Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News focuses on the start of the World Cup for the Wallabies and 13 other teams, the latest round of the NRC and a star Wallaby re-commits for the next two years.


Wobblies

fiji wallabies japan rugby world cup rwc

The Wallabies have survived a slow start to overcome Fiji 39-21 in their opening World Cup contest in Sapporo.

The Aussies struggled in the first 55 minutes, trailing the flying Fijians by as much as nine just after the start of the second half.

However, the injection of Will Genia and a double to Tolu Latu in the space of five minutes helped reverse the momentum and secure victory.

For a more in-depth review of the game, check out Steve’s match report and Nick’s player ratings from the nail-biting contest.

Captain Michael Hooper was relieved to get the win, pleased with the way his side managed to regain their composure and fight their way back into the contest.

It’s a testing match for us going down like that, in the fashion we did,” Hooper said.

“Fiji really came out of the blocks aggressive.

“They’ve big physical guys and they took it to us there.

“Really proud of our guys to regroup, managed to work our set-piece really nicely into the game and ultimately that paid off really well for us.”

The main concern for the Wallabies coming out of the match will be the availability of winger Reece Hodge, who will face a disciplinary hearing in Tokyo after his dangerous tackle on flanker Peceli Yato.

Yato was knocked unconscious by the tackle and was forced from the field, with Fiji captain Dominiko Waqaniburotu highlighted the incident to referee Ben O’Keeffe at the time, who referred it to the TMO, deeming it all clear.

Cheika was coy on the incident after the game, suggesting that he didn’t get a good sight of the tackle.

“I really didn’t see it, I didn’t even see it in the game,” he said afterwards.

“I saw the tackle, obviously, but the one thing I know is that the Fijian captain went up and spoke to the referee and asked him to refer it – which he did – and it went to the TMO and he told him the tackle was fine.

“You‘ve got to go with what they say, and I didn’t actually see it when it happened.

“I saw the contest – the collision, it was a massive one, a trysaver in that way – but that’s all I do know about the incident.”

World Cup Wind Up

Rugby World Cup - William Web Ellis Trophy

Rugby World Cup – William Web Ellis Trophy

With the World Cup finally here, let’s recap the wild weekend of action across the great nation of Japan.

We start with the home nation, who survived a scare against the Bradbury’s of the World Cup, Russia, before going on to record a 30-10 win in the opening match of the tournament.

The star of the match was Kotaro Matsushima, with the winger becoming the first player to score a hat-trick in a World Cup opening game.

After the Wallabies thrilling win over Fiji, the action turned to Tokyo, where France recorded a nail-biting 23-21 win over Argentina.

France dominated the start of this match and led by 17 points at half time, before harnessing the words of an emotional rallying cry from football legend Diego Maradona pre-game to get them back in the match.

In the end, the Pumas couldn’t close the match out (wonder who predicted that…) when Emiliano Boffelli missed a penalty with time running out.

Saturday was rounded out by a heavyweight contest, where New Zealand confirmed their favourites tag with a hard-fought 23-13 win against South Africa.

The All Blacks broke the game open with an inspired five-minutes of play before halftime, which provided both their tries, before holding off a strong fightback from South Africa to secure the important win and top spot in Pool B (pretty much).

Sunday began with a points-fest, with Italy recovering from a slow start to beat minnows Namibia 47-22 at Hanazono Stadium.

The Azzurri’s ultimately had too much firepower, racking up a seven-try, bonus-point win against a spirited Namibia

It was followed up by an impressive performance by Ireland, who showed why they are the number one ranked side with a 27-3 win over Scotland in Yokohama.

The Irish piggies ate well in this game, with lock James Ryan, senior citizen Rory Best and tight-head prop Tadgh Furlong finding the line in the opening half.

Scotland’s night went from bad to worse after star openside flanker Hamish Watson left the field on a stretcher with a knee injury.

To round off Sunday, England recovered from a slow start to earn a 35-3 bonus-point win over Tonga.

England would score two tries either side of half time to push away from the valiant Ikale Tahi to earn the bonus point victory and march to the top of Pool C.

Wild NRC throws up spectacular results

Seru Uru

Seru Uru

Just as you think you’ve got an idea about who should win, the NRC continues to throw up some unbelievable results during round four.

We start this week in Fiji, where the Drua has put the competition on notice with a 76-29 win over Sydney.

The defending champions scored 11 tries in a stunning prelude to the World Cup contest, which saw the Drua rack up six tries in the last 15 minutes to record their first win of the tournament.

Doubles to Johnny Dyer, Eremasi Radrodro and Jiuta Wainiqolo, along with 26 points to fullback Enele Tikotani helped secure the result and kept their dreams of going back-to-back alive.

If they want to achieve this, then they will have to somehow find a way to stop the Western Force, who continued their unbeaten run with a 45-28 win over Canberra Vikings.

The Force dominated the Brumby/Wallaby lathered side, racing out to an early 14-0 lead after 10 minutes before the Vikings defied a yellow card and brought the margin back to within three points with 15 minutes to go.

