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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Wallabies, the NRC, international rugby from home and abroad and the retirement of a hero.


Samoan Scare

Will Genia

Will Genia

The Wallabies have survived a scare from Samoa before running out 34-15 winners at Bankwest Stadium.

The Aussies would race out to a 19 point lead before a pair of tries to Dwayne Polataivao brought the margin back to just seven points.

However, the Wallabies would secure the result, with tries to Dane Haylett-Petty and Matt Toomua securing the victory in the final home test of 2019.

For a more in-depth breakdown of the game, check out Steve’s match report.

Coach Michael Cheika was pleased with the performance put up by the under-strength side, believing that there is a good spirit around the team as they look to regain the World Cup for the first time since 1999.

“You want to have as many players as possible competing for the spots, it’s exactly where you want to be going into the tournament,” Cheika said after the match.

“I think we have a really good atmosphere in the team, where players all compete with each other and then once one gets selected, the other one works with him to make sure the right outcome comes in the game.

“There’s a really good camaraderie within the team at the moment.

“Realistically what we’re feeling like now is we can’t wait for it to start, which is probably something we may not have said six or seven months ago.

“We really feel like we can’t wait for it, just excited about getting it on.”

The only concern from the game was lock Adam Coleman, who went off the field with a thumb injury midway through the second half.

However, Cheika cooled any fears on his fitness, joking off suggestions that it was serious enough to miss any World Cup matches.

“I think he’s good, there’s no sign of any serious damage there – I think he just got a bit of a fright there, he got hit right on it,” he said.

“It’ll teach him to pass the ball a bit quicker next time because he took his time.

Also, shout out to Waverley College for getting their name on the Manu Sutherland Shield (The prize awarded to schools for winning curtain-raiser games before test matches) after they beat St Augustine’s 27-17 in the curtain-raiser to this game.

NRC Round Two

2019-nrc-bond-double-header-16

Round two of the NRC started in Fiji, where the Force fired a warning shot to the rest of the competition with a stunning 38-15 victory against the Fijian Drua in Suva.

Jonah Placid was the chief destroyed for the Force, crossing for a well-deserved hat-trick, which was capped off by a powerful 78th minute try to secure the result.

Departing skipper Andrew Deegan was immense in this contest, leading from the front with a try of his own in the victory.

However, the most impressing part of their performance was their goal-line defence, which repelled the Fijians for the majority of the last quarter of this match, with the WA men rewarded with two late tries.

From here, we head to Adelaide? Yes, Adelaide, where NSW Country narrowly hung on for a 29-19 win against the Melbourne Rising.

Once again the Country was bolstered by a barnstorming first half, racing out to a 24-5 lead before Melbourne fought back and threatened a late boilover.

However, it was a case of too little too late as the boys from NSW continue their unbeaten streak, with the match summed up in Scott’s wonderful match report.

The comp would then head to the Gold Coast for a doubleheader, with Brisbane City accounting for Sydney 52-26.

Winger Jordan Luke finished with a hat trick as City ran in four tries in the final 20 minutes to cap off their statement victory against the under-strength Sydney.

Reg’s match report captures the madness of this contest in which twelve tries were scored over the eighty minutes.

We finish off the round with the second match of the double-header where Queensland Country pulled off an impressive 36-23 win against Canberra Vikings.

The Vikings looked to back up their win last week against the Rising after going into the break up 20-19.

However, the Country put them to the sword in the second half, recording three unanswered tries to secure the result.

Reg managed to stick around and catch this excellent encounter and summed it up perfectly in his match review.

Rugby Recap

ireland beat all blacks

Rugby’s hot potato of the World number one ranking has continued as Ireland has snatched the crown after a 19-10 win over Wales.

With both sides close to full strength, tries from Rob Kearney, Tadhg Furlong and James Ryan have meant Ireland will arrive in Japan as the top-ranked side for the first time.

“Today was really, really important to make sure we took a step forward,” captain Rory Best said after his last game on Irish soil.

“There’s still a way to go but that was a very efficient performance against a quality side.”

