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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the Pumas stunning victory, a new trans-Tasman competition, Vunivalu’s rugby shift and a sudden retirement at the Brumbies


Histórico

Mario Ledesma

Mario Ledesma

Argentina has made history, beating the All Blacks 25-15 for the first time ever at Bankwest Stadium.

The Pumas have had a rough journey to Australia, with players forced to train individually in lockdown for several months before serving an extensive quarantine period.

With their country in the gripes of a second/third wave, ‘Los Pumas’ gave them something to cheer about in their first game back since the 2019 World Cup.

Flyhalf Nicholas Sanchez was immense, scoring all 25 points as the Pumas dominated the near full-strength All Blacks side over the 80 minutes.

This came as a result of their incredible work at the breakdown, with captain and future knight/sir/king Pablo Matera playing the game of his life.

The win left coach and former Wallabies assistant Mario Ledesma in tears post-match as the squad celebrated with a passionate group of fans in the corner of the stadium.

“For us, and for everyone, I think it’s the only team we haven’t beaten,” Ledesma said.

“I think we’ll remember this for a long time – not only because of the game but this special situation that got us to this point.

“I guess someone will write a book about it.”

Ledesma and the Pumas seemed to benefit from the influence of former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika as an assistant, with his siege mentality and passion fitting in nicely with their culture/playing style.

“I’m not going to talk about the whole experience that he has as a coach and all the things that he can bring to the game. But seeing us as a team from the outside, he just came the first day and said, ‘what are you waiting for – you’ve got everything’,” Matera said.

“You’ve got big players, physical players, young players, a lot of energy – go and take it. Just go and take it, what are you waiting for?

“And I think that made us believe a lot more in ourselves, so it’s been great to have him around.

“It’s not just about the rugby thing, he feels the game in a special way too.”

New comp

Harry Hoopert scores a try

Harry Hoopert scores a try

Rugby Australia and New Zealand Rugby have announced a historic trans-Tasman domestic tournament for 2021.

The tournament will follow their respective Super Rugby AU and Aotearoa domestic competitions, featuring all 10 Super Rugby teams with each Australian team to play each New Zealand team in 25 crossover matches before the Final.

It is set to kick off with a battle of 2020 champions, with Australian champions ACT Brumbies set to travel to New Zealand as they face the Aotearoa and defending Super Rugby champions Crusaders.

Along with this, round three will serve as a ‘Super Round’, with all games set to be played in the same location, which is yet to be determined by the governing bodies.

As part of the new broadcast deal, all 26 matches in the tournament will be live on Stan Sport, with one game per week shown on the Nine Network.

“This is a truly historic day for rugby in the southern hemisphere, with the first-ever Australian and New Zealand Super Rugby competition,” RA interim CEO Rob Clarke said in a statement.

“This will generate enormous excitement across both countries with some of the best players in the world set to challenge each other after the conclusion of Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Aotearoa.

“It will be a really exciting new product for our 2021 broadcast partners, Stan and Nine, and I know fans right around the world will be glued to their screens and devices to watch it all.

“The Super Round is also a great initiative with one lucky city to host all 10 teams on one weekend in a Super Rugby extravaganza.

“I’d like to thank Mark Robinson and his team at New Zealand Rugby for working so closely with us. Bring on 2021!”

New surroundings

Wallabies pre-kickoff

Wallabies pre-kickoff

Former Storm winger Suliasi Vunivalu has reassured his commitment to the Wallabies and Australian rugby after making to move to rugby union.

“I’m really enjoying it right now and I’ve moved on,” he told reporters on Friday.

“I’m just trying to focus on this camp and learning as much as I can, and I’m looking forward to next year with the Queensland Reds.”

Having someone like Marika Koroibete in camp has been perfect for his development according to the two-time premiership winner, with the reigning John Eales Medalist following a similar path in his transition from rugby league.

“He’s probably one of the players I look out for and watch on the game, his urgency and he’s everywhere,” he said.

“He’s been really helpful with me coming in. I’ve been learning heaps of stuff from him because he was in the same place I’m in a couple of years back.”

Whilst many saw his inclusion in the Wallabies set-up as him being fast-tracked into the side, Vunivalu was under no illusion about his standing in the pecking order, admitting that he will need to work hard if he wants to pull on the gold jersey in 2021 and beyond.

“It’s not going to be easy, I have to work hard for that spot or whatever spot they put me in,” he conceded.

“I respect the players that have been here in the camp. I’m in no rush trying to get back in the side.

“I’m just here to learn and get all the basic things right and hopefully I can take that up and use that next year with the Queensland Reds.

This starts with the Reds, with his future teammates making him feel welcome in Wallaby camp.

“We’re pretty much all the same age so they have been really good to me when I met them after the game on Saturday,” he added.

“They’ve been really pumped for me to come over and they’ve said ‘you’ll love it over there’ so I’m really looking forward to my new move to the Reds.”

Miller’s time up

Will Miller

Will Miller

Brumbies flanker Will Miller has made the shock call to hang up the boots after his breakout year with the club.