However, the boisterous home crowd support got the Force over the line, with tries to Leon Feke and Feleti Kaitu’u making it four wins from four matches.

Sunday threw up the upset of the competition, with the Melbourne Rising dominating a flat Queensland Country outfit 49-7.

The Rising put on a show in Ballarat, running in seven tries to one to record their first win of the tournament.

They were boosted by a dominated performance by prop Vaauli Faamausili, along with doubles by Justin Marsters and Semisi Tupou.

Finally, Brisbane City has rocketed up to second on the ladder with a narrow 24-19 win over NSW Country.

Brisbane controlled the opening half of this contest, with three tries in the space of 10 minutes gifting them a 17-0 lead at halftime.

They would maintain the advantage until the end of the match, with tries to Joey Walton and Jack Grant in the last two minutes securing the bonus point for Country and making the scoreline slightly more respectable.

Korobiete Kommits

Marika Korobiete Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

In news that has flown under the radar with the start of the World Cup, winger Marika Korobiete has re-signed with the Melbourne Rebels and Australian rugby until 2021.

He exploded onto the international scene in 2017 against Argentina after playing six years in the NRL for the Melbourne Storm.

The former Fiji rugby league international has started 22 of his 24 Tests for the Wallabies, scoring 9 tries in those appearances.

In his three seasons of Super Rugby for the Rebels, the 27-year-old has crossed for 16 tries, with the winger hoping to expand on that number as he attempts to lead the Melbourne-based franchise to its maiden finals appearance in 2020.

“I am really enjoying my Rugby so it was an easy decision to stay with a Club that gave me a chance to play the game,” said Koroibete from Japan.

“My family and I are very happy in Melbourne and we have support at the Rebels that is not taken for granted.

“I still have a lot that I want to achieve in Rugby and after the World Cup I am excited to get back to the Rebels and do our best to play Super Rugby finals in 2020.”

Melbourne Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson was very pleased to have the league convert extend his stay at the club after losing halves Will Genia and Quade Cooper to Japanese club Kintetsu Liners in July.

“Marika is a hard-working, robust and explosive player who is very well suited to our game style. He is also a fan favourite down here in Melbourne at the Stockade. Our community gets excited watching him play and kids want to be him.” said Stephenson.

“His commitment to continue in Melbourne is a massive statement of belief in the quality of the program and people at our Club.

“Marika has achieved so much in his three years of professional Rugby and we’ve seen his game develop every season.

“We are very excited about his continued growth over the next two years and have every confidence that he will perform on the biggest stage at the RWC over the next six weeks.”

  • Brendan Hill

    The Western Force Brisbane City and NSW Country are firming for the top three positions on the table this season. Looking at who they have beaten and how I think they will hold those spots. The race for the fourth final spot is absolutely wide open though, with even Melbourne Rising in the hunt after a 0-3 start! Should be a good few rounds coming up!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Isn’t it great to see? This tournament is really starting to find some legs

      • Brendan Hill

        Better and better every year for mine!

    • Happyman

      Mate it is just great to see all quality of the games getting better all the time.

      The Brisbane rugby community seems to be on board with pretty decent crowds.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    What a great weekend of rugby. I’m actually looking forward to a break and I’m sure my wife is. Games went to plan for me and didn’t really offer up that much in the way of anything that has changed where I think the tournament will go. I’m not as sure as some that the Boks will join the ABs in the final, (I know – arrogant, but I’m picking the ABs going all the way) as I felt that while they muscled up well, they didn’t offer enough attacking options and I think either England or Ireland will be able to handle them.

    Early games and I’m sure nerves played a part but I thought Ireland looked better than England at this stage. I can’t see Australia get past the Qtrs unless they show something they haven’t shown in the last 4 years.

    Good news on Koroibete signing up. While I still think he’s got a lot to learn, it’s great to see him staying.

    I think the NRC is really starting to show it’s worth and it’s great to see.

    • onlinesideline

      went to plan for Drew Mitchell too. He tipped an Australia v France final !

    • onlinesideline

      went to plan for Drew Mitchell too. He tipped an Australia v France final !

    • onlinesideline

      went to plan for Drew Mitchell too. He tipped an Australia v France final !

    • Custard Taht

      I am of the belief that who ever won the saffa/all black pool game, would go on to the final.

      Thought the Saffas would win, but all blacks were a class above.

      Originally predicted Saffa v Pom final, after the pool game, going with All Black v Poms final.

      • Yowie

        “Black v Poms final”

        If so, I hope they beat the snot out of each other. I’ll have to decide which side I resent the least for cheering purposes.

