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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the results from Super Rugby Australia and Aotearoa, the potential for a code switch for rugby’s sevens superstar and Dan Carter’s unique return to New Zealand rugby

It’s back!

Harry Hoopert and Angus Bell shape off QLD Reds v NSW Waratahs 2020 Photo Credit QRU Brendan Hertel

How good is it having Australia rugby back on our televisions!

Round one of Super Rugby Australia kicked off with a thriller as the Reds broke a seven-year drought with a 32-26 win over the Waratahs.

The Reds looked set to blow away the struggling Waratahs after racing out to a 19-7 lead after 30 minutes.

However, the influence on Junior Wallabies coach and new assistant Jason Gilmore seemed to rub off in the second half, with a blue wall emerging as the Tahs turned around the contest with a series of penalties to Will Harrison and a Jack Maddocks try levelling the score with ten minutes remaining.

Eventually, the experience of James O’Connor would shine through, showing that his ‘unique’ training methods has paid off as he nailed two penalties to secure the win.

Reds captain Liam Wright likened the intensity to a State of Origin clash post-match, believing that it was a great advertisement for the game.

“It was a bit of a grind, first game back for both teams and figuring things out but there was no love lost out there and at the end, everyone shook hands and be done with it,” he said.

“I really appreciate the way they play the game and I think that was a great showing for rugby because it was just a tough slog and at the end of the day, you’re smiling at each other.”

This was followed by the Brumbies maintaining their status as the favourites with a
31-23 win over the Rebels.

The Brumbies strolled away with the contest during the opening half, running in four tries in 45 minutes.

Whilst the Rebels would mount a late contest to make it interesting, a late try to Will Miller sealed the bonus-point victory.

Coach Dan McKellar was willing to forgive the mini-collapse after the long layoff, pleased to have secured the maximum points.

When we’re up there by 18 points could we have put it to bed? possibly, (but) we haven’t played in four months,” he said.

“If you had have said to me, turn up and you’ll get five points three hours ago, I would’ve taken it for sure.

“Can we get better? Of course we can but was there a lot of good things out there? Yep.”

Aotearoa adventures

Jordie Barrett scores  despoite Izaia Perese's tackle

Jordie Barrett scores despoite Izaia Perese’s tackle

Whilst the attention of the Australian rugby fan was primarily on our competition, our NZ neighbours were going full Shannon Noll, asking “What about me” as they played out round four of Super Rugby Aotearoa.

The Crusaders continued their unbeaten start to the season on Saturday, recording a 40-20 victory over the Highlanders in Dunedin.

The Highlanders maintained pace with the defending champions in the first half, taking a shock 17-14 lead into the break thanks to tries to Shannon Frizell and winger Ngane Punivai.

However, winger Will Jordan continued his incredible string of performances, setting up loose forward Tom Christie’s second try of the match before crossing for his own double to seal the result.

Supercoach Scott Robertson had nothing but praise for the Highlanders after the gruelling encounter, praising their fitness and expansive nature of play.

“They’re a different team,” Robertson said.

“They’re a lot fitter, they play a little bit more, there’s a lot more passing to their game, there’s a lot more variation off No 9 plays, probably a little bit more expansive.”

On Sunday, the Hurricanes effectively ended the Super Rugby dreams of the Chiefs with a 25-18 victory in Hamilton.

The Hurricanes looked a completely different team from their opening games, racing out to a 20-3 lead at halftime thanks to tries to Cobus Van Wyk and Du’Plessis Kirifi whilst Jordie Barrett nailed a monster 60-metre penalty just before the break.

Whilst they would be hampered by a second yellow card to Scott Scrafton and a penalty try, the Wellington side would hold off waves of attacks from the home side to secure a much-needed win.

Chiefs coach Warren Gatland was less than impressed after the match, particularly with Barrett’s ‘monster’ penalty, accusing them of moving the play forward 10 metres.

“I think in that situation we just need to make sure that we get some clarity, and it’s an easy one to say ‘sorry, that’s not the mark, the mark is 10 metres back’,” he said.

“We saw a situation last night [in Saturday night’s game between the Highlanders and Crusaders] where the try was scored from a forward pass, and I thought it was an easy one to just go back and have a look that’s forward from the lineout.”

Rugby raids continue (sort of)

Charlotte Caslick

Charlotte Caslick

Having plodded and pillaged some of rugby’s biggest and brightest male talent, rugby league looks set to recruit Australia’s golden sevens girls for the upcoming NRLW season.

With the Sevens season officially over for the year, it has been reported that Charlotte Caslick and Ellia Green are amongst a group of sevens players that have sounded out the possibility of playing the 13-a-side sport.

