The QRU, Brad Thorn, Quade Cooper Thing, WTF! - Green and Gold Rugby
Queensland Reds

The QRU, Brad Thorn, Quade Cooper Thing, WTF!

The QRU, Brad Thorn, Quade Cooper Thing, WTF!

The man who knows all things rugby in Queensland, Jim Tucker, Broke the news yesterday that Brad Thorn and Quade Cooper had had an ‘honest conversation’. Honest conversations with coaches are never a good thing and word is Quade is not training with the Reds anymore. There has been no official word from the Queensland Rugby Union yet, but Jim rarely gets things wrong. The reaction from the fans has covered the entire gamut of emotions from ‘OH MY FUCKING GOD ARE YOU FUCKING CRAZY’ to ‘yawn, Quade is so 2011′.

Quade Cooper takes the ball

Quade Cooper takes the ball

My reaction was ‘What!’…Then nothing. Players, coaches and staff have been coming and going so often at Ballymore they’re putting in a revolving door. After a while, you just get used to watching the rocket disintegrate on the launch pad and you stop watching. But I guess when you think about this it’s bigger than any of them. Quade was the player Queensland built their 2011 Super Rugby around and was going to be that once in a lifetime player who the Reds and Australia would cherish. And then things started to go wrong. First coaching changes at the Reds forced many top line players out, then a major knee injury robbed him of his pace and much of his step and he was unwilling or unable to fix his defensive frailties.

Still feels good

All Gone

But when Brad Thorn unexpectedly got the top job at the Reds, that revolving door again, I thought now is Quade’s chance. If anyone can get things fixed it would be Thorn. Quade had tweeted that his leg finally felt as strong as it did before the injury. And if Thorn could run Cooper through the now infamous ‘Game of Thorns’ defensive drills just maybe… Maybe Quade could come out the other side a better player. Yet another rocket exploding on the launch pad?

Quade still has two years to go on a massive pay deal with the QRU and the ARU and could easily stick around and become the highest paid Brisbane Premier Rugby player of all time hoping that Brad Thorn might come a calling. Or he can look for a good deal overseas. With the glut of players on the market, it would be hard to get another contract in Australia.

Izaia Perese scores of a Quade Cooper kick through

Izaia Perese scores of a Quade Cooper kick through

I’m gonna just come out and say it: Quade still has something to offer the Reds and Australian Rugby. But we need a player who will put his body on the line in defence. His game has to progress. It seems the days of flyhalves dominating the way teams plays are over and a more team orientated system, where everyone contributes to the playmaking role, has taken over.

What do you think? Should Quade have been demoted? Can he make it back? Is there still something that he has to offer?

  • Metootootoo

    According to Rugby.co.au Frisby has also been cut.

    This is weird given that they only announced their “finalised” squad a few days ago. How do they afford the payouts which must be included under the salary cap?

    • Good question. Looks like there is a hole in the bucket.

    • Simon

      Interesting about Frisby. This may be less about their ability than about their cultural fit.

    • idiot savant

      The ARU turning a blind eye to the fortune being forked out by the Rebels has probably opened the door for the Reds to do some fudging of their own.

    • ash

      From what I understand, there is no salary cap this year due to the Force folding. The Reds are broke, and will probably be paying another team to take him so they aren’t paying his entire contract. What a waste of money.

      Very disappointed Reds fan here, dumping players days after the squad is announced is an utter shambles. Not to mention that one of them is one of your marquee players, has over 100 caps, and has given a lot to rugby in the state (just ask the juniors he has assisted). What’s more, they try to quietly leak it to a favourable journo late on a Friday.

      Whichever way you look at it, it’s (yet another) poor look for the QRU. It’s been a while now since they’ve had any of my money, and it looks like that’s extending.

      Words can’t describe the sadness at the current malaise of rugby in Australia, particularly the mess in Queensland and WA we are seeing now. I despair for the games future, but as it draws on you sort of get more hollow.

      If Stewart struggles and the Reds fail to fire next year, particularly if they hark back to the 90s style of Reds rugby while doing so, there will be knives out for Thorn.

  • Pedro

    I think you nailed it implying that he’s become worse at the things he was great at and flat lined in the areas he struggles. He definitely can still make it to the top again, maybe a different environment is what he needs. Where can he go though?

    • I had such high hopes. Things can still be great at ballymore.

      • Pedro

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s bad news for QLD. It will certainly disappoint many fans though.

  • SuckerForRed

    The big thing I take out of the article, reading between the lines, is that there was a change of attitude requested & Quade perhaps didn’t like being told he wasn’t fist choice & would have to fight for selection. If this is the case I have no problem.

    Do I think he has more to offer? Yes. But what do you do about a guy like Quade? This might give him the kick in the arse that he needs. If he can get back- Yay! If not – Meh.

    And then the news on Frisby drops this morning…… yet to be confirmed.

    • McWarren

      I just don’t get this whole thing that Quade needs a kick up the arse, that his attitude is poor? The same shit Cheika spouted. His on field and off field behavior and form has been anything but poor for years now. Let’s not forget that he went too France as much for the money as it was to escape the Woody G era. Not like he could just get things off his chest with a toxic text.

  • Kate Elizabeth

    I am upset (I am a QC fan, and yes I am aware of his ‘mercurial’ playing nature), but not surprised.

    There are still clearly massive administrative issues at the QRU. I am not surprised because continually their actions belie the experience on the board and supposedly in management. I struggle to really feel much though – there is only so much of this you can take before becoming totally desensitised to what appears from the outside to be monumental ineptness.

    Sad though they have robbed fans of an opportunity to say thanks and farewell.

    • Jason

      Yeah, can’t agree more with this. I think the most worrying is that this comes only days after announcing the squad. How can you not have this conversation with all the potential 23, before you announce your squad. At best it shows a real lack of communication and coordination, and at it’s worst it shows a lack of planning and foresight.
      I was talking to a friend about how Thorn might deal with Quads poor defence and they suggested maybe playing Quade at 15 and moving Hunt to 10 (at least in defence like they currently do) with Quade coming in to first receiver when on attack and Hunt being a more than serviceable flyhalf on the counter attack.

      I’m disappointed these things weren’t explored at all. If nothing else it shows a lack of respect and consideration for the Reds all time leading scorer!

      • pointman888

        Mate that’s the set up nearly every rugby team on the planet uses. Espescially if that playmaker offers something special in attack like Quade does. Foley offers so little he’s hidden on the wing. His attacking rear offers nothing and he’s statistically the worse defensive 10 in super rugby. (2017 stats) And it’s a myth that quades defence is anything worse then the other good 10s getting around. Don’t believe me? Do your mates a favour and look up the foxsports stats from this year. He has equivalent defence stats as Bowden Barret….and that includes playing injured early in the season.

  • first time long time

    QC to the Tahs and miraculously back in green and gold,ok, pure fiction but stranger things have happened ; p
    And there was no room/money for Genia cause we already had 3 HBs on the books.

    In more positive news to QRU have found some new ingenious ways of saving money/generating more revenue…..
    Our 9 platinum members tickets arrived all with the same seat no on the back!
    That’s how you increase stadium capacity on the cheap!

    • Jason

      Cheika would still start Foley!

    • SuckerForRed

      Stack carefully and pray you don’t end up on the bottom. :-D

    • P00chie

      I’d actually say that taking him out of his bubble in Queensland, while still in an English speaking country, could be what is needed to get him back into a gold jersey.

      If his inner circle is repeating the absolute nonsense to him that we read here then he’s well and truly finished.

    • Alister Smith

      In fairness, the decision on Genia may have been made before the decision on the new coach.

  • Garryowen

    I agree – WTF? We announce our squad – but wait we may have changes..oh and QC & Frisby are not playing, Smith is injured and we are not sure and we are still looking for players?
    WTF?? This just smacks of incompetence which has become the byword at Ballymore. Recruitment and retention are done on a chocolate wheel – and with the little respect being shown by the QRU for punters – why should the players show it? Moore announcing departure – that hurts – not only the Reds but the potential to pick up others. Reds have not recruited one Force player – NOT ONE – why? Don’t point to the country win etc and team – we had a Brisbane team go undefeated for 2 years and yet most of that team is now gone including the coach? Where is the planning – and who is accountable for recruitment – certainly not the coaches – who are expendable in all this along with players.
    These decisions should have been made along time ago and communicated to all..How can the QRU ask punters to pay for Season tickets when we don’t know who is playing?
    Come on guys get it together – almost following the playbook of every political party in QLD – just no plan and putting out fires…
    And also to complete my rant – Reds fans cant even buy gear for Christmas…noting on their site for months! That mid season deal again smacks of a hurried decision…

    • SuckerForRed

      Makes me wonder even more if Moore jumped or was pushed………. or perhaps jumped before he was pushed. You & Kate are right that the administrative side of the Reds seems to be, putting it politely, completely and utterly shite at the moment. Are their contracts as unstable as what appears with the players & coaching staff? Who is actually driving the bus? It is going to be difficult for any coach if he has someone looking over his shoulder grabbing the wheel every now and again. Fingers crossed these changes are as a result of Thorn taking the wheel and throwing the people off the bus that he doesn’t need/want and telling the rest to sit down, shut up and hang on unless they want to suffer the same fate.

  • Tim

    Should have kept him in the 23, to help develop Hamish as a future prospect. Cooper is good but he is unreliable when he is playing well he is outstanding and a match winner, when his he bad he will cost you the game. Also i think there is something behind the scenes, in a few interviews they mentioned building a team culture and that some people could be in the squad but didn’t have the right attitude (or something along those lines). I read into it as a shot at QC. With the reds being a very young team you need to build a good culture not to sure if QC has that. He is a very good talent but only has moments of brilliance, I hope he can return to form which would benefit Australia.

    • Straith

      I don’t understand the ‘when bad he will cost you the game’ idea that people have in their heads. Foleys charge downs and missed kicks have cost more points than Quades defence ever has. The forwards provides the backs opportunity with go forward and I don’t think Quade has played behind a dominant forward pack in 3 years. Yet every time his team loses everyone looks towards him like ‘where was the magic Quade’ and uses him as a scapegoat…

      • Reds hopeful

        Scapegoat. Not really. The position that he plays is pivotal to the team doing well or not. No he cant do it on his own but he make or breaks the games.

        His performance has gone from magic to crap over the last few seasons. When he left for france every reds fan was happy.. bar none… that season he was terrible and hasn’t really changed.

        Quade is a carbon copy james o’conner. Mentally that is. To worried about how he looks instead of getting the job done

        • Seriously mate, O’Connor is in a class of his own!

  • Peter Ascough

    This would be just like something out of the QRU administration. They get the hapless “rusted on” supporters to sign up for season memberships by promoting a playing roster including players that have been signed to long term contracts then when you have committed to a season ticket and have witnessed the launch of the finalised 2018 playing squad, drawcard players are cut. We will welcome Quade back to Souths in Premier Rugby but realistically we’re not going to see him again in the Qld. Rugby scene. What a loss and what a shame. Extremely poor treatment of the player and the supporters.

    • I think you’re giving them too much credit.

  • Mixed emotions on this.
    Quade has shown exceptional talent at the Reds and Wallabies on many occasions, but obviously has some flaws in defence. IF his time in the sun is over, I would think he still has a lot to offer by being in the squad to share his skills with the new guys.

  • Straith

    I hope to god there’s some sort of conspiracy and theres a plan in place. but to me this seems like Thorn is using Quade as a scapegoat for the poor doings of the reds last year and has dropped him in an effort to earn respect from the players and initiate ‘change’. Legit the dumbest move. the forwards provide the backs with opportunity and there was none of that last year and who was the forwards coach… having a young inexperienced 10 wont work against the new Zealand teams even though duncan and hamish are decent players. It’ll be like when jake mcintyre and frisby were our play makers again…

  • Simon

    I don’t think it’s an outright statement that Quade has nothing more to offer, the June tests and the Barbarians showed he’s still able to perform at this level. I think the implication is that he takes up too much of the salary cap and is preventing the Reds from fielding a truly top level team.

    I have been very critical of the past QRU practice of “magic bean” solutions to the post-2012 woes – overpaying for players past their best, seemingly on the belief that their star power and home-town appeal will put bums on seats where results won’t. Even if the players do bring their best game, the institutional problems at the Reds and the lack of salary cap for everyone else mean they’re in a team with coaching issues, poor morale and junior players rushed through development before they’re ready.

    I am disappointed for Quade, he’s one of the all-time great Reds players and I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that we wouldn’t have won in 2011 if he hadn’t been there. I would prefer if he was to stay on in a player/mentor role for the development of Stewart and Paia’aua. But I am pleased to see the age of the Magic Beans seems to be coming to an end.

    I do have to say though that this just epitomises what is so completely inept with the QRU. They are freeing a huge chunk of salary cap, enough to get two or three good quality players, but they have made no major signings and have waited until the Force horse has bolted before doing it.

    • I don’t think standing Quade down will free up one cent of the salary cap. They still have to pay him!

      • Simon

        Depends what the conditions are – I assume the intent is that they encourage him to sign elsewhere and agree on a mutual release. Because otherwise cutting him does nothing – you might as well leave him in the side as injury cover or in the 22 or 23 jersey.

        If they do still have to pay him then it’s an even bigger shambles.

        • Yeah. Until we hear from the QRU we really have one article to go on.

        • Sammy dullard

          Vanzati to go also as per my comment on Fridays rugby news

        • Simon

          Frisby and Cooper I can understand but that one does surprise me. Vanzati seems to have a lot of potential and the Reds aren’t exactly drowning in prop talent.

          I wonder if we should read anything into all three being Brisbane City players.

        • Sammy dullard

          Can’t comment on the brisbane city link. I heard on Friday that they did have to pay him out and that thorn has never liked him. Took the players by surprise nonetheless.

        • Who?

          Thanks for the response on the Friday news. But I’m not seeing anything about Vanzati..?
          Frisby I understand, Quade I think it’s crazy but he’s 29. Vanzati’s a 23 year old prop, he developed well through the season. It’s as crazy a decision as sending Ready to club land if he’s gone…

      • Bernie Chan

        Unless the QRU has some kind of escape clause built into QCs contract…he must be paid so there is no extra salary cap room. Makes me wonder who is running the player contracts side of the business (wasn’t the reason given for not re-signing Sanchez “we have 3 halfbacks contracted already…”?)…if they need to pay him his 2 years, Thorn should know or should have been told before this call…I would hope QC actually stays and plays Premier Rugby etc and forces his way back into the Reds 23. Like DPA and Stewart, but neither is a flyhalf to match QC at this stage of their careers.

  • Tangawizi

    I think I won’t be renewing my Reds membership. Sick of the bungling. They can blow someone else’s money next season.

    • I’m on the flip side. I haven’t been a member since 2014 but may well sign up again precisely because of the much needed clean out that is happening… I’ll likely give it a year though.

      • We sign no matter what. Although I have mention not signing with the wife a couple of times and she just says ‘fine I’ll go without you!’

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Got a keeper there mate

        • John Tynan

          You’re a better man than me….

        • SuckerForRed

          No. I believe Sully’s wife is a better man than you. :-P

        • John Tynan

          I’m not sure how to answer that! I can’t offer compelling evidence to the contrary, either.