        • Missing Link

          That’s a lose-lose situation for me

      • onlinesideline

        I dont buy in to the Pom hype WHATSOEVER. I see them just to be a better drilled, better coached version of what they have always been. Big doorman like physiques, strong backs but with limited flair. I will admit that while they have limited raw playmaking skills, they have rugby smarts (ie well coached). They are definitely a threat but a containable threat if basics are done well against them. According to some we are slated to play in them in the quarter – fnal ? – not sure. If we lose to them in that match it would be bitterly dissapointing. For some reason we seem to go to sleep on the Poms or get affected by their bully boys more than say the Saffas. We need to be seriously pumped in the week we play these blokes the same way we get pumped for a Bled. If we get our angry take no prisoners mindset right in the week leading up to the match we can smash these guys. We need to get one over these blokes. Enough is enough. Im still worried about our back line frailities and they COULD be exposed if the Poms get a head of steam. They are a confidence side and for some reason lately we go inot our shells with these guys. We have to smash this insecurity and get back to reminding the Poms how to play rugby properly. I think Eddie is giving them a sense of inside knowlege – something is not right. Cheika has to step up and get the boys absolutely frothing.

        • Richard Patterson

          I think we all await the side that takes it to England. Gets them on the backfoot and unsettled. Makes them realise they can’t just stumble from one set piece to the next, one labourious lineout drive followed by the next one, one repetitive 50/50 box kick after another. England rugby will be like the England bowling attack in the recent Ashes series. When confronted with a creative, more skilled opponent, their inability to adapt and conquer them will be there for all to see.

        • Keith Butler

          Pretty much like the G&G played against Fiji then!

        • Richard Patterson

          Perhaps. Go win it with Tuilagi, Joseph, May, Watson and Daly. I think we would all offer our congratulations. Skill and speed will win this World Cup. Little else.

        • Keith Butler

          Would love to see it. You can have all the speed and skill but it counts for nothing if you don’t have the pill to play with.

        • Richard Patterson

          Historically you are correct – but I sense it is outdated thinking. Sides reliant on set piece to win possession and then score points are not lighting up the scoreboard these days. Skillful sides with well organised defence can comfortably win games on 40% possession. I predict you will see it in this World Cup.

        • onlinesideline

          Not sure. This is knock out footy and with both sides defending their arse off, penalties and good goal kicking usually prevails. Every point counts in these epic matches. What Im saying is that if we can score more tries, which I think we can, that may get us over the line.

        • Keith Butler

          I never take anything for granted. My SDs are no guarantee for a Q/F place Argentina and France will be major tests. Group C could well be decided by bonus points. Saw enough of the Tonga game to show me that if we get quick front foot ball, and it’s a big if, the likes of Tuilagi, Joseph, May, Watson and Daly could shine.

        • onlinesideline

          Mate be proud, they are a good side and they have the wood on us at the moment considering the Cheika v Eddie battle scores. They have threats in those guys you mentioned for sure but I really feel if we play error free, totally on footy we can outscore them try wise. Whether we use our brains and minimise penalties and slot over our chances is another question. Cant hide my desire to reverse some Pommy inflicted pain in last 3 years but we will have to really turn up. Makes for an epic match but I feel we can do it.

        • Keith Butler

          If we make it out of our group a match with the G&G would be epic.

        • onlinesideline

          You’ll definitely make it out.

        • Custard Taht

          I am not buying the Irish or the Welsh, I think the Poms are the better of UK teams.

        • onlinesideline

          Welsh I don’t rate that highly like most here, Poms and Irish are close. That would be an epic RWC match. Hell its all gonna be good.

        • Custard Taht

          Having had a better look at the pools and finals draw. I have changed my mind, based on expected pool results.

          The kiwis and poms will top their pools and meet in the semi.

          The Wallabies will top their pool and meet the saffas in the semis.

          Resulting in Wallabies v all blacks final

        • idiot savant

          Yes this looks likely CT. 2 cracking games will decide – Ireland vs SA, and the winner of that vs Wallabies. Agree that NZ and England are a shoe in to meet in the other semi (providing we beat Wales!).

        • Hoss

          If we finish equal with NZ in pool play we cant meet them until the Final.

        • idiot savant

          Yep realise that. But if we come second in our pool (by losing to Wales and Wales beating Fiji) we would meet the SD in the quarters. That might be interesting. And if we won that we would meet NZ in the semi. But I cant see how Wales can beat us.

        • Greg

          please don’t count those chickens yet.

        • Hoss

          I reckon we play Ireland in the semis

        • idiot savant

          Then we meet the Paddys in the semis. That would be interesting.

        • Hoss

          They looked good yesterday and never got out of second gear. No obvious weaknesses, but their defence was obvious, they shot out of the line at the Scottish 10/12 all game. There’s some pay to be had there if we are smart. It’s like fly fishing – the fish always bite at something shiny or glittery – i’d offer the Irish defence some of the same as bait………

        • idiot savant

          Chip into the hole with Beale on the chase?

        • Hoss

          Yep or decoys, JOC at first receiver, short inside balls. There’s any number of plays, if we are smart and I really like what I saw v Fiji. Game smarts, calmness and a togetherness from the team. Not evident for a while (since 2015 RWC really)

        • idiot savant

          Yes I liked the variety when JOC moved to first receiver. He’s very much a ball player – likes to pass and can flatten up the backline and give it a different shape. With Beale, Korobete, and Kerevi providing options. I too was struck by the calm. CLL brings this and JOC no doubt meditates before running on….

