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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 club rugby, the All Blacks squad for The Rugby Championship after North v South and the Force/Waratahs players named in a Wallabies train-on squad.


Super Rugby recap

Jordy Petaia 2 Brumbies v Reds Super Rugby 2020 (Photo Credit QRUBrendan Hertel)

There was still plenty to play for as Super Rugby Australia played its final round of the regular season.

To kick off Super Saturday, the Force were looking to end the finals dreams of the Rebels at McDonald’s Jones Stadium.

Needing to win by four or more, the Rebels looked certain to once again miss the finals after Force flanker Brynard Stander crossed in the 57th minute to push their lead out to 10 points.

However, the Rebels would find a way to score twice, including one in the last 60 minutes to secure a 34-30 victory, ensuring that they would qualify for the finals via point difference (that’s not a typo btw, a singular point was all that separated the Rebels and Waratahs on for and against.)

After the half-time entertainment of the North v South fixture, the Brumbies and Reds would close out the regular season with a (likely) grand final preview at Suncorp Stadium.

Like in their first encounter, the Reds would dominate the first 50 minutes, racing out to an 18-0 lead thanks to tries to Liam Wright and Chris Feauai-Sautia.

However this time, the home side’s impressive defence would hold strong as they cruised to a 26-7 victory, sending a major message to the Rebels/Brumbies.

“A job well done. All season the Brumbies have been the front-runners and respect to them,” Reds coach Brad Thorn said after the match.

“It was a tight contest which you’d expect from two good sides. There’s a bit of pride with these lads (Reds players) around our stadium – our house, to go undefeated, four-from-four was a goal that we had.

“Now it’s all about next Saturday (Qualifying Final). There’s another job to do.”

The Reds will be hoping to set up a rubber in the Grand Final when they host the Melbourne Rebels in the Qualifying Final at Suncorp Stadium next Saturday.

Club recap

Lautolo, Renie celebrates 240813D-2310.JPG

With the Super Rugby in its final weeks, all attention is set to turn to the club competitions of Australia.

In the Shute Shield, Manly won the ‘battle of the beaches’ 39-19 over Warringah as Western Sydney got the first victory of the season against Penrith (36-29) thanks to a hat-trick to prop Kalafi Pongi.

In other results, Gordon dominated Randwick 42-15, Easts pumped Southern Districts 57-19, Sydney Uni defeated West Harbour 50-29 and Norths outgunned Eastwood 41-38.

In the John I Dent Cup, Royals held off Uni Norths 16-10, Vikings cruised to a 40-21 over Queanbeyan whilst Gungahlin were narrow victors over Wests 42-36 thanks to some walk-on named Matt Giteau…

Up in Queensland, Bondi Uni were dominant victors over Souths 39-24 and Easts pumped Norths 31-7. Across the grounds and it was Queensland Uni that were narrow winners over GPS 29-26 and Wests held off Sunnybank 38-31.

The Coopers Premier in South Australia threw up some high scoring contests with Brighton (108-0 v Port Adelaide) and Onkaparinga (116-0 v Barossa) bringing up the century.

Meanwhile, Old Collegians molly whopped Woodville 86-5, Burnside were classy 99-6 victors over Elizabeth whilst Southern Surbubs cruised to victory over Adelaide Uni 55-10.

Finally in Perth, Cottesloe continued their unbeaten streak, raking up their 10th straight win with a 72-0 shutout win over Bayswater.

In other results, Coastal held off ARKs 31-26, Kalamunda outgunned Wanneroo 45-36, Nedlands held off UWA 33-25, Palmyra shut out Southern Lions 51-0 and Associates raised the bat over Curtin Uni 104-5.

All Blacks name squad

Beauden Barrett kicks clear.

Beauden Barrett kicks clear.

Just when Australian rugby fans start to feel good about a potential Bledisloe Cup upset, the All Blacks show why they are one of the greatest international sporting teams of the 21st century as the North and South islands of NZ faced off.