  • Jason

    I’ll take a different approach on this to most.

    Is Hamish Stewart ready?
    He’s close, had he been in the 23 for half the season last year I’d say he’s very very close, but I think he’s about a year away.
    I think the ideal scenario would have been Quade is your number 1 for 2018, with he and Karmichael taking turns playing half games to allow Stewart time to develop without the pressure of having to develop.
    On the positive side of things I’ve never seen a 20 year old player who is as composed as Hamish Stewart, he always looks like he’s got minuets with the ball in hand. In the NRC and U20’s a few teams tried to rush him, and he would sit back, watch and punish any chinks in the defence. The other real strength of Stewart is his defence, he made the most tackles in the NRC and they were very effective tackles too, he’s very good in defence and is probably too eager to embody that working class player.

    Second is Paia’aua a fly-half?
    More of a flyhalf than Recce Hodge, I think Paia’aua could be a serviceable flyhalf at Super Rugby. But he’s not really a true fly half, he’s a little bit too slow with his decision making and with his hands. Brilliant 12 got all the skills of a 10 body of a 13. I think Paia’aua is a Matt Toomua / Christian Lealiifano type player. Can play 10 but much better as a 12.

    We don’t know what Thron said to Quade, could have been ‘you’re our guy for 2018 but by 2020 we want to have transitioned to Stewart’ if that’s the case Quade is perhaps being a bit childish. If he said ‘Quade you aren’t going to be in the 23 unless we have injuries’ then maybe that’s Thorn being a bit over ambitious. I think with most things the truth is somewhere in between.

    While I understand the focus Thron want’s to bring to defence, and I really like that focus. But I think if Quade is not likely to be in the 23 because of his defensive issues then Thorn is perhaps underestimating Quade’s abilities and overestimating Stewart/Paia’aua.
    Sure Quade isn’t very good in defence but he’s actually quite good at slowing down any line breaks or things like that (unlikely Foley who appears to run the other way whenever a tackle is required to be made). The system the Reds used last year with Karmichael coming up into fly half and Quade dropping back into fullback was actually very serviceable.

    I don’t know why they wouldn’t at least wait and see, with Quade. They could hold off and start Quade with Stewart coming off the bench, if Quade doesn’t work out, or if Stewart stands up you can relegate Quade to the bench perhaps playing some fullback resting Karmichael.

    Regardless of what’s happened, what’s done is done, Thorn, Stewart and the Reds have their fait bound together irrevocably. If the Reds or Stewart fail Thorn is likely out the Ballymore revolving door. And it sounds like madness to not want Quade who is a genuine game winner, he might also lose you a game, but there aren’t too many players who can completely tun a game on it’s head like Quade can. Unfortunately his turning a game on it’s head can work both ways. I would have much rather prefer a wait and see approach. But it would appear as with everything in Australian Rugby at the moment caution has been thrown to the wind and the decision has already been made.

    • Raytah

      Although both players have their strengths, Frisby’s inability (or lack of will) to pass of the ground, and Cooper’s stutter step make them very difficult players to build a consistent team around.

      HS is young, but he is a very complete player. Tuttle, Stewart, Paia’aua would have been my first choice 9-10-12 axis anyway, and this development (along with the exit of Moore) might allow the Reds to free up some cash to invest in their depth which remains my main concern with their squad.

      Paenga-Amosa was a good signing and it would be good to see them bring guys like Gill, Magnay, Riley, Cottrell & Tupou (Semisi) back to QLD.

      • McWarren

        I just don’t see why you’d let go a 10? A position we’re short in depth in. Yet keep Smith and Douglas in positions we have depth in, relative to our 10 depth anyway. I like your 9-10-12 choice as well, but can’t help but think Quade in the squad means an injury to HS or DP is more easily covered.

    • Nice one. Agree with all your points.

    • idiot savant

      Very astute observations Jason. I agree that Stewart looks a year away and I too thought he would be allowed to develop with less pressure coming on early from the bench. Super Rugby is a huge step up from NRC and as Reg has observed the Reds got flogged at Super level with a bunch of NRC winning Brisbane City players two years in a row. You can only hope that Brad appreciates the step up and what worked a treat at NRC level wont necessarily work at all at SR level.

      What happens if Stewart gets injured? I imagine Thorn will now draft either the Souths or University club five eight into the Reds. Getting rid of Quade so early is a bold move as it ensures the Reds playmakers will be both young and inexperienced. Given the strengths of the other Australian conference sides now, I think its highly likely that the Reds will finish near the bottom, so Thorn needs to get the PR machine rolling arguing that the Reds are rebuilding. Perhaps this move allows that excuse.

      I agree with your thoughts on DP. I think he could be the best 12 since Horan. Its possible that Thorn and Cheika are in agreement on playing DP at 10, but with Quade now gone if Foley gets injured, DP might find himself playing 10 for the Wallabies regardless of what Cheika says about Hodge and Beale. Indeed this SR comp will be fascinating if none of Foleys possible backups play 10 during the year! And it means that if Foley is injured there will be no experienced replacement which doesn’t augur well for the RWC.

      On the tactical side, Stewart is very good kicker and I think this means that the Reds will play territory football which in itself will make a difference on last year.

      Quade has had a good run but I feel sorry for Frisby. Personally I like a half back who can kick and I thought with coaching his boot could’ve been a weapon. Just look at what the English halves did to us at Twickenham with their boot a month ago. But Tuttle gives quicker ball.

      Higgers was (after Mafi) the stand out number 8 last year in the Aust conference so it would’ve been tough to cut him. I think he will play 6, with Timu playing 8. But I think he and George will be phased out in favour of younger players. The guy I wouldn’t be surprised to get much less game time is Kerevi.

      • Jason

        Yeah, I think 100% we are going to see a New Zealand-esqu tactical field position game. To be fair if you have Hamish Stewart in your side you almost have to. I was watching the U20’s and he would regularly put kicks from in his 22 out around the opposition 22. I remember seeing one that he put out one bounce on the 5 meter line. I noticed during the NRC he was very clearly focusing on developing his running and passing game and likely not practicing his kicking game as much. But I think if he gets back to practicing his kicking game he’d be the ideal ‘tactical’ fly half because he can put the opposition back deep in their 22 from literally anywhere on the field.
        Mix in a healthy dose of those lightning wingers to chase; those enormous second rowers (Rodda, Tui, Hockings, Blyth) and back rowers that are all 6-2 plus, (Gunn, Korczyk, Timu, Wright) to have a lineout that will come down with ice on the ball.

        Regarding what the Reds will do if Stewart goes down, I would expect the pecking order would be Paia’aua, and then Hunt. I’ve heard a few people talking about luring Mac Mason back to Queensland, even fewer but still some even suggesting a ‘trade’ for Sam Greene playing for Toyota. Having Quade come off the books would free up A LOT of money for the Reds.

        For Frisby I think the biggest difficulty with him wasn’t his actual play but rather that he went from being “THE MAN” to ‘just pass the ball to Quade’ overnight. Accordingly he was trying to do too much, and as a halfback if you overplay your hand you are dead to rights. Maybe with a Stewart backline he can do well, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Frisby starting again because you can’t turn him into a bad player overnight, only make him play poorly.

        Regarding Higgers, I wasn’t really referring to him playing poorly he was very good and gives us something I don’t think any of the other Aussie teams have anything like, he’s as close as we’d get to a basketball player transferring across to rugby. So skilled, hands of a flyhalf.
        But where Higgers falls down is he’s expensive, old and not really hard in defence and the alternatives are very young and have oodles of potential.

        Who do you play at 13 if not Samu, I think the biggest weakness of Samu is his defencive decisions, if Samu doesn’t need to be making those reads (like with Hunt or Quade at fullback) he’s right as rain, he’s a fucking outstanding tackler. Moreover I don’t know that they even have a real alternative. Feauai-Sautia looked good but he’s not as good as Kerevi in defence. The only players I think has the potential to upset the apple cart at 13 are Daugunu and Perese. Perese should have 3-5 Wallabies Caps by now it’s only a New South Welsh coach that’s kept him out. /s :P But he’s going to be too good to play on the wing forever, and he doesn’t (at least yet) have the skills to play 15 or be a really high skill winger like JO’C. And Daugunu is a real surprise, I think he looks like a real special player – decent goal kicker, very good with the ball in hand but he’s really unknown at this point.

        • idiot savant

          I think I read somewhere that Stewart had the most general play kicks in the entire NRC comp, so if he kicks anymore than that the Reds will be playing Saffa rugby! I agree he looks something special and worry that he could do with another year developing at the higher level without all the pressure of key playmaker.

          In the case of injury Id be surprised to see DP slide into 10 because there is not another 12 in the Reds in his class. Maybe Tela or Alatimu will get added to the squad for back up 10?

          I agree on Higgers. There is no wide running forward in Australia who can make space for others by drawing defenders and offloading. I think he is a very similar player to Kieran Read. Im not convinced by Korcyk and Scott Young Jnr is not ready yet so I believe Higgers would work at 6 with Timu at 8.

          I think Kerevi is a great tackler if his opponent doesn’t move off his line but his footwork is too slow for the sidestep which leaves him with his arse planted and having to just throw his arms out. And as we saw again against Scotland, its often fatal. I dont agree F-S is not as good in defence. I think his time on the wing has made him a bit more nimble. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him at 13. And yes cant wait to see what Daugunu can do in the big league.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Karmichael as an alternate 10! Really? I must admit this is one thing I really struggle with over here, for some reason as soon as any player has a half decent game in one position he is being touted as being able to play in others and expected to perform there. Hunt is a good player with a lot of potential, he runs well and is hard to bring down, BUT, his defence is poor as he is often out of position and his one-on-one still needs work. He still has a lot to learn more about setting up his outside players a this is very different in rugby to both AFL and League and as yet I think he’s not quite there. personally I think he’d be a disaster at 10, good at 15 and getting better at 12 but that’s it for me.

      • Patrick

        You’d rethink if Foley was the incumbent…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No mate. While I agree Foley is not reaching the level needed at Super let alone test level, I’d still rather have someone who plays 10, not a half baked idea of someone who has never played there for an extended period of time. The thing with rugby, which is a little different from League and I’ve played both so I know, is that each position is actually quite specialist and while you can move around occasionally the players who do that all need time to learn the new position. Umaga took a few years to come right moving from Wing to Centre. Eventually one of the better in that position in the world, but it still took him a season or two and he’d played rugby all his life. Now you’ve got a guy who has swapped codes throughout his life and being asked to play in a position he doesn’t own as some sort of saviour. That is a recipe for disaster.

        • Patrick

          Yep fair enough. I saw this in real life at the Rebels with JOC at 10, it was pretty catastrophic.

        • HK Red

          Likewise playing 10 for the Wobs in the 1st Lions test.

        • Alister Smith

          please don’t mention that again…I had just managed to put it out of my mind

      • Jason

        I think with Karmichael he’s got the skills to play 10, he played in the halves quite a bit in League and had Lockyer retired probably would have taken over from him. I do think he’s not an ideal fly half but he’d be a good option if there was an injury or something. The other plus with Karmichael is he gets really nice distance on his kicks. I suspect Thorn’s 10’s are going to be defence first kicking second and then maybe playmaking.

        I don’t think he’s the best option for all teams, but the apparent strategy that Thorn is looking towards defence first and tactical kicking.

        I disagree regarding his defence, Karmichael is out of position less than Folau, and most of the time he’s out of position it’s because they are doing the 10/15 switch in defence.

  • Metootootoo

    The Rebels have yet to announce their finalised squad but their website has been updated to show a squad of 45 players. When queried about this at the meet the coach session last Tuesday, Nick Ryan, the new General Manager of Rugby and Pathways said that “a number of players are currently considering their futures”. He also confirmed that Michael Ruru (shown on the list but not announced) would be in the squad – suggesting that Nick Stirzaker is under pressure to leave. Given they resigned him for two years earlier this year (along with Steve Cummings who has already been moved on) and he is the current captain, I personally think that that is a mongrel act. I hope he tells them where to shove it.

    Apparently they are looking to shed at least five – that puts Toolis, Shipperly, Reid, Malony, Pama Fou and possibly even Hanson in a potential pool of death. They can’t touch Weeks, he’s the club mascot and if they even think about losing Fainga’a they will be strung up.

    So it is not just the Reds sticking the boot in.

    • Jason

      They’d need to at least match wath the Reds are paying him this season because the Reds aren’t going to let him go anywhere else and still be paying him. My feeling is that this is 20%-40% financial.

    • Perth girl

      And how many locally produced players in that 45?

      • Metootootoo

        Actually a few: Uelese, Paismau, Sa’aga, Tuipolotu,
        Leota, and teeter Faulkner

  • Jack

    This is no time for considered, reasonable debate. This is just FUCKED..!!! I hope it turns out to be fake news. More to come once I’m sober….

  • MungBean

    It’s breathtakingly ironic that Australia just had the absolute clusterfuck of the tour it did and nobody has been sacked or resigned, yet somehow it’s Cooper, who should’ve been on that tour and was deliberately snubbed, who’s the next victim of off field drama.

    QC is defensively frail (no more than foley & Beale) and a yellow card magnet (no more than Beale or Hooper ) but he has the best game management of any Australian 5/8.

    What happened? Lord knows. Maybe he did a disagreement with McGahan and/or Thorn about strategy. Maybe Cheika has asked Thorn to develop Stewart at 5/8, just as he’s asked Wessels to play Hodge there.

    It’s done. I don’t agree with it but there it is.

    The Reds now have a grand total of 4 inside backs on their roster, including, sicknote, Chris FS. All I can say is that they’d better find a way to free up cash and buy some more players or it’s going to be another total disaster

    • Gottsy

      McKenzie trusted him enough to involve him in team strategy meetings to figure out how they were going to overcome the opposition offensively.
      Whenever he plays behind a decent forward pack he is a magician, it seems hasty to drop him like this

      • Who?

        We’ve also had Alan Jones and Brian Smith speaking in the most glowing of terms (including on here) about Quade recently, and anyone who’s been around the Brisbane club scene always talks up just how much he does with the juniors (inside the restrictive QRU regime, and in comparison to other players). So I don’t see that he’s a major issue, except perhaps for the coach. But for Thorn to dump him after the squad was announced…

        • Gottsy

          Yep that was really rough. I can’t help but think we’re really shitting the bed on this one

      • Jason

        >McKenzie trusted him
        This is 100% why Quade worked and why he hasn’t ever found that form since, with Quade you’ve gotta go all in hand him the keys to the family Kingswood and sit in the passenger seat without a seatbelt!

        • Who?

          Quade’s not been out of form, he’s just largely not been in teams that have good attacking structures, or understand how to run lines. If you watched the Highlanders game in Australia, you heard commentators complaining that he wasn’t threatening the line, that he was drifting sideways. You listen to the Kiwi commentators, they’re grumpy with his ball runners, “Come on guys, he’s looking to hit you, show some initiative, run a line!” Quade has the best inside ball in the country (and now that Foley and Beale are throwing them, they’re showing that Quade’s inside ball is no further forward a pass than anyone else’s – but Quade’s is better concealed), and he picks runners well. Provided there’s someone making the effort to be worthy of the ball! And I don’t believe many Aussie attack coaches over the past few years have been that great.
          I hate watching backlines where we too regularly have no one cutting against the drift. Larkham has, very thankfully, got Kuridrani running against it (and he runs the line extremely well), but Quade hasn’t had that style of backline outside him since Digby left. One of the keys to the 2011 Reds was the variation in the natural lines the backs ran. Quade drifted. Ant straightened. Chambers ran outside lines. Digby loved to cut back inside. If you’ve got guys running switch lines relative to each other all over the field, it’s much harder to defend.

