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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

The Kiwi Media clowns are at it again! Thursday Rugby News has more Lions banter, the Wallaroos squad announcement, Rebels jumping ship and words of wisdom from Dan McKellar.


Clowning Around

Gatland warm up   in Lions vs Force 2013

I’d like to quickly disclose that this may be a case of the pot calling the kettle black, because Aussie media isn’t exactly a shining example when it comes to taking in good taste potshots at opposition teams (Case in point- “Richie grub”).

But in the latest attempt to get under the Lions coach Warren Gatland‘s skin, the New Zealand Herald have resurrected their infamous ‘clown gate’ cartoon that they used on Michael Cheika last year. With Gatland dressed up (with a red nose and all), it’s perhaps interesting to note that the British Media has been quick to fire back, criticising the Kiwi media for their  ruthless criticism of Gatland.

The cartoon was released in response to the war of words that has erupted between Gatland and his All Black counterpart Steve Hansen (who both seem to be joining the race with Bill Pulver for ‘most hated person in World Rugby’), over Gatland’s allegations that the All Blacks illegally targeted Lions halfback Conor Murray. Hansen took it upon himself to call up a radio station to respond to Gatland’s claims, with the NZ Herald following suit.

Turns out the NZ Herald dished out the clown treatment to Cheika after the Australian media had previously applied the same caricature to England boss Eddie Jones. Well, at least they’re learning from the real bullshit artists.

Check out the Gatland comic here on Rugby.com.au.

And now for some real news…

France v Australia - IRB Womens Rugby World Cup 3rd Place Play-Off

While the men’s game has been a complete and utter debacle over the last two years, the Womens Sevens side has (once again) been doing us proud over the course of this year, finishing second overall in the Womens Sevens Series for 2017.

While the girls are still to find the same success at the fifteen-a-side level of the game, a lot of Sevens players have been named in the Wallaroos squad for the upcoming Women’s World Cup in Ireland, and hopes are high they can continue to improve off the back of more encouraging performances in recent years.

Olympic Sevens stars Sharni Williams and Shannon Parry headline the 28-strong squad that was named in Sydney yesterday, which also includes returning Sevens star Mollie Gray (who returns from injury), and two new rookies in the form of Sevens star Mahalia Murphy and Western Australian fly half Trilleen Pomare lining up for potential debuts.

The squad includes seven returning stars who played at the last World Cup in 2014, where the Wallaroos finished seventh. However, many are expecting the Aussies to do a lot better this year. The Wallaroos best ever finish in the tournament is third place, in 2010.

“We have had some solid preparation during our Test series in New Zealand earlier this month, and had the opportunity to blood some new talent at Test level,’’ Wallaroos coach Paul Verrell said.

“That tour in New Zealand really showed us the standard of the best three teams in the world and we know what we need to do to reach that level now, so it’s time for the next generation of Wallaroos to really step up.’’

The Wallaroos have the potential to do well this tournament, being drawn in Pool C against Ireland, heavyweights France and Japan.

“We know that there’s no such thing as an easy game at a World Cup,’’ Verrell said.

The Wallaroos kick off their World Cup Campaign in Dublin on the 10th August against hosts Ireland. Check out the squad here.

The Rebellion Over?

Happy Rebels screenshot

When I was putting these news articles together late on Wednesday night, this particular article made a little sick in the stomach (it’s no secret that I have never been a fan of cutting any teams). While I always take Fox Sports articles with a grain of salt, there’s no denying that while the Western Force have had a flurry of players re-sign with the club next year, aside from one or two re-signings the Melbourne Rebels are not looking in good shape for next year. 

In light of the ongoing basket case that is the cutting of a Super Rugby team, the Rebels have already lost Jack Debreczeni, who has signed with Japan’s second tier team Honda Heat, Mitch Inman, who is signing up with French Top 14 side Oyonnax, Toby Smith, who is apparently heading over to join the Hurricanes, and Wallaby Sean McMahon, who is rumoured to be heading to Japan next year. Oh yeah, and Tony McGahan is also leaving the club at seasons end.

