Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Welcome to the last rugby news of 2020.

Monday’s Rugby News looks at Australia’s draw with Argentina, John Eales being cemented as a legend of Australian sport and Maurice Longbottom re-commits to 7s ahead of the Tokyo Games

Groundhog Day

Wallabies pre-kickoff

Wallabies pre-kickoff

The Wallabies have been held to another draw against Argentina with the scores locked at 16-all at full-time.

It marks the third time in 2020 that they have been held to a draw after failing to kick a last-minute penalty goal, with fullback Reece Hodge pushing the kick to the right.

Before the game, the Wallabies made history as they became the first Australian international side to sing a dual-language anthem ahead of their final test match of the year.

Unfortunately for fans, this would mark one of the few highlights of the game as the Wallabies failed to control themselves and the ball in wet and wild conditions at Bankwest Stadium.

Both sides would have players sent to the bin during the first half, with Marcos Kremer and Wallabies captain Michael Hooper issued yellow cards after making contact with the head of an opponent whilst attempting to clear out at the ruck.

The Pumas took advantage of their time with Hooper off the field as winger Bautista Delguy raced away to put them ahead 13-6 at half-time.

Whilst the Wallabies would reduce the margin, their night would continue to get worse when Salakaia-Loto went too high trying to tackle Santiago Grondora.

Having spent just nine minutes on the field, Salakaia-Loto would fail to drop his body height, with the head and arm collecting the Pumas flanker in a dangerous position.

Referee Angus Gardner would deem that he would make direct contact with the head of Grondora, giving him no option but to issue him a red card.

With the Wallabies down a man, they seemed to rally in his absence, with captain Michael Hooper redeeming himself at the back of a maul as he crossed to level the scores.

Once again, it would come down to the boot of Reece Hodge, who missed a 45-metre penalty to win the game for Australia in the 79th minute.

Long way to go

Dave Rennie during warm-up

Dave Rennie during warm-up

With his first season as coach wrapped up, Dave Rennie concedes that there is still a lot of work to do after their draw to Argentina.

Rennie’s first year in charge can be viewed differently depending on what colour glasses you look through it at.

Those who see pure gold will point out that the side lost just twice all year, whilst others will point to the sole victory as a sign of a lack of improvement.

However, regardless of how you look it, Rennie believes that the side needs to improve their execution and turning possession into points.

“It’s something we’ve talked a lot about, we’ve got to turn pressure into points,” Rennie told reporters after the draw.

“Having said that, they’re a phenomenal defensive side and individually they tackle really well. We had our opportunities didn’t we and they grabbed theirs as soon as they got them.

“We’re a work in progress. We’re good men who have worked hard and come together well, but, as I’ve said, we need to see that reflected in performance.

“There’s no lack of heart and no lack of effort, but we’ve got to be way more clinical. Discipline was disappointing tonight and we made some dumb errors.

“We won one out of six, if you look at it from that perspective. It’s disappointing, but I guess we’ve got an understanding of where we’re at, the shifts we need to make and I look forward to seeing how these boys develop and apply pressure to us through Super Rugby.”

Rennie rejected claims that the psychological damage of past failures has haunted the side, defending kicker Reece Hodge after his penalty miss.

“I feel a bit sorry for him,” Rennie said during his post-match press conference.

“He’s kicked well and there weren’t many lining up to make that shot. It would have been nice if he’d kicked that, but it is what it is.”

“We’ve put ourselves in a position to win all of them. I don’t think it’s psychological,
“All of those games shouldn’t have come down to a last-minute penalty attempt.

“We’ve gone from a team that barely kicks to a team that managed that last part of the game pretty well.

“We’ve got so much more in us and I’m looking forward to showing that next.”

Nobody’s Legend

Picture: Bruce Long Source: The Courier-Mail

Picture: Bruce Long Source: The Courier-Mail

Everyone’s favourite lock John Eales has been officially promoted to ‘legend’ status at the Sport Australia Awards ceremony on Friday.

Eales becomes the 42nd – and first rugby player – to be issued with the title of ‘Legend of Australian Sport’, joining the likes of The Don, Dawn Fraser and Rod Laver.