        • Gottsy

          I can’t agree more

        • onlinesideline

          That pass to Digby and that shower dance by Digby … classic Quade vision, classic Digby step and classic Reds era. Was just one of those teams.

    • Who?

      If Thorn’s taking Cheika’s advice or requests on anything to do with coaching, the Reds’ 2017 season will look golden compared to 2018…

      • Jason

        To be brutally fair with the Reds 2017, I’d think they were inches away from a brilliant season. The Crusaders and Waratahs were agonizingly close to wins, and a host of other games that could have easily been wins rather than losses.

        • Who?

          I was at the Crusaders game… That was horrible. You could feel it coming.
          But sacking your 10, there’s no better way to shift the blame from yourself for your coaching in your first year than setting up a ‘rebuilding year’ before it’s even started. But I don’t see the intelligence of removing so much rugby intelligence from the setup.

        • Gottsy

          I know this is very hasty to say, but a good coach should be able to back himself to get the best out of someone like quade. Maybe there’s a bit of a hangover from the AB’s public enemy #1 days

      • Alister Smith

        the advice might have come from Richie McCaw…that elbow from Quade might still not have been forgotten

    • P00chie

      “QC is defensively frail (no more than foley & Beale)”

      This is the stuff that needs to stop. His defence is clearly significantly worse than Foley or Beale. Foley and Beale could never be called cowards in defence.

      There isn’t a conspiracy against Cooper. He has to take ownership and improve instead of this blame game. He still has time.

      • Who?

        They weren’t missing hits or running gently in the BaaBaas game, and given they had Nanai-Williams at the back, they defended Quade in the front line. Don’t think there was any question about his willingness to make tackles there.
        It showed that Link’s plan to play Quade at the back in defence was genuinely about having someone back there to coordinate the counter attack (and the Reds’ counter attack with Quade at 15 was at times, unquestionably, stunning), and Quade is willing to defend in the front line when there’s already a play making 15 back there. Whereas Foley and Beale are shifted regardless of who’s at the back. In fact, under Cheika and Grey, the wingers are selected with an eye to their defence in the line over their counter attack from the back! I’m happy for Beale to drift back – I think he’s like Quade (was), in that he can create something out of nothing, you want the ball in his hands, especially in space or in a one on one situation. And he can kick. Foley’s yet to convince me that there’s any value in having him back there over – that he offers anything more than Eto Nabuli or Taqele Naiyaravoro (naming two of the more one dimensional wingers to have played under Cheika).

        • Lindommer

          I was at the BaaBaas/Oz match, and for the life of me I don’t understand the glowing reports about Quade’s play. If I was a coach/selector/Super squad list manager and Quade was playing for a spot or a contract I’d’ve put a pencil through his name.

          This is what I remember about Quade’s play in that game:

          1. His defence was worse than woeful. I do realise it was a BaaBaas and there’s supposed to be lots of balls flung around and fast running, but tackles have to be made. I don’t recall him making one decent head-on tackle all game; he did put in a couple of his upright, ball-snatching efforts which got nowhere.
          2. Quade ran away from a couple of breakdowns during the match when a hard shoulder was needed to secure his team’s possession going forward at the tackle. It looked bloody awful.
          3. A few times Quade was caught in possession behind the ruck; he tried his hippoty-hop routine before getting hammered. Gawd it looked awful. Conversely, Mason looked quite confident carting the ball up when required in the few NRC matches I saw him in. This crossed my mind in the BaaBaas match because the contrast was so stark.
          4. Quade’s hard, long passes were, occasionally, successful. But there weren’t enough soft, short passes to those next to him letting the backline advance to the next phase. Paia’aua did the simple bread-and-butter stuff getting his backline functioning much better than Quade. And I particularly watched Duncan going about his defence and mauling participation all match: it was head and shoulders better than Quade’s. Mason also does the dirty stuff at the breakdown very well.
          5. Yes, the kick pass to Big Taqele leading to a late try looked good. It was from the BaaBaas’ left side in a line directly towards me in the front row of the upper deck. But it wasn’t a five-eighth’s meat-and-potatoes stuff.
          6. The overall impression I took from Quade’s play that day was his complete reluctance to get involved in any physical stuff during the match. If Thorn’s come to the same conclusion I can understand why he’s made the decision he has.

        • Who?

          Being at the game and watching on tv are two totally different experiences, as I’m sure you’ll appreciate. I know that, if I attend a game, my impressions at the game are often significantly different to what I see from the wider picture provided by tv coverage.
          Quade’s defence wasn’t woeful. He made two turnovers stripping the ball in the tackle, and made quite a few more tackles. Watch it back, you might be surprised.
          In terms of possession behind the ruck and avoiding the breakdown, I’d be cranky if I had Mack Mason as a crashballer or at the breakdown. The same way I get cranky when I see Foley crashballing (and even Cheika’s said he doesn’t want Foley running at a pack of forwards). Your 10 should be ok to do it IF DESPERATE, but it’s far from the best use of your 10. If you want your 10 crashballing, then clearly you don’t have a playmaking 10. Even Giteau, when playing 10, didn’t want to run the ball for fear of leaving the next phase unguided (watch the 2008 spring tour tests for an example – and his biggest strength was distribution on the run, like Beale). I don’t select a 10 on the strength of his shoulders, I select on vision, strategic vision, being able to understand where the play needs to be, or where it should be, and then the ability to get the ball – and/or his players – there.
          And why hop behind the ruck? To buy time for support. If you’re 5m behind the nearest player and you have the ball, then rushing into contact 3m behind the nearest player immediately isn’t much help to them – it’s a turnover. But if you can buy time for them to turn and run back a couple of metres, they’re more likely to save the breakdown. Perhaps Hodge should’ve looked for support at the tackle rather than running away from it and into the tackle, then popping a short, difficult ball to Beale when they were surrounded by 7 Scots and had a pack full of exhausted forwards who’d just run 20 consecutive phases…
          In terms of soft, short passes, that’s down to time frames and structures. It was a BaaBaas game, everyone expects width. There wasn’t enough time for anyone to come up with a sequence of plays, and generally there weren’t many runners on his shoulders. I agree – disappointing, but you’ve got to be realistic. Especially when you’re also doing things like trialling Naiyaravoro at 13 (can’t imagine the focus was much other than, “get it to Taqele!” Which was fair enough, he had a day out).
          Contrast that with the ‘Wallabies’ backs in that game, who had been together longer, whose coaching team is full time, and who, for the most part, didn’t actually set the game alight… I thought the difference was bigger in the packs than the backs. Dempsey was immense until injured.
          If Thorn’s conclusion is that Quade isn’t willing to get into the physical stuff, then it’s his call to make. But you don’t do it three days after you announce the squad. Released in a quiet conversation that takes 2 days to properly hit the press. That’s disrespectful of the long time, one club centurion. And the fans.

      • MungBean

        I think I may have triggered a Tah fanboy here

        Unsure what you mean by coward but if you’re referring to Cooper defending on the wing then you need to take your blue goggles off and watch where Foley & Beale defend. Australia has a massive self-created defensive problem because they need to swap two players in defence every time there’s a turn over (plus there’s a 12 who has a turning circle of the Nimitz). So quick turn over results in chaos and, even, set pieces can be exploited as shown by Finn Russell’s quick tap – Australia were caught out still trying to hide Beale & Foley when Scotland were on their line.

        As for the call to take ownership, well that might have some weight if you weren’t trying to protect Beale. Lol

    • McWarren

      “Including, sicknote, Chris FS” may be my favourite line of the year. I can’t believe he still gets a contract.

  • Gottsy

    This is really disappointing, from a reds point of view, they have to get out of this habit of cutting people mid contract. What sort of message does that send?? Also, what kind of depth do they think we have at 10? It all seems a little short sighted to me.
    From Cooper’s point of view, Thorn and the reds have shown their hand now. If you’re not wanted, why fight to stay. Not sure what his options are now but it’s a shame to think he’s probably going to be lost to Aus rugby, unless RugbyAU increase squad size to accommodate for the western force axing. Maybe he could replace one of the kiwi flyhalves we currently have on the books at the brumbies or rebels

    • Bakkies

      They are running the joint like a European Soccer club that is bankrolled by petrol money.

    • P00chie

      “why fight to stay”

      To prove himself as a rugby player, a professional and a man. Sick of these excuses being trotted out since 2012.

      • McWarren

        yeah cause real men throw insults and accusations from behind anonymous monikers. Old ma P00chie must be so proud.

        Hang on, was it your laptop?

        • P00chie

          Just how late did you stay up posting insults?

      • Gallagher

        Poochie, no one wants yr rubbish on here.

  • Who?

    So, let’s leave out personal opinions about whether the bloke’s great or rubbish. Because we all know that Quade polarizes not like glasses, but like a magnet – you’re on one pole or the other, there is no middle ground!

    Let’s leave out debates about form. Because whilst he had quiet second halves in 2017, there’s no question that the pack in front of him also deteriorated from about the 20 minute mark in matches, and Quade then had to revert to a territorial game for the second half of most games. Plus, he played most of the season with a couple of niggling injuries. So I don’t believe the reports that he’s completely out of form and too old. He’s 29 – Carter was what, 34 when he won the RWC in 2015? Jonny Wilkinson was about the same when he retired? Larkham, maybe 33..? So Quade’s still got the potential to add a lot. He’s also the most capped Wallaby 10 still playing, and the only other Wallaby with more than 10 caps at 10 is out of form, making more mistakes than Quade at his worst (I’ve never seen Quade throw a short to mid range pass to the ground for the opposition to score a try in the first half before). And he’s worked successfully under multiple coaches – Eddie Jones, Phil Mooney, Ewen McKenzie, Robbie Deans (until Robbie started scapegoating him)… So there’s as much argument to keep him as there is to dump him. Especially when you factor in his remaining two years on his contract.

    What I want to know is… When was another 100+ cap player from ANY super club treated so poorly by the club? I think Simmons’ release was close, but not quite at the same level. For three reasons – firstly, his contract was up. Secondly, he was told early, so he could find an alternative employer. Thirdly, he got to have a home game send off. One which, incidentally, was won by Perese picking up the intensity (three big plays in the last 10 minutes) and Quade calling an inside ball to Perese, then kicking the resulting penalty.

    I’m trying to think back. There’s not that many 100+ cap players. Squeaky’s there, but he split his caps, and made his own call. Sharpie split his caps, but again, well loved everywhere. Hodgo’s universally acknowledged as a legend. Fat Cat was given due respect. Alexander’s on the bench a lot, but still appreciated. Same for Palu. Pek Cowan’s without a club, but that’s not due to a lack of respect from the Force (rather, a lack of respect from RA. Maybe that’s why Vanzati is (unfortunately, and if it’s true, wrongly) being mentioned as another possible departure?). Rob Horne was given the respect he deserved (plenty – and rightly – always gave his best). Same for Dave Dennis and Cliffy Palu. And Taf.

    Quade has 117 caps for the Reds in Super Rugby. That’s six more caps than Thorn has across his Super clubs, one more than Horwill, two more than Genia, In fact, there’s only two players with more Reds caps than Quade – Greg Holmes and Sean Hardman. The rest of the Reds players in the ‘most caps’ list generally have multiple clubs. I believe only six Reds have more than 100 Reds Super caps – Holmes, Hardman, Cooper, Horwill, Genia and Simmons.

    I don’t care what else is going on, if you’ve got guys who’ve shown loyalty, you’ve got to show them respect, and what’s happened this year smacks of a complete lack of respect. For Simmons, for Cooper. It’s a shame that Genia was accommodated, but he did leave, and there was no opening for him to return. You can talk about needing to clean out bad influences, but I don’t see that there’s been a complete clean out in admin or on the board. And whilst you remove poor influences, you have to respect the jersey, the history of the jersey, and the treatment of two centurions this year shows a complete lack of respect for that history.

    • Pearcewreck

      Well said Who?

    • P00chie

      Talking about loyalty or respect?
      The alternative view, probably more popular outside of the small (and vocal) echo chamber suggests that Quade is the one not showing loyalty or respect.

      Slagging off the national setup, doing his best to get a national coach fired, publicly flirting with League, having a shambolic side-show in pro-boxing, sodding off to France, coming back with his tail between his legs still messing with boxing, a complete failure to apply himself and work on his glaring weaknesses.

      This is his chance to grow up and prove he is a pro. He can listen to the sycophants blaming everyone else or else apply himself.

      • Who?

        Loyalty and respect. Quade has talked about League, but so has Beale. Both have used it for their advantage in contract negotiations. But Quade’s only played for one club in Australia. Kurtley’s been to two, and didn’t necessarily leave on the best of terms.
        I don’t think you can say Quade’s alone in talking down the national setup. I recall some golden haired cherub back in 2014 in the June Tests talking about how much he missed his club, in a manner that basically said he’d rather be there than playing for the Wallabies. And if you think that anyone would describe the Deans Wallabies post RWC as anything but toxic, then they’re other extraordinarily diplomatic, or delusional.
        The ‘side show’ in boxing..? I’d argue that it benefitted him. He became more focused, he was more disciplined. He was fitter. He wasn’t the only one.
        France, didn’t some bloke named Kurtley leave the Wallabies and Waratahs to go to England at the peak of his powers, with his true mentor as the national coach..? It didn’t work, he should’ve known. Because he didn’t fit the game plan that Toulon played – power forwards, no intention of using the 10 to do much other than kick.
        Glaring weaknesses? They’re the same as Kurtley and Bernard. Who have shown about the same amount of progress.
        Quade has shown loyalty. He’s been worth every cent the Reds have paid him over the years. He’s provided great service to the kids of Brisbane. And the method of his dismissal shows no respect.
        Meanwhile, others – thinking Kurtley and Foley – have been shown loyalty that Quade could only dream of receiving. Kurtley was dragged back from the UK by Cheika. Even after a more checkered past that Quade. Foley’s been shown loyalty in spite of being out of form for most of the past two years. Cheika is a loyal person. Foley and Kurtley have shown loyalty to him, he’s returned it in an even greater measure than they’ve given it to him. So why shouldn’t a player who’s shown loyalty also hope for some in return….?

        • P00chie

          All players play the contract game but they back it up by being professional.

          Difference between Cooper and Beale, two players who faced diversity around the same time, is that Beale when facing problems of his own making knuckled down and proved himself as a professional. Cooper did not. It is most unfortunate for him that so many are tripping over themselves making excuses for him. Nothing is ever his fault it seems.

        • Who?

