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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the results from the latest round of Super Rugby, the Aussies lighting up Los Angeles, Pete Samu’s quest for a recall and the Wallabies targeting Dan McKellar


Super Rugby recap

Will Harrison challenging the line.

Will Harrison challenging the line.

Round five of the Super Rugby season threw up a plethora of upsets and close encounters as the Australian resurgence continued.

The round started in the land of the students as the Rebels travelled to Otago to take on the Highlanders. Not even the most die-heart Victorian rugby fan could’ve expected what transpired in the first 20 minutes, with the Rebels racing out to a 21-0 lead.

Whilst the Highlanders would control the second half, Dave Wessels’ side would repel their attacks, securing a 28-22 win, the first time that an Australian side has won in Dunedin since 2014.

Following this, the action headed out to Bankwest Stadium, where Waratahs fans were praying that the recent run of good form for Australia sides could continue against the Lions. Fortunately, they played like a completely rejuvenated team since their bye, indoctrinating the new ground with the joys of running rugby as they ran in six tries in the 29-17 win.

To open Saturday, the Hurricanes would host the Sunwolves, who have now been handed nomadic status as a result of the coronavirus. Whilst they would briefly lead the 2016 champions, they were no match for the dominant Hurricanes, who scored 10 tries to secure a 62-15 win.

This was followed by the Reds, who were looking to make it three from three for Australian sides as they hosted the Sharks. The elusive 100% success rate looked promising in the first half as the Reds took a 11-8 lead into the break. However, it was not meant to be as the Sharks bullied the home side to take the contest 33-23.

The biggest surprise of the round came in Cape Town, where the previously undefeated Stormers lost their first game of the season against the Blues. The Auckland boys lit up the ladder leaders in the first 25 minutes, racing out to a 20 point lead. Despite facing some resistance towards their back end of the first half, the Blues controlled the rest of the game as they cruised to a 33-14 win.

Finally, the Jaguares continued to put pressure on the South African conference, overcoming the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld. The Argentinians would control the set pieces, with a double to Emiliano Boffelli ensuring that they came out victors 39-24.

Sevens shine in La-La Land

Maurice Longbottom

Maurice Longbottom

The Australian men’s sevens side have taken Los Angeles by storm, cruising through the opening day of the LA Sevens undefeated.

They would get to the perfect start, piling on 31 unanswered points to smash Scotland 31-7. The Scots looked like Fords v Ferrari trying to tackle Australia’s speedsters, with ‘Rocket’ Rod Davies running in a double and converted sprint star Trae Williams impersonating an energised (JoJo) Rabbit in defence and attack.

Following this was a date with Samoa, who were somewhat of a Parasite for the Aussies towards the end of 2019, having nearly ended their Olympic dreams before knocking them out in the Dubai Sevens.

However, ‎Tim Walsh’s men proved that they were no Joke(r), securing their spot in the quarter-finals with a dominant 31-5 win.

However, the toughest task was yet to come against the home side, the USA, who Once Upon A Time humiliated them after a thumping 43-7 defeat ended their dreams of victory at the Sydney Sevens.

Despite this, the Aussies hung tough, with three tries within the space of 4 minutes stunning the home crowd to secure the top of the pool with a 17-7 victory.

Aussie captain Nick Malouf admitted that they were pleased to get the upset win, gaining some much needed revenge.

“Yeah we got our pants pulled down by the USA on our home turf and that hurt us a fair bit, so there massive motivation for us to come out here and reciprocate that,” he said post-match.

“I know what it felt like when my family and friends and my fiancee were there to watch us get smoked, it hurt.

“We wanted to put on a clinical performance in all the games today and I think we did that.”

They will now go into the quarterfinals full of confidence, with Australia set to face off in the early hours of Monday (5:05 am AEDT) against The Irishman (If you wondering, yes I really went through all that effort of working in movies/Oscars puns throughout this piece just to set up this line.)

