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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News recaps a wild Super Rugby round, the results from clubland, Dave Rennie’s call for unity and James O’Connor describes his wild past


Super Rugby upsets

Hanigan

Hanigan

Well just when you think you know what’s going to happen, the Super Rugby Australia competition decides to flip the script for round six.

Starting in Leichhardt, the Brumbies were expected to cruise to victory against the Rebels.

However, the Melbourne side produced a near-perfect first half in soggy conditions, racing out to a 27-7 half-time lead.

They would control the second-half, giving coach Dave Wessels a record 20th victory for the club as the Melbourne side recorded a 30-12 victory.

“I think we’ve beaten the Brumbies more than they’ve beaten us and I don’t mean that in a bad way, we just feel confident to play them,” Wessels said post-match.

“We’ve been frustrated in the last couple of weeks that our game hasn’t quite been where we need it to be, but the group’s super engaged.

“Maybe I’ve been doing this too long, you can never get too up and never get too down; you’re never as good as you think you are and you’re never as bad as you think you are. It’s somewhere in the middle and every week’s a challenge.

With everyone only just recovering from the shock upset, the Waratahs then decided to pull out their best showing of the year, thumping the Reds 45-12 at the SCG.

Halfback Jake Gordon was electric during the contest, scoring a first-half hat-trick as they recorded their first win of the season.

“It’s a group of young men that are starting to find their place,” coach Rob Penney said.

“As a coaching group, we haven’t altered too much and just really wrapped that the players have taken a little step forward in terms of their belief and their confidence in what we’re trying to do.

“I think fundamentally right at the bottom line, that was it.”

Club rugby roundup

Shute Shield is now closer to Subbies than the Wallabies

Shute Shield is now closer to Subbies than the Wallabies

Starting with the Shute Shield and it was Gordon that showed their class to the rest of the comp as they dominated grand finalists Warringah 52-7, which left Rats captain Sam Ward less than happy with the result…

In other Results, Eastwood held off Easts 20-17, Souths overcame a scare with a narrow 37-25 win against Western Sydney, Sydney Uni dominated Penrith 41-3, Randwick blanked West Harbour 22-0 and Hunter managed to hold Manly to a 29-all draw.

In the nation’s capital for the John I Dent Cup, Royals returned back to form with a 23-5 win over Queanbeyan, Wests go back to back wins after they defeated Vikings 28-10 and the Owls win the Battle of the Birds to stay perfect as they held off Gungahlin 34-26

In the Premier Rugby, the main headline was the return of former Wallaby Will Genia, who came off the bench as GPS thumped Souths 59-14.

In other results, Brothers took out Norths 33-12, Bond Uni managed to outshoot Sunnybank 37-35 whilst Easts defatted Wests 32-17.

Heading to Perth, it was Wannaro that pulled off the shock draw against Nedlands, with both teams stuck at 24-all.

Across the comp, UWA overcame Bayswater 24-7, Palmyra pumped Coastal 73-0, Southern Lions blanked Curtin Uni 36-0, Associates cruised to a 24-12 victory over Kalamunda, Joondalup continued their strong start with a 47=14 victory over ARKs and Cottesloe outclassed Wests 21-8.

Finally in Adelaide for the Coopers Premier, Brighton maintained their unbeaten start after they defeated Barossa 28-0 whilst Burnside held off a spirited Onkaparinga 27-20.

In other results, Port Adelaide was impressive with a 35-9 win over Woodville, Old Collegians molly whopped Adelaide Uni 78-12 whilst Southern Suburbs pumped Elizabeth 69-5.

Rennie calls for unity

Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie will be making his home in Queensland

Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie will be making his home in Queensland

New Wallabies coach Dave Rennie is confident that both NZ and Australia will come together for a full-strength trans-Tasman domestic competition.

With NZR indicating that they want an eight-team competition, Rennie has called their bluff, believing that both sides will find a compromise to ensure that the majority of the current teams will be involved in the tournament.

“It’s just a little bit of debating going on, you’re going to finish somewhere in the middle,” he said.

