Podcast 280 - What the F**k Happened? - Green and Gold Rugby

Podcast 280 – What the F**k Happened?

Podcast 280 – What the F**k Happened?

Well, that sucked. While we weren’t able to acquire the services of the Eggchaser lads to get their insight on the England victory,  Matt, Hugh and Reg had plenty to discuss about the game itself, and where the Wallabies go from here as they head into the final match of the season against Scotland.

WARNING – coarse language

The Five Burning Questions:

1. What the f**k happened?
2. Who caught our eye on both teams?
3. The refereeing decisions: were they right or wrong?
4. How important is the Scotland game?
5. The Rebels signings: good or bad for Aussie rugby?

  • Hole’d up

    Sitting at the game i had noticed that there was no Aussie Bay of gold, it appeared that the RFU had scattered us among the great unwashed. Another wonderful negotiation gone wrong at the ARU

    • Birdy

      Don’t worry, I think next year they’ll put you all in a big bay around Cheika. Given that he seems perpetually on the point of a nervous breakdown every time he plays against a Jones-coached England they’re probably increasingly worried it’s only a matter of time before he goes ‘postal’ on the crowd.

  • Jason

    What did people think about Hoopers carry on before his yellow?
    He’s done similar things at Super Rugby with the Waratahs but never quite this level.
    I genuinely think until he tried to completely ignore the referee he was only going to get a very stern warning but no yellow.

    • Hole’d up

      Thought it looked childish ala Chek

    • Bakkies

      It would be rich for Cheika and the RA to reign him as they behave far worse. The English know that Hooper losses his rag hence serial goader Marler having a go at him in the last minute. In the big 2014 loss Hooper was captain and he could see how frustrated he was getting when Morgan was on a rampage.

      He needs players like Fardy and Pocock in the team to reign him in. He also doesn’t need to do as much work with those two players around which increases his chance of staying on the pitch for the full 80.

  • disqus_85edYR258C

    A frustrating result, especially watching with a big group of Poms over here in Old Blighty. Inconsistency in the refereeing, but realistically the Wallabies bombed that game for themselves, the Poms deserving winners, albeit with a flattering scoreline. The Poms kicked very astutely, and drove us round the park when we didn’t have the ball. When we did, they smashed us in defence. I thought Lawes had a cracker, and we mightily missed Coleman (dont get me started on Simmons, with Timani on the bench!). Having said that, we were in it for 70 odd minutes, after 15 minutes 1/2 players down. Some poor player errors were punished. Beale was unthinking in that pursuit of the Youngs kick. Take the damn ball out! And Kuridrani swallows that pass 9/10, even in the grease. Koroibete should be diving on the ball, as pointed out in the cast. And as much as I whinge (I’m admitting it) about it below, Hooper and his yellow obsession needs to be stopped. Great player around the park, but he does have a tendency to put himself in sight of the ref.

    That being said…. O’Keefe shouldn’t get another high level game for a while. None of the decisions were wholly incorrect (aside the Koroibete try), but he was maddeningly inconsistent (both ways). Chronologically (I think, a few too many Guiness knocked back):-

    1. England player played in the air receiving the kick-off. I think there was actually a few times we played the Poms in the air receiving high balls. I thought we were playing with fire there.

    2. Poms have possession, an overlap, and ball knocked from their grasp by an Aussie hand. Rule knock-on play called back. As much as it pains me to say, the Poms were close to being in there if play had gone on.

    3. Johnny May knock-down attempting an interception. Correct call for a knock-on, but in light of later events, it ends up seeming a slight bit inconsitent.

    4. Hooper card. There was some cynical fouls in that passage of play, but no warning and straight to the pocket. Again, in light of later events, very inconsistent.

    5. Beale card. See point 3. I understand the two attempts look different (Beale’s straight down, May’s up), and accept that Kurtley probably had to go, but the end result of both incidents is the same. A potential overlap foiled. Maybe this is more on the laws of the game rather than O’Keefe.

    5. Robshaw late hit on the kicker. I’m not advocating for this, but we’ve seen those late hits given more than a penalty this season (hello yellow)

    6. Pom given warning for repeated penalties, and Itoje swats the ball from Genia’s hand. Clear time for O’Keefe to be consistent and take to the pocket. That was cynical play (albeit not as cynical as Old Mate Kieran against Scotland, how did he get away with that!?!)

    7. Daly try. I can’t argue this one. It was incredibly difficult to make out contact with the line. As mentioned, Beale could (and should) have made it a non-issue.

