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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Super Rugby Australia final, the surprise selection as the Wallabies forwards coach, Kyle Godwin’s re-signing with the Force and the search for Rugby Australia’s next permanent CEO.


Brumbies claim title

bruvred2

The ACT Brumbies have been crowned Super Rugby Australian champions after they held off Queensland Reds 28-23.

After a tense first half, the home side would manage to kick clear 28-13 thanks to the boot of 20-year-old Noah Lolesio, who contributed 10 points in his return from injury.

As the Reds searched for an answer in the final 10 minutes, they were hampered by a lack of discipline and a faulty lineout, allowing the ACT side to take the inaugural title.

“It was a huge effort from the boys,” Brumbies captain Allan Alaalatoa said.

“Credit to the Reds, they were always going to come back in the second half and they were going to make it hard for us. I’m really proud of the boys that we closed out the game there.”

Despite playing in just his first match in nearly two months, Loelsio was awarded man of the match, with coach Dan McKellar praising his influence whilst backing him for higher honours when Dave Rennie names his first squad for October 11.

“It’s easy to reflect and say that it was an easy decision,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said of Lolesio.

“As I said during the week for four months he hadn’t played before the Rebels game and he fronted up that night and we were confident he’d do the same again tonight.

“He was one of our best players and there were a lot of other players that stood up as well.

“If you surround him with experience, a good forward pack, which they’ll have the Wallabies, a good scrum, lineout, maul and he can play. If you get on the front-foot he’s very dangerous.

“He’s certainly good enough and age goes out the window.”

One player that will be racing the clock to be fit for the Wallabies will be Jordan Petaia, who was forced off the field with a groin complaint.

Darling Parling

Geoff Parling & Ed O'Donahue

Geoff Parling & Ed O’Donahue

Dave Rennie has confirmed that former English and British and Irish Lions lock Geoff Parling will be the new forwards coach for the Wallabies.

Parling has served as the Rebels forwards coach for the past three years after a successful transition from his 32-cap career, finishing his career with the Melbourne-based club.

His appointment comes after Brumbies coach Dan McKellar withdrew from the role, opting to stay in Canberra in order to work with the club’s impending attack coach with Peter Hewitt on his way to Japan.

Despite the short-notice appointment, Rennie believes that Parling can help transform the Wallabies line-out and maul.

“We’re very lucky to get the services of someone of Geoff’s ability at such short notice, especially considering he already has an intimate knowledge of the players,” he said in a statement.

“He is a good man. He’s technically very strong around lineout and maul and he has impressed me with his work ethic to get up to speed over the last two weeks.

“There have been a lot of challenges so far in 2020 and we’ve had to be agile and adaptable, none more so than Geoff who has already made so many sacrifices while being on the road with Rebels this season but he still jumped at the opportunity to join our team.”

Having experienced the quality of Australian rugby both as a player and coach, Parling was confident that he can help turn the Wallabies into powerhouses, stressing the importance of hard work

“I’ve really enjoyed helping develop the players we’ve had in Melbourne, so to now get the opportunity to join Dave’s coaching team for this Test season is a real honour.”

“There is some great talent here, but we won’t get anywhere without hard work.

“I have high expectations of the group and am looking forward to seeing them rip in.”

Here for God(win)

Kyle Godwin runs the ball

Kyle Godwin runs the ball

Perth-born centre Kyle Godwin has turned his back on the Waratahs, recommitting to the Western Force for the next two years.

Godwin had reportedly agreed to a deal in principle with the Tahs, however, he has decided to stay in his hometown as NSW Rugby looks to limit their wage bill for 2021.

Having joined at the start of the Super Rugby Australia season, Godwin was ecstatic with the progress that the club has made in 2020, believing that they can do something special.

“This club holds a special place in my heart and to be able to represent WA again means the world to me,” Godwin said.

“It’s great to re-sign with the Western Force. It feels like a homecoming after beginning my career here all those years ago.

“We’re making the Force a rugby powerhouse, we’re certainly building something special here,

“I’ve experienced the passion of the Sea of Blue and I’m really looking forward to soaking up that atmosphere and support once again.”