“I am truly honoured with this announcement by Sport Australia Hall of Fame and would like to thank all involved in selecting me,” Eales said in a statement.

“There have been truly amazing Australians who have received this honour and the fact I am even considered in the same breath is very humbling.

“Rugby and the Wallabies gave me a lot throughout my playing career, and I am forever grateful for the many opportunities afforded to me by so many people along the way.

“Most importantly though I would like to thank my loving family. They have supported me through the highs and lows and without them, achievements of any kind would matter little.”

This was echoed by RA chairman Hamish McLennan, who was full of praise for ‘Nobody’.

“The Australian Rugby community is incredibly proud John has received this accolade and on behalf of everyone, we extend our congratulations to John and his family,” he added.

“John without question is one of the great characters and icons of our sport, not just for the way he conducted himself in the Gold jersey, but for the way he defined what it meant be a Wallaby during his playing days.

“Never taking a backward step, playing hard and fair are the values that encapsulates the Wallabies wherever they play around the world, and that is in no small part due to the contribution of John made whilst he played and captained his country.

“Today, John should look back on his achievements on-and-off the field with a great level of pride, having always worked humbly for the success of himself, his teammates and his country.”

Moz sticks with Oz

Maurice Longbottom

Maurice Longbottom

The Australian men’s sevens side has received a major boost with the electric Maurice Longbottom committing to the side for the Toyko Games.

Longbottom has become a stalwart of the program since going viral on debut in 2017, spending the tour lockdown honing his skills for Randwick in the Shute Shield.

Having attracted offers from multiple sides and codes, Longbottom remains laser-focused on the goal at hand: earning a medal at the postponed 2021 Olympics.

“I’m really pumped to have signed on the dotted line and committed until Tokyo with this team,” he said.

“Our goals for Tokyo 2020 have been delayed but this team has continued to work hard for each other in a challenging environment. Our objective was to ‘survive and thrive’ and adapt to every situation in a positive and performance-based mindset.

“The group is tighter than ever before, and I am looking forward to enjoying the hard work as we work towards our goals.”

He returns under the tutelage of someone who knows a little bit about Olympics medals: Tim Walsh, with Walsh praising his development as a player and leader in 2020.

“Despite several other lucrative offers Maurice has chosen to continue with his quest toward the Olympic podium. We as a program are delighted to have his commitment leading into Tokyo,” he stated.

“There is no doubt of Moz’s brilliance on the field; creative, attacking minded, matched with his ability to break the line has been a great weapon in our arsenal since his debut.

“He is renowned for his lethal attacking exploits, what impresses me is his defence and contact area improvements. He possesses a true high-performance mindset.

“Off the field he has been a leader for this squad, during covid19 he has chosen an attitude of positivity and opportunity.

“We officially relaunched our campaign a few weeks ago and continue to work for our goals in Tokyo next year.”

With the rugby season over for another year, this brings an end to the news for 2020. Major thanks has to go to the entire Green and Gold writing crew who have been immense during a year full of ups and downs for the sport and world in general.

On behalf of the entire team, we would like to thank everyone who has read/commented/debated our articles this year and we’re looking forward to seeing you all next year.

  • Huw Tindall

    Cheers to the GAGR scribes and posters for another cracking year of rugby chat. Calling it an interesting year is an understatement but I’m already looking forward to Super AU kicking off at the end of Feb (less than 3 months away!). For now enjoy your Christmas and holidays, stay safe, and let’s do it all again in 2021.

    • Brisneyland Local

      You too old boy!

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    • mortlucky

      Now to cancel Foxtel…

      • Huw Tindall

        A cathartic moment no doubt

  • Greg

    Thanks Nathan,

    I was out and about yesterday so no chance to share my thoughts on the game.

    1. Congrats to the Pumas. Tough draw, tough preparation, they never gave up, the played to their strengths.
    2. How good was the Puma defence!

    3. 4 cards in a game is a bit hard to swallow…. but congrats to the ref and the management. We need to take care of our players and make sure we keep the game safe for our kids. Notable to me that there were no remonstrations from the players on either team (compared e.g. soccer or even RL)

    4. Gosh we were disappointing. I said, win or lose, I just wanted to see good, consistent play.
    – why not take the points early. We had them on the ropes and kepy going for 7… what if we got 6?
    – Sorry 7…. you try hard but I have not seen leadership beyond an enormous motor.
    – Koribete is still a leaguie at heart. He wants to be involved but doesn’t have a feel for defending.
    – The new boys need support from old heads. They are not getting it.

