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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News wraps up the Super Rugby semi-finals along with the various club competitions across Australia, provides an update on the fitness of David Pocock (along with the potential return of a former Wallaby) and outlines the new laws set for trial in the NRC


Super semi-finals

KMP-G&G-SR-Waratahs-Brumbies-3241

The semi-finals of the Super Rugby have thrown up some thrilling displays of rugby across the weekend as we get set to crown the champions for 2019.

The first semi-final witnessed the Jaguares attempt to make their first Super Rugby grand final as they hosted a Brumbies side hellbent on sending off five of their key players, most notably captain Christian Lealiifano, with the side’s first title in 15 years.

The Jaguares would dominate the early contests of the match, racing out to a 20-0 lead in the first twenty minuttes thanks to tries to former Brumby Tomas Cubelli and Tomas Lavanini.

The Brumbies would strike back right before half time through Folau Fainga’a, reducing the margin to 20-7 before half time to give Australian fans some hope of an almighty comeback.

However, it would ultimately fail to inspire a fightback with a double to Matias Orlando’s and a late try to Emiliano Boffelli sealing the 39-7 win to the Jaguares and their place in the grand final for the first time in the club’s short history.

Their opponent would be determined later on Saturday evening with a rematch of the 2018 semi-final where the defending champions Crusaders hosted a Hurricanes team hungry for revenge.

The home side would control the first half, with the Crusaders cruising to a 13-7 lead thanks to the boot of Richie Mo’unga, who kicked two penalty goals and put in a perfect cross-field kick for Sevu Reece to score.

The Hurricanes refused to give in, constantly pressuring the Crusaders goal-line, eventually finding success through Ben Lam and Ngani Laumape to reduce the margin back to a point to set up a thrilling contest.

In the end, the defending champions were too strong with a second try to Reece giving them much needed breathing space to hold off the fast-finishing Hurricanes to secure the 30-26 win and their opportunity for a three-peat.

However, their quest to go back-to-back-to-back has been hampered with suspected injuries to All Blacks Ryan Crotty and Scott Barrett.

Crotty (thumb) and Barrett (finger) are set to learn the extent of their injuries when x-ray results return on Monday, with fractures rulling them out of the grand final along with hampering their availability for the All Blacks World Cup preparations.

Rugby wrap-up

Sydney Uni vs. Parramatta (Image Credit - AJF Photography)

Sydney Uni vs. Parramatta (Image Credit – AJF Photography)

The adventures around Australian club rugby starts in NSW where round 13 of the Shute Shield has thrown up some incredible results.

The highlight of club rugby this week was up at Pittwater Park, where top placed Warringah managed to hold off defending champions Sydney Uni 22-21 after Uni winger James Kane missed a penalty with two minutes to go, handing the Rats revenge after their crushing defeat in the 2018 grand final (click the link for a full recap of this thrilling contest)

Other results in the competition saw Easts break Manly’s five-game winning streak with a 34-19 win, Eastwood dominated Randwick 47-31, Norths held off a valiant Western Sydney 31-18 and Gordon maintained touch with the top 6 with a comeback 24-21 win over Southern Districts.

Round 14 of the Hospital Challenge Cup saw Queensland Uni pull off a last gasp victory over Norths 40-39, Brothers outgun Sunnybank 34-25, GPS dent Wests finals aspirations with a 29-22 victory and in a huge boilover, Easts managed to holt their slump with a 30-17 win over third-placed Souths.

Round 9 of the Dewar Shield in Victoria witnessed Harlequins outclass Power House 46-7, Melbourne Uni defeat Endeavour Hills 41-10, Moorabbin managing to upset second-placed Box Hill 31-17 and finally, Melbourne pulled off a statement performance with a 103-0 victory over Footscray.

The John I Dent Cup in Canberra threw up incredible results for round 13 where Norths held off a gutsy Easts 40-36, Queanbeyan dominate fellow dwellers Wests 50-14 and Gungahlin and Vikings played out one of the best games of the season, with the top of the table clash failing to find a winner, with both sides deadlocked at 33-all after 80 minutes.