Miller has always been a standout in the Shute Shield, becoming a cult hero for Norths before he was picked up by the Brumbies in 2020.

He would make an instant impact on the squad, scoring five tries in 15 appearances as he started at openside flanker in the Brumbies Grand Final win against the Queensland Reds.

However, the 27-year-old made the announcement on Friday that he will focus on his family-owned farm in Berry.

“I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time with the Brumbies,” he said.

“This has been an incredibly difficult decision, but it’s one I feel is right for me at this point in my life.

“I always dreamed of playing professional rugby, and to achieve success with the Brumbies last season is something I’ll always look back on fondly.

“I want to thank Dan (McKellar), Chris (Tindall) and Phil (Thomson) for understanding my decision and supporting me throughout.

“I’m proud to be Brumby #224 and I wish my teammates all the best for next season.”

Brumbies coach Dan McKellar was ‘gutted’ by the announcement, however, supported his decision to move closer to his family.

“We’re gutted to lose Will but we’re equally happy for him embarking on the next step in his life,” he added.

“Will’s a man full of character, a country boy to his core, and he was terrific for us last season.

“We’re a family at this club, and with Will feeling like he needs to be closer to home, and to pursue his passion on the farm, we support that one-hundred percent.”

  • juswal

    That was stirring stuff from Argentina. I’ve been saying for years that any top-tier Test team can dominate against NZ for 55 minutes; they just have to find a way to kick on and do it for 80-85.

    Also in the news is the death of rugby journo and author Greg Growden. If you’re of the vintage that read newspapers (the SMH, specifically) for rugby news, match previews and reports, you’ll remember Growden as part of the furniture.

    Will Miller had a season each with the Rebels and the Waratahs before going to the Brumbies.

    • Alister Smith

      Thanks for the note on Greg Growden. I read a lot of his stuff over the time.

  • laurence king

    Thanks Nathan, very interesting Monday’s news. Whoa boy, that was a game and a half wasn’t it? Argies pretty much had control from start to finish and NZ were made to look ineffectual. This is just the best thing for the competition, so much so that the Wallabies are really going to have to step up for this one. Sad to see Miller retire but good luck to him.

  • Steve

    What. A. Game.

    After that early scuffle Matera said to Gardner ‘I’m playing for my country, they need to show some respect’, and I think that said absolutely everything that needed saying.

    The Wallabies came away with a win, but the Pumas showed that you don’t need to be bullied or intimidated by the All Blacks, or tolerate Coles’ or Frizell’s general grubbiness, instead you can just scare the bejeezus out of them and pummel them into submission.

    Oh, and 1 handling error in 80 minutes didn’t hurt.

    I’m not sure whether the Wallabies have the skill to hang onto the ball like the Pumas did, or the physicality to smash them backwards for 80 minutes, but it was goddamn brilliant to watch.

    Next weekend just became really interesting.

    Congrats to Will Miller on his career, a strong contribution to the Brumbies this year and glad he’s leaving in good health and spirits.

    • Hambone

      Pablo “the man possesed” Matera, when he came up from that ruck ball in hand in final minutes says everything i love about rugby. The passion and determination, absolute beast.. absolute beast of a team effort.. nearlies with 1 line break all game, don’t think I’ve seen that ever..
      As my kiwi mate told me we should put 50 on them as they will still probably be pissed from at night. Hahaha..
      Looking forward to a big hit out at our nemesis home stadium Newcastle.
      Do we have the sluggers up front to match their pack for the full 80 ?
      That test was a joy to watch, well played Argentina

      • Reds Revival

        It says that Naisarani needs to be in this weeks pack (preferably with Wilson at 6).

        • Damo

          We will need to be aggressive and fierce but very disciplined. The Argies didn’t need to score a lot of tries with Sanchez popping 3 pointers from everywhere.

        • Hambone

          Exactly, we will need hodgey starting to balance out nico at the argie tee. Will be interesting to see starting 15 with injured players coming back in

      • Keith Butler

        That look was a joy to behold. Haven’t seen it on a players face for a good while. Reminds me why I love this game so much.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I must admit I did love the way that Argentina were so happy at the end of the match. As disappointed as I am by the result I take nothing away from the Argies, they came out and played so well they absolutely deserved the win. I just hope the Wallabies can hold them off next weekend as they’ll now be very confident and eager to repeat against them.

        • idiot savant

          Yes nice tactical challenge for Rennie coming up. If the Pumas have sobered up by Saturday and play the same stifling game, our less experienced side might panic and make mistakes. We might see a fair bit of chip and chase from the Wallabies.

      • donktec

        74 minutes into the game and he is still pumped! Feeding off the crowd, it was great stuff.

  • sambo6

    Who was the veteran sydney-based rugby journalist who pissed off everyone at Fort Fumble on a regular basis?

    RIP Greg Growden.

    • onlinesideline

      truth never hurt anybody mate

      R.I.P Greg Growden

      • sambo6

        Just for clarity…..I’m implying that he was a formidable journo, who’s efforts to ‘speak truth to this in power’ is something to respected and remembered…..and I did in the same fashion that he would write many of his columns as something of a tribute….