    5. And the plus side… lots of new prospects coming through; pigs and fairies. Rennie needs to create the environment where they can learn to play and think at the top level. This might mean moving on some like lee majors.

    what a year… some good performances, some tantalising prospets….. and the same old, same old.

  • paul

    Cheers for all the info during the year guys, and the GG podcast is my go to for a genuinely balanced view of the game. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

  • juswal

    Thanks to the news writers and Merry Xmas to the viewers.

  • Reds Revival

    Thanks to the writers for all the time and effort put into getting these stories to us each day. I certainly enjoy that it is not just a regurgitated piece, but they actually put a bit of their own thoughts and personalities into the articles.
    To my fellow posters, thank you for many laugh out loud moments, as well as interesting takes and insights on the game we all love.
    It will be good to have a break, and even better that it is only a short break with the game on free to air from mid Feb – very excited about the new year. Oh, and go the Reds!

    • Damo

      I have to say that based on the planned 2021 format I am looking forward to the Super rugby season more than I have for a long time. Thanks to Dave Rennie for giving the Reds boys some good test match game time. It will stand them in good stead for next season. I have almost forgotten already the shit show that has been 2020 rugby, including the stuttering Wallabies. Looking forward to our rugby musings and amusings in 2021. Enjoy the yuletide RR. Now, about cancelling my Foxtel subscription…

      • Who?

        That should be G&GR’s first news story back next year – how many Foxtel and Kayo subscriptions will be cancelled over the next month or three? And how many Stan Premium subscriptions will be purchased?

        • Reds Revival

          I have already registered my interest with Stan Rugby. Hopefully, quite a few more have as well.
          At this stage, I have heard the commentators in line for the gig as Drew Mitchell, AAC, and Sean Maloney. What a refreshing change that will be!

  • Missing Link

    A fitting end to the year with Rennie breaking the world record for most test draws in a calendar year. Also congratulations to the Wallabies for their achievement of most insincere smiles while posing for a photo after retaining the puma cup….

    In all seriousness, Argentina are the most improved test nation this year, they’ve done really well. Just like every time we play the All Blacks, we go hard from the start like a teenager finding a porn stash, Argentina absorbed 15 minutes of pressure, then we went flaccid and Argentina were able to score. sure we clawed our way back at the end and Reece Hodge failed to convert again despite kicking 100% before that, but the moments that stick in my mind as the biggest take-aways are Simmons getting the ball while loitering in no man’s land and instead of trucking it into contact and allowing the other 14 men to put something together, he hoofs it willy nilly into touch. OK he made some yards, but Argentina won their own ball off that lineout and scored a try before we could get our hands on it again. The other is Petaia’s numerous grubber attempts when he should be straightening the attack and going into contact. Petaia is a great prospect, dangerous in attack, yet his decision making is pathetic. I will let him off a little as at times, he was served up some really shit ball.

    • Who?

      I completely agree that Petaia’s constant poor decision making is a massive take away. But to whinge about a forward playing field position on a wet night when the aftermath of the last game was the coach complaining that we didn’t play enough field position..? I’ve no issue with saying the pack should’ve been more awake to a rolling maul (being a man down) and should’ve worked harder to contain it, but the kick was absolutely the right option. I’d take playing inside their 22 without the ball in conditions where we dropped the ball far too regularly over playing with the ball against a defence that was consistently driving us back when we had possession.

  • Reds Revival

    As the final news of the year, who do we think are the front runners for the John Eales (Legend) Medal?
    I think the list will be (in no particular order);
    Nic White
    Taniela Tupou
    Harry Wilson
    Hunter Paisami
    Matt Philip
    I’m not sure if many of the experienced players make the list?

    • Yowie

      Amended list:

      -Taniela Tupou
      – some others

    • Damo

      I’ve ruled a line through Nic White after his hospital passes to Jordan P. You can just dive on the ball and take the tackle mate. Those names definitely look like a shortlist to me and while I have a Red bias I might go Matt Philip and big Harry is Rookie of the Year.