By comparison, the Force have been able to recommit Chance Peni, Richard Hardwick and veteran prop Ben Daley to put pen to paper for future seasons at the WA club. The Force have also annoucnced that they have another six players who seem keen to re-sign soon. Add in that  Dane Haylett-Petty, Billy Meakes, Ben McCalman, Curtis Rona, and Pek Cowan already have existing contracts for next season, and suddenly things are looking much more optimistic for the men from the west.

It is clear that the Force appear to be building something when it comes to a strong rugby culture, as even coach Dave Wessels has indicated he wants his future to stay in WA, despite being touted as a replacement for McGahan if the Force fall.

“There’s two real goals [for the Force]. The one goal is to win Super Rugby. And the other goal is to create Wallabies,” Wessels said.

“We want to create the best environment for players to develop their game and reach their potential.

“Obviously it’s very flattering [to be considered for the Rebels],” Wessels added.

“But I’ve got a job here I really like, and I’ve got a team that I really care about, and this is the job I want.

“And we’re going to fight tooth and nail to try to keep rugby in WA.”

Gotta love the passion they have out west. But in all seriousness, if there was any indication that this entire debacle is now starting to hurt people, players, fans and clubs, then this is it. Having the Rebels in the competition has done so much for Victorian (and Aussie) rugby. Up until this season, they had consistently been performing better and better.  To cut them now would not only undo all that good, but spit in the face of many fans and piss off everyone even more.

The New Blood Talks

Brumbies logo banner
The Brumbies recently hired a new boss in the form of Dan McKellar: an appointment that saw many in Canberra scratch their heads. But, while keeping a traditionally low profile, McKellar has opened up more on his rugby passion in an interview with Fox Sports. In it, he made it clear that he has a clear Super Rugby vision for the men from the capital, one that will hopefully see them taste Super Rugby glory once again.

“Like most Queenslanders through my era, as a kid you loved your rugby league and then you went to boarding school and that love changed to rugby union,’ McKellar said.

His love led to him making the Reds squad in 2005-6, but he felt that he didn’t have the talent to make the Wallabies, and so begun to turn is attention to coaching.

“I was certainly never at the elite level as a player and that’s probably why I always had that intent to one day become a coach,” McKellar said.

“It’s always something that’s interested me.

“Just analysing games and looking at statistics and seeing what players’ strengths are, even as a kid.

“I feel very lucky and very grateful that I’m now able to do it full-time and be paid to do it.”

He spent many years working up the ranks, before taking on the Brumbies defence coach role in 2013. Now, he feels like it’s time to step up to the big job. He already is going into the following season with some confidence: the Brumbies were predicted to fall apart this year, yet out of all the Aussie rugby teams, they have been able to perform the least shit best.

“What the Brumbies do as well as anyone, if not better, is that they provide people that have faced knock-backs or adversity with opportunity,” McKellar said.

“And once they’re given that confidence and belief and are surrounded by people that back them as a footballer or as a coach, then their game or their performance goes to a new level.

“They’re generally a desperate person or a determined person who want to prove others wrong.

“That summarises it pretty well for me.”

The Brumbies look set for a new (hopefully positive) change, with David Pocock back from a sabbatical, Christian Lealiifano back after a courageous battle against leukaemia, Laurie Fisher back from overseas and Cubelli and Sio hopefully back from injury into an already settled squad. Maybe, things might start getting better? (touch wood)

 

 

  • Nutta

    Thanks for the efforts Nic.

    Steve Hansen must be an interesting guy to drink with. I mean if ever there was a guy who could afford to sit back, smile benignly and let the Pretenders scuffle about seemingly beneath his attention then it is him. Yet he clearly feels strangely compelled to engage. So strike that. I don’t want to drink with him. If he still engages with pub-banter despite being in such a position of strength, then he’s one of those guys who will just get you glassed as a by-stander.

