the ACT had a long weekend, and then some people say but the Raiders got 16,000 the day after.

Lots of people are saying lots of things, and one of them is Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson. Thomson reckons its the scrum resets what done it. The bad crowds, that is.

“The level of (spectator) interest is always concerning because it’s a number of areas of your business: your ticket sales, your membership sales, your merchandise, right through to your corporate hospitality,” Thomson said, according to rugby.com.au.

“It’s concerning for your business model as we have it set up at the moment.”

Thomson’s comments come with Brumbies coach Dan McKellar’s request on Friday to have the Super Rugby on FTA TV, which means that Canberra is currently the hotspot for rugby leadership and vision in this country.

“Across the whole of rugby, we need to look at how rugby presents itself as an entertainment product,” Thomson said, putting pins into an RA-shaped voodoo doll.

“People don’t pay money to stand around and watch people packing and re-packing scrums.

“I have to say it is one of the biggest blights on our game at the moment: the waste of time and the lack of ball in motion.”

Thomson, who was the manager during the Brumbies golden age, and then the manager for the Wallabies for a while after that, and then the ARU’s integrity manager for six years as well.

“People want entertainment. They want to see a product which is fast and entertaining,” Thomson said.

“We have guys standing around for whatever time, with no play whatsoever.”

Yes 2 Arvo

Afternoon rugby at Suncorp Stadium

Thomson’s back at it again (same article), and this time he’s talking about arvo games.

To get the community back, Thomson and the Brumbies are putting on a Pasifika game when the Reds will come down, with food stalls and other cultural things going on pre-game.

“We’re hopeful that will be a good engagement with the community,” Thomson said.

“The team will wear a special jersey for the match and we’ll just continue to just try and connect with all areas of the community, from kids right through to people who play rugby or support rugby.”

That community feeling is what Thomson wants, with potentially more arvo games on Sunday and Saturday.

“We would like to have two, three, four afternoon games to attract families, especially at this time of year when it is cold,” Thompson said.

“But we also realise TV broadcasters have a fair say in that given their investment in the game. [But arvo games are] a way of re-engaging with the public I guess, for a number of parties.

“If they come out to a game and have a good experience, and you sitting there and watching a 3pm game, if the next game is at night you’ll be more likely to watch it if they have an interest and are following the game.”

Asked if he backed McKellar’s call for FTA games, Thomson said: “I have been seconding that for 23 years, but that’s a bigger question there.”

“Obviously the more exposure the game can get in more areas of the community and population is better for the game. But I understand there are bigger issues at play there when you are negotiating to get maximum value in a broadcast deal.”

Tahs Out

Michael Hooper changes direction.

Tahs nightwatchman Daryl Gibson has admitted to the Daily Telegraph that the Tahs have pretty much no hope of making the finals after their 23-15 loss to Jags.

Semifinalists last year, the Tahs have this year only won 5 times and sit on 26 points, 1 win/4 points away from the final spots. The 3 games left for the Tahs are the Rebels, Brumbies and Highlanders.

“It’s going to be very difficult from here on in, isn’t it? In terms of those three games, we’re very much still wanting to play the rugby that we’ve set out to play all year,” Gibson said (via Fox Sports).

“That hasn’t changed for us. I know our guys will turn up and keep fighting, keep answering the bell and that’s what I expect.

“While we have that disappointment we know that we’ve got a lot of pride in our team and a lot of pride in our jersey. So plenty to play for there.”

The Tahs, who would have got their 5th losing bonus point this season if not for a full time whistle penalty, have struggled without Israel Folau, the perma-suspended Tolu Latu, and had to prematurely substitute Karmichael Hunt, Damian Fitzpatrick and Cam Clark during the game on Saturday night.

Gibson reckons he knows what to fix, and he’s got the answers.

“Obviously the kick duels, kick battles, the Jags did a better job there in terms of relieving their pressure. And metres gained on their kicks, they seemed to be able to get out of their area much more efficiently than what we did.

“And then when we had possession, we looked a little bit impatient, we wanted to score off every possession as opposed to being satisfied to go through the phases.

“Obviously the first half we struggled to get possession and territory but by the end of the game we had our chances, particularly during that period where they had a yellow card. I felt we converted some pressure but there were some opportunities there that we could have done better with.”

Hunt, meanwhile, is out for the rest of the Super season.

Super Round-Up

FolauFaingaa

There were 2 wins for Aussie teams on the weekends – the Brumbies beating the then-conference-leading Bulls, and the Rebels beating the Sunwolves by a lot. The Tahs lost, and the Reds did, getting a bonus point against the Chefs.

That means the Brumbies and Rebels are top of the conference, on 33 and 32 points, with the Tahs and Reds 7 and 9 points behind the Brumbies.

In terms of the Super conference, the Brumbies are in at 3rd out of the conference winners, and the Rebels are 2nd-best of the rest, behind the Hurricanes and more or less level on points with the Shorks, Bulls and Lions. With the Crusaders (obviously) and the Jags leading their conference, at this stage, 4/5 of the South African conference are in the finals.

On top of that, the Stormers have 30 points, like the Lions, and are currently coming 9th – one place outside of the playoffs.

Check out Brett McKay’s excel sheet table for more info. (Brett’s table is better and more accessible than the one found on the official site…).

Oh and after 15 rounds, do you know who’s the leading try scorer, with 10 tries? The answer is in the pic.

Results:

Chefs 19 – 13 Reds; Brumbies 22 – 10 Bulls; Moondogs 7 – 52 Rebels; Tahs 15 – Jags 23.

Crusaders 19 – 11 Blues; Stormers 34 – 22 Highlanders; Shorks 27 – 17 Lions. Bye – Hurricanes

*Rah! The Australian mens’ 7s will play France in the London 7s semi-final at 1148pm. They beat South Africa 29-22 in the quarters, and if they beat France they will face either the US or Fiji in the final. This is great news as the boys haven’t performed well enough to automatically qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Make sure to check the result in the morning, I’m going to bed!

  • Patrick

    If the rebels can just hammer the last nail into the Tah’s coffin I’ll be happy.

    Then we can start selecting the wallabies not only on combinations but winning ones.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Yeah if the Tahs lose every game from here onwards perhaps it will dissuade Cheika from picking his Waratah faves in the starting team.

      Simmons is the only guy who should start on form. I might go so far as to say Samu is outplaying Hooper, but that might be because I’m not objective in this one.

      • Greg

        why?

        • I think I’ll take the risk of answering for him.

          For at least two years, you can argue really longer than that, many people in a sky blue jersey haven’t performed when they pull on a green and gold one.

          Now, there are lots of presumptions about what it takes to win a RWC but, hands on heart or head, can you see a team that performed like last year’s Wallabies winning it? A miracle could happen if you pick the same team, they could come good in the different environment of Japan and so on. The intensity of the tournament and so on. But TRC is pretty intense, and it hasn’t worked. Why should it suddenly work in Japan?

          If someone smacks Cheika in the face and says “The Tahs were shit this year, the Rebels and the Brumbies were clearly superior, we need to be picking players primarily from there UNLESS there is a Tahs’ player who is clearly superior” that’s hard to argue as a starting position for picking on form.