The majority of the squad’s big names are off-contract as of August 31, with the SMH reporting that Caslick has already been spotted talking with Sydney Roosters officials.

Fortunately, the transition is only expected to be short-term, with head coach John Manenti sending them his blessings to make the short term switch, believing that it shapes as a ‘perfect opportunity’ for his side to refine their skills whilst maintaining their match fitness in a competitive environment.

“As players, it’s really important that they’re playing competitive and playing games,” he said.

“We’re talking about what I certainly think are some of the best football athletes in the world, I have no doubt that they’re capable of going to the NRLW and doing well, doing really well, and standing out.

“It’s also challenging themselves to a different game, to more players on the field with less pace, improving their collision skills.

“There’s a lot to gain out of it for these girls and it’s a rare opportunity given that our circumstances here at RA – things aren’t great financially and the girls have obviously taken a fair hit in the pay packet.

“It’s a good opportunity to let them go and cash in on their hard work and in most cases, these girls that are looking, they have been going for five or six years of professional sport and being able to roll into trying something different could be a good opportunity.”

Carter’s club comeback


Imagine rocking up to play suburban rugby and coming out of the opposition dressing room to see Dan Carter, one of the finest fly-halves to ever play the game.

That the reality that faced West Melton as the legendary Kiwi made his return to rugby in NZ after turning out for club side Southbridge in Canterbury’s Ellesmere competition

In true club rugby style, Carter’s arrival to the ground was via the original team bus: his dad Neville, who dropped him off in his family car before he pulled on the blue and white.

In his first game in New Zealand since 2015, Carter played 80 minutes and contributing 12 points off the boot as they cruised to a 54-14 thumping victory.

After the match, Carter was quick to reflect on the unique experience for the 38-year-old to head back to the club that he played with as a five-year-old.

“Just coming back seeing familiar faces, familiar surroundings. Obviously a lot of childhood memories playing here at the club,” Carter said.

“I don’t get out here that often, so when I do it is always pretty special. The rugby is good fun as well. That is why it is so enjoyable.”

Even more thrilled was his father, who is a Southbridge life member and played 300 games for the club, who believed that his return captured the essence of what rugby was about.

“I think he went out there and had some fun and that’s what it’s about,” Neville said.

“He’s always enjoyed his rugby and to get out there with the local boys and just throw the ball around and have some fun and get back into it, I think he loved it.”

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, wasn’t it so cool to see rugby back again?
    Lots of early game nerves and some mistakes, but also lots of intensity and some really good rugby at times. No real surprises on the results and in some ways a continuation of the way it was before COVID. I wasn’t impressed with Penney being a sook about the scrums and not sure what he wants to achieve except piss off the referees so they give his team even more scrutiny. Him and Gatland seem to have caught the NH blame disease and instead of looking where their team should get better they spend all their time looking at the opposition. It’s non real wonder that both teams are at the bottom of the competition. I know it’s easier to be magnanimous when you’re winning but the comparison with Dan McKellar is pretty pointed.
    Good on the girls in finding somewhere to play and I hope they both go well and come back for when the 7’s start again.
    Great to see Dan play at a local club and it would have made those guys day to play with and against him. That video of him getting smashed in a tackle will be watched forever by the player lol

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep, look at how well whingeing served Cheika! That should be the example to all other coaches.

    • Da Munch

      Don’t think Penny’s whining was any good but Thorn’s whine after was worse to me. Both of Tupou’s hits were late, hit players off the ground and the first was leading with a shoulder.

      I probably shouldn’t mention their nationalities …

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I hate all the coaches complaining about the referees. Yeah sometimes you get the dd one who really is crap but unless in SA they are usually crap for both sides and it’s really up to the players to adapt to the referee. If they can’t do that then look inward at them, not out at the referee.

      • I couldn’t believe it when I heard Thorn complain.

        I mean, I get he wants to protect his players, but two dumb charges, late on the kicker? I guess the first one is technically a tackle, live my first thought was it might have been a shoulder and he was lucky not to get a card straight away. But repeating it? Just dumb compounding dumb.

  • Nutta

    Cheers Nathan

    I was keen to watch and reflect on the difference in game style between NZ & Oz Covid rugby as they develop in the post-modern world of isolationism and ‘home rule’ variations. But that said, I’m also conscious we need to allow for wk1 vs wk4(?) differences. That said the Kiwi’s are playing a lot more ‘ball’. We seem to be spending a lot more time on set piece as we work out the implications of the new kicking rules (eg the goal line drop out favouring the defensive team and not the attackers). It will be interesting to see where it goes.

