Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at a calm Cheika, wraps up an incredible round of NRC, a Wallaby turning to Sevens and a unique partnership between an Australian and Japanese team


Calm Cheika ahead of Cup opener

"Don't worry, be happy"

“Don’t worry, be happy”

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has praised his side’s ideal preparations as they get set to begin their World Cup campaign on Saturday against Fiji.

Cheika was uncharacteristically laidback and relaxed during his first official press conference, reaffirming that everything has gone perfectly so far in their build-up to the big event.

“Things have been going really well, perfect actually (with) no distractions,” Cheika said at the team’s base in Odawara.

“We’ve been building on the footy we’re brought to the year so far so we’re ready to do whatever it takes when the times comes.

“What happens on the field is where the talking is done.

“We get our chance next Saturday.”

He will have 30 of his 31 players available for selection with young gun Jordan Petaia still battling a hamstring injury, whilst lock Adam Coleman will be eased back into contact after a knock to his thumb in the win over Samoa.

Cheika’s past experience with knock-out style tournaments has him lazar-focused on the job ahead, refusing to look ahead to their almost must-win clash against Wales in a fortnight.

“No one thinks I’m telling the truth but the only game I’m looking at is Fiji,” Cheika said.

“All the knockout tournaments I’ve been involved with European Cups and the 2015 World Cup, you only look at what’s in front of you, that’s the grand final.”

Skipper Michael Hooper revealed that the players were itching to get started, in particular, David Pocock, who has slotted right back into the squad after his long injury lay off.

“David didn’t look like he’d missed a trick,” Hooper said

“He’s come off long breaks before and done outstanding because he keeps himself in such outstanding condition and I only expect him to go up (from here).

“These are the competitions where he does so well so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can put out there.”

NRC throws up thrillers

Michael McDonald passes

Michael McDonald passes

The National Rugby Championship has delivered some all-time classic encounters in round three of the competition.

We start off in the eastern suburbs of NSW, where Sydney have pulled off a 47-26 upset win over Queensland Country.

Sydney was boosted by the inclusion of their Randwick players, particularly Will Harrison, who came out and torched the shell-shocked Country.

Waratahs pair Cameron Clark and Lalakai Foketi were the chief destroyers, each recording a double in the impressive performance.

The exciting rugby continued down the Hume Highway with the Canberra Vikings narrowly hanging on for a one-point win over Brisbane City, 36-35 at Viking Park.

With ten minutes remaining, Brisbane looked to have snatched the result when replacement Tuaina Tualima burrowed over.

However, a penalty goal from Ryan Lonergan with five minutes put the Vikings back in front and they managed to hold on in a famous victory.

The triple-header of NRC rugby on Saturday was finished off in Wollongong, where NSW Country and Fijian Drua played out a nail-biting 24-all draw.

The game looked to be secured for the Fijians when Aporosa Tabulawaki raced 90 metres to score to put them ahead by 7 points, with the Eagles misery compounded by the sin-binning of Eagles winger James Kane with nine minutes to go

However, halfback Jack Grant found his way over in the 81st minute before replacement flyhalf Connor O’Shea slotted the conversion to continue their unbeaten run and sentence the Drua to their second draw in three games.

The round finished off in the mighty state of Western Australia, where the Force confirmed their status as the favourites heading forward with a 38-19 win over the Melbourne Rising.

The boys from the isolated state put on a show with a hat-trick to winger Byron Ralston gifting them a 19-7 lead at half-time.

Despite a spirited fightback from the Rising through WA product Richie Hardwick and Pone Fa’amausili, the Force were too strong with a try to Johan Bardoul sealing the result and maintaining their spot at the top of the ladder.

Jack of all trades

Jack Maddocks eye to eye with Samu Kerevi  Reds v Rebels 2019

Melbourne Rebels winger Jack Maddocks is set to link up with the Australian men sevens as they prepare for their Olympic qualifier.

Maddocks will join brother Will in the squad for the Munich Sevens, where he will assist their preparations and potentially play in the competition, before they head to the Oceania Sevens in Fiji this November.

