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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News reviews the semi final of Super Rugby AU, looks at the Wallabies squad and the host of the Rugby Championship along with recapping results at clubland


Redy to go

Queensland Reds celebrate their win

Queensland Reds celebrate their win

The Reds have booked their place in the Super Rugby Australia Grand Final after defeating the Melbourne Rebels 25-13 at Suncorp Stadium.

The Rebels would dominate possession and territory during the first half, however, they would go into the half locked at 10-all thanks to an intercept try to Jordan Petaia.

From here, tries to Filipo Daugunu and Taniela Tupou would give the home side some much-needed breathing space, securing their place in the inaugural Super Rugby Australia final against the Brumbies.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance, which is all we wanted from tonight,” captain Liam Wright said.

“Keep fighting and give ourselves a chance to reach for it next week.

“The job ain’t done yet, but it’s a good start.”

Wright praised the effort of the entire squad during the physical encounter, believing that their bench was the main difference makers.

“It takes a whole squad effort, those finishers really stepped up and did their job, as we knew they would,” Wright added.

“We knew it would go deep in the game and our guys would come on and do a job for us.”

With Wallabies coach Dave Rennie looking on, his pencilled-in Wallabies squad took a major hit as the main talking point from the match would be the influx of injuries to Wallaby hopefuls.

Wallabies hooker Jordan Uelese appears to be in the biggest doubt for the Tests after suffering an apparent AC joint injury whilst Petaia failed a HIA during the first half.

The 20-year-old was shortly joined by bolter Chris Feauai-Sautia, who continued his nightmare run with injuries as he left clutching his groin.

Meanwhile, flyhalf Matt Toomua was forced off the field after appearing to aggravate a groin injury, with his fullback Dane Haylett Petty continuing to struggle with a knee injury.

Wallabies squad named

Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie will be making his home in Queensland

Wallabies Coach Dave Rennie will be making his home in Queensland

Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has named his first squad as new coach ahead of the 2020 Test season.

The squad contains 16 uncapped players as the Wallabies’ new era begins whilst a further 13 players have played less than 10 Tests.

Eight of those players made their Super Rugby debut in 2020, including Angus Bell, Will Harrison, Tom Horton, Trevor Hosea, Hunter Paisami, Noah Lolesio, James Ramm and Harry Wilson.

Naturally, the squad is dominated by the two Super Rugby finalists, with 13 Brumbies and 11 Reds included in the 44 man squad.

“This is a really exciting day for us,” Rennie said in a statement.

“We’ve picked this squad on form and on potential and I know the whole group are chomping at the bit to get stuck in and push their case for a Wallaby jersey.

“There’s a big game to come on Saturday night down in Canberra but personally, I’m really looking forward to getting out on the grass in a week’s time to start putting in the work together.

“When we picked the squad, we had to consider how we will handle the rigours of the Test calendar ahead.

“It is obviously a big squad which is due to COVID restrictions as we can’t bring players in and out but each of one them is there on merit.”

Back-rowers Isi Naisarani and Jack Dempsey, as well as centre Tevita Kuridrani are the major omissions.

It is expected that two international-based players will be added to the squad, with SANZAAR allowing teams to take up to 46 players in a squad as a result of the threat of COVID.

Full squad: Jermaine Ainsley, Allan Alaalatoa, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa’amausili, Folau Fainga’a, Jake Gordon, Ned Hanigan, Will Harrison, Dane Haylett-Petty, Reece Hodge, Michael Hooper, Tom Horton, Trevor Hosea, Len Ikitau, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Marika Korobiete, Noah Lolesio, Jack Maddocks, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, James O’Connor, Brandon Paenga-Amosa, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaia, Matt Philip, Joe Powell, James Ramm, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Rob Simmons, Irae Simone, Scott Sio, James Slipper, Lachie Swinton, Matt To’omua, Taniela Tupou, Jordan Uelese, Rob Valetini, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Liam Wright, Tom Wright

Rugby’s home

Rory Arnold gets into full stride

Rory Arnold gets into full stride

In a major boost for fans and Rugby Australia, SANZAAR has confirmed that Australia will host the upcoming Rugby Championship.

The tournament will involve a six-week, 12-match, “home and away” series involving Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

It will be primarily based in NSW, with Queensland set to host a doubleheader, including one of the Bledisloe Cup matches

“We are delighted that SANZAAR can, at last, confirm the participants and host country for The Rugby Championship and put an end to the continued speculation about the tournaments’ format and location,” SANZAAR CEO Andy Marinos said.

“Traditionally TRC is played as an international, cross-border series of home and away matches between Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa but due to the pandemic this is obviously not possible this year.”

