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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at results from the Super Rugby and Super W, Wallabies attacking coach Scott Wisemantel plans to transform the Wallabies and new Waratahs CEO Paul Doorn attempting to upheave the struggling side.


Super salvation

Isaac Lucas scores

Isaac Lucas scores

Round four of the Super Rugby season may go down as a turning point for many sides after an intense weekend of matches.

The action started in Christchurch where the Crusaders looked to impress in front of more than 50 returning legends. And boy did they put on a show, with four first-half tries from Codie Taylor, Tom Christie, Braydon Ennor and George Bridge setting the Crusaders on the path to a 33-13 victory.

It then moved on a trio of Australian fixtures, with the Rebels looking to upset a Sharks team yet to taste home soil. Whilst they put up a strong fight, the return of Curwin Bosch at flyhalf, who contributed 16 points, and a double to Makazole Mapimpi helped secure the 36-24 win for the Sharks in Ballarat.

The pain for Aussie fans looked certain to continue when the mumps-riddled Brumbies headed to Waikato to face the unbeaten Chiefs. However, the mumps appeared to give them super abilities, with four tries during the opening 45 minutes helping to secure a famous 26-14 victory. It was the first time in six years that they had won in NZ, along with breaking a 13-year drought in Waikato.

The Reds would continue the celebrations for Australian fans after a dominant 64-5 win over the Sunwolves. The Reds embraced being at Suncorp for the first time in 2020, taking a 36-0 lead into halftime. They would continue to put their foot on the throat of the Sunwolves, with ten different try-scorers crossing the line for the impressive victory.

It was then time for some South African conference action, with the unbeaten Stormers looking to cement their spot on the top of the ladder against the Jaguares. In front of their home crowd, they would score two tries in the space of eight minutes to maintain their unbeaten record.

Finally, we headed to the Loftus Versfeld, where the Bulls looked for their first victory in 2020 against the Blues. However, it was not meant to be, with a 80th-minute penalty from Otere Black earned the Blues a dramatic 23-21 victory.

Super W produces classics

2019-reds-v-crusaders-double-header-6

Some say the Brumbies historic win over the Chiefs was inspired by their woman’s side, who clinched a 25-22 win over the Rebels in a classic encounter.

The Brumbies led by as many as 14 points early in the match before the Rebels levelled scores up in the final stages.

It was then up to centre Sammi Wood to nail the winning penalty, maintaining their unbeaten start to the competition.

“The Rebels girls really gave it to us, but it was a really tough game today,” co-captain Jane Garraway said to Fox Sports.

“Our forward pack is strong; they were dominant. It’s good to be a halfback behind a good forward pack.”

Meanwhile, the Reds managed to somehow one-up their male counterparts with an 80-5 thumping win over Rugby WA.

After an opening-round bye, last season’s runners-up were eager to put in a strong showing, with prop Liz Patu crossing for three tries in the first half.

Maraea Tupai would also cross for a hat-trick, with the dominant showing impressing captain Lori Cramer.

“We had a trial last week and today we definitely stuck to our game plan a little more,” she said.

“We’ve got such a strong bench and so much depth in our squad. We had a lot of new faces today, so it’s real exciting for us going forward.”

However, the biggest statement came from the side who were on the bye, with the Waratahs overcoming Fijiana 20-5.

A two-tries-to-nil first half opened up a buffer for the Waratahs that the vistoris could never really pull back, with captain Grace Hamilton once again dominating the contest.

“Certainly a step up in intensity from last week and it’s certainly the challenge we were looking for and I’m pleased with the way the girls reacted to it,” coach Campbell Aitken said.

“It certainly sets us up nicely for the rest of the season but our challenge now is to aim up from here and not just accept this as the ultimate.

“We’ve got bigger challenges ahead.”

Smiling Stuart

Reece Hodge, Kurtley Beale ,Will Genia  , Marika Koroibete ,Isi Naisarani during national anthem

Scott Wisemantel will be looking to transform the next generation of Wallabies

New Wallabies assistant Scott Wisemantel has preached a balanced attacking style for the national team as he prepares for life back home.

Wisemantel was the first addition to Rennie’s coaching staff, having served as Eddie Jones right hand at England over the past two years.

The 49-year-old revealed that the opportunity to come home and create change was a key factor in taking the job, eager to reunite with some familiar faces.