        I’m not having a go at the guy…..

        • onlinesideline

          Mate, am in full agreement with you. I was just re-iterating your sentiments. Its obvious to most what you meant, Im sure. Its a tip of the hat.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Sad to see him go. R.I.P.

    • Greg

      I hope that he had the strength to be aware of the Argentina win. There would have been a smile!

    • Reds Revival

      He was a good rugby writer, but always struck me as the grumpy old man next door. If your ball ever went over the fence, you knew that you were never getting it back.

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    See? 2020 isn’t ALL bad. Hard to believe so many are calling for Foster’s scalp already. I reckon it’s more a combination of complacency and loss of mystique – they were beatable before England got to them in the RWC SF.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Been on the downward spiral for about 3 years, ever since Hansen said he wanted to go and they convinced him to stay until RWC. Looking back probably the wrong move

      • Steve

        Agree with this KARL. I think we in Aus haven’t noticed because we’ve been, well, crap – but the gap to SA/Eng in particular has pulled right back.

        Still, ‘downward spiral’ is probably overstating it a bit!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          No I think it’s apt. They had the leftovers from the good years for a while and those guys were able to bring them back but too much emphasis on flashy over good and it tells

  • onlinesideline

    lol – the kiwis are having a meltdown.

    Opps SORRY – thats petty and small minded .. SORRY, agree, that’s not on.

    (can someone pass the popcorn .. mhahahahahaha)

  • Hoss

    Dear NZRU,

    We formally request you submit an Expression of Interest in joining our Rugby Competition in 2021.

    Such expressions should outline the reasons we consider admitting some of your sides to our competition as we harbour deep concerns that any such admission of your teams into our competition may seriously dilute the quality of our overall competition.

    It seems your national team is a basket case and we believe there is not much upside for us lowering our standards in 2021. We believe that after we admit a Japanese, Pasifika and Argentinian sides that possibly, only possibly the Crusaders may be considered.

    We will give you till December 01st for any such submission.

    Yours in Rugby
    Rob Clarke
    General Manager
    Rugby Australia.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahahaha lap it up mate.

      • Hoss

        It’s been nine years mate – I need to get traction out of this. It will be a long two weeks in camp for the Nearlies and I reckon, as legendary Anchorman Ron Burgandy says ‘it’s a deep burn’

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah they’ll be hurting, 1st loss ever to a team they should never lose to, it’ll be like the Wallabies after losing to Samoa or Scotland. The thing is under the lack of leadership demonstrated by Cane and Foster I can’t see a good road ahead

        • Damo

          I could be wrong but I get the feeling Cane would like someone other than him to be captain.

        • onlinesideline

          Not sure. I think he puts a lot of pressure on himself but relishes the roll underneath. He is just aware of the AB expectations. He is in it up to his eyeballs now,

        • Hoss

          They would have been hammered if not for Cane and Whitelock

        • onlinesideline

          KARL – have to strongly disagree with that.

          Argentina may be 10th on the “which rugby boss last copped the bill for everyone’s 6 hour lunch in the city last week” ratings but we all know thats irrelevant. These have been capable of beating any of the top 6-7 and have gone mighty close on a number of occassions since 2014 or so, maybe eralier. They had you guys on the ropes right up to the 80th minute twice I belive in the last 3 years. Be in quarter and semi final contention at RWCs. They are good, they are NOT our Samoa. Far far better.

          Maybe and just maybe your sentiments above were shared by the players deep down. I did say this to you last week and you said ABs by 15. Loyallty aside, the ABs are in for a rude shock because they are a good side for sure but they are not a very very good side and they need to respect everyone in this comp.Its dam shame the saffas are not here. It could have been an even better comp.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’m friggen glad they’re not the way the ABs are playing at the moment.

          I get what you’re saying and the Argies have improved a lot over the last 4 or 5 years but I still maintain we shouldn’t have let them win. maybe you’re right and the new world order will see a smaller gap between the top 10 or so teams with any of them able to win on their day against any other. However, I am still hurting, not so much with the loss but with the very poor play that led to the last 2 losses. For me there’s something not right in that team at the moment.

        • onlinesideline

          Yeah agree. The thing is, the read that the powers to be made, when they picked Foster to takeover, was “more of the same please”. Well this in itself should fall on the shoulders of the blokes who made that call. Because it failed to appreciate that basic idea that f you don’t change with the times you instantly fall behind. Im sure there are better ways to term it but you what I mean. Here was the Crusaders coach who was an outlier in his approach and self conviction and copped the raised eyebrows in the beginning re selections and style of play and booom – lookw hat eh acheived. He filled the cabinet. When you looka t Deans and teh way eh wa snubbed at the Crusaders after how many compeition wins ( was it 7??? ) and the way Scott Johnstone wa snubbed, you would have to say .. errrrr, this is problem NZ Rugby have with anything south of Wellington. This time round I think they are going to have to pull their heads in an eat some humble pie.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I’m not so sure it’s an anti South thing. NZRFU is in Wellington so they probably hate the JAFA (Just another Fucken Aucklander) more than the south. Deans issue was that Henry came in with a good plan to go forward, an admission of the mistakes he’d made and a really strong team, whereas he was by himself with the idea that he’d get a team once he was in place. As things turned out, at the time that was a good move. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing Deans go for the job if he was still coaching. I read his book and I thought he made a lot of sense and said some good things about his coaching philosophy and all that.