“Certainly won’t be two – I think the trans-Tasman competition’s important, important for both countries.
“Obviously there’s talk about potential four sides or maybe five sides from here.”

Rennie backed the idea of having five Australian teams in the comp, suggesting that they need to offer further avenues for professional contracts with the looming threat of European/American rugby.

“The things I like about the five teams from an Aussie perspective is it’s a great opportunity for our young kids to get involved in professional footy and you get that experience and it’s one of those things he have is opportunities for those guys.

“You could argue Australia were really successful when they only had three sides and they had three really strong teams but I think if we’re looking long-term, there’s a lot of competition, the American leagues are starting up and a lot of players are being picked up to go there.

“We need to provide opportunities to stay here for their professional rugby.”

Whilst many critics over the ditch have laughed at this idea, citing the supposed difference in quality, the former Glasgow boss believes that a lot of this comes down to the different timelines of the two comps.

“I guess everyone’s comparing the two comps because they’re in isolation at the moment and there’s no doubt the New Zealand games are real high skill, high intensity and so the step up from that to Test rugby is probably not that massive,

“We’re starting to see shifts in the game now, we started three weeks after them.

“Thought the Brumbies-Reds game last week was excellent and there’s plenty of good kids coming through the system.”

O’Connor’s dangerous past

James O'Connor QLD Reds v Western Force (Photo Credit QRU Brendan Hertel)

Reds flyhalf James O’Connor has described the dark moment in a Paris prison that convinced him to turn his life around.

Speaking with The Australian’s Jess Halloran, O’Connor described how the intense pressures and stardom of being a teenage sensation clouded his judgement and floated his ego throughout his mid-to late 20’s.

“I was always chasing pleasure,” O’Connor says.

“I had never seen money like it. Then every door started opening for me. I would go to a restaurant and there would be no bill. Your ego kicks in. You think you are untouchable.

“It became no longer about the rugby, or about the purity of the craft. It becomes about after the game. You play well, so afterwards you will get noticed … what drove me to play football as a young man, to simply be the best, started to dissipate. The lines got skewed.”

As he continued to go off the rails, it was his stint in a Paris prison thanks to being guilty by association with former All Black Ali Williams that scared him straight.

He reveals that he was put in a dark jail cell with two other guys, where one man smeared faeces across their cell wall and another scream in rage.

He then watched another inmate strike the screaming man in the back of the head and “drop him” to the floor.

“My time in there haunted me,” O’Connor said.

“It felt like a medieval dungeon. It was horrible.”

He would find salvation through men’s wellbeing organisation Saviour World, where they would ‘break’ him physically and mentally in order to curb his dangerous habits.

“He built his body up to be strong first, starting with intermittent fasting, a wholefoods diet and limiting his caffeine intake — alcohol was out,” he said.

“He broke me physically first, then we started again, and then he broke me mentally, to get rid of that sooky kid that would feel like everyone is against him.

“The process we went through was a completely different world, it blew me away, then I just felt so good.”

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    After the Tahs performance, Rennie should make the Wallabies tackle a pillow for 2 minutes every night before bed.

    Good on JOC for opening up about his struggles and the rebuilding of his life. A cautionary tale for the young stars on the way through and their coaches, managers and parents.

    I don’t think the trans Tasmania competition needs 5 Aussie teams, unless the 5th team is East Coast based. The Force were, are and always will be, anything but.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      That last sentence is going to get some bites today mate

      • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

        Maybe, but it is the truth. The Force had over a decade to become competitive and failed to do so and still aren’t. I just don’t see what value they would bring to a trans tasman competition. There is far more talent waiting on the fringes on the East Coast to field a 5th team rather than re-igniting a failed experiment and expecting a different outcome.

        • Reds Revival

          I think you could argue the same about the Rebels. At least the Force beat the Rebels and Waratahs in the their last season in Super Rugby. You would have to say that they’re not too far off a win in Super AU

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Don’t disagree. The Rebels haven’t had 12 seasons to get their shit together, but need to get it together soon.

