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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News recaps the start of Super Rugby AU, the retirement of Dan Carter and Michael Cheika’s big call

Red Dead Redemption

Filipo Daugunu scores a try

Filipo Daugunu scores a try

The Reds have kicked the Super Rugby AU season off with a bang, dominating the Waratahs 41-7 at Suncorp Stadium.

Memories of their 33 point drubbing from last year seemed fresh on the mind of James O’Connor and the Reds, who played like they’d spent the past six months trapped in a room by Brad Thorn with nothing to watch but that game and their GF loss.

Fearing another dose of Thorn punishment when Jake Gordon crashed over for the opening try, the Reds scored 24 points in the space of ten minutes, taking the game away from the Tahs.

Izaia Perese would take it out of reach for NSW, with the former Red giving his old team a parting gift after receiving a red card for flipping Hunter Paisami on his head, coping a three-match vacation.

Despite a quieter second half, the Reds would push to go one better than the drubbing that the Waratahs put on them, with tries to Filipo Daugunu and Ilaisa Droasese in the final ten minutes sealing the 34-point win.

The win was a perfect start for O’Connor’s tenure as captain, with coach Brad Thorn praising his influence over pre-season and the result.

“James’ story, to captain his state, is really cool and I know it means a lot to him and I’m really proud of him,” Thorn said.

“I’m not sure if James remembers, but when he first came in we had that chat around the narrative around him.
“We all love a redemption story and he’s done that and most importantly he’s done it through his actions.

“I’m very proud for him, his family and it’s a really cool thing to captain his state, it’s a good story to have.”

The match marked a positive start to rugby’s new life on free-to-air television, with 97k tuning in via Gem, which is a solid mark given the Aus Open men’s semi-final was on at the same time (For comparison, the NRL All Stars game drew 129k on Gem).

Across the two platforms, it was reportedly triple the audience from the 2020 season opener per RA.

Brumbies spoil homecoming

Reesjan Pasitoa looking for an opening.

Reesjan Pasitoa looking for an opening.

The ACT Brumbies have picked up where they left off, producing a gutsy 27-11 win over the Western Force at a packed HBF Park.

It had been 1,316 days since the Force had last played a Super Rugby game in Perth and the home side looked up to the challenge early on, taking the lead via the boot of Ian Prior.

However, the Brumbies continued to take advantage of an ill-disciplined Force outfit, with Noah Lolesio crossing in the 20th minutes.

They would extend the lead after the 43rd minute, with centre Irae Simone finishing off a strong effort from Len Ikitau.

Halfback turned winger Issak Fines-Leleiwasa would seal the win, with the home side scored a late try to deny the Brumbies a bonus point through Tomas Cubelli.

“You’ve got to be proud of the boys going for it, and then we defended the other side of the field not to let them score,” Brumbies captain Allan Ala’alatoa told Stan after the game.

“You’ve got to be proud of the boys’ efforts. We were under pressure away from home.”

As for the Force, they were left questioning the rath of the referee, with 16 penalties called in the first half.

“We couldn’t get the flow, we couldn’t get into the game. We heard a lot of the referee’s whistle tonight, which didn’t help,” coach Tim Sampson said.

“I thought he was pretty whistle happy; eleven-five (penalty count) at half-time against us, we were up against it.

“I think 16 penalties in 40 minutes of footy is a lot. We’re trying our best to play good footy, and that’s been the focus in the off-season with the officials.” Sampson added.

Dan’s Done

Getting on a bit

Getting on a bit

New Zealand legend Dan Carter has formally announced his retirement from rugby.

After 19 professional seasons and just a few weeks short of 39, Carter has decided that he’s had enough of toying with the Wallabies and various other teams as he hangs up the boots.

“I play to be the best player out on the field,” Carter told the NZ Herald.

“That is my drive and it always has been and I just didn’t have that drive back here in New Zealand.

“I had nothing to prove and nothing to get my motivation levels up to where they should have been to play against all those young bucks here.”

Having extended his career playing in Japan before returning to the Blues, Carter conceded that the COVID shutdown made him realise that he was done playing overseas, turning his focus towards his family.

“After experiencing rugby in Japan I thought I could squeeze a few more years out of my body,” he says.

“There was something really enjoyable about being part of that environment and the culture we had at the Kobe Steelers. I was playing rugby and enjoying it and wasn’t sure when I would stop.

“That kind of made me ask whether I wanted to play in New Zealand or not. I was looking for new contracts because I thought that was a way to provide for my family.

