Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Wallabies record-breaking Bledisloe defeat, a boost to the World Cup bid, the Sydney and Brisbane club Grand Finals and Dan Palmer becomes the first Wallaby to come out as gay

House of Horrors

Bledisloe 2020

The Bledisloe Cup is officially gone for another year after the All Blacks produced a record-breaking win over the Wallabies.

The night for any Australian fan peaked at the anthem as the Kiwis dominated the first half to race out to a 26-0 win.

Whilst there would be a brief comeback, a late surge pushed the All Blacks to their highest victory against the Wallabies, securing the 43-5 margin.

“We’re hurting a lot from that,” Wallabies captain Michael Hooper said in the immediate aftermath.

“We really want to fly into these two weeks; it’s a hit to the confidence now. We’ve got to look back at sticking to our game plan, we get out on the field and we change direction.”

Despite the demoralising result, Wallabies coach Dave Rennie called for fans to remain patient as he begins to turn around the side’ fortunes.

“We’re five or six weeks into a four-year campaign,” Rennie told reporters.

“We’re gutted about the result.

“I must admit, first game in Wellington, I was nervous about an All Black performance that would find us under pressure, but we showed a lot of character that night.

“Look, all I’m going to say is, we’re going to keep working hard, we think we’ve got some good kids coming through, we need to respond immediately, and the plan is you’ll see that next week.”

Rennie lamented the fundamental errors that have plagued the side for the past couple of years, evident from the get-go with Filipo Daugunu’s third-minute yellow card

“As we talked about the last time we played the All Blacks, you can’t turn over the ball as often as we did,” he said

“It puts a lot of pressure on us defensively.”

Cup bid backed

Rugby World Cup - William Web Ellis Trophy

Rugby World Cup – William Web Ellis Trophy

Australia’s 2027 Rugby World Cup bid has received a major boost after an $8.8 million grant was confirmed by the Australian Government.

With the 2023 edition of the tournament set to be played in France, Australia firms as a big chance to host the event in eight years team as organisers look to move away from the Northern Hemisphere.

The tournament would boost the profile/exposure of the sport in the country whilst deliver $2 billion in direct and indirect expenditure to the economy.

RA CEO Hamish McLennan thanked Prime Minster Scott Morrison and his government for their support, calling it a ‘once-in-a-generation opportunity’.

“On behalf of Rugby Australia and the Australian Rugby community, I want to thank Prime Minister Scott Morrison and the Australian Government for supporting Australia’s bid to host the 2027 Rugby World Cup,” he said in a statement.

“This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our country and we have already made significant headway in laying the foundations for a successful bid.

“We look forward to working closely with the Australian Government over the coming months to present a compelling bid that will deliver significant economic benefit to Australia.”

This was shared by Bid Advisory Board Chairman, Sir Rod Eddington, who believes that hosting the tournament would be crucial for the transformation of the sport and the country.

I want to echo Hamish’s gratitude to the Australian Government for their commitment to supporting Australia’s World Cup bid,” Eddington believes.

“Hosting the Rugby World Cup would be transformational, not only for the game in this country and the Asia Pacific region, but also for Australia’s economy as we emerge and re-establish ourselves in a post-COVID world.

“The hard work is well underway, and the Bid Advisory Board has already made significant headway through this Foundation Planning phase.

“We’re excited to continue our dialogue with World Rugby as well as engaging further with the Australian Government and the respective State Governments.”

Palmer comes out

Dan Palmer

Former Brumbies and Wallabies prop Dan Palmer has been praised after revealing that he is gay.

In an article for The Herald, Palmer explored how hiding his sexuality put him in a downward spiral, putting him at the point of preferring death over revealing the truth.

“In 2012 I was living my childhood dream. I vice-captained the ACT Brumbies during the Super Rugby season and made my debut for the Wallabies,” he wrote.

“My life consisted of playing the sport I loved and travelling the world with some of my best mates. I had developed many close friendships, both in and out of sport, and had a loving family who were proud of my achievements.

“Despite all of this, I was incredibly frustrated, angry and desperately sad. I despised myself and the life I was living. I was trapped in a false narrative and could see no way out.

“Most nights, I cried myself to sleep and routinely numbed myself with a heavy cocktail of opioids.

“I fantasised about disappearing, changing my name and starting my life all over again. It is not an exaggeration to say my own death felt preferable to anybody discovering I was gay.”

His courage to speak out has been widely praised by those within the rugby community, with current captain Michael Hooper praising his bravery.

“I feel really happy for Dan. I do know Dan. He’s a great bloke, he’s a great Wallaby, a great rugby player and now coach. I wish him all the best,” Hooper said.

“It was a very powerful column.”

