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ACT Brumbies

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at a wild round of Super Rugby and Super W, the Aussies dominating at the Vancouver Sevens and all the madness from the Six Nations clash between England and Wales


Super Rugby rundown

Kellaway Try Rebels Lions

Week 6 of the Super Rugby threw up plenty of record-breaking performances as the contenders start to separate themselves from the pretenders.

Starting in the NRL heartland of Wollongong, the Sunwolves began their home life outside of Asia as they hosted the Brumbies in the first Super Rugby double-header. Eventually, the might of the ACT boys would overwhelm the moon doggies, running in five tries to record a 47-14 win.

This was followed by a trip to Christchurch, where the Reds were seemingly sent to the slaughter against the Crusaders. However, no one told Brad Thorn’s men, who outscored the Crusaders four tries to three. Unfortunately, they were let down by poor goal-kicking, going down 24-20 in a thriller.

This was finished off by the Waratahs, who were looking to make it 2/2 for Australian teams at the ‘Gong as they faced the Chiefs. They would play some inspired football, taking a 14-13 lead in the first half. However, the side appeared to head back to Sydney at half-time, allowing six unanswered tries to lose 51-13 to Warren Gatland’s men.

On Saturday, the action headed to Wellington for the Beuaden Barrett rivalry match (minus Beauden) as the Hurricanes hosted the Blues. However, ill-discipline would cost the Wellington-based side, who at one point were down to 12 men, as the Blues secured the victory 24-15, their first win against the Hurricanes since 2015.

To round out Saturday, the Rebels would look for back-to-back wins as they hosted the Lions. Whilst the Melbourne side would spend most of the first half down a man, they would run riot in the second half, with an Andrew Kellaway double gifting them a 37-17 win, their first against the Lions in club history.

In South Africa, the Bulls would break a four-game losing streak, dominating the Highlanders 38-13. Flyer Rosko Specman would prove to be the X-factor, running in a hat-trick to break their slump.

Finally, the Sharks enjoyed their return to home soil, defeating the Jaguares 33-19. They continued their strong form across their Aus/NZ tour, running in four tires to bolt to the top of the Super Rugby table.

Super W thrillers

Arabella McKenzie is tackled by Hagiga Mosby

Arabella McKenzie is tackled by Hagiga Mosby

The Super W produced one of the finest rounds of rugby that you will see, headlined by a grand final rematch between the Waratahs and Reds.

Unfortunately for the Ballymore faithful that came down in their droves, it would be the same old story as the Waratahs clinched a narrow 13-10 victory.

It was the third consecutive match between the rivals to be decided by less than three points, with the Waratahs winning all three.

With the scores tied up a 10-all with 15 minutes, Arabella McKenzie held her nerve to slot the penalty goal, with the Waratahs maintaining their defensive intensity for the remainder of the match to seal the win.

“We’ve been playing the way we want to play but I don’t think we’ve hit our potential,” captain Grace Hamilton said.

“The growth in the young girls in our team and the potential of those girls, I can’t wait to unleash them.

“I don’t think we showed much of that today but we’ve got another two or three games to show people that and I can’t wait for those girls to get out there.”

Despite this incredible encounter, the biggest win came on Sunday afternoon when the Rebels claimed their first ever Super W win after defeating Rugby WA 31-26.

The scores were locked up at half-time at 14-all, with number eight Sally Kehoe and Nicola Emsley crossing before the half-time break to keep the Rebels in the contest.

Ariana Hira-Herangi looked to put Rugby WA back on top after finding the line just after the half-time break.

However, the Rebels would continue to show why they are one of the most improved teams in the country, with Kehoe crossing for her second before Emsley found the line once again to put her side in front with 20 minutes to go.

The game was set for a nail-biting finish, with flyhalf Trilleen Pomare taking it upon herself to put the WA side back on level terms.

In the end, it was winger Mikeala Welti who found the line for the Rebels, who held off waves of attack to secure a famous victory.

Six Nations stunner

wales england 2018

England has clinched the Triple Crown after an action-packed 33-30 win over Wales at Twickenham.

England were ahead 33-16 on the hour mark when Manu Tuilagi crossed for his third try of the game.

However, he would soon go from hero to zero when he was red-carded for a no arms tackle that stopped Wales winger George North from scoring a try in the corner.

Eventually, they would hold on for the win, but coach Eddie Jones was less than impressed with the decision to send him off.

“I find it bizarre, I usually don’t comment but I don’t see how you can tackle a guy, how else are you supposed to tackle him?” Jones told reporters.

“This bit about where your arms are — what a load of rubbish. I think there’s no common sense applied in that situation. It’s absolute rubbish.”

However, Jones should be more concerned about what will happen with prop Joe Mauler, who was spotted going for the ol’ squirrel grip on Welsh captain Alan Wyn Jones.

AWJ admitted that he was frustrated by the lack of action, believing that he should’ve been carded.

“It’s tough. Hopefully, World Rugby will have a look at it,” said Jones.

“It’s difficult as captain because you feel you can’t speak to the referee about anything,

“I looked at the touch judge but he didn’t see what happened, which is fine. A lot of footage was shown, a lot of supporters have seen what happened, it’s just very frustrating.

“We talk a lot about the TMO footage and review but not a lot’s happened.”

Perhaps the best reaction came from former Welsh star Gareth Thomas, who came out as gay in 2009, remarking on the ITV broadcast “It’d never happened in my day, and I’m upset about that, as I’d never have retired.”

Sevens set for Ashes battle

Lewis Holland - has sneaky acceleration

Lewis Holland – has sneaky acceleration

Australia has continued their dominant run during the pool stage, going through undefeated at the Vancouver Sevens.

The Aussies faced the exact same pool as Los Angeles, opening up with a narrow 33-19 win over Scotland.