“I suppose post the World Cup with England, I had a choice: Do you go and do the same thing again for 1-2 years and then look at potentially another four-year cycle or do you come back home, and this is home, and then have a dig here and try and create some change’,” he said.

“That was one appealing factor and then the other appealing factor was the fact that I knew some of the staff coming back, I know Dave, I know Matt Taylor, I know Scotty Johnson, I know Chris Webb so that was appealing as well.

“The other thing is it’s a team you love – you love the Wallabies. If you grow up and you support rugby, it’s the pinnacle so it’s really nice to come back.”

As the attack coach, Wisemantel has revealed that he wants to see a balanced approach between running and winning rugby, hoping to develop players who can adapt to all scenarios.

“it’s just a bit of balance,” he said.

“Whether it’s run, kick, defend, all sort of bends into each other so you’ve just got to be really good at each of those areas and then the transitions between them.
“So, I think it’s about balance.”

He comes into the job well aware of the powers of their Northern Hemisphere rivals, believing that we have a tendency to underestimate them.

“You look at the current French team, that has the potential to be an absolute great team and they’ve got depth, they’ve got depth coming through,” he said.

“I look at the English system, there’s depth, and the other thing is they’re battle-hardened.

“Unless you’ve been there, you’ve experienced it, (you can underestimate them) and it can be a grind at times but there are diverse tactics, it’s not just one way to play the game.

“There’s teams there that play totally differently and they still win, it’s an education process.”

Not all Doorn and gloom

Michael Hooper changes direction.

Michael Hooper changes direction.

Paul Doorn is preparing to take on one of the toughest jobs in Australian rugby: trying to find a way to turn around the struggling Waratahs.

Doorn is preparing to take over the CEO role from Andrew Hore, with the former Venues NSW set to start on Wednesday.

Naturally, he has been already fielding questions about the role, most particularly why in the world would you decide to get involved at this stage?

“I’ve had a few people say the same thing to me, but it’s a fantastic opportunity,” Doorn said.

“When you think about the Waratahs brand representing the state, I’ve come from a job in which I’ve been proactively promoting state-owned assets for a while.

“To take on a challenge – and it is a challenge – to look for the best out of what the game can bring to people, I think it’s a huge opportunity.”

Doorn has already been in contact with new Waratahs coach Rob Penney and has spoken to various stakeholders within the rugby community.

“I did my due diligence talking to ex-players ex-officials, board members,” he said.

“I had a relationship with Andrew (Hore) the last couple of years through his work when they (the Waratahs) came out and played out at Bankwest, so I’ve come in with eyes wide open.”

Naturally, his main concern to trying to reverse the trends off the field as Penney works trying to do the same on the field, with the side recording their lowest attendance ever against the Blues a fortnight ago.

Whilst many would see their dwindling attendance rates and nomadic status as a challenge, Doorn believes that it represents a significant opportunity for growth.

“I know this year we’re playing six different home game (venues) which is a disadvantage,” Doorn said.

“But also a huge opportunity to engage with a whole new set of markets that perhaps we haven’t done, or haven’t done as regularly as we have in the past.”

  • Who?

    So, Hore disappeared in October, and it’s taken until late February to replace him..? Four months with no CEO – it underscores just how much disarray has existed in the NSWRU, and without wanting to remove all blame from Penney, it shows just how incredibly hamstrung he’s been this year. He was appointed impossibly late, then there was no CEO, he lost his preferred defence coach to the Wallabies… Is it any wonder they’ve looked utterly clueless at times? If it’s all chaos off the field, why’s it likely to be anything else on the field?

    • Hoss

      It beggars belief, especially when i sent them my CV in early November too.

      • Who?

        Yet another mistake from the NSWRU!

        • Hoss

          Its a litany of errors.

      • Nutta

        I remember the conversation surrounding the announcement of that application.

        I seem to recall there was a fairly serious “support team” …

        https://youtu.be/F9Bt9YddW0c

        • Hoss

          I had very powerful backers. My legal team is looking into a refund of the Crowd Funding revenue raised too in support of my run for #1 NSW Rugby Supremo. Early indications are that subscribers can expect around 6c in the dollar refunded after management fees, catering, home office expanded to include jacuzzi, swedish secretary / nanny / PA. The sacrifices i was prepared to make in the betterment of NSW rugby were considerable.

