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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News recaps the opening round of the NRC, looks at the special connection of a number of Wallabies, scouts the results of our pool D opponents over the weekend and reveals the shocking suspension that is facing a Springbok flyer.


NRC starts with a bang

Filipo Daugunu evades QLD Country v Force NRC 2019 (Credit: Delphy)

The opening round of the National Rugby Championship has thrown up some thrilling results across the country. Whilst Rugby Australia could be criticised for a lack of advertising, the games this week certaintly talked for themselves, with 283 points scored in the opening round.

The competition kicked off with the battle of NSW, where NSW Country held off their Sydney rivals 38-33. Country raced out to an early 26-0 lead inside 20 minutes, however, Sydney would fight back and level it up with 15 minutes to go, setting up the grandstand finish.

Ultimately, Country found a way to get the job done and secure bragging rights, check out Nick’s review for a comprehensive breakdown of the game.

This was followed by a trip down to Melbourne where the Canberra Vikings notched up an impressive 47-22 victory over the Rising. Unlike their bus which broke down on the way to the ground, the Vikings came out flying in the first half of the contest, racing out to a 28-3 lead at halftime.

Whilst the Rising showed their class in the back end of the clash, the Vikings were too strong. Check out the match report by yours truly for the play-by-play breakdown.

We then headed to Brisbane, where Brisbane City and the Fijian Drua played out an entertaining 22-all draw. The lead changed hands throughout the contest, with young gun Isaac Lucas putting Nick Chapman over in the 76th minute to level the scores.

Neither side was able to capitalise on attacking opportunities after the bell, with the nail-biting contest best captured by Hamish’s match report.

The best game was saved for last when the Western Force pulled off a miraculous comeback over Queensland Country 50-49. Fifteen tries were scored in the match, with the side from the West grabbing the lead for the first time in the 74 minute mark.

Brendan’s match report does a magnificent job to sum up the instant classic that we witnessed to finish round one.

Chief Wallabies ready to rip in

170903 Jordan Uelese

We are one, but we are many and from all the lands on earth we come
We’ll share a dream and sing with one voice, I am, you are, we are Australian.

Not just the words of the Seekers but also the thoughts of the half dozen Wallabies with Samoan heritage in contention to play next Saturday.

Wallabies Scott Sio, Christian Lealiifano, Allan Alaalatoa, Jordan Uelese, Matt Toomua and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto all have cultural and family ties to Samoa and are eager to play next week against the country that they feel a deep connection to.

The clash will be particularly special for Uelese, who was given the prestigious title of a ‘chief’ in his hometown village Aufaga by Samoa’s prime minister last year.

“They call me Segiali’i,” Uelese told the Herald. “I’ve lost my name now. It’s pretty special. They treat it with respect but it’s nothing I’m arrogant about. It’s really humbling.

“Every time I go back it’s pretty cool to represent my family’s name in that way. To be bestowed a chief title is pretty special.

“They’re very proud of everything I have achieved and just carrying our last name around the world it makes me so proud. I’m a very proud Samoan-Australian. It’s something to be proud of where your ancestors were from.”

Uelese and prop Allan Alaalatoa are equally keen to feature in the final match before the squad heads to Japan, believing that the contest will be a special day for both players and families.

“You know they bring that physicality and playing against your country the whole island is going to be watching and it’s going to be playing a quality side,” Uelese said.

“I’ve had that opportunity to represent my country and a lot of my family are proud but the second best thing you can do is to play against your team that your family is from,” Alaalatoa added.

Pool D Round Up

Italy Wales Watkin

With the World Cup only 19 days away, many of our Pool D rivals have featured in tune up matches before they head off to the land of the rising sun.

Arguably our biggest threats in Wales have fallen 22-17 to Ireland in coach Warren Gatland’s final home test before he steps down from the job to head back to New Zealand.

The Irish bounced back after their 57-15 thumping by England, with a double to Jacob Stockdale and a penalty try bringing Wales’ 11-game home winning streak stretching back to November 2017 to an end.

Wales made 14 changes to the team that beat England a fortnight ago, with Gatland still confident that the plucky Welsh could pull off a historic performance at the World Cup.

“We have overachieved in the last 12 years and we are not finished yet.”, an emotional Gatland said after his final match.

“When we are mentally and physically right, we can give any team in the world a run. I believe we will go a long way in the World Cup.”

Pool dark horses Fiji had better luck against neighbours Tonga, recording a 29-19 win at Auckland’s Eden Park.

The Fijians scored five tries to three in a free-flowing contest highlighted by two intercept tries to Jousa Tuisova and Vereneki Goneva in the first half.

The match would finish with 14 men after Fiji number eight Peceli Yato and his Tonga counterpart Maama Vaipulu was sin-binned over an exchange of phone numbers and punches in the final minutes.