Coach Tim Walsh was pleased with getting double the Maddocks’ (four Maddocks?), praising Rebels coach Dave Wessels for loaning him out and allowing Jack to take up the challenge.

“Jack is a quality athlete and an amazing Rugby player; He can run, leap, jump, weave and is a competitor, which is exactly the kind of player we want in the Australian Sevens Squad,” Walsh said in a press release.

“Will has been no slouch either and continues to smash records in the team with his speed and fitness, so to welcome Jack is going to enhance our environment.

“I’m grateful to Dave Wessels and the Melbourne Rebels for releasing Jack for this exciting period and I know training in our program will enhance Jack as a Rugby player.”

Maddocks was looking forward to the opportunity, with the Eastern Suburbs product keen to give the shorter format a crack with his brother.

“It’s a good opportunity for me to go test out Sevens for a bit and have a crack,” Maddocks said.

“[The Olympics] is the pinnacle of sport. Hopefully we can get there and that will be an unreal experience as well.”

“Tim (Walsh) hit me up to see if I was interested. It’s really exciting, haven’t played much of Sevens before so the challenge excited me, and it was a good opportunity to play with my brother so that was a big lure for me.

“Plenty to learn but keen to rip in. I can tell it’s a good group and something I look forward to being a part of.”

He will return to the Melbourne Rebels after the Olympic Qualifier and remains on standby for the Wallabies Rugby World Cup campaign.

Rebel alliance

Quade Cooper catches Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

The Melbourne Rebels have announced an unique partnership with Japanese rugby side Kintetsu Liners.

With the exodus of Australian players overseas ramping up, the Rebels are thinking outside the box with an alliance with the Japanese giant, who signed their former halves in Will Genia and Quade Cooper before the deal was formed.

The second division Liners are coached by former Queensland Reds coach and ex-Wallabies prop Nick Stiles.

The deal will see both sides exchange players, coaches, best practice and innovation over the next two years.

It will also see both sides play exhibition games in both Melbourne and Osaka.

“The Melbourne Rebels are committed to taking Melbourne to the world through a multi-faceted international strategy. We are blessed that Rugby is a truly global game and we are committed to being a conduit for investment into Victoria long-term,” Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson said in a press release.

“We are developing strong relationships with many successful Japanese companies and utilising our expertise in Rugby to support the Liners efforts to regain their place in the Top League.

“We are developing strong relationships with many successful Japanese companies and utilising our expertise in Rugby to support the Liners efforts to regain their place in the Top League.

“In the last two years the Melbourne Rebels have proactively conducted trade missions to Japan, taking business delegations of over 100 people in total to Tokyo for our Super Rugby matches against the Sunwolves and making new diplomatic and corporate links.”

“The Kintetsu Liners are very excited to have the expertise and people of the Melbourne Rebels working to advance our Club,” Kintetsu Liners General Manager Kagehiro Iizumi remarked.

“We have always been impressed with the professionalism of the Rebels and we know that our partnership will be a strong driver for our future success.”

The deal will commence next month when Stephenson and coach Dave Wessels will travel over to the Liners training base in Osaka to oversee their development.

  • Nathan Williamson

    As part of my uni studies, I’m scouring the country (mainly Sydney) to find out why club rugby comps have witnessed a revival whilst elite comps have declined. If you have a spare couple of minutes, could you fill in/share this form. https://forms.gle/j551nPrAHHRpJRwy5

    • Greg

      Nathan,

      I did maths and physics and stuff like that… What’s the secret of getting to watch the rugby for uni!?

      • andrewM

        a very ‘liberal’ arts degree?

      • Nathan Williamson

        These days they pretty much offer anything to study. Part of a Sports Media post-grad degree

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I’ll get onto this but you might take note of the Rebels extravaganza to Japan. I don’t think anyone will ever see 200 as anything more than excessive and shows the lack of accountability and sense of entitlement that is seen as being part of the elite in rugby and which turns people off, especially when it’s combined with continued very poor results on the field

    • Howard

      Filled out the form. Be mindful that it’s only in some areas of Sydney that there is a revival. The rest of NSW is in steep decline

      • AllyOz

        Yes less successful in Penrith ….