        • Kevino

          Going to bite, yes the Force beat the Rebels in there last season. They needed to because there record against the Rebels was s@it. Most Rebels fans wanted the Force to survive, was the only team we had a winning record against. 9-3 I think it was.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          And now the Force plays for the Rebels….8 out of the 15 that run-out plus the coaching team.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Let’s not forget that the Force was gutted and the coach and many players are now with the Rebels. I do think the proposed 8-team super comp, with the Tahs, Reds and Brumbies as the only Aussie teams is the best solution for next year.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          But that happened at the end, and is not a reason they struggled for the preceding decade.

          I think the Rebels should be included as they have the ingredients to be competitive and a challenger, however they definitely need some performance benchmarks placed upon them.

        • Perhaps you would like to share “the reason” in your mind Taht?

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          The wrong market for Rugby, which equally applies to the Rebels.

          The best players generally come from NSW and Qld, and are not really interested living in Perth, too solated from family and friends. Away games (excluding the 2 away SA games) require a significant amount of extra flying. So attracting enough talent to field a team consistently capable of being contenders is extremely difficult.

          And like all the other Aus teams the general incompetence of RA and the state unions themselves.

        • Fair comment.
          Always transient players, not enough time together for cohesion.

          If that be the case though, rugby can never survive outside of NSW and Qld, and will slowly fade into insignificance.
          I prefer to try push to make it work.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I think the Storm have shown Melbourne can be sustainable. It relies on the team having sustained success, as winning = dollars and success makes the club attractive to the most talented players.

          Unfortunately, the general administration of the game is a significant road block.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          When the AFL expands to new areas they are far more realistic, patient and supportive. Establishing a new franchise seldom lead to instant success especially if you are far removed from the player base.

          My expectations were that the Force will grow the game in WA, improve the quality of the club competitions and provide a professional environment for young players to develop to the Wallabies without having to relocate. Winning the competition was less critical especially as players are not distributed across franchises as they are in NZ and AFL.

          Superugby is a competition with a very low level of vertical mobility where the same teams tend to play finals year after year.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          “…..not a reason they struggled for the preceding decade.

        • Ads

          The more this year goes on, the more I reckon Aus is better off by ourselves.

        • JJ

          The Force are competitive this year.. Other than the game against the Brumbies, they were very close. Their last game against the Rebels ended in a draw, that needed a golden point decider. And a week later the Rebels smash the ladder leader Brumbies.
          Perhaps some humble pie might be on the menu for you in the second round?

        • laurence king

          Mate, things change. The Force are not what they were. They have a tremendous community now backing them, programs to develop youth, somewhat more organised than anywhere else in Australia and a benefactor wo loves the game. These are things that the game in Aus needs.

        • We must build our own base or will fail.
          Takes time of course, training a 6yr old into the game today wont give us new faces this weekend.
          Andrew Forrest’s statement of “In it for the long term” is promising to say the least.

          Complaints of ” The Force stole our players” etc over the years…(players that would otherwise have headed to Europe due to non-selection) is about the only bullshit that has ever really annoyed me.

        • laurence king

          An accusation of stealing players was one that has often been thrown at the Brumbies. If players have more opportunities within Aus as to where they play, I see that as a good thing going forward.

        • Whatever keeps them here Laurence.
          I often wonder how many teams would be in a National comp if they all returned… and them and others were given the chance.
          Apparently though, we have “only enough players for 4 teams”

        • laurence king

          An ‘ I wish’ list would be a comp with five or 6 Australian teamsthat was well supported and provided good pathways for players from juniors through to proffessional. I think that has a chance of happening. I can understand NZs reluctance to contemplate a competition with 5 Australian teams at this time. Maybe if the Wallabies can demonstrate this year and next that Aus rugby is on the way back, NZ may have a change of heart. Having a board that genuinely operates for the good of the game might be a good look as well

        • Stuff NZ, go your own way if that’s what suits.

