Podcast 290 - Down to the Wire - Green and Gold Rugby

Podcast 290 – Down to the Wire

Podcast 290 – Down to the Wire

The series is well and truly alive…

The Green and Gold Rugby Podcast is back for another week, with Matt, Hugh and Jamie sitting down to dissect the second Wallabies-Ireland test match, and talk about what will prove the difference in the series decider in Sydney this weekend.

The Five Burning Questions

1. What went wrong for the Wallabies?
2. Who stood out?
3. What changes do we make for Sydney, if any?
4. Should the TMO be put back in the box?
5. What were our other thoughts from the other matches of the weekend?

  • Will Honeycomb

    As ever, I really enjoyed the podcast.

    The analysis of the Ireland match was good. I thought Dane Two Dads had another intelligent and courageous game but no one particularly stood out.

    I wanted to cheer Jamie’s comments about the psychopathic explaining away by the Kiwis, and in some cases self-pitying, in relation to the botched beheading of Remo Grosso last week. What is wrong with those people? When all you’ve got in life is rugby and sauvignon blanc, your first question really should be: Is it me- am I a joke?

    The TMO is the cane toad of rugby. Introduced and exercised with the sincere and earnest intention of eradicating a blight, it has become a bigger problem than the problem it was meant to cure.

    Rugby isn’t nuclear physics and doesn’t require the measurement of atoms. If it’s not self-evident we’ll go with all the approximations that are part of playing a game. And the great trap of microanalysing a crucial phase- witness the end of the World Cup quarter final against Scotland-is that all the things that preceded it led to the score being that close, then also warrant the same analysis, but don’t get it.

    Finally, you’re all dead right about the England v South Africa series. The most fascinating, but both teams playing with their front door wide open. Jaapies will be found out in the Rugby Championship unless they tighten up.

    There are four pleasures to be had from it (I speak as an Australian in London)

    1. Eddie is getting beaten up over here. I just hope he hasn’t “peaked” too early and gets replaced before the Autumn internationals. There’s a wonderful dose of rats in a sack going on. Also helped by Owen “Red Mist” Farrell as Captain. Would probably be more effective in his game management if he punched the ref.

    2. Faf de Klerk. Delight to watch. Looks like the love child of Shane Warne and a garden gnome. Darts about, genuinely pissing off the English, like a toddler filled full of E numbers. He drives the English nuts and he fearlessly delights in it. He’s great. And tackles props and Vunipolas.

    3. Willie Le Roux. Campese-like with his speed and gazelle movements, but unlike Campo, understands that rugby is a contact sport. Opens up space and can time a pass. Courageous under the high ball.

    4. Duane de Vermeulen. He’s back. A few years ago he was my favourite forward in World Rugby and might well have won some gong as World Rugby Superman. Then he got injured, was a bit indifferent, and headed off to Toulon. He’s had two blinders in the first two tests. Best number 8 anywhere at the moment by a distance.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Love that TMO analogy – so true.

      And agree on Farrell. If Hooper spoke to referees like he does we’d be burning effigies in the street. It’s been very satisfying to see him lose.

      • John R

        “But no sir it’s a penalty to us because Stephen Moore was in front of the ball carrier”

        Still makes my blood boil, and his posh little English boy accent doesn’t make it any better.

        The WORST though (IMO) is Kieran Read re: Stephen Moore “Sir you don’t have to take that sir, do you want me to do something about it” – what a fucking brown noser.

    • Caeliv Donnelly

      Great comment and great POD. 3rd test will be a humdinger for sure. 13 PTS while a man up was the difference last week from an Irish perspective. I still expect 5 or maybe even 6 changes for us and a bit of freshness might see us over the line but it’s a far from bullish position.

      Maybe another draw and an insanely awkward trophy presentation afterwards.

    • John R

      “Would probably be more effective in his game management if he punched the ref”

      Solid gold!

  • qwasimodo

    You can come into my ears anytime! Great podcast

  • Andy

    Nice cast chaps.

    Agree on the NZ media. They are truly fucked over there. Must be the News Ltd influence. I don’t think there is any bias for the kiwi’s though. I think World Rugby need to sort their shit out more than anything else. Consistency is key and they’ve shown none in any department.

  • Richard Patterson

    Interesting conversation covering a lot of relevant points.

    I could not help but observe Jamie Miller’s reference that the TMO is taking too much time over decisions – a point I do not disagree with. However this belief that he wants the calls to be right, but he wants them to get the calls right quicker feels challenging. Sort of feels like driving the car quicker so we can get there faster – but there’s to be no accidents. Not sure both go hand in hand. All this of course was countered by Matt Rowley’s accurate comment around TMO usage and how incidents happen, someone missed it, but no-one cared. Matt even referenced you could fine-tooth comb many things in any period of play and find penalties on both sides. I think that is a valid observation. This insatiable pursuit of officiating perfection is flawed. It’s never been perfect, it never will be. Kind of like a player or a team.

    That bridged nicely into the low point of the discussion which was the Jamie Miller meltdown at the end. The unloading of 15 years of pent up bitterness about everything New Zealand. I get it Jamie – 15 years with no Bledisloe Cup victories must be tough. On every metric NZ Rugby have established separation with Australian Rugby which must be excruciating. That separation is simply because in the last 10 years NZ Rugby have got better and Australian Rugby have got worse. A lot of that is due to NZ Rugby establishing systems, environments, standards that have elevated performance / success. Part of it has been because Australian Rugby has been stuck in outdated parochial thinking and could not bring themselves to change. Kinda like the NSWRL whilst the QRL made changes that generated tremendous success at the State of Origin level. Rugby Australia tolerated incompetent coaching, playing and administration which has led to poor decision making and poor standards. 2 Super Rugby wins in 2 years proves it as does 2 back-to-back floggings in the marquee test match in Sydney. Somehow though there was a reference to an incident involving NZ Rugby that happened 1 week earlier that got dredged out for one last pounding. After earlier making reference to the dramatic expansion in the definition of foul play Jamie then serves up this theory that any guy on a rugby field who suffers the misfortune to break his cheek bone must be the victim of foul play. This of course is the same incident that was seen at the time by the referee and penalised. The entire officiating crew recognised it as an unfortunate collision, not an act of foul play and therefore there was no card issued. Likely the same reason World Rugby did not launch a citing investigation and no player was suspended. Somehow all those various professionals got it wrong for Jamie and this resulted in his outburst — 10 full days after the incident occurred. Really Jamie? C’mon pal — you play better when you keep your emotions in check and play with a cool head. It makes you sound smarter and I sense sounding smart is important to you. You’re smart much of the time on these podcasts.

    I have no doubt that Australian Rugby will improve in the years ahead and the gap with NZ Rugby will narrow. Focus on getting your side of the street clean though. That feels a way more positive use of your time than emotional rants about everything Rugby in NZ. They are not perfect – but they continue to serve up a model of excellence for Rugby Australia to follow. Let’s see what the take-up is. Somehow over the past 5-6 years it’s been negligible. I wonder why?

    Keep up the discussions fellas. Enjoy the rugby this weekend.


Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician, second rower. Still trying to make sense of the 21st century. Dropped a debut novel last year...

More in Podcast