      • Geoffro

        Luckily RA (Rebs) have decided to throw resources at developing a second tier japanese team.The federal govt would be proud

    • Nutta

      Done.

    • Crescent

      Done. Just an observation – the question on best format after the current Super Rugby broadcast deal may need an “none of the above” option or “other” option. None of the three available options were super appealing, so had to choose the least worst option (just from a data validation perspective).

  • Who?

    Do any other countries have players unavailable due to injury until into October heading into this RWC..? Bit of an unusual situation there.
    .
    Can’t recall too many weekends where both Qld teams have lost in the NRC. Combine that with a draw for the Drua, and that’s great for the development of the competition – seeing teams that don’t hold titles getting wins (particularly NSW teams). And great to see the Force continuing – as ever at NRC (as they were when they were the Spirit) – looking strong.
    .
    I hadn’t picked up that Genia and Cooper had gone back to an old NRC/Reds coach… Which is a bit surprising, given they didn’t have great results at the Reds under him. But clever work from the Rebels and Kintetsu to form such alliances. No one knows everything, hopefully the Rebels go over with a very open mind, it could be a great thing for both clubs.

    • Nathan Williamson

      I know SBW is questionable for the Kiwis whilst Irish centre Robbie Henshaw has pretty much been ruled out of their first clash against the Scots, generally there is a couple of players that pick up an injury as teams over-train in the build up to the Cup

      • Who?

        Thanks Nath. I did see people talking about SBW (I’m still shocked Shag picked him), wasn’t aware of Henshaw.
        Is Coleman likely to be good for our first game – will the thumb be ok for Fiji?

        • Nathan Williamson

          Should be right to go for Fiji from what I’ve seen, think it’s just precautionary heading into a big tournament.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        False news on SBW mate. He’s ok it was just a stupid journalist seeing his strapping and thinking it meant an injury

        • Nathan Williamson

          Ah right, that’s good news.

    • Geoffro

      Retallick isn’t available till the quarters at least !.Bad weekend for all QLD codes though no sympathy for the Broncs,the ineptness of their coach in selection etc is only matched by ………..And as far as the rebs , propped up by RA and partnering with a japanese mob,pah!

    • Keith Butler

      I reckon England will lose Vunipola ( the prop), Nowell and Slade for the first two games. Also Wilson and Cokanasiga out with knee injuries picked up in training.

      • Who?

        Wow – so, at this point, it’s quite amazing to see how many teams are risking depth through the pool matches desperately hoping that players come good – and return at full form – for the knock outs…
        .
        I don’t recall seeing this sort of risky behaviour before.

        • Keith Butler

          Yes indeed a very dangerous strategy. I personally would not be taking players who were injured and playing their first games in months in such a high pressure competition, no matter how good they are. But obviously the coaches know best.

    • idiot savant

      What I loved about the Sydney City win over QLD Country was how much City wanted it. Best sign I’ve seen for a while.

  • andrewM

    So where the bloody hell are the Rebels getting the money to send Business Delegations of ‘over 100 people‘ to Japan? Seriously?? Surely they should be repaying other shareholders in Australian Rugby all the money that has been pissed against the wall by them before embarking on such extravagant exercises.
    We have always been impressed with the professionalism of the Rebels‘ True, the Rebels are world leaders at screwing money out of people – sure the Liners aren’t a front for the Yakuza and trying to pick up a few tips?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Absofriggenlutely. No wonder no one trusts rugby administrators here with that bullshit

      • Geoffro

        More angst headed from a westerly direction ?

        • andrewM

          I’m sure I can dig up some profound Japanese saying about that if you want!

        • East is East and West is West and never the…damn, forgot the rest.

        • From NooZealand

          “… twain shall meet. … When two strong men stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth!” Very fitting words for this RWC.