        • Nutta

          Contact Richard Di Natale and Peter Dutton re how to make the Nanny/PA thing more tax & cost-friendly. I hear they have it sorted.

          Likewise if you go see Eni Folau’s in his mansion compound fortress home in Kenthurst he should be able to assist in the nuts & bolts pitfalls of using a GoFundMe for such activities.

          As inspired by Borat, I support your war of terror.

          Go forth and prosper My Son.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        So disappointed they didn’t take on board all the support you were given. Muppets

      • Andrew Luscombe

        Did you remember to “refocus” the CV from the previous application you had made?

        • Hoss

          I used liquid paper to alter it. I know how to polish a turd.

        • Yowie

          I know how to polish a turd.
          The Waratahs still need marketing people…

        • Hoss

          Maaaate. that’s a LOT of polish and despite rumours and some pending medical results, i am only human.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          So you’ve also demonstrated a clerical ability above and beyond. I’m at a loss to explain it.

        • Hoss

          Gold.

  • Steve

    Thanks Nath and what a great weekend in Super and Super W.

    Reds and Brumbies producing some exciting footy play and I hope in the next year or two the Wallabies will turn it around.

    View from the NH this week:

    ITA 0-17 SCO. Battle of the wooden spooners and Scotland didn’t really assert dominance, but Stuart Hogg had some good moments after critical errors last two games. Scotland have fallen a long way from a couple years back.

    WAL 23 – 27 FRA. Really entertaining game, France attack is turning into something to behold and the halves again on fire. Wales again solid at generating pressure and forcing infringements, but just made critical errors at the wrong times. I’m hoping both these teams continue to come on.

    ENG 24 – 12 IRE. Last game Ireland looked intense and skilful again but back in slightly stale form here. Eng lay down the challenge with rush defence and ruck pressure all game, and Ireland delivered with the errors for England to exploit, exacerbated as Ireland set piece disintegrated later in the game.

    I do see a lot of truth in what Wisemantel says, when you watch your team play England it always looks like they are letting you make the play and a good team should be up to the challenge, but history says it’s a much harder tactic to beat than it looks.

    • RF

      Inevitable decline for Ireland in the post-Schmidt era.

      They had the best coach in World Rugby. He stayed too long, players couldn’t tolerate his intensity anymore, problem, is that no-one else is at his level.

      It bodes well for the July tests.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Agreed, I thought it was pathetic how they threw Schmidt under the bus in the press over the last few weeks. Shows a bit, to me, that they’re a team with a soft underbelly and aren’t ready to step up. Schmidt knew what it took to mould them into the best team, perhaps the playing group aren’t up to it? Time will tell if Farrell will have more success with a softly-softly approach.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I personally disagree. Schmidt had the team for 7 years and really failed at two world cups. He doesn’t bear the entire blame, but his game plan was very limited and one dimensional. He also admitted he started targeting the World Cup way too early in 2019 – not really caring about the 6N – as a result the team lost form and confidence heading in the World Cup.

          He also failed to build any sort of depth in the halves. Which came back to bite the team big time in 2015 due to injuries and 2019 due to loss of form.

          Not sure he can really be called the best coach in world rugby. Would think that Erasmus would rightly have that title right now.

        • Yowie

          Not sure he can really be called the best coach in world rugby.

          If it’s a “nominate yourself” type honour then I know of two ex-Randwick chaps who might each self-nominate.

        • Who?

          One of them has a better claim. But that makes me think…
          .
          RWC winning coaches. We hire in 4 year cycles, right? How many RWC’s have been won by coaches who were at the helm for four years?
          87 – Lochore – 3rd year.
          91 – Dwyer – 4th year.
          95 – Christie – 2nd year
          99 – Macqueen – 2nd/3rd year (EOYT 97)
          03 – Woodward – 6th/7th year (EOYT 97)
          07 – White – 4th year.
          11 – Henry – 8th year.
          15 – Hansen – 4th year (of 8, but 12th year on staff?)
          19 – Erasmus – 2nd year
          Amazing to think we’re all locked into these 4 year cycles with coaches, but of the 9 RWC’s run and won so far, only a third have been 4th year coaches. 2 were past 5 years, the rest were only 2 or 3 years in. So, it’s more likely to win a RWC with a short term coach than a full four year appointment, and no coach who’s been at multiple RWC’s has won more than one as a head coach (Dwyer, Henry, Hansen). Eddie Jones deserves a mention, given he’s lost two finals (as head coach only coach to do that – though he was on White’s staff in 2007). Christie, Macqueen and Erasmus took teams which were looking highly unlikely two years out and made them champions. Christie had a mere 14 Tests as coach (and didn’t lose one). Interesting stats.
          There’s a case to be made for four year appointments that run half cycles – appoint them for TRC starting after a Lions tour (regardless of the location of that tour).
          Also worth noting, whilst I’ve no idea what positions Dwyer, Henry, White and Christie played, of the known positions, we’re looking at 2 centres (Hansen and Woodward), 2 flankers (Erasmus and Macqueen), and a lock/8 (Lochore).

