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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News recaps a wild 48 hours for Australian rugby, covering the results from Super Rugby AU, the new Wallabies squad and the sacking of Rob Penney.


Rennie’s reality check

Dave Rennie during warm-up

Dave Rennie during warm-up

Dave Rennie has selected his first Wallabies squad (sort of) of 2021 as he announced a 40-man training group for a camp on the Gold Coast next week.

Sevens convert Tim Anstee, Dave Porecki and former Junior Wallabies hooker Lachlan Lonergan were the big winners as Rennie continues to blood new players.

They are joined by Seru Uru, Suliasi Vunivalu and Feleti Kaitu’u as part of the 14 uncapped players in the squad.

However, the biggest talking point came in the front-row, with all three hookers (Fainga’a, BPA, Uelese) that were selected for the Tri-Nations missing out as well as stalwart Scott Sio.

Whilst Rennie refused to use the ‘D’ word, he admitted that their selection policy revolved around the novel concept of picking players on form, with incumbency counting for little.

“We’ve been writing a list out every week and having discussions around it. It’s chopped and changed a little bit,” Rennie said.

“We had our final meeting this morning and there were a few guys on the list – who I won’t mention – that aren’t on the list now.

“Scott Sio – we’re only taking two looseheads in, if you picked that up. Because we wanted four hookers.

“We’re limited to 40 players and I think there are a couple of things there that give Scotty an indication there are a couple guys ahead of him, in our opinion. It’s a message for him to really fire up over the next few weeks.”

2021 Wallabies camp squad (*Uncapped)
Allan Alaalatoa, Tim Anstee*, Tom Banks, Angus Bell, Filipo Daugunu, Pone Fa’amausili*, Jake Gordon, Reece Hodge, Trevor Hosea* Len Ikitau*, Feleti Kaitu’u* Josh Kemeny*, Marika Koroibete, Noah Lolesio, Lachlan Lonergan*, Alex Mafi*, Tate McDermott, Fraser McReight, Andy Muirhead* Isi Naisarani, Cadeyrn Neville*, James O’Connor, Hunter Paisami, Jordan Petaiam, David Porecki*, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Pete Samu, Irae Simone, James Slipper, Darcy Swain*, Lachlan Swinton, Sitaleki Timani, Matt To’omua, Taniela Tupou, Seru Uru*, Rob Valetini, Suliasi Vunivalu*, Nic White, Harry Wilson, Tom Wright

Penney Has Dropped

Rob Penney post-match press conference

Rob Penney post-match press conference

The Waratahs have officially sacked Rob Penney after their winless start to the season.

Handed one of the toughest hands in Super Rugby, Penney and the youthful Tahs have struggled throughout the competition, with a host of injuries compounding an already thin roster.

Following Saturday’s loss to the Reds, NSW Rugby chief executive Paul Doorn and their high-performance committee made the formal recommendation to the board that Penney’s contract should be torn up.

“The Board’s decision was taken after consultation with the CEO and the High-Performance Committee following five consecutive defeats with three of them record losses, and after last night’s 46 to 12 loss to the Queensland Reds,” the club said in a statement.

“The Waratahs acknowledge that Penney has been coaching an inexperienced roster of players relative to the other states, however following match reviews, the Board was not convinced there was enough significant improvement in the team to have him continue in the role.”

Doorn thanked Penney for his commitment to the club, believing that the time for a new coach was now.

“The decision to part ways with Penney was not taken lightly,” he said.

“Being the coach of the NSW Waratahs is one of the most high-profile and high-pressure roles in Australian rugby.

“Rob is extremely professional and has put a great deal of effort into the role. However, the on-field performances this season have not met expectations and we feel that, in the best interests of the Waratahs, now is the time to make a change.

“His commitment and concern for the players through a disruptive season and amid trying circumstances is testament to his character and we wish him and his family all the best for the future.”

NSW Waratahs assistant coaches Jason Gilmore and Chris Whitaker have been named as interim head coaches for the remainder of the 2021 season, with a view towards appointing a permanent coach in 2022.

Left Red-faced

Reds score early

Reds score early

The Waratahs woes have continued as the Reds cruised to a 46-14 victory at Stadium Australia on Saturday night.

Tahs faithful would’ve been chanting to stop the count when they hit the front thanks to a pair of Will Harrison penalties.