Samu eager for clean slate

Pete Samu picks up from the back of the scrum

Pete Samu picks up from the back of the scrum

The appointment of Dave Rennie and the new coaching staff has seemingly provided a clean slate for the Wallabies, particular for those who may feel slighted by the previous coaches.

And no one is more pleased with this than Brumbies backrower Pete Samu, who believes that it has added extra significance to the Super Rugby season.

Samu was one of the most controversial omissions from the World Cup squad, with the tucked in terror amongst the best for the Brumbies over the past two seasons.

After speaking to Rennie in January, he believes that the selection policy for the upcoming July series will be purely on form.

“I try not to focus too far ahead but it’s obviously a change of the guards and that’s a positive for young boys coming through as well,” he said.

“There’s a lot of boys putting their hands up for selection, so we have to control what we can let them do their work upstairs.

“I think there’s big opportunities for a lot of boys in the country.

“We had Dave Rennie come over and have a chat and he’s going to pick on form and that’s what the boys want…that’ll obviously be a big positive.”

Despite this, the 28-year-old’s main focus is on keeping the Brumbies’ impressive 2020 run going, with the ACT side on top of the Australian conference.

“It’s still early in the season, trying to take it week by week and go out there and enjoy playing footy alongside some of my good mates and trying to get a result as well,” he said.

“I’m trying not to let (Wallabies) get in the way of doing my job for the team, that comes first and foremost.”

He believes their success has come as a result of the tight-knit bond that the squad has formed both on and off the field.

“I think the boys expressing themselves, the boys have had a big and tough preseason and I’ve always said that the time we’ve spent, the enjoyment we’ve had off the field builds the chemistry,” he believes.

Dan is Rennie’s man

Two of the soughed out candidates to become the Wallabies forwards coach

Two of the targeted candidates to become the Wallabies forwards coach

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has been headhunted for the Wallabies coaching staff, earmarked as their new forwards coach, with a view towards making him the eventually head coach.

The approach to McKellar was revealed by the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday, with Rennie and RA director of rugby Scott Johnson reportedly making contact with the 43-year-old about his interest in the role.

Sources close the SMH have suggested Johnson has pitched McKellar with a plan to serve his apprenticeship under Rennie before taking over as Wallabies coach after the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

The news of this approach would’ve sent Brumbies fans into a cold shiver, still haunted by the poaching of club legend Stephen Larkham for a similar role before he was told to walk the plank to Europe.

Despite this, McKellar has made it crystal clear that he is completely focused on the Brumbies position, believing that their discussions had been blown out of proportion.

“My focus is 100 per cent at the Brumbies,” McKellar said.

“That story that came out was a bit of speculation at the moment. The Wallabies and Rugby Australia are looking for a forwards coach, they’ve got a number of candidates they’ll talk to and they asked me if it would be of interest down the track.

“…It’s a national program, it’s the Wallabies and I’ve said many times before players and coaches are the same in terms of [international] aspirations.

“It’s an honour to be even considered in those conversations. But, as I said, at the moment it was a brief conversation and I think the headlines and media might have blown it out of proportion.”

Along with McKellar, Rugby Australia has reportedly approached his assistant Laurie Fisher to see if he wants to cast his line somewhere, along with former Reds coach Nick Stiles, which seems unlikely considering he has just re-signed with Japanese club Kintetsu Liners.

  • Steve

    Some positive news around the grounds for Aussie rugby this weekend!

    Rebels and Waratahs played like they’d actually met each other before, so keen to see if this continues. But tough assignment for the Waratahs to get one over the Chiefs next week who will be firing after the loss and bye.

    I feel for the Reds, it’s really felt like they have been on the up this year but a 1-4 record really isn’t that crash hot even if it does include the draw from hell. Sadly improvement alone doesn’t cut the mustard.

    As for McKellar, I’m biased, but is it really better to groom a future head coach by making him an assistant vs. him coaching a Super franchise to as much success as possible? I would equally hate to lose Laurie Fisher but it seems to me that he is the more obvious choice. He provides the coaching smarts that the Wallabies have been missing around the breakdown and set piece for years now. For me he’s the man who deserves the job.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think McKellar would be making a poor sexy soon if he left the Brumbies to be an assistant. Remember Larkham?