        • Yowie

          interesting analysis – you may be onto something. Just to speculate, perhaps a short time (2 years or less) until the world cup creates a sense of urgency/purpose/etc. in everyone (and/or the coach’s antics haven’t worn out their welcome?)

          On a related note, as much as I like putting the boot into Cheika, taking the Wallabies to a World Cup final in 2015 after very short prep time with the squad was quite remarkable. The outcome supports your hypothesis (as i understand it).

          It also supports my long-term grumble that Cheika is a “one approach” coach who couldn’t get the results after the rest of the world cottoned on to the tactics and couldn’t effectively change those tactics either.

        • Who?

          I agree that Cheika’s efforts getting to the RWC Final in 2015 support my hypothesis.
          .
          However…
          .
          Link had the team on a decent trajectory, he was appointed after a Lions tour, if he’d stayed on, I’m not sure the outcome would’ve been markedly different (in either direction). With the talent available (even not bothering to drag back Gits, AAC and Mitchell), I think losing the final was about where we sat. The NH teams weren’t exactly strong, we were on the correct side of the draw. Link had no wins against the ABs (5 losses and a draw), a poor 3N’s against SA in 2014 (but we didn’t face them in the RWC), and before that he’d gone 7 straight against NH opposition, only losing to England in a game where they scored one try directly off Brown’s boot being in touch uncalled, and another one off a clear obstruction of Stephen Moore that wasn’t called.
          .
          I’m not saying that Cheika achieved nothing by pulling together what was, by the end of 2014, a shattered dressing room. He was helped by personal connections and provincial preferences working in his favour, but he still had to pull everyone together and terrify them into performing (Johnny Sexton in 2015 said, “Everyone’s a little bit afraid of Michael Cheika.”). But by contrast, if Beale had been sacked, if Link had been backed by the board on instilling discipline which was clearly lacking from the Wallabies (we saw Deans complaining about entitlement – though many believe he created the culture with ‘the three amigos’), none of which is unbelievable as a concept, then I think we’d have seen a very similar outcome. Albeit, with the improvement in structure and understanding we saw under Link (the average margin reduced through Link’s time – he lost that last game by a point, a conversion which landed not that far from me), I do think there was a chance that perhaps we’d have been able to score a try without being assisted by the ABs giving up a man in the sinbin (we didn’t score a try against 15 men in the entire game).

        • Patrick

          I think we’d have done better under that counterfactual but I guess that’s the point, we’ll never know.

        • Who?

          I was hopeful we would’ve done better, but that was a pretty good ABs team……..
          .
          Hard to be sure of anything. But, honestly, second was probably a good pass mark, given the sides of the draw, the path to the final, and the strength of the competition. Cheika did well to get them there (people could talk up England as the home team, but they haven’t won a RWC in the NH, they lost at Twickers in 91, they lost in 99, they were runners up in 07 in France), and we’d have been disappointed to come third, fourth, crash in the quarters or fail to get out of the group. Get out of the group and you’re a good shot at a final. The QF was closer than it should’ve been, but we got there.
          .
          Just thinking about it, perhaps it’s also a very good thing we hadn’t the time for Nathan Grey’s defensive system to be fully embedded and worked out…

        • AllyOz

          Great analysis Who? So you don’t think we should have kept Cheik on after all?

        • Who?

          Not after 2016. The English series in 2016 was enough to show me that he had a limited ceiling, that he couldn’t adapt.

        • AllyOz

          I thought Dwyer was on the side???
          Interesting to look at previous occupations? Jake White was a school teacher and quite a few used to come through that background but not sure about the world cup winners listed there.