The hero was Lachie Anderson, who nabbed two tries in the opening half to put the side in a commanding position at the break.

Lachie Miller continued his hot form with the opening try of the second half, however, Scotland would continue to fight with Tom Brown crossing the line.

However, Tim Anstee will seal the victory in the 13th minute, with the Scots crossing late for a consolation try.

They would carry this form into their second match, thumping Samoa 40-12.

Four first-half tries helped them on their way to the quarter-finals, with six different try-scorers finding their way over the line in the victory.

Then awaited the USA, who was eager for revenge after their loss in LA last week.

However, the Aussies have seemingly cracked the code, securing a 29-7 win to secure top spot in pool D.

Once again, Lachie Miller was the shining light, crossing for a hat-trick, complemented by a double to Henry Hutchinson.

However, they will likely be without Joe Pincus for the finals, who appeared to dislocate his right shoulder just after the break

They have booked a date with England in the quarter-finals (6:03 AEDT), who finished second after a devastating 38-0 loss to South Africa in their final group game.

  • Steve

    I’m so unsure what to think of the Reds at the moment – Their play is so skilful and exciting at times and yet they don’t have the muscle or fitness to actually win. It just seems very at-odds with what I would have expected from a Brad Thorne-coached team. How much grace period has he got left?

    Here’s hoping the Brumbies really stick the boot into the Waratahs this weekend, in their current organisation they deserve nothing less. They need a thorough cleanout and ground-up rebuild.

    As for the Soap Dodgers, well they’re just getting grubbier by the game aren’t they. I’ve said it before, EJ may be an effective coach but he is a really nasty piece of work, and I’ve no doubt he’s encouraging dirty behaviour in the team. Marler and Tuilagi both have long track records but the team as a whole is moving in the same direction – I see a lot of it from Itoje too and that’s unfortunate for a young and talented player.

    • Parker

      And Farrell is showing himself to be a nasty tyke.

      • Steve

        The leg limpet

    • Graeme

      The Reds are very young. They’ve had a really difficult draw so far (bar Moondogs) and a series of close losses against the top teams. With another years experience that could well have been a series of close wins against the top teams and Thorn appearing on the front cover of Time magazine.

    • Keith Butler

      Poor kicking from the Reds cost them dearly. Hegarty was never great with the boot at the Rebs and it looks like not amount of coaching will change that. Nice to see the Rebs moving forward. With a bye next weekend and the Moondogs at home should pick up a few more points. Can’t say I agree with your comment re the SDs but as you may guess I’m an SD to. Tuilagi sent off once before when playing for Leicester years ago but as with a few SSIs tend to lead with the shoulder. However, no complaints from me about the red card. The law is the law. Strange though that Hadley Parkes shoulder to MTs head earlier in the game only produced a penalty. As for Marler, again have a close look but not too close and you’ll see that he just has a stroke! AWJ was about to go into full rant mode and Marler just calmed him down. Hardly a full blown squirrel grip. It takes two to tango and if you look at the game as a whole both teams were at it, holding players down, grabbing legs etc etc. The breakdown is also a clusterfuck that is ruining the game. These are big issues that are ruining the game and needs to be addressed.

      • Steve

        I dunno, maybe I’m overreacting Keith as I don’t lose any love for Eddie Jones, but I’m just noticing more stuff with the England team that is winding me up lately – in the Ireland game I saw Itoje on the ground holding the jerseys of two players to keep them from moving on, and then Farrell inexplicably latched onto CJ Stander’s leg.

        I know it happens with every team so perhaps my sample is biased.

        • Keith Butler

          Don’t disagree. I just wish that officials would have the balls to clamp down on this with a few more penalties and cards. It may cause a few complaints about not letting the game flow but I call BS – short term pain, long term gain.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Hegarty is an excellent goal kicker and is okay at kicking in general play. Certainly better than any of the 10s/15s the Reds are using now.

        • Reds Revival

          I like that they are allowing Lucas to slowly settle into the 10 role, as the long term solution. While Hegarty is effective at 10, I don’t think it is his best position.
          Heggs did a great job of understanding to pass inside to Speight instead of outside to Daugunu. I don’t think it would have been a try otherwise. He is valuable to have on the field for those rugby smarts, and his goal kicking.
          If Paisami is out for 6 weeks (which I read somewhere earlier today), you would imagine that CFS goes to 13 and maybe Campbell to 14, but I would prefer to see Daugunu get that spot, with Hegarty back at 15.

        • Hoss

          Daugunu has gotta start for mine. The Reds look so much better with him on the field. He’s great in contact, pace to burn, ok in D and electric on attack and he comes looking for work.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          To be honest, I think Hegarty should play 10, although I agree he is a better 15. Unfortunately, none of the Reds’ 10s are doing particularly well right now, Campbell is doing well at fullback and JOC is an inside centre not a 10.

        • Hoss

          The Reds coaching has tried to ‘fix’ one issue, but created 5. Stuart has actually been terrific at 12 and deserves to be their of form, not as an experiment or stop-gap. SO what happens with JOC, Hegarty, Lucas and co now. Law of unintended consequences in motion…..

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Unfortunately for Stewart I think it is the same thing that happened to a bunch of good centres at the All Blacks and which also happened to Toomua when Gits was around. As good as Stewart has been he hasn’t threatened nearly as much as JOC does and he also doesn’t run the hard straight lines that a centre that plays with JOC needs to run. I’d drop Stewart to the bench. Not a reflection of his abilities, just what the Reds need right now.

        • AllyOz

          If he could kick 80% or better I would find a way to keep him in but yes, I think with what they have got, there best side is Lucas, O’Connor, Paisami.

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      I’ve been on record saying that it is finals this year or bust for Thorn.
      Starting to think that it might be worth giving him next year, dependant on how the reds go in the back half of the season.