In what was essentially a glorified trial match on paper, the two teams produced one of the finest games of the year as they looked to impress new All Blacks coach Ian Foster.

In the end, it would be the South Island that would steal victory after the siren, with Crusaders winger/fullback Will Jordan latching onto a cross-field kick to seal a 38-35 win in the 86th minute.

When it came to naming the All Blacks squad for the upcoming Bledisloe/Rugby Championship on the following day, Jordan was naturally one of seven new faces named in the 35-man squad.

Blues standouts Caleb Clarke and Hoskins Sotutu were also rewarded for strong Super Rugby campaigns whilst Crusaders lock Alex Hodgman and Blues prop Quinten Strange the two surprise bolters.

“We’re hugely excited at the calibre of the players selected for this All Blacks squad of 2020. It’s been a great process working through the selections and I’ve really enjoyed working with ‘Plums’ (John Plumtree) as part of the new selectors group,” Foster said.

“The result is that we can now announce a team that is rich in experience and a little battle-hardened after the Rugby World Cup, but forward-looking with the inclusion of a number of new players.

“We’re delighted with the balance of the group and we look forward to whatever the challenges of 2020 throw at us.”

All Blacks squad: Hookers: Asafo Aumua, Dane Coles, Codie Taylor. Props: Alex Hodgman, Nepo Laulala, Tyrel Lomax, Joe Moody, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi. Locks: Quinten Strange, Patrick Tuipulotu, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Whitelock. Loose forwards: Sam Cane (captain), Shannon Frizell, Cullen Grace, Akira Ioane, Dalton Papalii, Ardie Savea, Hoskins Sotutu. Halfbacks: TJ Perenara, Aaron Smith, Brad Weber. Five-eighths: Beauden Barrett, Richie Mo’unga. Centres: Braydon Ennor, Jack Goodhue, Rieko Ioane, Anton Lienert-Brown. Outside backs: Jordie Barrett, George Bridge, Caleb Clarke, Will Jordan, Damian McKenzie, Sevu Reece.

A combined Force

Brynard Stander - Player Of the Week

Brynard Stander – Player Of the Week

Impressive backrower Brynard Stander is one of three Western Force players that have been included in a 15-man Wallabies train-on squad that will assemble at NSW headquarters over the week.

Whilst Rennie will remain in Queensland as he oversees the Super Rugby AU finals, the group will continue to train and bond as the selectors look to put the final touches on the Wallabies squad, which will be announced at the end of the tournament.

Stander, a former Currie Cup-winning Sharks back-rower who has been with the Force since 2014, will remain in NSW alongside future Waratah centre Kyle Godwin and hooker Feleti Kaitu’u.

As for the Tahs, forwards Harry Johnson-Holmes, Tom Horton, Angus Bell, Ned Hanigan, Rob Simmons, Lachlan Swinton, Michael Hooper and Jack Dempsey have got the nod, along with backs Jake Gordon, Will Harrison, James Ramm and Jack Maddocks.

The session will be overseen by new assistant and England’s mastermind Scott Wisemantel, who will travel to Sydney to run two sessions on Wednesday and Friday at the Waratahs’ Daceyville headquarters.

The Wallabies are planning to have all players assembled together at Sanctuary Cove in Queensland after the Super Rugby AU final on September 19, but plans continue to change as Argentina announced that up to half a dozen players had tested positive to coronavirus over the weekend.

“After completing a new batch of PCR tests, in order to minimise the risk of contagion and be able to start the health bubble, the results yielded six positive cases of Covid-19 in the campus,” Argentina Rugby said in a statement on Saturday.

“All of them [are] asymptomatic and already fulfilling preventive isolation. They are the players Juan Cruz Mallía, Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Rodrigo Fernández Criado, Bautista Pedemonte and Lucas Bur.”