    Go Girls. Play hard. No prisoners.

    Go Donkeys. There’s a dawn on that horizon I reckon.

    • jay-c

      I think good on him for standing up for his players-
      Kiwis will push the boundaries of the laws in every way they can, to the point of cheating, but they’re not dirty players. Kaino has had a long history in the game and never do I recall him being anything other than tough and hard as nails, never dirty.

      • Nutta

        I agree with your point of sticking up for your guys. All things equal there is no issue with that. But all things aren’t equal. There is no need to stick up for them in this case. There’s no mileage in it for the AIB, Kaino or Hansen. It’s simply surrendering high-ground to take part in media-mud-wrestling and I reckon that serves them not at all. But hey, it fills column inches and even I’m buying in (self-evidently). So best thing I can do is shut up.

        • Tommy Brady

          It was a dreadful miscalculation by the NZ Herald and an act they deserve to get widely criticized for. This B&I Lions tour has been played in excellent spirit and the touring players, management and fans should be acknowledged for the collective roles each have played. How disappointing that on a tour that thankfully has offered up no scandal, scuttlebutt and gossip the “look at me” nature of today’s press mean they feel the need to dredge up some (and for people like Nick Wasiliev here to feature it).

          These are challenging times for established media. Low quality content such as this sure makes it hard to feel sorry for them.

          Now back to intelligent conversation about all things Rugby….

        • first time long time

          There’s been a few potshots at the guys writing the articles here lately.
          Let’s play the ball guys, don’t shoot the messenger….. That’s it I’m out of cliches.

        • John Tynan

          I’ve spent some time in the room of mirrors and taken a long hard look at myself. I’ve prepared well in the comments session on the Roar and when I take to GAGR I will give it 110%.

        • Missing Link

          If you’ve spent time in the comments section on the roar, you’ll be well accustomed to gloating about NZ’s past and present champion teams?

        • John Tynan

          You’ve found the fake news part of my talking shit. GAGR is the only internet forum I break my own “don’t read comments on the internet” rule for.

        • Tommy Brady

          Excellent point mate. Wallaby coach Michael Cheika was on TV this week and offered up 3-4 very interesting points when discussing the June test series and looking ahead to the Rugby Championship. Somehow that was overlooked here for a pointless story about 2 foreign coaches and a stupid cartoon. Really??

        • Nutta

          Dude, free site and all. You’re more than welcome to post your own articles if you feel the need to lift the average. These guys take the shite I very occassionally scrawl and put it up usually within a couple of hours.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          The friggen journalistic scum that perpetuate this crap are just trolls. We all know it doesn’t come from the team or management so why do we hold it against them?

          I think Hanson had to respond to Gatlands claim of illegal play as it is clearly a lie designed to take focus off the loss, but I agree he could have done it better. FFS just play the game

        • Ross

          I was brought up to only ever respond to my critics if they are right. When I’ve managed to live by this advice it has served me well.
          Hansen didn’t need to respond and it reflects poorly on him for doing so in my opinion.

          I don’t really care about a clown caricature being made about a person (I think it’s cheap but whatever). I object to any media outlet or whoever including the players jersey and/or emblem in the caricature. It’s one thing to call a person a clown. It’s another entirely to paint everyone that’s ever worn or supported the jersey with the same brush.

        • Dud Roodt

          I wonder if Hansen was brought up to follow the same advice and he was responding because the critics were right!
          da da daaaaaaaaaaaaa (my conspiracy music)

        • Phillip Savadeju

          Donald trump would love if everyone had that attitude

    • first time long time

      I guess we can add something else to list of things the kiwis can’t let go of;
      1. ’80s flat tops
      2. A grudge
      3. The bledisloe cup/RWC
      4. Sheep (ok that’s a cheap one)
      And now bad media gags they stole from an Aussie hack who probably stole it from someone else.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Ouch!

  • jay-c

    I really hope McKellar is good and goes well…
    But it stinks of jobs for the boys and again Australian rugby finds itself with another first year coach.