    One notable thing out of the weekend was how much young blood was on the fields for the Oz teams. Fantastic. It’s Yr1 of the Bill cycle and it’s critical we keep production lines flowing. And some of that talent is serious talent. As ever it will be critical to watch their development and injuries, but it bodes well. There was no/little lamenting those that have made way for fresh talent to come through – except for one notable knob-end in the commentary box who BADLY needs replacing. Thank Christ Above he isn’t the CEO.

    Fantastic to see DanC running about in park rugby. Stuff like that will stay in the memories of the 40odd other guys who played that day for the rest of their lives. Gold. I can’t talk that up enough. It gives me goosebumps and giggles just thinking about it and how stuff like that is what makes this the greatest game in creation.

    My standout player for the weekend on both sides of the ditch was Shannon Frizel for the Highlandersl. Magnificent game. Bloody sad loss to rugby in this country.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Morning Nutta, I agree mate, seeing all those youngsters on the field makes me very confident of the game here going forward and like you I think comparing week 1 of NZ with week 1 of Aus is a fairer comparison. To me it wasn’t that much different although I think the NZ referees were more strict.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep and that is the exact comparison I made. I went back and watched the Kiwi round one games. I think the main differences I saw were speed of the game (kwi game faster), ball skills (bad on both sides, but the Kiwis are off a higher tide mark) and fitness. Kiwis were a lot fitter.

        • sambo6

          Thanks BL……so apart from being faster, fitter and with better skills….nothing for oz rugby to worry about

        • Brisneyland Local

          Dont get me wrong, dont want to seem like a total pessimist. The Wallabies will do better for the next number of years to come purely because the Ass Clown isnt in Charge. He also actually seems like a coach who knows what he is talking about. So from that alone I see great improvements. We may even reach the stage of being compeititive. But, skill levels and fitness alone of the Kiwi teams scare me. Their ability from a turnover to go on the attack. D Mc’s quick tap and bolting through the field would happen exactly the same to us. Wont happen again to another Kiwi team, regardless of how much Warren Gatland whinges.
          In the last 5 years we have deteoriated under Cheika. Under Rennie I see us improving. But we have a long way to catch up.

    • Keith Butler

      Absolutely, bring on the young talent. Your comment about DC reminds me of my own experiences in the UK. In the late 70s I recall running out against Coventry 2nds and seeing David Duckham and Peter Rossborough both England internationals and in the mid 80s when I was skippering our 3rd team locking horns with Bill Cuthbertson who was a Scottish international lock playing for London Scottish 3rds. Great to see these players giving something back to their clubs and not just riding off into the sunset once their careers at the highest level were over.

    • ATrain

      I was wondering how one Frizzell brother played RL for Australia and the other RU for NZ. Wikipedia tells me Tyson was born in Woollongong to Welsh dad and Tongan mum but Shannon was born in Tonga…so still not entirely sure.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        From schooling I think. I seem to recall Shannon went to school in NZ

        • Nutta

          I’m looking at it from a poor recruitment perspective as opposed to a poor retention issue. Everyone pinches everyone-else’ talent (eg we pinched Tupou and Sekope Kepu from NZ and England pinched the Vunipola’s from us) and that was just an example where we could/would/should have had a real gem. That said, the fish that got away is always bigger than the one you caught.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Grass is always greener on the other side. My bitch is the lack of individual growth here. It seems like players make va super side and then just switch that off. Shits me to tears

        • ATrain

          Yes would be better if we were less reliant on the immigration/eligibility lottery and were developing juniors from U6s all the way through. I think people with dual eligibility will gravitate to the best development system at a younger age (and possibility the best financial remuneration at an older age). I think there was a time when we probably offered as much or more in terms of coaching and development as NZ.

      • Nathan Williamson

        The Frizell’s are a unique case when it comes to international eligibility .

        Tyson has played RL for Wales/Australia under League’s relaxed eligibility laws whilst Shannon was born in Tonga and was actually a goalkeeper for Tonga’s U17 national soccer team before choosing rugby and NZ.

        Ironically, if not for immigration laws, the brothers would’ve been together and Shannon would have likely played for Australia

        As for what sport, who knows

  • Yowie

    Chiefs coach Warren Gatland was less than impressed after the match, particularly with Barrett’s ‘monster’ penalty, accusing them of moving the play forward 10 metres.

    It must give Kiwi players whiplash trying to remember what they can get away with in an All Blacks jersey versus when playing Claytons Super Rugby.