        • Who?

          Dwyer, I’ve no idea. I’ve looked, but can’t find anything. I’m also unsure of his non-Rugby career. Similarly, I’m not sure about Lochore’s career, not Christie. But I’ve not spent time looking…
          White was a teacher, Henry was a teacher… Didn’t coach at a RWC, but Alan Jones was a teacher. Hansen was a cop? Macqueen was in business/graphic design/marketing… Woodward was a banker (unsurprising – him, Clyne, too many bankers!).

        • Nutta

          Jones was a 2. Cheks was an 8. 3 finals losses between them

        • Who?

          But, more importantly for many, I don’t believe any of the coaches where wingers or halfbacks. :-P

        • Nutta

          There is that.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Best coach in world rugby may very well be Erasmus, but what Schmidt did with Ireland was pretty remarkable. My argument is that the players let him, or themselves, down. The All Blacks haven’t fared well in the last three pre-world cup RCs and won two and made the semis so not sure the 6N argument is completely valid. The players who would eventually make up entire squad would have to get a run. As for halves depth, I don’t think SA had a very good back-up 10 option either, although two very good halfbacks. Definitely lucky with injuries, which is also needed to get through the tournament.

    • Hoss

      Interesting point re Scotland mate. I remember the push to get a ‘local’ (Scottish) coach installed when Vern Cotter had improved them out of sight, so much so that Cotter was essentially run out of town. Gotta be careful what you wish for it seems.

      • Steve

        I fully agree Hoss – It really felt like Cotter had them on the upswing there, they were starting to regularly challenge the Six Nations powers and beating the Wallabies twice in 2017 seems like the high point in retrospect. Sadly getting the ‘local coach’ in seems to have been the beginning of the slide.

        There might be a lesson in there somewhere, but I’m sure as hell not the person to find it.

      • Nutta

        I lived in Scotland for a while and played a bit there. Whilst I have Scots background etc I’m clearly an Ocker and at the 3 clubs I played with there was always a very clear undertone to play the local guy over me even if he was barely capable. One club was even happy to have me there (on contract) just riding the pine. Whilst it was generally friendly, I was always extremely aware I was a short-time stop-gap only. My point is, I well empathise with a non-local trying to do a job in with the Scots.

        • Hoss

          I must admit, i cant move past the ‘I lived in Scotland for three years’ bit. The usual next sentence is something like ‘have been in treatment ever since’ or ‘my my parole officer says’…..

        • Nutta

          Mate I spent a wee time with the West Glasgow Hawks and I can well say it felt like I was playing for a club filled with Begbie’s (Trainspotting). I played well whilst there. I was terrified not to.

          I attended a minor social gathering one Saturday evening after the game termed “Hawaiian Night” which consisted of some random, lonely strands of pacific-island themed bunting tossed around the clubhouse bar and a dentists chair in the middle of the dance-floor attended to by 4 “ladies of eventide employment” characteristics dressed in grass skirts and coconut bikini-tops. For the princely sum of 2quid they would lay you back in said chair and pour white spirits down your gullet (white spirits apparently being in-keeping with the Hawaiian theme). I partied in Glasgow on Saturday night. I regained consciousness of my surroundings in Manchester. On Tuesday.

        • Hoss

          Spent a couple of weeks in Glasgow in early 90’s before it was ‘gritty chic’ that it is now. Man it was a tough town, even the kids scared me. A childhood mate was FC for a Scottish distillery. He was renting some 16th century townhouse for around 30 quid a week. This thing was 3 storeys, 15 foot ceilings, right smack bang in the middle of Glasgow. We avowed ourselves of a few nights out at comedy clubs and a franchised Irish Pub chain called Jinty MCGinty’s but we would scarper around 10 before the locals decided the next best thing to being Glaswegiian was being a Glaswegian smoking some tourists. They liked Aussies, which meant instead of 3 minute bashings with blades, they would just give you a 5 minute bashing in lieu of blade.

        • Nutta

          Jinty’s was still there when I was there circa ’95-’97. I never understood the gritty-chic thing. Shite is still shite. Biggest eye-opening experience I had there was going to a Rangers vs Celtic game. I was playing for Stirling County and two local mates were Grandfathered-in Rangers Members and they had a 3rd mate pull out leaving a spare ticket for an Ibronx clash. So I went with them. I won’t write about it – it would be a novel and we will laugh about it over a beer one day – but I’ll just say “Fkn Wow”.