        • Mica

          It’s ok KARL – you didn’t let them win. They were good enough to win all by themselves. I don’t want this to come across as narky. I just believe that anyone can turn up on their day and play a blinder. Sure the ABs made mistakes, but they came at least in part as a consequence of the pressure they were being put under. Most people would agree that if you had to pick side that is most likely to win against all others, that it would be the ABs. They will still be beaten by a team that clicks on a given day though and the great thing about the game on the weekend is that the Pumas played a blinder and earnt the win hands down. The way they played, I reckon they would have beaten anyone. Now can they back it up? As a Wallabies supporter I am nervous, but excited for a cracking game this weekend.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Well I didn’t personally although my loud yelling and swearing at the TV obviously should have had more effect and I feel I let the team down by not yelling louder. My wife disagrees on this and I’ve taken her comments under advisement. As in I took her advice and shut the hell up, or words to that effect.

          Look I agree that the Argies deserved the win and that it was their commitment and pressure got them to the win, my point is that I don’t believe the ABs should have let them do that. I know they are a good side and have been capable of putting teams under pressure but the ABs reacted very poorly with poor leadership and a reflection of poor selections, a poor game plan and poor coaching that didn’t compensate at the half time chat. Just do the same thing harder seemed to be the half time message. My biggest issue though is that I’m expecting more of this over the next two to three years as I don’t think Foster has got what it takes to be a head coach. The ABs are looking like the Chiefs when he was in charge there and I don’t think it’s anything that he can turn around. I see a lot more poor performances and then a year of rebuild once he’s gone before the ABs start playing well again myself and I’m wallowing in self pity thinking about it

        • Mica

          At least the return match in a couple of weeks will be really interesting now. A good challenge for the ABs and Foster (+ Plumtree et al). I must admit that I am a bit surprised in the vitriol for Sam Cane. For mine he’s been one of the ABs best and hasn’t done much wrong. I don’t know if there’s an obvious alternative captain. Sam Whitelock maybe, but I wouldn’t say obvious and Coles would just be hitting the self destruct button (though it would be fun to watch)…………

        • Who?

          Agree about Cane. I note that some have said he doesn’t communicate well with refs. I haven’t noticed that. And aside from that complaint (if there’s validity to it), I don’t see what more anyone could want from him.

        • Missing Link

          OSL agreed. I wouldn’t be embarrassed to lose to any of the 6 nations, rugby championship, Japan or 3 PI teams if they were good enough to beat us. better team on the day, credit where it’s due.

        • While it’s easy to say the AB should never lose to the Pumas, and I confidently predicted a comfortable win, I’m not sure of any side that wins against an opponent that doesn’t miss a tackle all match.

          Yes, the ABs weren’t playing at their best. Yes, there are definitely questions for them to try and answer. Starting with the continued selection of Cane who is probably not the best 7 in NZ on average, although he’s great when he has a good game.

          But they met a side playing out of their skins, to level touching on perfection, and still scored two tries and kept the scoreline close enough that with 20 minutes to go it was a contest. Not sure a lot of other teams do that.

        • Happyman

          Anyone can have a bad century. So far

    • Jason

      To be fair, I don’t know where New Zealand go from here, they don’t have any better players, they don’t look to have any plan for evolving or adapting. Sure the Argies played exceptionally well, and they probably won’t play a game that hard again for a long time. But New Zealand don’t have a heck of a lot of room for improvement bar moving on their coach, but that’d be quite unlike the NZRU to be that reactive.

      • Yowie

        I think this is the end of Rugby Union in New Zealand.

        • Keith Butler

          Keep stirring.

        • donktec

          after Saturday’s game the coverage went to NZ tv for an extended session of tough introspection, wailing and gnashing of teeth from the commentariat. I admit there was an element of schadenfreude in watching… at one time i thought there was going to be a call for a royal commission, or at the very least a senate inquiry (do they have a senate in NZ?)

        • Yowie

          haha, such is the expectation of “winning all the time”.

          The Argies would have had the AB game circled in the calendar while they prepare like a p!ssed-off Joe Frazier.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          absolutely mate. It’ll be interesting to see if they can do it 2 weeks in a row. Personally I think the Tri Nations is yours to lose now.