    Perhaps this little rhyme about “the mark” will help:

    “If you’re not in black, take the ball back.”

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Mate, you (and Gatland) need to watch the video on Roar. The kick was taken from exactly where the mark was given by the referee. Gatland is fast becoming a moaning whinging little cry baby with no credibility. Thankfully the way he is going he will never coach the ABs

      • Keith Butler

        I’d be interested in your views, as a ref, on the Chiefs penalty try that led to the red card. McKenzie took the tap from behind the mark which is fine but he didn’t take it through the mark but 1 or 2 metres to the left where there was a bit less traffic for him to run through. I know it’s splitting hairs and didn’t affect the result but should he have been called back to where the ref called the penalty, the try disallowed and Scrafton not give the second yellow and red?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          There was talk earlier in the season about not being pedantic about this. I thought he was too far to the left but it really depends on what the referees have been told.

        • Who?

          1-2m is nothing. I remember sitting in the crowd at Suncorp watching (I think) Aaron Smith take a tap from 7-8m sideways from the mark. He scampered through and avoided Pocock by 1-2m. If he’d been required to take the tap from the mark, then either:
          1. He gets tackled short and doesn’t score (because he takes it on the mark at the original time), or
          2. He gets called back and chooses not to take a tap because the Wallabies regroup.
          That try won the match. Of course, most people (including most Wallabies fans) didn’t even notice it, but it was maybe 20-25m away from me; I was directly behind the posts at that end of the field.

        • Keith Butler

          Dead right. It all happened so quickly so wasn’t called even though TJ was flapping his arms like a penguin complaining that it wasn’t taken from the mark. He was wrong on that count as the ref rightly pointed out.

        • The question about whether he runs through the mark is irrelevant, it’s about whether the point at which he tapped the ball, and therefore took the penalty, is in the line of the mark or not.

          20.2 Says you can take the penalty behind the mark, but must be in the line of it. 20.11 says lots of little bits, but in summary, once the person taking the penalty has kicked the ball and it’s clearly moved forwards of the point they choose to take it, they’re free to play the ball as normal. They’re not obliged to run forward through the position of the mark that the referee awarded the penalty.

          Speaking not as a ref, I’d suggest he was far enough back that, while Peranara was probably pedantically right – it was taken out of line – the ref felt “close enough.” The ability to adjust the line as he ran forwards from the point he took the kick more than made up for any slight error in the position he took it, after all.

      • Greg

        [Guys this is a kiwi thing. They even believe that they took the kick from the mark!!]

        Welcome back KRL!

        • Yowie

          If there is ever a murdered body found in the vicinity of the All Blacks World Cup preparation home base, the following exchange will occur between the investigating Detective and his/her sergeant after the first round of interviews:

          “Check everyone’s alibis. Except the All Blacks players of course. If they say that they were in a particular place then that’s good enough for us”

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah! and?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          hahahahahaha absofriggenlutely mate

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold.

  • formerflanker

    Imagine being the Southbridge regular 5/8.
    He’ll be proudly telling the grandkids in 50 years’ time “I got dropped for Dan Carter”.

    • Yowie

      “Grandad, he was 38 years old at the time”

      • Nutta

        “Bugger off ya disrespectful Git or I’ll clip your ears”

  • Hutch

    It’s great to see rugby back on! I noticed a big difference in the ruck interpretations in NZ and Aus. I’m really liking the cleaner rucks in NZ. Players in Aus are noticeably slower to release the tackled player, and more often diving in to counter ruck off their feet. The result is a slower, less fluid game.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Yeah I think that’s a big difference between the competitions. I also like the NZ version. I think the Aus version is closer to what the NH referees do

      • I kind of hope what the NZ refs are doing rolls out to WR and filters down everywhere to be honest.

        I think it’s taken until week 4 (possibly week 3, the weather changed the way those matches were played, it will be interesting to see what happens in bad weather in future rounds), but I think we’re starting to see the back row work out how to play the new interpretations but we’re seeing faster games, cleaner rucks in general and we’re not seeing teams whistled off the park any more. But the rucks are a contest still and carrying the ball into contact has to done properly.

        That said, having the Aus version close to how the NH referee the ruck might be better for cohesion and competitiveness longer term. If you get a Barnes, or a Garces or whoever refereeing your test match and you’re used to a more NH style of refereeing the rucks, that means one less thing to adjust to.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’d like to think the NH referees pick up on this and adapt but I see them as to arrogant to do that

        • Well if WR mandate this as the new global interpretations they don’t have a lot of choice.

          I can’t see them doing it on their own though.

    • Keith Butler

      Old habits die hard.


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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