Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News looks at the results from Super Rugby AU, Cheika’s emphatic statement on returning to the Waratahs and a look at the potential future make-up of the Wallabies

Brumbies survive scare


The Brumbies have survived a major scare, holding on for a 24-22 win over the Waratahs at the SCG.

When Tom Banks crossed in the opening five minutes of the game, many Tahs fans would’ve feared that another blow-out was on the horizon.

However, the return of Jake Gordon proved wonders as he helped steady the side, despite them giving up a 24-10 half-time lead.

In Chris Whitaker and Jason Gilmore’s first game as co-coaches, the Waratahs would fight back as ill-discipline would cost the Brumbies, reducing the deficit to seven points with a Harrison converted try in the 65th minute.

With Rory Scott (yellow) and Tom Cusack (red) sent from the field, James Ramm would cross in the 83rd minutes to give the Waratahs a chance to level it up.

However, Will Harrison would miss the very tough kick at goal, allowing the Brumbies to escape with the victory.

“There might be a little bit of chat about our bad performance but you’ve got to look at the Waratahs performance and the type of pressure they put us under. It was certainly intense,” Brumbies captain Nic White said.

“There’s got to be a lot of emotion and motivation for them and they showed that and we were lucky to sneak away with that.”

His opposite number Jake Gordon was left bemused by the performance, lamenting why it took the sacking of Rob Penney to produce it.

“It’s been an emotional week,” captain Jake Gordon said.

“We spoke about it in the sheds – putting on a really good effort for Rob. I can’t answer why it’s happened like that.”

Reds roll Rebels

Taniela Tupou at half-back

Taniela Tupou at half-back

The Reds have sent an emphatic message to their Super Rugby rivals, producing a dominant 44-19 win over the Melbourne Rebels.

As the Brumbies enjoyed a brief stay on the top of the ladder, the Reds made sure to take back top spot in emphatic fashion as they cruised to victory.

This was set up by a dominant showing in the first half, with Taniela Tupou bullying his Rebels counterparts as he crossed for an early double inside 20 minutes.

Poor passing would let down the Rebels, conceding another two tries from intercept passes as the Reds’ backs feasted on their expensive style of play.

Melbourne No.8 Michael Wells got a well-earned five-pointer after the second intercept but the Reds remained in full control, adding a late try via reserve back Josh Flook.

Queensland skipper James O’Connor was full of praise for Tupou after the game.

“Everyone notices Taniela for his big scrummaging and big runs but the amount of work the big fella does is second to none,” O’Connor told Stan Sport.

“He works tirelessly from sideline to sideline and does our big carries for us and our structure doesn’t work without our tight five, they’re integral.”

As for the Rebels, captain Matt Toomua was left to ponder another poor start as they get set to host the Force next week in essential a mini semi-final.

“We were in it at half time and then after that intercept the game was pretty much done,” Toomua said.

“I was glad we got back into a contest but ultimately you can’t give a team like that such a big lead.”

The win ensures that the Reds remain the only unbeaten team across Super Rugby, with the Crusaders stunned by the Highlanders 33-12 in Super Rugby Aotearoa.

Cheik yourself

Michael Cheika, Mario Ledesma

Michael Cheika, Mario Ledesma

Whilst pundits and fans call for his return, former Wallabies and Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has poured cold water on the idea of him rejoining the Tahs.

Cheika was in attendance for the Waratahs loss to the Brumbies alongside Roosters coach Trent Robinson, where he serves as an advisor.

Despite admitting that he had been sounded out to help their quest for the next coach, Cheika refused to put himself up for the role, believing that Rennie and co need the clear air.

“I think that it’s not the time for me to be coaching the Waratahs,” Cheika said.

“It’s maybe a little bit too fresh [and] raw. Also, from a national point of view, they don’t need me in that space probably at this point.

“They [Wallabies coaches] need some clean air . . . without the name from the last four or five years because it’s been a huge thing for me.