However, the Reds would once again reel them back in, with Test trio Tate McDermott, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto and Filipo Daugunu crossing for tries to take a 22-9 lead into the break.

Whilst the Waratahs continued to fight, new Wallabies squad member Alex Mafi celebrated his impending selection with an electric performance off the bench.

Mafi would cross for a second-half hat-trick, allowing the Reds to close out the game and top spot on the ladder.

Reds captain James O’Connor was sympathetic for what his opponents had gone through, confident that they would bounce back when they eventually receive their full allotment of players back from injury.

“I feel for them,” O’Connor said.

“Credit, they played the full 80 minutes. They’ve had some crucial injuries.

“I think once their big players come back they’re going to be a team to beat because they do move the ball around well and they do what to play, which is exciting.”

“It’s very hard to come down here and win. Our game plan worked tonight.”

Injured NSW skipper Jake Gordon was left disappointed by their poor finish, hopeful of returning for next week’s clash with the Brumbies.

We came out of the blocks pretty well and got off to a nice 6-0 lead. A disappointing finish,” said Gordon.

“We find ourselves in good position on the field and compound errors with either a knock on or an offside penalty.

“Obviously our discipline needs to be better. We need to hold the ball to get any result against the Reds.”

If only they knew what was coming 24hrs later…

Brumby stampede

Andy Muirhead Brumbies v Reds Super Rugby 2020 (Photo Credit QRUBrendan Hertel)

The Brumbies have bounced back following their shock loss to the Reds, dominating the Western Force with a 42-14 victory at GIO Stadium.

They seemed to take their last start loss personally, racing out to a 28-0 lead at the break, with centre Len Ikiatu crossing for a double.

The Force would recover as they scored their first points in the second half, with ex-Brumby Tevita Kuridrani setting up Henry Taefu to score in the 53rd minute.

However, that seemed to anger the boys from Canberra, with new Wallaby Lachlan Lonergan burrowing over four minutes later.

They would cap the win off with a try to Andy Muirhead, someone who more than deserved his call up to the Wallabies in my humble opinion.

Having stewed on the Reds defeat, Brumbies halfback Nic White revealed that they made it their mission to playing positive rugby on their return.

“It’s never fun going into a bye week after a loss and we stewed on that for two weeks as we waited to get out and throw it around,” White told Stan Sports.

“I was really proud of the way the boys wanted to play the game – we played some good rugby.”

Meanwhile, his Force counterpart Brynard Stander was left shell-shocked, lamenting the way they gave up the easy lead in the first half.

“The first 20 minutes we didn’t touch the ball – obviously too many mistakes on our end, too many penalties, and we allowed the Brumbies to keep pressure on us,” Stander said.

“We go to Melbourne after the bye and come back to two home games back-to-back. Now it has to be three from three, it’s a bit like finals footy from now on for us. We have to refocus quickly, and we will.” head coach Tim Sampson added.

  • Who?

    Sack the NSWRU. They’ve been losing for over half a decade now. Way longer than Penney’s been there. And often with better players than those they provided Penney, too.

  • Adrian

    Sad.

    No way that this is Penny’s fault.

    It shouldn’t have been allowed to come to this.
    The Board are much more interested in preserving their own positions and the “old school tie”. Mosman, I’m looking in your direction.
    Robbo from the Crusaders wouldn’t have done any better.
    It’s been coming for years.

    RA needs to take control.

    Sydney is by far the biggest Rugby market.

    Those 80% of Rugby followers who aren’t currently engaged because they are watching something else, will never come back unless some top forwards and a replacement coach are signed before the Trans-Tasman thingy.

    • Steve

      There’s a great scene in HBO’s Silicon Valley:

      “Today is a sad day, because today I have to say goodbye…to the entire Nucleus division. And while they are they are the ones who will be leaving us, it is I who will have to stay and bear the heavy burden of their failure.

      But that is the price of leadership”

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        That sounds like someone with integrity. Not sure that exists on the board of the NSWRU

        • Rob Hill

          You should watch the episode, it’s a much more accurate analogy than you think

    • formerflanker

      “Robbo from the Crusaders wouldn’t have done any better.”
      I reckon he would have attracted more quality players.

      • Crescent

        Would they have given Robbo the budget to pay them?

      • Brisneyland Local

        I reckon they could have bought in Sir Graham Henry and they would still be in this position.
        1. He genuinely didnt have the backing of the board and this undermined him.
        2. He didnt have control over the roster.
        3. He was being undermined by externals and the media, with bucket loads of anti kiwi sentiment to boot.

