This week we look at some of the familiar and not so familiar faces in the NRC and see how they fared, check out whats gong on with NZRU and SARU and throw a heap of videos at you to check out. Enjoy!
So first up. Let’s answer the question many have been wondering. How did he go?
As for James Slipper, he had a belter of a game. It turns out while he was in Canberra he had a hot date with Dan McKellar about future opportunities. His performance (flirting) was all about impressing McKellar and taking the relationship to the next level. I guess the question is does the Slipper fit? And how does it fit in the with Lord of the Dance Scrum Coach’s plans?
As for Hunt, he had a solid shift putting in a decent performance and showing he still has something to give (not sell) if he can find a home.
Mentioning a few other players post round one, Rory Arnold again put in a decent shift. Was it enough to impress Cheika and earn a start? Well he was voted by the players as one of the preferred locks in the Super Rugby team of the year and is also now the Brumbies player of the year, so probably not.
As Aussie rugby tries to lift its standard it’s good to see some of the up and coming guys get a shot. We got to see a few new names playing flyhalf over the weekend. The concern here is no matter how much talent you have and how good a performance you put out there when you get your shot its matters little. Jordan Jackson-Hope gave us an insight of this. While the commentator lauded his performance after taking over from Hawera, he struggles to get any real consideration as a starter at the Brumbies.
What have you been up to this holiday?
While RA have been out checking out grass-roots (apparently the term that nowadays is used to describe any level of rugby below Super Rugby) and admiring the slimmed down NRC, the SARU and NZRU have been hard at work shoring up their fiefdoms.
The NZRU have taken the novel approach of HELPING the ailing Blues franchise. Using a weird strategy of investing “New Zealand Rugby has retaken the reins of the Blues in a bid to avert what they saw as a looming crisis, and are vowing to get the right people round the board table to fix the ailing franchise”. Being an Aussie rugby supporter, I am confused by this move as it seems to be um….good?…… but hey, each to their own. I say man up and cut it like us proud Aussies!
Meanwhile the President of the SARU has let us know that he thinks north is the way to go. Apparently, he believes South African players are “better off” plying their trades in the Northern Hemisphere, adding to the growing rumours of a Super Rugby exodus.
The SARU is looking towards the future after suffering a significant (record) financial loss that has them, like RA, worried about the bank balance. Although, the SARU’s loss can be contributed to propping up (investing in) franchises looking forward and a failed RWC bid that was costly.
Looking at the state of SA rugby the SARU is having to rationalise other parts of the sport to rein in costs and help the game. It is reported that the SARU will introduce a “Draft” system. According to president Mark Alexander, the new system will aim to reduce the number of professional players in the country from around 990 to around 460. “We’ve created a false market in this country. It’s simply not sustainable having 990 players trying to make a living,”
The bounce of the ball
We all know Rugby is a funny game. The ball is a silly, not round shape that lends itself to some unpredictable bounces. Sometimes they work out in your favour – sometimes they don’t.
The clanger of the week …
Referees make mistakes. This is a well-known fact. And something that fans, coaches and players are all to ready to point out. Except in this case. There is a clear and obvious call that is very wrong, and everyone just went along with it. No-one from the team that was hard done by questioned it, and that’s a shame because it may have impacted the result.
See if you can pick it.
And while we’re talking about refs getting it wrong, remember last week I showed you a video of the Parisse red card which most agreed was a steaming pile of doggy doo? Well following an additional report stating that the red card was not warranted, from the same referee who sent him off in the match, the red card has been rescinded.
Good Old-Fashioned Highlights
First up – some big hits. Everyone loves big hits (except those on the receiving end of them). The second one may not have been entirely legal …
How good are Fiji when they run? This is just one of their awesome tries!
Across the ditch to check out the top tries from the Mitre 10 cup. Keep an eye out for a certain Brumbies recruit featuring in one of the tries.
Check out the GAGR match reports for all the highlights from the NRC.