  • Custardtaht

    Great weekend of Aus Super Rugby. I won’t write the Rebs off in regard to knocking of the Reds. One and done pressure is a different beast and Toomua has handled the pressure well. I can see the game boiling down to a JOC v Toomua, with the winner of that battle to win the game.

    I normally couldn’t give two Ioanes about an All Black squad. This time I had a wee look to see what Fodder is being served up to the Wallabies. They don’t impress me much.

    • Keith Butler

      I don’t fancy our chances. The Reds were impressive top notch defence, again and a very good attack. If Wessels picks Meakes and Hodge at centre, we’re screwed. With Deegan and Toomua at 10 and 12 Could be in with a shout. What I like about this years comp has been it’s unpredictability. Just hope we get an A game from both teams.

      • Custardtaht

        The Reds are the favourites leading in, but so often the favourites don’t win. Young team, one and done pressure, you just don’t know.

        From a rugby stand point, a third bout between Reds and Brumbies would be epic.

      • Alister Smith

        I think the struggle will be in the forward pack – I didn’t think the Rebels scrum was a clear winner over the Force and I think the Reds are much more of a challenge here. Rebs probably have a lineout advantage (or Reds have the weakness more accurately) but at the ruck, if the Reds compete like they did on the weekend, then the Rebs will struggle. Both sides have some real punch in their backs but I think it will be the forward play that will decide the outcome this weekend.

        • Keith Butler

          I fear you are right. The Reds will have the better pack overall, maybe not at lock but certainly in the other positions. It all depends on who Wessels selects at 10 and 12 in my book. The pairing of a Deegan and Toomua has worked. MT does not shirk his defensive duties and will help Deegan. If he goes for a Meakes and Hodge, they will have to raise their game several levels otherwise, as I posted earlier, we’re screwed.

        • Reds Revival

          While I rate Phillips in the row, and Hosea is developing nicely, LSL is playing like a beast at the moment, and Blythe is improving each week (his attitude and doggedness reminds me of Coleman in his earlier days, when he became a bit of the enforcer). It should be a belter of a match up.
          How was LSL’s hit on Sio!

        • Keith Butler

          Yep. It will be a battle royal between the four of them. Still prefer LSL at 6 but with that much other talent in the back row lock should probably be his preferred position to get a look in for the G&G.

        • Reds Revival

          Completely agree.

        • Alister Smith

          Blythe tied up (at least twice I think) players and kept them from going to the ground to get a turnover ball – that is not an easy skill. If he wants to be a hardarse he certainly has the right coach to show him how to do it.

    • UTG

      Agree, the Rebels at their best play a gritty frustrating game that gives the opposition very little chances. If they can do that and deny the Reds go forward they should have a chance. However, if the game is more free flowing the Reds should win easily.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hard marker on the AB’s mate. I think there’s a pretty good team amongst all those picked.

      • Custardtaht

        This is probably true, but I’m not going to admit it.

        • Yowie

          On considered reflection, I wouldn’t rule-out the ABs picking a handy team.

          I’ve now moved on to figuring-out the Pope’s religion. Where bears defecate is after that.

        • Custardtaht

          And then where do flies go when it rains.

        • Thomas Murray

          18 more years of the Bled

        • Custardtaht

          I can’t see why the Bled will stop after 18 years.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          And fair enough too