“Anything they need and anything the coaches need [I will help with]. Even when Rob came, I rang him to see if he needed anything from me, because I believe that continuity of what happened before you is really essential.”

Whilst he won’t take over as coach, Cheika remained committed to helping the side in whatever capacity as he turns his direct coaching attention towards Lebanon in the RLWC.

“I don’t think my ideas are the ultimate ideas. I just gave a few ideas of what I’ve experienced in the past and what’s worked for us and what might work for NSW and understanding its DNA a little bit more,” he said on his conversations with CEO Paul Doorn.

“I’d do anything to help them get back on track. It was a wonderful experience coaching NSW, I loved every minute of it, the highs and the lows. I think we can get back to that pretty quickly with this team.

“They have made some decisions now and they need to show some leadership going forward to get them right.”

Wallabies take shape

Dave Rennie during warm-up

Dave Rennie during warm-up

With the Wallabies squad announced for next week’s training camp, it appears that we have a better idea of what the future side will look like as preparations ramp up for 2023 according to Fox Sports.

Rennie named another 14 uncapped players on top of the ten he gave a debut to in 2020 as part of his 40-man Wallabies training squad.

He admits that heading forward, they will look to favour the younger player as they blood caps ahead of the World Cup.

“You’ve got to look ahead,” Rennie insisted.

“There’s a Lions tour two years after that [World Cup], so there’s always big dates to head towards.

“But we’ve got an expectation to win now and so we’ve still got to pick a team that we think can do that, and if it’s 50-50 between a young fella and a guy we think is on the decline we’ll pick the young guy. I think that’s really important, we’ve got to have an eye on the future.”

This also includes heading overseas and trying to recruit back some lost souls, with Fox Sports revealing that Sean McMahon, Rory Arnold and Will Skelton remain on top of the recruitment list.

A name that doesn’t is Samu Kerevi, with the emergence of the likes of Ikitau, Simone, Paisami and Petaia seeing RA reportedly cool on bringing him back.

These guys shape the backline, with Wright, Daugunu and Vunivalu fighting over the wings if Koroibete heads overseas, looking to partner either Banks or Hodge in the back three.

Meanwhile, Angus Bell and Taniela Tupou are reportedly viewed as the starting props, with Trevor Hosea and Seru Uru battling Rodda and Arnold to round out the tight five.

Lachie Swinton and Harry Wilson look set in pole positions for the back row, with Fraser McReight putting legitimate pressure on Michael Hooper’s grip on the number seven jersey.

  • Nathan Williamson

    We’re looking to record another Dropped Kick-Off podcast in the coming days, so if you have any rugby/non-rugby questions that you’d like us to answer, let us know below

    • Who?

      Thanks for your contribution with the news, Nathan. It’s been widely appreciated. Rugby Australia can’t know how well they’ve done – but recruiting people who clearly bleed the game, let alone people who have been across all the issues for years – gives me hope that they’re on a good path.

    • Patrick

      Well deserved gig! We’ll miss you here, though – thank you for all the work and humour over the years to keep this going as regularly as you did! Personally I always look forward to it :)

    • Steve

      Thanks for the great content mate, always providing fodder for good discussion. Best of luck with the new gig!

    • Hoss

      Fantastic news Mr Williamson.

      What an opportunity lay ahead. You get to morph a passion into a paying gig – how good is that! I am envious, If I could morph my passions of sex, alcohol, corruption and mass-scale ‘fuck-all-edness’ into a gig I too would pursue it, alas I missed Liberal Party preselection last time, but I remain doggedly ambitious.

      Enjoy the new role and if you happen to find yourself alone in the records room and happen to find some dirt, well I know a place you could post it.

      Remember the little people who helped get you there, Yowie, Karl,Who and the like and all the best for the new start.

      • Yowie


        Has my wife been posting stories on here again?

      • Keith Butler

        Out with the new and in with the old bringing with it decades of life experience, ascerbic wit and penmanship the Bard would be proud of. We GAGRs need an Agony Aunt to pour our troubles out to and leave us in even more agony. Time to fulfil your destiny Young Hoss and take up the reins. Giddy up!