Club recap

Gordon win the Minor Premiership in 2020.

Gordon win the Minor Premiership in 2020.

For the final time of the year, the club football graced suburbian grounds across Australia as the Sydney and Brisbane competitions hosted their grand finals.

Starting in Sydney and it was Gordon who would claim their first title in 22 years after defeating Eastwood 28-8.

In a sign of the times and why 2020 is the wildest year ever, the game was forced to be stopped for five minutes due to groups of fans not socially distancing (yes, you read that right).

When we actually saw some action at a wet Leichardt Oval, the minor premiers would be clinical in attack, with flyhalf Rodney Iona guiding them around the park.

The Stags survived eight minutes of constant scrums on their own try-line, three penalties and the sin-binning of prop Bosco Tagaloa to keep out the Woods as they secured the title for the Tartan faithful.

“The call of TT, Tartan Tough, is our call to arms and those minutes on our own tryline with 14 men is the epitome of what drives this team,” Jack Dempsey said.

“It’s awesome we had the chance to show it in the grand final…that’s what the guys in this team are built of.”

In Queensland, it was all about Easts who claimed the title with a dominant 33-18 victory over the favoured University of Queensland.

The Tigers dominated from the start of the finals, claiming six from six grand finals across the game, with captain Ben Mowen sent off a club hero as he formally retires from the sport.

“It’s not only a dream finish for me but for the club this season,” Mowen said.

“For us to win six-from-six, we are just ecstatic as a club.

“That’s a great reflection of the spirit at the club.”

  • I know it’s been talked about elsewhere, but a big thumbs up to Palmer.

    It’s inconceivable there are only 2 gay players in the top tier of professionals, and while I think (as a fan) the community would welcome them and Palmer says he didn’t feel pressured by external factors to hide his sexuality, I can’t help wishing more of them were out, and playing openly. Representation matters, and we’re seeing LGBTQIA+ on our TV in dramas, in the news and more. If you watch women’s sport we’re seeing a lot of the rainbow representation there too. Why is men’s elite sport a place that talks the talk, embraces the tiny number of current and ex-players and (actually fairly representative number of) elite referees who are out, but doesn’t seem to nurture that willingness to be out it in all its players?

    • Steve

      Palmer made an excellent point in his article that he looks forward to the day when ‘coming out’ means no more from a gay person than a straight one.

      I too look forward to the day that a professional athlete can just live their lives, without any fear of impacting their income or relationships within their team or attracting horrible focus from the press, but we are clearly not there yet.

      It seems a very chicken-and-egg scenario but hopefully will be overcome given enough time and confidence from people like Dan.

      • Honestly, I’d love to see that too.

        I’m working in a university environment and while I know that’s not fully representative, it’s looking like the under-21’s are finally moving to a situation where that might happen. They just see it as part of life. So it might happen. I never thought it would come, because forget all the other arguments, we are still a minority, and people tend to assume people are like them until told otherwise, even in more blatant things like being blind… but maybe it will change before I die. Fingers crossed.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Must be hard for you mate and I hope it does get batter. I’m seeing it changing slowly but I admit it could be better

        • Thanks, but personally I’m pretty ok. Well, some depression around Covid and lockdown, but not around my sexuality.

          That said, I’ve had 40+ years since puberty and working this kind of stuff out. I’ve got the odd scar in my memory – but doesn’t just about everyone when it comes to being attracted to others? I’ve been attracted to the wrong girl and rebuffed, and I bet 99% of the men reading this have to, unless you married your first sweetheart. I might have some different scars in my memory but compared to many I had it easy. I accepted who I was quickly and while I didn’t always know how to express it, I was always pretty comfortable with it.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I’m just loving your posts. If you ever get back to Sydney let me know, I’d love to have a beer with you

        • Patrick

          I never really was sure if you were a girl or a guy but I do love your posts and your thinking :)

          If you make it to France for the RWC I’ll definitely be around and more than happy to catch up with many people on this site including yourself.

        • We will see. I am planning to try and make it to France, but we’re getting to the point that planning international travel is interesting on health grounds. Even for short journeys, like France.

          But if I do make it, I will be sure to let people know.

        • Patrick

          Look forward to it!

      • Mike D

        Yep, when LGBTQI is just a bunch of letters, because no one gives a damn what you do, it’s just your business between consenting adults.

  • onlinesideline

    If the fellas that bat for the other side ever put an international side together, I reckon it would be pretty good. No shortage of hard me and sure to be some quality techno / deep house in the sheds afterwards.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      OLSL, your typo has given me a broad smile, momentarily taking my mind of the Wallabies’ drubbing. ‘Hard me’ indeed. At least, I assume it was a typo.