The true number one (IMO) New Zealand sent shivers down the spines of their fellow contenders with a mollywhopping of Tonga 92-5.

The All Blacks notched up 14 tries to record their biggest winning margin in more than a decade.

The dominant performance was summed up in the last ten minutes where they were reduced to 14 men (by choice) and continued to dominate the Tongans.

Back at home (well my rugby home), Argentina has put on a show in front of a packed Coogee Oval, dominating Randwick 74-0.

It was an arm-wrestle to begin with, with the mighty Wicks holding the Pumas scoreless for the first 18 minutes (12 mins longer than the All Blacks managed).

However, the Pumas showed their class and proceeded to run in 12 tries in the next 60 minutes to seal a comfortable win.

“Especially that first 20 minutes, the guys didn’t expect that and they really gave it to us and pushed us to push ourselves,” he said.

“It was good and I’m happy that everybody over here in Randwick was able to be a part of it.

“I think it’s given back a little bit of what they gave me when I first came here and they welcomed me with open arms.”

To finish off, we head over to the land of the rising sun where South Africa cruised to a 41-7 win over Japan.

A hat-trick of tries from Makazole Mapimpi and a double to Cheslin Kolbe was the difference as the Springboks vanished the demons of World Cup’s past with a win over the tournament hosts.

So long, partner

adios-pocock

Onto the saddest news from the weekend, Wallabies flanker David Pocock has announced that he will retire from international rugby at the end of the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Pocock retired from domestic rugby in May after a niggling calf injury had sidelined him for the majority of the Super Rugby season.

The announcement of his retirement from international rugby was unexpected, with the 31-year-old slipping it into his pre-match press conference on Friday.

“I feel like it’s time to move onto other things and contribute in other areas,” Pocock told the media.

“On a personal note, you reflect on the time you’ve had in a Wallabies jersey, what you’ve tried to add, the legacy you hope you’ll leave and then just the opportunity to play in front of family and friends one last time.

“That’s all great but it comes down to the team effort really.

“That’s been the focus for the guys, we know if we don’t have a good team performance it won’t be as special.”

The Zimbabwean-born Pocock was grateful for the opportunities that the sport has given him, suggesting that he still has plenty to give as the Wallabies look to win their first World Cup since 1999.

“As an immigrant, rugby has provided me with somewhere to make friends, to feel like I belong and obviously huge opportunities to play professional rugby at the Force, Brumbies and Wallabies,” he revealed.

“I’m not done just yet, there will be plenty of time to reflect on it. Very much wanting to get back out there and get back to my best rugby and contribute over the next couple of months.”

He believes that the time is right to move on as the next generation of loose forwards begin to come through the system, singling out Queensland flanker Liam Wright as his successor.

“I think looking at the flankers coming through, I think we’re in good hands and that is exciting for Australian rugby. I feel like I’ve put a lot into it and really enjoyed and benefited a huge amount,” he said

“Liam, he’s got a big future ahead of him. incredibly diligent, always looking to learn, has real game sense, I’m sure we’ll see a lot more of him,”

Pocock has played 78 Tests for the Wallabies since debuting against the All Blacks in 2008, winning the John Eales medal in 2010 and 2018.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s well sitting in the Business lounge at Brissy airport with an already 90 min delay into Sodom Oppsssss I meant Sydney. I love Monday’s like this. My random thoughts whilst enjoying the free brekky:
    – Yes I would say Saturday was a bit of a scare. If not for those two last tries the score line would have resembled how the game felt.
    – NRC, wow Western Force well done. Beating the Drua in Suva is an impressive feat.
    – Pocock retiring from International is sad. But at least we get one more RWC to watch his magic. Hopefully Chieka does the right thing and starts him. He has to start.
    Over to you GAGR’s they are bringing out a fresh round of pastries.

    • Geoffro

      Keep an eye out for the lads when you touch down.Sounds like they be hanging around at the airport due to typhoon delaying their fight yesterday

      • Brisneyland Local

        Mate I am sure they will be gone before I get there. They just added another 30 min delay to my flight. Hmmmm, hang on, here come more pastries.