          As much as I enjoy the company of those wankers from across the ditch, let them make their decision as to how it affects them.
          I’m sure the mighty AB brand will survive with or without us.

        • laurence king

          I think that we have to make decisions that are best for Australin rugby irrespective of what NZ want. And if that means a trans Tasman comp down the track, so be it. But I don t think that we can afford to treat WA or any other stakeholder as expendable any more.

        • I think you may be right, sadly some don’t see it.
          I have a suspicion however that RA will just bend over and do as they are told…
          Maybe I’m just jaded.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Don’t let NZ current strength dictates our future. We cannot afford another Force Fiasco.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          NZ think we only have enough for two teams. If you look at World Rugby website Australia have more players than NZ…. and the potential is there for expand the players base as Rugby is a minor sport a large sections of the country.

        • Yep, more elitist shite from NZRU Hannes.
          I’m happy with GRR no matter what happens.

          The old SR format fell apart yrs ago, and if NZ has their way, methinx it’ll quickly head down the same path

        • Who?

          The Tahs had a decade in the competition before they made the final, and didn’t win one for almost two decades… And they’d been playing Rugby for over 100 years by then!
          :-P

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          This is true.

    • Irrelevant to what you think Taht, Id say most over here would presume that The Force would be the ones to be left out anyways if 4 teams is the result.
      A return to GRR would probably be preferred by most.

    • Perth girl

      And the Rebels had extra millions poured into them and were still crap until they “inherited” the Force team and coach. There was never a level playing field in the way ARU treated the Force

      • Keith Butler

        Chips with everything.

        • Perth girl

          Truth hurts does it?

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      “The Force were, are and always will be, anything but….”

      • Keith Butler

        Couldn’t agree more. Nice to see a reasoned argument for why the Aussie SR should consist of 5 teams.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, Happy Monday. Well a huge couple of breakfasts of humble pie eaten by me this weekend. What was really pleasing was seeing the players like Gordon step up and show that there is real competition for places in the Wallabies. I personally didn’t think White demonstrated enough last season to see him as a walk-in to the 9 jersey and Gordon showed that he will give him a run for his money which is great. I know this will get some bites but I do wonder if the weekend was the Tahs and Rebels being so good, or the Brumbies and Reds being exceptionally poor. I think it was probably a bit in the middle. No doubt at all that the Tahs and the Rebels had to step up or their seasons would be looking dim and great to see them respond, at the same time both the Reds and the Brumbies were absolutely awful and I doubt that if these games were played again the result would be the same. Can’t take anything away from the winners though and it’s certainly setting up for a great final to the competition which is awesome to see.

    Congratulations to the Crusaders, they are certainly setting the bar in terms of skill level, intensity and sheer determination needed to get to the top and stay there. In some ways a pity there isn’t a Super level play off at the end of the two competitions but for that to happen they’d need to start and finish at around the same time. I hope the RC or Bledisloe Cup games get up this year. I won’t be too upset if they don’t as safety in these times is far more important, but by hell it’d be great to see.

    Good to see JOC talking about his troubles and I hope that some of the other young players are taking notice of what he says. I personally think the player managers and coaches have a responsibility here and I think it’s unfortunate that some of them aren’t held accountable for not looking after their players.

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      I agree it is a mix of Brumbies/Reds being off and Rebels/Tahs being on. I would say that the balance is more towards Rebels/Tahs being on.

  • Reds Revival

    I wonder how much impact the passing of Jordy’s father had on the team. Last year, Izaac Rodda played, which would have galvanised the team to play harder. With Pataia unable to play (due to the COVID restrictions, meaning he wouldn’t be able to attend his Dad’s funeral), it did look as though they weren’t playing with the same heart as the previous week. When they were falling off tackles in the first few minutes that they would have nailed a week before, I knew something was off, and it was going to be a long night at the office.
    I’m not taking anything away from the way the Waratahs played. That was a fabulous display of running rugby (excuse me while I dry retch for a moment).

