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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the exciting semi-finals from the NRC.

Oh and THAT Wallabies performance and the fallout from it.


Sayonara Wallabies

WAL016

The Wallabies have been knocked out at the Rugby World Cup after suffering a 40-16 loss to England in the quarter-finals.

Australia got off to a positive start, with Christian Lealiifano opening the scoring with a penalty goal.

However, England would race ahead, with two quick tries to Johnny May gifting England the 17-9 lead at half-time.

The Aussies would show some fight and raise the hopes of Australian fans, with Marika Korobiete crossing right after the break.

However, England were ultimately too good, with flyhalf Owen Farrell slotting a perfect 8/8 with the boot to secure their place in the semi-final.

The total was England’s largest in a World Cup knock-out game, who will play the winner of New Zealand and Ireland.

Coach Michael Cheika said that he was gutted about the loss along with defending his run-heavy tactics after the match.

“I am really disappointed obviously. I imagine all Australians would be,” Cheika said.

“We really went into the game looking to play our style of footy, which we did we a lot of. We just weren’t clinical enough to finish off opportunities and England defended very well. Sometimes you just have to suck that up and wear it, that’s life.

“We want to thank all our fans, they’ve had great support here. And at home, they really got behind us and I feel that weight. We should have delivered for them. And we didn’t.”

He was full of praise for his opponents England, suggesting that their well-organised defence was the deciding factor in the game.

“I thought they played very well, they were very well organised defensively,” Cheika said.

“They obviously have got a certain way they play the game. We took a fair bit of their kick out of the game, they weren’t able to box kick and put pressure on us as much. I thought we handled that part quite well.

“But I thought where they were very good was in defence. They were well organised down on the line when we had some moments, and though the score got large in the end, I thought it was still a game of fine margins with a couple of intercepts.”

Sayonara Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika and David Pocock post match press conference

Michael Cheika and David Pocock post match press conference

The fallout from the loss has immediately kicked into full gear, with Michael Cheika resigning from the post as Wallabies coach.

In what seemed like a ‘jumped before he was pushed’ move, Cheika made the decision on Sunday afternoon to step down after almost five years in the role.

With any sacking/exit, you generally have two options:
a) Thank your employee for a wonderful time and experiences
b) Burn any remaining bridge that remained with the company

Cheika has seemingly taken option b, taking potshots at his relationship with the CEO and chairman of Rugby Australia whilst criticising the implementation of a director of rugby.

“It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne),” Cheika said.

“Scott’s a lovely bloke and I got along with him fine but I’m sort of not really into that type of thing,

“I like to take responsibility…I found that it changed my normal routine around things.

“So I found that a little bit difficult at times.”

The former Wallabies coach admitted that he knew at the final whistle that he would leave the position, having gone all-in with his future with a World Cup or fired stipulation before the tournament.

“I knew at the final whistle but I wanted to give it that little bit of time to settle down and talk to my people,” he admitted.

“I made my call and I wanted to show I was prepared to put myself on the line to achieve what I believe the team could do.

“I can honestly say I’m always looking to be better but I am really proud of what I have been able to do over the last four years with the team under some very challenging circumstances on and off the field.”

News of his firing garnered a quick response from some of his disillusioned former players, with dumped flyhalf Quade Cooper wishing the move had come sooner.

“If he actually cared about Aus rugby he would have done it a while ago…” Cooper said on social media.

His sentiment was shared by Curtis Rona, who responded to news of his firing with “Yew” (What a poet).

Whilst his last years as coach weren’t the best, I will always thank him for his role in getting us to the World Cup final in 2015, particularly knocking out England at home.

Sayonara Pocock and Genia

Pocock-Australia-England-Rugby-World-Cup-359234

With all the talk and mudslinging after the loss, the departure of two of our finest Wallabies from the international stage has seemed to have flown under the radar.

Flanker and former captain David Pocock will go down as one of the greatest players of his decade, with the 31-year-old a model athlete both on and off the field.

After the match, Pocock was in a sombre move, calling the feeling ‘hollow’ whilst refusing to make any excuses after the loss.

“It’s a pretty hollow feeling at the moment,” Pocock said.

“There’s no excuses. You know you’ve let down a lot of young fans back home and a lot of older fans who ride the highs and lows.

“We all know what it was like to be that kid who was watching and just wanted the Wallabies to win. That’s something you’d just got to live with.

“I’m so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had playing for the Wallabies, as an immigrant rugby has given me so much opportunity. I think it’s time to move onto other things and contribute in other areas.”

Likewise, halfback Will Genia has had an incredible career for both state and country, with the centurion in a reflective mood after the match.

“It’s the end. A bit of an outpouring of emotion after the game. It’s been an amazing journey,” Genia said.

“I’ve been so blessed and so privileged to have lived my dream. I’m very sad but also very grateful.

“Like, how lucky…I got to play 11 years for Australia at three World Cups.

“I never thought I was the most talented bloke. I always wanted to be someone who worked hard so put myself in a position to play well. I finish on 110 Tests which I’m pretty proud of.”

As they head off into the rising sunset (otherwise known as the Top League/European rugby), we wish the pair along with the other departing Wallabies the best of luck in their overseas career (along with for Kerevi to backflip on his decision and remain in Oz).

NRC grand final set

Isaak Fines dashes Western Force v Brisbane City NRC 2019 (Credit Delphy)

The National Rugby Championship grand final for 2019 has been determined, with the Western Force set to host the Canberra Vikings.

The Force was the first team to book their place in the decider after holding off a valiant Brisbnae City outfit 42-38.

It was a tough first half, with the teams going into the break locked at 14-all.

However, the boys from Western Australia would show why they were the minor premiers, scoring four quick tries to open up a 42-17 lead with just 20 minutes to go.

Doubles to Pama Fou and Issak Fines helped break open the contest for the Force, appearing to seal the game for them heading into the last quarter.

However, Brisbane refused to lie down, scoring three quick converted tries to leave the contest balancing on a knife’s edge with minutes remaining.

As time ran out, the Force were able to rebel waves of City attacking opportunities, holding on for the gutsy victory.

They will face Canberra Vikings in the final, who completed a remarkable 28-27 comeback win over Fijian Drua.

The Drua were eager for back-to-back premierships and they looked likely to book their place in the final after racing out to a 22-0 at half time.

However, the Vikings were buoyed by a strong home crowd, with three tries in 12 minutes, including a double to Tom Wright after the break, helping to get them back in the game.

The comeback was complete when Test discard Tom Banks crossed the line in the 80th minute, putting them just one point behind with the conversion to come.

In the clutch moment, up stepped junior Wallaby Noah Lolesio, who nailed the conversion to send the Vikings crowd and bench in raptures, sealing the win and their place in the final.

They will now head to Perth to take on the Force in Saturday’s grand final, with both sides searching for their first NRC crown.

  • Who?

    Two great games in the NRC, let’s hope for a cracking final next weekend. Biggest Aussie Rugby match next weekend.

    • dsb

      Need to bring WA back into Australia!!

      • Custard Taht

        Nah, using them as a feeder for the Tahs will work fine.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Ba-boom!

        • *mutter*

        • Moz

          Wha..??? Ahhhh, I see what you did there. Nope not biting today. Rugby in Oz feels shit enough today, without us fans all turning on each other!

          Reminds me of being in Eden Park in 2011 for the 2nd Bledisoe, when we got pantsed by the Darkness. Walking out of the stadium, to many a well-wishing Darkness fans, we got talking to a Qlder there with his son and daughter-in-law. When he heard we were from Perth he quickly rounded on us, and basically starting abusing and crapping on WA rugby. Yep, we were surrounded by 49,900 NZ fans, and this dickwad decided we weren’t all copping enough crap, and he’d try and start a fight between the handful of Wallaby fans there.

        • Yowie

          I don’t know if a Queenslander would sink to the level of hanging sh!t on another State’s rugby.
          It sounds like something a New South Welsh rugby person would do – you couldn’t trust those bastards to watch your beer let alone refrain from slandering and backbiting another State.

        • Moz

          Perhaps. As we were walking out, and small handful of people in Gold, we got talking, and I asked him where he was from, to which the reply was Qld, so I naturally assumed that’s where he was from. I expected a bit of solidarity between Aussies. Then again, his son and daughter-in-law did look pretty embarrassed by him, and did try to quiet him down…..

        • AllyOz

          I think he missed it.

        • Moz

          Yeah….sense of humour and ability to spot a nice dummy has probably taken a bit of a battering under this AssClown ….

  • onlinesideline

    Can only wonder what could have been if Chieka was sacked in December 2018. We all new then there was a TONNE of time to form a group that plays a different brand of footy. They had 2-3 winter camps, 4 x 4 nation matches ( camps) and 12 weeks pre RWC. How on earth the CEO kept a coach who oversaw 4 years of disasters and implosions is beyond words. Absolute lilly livered leadership in the extreme. SHE should be going as well as Cheika. Since when has a leader been lambasted for strong, Al “Chainsaw” Dunlap style action. When its needed its needed. I feel greatly for the players (who wore the jumper with pride and dignity and are a great bunch of young lads). They AND the supporters have been shafted by amateur game / code managers.

    • Fatflanker

      Have to agree – RA hold the can for this performance. They knew Cheaks was not cutting it years ago. Had they tapped him on the shoulder he may well have fallen on his sword – not like he needed the money.