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. well am recovering from a great weekend of rugby. I am glad that a Super Saturday doesnt come along very often. If it wasnt fathers day the next day, I think I would have used up a few brownie points. My Monday morning mad ramblings:
    – Force v Rebs was scrappy in windy conditions that affected the game a little. Force were starting to choke but managed to clear their airway in the last minute and get it done. Wessell’s looked like he was about to go into Tachycardia.
    – North Vs South was a great game to watch, and boy was it fast. One things those Kiwi’s can do is counter attack and farking quickly.
    – Red vs Ponies. A great game for the Banana benders, and great to see the Reds being disciplined and brutal in defence. Inventive in attack.
    – Rennie, will be able to pick from all 5 squads with players that are in form. Unlike the Ass clown who picked only those in Sky Blue regardless of their form. I think there will be some selection headaches. But that is a good position to be in.
    – The Kiwi squad announced looks good and deep. I really do hope the Bled matches go ahead. It will be great to see how the Wobs go. And playing against the Darkness is the ultimate yardstick of where we are at.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Morning mate. Some great rugby and the Rebels need to really sort themselves out this week if they want to go forward.
      I’m not hopeful on any internationals but by hell it’d be great to see the Wallabies this year with a decent coach, decent selections and a good game plan. TBH not a lot of the incumbents in the Rebels are impressing me at all and I’m hoping there are big changes.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Two cows would be about it.

      • Keith Butler

        Very true KARL. Uslese, Phillip, Isi, Toomua and Koribete are in with a shout imo.

    • Custardtaht

      I see the Wallaby selections as pretty easy. Pick the Reds best 23 then compare that player in that position against those in the Tahs, Brumbies and Rebs.

      In the end you end up with a team of
      15 Waratahs, 4 Reds, 2 Brumbies and 2 Rebels.

      Like the Compare the Market Meer Cats say…..Simples.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold! ;-)

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan a great weekend of rugby as you say. Brumbies will be doing some serious questioning on their tactics but with a week off to recuperate and plan I see a different beast appearing in the final. Reds will want to maintain some momentum going forward and I think unless the Rebels step up a couple of gears they may struggle next week. Going to be a great game and I’m hoping they bring back the Deegam/Toomua 10/12 as I think it was much more effective than Toomua/Meakes.

    The Nth vs Sth game was a good spectacle and the AB team is looking very strong. I hope they get to play but won’t be surprised if there isn’t any international games this year. A shame but understandable especially after the news coming out of Argentina.

  • Nutta

    Morning Fellow Fornicators

    Big ups to the Pinko Qlders. Their defence is turning into a serious weapon and they are developing a confident swagger about it which is just priceless. That said, I think the Donkeys were their own worst enemy. They were just 5* off in everything they did – exemplified by nothing better than K’train dropping a pill over the line. Everyone has a shite game and I would be worried betting against the Donkeys because they have now had theirs…

    Scum – great to see them in the finals. Sorry to see the Forcies out but at a choice between the Forcies win and the Tarts make the finals, well sorry Forcies but that’s a mountain too far for even my love. That said I agree with the general sentiment that the Scum need to open up their tactics or it will be over very quickly against the Pinko’s and with a backline as capable/talented as the Scummies, I’m surprised to even be having that thought.

    Fantastic footy over the ditch. Just a pleasure to watch.

    Ok, so SydUni scrape in a win vs the MudChooks last weekend. Well Super is over now so the Uni 1st grade will become 2nd grade I guess and so it will flow… expecting cricket-scores from here on in I guess. That should help for a balanced competition no end eh?

    In other news, Wagga Tarts lost to the Boiled Lollies in the Southern Inland on the weekend. I can scarcely believe I just typed that.

    • onlinesideline

      it amazes me why the radical change of angle is not implemeted more in footy these days because if there is one way to break a defence its that. The Brumbies play of Wright turning it back in to Samu actually beat almost 6 reds players who were right up on cover, sprinting in fact. That Samu has to be close to a starter in my book.

      • Nutta

        For a number of years the Donkeys played that mad-fast sideways speed game to stretch everyone and then just a little dink to the inside would mean you went through. I think folk are that used to chasing the Donkeys helter-skelter across the park that almost any change of direction will get penetration.

    • Who?

      Isn’t that the second Brumbies dud game..? They scraped home last time they played the Reds, but their real dud game was against the Rebels.