In South Australia, round 9 of the Coopers Premier had Onkaparinga outclass Woodville 40-7, Port Adelaide were too strong for Barossa winning 36-17, Old Collegians mollywhopped Adelaide Uni 93-0, Souths held off Burnside 14-7 in a final-like contest and Brighton compounded Elizabeth’s misery with a 126-0 win.

Finally, in Perth, round 13 of the Fortescue Premier saw UWA trample Joondalup 61-12, ARKs defeated Palmyra 36-35 in a thriller, Kalamunda dominated Bayswater 58-20, Nedlands held off a valiant Coastal Cavaliers 19-13, Wests crushed Curtin 106-3, Cottesloe was too strong for Wanneroo 18-10 and finally Associates cruised to a 91-17 win over Southern Lions.

Pocock grounded

David Pocock chases a loose ball

David Pocock chases a loose ball

Wallabies flanker and future Australian of the Year David Pocock is set to miss out on the side’s opening Rugby Championship game against South Africa.

Coach Michael Cheika and the selection panel will name a 31-man squad that will travel to Africa for the side’s opening match with South Africa on July 21, where Pocock is set to be omitted as he continues his return from injury.

Pocock has not played since March 8, with the flanker forced to withdraw from the Brumbies Super Rugby season to concentrate on his recovery from a calf injury in order to be fit for the World Cup in September.

He has been working with leading AIS physio Craig Purdam to get back to full fitness, where there is the real possibility that he will not feature in a competitive match before the commencement of the World Cup.

Despite this, Pocock was confident that he would be fit for the tournament when he spoke with the media last week, stating that he is ticking off the necessary goals to be fit in time for September’s showpiece.

Someone who may be named in the 31-man squad is James O’Connor, who is expected to join the Wallabies camp in Brisbane if he can finalise a deal with a Super Rugby club before its mid-week annoucement, which is expected to be Queensland.

Sources have told the Herald that talks between the two parties were progressing nicely, although they’ve stated that any deal would not be finalised until after Monday.

He hasn’t featured in the Wallabies set-up for six years, where he was unceremoniously dumped after a drunken incident at Perth Airport along with a failed campaign in 2015 to make the Wallabies Rugby World Cup squad.

However, O’Connor is a reformed man according to his coaches at Sale, with head coach Steve Diamond labelling him a “little pearl” who is better equipt to deal with the fame and pressure of being an international player.

N(ew) R(ule) C(hanges)

Jack McGregor tackled Force v Drua 2018 NRC (Credit: Delphy)

The NRC is set to be the testing grounds for two new rules that are set to be introduced into the game.

This comes after a meeting of World Rugby’s Law Review Group (LRG), who reviewed a number of potential law changes to be introduced over the next four years along with the recommendation of competitions to trial them in.

LRG chairman James Jeffery stated that the meeting was crucial in identifying future improvements that will help encourage attacking rugby along with reducing the risk of injury for future generations.

“This meeting is another important step on the road to further law improvement within the next four-year Rugby World Cup cycle,” he said in a statement.

“There is no doubt that the sport is committed in its collaborative effort to reduce injuries, particularly head injuries, and the outcomes from this productive meeting certainly underscored that approach.”

“The members of the LRG clearly want what’s best for the game and are determined to make the sport as safe, simple and enjoyable to play as it can be at all levels. I look forward to considering the LRG recommendations with my colleagues from the Rugby Committee next month.”

The NRC will be used to trial two new laws, including setting a limit on the amount of repeated infringements that a team can make before a player is yellow carded.

Currently, referees will yellow card players based on their personal assessment on what is deemed to be excessive amounts of recurring penalties, with this law attempting to provide consistency across the grade regarding the acceptable limit.

The other law set to be introduced is the trial of goal-line drop-outs for defending teams when an attacking player is held up over the line.