        The best coach in the world wouldnt have been able to overcome these factors. I reckon Robbo or GH would have attracted a lot better players, but the incompetent NSWRU and CEO and Tahs board wouldnt have signed them up.

        This is just sad.

      • Who?

        Penney’s record in NZ isn’t significantly inferior to Razor. The difference is in the organisation. When has the Crusaders outfit ever recruited badly? When have they not supported their coach? When have they allowed poor culture?

        • They have recruited players who questionably bought into the culture. Slade would be one. And didn’t they have Suitcase in their team, way back when?

          So they don’t have a perfect record, although I agree it’s pretty good. But they have systems to ease the bad eggs out and keep the good ones. They also have excellent recruitment policies and they concentrate good players, then their culture adds to the existing quality at a really high rate. Even players that in any other franchise would not not get a look at an AB shirt get a chance because they work hard and become the best they can in the culture. It’s not really a surprise that Blues have come good with a former Crusader in charge – although they were turning the corner with Umaga at the helm.

          Looking at the Australian sides, the Reds are not quite doing it all, they’re still too ill-disciplined, but you can see the bones of that Crusaders culture and everyone working for the team bedding in and starting to make stars of them all.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Culture is more important to the Crusaders than ability. The best player in the world wouldn’t be welcome if they didn’t fit the culture of the team. Smart people doing smart things

        • Huw Tindall

          I’d be a shot at coaching the Crusaders to a title their setup is that solid.

    • Crescent

      It would be laughable if it wasn’t so predictable. Agree that in no way should Penney have taken the brunt of the blame and it speaks volumes to the lack of quality in NSW administration ranks. And still, they have the temerity to be marketing away effectively begging for us to sign up to supporter memberships. To quote the fine minstrels of Ween – they can go piss up a rope.

      As Hoss said over the weekend – it’s time to look north to see a way forward. Considered recruitment of players in key positions, have a plan to build something up, and preferably a plan on how to maintain a quality roster for the long term. We are still going to suck for a few more seasons yet, but at least we will know they are building to something – and that will be enough to get re engaged with the broader fan base.

    • Ads

      I agree that the board are the biggest problem by far. I agree it was blindingly obvious the recruiting the last 2 years has been woeful. But I don’t (honestly) see that Penney and his assistants have been fabulous. Like everything it’s not black and white. The D is terrible. The lack of recruitment under Penney’s watch has been terrible. Look I think Penney looks a bit like Dingo to me. Used to functional structures and systems where he/teams can flourish. That’s not what the Tah’s need now given how dysfunctional the whole thing is. I reckon they will go back to Cheika who will be able to recruit a Skelton etc. Will that be enough? Dunno. Not saying it’s a good plan, but I reckon that’s what will happen.

    • Hoss

      Doesn’t the ‘high performance unit’ have Al ‘origami’ Baxter on it, I mean god’s-honest WTF!!

      How can Origami sit in judgement of anybody.

      • Custardtaht

        I guess it explains a lot that the Tahs performance hinges on baxter

        • Keith Butler

          Very good CT. Just whisper Sheridan in Al’s ear and watch the reaction.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        That name cracks me up. Haven’t seen a high level of performance in years. Maybe they should be booted too

        • I’m not sure what you mean. RA and, from this distance, most of the SR franchises have an almost unparalleled level of performance in blame shifting and supporting the old school tie.

          Even Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister which parodied the British political establishment and civil service 35+ years ago struggles to the old boy’s network so well.

      • mortlucky

        Aw, poor Fuse. You will of course remember that the scrum engagement protocols during that period defied physics. It was a stain on the game and created the ‘re-set’ image many neutrals still have.

        And he helped design AAMI park….immortalised (ahem) in my 2011 scribble
        http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/free-download-super-rugby-2011-artwork/

        • Huw Tindall

          Gold. We need your talent back on these august pages mate!

    • ForceFan

      We all know what happened the last time that RA “took control”.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Mate I’m not sure getting a couple of top forwards and a replacement coach will do much until they change the culture of the organisation. A few “play for money big guns” will just keep the same poor culture that extends down from the board level.

  • Huw Tindall

    Hopefully the NSWRU Board aren’t far behind Penney on their way out if the building. Absolute shower of shit the Tahs suits have been.