“When I realised the age my kids are and the amount of work Honor [Carter’s wife] was doing looking after them while I was away chasing my dream, it made me realise it was time to stop.

“The more I took time off the more I realised I didn’t want to play overseas and not having the drive to play here I knew in my mind the time was right.”

Cheik’s crazy call

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika

Former Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has suggested that RA should look towards introducing a sixth team into the Super Rugby AU competition.

Cheika returned to the rugby spotlight as part of the coverage for Stan Sport/Nine’s broadcast of the Waratahs-Reds game and seemed to receive rave reviews for his insightful thoughts during the half-time break.

This has continued into his thoughts off the field, admitting that a sixth team wouldn’t surprise him as RA looks to increase competition and potentially produce three games per round.

“I’m very pro the Australian tournament and have been for many years,” Cheika told The Herald.

“Our own competition gives us a bit more pride about the games we’re playing here.

“I think it’s great the Western Force are back in and playing. They did a really amazing job last year and I’m not just spinning it because I really think they came back in and they were competitive in all the games.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another Australian team soon. I know we’re talking about going less, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was another in years to come.”

Cheika will juggle commentary duties with his role with rugby league ‘powerhouse’ Lebanon ahead of the 2021 RL World Cup, believing that the Nine partnership will offer up more crossover opportunities in the future.

“Having them in the one stable at Nine, I think that’s going to breed a lot more crossover,” Cheika said.

“Would you have thought I’d be coaching a Lebanese rugby league team when I was at the Rugby World Cup a few years ago? It’s about challenging yourself. I think it’ll happen with players too. The girls are doing it.

“They won’t be regular events I don’t think … but every now and then they’ll pop up on the radar. I think they’ll be extremely interesting to supporters, players, coaches and media.”

  • Jason

    If Rugby Australia doesn’t transform Super Rugby AU and Super Rugby Trans-Tasman into an ANZ competition – 5 Aussie, 5 Kiwi, up to 2 others (likely Japan + Fiji). (Japan particularly are especially a possibility given the relationship between Rugby Australia and the Japanese Top League looks very strong given Stan are the first times the rights to Top League have been offered outside Japan despite often having very big stars playing there.)

    But if they can’t form an ANZ Comp (I think this isn’t likely) then I’d be looking at adding in a Japanese Team and another Aussie team. The main reason they’d not want a 6 Aussie team comp if they are primarily playing against NZ SR teams then they would find it difficult to be truly competitive. But if you aren’t primarily playing the Kiwi teams then you don’t have a need to be competitive with the NZ teams and you can afford to spread your talent across six teams.

  • Who?

    Aren’t we already ruining the game enough by importing pointless and boring league rules..? Why would we want more crossover?

    Very disappointed Stan thought it was a good idea to hire that bloke. Might be a good businessman, but I don’t see him as a positive influence around the game. Because he’s too much of a fan of the heretical code, and doesn’t always present the game in the best light…
    Was fascinating seeing him and McArdle (who I respect) sharing a desk the other night.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I agree. After spending all those years fucking Australian rugby he shouldn’t be anywhere near the game now. Offers nothing and never has

      • Reds Revival

        Tell us how you really feel KARL.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahaha well it’s hardly a secret is it?

  • sambo6

    Well…after being told last year that the new broadcast deal in oz wouldn’t affect the overseas broadcast rights. I went to record the weekend’s games here in the UK and they’re nowhere to be found….As apparently some agreement between 9/stan and a UK broadcast partner hasn’t been reached

    So I implore…. RA or Sanzaar or channel 9 or ASIO or ScoMo or whoever the fuck to please sort it out….

    Otherwise, my choices I guess are either uprooting my British wife and British kids and moving back to Australia after 15 years or learning what the fuck a VPN is to stream Stan over here…..I suspect the former might be less disruptive….

    • The Ham
    • Who?

      my choices I guess are either uprooting my British wife and British kids and moving back to Australia after 15 years

      Might just be a good option for a lot of people in general anyway. :-)

    • Hambone

      Yeah I went to the pub in Bali, and spent 30 mins explaining that fox sports not in the picture anymore trying to find it on their options available, ended up grabbing some take aways and watching on laptop at home.. but am glad to see the back of fox sports. The old fella even got to watch the game on fta in Melbourne. It was a win win as missus was happy I didn’t slide in the door shitfaced after the double header… haha.. good to have the game back