    • Custard Taht

      I guess it is hard to sack the coach, when you and your mates and predecessors have screwed the pooch so bad, you have no money and can’t afford the payout.

      I hope the broom at Moore Park is big enough for the clean out. Alas, I feel like Waratah HQ, there is no broom at RA HQ either.

      On a side note, I wonder if we the fans can ask that the brass be charged with breaching the RA Code of Conduct, for Conduct Detrimental and bringing the game into disrepute.

    • Bert

      You are so right. I wish we Were more like the French and the players actually mutinied occasionally and got rid of this one eyed (strategically anaemic) coach years ago (and deans before that)

    • dsb

      Don’t forget the Board. They are also culpable.

      • Nutta

        Not ‘also’. Just ‘They are’ is more accurate.

        • Custard Taht

          This will all play out like a typical clusterfuck. Find the lowest ranking acceptable scapegoat. Last year it was Larkham, this year it will be Cheika. RA will absolve themselves of responisibility, despite the fact that the active failures of the Wallabies, are symptomatic of RA’s latent failures.

    • juswal

      Hey online, have a chuckle over your comment on this GAGR match report from the Wallabies’ win over England at the 2015 RWC.

      http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/foley-faultless-as-chariots-crash-out/

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Four years ago, many people were still enamoured with Cheika.

        Thankfully, in the last four years most fans had come to see that truth of the Emperor’s new clothes.

        Unfortunately, the RA Board either didn’t come to see it, or lacked the courage to remove a leader that was well past his expiry date.

        Cheika’s Wallaby legacy is ultimately that he had the luck to inherit a potentially excellent team from Link. He managed to heal the wounds in the squad by empowering the (mostly Waratahs) camp that didn’t like that Link wanted to have some standards of behaviour, and rode on Link’s coattails to make the final of a weak World Cup.

        Since, when he has had to build his own team, he has run it into the ground.

        I’m glad to see the back of him, but think the number of careers he has ruined or wasted is tragic.

        • Hoss

          Welcome back Sherbert – where you been ? Journey of self discovery or out the back mowing ??

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve been travelling for some months. Also, just depressed by the state of the Wallabies. After seeing the squad that Cheika picked (taking AAC, Foley, LSL, Dempsey, Hodge, Beale) and who he didn’t take (Banks, Quade, McCaffrey, Samu, Speight) I knew what was going to happen.

          Now that Cheika’s gone, I am filled with optimism and hope for the future.

        • Hoss

          A great darkness has been removed from the soul of all Wallaby fans.

        • AllyOz

          Quade is like Madonna or Beyonce…everyone else gets a surname but he get’s his first name.

        • Patrick

          I agree we were stuffed from the squad announcement.

      • Patrick

        You can find the same for many of us, just before the QC /Eden Park Bledisloe was the apex.

        But most of us updated our opinions as new facts came to light, which I personally am not ashamed of.

        • juswal

          I’m in the same canoe. After that RWC I believed that Cheika was really going to show us something amazing, given time and a free rein.

          I had an inkling that something was wrong in the middle of 2016. Lost all confidence over the next twelve months.

        • Patrick

          For me it was a little later but my first doubts were about selections: Skelton who was plainly handicapping our scrum, Foley who was clearly unable to learn to kick but was still designated kicker, then when the likes of Hanigan were selected I was mystified.

          In 2016 it started to become clear that the game plan was also not developing.

          By last year I have real trouble believing he still had supporters !

      • AllyOz

        I like that – how about this comment from Bris

        Brisneyland Local • 4 years ago
        F&*K yeah! Go the Wallabies!
        All bad things I have said about Foley I apologise for!

        No Bris, you were right the first time.

      • onlinesideline

        I was hopeful – really hopeful that finally some mongrel …etc etc blah blah – do you blame me ?

    • idiot savant

      CEO of RA is an immensely difficult job. Because the politics are very complicated. There are lots of interest groups including state unions, state clubs, a powerful pay TV service, and powerful cliques with influence particularly around Sydney. Its enough to make the Labor Party blush. It is quite the diplomacy, strategy, and tactical challenge.

      Cheika has literally thousands of supporters as evidenced on these pages alone over the years. He could not be moved on without starting a war amongst powerful factions. A war the CEO may not have survived. In the end the negotiated solution of bringing in Johnson and selectors mitigated the damage. And although he is utterly ungrateful, saved Cheika from himself.

      When Pulver left, the ship was already listing badly in the wake of the Western Force disaster. She inherited a board with an arrogant Chair who was not interested in negotiating with someone who was prepared to put 50 million on the table. A board with a NSW and Qld rep playing silent power games. Then Folau happened. And all the while a coach who might well have narcissistic personality disorder remained utterly defiant about his way as the losses continued to mount. Who would want to be CEO surrounded by all that mess? Particularly when you couldn’t be confident of support from all sides. Henry Kissinger would’ve said no thanks. I think Raelene should be given more credit for navigating through troubled waters and preventing civil war. She cant fix the problems above her and the board will not allow a review that criticises them or the state reps kingdoms to be made public. I fear the only way forward is slowly with more of the same careful negotiation.

      • Nutta

        There are some fairly considered words there. If nothing else it’s good to be reminded that very little in life is clearly as simple or as simplistic as black-hat bad-guys versus white-hat good-guys.

      • I think that’s a good piece in defence of Castle. I’m not saying she’s perfect by any means but she inherited a shitshow, she didn’t have the power to clean up said shitshow and the amount of shit’s she’s added has been, from this remove at least, negligible compared to the old boys around her piling it up ever higher!

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        She was picked by Clyne because she is noT a treat to his position as she has no power base. But as she accepted the job. criticisms is part of the territory

      • Patrick

        I agree. Castle, whilst clearly not the magic bullet, did nothing to show me she was incompetent either. I think she was stuck between a shithouse NSW board and a shithouse NSW coach.

      • Mike D

        I agree, I think she’s done bloody well with the hand she was dealt. If we’re waiting for the perfect CEO to show up and magically fix all the issues with Aussie rugby… well we’ve been waiting for the second coming for over 2000 years, I don’t think it’s going to happen tomorrow.

  • Patrick

    My goodness Wales are playing under a lucky star. They played the first half against 14 men in the wallabies match and the second half in the French match!

    They’ll be roadkill next week.

    Also, it will be fascinating to see how England measure up against their first tier 1 opponent.

    • Fatflanker

      Nice one! TBF we are the only tier 2 rugby nation to hold 2 world cups – talk about over-achieving!

      • Patrick

        That was the Tier 1 wallabies, not sighted since 2015 and feared extinct

    • Missing Link

      Wales are truly blessed, they were lucky to get past us and France. The Boks will bludgeon them

  • Fatflanker

    Hoping the kiwis crush England next weekend – no particular malice towards their team who (that prat Sinckler aside) seem like a decent enough bunch of blokes – just want to see that smirk on EJ’s face wiped.

    • Custard Taht

      But geez, you can’t blame him for having a smirk. If I was him, I wouldn’t be smirking, I’d be grinning like the Cheshire Cat.

      • Fatflanker

        Now is not the time to be reasonable Custard. The Fatflanker family motto: ‘revenge in victory, malice in defeat’. A lot of malice lately.

        • Custard Taht

          Love the motto! 2018 number me to the losses and side effects.

    • AllyOz

      Marler???

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I hope we do too. After the way they played against Ireland I’m confident we can do it. Just hope the ball bounces our way more than theirs

    • Who?

      I’m fine with EJ’s smirk, I have a much larger with the concept of an English team winning. So I hope for the same outcome for the opposite reason. :-)

  • Richard Patterson

    Thanks Nathan. A few random Monday morning thoughts…

    The list of suitable candidates for the vacant Wallabies Head Coaching position is a well-known list. Given the multiple factors at play here, of greater intrigue will be the list of suitable candidates willing to depart their current role and apply for the vacant Wallabies Head Coaching position.

    I wonder how much of that may also be relevant in any potential opening up of the Rugby Australia CEO role?

    How comfortable will players / fans be of the appointment of a foreign coach for the flagship Wallabies team? Robbie Deans, Jake White, Daryl Gibson all came and went in Australian rugby without achieving marvellous results. Poor appointments, or environments not conducive to sustained success?

    International rugby will be the better without Michael Cheika as an international head coach.

    • Custard Taht

      Should we be looking at promoting the U/20 coaching team? I know it is a step up or two, but really, the fundamentals are the same.

    • Pedro

      Jake White didn’t achieve marvelous results?

      • Deeeeeejay

        I had the same huh? Moment. Took the brum to within 20 minutes of a super trophy.

        Jake ball is not my favourite but larks continued to coach as jake-lite with some success too.

        If he could be persuaded to sprinkle in a little of the “Australian” way I think he could be a great Aussie coach.

        We just need to put aside that fact he’s “not from here”.

        • AllyOz

          There wasn’t a lot of difference between Jake ball and Connolly ball in some respects when John Connolly and Qld had all the mid 90s success. And it wasn’t as if he didn’t have talent to burn in the backs too. He just chose very judiciously when to release it. I am a NSWman that lived in Qld during the period and the NSW fans were always very critical of Knuckles not playing “the Australian way”. ie 10-man rugby.