    Who knows what would have happened if Cron had been given a go instead of Hore reappointing his mate Gibson before they both quit months later. A real sliding doors moment.

    As others have said having the Tahs this poor is not good for the health of the game. Fun to kick the east coast elite for a laugh but NSW is too important for the overall health of the game. Maybe RA taking back the Tahs licence wouldn’t be a bad thing!

    • Simon

      “Hopefully the NSWRU Board aren’t far behind Penney on their way out if the building.”

      You are joking, right?

      Maybe they can release a statement saying that all members of the board have the full support of each other. Seems to be the only way to ensure they’ll be gone within the week.

      • Huw Tindall

        One can only hope.

      • Nutta

        I love the ‘Full support’ herald. Such a telegraph!

    • Custardtaht

      I’m putting together a spreadsheet.

      • Hoss

        I tried crowd funding, but some retired 60’s super model from West-somewhere said she tried to donate $50 mill once and got snubbed.

        Fuck me, modelling must pay ok.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, that’s a pretty interesting squad and good to see players put on notice that they need to improve. Far too little of this over the past 6 years where it’s been harder to be dropped than it has to get in. I hope this continues and players are picked on their recent performance rather than what they achieved in one game 4 years ago.
    Predictable results in the weekend although both the Brumbies and Reds looked a bit flat at times and some players didn’t do themselves a lot of favours – looking at your try stuff up Samu, totally unacceptable from a loosie
    I actually feel for the rugby players, supporters and fans of NSW. How the board is able to retain their position after so many years of continual poor performance and poor decision making is beyond me. If I was the Force I’d seriously consider offering Penney a job

    • Crescent

      I was pleased to Porecki in the mix in the PONI squad – he has been a consistent meat and potatoes kind of player from day 1 in an undercooked Tahs pack. I don’t think he is realistically in the running for a gold jersey when the rubber hits the road – I suspect Faingaa and BPA at least will look to find another gear in the remaining matches to regain their place in Rennie’s eyes. It would not surprise me if he is using the PONI selections to send a bit of a message that there are no “safe” spots, so keep on working.

      With reference to Penney – I think the Force are actually going pretty well under Tim Sampson – if I were the Rebels, I would be making Penney an offer ASAP.

      • Keith Butler

        Interesting call re Penny and the Rebels. Can’t say I’ve ever been convinced by Wessels but the Rebs seem to be building a decent squad with experience, based for a change around a competitive squad of forwards. Will they throw Wessels under a bus though?

        • Crescent

          I doubt they will – he has built a good core of players, but I think he is unable to unlock the potential of the squad. There have been some baffling tactics, and the Rebels should really be a lot closer to both the Reds and Brumbies than they are (in my opinion) based on the quality of the squad. In some regards they have been unlucky, and in other the architects of their own struggle. I liked what I could see from what Penney could do with the lack of resource available to him, and I think he could take the Rebels to another level. I just don’t have faith that Wessels can achieve that.

        • Keith Butler

          Maybe Wessels had that plan for th3 road trips. Very difficult matches where it almost paid off. Let’s see how they go in a run of home fixtures against stronger opposition.

        • Mike D

          Or get Penney in for some mentoring – a second pair of eyes type thing. Wessels has not coached a lot of different places, so maybe another perspective would help him grow.

    • Brumby Runner

      KARL, you are just one of quite a few others, who have trotted out the company line that players have been selected for the PONI squad on form.

      What form have Timani, Gordon, Naisarani, Wright et al shown over recent times? For these examples, I reckon Blyth, Powell, ASY and Hansen have far better form.

      I would have expected Gordon and Wright to come back into the squad when fit, but Timani has not shown any reason yet to warrant consideration, and at an age where he is more likely to go backwards from here, and Joey probably has too many in front of him (though I’d have him in preference to Gordon to be truthful).

      • Reds Revival

        I reckon Timani got the nod just on his physical presence. DR has made no secret of the fact that he likes big bodies who have some brutality at the breakdown. He fits that bill pretty well, so I can’t say I blame Rennie on that call.

      • Who?

        The head scratcher isn’t Blyth or ASY – it’s Lee-Warner.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Actually yeah that’s a good point. I think that some of those expected to be part of it but not there are paying for their lack of form rather than all those selected are displaying form. As you say there are still some picked on promise or past performance and I think we need to expect some of that. However, the fact that he dropped some who have the opportunity to display their game and aren’t is really heartening to me

      • Nutta

        You raise some valid names there. But maybe (just for once) the acronym is true – “players of national interest” and not “players of form”. Then again, maybe “The POF’s” just isn’t perceived favorably?