      • AllyOz

        Yes I would have thought the same but, as silly as it sounds given the points, it is hard to say they haven’t improved. The kicking issue is a difficult one. They seem to have used about 6 plus kickers this year but no ones even managed to get 50%. Some of the blokes like Hegarty and O’Connor don’t have great records but I don’t think they have ever been this bad.

        I wonder if some of it is fatigue. I have in the back of my mind somewhere that, while young bodies can be just as strong or stronger, more mature muscle doesn’t fatigue as much. It might be called “maturation” or something like that. I wonder if, with the Reds getting run down if its a combination of not just mental issues for less experienced, young players or if there is a physical element around younger bodies (particularly when they are playing against older packs).

        Certainly I hope they don’t make a decision purely on points at seasons end if there is evidence elsewhere. I just get the feeling that the breakthrough is just around the corner for this side. They have had strong performances against the Brumbies and Crusaders, both of whom are on track to win their conferences and, though not as strong, some good moments against the Sharks (also a conference leader). If there breakthrough win had have come against one of those three rather than the Sunwolves they would have probably taken a lot more from it. I just feel if they can have that big breakthrough win against quality opposition that they will go on a bit of a run.

    • laurence king

      I think that they are potentially the most powerful Australian side, however, they lack the cohesiveness of the Brumbies at the moment.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Problem is that power alone does not win rugby matches. That’s the mistake Cheika made. Thorn seems to think, like Cheika, that you can win by pure power. In reality, teams need guile, skill and intelligence also.

        • laurence king

          Wasn’t quite what I meant, sorry. They seem to have what you said in terms of guile etc and power, but just don’t have the cohesiveness of the Brums. Whereas the Brums seem to have every aspect covered, the Reds seem to have some missing components if you get my point, eg issues with kicking.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hmmm, I may be being unfair. But to me the Reds just look like a team that is all about power. They excel at the power stuff – big forwards running the ball and an immensely powerful scrum. But goal kicking, exit kicking, tactical kicking, line out, taking points when they’re on offer and especially the breakdown… everything else doesn’t seem to factor as important.

    • idiot savant

      With the Reds its the line out, the line out, and the line out that is stopping them from getting more wins. Their poor line out and maul defence let the Jags back in to a game they were out of. The Reds would have won their last 2 games if their line out had functioned even reasonably. It is a complete basket case. All of it from what I can make out – the throwing, the lifting, the calling, the decision to make it short or long, and the timing. Their captain chose a scrum over a line out in the second half so it is clear he has lost all faith in it. Now Im beginning too understand why Simmons has played so many tests. The line out is more important than the scrum and almost as important as the breakdown. If Thorn is to survive as coach he has to have the balls to sack himself as line out coach. His record is appalling. There is a big test for his ego coming up.

      • Damo

        Which makes you wonder why the hell they left Rodda out for this game.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          It was probably a niggling minor injury/soreness thing. They looked at the team they were playing and went not worth risking him.

  • Patrick

    I wonder if RA needs to start seriously thinking about how to get the more promising young NSWelshmen out of the Tahs before they are ruined!

    • Brisneyland Local

      YEp this is becoming like the Woody Graham era of the Reds. Get the good players out of there before they are destroyed. But hey could have said that about getting Wallabies players out of the Wallabies as Cheika destroyed them!

    • Hoss

      They did develop a programme – its called ‘The Brumbies’.

      • John Tynan

        Gold!

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Ba-Boom!

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    The wales v england game was nuts, players
    losing their head and the poms getting the shaft from the ref. Still they rose to the occassion and came away with a hard win.

  • AllyOz

    The English might deny the squirrel grip but its pretty hard for the Frenchman to refute this evidence. Not condoning violence but he certainly didn’t miss.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0701e72b771b720304bf397a52862661e5b79db9f1d98f14a2ff15b93cc78dc4.jpg

    • Keith Butler

      Nice one, you don’t see that very often nowadays so there could be a reason Read elsewhere that the Frenchie was reacting to a Jock going for the eyes. No doubt more to follow.

      • AllyOz

        The angle of the Scotsman’s nose is interesting. In my experience, they don’t bend back once they’ve bent that far.

        • They do, just need to have equal force applied from the other direction. (also from experience…eyes are watering just from the memory)

        • Keith Butler

          Could just be the flabby bit in the end not on the bridge. Played a game against London Scottish many years ago where one of their flakes had his nose so broken and never had surgery to straighten it,that it was almost round by his ear!

        • Nutta

          Modern art.

        • laurence king

          Now that, I can appreciate! Gold mate.

        • Discussing the nose here or Marler?

        • Nutta

          They do. Takes a coke bottle in one hand and the outside heel of your other hand though.

        • AllyOz

          Mine took an Iranian trained surgeon in Dubbo (I called him the Butcher of Babylon but I don’t think I had the geography quite correct) …. but I always was a bit of a woose.

          It used to sit on the right side and then the left side and then a little bit of both. But in the end I couldn’t breathe out of it so a bit of surgery was required. The butcher actually did an exceptional job. I could be a nose model.

        • Who?

          Or, post surgery, play in the backs..? Given the new ‘pretty boy’ status? :-P
          :-)

        • AllyOz

          Yes …. unfortunately the rest of the head is still just as rough. It would take a team of cosmetic surgeons working round the clock about six weeks to fix my melon. Not from injury but from genetics. I waited until I retired (the second time) until I had it done. I made two comebacks subsequent to that. I was honestly worried initially as it was a mess before and but after a while I just thought f&#k it. it was related to breathing/sleeping issues so there was a bit more to the op too. Removal of all soft tissue from the throat (tonsils, adenoids, uvular (little boxing bag thing that hangs down)). The butcher did a reasonable job but its no longer considered the best treatment for sleep apnea, which was the issue, actually I think they now think removing all that stuff makes it worse.