        • Geoffro

          Theyre delayed till at least midday today.Talk about the pastry cart being murdered in the business lounge.Big storm over Tokyo at present

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah they will be in the international lounge. Wish I was travelling overseas again! Travelling to Sydney always feels like trudging into the salt mines!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bit harsh

        • John Tynan

          I agree. Salt mines aren’t that bad.

        • Brisneyland Local

          But true!

        • Greg

          Could be worse BLL…. it could be Dunedin….

        • Brisneyland Local

          True. But at this stage to me, Dunedin is more appealing. I am hating Sydney.

        • onlinesideline

          If I was them I would be downing as many pies as possible. Sushi and all is nice but 6-8 weeks of it ? A world without pastry is a world without ….. ( fill in the blank )

        • Geoffro

          Haha,can imagine a few hundred big boppers derailing the sushi train over the next month or so

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Morning mate,
      Rewatched that match and I really struggle to see what Cheika would have got out of it. I can’t see anything that is going to mean anything going forward.
      Just pissed we didn’t get to see the best of Pocock with injuries and Cheika’s shit focus on Hooper at 7

      • Geoffro

        Why punish yourself.Go watch a replay of NZ Babaa legends v PI legends from last Sat .That’ll put a smile on yer dial

      • Bernie Chan

        That photo of Pocock and McMahon likely gives many pangs of regret…2 player that we didn’t see enough of in the Wallabies jersey for a variety of reasons. The primary one being Cheika’s jaundiced eye towards selection…

    • Happyman

      The Monday morning lounge experience always feels like a death march.
      I was not too disappointed by the weekend but god I hope CLL does not get so much as a hang nail over the next 8weeks or we will will suffer a rotational helix.
      Foley was poor and even his most ardent supporters must see that.
      Two dads was fair and TBH he could do a job if required.
      Pocock must start but won’t.
      Fro was good.
      2nd row was good and line out was excellent
      Dempsey was good and should back up Naisarani.

      We are a rough chance at RWC but I cannot see us winning 3 hard games on the trot and that is assuming we make the Quarters.

      For the Samoans I really feel sorry for Scott Maloula looks like he will have a World Cup ripped from his grasp.

      • John Tynan

        Two Dads surprised me, too.

        • Geoffro

          Me too,but hes still slow. (and hasn’t he ever heard of Grecian 2000)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Then he would get stirred by all the young fellas for dying his hair. Better to wear the grey proudly.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. AAC defended well and did his job. Not enough pace, but was where he needed to be when he needed to be there. And that is experience.

      • Who?

        Totally agree on Maloula!!! Horrible thing to have happen, hope it’s not as bad as it looked…
        .
        Not sure I said it on here, but how impressive is our depth at THP? Kepu, 7A’s, Tupou, with guys like Ruan Smith and the Talakai brothers uncapped. And then we can add Aussie-developed THP’s in the form of 6A’s and PAE. It’s incredible to think that 14 years ago, we had Baxter – and that was it. Now, we’ve had enough depth that we’ve allowed two quality THP’s to walk away……

  • onlinesideline

    ASHES !!
    That’ll do me just nicely for a Monday morning, thank you very much.
    Now do the same to the Poms on the rugby pitch and the universe will be back in balance.
    Very very sweet !!

    • Geoffro

      Yessssss !