“We have, therefore, worked very hard as a group to ensure TRC takes place this year, albeit in one country, and SANZAAR was meticulous in assessing the two options for hosting presented to it by New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia”.

RA CEO Rob Clarke was ecstatic after hearing the news, believing that it allows the sport to regain some all-important market control in Australia’s inflated sporting environment during a relatively quiet period.

“I think it’s an enormous opportunity,” he told reporters.

“Off the back of a heavily disrupted calendar this year to be able to play Test match rugby with four of the top global Test unions in a competition format such as it will be over a six-week period, in a time of year that’s not really traditional to play rugby, at a time of year in a nice way there’s not a lot of other content that’s going to compete with us, I think it’s a fantastic opportunity.

“I think it’s wonderful for fans, you’re going to be able to potentially go to one ground and experience two Test matches out of four of the best nations in the world and that will be happening week in, week out in NSW, so what a great opportunity for the game and fans.”

Club recap

Matt Faessler Brothers Rugby QLD Club GF Photo Credit QRU Brendan Hertel

This week’s club action through up a bunch of thrilling games and shock results as we near closer to finals time.

Starting in Sydney with the Shute Shield and it was Hunter that pulled off their first win ever as they defeated Western Sydney 28-15 whilst Easts upset Sydney Uni 22-14.

In other results, Norths smashed Randwick 46-17, Eastwood cruised to a 45-27 victory over Manly, West Harbour held off Penrith 38-29 and Gordon pumped Southern Districts 56-21.

Heading up to Queensland and it was Uni of Queensland that regained top spot on the table after holding off a valiant Brothers side 36-31.

Meanwhile, in a week for the away teams, GPS cruised home against Norths 47-20, Easts dominated Souths 57-26 and Bondi Uni defeated Wests 39-19.

In the nation’s capital for the John I Dent Cup, Gungahlin held off Uni-Norths 33-21, Royals drew with Queanbeyan 27-all thanks to a very late converted try to Royals whilst Tuggeranong pumped Wests 71- 29.

Heading west to South Australia and it was Adelaide Uni who managed to finally break their duck as they defeated Barossa 27-15 whilst Brighton held off a valiant Southern Suburbs 14-0.

Around the grounds, it was Old Collegians that dominated Onkaparinga 31-5, Port Adelaide cruised home against Elizabeth 43-11 whilst Burnside maintained touch with the leaders with a 49-5 win over Woodville.

Finally in WA for the Fortescue Premier Grade, Nedlands ended Cottesloe’s unbeaten start as they scraped home to a 20-17 win whilst ARKs and Wanneroo played out an entertaining 50-all draw.

Meanwhile, Kalamunda defeated Southern Lions 41-7, Wests held off Associates 28-27 and Joondalup avoided a scare against UWA, coming home 21-19 winners.

  • onlinesideline

    Pumped

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, Great result on Saturday and this week should be epic with both form teams getting through. Injuries will be a concern to the Reds and hopefully the injured will come right during the week. Hope the weather stays good and we get a game of running rugby.
    Interesting picks by Rennie and his team and I’m not that surprised with either Naisarani or TK not making it. As one other guy wrote Naisarani always runs for the player whereas the 8’s picked run for the gaps and both offload better. Because the squad is so big I’m not sure that there is anything that really leads to his run on team except that he looks as though he may be going for a high tempo match.
    Cool to see the RC games given here and personally I’m selfish enough to be glad as it means I’ll be able to attend a couple of the games. Interesting approach to the different quarantine rules and I hope it works out ok, especially with the issues the Argies are having.

    • Dally M

      Good to hear Rennie come out and tell the Kiwi’s we won’t be playing to their schedule either, if the current quarantine rules remain in place.

      Those games may end up being moved here too if they aren’t flexible on the dates because i can’t see the NZ Gov’t changing their quarantine rules.

      • onlinesideline

        He knows their game. That’s the great thing about Rennie, hes a kiwi from outside the clique. Wont be afraid to square up pre-game and during game.
        Think the kiwis will respect him early on and that will transfer to our players sub consciously. Would be awesome to get a win at Eden park early in his tenure. Are we playing there ?