        • Keith Butler

          Mate you should see Hoss in the flesh! But I do sympathise. Back in 2007 I kept wondering why my wife kept hitting me in the middle of the night. Not domestic violence but I was snoring like a chainsaw and breath holding. Diagnosed with moderate sleep apnea – which can actually kill you. Tried a CPAP machine but that gave me panic attacks and ended my diving activities. Got it sorted with a mandibular splint that brings the jaw forward opening up the airway. Surgery is the last resort. Hope it works out for you.

        • AllyOz

          well I actually had the operation back in 2003 – so i think that maybe that was the first option back then and CPAP came after. Not sure. The operation didn’t work for me (I think a doctor has since told me it only works for about 10-20% of cases but don’t quote me). I have the CPAP machine. it’s like sleeping with Darth Vader but I haven’t had a heart attack yet so it must be going OK.

          So he’s Hoss ’cause he’s got a head like a horse – I thought it might have been another appendage. Anyway my head’s like a burnt thong so I won’t be entering any face offs with the big fella. I might have to make one of these GAGR meetups to check him out.

        • Keith Butler

          You would be more than welcome mate. Hoss has a face that would give children nightmares and he actually bears a passing resemblance to the Hoss from Bonanza. I have to say this as he has implied I have Scottish/Yorkshire heritage i.e. short arms and deep pockets when it comes getting the drinks in which I assure you is not true.

        • AllyOz

          I am not dissimilar to Bonanza Hoss myself when I have the Akubra on … we might be twins… brothers from another mother

        • AllyOz

          I thought coke bottles were for “rubbing out” corks (which apparently is not really a good idea…it certainly never helped mine). Seems coke is great for anything, fixing noses, rubbing out corks, removing stains from pennies…drinking maybe?

        • Reds Revival

          Drinking? Now you’re just being ridiculous.

      • Nutta

        Totally agree re Marler.

        So a Scot attacked the eyes of a Frog? There’s a reversal of tradition. Nothing like retaliating first I guess.

        • Funk

          In the great tradition of Cobra Kai: Strike First; Strike Hard; No Mercy!

        • Keith Butler

          So said the great Willie John McBride when the Lions pummeled the Saffas from pillar to post in 1974. Then there was the famous call ‘99’ which signalled all out war with them hitting any Saffa that moved. To many to penalise or send off. Those were the days.

    • laurence king

      You’ve got it wrong gentlemen, COVID19 avoidance measure gone wrong. Meant to do a simple fist pump. Stupid Scotsman pulled back his fist in a joke gone wrong and ‘VOILA’, and ‘désolé monsieur’. Accident plain and simple due to cultural misunderstanding.

  • Nutta

    Morning Cobbers

    Bloody Qld. Goes into the very heartland of the best in the world, does all the hard work … WTF?

    Bloody NSW. Does some great work in H1, in dye-in-the-wool Mungo territory at that, then clocks off at halftime. WTF?

    Go Scum. Chicks and Lads.

    England. Well. I call them the Filth. That gets under some skins. I call them the Filth largely due to ancestry-identification (Scot-Irish). And over the years their ignorance on tours, their continuous scrummage illegalities, the boorishness of their chosen leaders (Martin J and Dylan Hartly and the current wanker being good examples) and other stuff just does nothing to endear them to me (or anyone else). For a country with so many players, resources and talent to be so ugly in their play is just so disappointing. So I confess to a fair amount of prejudice regarding any conversation about them.

    But regarding the game on the weekend…

    Mario Itoje: the guy could be really something special. Instead he decides to be a bottom dweller. Fine. Go down in history as a fk-wit.

    Kyle Sinkler: nowhere near as good as folk wish he was. I think he has to talk himself up (and get talked up) so his obviously fragile ego can allow him to set foot out there. Imposter.

    Courtney Lawes: a seriously good footballer. Under-valued to buggery.

    Tuilagi: Jones picked a thug. He did something thuggish. He got caught doing it on 3 cameras out of 30-odd covering the game and so got carded. Well bugger me…

    Farrell: A petulant child. I struggle to understand how he is regarded a leader of men. Then again I say the same about Hooper and Beale so I’m the freak.

    Joe Marler: I think the guy is an outright gem. On the weekend he wandered into that little handbag session and did a beautiful job at de-powering the whole show with a fantastic moment of self-depreciation. it was gold. It was timely. And in the world of PC over-reacting nonces he will get smashed and probably suspended. But in the world of wise-old-props he just hit legendary status.

    Wales: the fact they played so much 1-off-ruck dumb plays and still made a match of it is testament to their tenacity. Not testament to their intelligence though unfortunately.

    The Ref: I thought he did well faced with teams who were not going to behave. The tackles off the ball, the smothering of quick lineout throws, the neck-rolls… he didn’t have an easy game to Ref. However I would have sin-binned both Captains at about the 10-15min mark after they had both been directly addressed about off-the-ball childishness by their teams and yet we saw the same shite continue. So the Capts were told and the teams kept going. Ok, that means either the Capts aren’t doing their job or are willfully ignoring the Ref. So card both of them to go have a think whilst getting their 2IC’s to do it better. That will fix that shite quick and proper. And given the amount of childishness we are starting to see more of from supposed leaders around the world (TJ Perenara, Dan Coles, Hooper, Farrell, Jon Sexton etc) I think it needs to happen sooner rather than later.

    We. Are. Not. Soccer.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Mate with you 100% on the petulant shitheads getting carded. We need to stop this crap now and a couple of captains going off for arguing followed by coaches who complain about also getting carded and we’ll see the changes. I personally think Farrell is an absolute crap captain and needs a good slapping to bring him back to earth. Great skills at times but a petulant little shit who couldn’t lead a possum in a brewery – a bit like Hooper and Beale I agree.
      I tend too agree on Marler but I feel it’ll start a life of it’s own and to be fair with the other wankers on the team and the coaching to be dickheads he’ll just have to cop one for the team.