This was shared by coach Tim Sampson, who himself recommitted to the Force last week, expressing the importance of keeping home-grown, quality players like Godwin around for the long-term.

“It is great news to have Kyle commit to the club. Being WA raised and a returning player to our club is very important to us,” Sampson said.

“Kyle expressed his desire to return to the club and we were obviously delighted. He has many fond memories of growing up here in the state and has enormous respect for rugby in WA.

“Kyle showed his class recently in the Super Rugby AU competition and deserved every bit of his Wallaby squad call up.

“He loves pulling on the Western Force jersey and I am sure his commitment to the club is going to put a smile on a lot of people’s faces.”

Holding on

200505 Rob Clarke

RA interim CEO Rob Clarke has confirmed that he will remain in the position until March 2021 as the code looks to navigate through the difficult period.

Clarke had previously indicated that he would only stay in the role for six months, suggesting that he would vacate the position by Christmas.

However, chairman Hamish McLennan has confirmed that Clarke will stick around in order to provide some much need stability during a period of change.
“We’ve seen lots of good candidates, but I’ve always said there’s no rush and considering the amount of work we need to do with the Rugby Championship and launching the new competition next year, Rob has kindly agreed to stay through until March next year,” McLennan told The Herald.

“We’re making huge progress and having a few laughs while we bring it all together.

“We’ve stabilised RA, got more engagement with the member unions, we’re driving costs down, we got the Rugby Championship, have broadcast negotiations in play and have made real progress on constitutional reform, so Rob and I are going to keep bulldozing forward.”

Having convinced him to stay in the role for an extended period, McLennan was hopeful that he could be convinced to take the role up permanently, however, conceded that it was unlikely.

“He’s pretty committed to going sailing in the Mediterranean,” McLennan joked.

For now, McLennan and the rest of the organisation will continue to search for a permanent heir to Clarke’s throne, with the likes of managing director of sport sponsorship and agency International Quarterback Chris White, former NSW cricket boss Andrew Jones and SANZAAR chief executive Andy Marinos potential options to replace Clarke.

  • Steve

    I’m glad that McKellar is speaking sense about Lolesio – The Kiwis have known for a long time that if you surround a young player with experience and get them on the front foot, they will rise to the high water level.

    More typically in Aus we chuck them in with lead weights on and then are surprised they didn’t float. He has the skills and can be dangerous, but no player is a magician in this game.

    Great that Godwin is staying in Perth, he’ll make a good pairing with Kuridrani next year if the rumours are true.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I did wonder where TK’s dollars might be directed by the Brumbies. I suspect it may be Rodda given how much we struggled for locks this year.

      • Reds Revival

        I reckon Rodda will be going to the Force as well.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Possible, but word on the street was that he was looking to sign with the Brumbies after leaving the Reds. I don’t think our wage bill will be particularly high either, we don’t have many super high paid stars. I don’t know how much White is on.

        • Reds Revival

          I had heard that too, early on, but that was prior to the Force joining Super Rugby AU, and they have been chasing him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I do get the impression he would want to be a winner, all due respect to the Force. I can’t help but feeling that the Brumbies will at the very least make a play.

    • Nutta

      I agree with your comment on bringing Lolly through correctly.

      WA – They seem to be building a stable in WA with Dr Robertson headed there as well. Bodes well for them.

  • theduke

    No disrepect to Parling, but why wasn’t Lord Laurie brought in to the Wallbies set-up? I don’t know his circumstances, but he’s said in the past he’s interested in working with the Wallabies. He’s one of the best rugby mind’s this country has and he must be doing something right at the Brumbies.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Lord Laurie has started in the past that he’s interested. But I seem I remember that it is a condition of his that he also gets to remain with the Brumbies also. My understanding was that RA is unwilling to accomodate this dual-role, despite their interest.

      Laurie is more of a specialist breakdown coach than forwards-specific coach at the moment I understand also.