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,
    Farewell Pocock. What a complete legend just a real shame injuries and shit selections stopped us from seeing him at his best. I think Australia and World rugby will miss his presence, skills and integrity.
    Not really sure what Cheika got out of that match. While it must be nice to have a group with great camaraderie and outlook, I’d be a bit more keen on a group that wasn’t leaking weak tries, dropping ball they should catch and making tackles they shouldn’t miss. I tend to feel the players couldn’t get up for this game as everyone knew it had no meaning for the cup and so they lacked intensity. I’m certainly hoping so.
    Some great NRC games this weekend and good to see so many players stepping up. I think this competition is really starting to prove its worth.
    Good luck Ireland. Maybe being No1 will help you get out of the Qtrs for the first time ever. I think you will but going further than the Semi’s is likely to be a step too far I think.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      The contrast between Cheika’s approach to the last pre-RWC game and Rassie and Hansen’s approach with the Boks and AB could not be greater. But then the latter two rested players during the Rugby Championships. Maybe Cheika wants to use the Fiji game on 21 September as the game to forge combinations prior to the critical Wales game on the 29th, while AB and Boks are preparing for each other. I would however not underestimate Fiji as they have the potential to beat the Wallabies on their day.

      • Geoffro

        Scariiy,quite a few of the ABs that demolished Tonga on Sat would not have been seen as starters for the v SA opener

      • AllyOz

        I too think too much experimentation against Fiji could end very badly.

  • AllyOz

    mollywhopping…OK a new one to me but I like it

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Force looks good at the top of the ladder after they won games against last year’s two finalists in successive weeks. This is despite losing many players to either RWC, injury or European clubs. Our coaching team has done well so far.

    • John Tynan

      Their defence was spectacular on the weekend. Drua just couldn’t breach it.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep and it was Fiji at home in Suva. They always have extra legs at home Fiji. so it was a valiant effort in defence.

    • Perth girl

      I admire your persistence Hannes! I look forward to the Force game against the Rising next week. I wonder if they will be bringing their talent scouts along as well! Phil the Hill!

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Rising is at the bottom of the ladder, so they will incompetent if they are not looking for Force talent. Once GRR is firing on all cylinders this may become a two way street.

    • Max Graham

      Didn’t lose any go the test team like all of the others in the comp though.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Not true. Henry Taefu and AJ Atitimu were selected for Samoa and Marcel Brache for the USA and will be playing in the RWC. That is our regular #10, #12 and #13. We also lost our regular wings #14 Masivesi Dakuwaqa to Toulon and Kalgoorlie Kid Clay Uyen #11 to Pro D2 team Valance Roman Drome (thanks Sergio).

        • Max Graham

          That is some serious firepower!

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          To state that Force is winning because we have not lost players to the RWC is inaccurate. Also remember the Force are rebuilding our professional rugby after the raid to our players post the Force Axing Farce and the GRR have not even started….

        • Max Graham

          You are right.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Randwick now realises that the difference between playing Tier 3 Shute Shield club rugby vs Tier 1 international rugby. About 74 points? They tried gallantly but a big score was always on the cards. Now I how the NSW club supporters will get behind the NRC – a Tier 2 competition. I though Argentina would have got more by playing a Tier 2 team like Samoa did against the Force a couple of weeks ago.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      No way mate those cardigan wearing Range Rover driving North Shore loonies will still be saying how some of those Randwick players could go straight into the Wallabies. Just like the old days before we spoilt rugby here with NRC and Super rugby

      • Geoffro

        Call me loony,but Randwick aint on the North Shore…Go the Rats.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but you know what I mean

      • Missing Link

        The best thing the NRC could do is secure RM Williams as a sponsor, that will assist in engaging the disillusioned Shute Shield fans.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha Gold

        • Missing Link

          True story – I’ve never owned a pair of RM Williams, shock horror, but I was recently fed an ad on social media, so I clicked on it for a laugh to see how much these Bourgeois Blundstones cost…. holy moly, a bag of columbia’s finest per foot!! no thank you, sir.

        • Timbo

          I have 3 pairs but then there is a seconds outlet here in Canberra plus my other ‘saturdays and sundays’ job gets me a free pair.
          I use them for horse riding too.
          I don’t think I’m the demographic

        • Bernie Chan

          Bloody good boots…not cheap (as pointed out by some…) but last a very long time so the value is still very good.

        • Max Graham

          They are brilliant boots!

        • Hoss

          Rant alert.