      • Reds Revival

        In all fairness KARL, it is pretty hard to organise a possum in a brewery, unless it has a petting zoo where you can leave the kids while doing the brewery tour. In which case, I think you might be on to a brilliant plan…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah stupid autocorrect I meant to say pissup

        • Yowie

          I prefer “couldn’t lead a possum in a brewery” now that I’ve gotten used to it. Makes the reader/listener really think about it.

        • Greg

          I was trying to make the sheep connection…. but it was beyond me.

        • Yowie

          Ewe will think of something.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Baaaabara knows how to drink

        • Nutta

          “…possum in a brewery…” Fkn Gold KARL. I’m still giggling.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Here Fucking Here! Cant control your team, 1 warning, same shit happens, Capt to the bin. Bet you pennies to a pound it stops there.

      • Nutta

        Well if it doesn’t stop there it will after Tuesday night training…

        • Brisneyland Local

          One would hope so

    • Keith Butler

      Guess we’ll have to agree to disagree over your views on the SDs. Further debate over a few beers in Brissy come Bledisloe in Oct called for. Both teams were just a culpable in the off the ball stuff and you’re dead right, if they don’t change how they are playing after a general warning then the captain should take one for the team with a YC. Farrell is not captain material. Every time he opens his northern gob it sounds like he wants an argument. As for Marler he did it with a smile on his face and calmed down a tense situation that could have exploded. For that he’ll get a ban. More’s the pity.

    • AllyOz

      I played a game of U15s rugby league and our hooker’s name was Todd. Can’t remember the surname now but it doesn’t matter. We were winning about 30-0 so, as young 14/15 year old boys tend to do they got a bit frustrated. Todd was tackled, punched a couple of times in the tackle and, as he was standing to play the ball, punched twice square in the face. He put the ball down, played the ball and put and a hand on either side of the tackler/puncher’s face and planted a kiss on his forehead and walked away. One of the best things I have seen on a footy field and showed a lot of maturity for someone of that age.

      • Keith Butler

        Nice story. No unusual, back in the old days, for a prop to plant a kiss on his opposite number in the scrum just to wind him up.

    • Damo

      Great post mate. Nothing to add except to reiterate your comments about Itoje. I watched him specifically for about 20mins mid match. He is an athlete, a very good lineout/ rolling maul exponent but he does not carry the ball into the trenches. He leaves it to just about anybody else and then leans on the ensuing breakdown with that ‘none shall pass” look on his face (not quite the Al Baxter look though). And in England there are calls for him to be canonised- or at least be made the next captain.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        He’s a defensive and set piece orientated lock/flanker, rather than an attacking one. That’s not a weakness, just means he has different strengths and isn’t going to be one of your main ball carriers. Gets really stuck in defensively, at the breakdown and in the line out, like Scott Fardy.

        • Nutta

          Absolutely he does get stuck in. And with the guys obvious natural abilities he could be so much more – in the Fardy mould but physically way more capable if he would just cut out the shite.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t really think that’s true or fair either. He dominated the All Blacks in the semifinal of the World Cup, in a match where all and sundry said that the English line. out would be attacked.

          He’s one of the best locks in the world and I think he would start for every team in the world with the possible exception of South Africa, including the Lions. Hard to criticise him and say he ‘could be so much more’.

        • Who?

          I actually think Nutta’s on the money here. To say he could be more isn’t to say he’s not a top class player, or to say he’s playing short of his ceiling. It’s to say that a player of his type – a top class player – doesn’t have the same sheen if they are thought to be grubby.
          .
          Look at Dane Coles – everyone knows he’s an incredible player, but when he goes and puts on cheap shots, he slides in the eyes of fans like us. Similarly, Itoje had close to the best game I’ve ever seen him play against the ABs. He was truly immense. But when you see him pulling some of the rubbish he loves, be it the ‘harmless’ stuff like constantly lingering in offside locations, through to some of the thuggish stuff, it makes you think less of him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe it is what he needs to play at his best though? Rather like Bakkies Botha.

        • Who?

          Not sure I agree with that. Maybe he needs to be a thug to effectively jump and ruin lineout ball, pilfer at the breakdown, and tackle like a demon? I’m not sure that it helps.
          Similarly, I don’t think Bakkies needed to do that to play his best. I always saw him as almost an excited Labrador playing with Pomeranians. He was always excited to be out there, looking to put on a hit, and then every now and then that exuberance would result in a brain explosion that would see him suspended for half a season. Like headbutting a halfback for no benefit. He didn’t need to be a thug to be motivated, he was motivated and would therefore occasionally do something incredibly stupid.
          I kind of saw him and Potgeiter in a similar manner, but JacPot didn’t do things that got him suspended. Some stupid things, some illegal things, but all out of that exuberance and puppy-like energy to play rather than anything calculating.
          .
          In contrast, I don’t think Itoje is anything but calculating in his actions. He seems, to me, to be a clever player, a calculating player, someone who knows what he’s doing. He reads lineouts brilliantly. He reads where the play’s going very well. It’s why he’s such a defensive threat. I don’t see why that couldn’t continue whilst removing his ‘need’ to play outside the laws of the game.
          .
          I do agree he’s a more defensively oriented player.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think you’ve simplified things too much. I’m assuming you’ve played sport at a reasonable level and that you know that there were people that constantly needed to be playing right on the edge and pushing things in order to maintain their intensity. Otherwise, they seemed listless.

          I didn’t enjoy playing with or against those people, but they needed to. do what they needed to do.

        • Who?