    • AllyOz

      This might just be business travelling packages with rugby tickets and meetings tacked on the end which the companies pay for (and get to claim back – the company I worked for used to get a 50% tax deduction on any overseas travel and accommodation to generate new business with foreign companies – I personally think this is the sort of business welfare that we would do better without in this country but hey, its only dodgy if you’re not getting some yourself as a mate of mine in the CFMMEU used to say). As long as RA aren’t paying for it or contributing to it or it sends Melbourne broke and RA come in to bail them out then I don’t see a huge issue.

      It is interesting that they announce this after losing their 9/10 combination to the same second division team. There might be

    • Custard Taht

      They are called the Liners for a reason, they real good at lining their pockets.
      The Rebs were probably told that for a small fee, they would inherit the fortune of a lost emperor.

      This is also has the tang of Hossimoto all over it…..

      • Hoss

        I facilitate meetings of like-minded individuals, for a small fee.

    • Missing Link

      absolutely no money has changed hands, I can assure you. however, I can also assure you that Coles have run out of iTunes vouchers.

    • Cornchips

      Why are there 100 people working at the Rebels? You have what a 50-60 player pool (including academy and they are definitely not sending them) what team needs 40 plus people? And why would most of them even be relevant to send over?

      Maybe we are misreading though. Maybe it’s a bunch of independent Melbourne business people paying their own way but tacking onto the Rebels brand? Who knows.

      I’m with you though. The Rebels experiment has been one of (shadily) throwing money at a hopelessly over saturated Melbourne sporting market. To the detriment of the ARU (as an organisation, I really don’t get the rational and it’s done brand damage) and Australian Rugby. I cannot believe people still talk about axing the Brumbies in favour of the Rebels.

      • Who?

        I would expect, from the description, that its 100 business people (likely a few from each business affiliated with the Rebels) heading over using Rugby contacts on a trip organized by the Rebels. It’s a method for the Rebels to make some cash (travel business), and leverage their rugby contacts.
        Otherwise, they wouldn’t have talked about creating new diplomatic and corporate links.

    • Perth girl

      Paid for by the Vic government and RA?

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      At least we know where some of the RA rugby is going…to Japan! Good timing as well or just a coincidents that there is a RWC in Japan?

  • Parker

    Seems Segall is under the impression there’ll be a cup awarded for training.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The boys have trained really well this week

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan, hanging out for Friday. Why is this week soooooooo slow.
    TBH I’m not interested in what any coach or player says this week, it’s all noise and means nothing. Results on the paddock, in the game not at training, is all that matters.
    Great to see some competition in the NRC. I think it’s slowly starting to prove itself as the competition that’s always been needed here.
    Great to see Maddocks expand his game. I think the difference between the 7’s and 15’s game is almost enough to have specialists in each but I think Maddocks could get something out of this that will help him expand his game and that’ll be good.
    100 people to Japan in two years, WTF! How can that be anything other than a junket. I hope someone is held accountable for this but with RA’s record of unaccountability I can see nothing happening.

  • Geoffro

    Cheika shoukd be relaxed and calm I reckon.Hes overacheived in getting himself to a second world cup after the last few years and the weight of expectation has lifted now that were no more than dark horses to win it.

  • Greg

    It seems to have clicked to Eddie that Mr Farrell is a walking red card. He has so far been a very lucky man.

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2019/sep/15/owen-farrell-no-arms-tackles

  • AllyOz

    any chance that the Fijian winger player NRL for Parramatta could somehow be qualified to have a run with the Wallabies this weekend?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t think you need another league player who doesn’t know where to be on defence mate. There’s enough liabilities in this squad already

      • AllyOz

        I just thought someone who could run the 100 m under 14 secs might help.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I personally think rugby here needs to get over league. TBH I can’t think of one that has come over and lived up to the expectations they came with. Some haven’t been too bad but most have been nowhere near as good as they were said to be and everyone of them has taken dollars that could have been used to develop a rugby player into something special

        • Nutta

          Who was the little guy who played on the wing for the AB’s who was a mungo not so long ago? Milner Skudder? He did alright. But in-general I completely agree with you.