          I think there are two ways you can do it. Decide on a type of game you want to play and pick the players suited to that game plan i.e. Alan Jones or look around at your best players and develop a game plan to suit your best players and adapt to that. My view is that we need to be developing, from an early age, players with the skill sets to play any type of game plan and be adaptable enough to apply them where required. Our weather conditions etc will support us to play a particular way and that will always have an element of “running rugby” in it. But there is no one way to play, and certainly no one Australian way. Cyril Towers was great and what he brought to the game has made a fantastic contribution to the way we play but Randwick style backline play etc isn’t the only way things can be done.

        • Nutta
        • idiot savant

          Good points. Ive yet to see a group of best players whose attributes would lead you to build a game plan of exiting out of your 22 by running. So whatever approach we take going forward surely to Christ we will exit by kicking.

          Ive always thought the Randwick way was schoolboy rugby that failed at test level. When Dwyer tried it the first time it was ridiculous. We got beaten by Scotland. His first stint at test level was a failure and his lack of respect for the ‘Qld way’ which had rehabilitated Australian rugby deservedly ended in his departure. Credit to him, he learnt and his 2nd stint incorporated some ‘Qld way’ and had much more common sense. We won games.

          Cheika never learnt this lesson (unlike his fellow Randwick player Eddie) and his application of the schoolboy Randwick way was another failure at test level. The strange thing about this stupid hatred of kicking is that if you go back and look at the eras where we had kicking flyhalfs like McLean and Lynagh our wingers scored a lot of tries. The ABs understand this, They kick more way more than Cheika’s sides ever did and score way more tries playing running rugby. Its just nuts that we have all been stood over for so long and told to accept a tactic that has failed so repeatedly.

        • AllyOz

          I guess whatever system you adopt will have weaknesses that opposition coaches will identify over time. Some would say that Cheika’s were easily identified and certainly our record against Eddie’s team would suggest he picked them up pretty easily.

          So then, whatever your plan is it will need to adapt to allow for those weakness. And that, I think, is Cheika’s weakness this time. He just failed to learn from his mistakes and adapt his system to allow for the weakness that were clearly identified. Instead of saying, my system is flawed he decided the system was OK but that the players weren’t fit enough or skilled enough to follow it through. When it worked it was brilliant to watch but they couldn’t do it for a sustained period and I don’t think anyone could.

      • Richard Patterson

        Fair question Pedro and perhaps I am too harsh. He took the Brumbies to a Super Rugby final but you know RA could never get comfortable making him the Wallabies coach. It will always be debated whether White meaningfully upskilled the Brumbies, or just put needed structure in place where it was lacking. Jake-ball still applicable in 2020 and beyond? His coaching CV suggests his style is good for 2-3 seasons before hitting its use-by date.

        • Pedro

          Anytime the Wallabies or Brumbies score a try from a lineout maul you’re witnessing Jake’s upskilling.

        • Richard Patterson

          Haha. Certainly been a few chalked up in Canberra these past few years.

        • Pedro

          Plus if you look at the squad Jake inherited, they weren’t expected to do well at all. The only reason that you recognise a lot of them is that nearly every player improved under him.

          I really think though the only way to fairly judge a coach is results and Jake’s were “marvelous”.

        • Pedro

          Plus if you look at the squad Jake inherited, they weren’t expected to do well at all. The only reason that you recognise a lot of them is that nearly every player improved under him.

          I really think though the only way to fairly judge a coach is results and Jake’s were “marvelous”.

        • Richard Patterson

          Fair point Pedro. Perhaps Jake White fits in the Eddie Jones category. Wins most places he goes… but seldom stays too long — or is ever invited back.

        • Nutta

          Yep. Poet and Fingers try scoring largess is directly comtributable to one Jakeus Whiteus.

        • Pedro

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ce171e38e5ea364a2ed4a0225ca42a0e1775ed778ed7ed33ab08558b46e3f791.png

          Just look at the change in the Brumbies record for the White years 2012-13.

    • ballymoreburning

      deans only lost support from the fans when he decided to blunt our attacking game plan for the sake of pragmatism. the decision to promote pat mccabe ahead of other more talented midfielders was fundamentally opposed to what fans had seen as our competitive advantage after the reds super and wallabies tri nations victories. deans maintained his more pragmatic approach for the remainder of his tenure. prior to 2011 I think most fans were happy with world number 2 and a developing squad

      • Who?

        I’ve got to pipe up here – I lost confidence in Robbie in 2009. When we consistently saw our teams taking good first phase ball and running into touch, everyone running sideways at the same angle, I lost confidence. Robbie relied on X factor players, rather than balancing that with structure.
        But I do agree that his change in approach – reducing X factor, especially without actually imposing any sort of structure – was crazy. He burned every 10 he ever picked (bar Carter – I know Kiwis who thought he treated Mehrts very badly).

    • Patrick

      I wanted to appoint Jake White last year already! I don’t think he is the man for the next four years, but I’d feel OK with him at the helm.

  • AllyOz

    “It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO (Raelene Castle) and not much with the chairman (Cameron Clyne),” Cheika said.

    I want to hate Cheika sometimes but, if he doesn’t get on with these two I think maybe he can’t be all that bad.

    Scott Johnson is to conduct a full review of the coaching set-up (a review was conducted at the end of last year and recommended the appointment of his position so I am not sure what this next review will bring). But really, what I think needs to be done is:
    1. a full review of RA, its focuses and its structures
    2. a summit of all rugby stakeholders to chart a way forward
    3. the establishment of a new governing body to administer rugby.

    The approach has become too top down, there is too much focus on achievement at the top and it has lead to an erosion of the levels below. There is a corporate focus where there needs to be a community focus.

    • Hoss

      Spot on Mr Oz. I have learnt as much from poor managers as i have from, hang on a sec – ‘hey fuckwit, where’s my coffee – shit for brains’, as i have from good managers.

      • From NooZealand

        We actually do learn from poor managers. The very least is not to replicate them. Respectfully,I can see your sarcasm hossomoto.

        • Hoss

          I prefer ‘laser tuned wit’ thank you.

        • From NooZealand

          Tat will be then LTW. You are welcome.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Except they actually haven’t done that bad of a job. The post-JON inherited a poisoned chalice from the JON era and have had to live with the consequences of the previous administrations.

        RA had to make some deeply unpopular decisions, but RA has managed to cut costs, operate profitably, set up the NRC and increase centralisation.

        What did the admin do from 03-12, other than prematurely expand and leave the sport virtually bankrupt with talent spread too thin?

        • Perth girl

          You are joking aren’t you rugby from grass roots up has gone backwards under this administration. The only shining light is the NRC

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How has it gone backwards any more so than it has since 2003? Difference is, we now have a sustainable business model from which to build up grassroots participation. Under the previous admin, we didn’t.

    • idiot savant

      Politics is the art of the possible. (The pragmatist who said that built a nation who went on to start 2 world wars but never mind!) The RA board will not countenance the release of a root and branch investigation that will undoubtedly implicate them as part of the problem. They certainly wont allow a new governing body. So real change, if its to happen at all, has to happen by gradual smart negotiation. We’ve more chance of real change with Castle using Johnson to craft realisable gradual changes that they can sell to the various factions than we have from a trumpet blaring commission. Call me a sell out but its how you get things done.

      • AllyOz

        Thanks little Bismark but I am taking my iron fist out of my velvet glove and I am ready to smash some shit.

        Look you’re probably right. I don’t think we need a NRL style Commission, we certainly don’t need Peter Beattie. But I honestly feel some of this stuff that we have in rugby, the inter-state bickering, the club vs NRC, the private schools vs junior clubs, etc Sydney vs the w(r)est – I can’t see it being solved other than blowing it up.

  • Crescent

    I am going to put this out there and potentially ignite a shit storm, but here we go. I was masochistic enough to watch the WB match vs Eng again. What struck me was similarities between the somewhat underachieving Boks side to the side Rassie has bought to Bill this year. The playing roster is not massively changed, but the smarts and plan have. It’s not a finished work, but it is one that can get them to another final.

    My belief is that we are in a similar position. A smart coach who will attend to the skill deficit whilst rewarding on field smarts and a decent game plan could transform this team into decent performers again. The right appointment now can set us on the path to redemption.

    Now I am going to bow out on an optimistic note, as on track record, getting the right appointment as the new coach is unlikely, and to be honest, I am struggling to think of a suitable candidate right now. In my defense, it has been a big weekend on the sauce between catching the quarter finals and a wedding blow out as well, so the synapses probably aren’t at their.best, and they have been dodgy for a bit….

    • AllyOz

      There is a lot that I agree with. The only real issue I have is around the skill deficit. Can a Wallabies head coach address a skills deficit in the top 30-40 players that he has for training for maybe 2 months of the year.

      I think Cheika got it wrong around strategy but he did some good things too about trying to co-ordinate the provinces around fitness and training.

      Skills development seems to be something lacking throughout the system and I am not sure you can just address it at the Wallabies level. I think the game plan that Cheika adopted was perhaps beyond the skill level of any playing group and, if you know a side is going to run it from anywhere it probably makes it a lot easy defend against.

      • Greg

        I read a comment somewhere that suggested the skill deficit was, at least in part, related to playing players out of position and with plans that didn’t work. Eventually you will make mistakes.