        • onlinesideline

          yep – how lomg has it been since we have see a group pow wow by the boys midfield mid game. FINALLY – some communication and headspace awareness during the match !

        • Hoss

          Yep or decoys, JOC at first receiver, short inside balls. There’s any number of plays, if we are smart and I really like what I saw v Fiji. Game smarts, calmness and a togetherness from the team. Not evident for a while (since 2015 RWC really)

        • Damo

          Hard to believe it was the same Scots that pulled our pants down at Murrayfield not too long ago. They actually looked disinterested at times. Ireland didn’t need their biggest
          shillelagh’s to get the job done, so we probably don’t know how good they might be across the tournament.

        • Hoss

          I was impressed with the Irish mate.

          In my patented Hoss RWC Rankings its:

          1 The Nearlies
          2. The Emerald XV
          3. Soap Dodgers, DDD & maybe The NH Kiwis & Us.

        • Who?

          I was impressed with Ireland, but agree with Damo that it’s a hard match to rate. Because Ireland was just so dominant. When they had the ball, they did their typical thing of getting two blokes over every ruck. I’ve never seen a team as committed to and disciplined in securing the breakdown as Ireland. When they were on defence, they rarely looked threatened. Were Scotland that far off their best? This is a team that smashed us 53-8 last time out. That came back from 31-3 down to draw England 38 all. Yet they had nothing…
          Makes it really hard to gauge Ireland. Especially given the warm up games, where Ireland clearly were in warm up mode against an already warm England.

        • Custard Taht

          That is a real possibility. The game between the saffas and paddy’s will be a cracker.

    • Happyman

      Mate I hope by break you mean only one game for the next three nights before 2 on Thursday.

      Loving it

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        After the marathon in the weekend, 1 game a night is resting

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    What a great weekend of rugby. I’m actually looking forward to a break and I’m sure my wife is. Games went to plan for me and didn’t really offer up that much in the way of anything that has changed where I think the tournament will go. I’m not as sure as some that the Boks will join the ABs in the final, (I know – arrogant, but I’m picking the ABs going all the way) as I felt that while they muscled up well, they didn’t offer enough attacking options and I think either England or Ireland will be able to handle them.

    Early games and I’m sure nerves played a part but I thought Ireland looked better than England at this stage. I can’t see Australia get past the Qtrs unless they show something they haven’t shown in the last 4 years.

    Good news on Koroibete signing up. While I still think he’s got a lot to learn, it’s great to see him staying.

    I think the NRC is really starting to show it’s worth and it’s great to see.

  • Custard Taht

    Decided to go to the doc yesterday and get a prescription for zoloft. The doc asks me, are you suffering from depression?
    I said no, not really, I frequently visit Greenandgoldrugby.com, and I need the happy pills to pep me up and ward off the over the top negativity about every Wallaby performance, win, lose or draw.

    He then gives me a prescription for medication to lower my blood pressure. I ask him is it high? He says, no, but fark me, the wallabies were pretty crap yesterday, take one of these twice day so don’t have a heart attack during the tournament.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold mate

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold mate

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s gold mate

  • Custard Taht

    Decided to go to the doc yesterday and get a prescription for zoloft. The doc asks me, are you suffering from depression?
    I said no, not really, I frequently visit Greenandgoldrugby.com, and I need the happy pills to pep me up and ward off the over the top negativity about every Wallaby performance, win, lose or draw.

    He then gives me a prescription for medication to lower my blood pressure. I ask him is it high? He says, no, but fark me, the wallabies were pretty crap yesterday, take one of these twice day so don’t have a heart attack during the tournament.

  • Custard Taht

    Decided to go to the doc yesterday and get a prescription for zoloft. The doc asks me, are you suffering from depression?
    I said no, not really, I frequently visit Greenandgoldrugby.com, and I need the happy pills to pep me up and ward off the over the top negativity about every Wallaby performance, win, lose or draw.

    He then gives me a prescription for medication to lower my blood pressure. I ask him is it high? He says, no, but fark me, the wallabies were pretty crap yesterday, take one of these twice day so don’t have a heart attack during the tournament.

  • Richard Patterson

    As rugby supporters I think we should feel very excited about the opening few days of the tournament. Some excellent games, some wonderful skills, some fabulous stadiums and some incredible atmosphere at all the matches. Was it perfect? No. Was the opening weekend of the tournament ever going to be perfect? Doubtful. I do think some outstanding rugby lies ahead of us and we should feel delighted that our sports flagship event will be a very impressive spectacle on the global sporting stage.

    I thought Japan were great, Ireland classy, the Wallabies highly efficient went required. I thought France and Argentina both showed enough, but then not enough, and each will be better for the game. I think a lot of credit is deserving to Fiji and Tonga who both worked hard and did some excellent things against far better prepared Tier I nations.

    I really hope these Tier II nations can have strong tournaments. They are at such a disadvantage regarding financing, administration, coaching, and tournament preparation. But with 80% (?) of key staff playing and coaching abroad, one hopes the skills and knowledge keeps getting imported so performances keep developing and results further improve.