      • onlinesideline

        yeah my 2 as well

    • Missing Link

      Not sure about JEM, but Paisami is the rookie of the year. lock that one in.

      • Reds Revival

        I actually had Harry as Rookie OTY.

        • Who?

          It’s an interesting one – Harry’s been excellent, but he’s often been subbed. For mine, in those heavy conditions, I’d have subbed Hanigan or Hooper off for Valetini. Not Harry. But Harry has, consistently, been the one subbed off… Whereas Paisami’s gone close to being our best back. Up there with White.

          For the JEM, given the results and the year in general, it wouldn’t feel entirely wrong if Nobody received it. :-P

        • Reds Revival

          John Eales to win his own medal?

          But I get what you’re saying about Harry. His workload and hits have been immense, which is why I would have left him on as well.

        • Who?

          Given he was given Legend status at the Don Awards the other night, he’s performed as well as any other Rugby player this year. Because arguably our best press of the year has come from the anthem the other night.

          That’s a pessimistic view of the year, I’ll grant you, but it’s the one the press is pressing. Even if I have a lot more optimism than that, in spite of match results.

        • Mike D

          I think that’s why you sub him. Manage the work load and prevent injury.

        • We never get to see why players are subbed in the coach’s mind, but I wonder if part of the reason his work-rate is so high is he’s told to go out there and leave it all on the park because they’ll sub him? He runs his lungs out for 60 minutes or so, and then his numbers (in terms of speed/fitness measures) fall off, but he’s done what the coach asks.

          It might be something we don’t see, naked eye, but his heart rate isn’t falling back towards resting quite as quickly as normal, or he’s taking quarter of a second longer to reach the next breakdown or something like that.

        • Who?

          Fair point about Harry. Though, the games he was subbed, it felt programmed as much as anything. Think he was taken off at or very close to half time both times.

        • Hard to say though? The England v France game yesterday (don’t watch it would be my suggestion) Launchbury got subbed after 42 minutes. Why? Why not at half time? Presumably something changed and he didn’t get up to speed after the break or something.

          I’m not saying your interpretation is wrong and, with front rows, it certainly looks like that, but we just don’t know, and when you hear young ex-players in commentary you certainly hear them talk about these sorts of measures being used by the coach as indicators to hook a player. Those GPS trackers are used for real-time fitness indicators to the coaches.

        • Who?

          With loose forwards, though, if you’re looking at things like JEM points, that time off the field – even when it’s not really for any playing reason (i.e. the player’s been going well and could’ve stayed out there) – can impact on voting. You’re not going to diminish the contribution of the scrumhalf or props if they’re subbed, because they’re always subbed. But a loose forward? It might mean he fails to secure a vote or two he’d otherwise have had.

    • I think that’s a decent list.

      I think there will be some who point to some of Nic White’s passes but we need to look at the way he blocked up the blindside effectively as a counterbalance to that and, while I’m not a fan of the caterpillar, the length of his box kicks once Rennie persuaded people to chase them.

      If I had a vote, I’d give it to Philip I think. I’m sure he did make mistakes over his matches, but it’s hard to remember them, none of them spring to mind as howlers (I freely admit I’m sipping my first coffee of the day, so my brain is not at fully efficiency yet).

      • Huw Tindall

        Let’s not forget Phillip’s Bled 4 lineout steal on our line with the clock at 42 mins in the first half. Critical! Had some big plays this year and stepped up as lineout leader. On cue our locks head off to the Europe when they get good :(

        • True, but they’ve all had their big moments, that’s why they’re on the list. Phillip, to my mind, has fewer bad ones to take the gloss off.

          Speaking of coming to Europe, I’d love to know what the difference in the cultures in, in rugby camps. I’ve watched Nick Phipps in a couple of games now. Where are the passes straight to touch? Where did his box kicking game come from? (He’s not great at it, but it’s a reliable skill for him.) He’s just a different player. This is like watching Beale at Wasps vs Beale at the Tahs.

        • Yowie

          What’s the European policy on throwing an opposition player’s shoe?