  • Tomthusiasm

    I love how the inference is that Ali Williams was the bad influence on O’Connor

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      One of many I think mate

  • Straith

    Interesting to see the media and ARU back JOC’s reform and maturing.
    Quade had a very similar story and yet everyone still thinks he is a horrible and toxic person. The guy hasn’t put a foot out of line since he was early 20s, but he reputation is still tainted. Double standard imo.

    • Couldn’t agree more Straith. Bring them in young, shower them in glory, hate on them when it goes bad.
      Happens in a lot of sport.
      What some fans percieve as “truth” is subjective.

    • While I agree with you, JOC had the benefit of going away for several years – about 5 if memory serves? – while Quade has basically always been here, except for a very short stint (1 season I think?) at Toulon.

      We, that is the world in general, should recognise the changes in people over time, but we’re quite bad at it. For those of use with parents still alive, to how many of them are we still stuck as if we’re about 10 in the way they treat us? If we’re parents with adult kids, how often do we do the same to them?

      Why should the press be any better? JOC went away, and the stringers basically forgot him. He came back a changed man and they wrote about him as a new person. Quade’s time in Toulon was not enough to get him that grace, so they still treat him as the wild child. Fair? No. Human? Very.

    • HK Red

      I found when I started following QC on twitter, I saw a completely different bloke. He was no longer up himself, was very laidback, doing the training, helping out around the club, full of praise for his teammates. He did all the right things and the Australian rugby community just couldn’t forgive him. I agree wholeheartedly with EP’s comments.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I must admit I was one for a long time. One of my mates talked about meeting him with her kids and couldn’t speak highly enough of him and then I watched him that time he was miked up in a game and realised I was being unfair. Pity but I guess I had to grow up as well

  • laurence king

    Faeces being smeared across walls, inmates screaming, people being punched in the back of the head, medieval dungeon!!! I to have taught in public high schools like this.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Sounds like the home in “Once Were Warriors”. Just a normal South Auckland weekend

      • laurence king

        Lol

      • Yowie

        I think the NZ Tourism Board has been pretty sensible to keep their advertising focused on the bungee jumping, rafting and skiing.

        • laurence king

          Brilliant

        • onlinesideline

          as opposed to the nightlife….

  • Ads

    Covid has been terrible for many things, but has also provided some fantastic opportunities to trial things you never would have done before.
    By NOT playing kiwi and Saffa teams regularly we have had the chance to trial a domestic only comp. This has I believe several benefits:
    – No mental fragility from getting pumped continually, actually allowing players to improve before being destroyed
    – Cheaper
    – Force back, Rebels stay. The economics would never have allowed this I don’t think with the old tired format. Going back to 3 teams is a massive step back.

    I’m confident the Wallabies will be as good as they would have been playing in the old Super format – possibly better.

    Yes SuperAU is below SuperNZ most likely, but my take on history is we have not benefited from playing together possibly the last decade.

    Thanks and all, but seeya later if it was up to me!

    • onlinesideline

      1000% agree. The fact the new RA boss is talking definitely 4 not 3 teams is just driving me nuts. Why on earth would he put aussie rugby threw this dumping a team of loyal supporters again, to please the fricken kiwis. They are nothing without us in terms of broadcast appeal. Like you say, wit Covid you just could not make this up re a new domestic comp in 2020 and its been absolutely great. Its either full 5 aussie teams against kiwis or seeyalater. The no travel is making such a difference. The players before always looked deadset buggered from hotels and coach buses. What a horrible existence. Now its fresh and the spectators benefit from this extra fast rested condition the players are in.

      • Ads

        I’d even go further (without wanting to miss-understand you). Even 5 teams I reckon we are better on our own.

        • onlinesideline

          mate I totally agree. I just think the derbyism will always trump playin people no-one has reason to relate to.

          They are not us and we are not them ©OLSL 2020

      • Huw Tindall

        Talking 5 teams now. Hard word out onto NZ today with the TV package announcements. McLennan and Clarke doing a bang up job since they took over the RA show.

        • onlinesideline

          yeah I read that – awesome news. This Clarke bloke is good.

