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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Super Rugby, the six (possibly seven) Nations, the host venue for the Wallabies clash against Argentina and the return of David Campese to Australian rugby


Super Rugby recap

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Round two of the Super Rugby season started in the land of the students with the Highlanders hosting the Sharks. Despite little fanfare before the start of the year, the Sharks continued to fire on NZ soil, racing out to a 27-3 lead at the half-time break. From there, they would control the contest, with doubles to Makazole Mapimpi and Aphelele Fassi sealing the 42-20 victory.

The action then headed to the nation’s capital where the Brumbies hosted the Rebels in the Sterling Mortlock/ Nic Henderson derby. As the boys from Rugby Report Card said, “This match was the culmination of one team at the height of their powers competing against absolute bin juice” (bit harsh but fair enough), with the Brumbies dominating the Rebels throughout the match.

Whilst there was a brief comeback, flyhalf Noah Lolesio had a breakout game for the Brumbies, putting on two tries and a drop goal in the 39-26 win.

Saturday began with a potential early grand final preview with the Chiefs hosting the Crusaders. There was plenty of end-to-end action that would make any Foxtel executive regret their decisions, with the Chiefs eventually running over the top of the defending champions 25-15.

It then headed to the Hunter, with the Waratahs hosting the Blues in near-cyclonic conditions at McDonald Jones Stadium. Unfortunately for the boys in light blue, it was reminiscent of their shock Sunwolves loss from last year, with a hat-trick to Mark Telea sealing the 32-12 win.

This was followed by a pair of South African contests, with the Lions hosting the Reds. Despite a spirited effort from the Reds, where they were down to 13 men at one stage, the numbers advantage was too much, with the Lions (and ref crew) defeating them 27-20.

It was then time to head to Cape Town to see if the Stormers could back up last week’s impressive showing as they faced the Bulls at Newlands. Robbie Fleck’s side would proceed to send another strong message to the competition, continuing their unblemished record with a dominant 13-0 victory, their second game without conceding a point.

Finally, it was time to head to Argentina when the Jaguares hosted a Hurricanes outfit looking to bounce back. Whilst they started slowly, the big boot of Jordie Barrett and two late tries to Alex Fidlow and Jamie Booth sealed the remarkable comeback victory.

Newy Horizons

pumas waratahs 2013

Newcastle is set to host their first Rugby Championship test match as it was announced that the Wallabies will host Argentina at McDonald Jones Stadium on September 5.

It will be the first time since 2012 that the Hunter will host a test match, which was a soggy encounter against Scotland that has become infamous for the classic head-clash celebration (The final score from that game escapes my memory).

The return to McDonald Jones comes off the back of a historic first women’s test match in the region between the Wallaroos and Japan last year.

“Newcastle is a sports-mad city and the support for both men’s and women’s Rugby is almost second to none across the country,” Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said.

“We can’t wait to showcase the Wallabies in one of our strongest Rugby communities and getting out and about in the community to allow locals to get up close and personal with the team.

“If the support from the region for the Buildcorp Wallaroos Test last year is any guide, the first ever Rugby Championship match is going to be one of the biggest events of the year and will certainly be one of the highlights of our 2020 Test match calendar.”

Lord Mayor of Newcastle Nuatali Nelmes was thrilled about the partnership with Rugby Australia, hoping that the occasion can garner a larger crowd than the Waratahs defeat on Saturday.

“I’m delighted to welcome the Wallabies back to Newcastle after an eight-year hiatus and thrilled that our partnership with Rugby Australia continues to grow after we successfully hosted the Wallaroo’s first ever Test Match against Japan on Australian soil last July,” Councillor Nelmes said.

“Novocastrians are very educated sports fans and know that the open, attacking brand of rugby that both the Wallabies and Pumas play will make for an evening spectacle not to be missed at the start of Spring, when the weather should be much more conducive than the torrential June rain that hampered the Scottish Test back in 2012.

“The return of the Wallabies after Saturday’s Super Rugby match underlines Newcastle’s capacity to host major sporting events, such as rugby and rugby league Tests, football internationals during the 2015 Asian Cup, and of course the highly popular annual Supercars finale, which we also deliver with Destination NSW.”