“We were trying to put together our phases and work as a team,” Fiji captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu said.

“I think we’ve done pretty well given that Tonga threw everything at us.”

Finally, Georgia put up a spirited fight against Scotland before going down 44-10 in the historic encounter, which was the first time that a tier-one country had played in the Georgian capital.

Unfortunately, the Scots would play the party pooper roles, with flyhalf Finn Russell playing a part in all but one of the visitors five tries in the comprehensive victory.

Dyantyi Disaster

aphiwe dyantyi

The Springboks World Cup preparations have been thrown into disarray, with winger Aphiwe Dyantyi facing a four-year ban for taking multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites.

He tested positive to the drugs methandienone, methyltestosterone and LGD-4033, which are all on the WADA’s banned substances list.

The South African anti-doping agency said on Friday that Dyantyi’s ‘B’ sample had confirmed the failed test, which was taken during a mid-season camp in July.

“[Dyantyi] has now been formally charged with a doping offence for multiple anabolic steroids and metabolites,” said the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS).

Dyantyi scored six tries in 13 tests in his first season in international rugby, with the 25-year-old rewarded with World Rugby’s breakthrough player of the year award in 2018.

He hasn’t played for South Africa since November and was not included in the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad after he was provisionally suspended after his initial sample came back positive.

South African Rugby released a short statement after the positive ‘B’ sample, revealing they would continue to investigate the matter

“SA Rugby, the Lions Rugby Company and Dyantyi are working with SAIDS, the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA] and all other relevant authorities on the matter and no further comment can be made at this stage,” it said.

Dyantyi released his own statement last week after the initial positive test, denying any knowledge of taking the prohibited performance enhancing substances.

“I want to deny ever taking any prohibited substance, intentionally or negligently, to enhance my performance on the field,” said the Golden Lions back, referring to the July test.

“I have never cheated and never will. The presence of this prohibited substance in my body has come as a massive shock to me.

“My management team and experts appointed by them are doing everything possible to get to the source of this and to prove my innocence.”

  • sambo6

    I empathise with Mr Dyiantyi, and wish to release the following personal statement via GAGR;

    “I want to deny ever eating all the pies, intentionally or negligently”

    “I have never binge eaten and never will. The fact that I am a horrendously fat bastard has come as a massive shock to me”

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies
    • Geoffro

      Dyanti.This is what happens when you gamble and lose – big time.He probably wont even be able to afford a pie now his career’s destroyed.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    There was certainly some good rugby in the weekend although I think teams need to start working on defence a bit more and it may be that a good defence will see a team through at the end of the competition. I can’t believe anyone would see those games and not recognise the step up they provide from club and below Super Rugby. I hope RA are doing a lot to keep this competition going.

    The Game between Ireland and wales just showed how much you can’t read into most of the lead up games for the RWC, although the big win by England a week ago did at least demonstrate some of their ability to use the ball. In the main though the games are trials for the team both in player combinations and tactics and while Ireland would have been gutted to lose to England the previous week by such a big margin, beating Wales at home will have done more for them than the loss did. At the end of the day though they don’t mean anything and it’s what happens in japan that will define each team going forward.

    Pretty damning for Dyantyi and although I do wonder how much has been ignorance more than intent and through working with experts who may not have his best interest at heart, it is something that needs to be kept on top of. In 4 years he’ll be a shadow of what he is now so it’s a career ending move. I personally have no issues with that as we need to keep these drugs out of rugby as much as we can and it just goes to show that players have to be in charge of themselves and what they are doing. If they don’t question things then it’s actually their own fault.

    Great to see the Samoan community in the Wallabies responding to their heritage in this upcoming match. I dear say there will be some big contacts to help cement the brotherhood. Should be a good game.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think that all the World Cup warm up matches have shown is that Wales and Ireland have some weaknesses to work on. At this point, England look the most formidable side from up north. However, I still expect England to capitulate against a team they deserve to beat to get bundled out of the World Cup.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah I agree. I think all the teams have some weaknesses, including my blessed ABs and it’ll be the team management that identify the right ones to target that will get their team over the line. I’m pretty happy with the analysis capabilities of the AB setup but I guess we’ll find out.

      • Keith Butler

        We’ve still got to get past France and Argentina and neither are a given. The qualifiers from that group could be decided on points differential or tries scored. I haven’t the foggiest how the groups are decided where teams are equal on the table. On current showing I expect the G&G to get past Wales.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Argentina are at their lowest ever ranking of 11 and have won something like 4 games against tier 1 teams since the last World Cup. France are down to number 8 and have also been rubbish for years.

          Of course, wins are not guaranteed, but if England lose to either (or both) of those teams then it would be fulfilling my prediction of them losing to a team they should certainly beat on current form and ability.

        • Keith Butler

          I hope you’re right.