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning Gagr’s. Hope you all had a great weekend. Isn’t it good to have the riggers back. Random points whilst sitting on my front porch sipping coffee:
    – Cheika is the ma the fucked Australian rugby and the Wallabies for years. Why would we listen to that Ass Clown.
    – now onto some thing positive. Great first round. 2 enjoyable games. Can’t wait for next week.
    – March 13 is the date we are pinning in our calendar. Reds vs ponies. Wont that be brilliant.
    – well done Dan carter a brilliant servant to the game and a masterful player. Even for a kiwi! ;-)
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I know it’s only 1 game into the comp but Mar 13 is already looking like it will be a cracker. It’s also my first weekend of refereeing here in Sydney so a big day all round lol

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hoss is quiet today

      • Keith Butler

        Crikey KARL he might even be working! Took defeat like a man though, no doubt comforted by several glasses of his favourite bourbon to ease the pain. I will be comforting myself on Friday after the Rebs get a similar shellacking.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Wonder why! ;-)

    • Got to say, as a fan of the game, Carter was one of the greats. That game against the BIL in 2005, that whole series… it’s still seared in my memory.

      There may be people with more tricks, more pace and so on these days, and in 10 years or so we might look back on them in the same sort of ways, but for playing every facet of the role so well I’ve not seen the like.

      Being Welsh, my memory goes back to the likes of Bennett, but my memories are mistier (I was 13 when he hung his boots up) and playing in the amateur era it really was a different game. But he’s the only person that comes close for me for the all-round excellence.

      • Brisneyland Local

        True. Not just all round excellence with Carter it is also the consistency to deliver game in and game out. Amazing. Not many players that have that consistent performance and longevity.

        • I’m not arguing that Carter was consistent over a long period, and that helps with his greatness.

          But I wonder if that feeling of inconsistency is an Australian thing? Being Welsh I’ve obviously followed them for decades, and yes we have players that have come and gone after brief careers, but we have loads that perform to a high level in the 6N for 5+ years (even if they don’t perform against SH sides routinely). We see the same in Ireland, Scotland, England, SA and NZ. France have been gloriously inconsistent for years, but it’s more about failing to buy into their defensive systems than the quality of individuals fluctuating.

          Obviously new caps get a lot of leeway: Daugunu would be a case in point, some brilliance, some rubbish, but get him over 10 caps or so and the silly stuff should go. Hopefully the brilliance will remain. Rees-Zammitt doesn’t have the rubbish yet, hopefully we’ll keep the brilliance though!

          But pre-Japan you had a load of players with 50+ caps that played broadly like Daugunu without that excuse. But go back to the Gregan era, the Eales era, the Lynagh era (I know these overlap) and I don’t think you had those massive fluctuations in standards. Players like Campo had stardust and it didn’t always get sprinkled around. But you wouldn’t say he didn’t routinely play well, although he had his moments. But in a winger, back then, you carry the mistakes for the try-scoring. You might not today.

          Sorry, that got long.

        • Brisneyland Local

          All good.

  • Yowie

    Perhaps Cheika is taking about Roy & HG’s proposed sixth team, the Rural & Regional Australia ANZACS.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, more ups than downs for me over the weekend and wasn’t it great to just see rugby back on the screens here. FTA rugby of a decent quality – just wow! My biggest disappointment was seeing the arse clown on a rugby channel again. I thought a very poor decision by Stan.
    A bit disappointed in Sampson and maybe he should spend more time taking his players through the rules so they don’t infringe. That’d drop the penalty count straight away. If the players are too dumb to adapt then maybe they should move on. I thought his team lacked cohesion in the back line more than anything and with game time they’ll definitely get better.
    Tahs were very poor and the Reds certainly took advantage of it, already looking forward to the Reds vs Brumbies match
    Thanks for the memories Dan. One of the all time good guys who gave it all and made the game that much better. A true gentleman on and off the ground and one that did so much to bring joy to so many. Good luck for the future

    • Happyman

      I loved the Stan coverage and was interested to see what Cheka brought to the table. Just remember it is still week one and like all of the teams they are working on combinations and cohesion.

      Having said that his commentary is a bit like his coaching post 2015 A bit shit.

      Also looks like Stan has all of the Fox back catalogue up now. Just watched the 2011 gf. The game is unrecognisable in ten short years. With a TMO it would have taken about 4 hours to play and there would have been about 4 red cards.

  • onlinesideline

    JOCs leadership going to make Reds a really threatening team this year. By leadership I mean mental awareness and clarity, well defined objectives … all that good stuff. Add to skills , fitness and pack size, plus previous year of final loss. Could be the genius stroke of the season by Thorn to make JOC captain. Hate to say it but I saw this Tah shellacking a mile away.