          How do you know that Cooper didn’t prove himself as a professional?! Quade’s off field dramas – his personal dramas were done by 2010. Kurtley was having personal dramas in 2013. Quade’s team-related dramas were down to a relationship with a singular toxic coach who burned every 10 to play for him at international level. He burned Merhts, he burned Gits, he burned Berrick, he burned Quade, he burned Kurtley (do you think Kurtley played well at 10 for Robbie? If so, you’re in the minority), he burned JOC. Quade was the only one who publicly – but even then not aggressively – said that things weren’t working.
          I’d argue that Quade’s done what’s been asked of him. Does that mean he should be an automatic selection in gold? No! But it does mean that there’s no reason he shouldn’t be selected if there’s a need. Though that’s clearly not been the intention. But that, again, is another can of worms. But even in July, Cheika said, “Quade needs to show he’s enjoying his rugby.” Then did a back room deal where he told Alan Jones that he wouldn’t be needing Quade. And played Hodge at 10 against Japan. So did Quade complain? No, he said he’s enjoying his rugby, and went out and played rugby. When Robbie didn’t want him, what did Quade do? Went through the process, accepted he wouldn’t play for the Wallabies again while Robbie was coaching, and went and played Rugby.
          I don’t see where he’s ever made an excuse for himself. I do see where coaches have justified some things about their decisions – primarily Link in terms of playing Quade at the back. And that’s a tactic that’s since been overused by Cheika and Grey with much less success. The ‘excuses’ made on here are generally people pointing back to explanations of tactical choices. And describing them as ‘excuses’ whilst not maintaining the same demanding standards of other players shows inherent bias on your part.
          Beyond that, I’ve pointed out it’s about the timing and treatment as much as anything else. Something shared to a lesser extent by both Frisby and Simmons. All three have shown loyalty – there aren’t many one club centurions in Super Rugby, we’re talking about one third of the Reds’ centurions here. Little respect, no loyalty. They sold Simmons out whilst retaining Douglas (a player dragged back from Ireland because of Cheika’s loyalty to him, a loyalty that was undeserved, given his decision to go to Ireland, then his performances since his return), with the ‘logic’ being that Douglas was still under contract. And they couldn’t sign Genia as Frisby was under contract. But it’s ok to tell Frisby and Cooper to go find other contracts..? So it’s a problem across the entire Reds system.
          And, lastly, I’ve described where Beale and Cooper met adversity. I don’t know what relevance diversity has to the matter…

        • P00chie

          Mate can you hear yourself. Excuses for everything, it’s cringeworthy.

        • Who?

          Explanations and comparisons. Excuses are unjustifiable, I believe my explanations and comparisons stack up, provided you’re objective.
          Meanwhile, you’re making wild, unsupported allegations. Apparently a player you know about as well as you know me (i.e. not at all) is unprofessional, whilst another you also don’t know is a proper professional. When, from a public perspective, there’s not really any difference in their personal application to tasks placed in front of them in the last four years.
          Perhaps you could give me your excuses as to why Australian Rugby shouldn’t be embarrassed by pretty well everything it’s done in the past twelve months……

        • P00chie

          What wild unsupported allegations have I made? You guys are just trying to turn this into an exchange of insults.

        • Who?

          I’ve not insulted you, P00chie. Not intentionally, anyway. But you are making unsupported allegations. Here’s a few unsupported ones:

          1 a complete failure to apply himself and work on his glaring weaknesses.
          2 Difference between Cooper and Beale, two players who faced diversity around the same time,
          3 knuckled down and proved himself as a professional. Cooper did not.

          Here’s a few further allegations, more supported, but irrelevant as they’re ancient history (i.e. they happened before the last Australian Super title).

          1 Slagging off the national setup,
          2 doing his best to get a national coach fired,
          3 publicly flirting with League,
          All pre-2014, none options that he’s solely explored. So whilst his behaviour hasn’t always been exemplary, he continues to suffer from people – largely outside his home state – holding prejudices that they’d drop if he played for their state. Those in Qld, for the most part, love him. Not necessarily for what he did in Gold – we didn’t see enough of his best in Gold, for various reasons. Largely due to injury and yes, also partly due to imprudence in commentary (though I don’t for a minute think he’d have opened his mouth if he thought he was a chance of being selected. No one’s that stupid, not even in their early 20’s). But Reds fans love him for 10 seasons of giving everything he had. A flawed player, but not even Nobody’s perfect (after all, he’s on the Board of the ARU, and they haven’t covered themselves in glory this year).
          My point about Rugby Australia’s embarrassment was purely that this is yet another complete farce in the administration of the game in this country, and it follows so many examples of ineptitude if not impropriety and behaviour that at a minimum appears corrupt.
          I’m happy to park it, it just wasn’t clear that you’d understood my points were state-related, whereas yours have been much more nationally-focused.
          All the best getting more eps with the cat and mouse.

        • P00chie

          No, Who, I did understand your point*. I don’t agree with you. Your summary of my criticisms is accurate (but incomplete) and I stand by them.

          * with the exception of the embarrassing year for Australian rugby, I had overlooked administration. Of course you are 100% correct on that and I don’t see how anyone could objectively disagree.

          Have a good night

        • Parker

          P00chie, time to stop embarrassing yourself. Your thinking is not as sharp as it could be. Sleep it off mate

        • P00chie

          That insight was hardly worth bringing up a week-old post.

        • pointman888

          Mate, I respect you a lot for sticking up for yourself and the integrity of Quade and his career to date, against what appears to be one of those blind biased fair weather fans who base their opinions on what either the majority around them say, or what they hear commentators mumbling! I’ve spent countless hours posting facts and figures in debates with clueless fans like this. And despite often overwhelming stats or evidence defending Quade on various topics over the years…..he never gets the respect or equal fair assessment other players receive. And that continues down to this day with Cheikas unexplained excile of Quade despite our current playmaker offering nothing more then average rugby at best! The wallabies had no serious cover at 10 developed this year, and so the Reds will have the same if not worse problem next year with a complete rookie running the show! And let’s not forget….no tangible evidence has been put forward as to why such a monumental position at this time of year has been taken by Thorn, and backed by the Reds! And yet some odd people somehow try and support this odd call with nothing more then a typical forum readers insight!

        • jamie

          We get it. You don’t like Cooper. In your mind he’s the anti-christ and it won’t change. Don’t be a dick about it.

        • P00chie

          I have never come out with anything so unhinged.

          Cooper was a great talent who lost his way. No more, no less. The clique repeatedly blaming everyone else for his shortcomings and abusing anyone who disagrees are the “dicks”

        • McWarren

          Where are we blaming everyone else for his shortcomings? Where?

        • Waz_dog

          Can you hear yourself? Go back and read your comments you spanner – farking hell. The guy has gone through years of public scrutiny and yet he has been able to hold his head up high. You’re a farking keyboard warrior throwing your shitty barbs one last time while the bloke is in the worst possible position he could be in his career. Farking assholes like yourself only bring negativity to life – let’s see how you’d go if you’d just lost your job and fark heads like you were chirping you on your way out the door.

        • P00chie

          Bloody hell. Chill out you goon.

        • Waz_dog

          So you want to stir up people that want to stand up for Quade than then have the audacity to tell them to calm down when they fire up? How about you take some time out champ and get some decency as a human being and realise that Quade has just lost his job. Let’s see how you’d like people telling you about all your flaws after your boss has let you go. That’s the reality of this and you’re only too happy to stand up on your soap box telling everyone how shit Quade is. Asshole

        • P00chie

          Why do you feel the need to start personally attacking me and using the language you do? It is goonish.

          I loved the Quade Cooper of 2011 and I want nothing more than to see him return to those heights. If he could do that he would be the first name on the Wallaby teamsheet, forget about the formality of being allowed to train with the Reds first team.

          The reality is that he has fallen off track and it is his responsibility. He will never return to grace unless that is the accepted truth. The great delusion of him being a victim of circumstance and that Deans, Cheika, Thorn etc are somehow wrong is fanciful.

        • Waz_dog

          Oh so it’s to attack people if you use nice language – forgot we live in a leftist age…

          Don’t try and temper your sentiment with what you’ve said, your mixed messages don’t wash with me. Oh need I remind you – he just lost his job. But go on, get your last word in poochie…

        • P00chie

          I am not attacking you, you launched an unprovoked personal tirade against me.

          Unless I am mistaken, he didn’t lose his job, he is under contract at the Reds and being paid. He will get another contract elsewhere or he can try and win back the trust of the Reds management. Or both. This is a big test for him.

        • Waz_dog

          When did I think you were attacking me? And you think you can soap box at will without any recourse? Quotations at will to boot…

          So not only do you soap box at will you say he has his job because legally he’s still entitled to payments by the QRU and ARU. That right there shows you’ve only used this article to vent instead of allowing people to express their own opinions.

        • P00chie

          Disagreeing with someone and attacking someone are not the same, Waz_dog. Conjuring up straw man arguments isn’t engaging in a discussion either.

          Cooper isn’t training with the first team and is still being paid. His contract has not been terminated. He’s one of the most talented rugby players in the world, he can fight his way back. If he works his ass off in club rugby or a short stint elsewhere then Thorn isn’t going to ignore it. The other coaches won’t either.

        • Waz_dog

          People have written their opinions to lament, not to argue. This is no straw man – this is calling out your intent to kick a man while he’s down and not allowing people to reflect on such a shitty situation. Pull your head in.

        • P00chie

          Framing arguments against positions I never presented is a straw-man argument but never mind.

          I don’t have anything against anyone lamenting this situation, why would I? It’s a shit situation. All Wallabies fans lament this situation.

          I don’t buy into the scapegoating and I certainly don’t buy into the eulogising. This isn’t the time for that, he’s not dead, he’s not retired and he’s not finished. He’s 29 for goodness sake.
          There is nothing stopping him from being in Japan in 2019.

        • Waz_dog

          I guess the only positive thing I’ll be able to take out of this is with Quade gone you’re shitty soap boxing will be too. Asshole

        • P00chie

          Hope that makes you feel better. Goodnight.

        • Waz_dog

          What you’re going to go to bed and not having the last word? That’s not how a soap boxer rolls – I’m sure you can conjure something else up about how right you are.

        • P00chie

          Well said.

        • pointman888

          Why should he at this time of year? His form at the end of super rugby this year was certainly sufficient(it got him in the wallabies squad don’t forget) and his form in another young NRC City team included MoM performances……….pretty hard to think it’s anything other then the coaches personal opinion rather then form on this one I’d say! And let’s not forget….players aren’t just valuable to clubs for their rugby…..Quade pulls thousands thru the gate……if he’s publically on the outer then that instantly goes away.

        • Alister Smith

          Technically he hasn’t lost his job, he is still getting paid (pretty well) to play rugby, his contract hasn’t been rescindered and he is still eligible for Reds selection so in that he is in a similar position to other players who are in the Reds contracted player list but playing for their clubs on the weekend (just on a much higher salary). There is a possibility that if he decides to stick around and play for Souths that (a) he plays so well and somehow demonstrates that he can fit in with whatever strategy Brad Thorn is moving to (b) sticks around long enough and Brad Thorn’s new strategy fails and the Reds sack another coach and the new bloke brings him back.

          I have some sympathy for Thorn in that he seems to have a plan as to how he wants to play and he has been prepared to take bold and decisive actions to put them in place and try and address immediately what needs to be done to get this side back winning. But I also have sympathy for Quade Cooper, a player of obvious talent and skill who has perhaps struggled with injury and been let down by those around him (previous coaching staff and at times a less than competitive forward pack).

          However, Quade is a unique talent and, it seems as an outsider anyway, that you need to build a team around him. If you are prepared to do that as McKenzie was, you will get the best out of him and the team, but of course it makes you reliant on that one player and if he gets injured or goes out of form or retires or leaves then you then have to try and have someone to back him up who can play in the same way – difficult with such a unique talent – or you have to run two strategies with different 10s on the field.

          It will certainly be a shame if he isnt playing Super Rugby next year and I actually think the best move for him might be to play for one of the NZ sides – as remotely likely as that might be – but I think the Blues are looking for someone…

        • McWarren

          Mate all Who was saying was the guy deserved better for the loyalty he has shown. Then you pull the bullshit about his behavior. So don’t go crying poor me when we call bullshit on you. No one on this thread has said it’s not Quades fault he has an awkward tackling style, or it’s not Quades fault he got a knee injury. No all we are saying is the guy should be shown some loyalty or at least respect for what he has achieved for the Reds.

        • P00chie

          What bullshit? What have I said that isn’t true?

          You can’t bring loyalty into the discussion unless you are prepared to put the same level of scrutiny on both parties. That was the context of my post. Of course you couldn’t characterise his career by that, he’s the player who lit of world rugby in 2011.

        • McWarren

          Trying his best to bring down a national coach, who D AN’s with his one toxic quote? not being professional, you mean coming back from 3 serious injuries? failure to apply himself I assume means his defence, check his stats, or do you mean his goal kicking, take your mind back to when he unveiled his new technique, everyone laughed but it worked. How’s that for bullshit?

          I’m happy that 10 seasons, 117 caps, 2 seasons with Woody Graham and a title would hold up to any loyalty test.

          I stand by my claim that yours were intended to stir the pot and have shot at Quade for no good reason.

        • P00chie

          as is your wont.

          And I genuinely hope that Quade adds to his 10 seasons at the Reds.

        • McWarren

          Okay so what is the lack of professionalism you talk of?

        • pointman888

          I swear if I hear one more uneducated fool say…”the Quade of 2011″………it’s seriously the stupidest and lamest way of giving yourself an out to bag him. Name a single player in history who hasnt had to adjust during their career due to age, injuries and therefore form. It’s called EXPERIENCE!

        • Parker

          Don’t feed the troll.

        • Who?

          Forgot to mention, Quade’s last off field, team related drama was 2012/13. Kurtley’s last one was 2014. Quade’s last dealing with lawyers was 2010. Kurtley’s was 2014. Kurtley came back from his situation through the loyalty – not the respect, but the personal loyalty – of the new Australian coach, his former club coach, who was appointed as a direct result of the problems created by his own actions, which devastated the Australian team. Quade got through his 2012/13 issues by biding his time. More than just 2 weeks.
          I really don’t see how you can claim one is more professional than the other.

        • P00chie

          Mate, do you really, along with the others here, think all of the things that have gone wrong are not of his making and he’s repeatedly a victim of circumstance? Really?

        • Who?

          All the things that have gone wrong is a bit of an exaggeration.
          Under Deans, he was no more unlucky than Gits (who shouldn’t have been dropped from the RWC squad – his game at 12 against the Bokke that year was top shelf), Barnes, etc. He was unlucky to cop his knee injury against Wales in 2011 – it impacted him for a long time, as he then didn’t have many injury free periods. He took back the 10 jersey in mid 2013, was the incumbent by the end of the year with performances that were the best we’ve seen from a 10 this decade (in terms of overall standard and consistency), then was unlucky enough to get injured in 2014, which let Foley into the team. And the timing of his recovery was unlucky – two months faster, and he’d have been the incumbent 10 when Cheika took over. Everyone was surprised that Foley was selected for Link’s final Test at Suncorp.
          Under Cheika, there’s nothing about luck in it. It’s about player loyalty, and about coaching styles.
          So, for mine, the difference between 70 caps and 100 caps for Quade was a bit of bad timing with injury, and some off field stuff he had no connection with (it was that supposedly superior professional, Beale), which meant he got unlucky.
          I don’t think that makes him a victim of circumstance, I think that he’s just been unlucky. The same way that David Croft and Phil Waugh were unlucky to end up behind George Smith. Either could’ve been a 100 cap Wallaby without Smith. The same way that Gill’s unlucky with Pocock and Hooper. And Whittaker was unlucky to be behind Gregan. All had times when they were close, but missed out. Personally, I also include Baxter as being unlucky, as he was dumped by Deans at his peak.
          Regardless of all that, Whittaker, Waugh and Croft were all rightly considered club heroes and given the send off they deserved by their clubs. Waugh and Baxter weren’t moved on by the Tahs, even when it was clear that they weren’t going to play for the Wallabies again, and even though there was depth across – by that point – five other clubs – to fill their Wallaby jerseys if they were needed. Whereas there’s no back up Australian 10 at present (Beale’s not a 10, but he’s closer than Hodge, and Hawera played 10 for the Brums this year). Cooper, Frisby and to a lesser extent Simmons have all been treated shabbily this year. Can you debate that?