          If you loop back to what I said about the theories of winning a RWC, people will tell you (since England in Australia in 2003) you need a core of experienced players. That has tended to be the model. It will continue to be the model, until someone wins using a different one. Fundamentally picking a Brumbies pack and a Rebels backline – you’ll want a few incomers from elsewhere but broadly that set up – gives you the two standout groups in the country. There are some horribly young players there, and some star names who will miss out if you actually just pick like that, but you’d be picking some combinations who are used to playing together. That wouldn’t be my starting XV for the final, but it would give me a structure from which to start and to ask “Is Y better?” for each position. I’m sure it’s not actually how he’s picked them, but it sometimes feels like Cheika’s picked the Tah’s 23 and said “Is Y better?” to end up with his squads. With them unlikely to finish better than 3rd, the answer, if he starts from that point of view, should often be yes.

        • Patrick

          +10 Eloise Pasteur, you could have read my mind (possibly because we were both thinking the bleedingly obvious) :)

        • Patrick

          (this is my second comment, the one below was first)

          For example, you would want to put Kerevi into that time you’ve outlined, and indeed you want him and TK as the centres, because they’ve been amazing.

          f Pocock isn’t fit, you might want Hooper at 7 (and probably on the bench if Pocock is fit). You would look at Folau if you were only focused on the rugby (some people here will have reasons not to pick him, but you are always going to look at your best tryscorer), and you’d think about Sefa, maybe, or Speight if he keeps improving, and perhaps Rodda in the second row, and maybe Luke Jones at Isa Naisarani at 6 and 8. Maybe LTS on the bench.

        • Huw Tindall

          Kerevi and TK were front and centre for Wallabies plans last year then both went out for the season. In RWC2015 Chek sat Beale on the bench. Can see him doing the same again. The Tahs bias thing is out of proportion. He may have one or two players he can bank on like Foley but that’s it.

        • Patrick

          Um, Hanigan? Dempsey? Before that Skelton… that’s just off the top of my head. But also not picking Fardy, etc.

          Basically anyone who has a few good games for the Tahs is straight away in the running for the Wallabies whilst other players seem to be constantly not enjoying their footy enough, or actually making tackles, or able to scrum.

        • Brumby Runner

          Even worse, by his actions and I think on occasions his words, Cheika has demonstrated that he doesn’t have much idea about the players from teams other than the Tahs.

        • Hoss

          There are other teams ??????

        • Brumby Runner

          Who do you think keep handing the Tahs their arses on a plate. (Wishful thinking!).

        • joy

          Including the Force.

        • Well yes. I wasn’t going to go there, but I do agree.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Why what?

        • Greg

          Why?
          Why would Mr Cheika start to pick a team on form now?

          The arguments presented are entirely logical and reasonable… they were also reasonable in 2018 and 2017 and 2016….. and have fallen on deaf ears.

          The main difference I see is Scott Johnson’s arrival. Maybe this will drive some change.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          We live in hope mate

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s his last year to build a legacy. If he doesn’t turn it around he will be remembered as one of the least successful Wallaby coaches of all time.

          Thus far, he’s displayed incredibly hubris and arrogance in his selections and gameplans. However, I think his pride is even greater than his ego, and I hope that may result in him picking a team on form, if only to try and salvage his legacy.

          Also, Brumbies and Rebels are playing much better this year than any other time since 2015.

        • Brumby Runner

          Unfortunately, that’s only half the story Darryl. What then happens to the form players once they come under the influence of Cheika? If not injured in training, they will mostly sit on the bench for the full 80 minutes if history is any guide.

      • Patrick

        That is exactly what I’m hoping for here. That the Wallabies start from a presumption of no Tahs and then select those who have absolutely beaten down the door on the field… as you say, not a lot of them and especially not Phipps, Foley, Hanigan, Beale, etc

      • Twoilms

        Hooper and Foley are still our best options at 10 and 7 (primarily because Pocock is permanently crocked). But that’s about it from the Tahs, really. You could make an argument for Robertson or Kepu as the fifth prop in the squad. I’d also probably take Beale in my squad but out of the 23.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Wrong and wrong hey. Foley isn’t even the second best, and Hooper may be the best when Pocock is injured, otherwise…

          Not sure what the argument for Robertson as the fifth prop is. Kepu plays both sides and has experience, Tupou and Alaalatoa are better THPs than Robertson and Sio and Slipper better LHPs.

        • Twoilms

          Robertson’s form in the last few games has been better than Kepu’s, basically. I think they are both fighting it out for the fifth prop spot.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Kepu comprehensively outplayed Thor when the Tahs met the Reds a few weeks ago. I would have him before Thor. Experience invaluable at world cups.

        • Custard Taht

          Mate, no offence, but if you think Foley and Beale are our best 10 and 15, you should be a saffa ref or tmo, cause you are blind……either that or you are a kiwi or saffa, in which case you are correct, they are indeed your best 10 and 15.

      • joy

        You would leave out a player who leads the SR tackle count by a country mile with a success rate of 90% for a part time pensioner who has run out of spare parts. Go figure.

    • Who?

      So, the Rebels could finish where they are (32 points), if they can figure out how to beat the Tahs they could be 36/37, if they can beat the Chiefs in the last round (who are below them on the table) they could be 40/41/42 points, but I don’t imagine them beating the Crusaders in Christchurch to have any hope of 44/45/46/47 points…..
      .
      Brumbies should win their remaining games, so they could go anywhere from 33 (current points, extremely unlikely!) through to 45/46/47/48 points.
      .
      Those figures are based on the 33 and 32 points for the Brumbies and Rebels respectively reported in this article (Brett McKay’s linked spreadsheet has each team one point higher).
      What do we think the minimum points will be to qualify for finals?

      • Brumby Runner

        Brett McKay is correct. I have been wondering why Nick would want to diddle the Brumbies and Rebels out of their hard earned bonus points from the weekend.

    • RF

      What next for David Wessels?

      He was interviewing for the Scarlets, are the Rebels likely to keep him? Will RA look to move him to Sydney or even up to the Wallabies job?

      • Custard Taht

        He is far from ready to be the Wallabies coach. Personally I think he needs a stint overseas, to expand his skillsets and knowledge. The only team that is under performing more than the rebels are the tahs. Though that is based on the number of wallabies in the tahs.
        From a pure talent standpoint, the rebels should win the conference and be extremely competitive against the canes and Crusaders.
        McKellar seems to be more ready to be wallaby coach, but that does not mean he would be the best choice.

        • Patrick

          Agree with Custard Taht. I think Australia needs a Joe Schmidt or a Vern Cotter (turning around underperforming teams) or even even forbid an Eddie Jones.

          Wessels hasn’t closed out the deal with the Rebels yet and until he does that he will not imho be a Wallabies coach.

      • Huw Tindall

        He’s got the best roster going around for 2 years and has yet to make it really work. Potential yes. A proven world class performer not yet.

  • Bernie Chan

    It’s taken until now to recognize that the Tahs lose kicking duels? Foley has a pop gun compared to most other flyhalfs…BT cops quite a bit (and rightly so IMHO…) from followers of the Reds, but surely Gibson must be under more scrutiny…?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I was thinking exactly the same thing. What the hell has he been watching for the past 4 years and why the hell hasn’t he done anything about it

    • Cameron Rivett

      I don’t understand why Foley is in charge of kicking from hand duties for the Tahs when Beale has a better boot.

      As for Gibson, I don’t understand how a coach who took a title-winning side to the bottom 3 of the ladder in 2 of his 4 years and has only made the finals once gets his contract renewed. There is a lot of coaching talent in Sydney, give some of them a chance!