          It doesn’t make them respected though. You’ve said it yourself – those people are people you don’t enjoy playing against, or necessarily even with.
          Better if they can work out how to legally keep themselves motivated, and remove thuggery and cheap shots from their game. Because they’ll end up more respected.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, even in terms of English locks I respect Launchbury more. Gets much less love and fanfare than the other locks, but I think he may actually be England’s best.

        • Who?

          The only blight on Launchbury is that he was unlucky enough to be voted MOTM in the 2015 defeat from the Wallabies in the Pool @ Twickers. Which wasn’t remotely his fault.

        • Keith Butler

          I would have had him as captain a few seasons ago. Leads by example but maybe a little ‘quiet’ in the same mould as Bill Beaumont. George Kruis also very underated. He will be a big loss if he heads to Japan as is being speculated.

        • Keith Butler

          Thought he would make any ideal 6 with Richard Hill, one of the best, mentoring him at Sarries. Unlikely to happen though.

      • Keith Butler

        For a couple of seasons he was his own worst enemy but I reckon he had pulled his head in a bit. Don’t know about captaincy though. Like him or loath him Martin Johnson has been a England’s best captain by a country mile. A world class lock whose team would follow him anywhere.

    • Not disagreeing in particular Nutta.

      Just something Ive noticed about Tuilagi over the years.

      He is a brutal tackler, one of the best even, though he is often carded.

      His technique is perfect (when his arms are used), up till just prior to contact when he drops his head and loses sight of the target.
      If you re-watch his tackle on North you will see what I mean.

      The obvious problem with this is often the target changes at the last second.
      Not an excuse at all, but some basic technique coaching would cure it.

      Either that or its on purpose and he’s just another tosser.

      • Nutta

        You may well be right. Jonesy likes having a big hitter in midfield (Burgess, Teo, Tuigi etc). Nothing wrong with that per-se. But he tends to pick a “type” to do “job” which has a higher percentage of attracting a referees wrath. Now all that is fine, but as my old dad used to say “Boy, don’t be surprised when a sheep grows wool.”

      • Keith Butler

        I don’t know whether or not I’m correct but do south sea islanders tend to lead with the shoulder first and then bring the arms up almost immediately? Pretty obvious when you get it wrong.

        • Hate to appear to racially generalize KB but, yes imo your are correct.
          “Shoulder On” appears to be the catch cry.

        • Keith Butler

          Who can forget The Chiropractor.

    • formerflanker

      Good points.
      I’ll add in my frustration at all the yelling and arm waving at the ref – from the sideline. The water boy, medic, physio, head trainer, kicking tee guy etc etc. are all into ref abuse.
      Just stop it.

      • Nutta

        I think it was a year or two ago when an overexcited Italian waterboy/physio (I think) attacked Phipps and Phipps gave him a serve back. No winners. So unnecessary.

  • Hoss

    So much Rugby, so little time to blog.

    The Tah’s travelled to Macedonia’s Southern most capital and to be honest, did some things rather well. I though the new 9 was very sharp, Harrison did very well and young Ramm on the wing also showed promise – there some talent in these kids. But, the Tah’s achilles heal showed very quickly – the breakdown. We have no ruck presence, hard man, mongrel at all – not one that the opposition sides will be saying ‘look out he comes xxxxx again – farrrrrrrk, let em have the pill’. For the record i think Lee Majors has been pretty awesome this year, BUT, i saw Aaron Cruden push him off a ruck, not Cruden and Cane or Cruden and someone else, Aaron, 85kg on a fat day – Cruden and i thought – ‘yep, that’ll do me’. Any team lining up against the Tah’s knows they can man-handle them at the breakdown. For all the bluster and puff of The Dothraki (Swinton), the atleticism of Sour Mash, The Bulk of Holloway, The Skill of Hooper or potential of Bell the Tah’s have ZERO on ball presence and will not feature outside the bottom two until someone in contracting fins some coin for a grizzly old, broken kneed’ back shagged 8 who eats metal and shits nails to toughen up this powder pack bunch – whats Pottgeiter doing these days, FFS, i’ll pick up the cost of the phone call……….

    Mr Penney – i have taken the liberty of attaching a video of some talent i spotted recently that ticks a lot of the boxes NSW Rugby needs – western Sydney locale, PI demographic, aggro & determination – EXACTLY what’s missing from the Tah’s powder puff 8.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-03-08/coronavirus-toilet-paper-fight-at-woolworths-leads-to-charges/12037046

    Reds – covered it after the game. Jock “Lightning’ Campbell can not continue to kick. The kid couldn’t hit the side of a barn with a shotgun. Yes, their were other reasons, but to outscore the Vaders 4 tries to 3 and get rolled – is unforgivable. They must be top 8 this year – and they are good enough. Not sold on Wright as captain either. The patience clock is ticking for all coaches.

    Ponies – they will be licking their chops this week. Nice, soft, tender, NSW underbelly heading down the highway – it’ll be goodnight nurse at halftime. Ponies by 25+

    6 Nations, haven’t seen it yet, but read about the Marler incident and a quick look at the rules shows flagrant breaches – on several fronts:

    – Nice dinner not held before said ‘junk rearrangement’
    – No apparent slow dancing held
    – No after dinner flirtation, nor ‘sweet nothings’ whispered during rucks, mauls, scrums
    – Certainly i couldn’t hear any Barry White playing at time of said indiscretion

    Whilst the legislation is in its infancy i would suggest Marler will be charged for reportedly performing the ‘Weinstein Job Offer’ – outlawed under proposed new laws by World Rugby and that a lengthy spell on the sideline will be forthcoming.

    God i love rugby.

    • Who?