        • AllyOz

          I think that probably a big part of it but I am also not sure that we have the same focus throughout the game on skills, certainly I don’t think we have the same focus as NZ do. A number of players who have moved between the two systems (Super Rugby) have commented on this. Certainly though, with the back three in particular, we rarely had wingers on the wing and the playing system had blokes popping up all over the place too so it wasn’t just being selected out of position but playing out of position too.

      • From NooZealand

        “I think Cheika … did some good things too about trying to co-ordinate the provinces around fitness and training.” and asking the players to try, skill up individually and create the environment within the Wallabies. I am not saying he did or didn’t, but those are essentials to improve skill deficits.

    • Nick Lefebvre

      We should hire Jamie Joseph

      • AllyOz

        Should be on the list. I actually think the game Japan played had elements of what we were aiming to do but failed. It was exciting to watch and that was what Cheika said he was trying to achieve.

      • Patrick

        I agree

  • Hoss

    Good morning and welcome from Bizarro world !

    I have woken up in a world of opposites today. Get a cuppa coffee – its Rant time.

    Segall goes – no shock, but then has the audacity to say ‘i would love to stay on’ – ladies and gentlemen welcome to Deluded Island…………(warning – paraphrasing below)

    ‘I dont know what my record is, probably about 50/50, which is fairly normal for these roles’ – Well, no Mick. Against tier 1 nations its 42% and although my maths is a touch on the rusty side and nearly as bad as my spelling – that’s a massive fucking PHAIL.

    ‘i didn’t have a relationship with the CEO’ – the same one who gave you power absolute, cart blanch, resourced you up the wazoo and took flak for you as they bought stupidly ‘your vision’ ……………..

    ‘Scott’s a lovely guy, but i am used to doing things my way’ – that’s code for ‘We would have won if i could have only picked Spanners’

    Then you have the highly credentialed and respected Gilbert coming out talking about ‘legacies’ and how ‘for sure it will live on’. I for one FUCKING HOPE NOT. A legacy of mediocrity, nepotism, acceptance of poor behaviour, ill discipline, horrid results, a massive fracturing of a long suffering fan base, eroding financial returns – yep that’s a legacy worth preserving.

    Then you have the FUXtel bunch already calling for a review, WTF for ??? Cheika was a large part of the problem. That mud sucking rugby savant Kafer took a salary from RA for 18 months to develop coaches and structures and then that pompous fat twat has the audacity to criticise coaching structures ,pathways, player skills and results !! Well pardon the fuck me Pontius – check the colour of your hands, you have something red dripping off them. He then criticises the RA board (former paymasters) re the Dec 2018 review – and the obvious follow-up question from FUX should have been, yep…………’so what you’re saying is that Cheika should never have been retained”………did we get that, well, what do you reckon. And Goog – enough with the corporate babble about ‘landscapes and what does a new structure look and sound like’ and the ‘rugby ecosystem’. I liked you better when you were just a coked-up has been at Bath not some new age Bull Shitter espousing wisdom from the latest feel good management book.

    There’s more right with Australian Rugby than wrong. Yes there is much to correct and sins of the past to be revisited with fresh eyes (apparently there used to be a rugby side out west somewhere that should come back). But show me a company who consistently gets everything right and i shall show you fairies in my bottom garden manufacturing Pixie Dust. But the same old rugby shit bags who have been at the centre of mediocrity for 15 years now are circling the wagons because their ‘mate’ Cheika has finally got what was coming and well overdue might i add.

    Here’s a review tip for you – free of charge. Pick players in position and based on form. Design tactics based on your players and your opponents weaknesses so that we have Plans A-E that we can use at any given time. Hold a conversation with Rugby fans about your plans for growth and improvement. Most of us will understand that it will take time to identify, nurture and invest in a new 9/10 axis. Be honest with your expectations and an appropriate timeline. What are the signs we should look for on the way………….iut’s honestly not too much to ask – is it ?

    BUT – don’t serve me up a dish of piping hot excrement on a plate and tell me its the ‘Australian Way’ and it tastes like caviar – been there, done that and never again.

    • Funk

      …am I allowed to up vote more than once????

    • Andy

      Love it. 6-midnight very quickly

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Nice rant mate. Let them off lightly I feel but so more eloquent than I would have been.
      I think the next few months will be interesting but I’m not confident they’ll improve, especially if like the Tahs they buy into someone who didn’t miss out on a NZ gig because he was too good.

    • AllyOz

      Good rant. While I agree that Cheika’s coaching was the key part of the loss one area I don’t agree is that the review shouldn’t go further. Castle & Clyne and quite a few others have also struggled to get past the 50% mark in my book. The 2016 – 2020 strategic plan outlined four key areas of performance:
      1.Make rugby a game for all
      2. Ignite Australia’s passion for the game
      3. Build Sustainable Elite Success
      4.Create Excellence in How the Game is Run
      Now there has been significant improvements in point 1 in terms of female participation. Apart from that, if that is your criteria, would you say that the heads of Rugby Australia (particularly Cameron Clyne) would score any better than Cheika’s 50% (or for that matter his 42% against Tier 2) in any of those other criteria. I can’t see it. Crowds and interest are declining, the successes that are being made in terms of club games etc are being made despite RA, actually where they have reduced funding and stepped away from the game. There are some signs of improvement around U18s and U20s results but is that just a good group coming through or a result of the decision making from above. I am yet to be convinced they would score any better than Cheika. I think real leadership in terms of rugby would be a model that supports the people who are actually doing the work on the ground and I don’t think the current structure and the people at the top of it are necessarily the ones that can bring that.

      • Hoss

        Agree on all fronts Oz and an old favourite of mine is that ‘a fish rots from the head down’.

        There are many issues need addressing. I just cant stomach the hypocrisy from Cheika in the last 24 hours as if his hands were tied, no support, no direct input and he is somehow a victim.

        • AllyOz

          No he had an opportunity to leave gracefully but, unsurprisingly, just like every after match press conference he failed to take it (though accused the journalists at his penultimate one of lacking grace which, while accurate, was more than a touch hypocritical). I would like to think I would have gone out saying, “Thank you for the opportunity to coach this great nation, I wanted to do it differently and I did but, in the end, it wasn’t good enough to achieve the results we all wanted. Thanks to all the players, support staff, administrators and fans who have supported this effort and supported me during my time in the role.”

      • AllyOz

        Actually I am wrong on one front. Cameron and Raelene have certainly at times both “ignited Australia’s Passion”. I have seen and made myself, many passionate comments about them.

    • Who?

      ‘Scott’s a lovely guy, but i am used to doing things my way’ – that’s code for “I’m completely inflexible and incapable of working with what I have, I have to have perfect conditions for my preferred way of doing things to see success.”
      .
      Good rant. :-)
      But I also think it’s time to dump Clyne, and likely Castle. Castle’s in a tough spot – she’s not really had power to do much at Wallabies level until right now. She did manage to get Mandrake in there, but that’s colouring round the edges. What else has she really done to date? So it’s hard to find TOO much fault. But neither has she had much success yet….. Clyne, we all know he’s clueless.

    • Richard Patterson

      Very good as always. With Michael Cheika now gone one wonders how thorough the review process will actually be. Has the threat of antagonistic abuse, revolt, toy-throwing now been removed and opened the way for a constructive exercise about delivering meaningful solutions? How many layers are they willing to peel back? Will there be an overriding theme of responsibility, ownership and accountability, or a default mindset to denial, blame and excuses?

      Isn’t the real fundamental objective here though to move forward? Don’t they say the hour before dawn is always the darkest? How brave is RA willing to be to enforce meaningful change? How willing are clubs in Brisbane and Sydney to come together to grow the sport in the state. How willing are Queensland and NSW and ACT to link together for the national good of the code, or will deep-rooted parochialism be allowed to fester? On a playing field in Oita Japan on Saturday night lay the ruins of the Wallaby rugby side. I sense the only way from here is up — for those willing enough to be brave.

      • Hoss

        Its time for a ‘scorched earth’ approach – tear it all down and start again. In all disappointment & chaos there is real opportunity. Lets use the opportunity (as the Nearlies did after 07 exit) to rebuild, from scratch and see what rises from the ashes.

        • Richard Patterson

          I believe you are correct Hoss. It needs immense courage to achieve it.
          Compile your notes, dust off the suit then go book yourself a meeting with Raelene Castle. I could not think of a more suitable representative of Australian rugby fans. I sense right now she will be open to ideas.

        • Ads

          She’s a big part of the problem and needs the arse also. Her handling of both Cheik and Folau has been abysmal.

        • Perth girl

          She has to do what the board tell her.Nothing will change until the board has gone and it’s up to the States Qld and NSW with the power to vote them out but will they just sit on their backsides and do nothing again !

        • Greg

          let me know the date Hoss. I will join you.

        • From NooZealand

          The 18 and under 20 joining in as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YL8gH0yELbk

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’d love to see the Wallabies do what we did, however it will require a lot of change and some new attitudes that I’m not sure are there

        • Hoss

          Corporate cowardice.

          Michael Jackson summed it up best when he said ‘you wanna make a change start with the man in the mirror’

        • AllyOz

          I thought that was Wayne Bennett but there you go.. wouldn’t Wayne have a lovely singing voice.

        • Yowie

          I sincerely hope that is all the overlap between Wayne Bennett and Michael Jackson.

        • Hoss

          Why do you think Jacko wore a glove……

        • Yowie

          Dunno about the glove, but I have an inkling as to why he had a “Neverland” ranch full of private spaces away from prying eyes.