    • Who?

      Problem is… This is not just the first year where we’ve had a 10 round intranational tournament to warm up, but it’s also the first year with a good coach in half a decade. So improvements may be difficult to allocate. Is it lack of mental scars from not playing Kiwis every week, or is it new coaching? Or just new talent, or better selection? Or something else? It’s almost impossible to accurately allocate it.

  • Missing Link

    Read an article on the roar last week which was full of praise for the reds and brumbies and it even suggested the wallabies would largely be compiled of the reds and brumbies, that’s when I knew it was going to be full of shit. Then cometh the weekend and I witnessed the Rebels and Tahs play rugby which I dare say would have beaten 4 out of 5 NZ teams. It’s like they had that roar article stuck up inside the rooms for all to see.

    It was Naisirani’s first start since returning from injury, and I would dare say Rennie has just penned him into starting 8.

    • Hoss

      G’day Link. Yep best provincial game by an Aussie 8 in an age. I am an unabashed Harry Wilson fan but with that outing from Isi first run back from a spell he just said ‘catch me if you can young man’. He owned the Brumby pack outright and was just fantastic. Then Jack Dempsey also sent a message as well. His feet just before contact are terrific for a forward, but ISI’s post contact metres are something to behold. And Uleses schooled Palestine as well – nice problems for Moses and his selectors to have at present – real nice problem. It’s not who to pick, it’s who to leave out.

      • Missing Link

        Cheers Hoss, we certainly have some exciting young prospects but it’s the guys in their prime that our going to cement themselves in the Wallabies. I don’t want to be too critical of the roar article, I mean at least people read them, no body would be silly enough to read my own articles, but anyway it suggested players like Nick Frost and McDermott would be in. I mean, they could develop into wallabies but they really have no chance this year.

        • Hoss

          Agree with Philip completely. I have had him ahead of Rodda and Coleman for some time. He’s abrasive, likes a carry, good on D and does his work and Hosea is worth a look, even if its just in a wider ‘training squad’, there’s something about that kid.

        • Keith Butler

          Dempsey put in a very good shift. Swinton was quiet but sometimes that’s a good sign for a 6 being not seen and not heard but does the job nonetheless. Will Rennie go with Phillip if he’s heading north next season? Hosea is looking the business. Rebs losing Ainsley to the Landers next year will be a loss as well.

        • Hoss

          It could be argued KB that the Ponies are actually a tad underdone and perhaps a fraction out of form. The ‘stolen cookies’ of the last few seeks (wins at the death) may have been the exception not the rule. I am decidedly underwhelmed with The SS so far this year, he is somewhat down the pecking order for mine and i would proffer some distance behind 7A’s Mr Clapton, The Abattoir and co.

        • Who?

          Are the Rebels seriously losing another tighthead to the Clan?! It was bad enough when they lost Tyrel Lomax…
          Ainsley’s already capped – no idea why the Clan would want him. Especially when his history at scrum time would be generously described as ‘problematic’.

        • Keith Butler

          Yes according to the Fox team. Born and raised in NZ but ineligible for an AB spot so go figure.

      • laurence king

        Always the best of problems

        • Hoss

          G’day Mr King.

          Hope life is treating you well and perhaps you are knocking out a few paintings? Social distancing in Tassie would be a breeze with a population of 49 wouldn’t it – given 31 of them are cousins in the same household ? Plus you have heaps of space, the land is approximately the same size as Tasmania, so that’s a plus.

          Rugby is a welcome distraction at present and the quality of our game here is improving. I thought the Rebs & Tah’s were terrific and yes, the opposition were flat, but that can also be down to the other sides just being too good on the nite and not letting them in the game – also pleasing.

          Some great young talent on display, certainly a ‘changing of the guard’ and i like what i see so far.

        • Keith Butler

          Hoss. How many bourbons have you had ‘the land is the same size as Tasmania’ . WTF.

        • Yowie

          Yeah. Everyone knows it’s a bit bigger at low tide.