  • John Tynan

    Reading the “Rebellion Over” piece, a bloke who likes conspiracy theories (who, me?) would be tempted to say the Brumbies-relocating-to-Melbourne hypothesis is on ever decreasing odds. I mean, imagine if you could successfully transplant the successful parts of the Brumbies into the commercial opportunities of Melbourne. No disrespect to the people who have toiled endlessly on the Rebels to get them where they are, but I reckon it’s a great opportunity to reboot as the Melbourne/Victorian Brumbies
    Patron? John Brumby of course – the original Brumby Jack.

    • Bakkies

      ‘I mean, imagine if you could successfully transplant the successful parts of the Brumbies into the commercial opportunities of Melbourne.’

      Is that you John O’Neill? People need to get it out of their heads that you could take the Brumbies culture and move it somewhere else. Sport doesn’t work like that. You will also kill Rugby in the ACT where it is strong and hand it over to the AFL and NRL. Stupid idea

      • John Tynan

        Say it’s a stupid idea if you feel like that’s your contribution.
        Sydney Swans, Brisbane Lions. Didn’t really transplant a culture (luckily w.r.t. to both of those examples). But relocating a presence and re-booting was successful.
        Strong rugby in Canberra? Average crowd at Brumbies games? It’s a tiny stadium and the most successful team in Australia, yet I’ve rarely seen a full crowd there.

        • harro

          When they were actually successful (early 2000’s), the stadium was packed. But that was a long time ago. I know they are the best Aussie team this year, but that’s not saying much. They’ve lost more than they’ve won and on a real ladder they’d be 8th.

        • John Tynan

          Aussie crowds are front runner crowds, no doubt about it. Nothing draws a gate like success.

        • Bakkies

          It is a stupid idea because it is well a stupid idea. Up there with the merger suggestion. The ACT clubs who hold the voting power in Brumbies Rugby would never vote to relocate or merge the team that supports them financially. It’s a pointless suggestion that was drummed up by John O’Neill and his SMH mates 20 years ago.

          The Brumbies co exist with the Raiders and GWS (Canberra has the largest GWS membership base). They also get fair and consistent local media coverage which is rare in Australian Rugby.

          The team has cost the ARU the least amount of money mainly due to where it is located, developed players for the national side, has a strong culture with local connections and most importantly wins Rugby games. Just leave the Brumbies alone and where they are.

          ‘It’s a tiny stadium and the most successful team in Australia, yet I’ve rarely seen a full crowd there.’

          Did you start watching Rugby in 2011?

          It took those teams nearly 15 to 20 years to get any success and after relocating them from their heartland communities. Most Fitzroy supporters I know support other clubs now not the Brisbane based team.

          As for the NRL North Sydney supporters stopped following the competition altogether.

          The ARU also doesn’t have another ten years to wait for the poorly run Melbourne team to become successful. Putting a team in Melbourne due to the sake of the market has been a disaster and a money pit. The players and finances were simply not there in the first place to support it. I am still wondering why John O’Neill has not been hauled over the coals by the likes of Alan Jones. The financial questions directed at Clyne were the result of direct mismanagement by O’Neill in his second stint as CEO.

        • John Tynan

          Bringing all of the famous Sth African tact and diplomacy of your namesake to bear.

          Let me see, 2017 minus approximately 30 years of involvement in one form or another would be …. no, much earlier than 2011 if I’ve done my calculations right. In fact, I remember watching the All Blacks vs Lions on the ABC in 1983 (for the record in the middle of the Northern Territory, before payTV – how’s that for reaching an audience?). That’s probably when I started watching rugby.

          A continuous season ticket buying member at the reds since we relocated to Brisbane in 2001. Not even a withdraw my membership in protest at Richard Graham type member.

          Happy to discuss with people, not so much the name calling/put downs.

          Have a great day.