    • sambo6

      He was asked. But ‘family reasons’. Apparently assuming all his family stuff is resolved (no idea what it is, but hopefully resolution is a positive thing) by next year, he’s likely to join the set up then, parking only on a deal for rest of 2020..

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, great weekend and a well deserved win for the Brumbies. I’m with McKellar and I’d give Lolesio a go. I’d also have McDermott starting and then provide JOC or Toomua at 12 to provide them some guidance.
    Good news for the Force signing Goodwin and I hope they are a big part of whatever deal goes forward next year.
    Makes sense to keep Clarke a bit longer at this stage and there are definitely higher priorities at the moment with the need to sort out both next years competition and the sponsorship to pay for it.

    • Missing Link

      potential Wallaby selections are doing my head in! for as long as I can remember it’s pretty much been the same squad with a few subtle changes here and there, slowly bringing in new talent. but with so many old heads leaving and with some really impressive young talent, I have no idea which way Rennie will go. I honestly thought Lolesio was OK, but to control the game like he did on Saturday night, I’d be tempted to throw him into the fire and like you said, back him up with JOC or Toomua at 12. Same as if you want to play Petaia at 13, you need to have a DHP or Hodge to guide them, can’t simply compile a team full of newbies. so putting Koroibete, Toomua, Petaia and Daugunu in the back line with DHP at 15, what to do with Maddocks, Banks, Hodge, JOC, Tom Wright? I guess it’s a good problem to have!

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I know what you mean mate and absolutely it’s a good problem to have. Like Foster with both BB and Mo’unga for 10, who the hell do you pick?

        I’m reluctant to bring in some of the current team for this so called experience as they actually only have the experience of losing and taking the Wallabies from 2nd to 7th. I know that’s harsh but it’s also real. For example I can’t see anything that Hodge has done in the last 3 years that justifies his position in the squad, except that it’s 44 strong and he can be used as a ball boy during training.

        • Reds Revival

          Harsh, but fair!

        • Missing Link

          yeah totally, both Mo’unga and BB are too good to put one on the bench for 60 minutes. Put BB at 15, then McKenzie has to miss out? so yeah Foster will be faced with the same predicaments.

          I know Hodge is not popular here, he is a no frills player that can play anywhere in the backline, he seldom makes crucial errors and has a weapon of a boot, he has been consistently better than average in super rugby and has 30 off tests to his name. He may be more suited to the northern hemisphere game but at the moment there is still value having him in the squad. I can think of many many worse players who have donned the wallaby cap over the years.

          I get what you’re saying about the losing mentality, baggage from previous losses should be cast aside and I think part of Rennie’s job is to bring a fresh new positive attitude to the wallaby setup and make sure it’s contagious.

        • Bobas

          Hodge is a valuable player who does things others can’t do to win games. Much more so than DHP who always looks composed but never actually wins a game that he plays in.
          https://youtu.be/_mhsMRpstEM

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          He has scored some tries but I think that now there are better players in every position that he might be considered for. Maybe keep him as a bench player to cover a few positions but even then I think there are better players.

        • idiot savant

          Almost any other back on the end of JOC’s passes would have scored those tries. I like Reece. He’s an honest performer but he’s too slow for an outside back at test level. Particularly at 13. He’s better at 15 but still too slow (like DHP) and cant insert himself as alternate first receiver and distributor. Could make a fortune overseas.

      • idiot savant

        Rennie has made noises about playing Hodge as a 13. Which would push Jordy to the wing. I like the idea of Jordy on the wing for a while. He gets to insert himself into the fray from more channels and can catch and tackle. Except I would replace Hodge with Paisami. He’s my Wallaby bolter in the 13 jersey. Would love to see him sit Goodhue on his arse.

    • Bobas

      My take on the 10 spot is that if you start Lolesio you have to start Powell.

      If you start Toomua you would start White.

      If JOC, Tait McD.