  • Fatflanker

    Watched the Wallabies game at my local. Got to the pub 5 minutes after kick-off – it was packed and huge cheering told me I’d missed a try or some such. Raced inside to find about three blokes watching the rugby and 50-odd watching the races…the sheer affrontery of these bloody working class peasants, eh ?

    Anyway, disappointing that Fiji chose to push the Hodge tackle to the review board – it does them no good and just undermines Australia’s prospects. I sense their coach has a bit of a chip on his shoulder concerning Oz.

    • Yowie

      haha, is that you Malcolm?

  • Damo

    My view from last week is still pretty much the same. Confronting and finally getting over the top of a very physical and well coached Fiji outfit was a great way for the Wallabies to start this campaign. Mind it still took most of the first half- or maybe not even until Genia came on – to establish a pattern of play that was going to win the game. Wallabies like most of the teams over the weekend were a bit tentative/rusty. I think it was an ok start.

    • onlinesideline

      Fully boasting – I predicted that last week, that Genia will be in fine form and overtake White. This is his swan song. When he really wants it, he is pretty darn good. I see little Willy taking the reigns soon. Having White as a finisher is darn good too.

      • Damo

        I hope there is a charity somewhere that is getting $1,000 for every box kick in the tournament.

        • Yowie

          Well, the Salvation Army could do well to afford some third generation main battle tanks.

        • joy

          They’d get $100,000 from Tonga alone.

  • Perth girl

    The Force put the Wallaby/SR laden Vikings to the sword in a great display! Love my team! Go Force!

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      I love the way the Force are developing against bigger SR/Wallaby names in the Vikings. They play a high quality, fast pace rugby, is well coached and even the new players are developing very well. Once GRR is up and running and marque players are signed up to post RWC19 the quality gap between Superugby and GRR will close fairly quickly. We are already seeing that the Force is a notch above the other NRC teams with 4 wins including 3 bonus point wins in 4 games.

  • Frosty morning

    I love the theatre of international rugby, particularly the World Cup. I love the build up of tension as the players walk onto the field together. One of the things I love most is the national anthems before the game. So I’m disappointed that (apart from the Japan v Russia game) there is not a singer at a microphone singing the anthems.

    • Yowie

      The omission of professional anthem singers is a conspiracy to give the Welsh an advantage.

      • AllyOz

        They had the mike up close to the Russians when they were singing along….the Welsh aren’t any chance of losing their “best singers in Rugby” title any time soon.

        • Yowie

          I just watched the replay to check. The Russian team’s singing seemed alright:-
          https://youtu.be/zsC2ETsZL0g?t=113

        • AllyOz

          Your source material has the leading Russian character speaks with an accent of an Edinburgh born Scot? But yes in comparison the Russian players are probably on par with this.

        • Yowie

          Was it not James Bond in deep cover (pardon the submarine pun) for decades to join the USSR navy, rise to the rank of Captain and steal the experimental sub for the benefit of Western powers?
          As such, the Jocko accent is not merely a laughable error/inconsistency of the film.

        • AllyOz

          you’ve nailed it Yowie

  • AllyOz

    A little sleep deprived after a great weekend of rugby. A couple of thoughts on the weekends games:
    1. The only way Rheece Hodge is getting out of that is if he changes his name by deed poll to Owen Farrell.
    2. If we play South Africa who is marking that little winger, by the power of Greyskull, he is a fast little bugger. and I am not sure that we have someone who can get close to him if he gets in the clear.
    3. Ironic that two of our best against Fiji could have been playing for the other side. I can’t get too carried away by our performance just yet.
    4. If a World League of Nations did emerge and Fiji got regular games I think they would potentially be in Tier One fairly quickly. The play an attract game that sponsors would want to be associated with, they seem to have depth in European club teams (and the Drua and GRR teams are adding to that locally) and they are already pretty competitive against Tier 1 teams.

    • Keith Butler

      I wonder how much difference it made to the Fijians in losing Yato. Some player, made his try look easy and seemed to be their go to man.

      • AllyOz

        He had a cracker.

      • idiot savant

        I think you are right. It was a huge loss for the Fijians. He was part of the reason White and CLL were struggling. The man is a beast.

    • onlinesideline

      question is how long on sidelines for Reece and who is going to replace him ?

      • AllyOz

        I imagine he’ll only miss one pool game and I imagine they’ll bring on DHP to start as he had some reasonable touches. I am not sure that’s what I would do. Not sure if they would chance Jordan Petaia and I guess the other option is AAC.

        It’s all further confused by KB’s rather ordinary performance.

        Without Hodge suspended I would have looked to move KB to the bench and start DHP.

        Hodge was rocks and diamonds including one very clear early miss defensively and I think he will be shown up by faster wingers. He is a gutsy player and gives his all though and the kicking is a real advantage over other options.

        • idiot savant

          DHP will go the wing and the ancient one will to go the bench.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Why not TK to the bench?

        • idiot savant

          more options less disruption

        • Who?