    • Monk EyBoy

      I think if they do that it will kill rugby in Canberra, fans will stop watching, the Brumby and fringe Brumbies players that strengthen the JID will not be here. The Brumbies have a lot of involvement in the ACTRU as opposed to the Rebels and VRRA.

      • Bakkies

        Exactly and the clubs will kill themselves if they voted for a merger or relocation.

        Another thing to remember is that the Brumbies and Rebels have completely different structures in terms of constitution and ownership.

      • John Tynan

        I just don’t understand why CAnberra/ACT is seen as untouchable but Melbourne/Victoria is not?
        I know it’s closer to a heartland status than Vic/WA, and I’d advocate an NRC presence, but in an international/provincial comp that needs corporate backing and viewer numbers, I just reckon Melbourne trumps Canberra every time.

        • Bakkies

          That corporate backing and viewer numbers hasn’t just happened with the Rebels. People think it will automatically happen with the Melbourne market place and it just hasn’t happened. Brian Waldron aside they have had very successful people involved with the organisation on and off the pitch. Over the past couple of seasons it has been a shambles and probably the only professional sporting organisation I know that went without a CEO for a long period of time.

          The Brumbies get fair better viewer numbers than the Rebels and also successfully manage to fill their sponsorship portfolio. The Brumbies aren’t untouchable but you would have to be a complete dunderhead to drop the most successful on field team and cost the least from an ARU point of view.

      • Kev Brown

        I would contest that sporting teams and there central control have sold/lost there central focus

        Transport to said venue
        Train /bus etc or drive and park
        Then suppose you wish to wear a supported attire
        Then gate price and better to go with a friend or family member

        THen to enjoy the evening a adult lemonade and mystery bag or two

        Boom a packet is spent
        So dwindling crowds yeh lack of interest etc
        Just to see the same mistakes and read the same excuses post press conference
        As Einstein said you can’t expect better results by doing the same thing
        Maybe it’s all part of the big RWC plan

      • jamie

        But… It’s Canberra. Melborne’s 5 million vs Canberra’s 400,000. The Brums could still play a few games in Canberra while relocating to Melbourne.

        • Bakkies

          No one will go. A merger is a ridiculous idea. Look how disastrous the Cats was off the field with the squad split between two cities hundreds of miles apart. Their attendances at both venues were poor.

          Melbourne has simply not done enough to deserve a team. How many more million that Rugby doesn’t have has got to be thrown at this loss making project?

        • jamie

          Considering how easily Victorians flock to AFL, Tennis, Rugby League, Formula One, soccer, even bloody basketball and golf, says it’s more to do with the management of rugby itself, or the product.

          Look at the last test Melbourne got. 3pm when Dewar teams kick off at 3:10. Considering how badly the ARU has treated us Vics this season why would we be bothered to show up? Sydney and Brisbane did no better, and Brisbane had no club games that weekend.

          Considering how abysmal the Wallaby performances were last season, and how piss poor the wallabies played at AAMI park last year, where’s the incentive to return?

  • GoMelbRebels

    So the Rebels are over because a (Perth-based) AAP journo says so? OK. Maybe it’s true (who knows any more) or maybe we can’t announce our signings yet as they are contingent on the outcome of the cull.

    • BigNickHartman

      Yeah, it’s an incredibly speculative and poorly reported article

  • Alister Smith

    The Lions vs All Blacks game was, by all accounts, a tremendous contest and a wonderful game – a real display of great rugby. How about we let the referees take care of the All Blacks or Lions (perceived) wrongdoings on the field and not get sucked into newspapers pathetic attempts to shift a few copies of their rags.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    The stories coming out of the Rebels are pretty sad. Expected somewhat as the players can’t be expected to live on hope forever. I really hope the ARU get this sorted soon

    • Mr Wobbly

      Don’t read too much into that article.

      Just a Perth journo trying to throw the Rebels under the bus.

      Rebels stated a couple of weeks ago that 80% of the list for next year has been signed. They have already announced a few pretty good new signings.

      Force have also lost a couple of players… as will all teams.