    • laurence king

      I know that he won’t probably be around for the next WC but I have been saying that imo he’s captaincy material.

  • Hoppy

    Just watched the replay of Lolesio’s try. Great line run by him but the pass from White was half a metre forward. Ref was unsighted but What was the TMO doing?

    • Geoffro

      Evened out.The Brums first disallowed wasn’t forward.

  • Hoppy

    INteresting that there is so little comment on the Reds demolition of the Waratahs scrum. Bell and HJH were owned all night by the Reds props and not just after TUPOU came on. Young Zander was awesome – understated but very effective. Aus now has a pipeline of young props for years to come.

    • laurence king

      Pretty awesome weren’t they. I think that the tahs locks may have been the major problem there.

      • Keith Butler

        Jack Whetton can allegedly bench press 200kg. Pity he can’t do what a lock is supposed to do.

        • laurence king

          Both of them seemed pretty quite

        • Mica

          Early days KB. Early days.
          Strength only gets you so far; technique is king and that can be worked on.
          Any idea who the Tahs forwards coach is?

      • Hoppy

        Scrums are complex systems with many factors contributing but the NSW problems seemed to start in the front row with the props being popped and split by their opposites – Bell was dismantled multiple times and HJH had all sorts of problems with Zander and then Harry Hoopert in the second half. The locks may have contributed little to support them but the props/Horton mix never looked like it could effectively transmit any support it got anyway. All good for the Wallaby scrums going forward if these youngsters are nurtured and recognised in the same way that HJH and Bell have been in the past.

    • Missing Link

      15 years ago we were calling for more fat kids in rugby, I guess someone listened. You have Dunning and Baxter to thank.

  • Reds Revival

    The best part of this morning’s news was that the opening round audience was three times bigger than last year!! If that is not an indicator that the move to Stan/9 was a positive move, then I don’t know what is.

  • Reds Revival

    There are a crowd of people piling onto the Reds this year. While true fans like Yowie, Brisneyland and myself have endured through their diabolical games a few years ago, I happily welcome the fair weather fans. The more people on the Reds bus, the merrier! Look, I’ve even saved a seat for you Hoss and Custardtaht. C’mon guys, get on board!!

    • Yowie

      Let’s not over-play it one game in. We’ve both been following the Reds long enough to know that victory, let alone dominance, is a temporary condition.

      We don’t want to “become the monster we hate” by developing an imperious sense of entitlement and a taste for Tooheys New.

      • Reds Revival

        Thanks for the intervention Yowie. That explains why I suddenly felt like growing a man bun and becoming a vegan. I appreciate that slap across the face to bring me back to my senses.

        • Yowie

          Not a moment too soon. Next you would have been laughing-off pork-barrelling, going home from a big night at a stupidly early hour, paying silly money for some tiny sh!thole property and overcrowding one severely over rated beach.

        • Damo

          I hope you have turned the collar on your polo back down and put socks on with your loafers again. And we will always need at least some Reds non believers to take the piss out of.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I thought that’s what you were meant to do

    • Keith Butler

      Hell would freeze over first!

    • laurence king

      Ahem, I may live in Tasmania but I have been following the Reds for several years now.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      This bus trip reminds me of how, in each of the seven years I lived in Brisbane, I was asked at least twice when I’d start going for Qld in the State of Origin.

      Due to the pandemic, I won’t be travelling on said public transport.
      If I did, I’d have to wear a mask – a full-face one to avoid being
      spotted by my mates.

      Well done on the win, though. And they do look the goods this year.

      • Yowie

        Nice to see a story about friendly Qld types striking up a conversation with a tourist.

        On Sydney public transport, the equivalent event would probably be a tourist being stabbed with a sharpened Sydney Morning Herald.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Nonsense. You’d only waste a Telegraph.

    • Hoss

      Sorry I am late to reply mate – been waiting on a lift from Sam Burgess, I don’t know WTF happened.

      I hate to admit it but I have been a fan of the reds a few years, there I said it – fuck it – it feels liberating – even a fan of the Padres value based leadership. He made some big calls early and hindsight has been kind on all fronts. He set an expectation and hasn’t wavered.

      BUT – you’re all still a bunch of banjo loving, hillbillies so i am genuinely still conflicted

      Go the Tah’s.