      • Peter Morse

        It is an absolute bloody mystery why Gibson is so bullet proof. Is Hore a good mate of his? His results are just shit. Surely you renew a contract on results. Questions need to be asked here. His employment of journeyman and reject NZed players also needs to be questioned – and where is John Folau or is he just another crap signing?

        • Who?

          Gibson’s career is an interesting one, with a fascinating path.
          .
          So, he was attack coach under the underperforming Todd Blackadder for the Crusaders. I maintain he underperformed – the year before he took over, Deans took the Crusaders to the title. And the two years after, Robertson took them back to back, and they’re on form again for a third crack.
          It did feel as though Blackadder was scapegoating Gibson when he sacked Gibson, given the whole team was underperforming, but it’s not a great thing to have on your resume – “Attack coach for the best provincial team in the world when they couldn’t win titles.”
          .
          So he moved to the Tahs and won a title as attack coach against his old team and old coach. Good effort. They weren’t as good the next year. And then he was made head coach.
          .
          People blame him for taking a team that was a title winning team and doing nothing with it. But reality was that, by 2016, there was already a significant difference in that team. Beale was gone, JacPot (driving force of the 2014 pack) was gone, Douglas (who many thought was the driving force of that pack) was a Qlder rehabbing a knee blown out in the RWC final. They stayed on track, but didn’t have the team to play the game plan. 2017 was horrible.
          But 2018 was a new dawn. He managed to pull the team together and make the finals, winning the conference, and the team played as more than the sum of its parts. He had a genuinely good season.
          2019… It’s been mixed. He’s had great days, and horrible days.
          .
          I think Gibson can be a good coach. But he isn’t the complete package. He clearly values skills in his forwards, but he’s not sourced or strongly developed enough depth in the tight five. So I think he needs a very strong forwards coach, someone who’ll push him to recruit the raw talent required in those roles. I also think he’d do well with a Director of Rugby type person over him. Because the players seem to love him, so his hands on work must be ok. But maybe he could do with a bit more oversight and direction..?

        • Andy

          Good summary.

          People forget the massive roster change that happened over 2 years with the tahs. The forwards in 2014 we’re immense. Hooper was the only survivor 2 seasons later.

  • ForceFan

    Very pleasing to see Phil Thomson expousing the virtues of Global Rapid Rugby.

    • Your a brave man FF.
      Bet your the kind of bloke that wears a somewhat darker blue jersey at Tahs games. ;)

  • onlinesideline

    bloody hell Quade’s flat passes are a thing of beauty. If he isnt in the thick of it, with his worts and all, we have got absolutely zilch chance of crackin the D of the top 3 teams in the RWC. He is an attacking genius ….. meanwhile over in tahland…errr…nahhh I cant do it anymore.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Yeah it’s roll the dice with Quade and maybe beat some teams better than us, or continue with Foley and definitely don’t beat them. Not much of a choice, is it? But we know who Cheika will pick.

      • Custard Taht

        I think there is a greater chance of Cheika picking Lilo, and that would be a good choice.

        Cheika will be reluctant to pick Cooper, as he will see it as an admission he has gotten it wrong.

        If it was me I would have Cooper as 10 with lilo on the bench.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Has Lilo ever made a starting team under Cheika since 2014? I’d be surprised if he picked Lilo but jeez it’d be an incredible story. Hope you’re right about your picks.

        • Custard Taht

          Not that I can think of, but Lilo hasn’t really been in a position to push for selection in the Cheika era. He has had a good season and should be called up to the Wallabies…..however Foley will be in the 23, can’t see Cheika dropping him all the way out.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Sadly, I think you’re right. But I still have a faint hope we see the following team:

          1. Slipper
          2. Faingaa
          3. Ala’alatoa
          4. Simmons
          5. Arnold
          6. Jones
          7. Pocock (assuming he recovers and finds form)
          8. McCaffrey
          9. Genia
          10. Quade
          11. Speight
          12. Kerevi
          13. Kuridrani
          14. Banks
          15. DHP

          16. TPN
          17. Sio
          18. Kepu
          19. Rodda
          20. Hooper (Naisarani is Pocock is out)
          21. White (Powell if White doesn’t become eligible)
          22. Lilo
          23. Hodge

        • Keith Butler

          Looks pretty good to me but Cheika will give it a lighter blue tinge.

        • Brisneyland Local

          A totally blue tinge!
          Like a blue rinse on pensioner day!

        • Custard Taht

          That team would go alright I reckon.

        • IIPA

          Speight bombed a try on the weekend. I think you’re looking at his recent relative return to form through brumby glasses.

          Hodge for Speight and Philip for Simmons.

          I like the team though overall. Maybe two many oldies in the front row reserves. You’re the one who refers to AAC as a pensioner and you want to put Kepu and TPN in !

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Nah, I don’t. Best defensive pure winger in Aus. Does a lot of pick and gos, doesn’t concede many turnovers, contributes at the breakdown.

          I don’t think he bombed a certain try. Got unlucky with the bounce of a ball. It happens.

          I’ve not been a Speight fan for 3-4 years. But his form these last weeks has convinced me.

          Wouldn’t hate seeing Hodge there but he doesn’t really threaten. Don’t see the argument for Philip over Simmons or Rodda to be honest.

        • IIPA

          Fair enough, agree Speight is very good off the ball and does go looking for work. Not sure his defensive reads historically have been that great. I’d probably rather him than MK or Naivalu.

          Clarify I would have Rodda and Arnold starting locks. Simmons has been pretty good but don’t see him as a reserve and again like Kepu and TPN I think would be a retrograde move. Philip probably the most consistent Aus lock in Super Rugby the lats two years and deserves a chance I reckon.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I do get the argument for Hodge. And agree Speight’s defensive reads were abysmal for a while. I actually thought McKellar should have dropped him at points last year, but he has picked it up a lot.

          My number one criteria for a winger, in attack, is that they’re elusive and able to beat men one on one. For a long time I think Australia has been obsessed with big powerful guys that can bust through tackles (Koroibete, Hodge, AAC) but I prefer an elusive guy like a Drew Mitchell or a Roff (who Banks reminds me of, rather than of Latham). I think Speight has that elusiveness.

          Yeah I’m not against Rodda and Arnold starting and I agree Simmons starts of doenst play. But I love his line out abilities, broken field running, his defensive work and the fact that he always threatens to pass. It’s great when right 5 forwards are passing threats.

        • Who?

          Man, you’re in a rough spot when people are arguing whether your playing style reminds them more of Joe Roff or Chris Latham! :-D
          .
          Some of Simmons’ passing this year has been exceptional. The game the other week against the Reds, off the ruck from the first kick off his catch-pass was just ridiculous. You’d have been proud of it if you were a back, but as a forward… Had to stretch for a rough pass from the hooker (Fitzpatrick?), just managed to drag it back in for an inside ball back to Beale before being hammered by Rodda. That catch/pass ability was missed in the Wallabies’ hookers last year after Squeaky retired. His passing developed a lot those last few years, and was quite the asset. It will be missed when Kepu retires, though less than it might (because, thankfully, Tupou likes to pass). And if you look at our locks, the only ones who shadows Simmons’ skills in that area are Arnold and maybe Salakaia-Loto… Coleman’s nowhere near it, neither is Philip. Rodda, Hockings and Blythe aren’t there. Carter’s ok, but not really in contention.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’s my thinking too mate. Would be great if we had a tight 5 where every player threatened to pass.

          Haha I know, not in a bad spot to remind one of either player.