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah I read that earlier. I think it’s going to be an issue for NZ as if the games is delayed it’ll mean with all the restrictions the AB’s won’t be home for Christmas Day and for some of them with new babies and the like that may be an issue. Looks like once the AB’s have to come over here for the RC there is likely to be a few of the regulars missing so Aus could be in a good chance to win

        • Yowie

          ABs…there is likely to be a few of the regulars missing so Aus could be in a good chance to win

          Looking forward to hearing this excuse for an eternity:

          “He bro, that Aussie Rugby Championshup vuctory doesn’t count because all the bist All Blacks weren’t playing because they would muss Chrusmass hey cuz”

        • Nutta

          Just go back a little and perhaps remind, compare and contrast to the ceaseless verbiage that our 1st XV wouldn’t beat their 3rd XV…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Underarm all over again mate

        • Hambone

          https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/sport/425979/quarantine-rules-set-to-force-key-all-blacks-out-of-rugby-championship

          I can hear the cries now, saffas, we were undercooked. The darkness, to busy having babies from lockdown, and the poor ole argies are just knee capped from the start.

        • Dally M

          It’s also been interesting reading how much better SRNZ was compared to SRAU, and not one of those articles referenced the fact that apart from the last round of SRNZ, the kiwis were able to train and prepare as per normal whereas the Australian teams have prepared and competed completely under COVID restricted protocols including 2 teams playing & staying away from home for months.

          Not saying that would completely bridge the gap between the two, but it would definitely have had an impact on the players, especially towards the end of the season.

        • Hambone

          Was just chatting about this with a mate on the long white cloud.. the rebels and force have just done 3 months on the road and some will now have to back it up for another 3 months. Definitely earning their reduced salaries this year..

        • Thomas Murray

          SRA is better than SRAU,You kidding yourself.It will be business as usual inNZ

        • Dally M

          Now if only i could make sense of what you were trying to say here….

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Meh! I’d take the win. In 15 years time who’s going to give a shit about all that

        • Nutta

          Suzie has had a good run. Quite likely the worlds most well-known waitress. Note I did not say waiter. That title will always be held by Manuel.

        • Custardtaht

          Apart from Kiwis, no one. One only has to remember how long it took them to get past being bundled out by the French “because of the ref”. Oh, and how long it took them to get over McCaw head butting QCs knee.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Some Kiwis mate. Probably a lot but every nation has its trolls

        • Custardtaht

          Apart from Kiwis, no one. One only has to remember how long it took them to get past being bundled out by the French “because of the ref”. Oh, and how long it took them to get over McCaw head butting QCs knee.

  • Reds Revival

    I was reminded on the weekend of just how niche our sport is. I decided to watch the Reds v Rebs game at a pub in town. I asked one venue if they were playing the rugby union game on any of the screens. She said, “Yes, we play all of the codes”. All of the codes only refers to NRL and AFL…
    I then went to a sports bar and asked the same question. The manager said, “I’ll put it on one of the small TVs for you”. Qld were playing in a semi final, and that was a distant third to a dead rubber in the NRL, and AFL.
    Pleasingly, once he turned the game on, several other guys ended up watching it.
    I hope that Rennie can turn our once great game into a force again!
    (Oh, and go the Reds for the GF!!).

    • Yowie

      That experience sounds very familiar. In the past I’ve gone so far as to call the pub in advance, received the assurances about the game being shown, then have to go through similar frustrations to get one of the screens switched over to the rugby on arrival (then a small crowd gathers once it’s on).

      • Alister Smith

        Just about every time I go to the pub to watch it these days.

      • Custardtaht

        How do you find watching it in black and white?

        • Yowie

          What? Queensland has had colour TV transmission since 1998.

        • Dud Roodt

          You just wait til your grandkids tell you about this thing called “high definition”! It’s like definition, but…. higher… if you can believe it.

        • Yowie

          “You kids have no respect. Back in my day we didn’t need fancy high definition to watch grunge bands on Recovery on Saturday mornings.”

        • Nutta

          Recovery… wow. Green Day was virtually their House band!

        • Reds Revival

          Is that like that amp that goes to 11?

        • Custardtaht

          Well there you go, I genuinely thought Qld was still stuck in the 50’s.

    • onlinesideline

      did they have volume restrictions so as to not interfere with women watching the AFL ?

      • Reds Revival

        No sound, but given the Fox commentary, I was okay with that.

        • Nutta

          That was a favour then.

  • The Jackal

    After listening to Ben Darwin talk about the importance of cohesion I am hopeful that Rennie has a long term outlook with this squad and really pick and stick with the side for the forseeable future. He knows who he wants at RWC 2023 and we have four years to get there. I think that might be the reason for say Naisarani’s exclusion, he wants a Messam type link player who runs good lines but can pass and offloads as well as get through a mountain of defensive work. Wilson will be the 8 by 2023 and has a similar profile to Samu. Makes that transition much easier, don’t need to reinvent the style of play when that change occurs.