          Petaia’s not yet fit – won’t be him.

  • Missing Link

    Ridiculous to hear about Hodge’s citing. he pretty much stepped onto the road in front of a Mack truck going at the speed limit and got clobbered.

    We are going to need Hodge more than ever against Wales. One reason is goal kicking. CLL and Toomua both missed easy kicks and the commentators for Eng v Tonga last night were talking about problems with the balls in that you have to thump them, which Hodge does, otherwise they have a tendency to fade. Seems like a common theme for Rugby World Cups as I recall ball problems in 2011.

    • idiot savant

      JOC used to be a sharp shooter. I wonder what happened to his goal kicking.

      • Custard Taht

        He isn’t wearing the 10 Guernsey…..

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I have to disagree. He lead with the shoulder and connected with the head. The fact that he landed on his arse doing it doesn’t make it less of an issue. It’ll be interesting to see how this is adjudicated on but I think he’s in for a period of enforced rest.

      I agree with some here that JOC could be an option. he used to be a great kicker but not sure if he’s still got it.

      • Bernie Chan

        And Cheika used the old coach’s chestnut…”I didn’t see it…”.
        The lack of at least one other genuine winger with pace becomes a bigger “elephant”, though we should be able to beat Uruguay and Georgia.

      • Missing Link

        what’s wrong with this? it’s a stock standard front on tackle, arms wrapped. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/477cd16840f883353dff59fbee7db9c21ed402ddc8008b66737c2b6e68ff2a21.jpg

        • Who?

          Right arm is behind the plane of the body at the moment of contact – which is to the head. That makes it a shoulder to the head. He’s in for a rest.
          .
          Question is, should this technique be taught? Is this a technique we’d show kids, if we were coaching? He’s tackling far too high, far too upright. Everything in RA’s pathway – from the two handed tag on the hips (which I never saw coached or refereed correctly) through the tackling technique is aimed at getting tacklers low. You can’t tag each hip without getting low, unless you’re very close (head clash close). RA’s tackle technique is eyes on thighs, get toe to toe, go cheek to cheek. Now, that’s cheek to cheek, but it’s the wrong cheeks!

        • UTG

          Hmm, it’s an interesting one. It’s to tough to go low on those big boys because it’s likely you’ll get bumped a la Kerevi on Barrett. When they’re trying to bump you like that a bear hug can be quite effective as you use their momentum to drag them down. Obviously your initial point of contact is quite high which can lead to issues like Hodge had.

        • Who?

          If they’re trying to bump you, you’ve got to get comfortably under the bump. Give away the offload, trust your support to do their job. Nic White was right there to cover it. Get around his legs and chop – there was sufficient room in front of the tryline.

        • UTG

          I don’t think you always can get ‘under the bump’ against these sorts of players. Hodge got bumped trying to go low on Fiji’s first try and by Semi in the opening couple of minutes.

          I think chop legs on the big bloke is a good directive for youngsters but there needs to be a bit more nuance as players get older and learn how to lower their centre of gravity, a bear hug against a guy trying to steamroll you is a pretty decent strategy to use his own momentum against him.

        • Hoss

          A,bloody,men. Watched it live and it didn’t even register that this was worth worrying about. I cant recall the commentators even discussing it. Storm in a tea cup.

        • Greg

          I am with you tbh. I also think 7 stepped into him.

          but…. I think he will get holiday.
          and… Farrell should be watching carefully.

        • Hoss

          If its the precedent and its then applied consistently i can live with it (still reckon its the type of tackle made 4-5 times a game by every team) but i reckon i am better off finding Tinkerbell in the bottom garden then getting a consistent application of the rule.

          If he gets time, Owen Farrell should just rule himself out voluntarily for 3 weeks to save the pain.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          clear caser of shoulder to the head right there

        • Missing Link

          well you know the old saying… you can lead a kiwi to a box of speights and you wont have to make him drink :D

        • Crescent

          It’s a tough one in respect of it being a clumsy challenge as opposed to purposefully dropping a shoulder. But, I have watched it a number of times – he is most likely in for a rest because he did make contact with the head. Unlike the Watson tackle vs Samoa, Yato was not falling and Hodge wasn’t starting from a low position. I get what he was hoping to achieve – the old limpet tackle to prevent an offload and grounding. Disagree on the claims on no arms – but that will be irrelevant. Contact to the head and he is likely to be sent to the naughty chair for a match or two.

          I saw a good replay with angles not shown during the match on rugbydump and hoped that with Yato bringing an arm up prior to contact may have made the point of impact his arm rather than his head, but no such luck. I reckon Hodge is all out of mitigation unfortunately.

        • Human

          Yato dropped his body height in order to bump Hodge…which he did…that is why there was contact to the head. If Yato is upright, There is no other way that Hodge could put a shoulder to Yato’s head, without a ladder or a serious jump…neither of which appear in the video replay.

      • Happyman

        Hit up the rugby ruckus mate they break it down well.

        Personally I hope he gets suspended as he is a poor winger.