          I used to be there demographic. Country roots, had my first pair as a teen an worn em ever since,pricey, but comfortable, sturdy and when you weigh up the life of em actually cheaper in the long run than multiple pairs of product ‘x’, got over 30 pair now. The fuckers used to have a ‘Big Men’s’ range that you could but jeans, shirts, shorts – the lot. Then Ken Cowley sold his majority share to L Capital (an investment arm that owns YSL). They put some fucker from the sub-continent in charge – because of his rich history and deep cultural association with the brand and now you’ve got a brand aimed at delicate city flowers and disinterested looking women. None of them can afford the shoes, I barely can now. The custom made ‘Signature’ Boots when from $695 for bespoke shoes to $1,000 overnite. Real men’s clothes disappeared and now you have 3XL that fits like a proctologist’s fist. Then i get emails about videos of Hugh – ‘gives a fuck’ – Jackman meeting the people behind the boots. Well fuck me Hugh, I’ve seen the movie ‘Australia’ and some other shit you sing through and i want you to fuck right off before you infect the leather with some sort of fucking viral bacteria that turns the boots to shit as well. Fuck your own career by all means, but get the fuck away from my boots.

          On a recent trip to Far Northern NSW to watch the Gold v FISM’s i was offended by how many skinny suit, manicured whiskered, delicate looking shit bags had them on – fuck me, its an invasion, no its the emancipation of man. I even sent the marketing department an email concerned over some of the male models used and their ability to wear the jackets. Poor dears looked like they would end up with curvature of the spine carrying a colossal wight like the $1200 ‘Shearers Jacket’ i shit you not they had a 12yo, 48 kilo ‘man’ looking wistfully into the camera, with that ‘i will suck your dick look, but i dont have to like it’ look on his face.

          Its a disgrace, it’s an outrage and should be fucking illegal. Actually i might run for parliament just on that one platform alone.

          Were’s that fullback guy, i want him to add one more group to his shit-list. It’s enough to make me spit.

          Rant Over

        • Keith Butler

          Since there letting anything in at the Olympics nowadays, we should propose ranting. Simple, rant sprint (30 secs), middle and long time rant, plus a rant relay. Yours is gold medal material.

        • Hoss

          Mate – i love the Wallabies and roll with the punches, but you fuck with RM and that’s a bridge way too far. Most of the delicates wouldn’t even know what RM stands for……..posers and yes i know it stands for Ross Millerson, so, there.

        • Keith Butler

          Not being from around these parts I had to look it up. Similar to the Barbour waxed jackets favoured by UK country gentry and Twickenham bellends.

        • AllyOz

          I saw RM once. We played Toowoomba Rangers in a final and he was sitting in the stands. Not sure if he was a rugby fan or there with someone else. He was only a little man and it was just a year or so before he passed away. I recognised him and said g’day and he said g’day and that was about it. I had read a couple of biographies about him and he was an extraordinary man. I personally think they have lost the spirit of the thing now.

        • AllyOz

          actually it wasn’t a final, just a club game I think.

        • Hoss

          That’s gold mate.

        • Hoss

          The brand has lost its soul mate. Can’t & don’t blame Cowley. He was a mate of RM’s, rescued the company from insolvency and turned it in to a profit making concern and cashed in – all fair play. But you go into a shop now and they look like there closing down. Sweet FA stock, the soul has gone. Its all modern BS for the modern numpty. The large boots contracts keep them in the black (Defence Force for example) but they couldn’t and dont give a flying about the man on the land no more, nor their loyal customers. I am all for change and innovation, but to totally discard a large slice of your business, well……

        • Human

          I thought RM stood for Real Men’s, as described in your earlier, Olympic qualifying, rant.

        • Hoss

          I go ogled it mate, apparently it’s Ancient Greek for ‘Rampant Machismo’

        • Who?

          I normally don’t consider anything that requires scores from judges to be a sport (i.e. surfing, gymnastics, etc – they’re hobbies, incredibly athletic, but if there’s no clear objective means of determining a winner, it’s not a genuine sport).
          But I’m with you on this one!