        • AllyOz

          my reaction to your comments is always the same….laugh and say under my breath, “F*ckin’ smart arse”. Thanks Yowie.

          And yes it probably is, I don’t think Wayne moon walks. That was what you were thinking wasn’t it?

        • Yowie

          At least when Wayne “fancies something a bit younger” it’s a 52-year old.

        • Perth girl

          And that man is clyne

    • Keith Butler

      Worth the wait mate.

    • disqus_NMX

      Nothing of significance can and will change whilst the power structure of RA (and NSWRU and QRU etc) remain unaccountable and undemocratic. There needs to be a regular election of board members, with one equal vote for every paying registered club player, and every paying registered club supporter in Oz rugby. Currently it’s a mob of old boy mates appointed by other old boy mates. An incestuous, incompetent, corrupt cesspool. And any of you old boys who think you really are worthy of your position – well, some of you might even be right, but I dare you to create a democracy and hold an election. Go on, I dare you. (And to be honest, if one of you does create that, I will be voting for you). Alternatively, there is a simmering need to create a revolution. All it will take is a talismanic, charismatic, energetic leader with the time, money, and belief to start it. I was half hoping Andrew Forrest might have gotten the ball rolling, but it doesn’t appear he’s interested.

      • Nutta

        He’s interested I reckon. And I hear there are two famous NPC sides about to sign up to Twiggy-Ball. So he’s quietly gathering momentum.

        • Hoss

          World Series Rugby II

        • Yowie

          haha, gold. Get ready for another across-the-board player payrise for the Ultra-Professional era.

          I can’t wait to put on my logo-covered jersey to watch the traditional fixture of the Australia Jets play the South African NinjaCommandos for a chance to compete for the Gatorade Cup.

        • Hoss

          Only if your ESPN subscription is up-to-date.

        • Mica

          Aren’t they the SA marvel super heroes or some sort of twaddle? Good word that twaddle. ;)

        • Yowie

          haha the South African Captain Americas. A great national team for the jaapies to get behind.

          (agreed Re “twaddle”)

      • Dunno if hes “not interested” disqus**.

        Seems from my perspective the rest of OZ isnt interested, by their constant support of the status quo. (Tho lots of talking and complaining happens)

        Time will tell I guess, at least we have something over here.

        • disqus_NMX

          Well, there’s no alternative to support is there!

        • Yup, no point to a revolution, if those it is for do nothing.

        • disqus_NMX

          It takes a special person to lead a revolution!

      • Keith Butler

        Reminds me of the comment by Will Carling back in the 90s. The RFU run by 57 old farts.

    • Happyman

      Worth the wait Hoss and saves me about 20 minutes of typing.

      Particularly on Kafer. Watching him and Greegan bang on almost made me through up in my mouth and want to punch them in the face.

      they were the fucktards who shafted Nucifora at the Brumbies who started all of this player power bullshit from the start. They can go and fuck themselves Kafer is a failed coach at best. Now as far as the Fox guys are concerned get Justin Harrison on board as quickly as possible No bullshit and obviously has not been corrupted by the buffet table as yet.

    • From NooZealand

      It is not a nice rant, it is not a good rant, it is not even a rant. It is the right needed impassioned opinion, go forward attitude.

  • Missing Link

    Well here we are. Deep deep inside a passionate but somewhat realistic/unrealistic Wallabies fan, I thought that perhaps Cheika was a true genius who had the ability to play the long game and draw opposition into a false sense of security before striking a killer blow. Every comment and every action on and off the field was set up for the moment where he would show the arrogant and complacent Eddie Jones and Steve Hansen what the Wallabies were capable of….

    Then the moment of truth. Cheika was an OK coach, things worked out well for him at the Waratahs and with limited prep before the 2015 RWC, he did wonders with what he had. That said, from 2016 it’s been a shit show. Every game has proven that natural talent and the ability to play a fast paced running “brand” of Rugby might be enough to beat lesser teams but it will almost always fall short against the big boys. Every now and then we might win one, but that has proven to simply be false hope. I feel that one of the biggest failures since 2016 has been our defence and that is all on Nathan Grey. The game against Wales in 2015 RWC, we were able to hold them from scoring, 13 men to 15, and yet since then we leak points like we don’t care. this is not a “defensive system” in my opinion and I hope that with Cheika, Grey also departs. The same goes with our attack, we either have nothing or the oppositions ability to shut down the majority of our set piece just proves how predictable and out dated what we do have is. in saying that, our scrum, lineout and to some extent our ball handling skills have improved.

    Going forward we need a coaching team who has world class systems and can implement them with our cattle as well as maintaining a good relationship with management and the players. I was actually shocked to hear Cheika’s comments yesterday, if it was bad, then why stick around?

    I guess I have to hand it to Cheika though, he is a man of passion and conviction and for that I say thanks, but at the end of the day we aren’t playing club rugby, we need a professional system to play professional rugby.

    Whatever happens to Castle and Clyne, who cares, but they better make the right decision. We have a lot of departing players and a lot of good talent seems to be coming through, they better not waste it.

    sincerely,
    a Wallabies fan

  • Andy

    Some great opinions coming out of the uk press on Cheika. All hit the mark as well. His performance was pure selfishness. Ignore form, right tactics and act in pure stubbornness with a completely floored game plan in the name of “playing the Australian way”.

    The sheer arrogance to claim this style was the Australian way. Our past great teams played with a brain and kicked smartly when required.

    • Missing Link

      yes and nothing more ridiculous than how we were exposed by England with our 22 exits… we have one of the biggest boots in the world on our team and all we did was try to hit it up in the forwards for a few phases before one of the slowest scrum halves in the world made a box kick which couldn’t even get out of the half….

    • Who?

      The hilarious thing being that he’s been beaten by Australian coaches from his own club. So ‘the Australian way’ clearly isn’t ‘the ONLY Australian way’.

    • laurence king

      The really amusing thing about this is, all of those foreign journos were saying what a smart side Australia was and now their saying what they really think. And they are blaming Cheika, not the players who were forced to play it his way. A huge relief that the man is gone, he has made it clear that if he stayed the team would still be following the same plan. What a dill

  • Nutta

    I wrote an article in 2015 that offered guarded support to Mr Checks given the manner he had taken player-power head on (which cost us Link), was seeming to broaden the squad and in doing so seemed to offer people shots at redemption (makes QC’s idiotic tweet on the weekend even more illustrative) and how perhaps the failure to repeat his Super Rugby success with the same game-plan would hopefully teach him some lessons but that generally things seemed headed in a positive direction.

    http://disq.us/url?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.greenandgoldrugby.com%2Fwhat-the-hell-are-you-doing-cheika%2F%3ABiy9U27AWFwwtlfWR7pGqxOpsG8&cuid=1898022

    But from there time appears to have stood still. A full Bill cycle later and we were still playing 1-3-3-1 footy that desperately required a hugely physically-influential group of big humans at 4/5/6, a super-fit squad and was played at such pace that it was too easy to bump and create the death-wobbles. As such we lost. Congratulations England. You had 4yrs to prepare for exactly the same game-plan as last time and you nailed it.

    All that said, one thing I will say about Cheks is to note he did not quit. He kept coming. And he appears a man of his word. He said months ago he would not seek reappointment given the circumstances and he isn’t. He is seeing out his contract and not seeking renewal. That isn’t quitting. Likewise though I would also remind folk of why we had Checks in the first place; because our game had been mismanaged so fantastically badly that there was no-one else who would do the job. So RA basically had to give him carte-blanche to get him on-board. My dad used to say ‘Don’t be surprised when a sheep grows wool Boy.’ Well guess what? We bought a sheep and it grew wool so why are we surprised? The signs of what we were buying were all there in every previous coaching appointment he had held. More fundamentally, ask ourselves why we were in a position that we had to buy that sheep in the first place and do we have better options now?

    The Frogs were in it until the elbow. That lock will curse himself for all eternity the poor bugger. The commentary said the Frogs lost because they put the que in the rack. But what dafuq else were they going to do when down to 14men with a comfy position? But that being said, everyone knows the Frogs have one spectacular game in them every world cup and that one was looking likely it so they would have taken 40pts in the semi’s and fallen away anyway. It’s a shame because their own mercurial nature is what made them the most likely of anyone to upset the AiB given the right day.

    The Jarpies did what the Jarpies do and bashed their way to victory. Nippon was hugely entertaining and good on them for an awe-inspiring effort. The rewards of their toil for the game in Japan and Asia in general will be far-reaching. What was most telling for me was the manner in which Pollard and Karl Marx are hitting their straps. Alongside good depth and no real injury worries (as far as I know) they will be mighty dangerous to anyone but the AiB. And I think the Beast was very lucky to not see red. I think the Refs willingness to deal with it so quickly and decisively (good) also saved him having to do the ‘TMO dance’ and see the game remembered for the wrong reasons. Very politically astute/smart refereeing.

    The AiB are simply playing at a different altitude than the rest of us. Good luck to them. If the Bill went to those that deserved it, well it’s all over. But they still have to win it and last time I checked rugby is still a two-team game.

    • Who?