        • Brisneyland Local

          With all of the way with your starting 15. Would like to see Tongan Thor on bench probably in place of Kepu. WHo seems a little past his prime.
          But I think you have nailed it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah I get that. Unsure about Kepu vs Thor, but Thor’s scrummaging technique worries me at times. He’s very likely to win a match, but right now he’s like Latu, it could be for either side (maybe that’s unfair of me to say, but…)

        • Brisneyland Local

          He can be variable. But his running game of late and offloading has been superior to Kepu’s. But to be honest it is a 50/50 either way!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Alaalatoa has really been the relatively silent performer the last few years. Hasn’t got the media attention of Kepu or Thor, but has grown into one of the best THPs in all of super rugby.

        • Brisneyland Local

          100% agree. For once our starting 15 will be an existing capability brick lifted from one team. Existing partnerships count.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think your second sentence is spot on mate. I think Cheika see’s admitting he was wrong as showing weakness and so refuses to do so. This just means he never learns from his mistakes.

        • Greg

          Most of my successes over the years have come from admitting I learned something and/or made a mistake. Some of us are born perfect and knowing it all. The rest of us go on the journey.

          ….maybe it is just me :-)

        • Custard Taht

          Yep it is unfathomable, but it isn’t isolated to just Cheika.

          Fark me, Aus rugby pisses me off.

        • onlinesideline

          mate wherever and whenever Lilo is picked Im in full support. He is a freackin hero in my book. In awe.

        • Singapore Sling

          I still have nightmares over him breaking his ankle/leg in that 2012 game against the Tahs. He was the form 10 in super rugby after 5 rounds and the Brumbies were at least two converted tries ahead with 5 minutes to go. I was screaming at the telly for Lilo to be replaced then in injury time he goes down.

          I love the guy.

          If Cheika has any brains at all he selects working combos for the RWC, Powell/Lilo and Genia/Cooper.

      • Bernie Chan

        Alas you may be correct…! But we can at least imagine Sanchez-QC-Kerevi-Kuridrani in the guts of the attack…

      • RF

        I don’t think it is fair to say we definitely won’t beat them with Foley. Foley’s selection won’t make or break this team.

        All I ask of Cheika is that he approaches the RC with an open mind and gives players a chance to make a claim for shirts, including at #10.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe, but if we beat them, it will probably be by sheer luck. Foley has been in charge since 2014, and really he has never shown the ability to break down the defences of good teams. England 2015 is the best example, but were England a good team then?

        • Custard Taht

          I am not entirely sure that is correct. I think Foley at 10 can and has been the difference.

    • RF

      ” we have got absolutely zilch chance of crackin the D of the top 3 teams in the RWC”

      1 New Zealand
      2 Wales
      3 Ireland

      We have every chance against Wales and Ireland. Don’t fancy our chances against NZ.

      Losing Folau is probably a killer blow but I expect we may perform better. Larkham, who I rate, had an approach too complex for our team/players. We will be more effective with a simplified approach.

      I actually think that we will perform reasonably at the world cup

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Our attack was pretty poor with Folau. Not his fault, but the attack under Cheika had just become ‘give it to Izzy’ which didn’t work against the top teams.

        • Greg

          and once he had it he could pass both ways or put in a tactical kick if needed.

    • Twoilms

      One of the biggest sticks people beat Foley with is his defence and Quade’s is worse. Plus, for every great thing Quade does (usually against weaker opposition) he does something ridiculous.

      See his failure to ground the ball in-goal against the Lions which ended up costing the Rebels the match.

      I’d take any of Foley, Lilo, hell even Toomua over Quade. He doesn’t have the temperament for it.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Based on what is Quade’s defence worse? He’s got a higher tackle completion rate than Foley and has had multiple front on tackles on both TK and Kerevi this year that have stopped tries.

        So you’re cherry picking one poor decision this season. Imagine if we did that on for Foley? In fact, why don’t we compare their matches on the weekend, Nard knocking the ball on through a loose carry costing the team a potential comeback win, compared with Quade’s long passing masterclass.

        And before you say ‘it was just the sunwolves’, Foley was atrocious against the Sunwolves in Tokyo. The Tahs won by 2 points after Parker missed a drop goal.

        Foley makes as many errors as Quade, despite what you say, and is actually a slightly inferior defender.

        Foley is a quality super rugby player, but the main knocks on Foley come from the fact that he has all Quade’s negative attributes (often wilting at high pressure moments, average defence) along with a pop gun kicking game, average passing game and average playmaking game

        • Twoilms

          ^^^^
          I didn’t ‘cherry pick’ it was merely one example of many where Quade has done something foolish and unnecessary. Both players are essentially poor test 10’s – but it seems obvious to me to pick the one that isn’t liable to do something ridiculous every match.

          It’s Genia that is really running the show at the Rebels, and that’s why when he got nullified against the Bulls they had no response.

          Quade isn’t anywhere near vintage form and even back then his selection at test level was questionable.

          I’ll agree that Quade’s kicking is much better than Foley’s though, and i think that alone would have been enough to elevate him if he had shown the temperament to cut out the foolish aspects of his game this year. But he hasn’t done that.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Both are just as risky. Foley is constantly charged down, intercepted (I remember one particular match when Strauss the hooker intercepted him twice, both times Aus had almost certain tries if Foley didn’t pass to Strauss), not-passing (e.g. to Kerevi in the 81st minute vs Ireland in test 3) or not kicking it out.

          The allegations about how Quade cannot be trusted at international level, in reality, have never stood up to proper analysis, and that is because people who make the allegations are perfectly willing to make the allegation and then bugger off without ever justifying it.

          Genia has been abysmal the last month or so. Started the season brilliantly, but poor since. Also, that’s irrelevant.

          He may not be vintage form but Foley has been the 10 since 2014 and in that entire period he has had, what, two very high quality matches, vs England in 2015 and Wales in 2016? Seems like a great bet!

          So do we want to go for the guy that has never really performed super well at international level who has a worse passing game, worse playmaking game, doesn’t generally do well with hard running 12s (as Kerevi is) and needs a second playmaker there to play his best, worse kicking game and who combines worse with Genia, or the guy that is equally risky with far, far superior skills and abilities?

          You might want to go for the former. But I imagine you might be a Tah fan if that was the case.

        • Twoilms

          Well, preferences aside, the fact that our conversation is based on who is the least terrible, shows we are in for it.

        • Who?