    8. Koroibete try. This one I can’t abide. Clear offside positioning from Robshaw, lack of penalty advantage for Oz (maybe O’Keefe had himself confused). Lack of clarity on the question asked to the TMO (first try / no try, then check the obstruction). Lack of clear obstruction. As the boys pointed out, you see similar waved through in all ABs games.

    9. Scrumtime. O’Keefe’s day was summed up with his management of the scrum. That was pure guesswork, going both ways. The front rows looked utterly confused about what he wanted from them.

    Again, I thought the Poms deserved the win, but was left to curse the name O’Keefe whilst drowning my sorrows in further pints of Guiness.

  • Mart

    Matt the point you make about the team morale at about the 69th minute is critical.
    I thought exactly the same. That is the impact the ref had on the game.
    There is no way a team can win with that sort of luck. Let alone keep their head’s up.
    I thought their efforts were immense (apart from the Kurtley kick chase) .

    • Huw Tindall

      Yeah I think this extends into big game smarts and self belief which the guys mentioned. The team has some maturing to do so they can better handles pressure and situations that don’t go their way. There certainly is promise but they need to mature fast as 2018 isn’t far away. Hopefully our big guns like Coleman and Kepu are firing come the time so there is solid backbone of belief and calm authority amomgst thr group. Could never imagine John Eales or Richie chucking a wobbly on field.

  • RedsFanDan

    The only two calls I had a concern with was Itoje’s slap down and the Koro no-try.

    Itoje was far more cynical and blatantly an infringement than Beale. No arguments about the position of the hand or whatever there. No yellow card.

    My concern with the Koro no-try was that despite the original referral to the TMO being for grounding and Robshaw off/onside. The TMO never commented on Robshaw and O’Keefe not only satisfied himself that Robshaw was onside but made a ruling on something that was never referred. I thought the rules around using the TMO was that “Give me a reason not to…” is what you ask if you’re looking for any reason while “Try/Notry here are my concerns…” meant that you could only comment on those things? Isn’t that why the commentators always bang on about “What question is the ref going to ask the TMO here?”

    • Mart

      I was at a loss as to how to explain the rulings to my 8 year old, on why Beale was sent off an not Itoje. Itoje’s intent is much clearer.
      This game was not a good advertisment for the game and its officiating

      • RedsFanDan

        I certainly hope this spurs the ref body to have a good look at tightening up the guidelines for refs. The inconsistency, especially when it affects one team’s scoring opportunities disproportionately, is the problem.

        I think the Hooper call was the technically correct decision but blind Freddie can see it makes no allowance for physics. Would like to see some clarifying guidelines or a tweak that gives the ref some leeway if the player makes a visible effort to stop in the 0.3 of a second before they’re put onside.

        • Mart

          It’s hard to watch a sport where officiating has such a huge impact on the outcome of games
          If the calls were the other way around I’d be saying the same thing
          it seems the TMO is getting worse. They look into so much detail around each try that you can find anything wrong…apart from if a ball touches the line, then it’s just play on ;)

      • Brumby Runner

        Not looking to excuse Itoje, but his knock down went backwards from his point of view. Had he not been ruled offside, it could well have been play on with a turnover. Beales knock down on the other hand went forwards from his point of view. That, at least and maybe at most, should be ruled a knock on and play restarts as appropriate. I am however starting to come around to the view that a knock down ought to be an allowable part of the game and be sanctioned with a scrum for the knock on if it goes forward. The onus probably ought to be on the attacking side to get their passing game in order to avoid a knock down by a player who by his obvious desire to avoid making the tackle will only be going for the intercept.

  • Moz

    RugbyReg, thanks for your words on support on the Force, and agree this whole Force?ARU debacle is not a reflection the Rebels players, but the Rebels organisation, and those in control – they were the ones that helped oversee the millions of dollars of lost money.

    • RugbyReg

      Thanks Moz. Yep that’s what I was trying to get across and I hope I did.

      • Moz

        Yep, all good. Plus the comments about the ARU’s response to the Senate Report were spot on. That took about 4 days for them to come up with it, and basically didn’t address most of the issues raised in the report.

        With regards to the Rebels, I think you only have to look at when the Force and Rebels last played each other, and Hodgo (I think) gathered all the players together at the end as a sign of solidarity.

      • Bakkies

        Reg the next steps with the Inquiry is that the Government writes a response to the Inquiry findings and puts in notes to check what the RA are doing in regards to the recommendations. This is what happened with the Soccer Inquiry in the mid 90s. To me that does help address Hugh’s concerns. The Inquiry did have the backing of the Sports Minister.