Six into seven?

Billy Vunipola on the charge

Billy Vunipola on the charge

With the Six Nations kicking off for their second week, the action on the field was overshadowed by what was happening off it, with the Springboks expressing their interest in playing in the competition.

According to the Mail, the Springboks are eager to leave the Rugby Championship, with their eyes set on joining their northern counterparts to create a ‘Seven Nations’ competition.

This move has been earmarked for after the 2023 World Cup, with South Africa already beginning the process of Northern Hemisphere assimilation with the Cheetahs and Southern Kings entering the Pro14.

Whilst this has dominated headlines, the action has been as exciting on the field, with Ireland securing a bonus-point win over defending champions Wales 24-14.

Ireland used their dominant forward pack to crush their Welsh counterparts, who suffered their first loss in the post-Gatland era.

“Our physicality was brought to the next level and in all fairness to Wales, they came and they pushed us hard so it was just great to get the win,” Ireland winger Jacob Stockdale told ITV.

“They came and they fired a few shots early on and we know how good we can be when we’re all over our carrying and our break down and it just had to come throughout the game.

“Once were started to do that the tries came and it was a really fun game to play in.”

This was followed by a battle for the Caluctta Cup, with England scrapping home for a 13-6 win over Scotland.

The teams were locked at 3-3 with 10 minutes remaining when prop Ellis Genge secured drinks for life after finding the line to secure the win.

The hostile environment boiled over for England coach Eddie Jones and his staff, with former Adelaide Crows coach and head of elite performance Neil Craig belted by a bottle.

“We weren’t expecting beer bottles to be thrown at us, so that’s a pretty good trick,” Jones said post-match.

“That’s a pretty good achievement isn’t it, throwing beer bottles, You have to be pretty brave to throw a beer bottle. Neil has a hard head, I know that, and there is not much inside it!

“It (an official complaint) isn’t going to do anything. Everyone knows about it so someone can do something about it.”

Campo comeback

Screen Shot 2014-06-11 at 2.32.16 pm

Everyone’s favourite ball hog winger David Campese has returned to Australia rugby, signing on in the newly formed role of Rugby Ambassador.

Campese has been especially vocal about the state of Australian rugby, most recently hitting out after being snubbed for the Waratahs coaching job (despite having limited head coach experience).

However, it seems that the two parties have sung kumbaya, with Campese announced in the ambassadorial role during Rugby Australia’s announcement of the Newcastle test.

“David is not only one of our most recognised and revered Wallabies, he will bring a unique skillset having been involved at all levels of the game right across the globe,” Raelene Castle said.

“He is incredibly passionate about growing and promoting the game and getting more people interested in playing the game. He is the ideal person for this role as he transcends generations and his knowledge of the sport is second to none.”

Campese will work across the country within the game development area, encouraging both new and existing participants at all levels along with promoting Rugby Australia’s professional and pathways competitions and its community Rugby initiatives.

“Working alongside the Australian Rugby Foundation and the Classics I’m hoping to provide a meaningful contribution and engage with a number of the games stakeholders as well as current and emerging participants,” Campese said.

“Whether it be assisting in community coaching clinics or helping out in a school’s get into rugby session I will look to use my learnings as both a player and coach to help bring the next generation through.”

Classic Wallabies general manager Morgan Turinui was excited to have Campo on board, believing that his experience and status can effectively grow the game around the country.

“We’re delighted to have Campo on board in this role, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest players in the history of our game and will bring a wealth of experience to the position,” he said.

“Working both on and off the field, Campo will contribute to all levels of the game, from coaching at Classic Wallabies’ free kids clinics to attending test match functions, his experience both on and off the field are invaluable assets which we will look to capitalise on.”

  • RF

    South Africa is leading someone on. Is it us or Europe?

    I’d be content to lose SA if they payoff is a Tasman league and what would be some epic test series against them in June or November.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t, I think it would be the height of folly for South Africa to remain a part of SANZAAR. Their teams have been gutted by the player drain and their fans cannot care less about super rugby. Moving north, if possible, would open up comparatively endless riches, would likely rejuvenate the fan base and reduce the player drain.