      Cheik was very selective in his redemptive shots, and whilst his appointment was an end to player power, it was an end that suited the players who effectively ousted the previous coach. They wanted their coach, they got him.
      That said, I completely agree that we allowed ourselves to be backed into a corner. Which is typical of RA – if there’s a way to mess things up, they’ll do it.
      I think Cooper’s comments – as someone clearly outside the Wallabies setup for over 2 years now (despite the fact he was brought in for camps when Leali’ifano wasn’t this year – all the talk about ‘Cheika’s one of Cooper’s biggest supporters’ – what a load of rubbish) only reflected the sentiment you find on here. Whereas Cheika’s comments about not having a working relationship with Clyne and Castle is arguably a much bigger failing.
      .
      The poor Frogs… Started great, a great contest between both teams with France playing all the Rugby. The elbow was stupid, unnecessary, and correctly ruled. But Moriarty’s high shot on a player who wasn’t falling would’ve been a RC only a week ago, and the last two scrums leading up to the try were very poorly reffed – no idea why the Welsh 9 was allowed around the back of the scrum before the ball was out both times, and the try was off a forward strip/knock on.
      .
      Oh, and if you look back to Saturday’s article, you’ll find that there’s a large crowd looking to start their march on RA from your address. They just need to find the pitchforks.

      • Greg

        The reffing in the tournament has been very patchy…. to the point of spoiling my enjoyment of some games.

        Whether that is competence or directives from above, I don’t know, but it has not been enjoyable.

      • Nutta

        To your point on player power, isnt it facta non verba telling that even after all this time Beale still has a spot despite even the stupidities and ineptitude we have seen from him on-field this year? Leaving aside he was even picked, there has been 2-3 times this year i would have yanked him at 15min but he again & again gets the plumb selections and again does not disappoint with dumb decision making. Dead set untouchable. Must be an amazing trainer i guess.

        • Who?

          Maybe Cheika’s scared of his high quality SMS-game..? :-P

        • Patrick

          Yep Beale is a mystery. Leaving aside that I would have sacked him long ago, he did nothing to get on the plane, nothing to get on the pitch and nothing when he was on it. DHP’s every touch was better than Beale except one run.

          I think Cheika just knows there aren’t many players committed to running it sideways out of your 22 like real aussies do.

  • Yowie

    Someone just played me a minute or so of a piece of audio (sent by a friend of a friend of a friend etc) that apparently is Cheika’s half-time speech to the squad. Literally “you guys are the dumbest c**ts I’ve ever coached. Don’t you like to win?” type stuff. I only heard a minute or so but apparently it goes for a full 10 mins like that. I’ll try to listen to the full recording later.

    Two things occur:-

    (a) I’m not a top level player or coach. There is probably a right time for a massive half-time rant. BUT, one would think a bit of “here’s what we’re going to do in the 2nd half” might be good (assuming it’s not there when I give the full 10 mins a listen).

    (b) he’s lost at least somebody in the dressing room if the sanctity of “not recording the half-time spray” has been broken.

    Totally unverified of course. I won’t seek greater verification of source. Feel free to dismiss this post as an internet attention-seeker’s tall story.

    • AllyOz

      My suspicion is that it’s probably one of the support staff rather than a player as they aren’t going to have their phones on them at that time. So that could be a few from Scott Johnson down to the video analyst. I am sure the queue of blokes that don’t get on with Cheika isn’t a short one and I imagine its getting to “new Iphone release” numbers as this week progresses. I wonder if he thought the “Argentina” thing might work one more time. I did coach a little bit and I was never big on the “you c&nts” version, it didn’t really suit me anyway and the few times it was given to me it actually made me play worse.

      • Yowie

        Yeah, good point on the support staff theory.
        Also, the “fire up you dumb c**ts!” thing must surely wear out its effectiveness via over-use. Eg the Schoolteacher who fires-up once a year is much scarier than the high-blood-pressure little tosser that yells at the class every lesson.

        • Nutta

          I think it was Phil Gould I once heard say ‘You can only blast a dressing shed once a year. After that it’s just white noise.’ Whilst I am no Gus fan-boy, I reckon he is on the money there.

        • They gave us a jolly good hiding, they gave us a jolly good… c**nts sounds appropriate according to the verse.

    • Who?

      Saw similar last night on YouTube. It didn’t feel like great quality audio. So I’m willing to give Cheika more than the benefit of the doubt.
      .
      But if that’s what was going on in the dressing room, it explains even more.

      • Yowie

        This one? (Language warning obviously – use earphones if watching at work)
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uszk3ByKIkQ

        • Hoss

          100% not his voice

        • AllyOz

          Whoever it is his main point seems to be “if you keep doing the same sh*t and it doesn’t work for you and you go back and do it again you must be dumb”. So if it is him he must be the worlds biggest hypocrite.

        • Who?

          That was my thought. It could’ve been a poor quality recording, but it felt more like an impersonation.

        • Brumby Runner

          Too much continuity in the delivery – you know what I mean?

        • Who?

          I’ll pay that. :-)
          Though it had INTENSITY! You know what I mean? :-P

        • AllyOz

          actually was this or a similar thing sent around after the Argentina game?

        • idiot savant

          Its also AFL.

        • disqus_NMX

          Would be funny as fuck if true, but I have high suspicions it’s actually an AFL coach ranting. Here’s the evidence: talks about quarters; talks about giving up 3 easy goals in a quarter; talks about a player named “spud”, which possibly could be Danny Frawley, a past St Kilda AFL player from the 80’s-90’s; talks about 22 players – same as on an AFL team (18 on the field and 4 on the bench).

        • Yowie

          A similar authenticity debate seems to be playing out in the youtube comments below the video. The uploader is sticking to their guns.
          I have no dog in the fight as to whether it turns out to be real or fake.

        • disqus_NMX

          For sure, not having a crack at you at all, love that you posted it, your shit is always funny as.

        • Yowie

          Cheers. I didn’t take it personally btw, but just felt the need to clarify “lack of a position on the matter” (like a true coward :p)

        • Moz

          Having a listen to that, with the slide show, and then the picture of Eddie Jones leaning back laughing (about the 1 minute mark) summed it up!!! Yeah, I’d be laughing like a big fat spider too!!!

        • Who?

          That’s the one.

        • Missing Link

          did you find that by typing “Guido Hatzis calls ARU about a job as Wallabies flyhalf”?

        • Hoss

          There’s a blast from the past…………..My favourite was when he (supposedly) called Buckingham Palace, i was in tears whilst driving.

        • Missing Link

          Hoss, I do miss the good old days when you could have a laugh without invoking an outrage fueled lynch mob. good times. Merrick and Rosso used to do a few good ones as well.

    • Hoss

      Its fascinating mate and i use my fat person getting healthy analogy –

      – Everyday of Week 1 – walking through suburbia to a great park to do a lap or two. Walk past house, massive dog rushes to the fence barks & salivates. Scares the bejeezus out of me. tell wife when i get home.
      – Everyday of Week 2 – remember where the dog lives and get prepared for same attack. Tell wife i was prepared for it.
      – Everyday since – wife says how’d you go with viscous dog – i say ‘what dog’

    • Singapore Sling

      That sounds like Kevin Sheady or one of the gAyFL coaches.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Brett and absolutely bang on. I’m actually amazed at the love he is getting just because he was passionate about the Wallabies. I do get that but he was completely out of his depth. He was arrogant to the point of rudeness to anyone who questioned him ever. He had no tactical ability and relied on adding mongrel as his only plan. He never developed any player ever and in fact under his leadership every player got worse. His myopic self centred belief in his own ability and refusal to change took Australia from 2nd to 7th in world standings. If he had any integrity at all he would have recognised his lack of ability and either resigned or got help. He did neither and I am happy to see the end of his bungling and pathetic career. His legacy of being the worst coach Australia has ever had is well deserved.

    • juswal

      The New Zealand fan drops another load on Australia’s table.

      • Greg

        Sadly, I think he is describing what is on our table rather than adding to it.

        • juswal

          Would you be comfortable doing that, on another country’s fan site?

      • Missing Link

        spare a thought for the millions of sheep worldwide who are sweating on an England vs South Africa final

    • Moz

      Nicely put, I think you summed up how I feel. I was so over this guy for the last couple of years, but through his own arrogance and the incompetence of the RA Board, we have had to put up with this train wreak. Mate, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I trust history will be rightly harsh on you!

    • AllyOz

      Marika Koroibete got better but I am not sure that was Cheika’s doing. and he is probaly the one exception to your rule.

      • Brumby Runner

        Yeah, I’d agree with that.

      • Who?

        I credit the Rebels for that. He showed huge improvement with them this year, and talked about learning from playing alongside Will and Quade.
        Even the fact he put the ball back into two hands for a little dummy in his try on the weekend – I can’t imagine him doing that 12 months ago. It’s a real credit to him. :-)

    • Happyman

      Well put KRL

      For mine MC is a good Club coach where you can get the type you need a national role is often about using the tools you have available.

      It is hard to find a player who improved under his stewardship. Think of the quality players who were cast aside or ignored.
      Quade (Unused ability) Link got the best out of him
      Higgers (Apparently was honest with his feedback)
      Skelton Fat and allowed to stay that way
      Mowan Chose to leave when he was captain
      Billy Meakes
      James Hansen
      Kyle Godwin

      Then there were the ones who got a run who were his favorites in spite of form
      Foley
      Phipps
      Hanigan (Who I think may become a good player)
      AAC
      Simmons

      Then the ones who got a run because they were average league players.
      Eto Nabuli

      Franly the quarter finals is where we are at the moment. Our best is very good but this coach is unable to extract consistency out of these players which says to me there is a lack of accountability.