      Worth noting that the pattern has been that teams returning from a bye generally have done well in this comp (though they’ve also often faced the Tahs, which may have helped!). Last time the Brums had a bye, they came back and smashed the Tahs. A Tahs team fresh off smashing the Reds and beating the Force. Will that pattern continue? Will the team with the bye in the first week of the finals come back fresher and win? It will be interesting to see.

  • Missing Link

    Well my prophecy was almost correct, the Rebels bogey team are the Force. They are very very lucky to end up with exactly the amount of points required to knock the Tahs out of finals contention, and even worse knowing that they blew a 10 point lead. they should have stepped on the gas at that point, the moment that Korobeite, DHP and Hodge manufactured that try down the right hand side was great but would have been better turning that 10 point lead into a 17 point lead. Meakes repeated case of the fumbles at crucial times in the second half were poor and Hodge’s inability to find touch was unforgivable but gets a bit of a free pass because he had a decent game overall.

    Watching the Rebels and the Force, then tuning in for the North South game left me feeling deflated, not even the Brumbies Reds could revive any spirit in Aussie Rugby. NZ skills are on another level.

    I also think Kuridrani played himself out of the Wallaby 13 jersey in the last few games, played poorly against the Rebels, then omitted for a few games, then brought back and has played pretty poorly. I would rather put Hodge in 13 and I know that’s not popular around here, but then we have Petaia as another option. Nick White should wear the Wallaby 9 and combine with Toomua at 10. Anyone rate Keunzle as a potential? Despite being an injury replacement for Lolesio, it seems like he might be better off somewhere else to develop as a 10. Reminds me a lot of Jack Debreczeni.

    What’s everyone’s prediction for this weekend, Reds by 1000? I don’t think the Rebels have it in them unfortunately.

    • Brisneyland Local

      After the weekend game I am going Tate McDermott 9 and JOC 10 with Two Cows at 12.

      • Reds Revival

        I agree. That would be the most potent attacking option, but I suspect that Nic White will be the run on, and Tate the Energiser Bunny they bring on at the end. Much like Aaron Smith starts for The Darkness, and then they bring on TJ.

        • Missing Link

          Agreed, I think TMD (can we call Tate that?) will come off the bench, not that he hasn’t earned a gig, it’s just the experience of White should give him the start and TMD to come on and close it out.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah and I wont be too dissapointed with that. Mind you Nic White Struggled a bit on Sat night.

        • Hoppy

          I still haven’t forgiven WHITE for not kicking that ball out near full time in McKenzie’s last test match as coach – and the AB’s score from the kick return to take the match at SUNCORP.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I had forgotten about that. But alas. That was a long time ago, and I have more of my pissed off bucket full with Ass Clown misdeeds to allow space for that one.

        • Hoppy

          :-)

        • Mike D

          I’d like to see Tate doing the understudy thing for another year, coming on after Nic White. Give him a chance to learn to handle test pressure. The way TM moves and the lines he runs and options he takes reminds me a lot of Beauden Barrett actually, even though TM plays half and BB plays 5/8.

        • Alister Smith

          There were two or three occasions on Saturday when Tate got caught cleaning out or caught in the ruck for some other reason and that left no one to distribute/or protect the ball at the back. From memory all or at least most resulted in a loss of possession. I think some might have come down to communication lapses and others maybe over eagerness on Tate’s behalf. Sometimes you have to go in otherwise the ball is lost but, for the half, It is ideally better if you delegate that cleaning out task to forwards i.e. shout at someone else to come in. It seems gutsy but the truth is, while he might clean out as well as a forward, no forward will throw the clearing pass as well as him. Just a tiny thing I noticed in his game that I hadn’t seen before and, as I said above, might have been more of a communication issue. I think that Nic White is good enough that we don’t need to rush McDermott or another player into the spot so I would go with him. I suspect that, by 2023, unless someone else emerges, he will be our first choice.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m with you. McDermott played way better than White. I have t seen White do anything back here that makes him a walk on. The only thing he has is experience and I’m not sure that’s enough to give him a start

        • Brisneyland Local

          We will definitely see in a fortnights time.