        • P00chie

          Well, yYou’ve clearly (and well) explained your thoughts on this. I don’t agree but that’s the nature of it. I’m not going to convince you otherwise and I don’t have anything else to add without repeating myself.

          Will we keep on doing this indefinitely or just park it? It seems to be attracting the wrong kind of comments from others here.

        • pointman888

          That’s because your just plain and simply wrong. Either that or your ethics are totally upside down and I’d never advise you getting a humanitarian career!

        • McWarren

          Mate Quade definitely acted the maggot a few times in his younger years, the whole laptop thing springs too mind, but what else did he do? Can you look yourself in the mirror and say Quades toxic comment, later proven to be accurate, were worse than Kurtleys text to Di P. And yet we are all expected to forget and forgive Kurtley the damage he did to the Wallabies but we are never allowed to forgive Quade. Personally I don’t think either incident should be held against them forever. I certainly don’t think Quades toxic comment mean he isn’t entitled to some form of respect for the loyalty he has shown to Qld.

          I’ve said it numerous times on here, if my sons behaved like Quade did in his early years I would not be proud, but if they knuckled down and became a leader and role model like he has post ‘toxicgate’ id be super proud of them. Same goes for Kurtley.

          So why don’t you start looking at the positives of what Who is saying rather than looking for every opportunity to put a dirty little boot into a guy who has achieved more than most in rugby.

          Quade has grown into a professional and world class 10 but because he had the audacity to call out Deans he is not allowed to talked about positively? Fucking myopic madness.

          Back in your echo chamber please!!

        • P00chie

          You are persisting with turning the echo chamber around. Odd.

          And the laptop incident was years ago when he was a kid. Who gives a shit?

          He hasn’t performed adequately and consistently on the pitch for a long time and that’s the problem. I have this opinion as many other fans do, but that is irrelevant. I know his supporters disagree, but that is also irrelevant. The problem is that coaches are of this opinion and they seem to think that there are reasons for this. It’s why Cheika cast him off after working on getting him back to Australian Rugby and it is why Thorn is casting him off.

          The way I look at it is, the critics are all wrong and Quade is right, or the critics are right and Quade is wrong. Either ways, it is up to Quade to get his spot back and win them over one way or another. Or give up on Australian rugby.

        • McWarren

          What do you mean by Quade is wrong? Has he said something on Twitter? Or are you imagining what he is saying and running with it?

          You haven’t answered any of the legitimate questions posed on this thread and now skulk off claiming that you won’t change anyone’s mind on Quade? Well how about posing some well thought out reasons as too why Quade, unlike many other 100 plus capped players, can’t be treated with the respect he deserves. Given a farewell season, he surely provides more than Smith or Douglas in a a position we’re pretty thin on.

        • P00chie

          “The way I look at it is, the critics are all wrong and Quade is right, or the critics are right and Quade is wrong”

          That should be understandable. You’re just venting now.

        • McWarren

          “Quade is right/wrong” about what? It probably should be understandable, but please help me out.

        • McWarren

          In the context of Quade or the Reds you’ve used Echo chamber and bubble numerously and not just in this article. And I find it a bit insulting. I don’t refer to people in Sydney who take the side of Beale or Foley in a discussion on playing ability as being in a bubble or echo chamber and the connotations that derives. So why can’t I express admiration, support and a defence of QC without the snide insults from you?

        • P00chie

          Laughably hypocritical.

        • McWarren

          Please explain?

        • McWarren

          Don’t get upset Who, p00chie thinks anyone who doesn’t agree with his view of the world lives in echo chamber unable to form informed independent opinions. Sad!!

        • P00chie

          What’s that based on, McWarren? Your tactic seems to just be to ridicule me because I don’t think that there is a conspiracy against Cooper?

          You know that it is the likes of you, who are challenging the reality of the situation and are reinforcing each-others viewpoints, are the echo chamber right? That is what it means. I am not challenging the status quo or the consensus. Of course, perhaps that makes me naive and he really is the victim of circumstance.

        • McWarren

          Conspiracy? Who the hell mentioned conspiracy?

          The likes of me hey. Every time someone says Voldemort, sorry Quade in a positive sense you scream echo chamber. In Who’s original comment he is merely talking about Quades record with Qld and how it deserv d more than a preseason sacking. Then you dragged up a whole lot of unnecessary drivel. If we were having a debate on the merits of picking Quade over Foley or Beale then your drivel about Quade may have some relevance.

          To come to an article about Quade and then accuse those expressing an opinion on him as being in an argument cho chamber is absurd. And just smacks of someone wanting to put the anonymous boot in and pick a fight. Dress it up as “an alternate view” all you like but your comments were designed to annoy and stir. So we’ll done champ.

        • P00chie

          Your emotions continue to get the better of you. Have a good night.

        • pointman888

          What’s this then. Someone else who sees through the Quade foley drama for what it is. My comments on that subject got me banned in the forum section….what’s your secret. Did you leave out a swath of facts that were backingup your opinion…..or did you just get lucky with your timing and not annoy one of the forums teachers pets? In all serious….you are spot on with these assessments you’ve been making.

        • Who?

          My secret?
          1. I don’t go into the fora.
          2. I don’t generally reply to many of the anti-Quade posts, because generally there’s no point. I certainly don’t mention him anywhere near BaaBaa or Gagger. They have their own preferences, being NSW-based, they’re used to having very vanilla 10’s. I don’t think they’ve had a truly top drawer 10 since Ella……. Barnes would’ve been the closest (always wished he’d been left at 10 for the Wallabies in 2008, with Gits at 12).
          3. When discussing Foley’s shortcomings, I generally don’t compare them to Quade anymore. Because, whilst your point about equivalent mistakes made by Quade seeing a widespread howl for blood is accurate, it’s basically the equivalent of mentioning the Nazis. People assume their high horses and block their ears. Better simply to focus on where a player has made a mistake or can improve than compare him to another player.
          4. I’ve accepted that nothing anyone says is going to change Cheika’s formula. I don’t have any trust in him to improve the team, it’s not simply selecting a different 7 and 10 who play more to my style (i.e. a ruck dog and a pass/kick/run general, rather than a tackling terrier and a ball running 10), there’s way more to it, and nothing I say will change it. And we’ll just have to watch and hope for some kind of bolt from the blue miracle, which I’m getting less and less hopeful of seeing.
          So, I’m trying to maintain a line where I’m talking about Cooper only in the context of his Reds history.
          I don’t actually have a problem with Foley or Beale. Or Hanigan, personally. Or Horne! It’s not their fault, they’re doing their best. And I actually like their efforts, and some have done some truly special things (especially Beale). It’s not Beale and Foley’s fault that Cheika has to hide them, and, honestly, if it were only Beale, I’d have no dramas. Because I want him in the backfield with the ball in his hands. If he were at 12 with Quade at 10, I’d have him (Beale) in the back field and Quade in the line (Beale’s pace being the greater attribute back there – and Quade defending alongside the openside flanker).

        • pointman888

          Totally agree. I don’t blame Beale or Foley one bit. My biggest gripe has always been that no depth or options were being developed at wallaby level. A level of rugby that has to be capable of jumping in at a moments notice and being competitive against elite top 3 teams in the world. Cheika has had an extensive turn style approach to developing players in ALL positions bar the playmaking roll. A position that just happens to be very stale in Aus rugby. We continually rely in single talents like Folou or Kerevi to make linebreaks…..not a set move in sight……..and Quade is and was our closest option still playing decent rugby. If Cheika had some young guys in camp then so be it….let them take over when Foley has a shocker. Which if you ignore the commentators and look at the game stats is far far more often then not this year. I was doing minute to minute evaluations of ANY involvement from Foley in every game this year, whether is was a good or a bad involvement……and posting it for people to contest or talk about. Not one of those game analysis were contested…rather heavily supported as unbiased and a fair assessment. Bottom line is, Foley needs a backup BADLY! No question.

      • pointman888

        What an weird comment. Full of objectiveness, opinions, obvious hateful digs and comments that imply you havnt been in touch with the subject since 2009!

    • formerflanker

      Great analysis Who.

    • From NooZealand

      Who said that!

      • Who?

        Some crazy person…

    • pointman888

      Well said and a good content filled post bud! BUT I contest yours and many others opinions that Quades defence is any worse then some of the local playing best 10s in the world! In fact as I’ve posted many times, quoting stats from the super season via Fox stats….Foley is by FAAR the worst defensive 10 in all of super rugby….not just Aus! Cheika really must not refer to statistics when working out a players form. To be honest….Foleys form was shown out many times this year, and in everyone of those games….if that was the polarising Quade Cooper playing….the wider public would be bating for blood. What gets my blood boiling is that appears we have another 1 dimensional top tier coach who doesn’t know how to coach freakish players. I wonder if Thorn paid any attention to what Quade was helping to do to his team in the NRC this year. It wasn’t until Quade was off the field that Thorns team was able to run over City! But on the Defense topic, as you mentioned there were other extenuating circumstances that would have effected Quades defensive stats this year. Like niggling injuries and struggling young packs. Something Foley can’t blame his short comings on this year. But in all honesty…..its quades X factor that demands his position in teams. If his defence WAS questionable….then his team mates should be quite capable of helping cover the little 10s position. Not standing back and watching him work his magic on the 135 kg forward charging him! So I’m amazed that if it is defence Thorn is so worried about…..why he doesn’t do what EVERY team does…..and hide their playmaker in the deep…or like Foley, hide him on the wing so the player in your backline with the least attacking nouse in your team doesn’t get the ball on counter attack ball. I pray this is just a big joke and Thorn learns to show some respect to a Fellow QLD legend who is still playing attractive football!

  • Perth girl

    Can the Reds afford to pay out Cooper and Frisby? After all they are not cashed up are they!

    • Bakkies

      Time for another loan facility?

    • McWarren

      Frisby yes, Cooper no. That’s why they’ve bravely left the ball in his court.

  • RedsFanDan

    The biggest thing for me is that’s a lot of experience at 10 walking out the door. Who is the most experienced Reds back now? Kerevi? KHunt? Duncan and Hamish are both relatively inexperienced at this level, who are they learning from now?

    Oh wait, we still have George Smith. Never mind.

  • Brisneyland Local

    I am waiting for a formal press release but it this proves to be true here are my two bobs worth.
    – If I were QC i would stay. He is not going to get a better contract anywhere else, so I would make the Reds pay him every cent that they owe.
    – QRU are totally fucking incompetent. You cant launch your new membership drive, announce Brad Thorn as your new coach, suck in members by the bucket load. Then axe on of your marque players.
    – I will be asking for a total refund of my membership money, and if the dont give it back to me I will explore my legal options.
    – Like mentioned below if this is how you farewell your second highest ever capped player, I would hate to see how they oust someone they really dont like.
    – This has QRU mismanagement all over it.
    – If this is BRad Thorn’s decision, then Brad Thorn has to stand up and own. Announce why he has done this and let the player group and the fan base know exactly why this has occurred. Not some bullshit political speach, as I am pretty sure Brad Thorn wouldnt do that, but stand up and tell the plain fucking truth.

    I am waiting QRU.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I’m with you. If I was Quade I’d be going “SWEEEEEET!!!!”: 2 years of good. Now where is that new car and beach house. pay and no going out and getting smashed and then publicly blamed for every little thing going wrong. Thank you QRU for my bank balance

      • Brendan Hume

        He’s a competitor and has a lot of pride, I’d be surprised if he just sat out of top level footy.

    • John Tynan

      Yep. Even with the Thorn hype, I decided to stop my (small) portion of funding this style of incompetence and not renew family season tickets. And I’ve been through McBain, Jones, Mooney, Graham, Stiles et al. eras. I think Slacky was in there too, as well as a couple of Knuckles stints.
      I will still support the Reds and watch Super rugby, but I’ll watch fox, drink my own beer, eat my own food for a year or two until some stability and rationality re-enters the door.

      • pointman888

        EXACTLY what were doing…..while chasing down any footage of where ever Quade gets some rugby in!

    • P00chie

      “- I will be asking for a total refund of my membership money, and if the dont give it back to me I will explore my legal options.”

      For goodness sake…

      • Gallagher

        Poochie you like stirring don’t you, I agree with brisneylands sentiment, they will loose ALOT at the gate without cooper

    • Waz_dog

      Don’t go assuming that this is solely QRU’s doing. The ARU are footing the bill too. If I’m a betting man there have been back door deals to manage Quade out the door prompted by the ARU.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Considering the manifest level of incompetence that is involved in this, you would have to assume so.

    • joy

      Thorne is a media wimp. Did you see him running away from the cameras during the NRC presentation? Snuck off behind the billboard as the interviewer approached him.

  • Packy

    I am hurtin.
    My boys and my dad and me, we bought tickets year after year to see Quade play.
    Loved watching him.
    Loved that whole 2010-2011 team.

    • Gallagher

      Reminds me of when Gateau was dumped and went off to France, hollow time to think he didn’t get a send off. But then we got the Gateau Law and he returned for the World Cup!!! Never give up Coops, you’ll be back (albeit when thorn is halfway through a winless season, and the fans had all left before the first game)

  • Adrian

    There is an ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM.
    No-one is really saying it, but there is undoubtedly something else going on in my opinion.

    Quade Cooper is one of my all-time favourite players, along with Christian Cullen, Carlos Spencer,….on one hand, …and Mark Ella, Brian Habanna, John Eales and Today Kepu on the other hand.
    Quade, Cullen, Spencer (and many others) didn’t (IMO) realise their full potential, and the others have.

    Why?

    Different reasons for different players, some had coaches that didn’t understand them, some couldn’t understand their coaches and for some it’s a mystery. Some (probably not the 3 I mentioned) may have seriously breached trust and/or team unity.

    Wally Lewis was sacked from the Brisbane Broncos by Wayne Bennett, ….then the Broncos started winning

    • Michael Hassall

      I think the key difference adrian was that Wayne Bennett is probably the greatest coach in the history of the game and he made a tough call.

      Brad Thorne was a great player with little coaching credibility.

      Time will tell.

      • Who?