        • RC if you throw it at their head?

        • Yowie

          Lucky Phipps usually just throws it into the in-goal area then.

    • Huw Tindall

      Remember it’s voted by the players so there could be a bunch of behind the scenes stuff which gets them points in a given game week, not just the 80 mins on the part. Given the only qualifying criteria is you are selected in the 23 then players who played all games will be up there. Hooper, Wilson, Phillip, White and Koroibete for sure. Too much chopping and changing, or injuries, in other positions to really get people a look in. For mine it’s Matt Phillip. In arguably the position with the biggest talent gap (thanks to all men over 6’4″ being overseas somehow) Phillip stood tall and showed he is a legit Test player. Calling the lineouts and often playing 80 mins. Hats off. Wilson rookie of the year (yes – it’s his first year!). Played for Reds then all Wallabies matches. Easy pick.

      • Reds Revival

        Tupou could also be in consideration given the impact he had off the bench.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah he was in and out of the starting XV a bit so may dent his chances. Certainly was a point of difference when he was on though and only Puma’s game one where they got under his skin would be a bleamish on his record this year.

        • UTG

          He should be, he was a big reason we won that game against the ABs and why we were able to level it up last game. Unfortunately, whenever I played in sides where we have a voting system I was always sub-consciously biased towards guys out there for most of the match simply because they cropped up in my vision more. Might be different when a full 23 can vote though.

        • Mike D

          Hodge. For calm under pressure and just doing the job.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Hey GAGR’s and GAGR crew. Thanks for the laughs during a shite year, of both International rugby and the Rona. But alas our sense of humour has kept us going strong.
    BL’s closing points for the year:
    – Time for a new Wallaby captain and getting some older and wiser heads in the team.
    – The national anthem thing which I thought was great by the way. The team press announcement said that they spent a couple of hours a day practicing it. Maybe if they had spent that time practicing fucking rugby it might have time better spent. But alas we live in the era of symbolism over performance.
    – I am looking forward to next years Super series.
    – I hope all of you boys and girls have a great and safe Xmas break. Enjoy the beach, enjoy a few bevvies, and love your family (even if they give you the shits).
    Over to you GAGR’s

  • onlinesideline

    Happy Holidays to all whatever they might be – Christmas, Hanukkah, Scientology. We have all types here on GGR.

    Massive thanks to crew at GGR for another year of keeping this awesome site going. Love the diverse and so often clever input from so many people on here, learned, intelligent and funny. The level of daily discourse on this site re-iterates my belief that OZ is the best country in the world because we combine, taking the P!!S, intelligent commentary and humour all in the same sentence without batting an eyelid.

    What a year of rugby, different, often times brilliant, often times as usual, frustrating and disappointing, but its rugby and the hope to find Wallaby “dreamtime” sustains us all.

    Sink a few tinnies for me by the barbie

    From Budapest and full bloody lockdown
    See ya next year !!

    • Brisneyland Local

      Stay warm mate Budapest would be particularly cold at this time from memory.

      • onlinesideline

        Good Chrisy big fella

    • Alister Smith

      I wonder if we might already be in the Wallaby dreamtime and its time to wake up sometimes. Have a happy Christmas and see you back in the new year OLSL

      • onlinesideline

        yeah, a bad dream.

        You too mate – enjoy – see ya flip side

  • Greg

    and…. best wishes to all for the break.
    Thanks very much for the team that wrote the articles to keep us informed.

    I have enjoyed the chats, the confusion about who the hell Hoss is talking about, (and the renaissance of Trevor the baby sitter), and KRL’s valiant attempts to explain why “finding the limit with the referee” is wholly different to “cynical play”

    I live in hope that 2021 will be bigger and better for Wallabies.

    Thanks to all. Enjoy the break.

  • Keith Butler

    Another year draws to an end and where would we be without GAGR. Thanks to all the writers and contributors to this awesome webpage. Seasons greetings to you and yours. Already planning to catch up in person with one or two of you in 2021 to watch some SR ( go Rebels), sink a few beers or Bourbons (Hoss) and tell tall tales of daring do, which like fine wine improve with age. Stay safe everyone.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan to you and the rest of the team for providing such a great year of awesomeness. Thanks also to all the viewers and participants who made me smile, snort my coffee occasionally and laugh out loud at inappropriate moments at work. It has been an absolute pleasure interacting with everyone of you. I hope you all have a safe and happy Christmas full of laughs and good times. Rock on 2021.