        • Yowie

          Well, the Aussies won their last game, so according to the “resting on our laurels” principle…

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Ooh! Mind games! I like it, KARL. Rd 1: bonus points, record loss… I reckon it’s yours to lose :-) The next 2 games will be interesting. The poor Pumas have 4 matches on the trot, and the weather won’t get any cooler. If it’s pretty evenly poised, the final (Oz v Arg) match should get good ratings across the dutch.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          never had one and don’t want one. There’s enough politicians ruining things as it is

        • Jason

          Look, I actually am really worried for NZ Rugby if the AB’s lose their lustre — what keeps the Kiwi players there. That All-Blacks Jersey is literally the only think keeping 80% of the NZ top talent there. They are so focused on everything building towards the All-Blacks.

        • Yowie

          If you’re joining me in stirring – well played.

          Ona genuine note for a second, I’m sure they will be fine. The ABs have had bigger problems in the past (eg a series of World Cup underperformances), changed a few things then come back stronger.

        • Jason

          Half stirring, but it could be a real issue. Like I said, if the All-Blacks are a bit shit, why would I hang around New Zealand get paid a tenth of what I could in the UK or Europe, all to play for a shitty national team…

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        nah there is absolutely a way forward. Won’t happen for a while but there are absolutely better players coming through. It’s going to take a year or two, and better brains than the current lot to change the tactics but the thing I am confident of is it happening.

        • Custardtaht

          I think the way forward is better haircuts across the board. Ultimately, if you have no respect for yourself and your dress and bearing, you can’t expect the opposition to have any respect.

        • Yowie

          Can we now have stoppages for front-rowers to fix their hair rather than their shoelaces?

        • Greg

          Front rowers with hair?

          What’s going on? Honestly, front rowers try and avoid looking at themselves in mirrors!

        • Yowie

          Tatafu Polota-Nau at full afro evens out the average (mean) amount of hair for all front rowers.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          hahahaha it’s an interesting issue. Auckland allowed it to try and get the players focussed on something together and it worked quite well for them as they were in such a disarray they needed to do something out of the box to get players focussed together. Mind you I’m old school, I was talking to a player at one of the matches I refereed this year and I said if I was playing senior rugby and turned up with pink or yellow boots on one of the props would have given me a smack and sent me out to change them or I wouldn’t have got on the field. Different times I guess.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah as much as im enjoying seeing the kiwis get some of their own medicine its only 2 weeks since they gave an absolute master class in tactical play. They can do it again. The way they shaped our defence by using the maul to suck extra defenders in and then use their speed to attack where we had holes or switched the play when we had over folded to where we had less numbers was brilliant. Speed of course was the key and this where the Pumas were brilliant. They removed the speed by holding players up in the tackle and not letting them go to ground for quick recycling. Slowed down all the set pieces. The fact they were able to do it for 80 minutes was amazing. But I wouldn’t count on them being able to continue to do that. The darkness will descend again soon.

        • Reds Revival

          Reading your comments IS, reminds me that it is actually a very Springbok style of game. They are actually quite happy to play a slower game, without the ball and just put pressure on from strong defensive play.
          Argies v Saffas will be a real arm wrestle next year if they can continue with this form.

        • idiot savant

          Yeah it had echoes of the 2015 RWC semi final where the Bokkie just failed to get over the Blacks.

        • Jason

          Oh no doubt – I was more thinking short term issue. But if the AB’s are say Cheika Wallabies bad, what keeps those young players in New Zealand… New Zealand has been probably the one team to deal with the European & Japanise clubs pillaging players — mostly because of the All-Blacks. And if that Black jersey just looks a little dull, why do they stay.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          To make it better when they get in mate

      • skip

        They’ll probably pick Laumapi at centre to get going forward and possibly decide if Jordie isn’t good enough to play fullback he has to sit on the bench. Up front they might pick a new prop as Joe Moody was the only one who did anything. They also have a certain Brodie Retallick to return and he can play a bit. imho they lost through poor tactics. A test fly half ought to know how to deal with a press defence and keep his pack at the right end of the field.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, I got nothing. Congratulations on the Wallabies winning the Tri-Nations.

    I’m starting to understand how you all felt with Cheika as your coach and the only silver lining I can see is that at least it’ll only be for 2 years. The ABs are starting to look like the Chiefs were under Foster, you know playing shit just before Rennie came in and took them to 2 titles in a row. Players out of position, no discernible game plan, poor leadership by a good player…………. sounds familiar doesn’t it?

    Well done Argentina, wanted it more and played with more passion and commitment and thoroughly deserved the win. Be interesting to see if it’ll continue, or like England at RWC they got up for this game but it’ll be a one off.

    Miller will be missed but good luck on his future, a brave call.

    • onlinesideline

      You mean congrats to Argies winning the Tri Mations not us. We are just no there yet. Happy to be mistaken but …

      Side note – I was thinking about Reece Hodge at 10. I really am a huge fan. Like I said last week, he can do all the basics really well and then some. People use to criticise Quade AD INFINITUM about his sublime skills but his lacking of solid tackling, of running it right up to the defense head on and then passing, his boot that was at times below average, other days not, etc etc. Here we have a guy in Reece who can ALL the basics and people are still not happy. If you as me whats more important, than putting people through wholes v basics, it obviously has to be basics ( Reece can also put people through wholes too) Peopel point to the other 4 “options” who play 10 “already” I say so what. This idea that you have to play a season in 10 and prove yourself melts away IMO when yo look at a RH. He has been around for a long time, play many tests, all over the park. He is a naturallly very gifted rugby player, with probably the best open play boot and set kick book in world rugby. I just think the guy is an absolute shoe-in. If Dave Rennie opts for these other options against the Argies, we are going to get absolutely stuffed. Put JOC at 12 in 2cows absence. Its a formidable back line.