      If South Africa are really smart they’d try and scuttle their international season and instead try and play 6N and the Rugby Championship, even if all their teams leave super rugby.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        I think you are spot-on, South Africa will want a larger test window as they cannot hold on to their best players anyway. There is also more money in tests than a tier 2 competition.

  • Sequel

    Smart call to bring Campo into the tent. Turn a dissenter into an advocate.

    • Yowie

      Depending on whether this Fox deal dies off or gets renewed, soon RA might have to make every blow-hard Murdoch columnist a paid “Rugby Ambassador” just to get all the negative BS turned back down.

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    Brumbies: Best team in the conference and should give the whole comp a good kick.

    Reds: Showing potential, but we’ve been saying that for the last 2 years. 3rd year in, Reds need to show more than potential.

    Rebels: Proving to be Rebels without a cause, unless that cause is lost.

    Waratshs: Bringing training mortahs to a live fire event. At best it is a misfire, wait 2 situation , but realistically, looking more like cadets playing with toys.

    • Missing Link

      I am dumbfounded about the Rebels. Can’t understand what’s going on, maybe Billy Meakes Instagram feed holds a few clues…. Maybe they’re more interested in loose fitting linen shirts with rolled up chinos and no socks than playing rugby.

      Before the Western Force fans get excited and start their “the ARU cut the wrong team!!!” rhetoric, the coach and more than half the freaking team were the Force.. the same up-and-coming Force that would have been the best team in the comp by now if the ARU hadn’t cut them, right?

      So we have Wessels the super coach, Rangi, RossHP, Philip, Cottrell, Hardwick, Naisirani, Meakes and DaneHP, coupled with super boot Hodge and John Eales Medallist Koroibete, then throw in a few players who were being praised by GAGR’s when they were part of other more favourable teams, like Ruan Smith, Kellaway, Magnay, Wells, Louwrens and Marry Toomua.

      How the fuck are they playing so shit?

      • “loose fitting linen shirts with rolled up chinos and no socks”? Sounds like Melbourne to me :P

        TBH ML Ive often asked the same question myself.
        Could also include a few other names..

        Team of champions don’t necessarily make a champion team?
        I don’t have the answer.

      • John_R

        https://www.smh.com.au/culture/celebrity/model-montana-cox-smitten-by-melbourne-businessman-20200123-p53u67.html

        Former Sydney Bumble-bee makes waves on Melbourne’s social scene
        After launching dating app Bumble in Australia in 2016 Manly girl Michelle Battersby last year moved to Melbourne to take up a new role at another tech outfit, the Keep It Cleaner fitness app. In November Battersby headed south for the job and to be closer to her partner, Melbourne Rebels rugby player Billy Meakes.

        The pair’s good looks and thriving careers have put them at the top of guest lists across Melbourne: after popping up everywhere during the Victorian spring racing carnival last year, they were at the Piper Heidsieck dinner earlier this month and last Sunday appeared at Crown’s IMG Tennis party. It’s understood the couple have taken up residence at Melbourne’s lavish Capitol Grand complex in South Yarra where rent goes for upwards of $850 a week.

        • juswal

          Sydney renter incredulous at $850 for ‘lavish’ accomm.

        • John_R

          LOL!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I don’t think the Force were ever that good in 2017.

        – That year was the nadir for Aussie teams;
        – The Brumbies had just started their rebuild;
        – the Force had been ‘building’ for years;
        – The Force still didn’t do that well; and
        – The Force got an emotional boost through the decision to be cut. The Kings went through something similar from memory.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          The Force of 2017 was not building for years…. it was a young team with a young coach. They however had something to play for – survival and were building towards 2019.

        • Perth girl

          Believe they thrashed the Tahs to the tune of 40 points in their last game and had everything to look forward to

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          See ‘That year was the nadir for Aussie teams’.

          The Force even finished below the Kings that year.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          They were building towards 2019 with improvement shown game after game with only one major blip when the score blow out in a game after they returned from Argentina. In all the other games they were very competitive and at times unlucky to loose close contests. The highlight was the last game and the 40 point win against the Tahs where they shown their class and potential…. Then they were axed.

      • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

        Mate, that is the million dollar question….or is the 1 dollar question.

        I would say it starts with coach.