        • Dud Roodt

          Apparently they are an amazing piece of footwear. I’ve never been able to stomach the cost, but as they say, it’s like spending money on a good mattress – you spend a lot of time on your feet so it’s worth forking out on a good bit of footwear.

        • Brisneyland Local

          DR 1005. Being a freak (6’8″) shoes and mattresses are not two things I fuck around with. I have RM’s have had them for 10 years (well this pair, had a pair for 15 years before that but they finally died). They are the most comfortable things I own. My extended Californian King mattress is another. Both well worth the money.

        • Geoffro

          My old man was a Pitt St farmer and had about three pairs in his closet when he passed.Shame I’ve got feet like Sasquatch and his only size 10.Closest I’ve ever come to owning/wearing a pair.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I have to admit I do own a pair. TBF I brought them as part of my parade uniform but I do wear them. They are very comfortable

        • Geoffro

          Williams have/had a contract to supply the Aussie army with boots now I think.You must have impressed

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          hahahah I can’t take the credit for that mate

        • Geoffro

          My last trip to Kmart secured me a perfectly decent and comfy pair boots for 35 bucks.Made in China same as RMs and Blundstones ;)

        • Human

          RM’s are still made in Adelaide

        • Geoffro

          My apologies,you are correct indeed.

        • Hoss

          5 Percy Street – nothing more Aussie than a street name Percy.

        • Geoffro

          Same as nothing more British than a penis named Percy-re’ Percy’ the movie and it’s sequel ‘Percy’s progress’.(Showing my age now),but yeah not too many Percy streets in China I reckon

        • Human

          They do, though, have a cheaper brand that is made off-shore.

        • Human

          It has only been that way since they became a fashion item. Blundstones are the same now.

        • Geoffro

          Heheh,elastic sided footy boots. only on sale in the most exclusive Paddo boutiques with NRC season tickets thrown in

        • Max Graham

          I own a couple of pair. The new range is pretty sweet – makes the old farmer boots look lame. Not cheap!! But if you’re ever overseas on Australia Day go find a store as they have secret sales. 65% discount makes them a bargain!

        • Geoffro

          Wouldn’t mind but one pair would prob last me 3 lifetimes as i spend about 95% of my time sporting thongs.The joys of semi retirement in warmer climes

        • AllyOz

          I noticed the price the other day. The ones I bought for a couple of hundred 10 years ago are now $499 on the website. Good boots undoubtedly but I will need to factor them into the cost of my next international trip by the look of it.

        • Max Graham

          $150 ten years ago? Reckon I paid close to double that about the same time. Regardless, when the mob that owned Luis Vuitton bought them – the price really spiked. But they’re so much cooler now!! I bought my wife a pair made from pony hair.

        • AllyOz

          Well maybe 15 years? I got them through a mate who worked for one of the rural stores, who bought them with employee discount so that might also explain some of it. The new boots look great and I am sure they have maintained their reputation for comfort and reliability.

          Never heard of pony hair boots – I always fancied a pair made from croc skin.

          Not sure if your last line is supposed to be poetic?

        • Max Graham

          Er…. yes! Yes, I meant that.

      • UTG

        I don’t think anyone in the North has ever wanted a Randwick player in the Wallabies…

      • IIPA

        Honestly KRL, by linking Range Rovers and the North Shore with Randwick and putting shit on a game that so clearly people wanted to be at…. it’s a pretty average dig.

        • Who?

          Maybe linking the North Shore and Randwick is a subtle dig at just how much people who live outside the Shute Shield catchment care about the geography of Sydney..? :-P
          .
          And people wanted to be at the game – the reports say ‘over 5,000′. This was the only time a Test team had a game east of Homebush this year (the Wallabies’ only Test was at Bankwest, too far west for many), yet they had maybe 1/3 the attendance of the apparently poorly attended Samoa game.

    • Nathan Williamson

      To be fair to them (and the comp), they are a rebuilding team having finished 8th on the ladder along with having no player over 24 (aside from old man freier). Would have probably been a better contest against the likes of Warringah/Uni, although if Uni did what Randwick did with the NRC, there’d barely be a NSW team left

      • AllyOz

        By adding Frier and Walker they lifted the average age to 29

  • Dud Roodt

    Just saw the news that the 1995 Springboks team has lost another member. Chester Williams died on Friday of a heart attack at only 49.