        • Incorrect.
          Due to its size, and hence lack of weight, it just bobs around like a cork.
          If it wasn’t tethered at Federation time, it would have drifted off years ago.

        • Yowie

          Instead of that expensive ferry to get there, why don’t they just winch Tasmania closer to the mainland when enough people want to get on or off?

        • I think Tasmanians want it as far away as possible

        • laurence king

          If they do that then I would prefer it towed around and up the east coast somewhere up Taree way, certainly no bloody closer to Victoria thank you very much

        • At least somewhere warmer.
          Any good rugby players over there?
          We have a big ocean over here.

        • laurence king

          Coleman came from down here. I’m the wrong one to ask as the business requires me to be at home up the coast from Hobart. There are about half a dozen teams. A near neighbour played into his 50s.

        • Yowie

          49 Taswegians between 6 teams is 8.167 players per team, so they must each play for multiple teams to be able to field 15 players. Their fitness and multi-position versatility must be incredible. Why is Adam Coleman the only famous recent Wallaby from Tasmania with that sort of athletic ability available to national selectors?

          Answer – pro-Waratahs bias as usual.

        • laurence king

          Numbers are no problem when when you can’t count

        • Yowie

          Wouldn’t that scratch the coastline on the way up?

        • retractable keel dude

        • laurence king

          Its ok, the west coast is largely unpopulated. If a bit rubs off on NSW it would do them good

        • Yowie

          A lot of us can relate to disregarding a largely unpopulated west coast.

        • laurence king

          To our shame

        • Hoss

          Whats rugby like on black & white teles mate? And do they play it before or after MASH down there?

        • laurence king

          We listen to the scores on old crystal sets and have to mimic the commentary of Kearns and co, which is the easy part because we are all inbred halfwits down here.

        • Hookers?

        • laurence king

          What? No thanks! Argh oh, I see where you’re going. Sorry, what can I say, the state lacks quality hookers.

        • laurence king

          In his defense, he’s right though

        • Hoss

          So your saying its not the same size as Tasmania ?????

        • Yowie

          5G mobile phone technology must be involved in this “shrinking landmass” issue somehow.

        • Keith Butler

          Dazed and confused. So The land (Tasmania) is the same size as Tasmania.

        • laurence king

          Apparently he’s seeing double

        • Hoss

          Correct. Just as well or those 49 Taswegians would be a tad upset i believe.

        • laurence king

          Hello good sir, last day on quarantine today after seeing the new grandson in Orange. Yes I have been painting a bit, a bit of red has been consumed and just as long as those 49 people dont come crowding on to our property its fine. The rugby has helped my isolation and great to see Penney’s charges progress in the way they have. Cheers

        • Hoss

          Congrats on the addition to the family line mate – terrific news in unpleasant times.

        • laurence king

          Thankyou, the resemblance is there but not too strong so my fears have eased for the lad

        • Yowie

          I think Laurence visited his new grandson before the Reds’ loss on Saturday, so “terrific news before unpleasant times” might be more accurate.

      • UTG

        I was happy to see Uelese playing well, his ceiling is so much higher than the rest of the rakes.

        • Hoss

          Afternoon UTG,

          Yep, i also like Ulese has a bit of #6 in his game. He is a big unit, strong over the ball and gets 1-2 steals a game. Solid at scrum time and sound across all the basic’s of #2. I also like he just goes about his business, Folau irks me a bit with the lip and after-try celebrations. Let your actions talk for you instead.

        • HK Red

          I was really surprised when I saw him standing next to some of the taller timber in the pack during one of the recent matches. He’s way taller that his body shape would indicate, which means yeah he’s a bloody big unit.

        • Who?

          Think he was always going to be a very, very good Rugby player, it’s just that, when you’re that big, it can take a bit of time for the body to harden up. Hence regular injuries. We just saw the coaches do the usual thing of “If you’re good enough, you’re old enough,” regardless of whether you’re hardened enough. And it cost him injuries, which may cost him time off the end of his career. I hope not.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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