          DBTB’s choosing to approach things the same direction as you, but the reality is that there’s always a case to be made for the player who can create. In the Wallabies, that player over the past 5 years has been Beale. And when Beale looks tired, jaded, or is out of form, the Wallabies are feeble. Foley’s there because he’s apparently the Ice Man (even though he still has games where he leaves his kicking boots at home).
          .
          Cooper leads the comp in try assists. His last 6 weeks have been (apart from last weekend, which I missed) much quieter, but he’s been honest in saying he was tired, dealing with the increased physicality of returning to Super Rugby, and, crucially, his pack has been unable to execute the game plan.
          .
          There’s been much whinging that Quade wouldn’t implement the game plan under Stiles, now there’s complaints that the Rebels don’t have a Plan B, and that Quade should be changing it up. As an attacking playmaker, I think he’s in a class of his own, having the best vision and passing game in the country by a margin. An interesting comparison, then, is Aaron Rogers. Brady may be the GOAT, but he has Bellichik running the team. Rogers had a coach he didn’t trust, and was overcalling his coach on at least 1/3 plays last season (until McCarthy was sacked). Pretty well no one said that the QB shouldn’t overcall the play-calling coach’s plays, in spite of the fact that the Packers had a losing season. That losing season was due to weaknesses up front – not dissimilar to Cooper’s time with the Reds in 2017. Whereas people whined about Cooper overcalling his (clearly inferior – McCarthy had a SuperBowl win, Stiles and crew had nothing) coach on game plan.
          .
          Similarly, Cooper was formerly ‘hidden’ in the backfield on defence. Apparently just to minimise his requirement to tackle. Don’t worry about the fact that he’s an excellent kicker, and that he’s a great counterattacking player (not as much these days, with reduced pace compared to 2010/11 Quade, but he’s still a significant threat and manipulates defences brilliantly), it’s just to stop him from having to tackle. But when Foley – a bloke who’s far less elusive and nowhere near as effective a clearance kicker – is hidden in defence, it’s not an issue..?
          .
          You’re saying that Cooper has many examples where he’s done something foolish and unnecessary. I don’t think you’d even find his harshest and most strident Fox Sports critics making that call this year. Failing to ground the ball against the Lions (which was debatable on the footage I saw, and the ref missed other things in the lead up to that) didn’t cost the Rebels the game – a 20-1 penalty count from the farcical Egon Seconds cost the Rebels that game.
          .
          In terms of temperament, I’d love it if you could show me a game in the past five years where his temperament cost his team a try, let alone a game.
          .
          Clearly, whatever Cooper does, he’s on a hiding to nothing from some sections (such as yourself).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How is he on a hiding from me? I’m a huge Quade fan, but I’m not going to deny that he has brain fades and goes for high risk high reward plays, so he is by definition risky.

          As with most 10s, he’s an average defender.

        • Who?

          Not what I meant mate – I meant you were arguing from the perspective of the negatives, saying that Quade’s negatives aren’t as bad as made out, which led to Twoilms saying you were arguing for the lesser of two evils. Then I said that we could argue it from the other perspective, too. That Cooper’s the better option because he does more good, not just because he’s no worse.
          And whilst I don’t look to have been clear, I meant you could do that as much as I could. It’s just that you took the approach of minimising his negatives (as I’ve often done in the past, too), rather than focusing on his positives.
          And whilst I don’t look to have been clear, I meant you could do that as much as I could. It’s just that you took the approach of minimising his negatives (as I’ve often done in the past, too), rather than focusing on his positives.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I usually assume that’s people take his positives for granted. When in form and playing flat, as deadly as any 10 in the world in attack. As the RRC boys said, he looks like a god when his pack his ascendancy (not something someone could say about any other Aussie 10, bar Leali’ifano vs the Chiefs).

        • Who?

          The hilarious thing is that, in 2017, the reason why Cooper couldn’t be selected (not according to you, but others on here) was that he could only play deep. Everyone on Fox still raves about how good Foley is because he flattens up the attack when he has fast ball. But Cooper’s every bit his equal in that regard, and all thanks to the significant investment of time Eddie Jones put in with him one on one back in 2007.
          .
          It’s just another area where Quade can’t win. One year, “He can only play deep!” Next year, “He’s best when he plays flat!” How about, “He does what’s appropriate situation by situation, like any decent 10 should..?”
          .
          Not accusing you mate – just funny how he cops it from every direction.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Absolutely he does. Some people trying to justify their deep seated dislike/resentment of him. Others have just fallen into the groupthink.

        • Custard Taht

          Yet, the Rebels sit above the Tahs, and the Tahs are a laden with Wallabies.

          Tries: Rebels 53 v Tahs 39. Rebels 2nd most.

          Pts: Rebels 370 v tahs 311. Rebels 2nd most.

          Defence: Cooper 65/25 and Foley 82/33…Foley misses 40% and Cooper 38%.

          Despite Coopers temperament, his team has scored more tries, more points and he is a 2% better defender and he is mostly defending in the frontline, unlike hidden in defence Foley.

          I can’t be certain, but generally a playmaker plays an important part in making plays that result in points.

          As for errors, Foley is error ridden. The difference is, Coopers errors come from to trying to make plays, Foleys come from poor skills.

          Yep, Cooper makes more errors when the pressure is on. That is because he still keep trying, where as Foley just goes missing.

        • Custard Taht

          Based on the perceived perceptions test….

      • Singapore Sling

        I’d take Mack Mason over Nard!

      • onlinesideline

        I would take Toomua or Lilo or Quade

  • Timbo

    Every registered(paid) member of ACT rugby, players and supporter staff, have FREE access to all Brumbies home games. The fact that there are no Vikings or Eagles or Royals sections is a real disappointment of both Act rugby and the Brumbies. That being said, every club player in the ACT and surrounding clubs would probably add maybe 2000 spectators. The Brumbies ‘faithful’ are mostly at fault.

    • Who?

      That’s incredible – I don’t think any other team does that… Great value for membership.

      • Timbo

        That’s players tho. A basic membership gets you 4 games excluding finals. I only just opened mine for this year. Didn’t even know I had it. Must have been from playing last year.

        • Who?

          My son played 7 years of Rugby (he ‘retired’ at U12’s – we couldn’t work the schedule enforced on the region by the private schools, who recruit about half the players into their schools). QRU. We had two players turn up to our club once (and 12months later, Holmes played at the RWC). Our club tended to get one game every other year on field at a Reds game, but apart from that… Nada. One club visit in 7 years, a trip to Suncorp (a few hours drive away), and that was it. No free tickets. NRC in town? The local Sub-union was required to pay for the privilege of hosting the game, and therefore we had no free tickets there, either. Not complaining about the NRC – it’s great – but 7 years, and, if you weren’t amongst those who went to a game at Suncorp (and they always capped numbers – not fun when you can take 14 kids to the game when you have 21 in the team! I asked for volunteers to help the club on the date of the game, and took the first 14 to volunteer), and missed training that one Friday afternoon, then 7 years and NO contact or representatives from the QRU…

        • Timbo

          With that experience you could be forgiven for not going to a few reds games. Canberra a on the other hand don’t realise how good they have it. Clubs are well regarded and have decent interaction with Brumbies players. We had Speight, Mann-Ray and Arnold playing for out 1sts during Brumbies byes and turning up to training. The fact that 6000 spectators turn up to Bruce to watch a footy match when there is ample parking, public transport and the stadium is close to everything except tuggeranong(not hard to get there tho) is an indictment on Canberrans and unfortunately a symptom of a pretty fractured community IMO

        • Who?

          We did go to a few Reds games (until Richard Graham… Oh, and Reds/Crusaders in 2017), paying for the experience. Great stadium, just not affordable for us in cost or time (given it’s 2 hours each way).
          .
          I agree about Bruce not being bad to get to, though. We came to Canberra for a holiday last year, and the biggest problem was the seemingly 50% of locals who think the speed limit is 10km/h lower than whatever’s signposted! We stayed just near Bruce, nothing was that far away, and nothing was hard to access.
          But, honestly, Canberrans are spoilt. Everyone makes jokes about Canberra, but it looks a very liveable place. My wife wasn’t keen on living there, but it felt like a bigger version of our home town, just with more things to do.

        • Timbo

          Spoilt brats. 100%

        • Brumby Runner

          Good observation about the driving habits of a majority of Canberrans. They mostly don’t use their indicators either until part way through the turn they are taking, or sometimes not at all.