        • Nutta

          They used to call me “Oz” and they kept saying to me the whole time driving over to Glasgow in the car: “Now Oz, Oz, just say fookin’ nootin’ Aye? Ok? Fookin’ nootin’. Seriously man. For the life of yea. Nootin’. Yeh? Ok? Oz? You listenin’? Fookin’ nootin’ man.”

          I asked them why we just didn’t get the train. They said “Wot? Wit you n’all? Git to fook man. You and your fookin’ Ramsey Street harpin’ t’wuld be the fookin’ death of us all man! You alright man? Ya fooking daft.”

        • Yowie

          Re Rangers vs Celtic, there is a Frankie Boyle stand-up bit about the “Jeep full of propane” terror attack on Glasgow Airport:-

          The naivety of Al Quaida trying to start a holy war in Scotland. They don’t even have their own football team!

        • Nutta

          I remember that skit. Only those that get it saw the true humour behind it. Champagne comedy.

        • AllyOz

          I went out in Glasgow in the early 2000s with a fellow rugby mate from Brisbane whose career had been split between concreting/building (and a proud BLF member) and working as a wharfie. I had been to Glasgow a few time before but it was his first time. Celtic were playing a midweek game in the European Championship that night and not just Glasgow, but many of the Republic of Ireland’s “finest” were filling the pubs and clubs in the lead up to the game. My mate was no slouch when it came to the fisticuffs and was more than keen to use them when invited but, by around 7.30pm (just after we finished our tea) he turned to me and said, “we might have an early one tonight hey Al, I don’t much like the feel of where this might all end up”.

          Unfortunately, on another trip with my parents we arrived at Glasgow Central at 11.30 pm on Friday night (the direct train from London). We had been warned not to attempt walking to our hotel by the agent who had spent some time there so we dutifully lined up in the taxi rank, only to witness the two girls in front of us, apparently engaged in a dispute over who was ahead of the other in the queue, rolling on the ground and tearing chunks out of each others hair. We left the line for a bit, considering that perhaps the agent had got it wrong but after 50 metres turned back and returned to the line (a dozen people away from the girls who were still unable to sort out their disagreement but were now at least upright (though trading insults that would curdle milk …even though at that pitch and with the Glaswegian accent I couldn’t fully understand them)).

          It is, though, I must say, one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen and, sans grog, the people are some of the most generous and hospitable I have ever spent time with…..just pick your time.

        • Nutta

          Yeh. After 11 in the morning and before 3 in the afternoon. Maybe 2.30.

        • AllyOz

          It was named European City of Culture not all that long ago and has some great Art Nouvea architecture. I think they have cleaned it up a bit (until after dark anyway…. well after 11am and before 2.30 is the normal daylight range outside of summer I suppose). The outer suburbs and towns like Paisley….not as “cleaned up” maybe.

        • AllyOz

          I had a three game tour in Scotland once. I arrived in a town in the Hebrides after a 42 hour of flights and stop overs and was wearing a rugby jersey (my favourite and only NSW Western Province jumper) and a women came up to me in the street. She said hello and I thought gee this is alright, real friendly bunch. She says, “you play rugby”, “yes” I say, “Where are you staying?” she says, I’m thinking this has never happened before but shit lets go with it and see where it takes us. I give her the address. “my husband will be around a 5.00pm tomorrow to pick you up for training” she says. Uh OK says I. I played for that side in Inverness that weekend and was travelling to Inverness the following week. Talking to the blokes there after the game and they say, well we are playing in Strathspey next week, come and play with us. That got me a bit further down the road. So yep I was in. I arrive in Edinburgh on the Saturday and get a call from an unknown number. I answer it and its the father of a bloke I played with the first weekend. We heard you are in town. Where are you staying. I was just booking into a Hostel and said as much. The bloke said, no you aren’t you are staying with us. So I spent the week with him and his wife, he took me around with him during the week, collecting debts – interesting – and then I played for his club on the weekend. As it happens, his wife’s brother was the lead singer of a heavy rock band from the 70s called Nazareth. Anyway, a crazy three weeks in Scotland – three games – great fun – fantastic people. Bit fighty on the piss though…otherwise the most generous beyond my wildest expectations.