    • Timbo
      • Greg

        Was it high? yes
        Was it without the ball? yes
        Was it a cheap shot? yes

        Does it meet a red card threshold? no

        • Hoss

          Wrong criteria

          Is he in Black ?
          Are they a pain in the arse ?
          Do they think the laws dont apply to them ?
          Would it hurt their chances ?

          Meets deportation threshold and possible death penalty.

        • Timbo

          Are they in Australia due to a criminal record in NZ?

          Christmas island is it.

        • Yowie

          Mate, don’t send any Kiwis to Christmas Island. That Biloela Tamil family has been through enough already.

        • Timbo

          It’s the crab migration and cheap booze I’m worried about

        • Hoss

          Just when you want to hate them though Sir Ted delivers a cracker………….pissed myself laughing

          https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/09/22/one-percenters-september-22

        • Yowie

          “Shutting themselves” where? In a cupboard or something?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ba-Boom!

        • Greg

          Early in the day to be on the JD?

        • Hoss

          Ive occasionally tried sobriety, its not for me.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bahahahwahahahaha Mate everyone knows the referees are told not to penalise us

        • Hoss

          qui est-ce ?

          Jerome is that you

        • Keith Butler

          Definitely maybe a yellow. Was a cheap shot.

      • Hoss

        Well bugger me and yet Hodge gets cited………

        • Timbo

          The mind boggles does it not?

      • Greg

        The article goes on to say that the ABs were victims of neck rolls. What goes around…..

        • Timbo

          Well as they invented the neck roll to disrupt the limpet Pocock, seems poetic their own tactic gets used against them and incredulous that they should complain about it

  • Hoss

    Good morning all,

    How good was weekend one ! Got the rant about ref’s out of my system and enjoyed the spectacle.

    My notes about the contenders:

    – Wallabies – i am happy with that. The 2018 team would have rolled over and died with no Plan B and got rolled by 25. It was everything you’d hope for a round 1 clash. Physical, fast and some duress and i thought the team responded well. Cheik used the bench extremely well and the finishers were all strong with Two-Cows a contender to start against the Welsh for his defence alone. Hodge, not to concerned if he’s out. DHP slots in and Two-Dads to the bench (Pataia not fit till round 3 i believe). One concern though – goal kicking, it was poor and could bite us at some point.

    – Saffa’s v Nearlies. Personally i didnt rate the game much. I admit I dont know if I am being totally objective here – too many beatings by the Nearlies i guess and the DDD remind me of a maths teacher crossed with a Rottweiler i just didnt think the game reached any great heights. The Nearlies D was good, they pounced on errors, as they always do and won comfortably – not much new here and remain the ones to beat. The DDD’s however seemed flat and no Plan B. Early points may have helped (like us in Bled II) they got no show for a good opening but apart from Kolbi they never really looked dangerous.

    The Tricolours v The FISMS – classic French, now you see em, now you dont. FISM’S got the pointy end of the pineapple on a fair few calls (non-calls) and could have / should have won. That burn could be directed to motivation for the SD’s

    Ireland v Scotland. For mine, The Emerald were the most impressive team of the weekend. Barely broke a sweat, changed tactics as the weather changed and toyed with The Haggis XV (who looked toothless). Ireland looked strong and composed in the forwards and dangerous in the backs and must be #2 for the title. Saffa’s put themselves on a collision course with the Green Boys in QF’s and based on one game so far Ireland have them covered. As for Scotland, Japan will be licking their lips, especially if Watson’s injury is tournament ending

    England v Tonga. I am sure the SD’s held a fair bit back in terms of tactics and game plans but didnt the Nearlies put a thousand on the same Tongan side two weeks back – hmmm. If you want to play stodge ball England will always be dangerous and bash you up, but if you can take them out of that……well. Still ranked #3 in pecking order for mine

    Wayne Barnes. I gave the penguins a blast after Saturday, but Mr Barnes was a stand out. His feel for the game, communication to the players and his positional play was brilliant. He let the rucks be a contest and kept his involvements to a minimum. Well played Mr Barnes.

    Watched all 7 games live and loving life.

    • Yowie

      One concern though – goal kicking, it was poor and could bite us at some point.

      I’ve just gotten a text message from 2018 Cheika answering that one:-

      “Yeah-nah the boys will just run it from everywhere and score more tries you-know-what-I-mean”

      • Hoss

        We create enough opportunities mate, which is a great sign, just got to take them. Then kicks wont matter.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        They’re kicking it well in training.

    • Who?

      I was worried about our goal kicking after Saturday night, but then the Poms played in the same ground and the kicking was a bit inconsistent in that game, too. Maybe it’s the balls, but I think maybe it’s the indoor venue? I vaguely recall one kick swinging out and then back in before going through, it just seemed inconsistent in there?

      • Hoss

        Put the Benny Hill or Two Ronnies on for this reply mate.

        Andrew Mehrterns reckons its because of the materials used and that the balls are better for striking / thumping then stroking or caressing. You really have to kick through the ball (Spanners would be terrible, hes a real ‘stabber’ of the ball) otherwise the balls sway a fair bit (as evidenced thus far)

        And it’s good night from me and it’s goodnight from him.