      I think he should stay with the Brumbies and focus on trying to win super rugby. In my mind a win, or at least making a final or two, is the minimum required to become Wallabies head coach. Otherwise, RA should look overseas for a better coach.

      McKellar could potentially be Brumbies HC and Wallabies assistant I suppose.

      • Steve

        Agree, McKellar hasn’t yet hit the heights he should have done with a Super franchise to come into the Wallabies fold yet.

        I’m torn with Laurie Fisher – with respect to other coaches in Aus he is the most advanced breakdown thinker/coach in the country right now. So I guess the question from an RA perspective is how to best use that resource. Agree gutting the thin coaching resource from super teams is a bad idea, you can’t only be developing players in the Wallabies group.

        • laurence king

          I think that Fisher is the man to join the Wallabies. I think his skill-set was something that last years Wallabies really needed but I don’t think Fisher could have ever put up with the dunce.

      • Graeme

        Gandalf is probably the best forwards coach in the world. But I don’t think it would be a good idea for him to divide his roles. He either continues at the Brumbies, or goes full time at the Wallabies.

        • Graeme

          Likewise McKellar. He is the Brumbies coach. If Rennie retires or is passed over, then he can apply for the job. But not before.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Honestly, I don’t see why a technical forwards coach would have to be full time with either team.

  • Frosty morning

    As someone who believes that backs are merely people who hang around rugby players I am delighted to see the emergence of some promise at number 10. All four franchises have genuine contenders, which is something that no-one has been able to say for a very long time. It’s great to see a mixture of youth (Harrison and Lolesio) with experience (JOC and To’omua), and I’m particularly enjoying the development of the Louwrens/To’omua combination.

    • Keith Butler

      Too true. Haven’t seen a lot of Harrison but Lolesio looks the business. JOC very handy as a replacement as he can cover 10 and 12. The Louwrens Toomua combi looks good as well. As a long suffering Rebs fan just what we need. Pack developing nicely as well .

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Still not convinced by JOC. He hasn’t exhibited a kicking game whatsoever. He looks like Foley did in 2013-14, a guy who can run and pass decently but who cannot control a game or consistently take it to the line then distribute.

        • RedAnt

          Agree completely. Think he was shown up on the weekend, but maybe his ankle(?) injury was restricting him a bit too.

        • Who?

          Except he can defend. So sticking him at 12 wouldn’t be nearly so novel.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He also isn’t puny and can offload in the tackle. Seems a logical 12.

        • Who?

          And with Simone continuing to develop nicely, combined with his playing history, I’m thinking he’s a really, really good option for the Gold 23 jersey.
          It’s way later than any of us hoped, but it’s great to see him mature and able to take what really was his rightful place in the national team.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think the 23 jersey is either Simone’s or Lolesio’s currently. I think it is probably advantage Lolesio right now, as Toomua and JOC, both very capable 12, are both almost certainly starting. However, if Toomua is injured we have no experienced 10s.

  • Crescent

    Well, all in all, a very enjoyable weekend of rugby. The Scum finally played closer to their potential and promise, and rightly took the result. That should be a tremendous shot in the arm for Wessels and the team – now let’s see if they can go on with it for the rest of the season. I hope they do.

    With regards to my Tahs – whilst a much improved performance, it was against their Saffa equivalent, so we can’t exactly claim they are back. I will be heading to the Gong this Friday to watch them in action, and fully expect the Kiwi contingent to head out of the ground feeling pretty pleased with themselves. Penney still has a lot of work ahead of him. The aimless kicking of the second half in a desperate attempt to lose the match is of particular concern. A poor tactic, poorly executed at exactly the wrong time of the match strategically speaking shows a devastating lack of match awareness and basic smarts that are required at a professional level.