        I think Wayne Bennett was also responsible for the last time a club legend in Qld was treated with such indignity. Petero Civonaceva (sic), being released by the Broncos when still an Origin rep and wanting to continue.
        Bennett sacked Lewis, but that was a Qld legend who then moved to another Qld club. He wasn’t a Broncos legend – he played what, two seasons there? He was a legend before joining the Broncos. And Bennett was a very raw coach – he may well have done differently these days (given Wally was a five eighth, not a prop or winger).
        And Bellamy will push Bennett – I think Wayne’s got 7 titles..? Over 30 seasons. Bellamy’s number’s harder to confirm (given he had two rubbed out, which will eternally be debated), but his consistency and strike rate is even better than Bennett’s.

        • Michael Hassall

          Bennett sacked gillmeister as well so tough calls weren’t foreign to him.

          Agree about bellamy, he’s excellent isnt he, i made three mistake of being too definitive about Bennett.

          Ultimately though it’s a tougb call for the fans to accept is it is true, and if the players are going to get paid to not play, on top of coaches getting paid to not coach, then the board and the management should be held to account for their actions.

    • idiot savant

      Good analogy Adrian. It may be a whole lot simpler than we think.

  • whatwouldberniedo

    while I will miss the way QC tried to play the game, the reality is the W/L column won’t be any different from if he stayed. all the talk from the Thorn Reds has been about defence and culture. QC has only thrived under coaches with an attacking mindset. my concern is when a team is building an identity aligned with the character of its tough uncompromising mentor, and the language is all about culture and defence, that can sometimes be a euphemism for “if we win the contact and play a good territory game, we’ll win”.

    not since the bulls in 2010 has a team won the comp with this mentality. Foley’s force and Mcghan’s rebels had very similar cultures in their first years.

    QC’s release is a disturbing acknowledgement that thorn wouldn’t know what to do with him.
    I will have no sympathy if half way through the comp there’s been a series of brave losses and concern about a misfiring attack. to me this already sounds like a coach who has limited insight into the attacking side of the game.

    • Who?

      That’s a really interesting perspective… And, given his history, maybe that had some impact on Phil Mooney’s reported decision not to take the attack coach role now in the hands of Carozza? Or maybe Mooney – who was one of the key influences in developing Quade – had an inkling from discussions with Thorn that Quade was out of favour, and that gave Mooney read into that..? I’ve gotta say, I was excited when I saw that Mooney was being approached for the attack coach role, and I was very saddened when I saw he hadn’t taken it. I’ve a lot of time for the team he built, which Link then took to 2011. Given enough freedom, Thorn and Mooney could’ve had a similar approach – discipline from Thorn, innovation and attack from Mooney…

      • whatwouldberniedo

        theres been comment about Duncan P being very much in the mould of mat toomua and Stewart having booming boot. if you’ve got a potentially brutal, and well drilled pack, Tuttle Stewart and DPA as your inside backs and real speed with Perese and the Fijian soccer player on the wings, jake white football looks like it could be very effective. that game plan cant sustain QC’s error count. the other glaring deficiency is the leaky midfield. I agree with some other fella that said Kerevi might not be a sure thing. KH at 15 or 13?

        • Who?

          I don’t get the bit about “Quade’s error count.” It’s always flagged, but I can’t recall that many mistakes from him recently… He doesn’t make impulsive decisions like he did in 2010. And I don’t see that Quade couldn’t play Jakeball. He’s got one of the larger boots in the country (not as big as Stewart or Hodge, but bigger than average. I do recall a 50m clearance the last time he got to face the ABs), and a great eye for space. The Reds kicked 44% of their possession in 2011 – the only team that kicked more was the Crusaders, at 45%.
          And Hunt’s played 13 before… Outside Kerevi at 12, for Qld Country a couple of years ago (his first season). If you’ve got a centre pairing of Paia’aua and Hunt, you don’t really have anyone threatening that gain line… Not the way a Kerevi, or even a CFS or Chris Kuridrani or Campbell Magnay might do.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          I agree that theres a distorted view of his error count. in truth I’m a huge fan and have spent most of the last 5 years waiting for someone to man up and coach. Link clearly had plans on all parts of the field to take advantage of his skill set. to me, it looked like last years plans amounted to “give it to samu” and “Quade will do something”. thorn would rather continue what he has started with Qld C. thats fair enough if it frees up a bucket of cash.
          I just think the focus next year will be on reducing errors to build pressure for longer periods. what will be interesting will be if he has the heart to bench George smith, because despite having the heart of a lion, he made a bagfull of errors down the stretch in many of our close losses last year. it feels blasphemous just typing that, but its true.

        • Who?

          I agree that the coaching for the past five years have been quite ordinary… And that the game plans last year were just appalling.
          I think you’re right that next year will be focused on playing very straight rugby. Mistake free, hard running, much kicking. OF course, that just means that, if Thorn can create the pack he wants, he’s going to create a dream platform for any 10, one that a player of Quade’s capacity would just love to sit behind… If he doesn’t (and it’ll be a hard ask – Super Rugby’s a step up from NRC, just ask Stiles!)…
          I think you’re half right about Smith. I think the bigger issue was the tackling. The Crusaders game, I remember seeing Douglas make a lot of hits, but fail to hold almost anyone to ground. He’d make the hit, he’d go to ground, the slippery Kiwis would shrug him and keep on going. It wasn’t solely Douglas, and I saw it in lots of other games afterwards, but that became my enduring, emblematic memory of the 2017 Reds. Which meant that George was giving away penalties in situations he should never have faced, once again a lone wolf abandoned by his pack. The perfect example being his YC and the PT for collapsing a maul when he was the only one who re-engaged with the maul and they just happened to drive him off balance (twas a truly rubbish and unempatheic call, there was no attempt to collapse the maul). That said, I do think that it’s time he stopped playing 80… We shouldn’t ever have been relying on him for 80 minutes.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          I think what you’re describing is the core flaw in “expansive rugby”. asking the piggies to cover one pass further from the ruck each phase burns them out. the result being very slow ball if they play tight, or very insecure ball if they continue to spread it. what happened almost every game was we became stagnant in attack and permeable in defence on the back end. our veterans (brought in to bring steel, quality decision making and consistency down the stretch) all ended up making your aforementioned errors, often overplaying their hand trying to turn the tide. The pattern repeated all through the season.
          the retirement of Moore, injury to Smith and sacking of QC leaves this team with a squad that looks only to Thorn for its identity. (the crying shame is that Thorn couldn’t conceive of an identity that included QCs talent)
          there will be lots to like, they will compete well, and win a few, but it won’t be as pretty (as our first halves but perhaps prettier than our seconds). Im expecting Jake whites first year at the Brumbies, which by any measure was successful. but even by whites admission, it was tactically conservative, and necessarily so to accomodate his inexperienced playmakers.

        • John Miller

          Gee some blokes are hard markers. George Smith, reigning Pilecki Medalist, was the Reds standout player for 2017 and was either top or within the top three across about a dozen key performance indicators in both attack and defence last season: tackles made, tackle success %, dominant tackles, forced turnovers, offloads, ball carries, run metres, linebreaks, tackle breaks etc. In a horrible swiss cheese Reds defence, the guy must some days have felt like the lone talisman attempting to hold back the furious hordes and so much has been made of the penalty count – many of which were simply ridiculous (Who?’s yellow card example being prime). Some facts: Jeff Toomaga-Allen, Ben May and Kane Hames all conceded more penalties than Smith last year. George had the exact same number of penalties as Amanaki Mafi from the Rebels (are many arguing that this crippled his overall influence for Melbourne?), one more than Tyrell Lomax, two more than Culum Retallick, and three more than Kane Douglas and Dean Mumm. If you take away the narrow conversation about corporeal age, Smith was the premier rugby player in Queensland and firmly within the highest echelon of backrowers in the country. Again. At the end of the season, people are bemoaning: “Smith shouldn’t have to play 80.” Before last season many were predicting: “Smith won’t be able to play 40.” The guy just keeps fronting up game after game and doing his thing. If we get to see the brilliant Smith train roll around a few more times this season, I for one will celebrate my great luck.

        • Funk

          That is a rant I’m more that pleased to read, thank you.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          I agree JM but the last 20min in which we were often dreadful was plagued with errors and they weren’t just the newbies. I have never seen George make as many as last year. IMHO he was just asked to do too much, and stiles unidimensional approach meant there were no tactical alternatives. below I theorised about it.

        • John Miller

          I understand your though WWB. But the last 20 is also the stage at which most of GS’s forward compatriots flagged, started shirking breakdowns, continued missing tackles, stopped supporting breakouts. Smith’s infringements were highlighted because at times he was holding the ship together, often singlehandedly – and in the tight matches he was doing everything manfully possible to eke out the W. If 37-odd-year old George Smith couldn’t keep the pace, he wouldn’t have been contributing / securing rucks / challenging for possession / infringing et al, he’d be 15 yards behind the action with hands on hips like several flagging Reds. Penalty count would look better – each and every one of his other measurable (and non-measured) statistics would have been lesser. Thank God George Smith’s penalty count was high during this Reds 2017 season. Were it not for his consistent involvement and influence, Qld results would have been far, far worse than they were.

        • idiot savant

          No its true about George. Its time for him to take Wright and Gunn under his wing and teach them the dark arts from the sidelines.

        • idiot savant

          Not recently? I seem to recall a high shot and YC in his last match…. On top of all the other high shots and multi coloured cards he got last season. I have never doubted his capacity for brilliance just as I have never doubted his capacity for brain explosions.

        • Who?

          The YC wasn’t consistent with cards through the test series (or the three unpenalized high tackles by England against the Wallabies a couple of weeks later), and was created by an unpenalized obstruction by Paia’aua. He was upright to avoid Paia’aua, and was bailing on the tackle as he entered the tackle. It was unlucky.
          If you don’t go by card count as an error tally, he doesn’t actually make many. Fewer than Foley…
          That said, if you want to go by card count, with fewer Tests, Hooper’s winning…

        • pointman888

          I don’t get it either….its clear for everyone to read on the fox sports stats site. It’s just a myth propagated by the 1/2 a million kiwis in Aus who the majority bag Quade at any possable chance…thereby swaying the swaths of sheepish Aussie inundated code hoping fans who know no better. I believe that to be the truth about quades continued oddly incorrect assessments about his form and so on!

      • pointman888

        Ooooh that sounds soo good….

  • skip

    I’ve wrote on article on his contract negotiations a while back when he signed for a year after a public saga. For me his career will always be a case of “what-if”. He had so much talent in 2010 that he had the world by balls and i think he thought he was our version of Dan Carter and to paid accordingly. To me he was never able to fix the flaws in his game often enough (his tackling particularly and his place kicking to a degree) or his temperament (his shove on Saint Richie in Hong Kong was surely a result of a lot of sledging after McCaw spent a good part of the game running over him). He was a coachable player, his play against the Stormers away when the Reds booted the leather off the pill showed he could play in more than one way but to me he often acted like his was bigger than the team – his tweet meltdown saying he didn’t want to play for Australia was the most egregious example.

    Taken as a whole I’m sad it’s come to this as we should have 2 years more and have had a truck load more from Quade in both Gold and Red. Whether Thorn has got it right will come, but Quade is hardly the easiest (or financially most effective) player we’ve ever had. Maybe now’s the chance to see if the NRL is interested, like he publicly (and to my own irritation) flirted with back in the day.

  • Hole’d up

    Take one look at Thorn and you see defence written on his face. It has always been the question around QC , with that there really was only one outcome. We did get the best of QC and it looks like his contract says we appreciated it. Lets all move on

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    TBH I have never had a whole lot of love for Quade. I find it hard to excuse a player who is touted as being good but is so crap at defence that they have to be hidden and the whole defence plan is based around protecting them from being involved. The whole idea of swapping players around creates so many lost opportunities and indecision that I just don’t get it as a viable plan. I must admit though Quade is the one player out of the 3 amigo’s who I felt has actually grown up and learnt a bit of humility. That game where he wore a microphone was a real eye opener to me and the way he drove the team and made the decisions that ended up with a win against the Brumbies was actually really good. I was actually wondering if maybe he should be considered as Captain as it appears he is one of those players that steps up with the responsibility rather than let it overwhelm them like Hooper and Moore seem to do.
    The trouble is that Cooper is a bit like Cheika in that all his emotions are out there all the time. Good in that this is what made him the player he was, but bad in that he lets them rule his actions at times – again like Cheika, and he has a tendency to stupid decisions when his emotions get high. While we will probably never know all the reasons behind why he is being let go, I don’t personally think Thorn would play games and so I believe there is more to this than what has been reported.
    To me the issue is a bit like the one about replacing Cheika, who replaces him? In addition to this I would think the following need answers:
    Has QLD got a ready replacement?
    Will the replacement be able to guide the team through the Super season?
    Who is the back-up if this player gets injured?
    Is Thorn looking at a different way of playing the game and is it one that Cooper can’t adapt to?
    Personally I’ll be sorry to see Quade go. I think outside of the actual playing arena he was a great ambassador for QLD rugby and I think he personally put a lot of bums on seats at the game.
    One thing for sure, things will be different at QLD next year.

    • HK Red

      “I must admit though Quade is the one player out of the 3 amigo’s who I felt has actually grown up and learnt a bit of humility”
      I feel exactly the same KRL and I think he’s unjustifiably being treated the worst of the three. As you imply, there’s clearly a lot more to this than we will ever know, but it does seem like a lost opportunity, at least for the next 12 months. I’m not sure we have sufficient depth at 10 to be tossing a player of his experience, even to pass along the way he actively marshalls the forwards (or at least used to). I would have liked to see him kept on for 2018 to assist the younger players, fight for his spot, allow him an appropriate send off and give him time to find another employer.

    • P00chie

      “I must admit though Quade is the one player out of the 3 amigo’s who I felt has actually grown up and learnt a bit of humility”

      Only one of the three amigo’s has grown up. It’s not “Quade” or “James”. it is the one who knuckled down and built a solid career in the last few years.

      • HK Red

        and was given repeated chances even after fcking up, time and again.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        while I admit Beale has surprised me a couple of times this year in playing much better than I expected, his performance on the field in the last tour has brought back much more unpleasant memories that makes me question his resolve and character. I personally don’t mind the yellows but the way he argued with referee, fell off the chase and generally performed poorly does make me question whether he’s improved or just been hidden away.

        I’m yet to be convinced he has fully turned the page and I feel he’s one slip away from another incident. I don’t get the same feeling with Quade.

        • Patrick

          My sentiments exactly.

    • Got to say I broadly agree. Quade regularly put my bum on a seat, in front of the TV if not in a stadium. But at least part of that was to see if he’d do something stupid as well as to see those moments of magic, moments that have been sadly lacking over the last two-three years for various reasons.

      We don’t know what’s going on with the coaches and their decision making and what they asked of Quade and what he was said back… they’ve both been professional enough to keep that quiet. I don’t know what the replacements will be like – less spectacular that Quade at his best but less of a liability defensively and probably more reliable than Quade at his worse. That won’t be good enough for the Reds to win the title this year but, to be brutally honest, a solid defence and a half-way reliable attack with a solid kicking game might be enough to win the Australian conference next year – the Australian conference was really not very good this year gone by after all. And if it does work, it gives Thorn a solid foundation for the next year.