        • David Creagh

          Jeez you guys did well. I think we had Benny A for three games last year. No Pocock, no Allallatoa, no Banks. When Tomane was here we saw him once, I think he turned up with his boots an hour before first grade. We have one of our Brumbies this year, Murray Douglas for one game. We saw all the Brumbies at a preseason training to encourage us to get memberships and turn up to the games. I had to go back to work so I don’t know how long they stayed.

        • Timbo

          Not sure what it’s been like this year but over the last few years I’ve seen all three of our guys at training. Granted Henry works predominantly with the girls team, Bongo was an Eagles player from way back and Arnold was coming off injury the times I saw him.
          Dargaville was an eagles player too I believe.
          Genuinely the problem is that unless they were free silver seats, most Canberrans would turn their noses up. They really are poor drivers tho

  • Who?

    So, there was an article on Fox from Doran with Phipps (said it was a Podcast, but I didn’t see a link) talking about the recent Wallabies camp. They specifically talked about the Wallabies having a new defensive system, unveiled at the recent camp for the first time by Grey. Apparently they learned about it on the third day of the camp, the Monday.
    .
    So, five Tests from a RWC, our poorest ever defence coach has finally conceded defeat and unveiled a new defensive system. It’s great, and terrible. Why did it take so long to recognise the problem? Why wasn’t this revealed at an earlier camp? How do those who are likely to figure in Wallabies teams who weren’t included at this camp familiarise themselves with the new system?
    .
    The most fascinating thing about this, though, is that it removes, “The returning guys already understand the defensive system,” – a debatable point at any time in the Grey era, given our fragility, given how frequently we’ve conceded 30 and 40 points in a game – as an excuse for not picking on form. For not picking new guys. It’s something commenters and commentators have raised previously – “Cheika will use the same guys as last year, because Grey’s system is stupid and stupidly complicated to learn.” It was a valid point. But the tense of that verb – past tense – is crucial now.
    .
    The article also noted Phipps saying that Cheika’s not appointed an Attack Coach yet. But he’s clearly already picked the coach. Cheika laughed, “There’s no one to coach anyway at the moment, so we won’t get him in until later.” Then he took the players through the KPI’s and strategies he needed everyone to work through. So, clearly, Cheika’s already come up with the attacking game plan, and the Attack Coach will simply be a liaison, not a tactician, analyst or strategist. It’s effectively confirmed that Cheika – who doesn’t like watching the game, who doesn’t watch other teams, who doesn’t do analysis – is the one who’s planned our attacking game plan for the RWC.
    .
    So, Cheika’s written the attacking game plan. Grey’s written a new defensive system. Huge news.
    .
    Now, how confident are we all feeling……?

    • Patrick

      Not.

    • Bobas

      You forgot that last World Cup after our win against Fiji. Cheik admitted he didn’t realise that bonus points where a thing in World Cup pools.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      FFS, Grey has a new system! WTF is that all about? I know his last one was shit and I only hope this is something along the lines of holding in your position and making the bloody tackles but to bring it out at a camp like that with not everyone available and so close to the start of the international season. What a complete muppet

      • Come on KRL
        This is a different shade of Grey.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Boom tish!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha Gold mate

        • Greg

          The sadomasochism angle has certain parallels!

        • onlinesideline

          mwhaaahahhaaa

      • Geoffro

        Maybe his new system is related to selecting a few different guys who can actually defend.(QC aside who doesn’t lack courage just technique)

    • HK Red

      There’s no reason for grey’s new defensive system, to be any more effective than the last one.

      • Brumby Runner

        Assuming it is different, ie different to any of the systems employed by the Super teams, it will likely be even less effective while it is being implemented. Sorry state of affairs just prior to TRC and the RWC.

    • Bernie Chan

      About as confident as winning a argument against the better half without consequences…

    • Andy

      It’s a shambles. Has been for years. The only defence Grey has to fall back on though are the players he’s coaching, which is very legitimate. This season stats for a likely backline starters:

      9. Genia – 59%
      11. DHP – 86%
      11. MK – 70%
      10. Foley – 71%
      10. Cooper – 73%
      12. Kerevi – 74%
      13. TK – 84%
      14. Maddocks – 59%
      15. Beale – 68%
      15. Banks – 70%

      These number are really appalling. The only 2 performing close to international standard are DHP and TK. Not condoning Grey as our Defence coach as he has probably made a bad situation worse but I feel for any Defensive coach who took on this portfolio.

      • Who?

        The question about Grey and his systems is…
        Were they systems that increased the likelihood of the players making the tackle, or made it more difficult for those defenders..?

        • Andy

          I’d say he’s made the job harder for guys who clearly already struggle to make 1 on 1 tackles.

  • Steve

    The weekend crowd at the Brumbies was really disappointing…The team + coach can’t really do any more to bring the numbers in. There’s a lot of discussion about making game day more of a show…pre-game and surrounding entertainment etc.

    There’s probably some truth to that, but I can’t imagine that’s making all the difference, and nor scrum resets. I’m not sure it’s something that can be easily fixed, but I hope to be proved wrong

    • SirDigbyChickenCaesar

      I’m not sure about the scrum reset argument either. The NFL and Major League Baseball has a lot of gaps in play but still attracts large crowds. Wouldn’t it be great if someone went and actually did some proper market research to determine what it would take for people to go and watch rugby? For example, perhaps the theory about Australian derbys being more popular is correct due to inter-state rivalry.

      • dsb

        There is general disinterest given the poor leadership of Australian Rugby at ARU/RA level. The public has voted with their feet. Watching local rugby instead.

      • I think faster scrum/lineout is relevant, but isnt the cure all.
        Having a poorly supported national comp sure doesnt help.
        Hear many espousing scrum, lineout, kicking duels as being parts of rugby that should never be modified, tho i feel this is more from a player prospective than spectator.
        Chess is an exceptional game too..very poor turnouts for games though, and having cheerleaders and entertainment for the kiddies prob wont do much to change that.

        • Who?

          Tennis has very little downtime. I don’t mind playing it. I find watching it to be less interesting than watching paint peel……
          Kicking duels can offer opportunities for counter attack, and they don’t tend to last long these days anyway (players cover ground quickly).
          Scrums are being wrongly attacked, they’re great to watch – certainly now compared to 2012. 2012 you’d get four resets every other scrum, and no real contest. Scrum resets feel to have increased in frequency, but there’s still fewer than in the past, and fewer reasons for them in the past, and when the ball gets in there, scrums these days are a real contest and absolutely entertaining. They could pack them faster, or blow time off until the set (which would increase the percentage of the game with ball in play, due to the lengthening of the game by the removal of time spent waiting for the packs to bind), but resets aren’t (yet) a major issue.

        • I do think resets are an issue Who, just maybe not to me or you.

          Wandering 60metres downfield to a lineout after a good exit kick likewise.
          GRR seems to have cured this, but at the detriment of the purists.
          Just an observation really.’
          A no bullshit ref seems to cure a lot of the woes Ive noticed.

        • Who?

          I agree, a good ref can cure most of the woes, and it would be even easier if the methods adopted by good refs were adopted by the Game Management Guidelines.
          If a scrum were to be reset within 20 seconds of the previous set, I don’t think they’d be an issue. But how often do you see the front rows slowly emerge from the dirt, walk away, stretch, maybe see a trainer, go through the full process of centering themselves and binding before fronting up to the mark for the scrum again? If there were a time limit (with exceptions for clear injuries) and time were regularly blown off (meaning it’s not chewing the clock), I don’t think many would have an issue with it, and it might solve the issues for those who currently have an issue.
          .
          I also think referees, after the first collapse of a scrum, need to be very clear to front rows that they need to get their heights up, and let the players know that setting up low will risk his wrath.