Further laws that will be introduced in closed trials will be a 50:22 kicking law, which will be similar to rugby league’s 40-20 along with a review system for yellow cards that allows the TMO to upgrade the sanction to a red card if deemed necessary.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,
    What a great weekend of rugby. Next week is going to be epic and I dare say the travelling Jag supporters may out number the locals which will be interesting. I’m thinking (hoping) the Crusaders at home will be too strong and win by 10.
    Interesting law change and I quite like the clarity around so many penalties then automatic yellow as it’ll at least be consistent. I also like the idea of defence being recognised and getting a line drop out rather than facing a scrum.
    Shit I hope Pocock comes right. No accountability from getting him injured but then no accountability for anything else so I guess to be expected.
    I admit I’m not a fan of JOC but happy to see how it turns out and if he has really changed. And if he stays away from the influence of some here like Beale and AAC who don’t seem to think rules are for them.

    • Geoffro

      Going to be a lot of long faces on those flights back to BA after the final then I reckon,am also hoping the Saders get up-they do deserve it notwithstanding the Jags have played some wonderful footy this year.I don’t mind some law changes but throwing the line out of encouraging attacking rugby all the time gets me.I like the game of Rugby and the various contests and struggles and don’t necessarily need to see all out attack the focus.I can watch 7’s and GRR for that.Accountability for Pococks injury would almost amount to admitting liability maybe ?.Would never happen this day and age.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I hear you on the rule change. Maybe a better solution would be defending team gets the ball at the scrum rather than a line drop out. Like you I like all the nuances that the game has. While making it attractive to bring in new supporters has merit I think turning off the old isn’t the right option. TBH I’ve only watched one GRR and it didn’t interest me more than a game of poor league would have done

        • Yowie

          “…I think turning off the old isn’t the right option.”

          Let’s not turn this into a euthanasia debate. This place gets really stirred-up about religious-type topics.

        • Yeah, bit the same myself over the Mitre10 cup…

      • I’m not sold on the league style drop out but… I don’t hate it. Trialling it over a season in the NRC seems like a decent choice so you can how it works over a decent number of games that do matter but are not super-critical.

        At least, unlike some of the other trial laws, it doesn’t scream “this is dumb” it’s an idea for something different that will have some interesting ramifications. Whether interesting means good or bad we’ll only see if we run the experiment!

  • Timbo

    50:22? So theses law makers want more kicking? Next we’ll have 2 less players to make it ‘faster’ and uncontested scrums and rucks for ‘ease of refereeing’

    • Geoffro

      And there you go.Unfortunately,these days sports viewership is more more about the moment than the contest

    • Yowie

      “…along with a review system for yellow cards that allows the TMO to upgrade the sanction to a red card if deemed necessary.”

      Well that should speed things up for the viewers and not p!ss anyone off at all.

    • Who?

      It’s in order to prevent interminable possession rugby, where teams go 20+ phases in their own half picking and driving, because the changes in 2016 made it harder than ever to jackal legally. So they want to incentivise a certain type of kicking.
      .
      So, it’s a stupid change made to counter a stupid and unnecessary change made in 2016. It’s entirely in keeping with World Rugby’s standard practice of disregarding the history of the game, and having no form of sense.

      • Kevino

        It’s actually not for this reason at all, it’s to force teams to drop a extra defender/s out of the line.

        One less player in the line is meant to increase safety and open up space. While I don’t agree with 50-22 as most decent kickers will have no problem with making that kick, it’s not the worst rule change they have tried.

        • Who?

          So the idea is to encourage more possession-based Rugby, where the defensive team (through fewer numbers in the D-Line) has even less chance of securing possession..?
          .
          I don’t disagree that the end result will be to see openside wingers more awake to the kick, maybe slightly deeper, and short side wingers sticking closer to the sideline. But I don’t see any benefit to the law change.

      • Brumby Runner

        I tend to agree Who? If they reinstated a more equal contest at the breakdown, then teams would be more enterprising with the ball and better equipped, hopefully, to make good clearing kicks.

        The new law will probably see an end to box kicking from just inside the 22m to just on own side of half way.