    The Sharks will be chuffed – they have taken plenty of points home from their tour, and have shown some depth and character. They should be hard to beat at home, playing with plenty of confidence and skill. The Reds are getting close to where they need to be, their opening run will have instilled enough character building – the last piece of the puzzle will be how to win the critical moments to get the rub of the green to fall their way. A little bit of discipline, a little bit of application and they will find the extra percentage they need. Passion and talent is there – it’s just getting the rubber to the road consistently.

    Have to echo DBTB’s thoughts re: McKellar. Leave him focused on coaching the Brumbies and reaping the benefits of driving a successful team. Have Fisher work with both the Brumbies and the Wallabies setup in the mean time.

    Overall, it is nice to see Aus rugby starting to rediscover how to win matches again. Plenty of scope for further improvement, but we are getting back to a place where we can legitimately hope for better results.

    • OnTheBurst

      Agreed re the Tahs in the second half… the aimless kicking (including 2 very low-percentage grubbers from K Hunt) threatened to wobble the wheels right off… but thankfully we held on. Better teams will gladly take that ball handed back to them and cane the Tahs. Hopefully lesson learned.

    • laurence king

      Pretty impressed with some of the work by Harrison. That reception of the kick off, spin, jink and afterburners was lovely to watch

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, it was great to see the wins come and that one in Dunedin was especially good. The Tahs played some great rugby at times and it’ll be interesting to see if they can keep that up against the better teams. It was after all only the Lions. Reds still just don’t seem to have the discipline to keep their form through a whole game. They seem to lose focus and start dropping intensity and lets the opposition in.
    Was watching the 7’s on the app and the boys looked very good. I see they’re playing us in the Bronze medal game (lost to Fiji and we lost to SA) in about an hour. I’m hoping I can see that.
    Great to hear Rennie is going to pick on form. I guess a few of the Cheika certainties need to start asking their managers to look off shore as if it’s on form there’s a few that won’t be near the team. I’m loving it.
    I think brining McKellar on is a good plan but I’d like to see more success from him first or have it based on getting results. If he knows he’s the next coach no matter what, where’s the incentive to keep developing and learning? Maybe something along the lines of; part time assistant to Rennie and if the Brumbies win Super rugby at least once then he’ll be at the lead in the running for the Wallabies.

    • Nutta

      In regards McKellar I well agree with your point about seeing the success before promising the promotion. The world is full of folk who had potential.

  • Nutta

    Great to see the 7’s men get their win back. You were right in the stadium did go deathly quiet with that one.

    Regarding Pete Samu and clean slates, I’m amazed he is actually still in the country to be fair. I would love to know what went on in Donkey Town to keep him here another year or two.

    In regards Coaching progression plans, given our most recent performances and trends I would say we are a bit further down the Rugby/Maslow hierarchy of basic physiological and survival needs before we start talking or even simply contemplating such self-actualisation type aspirations. But I’m a pretty simple guy at the best of times. Meat & potato first Boy. Then Gravy.

    • laurence king

      Huh?

    • Rugby Truth

      My mail was the Pete Samu missed a Wallabies training camp as he attended an immediate family members wedding. (It was an advised absence, not just a no-show). Apparently cheika disapproved, giving the old “not on the same page” malarkey.

      • Nutta

        Wow. How bloody pitiful.

  • Geoffro

    Kudos to Pete Samu.Dont know how much longer he’s contracted to brumbies but would have been understandable if he’d been looking to pitch his tent elsewhere after the way he was treated last year.At this stage would be one of the first picked in my Wallabies side

  • Reds Revival

    I am gutted by the Reds loss. I was feeling very upbeat before the game and thought that we could get a win, but the Sharks simply out played them. Their defence was something else! The Reds were able to pick apart the Jags defence with relative ease, but they struggled making the gain line with the Sharks rush defence. Clearly, none of the Australian teams have figured out an effective way of countering the rush D. I hope that Rennie and Wiesmantel have a few ideas, because we all know that the Boks will be bringing it.
    I can’t help but feel like the Reds have missed this year’s final train, and while I still think that they can go close, it is hard to come to terms with another year before we can have a serious crack at it. Obviously, they’re just not ready yet, but you’ve got to wonder, how long before they are ready??
    Well done to both the Rebs and the Tahs. Really pleasing to see some wins against foreign teams, as that’s what makes Super Rugby interesting. Yes the local derbies are great, but I love seeing our boys beat the Saffas and the Kiwis.