  • Missing Link

    Great News – Rugby is back! I’m happy to see the Force back but I tell you what, I missed the game.. too late. Put it this way, no one in NZ is going to be tuning into an Aussie rugby game at 1AM, not even an old duck hoping only to catch a glimpse of kiwi heartthrob Ruchard Kaahwei on the bench.
    That coupled with Super Rugby ayotayarowha not starting made it a weekend of rugby which left you feeling like you didn’t get a slice of desert.

    Honestly, the best format will be a 5PM kiwi game and a 7PM aussie game on Friday, rinse and repeat on saturday. 4 games in prime time slots, sorry perfians.

    Anyhoo, the main course was alright. The reds gave an early try away but it was one way traffic after that O’Connor, Pastrami, Daugunu were all great, a few others were good, i think the rebels will struggle in their first hit out this weekend up against the reds. What can I say about the tahs, they were average last year and without Hooper even more so. I think partly they need time to develop but I’m not convinced about Harrison at 10. Maddocks must have left his talent in a bag in his Melbourne apartment when he went north, seriously.

    • donktec

      And great to have the regular dose of comedy in the comments section back as well. i’ll be at the back in the cheap seats enjoying the show. looking forward to the rest of the season.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      You are missing the link or bigger picture. The Force play in Perth to grow the game in Perth and it is essential that games are played at times where you can connect to your support base. Surely NZ rugby will not play games at 1 AM because it fits the TV audience in Perth that wants to see their ex-players players in action. Kahui played 80 minutes and was not on the bench.

      Games should be played in sold out stadiums with a great atmosphere (like we had on Saturday) and not to suit the needs of a few in front of a TV screen. We made this mistake in the past, let’s not have 5 pm games on Thursday nights and wonder why the stadium did not sold out.

      • Missing Link

        The bigger picture…
        Population of WA 2.589 million
        Population of rest of Australia + NZ 27.688 million
        There are almost 11 times as many people living in other states and NZ that could be watching a game of rugby on Stan instead of being at the game, and that’s being generous including the whole of WA as the the population of Perth is less than 2 million.

        Sorry, I know you’re passionate about Rugby WA but numbers don’t lie, it’s not a local game on a saturday arvo, this is the showpiece of Australian rugby and you think playing it while most people are sleeping is a good thing?

        Thanks for the down vote by the way

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Think a little bit bigger Missing Link…
          Population by time zone:
          – UTC + 8 (Perth, China) – 1,578 million
          – UTC + 5 (India) – 1,313 million
          – UTC +1 (parts of Europe and Africa) – 800 million
          vs UTC + 12 (NZ time zone) – 6 million

          Perth is not only in the biggest time zone but provided games start at say 7 pm WA time we can attract rugby union viewers from Japan – 125.57 million, Western Europe – 397.5 million and South Africa – 58.8 million. Yes we will miss out on the a couple of the 6 million in NZ that are already asleep and do not want to watch a replay. Eastern Australia can still watch the game even later at night especially if the game starts earlier in the winter (e.g. 5-6 pm) – they are only 2 hours ahead of us.

        • Missing Link

          Is Super Rugby being broadcast in any locations apart from Aus and NZ?

          South Africa have gone north, and their viewers will have also gone north, super rugby was only interesting because their teams were in it. Indians are more interested in cricket and chinese more interested in ping pong, that rubgy, let’s be honest here. Japan is a legitimate market, I will give you that.

          Don’t get me wrong, I love Perth. it is a beautiful city with seemingly endless sunsets, great weather, great beaches, margaret river, nights out on the piss @ northbridge etc etc. and I love having the Force back in the comp, but it is not and never will be the epicentre of global rugby. WA is a cricket/AFL state, that’s the absolute truth, even though in your close knit rugby community it may seem different.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          What I am stating is obvious: The Force games should not be scheduled to fit the sleep patterns of a few NZ supporters when there is such an enormous market in the WA time zone. If you can reach only a tiny fraction of that enormous market, it is a game changer for a streaming service like Stan. The upside for the competition is enormous, yet not explored. The world moved on there are far more rugby followers that have access to our time zone than in NZ

        • Missing Link

          Well I wish Rugby WA all the best then

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I think there’s a middle ground between the two. Agree on getting people to the game but there are ways around that which will also bring in the rest of Australia. I agree no Thur games, that’s a shit idea

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          Games in Feb and Mar in a 40 C Perth will not attract a crowd not even at 5 pm. There are more international viewers in the Perth time zone and a later time also suit Europe. Games in Perth should not be scheduled around the preferences of a few in NZ