        • From NooZealand

          Ngani Laumape played for the Warriors and I like the “mungo” he puts in his game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate over here they all play rugby and go to league when they can’t make it. The few who transfer back have a good background in rugby already

        • Geoffro

          Thorn and SBW ? handy players that grew up in league

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but look how long it took for them to come right? Also they both fit in as part of a good team, not brought in to immediately resolve all the issues in the team

        • Human

          Ben Teo was going okay until the other day.
          Though I agree with you in general.

        • AllyOz

          Firstly, it was a largely tongue in cheek comment. For my sins, I am a Parramatta fan so I watch a bit of them and the pure physically of this kid is something else. A winger with speed who can squat 285kg – there is some raw talent there.

          To a large extent I agree but the issue for me KRL is that, in previous years, the more natural fit for these blokes from the Pacific Islands was in rugby. It was traditionally the game they played. The economics of that has changed now with league better able to find a well paid spot for them (or European Rugby).

          Yes there is limited value for bringing them across from league after they have made it BUT it used to be that we would have them before they came. In my club in the late 80’s/early 90’s we had a couple of Lote Tuquiri’s uncles. A generation later their nephew was bought across at high expense (and then had to be taught the intricasies (s/p) of how to play). We should ideally be grabbing them before they made the grade in league or keeping them out of schoolboy rugby but the competition we play in doesn’t generate the necessary dollars to be able to keep them all (or even the best ones).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah and that’s one of the real issues here. The AFL and NRL have enough money that they can get into these kids heads early.
          When I was a Lt in the Army league was big with the infantry and I played for a couple of years. It was great in that when I was Duty Officer I had less trouble than most non infantry officers in dealing with them in the bars but TBH I got bored with the game and after about 3 years went back to rugby.
          Unfortunately here rugby can’t compete with the dollars below Super rugby and it’s always going to be an issue. I think league players suffer from the lack of instinctive know how both in attack and defence that comes from years of playing. This means opportunities get missed and others have to cover for them

        • AllyOz

          I grew up in a league town in Northern NSW but in the last three years of high school the NSW Country hooker at the time (Mike Melino I think his name was, probably from RIverina around Wagga Wagga started as a teacher and gave us the opportunity (along with another teacher Jeff Schneider) to play Waratah Shield. I loved league but was a 6’2″ bean pole at 15 and was much better suited to rugby – I used to hate playing but get points every game. I left and went to the Police in Queensland and same thing again – shit at league but loved it but played union because they were short and had a better chance of getting a game (now as a 6’5″ ish not so bean polish person). But still considered myself a leaguie. Uni was similar but Rugby was the main game at Armidale and then when i moved around country NSW and Qld and a bit in Brisbane I really started to love union.

          I am not anti-league but, having gone through the adjustment myself, I know how hard it is to transition and that has taught me two things. 1. an undying appreciation for what Brad Thorn did – even in a less technical position like second row (though still pretty technical in scrums and lineouts) what he achieved was amazing (but took a lot longer than most acknowledge for him to really earn his stripes). Nothing against SBW but, in large part, the game has been changed for him, he has been given a specific role that accentuates his particular skill set and plays in teams good enough to allow them to do that. He is excellent at what he does but its not all that different to what he did in league – similar for Tequiri and Sailor when they came across.
          2. I think bringing established league players across is a waste of money and fully agree with your comments
          BUT
          I think probably the ones we should be targeting (IF ANY) are the high school Union players who have been signed to league teams but are still under 20s and haven’t yet made a first grade debut (or established themselves in 1st grade). Either keep them from going and that probably requires more money into academy and NRC contracts or judiciously pick up the best of what we lost. Berrick Barnes was in this group but now we have Angus Cricton and Campbell Murray and the other Scots named bloke at Souths, all 1st XV and Australian Schoolboys but now all established leaguies. We need to get these blokes back somehow (or stop them from going) before they get established. This doesn’t apply to all. Will Chambers was at Nudgee but I think he was already contracted or at least heavily linked to league in year 11 & 12. His time in Union as a senior was a bit of a disaster, just couldn’t get traction and I think was driven by melbournes need to get under the salary cap rather than a genuine desire to return to rugby.