        • Rebs/Wolves game was a example of good reffing re such things.
          “Wasting time, Short-arm penalty” would do it.

        • Brumby Runner

          I’m with you on all points Who, but especially the tennis reference.

        • Singapore Sling

          The clock should be stopped once the whistle blows for the scrum and started once the scrummie feeds the ball. Scrum collapse, time out and repeat.

          I’ll watch a bit of tennis too but once I know what colour knickers they’re wearing I change channels.

  • paul

    “People want entertainment. They want to see a product which is fast and entertaining,” Thomson said.

    Well maybe the Brumbies need to be in discussion with GRR :-)

    • Perth girl

      My thoughts as well, plus FTA games!

  • paul

    Obviously the more exposure the game can get in more areas of the community and population is better for the game. But I understand there
    are bigger issues at play there when you are negotiating to get maximum value in a broadcast deal.”

    This pretty much sums up rugby’s problem in a sentence, the more they have chased the broadcast $, ultimately the smaller the audience watching.

    The issue now is we’ve finally come to the edge of the cliff, what there saying is teams like the Brumbies are not a viable option anymore with the professional costs involved.

    Going forward though if this World rugby thing comes off, is there any point continuing with a competition that will slowly suck up any added revenue that comes in.
    If the RA have some sort of financial security with World Rugby, then is it time to look at the domestic game. ????

    • Or stick with the status quo .

      Brumbies unviable, stronger as 3 then.
      Then the Rebs…
      Ends up Shute Shield is the pinnacle after all.
      How wrong my thinking was..

  • Custard Taht

    The Rebels v Tahs this week is probably their biggest game of the season. They lose, they can kiss the finals goodbye, as they won’t beat the Crusaders.

    I see the Brumbies winning their last 3 games and topping the conference.

    The Rebs will need to win 2 of their last 3 if they are any chance of a wildcard spot. The Hurricanes have 1 spot locked up, so they are in a battle with Jags, Bulls, Sharks, of which one will the conference and all 3 I think will win 2 of their last 3.

    • Keith Butler

      Too true. I reckon we’ll cop the Tahs on the rebound after last Saturday’s defeat and our chance of a finals place will be out the window. Mind you, apart from the Canes, it looks like the Saffas will fill the rest of the places.

      • Brumby Runner

        Not so sure. There are a few local derbies to be run in SA, so teams will be taking points away from their local opponents in those games.

        In a year where the Brumbies have beaten the Lions, Stormers and Bulls, the Reds have had a win too I think, it is a mystery to me that so many Saffa teams are still in the running for the finals. In my eyes, they are the weakest of the conferences this year.

        • Ed

          Data do not match your last statement of the SA conference being the weakest this year BR.

          Inter-conference matches this year:
          AUS P33 W10 L23 D0
          NZL P32 W19 L11 D2
          RSA P33 W18 L13 D2

          If you remove the Moondogs from the AUS numbers:
          P27 W9 L18 D0

          This lack of inter-conference wins is why more AUS teams are not in the top 8 at this stage.

        • joy

          If Sunwolves are removed from the AUS conference stats they should be removed from the stats for SA and NZ. Comparing results from the top 4 of each conference gives a fairer result.

        • Ed

          If you want top four:
          NZ P28 W16 L10 D2
          SA P31 W16 L13 D2

          I have all the inter-conference matches in the first set of figures. The comment was the South African conference was the weakest.

          If three of the Oz sides don’t make the finals next year with a leg up from a Sunwolves side that will most likely won’t give a shit, then we should be worried about 2021 when the comp returns to a round robin scenario.

    • Huw Tindall

      Sans Genia this is a real risk. A more important player to a team you cannot find. Ruru will go well but he is no Genia.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick,

    Not sure I agree with the Brumbies that it is the scrum resets causing supporters to stay away. I think the reason people are staying away is because of two main things. Firstly, the deplorable sink from 2nd in the world to 6th over the last 5 years with continual crap play and platitudes from an underperforming coaching team with no accountability and seemingly no idea on how to reverse the trend. Lots of words about plans and good training but continual poor performance on the field and then personal attacks against anyone who dares to question these results. Secondly, the continual poor management of the game from RA. Everything from Di Patterson’s and Link’s debacle to the cutting of the Force, the disgraceful way States are allowed to butcher the NPC and now the Folau shit fight. Honestly, all this with a local conference that gets teams home games in the semi-final through a conference system rather than from good play, what the hell does he actually expect. I’ve followed the game over here for the last 9 years since moving over from NZ. The Wallabies will always be my second team and I support any of the Australian teams over anyone else. I’ve coached in Canberra and refereed in both Canberra and Sydney and what has become so clear to me is the general drop off in support from the grass roots amongst the players, coaches and supporters I meet each week. It’s got very little to do with the funding or the challenges from the other codes, almost without fail I get complaints about how the bunch of muppets running the Wallabies and RA are slowly killing the game and there is no accountability for any of them. They make mistake after mistake, continually protect their “old boys” network and generally don’t seem to care about anything except themselves. The fact that a scrum gets reset a couple of times is actually not something any of them have ever said. Phil Thomson, like most of the management over here, needs to pull his head out of his arse and start looking at the real issues and making changes that the supporters actually want or he’ll watch it get a lot worse before it gets better.

    • Brumby Runner

      Is it coincidence that the sharp drop off in crowd numbers seems to coincide with the lack of growth in incomes over the past 3 – 5 years? Is it a matter of people having reduced discretionary income?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That’s actually a fair point. I live out at Homebush and getting into Sydney for a game at the Allianz and back is such a pain and expensive, especially with transport costs and food, weak beer and poor access thrown in (hopefully at least some of this will change with the rebuild) I can’t be bothered.

    • paul

      Thomson said: “I have been seconding that for 23 years, but that’s a bigger question there.”
      No doubt he has happily taken home his pay check for those 23 years as well. Self interest kills the game in this country, running a one team code. and its always someone else’s fault.

    • joy

      Brumbies are legitimately in the top 4 as are the Rebels in the top 8. Apart from this small point, I agree.

    • IIPA

      Agree with all that to the extent it has affected the traditional passionate supporters. But ask any casual fan who watches league and AFL also and they’ll cite things like scrum resets, packs meandering to a lineout 40m down field, forwards stopping the game to get some sort of vague injury treated or put their boot back on as being a major turnoff. And these feelings I find amongst people I know have gotten stronger to the point where they wont really consider going to a game anymore. But scrum resets would be the biggie. Rebels v Sunwolves one scrum took 4 goes to get right, that was close to 4min – 5% of the entire game. Tahs and Argies once scrum took 3 goes, Jaguares awarded a free kick 30m out from their own line and they elected for a another scrum ! Thank God that got completed first go.

      • Keith Butler

        Let’s face it both sides cheat at scrum time. Set a 1 min time limit on scrums. If the scrum is incomplete make it non contested.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s been talked about for a bit. I think there is some benefit in this along the lines of “if your scrum isn’t set ready to go in 1 minute the opposition gets a free kick” or something. I don’t think the process of the collision or management of it when it goes wrong is bad, that’s a reflection of the contest being so tight and I think we need to keep that. I also think as it’s a contest we need to keep managing the safety aspect of it and reset as necessary for that

        • Nutta

          Yep. 20sec from the whistle you’re ready to roll or the other team gets a short-arm, then a long arm if they do it again and then bin their 9.