      • Missing Link

        There’s been a lot of garbage being spewed from thewest.com.au since day dot, this just adds to it.

        • Tomthusiasm

          Mate, I agree, it’s the worst newspaper ever. No clown cartoons or anything!

      • Dud Roodt

        Definitely have to be taken with a pinch of salt, however, the list of players they’re losing is incredibly worrying

    • Woolfe

      Divide and rule, I am a Force Fanatic and want all 5 to Stay and the ARU board to GO.

    • James Pettifer

      Biggest bullshit article ever.

      Mitch is leaving because he can’t get into the first team anymore
      Zebra is possibly leaving as he hasn’t really progressed as people expected and he has struggled
      Toby is leaving (possibly) due to family reasons
      Sean might be leaving because the ARU don’t want to pay him what he is worth
      Tony is leaving because the Rebels have only won one game for the season

      • Dud Roodt

        Yeah, definitely other reasons than just “team is in limbo” – still highly concerning those guys are leaving (for whatever reasons they might be)

      • Missing Link

        I’m surprised they don’t just write that all the players have walked out due to a lack of a decent gourmet lunch and just as Andrew Cox was about to turn off the lights and go home, the stadium was blown away by a freak cyclone.

      • Who?

        Zebra’s leaving because Tony didn’t leave soon enough… He’s gone backwards since he debuted. You could argue the same thing about Stirzacker.
        Having a strong coaching appointment would solve or prevent the loss of other players. But who is there to take the role? I hope the Rebs can get a coach – a good coach – and soon. And hopefully not someone currently coaching in Australia… I want Aussie coaches in the Super teams, to be pushing for that national spot (because no matter how good your current coach is, or long term the contract is, you want good options to follow on), but I don’t see ANYONE local who’s worth a shot. I’d rather see an Aussie returning from OS, or a foreign coach. Because the Rebels deserve a great coach!

        • James Pettifer

          Maybe Zebra could stay – do Japan and Australia. I think it would be great to see him under a different coach.

          I would argue that Timani is probably the only Rebel that is playing better now than 2 years ago. Everyone else has gone downhill

  • Brisneyland Local

    From the Wayne Smith article in the Australian. Nathan Grey Minister of Defence!

    Grey was asked to identify the most dynamic tacklers in the Wallabies and, naturally, declined. But it was funny how his next sentence contained the names Adam Coleman, Rory Arnold and Michael Hooper. “You want to use those techniques as a weapon.”

    Holy crap, the one person that has added more defensive starch to the Wallabies this season isnt even mention, Karmichael Hunt.

    This man is an idiot!

    • Dud Roodt

      While I loved KH’s eagerness in defense (and everything else), he slips off more tackles than greased up deaf guy from Family Guy.
      I think for his own health he needs to sort his technique and timing out a little.
      As I said, loved his eagerness, his chat, basically everything about the bloke, but I’m almost certain he thinks he’s wearing an NFL helmet when he runs in for the hit.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah that bit is scary, but at least he even when slipping off tackles he is in the right place and is slowing the attackers down until someone else can ping them. I think the attitude and directing the backline in defence is his strong point, and hopefully his technique improves.

        • Dud Roodt

          Agreed. I see him having a number of years in the gold jersey (should he choose to). Just don’t want to see too many more tackles where his head is in the wrong place.
          Love how you can hear him shouting the entire game (probably a sad indictment of the crowd numbers, but still)

        • Brisneyland Local

          It is what was needed. We didnt have a choir master in the backline orchestrating defence. I agree, hearing him is great. to be honest I dont think we have many strong defencers in th back line, other than himself, so having someone telling the others what to do is good. They dont have to think, they just have to do!

        • Who?