        • Dunno whether you mean The coach, or coaching in general Ct.
          Great players go to the Rebs and do FA? Also great players go to the Wallabies and do about the same of late.
          Maybe its Oz coaching in general?

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          It is both the coach and coaching in general. I have never bought the we don’t have the cattle line. We have the cattle, we don’t have the drovers to lead them

        • Could not agree more.

      • idiot savant

        Their forward pack are almost all journeymen, most of whom would not be picked in the other 3 Australian franchises. Thats the reason. They can’t control possession for long enough to consistently threaten other sides. Combine that with poor discipline and they are always playing catch up football. Their defence, a real strength at the Force, appears to be getting worse also.

      • Keith Butler

        Got me tossed as well. I suppose it all starts with the donkeys. For as long as I’ve supported them recruitment of decent forwards comes way behind recruitment of ‘stellar’ backs. How many good forwards have the Rebs let go over the years? Against the Ponies, Smith got his arse handed to him on a plate and was lucky not to get carded. Matt Gibbon at 24 could be a work in progress. Matt Philip was ok last year but not convinced by RHP – in Jones injured? Should have enough decent backrowers but apart from Narisarani the rest have been only so so. The new SH looks ok but Meakes and Hodge fairly underwhelming and wtf did they let Maddocks go, our top try scorer last season and replace him with Kellaway, who was decidedly meh.

        • Who?

          Jones had a sore back and was therefore rested.
          Gibbon was quite decent last year.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The Rebels have nothing to play for..the Force in 2017 played for survival of professional rugby in WA, their supporters and the leadership combination between captain Hodgson and Wessels worked. The Boks also had something to play for in 1995 and 2019 RWC and that was enough to win a games they were expected to lose. It is also difficult to break a habit.

      • Huw Tindall

        It’s the same old story. Set piece, especially scrum, is shite. Ruan Smith and Rangi are good but the rest pretty meh. Need 2 decent front rows in the match day 23 to be competitive these days. Wouldn’t be surprised if even the Tahs dodgy scrum can get one over them this week.

      • Perth girl

        Well thats obvious isnt it ML. Those players and coach did pretty well in the last two seasons of the Force so it must be living in the shithouse otherwise known as Melbourne!

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Brumbies have not played teams outside our conference yet. They make very few mistakes but the real test will be the Saders, Chiefs and Stormers.

  • Crescent

    I didn’t expect much from the Tahs this season, and boy, so far, they have delivered in spades.

    Was concerned about their lack of support for the ball carrier, and they were ruthlessly exposed by a sub-par Blues side. Weather shmeather. They looked like a team that thought it was a training run. Give it to Izzy has been replaced by Give it to Taq. No wonder the young fella hurt his back – it was already sore from the weight of expectation.

    To quote the Great Roy & HG – time for the Tahs to get into the room of mirrors for a good, long, hard look at themselves.

    They need to get interested fast to create some improvement as a launch pad for being a credible threat in the seasons to come. Because they are dead set keen to grab the wooden spoon this year based on what we have seen so far.

    • Nutta

      “…didn’t expect much…delivered in spades.” Gold.

  • OnTheBurst

    Hi GAGRs, good to be back for 2020.

    Well my Tahs were as flaccid as in the bad old days vs the Blues. Poor, uncommitted defence, little penetrative punch from the pack with ball in hand, aimless work from our backs (playing far too deep), brainless decision-making (turning down certain 3-pointers in horrible wet conditions, then losing crucial scrums or dropping the ball and coming away with zero points). Brings a tear to the eye to see vintage Hickey and Gibson Tah form living on…

    Not to mention why did Penney take Harrison off early when he was doing well at 10? Shifting Beale to 10 to get Maddocks on went predictably badly, Beale is not a 10 and our attack went backwards.

    Embarrasssed for the hardy Novocastrians who showed up… on the other hand they witnessed some classic Tahs play so maybe I’m the silly one…

    Could be a long season unless things change rapidly at Tahland.

    • Nutta

      Beale at 10 went predictably

    • Brumby Runner

      OTB the Tahs attack was far too deep, but from my viewpoint it seemed to be that that was where Harrison was standing. I wondered at times if Gordon had the strength to pass a ball so far.