      Before the final and injuries for mine it would have been:
      9 White
      10 Toomua

      12 Joc
      13 Petaia

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m not so sure that you need the combinations. Apart from years ago with Marshall and Mehrtens NZ doesn’t have the state combination and it works well. I think the whole combination thing is over rated myself and good players will easily adapt to each other. If they can’t then I really question if they are good enough to be there

        • Bobas

          NZ rugby have more input to who is doing what at Super level.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yes and no. I remember before the 2015 world cup there was a lot of discussion about the Crusaders playing Carter at 12. Coach said that’s where he was needed so get stuffed. The NZRFU has a big part in the player contract negotiation with the central funding but players still decide what club they play for and the coach decides what position they play. The AB coach may have a chat with the different players and coaches about what he/she wants to see but there’s no way they can force things at the different clubs.

        • Not 100% sure I agree with that in this case. Mo’unga got put in outside a really experience 9, arguably the best in the world at that position at the time. He also often had a Crusader in the 12 jersey so a combination there he was used to. Barrett got eased in with something like 30 games playing the last 20 minutes or so, usually with the AB comfortably in control. He certainly started with Canes in the midfield.

          It might not be vital, but if you’ve got tight choices – if you’re Rennie and in a tight call between who you starting 9’s and 10’s are and one option is to have the club pairings start, and then get subbed out for each other in some way (for example: start Powell, Lolesio, JOC, McDermott and Toomua on the bench, sub Powell at ~60, if needed sub Lolesio, move JOC in, put Toomua in the second five position) then, go with that. You can obviously build other combinations, that’s just one that came quickly to mind and not necessarily the best. It just keeps combinations together throughout.

          I suspect we’ll have a lot of youngsters, which I think is good, sprinkling old heads around as much as possible is a good thing there though, at least IMO.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think it’s an issue more if you have inexperienced players but I still think the best 9 and the best 10 is better than a combination of not the best players

        • I agree, if there are big differences in the quality of players. I did say, “if it’s close…”

      • Missing Link

        What’s your back 3? I would say Koroibete but I think Daugunu has been good. trouble is if you put the two of them on the wings and pick dhp/hodge/maddocks/banks at 15, you are sacrificing bomb defence and kicking options for pace.

        • Bobas

          Koroibete in 11.
          14 & 15 are hard but I think one is Hodge

        • Hoss

          Hey, Reece’s dad, what was he like as a youngster……….

        • Bobas

          To quote Skull, ‘His Mother and I are so proud’

        • Bobas

          Can I appease you by picking Maddox too?

        • Hoss

          It’s a start. Would he also be vice captain and then we can be friends again….

  • IIPA

    For the love of God I hope they aren’t really considering Andy “Press Release” Marinos for the job. Does the bloke even exist ? Normally just a name at the bottom of a media statement that doesn’t actually say anything.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m with you. I can’t think of anyone worse to be honest. He’s done nothing for Super rugby except be the CEO who brought it to the edge of failure and now because he’s missed out on the World Rugby position he’s desperately looking for something else. he should piss off back to Argentina and get that country going well before looking elsewhere

      • IIPA

        Love it KARL. Yep seems like totally the wrong person to lead RA.

        • Reds Revival

          Based on previous CEO’s, I’d say he’s the perfect person to continue the mediocrity that we call RA.

      • Hoss

        You watching a replay of 2007 World Cup – you seem angry today !!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          hahahahaha not at all mate. I think he’s a dickhead though

  • Happyman

    Congrats to the Brumbies on a well deserved win. Game could have gone either way.

    I think that the travel was a factor for both teams in the last round and the final. Flying to Canberra and straight to the stadium before an intense game must be difficult. It was the same for the Brums two weeks ago.

    Looking forward to next year.

  • Missing Link

    Congratulations to the Brumbies. It didn’t take me long after seeing Angus Blyth’s haircut, that I knew the Reds weren’t up to it.

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the Wallabies, I continued to see some impressive talent in Lolesio and Petaia, Irae Simone also showed some flashes of good play.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      hahahaha that haircut was sooooo bad. Love it

      • Missing Link

        if it was 5AM after a night on the piss, I could forgive him for making the decision :)

    • Alister Smith

      I noticed in a few games he was happy to give a bit of lip too, young Angus – not my style but good on him. And, as for the haircut, well he must be prepared to take a bit of lip too (the haircut is not my style either but I am folliclely challenged and down to a no. 1 all over (and all over is only half the acreage it used to be))

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    With the AFL moving their final to Brisbane to get the best possible deal from the states during Covid I wonder if we shot ourselves into the foot when we decided the top team should host the final?