      • Huw Tindall

        If you were picking the form team it would be that combo. Only thing that’s worried me about Rennie’s PONI squad so far is Toomua is bracketed in the 10 position rather than centre. IMO JOC has shown he is a more natural 10 than Toomua and you don’t lose a lot in defence with him there either which is arguably Toomua’s strongest string in his bow. I could live with White at 9 too but if we want form and combos it has to be Tate given the body of work across the season.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The Morgan Tuirinui body of work. Yep ! Agree 100% I think you can have JOC 10, and Two Cows 12, and they will play interchangeably. Which would be great. Plus we have 2 guys kicking at higher than 80% which is better than Spanners Foley!

        • Huw Tindall

          Indeed! Monsieur Morgs does seem to know what he’s talking about. On their pod the Ruckus guys talk about mixing youth with experience and especially in the key “spine” positions you need experience. For instance would pick Tate and Lolesio at 9/10 for a Test. You need an experienced head in there so if Lolesio is your man you go White at 9 even if you think Tate is a long term test 9. As it stands now I don’t think any of the young guys have shown enough to start at 10 or 12 so decision is relatively easy. Lolesio was having a blinder but had a pretty serious injury and will have limited time back before any test matches. Harrison continued to build throughout the season and is kicking at 95% but still it’s his first year like Lolesio so wouldn’t be throwing him in the deep end no matter how well he’s done. Kuenzle not enough time and Lance unfortunately too old to really make a run at 10 for the next RWC cycle I would think, and in any case JOC has been out playing him. Given the above it makes going for Tate at 9 even more likely an option as you’ve got oodles of experience outside him at 10 and 12. Really looking forward to Rennie’s first team actually!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Listen to the Ruckus a bit. Speaking of Podcasts have you noticed there hasnt been one on here for weeks. No report card. No GGR Podcast.

    • Yowie

      The Reds defence is a formidable “death star” and the Rebels would have no chance, even if they stole the Reds’ defence plans and found a weakness…

      • Mike D

        Now you’ve put the mockers on us… DHP looks a lot like an older Mark Hamill.

        • Yowie

          I reckon DHP looks more like Damian Lewis from Band of Brothers etc.

          Actually, if I recall Band of Brothers (and the WW2 European theatre) correctly, the allied paratroopers did rather well playing away in the impregnable “Fortress Europe”. Shit.

      • Nutta

        ‘Help us Too Cows, you’re our only hope!’

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon all,

    What a weekend, Great weather, terrific rugby, Father’s day and the icing on top, that colossal prick Djokovic knocks himself out of the US Open – it just can’t get better can it, the ‘unlosable’ major yet that wanker finds a way. All I need now is a fat redundancy offer from the MD, a couple of negative DNA paternity tests and my year finishes on a high and a chance to work on my golf swing, which to be fair is more arthritic, full body heave / convulsion than any sort of fluid, sanguine beauty.

    Results are in for round 1 of the GAGR Super Coach Wallaby Selections. I will re-open the site from this Thursday for round #2 and then again #3 for the final – after that i will have the IT boffins extrapolate the data for an overall squad to see how we compare with Moses.

    Thanks to the 29 voters – here’s your GAGR PONI so far and the votes they got from the 29 with some notable omissions – Hardwick, Jock Campbell, Stander, Swinton, Hanigan, Mc Caffrey, Cameron Orr, Joe Powell, Hamish Stewart & Kyle Godwin all missing the GAGR initial selections – here you go:

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/0c4e15906d080687804bc43a50bef0aeef51767a300c7b64e395e0f0bc8e5bb3.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/497b94ce895dfeb0b4423360332a2c1dd62362a0a284d250980536f11312bad5.jpg

    One edit – with the backs obviously some players can play several positions and likely will, i have shown them in their main or ‘preferred’ positions on the list.

    • UTG

      Great work on the voting.