    • Jason

      I am really surprised to see a Kiwi (really any non-Reds fan) seeing and acknowledging the growing up Quade did while ~~playing~~ living overseas. There are a lot of people who are saying Quade was toxic and so on, but when you listen to the players you never hear any-thing like that. Even little things like apparently Quade helped McIntyre with his deal to go to Agen.
      While I wouldn’t make him Captain I would have thought about it, and he’s probably a good option, he’s clearly got a brilliant rugby brain and was a leader among the team.

      I think the biggest issue with Quade is to get the best out of him you’ve got to build your team around him, that’s why Ewen McKenzie got so much out of Quade, he trusted him and believed in his abilities — enough to build the whole team around him there were probably other players who would have been outright better but not better with Quade. No coach since has really done the ‘go all in with Quade’ thing, but I actually think that’s one aspect of his game that Quade has really improved. While you wouldn’t say his last season with the Reds was spectacular it was hardly bad.

      As for your questions:
      The obvious options are Hamish Stewart and Duncan Paia’aua, but I’ll provide a few other options too.

      Paia’aua is the safe option but he’s a bit slow in his decision making and execution of skills to be a real top level fly half but is clearly comfortable at Super Rugby level. The biggest problem with playing Paia’aua at 12 is that would leave a large hole at 12, maybe you could move Karmichael (or Kerevi) there but then you’d have a hole at 15/13 and largely no one to fill it. (Really just shifting the hole around.)
      Paia’aua is Super Rugby ready, borderline international player, but maybe not flyhalf ready but I’d say he’s locked in to start for the Reds in their opening game at 10 or 12 is a coin toss at this point, but I don’t think he’s a long term fly half unless he can speed up his time with the ball, he’ll always be just a little bit slow to be a world class 10.

      The second option is Hamish Stewart, he’s a true fly half, and was very impressive for Queensland Country in the NRC his standout features are his defence and his kicking game, but I think the most impressive aspect of his game is that Stewart always looks like he’s got tons of time with the ball, even when teams were trying to use a rush defence to unsettle him he always had ages with the ball in hand and patiently watched the defence and really punished any errors. He’s not an outstanding playmaker but I was hoping for a season under Quade to help that aspect of his game along, but apparently that’s not on the cards.
      Stewart might be Super Rugby ready, but it’s somewhat unclear at this point, if you knew you were going to want to play him this year you would have played him more last year (similar to the game time Tuttle got) but new coach problems, what are you going to do.

      Stewart could be a revelation at 10 for the Reds but I would have liked to have seen a more gradual transition because there is a risk that Stewart isn’t ready and we’ll end up with a James O’Connor situation (not the drinking and imploding, the being thrust into the position you need to be the most mature on the field to play, and not being ready). I would say Stewart is 80%-110% on his way to being Super Rugby Ready but I would have liked to have started him playing a half a game at a time it’s a big step up from NRC to Super Rugby. But he’s likely capable, only really time will know.
      Stewart looks custom built to play the style Thorn is looking to play that is largely a defensive-territorial game waiting for the opposition to make a mistake, but I’m not sure that’s been tried with a side that’s going to be as young as the Reds will be! (Even leaving in the ‘old men’ like Smith & Higgers and Hunt the average age is 23 taking out the old men the average age is 21!)

      For an out of the box player I’d say Mack Mason, I haven’t found anything about his current contract situation, but he was contracted to the Waratahs for 2017/18, IIRC it was only a player development contract so could still be eligible for the Reds to swoop in and pick him up (as a full SR contract superseeds a DP contract). He’s another young Queensland lad who has had to go interstate because the Reds don’t have the playing time nor money to keep all their young talent. He’s a little more likely to be SR ready than Stewart but I don’t think he’d have the potential that Stewart has. Either way if the Reds feel flushed with cash after they escape from Quade’s contract they might go hunting.
      Another out of the box player could be Sam Greene playing in Japan, I’m not sure how his form his (anything coming out of Japan is hard to find in the English Media). But could be ready for Super Rugby or at least could provide injury cover should Cooper actually leave.

      As for how Thorn **looks like he’s wanting to play**, I touched on it earlier but I’ll spell it out. It appears that Thorn is going to be going all in on defence, the likely backline would be Tuttle, Stewart, Perese, Paia’aua, Kerevi, Daugunu and Hunt. All of them at least good defenders, with Kerevi likely being the worst in defence (JESUS that’s a nice problem to have Kerevi as your worst defender!).
      They are likely to build their attacking game around tactical kicking; Hunt, Stewart, Perese, Paia’aua Daugunu and Tuttle all being proficient kickers (Stewart particularly having a cannon for a boot!) and lineouts; Rodda, Tui, Blyth, Hockings, Korczyk, Scott-Young, Timu, Wright all being over 190cm.
      Honestly, I don’t expect this side to be running the ball too much from outside their own half. They’ll play a very slow methodical game putting a team in their 22 and locking them in their until they cough up points.

      As for if Quade could play this style, I actually think he’d be good to play this style of Rugby, he normally plays fullback in defence anyway and he’s actually pretty good at slowing down line breaks while keeping his feat to get back into position. With Hunt being more than capable to play first receiver on turnover ball. I really liked the Reds defence schemes last year, it worked really well for the personnel they had, and it struck a balance between having out and out attack and still keeping a defensive structure.
      I suspect this is more a financial decision and a matter of Brad Thorn making a statement. I’d point out also that Thorn at no point has told the Media what exactly ‘Quade’s place is’ it could be that the conversation went ‘We are going to want you to shepard Stewart through the 2018 season after that you’ll likely not be in the 23, if you want to look at options to play else where we would be happy to help that if that’s what you’d prefer.’ — if that’s the conversation, with the variance being around what just shepherding Stewart through 2018 means (IMO that would most likely mean starting most games with Stewart coming off the bench until he’s ready then Quade dropping out of the 23) I wouldn’t begrudge Quade looking else where, but also potentially hanging around until 2019 to get a FAT deal elsewhere. We haven’t had anyone from the QRU (that I know of) saying they are dumping Quade form the side and surely if that was the plan from the QRU they would have dumped him before the team announcement (although you never know with the QRU).

    • pointman888

      Well you must have an awfully low opinion of Damien Mckenzie then. He’s statistically the worst defender of ALL the backs in the 2017 super comp. But his team mates realize certain players have weaknesses and strengths and adapt on the field. What do you expect of such small players defending giant players? Some of you guys really don’t apply reality to rugby…..

      • Gallagher

        Yeah and didn’t McKenzie play for the all blacks this year? (answer is yes)

  • P00chie

    I know that he has his die-hard supporters here who think that he can do no wrong, but he has to pull his socks up and get his act together.

    There is no conspiracy against Cooper. He is destined to go down as one of sport’s “could have beens” unless he shapes up. Clock is ticking.

    • “…and spam the comments section…”. How many times have you commented on this article??

    • McWarren

      As one such spammer I wish I had QC’s ear. Alas I’m left reading your drivel.

      Can you outline the conspiracy you’re talking about?

      Pull his socks up? You realise only one Australian SR flyhalfs team finished higher than him this year?

      I understand people don’t like the way Quade plays but you take the vitriol to untapped seems of shit.

      • pointman888

        Yep and it wasn’t Bernard Foleys team either…..maybe he’ll be a “could have been so good”….if only he could get a coach to religiously pick him despite form highs or lows…..oh wait! I’m sick to death of the Cooper haters. It’s always the uneducated or biased diatribe that takes front row Seats!

  • John Tynan

    I’m more cynical than some, and I think it’s financial. Times are tight, memberships are still stalled, even with the Thorn announcement (in my case even because of it!), get him a deal overseas, let someone else pay the big money. No-one’s expecting an instant turnaround, so time up their sleeves to groom replacements.

  • Pearcewreck

    I’ll just leave this here.

    Thorn could have chosen to play Rugby in Oz, as he had done his whole League career.
    Yet he chose to move to NZ.
    He could have played Super Rugby for Queensland, yet didn’t?
    He has zero loyalty to anyone or anything other than himself.
    He is of the SBW mould.

    Anyhow, I have my own theories, but one thing is for sure:
    Brad Thorn will always look after Brad Thorn first, second and third.

    Once the players realise this, it will all go pear shaped for Qld very quickly.

    • Couldn’t disagree more.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I think that’s a bit harsh. I agree that Thorn wants to be the best he can be, and I think (and hope) he’ll try and install the same mind set in his team but I’m not sure that this correlates to the type of selfish outlook you are portraying. I also don’t think SBW is as selfish as he’s made out to be. I think you are being very harsh on both of them

    • McWarren

      Nope disagree PW. I don’t agree with letting QC go but I’ll bet my house that Thorn did it with the best of intentions for his team.

  • Adrian

    Discussion here is quite rightly dominated by Reds fans, and I (sort of) follow NSW.

    I see this as a mixture of missed opportunities and potential opportunities for the Reds.

    We all know about Cooper’s great skill, and his history on and off the field.

    IMO Cooper should have been tried as a half-back once he lost his blistering pace. He’s one of the best and most natural passers I’ve seen. He wasn’t tried and never will be.

    To me, something happened mid-season, and it probably was Thorn saying that IF he got to coach Qld, he wouldn’t have Cooper, Frisby, Simmons, Moore, Taleki and possibly Genia, and would phase out guys like Smith, Higgenbotham and others who were part of an “older” Qld culture. Some of these players may have had “attitude” issues of the uniquely Reds type in the past, and some were “protected species”
    Slipper would have to prove himself. That’s half the team.

    Thorn would have seen all of this, and also remembered the Broncos and Crusaders culture and work ethic.

    The Reds still have some very classy players and some hard workers. They also have players with potential.

    Slipper
    Ready/Maffi
    Tuopo
    Tui
    Rodda
    Korcyzck
    Smith/Wright
    Higgenbotham/Timu
    Tuttle
    Stewart
    Nabuli
    Duncan P
    Kerevi
    Perese
    Hunt
    10 Wallabies + 3 or 4 from Wallaby squads.
    Not bad
    5 departing Wallabies wouldn’t be missed.

    I have no doubt that the Qld establishment and Cheika knew of Thorn’s views, IF he got the gig, and knew this in about July.

    I think Thorn will also play a flatish backline, with Stewart and Duncan P interchanging. Duncan P and Hunt will create the chances, and Kerevi and the wingers will finish them.

    Stewart (who is a very good all-round footballer) will keep things ticking over, and do the kicking.

    The pack looks good on paper, …if it plays as a pack.

    They’ll be pretty good, and keep good relationships with Cheika.

    They won’t play Jake-ball

    Come on 2018, and good luck Quade

    • Who?

      Adrian, I think you’ve missed a significant part of the point about this. You’re saying you think that something happened mid-season. Thorn was appointed how long ago? I think before the NRC got too far in… Regardless, it wasn’t in the last month. The major point is that Thorn was coach for months before they announced the squad, then three days later, he effectively axes at least two players (Cooper, Frisby, and there’s the rumour pushed on here by Sammy Dullard that Vanzati is also going).
      If the decision was made months ago, why were these players listed in the club’s squad announcement? You get the pain out of the way early – you give the guys a chance to find alternative employers – and then you build excitement towards the new year by announcing your squad, without the sadly departed. This is just pure incompetence and is no way to treat loyal club men in Frisby (who endured Richard Graham!) and Cooper (who’s looked for adventure, but couldn’t ever consider playing against the Reds, just as Simmons didn’t want to leave).
      In terms of Frisby, there’s absolutely no logic to signing a fourth, development halfback, when you’ve turned away Genia (who wanted to return home), and when you’ve got someone with Wallaby caps sitting on your bench… Let him develop another season at Club and NRC, and give yourself half a chance by holding your experienced players in Super Rugby.
      And ‘good relationships’ with the national coach or the CEO have never previously been a concern for the QRU… If they were, they wouldn’t have won the title in 2011. Super squads should contribute to the national team and develop players for that team, but they should also be developing their own game, their own little hotbeds of innovation. The Kiwis don’t all play the same style before sending their players off to the All Blacks – why should we? Why should all our Super teams play a one dimensional, easily beaten style of Rugby, purely because the national coach has no capacity to do anything else?

      • Adrian

        I’m just saying what I think did happen, not what should have happened.

        As for style, the style the Red’s have played over the last 4 years is impossible to define in my opinion, and not only hasn’t worked, but hasn’t helped Cooper either.

        • Who?

          The style the Reds played 2014-17 was based of Graham’s experience with Deans… It was ‘work your butt off and hope!’ Which never worked. The Reds pack in 2010-13 wasn’t ever dominant, but it was a pack. At times they played incredible ball retention Rugby, willing to lose the collision but win the breakdown (with quick clearance), in order to commit defenders and eventually open up gaps (I’m thinking especially of games against the Bulls). That pack mentality was completely lost under Graham, and it takes time to recreate it.
          I do realize you’re saying that’s what you think has happened, I’m pointing out that it’s no excuse for what’s happened. You don’t announce a squad then cut key players immediately after it.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          on a purely nostalgic note, that Bulls game in 2010 was the greatest thing I’ve ever seen. people were virtually crying in the stands for the last 10 minutes as a bunch of youngsters just refused to relent to what was essentially the world champion boks and super champs also. they just ran their hearts out. it was desperate, and truely awe inspiring. so much heart.
          then a year later, the bulls played exactly the same way thinking that the reds couldn’t fluke it twice, and the boys did em again. Matfield was stunned.

        • Who?

          Reds were even robbed in that 2010 game – the second Bulls try was a scrum feed that came back out the tunnel, should’ve been a re-feed! Such a fantastic game…
          None of it was dominating the hits, it was, as you say, just running, and running, and commitment. So much like the 2013 Lions game. It’s funny how Cheika was all about running rugby, yet the best version of running rugby I can remember was the Lions/Reds game. And it was possible because Quade (and Genia, but not in that game, given he was in Golden cotton wool) had such quality kicking games.
          It’s almost coming to the point in the cycle where it might work again – where everyone’s got to be bigger and stronger and more powerful, and whilst there’s a push for athleticism and endurance, I don’t see that it can continue… You can’t push size and endurance at the same time, it doesn’t work. Sooner or later, it’s got to change.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          I think England are the prototype. speed kills. they have top end pace relative to almost every position on the field, barring the front row, and perhaps their 12, (who happened to kick the lions to a tied series vs the ABs). it shows in their defence as much as their attack.

        • Who?

          Agreed. Though NZ aren’t far off it either, in terms of outright pace (but their greater ace is skill). And it’s interesting to see how, apart from the front row and 8, they’re arguably not as big and heavy as they were. Still powerful, but that power is based as much on their pace as anything else.

        • whatwouldberniedo

          which brings me to my somewhat controversial back line
          Tuttle
          Stewart
          Nabuli
          Hunt at 12
          DP at 13
          Daugunu
          perese

          I want someone developed in the mould of a Conrad smith at 13. great hands, great organiser, great decision maker. Hunt and Kerevi can fight it out for 12. and top end pace everywhere else.

          I doubt it would ever get the nod but id love to see it given a go.

    • McWarren

      Looking at your team Adrian I’d swap Higgers in for Korcyk, I’m still not convinced he is up to it. He missed some pretty easy htackles in City games I saw. And I’d give Daugunu a spot ahead of Nabuli, though that’s just on out and out speed alone. I’d contemplate Campbell Magnay in place of Kerevi.