        • Who?

          May well be right, Hoss, but I’m keen to see how our kickers go in an outdoor venue. It’ll bring greater clarity to it.

        • Happyman

          I am Tipping you are more in the Ronnie Barker mould.

        • Custard Taht

          Balls swinging…..reminds me of the old Marine Jody call.

          Your left, your left, your left right left, my pants are baggy my boots are tight, my balls are swaying from left to right.

        • Hoss

          When i typed about Spanners being a Ball Stabber i immediately thought of my first wife. She is why i swore off marriage for so long and instead would just give the next house to someone i hate – it saves time and cuts through so much red tape.

        • Parker

          Boom tish!. Love the Rodney Dangerfield delivery.

    • Keith Butler

      Seems odd Wayne getting plaudits after all the crap he’s had to take in years gone by from SH pundits. He did a very good job yesterday. The G&G team against the Welsh is going to be very difficult. I’ll wait to see what happens to Hodge before adding my 10 cents worth. I’m satisfied with the SD win. Some poor handling meant a few tries went begging. Sterner tests to come but i’m quite excited by the options we have from 11 to 15. They have some gas. Just need quick front foot ball which maybe an issue with Young’s at scrum half.

      • Hoss

        I was impressed with his control mate. Clear in his communication, let the rucks and mauls be a contest and was consistent in his application. Liked his positioning behind (to the side) of most rucks where he got a good view while the AR monitored the offside line. He let a contest develop for the pill and communicated when to play & when to stop.

        Impressive.

        • Keith Butler

          Pity he won’t be available for the final. Perception of bias in the SDs favour.

        • Hoss

          You into the plum brandy mate ?? He will be the ONLY Pom in the final.

        • Keith Butler

          Bit early in the day but I dare say Gentleman Jack will make an appearance just before the Taff game. My latest breakfast delight grapefruit and whiskey marmalade is also going down a treat.

        • Keith Butler

          With Gus as One of the ARS.

        • Hoss

          Back in your box now please.

    • Patrick

      I think Ireland did every thing they needed as well.

      England will need to step up a long way against both France and Argentina based on that.

      We look in great shape apart from the absence of a winger and that Beale has to have a massive turn around if we are to beat Wales.

  • joy

    Wallabies short a goal kicker?
    There is a champion goal kicker in the team, they just don’t know it yet.
    SMH reported 5 years ago that “James O’Connor is world’s best kicker under pressure, study shows”:

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/james-oconnor-is-worlds-best-kicker-under-pressure-study-shows-20140213-32n9t.html

    • Human

      Absolutely. How short are people’s memories?

      • joy

        Is O’Conner (mach 2) so humble that he wont put his hand up?

        • Yowie

          At the moment JOC’s role is to use his Zen-like state of spiritual at-one-with-the-universe-ness to telekinetically assist the flight of the ball kicked by a team mate.
          It’s a work in progress obviously.

        • Missing Link

          He hasn’t fully discovered his journey back to the kicking tee. Saving that for JOC3.0

        • Yowie

          But if a kicking tee falls out of an equipment bag in the forest….

        • Greg

          Mach 2? get him on the wing… that’s quick

    • Bernie Chan

      JOC has a very good technique when compared to his Wallaby peers, but I guess match practice kicking is the key. He probs wasn’t kicking when playing in Europe? That kick he nailed (was it in Hong Kong?) vs the ABs was pretty special…

    • GO THE Q REDS

      How would Cheika even know? He doesn’t watch the games….

  • Mart

    Ben Okeefe is not a good ref.
    I hope we never have him again.
    Ever since he got a hard on for sending people off when they were going for intercepts. He has a chip on his shoulder with australia, high fives to fiji for scoring !?!

    • Hoss

      Mate – that’s entirely unfair. It was a low five.

      • Mart

        ha gold.

        I think I’m still getting over him piggy backing the crusaders to a win against the Tahs when they were down 28 blot

  • Greg

    A separate discussion to the Hodge citing….

    I mentioned yesterday that the Fiji tackling seemed to be based on the shoulder and that arms were not as obvious. To be absolutely clear, none of these tackles were near the head.

    Have a look at the tackles/misses @ 0:34, 0:40, 1:44. There were many more but these we easily available.I have no idea if these are legal/illegal. Any takers? It did seem to be a coached approach as it was pretty consistent.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCi6UX6b3cs

    • Who?

      Unfortunately, those can be argued away as being ‘bail out’ tackles – tackles where the player couldn’t bail out of the contact (it was too late), but could choose not to illegal hold back the player. Similar to Tupou’s farcical (and totally incorrect) YC in SA – Tupou couldn’t bail out of the contact (the whistle blew literally a second before he made the hit), but he didn’t have to hold the player to ground.

  • Greg

    just watching the wales georgia game.

    The ref is being pretty lenient on pulling down players in the air and slapping down attacking passes.
    And then telling georgia to get the ball out of the scrum when they were walking wales backwards.

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

More in Rugby