    • Nutta

      The little inside passes off the 9 and 10 are creeping back in as are such old-fashioned notions as ant-hilling. I even saw an old fashioned Greegan-ball inside flick off the 9 from the Tarts on the weekend. Some accurate grubber (we called them “maggots”) kicking in-front of two or three flat & rushing midfield runners puts Blitzers on the back foot as well. As usual, what was old will become new again… just like folk are starting to rediscover midfield mauling after a near 25yr hiatus.

    • Damo

      Yeah, very frustrating RR. I think the Sharks game plan against the Reds is pretty much their default. Use the rush defense and their big men to blast away at all the contact points. Then use their backfield speed to take advantage of opportunities when they arise on the edge later in the game. It’s not that creative and smart and skilled opposition will pick it apart. The Reds clearly aided and abetted by not sending enough people into the breakdown- or had forwards missing the cleanout completely. Also, I think both the Reds forwards and the ref handled the chaos the Sharks were creating at the lineout badly. The couple of short arms they received was a small price to pay for being able to neutralise one of the Reds strengths.
      I also felt the smart inside balls, wrap arounds and well supported offloads which have been evident in recent weeks weren’t happening on Sat. night. I’m not sure why and they would have been useful in slowing the Sharks momentum. We are not going to be as big as most opposition backlines- just need to be smarter and execute well.
      I still think we are going to do ok in the Oz conference as well as pulling off a couple of home wins against OS sides. Personally I would be ok with 9 or 10 wins for the season.

      • Reds Revival

        There’s only 11 games left in the season, so that is a pretty massive win/loss ratio, especially when the Crusaders are the next game…

  • Hoss

    Afternoon all,

    So what does your SR Round 5 Rolling Wallaby XXIII look like so far –

    1. Slipper
    2. Rangi
    3. 7A’s
    4. Phillip
    5. Rodda
    6. Samu
    7. Hooper
    8. Naisarani
    9. Powell
    10 Toomua
    11 Marika
    12 Simone
    13 TK
    14 Speight
    15 Banks

    16 Palestine
    17 Sio
    18 Tupou
    19 Jones
    20 Dempsey
    21 Valentini
    22 McDermott
    23 JOC

    • Reds Revival

      Jones? Which Jones are you talking about? If it’s Luke Jones, he’s pretty much been invisible up to this round, but now he’s in the 23? I thought you had tougher criteria than that, Hoss…

      • Hoss

        Aim low, than i am never disappointed.

      • IIPA

        Jones been injured. McCaff or Wilson instead for me. I don’t think Speight is getting any better or quicker. Jock Campbell, Tom Wright or maybe Magnay for me.

        Don’t mind who have Powell or Tate would start but either is a 50min player and give the other guy half an hour to make an impact. None of these 8-12minutes bullshit Cheika liked to pull.

        • Hoss

          Funny you say that with Wilson.
          I actually had him in and then talked myself out of it. Isi has to be starting 8 and I don’t know if he offers enough versatility yet on the pine, like FKA for example.

        • Reds Revival

          I heard someone mention today that Wilson could be a good option at 6 (great D, and a better lineout option than the other candidates). It would be great to get him and Isi working in tandem!

        • Hoss

          Don’t disagree, but it would be Segall-esque to leave Samu out agin (at present). He and Lee Majors stand-out players in Oz conference so far. Nada between em and surely our 6 & 7 – especially as Hoops is playing a more narrow, traditional on ball 7 and killing it.

        • Reds Revival

          Fair call. Maybe Wilson is riding the pine to be injected late in the game (with Isi or Samu staying on for the 80).