        • Who?

          Any excuse to bin a 9, eh Nutta..? :-P
          Somehow, I feel like a goodly number of tight fivers would deliberately infringe the required 3 times to get rid of that annoying little bloke who keeps on yelling at them! :-D

        • Nutta

          You have seen through my ruse!

          But my point is, I have seen sides do almost anything to avoid scrummage over the years. If they are getting seriously toweled up it may be a viable alternative to just take the short-arms or even the penalties rather than scrum. If so, bin someone not in the scrum but who really matters to their game – the 9! Watch them fall into line then.

          Besides, they deserve it. They are 9’s.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree that it is mystifying to casual fans but what I have found is that when you sit with them and explain it they understand. I also think the continual contest and good play outweighs the odd issue with resets

    • Richard Patterson

      Well written.

    • Hoss

      Winning makes all short comings disappear.

      Don’t reckon those over the detch are having the same conversations.

      Winning cures all.

      • Who?

        They are, but from a different perspective. Because I keep on reading crowds are down over there, too. But I don’t see resets being the reason. Maybe boredom, from winning so much….? :-(

        • Hoss

          No such thing as too much winning Dr. it’s like the worst blowjob you’ve ever had – ‘excellent’ (Best Montgomery Burns accent)

        • Who?

          Trump said his people would get sick of winning… Maybe it’s something you should explain to him? Because he’d probably enjoy going into details on your analogy. :-P

    • HK Red

      The Gallagher premiership and Heineken cup have scrum resets and they pack out the grounds weekly. I know some of those grounds are quite small, but totally agree this “resets responsible for low attendance” is pure smoke n mirrors.

    • Custard Taht

      Out of all of the RA/ARU fuck ups, the biggest to me, is the complete loss of Ewen McKenzie to Aus Rugby. There are two coaches right now at Super Rugby level that would hugely benefit from having mentoring from and access to him.
      I also believe the wallabies would be/have been a completely different beast under his tutelage.

    • Nutta

      Charge on McDuff!

  • Greg

    Just noting we are now 4.5 IFFDs (Israel Folau Free Days) and are talking about rugby.

    Normal service has resumed with a discussion on the bewildering process Mr Cheika uses to pick a team.

    • Keith Butler

      And long may it continue.

  • adastra32

    “…a product which is fast and entertaining”

    How about removing over half the number of players in each team and cutting the length of the game drastically with almost no set-piece? Hold on a minute…

    Excuses, excuses for poor performance – blame something or someone else for your own shortcomings.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well the pace is fast and blistering on GAGR this morning, so many comments so early. Which is great. Here is BL’s ramblings of a mad man:
    – You want the fans to come back. Fucking easy! Win some fucking games. When the Wallabies win, it is usually because one or two of our SR franchises are strong. But the Wallas have sucked ass since 2016. The Reds have been screwing the pooch since Link Left, infact so have the Wallabies. The Brumbies have been up and down. We cut the force! The Rebles have been a slow burn but appear to be improving, and since winning their SR title the Tahs have been on a downward spiral ever since. To quote Charlie Sheen “People Love winners!” They do! Win games, try your best. Be in the paper for the right reasons and not the wring reasons and the crowd will return. Don’t get me wring scrum resets are boring as shit. Even as a player they suck. But treat the disease not the symptom!
    – The Tah’s sucked on the weekend, but sure as shit they will come home with a wet sail to try and scorched earth all of the other Aus teams. Lets hope the Rebs give them six of the best old school style!
    – It would be great to see the Rebs and the Brumbies make the finals. Let of permutations and combinations to make that happen but I hope it does.
    – Sure as shit I hope Genia recovers quickly. That head kick (accidental) was pretty brutal!
    – Lets start seeing what the squad looks like. DBTB’s one posted today looks pretty good. I don’t think Cheika will pick it because he is a lunatic. But there is hope.
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey mate,My team would be:

      Slipper, Faiangaa, Ala’alatoa, Arnold, Rodda, Jones, Pocock, McAffery, Genia, Cooper, Clarke, Kerevi, TK, Naivalu, DHP. Reserves, Tupuo, Mafi, Hegarty, Meakes, Phipps, Coleman, Sio, Toomua

      • Brisneyland Local

        That’s good to. I would take Gordon over Phipps. Old Bovine Sprinkler is a liability these days.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He’s still got the quickest pass out of them all and that in itself is good

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. But where it lands is the $100 question.

        • Hoss

          Bit unfair Briz – he hits everything he aims at – just his aim is shit.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true.

        • Custard Taht

          Only a liability to the Wallabies…..you can’t expect him to remain completely unbiased and impartial!

      • Hoss

        Much the same shagger

        Eric Clapton, Palestine, 7A;s, Gene, Rodda, Jones, Brian, Naisarani, Sanchez, Two-cows, Sefa, Kerevi, K-train, Maddocks, Sauce.

        Reserves
        Methusela, Ueleses, The Schutzstaffel, Coleman, Hooper, The Sunshine Band, Hodge, White

        • Brisneyland Local

          You better put the translation for all the newbies!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          and some of us oldies mate

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold!

        • Who?

          So, translated….. Before someone comes along and complains:
          Slipper – Fainga’a – Ala’alatoa
          Simmons – Rodda
          Jones – Pocock – Naisarani
          Sanchez William Genia, – Toomua
          Naivalu – Kerevi – Kuridrani – Maddocks
          Haylett-Petty
          .
          Bench of:
          Kepu – Uelese – Sio…?
          Coleman – Hooper
          Cooper – Hodge – White
          .
          Not sure about calling Sio the S.S…. Might need another run at that one?

        • Hoss

          You sir, get a badge. Scott Sio is The SS.

        • OnTheBurst

          I’m puzzled about Slipper = E Clapton?

        • Who?

          What’s that old Clapton song…..?
          .
          .

          .

          .

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qYS732zyYfU

        • OnTheBurst

          Derrrrr…. how did I miss that

        • Brisneyland Local

          I thought Hooper was Lee Majors?

        • Hoss

          Even I forget sometimes

        • Brisneyland Local

          You get that when we get old mate!

      • Brumby Runner

        KRL, you too have a bench with four backs. I just cannot believe it.

    • Who?

      Mostly agree, but I’ll note that people will follow teams, even when they’re winning, that look like they’re giving their best. You can’t expect to win a 15 team comp every year, but you’ve got to give a good account of yourself. To show development. Mostly, Aussie teams haven’t been doing that…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Who agree. Core fans stay, the casual fans come and go on performance. Unless you are the Crusaders and they just stay because they keep on winning or finishing second.
        You are spot on with giving a good account of yourself and showing development.
        Aussie teams are shite at that.

  • joy

    Try a monetary solution. Both sides get a bonus for each one set scrum.

  • RF

    I hate to invite the wrath from the genuinely passionate Brumbies supporters here but…

    For rebuilding the game Canberra is not the right fit for a Super Rugby franchise. The best solution was the proposal to keep the Force, fold the Rebels move the Brumbies to VIC while playing a couple of games a year in Canberra.

    And it’s still not too late.

    • Perth girl

      RA are too busy focussing on their navels to sort out Australian rugby

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      How do you figure that? The Brumbies are the only Australian team to ever have any sustained success in super rugby, and who have developed a following overseas from their golden era.

      • RF

        They certainly have enjoyed on the field success, they have done tremendous work on the field.

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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