  • Reds Revival

    Can somebody help me with understanding the thought process behind the Reds free pass to the Lions maul across the tryline? I thought that I understood the rugby laws fairly well, but I have no idea what they were trying to achieve with the non-contest. Did they think that it was going to be considered a “truck and trailer” call? Not being facetious, it is a genuine question.

    • idiot savant

      Im not sure. KARL will know. I think the reds were hoping the Lions would be penalised for obstruction but apparently the rules say that if the player who caught the ball still has it its not obstruction which is apparently what happened. This I would argue hinges on the maul being a maul. As the reds didn’t engage its arguable its not a maul and therefore that law doesn’t apply. Whatever, I dont think the Reds will ever do that again.

      • Reds Revival

        Thanks IS. I did think of addressing it to KARL, but thought that some lesser mortals may also know.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          To be penalised for obstruction, someone has to be obstructed – i.e. someone has to attempt the tackle on the ball carrier, and if the ball carrier isn’t the front person then there would be obstruction. But in this case, no one tried to tackle, and the front person still seemed to be holding the ball (together with another player, but still holding). I’ve got no idea what they thought they were doing.

          KARL I’m sure knows the rules, but perhaps he needs telepathic abilities to tell you what they were thinking.

      • Nutta

        Yup. Front man had hands on ball therefore was a ball carrier. As a ball carrier he was entitled to be tackled, but no one did. And because no one tried to tackle him there was no obstruction.

        What would have been REALLY interesting is if just one Red had tackled the ball carrier – you can tackle the ball carrier after all. But would that have constituted collapsing a maul because by the act of tackling (shoulder/chest contact with wrapping arms) the tackler is also forming the maul. Now there’s a chicken and egg discussion.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Tackle round the legs no issue. Actually he could have tackled and I think the Reds were hoping the ball went back in which case with no mail there is obstruction

        • Who?

          You’re right, but no one told the muppet with the whistle in the RWC final… England gave up 3 points for ‘collapsing the maul’ when a player went and tackled the ball carrier round the legs at the front of the pre-bound Bokke forward pack…
          .
          I haven’t seen it yet (will look at it carefully on Super Rugby Wrap), but if they’re pre-bound, there’s also capacity for it to be a penalty for the flying wedge/cavalry charge when it starts moving. Not that anyone else in the world seems to remember it’s still a law on the books, and right so – because no one wants to tackle that front ball carrier and get trampled by 7 other blokes driving over. It’s not safe.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Mate they stuffed up. If the ball goes back off the front player and there’s no contest then the players in front of the ball carrier are obstructing. However if the ball stays at the front line it did it’s just open play. Poor read by the Reds

      • Reds Revival

        That sounds like a dangerous gamble to take, especially when the maul is that close to the tryline. I don’t think The Reds will be making that mistake again.
        Thanks for your learned input!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          To be fair to them if you get it right it’s a high pay off and I can see why they did it

        • Who?

          The only confusion with the whole thing comes from Peyper. The Lions’ 5 takes the ball and clearly has his hands on it all the way to the ground (though he’s not the primary ball carrier by that point, it’s pretty obvious that 6 is now the primary carrier). The Reds risked it and got it wrong.
          .
          But Jaco said, “You never made contact,” which implied, “If you’ve made contact, it would’ve been obstruction.” Which is untrue – he should’ve said, “He had the ball, you should’ve tackled him!” It’s typical Jaco, making things way more confusing than they should’ve been.
          .
          Talking Jaco, Tupou’s YC was innocuous, if it was even a penalty (he called advantage for Tupou not entering at the front, but as Tupou joined, the maul splintered his direction – later staying bound was a larger infraction, but Jaco had already called advantage on him well before then). The second one, much clearer all round.
          He didn’t seem keen to require the Lions to be anything like supporting their own weight when contesting the breakdown…
          Skosan’s try… So soft.
          The final penalty, no idea why he called release there. Was a pretty clear turnover – the Reds players were even on their feet!
          Typical inconsistent Jaco, and typical inconsistent SA Reffing performance with a Saffa team. Not that the Reds really showed anything on the highlights package that remotely hinted they deserved a win.