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s, what an intersting morning we face. Some borders are back in place for covid, the PONI squad is out, and the NSWRU does something so predictable, yet so utterly stupid. My points in mo particular order:
    – Firstly NSWRU. Never has there been a more incompetent bunch of miscreants in hhuman history. And I am a Reds supporter. for years our board was the benchmark of stupidity and nepotism. But alas NSWRU, saw QLD rugby, and said anything they can do we can do better. And so they hit rock bottom hired an excavator and kept digging. I didslike the Tah’s, but I feel soory for Penny first of all, the fans second, and the players third. The board and should go and commit ritual harakiri. They should do it publically and say that they are stupid inbred moronic fuck wits that are responsible for this mess. BUt alas they wont, the fired the coach. Unbelievable.
    – The PONI squad, intersting that Mr Rennie has stated that form is the under pinning factor. I am sure this 40 mean feast will move during the year. But it is great to see. Out of blue options being considered. To be honest, Aus rugby is looking to be in a better position than it has been in in years.
    – Both the Reds and Brumbies won by big scores, but alas neither looked that convincing. Lots of errors and dumbplay. Lets hope they hone that and become killers. Teams that dont back off but finish the job brutally and efficiently.
    Over to you GAGR’s.

    • Reds Revival

      It screams Scapegoat, doesn’t it BL?
      Maybe they should offer the job to Nick Stiles (but I would want the response to be taped). I suspect their phone would melt with the abuse.
      Who says history doesn’t repeat itself.
      The good news is that the Friends of Sydney University Rugby Club have retained power, and that mediocrity will continue unabated…
      In all seriousness, do we think there will be enough of a backlash that Roger Davis will finally have to go?
      It was the change of Board and CEO at QRU that finally got things heading in the right direction.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Look dont get me wrong, I would love to see the Tahs suffer for years. But alas we need the tah’s and all australian franchises to be strong. So lets see some serious pressure added to the board and the CEO. But it is NSW so who knows what new levels of batshit crazy they will bring to the surface.

        • Yowie

          On a more personal level, the ancient Reds-Tahs rivalry is no fun at all in the years where one team is out of reach of the other.

        • Reds Revival

          There is an element of “getting back” what we went through for all those years that is definitely satisfying.

        • Yowie

          Yeah, to a point. But it reminds me of the time I confronted and beat-up my primary school tormentor. The looks of horror on the faces of his cancer-ward nurses after I was done pretty much took the shine off it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          But was still satisfying! ;-)

        • Damo

          Yes and I did take a little satisfaction by revisiting the late 70’s with a quiet “we want 50″ in the lounge room on Saturday night.

        • Reds Revival

          I’m hearing you Damo. While it won’t last forever, it’s important to stop and small the roses while it is happening.

        • Huw Tindall

          Like Melbourne folks hating on Sydney it’s a bit one way traffic with Tahs and Reds fans. When the Reds were battling I was as frustrated as any Reds fan. Sure I’d like the Tahs to win 40-39 in a nail biter but I don’t want them to roll the Reds by 30. It’s just not in the best interest of the game. I’m an Aussie rugby fan first, Tahs second.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Absolutely. It is like clubbing baby seals at the moment.

        • Adrian

          Ouch

        • Brisneyland Local

          Adrian, and I am feeling sorry for the seals.

    • Mike D

      Re the Tahs board… “Never, have so many, been sh*t on so much, by so few brain cells.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold. MR Churchill

  • Keith Butler

    Some interesting choices in the squad with a few of the ‘regulars’ put on notice. As an aside and wearing my SD hat, it’s a pity that EJ doesn’t have the balls to do that with certain SD players. Only 6 of the squad over 30 yrs old which bodes well for 2023. Also good to see Neville getting a crack, consistently good in all his games so far. Would not mind seeing a front row of Pone, Mafi and Tupou – very tasty but 7As has his spot sewn up. Joe Powell should consider himself unlucky particularly as his pairing with Toomua is starting to come together nicely. Hope the French tour goes ahead so that I can meet up with a few fellow GAGRs on the mainland.

  • Hoss

    Ring-ring, ring-ring

    ‘Hello, is this (insert rugby players name here) ?