  • UTG

    Certainly an interesting year, the future looks as bright as it has for a long time but the performances this year were quite disappointing. The lack of try-scoring ability above all else was disheartening and not something that will be fixed by dropping [insert despised Waratah of the month].

    Anyway, my expectations for 2021 are:

    A big showing in the trans-tasman Super tournament as I think we’ve got some very nice depth forming across the Rebels, Reds, and Brumbies as well as a sharp looking Force 23;

    The Wallaby forward pack to go to the next level with lock depth sured up; and

    A young 10 to put their hand up.

  • Hoss

    Thanks Nathan and the many and varied contributors to GAGR – great job again and a real outlet for all during challenging times.

    To the many posters – thank you for so many reasons, your humour, your insights, your analytical views, your opinions – always respected, even when so often completely wrong………………

    I’ve said before, its a sight like no other on the Google machine – long may it reign.

    My last complete dribble for the year – you didn’t think id go quietly into the long good night did you….

    For you and yours, Happy Festivus and see you back here in 2021. Stay safe, stay sane and be good to one another.

    T’was the night before Xmas
    And all through the house,
    Not a creature was stirring,
    as coach Moses crept about.

    He had a spiritual itch
    An incessant tickling of the brain,
    The answers were close
    But it was causing him pain.

    ‘Think feck that’s over’
    He muttered out loud
    ‘I should have asked Raelene for more money,
    I need a lot more for sorting out this crowd’

    ‘Backs that kick when we should hold the pill,
    Forwards too slow to rucks, it makes you feel ill.
    Sloppy and dumb at times during the match,
    Yep should got Raelene to pony-up more cash’

    He grabbed his guitar.
    Started strumming some salvation
    ‘What the feck has happened,
    To this proud rugby nation?’

    ‘Their Rugby brains to have gone.
    just plain ol’ rugby smarts
    Hardened rugby pros – I think not,
    More like a bunch of overpaid tarts.’

    We kick when we should run.
    We run when we should kick,
    We drop just so much ball.
    It just makes me feel sick’

    ‘Passes to no-one,
    Hail Mary’s abound
    What the fuck ever happened,
    To just going to ground?’

    ‘Miracles have their place,
    Of that I have no doubt,
    But during 80 minutes of rugby –
    For fuck sake – leave it out.’

    ‘Disney movies and reality shows
    That’s the place for wishes and hopes
    Get out on the field and FFS,
    Run, catch, pass, reload.’

    As he sat in a sombre mood
    Slowly digesting his new role
    A glimmer of rugby light
    Had entered his sole

    ‘At least some deadwoods gone’
    As the gardener in him began to stir.
    ‘After all, it takes a good pruning
    For new growth to occur’

    ‘Simmo is shit and headed up north
    And the Republican will be back from his red of course.
    There’s Dirty Harry at 8 and Son of Brian at 7
    Not to mention The Abattoir who is pure Piggy heaven’

    ‘Young bucks in the backs,
    Big powerful and slick
    If I can only get them to understand
    Theirs is to run and not fucking kick.’

    His spirits lifted
    As he strummed the guitar
    All was not lost for
    Perhaps we could go far

    Moses seemed much happier
    And sat deep in his chair,
    A melody and feeling, of hope
    Danced lightly across the air

    Indeed it was Christmas and a time of joy
    A time of renewal, of love and of trust
    it wasn’t unreasonable,
    the team would need to shake off some rust.

    As his mind gently soothed
    He eased back in the chair
    Sipped on a whisky
    And enjoyed a contented air

    But for a proud man of talent and results
    A gnawing voice whispered
    ‘Two draws with Cheika in 2020
    Is that how you want to be remembered?’