          Anyway , they’r e my thoughts FWTW

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I can see where you’re coming from and I agree. Just hard to do with the money available to league. That’s why we lose so many.
          Be interesting to see how many of this years U20’s are retained

      • AllyOz

        its a bit of a trade off between someone who doesn’t know where to be in defence and someone who knows where they need to be but are far too slow to get there.

    • I think he’s playing for Fiji…

      • AllyOz

        I meant the new one they replaced him with Maiko Siva – the only one was Semi Radradra -

        • Human

          I saw a bit of the game yesterday. Had not heard of Siva or most of the others but Siva is an absolute beast. I was imagining him in gold taking on BB in the last line.

  • Hoss

    Morning all,

    After a weekend of much deliberation, soul searching and some excellent work on the training paddock I have arrived at my 8 that should see the RWC campaign through.

    Some tough choices, a few surprise omissions, but I am happy with the outcome and confident these 8 will get the job done.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce94d4af1c92ab146d12b4839a4698b3bc137495bce74042e9d394bc7da74b16.jpg

    • IIPA

      Hoss my poison of choice is craft beer and a bit of red so excuse my ignorance… it’s a fine looking pack with a hulking number 8.

      Who’s the most likely man of the tournament out of this lot?

      I hope there’s at least one Japanese whisky in there….

      • Hoss

        I cant go past the bacrower – ‘JD Gold 27′ – i expect big things.

      • Missing Link

        is that the origin of your username? Double India Pale Ale?

        • IIPA

          Indeed ! Although I’ll probably not have too many of those until the quarters ( unless Fiji put one on us which is entirely possible ).

        • Keith Butler

          Tried some Kaiju Aftermath double IPA the other day. 9.1% abv and worth every %. A very nice drop.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        Perhaps a name change to IPIPA?

    • Keith Butler

      Well that the G&G/Fiji game sorted.

      • Hoss

        I’ve got a squad of 12-13, just in case.

        • Keith Butler

          Finishers.

    • idiot savant

      By the look of things, you’re going to need a second row replacement before the match starts…

      • Hoss

        He picked up in injury – in camp.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope he is just sitting in Canberra

    • From NooZealand

      I truly think you would do better if you some Vino Tinto. You need some ponies even if it is as cannon fodder.

      • Hoss

        The vagaries of grape juice are lost on me, although Briz is a reliable judge of quality, I will defer to him. Now, Sour Mash there’s something i know a wee bit about.

    • Brisneyland Local

      My friend you are a true Sour mash scholar.

    • Thylacine

      WANTED: Boarding Kennel for Husband for duration of World Cup. Willing to pay.

    • Keith Butler

      The Mayor’s Matchday Squad. Plenty of strength in the front row, tall timber with some bite at 4-6 and a whippet at 7. Plenty of guile at half back, solid in the centre with a dependable back three. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/affd6dbb4deeadd6041346bb815d9b0f80894b06e712db7b1f0780b13688188f.jpg

      • Keith Butler

        Still need boarding kennel.

  • Hoss

    just a reminder for those who havent selected their Wallaby 23 for the Fiji game this Saturday. Below is the link to tthe page. Its based on a bench split of 5/3.

    I believe the team travels Wednesday to the city for the game, i am yet to see when the team announcement will happen and plan to release the GAGR XXIII in advance of the official squad announcement

    Pass on to you rugby mates for their imput as well.

    Happy voting

    http://yourwallabysquad.com/

    • donktec

      blocked at work due to known virus issue! thats a new one, will have to take it as homework…

    • laurence king

      Thank you sir.

  • Bernie Chan

    All is fine in camp Wallaby. Apparently they’ve had the “perfect” preparation”…

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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