    ‘Yes it is’

    ‘Hi XXXX it’s Roger Davis Chairman on NSW Waratahs’

    ‘Ok’

    ‘Look let’s cut to the chase. Due to some prudent fiscal austerity, we are in a position to offer you $1,000,000 a season for the next three years, to comes to the Tah’s’

    ‘Well Roger that’s certainly an attractive offer worth considering. Who is the coach?’

    ‘Don’t know’

    ‘Sorry, I didn’t catch that – who is it?’

    ‘I don’t know yet. We are soon to commence a global worldwide search of Mossman for a suitable candidate the replace the previous rotten Kiwi’

    ‘What went wrong with him, he had a fair coaching CV and was widely respected?’

    ‘Look XXXX we leaked more and scored fewer points than other other Tah’s side in history, so clearly he had to go’

    ’’so who’s in charge know then?’

    ‘The current defence and attack coach of course’

    ‘Right’

    ‘So what do you think XXXX. No coach, poor forwards roster, no clear direction and the worst results ever – but, a fist load of cash?’

    —————- silence ————

    ‘Hello XXXX, are you there?

    ‘Bugger this – Freida , get me Schomo on the line, someone at the top at Telstra’s gotta go, that’s the 6th player today who’s call got cut-off with no reason!’

    ‘Fucking Telstra, ruining our Tah’s chances…….’

    • Greg

      Hoss,
      The board transcript above is probably commercial in confidence. How did it leak?

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha gold mate

      • Yowie

        XXXX Gold!

    • Custardtaht

      Hey Roger, it’s Izzy. I hear you are offering fist loads of cash. I don’t care who is coaching, show me the money. You won’t have to worry about my social media posts as the Tahs have no followers. Good news is, signing me will bring some media attention and followers.

      • Yowie

        “Also, if the plan is praying, I’m your man”

      • Hoss

        Apparently Tah’s fans, well – the other 11 of them excluding you & I have assembled in front of Tah’s HQ demanding Roger be released.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G7_oNBT9wsc

        • Damo

          A Monty Python moment for the circus that is so often rugby in this country. Sigh!!

        • Yowie

          I really like the bit in the following minute where the crowd are throwing “R” names & words at Pilate to keep the joke going until someone in the crowd misses the point:

          PILATE: Who is the ‘Wodewick’ to whom you wefer?
          BOB: He’s a wobber!
          CROWD: laughing
          MAN: And a wapist!
          CROWD: laughing
          WOMAN: And a pickpocket!
          CROWD: Yeah! Ahh, no! No! Shh! Shh!…

        • Hoss

          So many highlights – its a ripper this film.

          ‘he has a wife you knowwwww……’

        • Damo

          Mate, I’ve seen LOB more times than my wife has watched Gone With the Wind. It’s a classic.

        • Custardtaht

          Not sure how much longer I will be allowed to support the Tahs. Mrs Custard Taht is ready to have a 2nd baby and the Tahs losing is getting in her way due to my no win, no coitus policy.

        • Yowie

          “But darling, it would be an act of cruelty to bring a child into a world where the Tahs are not astride their rightful place as Wallaby lock-ins”

        • Greg

          And your first child is what…. 47 now?

        • Hoss

          Move to ACT mate. Apparently a lunch break is a good enough reason for the ‘carnival of the coitus caravan’ in the bosses office.

          I remember trying to get a gig as a public servant at PH – the interview was brutal

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRymIqmeJk4

        • Custardtaht

          Having worked in Canberra in the past, probably keen to not revisit that experience.

    • Keith Butler

      Another classic Hoss.

  • Nutta

    Thankyou Nathan

    PONI – I like the squad. Good mix. Great to see guys like Porecki and Pone get a shot.

    MoneyPenny – Regulars here have all listened to me for years call-out the NSW rugby hierarchy for their self-serving, glory-hunting short sightedness. Herein we see yet another example of why they are the true Deplorables in their old-fashioned fall-back of running around looking to take ‘definitive action’ by sacking someone other than themselves. They fkn knew full well the actions taken under their stewardship had bred a sheep of a certain kind so to act all surprised when it grew the wool it was always going to is just beyond disingenuous.