        • Yowie

          How did you go understanding the lineout calls delivered in full Jocko accent?

        • Nutta

          I had played in Edinburgh and Stirling prior to Glasgow so I had done some acclimatisation. The hardest to understand in Scotland was in Stirling. May as well of been a different language for my first month. There and Portadown (“on the banks of the Bann”) in Ulster were the hardest to understand.

        • Yowie

          There is a book about Aust army armour in Vietnam. In it there is a story about a Scottish guy being the commander of the lead vehicle reporting back what he was seeing to his boss by radio . A number of requests for clarity and saying-again later it emerged that he was saying that there were six armed enemy in the open up ahead:-

          Boss: Well brass em up!

          Jock: Too late, they’ve gone.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        A good lesson for Australia to take on board too

        • Hoss

          My preference will always be for the best person available to get the gig. Don’t care what accent they have, what sits between their thighs, or what they put in their mouths. You’re the best person, you get the start.

          Always fascinated by the ‘pro Australian’ attitude by people who then jump in their Mitsubishi, grab a falafel for lunch, have a Heineken, wearing their Bangladeshi sweat shop, American branded t-shirt and wearing their Apple watch – yep, gotta be Australian……….

        • Andrew Luscombe

          Maybe we should import the best players too.

        • Hoss

          Thats were the rubber meets the road dont it. The imperative of short-term results v the need for sustainable growth. In my gig that’s always the challenge for our business. Need results today, how do i ensure them tomorrow as well. Thats an afternoon lunch and drinks discussion………..

        • Who?

          With a five year residency requirement, that’s getting harder than ever…

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          We can get around that by getting them recognised as indigenous.

        • Yowie

          I’m just checking for a 40′ pole with which I can not touch that one…

        • Nutta

          Biggest mongrel club nation on the earth. And like all mongrels, we find a way to survive.

          Only two rules to joining the club:
          1. Unless your pre-1800 address was Uluru or similar, recognise we are all immigrants of one ilk or another and within that recognise we all came here looking to get away from shite back home (or else why did you/they come?)
          2. Don’t bring the very shite you ran away from to over here.

  • Nutta

    Cheers Nate

    The womens game at Ballarat on Saturday was a ripper to watch. Similarly to what I’m seeing in the AFLW, the skill step-up across the board on previous year is of such a magnitude that I don’t believe last years best would be seriously competitive this year. If you’re not watching it, I seriously recommend you do. It’s just good stuff.

    Go Jane.

    In terms of the Super, the less said about the Tarts the better. For those fit to play, big ups to the Rebs but they just couldn’t cope with Andre E at 12 for the Shorks. The damage that guy created in midfield for the Selachimorpha Yarpie was really quite something. It was grand to see the Reds get such an emphatic win against Qld B both in terms of actual performance but in heart it gives to all & sundry in Qld rugby. Ok, it was only the Pingers but it was the Pingers who all-to-often make the mightiest stumble. But biggest ups of all to the Donkeys with their win over the Waikato. Not just a classic Jake-Ball, there was plenty of other influence in their performance and their ability to hold out a rampantly-reinvigorated Chiefs mob in the 2nd half bespeaks a burgeoning maturity.

    But the biggest thing for me in the Super performances over the weekend was the continuing emergence of fresh blood. Miller completely outplayed +50test All Black Cane. Noah Lolesio continues to stamp his mark, Tom Banks totally outplayed his opposite and Valentini played the best match I’ve yet seen him play – I’m (finally?) starting to see glimpses of the hype that surrounds the guy. For the Reds, Hoopert was copping some lessons at scrum but stuck it out and came through, Angus Blyth is starting to look like a veteran instead of badly-fitted gangly schoolboy, Fraser McReight and Harry Wilson look a very dangerous pair whilst Hamish Stuart continues to mature and Hunter Parmie both looks like he’s happy to scoff a few (parmies) and dish a few out (palmies). Some really good meat on display there.