    • Nutta

      Yeh I dunno. Samu is the current George Smith clearly enough. No I’m not saying he is L’Professors equal, I am saying he is filling the role-of as the linking loosie. He also brings real pedigree in what it is to be a part of high-performing units. And that training/squad knowledge is both gold and something we are not flush with these days. But I reckon Nisi will come in for the first injured loosie. This is his kick in the arse call. That said, Hannigan and Simmons are there because we are running so nude on Locks and one of the issues with that is lineout timber so whilst I think Dempsey can be a flat-track bully at times, he makes good metres through the line and he’s actually also a handy lineout option. Clearly Swinton is there as the physically imposing No6 in-training we have lacked in the Melon / Cockbain / Fardy role. K’train being out is reflective of his (lack of) performance of-late. Disappointing but deserved in the circumstances. But again, I don’t think it’s the last we have seen of him by a long shot.

      • The Jackal

        I am guessing what ever the coaches asked Naisarani to do he hasn’t been doing which seems to be his go. I remember Stephen Hoiles commenting that he just goes a bit rogue on the field, goes off script, a set play off the scrum and he’ll just pick it up and go. I’d say that would be a highly undesirable trait in this era of game plan dominated structured rugby. Samu is my pick for this year for sure, I think he is class just that by RWC 2023 he will be 31 going on 32 and might be teetering. I like the idea of long term succession planning, I think it will lead to success.

        • Nutta

          Fair points on Samu. I rate him very highly both as a Player but also as a positive-influence Squaddie. I am actually somewhat amazed he is still in-country and not long-gone making some shekels elsewhere after the 2019 snubbing. If I was a head coach with a coin to spend he would be a highly attractive target.

  • Missing Link

    Great game on the weekend. The Rebels did well to “hang in there” but the Reds were in a different class. Losing Toomua hurt their chances of making a come back. O’Connor has improved as a 10 throughout the season and happy to have either him or Toomua playing there for the Wallabies.
    Deegan was frustrating when he came on, seems to relish in northern hemisphere conditions, and i’m sure we can all agree Meakes should quit rugby to focus on his career as a social media influencer. Two weeks in a row Meakes has made some pretty basic errors at crucial times where the Rebels needed to be solid.

    This weekend Brumbies v Reds will be a cracker, no doubt.

    Don’t know what to say about Rennie’s squad. Most of it is as expected but he must have a pretty awesome crystal ball if he can exclude Naisirani and Dempsey from the squad because he’s looking towards the world cup and at the same time pick Hannigan and Simmons. The Tahs are a young team and there is some good potential in their forwards like Horton so I can understand if he’s picking youth on potential, but I doubt Hannigan and Simmons will be around in 3 years time. In my opinion, the two best wingers we have are Koroibete and Daugunu, the trouble is they play on the same wing and neither of them are renowned kickers, but both are big threats out wide and have decent wheels.

    • The Jackal

      Would have been interesting with a traditional 30 odd man squad to see who was there. I also doubt those guys will be around. A transition year this year, still need some experience around the squad with 16 uncapped and another 13 with under 10 caps. Simmons is there purely because our best three locks went offshore at the end of the season and he won’t be selected beyond this year once he heads to England. Hanigan has 20 Tests somehow! I think Rennie wants to play a rapid style of play with abrasive players, Hanigan looks like he fits that bill on paper, sadly in reality we all know he is far from it.

      • Alister Smith

        I think you’re correct but I guess a lot of it still comes down to this weekend, injuries, some key players competing against each other for selection etc.

        What is a little bit different from last year with the selection process is that there are only two selections – Johnson and Rennie – rather than last year when we had the three with an “outsider” – Michael O’Connor – included on the panel. I wonder why, if it was thought to be good process previous – why they didn’t stick with it – the obvious reason is cost. Also they might have wanted to outvote Cheika 2-1 so they needed 3 but, as Johnson has selected this coach he is less inclined to do that. Anyway, I don’t think it is a bad squad -pretty happy overall but then, as you say, its 44 blokes so its pretty hard to tell.

  • Juan_Time

    Fascinating wallabies squad with a few eye-openers. Omission of Isi in my main one. I note a narrative here that he runs into contact – well maybe, but I doubt anyone makes as many runs, or post contact metres. I am not sure who is going to fill that role. Also on the assumption that we will bring in a Lock from o/s, not sure of value of keeping Simmons and Hannigan. Also, whilst Ned and Swinton can cover 6, I don’t see any likelihood of that happening. They would be behind Samu/Wilson, Valetini and Wright (& LSL if needed).
    Have been progressively impressed with Filipo. Didn’t think we could have him and Marika together on wings, but he brings a lot to his game.

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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