      Overall sentiments shared. Hope you’ve fully recovered from the plague.

      • onlinesideline

        thanks mate – yeah Im all good. As for Europe though its back 10 times worse. A true Nightmare. Every second shop has just been closed down and abandoned. Really sad. Spain in lockdown till May 2021 today. Oceania looks like they have been spared which is awesome.

        PS ….. I just got what you meant. Yeah thats an erection.

        PSS – I mean CORRECTION

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Moscow seems to be taking more of a ‘Sweden’ approach this time around. Perhaps they’re happy with a few pensioners off the books. They certainly don’t want to issue any small business bailouts, so we may see the toll climb here. But who knows the official numbers? And we’ve got a vaccine in Phase 3 trials! I know a guy who’s in the test, actually. You can barely notice the extra fingers if he wears mittens.

        • onlinesideline

          Swedish authorities have openly adnitted they stuffed up. OZ and Sweden were neck and neck in the beginning and Swedes spiked. 2 months in to their immunity gamble. While I am suspect of the death certs and percentges and all that jazz, I find it amazing a scientist can gamble on their science being correct with the possible downside of being incorrect being so tragic. Surreal times.

        • Singapore Sling

          I’m not sure that’s correct. I saw a Dr. interviewed on the BBC on the weekend and he was talking about the Swedish second wave. The mortality rate is a fraction of the first wave. He proffered a few possible explanations but said if the trend continues it points to a very interesting morphosis in the virus’ evolution.

        • onlinesideline

          1 – but what about the few thousand that died to get to this point
          2 – immunity hasn’t been proven
          3 – there is a lower mortality across boad. Thw death rate in US is still same.a few hundred or say a thousand but infection rate is 100 000 a day

          Just thoughts

        • Yowie

          *paging Doctor Freud to ICU*

        • onlinesideline

          ohhh f..k off :)

    • Yowie

      I reckon even the props would have 6-pack abs.

      • onlinesideline

        You’ve clearly never walked in to a gay leather bar. Its wall to wall props in the making.

        • Yowie

          If Tupou ever becomes unavailable and Australia gets nervous about re-asserting scrum dominance we should send in some talent scouts. Obviously they will need to choose the wording of their pitch very carefully so there are no mixed messages.

        • onlinesideline

          Send in JOC – just for shits and giggles. He’ll be calling Savour World before he even gets back to the car.

          “James, listen mate, small favour. Just need you to do some community work. Here’s the address.”

        • The word you’re looking for is Bears.

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    I’ve brushed my teeth at least 18 times since that match, flossed and gargled. Still can’t get the turd taste out of my mouth. I don’t think I can bring myself to watch this Saturday.

    • Nutta

      I confess I was reflecting about that very same comment.

  • Custardtaht

    Based off of the photo of the All Blacks holding an oversized pewter novelty cup, we’ve too many Qlders in the Wallabies. Why the fuck are there so many Qlders wearing the Qld guernsey in the photo.

    I had heard that South East Qld was essentially West Auckland, but thought it was a bit of a furphy.

    It seems as though a Tahcentic approach is best for the Wallabies, the Qlders can’t be trusted.

    • Who?

      So you’re happy to remember that Rennie’s going to live on the GC? The old gags used to be about Bondi Kiwis, now we’re talking Gold Coast Kiwis. :-P

      • Custardtaht

        Then it’s a Kiwi conspiracy to undermine Australian rugby.

        • Yowie

          Haha, gold.

          Because we usually do such a fine job that NZ needs to send saboteurs.

        • Custardtaht

          Didn’t the All Blacks bug their own hotel and then blamed Australia….they have form Yowie, they have form.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Damn! Caught out again

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, awesome news about 2027 and it’d be so good for rugby here. I know things are dark at the moment but I’m confident in Rennie and his team getting the boys back on track and firing. I like that’s comment about a few weeks into a 4 year plan and I can live with that.

    Feel sorry for Palmer and others like him. Most people I know couldn’t have cared less if someone was gay or not but I guess we never expressed that as well as we could have and I regret not being more open about it myself so that they could have been more open. Interestingly in the NZ Army I had a number of gay soldiers, both male and female and most were accepted pretty well.

    • Yowie

      Great to hear Re the NZ Army culture around that. Presumably it hasn’t always been the case, hence Palmer & others carrying a bit of cultural baggage.

      Some of the army veterans at my school (Vietnam service era) had stories about soldiers being ejected from the unit/army in fairly shocking fashion when they were discovered to be gay.