  • Hoss

    Good morning learned,

    Another insipid, pooch-rooting outing from the Tah’s. I thought the Rebs looked ok in patches, but the damage was done when they came goodish, as opposed to Tah’s who looked consistently shite from whistle to whistle, with a few notable exceptions. Lee Magors has had two stellar games since letting go of the ‘c’. He has been sensational. The new young winger ‘A-wop-bam-boom’ is dangerous on attack – but dreadful on D and gets turned inside out and back the front like dirty underwear in the washing machine. Young Harrison looks sharp, as too Maddocks, Gilbert – struggling to be positive – his jersey looked freshly washed, so at least when he ran sideways he looked good doing it.

    I was at the game and it was zero atmosphere, shit weather & a shit performance – well worth the $60 i paid and $14.50 for a pie and bottle of phenylketonutrics i endured. The pie must have sat next to meat at some point to earn the name ‘pie’ – there sure as shit weren’t none in the thing – apart from pigs-anus, offal and abottoir scrapings that is.

    The highlight of the night – the ride home and listening to rain hit the roof of the Ponderosa.

    On current form i have to back the Frebels to get up by 9 for the battle of the wooden food-digging-implement this week. Even with that pony Zoolander at 12 and Toomua at 10 (christ he is poor at 10). If the Tah’s can play smart, forward controlled pill they should win by 20, but therein lies the rub.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Toomua did really well for us at the World Cup at 10. He was fantastic off the bench against Wales. Played really direct and flat. It was when he came on that we started winning. There were even calls from many fans from him to start from then.

      We saw Quade look shithouse in the second half of last season also. I suspect it may be due to the Rebels’ starting forward pack and starting 9. The team lifted as soon as Louwrens and the bench forwards came on.

      • Hoss

        Its hard to know what looks like a good performance in a Gold 10 anymore. For 5 years we got served dog-turd on toast and told it was caviar, so i may keep my powder dry on that front.

        Certainly though – the offerrngs from Lolesio & Harrison (to date) show more promise than Toomua does at 10.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          No doubt. But the season is young. Lolesio is certainly the guy with the best results right now, albeit with the best forward pack.

          The less said about JOC at 10 the better.

        • Hoss

          Agreed and the JOC move was never going to end well – that screamed DUMB.

      • Huw Tindall

        Lomani has been really disappointing at 9 hey? Toomua could be out with HIA this weekend but I wouldn’t mind seeing Louwrens, Deegan, Meakes at the 9/10/12 axis.

    • Keith Butler

      Morning Hossman. Heard a rumour that Novacastrians are rapidly evolving into a new breed of Homo sapiens, with webbed feet. Do the Mayoress and I need to bring our snorkeling gear when we come up for the FISM game in September? Hard to disagree with your comments regarding the Tahs but my Rabbles were equally as bad. That first half was total shite and it all started with our powderpuff front row and why the let a Maddocks go and replaced him with Kellaway is beyond me. Mind you most things are nowadays.

      • Hoss

        Whilst grateful for what we got – the real heavy stuff passed us and hit 45 minutes down the track at the Central Coast and some concrete shit-hole called Sidney. You may have heard of it, its the same place who bitched and belly-ached for 6 weeks about their air quality while others had their homes / lives destroyed by fire – thankfully though, there Fire Works show wasnt cancelled during statewide total fire ban. At least the noise from the NYE party drowned out the sounds of thousands of Koalas being burnt alive – inconsiderate fucking animals, There is one indisputable truth in NSW is that nothing matters, unless it matters to Sidney.

        • idiot savant

          Hoss, Queenslanders have been saying that for at least a 100 years. Look out, you may end up hanging out with the day releases north of the Tweed.

    • idiot savant

      Harrison is going to be a good player. Very skilful. But surely all the Tahs need to do to beat the Rebels is turn up on the day.