      Exciting times ahead though we have some seriously good cattle coming through who I think are going to be very good and not just the ones in the systems. If our coaches learn to start to look at talent with there eyes and not there previous reputations we could be in for quite a ride.

      In Scott we trust

      • Who?

        To be fair to Cheika (and everyone knows it’s weird for me to be his defender), Mowen left under Link, when the ARU (they weren’t yet RA) refused to top up his contract, in spite of him being the national captain (and it appeared Link backed him as ongoing captain).
        .
        I’m with you in hoping that, in a year or three, Hanigan may mature. Fardy took his time to mature, for his body to harden. Attitude’s never been Ned’s issue, it’d be a great story if he were to come back into Gold in a year or three as the player who showed enough potential in the NRC to make the Tahs and then the Wallabies only a year later.

      • Mike D

        Second rows maybe? He tried a lot out early on and seemed to improve Arnold’s game.
        He’s managed the front row ok, I think. Not rushing Tupou, letting him come from the bench for example rather than getting him smashed at 21.
        Getting Ledesma to coach the scrum was pretty good. Now other teams are collapsing at the engagement to avoid our scrum and get a re-set.
        Still glad he’s going as I feel he lacked composure and that bleeds down to his team. For all that they’re professional players, they’re still kids mostly and they will follow the coach’s lead. Your brain doesn’t finish developing until the age of 25 and personality is still highly flexible up until the age of 40 so he is a huge influence on them. Would like to see Pocock as assistant coach in future because I’d like his all round awesomeness as a human imparted to the coming youth.

    • Bernie Chan

      His passion won us sweet FA as it could not make up for his tactical ineptitude. Was that because of some kind of hubris, or was he just plain out of his depth when it came to Test rugby?
      Did any player actually improve under his coaching?
      You and most watching rugby have noted his arrogance under routine questioning, and now the previously compliant press is turning on him.

      This coaching clique (excluding Larkham as he was obviously the fall guy to allow Cheika to keep the gig…) can’t be allowed anywhere near the next crop of up and coming talent.
      I also note that Kearns has volunteered his time to partake in a “review”…no thanks Phil, you can piss off too.
      The worst Wallabies coach ever…simple…

  • Kiwi rugby lover
    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      What an amazing display of courage. So, after spending the last 6 years defending him against all criticism, as soon as he’s gone, takes a swing. What a joke.

      Reminds me of Kafer saying that he never really rated Folau after he has his contract terminated. I actually agree with Kaf, but he certainly never said that while Folau was employed.

      • Keith Butler

        I think “Give it to Izzy” was his catch phrase and then “ Give it to Samu”. To be followed shortly by “ Give it to Jordan”. And for me therein lies the problem.

        • And therein certainly lies one of the problems. I like Petaia, I hope he develops into a world class centre, I really do. But he’s played 2 bloody tests matches, in 2 different positions…

          He may become the saviour of G&G rugby, but lets give him a chance to settle in to test rugby first!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I remember Cheika smashing her at an interview at the end of last year and I think this has been building for a while from her

      • idiot savant

        If Georgina had criticised him in the SMH when he was in power Cheika would have instructed all of his players and staff not to speak or txt her and give her nothing. She would have been locked out of the inner sanctum and put in a position of ridicule like Greg Growden. Insiders like Mitchell wouldn’t be feeding her tidbits. The same goes for all of them – Payten, Cully et al. Somehow Smith managed to steer a path through with muted criticism in the Oz. Such was the culture of intimidation Cheika used to quieten critics, and it was a culture his running dogs eagerly supported. Now what youre seeing is the backlash against the bullying that took place.

        • Who?

          Did you see Doran delivered a full article blasting Cooper? Even with Cheik gone, his lap dogs are still growling at those who imply he wasn’t heavensent.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You know this for a fact?

          Well, if it’s true then what I say is doubly true. Robison should have had the courage to come out and blow the lid.

  • muppet
  • AllyOz

    I sort of feel (and this might be a southern hemisphere perspective) that the “real” final is this weekend and not the following one. Wales didn’t really play like they deserved to be there and but for two brain explosions, one by the player and one by the refs, then they wouldn’t be. If they couldn’t see that went forward I doubt they would think it forward if they stood in front of you and they drove the ball up their a%se. They would probably say well its gone into my backside so it must be backwards.

    England vs All Blacks is the game I want to see. We get our fair share of the Saffers vs All Blacks and Eddie, going for his 3rd final with a third nation having been with the Wallabies in 2003, involved with the Saffers in 2007 and now in the semis with England makes it intriguing (but I still don’t want him back here strangely). Still if as I expect, it is the All Blacks and Saffers in the Final it should be a beauty. There past few encounters have been very close.

    • Patrick

      Yep, Wales will be roadkill. I almost feel sorry for them, but they’ve had so much luck getting here that I don’t.

      • AllyOz

        The Scots would say that there qf against france was similar to ours against the scots in 2015.

        • Patrick

          In that they were absolutely walloping us until one of their players got sent off??

          Except I don’t remember either part happening.

        • AllyOz

          just that we got the rub of the green on a couple of decisions. Certainly wales did too, there was no way that ball went backwards for the last try but there was also no way that an elbow to the face isn’t anything other than a red card so, for all the refs ballsups they werent coming back from that

        • Who?

          I’m not sure they weren’t coming back from it… Just like Warburton’s RC in 2011 didn’t consign Wales to the Bronze match – it was Hook’s missed goal penalties – including from directly in front – which saw France through to the final.

        • AllyOz

          Yes that’s true – they were doing well with only 14 men until the forward pass/knockon. What I should have said was there was no way that wasn’t a red card.

        • Patrick

          I didn’t feel that, the forward pass/rip aside, the ref really made that big of a difference.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Just a couple of points from me, because others have covered what I think about Cheika and the classless manner of his departure.

    Nevertheless, it’s fascinating reading the journos all trying re-write history in their post mortem examinations of Cheika’s tenure – these same journos and TV talking heads who were among his biggest boosters and defenders until very recently when the evidence became too overwhelming for even them to ignore.

    To those wanting Raelene Castle’s head on a platter – be careful what you wish for. Sure, she hasn’t done a brilliant job as CEO, but does anyone want the rumoured runner-up in the top job? Hands up if you’re ok with the idea of Phil Kearns as RA’s CEO…

    Now that we are out of the tournament, it should, if merit is applied, open up the chance for some choice refereeing appointments for our guys. I’d be disappointed if Nic Berry doesn’t get the whistle for at least one of the four remaining games, and while Gus Gardner hasn’t had a great world cup, I’d hope for the same for him.

    With the semi-final appointments having to be both neutral and ‘path neutral’, that means no Barnes, Peyper, Williams or Owens at least for the semis. But it could mean some of the fleet of French refs getting a go. I fully expect that if Wales go out in the semis, the chief All Blacks fan, Nigel Owens will probably get the final. But all of that is yet to play out.

    • Happyman

      ADSMR

      I would argue that those who decry the CEO’s contribution are little short sighted. the MC contract was heavily back ended and put RA in a position where it was very costly to get rid of him.

      I think we will look back in five years and see some of the stuff put into place being very good indeed.
      – Some of the money being raised looking after some of the better young players early.
      – The junior Wallabies being more successful and having a better systems in place.
      – The Womens game in a massive success at the moment as is evidenced by the NRL and AFL trying desperately to be relevant in this space. along with the puppy dog media.

      I think looking solely at the wallabies is looking to narrowly at her contribution. As a multi dimensional entity it is no doubt an underperforming division but the most important but steps were taken 12 months ago to try and fix it and over the next 2 we will see further improvement.

      • Mike D

        Spot on!

  • Moz

    Realistically, how likely, and is it actually possible to get rid of Clyne and some of those other clowns at RA? A serious question. After all the crap he has dealt out over the last few years, how would one actually get rid of him?

    • Will

      We would need a Sicario…

      • Yowie

        There are certainly a lot of Emily Blunts around…

        • AllyOz

          Is she the latest, it used to be Rex Hunt in my day, then Karmichael had a run and then the “Beautiful” singer who was the tank driver… can’t think of his name but it rhymes with…

        • Yowie

          I have no idea. Probably not. If it is or becomes a rhyming slang thing I’ll claim the credit until pre-today evidence surfaces.
          I’m still a big fan of the “Karmichael Hunt” version.

        • Moz

          James Blunt? I actually saw him play a few years ago (dragged along by the wife…). He actually had quite a good sense of humour, and talked about how his name was used in rhyming slang – it was in Singapore, so he obviously couldn’t expand on it.

        • AllyOz

          without being caned

        • Who?

          That’s a horrible way to use the new Mary Poppins’ name!
          :-P
          Much better to stick with Moz’s mate (because he’s big enough to deal with it, having, apparently, an awesomely insultative twitter feed).

      • Moz

        Haha, nice one! Perhaps I should rephrase “get rid of…”

    • juswal

      There’s no higher authority than the board; nobody can sack the board or the chairman. The board has a president (Tim Gavin, according to the RA web site) who probably holds certain powers that he can exercise in exceptional circumstances that endanger RA’s finances or critical operations.