      In my own schooling era there was a dominant homophobic culture that I can’t claim to have risen above at the time.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah mate I’m pretty guilty of less than honourable behaviour growing up. I’m better now thankfully. I remember 2 soldiers of the same sex coming to see me saying they wanted to move into an Army house together, it was interesting getting that through some of the less than open minded seniors, but nothing in the law against it and it was eventually approved. To be honest there is still a lot of poor behaviour in the military from some people but I do think it is getting better and becoming more accepted. Much more so in the non-combat areas but even in the combat arms it is becoming more acceptable to most people. Unfortunately there will always be the odd homophobic or misogynist dickhead around.

        • Mike D

          Pretty sure everyone is guilty of stupidity while growing up. That’s why it’s called growing up rather than being grown up. Compare with IF who failed to grow up and consistently made damaging statements about people’s sexuality because he couldn’t formulate an adult position. This is why he was damaging, an adult may criticise people for their actions, he vilified people for being who they are. That is the difference between exercising free speech and just being a loud mouthed twit.

  • The Jackal

    The ultimate lie in sport is the saying ‘if you are good enough you are old enough’. A bunch of our fellas have world class potential but you would think someone like Petaia would have been better served with three solid years of Super Rugby under his belt, learning the craft, knowing when to hold em and when to fold em before emerging on the International stage. The error rate is just down to inexperience and youthful exuberance could actually be a handbrake rather than a beneficial quality. Who else do you put in the side is a question is the unanswerable question because the cupboard is bare.

    Unfortunately for fans it may be this short to medium term pain for long term gain. I am hopeful looking at the wonderful turnaround in France that it is possible on a shorter timeline, with the caveat that you need to have the cattle to do so.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I agree although to be fair the French have been building for a few years, it’s just that now they are getting the results from that building. I’m confident in the Wallabies getting better, but as you say there will be some hurt along the way.

      • Patrick

        They had results over a year ago… they would have been at least semi finalists at the RWC (in a canter to boot) but for one moment of madness.

        And whilst they are definitely still not a complete package yet, or at least not an 80 minute one, they have a very settled and strong 1-2-3-16-17, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 12, 13, 14.

        A really good chance at a home triumph.

        • Patrick

          For example the 5, 7 and 8 I referred to (Le Roux, Ollivon and Aldritt) were 1st, 4th and 2nd in tackles made for this 6N whilst Ollivon was top tryscorer

    • Brumby Runner

      I think it might need a bit of rework right now, to something like, “If you’re good enough, you’re young enough”.

      Look at Scott Fardy. Discarded, and many on here thought it was the right move because “he wouldn’t still be there in RWC 2019″. He is still around and earning nominations as best or most valuable player.

      Currently, that situation could just as easily apply to Tevita Kuridrani and Cadeyrn Neville, and maybe a few others (Rory Arnold?).

    • I think, like a lot of aphorisms (not just in sport) it’s more like a partial truth.

      Look at, to pick a name not at all a random, Caleb Clarke. In his first two games he had a game in great conditions and looked like a world superstar. He had a game in bad conditions for a winger, was used in a totally different role and attracted tacklers like jam attracts wasps, making space for his team mates. I don’t know if he was turned over, but given how often he was team tackled and the wet ball, once or twice wouldn’t be a disaster. Totally different conditions, totally different metrics of “success” but good performances both times.

      So what’s the big difference? Clarke is playing in a side where 9, 10, 12, 13 and 15 all know their roles and their combinations. He was, in essence, surrounded by experienced players who could support him and remind him what he had to do if he ever had any questions. Petaia, or whoever you pick in that backline, basically didn’t have that. Lolesio, had White, Paisami sometimes had Koroibete. Everyone else was a newbie. So if something went wrong… who did they turn to?

  • Nutta


    More power to Dan. I cannot fathom living with that level of self loathing especially when it’s not necessary. It puts the likes of Folau into an even more stark light.

    Would hosting the Bill actually help Aust Rugby? We’re a long way off making a Bill Final again. I’m honestly too numb to know right now. Sure it would bring cash. But has anything seriously changed that makes us think we would be more wise with the cash?

    Congratulations to the All Blacks for their instructive win on Saturday night. Men vs Boys. That said I did enjoy watching Tupou lift the NZ replacement LH clean off the ground twice in scrummage. I’ll take the small wins…

    Congratulations Ben Mowen and your club. Huge effort.

    Congratulations Gordon. Great win and great for the Shute in general. That’s their first premiership since about 1996 I think isn’t it? They beat the previously undefeated Canberra Vikings in the GF if I recall. I thought Eastwood were incredibly unfortunate to not get a penalty try after all their good scrummage work around the 60th minute. That would have turned the match significantly. But it didn’t happen and the Stags took their chances when they came. Full Balls to them. And it was anyone but Uni so that was grand as well.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Morning mate, Interesting question about holding the RWC being a good or a bad thing. I guess if you hold it you need to make the QTR finals at least and preferably the Semi’s or it would be seen as a failure. Not so sure making the final is essential but it would definitely help.