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Kahui and Aotearoa mate

      I get your point about timing and it has merit. While I think that Perth needs to connect with the local population as a priority, I’d hope the odd afternoon game there would do that and connect better with the rest of the country and NZ. I’m in Sydney and I only watched the first half of that game

    • Keith Butler

      Just had a look at the scheduling. We have an NZ game at 5.00 on Friday followed by an Aussie game with the same on Saturday. There are also NZ games on Sunday arvo as well in the coming weeks. A little confusing but plenty of rugby. The only prob is when the Force are playing at home with the time difference being a pain.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The NZ games are scheduled at a times that is a pain for others to watch – I just stream them when it is convenient to watch. We should not pretend that NZ / East Australia is the centre of the world but rather exploit the advantages that playing in Perth can present.

  • Nutorious

    If (big ifs) Rugby wants to grow the game outside of traditional demographics, and could bring in more overseas players (eg: Kearney at the Force) then a team in Western Sydney would be a welcome addition to the national rugby landscape.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      Twiggy Forrest was prepared to back such a team but NSWRU apparently wanted nothing to do with it…mistake

  • Reds Revival

    A couple of other random thoughts from the games over the weekend.
    Kurindrani was completely owned by Ikitau. He would be (and should be) pretty disappointed with his game. TK was well off his usual standard.
    How good were the skills from Ralston to catch Jonno’s cross kick one handed, tip-toe down the sideline and then put in a well placed kick behind the Brums defence. Pretty sublime skills on display there. That kid has got a bright future.
    With regards to the Tah’s, they are exactly where the Reds were two years ago. Lots of potential, but need time to develop the combinations. Will Harris had a quiet game but he is a big unit. He probably has to turn sideways to walk through doorways. Once he starts to hit his straps (and I’m guessing next year at this stage), he will form a scary backrow combination with Swinton and Tizzano. Although, personally, I would like to see Tizzano back at the Force as they need to show their fans as much local talent in the team as possible.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Yeah maybe letting Kurindrani go was the right move. Force need good younger players rather than relying on so many with experience but past their best.
      I’d say the Tahs are where the Reds were 3 or 4 years ago rather than 2 and I think still in need of a good culture development

      • Reds Revival

        I am purely guessing here, but given the big picture that Twiggy is working towards, I think that he (and Matt Hodgson) deliberately chose some older international level players who can help guide and develop the younger Force development squad. This will be with the view to bring through the next generation of Force players with excellent mentors and make them competitive from the outset.
        If you were building a team from scratch, that would be the smart way to grow the sport.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah maybe and it makes sense. I just think he’s probably got a couple more old guys than he needs for that

    • Keith Butler

      Tizzano pick of the Tahs pack for me. Him and the B(P)rick with Eyes could form a formidable unit provided the latter focus’s on his game and not acting the tough guy.

    • Please bear in mind I didn’t see the match, only the highlights. But I’m wondering if the Tahs fans and management will give their coaching staff and players the time to do what Thorn and his players and staff did?

      There were plenty of folks here screaming for Thorn to go in 2019. I’m pretty sure there were people saying he was a bad call in 2018 too. Pre-Covid 2020 there was optimism, and post-Covid 2020, coming second to the Brumbies with more of us than those that bleed Queensland Red thinking they were in with a chance of winning it all certainly bought Thorn another year.

      There are plenty of folks here who tell me how messed up the senior management at the Reds is, so it looks like a snafu and a global disaster possibly tipped them into a lucky lack-of-decision.

      Do we really think Penney will get that time and space though?

      • Reds Revival

        It’s a really interesting point EP. From what I have heard, Brad Thorn sold the QRU Board on a long term transition of developing their own talent base so that they could have a dynasty like the Brisbane Broncos (NRL) and the Crusaders. I believe that all the other candidates spoke about turning the performance around ASAP, and didn’t necessarily cover the long term development of the team. As he sold the long term vision, the Board knew that the results weren’t going to come overnight, and therefore gave him the extra time that he needed.
        Has Penney sold the long term picture, or the quick recovery? That will tell you how much time and space he will get…

    • Steve

      Ikitau was showing some real penetration every time he came on last year, I actually wasn’t as surprised as many to see him as a Wallabies bolter. McKellar definitely knew what he was doing letting Kuridrani as Ikitau wasn’t going to ride the pine for much longer.

      That being said, we know the big man has a much higher ceiling than that so agree he should expect to be better than that. Having an old man at 12 probably didn’t help and think it could have been different with Godwin there.


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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