      I’m not going digging into the constitution but I’ll guess that there’s one or more spill mechanisms that can trigger board vacancies. They probably include a loss-of-confidence petition to the chair/president from the members (the state and territory unions plus RUPA). The members exercise sixteen votes, so eight would be needed to put a crack in the edifice.

      • Moz

        Ok, thanks for that. So it would really need the state unions actually getting involved here, and primarily I would assume NSW and Qld?

        • juswal

          Yes — only the member-shareholders can take down the board.

        • Perth girl

          But will they do it that’s the question!

        • Who?

          And the issue is that it’s the same at the next levels down (i.e. states), and the next levels down (sub-unions), and by that point it’s often a group of geezers who have nothing but tradition and an intent to ensure their club isn’t disadvantaged. Not exclusively, but significantly enough to be a majority. They think they’re in there for the benefit of the game, but having worked with some of them, they’re generally incapable of seeing the challenges they face and the problems in the game. Locally, nationally, anywhere.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Considering he has been the Chair now for 7 years. So he was there for the appointment of Chieka, the Pirate, the new coaching set up, and was also there when RA did not support MacKenzie against a partial player revolt. His time has come.
      But he is not the only fucker that must leave.
      The Pirate.
      The whole board who oversaw the preventable tragedy.
      The whole coaching set up.
      demolish, and rebuild.

      • Moz

        Yep…I agree with that totally! But throw me a bone mate, and include the whole Western Force screw-up/over in there as well :).
        But overall, almost too many names to include in this debacle. I must admit I’m still pissed off about the whole Link saga…one coach I really got behind!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Didnt forget about it, but didnt include it. That is a debacle of the highest order.

        • Happyman

          Mate that was as they say an OMNISHAMBLES

      • Happyman

        Mate I would keep the Pirate but would sweep the rest.

        De Clyne has been at best rubbish at his role. One could not even call him a well meaning buffon.

  • LBJ

    A terrific game, two teams with directly contrasting styles – very hard fought, but ultimately the better side came out on top.

    I’m disappointed in the loss, but proud of the effort and dedication by all involved in getting that performance – we were in really good shape and played some terrific footy. But England really are a terrific side and would not be out of place holding up the cup in a fortnight, and given there’s an Aussie coaching them, that would be a pretty good outcome for Aus.

    At the end of the day, I suspect the Wallabies team’s performance over the past few years pretty closely reflects the performance of the Aussie super rugby teams against NZ & SA teams.

    The really interesting thing for mine is clarity around the Aussie rugby community – there isn’t one.

    When it comes down to it, there is simply no cross-border support, empathy or sacrifice for each other – people seem far more invested in seeing who can be the rudest and ‘most right’.

    I wonder if ‘Australian Rugby’ as we currently think about it should actually change – perhaps what we need is to stop pretending to to work together and compete more – a sort of capitalist approach vs the current socialist type of thinking.

    • Who?

      Have you looked at the player ratings on here? Average score above 6 for the starters, and the two who scored below 5 were, I thought, a little harshly marked. Everyone gave their all, we just played a dumb game plan. No top nation thinks it’s a good idea to run the ball out of your 22. It’s not the ‘Australian’ way – there’s as many Randwick coaches in the English camp as there were in the Wallaby camp (two each – head and attack coaches).
      .
      I’m still disappointed by the result (though it was hardly unexpected), and even worse that we had to leave the RWC by losing to England. Again.
      .
      There were comments on here from someone pointing out that the current Bokke team, with not that many changes in personnel, has gone from the poorest in history (2016/17) to a legitimate threat, a team that could beat anyone on their day and most teams every day. The comments were that this Wallabies team feels somewhat similar. I agree. Except now we’re going to lose a number to retirement and even more coming into their prime to foreign trips (Coleman, Arnold, Latu, Kerevi, etc). :-(
      .
      Our current setup isn’t as advanced as socialism. It’s feudalism. Weak central power, constant games, scheming, sniping, self interest. We need to burn the structures to the ground and put in place something more democratically accountable (i.e. a board accountable to all members, nationwide), but also more centrally strong.

      • LBJ

        Thanks, but I think it’s a mistake to keep doing the same thing and expect a different result.

        Weve has this idea for a long time now that everything should be centralised and that all rugby games are essentially trial matches to see who should be picked for the next team up the tree.

        But all it’s delivering a smaller player pool and lower interest in the game and the lower competitions – look at how the brumbies made the finals and had to beg people to turn up! Then the next day the raiders are sold out!

        I think we need competitions that people care about and teams that people love – and give them a sphere to compete with each other.

        As for democracy – it would deliver absolute power to Sydney. Fine by me, but I don’t think it’s what you are after…?

        • Who?

          Where have I said we should do the same thing and expect a different result? I’ve advocated for burning the system to the ground.
          .
          That said, I don’t think that the competitions are the major problem. I think the stench of the leadership (RA, the NSWRU and QRU), regular losing seasons and poor publicity are the things that have stifled the higher levels of Rugby. Clubs are thriving through traditional hard work, and probably assisted by the fact that no one’s interested in attending higher level matches.
          .
          I don’t think that clubs should be centralized, but there’s clear duplication of structures, and areas where power is concentrated with no connection to the grassroots. And having a centralized system doesn’t mean you can’t have a senatorial or electoral college style of distribution of votes. But that power needs to be in the hands of the club members. When was the last time there was any genuine consultation – consultation that wasn’t an unexpected survey with narrowly focused questions and a selection of poor answers? When did anyone have a genuine, clear strategic plan for the game (let alone one that wasn’t full of obfuscating management speak)? There’s little requirement to plan the game or engage stakeholders, because the vast majority of the stakeholders – club members – aren’t able to affect the job security of the board members or the executive. If that changed, perhaps we’d see a little more accountability and a little more consideration for what the rugby public think.
          .
          I’m not talking about a public vote on who should be coach, or whether a coach should stay in the role. But currently, I don’t think anyone has any confidence in the capabilities of those on the board, of their capacity to understand the issues the game faces, or of their concern for the game beyond their own narrow areas of connection.
          .
          I’m not sure where I really disagreed with you much, other than on what the current form of dysfunction that afflicts the governance structure of RA is…

        • LBJ

          Indeed.

          It would be terrific for the board(s) to be accountable to the rugby public.

          I think it would create meaningful changes in strategy.

  • Hoss

    No Big Ted, more a life coach. But i do know about leading people and driving culture – its called shut the fuck up and do your job staff member #86432 or whatever name you got when you got spat out or else. I admit staff engagement is a tad low, but that’s a sacrifice i am prepared to make………..i am nothing if not selfless, there should be an award or gratuity.

    I would say this – any organisation is going to have a culture, be that by default or design you are going to have one. Therefore why not make it one you have built…..would be more than happy to assist RA in attaining same, for a small modicum.

    • Nutta

      Smalll team culture peaked in April of 1846. Then the Royal Navy banned flogging sailors for shipboard misdemeanours. It has all been downhill from there.

      • Hoss

        Damn do-gooders.

        • Nutta

          Yeh. Bloody PC nonces.

        • Yowie

          Nah, budget cuts. First it was the downgrade to the cat-o-eight-tales whip and it only got worse from there.

  • AllyOz

    I wonder if Cheika is a reverse Meninga (sorry I can’t think of a rugby example). But Meninga just didn’t seem able to cut it as a club coach but then get’s the Maroons after a record defeat and starts putting things in place around origin and, also blessed with perhaps a generation of talent unseen before, records eight straight series wins. I am not sure if Cheika’s a bad coach per se or a bad international or representative coach. He had success elsewhere in club situations where he had blokes week in week out but at this other level he wasn’t able to replicate it. Robbie Deans perhaps the same but I think, in Robbie’s defence, he did have a winning record in the 60%’s. Also when he was coaching club, he didn’t seem so infatuated with “the Australia way” of playing. That seems only to be something he has started talking about recently. A lot of the club players he had here and in Ireland seem to have remained loyal to him so he must have shown them something different to what we have seen in public.

    Anyway, to quote Nina Simone, “It’s a new day, it’s a new dawn, it’s a new life….and I’m feeling”….well I am actually still feeling a little disappointed because Hoss the big jerk had me all optimistic with his stupid optimism shit. Last time I will fall for that.

    • laurence king

      You can’t tune in and watch the Wallabies play and be all depressed about it, even false hope as it was

    • Custard Taht

      I think Chiekas biggest problem was refusing to learn from past mistakes and viewing any such admission as a fault and failure.

      I have always regarded and learnt that flexibility is the number 1 key principle of warfare. Rugby is no different, a plan is only good until first contact with the enemy. After that you need flexibility to keep or retain the initiative.

      That is where Cheika failed. When we had the initiative, all was good, when we lost it or never had it, he had no idea how to regain it.

      • Yowie

        The Mongols were traditionally a devastating horse-borne archer army. BUT, when the nature of the task changed they set about acquiring the techniques and catapults (etc) needed for siege warfare.
        If it were Cheika Kahn running the Mongols, they would stuck to firing arrows at city walls from horseback, touting the “Mongol way of fighting” and bitching about the longer-range projectiles being fired at them from said city walls.

  • laurence king

    Reading Cheika’s comments over the last couple of days, I find it amazing that the man is still a believer in his plan. It’s just that the team wasn’t good enough and having Johnson over him were the problems, not him

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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