      • Nutta

        Dunno mate. Just a bit shellshocked after the weekend I guess. But more-so, I want us to be absolutely sure and transparent about what the plan is for the cash and game after the Bill. We trusted the powers-that-were last time with their W/Bankers-Paradise Neo-liberal ‘trickle-down’ bullshit approach to the game and all we got was snouts-in-trough, consultants-heaven pork-barreled misery that we are still paying for now and I’ll be fkd if we do it again.

        • Yowie

          The money ins and outs for hosting Olympic games’ World Cups etc. is pretty murky. Eg cost blowouts to get everything ready, large payments to the governing body (over and sometimes under the table) etc.

          The idea that “Australian rugby” or “Australia” ends up cash positive probably depends on which figures are excluded.

        • Custardtaht

          Do you think Qld borders will be open by 2027?

        • Yowie

          By 2027 all Australians, regardless of home State, will mingle together in total equality
          in the Re-Education Camps (再教育营).

          Credit to Frankie Boyle for most of that one

        • Geoffro

          Not the Reds dawn we hoping for you reckon

        • Yowie

          No. More like one of those magic monkey paw “wish granted with a curse on it” things.

        • Custardtaht

          The only amendment would be that for Qlders, it would just be education.

        • Yowie

          We have education up here too!
          The fifth grade was the best three years of my life.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover


      • Alister Smith

        definitely semi’s I reckon for us

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think I agree mate. Anything less than the Semi’s would be seen as a failure

        • Brumby Runner

          A failure by the team in the tournament, maybe, but not necessarily a failure of the tournament itself. How many hosting nations have made the final? SA in 95, Aus in 03 and NZ in 11? Others?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I agree, that’s why I think the Semi’s is the pass mark if you host.

        • Who?

          Australia and NZ hosted in 87, NZ made the final (in Australia), Australia the bronze match (Rotorua).
          England hosted 91, they lost the final to Australia.
          SA hosted and won in 95.
          Wales hosted 99… Lost to us in the QF.
          Australia hosted 03, and lost the final in OT.
          France hosted in 07, losing the opening match to Argentina, then losing the bronze medal match to Argentina!
          NZ hosted and won in 11.
          England hosted in 15, and failed to get out of the pool. Worst ever result for a host nation. Australia has only once beaten England in a RWC match outside England (87), but England’s never beaten Australia in England during a RWC.
          Japan hosted 19, lost in the QF to the winners (SA). It was the second SA/England final, the first time a team had lost a match (pool match to NZ) yet won the RWC.

  • Reds Revival

    I have had time to calm down from my initial reaction and had the thought that if we hadn’t tied the first game, but were well beaten, would we still be as upset at the weekend’s result?
    I suspect that the first glimmer of hope has raised our (well, my) expectations beyond what is realistic for a young new team against the All Blacks.
    I have taken solace in Rennie’s words that we are only just at the beginning of this next RWC cycle, and while I agree that we need to be competitive ASAP, Test experience is not something that is gained overnight. I think this is the best coaching group that we’ve had in a long time, and I have confidence that we will improve significantly in the coming years. I just hope that it is sooner rather than later.

    • Yowie

      In ideal circumstances the new team and approach under Rennie would get a few chances to play other international teams a few times and refine their combinations/approach/etc.

      As much as I like to undercut the myth of the ABs, four tests against the ABs as a start to the calendar is probably sub-optimal when growing a new team/approach/culture/whatever. Up-and-coming young boxers probably don’t get thrown into the ring against “Muhammad I’m-Hard Bruce Lee” as their first proper fight either.

      • Missing Link

        I thought about that yesterday… do we play against NZ to often? One argument is if you want to be the best, you have to beat the best, granted however repetitive losses to the best acts as a form of demoralisation and instills a losing psyche.

        • Yowie

          It also produces false sets of big-picture feedback data if “different kinds of losses” are the results correlating with change to factor X or continuity with improvement of factor Y.

          Can’t do much about this year unfortunately on account of most countries having The Plague issues.

        • Alister Smith

          Obviously the “be the best, beat the best thing” would also apply to NZ so, if they play us long enough their standards would drop (and ours rise).

          But, purely from a fan perspective, I do think that four straight against one team is a bit much and from a playing perspective, with it being the All Blacks, a bit tough for such a young side. We have also had an issue with injury in a particular position – 10. We saw that JOC needed to adjust without Toomua in Bled II. A more ideal start for Lolesio would have been to have Toomua outside him to debut (or JOC).