    • The idea – I’m not convinced it will work – is that if you can kick a 50-22 and win possession, you’ll encourage the defenders to put players back and cover the kick, thus creating more space for ball-carriers in attack.

      Honestly, I think it will just reward the AB 1 full back, 1 defensive wing pattern and more sides will play like that. They’ll be back more, and a bit wider maybe, so they can cover the lines better. You might see the 10 (that epitome of the hard tackler) drop back to cover the centre of the backfield a bit more but you’ll still have a hard defensive line and have to work hard to get around the end of it.

      Not the greatest idea ever although I can see how it looks good on paper.

  • nmpcart

    Not playing Pocock sounds like they are keeping him in cotton wool to protect him until the WC. While I understand he is an important player surely you can expect your players to have actually played during the season to show that they are in form.

    The JOC saga is interesting – the Wallabies coaches appear to be doing everything they can to get him in the squad. I am of the view that players should be viewed playing SR to show their form rather than picking on NH play as we have seen in the past that often that NH form doesn’t transfer well to SH teams. JOC always had all the skills but seemed to want to have things on his terms and this seems to be the same again.

    On a positive note, the semis were great games. Shame for the Brumbies that they couldn’t deliver but their lead up matches were positive. The Jags are worthy finalists and could provide a challenge to the Crusaders next weekend and give Argentina a boost heading into the WC.

    • onlinesideline

      “JOC always had all the skills but seemed to want to have things on his terms and this seems to be the same again” – just curious mate, thats a pretty big call considering he has seemed to have made a big effort to grow as a person in his on way (integrating footy and life in general) On what basis do you think he is is wanting things on his terms as of today in his efforts to resign and have a crack at RWC ?

      P.S – genuinely interested

      • Geoffro

        Fair call.Even his coach at Sale is supportive of his ambition

        • Brumby Runner

          That’s the problem. We are relying on third party references, not having had the opportunity to see his form or to assess his behaviour for ourselves beforehand. His history should mandate that he satisfy both counts before coming into the national team.

        • Geoffro

          ?? who’s we.Obviously if you’re talking about us the punters on GAGR the makeup of the Wallaby team would probably be far different than that envisaged by cheik and his co-conspiritors.Otherwise recommendations from his coach and peers and a good look at his form which is on show obviously from game recordings should count.

        • Custard Taht

          I would be happy to see Cheika give JOC a run in the RC to assess his level.
          He can tackle, pass, kick, and catch, so already he is streets ahead of many other Wallabies and Wannabe Wallabies.

          I always thought his best games were at 15, and I think he would be an improvement on Beale.

        • Custard Taht

          Yeah right. So you think a coach knows more about a player than fans on a keyboard?

          Next thing, you will be saying the earth is round.

      • nmpcart

        Fair question. Previously he was known for wanting things his way – at the Force it was reported that he wanted KPI’s in the contract of his choosing, he failed to attend the announcement of the 2011 WC squad, wanted to play 10 etc.

        Last time he came to Qld when things didn’t go so successfully and he wasn’t getting a WC look in (and I think he gave it all on the field but was injured) he sought an early release for personal reasons which seemed to be a European contract.

        Now he wants to be in the WC so comes back without playing for a SR team. Now, maybe I am being harsh and it is the Wallabies who have chased him this time to get him back rather than his own choosing but it seems to fit a pattern.

        Talented? No question.

    • Dud Roodt

      Further OLSL’s comment – word on the street is that JOC is going to be offered a contract that is more than half of what he’s on at Sale – doesn’t seem like he wants it all his way at all.

    • Brumby Runner

      I agree that Poey should have to play some RC games to make the RWC. But there will be a plethora of players selected for the RWC who have played most, or all, of the Super season and who are out of form.

      JOC and Nic White are fortunate that they seem to have support at the top to play in TRC. If they don’t play, or don’t show good form, then they should also miss out on the RWC.

    • While I agree with the NH form not necessarily transferring to SH play, a RWC is often (not always but often) played more like a NH match, particularly in the later stages. It can be different if it’s two SH sides, but think back to NZ v France for a particularly unedifying match, however relieved the Kiwis were. Australia v England, 2003 as well. Both played in the SH but much more resembling a final round of the 6N match in terms of style.