    As for the 6N, it was grand to see Scotlands win and especially the recovery of Stuart Hogg from what could have been ill-defining episodes of late. His 2nd half try was nearly tear-jerking. And by the way, for anyone looking for that classic Aussie 12 who is actually a 2nd distributor? He is currently playing for Scotland. Sam Johnson is a real loss to Qld and Australian rugby and it’s not the first time Scotland has happily taken our lads who don’t quite fit the mould. Wales v France was a fantastic struggle but it did highlight to me two things: the desperate need for world rugby to come to grips and stamp out structured time-wasting (the French gave a pure class lesson for anyone interested in negating yellow-card player deficits or in simply closing down a match) and that someone seriously needs to close Dan Biggars mouth – either with his cooperation or without it. Preferably without it. I haven’t watched the Irish v English yet.

  • juswal

    Paul McLean is in the RA board chair as of now, until the March AGM.

    • Hoss

      You’d like to think good governance measures would be the default position every time a decision like this is required and that it shouldn’t take public dismay to force their hand.

      Oh well, they got there in the end.

    • Moose

      He stills serves behind the bar down in club rugby land. A genuine passion for the game.

      • Nutta

        Also serves as a reminder to always be decent to folk. Even the bartender. You never know who you are talking to eh?

  • Reds Revival

    Just reading the Waratahs story on the Rugby.com website, I was pleased to hear Matt Cockbain (you’re still a f*#king legend in my book, even if you defected south), say that they’re going to stick with their young guns and give them every opportunity to grow. While that probably means more pain for Tah’s followers in the short term, as a long suffering Reds apologist/sympathiser, I think that it is the right thing to do. I am loving seeing the attacking flair of both the Brums and the Reds, but that is as a result of several years of learning and incremental improvements. They younger guys have played together for several years coming up through the ranks, and it shows. How good is it to see offloads and freakish passes that don’t get dropped? There are times watching the games this year that I’m watching through my fingers as they go for a one handed, round the tackling player, offload – and this year they’re catching them!! Can I just say that again. They’re finally starting to catch great offload passes, and doesn’t that make it a beautiful game to watch!

    While the Tahs have had great individual players in previous years, it would be fair to say that they didn’t reach the heights of their potential because of their lack of cohesion. So while it would be easy for Penney and Cockbain to parachute some players in to try and fix the problem, they will still suffer from this same issue until they take the time to make it happen organically.
    What I am most excited about, is how good are our teams (and Wallabies) going to be in coming years as these cohesive units start to click and then fire?

    • Nutta

      Good observations. The Donkeys seemed to handle the gradual mixing of young/old blood better as shown by being largely competitive throughout the transition whereas our Northern Friends have been more hero-zero-hero inclined. I hope that a) what you say is actually happening in NSW and that b) the guys doing it have teflon coated contracts and support to withstand the knives that are most surely out.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Just got the news that Cameron Clyne is not the chairman of Rugby Australia with Paul McLean replacing him as the Board forced Clyne to step down. Australia Rugby has been through tough times under Clyne’s leadership, however it was obvious that it is unacceptable that a retiring Chairman play such an influential role in the selection of his successor and that a retiring Chairman plays an active role in decisions that will be instrumental to the success of his successor and the Board of which he will have no part of.

    Clyne had one big weakness and that is that he is oblivious/unaware of the demands of the situation and therefore what his role should be in the situation. This lack of awareness and introspection led to Clyne making many rookie mistakes including mismanaging the stakeholders during the Force Fiasco that allow the issue to escalate into a full blown war between WA (with Twiggy’s lead) and the Eastern States, his poor management of the interactions with the media and inability to connect to rugby stakeholders, His time at Rugby Australia will be remembered as divisive as a governing organisation acted like a big bank that just doesn’t care about anything else than its finances. A banking background has not prepared him for the role as Chairman of a sports governing organisation.

    Let’s hope that the next Chairman will have an inclusive management style, the ability to connect with stakeholders so that we can develop a broadly shared common purpose and visions of where rugby is heading- something Clyne that prefer to divide and conquer was always incapable to do. Also lets hope we get a Chair that can accurately assess their own strengths and weaknesses, that can leverage skills from others and the wisdom to accurately assess the demands of the situation as Rugby Australia can be a strong organisation if everyone can pull into the same direction.

    I am glad Cameron Clyne at last agreed to step down – even though it appears that he has to be pushed. For WA it is 3 years too late, however his legacy for WA will be a negative for Rugby Australia – the motivation he provided for Twiggy Forrest to step up to back the Western Force. With the right leadership at Rugby Australia this may become a positive legacy for the next Chairman.

    • Patrick

      Great news!

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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