          For me, the biggest criticism I would have has been around the loose forwards. I would have rather Isi Naisarani was in the squad and I didn’t think Samu was our worst forward in Bled I and would have been tempted to leave that side unchanged, even while acknowledging the lineout issues. I don’t think the blokes they brought in have played badly (or have been the worst on the field) but I don’t know that they have played better than those players they replaced. I also don’t think Ned Hannigan is the ideal player to cover for 4/5, 6 and 8 – lock and 6 OK but 8 as well is a bit of a stretch. I was a bit surprised to see him go to 8 on the weekend but, once they had taken of Wilson, there was no other option and I think the balance there was less than ideal – no line breaking ball runner. So we went from two line breakers with Samu and Wilson (with Wilson successfully linking on a number of occasions down the right side) to a single line-breaker with Wilson at the start and none to finish. We also took another ball runner in Tupou from starting to finishing (but he was pretty quiet in that respect on the weekend). That would seem to suggest that we changed our tactics and picked a team around it and I don’t know why, when something worked OK in Bled I, we would not at least give it another run.

          However, it is a game that is incredibly easy to play with 20/20 hindsight from the grandstands and very easy to coach on a desktop after to the event. I am comfortable enough with the assembled team of coaches to think that they have a little more up their sleeves just yet – but I hope, as per the great post above there somewhere, that the focus is less on winning at this stage, and more on putting the groundwork in to make substantial, concrete improvements that will produce more winning rugby down the track.

        • donktec

          During the post match interview, Ozmoses had a bit of a look of “this is going to be harder than i thought”. Could be reading too much into it, he was possibly just upset with how things didn’t work during the game.

        • Mike D

          Probably also aspects of player work-load management. These are still young men, early 20s. Their bodies need time to heal and copping 3 test matches in 4 weeks is a huge workload. Rennie is doing a good job of juggling that as well I think.

        • Westoout

          Plus it gets boring.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Probably not if you won more. In the 80’s I was getting lots of crap from my Australian mates in the Army and they wanted more games not less

        • Reds Revival

          Has it significantly helped Argentina? In 2015, you would have said yes, even though the Jaguares under performed. However, in 2019 their Super Rugby team performed well, but that didn’t extend to Los Pumas.
          I don’t know if you could say that they are a significantly better team than when they joined TRC.

        • I think both Italy and Argentina are interesting examples, Scotland might start to fall into that camp too.

          They only have the one or two professional teams, and certainly in Italy’s case no real structure under that. Scotland has a strong structure under the two professional teams and a lot of its players playing top flight rugby outside Scotland – whether that’s sustainable I’m not sure.

          You can’t only train top flight internationals by playing at that level, you need to have a pool to select them from. The Crusaders were, pre-Covid, the dominant force in SR. The most one-eyed Crusaders fan might think they can beat an international side, I don’t think anyone else does though… they’re good, but they have players who aren’t up to that level. Put two more SR franchises in Argentina and it would be interesting though….

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah when I saw the Tri-Nation draw I was wondering if 4 in a row against NZ would be a good idea. Pretty shit management from whoever set up that draw to be honest

        • Yowie

          Given all the factors at play this year it’s a bloody good thing we have rugby tests and I’m not whinging too hard about the 1st four being Aust v NZ.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I certainly aren’t but I’m not sure it was the cleverest move

        • Brumby Runner

          KARL, you are usually more on the ball than your comments in this post.

          You might recall that the original draw had Bledisloe 4 set for December 12, or thereabouts, but with the quarantine regime then in place in NZ, the NZRU and ABs kicked up such a shit storm about not being home for Xmas, RA agreed to bring that fixture forward to this last weekend.

          RA management have indeed bent over backwards to satisfy the wants of the precious ABs.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I agree with all that and to be fair I thought it was a bit of whining by the ABs, maybe understandable but still whinny. I dont think the Tri-Nations should have been 2 games against NZ first up though, they could have split those games out even made the final a NZ vs Aus game.

        • Who?

          I think the problem is the complaining about the Rugby Championship draw made that game move forward (which you’ve both covered), but the Saffas didn’t bail until after tickets were on sale for last weekend. If those tickets hadn’t been sold, they’d have moved the game back.

      • The All Blacks can be beaten. But their win percentage is a fact, not a myth.

        It’s one that needs to be brought down but, equally, we need to remember they are a talented bunch and they’re as determined to improve on it and we’re determined to see it fall back towards 50%.

        It might be seen as semantics, but we need to undercut the mystique of the All Blacks, as this unstoppable, almost unbeatable force. Fortress Eden Park and all the rest of it. None of that is easy but, for example, Scotland won in Wales for the first time in 18 years on Saturday. These streaks are made to be broken.