      Can’t help but think you’re on the money with the Marler incident. It looked closer to sexual assault than physical assault. It didn’t look like it caused physical pain (AWJ looked shocked and incredulous rather than flinching and grimacing). And sexual assault because it wasn’t expected/wanted.
      Doesn’t make it any less acceptable, but accuracy in reporting this is important. Purely because this isn’t an act of thuggery, as we’ve seen in the past. Squirrel grips are effectively the same as a punch in the face – intimidation through physical pain. This is a new form of bullying, aggression and intimidation, and it should be stamped out.

      • Nutta

        It’s the incredulity in the whole situation that makes it so downright funny. I know I know. We can’t do that…

        • Hoss

          AWJ’s face says it all – he appears 60% flattered, 30% surprised and 28% thinks its funny.

        • Who?

          But he desperately needed to find someone who saw it to get that penalty!

        • Yowie

          I never realised that the “scrum straight Joe” campaign was actually about deterring him from fondling other blokes’ bits.

        • AllyOz

          Maybe he was just…as Mr Humphrey’s might say… adjusting AWJ from dress right to dressing left.

        • Yowie

          True. I suppose Hopoate was just really making sure their shirts didn’t come un-tucked.

        • Yowie

          Also, I’ve written to Izzy to find out at what percentage of “enjoying it” when another bloke grabs one’s bits means that I’m going to hell.

          Hypothetically I mean.

          (It wasn’t even that nice.)

        • Hoss

          Can a portion of you go to hell ? I mean, I’ve spent time in Auckland and a piece of my soul / spirit died ? Is that similar you reckon ?

        • Yowie

          Confirmed. As a long-term Reds and Wallabies fan, parts of me have died and ended up in purgatory and/or hell.

          Eg my sense of hope from time to time.

        • Greg

          Just imagine if it was Dunnedin @HossRugby:disqus

        • Hoss

          No one deserves that Gregory, no-one.

        • Keith Butler

          Shit, I’m stuffed then having grabbed a handful after being bitten.

        • Yowie

          I asked Izzy about you too and the word back is that you’re in the clear Hell-wise if you enjoyed the grab only in the sense of enjoying taking revenge and/or enjoying the execution of a plan to provoke a punch-up in the non-erotic “job well done” sense.

          The good book gives enjoying righteous violence a pretty clear thumbs-up.

        • Keith Butler

          God is Great. Oops!

        • Nutta

          I reckon he nearly laughed outright. Nearly.

        • Who?

          I totally get that. AWJ’s expression – as Hoss says – isn’t one showing he’s threatened or worried. And I’ve pointed out he doesn’t look to be in pain. I agree with your post below, in that the fool (because Marler loves to play the fool, and loves causing trouble against Wales – we mustn’t forget he called Samson Lee ‘Gypsy Boy’, for which he copped a suspension) did something that managed to defuse what was looking to be a rather tense situation.
          I’m just conscious that, whilst AWJ’s reaction wasn’t terrible, that doesn’t mean someone else won’t feel their sexuality was threatened/harmed/etc. At some point, if that behaviour isn’t marked as unacceptable, we’re going to be painted as non-inclusive, homophobic (even though it’s quite arguable that Marler’s actions are showing he’s not afraid of homosexuality, and AWJ’s reaction was hardly homophobic – it was just, “Hang on, you can’t do that!”), etc. It’s in the same grey/black area as Voldemort’s actions.

        • Keith Butler

          I tend to agree with you. At first I thought it was a stroke but on reflection it looked more like a very light pinch. He did it with a smile on his face and as you say diffused a tense situation. He’ll probably end up with a ban of some kind but from comments I’ve seen elsewhere you’d think he’d committed murder. Got bitten on the elbow playing many years ago and saw the bloke that did it. Couple of rucks later he got isolated and received the full yank and twist in the ensuing brawl he got penalised and we got 3 pts. In my mind justice was served – not that I would initiate such behaviour.

        • Funk

          Less of a “squirrel grip”, more of a “todger tweak”??

        • John Tynan

          “Bitten on the elbow”!!! Yeah right, KB!
          One of our blokes’ nicknames is sarcastically “The Biter” from when he got elbowed in the face one game….

        • Keith Butler

          Absolute truth mate. Against Bedford and the biter was a fellow lock by the name of John Mawle. I had the teeth marks to prove it!

        • John Tynan

          Now if you had the tooth itself, I might believe you…

        • Hoss

          He is a keen collector JT. I know for a fact, he still has the first dollar he ever earned, unlikely to part with it anytime soon too.

        • Keith Butler

          Maaaate! Most unkind would you like still or sparkling water in Brissy?

        • Greg

          It was completely strange. Another bloke might have punched his lights out.

        • Nutta

          Completely true, but that’s just it – they didn’t (don’t forget they are Lions team-mates).

    • idiot savant

      You got the wrong Barry. It was Manilow playing I think.

      Good point about the Tahs breakdown. Time to blood Tizzano. And Ramm really looks the goods.

      • Hoss

        There’s some talented kids afoot at Camp Waratah – but no hard-head to lead em, whack em in the back of the scone when they play-up and just ‘follow me’. Diet and training hard and work ethic – all important, but someones gotta show these young boys ‘leadership’, sleeves up, dig-in, never-say-die leadership.

    • Greg

      The marler incident is truly strange.

      It was like he was adjusting his tackle for him. No agro. And the adjustee, who knows Marler pretty well, was just looking and going – what are you doing?

      • Hoss

        Gold – ‘the adjustee’. Still chuckling

    • Damo

      Joe is claiming “Hey it was all innocent. I said ‘Al, I like the Welsh shorts this year. What is that fabric?'”

      • Hoss

        Gold, ‘Jeez Al, that new garbadine breathes well, don’t it’

    • Frosty morning

      I thought he was just trying to get a bit of dirt out from under his fingernails…

      • Hoss

        I’ve heard of ‘sausage fingers’ before, but never really knew what it meant.