      RH till 2023 !! Trump was robbed !! The Vatican is a pedo racket. The pink bats rebate was a con !

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I’m not so sure one good games makes a player but I do agree that his game on Saturday at 10 was the best I’d seen from him on a rugby field. Maybe his problem out wider is that he gets too much time and overthinks things whereas at 10 he just reacts and his instincts are good. I’d love to see more of him at 10 to see if he can continue or even improve

      • juswal

        Good rave, sound reasoning. Butch James and Liza Goddard are the names you’re looking for.

      • Proud Pig

        The key to whoever plays 10 for the wallabies is their defense. If they can’t stand and defend in the line they should be nowhere near the team. Switching playing positions around between attack and defense simply creates a defensive turnstile.

      • idiot savant

        Agree with all this except for Reece’s long pass. Its ordinary and no good left to right. Im a fan of the basics and an accurate boot at 10. Ive never been a fan of the all singing all dancing Flyhalf. The best thing a Flyhalf can do is make the right decision – run, kick or pass, or no thank you, give to to the forwards. Decision making was never Quade’s forte. Its what made McLean and Lynagh great. Neither were all that talented apart from kicking.

    • Geoffro

      I cant help laughing at everyone who are saying the ABs are shot ducks.they beat us 2-1,took the Bled and record a biggest ever win on the way.They’re far from done.

      • onlinesideline

        shhhh – we are enjoying it. ( and we have finished playing them for this year)

        • Geoffro

          Yeah,I know.Just hope it lasts more than a week or so.S’pose we have to take the Pumas super seriously now,but I doubt we’ll see as bad an Allblack performance for a while

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah 2 bad games and maybe a 3rd coming up but it’ll only be a blimp once we get things sorted.

      • Missing Link

        The All Blacks aren’t bad, they’re just more normal and I’m not unhappy about it. if Argentina and the Wallabies can compete with NZ on a regular basis, then it’s a good thing for rugby. it gives hope to the fair weather fans that they’re not going to be disappointed paying $100+ for a ticket to the Bledisloe Cup. we might be able to fill stadiums again like we did 20 years ago

      • UTG

        Well, the golden period is well and truly over. They’ll still have the odd pearler where they get everything to click like in Sydney but they just don’t have the muscle or the physicality anymore to pull off the 2015 game plan consistently. The writing on the wall has been there for a while, for all the fanfare over Super Aotoearoa it was a long way from test match rugby. The ruck speed was just unrealistically fast and they never got used to matching up against a set defensive line. The ABs have been struggling against rush defence since 2017. Hansen used to arrogantly muse that he was holding back tactics to counter the rush for the RWC but when push come to shove the cupboard was bare.

        The real question is whether or not Razor will have enough time to turn things around before 2024. This is going to be the worst AB season since 98 no matter the result in two weeks. I expect Foster will limp through 2021 and there’ll be a cleanout after that and they’ll try to replicate SA’s 2015-2019 cycle.

        • idiot savant

          Good point about the unreal speed of rucks in Aotoearoa. Its always been at the heart of the AB ability to surge over sides and score 2 or 3 quick tries. It was nice to see Gardner penalise them for going off their feet which they did all through the Aotoearoa season and have got away with for years in international rugby. I didn’t think he had the balls. And when they cant get quick ball they’re human! So without as you say being able to match the physicality they do come back to the field. I thought we matched their physicality and the Pumas dominated them. They are tactically brilliant though which we saw with their defence shaping against us in Sydney so Im sure they have something up their sleeve.

      • Custardtaht

        A broken clock is right twice a day…..the All Blacks are shot.

    • Happyman

      Mate your guys kill team on turnover the argies only had about one the entire game.

    • Ads

      They’ll be back mate and it’s always tough in the rebuild.

      The comment that rang out for me was along the lines of “I’m playing for my country and deserve more respect”. That was awesome and shows that while all the analysis and stats are good, you can’t lose the passion. It reminded me of Gregan back in the day saying “passion is over-rated” or some such crap. Was bollocks then, and was bollocks on Saturday.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Interesting isn’t it. Passion is critical and they had it in spades. I thought he sounded a bit whiny myself and no I don’t respect you because you’re picked for your country, I respect you for your play on the field that’s all. The ABs have for years toned down the aggression and reaction to opposition aggression because with the way the cameras go these days and with all the scrutiny it’s become a high risk venture, also TBH because guys like Richard Lowe gave NZ such a bad reputation that they wanted to break that cycle. I actually think they’ve gone too far and are letting teams bully them a bit. I personally think they need to react better, not with a girlie slap like Coles did but with a decent smack in the head to show that they won’t be bullied. It may take a card or so but it’ll stop some of the crap

        • Greg

          puhlease……

          NZ have some extraordinary players, especially in counter-attack, but they have got away with shit for years. If anything I think a few short, sharp jabs in the opposite direction are needed. Hello 2 and 9!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I don’t disagree on both Coles and Perinara needing a smack around the head either, I just think there’s been too much emphasis on “No retaliation” for a long time and it’s allowed teams to bully us.