    Funnily enough, the situation is so farcical and so obviously scape-goating that Penny actually comes out of it looking good in my opinion. And truthfully he is likely actually thanking his lucky stars he is out, free and clear of the whole debacle. They would actually have to pay out his contract so he has time and money to go find something far more sustainable. I wish him all the very best and thank him for his efforts.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I actually think you’re correct about Penney being thankful. He was never going to be able to change things with the restrictions he had and the lack of support he was getting, in fact the people actively working against him. I think while he’ll be pissed at the moment when he looks back he’ll probably be glad it happened when it did.

  • Custardtaht

    Any self respecting coach would be nuts to take on this job with the current administration.

    • Too Little Too Late

      I wouldn’t be too surprised if they got Cheika in as a mentor coach for the next few months.
      While his work with the Wallabies was lamentable, his record at club/ provincial is pretty good. His recruitment skills aren’t too bad either.

      • Custardtaht

        He’s certainly nuts and not self respecting.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        That would be a disaster. He’s got the worst record of any Wallaby coach ever, he survived the Tahs because the previous coaches had built a good squad that he could use but left it in a crap state, won the title because the referee awarded a penalty that he then came out after and said shouldn’t have been given (not really an issue and his good luck). made the final of the RWC because a referee stuffed up in the game against Scotland (again good luck) and then got flogged by the biggest loss in a final until England collapsed against the Boss. he’s an arrogant bully who doesn’t understand tactics and can’t design a plan for a team to go forward. His assistants at the Wallabies were hopeless and contributed to the demise of the team, his selections were based on something other than skill and he hasn’t brought in anyone who has survived his departure.
        The only good thing about bringing him back is that it would see the failure of the Waratahs be complete and they would go down even harder but just faster.

        • Yowie

          Having a bet each way from the top of the fence in Switzerland there Karl?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Only because I don’t think anything will improve at the Tahs until there is a complete meltdown. At the moment the board are able to smugly blame, Hore, Gibson and Penney for the failures and thus keep their positions of influence and failure. They will never admit they did anything wrong until they have no other option and a complete meltdown will do that.

        • Too Little Too Late

          I don’t want to sound like the Cheika cheer squad, but he also won a European title with Leinster.
          I agree not a great Wallabies coach (seems the example of being promoted above level of competency), but a very successful provincial coach.

  • Dave P

    Penney was only ever going to be a short term appointment, Whitaker was brought back from overseas to coach the Waratahs. GPS Old Boy, played for Randwick, captained the ‘tahs.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yes it is this type of inbreeding that destroys organisations.

      • Yowie

        The Pommy Royals seem to be going ok

        EDIT – never mind.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You see it was when they tried to bring in outsiders that the questionable inbreds and those that profit off them got up set.

      • Custardtaht

        Yep. The other types of inbreeding are much better.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Apparently. Look at Qld.

        • Yowie

          I won’t have Queensland sledged with inbreeding jokes while we have a perfectly good Tasmanian forum member to wind-up about that.

        • Brisneyland Local

          sorry very true. Where is Keith?

        • Keith Butler

          I am here BL keeping a weather eye on proceedings. Hard landscaping keeping me busy and paving driving me crazy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          YOu are a hard working man.

        • Greg

          Please leave my cousin Keith alone.

        • laurence king

          Two thankyou

        • Hoss

          Another four and we have the whole set.

        • Keith Butler

          Be careful with that slur on Taswegians young Yowie. The two headed people of Queenstown holding conversations with themselves and any resident of Ravenswood might take offence.

        • Greg

          Last time I was in Queenstown, it was hard to find two people. The place was looking as though it had fallen on very tough times.

        • Keith Butler

          Damn. Just remembered I married my 1st cousin.

        • Custardtaht

          With all these lockdown’s there will be a population boom.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Scary huh!

        • laurence king

          Haha Queensland?! I live in Tasmania!!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah LK I didnt know you lived in Tasweigan land.

        • Greg

          A cousin (truly) of mine explained that only mainlanders used the term Taswegian. I didn’t know.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ok. I have a work colleague that was born and bred in Launceston and left the island in his early 20’s. He referred to it as Tasweigan Land. But am not sure if that is something he picked up on the mainland or not.

        • laurence king

          You people from the ‘north island’.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

        • Reds Revival

          They refer to each other as family?

        • laurence king

          Tasmaniac thank you very much. On the east coast across the bay from the Freycinet peninsular. kingsfineartgallery.com

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is a stunning part of the wrold. Had a lovely holiday down there once. Love my Tassie Pinot Noir’s. the Winters are a bit brutal for my liking, but greatly enjoy my time down there.