        • Keith Butler

          Mate some of the comments I%’very seen elsewhere calling for a 6 month ban ( mostly from disgruntled Taffs and a Jocks) are quite frankly laughable. However, in order to get the message across I expect a ban of some kind, which would be a joke.

        • Hoss

          I see both sides KB. As an ex-player i note that its not the more egregious type of wedding tackle stock-take i have been privy too, but where does common law stop and ‘gamesmanship’ begin? Strictly speaking it’s sexual assault – pure and simple, I couldn’t do it (again – court ordered) to a member of public or a business rival, so why can it happen on a sports field? The really sickening one for me, with all we know about ‘one punch attacks’ is the punch from the Frog on the Jock – that action is fraught with real potential to kill someone.

          I defer to Professor Nutta on such matters that require some intellect and knowledge.

        • Keith Butler

          Very true. My own action was retaliation. I would never instigate an assault of that kind. Have been known to swing a punch or three though.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, definitely some interesting rugby last weekend.

    Latest news is NZ vs Aus in the final of the Canadian 7’s in 21/2 hrs. I am definitely going to be watching that one. So good to see Aus improve so much this year and looks like they’re timing their run to the Olympics well.

    The Tahs were just awful and yet again it’s their experienced players letting the side down. I saw an article saying Beale is looking at a UK gig and my advice to Penney is to let him go. Mind you the Canes weren’t much better going back to the poor discipline of the past. I think they miss Barrett more than they realise. It’s not just about the control of the game but also Beauden’s ability to see the space and create something that is missing. They really have a poor attack with limited options and the Blues pounced on that. Great to see the Brumbies and Rebels win, I though the Rebels in particular played very well at times. Isn’t Kellaway loving being out of the Tahs environment?
    Didn’t see any of the woman’s games but good to hear them doing well.
    I thought England were lucky at times but they took their chances and Wales really seemed lost in what to do when they had the ball. The English box kicks is a real weapon with ball and attacking player arriving together for the most part. The Welsh weren’t as accurate and a lot of their kicks were wasted and just gave the ball back. Haven’t heard anything about the penis gropper and it’ll be interesting to see where that goes. I see France lost to Scotland so the competition is still open and England may sneak in as winners yet.

    • Tomthusiasm

      I watched the Canada/Aus semi, Canada were a bit unlucky at the end there. NZ were impressive agains the Blitzboks. Agree that The Canes missing Beauden, they also need a captain who doesn’t pack a sad when things turn to custard, if I was Jason Holland I’d promote Gareth Evans today.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Mate I’m with you there. I’m not sure Perenara is a good captain option. Just because he’s an All Black doesn’t mean he’s the right choice. I really like Evans too I think he’s a bit under rated at times.

    • Keith Butler

      Yes some great rugby over the weekend. France shot the selves in the foot, again, with a prop sent off for a punch. Mind you it was a good one. As to the E/W game, when you’re 20-6 up and in overtime in the 1st half would you kick to touch. Not England and they gave away 3pts and some momentum that the Welsh took advantage of from the kick off. Good try by Wales but a bit of a gift. Daley challenged for the kick and the Poms didn’t react quick enough allowing three Taffs to run through the gap – try time.

  • Tomthusiasm

    I know kicking was off for the Reds, but they turned down at least two penalty kicks directly in front of the sticks. Not saying they would’ve won but in tight matches you should take the three if it’s a gimmie.

  • Hoss

    Look at young Kellaway for an example. Early doors sure, but third double of the season so far and tops the try scoring ladder and every inch a smart rugby player. Nothing flash, does the basics well and seems a decent young lad.

    • Keith Butler

      He has gone way up in my estimations. I would be pissed off if Hodge came straight back in.

      • Hoss

        Sorry, Reece who ?

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hodge needs to find a gig off shore. I don’t think he’ll ever wear Gold again mate

        • Keith Butler

          Even as a Rebels supporter I reckon he’s overrated. How he got the G&G is beyond me. Perhaps being able to play in a number of positions, adequately, got him the gig.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think that was it originally and then he was part of Cheika’s must haves. Pity because although he’s not bad he’s a bit like Hannigan and will be remembered for the wrong thing that is to that dickhead Cheika

        • Who?

          Agreed.
          And, of course, that boot……..
          .
          What guys like Hodge show is how good AAC was back in the day. Because back then, we were all worried he’d be the jack of all trades but master of none. Then, he nailed down 15, he nailed down 13 (until TK came along, then he was back to a wing), but was always wanted. He wasn’t perfect – his passing game was always maligned – but he generally filled his role. He certainly was, as per the maxim, better than a master of one (Jack of all trades, master of none, but often better than a master of one).
          .
          Hodge has shown that he can be a very good player, but he’s not been placed and developed into a position, and he’s shown how hard it is to truly be that utility player who can jump into any position and both understand what’s required, plus work with those around him.

        • Keith Butler

          Hodge a good player but a jack of all trades and master of none. Should have said I want to play at ‘x’ for the Rebs.

      • Gun

        Hodge for English. Both journeyman, Hodge better kick, defender?

        • Who?

          English is a better defender. 13 isn’t picked for the length of their kick.

        • Gun

          True on the kicking. I’d love to see stats on each s defence. I wonder if they take a stats based view (the Moneyball approach) at all in Oz rugby.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think English has comfortably been the second best. defending 13 in Australia for years.

      • Nutta

        Surely. 2nd highest try-scorer in the Super Comp currently (I think)

    • Patrick

      He had the sense to get out of NSW :)

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Pretty fast though and just seems to see the chances and grabs them

  • Charcoal

    I know it was a shit outcome, but why no commentary on the Waratah’s v Chief’s match?

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      If you didn’t see it or hear it, did it really happen?

ACT Brumbies
@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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