        • Yowie

          Speaking of streaks, I reckon for Eden Park games the pressure is on the home team. How would you be going into the history books as a member of the team that lost and brought a multi-decade streak to an end?

        • I think they have a very canny sports psychologist somewhere in their staff. It certainly seems to inspire rather than impede them, even when they’re down to their fourth or fifth choice starting 10…

          I think the interesting thing will be to see how they react the week after the streak is broken.

        • Mike D

          Hence why, I think, the players were prepared to get injured to win that game. Part of the AB’s whole thing is that at Eden Park – “None shall pass”. They had to win, and they knew it.

    • Liam

      To be fair, reflect that ioane dropped a try on the line from showboating in that first test. So it wasnt too far away in chances of a reasonably competitive ab win. Would that have tempered expectations a bit more?

  • formerflanker

    I’d give the anthem singing points to the bloke who did the NZ national anthem.
    He looked mean, focussed, and ready to do business on the field.

    • Nutta

      I was a bit worried our mate was going to get all Boyz2Men spiraling for a minute there, but he came good. I thought our man did quite well in the end.

      That said, if he had of got all faux-impassioned R&B warbly and busted out the soft-lenses and a white linen suit it would have been far more closer to a heralding of our actual game – musical wanking.

      At least it would have been more authentic to the tone of our play.

  • juswal

    Acknowledging the lost Bledisloe Cup, I want to say that a win in a Test series is not what we should be hoping for. It’s too high a goal.

    In 2020-21, the Wallabies’ aims should be:
    1. turn up with smart game plans for attack and defence, and execute them for 85 minutes;
    2. pass, catch, kick, run in support, tackle and ruck at elite level;
    3. be competent at restarts, scrums and lineouts; and
    4. don’t concede dumb penalties and cards.

    Those points should have been the Wallabies’ priorities since the Deans era but we haven’t seen much improvement.

    The Wallabies need to be the best rugby team in Australia before they can aim to compete with the best teams in the world. At this stage, the Brumbies, and maybe the Reds, would have better prospects as a Test team. The Gordon firsts would fall short for speed and fitness but based on how they played on Saturday afternoon, I would have preferred to see them run out against NZ. They would have held it together for longer. Maybe. They would at least have given it a crack.

    There are early good signs under the Rennie regime. Selections aren’t stupid (imagine that) and the players seem to understand where they should be, in attack and defence. But: fundamental skills, decision-making, discipline and an 85-minute effort . . . not happening yet.

    I will contentedly watch a lot more Test losses as long as I can see Wallabies who look like a competent, organised team that’s ready for Tier 1 international rugby. I would prefer that to seeing occasional wins achieved through luck and pluck.

    • Patrick

      I agree but I also think that a lot of skills are better. I think there are more successful offloads, even offload at all, better sharper passing, for example.

    • Geoffro

      nailed it

  • Who?

    So, Saturday wasn’t fun. But this isn’t unprecedented. Sure, it’s in our backyard, but Kiwis feel pretty at home in Australia – they’re not unfamiliar with the feeling of winning here. They’re more familiar with that feeling than we are.
    And it’s a first year squad. We should remember that, in 2008, we lost 53-8 to SA. Sure, away from home, but 53-8. 3 more points to us, but 10 more to SA. With way more experience than we put on the field on Saturday night.
    I’m not saying it was fun, or should be fun. Just pointing out it’s very early days; we can come back.

  • cantab

    Yeah yeah, seems all doom and gloom for the wallabies, but next game is at Suncorp where they constantly win games they shouldn’t, so chin up and see you there Saturday.

    (by shouldn’t – I simply mean team sheet v team sheet)

  • Tah Tragic

    Allow me to have delusional jump back into history. The previous record loss to the Kiwis was on the 6 July 1996 in Welly. In that game we didn’t have any debutants but we had 3 players playing their 3rd test (Ben Tune, Sam Payne and Richard Harry), Owen Finegan was playing his 4th and Joe Roff his 7th. So a very young team.
    The score was 43-6; 6 tries to nil.
    3 years later they won the RWC.
    They are my straws and I’m clutching hard.

    • Yowie

      I like it. NZ have fallen right into our trap.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Absolutely. As Rennie said, you’re 3 games into a 3 year plan

      • onlinesideline

        4 year – that extra year will make all the difference (ahemm)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahaha opps yeah 4 years

  • Yowie

    “Wallabies Graciously Cop Awful Refereeing Calls As Lucky All Blacks Gifted The Bledisloe Cup”

  • Missing Link

    I said last week that I had zero expectations and that’s exactly what was delivered to me on Saturday night, I was well chuffed with my choice of beer and Uber Eats that the Wallabies shit-show performance didn’t even ruin my night.