        • laurence king

          Winter here is no worse than western NSW

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah that is still bloody cold for this Qlder!

  • Yowie

    Cheers Nathan.

    The Force would recover as they scored their first points in the second half, with ex-Brumby Tevita Kuridrani setting up Henry Taefu to score in the 53rd minute.
    However, that seemed to anger the boys from Canberra, with new Wallaby Lachlan Lonergan burrowing over four minutes later.

    Reminds me of the scene in Blazing Saddles:

    “No no don’t do that. If you shoot him you’ll just make him mad”

  • mortlucky

    Re: the Cheika chat, I’m enduring a larger than usual amount of mild and confusing self-loathing because I really enjoy Cheika’s analysis with the magic screen on Stan.

    Which says…
    1. Kafe lowered the bar so far that I’m easily impressed;
    2. Cheik shows a good grasp for the micro which I can’t imagine Clive Woodward or Graham Henry having (happy to be corrected).
    3. joining all the micro bits up into a plan is a different skill set
    4. other factors and emotions were once involved

    • Yowie

      The old “tactics” vs “strategy” discussion.

      The sergeant is very good at organising the squad to clear that building. The officer needs to decide what we’re doing here and whether that building needs to be cleared by soldiers in order to achieve the goals.

    • Mike D

      Yep, Cheik’s analysis is very good, helpful, and clear – as you should expect from an international level coach. His own tactics may at time have been baffling to us, but he knows what he’s talking about at the micro level. Maybe that was his problem as coach, too focused on the detail to build the big picture culture well.

  • Adrian

    It’s already happened.

    So what to do now?…. apart from sacking board

    1. Buy most important player on the field, THP. Tadhg Furlong
    2. Buy second most important player on the field, reserve THP. Michael Alaalatoa
    3. Buy Arnold and Skelton and a reserve lock
    4. Get new coach before Trans-Tasman

    Oh yes, I forgot!
    Find a sugar daddy

    • Keith Butler

      Tadhg might be up for it after the Lions tour. He has nothing to prove. One of the best THPs in world rugby.

    • Huw Tindall

      Must be a NSW Twiggy who can buy the Franchise licence from NSW! Would be the dream.

  • Reds Revival

    I suspect the Board made the decision to appease the upset fanbase, but based on the reaction so far, it appears to have backfired on them.
    Yet another instance of not understanding or connecting with their fans.

    • Brisneyland Local

      No the decision was made to stave off the pressure on their jobs.

      • laurence king

        Both I think

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep

  • Who?

    I keep on reading comments about how the NSWRU needs to follow the QRU’s lead in hiring and supporting Thorn. But there’s not enough recognition of the fact that Thorn had lots of young talent coming through successful systems in the form of the QRU NRC franchises. It doesn’t matter what you do with the coaches if you don’t have the talent for them to utilise. I think Penney’s done more in the last 18 months than Thorn did in his first 18 months – he just had far less to use. Because the Reds had been underperforming.

    The Reds’ players would go and win the NRC, then be gassed at 60 minutes in Super Rugby. Which says fairly clearly that they had the skill and talent required – they just didn’t have the coaching to go with it. And in the first couple of years – especially until the arrival of Jim McKay – Thorn didn’t have the depth of coaching expertise internally or around him to fully exploit the riches of talent available to him. Remember, the Reds are a team that’s released, at lock alone, Simmons, Douglas, Rodda and Hockings. That’s more quality locks released than the Tahs have had in the same period. And one of them was released to the Tahs! In fact, the only Wallaby lock the Tahs have had in that era was Simmons (I consider Hanigan more of a 6), where the Reds had three of those four as Wallabies, plus LSL.

  • Missing Link

    Have to feel bad for Rob Penney, you can only play the hand you’re dealt

  • Ian

    “Being the coach of the NSW Waratahs is one of the most high-profile and high-pressure roles in Australian rugby.”

    The Warratahs suits…. They do rate themselves a little bit don’t they…

    • laurence king

      Certainly high pressure when you’ve been given as little help as Penney has had.

  • Adrian

    Darren Coleman is good at turning shit-house teams into winners:
    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/two-years-ago-gordon-won-just-one-game-now-they-re-favourites-to-win-the-shute-shield-title-20201030-p56a72.html
    BUT
    It won’t happen unless the old school tie chaps exit the board

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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