        • Hoss

          First world problems for our new coach ‘Dingo 2.0‘ though. It could easily be 6 Valentini, Wilson, FKA, 7 Hooper and 8 Isi as starters and then any of the 6 options and Samu on the pine. My stipulation for 6 though has to be like Fardy, hard on the ball and a genuine jumper.

        • Who?

          I guess the question in your XXIII, for me, is Dempsey. Has he done anything remotely worthy of selection this year? Because Wilson could easily replace him on the pine. I’ve not seen Dempsey do anything much worth of a Gold jersey the last couple of years, and I’ve seen people slating him on here this year.
          .
          And the first mention of putting Wilson on the pine was to replace Jones, but that would’ve left your bench without a replacement lock (not your intention, I’m sure).

        • Hoss

          No argument, I have probably looked at bench balance perhaps over form. At 5/3 you probably have Isi needing to go into the back row instead of having 2 genuine locks
          on the pine. So I suppose someone like FKA comes into the conversation, but for me he is the same as others view Dempsey – thereabouts but not owning it and that’s the frustration, they seem
          So close but just don’t take the final step.

    • Keith Butler

      Like your pack Hoss. Rangi was pretty awesome against the Landers. Mongrel at 4 and 5 and a balanced back row. You are now an official Wobbly selector. Backs – who cares.

      • Yowie

        Keith, sometimes I forget about your English roots, but not today after that comment.

        • Keith Butler

          Not sure what you mean Yowie. As an official citizen the G&G are my team except when they play the Soap Dodgers (as Hoss calls us). Hope we can catch up in Brissy with the rest of the GAGR crew when we take on the Darkness.

        • Yowie

          Agreed. (For the sake of unnecessary clarity – my joke was aimed at the old stereotype of English forwards-heavy 10-man rugby)

        • Keith Butler

          Played my rugby back in the UK in the 70s and 80s so you are dead right. Those clips of the G&G team of 84 the other day brought back fond memories.

      • Hoss

        Cheers mate. Thought it would start a conversation. Hooper has been outstanding, as too Samu and there are some terrific young bucks nipping at the heels – that duo of McReight and Wilson from the Refs area genuinely VERY exciting prospects, neither old enough to shave both built like brick shithouses – McReight is Brian 2.0, looks, build and game. Wilson could be anything as well

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Can’t agree with Rangi, I’m not sure he would even make my squad right now. He has the heart of a Lion but he isn’t big enough or good enough in the scrum.

      1. Slipper
      2. Fainga’a
      3. Alaalatoa
      4. Rodda
      5. Philip
      6. Samu
      7. Hooper
      8. Naisarani
      9. White
      10. Toomua
      11. Koroibete
      12. JOC
      13. Kuridrani
      14. Wright
      15. Banks

      16. Sio
      17. Mafi
      18. Tupou
      19. Salakaia-Loto
      20. Valetini
      21. Powell
      22. Lolesio
      23. Haylett-Petty or Maddocks or Nawaqanitawase or Simone

      • Nutta

        We will disagree, but I’ll have Ranga over Fingers. Mafi would be No16. I reckon Fingers is becoming a bit of a passenger in terms of work-rate.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Fingers = Fainga’a? Then nah, part of a dominant scrum, excellent in the maul and throwing well.

          Compare the to being part of a scrum that is consistently dominated, and has done for years.

          Mafi cannot be first choice after that week of line out throwing. Set piece prowess in terms of scrum, line out and maul is number one criteria for a hooker. Running around and looking effective in the loose shouldn’t be what we pick our hookers on.

        • Nutta

          I’ll take the comment on Mafi under advice and have a closer look. I confess to not have founded Mafi on a hard look at his weekend game. But I reckon I would stick with Rangi.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I like Rangi. I do. But after all those years of seeing our scrum get pummelled, when we were picking front rowers that were dynamic in the loose rather than for their set piece abilities, I just cannot get behind him. I’d love for Uelese coo come back and have a great season, as he combines breakdown work with ball running and is our best scrummaging hooker from what I’ve seen. but right now I just think Faingaa is, by far, our best set piece hooker. He has also been good to very good for the Wallabies in the past.