        The Lamming gig will be coming up soonish. I suggest you get your CV ready for Scumo.

      • Keith Butler

        Was going to say polish up your CV but thought it might be a little sensitive.

      • laurence king

        Your above job description had me imagining you sporting an eye-patch, pegleg and a cutless. Hoss the pirate.

        • Rachel Horn

          Get $193 per h from Google!…~a1591~ Yes this can be best since I simply got my initial payroll check of $24413 and this was just of one week…I am aslo purchased my Mclaren P1 right after this payment…~a1591~ it is really best job I have even had and you will not for~give yourself if you not check it >>>> !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Greg

        Hoss, Hoss, Hoss…

        how could you have missed pre-selection with qualifications like that?

        I do trust that you will try again.

      • Who?

        I think he may be looking across (some of) that list and thinking, “Thank goodness I’m finally away from those guys!” ;-)

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Sad to see you go Nathan I’ve enjoyed your posts over the years. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the end of GAGR

    • Yowie

      Great stuff Nathan. Thank you for your fine work over the years. You’re always reliable for some good humour in the headline and/or the text of the article. Hopefully you have similar freedom when writing for Rugby Australia.

    • Mike D

      Thank you and good luck. If you ever decide to write the odd piece for GAGR again as a guest columnist, I would be most stoked.

    • idiot savant

      Congratulations Nathan and I look forward to reading your pieces on the RA site. Great to see GAGR producing contributors to the national conversation. If you ever need to avoid using real names for legal reasons well you know where to look.

    • All the best in the new gig.

      Apparently they can appoint some of the right people!

    • Happyman

      All the best Nathan glad to see RA getting good people.

    • Greg


      All the very best wishes for every success at RA. Gosh knows they can do with some talent around the place.

      As some general career advice… I recommend that early on in the role is probably not the best time to share Hoss’s strategy for rebuilding RA. It might be a little confronting.

      Thanks for the articles and I hope to see you around.

    • Huw Tindall

      Fair shift in the news seat their Nathan! Thanks for keeping the GAGR site ticking over and good luck at RA. Pretty impressive to land the gig after a world wide search for talent :D Say hi to the marketing pigeon from all of us here!

    • Missing Link

      Congrats Nathan, I hope you have the opportunity to produce content relating to Australia’s historic redemption of the Bledisloe cup

  • Steve

    Well, the Reds certainly made a stronger statement than the Brumbies but so often that can play against you leading up to a derby.

    I don’t know what McKellar would have said after that second half but I doubt it was too complimentary. Getting 7As back will undoubtedly be a boost as well.

    Very excited for this weekend.

  • Mike D

    Really finding, now there’s less pressure on him, that Chiek’s comments are far more balanced and sensible. Head coach is never his role I’m thinking – a role as specialist/consultant seems to suit him much better.

    • Yowie

      Agreed Re the balanced comments from MC in commentary.
      Regarding the supporting role – does he play well with others in charge?

      • laurence king

        If the conditions are clear at the start, probably yes.

      • He and Ledesma seemed to play nicely with the Pumas last year. Some of that is a memory everyone here will enjoy, some of it might be buried under PTSD.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, I’m going to miss your posts. The games were very different and not sure what happened to the Brumbies in the 2nd half but there were very ordinary.

    I’m liking what DR is saying about bringing in new blood and I hope the public here give him the time he needs to do this. There was no planning for succession under Arse Clown and it’ll take time to bed in. I must admit I’m struggling with the short memories in NSWRU and how anyone can think Cheika is able to contribute positively to the development of a good culture is just beyond mind boggling. I am sure that he will get a place in the setup somewhere but I think it’ll just contribute to the fall

  • laurence king

    Thanks for your efforts Nathan and congratulations on your new job. Cheers

  • Tedward

    Kudos to you Nathan, good luck out 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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