        Chairman Mao questioned the Inquiry however it is not unprecedented as Soccer have had one and Cricket has had Government reviews and intervention to settle disputes. It is also a way of avoid bailing out a National Sporting Organisation which costs far more taxpayer funds. The RA received Government funding to move in to Moore Park and doing the best to make Rugby version of Frank Lowy Twiggy Forrest more angrier (Lowy’s work in setting up the FFA would have saved the Government a fortune). the RA’s Olympic funding is also dependent on performance.

        Georgina Robinson hinted that the next CEO is not from Mosman and the appointment is not too far away. It doesn’t rule out Shore Old Boys and a mate of de Clyne’s from the Friends of Sydney University Football Club cabal.

        On the recruitment I have a feeling that it shows where the Reds and Waratahs are financially. The Waratahs have only signed one Force player Alex Newsome who was on an EPS deal in Perth and have cut down on their coaching staff. The rest of their signings are players with potential which includes Tom Staniforth. Simmons is the only real name player they have signed. The Reds haven’t signed anyone as far as I know while Pek Cowan and Ben McCalman still remain unsigned.

        Buying a title hasn’t worked so far in Super Rugby just look at the Blues when they signed Nonu, etc, Waratahs when they had two XVs full of Wallabies, Stormers with the likes of van Niekerk, Watson, Habana, Jaque Fourie, Vermeulen moving to the Cape.

        The Brumbies have been moving smartly with the reintroduction of the Brumbies Academy with Fisher coming back who is very good with young players. Richie Arnold is the only Force player coming in on longer than a one season deal.

  • Joe Blow

    We had a lot of decisions not go our way, most of them could have reasonably gone either way but we just absolutely did not even get a whiff of the green. On top of that the Poms were way offside all night, particularly in the first half. He just would not call them but then turns around and cards Hooper for the same. The English slapped down a couple of balls that should have been penalties and maybe a yellow. He would not call it. He also would not penalize them for collapsing the maul at a couple of crucial points.
    It was a game we should have at least been given a chance to win it. As it was the ref took us out of the game. He was out of his depth.
    We really missed Coleman, Rodda, Tui and Arnold although our forwards were pretty good overall. A very disappointing result.
    We really need to win these ones despite the odds being stretched.

    • Mica

      I guess you can’t control these things – what we could have done though is worked better with the ref if we thought these were issues not being addressed. There’s a way to talk to people to give you the best possible chance of getting the result you seek and it starts with a) highlighting the issue and b) doing it in a respectful way. Whichever players are in the frame for the captaincy should have some training of this nature on their agenda. Sometimes you just need to sow the seed and point out the similar incidents which are getting called differently – even just asking the referee to check something or asking them if they can keep an eye on something. i.e. It looked to me like Kurtley almost got the intercept on that play, just like Johnny May almost got that intercept earlier. If the referee goes against you sometimes you just need to make the right noises, but don’t argue or turn it into a confrontation (you’ll never win). Also sometimes you need to concede good decisions to the ref to build the relationship. i.e. if you get pinged for something and it’s fair enough work with the ref. A little knock on gets called, it never hurts to have a wry smile and say that was well spotted, or if one of your players is carrying on say to the ref let me sort them out. Watch our Kiwi brethren, they have done this pretty well in the last few years – probably why they get 3 final warnings before the cards come out….. :)

  • Bakkies

    You don’t necessarily get a warning for a card to dished out. The Wallabies had conceded a couple of penalties leading up to England getting in to the 22. There were at least three advantages in that passage of play the first one for in at the side at the lineout which puts you at risk of conceding a card straight away and two other advantages for offside. O’Keefe did say to Hooper that he concede all three advantages. In live play he did call Foley’s number for being offside in the last offside advantage.

    Wallabies have been pinged heavily by the refs for over a year a now. It is time that the time address why they are getting penalised rather than questioning referee appointments and acting like Soccer players when dealing with referees. Captain’s relationships with referees are woeful.

    On the referees appointment Alain Rolland is the IRB head of referees. I have a feeling that they are giving referees more experience in the lead up to the RWC. They are probably expecting a couple of retirements especially with refs like Nige. He might not look it he is well in to his 40s and is doing well on the dinner circuit as a speaker. It is rare these days for referees in any field sport to continue in to their 50s.

    There is also an imbalance in the referees as Ireland, SA and France are supplying a lot of them. Andy Brace and David Wilkinson are the next two up and coming referees out of Ireland who are getting the push. The IRB needs up and coming referees from Australia and New Zealand as it saves on travel costs (Nige was out in Aus and NZ for over a month) and a lot of referees are ruled out of Lions tours.

  • Ruggaman

    The game was identical to that 3-0 series. Aus with majority possession and make all the attack vs Eng defense and kicking game. England win again, scored 3 tries from kicks. I am not convinced that Genia and Foley is the best options at halfback in wet conditions.


Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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