    • Geoffro

      sad eh ? Was a good bloke by all accounts of those who knew or met him

      • Dud Roodt

        Absolutely. That squad has had a terrible run

        • onlinesideline

          how many pased away ?

        • Geoffro

          5 , including the coach !!

        • onlinesideline

          WHATTTTTTTTTTTTTT ?

          Gezzuz – thats incredible

        • Dud Roodt

          Yeah it’s terrible.
          First was the coach who died of leukemia I believe, then the flanker Ruben Kruger, Joost van der Westhuizen and James Small died a couple of months ago

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Kitch Christie, the coach, has be fighting leukemia for almost 20 years. He underwent treatment during the RWC but was fired in his hospital bed in 1997 after winning 14 consecutive tests – the only Bok coach that never lost a test. He did wonders with the talent he had.

        • Geoffro

          Sadly and unusually for modern day SAfrica they all died of natural causes relatively young

        • IIPA

          Apparently the only winger still alive who played that day is Jeff Wilson… which given he’s my age is bloody scary.

  • Crescent

    Well, I have had some time to think it over – “The Samoan Scare” – which I found to be a largely uninspiring event. A damp squib if you will. Farewelling Pocock, Kepu, Taf, Genia and Phipps really should have been a much bigger and more vibrant event as their last chance to pull on Wallaby gold at home.

    I thought in the post match interview Pocock looked and sounded distinctly underwhelmed by the whole thing. It’s Mabo, it’s the constitution, it’s the vibe – and the vibe wasn’t good. Loved to see the jersey swapping and the players taking time to mingle post match. The crowd chipped in to create atmosphere, the singing from the Samoan supporters in the stands was fantastic to hear. And that is what I find so baffling. All the pieces were there, yet it just felt flat.

    Maybe I have been spoilt – having watched the Boks v Japan, the NZ Baabaas vs the PI Legends and the AB v Tonga matches – all those matches had an edge of anticipation and excitement that was missing from the Wallabies game (yes, I had a relaxing weekend where I shipped the smurfs off with the lovely wife so I could enjoy SportFest and beer in comfort).

    Here’s hoping they find some fresh energy and excitement for Bill. With matches pretty much in our time zone, it will be nice not having to live like a vampire for the duration!

    Yes – SportFest also involved NRC matches – a bit baffled by the Rising v Country Eagles being played in Adelaide – maybe the RA Marketing Pigeon thought there was a better flavour breadcrumb to be had there. If you want to play in SA, give them a bloody team and give people a reason to turn up FFS! Just feels like a wasted opportunity and a fantastic way to piss money up against the wall so the detractors can moan about lack of appeal and expense. Poorly executed and poorly planned fixtures won’t rectify the lack of development of juniors, which is where we get the tribalism and reason to get involved in the competition. Ironically – they need to look west and see the work the Force has undertaken at the junior participation level to generate a player base and reason to attend matches. Of course, the chance for WA to say FU to the ECE (East Coast Elites) and RA also appears to be a great way to get more bums on seats.

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      I too was a little surprised by the Pocock interview. He looked annoyed at the questions (which weren’t that bad – the usual post-match inane crap you would expect). He didn’t really answer well, and didn’t SOUND (he played well given his lengthy break) captainly. Something didn’t seem right.

      • AllyOz

        I agree, he appeared offended or put off by something the interviewer said but it was nothing in the question that I picked up on.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Amen, WA say FU ECE and RA. The RA and ECE then say ditto to you to. Then we say thank you Twiggy. This can only change if wholescale changes are made at RA but that is in the hands of the unions that control the votes at RA – NSWRU and QLDRU.

    • Who?

      The Rising have gone to Adelaide for a couple of years now, trying to ally themselves with SA Rugby (which has some great people in admin roles).

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@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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