    If the states are prepared to pay and willing to ease conditions to earn the right to host a final them surely a cash strapped rugby union should consider it for next year? Professional sports is moving into that direction anyway- let’s bite the bullet next year.

    • Kevino

      Agree, European cup final hosts are decided before the start of the season. You would fine a lot of supports book the trip in hope that there team makes it to the final. Some still go for the atmosphere when there side is knocked out.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Personally, I think part of the reason why people like Super Rugby AU was that it seemed like a salt of the earth competition with more of a connection to the fans. I think you lose that when you have the more corporate decision to hold a final in whichever states offers the most cash, rather than which team earns it.

        • Hoss

          Apparently Qatar are keen on next years edition?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          That is probably the other extreme… you need to get the balance right between commercial outcomes and growing the game and therefore a bidding process.

          As this is a final of a domestic competition I think it should be played in Australia – however if Qatar is willing to make it worth our while…. that money can go far to put Rugby Australia on a better financial footing.

        • Reds Revival

          No drinking or swearing allowed in Qatar. That’s why they don’t play Rugby.

        • Hoss

          Yep, my Pork Belly & Drive Thru Bottle-O Franchise did NOT do well in Qatar.

        • Yowie

          The colourful illustration of the franchise mascot “Prophet Mo” (of “Prophet Mo’s Bacon & Bottle-O“) might have caused a bit of local anxiety.

        • Damo

          Although word has it that the locals were secretly swilling down the Ponderosa Mimosas like there was no tomorrow.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        You would fine a lot of supports book the trip in hope that there team makes it to the final.- Yes, that is what makes states bid to host the finals. It is part of the state’s tourism drive especially if the final is more of a celebration like the AFL “finals weekend” than just an event. You need to be careful to get the balance right between promoting the game in growth areas and the commercial outcomes you are looking for. The AFL has done a good job in picking a non-AFL state in Queensland to host their final – they will pick the dividends for this in years to come. As a rugby union supported – I just hate it.

      • There’s a serious market in touting tickets too. But yes, a lot of the fans turn up just to watch the match regardless, which can make it an odd experience. There are rugby fans, but not necessarily the passion of the semis.

  • Moz

    Thanks Nathan, another great write-up.

    However, its Kyle Godwin, not Goodwin. The spelling changes several times in the first couple of lines.

    • Reds Revival

      It will be interesting to see if other WA talent like Tizzano at the Tahs, and Jack Hardy at the Reds head back to the Force. It would be good for WA Rugby if they did.

      • Moz

        Yeah, I suppose it just depends on their contracts, etc. From a career point of view they might be better staying put where they are now (dependent on how much actual game time they get) and then seeing how the Force go next year. But certainly would be good to have them back!

        • Reds Revival

          Jack Hardy is getting a bit of game time at the Reds, but poor Carlo hasn’t even seen the bench. Even with the strength of the Force loosies, I would suggest that he would be better off returning home. The Tah’s are not known for their player development (although MoneyPenney seems more in tune with this than many of his predecessors).

        • Hoss

          Yeah, but Lee Majors is our of SR next year, you’d have to hope he is next in line. I only know what i saw in the U20’s and NRC but he looks a red-hot prospect.

        • Hardy did his knee? last season, I’d presume that played into no game time for a while.
          Got me stuffed on Tizzano tho…Tahs must have too many players.
          I’m sure he’d be welcomed back to WA

        • Reds Revival

          Hardy did his knee at the start of the season, but got a couple of games in off the bench in SRAU. Good player, but not to the same standard as Daugunu, or CFS.