      Geez, that squad looks pretty accurate. I’m not sure your notable omissions are actually that notable. The tough stuff will be turning it into a matchday 23.

      • Hoss

        Wouldn’t have surprised me if Orr had snuck his way in over Bell and Hamish Stewart has been under the radar this year, but him at 12 has allowed for the Reds their success this year. His D is first rate and he offers good hands and a kicking game and outplayed Simone quite completely. Having said that the Ponies were a dogs breakfast on Saturday nite though. Also Moses has already got one over us, he has picked Standyn in a wider training squad, but not Lee-Warner. Not that Standyn doesn’t deserve a look at, but i though Lee-Warner warranted a real good look at and he was again terrific on Saturday.

        • Huw Tindall

          I made a similar comment re Stewart over on Twitter during the game. Just watching him I thought bugger me why isn’t he being talked about as a PONI or even smokey starter. Very similar skill set to Toomua but less likely to get a concussion. The bloke has played at 7 too in his younger years so is not averse to doing a real rugby players job either. Still young too so headroom for even more development.

        • Hoss

          The reds didn’t really know how to use him last season mate, but he’s made 12 his own. He was 10, 15 bench and then 12. It suits the way the Reds play. He offers more value than Hegarty starting and gives JOC a plan B when needed. There looking a good outfit up north.

        • Huw Tindall

          True that – the poor bloke suffered from Hodgitis for a couple of years but Thorn seems to have applied the good old fashioned home remedy of pick and stick and he’s now looking fighting fit.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Awesome work mate and it’ll be interesting to see how Rennie compares, especially with his penchant for playing people who play well rather than who have a history of being in a side previously. I’m excited for the Wallabies and I think we’re back on track to having a really good team.
      I was away all weekend so I’ll be there for the next round

      • Hoss

        100% exciting times mate. The GAGR faithful have selected a squad based on form. I see the main battles in the loosies to be honest the front row picks itself, hookers too, locks – better form line now then a few weeks back and to be honest Rodda and Coleman arent needed now, but the loosies – that’s a real good problem to have. Samu was great on Saturday nite and you have the reds trio just begging to be picked

        • Steve

          I’d be very disappointed if the Rebels manage to roll the Reds this week and we don’t get the Bru v Red final.

          I think I’d be basing my decisions on the final, particularly given you could happily take the Brumbies or the Reds 6/8 pairing to the Wallabies with no concerns at all.

          As much as I think Kuenzle is providing able replacement, it’s sad to miss out on the Lolesio/JOC matchup.

          Kuridrani had a couple of weeks off but will need to pull his socks up if he wants to hang on to the 13.

    • Frosty morning

      This is great Hoss. I don’t think there’s any glaring surprises, although as with any squad there’s always a couple who could consider themselves unlucky. I actually don’t envy having to pare the squad to 23 – but when good, in-form players are missing out (at the expense of other good, in-form players) it’s a refreshing situation to be in.

      • Hoss

        Gday Frosty. Said boffins are working on a Match Day 23 now – from the GAGR PONI wider list of 46 – that’ll get interesting for sure

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Good on Stander, Godwin and Kaitu’u to get a look in. Lee-Warner played a good game as well and I am surprised that he is not considered as blind side flanker and Ralston should also have came close. It is so difficult to shine in a losing side so I hope they get an opportunity to show what they can do in the train-on-squad.

    • Reds Revival

      In previous years, they would certainly justify being called into the squad, but this year, we have such a richness of talent in the back row and on the wings that being in a losing team possibly did work against them.

    • laurence king

      The good news is that the Force is back and going forward more players are going to get opportunities. I think Ralston knows whthe try line is and ha a bright future.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Unfortunately it will take about 5 years for the next generation of locally developed players to graduate to Superugby. We lost a generation of young players to other states after RA axed professional rugby in WA. We would need to build up our squad from WA players that would like to return and those that do not get enough game time elsewhere.

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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