      OK, NZ v Australia in 2015, to a lesser extent the SF matches too, were more like SH matches despite being played in England so it doesn’t always hold.

      But I think the sudden death nature of the QF and SF stages, and sometimes critical matches in the pool stages, often lends itself to a different style of play than SR, TRC etc. Conditions can play into that too of course. It’s likely to be cold (by Australian standards, highs of 15 ºC), wet and windy. Some NH nous might be just what the AssClown ordered.

  • onlinesideline

    Brumbies were never going to win that match sadly as I love the Brumbies and lets be honest, they have saved the face of Oz rugby since inception of Super rugby. The Jags were having their Reds 11, Tahs 14 moment. Brewing for years, MASSIVE crowd, extremely pumped and a home game. And to be honest a small part of me was happy for them as seemed to have changed from a bunch of soccer prima donnas and eye gougers to a good multi facted rugby team that play exciting Latin style rugby union. They are hard to dislike.

    • Timbo

      Passion. It’s whats been missing from Australian Rugby for years.

    • Missing Link

      I didn’t think the Pumas were like that, just Nico “dirty” Sanchez. Without him, the Jaguares seem to focus on Rugby instead of milking penalties

  • AllyOz

    Some thoughts.
    1. I never had a major issue with what JOC did on the field – though I think we never found his ideal position when he was with the Wallabies. Part of that was trying to fit him into a team with KB and QC also competing for similar positions. If he has the off field stuff sorted then there should be a place for him somewhere in Australian rugby. And six years is a long time so hopefully he has matured.
    2. Hurricanes v Crusaders was one of the best games I have seen all year. It was worthy of a grand final and scarily shows the difference in the level of performance that the ABs can muster over us.
    3. Pocock has been immense for Australia but he has been plagued by injury at times. I wonder if its possible that he “over trains” and this has contributed (though I think its safe to assume that its mostly Cheika’s fault on this occasion).
    4. Changes in NRC rules. If this is going to be a real comp and third tier for development of players they need to be playing the same rules as the rest of us. I wish they would stop frigging about with it.

    • Andy

      Hi Ally

      On JOC, I think they did find his ideal position – Wing. He was brilliant in that position. But like every winger in Oz rugby who has good vision and ball skills we seem to want to convert them to 5/8 or 12. I think our current set up would greatly benefit from having some wingers who can create, catch and pass but also have pace. Not unlike Campese. It gives us another dimension in attack.

      • Geoffro

        If JOC is anywhere near where he used to be would rather him on the bench than say Hodge

    • Who?

      Agree about the NRC rules, however, I’m guessing this is mandated for all competitions of a certain level worldwide in a certain date range?
      .
      They’re stupid changes, no question. They come from World Rugby – what else would we expect?

      • AllyOz

        I was going to say with the RWC being the main focus and with us about to enter the beginning of another cycle perhaps it won’t be too disruptive but then we might have players we are trying to get fit and ready through this comp and playing a different set of rules. One of the criticisms of GRR is that it’s almost a different game but, for many of the times we have had NRC we have had trial rules during the comp so I don’t really see that much of a difference.

        • Who?

          NRC’s often had rule variations, but nothing nearly as impacting on techniques and tactics. These take the cake.

      • Greg

        Just read about the changes…. do we play with 13 men as well?

  • Missing Link

    Don’t get me wrong but the Crusaders are a great side, what I’d give to see Sevu Reece at an Aussie franchise, then again we wouldn’t be able to make use of his skills like the Crusaders do… and despite the fact I think Perenara is a pest and deserves the odd bit of karma for his yapping, the Hurricanes were hard done by on Saturday night, it was an incredible game of rugby which was marred by an act of “dark arts”, the same “dark arts” which have haunted The Wallabies for years. Just as Perenara was about to clear the ruck, the Hurricanes hot on attack and the possibility of a match winning come from behind win, Sam Whitelock puts his hand over a ruck and knocks the ball out of Perenara’s hands. What should have been a penalty at least, possibly a yellow card ended up being called a knock on, game over and a Crusaders win. NZ teams “win at all costs” attitude on show, I just wonder how other kiwis feel when they’re on the receiving end, or doesn’t it matter because they’ll be on the winning team in a few weeks time?