        • idiot savant

          Karl, this is classic kiwi double speak. Do they teach that at school over there? Kiwis have a flair for misdirection. No one has bullied you for about 100 years on a rugby field, yet the reflex is to create a false narrative that they have. There is a conga line of grubs and bullies in black jersey going back as far as the game has been played! Except for the foul play and grubby behaviour of Coles, Ofa, Moody, Barretts J and S, TJ…. we’ve been bullied! Classic!

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahahaha no mate I think we have been bullied. Too much fear of sanctions that have let it go on. TBH I think it’s been pretty smart and my only objection is letting them get away with it.

  • Happyman

    What a great weekend of Rugby. I had a weekend down the coast and caught up with a couple of mates at the Beach rugby. If you see it in your town get around it it is a bit of fun.

    Then retired to a pub to watch the test. The Argies were comprehensive in victory. Time for some hard truths in NZ the real strength of NZ over the past decade has been the depth of bench coming on usually made up of 50 to 100 test players for almost any other country. The All Black started that game with Lomax at tighthead a former Aussie school boy and let’s be honest currently he does not make the Wallaby bench so in terms of talent they are coming back to the pack. Who knows in the next ten years they may have to put up with a dreadful 80 percent win rate.

    For some special shardenfreude I recommend hitting up the Pravda (Nzherald, stuff) in NZ. They love to pile on in a loss.

    • Damo

      Agree. Also , while the AB’s still have plenty of world class players in the mix they currently don’t have the 2 or 3 once in a generation skilled + smart players who could conjure up a win out of a backs to the wall situation. And of course this happens to every elite sporting team.

    • Hambone

      Good ole gregor Paul has been firing since day night, absolute mouthpiece of the highest order that one. Puts Alan Jones to shame

  • Ads

    We all know Cheiks was exceptionally one-dimensional in his game plan. Maybe the Argies finally have a team of players that suits that one-dimensional game plan – “just smash ‘em, you know what I mean”.

    • Patrick

      Maybe Chek is perfectly suited to a role where someone else is in charge of selection, tactics, game plans, attack, defence and the set piece?

      • Ads

        Lol – CPO – Chief Passion Officer. Could be interpreted very badly!

        • onlinesideline

          CPO – lol – Although I didnt notice any fist slamming on the tables. Maybe this is the new consultancy $$$ Cheik.

        • Ads

          He was always much more gracious in victory.

        • onlinesideline

          oh thats why I noticed this. I never saw that when he coached us.

          Kaboom – not

        • Damo

          C3PO. The droid Ladesma’s been looking for.

      • onlinesideline

        lol

    • Yowie

      Cheik was great “out of the box” with an aggressive/unique approach.

      The trouble was being able to have more than the one club in his bag for a stint longer than one tournament.

    • Moz

      I think he just enjoyed picking players who wear blue!

  • Missing Link

    Congratulations Argentina, first ever win against NZ and well deserved too. I am still pinching myself because it doesn’t feel real and I believe it’s the first time NZ have suffered back to back losses since 2011. They usually draw energy from a loss and bounce back with great vengeance and furious anger.

    • Yowie

      Great Pulp Fiction reference. Although I think the NZ version starts like this:

      The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides from the side by the…

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Nah mate, Richie’s not playing anymore

        • Yowie

          Is Richie a mere “righteous man”?

          When did this demotion from “deity” occur?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Once he stopped playing. He’s now joined the ranks of has beens

        • Greg

          The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides from the other side by the..

          fixed it!

  • Reds Revival

    Great win by the Argies. I bet the Saffas are rueing their decision not to come over. They would have had a fair chance in all games, and would be much better prepared for next year’s BIL tour. Personally, I think they will be underdone for it.
    If the FISMs play like that again, it would be hard to see the Wallabies beating them. Although, under Rennie and co, we seem to be able to adapt our game plans to suit our opposition, and even change it during the game if it is not working (which was probably the ABs downfall). The big question is, can the Argies play with that intent and execution two weeks in a row? Can the Wallabies continue with the same sort of intensity that they brought to the Brisbane match? Should be a cracking match.

  • onlinesideline

    Tell ya what – In that scuffle in opening minutes, Pablo Matera was bloody lucky he was sighted for an attempted headbutt. It easily have been a red card. Check out the insta vid for rugby.com.au – unless he just had an itch or was adjusting his collar it looked like a blatant headbutt. I suppose if it didnt connect it makes all the difference.