      • Hoss

        I had actually forgotten about Nic White.

        • Who?

          You picked on this season’s form. He’s not here. Hence my post. We’re not on the Cheik-era, where returning players could walk into a jersey. It feels like more of a challenge…

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Let’s be honest though, White is one of our few world class players who would at least be in a conversation for a world 15 or 23 (although I think DuPont is the best, then we have A. Smith, Faf and White). As much as I like Powell, he has never cut a team to shreds like White did to the All Blacks in Perth last year.

        • Who?

          I know, it’s just worth noting he’s coming back. Because he’s kind of out of sight, out of mind at present.

        • I think it’s a really hard call on who is the best 9 out of those you’ve listed because they’re doing really different things in teams that play differently. And, while we’re at it, we don’t know what the new look Wallabies will play like.

          A. Smith could probably work in the Boks set up, and Faf in the AB. DuPont is brilliant for France, where they use le petit général a lot, and I think the AB could adapt to that. SA, not sure. Their current plan has Faf doing a lot, but not necessarily as a decision maker in quite the same way that DuPont is for France. White has the luxury of playing behind a pretty dominant pack at the moment. I do rate him, but every time in Japan he looked ordinary the Wallabies pack was going nowhere and doing nothing at the breakdown. That is going to be an issue, simply because it’s an issue for every international scrum-half at some point in every game. (Except against Italy.)

      • Onside

        Iam liking the look of Connal McInerney at hooker.
        Given more game time, I think he could surpass Folau Fainga.
        Reminds me alot of Josh Mann Rea.
        Anyone know what happened to Jahrome Brown?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          McInerney is a good player. I hope he does do so, but I wouldn’t bet on right now.

          No idea. I have been wondering why he fell so out of favour too.

    • Nutta

      Should we be picking from folk who actually played? That would exclude the Donkeys. If so my starting side would be:
      Smithy/Rangi/Tupou
      Phillips/Rodda
      Hooper/Isi/Swinton
      McDaddy/Toos
      JOC/Parmy
      Kellaway/DHP/Korobetie

      • Hoss

        Interesting call in Swinton mate. I am a fan, but with a caveat he controls the niggle. I love the biff, but it’s a fine line between controlled and targeted verse blood curdling and red mist (hence he is now ‘The Dothraki’)

    • Who?

      It’ll be interesting to see how the incumbent Wallaby 9 goes. Given he’s coming back at the end of the Super season. Rennie’s saying he’s picking on form, Nic won’t have much time to show his wares locally before the Irish series, if he even gets a game. He won’t be eligible for the Brumbies’ playoff run, and whilst Powell might benefit from a game’s rest, I can’t see that McKellar would be desperately keen to change a team going into the finals (assuming they’ll be the Aussie team making a run).

  • juswal

    There is an odd and concerning Geerob piece on the back of today’s Herald. She says that “Senior Australian officials” told her that Daniel Herbert, Joe Roff and Richard Harry are on the short list for the RA board and David Mortimer is still front-runner for the chair. Adopting the strategic passive voice, she goes on to say that “There also appears to be a concerted push” from the Super Rugby clubs to have Mortimer get to work as chairman-elect before he’s even on the board.

    Why? Because Raelene Castle “and her strategists Shane Mattiske and Michael Tange” aim to have the broadcast deal finalised before the AGM, while the Super franchise chairs supposedly want the incoming RA chair to butt into the negotiations.

    I’m guessing that the “Senior Australian officials” are anti-Castle directors who are presenting the Super franchise chairs as sock puppets in the hope of getting poor old Mortimer into a suitable marionette position.

  • Graeme

    So the Waratahs scored one point less than the minimum possible score you could get scoring 6 tries. They really are a disgrace. :-)

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@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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