    • Who?

      I’ve seen Kiwis saying things like, “I’ve never felt this way about the Crusaders before, I’m not sure I like them…”

      • Hoss

        Fark – what coverage of the Bledisloe have they been watching for the past 36 years winning streak ? That’s some ‘A’ grade editing by the Kiwi TV stations.

        Imagine the coverage. Kick-off, cut to Benny Hill rerun for 119.45 minutes. Come back fro Aaron Smith kicking it out to the tune of the full time siren for another victory – ‘Weez wrupped et up for nother year ahh cuz’

        • Who?

          It’s more that they feel like the Crusaders are getting referee-assistance. That NEVER happens for the ABs… :-P

        • Hoss

          Little known fact, its actually a documented form of Mental Illness – “Nearlies Favouritism Syndrome’ and can be quite distressing for all.

          No real formula, but a useful guide to better understanding it is illustrated below

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/da2db554f01a37a69817037c8d98d454d65536e9ec7afb344d061e09b5174708.jpg

        • Who?

          I’m still annoyed by how he treated Sharpie after reffing us in back to back games, one of which was a Bledisloe. “Nathan, whaddya think you’re doing?!” When penalizing Sharpe (unjustly).
          It’s just that, being Kiwi, they have no idea of the gross injustices done to their opponents. When, most of the time, the ABs don’t need the help. We’re more than good enough at hobbling ourselves! :-(

        • Hoss

          Have they (Kiwis) got Nuclear Weapons or to the best of your knowledge are they enriching uranium, cause if so, it’s on. Been itching to ‘liberate’ those poxy little islands for ages – just give me the nod.

        • Who?

          God defend New Zealand!
          Because they don’t fund their military anymore. They keep on sending KRL where?! Reckon they’re just trying to get paid for his expertise.
          And their air force doesn’t understand where people attack – no idea of a frontal invasion (given McCaw has a high (honourary) rank!).

        • Greg

          Ruchie is working behind the lines….

        • Yowie

          New Zealand has refused to change their current nuclear policy, even in the face of US pressure over the years.

          I’m not sure of the details of their nuclear policy, but I’m assuming it’s awful and a threat to the free world.

        • Hoss

          Good enough for me – code red, it’s go time.

        • From NooZealand

          Hi Mister, will that happen again this year?

        • Hoss

          My delusion is starting to go into overdrive (i reserve the right to reverse said delusion and become depressed pending Mr Segalls TRC squad announced Wednesday afternoon – earth time)

          I ask you this my shaky isle cousin….

          If not me, who ?
          If not now, when ?

          As some singer guy once sang, completely out of tune i might add – ‘the times, they are a changin’

          Come on Aussie, come on.

        • From NooZealand

          You certainly have the right to reverse, advance or stay as you are, it surprises me that you are going Jewish; they do not play rugby. The quote you mention is from Hillel the Elder. Shall I call you Hoss the Elder?, the Wiser?, the Other? ha ha ha. Good to talk to you (sorry, learn from you).

      • From NooZealand

        That’s OK (people not liking the Crusaders; there are probably one and half million who live in Auckland), but there are a few thousands who like them a lot. And when it comes to wear the dark vest, the rest of the country fall in line ((:))

        • Hoss

          Uh, uh, uh – you are ‘Nearly’ all black. I have said a thousand times, i do not condone exaggeration.

        • From NooZealand

          Thank you sir. Those were the words of certain sister in my youth when I asked if it could be done somewhere in the church to have it blessed. She looked at me, smiled and took to the purgatory. Never been happier.

        • Who?