        • adastra32

          Anything can happen in this competition – lesser ranked nations fired up, top nations complacent etc. However, I don’t get the impression that England have scuppered themselves beforehand (like last time) or are not focused and, seemingly, a ‘together’ bunch.

      • While I broadly agree with that, I wouldn’t read much into Saturday’s match. I think if the Wallabies went out with 14 changes and started with a 10 with about 20 minutes (total) experience of test rugby under his belt they’d struggle too… Basically Wales played their B team throughout, to see how the fillers and cover would go. While it wasn’t a full strength Ireland side either, there was a pretty strong spine of their core team present. When Patchell, who has some starts came on, Wales looked a lot sharper and got close.

        I’m not even sure England look that good – they tend to get on a roll and rack up the points against a side they’re comfortably beating (as they did against Ireland) but they failed to do that against Wales either time so a team that can cope with their power and score points against them ought to beat them. I reckon they could easily lose in any of the knockout stages.

        • Haz

          RE the England v Wales games I think it needs to be considered that the English B team was playing the Wales A team in both games.

          The Ireland game was the first time the ‘A’ team was chosen and whilst it’s easy to say that all another team needs to do is stop their power game it’s not so easy in practice. There’s a big mix of very powerful runners across the team and at least in the Ireland game there was an awful lot of precision being used with all that power.

        • I agree it’s easier to say than do.

          But Wales managed to keep England in check in both the recent tests and in the 6N, winning 2/3 of those.

          Both the AB and SA more or less did it last November too – SA should have won that match but butchered chances galore and had a terrible refereeing decision go against them too.

          I’m not convinced that Ireland have what it takes to get back to be the side that beat the AB twice but if they can, they should have the beating of England.

          Scotland drew with England at Twickenham, no mean feat. On neutral ground, that could be a Scottish win.

          The Wallabies that racked up a record score against the AB in Perth have the beating of England. The side that got steamrollered in Auckland don’t.

          My gut feeling is that Argentina, after a rest, will perform better than they did during TRC. All their Jaguares players travel a lot, played into the final with that travel, then turned around and hit TRC. I could be wrong, I think they still have scrum issues that a good rest can’t fix, but they could pull an upset.

          France always do well at RWC and always have the potential to beat England.

          So I think that’s 3 teams with a good chance and 4 teams where you’d say it’s an upset but not a shock like Japan v SA in 2015 and 1 team that needs to show it can get back to near peak form any of which could beat England at various points, most of which have beaten them in the last couple of years in fact.

    • onlinesideline

      Tongan or Samoan ?
      Not all black people look a like KRL.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Y1o8910Xs4

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Fuck! Got the games mixed up – duh!. Was reading something on Stuff on my phone at the same time. Corrected now, thanks.

        p.s. “Black”

        • onlinesideline

          lol – no worries mate – totally messin

        • From NooZealand

          Sorry. I missed that: where did KRL get it wrong? just out of curiosity/ Cheers.

        • onlinesideline

          last para – he had Tongan not Samoan

        • From NooZealand

          That was quick. Now I know. Cheers.

        • Happyman

          Yes mate whenever I feel like firing my mates up I just say well they are almost the same thing.

          You have to pick your mark some have no sense of humour about these things.

        • Mica

          Reading content on Stuff – well it’s totally understandable that you had a significant drop in IQ there for a brief period then! :)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well at least it wasn’t one of the trolls like Reason or Rattue

      • Geoffro

        ouch !

    • Congratulations on being back to #1

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahaha meaningless mate

  • Crescent

    Getting ahead of what I am sure will hit tomorrows news – I see Methuselah is finally calling time on his international career. This weekend will be his final home test, before heading out for the World Cup for the last hurrah in the Green and Gold.

    100 Wallaby caps is nothing to be sneezed at – but have to wonder if there was another head coach, whether he would have been able to nominate his own time to retire from international duties.

    • Who?

      The hilarious thing about Methuselah is that he’s not the oldest in the squad… :-P
      .
      AAC’s being used by 10 for its advertising campaign. AAC and Beale.

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Nathan. I’m late to the party as usual, but I just wanted to say that the Georgian result is actually pretty impressive, given how seldom they get exposed to Tier 1 teams. They’re lucky if they get one crack per year. I know there’s not so much money in it there, but they’ve consistently been 12th in the world rankings, or thereabouts, for the last 4 years – and they can’t get any higher because no one will play them. There’s a return match at Murrayfield on Friday night, and I expect a decent showing from the Lelos.

    Incidentally, the pricing for that match is 1 quid per kid under 12 with a paying adult (20 poooonds). That’s how you get the kids in, RA.

    • Keith Butler

      Instead of playing the usual suspects in the Autumn internationals, the home nations should be playing the majority of games against tier 2 nations like Georgia. Not only does it grow the game but it allows them to develop their emerging talent.

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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