    T’was the night before Christmas
    And all through the house
    A guitar was smashed to pieces
    As Moses lunged about

    He ranted,
    He raved,
    He crashed, bashed & thrashed
    ‘Fucking Raelene, should have asked for more cash’

    As I sit at the Ponderosa
    Enjoying the sites
    From the Hoss’s to you & yours,
    Merry Christmas & goodnight.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure gold.
      You have way too much time on your hands !

      • From NooZealand

        Agree, but it is better that Mr Hossman uses them to write than to ..(you know what).

        • Hoss

          There always time for both. Merry Xmas mate. Great to have you on these pages. Be safe, be merry and prosper in 2021.

        • From NooZealand

          It was a good piece anyway. Thank you and (sine cera) wish you the same in your life and, hopefully, it will be a better rugby year. Salute

        • Brisneyland Local

          Stop it or you will go blind.

        • From NooZealand

          Ha ha ha. “Or hair will grow in the palm of your hand.” All the best me friend.

    • Yowie

      …And the Hoops grabbed the penalty, and pointed to the corner
      When he heard a small sound like the coo of a dove
      He turned around fast, and he saw a small fan.
      Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was not more than two

      The Hoops had been caught by this tiny fan daughter
      Who’d gone to the game, like any Aussie oughta.
      She stared at the Hoops and said “Michael Hooper why,
      Why aren’t you taking three points. Again why?”…

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Very good my friend

  • Alister Smith

    Hope everyone is enjoying Freedom Day. Thanks to the writers/content providers and the Merry Christmas to all those who contribute below and above the line. See you in the New Year.

  • Patrick

    Thank you again and have a very Merry and well-deserved Christmas break!

  • See you all in 2021.

    And a huge thank you to the writers who give us all an excuse to bitch about the rugby!

  • Patrick

    For those who missed it, yesterday France’s B team (literally B team not one starter from the first XV although some of them might earn a crack) took a full-strength England to extra time…

    Comparisons from the other side of the world are always tought but I think that if we cannot fix our intensity, tackle accuracy and forward work rate, both of those sides will have us for breakfast before halftime and for lunch afterwards.

    And South Africa’s absence was perhaps a blessing in disguise. On the current world rankings we are clearly in the second tier behind RSA, ENG, NZ and France, And deservedly so!

    Here’s to a much better 2021 in every way, includnig even more GAGR posts!!

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks so much to the contributors, both above the line and below. More than a few laughs on this site, and it helps keep me together in frigid, dark, virtual lockdown in Moscow, in a small flat with a 3yo and a large dog. Compliments of the season to everyone. May 2021 bring peace, light and prosperity to all.

  • JaLsWs

    Echoing others, thanks for the write up Nathan and to all here for the comments/thoughts before and after matches of varying significance. Looking forward to following all this again in 2021.

    I’m still perhaps naïvely optimistic about this Wallabies team (coaches and players), if only they could just:
    – take the points
    – stop throwing stupid offloads
    – sharpen the skills
    – make better use of tactical kicking
    – etc, etc …

  • Geoffro

    Echoing everyone,s best wishes to the contributers doing a great job and giving up their time for the love of our great game and to the most respectful bunch of regular commentaters on any news site.Have a great break y’all

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Thank you GAGR team for all the rugby news during interesting times.

    NOBODY’S LEGEND is ironic: Eales’ reputation surely suffered (in my mind) during his time as ARU Board member when he helped oversee and form part of the team that sell the axing of the Force to WA. His successors realised the error and the Force is (almost) back, however WA rugby union was put back 5 years with no benefits to be shown.

    The administration that Eales overseen was characterised by “confidential” backroom deals, a farce of a selection processes, a willingness to pit rugby communities off against each other and a lack of respect of players and supporters. The WA rugby community was left alienated, bankrupted when RA broke their commitments and then left to our own devises. If Twiggy Forrest didn’t step up there would have been no Force and not professional rugby in WA.

    Eales, the legend as player, became a nobody as Board member when he was not prepared to stand up and uphold rugby union core values such as:
    – integrity (honesty and fair play)
    – passion (cultivating a sense of belonging to the larger rugby family)
    – solidarity (camaraderie, teamwork and loyalty)
    – discipline (adherence to rugby’s core values)
    – respect (for everyone involved in the game)

    Good player and captain but poor leader and definitely not an Australian sporting legend in my mind.


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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