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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News has more Quade news, changes to the Tahs before they play the Blues, Holmes endorsing a 2017 Reds coach, and maybe perhaps a few little changes to the Super format from next year on.


More Quade News

quade

AKA more of the good stuff. There’s a few different Quade stories going around today.

As the SMH is reporting, if Quade signs on for a Super side to play the 2017 season, that will make him eligible to play for the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship later this year.

That fact also corroborates with the rumours that Michael Cheika has been trying to really get Quade back ever since Quade left. Although as Tom Decent (a scribbler for the SMH) points out, these rumours surfaced like an iceberg when Cheika said before the first England test in June: “I’ve been doing more than endorsing it… I’ve been out there trying to get him back. I think for many years, players left Australia and we just said ‘you’re gone now. See you later’.”

Meanwhile, Bernard Foley has endorsed the return of Quade, saying that more competition will make him a player. Whatever works, Bernard.

“It’s great for Australian rugby, isn’t it?,” Foley said, according to rugby.com.au. “To have a player of that calibre back…I think competition’s always been great between the two of us or between all the 10s in Australia, it’s great to have and for Australian rugby, it can only be a positive. It’s exciting wherever he ends up, he ends up. The competition is good for Australian rugby.”

Tahs Got The Blues

KMP-WAR-BRU-48419

Daryl Gibson, the Waratahs coach and part-time schemer, has made a few changes to the team to play the Blues on Friday evening.

Reece Robinson has come onto the wing in place of Taqele Naiyaravoro, after Taqele was suspended making the wonderful decision to tackle Beauden Barrett in the air last weekend against the Hurricanes. In the scrum, Gibson has moved Dave Dennis into number 8, in what will probably be his last game for the Tahs, while Dean Mumm goes into second row and Jack Dempsey will be playing as the blindside flanker.

That means Wycliff Palu will be starting from the bench (this is also possibly his last Tahs appearance) while in exciting news for Tahs fan, young’un Jim Stewart has also been named as a substitute.

Meanwhile, Angus Ta’avao will be returning to Auckland for the first time since he was cajoled over to Sydney by Gibson last summer. He told Newshub (via AAP) that he’s “really excited” to return Eden Park.

Go check out our preview for the game over here.

Holmes 4 Stiles

Photo by Keith McInnes

Greg Holmes, the stalwart of the Reds’ scrum for the past 145 games, has tipped Nick Stiles as the best option to take over as head Red for next season.

The 33-year-old should know a thing or two about coaches; since he started in 2005, including the two current co-coaches, Holmes has been tutored by seven coaches.

“It’s funny because it has gone full circle from me playing with Stilesy at the Reds to him coaching me,” Holmes told the Courier Mail.

“I think he’s one of the best forwards’ coaches going around. Obviously, he’s one of the head coaching candidates for next year and, personally, I hope he gets the job.”

The love-in continued, as Stiles returned the compliments saying that Holmes is “an absolute stalwart of Queensland rugby”.

“What he’s done to help Sef Fa’agase, Taniela Tupou and Andrew Ready, three of our young props and hookers, is going to put them in good stead for seasons to come,” Stiles said. “To think a tighthead prop can play that many games after sticking his head into so many dark places, continue to get better and be rewarded with last year’s World Cup is a testament to Holmsie’s character.”

Holmes is buggering off overseas (Exeter Chiefs) next year, as is Liam Gill, who will be captaining the side in hopefully his final just-for-now game for the Reds.

Super Already Sutured

This was a scrum.

There are already plans afoot to fix up the Super schedule, reports the NZ Herald, despite the fact that the 18-team format is locked in until 2020.Well, what are they thinking?

“Executives have been in talks this week, looking at ways they can tinker next year’s format and one idea gaining traction is to change the way home quarter-finals are allocated next year,” says the report. Oh.

Currently, the four conference winners are guaranteed home quarter finals, regardless of where they finished in the overall ladder. Given that, except for the Lions, the top four teams are from New Zealand, the way the format is this season will see three of the Chiefs, Crusaders, Hurricanes and Highlanders travelling away for the quarters.

The report continues: “Next year agreement is likely going to be reached to only allocate two playoff spots on geographical grounds.”

“That would see the side from the two African conferences with the most competition points hosting one quarter-final and the top Australasian side hosting a home playoff. The other two games would be allocated on merit – to the teams which finish third and fourth on the overall points table.”