          It seems a bit different this time. It started early in the season, with the Blues in the first round, and carried on from there. Writers on Kiwi websites started saying the refs were helping the Crusaders more than they needed (I thought the refs helped the Crusaders home in Round 1 – Blues were unlucky, as well as making their own bad luck – which is a specialty of theirs), it got quiet through the middle of the season, but ‘neutral’ Kiwis who normally cheer any Kiwi team in the finals, they’re the ones I’m noting. It’s not huge ill-will, it’s just an uneasy feeling I’m picking up.
          .
          But when you’re a Cantabrian, life’s pretty good. :-)

        • From NooZealand

          Cheers, I would tend to agree with your comments (specially first round vs the Blues (it was more luck that skill) as for the semifinal, I have said it many times … I would have accepted the loss, they played mighty. It has been written that the Canes didn’t loose, the game was stolen from them. As for being a Cantabrian, I live in Auckland and give them hell (in a good way). And they know I support the Wallabies when not playing the ABs (they even know that I wouldn’t mind at all a victory or two of the Golden boys over the Darkness. I even wear sometimes S. Morlock’s #13 jersey. It soon will be forgotten when the boys in Red & Black are part of the Darkness. Thank you for taking your time to address my comment.

        • Who?

          And if there’s a Kiwi team that knows how to get the soufflé to sink… It’s the Blues. So great at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Then factor in a ref who thinks they’re supposed to lose, and the other team are supposed to win, and it restarts the negative mindsets of previous years. All they really need is a competent 10…
          .
          I didn’t see the game, so I can’t comment that the Canes had the game taken from them. From comments about Whitelock’s actions, I remember one Mr George Smith getting carded for pretty similar sounding actions years ago (hitting the ball – where Genia was smarter and bumped Tate McDermott’s arm off the ball earlier this year, not touching the ball), so I could understand if they feel that was the difference in the game that they might’ve been robbed.
          .
          It’ll be forgotten when the red leaves the black jerseys, but it’ll all come back next year! That’s three years now that the Canes have lost that game, and the year they didn’t lose that game, they won the title…
          .
          I just hope the Jags can go hard and give us a good game this week. :-)

    • Kevino

      I hate Perenara, his a little sook on the field who is overated as he plays behind pretty much two of the best forward packs in World rugby and alongside one of the greatest 10’s. They all make him look better than he actually is, sign him to an Aussie side and he would be shown up behind a week pack (Excluding the Brumbies, they make Powell look good even)

      For me, Perenara’s hands are on the ball so it’s out, good tackle. F Off Canes bandwagon and see you next year.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Part of the game mate. It’s only really an issue when your guys do it to us :-p Jokes aside, I’m not that concerned about it as I see it as part of the game. The winning and losing of that game didn’t rest on that incident, I’m more pissed about the shit mistakes that let the Crusaders in earlier in the game. From my view it was a great game and the Crusaders deserved the win. Mind you I’m sure others feel differently about it

  • juswal

    I say no to James O’Connor for the Wallabies, just as I said no to Matt Toomua and Pete Samu last year. It doesn’t matter how well a player is performing in a different domestic comp and/or under a non-Australian coaching regime.

    They need to play a full season of Super Rugby for an Australian franchise and show how they cope with the sub-optimal coaching and conditioning, haphazard squad camps, out-of-position selections and battering travel schedules that are the Australian way.

    Edit: that probably reads like a whinge but I’m serious. Ripping it up as a pro in the northern hemisphere is no proof that you’re Wallaby-ready.

    • joy

      A prospective players performance in this year’s super rugby hasn’t revealed much either.

    • Hoss

      I probably don’t disagree with your sentiment, but what price confidence of a skilled player based OS, verse diminished confidence of a known-entity based locally?

      In principal ive got no issue with a JOC in a wider squad and if he happens to perform enough in that environment, especially now with Mandrake & Schnozz there as well, who am i to argue. If it was just Segall on his lonesome – different story.

    • Parker

      Would you like some local anaesthetic with that, as you cut off your nose to spite your face? I think we should give ourselves every opportunity to field the best team.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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