        • agreed.
          Not yet anyway, maybe a few more years

    • Bobas

      The force couldn’t buy a Goodwin

    • Nathan Williamson

      Apologises for that, should be fixed now. Was away from my usual set-up this weekend but should’ve picked that up

  • Damo

    I think the Reds really suffered by not having a mature skipper/forwards leader on Saturday night. Brums really got into their heads very early by destabilising their lineout attacking platform. Rather than someone steadying things and resetting they tried to get the momentum back by just going harder at everything- which led to a killer penalty count. Kind of a downward spiral from there. You just can’t give a well drilled and well coached team like the Brumbies that kind of leg up. That the Reds finished so close in the end was a tribute to their spirit and effort. The Brumbies were deserved winners but the young Reds will have learnt a lot from the outing.

  • OnTheBurst

    Is anyone able to fill me in on Lolesio’s early background?

    Kiwi papers are referring to him as “the Brumbies’ kiwi playmaker” which I think is a bit rich, he was born in Auckland but played his rugby at The Southport School, I understand.

    Anyone know when he came to Aus? And what his family background is? I think I read Samoan somewhere?

    • Old Canberran

      Born in Auckland but the family moved to the Gold Coast when he was 2. His family is Samoan.

      • Hoss

        Part of the rich fabric and tapestry of the melting pot that is current multi-cultural Australia, unless he doesn’t aim-up than he just another shitty Kiwi over here….its a win-win.

    • Bobas

      Maybe the kiwi papers think Harewa just changed his name.
      I wouldn’t put it past the guy who draws all the other coaches in clown-face and the other guy who asked Cheika if he thinks the superior upload and download speed in NZ gives them an unfair advantage when trolling wallaby pages online.

    • UTG

      Dangerous game for both NZ and Aus to start referring to players place of birth…

      • OnTheBurst

        Exactly.

        But on this one he’s more Aussie than lamingtons, Rusty and Crowded House if he came over here at 2. The Kiwis can get farked

  • Hoss

    Well thanks for nuthin Hamish McClennan,

    After 5 rounds of interviews, a thorough physical (can you get Ealsey to cut his nails next time), cutting holes in my favourite jumpers and sewing leather patches on em, selling the Ponderosa and mortgaging 4-5 future generations of Hoss’ to move to Mossman i have to find out through this piss-poor site I actually didn’t get the gig after all and worse still your keeping that Westralian hating, Rebel loving sycophant Rob ‘Yes Hamish’ Clarke!

    Just for the record i actually really fucking hate Master Chef, so how do you like them apples huh.

    Now – for the gathered here, how do you ‘un-resign’ and are any of you engineers i may have nuked a bridge or two on my (supposed) way out the door………

    • Reds Revival

      You do realise that the person who gets the job, is not actually one of those shortlisted. Didn’t you notice that Kearnsy’s name was missing?

      • Hoss

        It seems i was just a plaything for the rich and powerful and its bought back bad memories of the 80’s. I did call it an ‘experiment’, but it lasted a fair while

        #hosslivesmatters

    • change state

      • Hoss

        What, like a spiritual awakening ? What you got in mind, i am banned from a few and the rest are just plain a piss-take. You know who you are scientologists.

        • oh, sorry “un-resign”
          Ignore that.

          As far as spiritual awakenings go, Ill meditate on that for a moment..

  • Ian Rodger

    Kuridrani just signed with the Western Force. The force have been on a decent recruitment drive so far.

  • Alister Smith

    One thing that I think the Reds did really well in the season following the COVID break but did not take into the final was the really aggressive defence. They were keeping their line in games but also pulling of some big tackles – attacking with their defence, and that had an impact on how sides were able to set the ball etc, ruck speed and go forward. It wasn’t there on the weekend, at least not to same extent, and the Brumbies were much smarter in their play. Add in poor lineout, some ill-discipline and that is all you need to be well behind a very well disciplined side like the Brumbies who know there game very well.

    I see some speculation that Thorn might not continue. I am a bit of a fan so I would like him to give it another couple of years. It would be good to see him take that team through another season and also to see him make some progress with the lineout. For a bloke who comes across as working on simple things, core activities, I think that some of their options were over complicated on the weekend. The throwing is also important and for hookers, that has to be a core skill they improve on.

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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