  • brumby runner

    Only two guaranteed home games is a start. Next, they need to get rid of the guaranteed wild card spot for the Saffas and have the table order based on the number of points earned for wins and bonus points. Maybe amalgamate the two SA groups and the Aus and NZ groups, but there’d need to be a lot of thought also given to ensuring a fairer split of opposition games. With 18 teams, it just might be all too hard.

    • There is no Answer

      I think if they get rid of the wild card split it will only disadvantage Aus and NZ with the South Africans getting more teams in as they get to beat up on the Sunwolves, Kings, Cheetahs twice a year

  • The format needs a lot more done to it than tinkering with the quarter finals home team. Don’t get me started on the the two African conferences and the whole schedule is a cluster fuck!

    • What a comp

      It really is, the Lions who have a chance to win their first minor premiership ever this weekend have rested their entire side as traveling to and from South America to likely play the Sharks, who are at home this weekend, totally voids any advantage they would have gained from getting the top spot. Now one of the four kiwi teams will win the minor premiership by forfeit and the Sharks will instead have to travel to NZ

  • qwas

    I’d be pretty excited if Ta’avao was actually returning to the blues

    • Unanimous

      Is Qwas a reference to the NOFX song?

  • qwas

    The only thing they think they should change is depriving Australia of a home quarter final? I don’t think we deserve it but considering how little interest is created by playing the useless teams that have been forced on the competition it’s basically the only thing worth looking forward to.

    • Known Rugby

      How would you change the current set up? I’ve read a couple of your comments before and you seem to know your stuff.

      • Qwas

        Complex because of the money and long term future issues but personally I think it’s time for a return to a round robin format. At least then you play all the interesting teams. Would also stop the impact super is having on domestic comps like the curry and npc where attention is being drawn away by a domestically dominated super rugby comp. Australia has the nrc now and if it actually wants it to succeed it needs to give it a platform like the premier domestic rugby comp in Australia. No reduction in teams unless south Africa want to wake up and get rid of the kings. Not against another argie team. Japanese fans, Japanese timezones and Japanese money have been great. Then give it a rest on the changes to let everyone work out what the he’ll this competition is about now

        • Unanimous

          Good points.

          All new teams are useless at first. Even with special drafts and salary cap exemptions, it takes new teams years to be viable and build an audience. If SANZAAR was serious about super rugby growing and competing with European competitions, they’d have a competition wide salary cap and insist on free movement of players across the comp, and provide special assistance to expansion teams.

          Super rugby is run mostly like a development league for national teams not as a commercial league in its own right. It is quite good for player development. It is not so good as it is for the commercial development of rugby, and due to the national development aspects, it is bad at expanding.

  • Richard

    Tomorrow night’s Waratahs game at Eden Park should provide a very accurate barometer of where Australian rugby is at mentally right now. Following the disappointments of the England series, Super Rugby performances and announced player departures there is plenty to be despondent about. Tomorrow night is also a great opportunity to make a statement, finish the season on a high note and get player’s mindset right into the upcoming Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup games. We shall see.

  • npivag

    look, i think people will just eventually get over the uneven split TBH. in most conference or pool based sports some are harder than others, at the end of the day the best team still wins.
    do we care that the champion is truly the champion? or that 2-6 is a 100% accurate reflection of quality?
    nobody remembers who comes 6th anyway, it quickly becomes a ‘mid-table finish’.

    • Seb V

      Good point. Do the Blues deserve to be in the finals over the Tahs and/or Brumbies – probably, but who cares we are arguing over 5th/6th spot anyways.

    • Unanimous

      It’s not just a question of how the winner is remembered in future years. In fact that’s a minor aspect. Much more attention is paid to premiership tables during the season. The main point of competitions is to be watched and followed during the competition, not to be remembered years later. Premiership tables are a key way teams are followed through the season.

      When people see teams ranked out of order and jumping way up and down with only a minor change in points it takes away the competitiveness of the competition. It’s like introducing a rule that applies during matches that if players older than 29 carry the ball across the halfway line, they then get to walk unopposed to the 22 line.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I think that while the draw is not good the home semi-final for the winner of each group does make sense as it is for the results as they stand. Let’s face it it’s hardly the Stormer’s fault that they haven’t played any kiwi teams so why should they be punished? If the kiwi teams are as good as they are being made out to be then they should win regardless, if they don’t win then you can hardly say they deserve more. I do think that the draw should be revised so that you either play teams both home and away, or you only play a team once and if it’s a home game one year it’s an away game the following year. This crap where some teams play each other twice and some don’t is the real issue and is what make sit unfair.