    That said I am not going to blame anyone, not Lolesio or Simone, or even Rennie, it was just a collective mess of a game and the boys need time. 2 minutes in I knew how the game was going to go, after reading Daugunu’s comments about kicking high to Clarke and then smashing him, you couldn’t have written a better script when he was carded for taking him out in the air. Given the greasy conditions I thought our ball handling and tackling wasn’t too bad but we pushed passes when we should have taken the ball into contact, and some of the NZ tries were from opportunistic 50/50 balls that always bounce their way or towards the end of the game when Hodge was forced to play 10 and the game was already gone. So the scoreline could have been a lot closer. Surprised with Lolesio’s place kicking, he was pretty good for the Brumbies, maybe just put it down to nerves.

    I think Rennie needs to improve his selection balance given Hodge was forced to play 10 and Petaia as exciting as he is, seems to be feeling the weight of the whole team on his shoulders because he’s trying to do it all himself when he doesn’t need to.

    I also think our backrow should be more experienced, Samu, Hooper and Naisirani should be our starting backrow while blooding the 3 young QLD boys off the bench. Depending on LSL’s injury, hanigan may push into the 2nd row to accomodate the above backrow otherwise stick with LSL.

    • Mica

      I need to ask the big questions – what was the choice of beer that you went with??

      • Missing Link

        certainly, I went for Balter IPA

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good choice,.

    • Keith Butler

      Absolutely right ML. What I found disappointing was that senior players were MIA. Hodge was handed a poison chalice. In the absence of Toomua and JOC I would prefer a 10 who can cover at 13 or 15 rather than the other way round. Last time I want to see Ned at 6 or Simmons on the bench as well.

      • Patrick

        Especially MIA as friggin always was the captain.

      • Geoffro

        Hanigan should only be used on the bench as a replacement lock.Get him to focus on his lineout and defence and moving bodies forget the rest..Im buggered if I can think of a decent start and bench solution for 10 while Toomua and JOC injured

  • Mart

    Anyone got any info on the Argentina Aus A game?

  • StewedP

    How much of the $8.8M Australian Government contribution to the 2027 Rugby World Cup Bid go to line the pockets of Phil Kearns and the Advisory Board?

    • RedAnt

      Fair question given this government’s enthusiasm for looking after its mates!

  • Alister Smith

    I made a “discovery” on the weekend, which others may (or may not) be interested. NITV (one of the SBS channels – for us where I am its 34 – Northern NSW) have been covering a bit of rugby. I have seen the WA Premier Rugby, and, for the last two weekends, the NT club rugby. The also covered the Ella Cup – aboriginal 7s – so if you are looking for FTA coverage and something a little different its there. (I have seen others mention the WA stuff before but not NT or the Ella 7s).

    • Yowie

      Good tip. Full credit to the camera crews keeping up with the on-field action for the Ella Cup!

      • Alister Smith

        Well there isn’t a lot of camera angles so I suspect they aren’t moving much at all and, at significant risk of being the biggest hypocrite since the word was first used, some of the lads lack a bit of conditioning, but none of them lack ball skills and an ability to beat a man.

        There is a reason why 15-20% of rugby league and AFL elite level players have aboriginal heritage and the skill sets are not that different that we won’t find future champions there.

        I read in an article yesterday (SMH I think) that there have been just 14 aboriginal players to represent Australia in 120 plus years. Three of them were brothers and, if I am correct, Lloyd Walker was a cousin of the Ellas. Another three were rugby league converts, Sailor, Andrew Walker, and TImana Tahu – so in a real sense, not players that Rugby Union developed. Jim Williams (started as a Leaguie but found rugby in the army) and Lloyd McDermott are two others that I remember and, according to an article the Fa’ainga twins also have some aboriginal background.

        Now the jersey is fine and I hope it does attract aboriginal players, and in fact players from all backgrounds to come and enjoy this sport but I think things like the Ella 7’s and a greater focus on rugby in the public schools and attracting a wider range of people to junior club rugby would make a much bigger difference. Imagine if the Greg Inglis’, Jonathan Thurston’s, Ryan James, Laurie Daley etc etc etc grew up throwing a rugby ball around rather than a rugby league one. Would we have gone 18 years without winning a Bledisloe if we had some of those players in Gold (or Green and White) jerseys?

  • Greg

    Completely off topic… but here you go anyway! US election form guide

  • Huw Tindall

    I grew up halfway between Gordon and Norths in terms of home grounds so I’m f#cking claim the Gordon win. Needs to salavage something out of the shitshow of the weekend with the Wobs.


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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