      Re Quades departure, i see more benefit to Stewart by having Cooper around, fit and pushing him, something MacIntyre didn’t have. What happens if Stewart is injured? DP takes over and a new 12 is to be found and now two positions have been disrupted.

    • joy

      Tupou joined the Reds because he idolised Cooper. Do you really think he will give all to his assassin?

      • pointman888

        Yep there’s zero chance in Hell that Thor will look at Thorn the same way after inexplicably culling his idol and his best chance of receiving multiple sick passes for barnstorming runs he’s only dreamt about. These players are human…

  • FucktardStorm

    There is just a deep sadness in my heart from reading this news and reading the comments.

  • Brendan Hume

    I can understand Thorn wanting to rebuild the Reds with young, talented players – it seems to be the best way to secure success in Super Rugby for Aussie teams. I think Quade Cooper is a champion footy player and a champion bloke who, through circumstances around coaches and playing talent, was only able to achieve a fraction of what he could have. I think the circumstances around the announcement are very disappointing, but coming from the Reds, it’s hardly surprising.
    What I find odd, is that the Reds won’t back any of their decisions through to completion. The current CEO and Board engaged many of these players as well as the former coach Stiles. If they can’t have faith in their own decisions, it’s going to be difficult for the playing group to back them up.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well ladies and gents. I must admit I had a sniff of this one on Thursday night. A colleague who moves in the upper echelons of the business world who is linked into the rugby circles told me after a work meeting that Thorn and the Reds were going to Cut Frisby and Quade.
    So this was known outside the close group by Thursday evening, and the Reds and QRU still couldnt get their shit together enough to at least have a media statement or a press conference.
    They could not organise a piss up in a brewery. I have just sent them a diatribe demanding my membership moiney back. I have also rung them and asked for my money back. The poor girl and the Reds membership phone desk wasnt even aware that Quade had been cut.
    the issue for me is not that they cut, but how they did it. The fact that they could not even get their messaging right.
    As usual QRU are the typical basket case that they have been for tten plus years.
    #QLDREDS-R-Fucktards

    • In theory Cooper hasn’t been cut. He is still on the books with a contract.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yes but this is like that old relationship thing where you woud be told:
        “Its not you, its me, I just need some time to find myself!”
        They want him to resign to free up their contract captial. He will never be seen in a Reds jumper again, which is pretty sad really. My kids love him, and I certainly think he is one of the most dynamic players ever to have played.
        This is the Reds / QRU at their administrative incompetent best.!
        I was hoping under Thirn’s leadership this might change.
        But alas it is the same old clusterfuck.

        • One of my favourites too.

        • Gipetto

          Quade Cooper [athlete] has 276,976 facebook followers currently. At Reds’ fan days hundreds queued for miles for a selfie and his autograph – more than the rest of the team combined. Reds crowds will be <10k next year. Kiwis and League fans love Thorne and they will not be at the game.

        • pointman888

          Well Quade is my absolute favourite player from any code of all time. Followed by Thurston….so he’s in great company there

        • Gallagher

          Sorry Lote Tuquiri and Pat Rafter, then Quade :)

        • pointman888

          Pat who….? And Lote got nuthin on Wendell :)

      • Bakkies

        I doubt the RA as incompetent as they are would be posting the same story on their website.

    • Bernie Chan

      100% agree…what lunacy. Announce a squad and days later make public that a key player is no longer being considered as part of the team…despite the fact he has a 2 year contract. Classic example of mismanagement. Can’t make this shit up…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Hey Bernie, yep. I think if you purposely planned to fuck this up the worst way possible, you still would have come up with this.

  • juswal

    So 2017 had one last serving of the brown stuff in store for Australian rugby fans.

  • Tomthusiasm

    I can see why people are disappointed with Quade’s axing and/or the way it was done, I don’t get all the Thorn hate though. Surely, if if it is a coaches call, he should be given the benefit of the doubt and green light to build a squad with players he can rely on?

    • pointman888

      Yeah a $$1.6 million$$ descission that leaves ZERO experience, options or cover in the playmaking role. Yeah I’m not so sure mate…if he didn’t trust Quade that bad….the SMArT thing would be to leave Quade there as cover for when the Reds are getting Smashed with an inexperienced 19year old running our game! His descission disrespects Quade, the Reds, the FANS and importantly the other Reds brass who signed Quade originally. NO coach in their 1st month has earned that power….

  • hippyb9

    Will Genia, not Quade, was the player that the 2011 success was built around.

    • joy

      Both

  • Alister Smith

    I must admit I was as shocked as anyone around the QC decision. He has never been my favourite player, I believe he has his limitations, but I wasn’t aware that the Reds had any other real option, certainly not an experienced one. I agree with those that protest about the timing, why allow both Quade and Nick Frisby to be named in the squad and then remove them. However, I support the coaches decision as he will eventually have to be the one to wear the responsibility of it.

    I wonder if there is something more to this. Certainly there are differences between what McKenzie was able to get out of Quade and his working relationship with other coaches including Deans and Cheika and his coaches at Toulon – the French experience didn’t end well and may suggest that he only thrives in certain situations. Brian Smith and Alan Jones may defend Quade but they are largely observing from a distance, Alan Jones had a week with him and quite possibly gave him open slather to run the show.

    I didn’t get to see Brisbane City play during the NRC, which was an opportunity for Quade to demand Wallabies selection, but the results don’t suggest he went particularly well. From a defensive point of view the side had a poor record with a 78% tackle completion while Quades personal stats suggest he completed 40 of 60 attempts – so 67% completion rate. I saw him play a couple of Reds games and he looked below his best from the previous season and was down on speed and penetration but some of his skills were as good as ever.

    I wonder if the “honest discussions” with Thorn centred around improvements or changes that Thorn required and Quade was unwilling to make these commitments – that is the only sensible reason I can think of that explains the way it was done. I guess we will hear more from each party as time goes on. I hope he keeps playing on somewhere.

    • pointman888

      Your pulling stats of Quade defending at FB you realize? Check some other FB defensive stats…. You don’t get MoM awards in the NRC if you suck let me tell you that! So if Thorn expects every player from 1-15 to defend and tackle to the same ability no matter where on the field there defending…..then I demand they all have a wicked cut out pass and deadly inside ball with the ability to put a winger over from anywhere they any gap! Thorns early coaching prowess may be showing huge glaring flaws if this is true.

  • McWarren

    So we give a farewell season too an out of form Moore, a final Superannuation impetus to a nearly 40 year old Smith, but a 29 year old who won us a title, has been the rock of our backline can’t be kept for one more year to help embed Stewart and DP in Super Rugby?

    Am I right in thinking Australia have a shortage of 10’s? So we get rid of our elder statesman, we demolish the club who was developing an alternative and pick two ineligible C graders at two others. I can’t even fathom how good Foley could be if he had any fear of losing his spot. And we wonder why we are being beaten by Scotland.

    • pointman888

      Now that’s funny….ain’t that the truth!

  • Sebastian Cray

    Does anyone have info on the Game of Thorns drills? Would love to use those with my club.

  • Alister Smith

    Who? made a comment at the start of this thread saying no-one cane polarize opinions quite like Quade. Certainly what has followed in the posts subsequent to that has proved that to be true beyond all doubt. My opinion about him has changed over time, I was more negative against him in the early amigos days but I mellowed in my personal opinion of him. I was probably critical of him as a player in that (1) he wasn’t a front line defender and that required modifications elsewhere (2) he had IMO a tendency to go for the big play rather than reading what was exactly required – a bit showy in other words. I have made that comment before and others see it differently, fair enough, you are looking through a different set of eyes to me and the bloke did take his side to Super Rugby Championship win so, at least on one occasion, I was wrong.

    In terms of that first criticism, that is something that you can also level at other 10s we’ve had or currently have at Wallaby level. I have seen him make some good one on one tackles at times – i have seen him caught out at times. I watched him a couple times this year, and I thought he had lost a bit of his spark but I genuinely felt that he was capable of coming back and doing a job for QLD if fully fit. I think the Toulon experience may have contributed to his lack of form, demands on his body and a lack of confidence – it didn’t end well.

    I thought there was a place for him on the Wallabies bench, particularly as they were already modifying their defensive pattern to accommodate Foley for much the same reason. Start with Foley who is a little more traditional/conservative but who better to come on with 15-30 minutes to go and down by 10 points to play a higher risk, potentially higher reward game – existentially a game breaker role.

    I know a lot are jumping on Thorn about the decision and I think the timing is poor but, as I said in a previous post, we need to understand what that discussion was about before we are able to criticise either man. Thorn may have said, Quade, this is the way I view that we want to play going forward, these are the expectations I have of you, this is the structure and the ethics of the team I want to build. And perhaps Quade’s response to that was not as positive and whole hearted as Thorn required. For me, that is the only way I can understand the decision to include him in the squad and then cut him. He was included on his past performance but then made it clear that he didn’t buy into the new structure and game plan.
    I agree with others commenting that Quade had, at least outwardly, grown as person more than any of his peers in the three amigos. JOC is still having to ply his trade overseas with a major illegality only 6 months or so ago and KB reportedly complained about the lack of room service a couple of weeks ago – that suggests a lacks of humility. Still there seems to be issues around a team that Quade plays in. There were some issues at Toulon, the Brisbane City side struggled this year, the Reds struggled. Certainly QC shouldn’t wear all the blame for all or even most of that but there is a lot as fans and spectators that we don’t know. The players that play with him and the coaches that he has had on a regular basis will perhaps more fully understand what is happening there – are the other players disappointed that he is leaving?
    f that is the way it happened then I would come

    • pointman888

      So much there that’s just up in the air and a never ending spiral of pure banter. For starters, let’s see how the guy preferred ahead of Quade at Wallaby level went this year. Foley had almost identical super rugby stats, bar his defensive stats which were a lot worse, his super team finished below the Reds and the Wallabies had a for the most terrible season with few highlights. Very few personal highlights to Foley. Quades Toulon experience wasn’t nearly as bad as some make out….just because he applied himself and played a boring style to suit the coaches plans should be no reflection on Quade. When he first turned up he blew them away with from memory 3 or 4 try assists and the typical Quade magic in his first game. Typical French rugby gets terrified and curtails that flair. And let’s be clear here…..Thorn has not made it clear to any acceptable level why he is cutting such a valuable member of the Reds at this time of year. Not acceptable!

    • joy

      Gee, I would have thought that a complaint regarding lack of room service would probably be triggered by a lack of room service.

  • joy

    Summing this all up, The incompetent neo-reds simply don’t deserve Quade Cooper. What a pack of small minded arse holes.

  • Andy

    This has a bit of the Fergie selling Beckham feel about it. People were outraged at the time but it ended up being the right thing for the club (arguably still). Time will tell whether this will work for Thorn. He must feel QC thinks he is bigger than the team. That’s the only real conclusion I can come too. I don’t buy the defence argument as much.

    I haven’t seen too much of Stewart but Thorn must feel he is the sort of guy who will benefit and improve by throwing him in the deep end. He is that good?

  • joy

    There is another issue not raised here. Why would the Reds reject Genia on the basis that they were full and then turn around and sack Frisby? I don’t buy the incompetence argument. I believe its a slimy way of getting rid of both.

    Like Cooper, Genia is talented, rugby smart and strong willed, both in the mould of many Australian stars that preceded them. With the likes of Cheika and Thorne in charge, Australian rugby is entering an age of dull.

    • Gallagher

      Couldn’t agree more, reeks like a Poochie comment

  • Tomthusiasm

    Quade should play for the Blues, they don’t have a first choice first five, unlike the other 4 Kiwi franchises. He could bring back that Carlos Spencer flair they’ve been missing. He’d still be eligible for the Wallabies too as he’s amassed over 60 caps.

    • joy

      I hear he will play club rugby for $800,000 pa.

      • Tomthusiasm

        It sounds as if he’s being managed out, I think he should definitely go overseas. Would love to watch him unlock that Blues backline though!

    • P00chie

      Nobody there is distancing themselves from the link.

      Would be a great move. A club that could suit his style, he’d synch up with a close friend on the outside and it is a great environment to prove Thorn and Cheika wrong.

  • Texas

    Watching NFL this week and the comment made by a few NFL greats was, when you bench a 2 time Super Bowl winner like Eli Manning it can look really bad. Giants got slammed and seem lacking. Well QC is the last winning 10/qtr back equivalent with years of winning experience and skills no other Aussie 10 has experienced. Why don’t our ‘greats’ give the same advice. The skill ERS of the current 10’s are lacking winning mindset or skill set. Only one has pure potential, even at 29.

  • Who?

    Ok. So, just heard some news that makes this even crazier. Hamish Stewart’s currently training with the Under 20’s national squad. He’s got a few camps, the Oceania U20’s title in April, and then the U20’s world champs. Given he’s training with the squad, I take it that he’s eligible the full journey.
    If Stewart’s playing U20’s, that means that it can ONLY be Paia’aua who can play 10 in that period… This is insanity!

    • Yep. This gets stranger and stranger.

      • Bernie Chan

        “The silence of the Lambs”…the silence from the QRU is at best baffling. The QRU make just about the biggest shock announcement possible…and then nothing. They have “gone to ground”… Is the rugby press not asking any questions…? Do the fans not deserve a semblance of an explanation…? Gutless…

    • pointman888

      So who trains at 10 for the reds when he’s away on all thisU20s duty? Wow what a mess!

  • Ad-O

    I see it two ways. Either management have made a decision above Thorn’s head and called time on a player they want off the wage bill, or Thorn has given up on Quade before they’ve even started working together.
    Both scenarios look bad on Thorn and on QRU. If the QRU wanted Quade out, why not cut him at the end of last season and leave Thorn with a clean slate?
    If Thorn has cut him loose, it doesn’t bode well for his prospects as a coach in my opinion. The best coaches deal with the difficult personalities and find a way to motivate them. Like Cheika has done with Beale.
    The whole thing is yet more evidence of substandard management at the QRU.

  • Gallagher

    My pick of the best that are ‘still on the books’ for 2018! Glaring obvious Quade selected at 10, but also glaringly obvious is WOW we have VERY LOW QUALITY COVER in the Props and Locks (apart from the 10!)! We gonna miss Simmons this year, and we are relying on a Saffer journeyman (JP Smith) and juniour Props as backup to any injuries! Man I hope Thorn knows what hes doing, Hamish Stewart will get SMACKED if we get injuries in the front ranks and they cant keep up with the pace of Super Rugby!

    James Slipper
    Alex Mafi
    Taniela Tupou
    Kane Douglas
    Izack Rodda
    Lukhan Tui
    George Smith
    Caleb Timu
    James Tuttle
    Quade Cooper
    Isiaia Perese
    Duncan Paia-aua
    Samu Kerevi
    Filipo Daugunu
    Karmichael Hunt

    Andrew Ready
    Sef Faagase
    Harry Hoopert
    Scott Higginbotham
    Adam Korczyk
    Moses Sorovi
    Hamish Stewart
    Chris Feauia-Sautia/Eto Nabuli

    • pointman888

      Yep and that looks a well balanced side to start the season. Not convinced F Sautia will carry his form into super rugby so Eto for sure. Dauguno while FAST will still have to settle and prove himself. I’m depressed we may not see Dauguno AND Parese running off Quade!

Queensland Reds
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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