    • Keith Butler

      You’re right Kiwi. Totally daft that the Aussie conference do not play each other home and away. Although in the case of my Rebels prably good luck that we didn’t have to play the Tahs or the Brumbies twice.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah maybe mate, they certainly have had a rough season. What pisses me off is that the African conference is guaranteed a wildcard entry regardless of where they lie in regards to the other conference on points and that’s wrong.

        • Keith Butler

          Maybe the 2nd African conference place should be conditional on them finishing in the top 8.

        • Unanimous

          But then what about the three wilcards in the ANZ group? Those are guaranteed too, and there may come a time when they unfairly qualify. Currently 50% of the ANZ group qualifies, but only 38% of the SA group regarless of ability so there’s an argument that the unfairness runs the other way.

          You’re probably better of making all 4 widlcards be the 4 highest teams across the comp that aren’t top of their conference. This is the normal way wildcards work.

        • HK Red

          Devil’s advocate here, were those three wildcards maybe given to the ANZ conferences, because the SA conferences had Sunwolves and Jaguares, that everyone thought would be an easy points generator for everybody in those conferences?
          Although to be fair, could put the Reds in that same bucket right now. Sigh.

        • HK Red

          Ahhhh, just saw this thought already posited by “There is no Answer”, further down the comments.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I think it should be the top four in each conference then the top four on points regardless of conference. But each team should play each other at least once.

        • Unanimous

          Agreed about the wildcards then. That was what my last para said. The words were just a bit convoluted to take account of some of the top 4 overall also being top of their conference.

          With regard to everyone playing everyone, that’s 17 games each, but they seem to only want to play 15 per season. They might drop the two longest travel games or something. I’m sure there are better ways to get to 15 games each than the 6, 5, 4 conference schedule they use now.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely. But wtf would we know

  • Gavin

    At what point will people give up on Quade? He was a promising young player a long, long time ago. There has been nothing to suggest he will ever become a test level player. At this point the question is whether or not he is a Super Rugby player.
    If Cooper is coming back I hope his contract reflects his standing. Despite the usual whinging from his fanboys here, he is not an elite player.

    • Quade for 10

      Anyone else hearing these rumours that NZ Rugby and the All Blacks team fund are contributing to the costs of getting Quade back to Australia and into a Wallaby jersey for the Bledisloe Cup tests?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Damn! Got found out. Hahahaha

      • Grant NZ

        There’s a bit of spare cash in the ‘Destabilise Australia Fund’ now that Dingo is off the books.

    • Seb V

      We will give up on him when another 10 steps up and becomes a quality 10. Or at least another with some decent potential. Foley has also failed at test level time and time again, who else is there? Lilo – poor form, Debs – yeah right, There is currently no 10’s out there that give us hope so we are clutching at straws with QC – he’s as good or bad as any of the current flock.

  • Gavin

    The fix for Super Rugby is to abandon it and have a championship between the ANZ sides.

  • muffy

    After watching the rugby club last night, its glaringly obvious there were deep wounds inflicted by the Poms. Its shows in the rugby we played before and after the window and to me really showed in both how the questions were asked and answered by all involved. this showed a real problem for me and i am not at all hopefull about the RC at all.
    Dean Mumm seemed to think everything was just rosy though, so perhaps we should just have him in front of the camera until the 20th of august!

  • PorPor

    I still cannot believe we are letting Liam Gill go overseas. Must be the unluckiest bloke in Australian rugby history. I seriously reckon if he was Kiwi he would have been their No. 1 openside.

  • Unanimous

    They are making finals qualifying slightly more complicated to solve a problem caused by it being too complicated? Amazing.

    I’ve never seen another competition that lists teams in tables out of order with their competition points. It makes a farce of competition points and tables. Table positions are the way teams compete with each other when they are not playing, and how they compete for finals positions. The credibility of the competition denpends on the tables functioning in a linear fashion, and all they can do it make this suggested change. It’s clear that SANZAAR has no idea about what a competition actually is for.

    Who plays who doesn’t need to have anything to do with finals qualification. You can take them teams now with their competition points and arrange them in one table in order, or two tables in order, or whatever number of tables you like.

    You can achieve almost the same result as now by arranging the teams in two tables – east (11 teams) and west (7 teams). The top two in each table get a home final against teams that finish in particular table positions. E1vE5, E2vW3, W2vE3, and W1vE4. 43% of west teams qualify (3 out of 7). 45% of east teams (5 out of 11). No team listed out of order at any stage. This is the simplest and fairest way I can see of getting the South Africans the finals they want.

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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