      • Nutta

        Famous last words…

      • Brumby Runner

        Rebels scored four tries against the Brumbies and denied the Bs a bonus point. Can’t say they’ll win, but form would point to the Rebels beating the Tahs.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Bit rough when the ride home is the highlight of the night mate. Reminds me of the “Dance if the desperates” on off welfare week at the local growing up. Getting home alive was a challenge at times.
      Tahs were poor and need a major change of focus if they want to get better. Penney must be wondering if he’s made the right move, although pulling Harrison and putting Beale at 10 was his poor call. Thorn showed his inexperience picking JOC and it bit him on the arse. He needs to trust his youngsters and give them more time

    • Huw Tindall

      Didn’t Two Cows and Hodge stay off after failing HIAs? Could be in doubt for the battle of the battlers this Friday night in Melbourne. Lomani at 9 has been underwhelming too. Also keen to see which scrum is sh!tter and which lock pairing offer the least impact around the ruck. Hopefully Tahs start Maddocks and send Newsome off to Centrelink. Can’t believe I’m half excited for this game.

      • Hoss

        The bar is set rather low for this one mate.

        • Huw Tindall

          Even a midget would struggle on the limbo for this one

    • While it’s hard to disagree broadly, I think you need to look around a bit too – Toomua hasn’t had an easy ride of the game from his pack and lots of 10’s look poor in that situation.

      That if in you your last sentence needs to IF because, OK, they got smashed by the ‘Saders in Christchurch and that was the ‘Saders away, but they looked no better really against the perennial NZ whipping boys the Blues at home. They look fucking clueless, and while there’s some quality players, there’s nothing like teamwork on display, or a plan.

      • Hoss

        Evening EP. I hope northern life has been agreeable. Certainly I have been harsh on Two-Cows given his pack has been dreadful to date and Lolesio in particular has some quality cattle doing the grunt work that Toomua does not. Wearing my national cap though, I just want a 10 to stand up and say they jersey is mine’. Not another ‘he’ll do’ or ‘ his form 4 years ago warrants another crack‘ scenario. Just someone, anyone to say – it’s me, it’s mine and make an irresistible case. Sherbet was also right above saying similar to yourself. I believe Rennie will pick on form without fear of favourites. If Toomua can shine behind a poor pack and he is our man I am happy with that, but let the best 10 win on current deeds. History be damned.

        • Well I don’t know what it was like in your Newcastle, in this one it’s about 2 C on the thermometer, 100 kph+ winds and snowing. That’s officially a blizzard. Plus the fence between us and the neighbour got blown over, so we’ve got to go say “Hi, is this yours, ours or shared? How do we see about getting it fixed?” Fun, fun. But otherwise life is generally good but busy. How about you?

          I agree about the Wallabies 10. I’m just not ready to write Toomua off before his 1-9 get their act together (if they ever do) and before Lolesio et al play the top SA and NZ teams and he tries to cope with a pack going backwards, slow ruck ball and all those other indignities. He’ll face them (at least part of the time) at test level after all, so we need to see how he manages them at SR level before giving him the G&G shirt I think.

          But, like you, I think Rennie doesn’t have expectations and will pick on current form more than anything. An eye to 2023 too.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan. Big weekend of rugby and I must admit I’m pretty happy with my Canes winning against the Jags. A bit of a dodgy call for one try but apart from that the referee impressed me a lot in the way he controlled the game and managed the AR’s and TMO. Clear concise and direct and the pick of the bunch for me this week.
    Tahs and Rebels were both pretty poor and I’m another one who didn’t understand anything behind Harrison coming off and Beale moving into 10. He came into the pivot a few times even when Harrison was on and he was rubbish then so not sure on that decision. I think if nothing else last weekend proved beyond doubt that Beale and JOC should not play 10 and that the young guys coming through will challenge Toomua if he doesn’t step up. Rennie would be happy with his options I think.
    6N was good and it’s heading for a good showdown between Ireland, France and England. I’m picking Ireland followed by France but that may be my bias against England showing through
    The news on SA is interesting although coming from a paper with quick denials from the decision makers reduces its credibility a bit. I hope they don’t go as the replacements being touted will not provide the same contest and both NZ and Australia will struggle if they don’t get regular play against top competition. At least NZ has a good domestic backup that will mitigate a bit, Australia will really struggle I think. They might win a few more games against lower competition but it’ll be even more of a struggle at RWC and end of year tours

  • Ulrich

    I think it need be said the article has it wrong. The Stormers are not coached by Robbie Fleck, but by John Dobson.

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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