  • OnTheBurst

    PS – Will Miller played for the Rebels and the Tahs as well as the Brumbies…

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Does anyone know if the Force will get their fair share of funding from the revenue that these competitions will generate of it Forrest have to pay to get the Force to play? I want to know if RA is prepared to put their money where their mouth is and support the WA rugby community or if the Force participation is just a commercial deal for RA to get into Forrest pocket.

    • Ads

      A good question Hannes. I hope they are all treated the same. That might encourage the RM Wallabies too. A win-win!

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        I expect they are not and RA is using the Force participation to get Into Forrest’s pocket.

    • Perth girl

      I think you know the answer to that Hannes!

    • Alister Smith

      One would hope that it will be unified and all parties get a fair split and that a reasonable proportion of it goes to junior development and grassroots. I thought that, by meeting with NZR and by bolstering the squad, Forrest has given the Force an each way bet that should allow him significant bargain power. A 4 team comp in Australia isn’t much good so the Force could threaten to withdraw and join the NZ comp given them 6 and possibly going to 8 in the following year add Pasika and potentially China Lions/Bay of Plenty. So I think Australia is less without the Force but the Force not necessarily without options.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        There are a few that believe that the Force has to commit to RA and close their options. That is clearly a diluted view as the only way the Force can secure theirs future is to have options as RA are not committed to maintain and fund a Superugby team in Perth. I just wanted to highlight that Force is contributing the same as everyone else to make the competition viable but it is getting much less in return.

  • Greg

    Guys,
    I think we need to ease up on KRL a bit. He is always the voice of reason and fair analysis.

    It’s not like the kiwi team was hopeless and sees no way forward…. well it probably isn’t like that… Foster has a plan!

    • Yowie

      Yeah, where is that Kiwi troll when you need him? It’s like he only shows up around here when the ABs beat the Wallabies.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        Thomas is feeling sheepish today.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nah mate, I take the hits as they come. It’s been a long time coming and everyone here has the absolute right to feel good about the ABs losing twice in a row. It was always going to happen one day and even after we get back on top, which I am absolutely convinced we’ll do, it’ll happen again. The comments here just show the passion that people have for the game here and their team, can’t criticise that at all and if I can’t take the loss then it says more about me than any comments from anyone here.

      • Reds Revival

        Geez I hate the way that you’re such a nice guy. It would be so much easier if you were Dane Coles.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Sorry. I’ll try and be more of a prick

        • Yowie

          That would fit better with my general prejudice.

          Also, can you tell the Flight of the Conchords guys to be less self-effacing & funny and be F-wits instead?

      • Greg

        “ABs losing twice in a row”

        yeah… I forgot it was twice in a row.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I didn’t and I never will

    • Happyman

      Mate I would not pile on KRL he is what I call a statistical anomaly a reasoned NZ supporter.

  • Alister Smith

    Maybe we should wait until after WE’VE beaten this Argentinian side before we start hacking too much on the Kiwis. Also the last time the Kiwis lost two games in a row was 2011 apparently, the year they later won the World Cup. I am pretty sure they will come bounding back, and it is only a fortnight ago since they played us in Sydney and were scintillating. As for Argentina, as I said above, let’s just see their calibre first when they play us. I think they have more than one upset in them (and beating us wouldn’t necessarily be an upset).

    • onlinesideline

      My observation is the Argies prefer to play better when they play the kiwis compared to us, maybe because they get more pumped Who knows but we score al ot of points against the Argies, sometimes at will. For sure they will be a different beast this week. We are going to have to play really smart firstly and with extreme urgency as well. I really hope Reece has a second chance against Pumas

      • Alister Smith

        That might be true but the Argies always seem to drag us down into an arm wrestle, we have had some ugly wins and the odd loss and Cheiks might identify so key weaknesses (though not sure he will be too influential in that respect).

  • skip

    It occurs to me to ask when was the last time NZ scored a set piece try involving some kind of deception? I really can’t recall one. My point is that they seem to have become so dependent on turn-over possession and defensive mistakes and that they have no clue what to do when they come up against a side that eliminates these.

    Argentina followed England’s semi final blue print of forward aggression (stinging defence, excellent breakdown and proper contact work), brilliant set piece, intense line speed, ball security and an great kicking game. The result was petulant behavior by the New Zealanders and a complete brain fade about how to play against a side that wasn’t going to do them the courtesy of playing to their strengths.

    It will be interesting to see how their coaches in particular respond and whether they address it with game play & better selection or just going full Springbok and trying to be “enforcers”.

    • laurence king

      Would the second half try in Wellington scored from a bit of deception from the lineout be classed as one.

      • skip

        Could be. I imagine it’s happened in the last few tests but it isn’t something they do a lot of and it was pretty clear they had no clue how to deal with the Puma’s approach. Even a few grubbers before the blitzing defence seemed too much. They traditionally play with a battering ram 12 and a more footballing 13 and they seemed to have neither

  • Perth girl

    The Force has signed about 4 of the Argentinean players, just saying!

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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