          I have to point out, whilst it’s terrible Hunt’s head’s been going in the wrong place, he’s hardly Robinson Crusoe there. Our centres have routinely been putting their heads on the wrong side for years. I don’t know why our tackling technical basics have fallen off, but they have. I remember in the 2011, we saw AAC save a try by making a strong tackle across the sideline and getting kicked in the face, which saw him knocked out. Against SA. And that year we also saw Ant Fainga’a stick his face in the wrong spot and get himself knocked out last in a RWC pool game (Russia?!).
          It shows that there’s been a longstanding failing on the part of coaches in the country. Sometimes you’re going to get wrongfooted, and put your head in the wrong spot in a front on tackle. But the two I’ve referenced above were tackles from the side. We can’t take much credit for Hunt’s tackling style (well, his school can! But no one else in Rugby can), but as a code we need to fix our coaching. Because it goes down through all the rep levels – I hate watching coaches scream, “Great tackle” from the sideline when someone’s made a big hit across their body and somehow managed to avoid knocking themself out. It’s terrible.

        • Nutta

          It’s a deliberate tactic. It’s designed to put the weight of the tackler in-front of the ball carrier to halt momentum. The other/traditional/orthodox way is far safer but results with your weight going behind or to the side of the man you’re tackling. ‘Wrong side’ tackling is about getting the weight in-front of and through the ball carrier. I’m not a fan but I get why they do it.

    • Bernie Chan

      Bloody nuts isn’t it…? Grey has been in charge of a dysfunctional defence at both the TAHs and the Wallas, yet gets given a full time role with our National team when it is just about ‘crisis time’ in Oz rugby. The improved (as in…fewer moving parts…) defence of the Wallas in the last two Tests just happened to coincided with the surprise selection (not even the player nor the Attacks Coach knew…) of Hunt at #12. I’d prefer to see Hunt at 15 and Izzy on the wing, but Hunt at #12 sure gives the team some up front defensive starch…and loved the way he moved to ‘first receiver’ and pushed Foley further out…I doubt if Foley has a long right-to-left pass akin to the one Hunt put on Izzy’s chest for his try. In league, Hunt was called “Special K” as much for his willingness to put his body on the line and take the collision (attack and defence..) as much as his known ball skills…

  • John Bands

    In this morning’s press conference, Hansen had a good go at the NZ Herald for the clown picture of Gatland, and said he respected Gatland as a coach. I find it laughable that Aussies are claiming Hansen is the most hated man in world rugby, just have a look at the disgraceful antics of Cheika in the coaching box and you will realise who the real grub is.

    • Dud Roodt

      Hear Hear!! If capital punishment were still a thing (political correctness gone mad, amirite?!), Cheika would be on his way to the gallows if I had my way! Grub indeed

    • Missing Link

      hated..no, arrogant..yes

      • Dud Roodt

        As Shakespeare would have put it: Hansen is “as smug as all fuck”

  • Parker

    Hey Nick, if as you observe the “men’s game has been a …debacle” why are the people who play for the Wallaroos “girls”? Are they really so much younger than the guys who play for the Wallabies? Otherwise a good write up.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    All the comments below on the Rebels article just reinforce how poorly this is being handled by the ARU. The fall back from this is going to hurt Australian rugby for years and I personally think it’s past the time those in charge were held accountable for their lack of action. This is a tragedy that is going to have long term ramifications throughout all levels of rugby here.

    • Dud Roodt

      I can’t remember who mentioned it on the GAGR podcast a couple of weeks or months ago – but the lack of public statements or even appearances from Pulver is absolutely astonishing. I can’t remember the last time I saw him speak in front of the press. As the person on the podcast mentioned, if this were the AFL or NRL, we would be sick and tired of hearing from their CEO. It would be at least once, maybe twice, dare I say thrice weekly (I just like saying the word “thrice) event

  • Bay35Pablo

    The Rebels are playing rope a dope. ARU axes Force. ARU have to honor contracts. Move all the Force signings plus Wessels to Melbourne. Voila!!

    • Missing Link

      There’s a big rope at Moore Park and 2 dopes at St.Leonards. If only the two could come together.

      • joey

        Comment of the year material right here

        • Missing Link

          Thanks, but honestly I’ve seen a few pearlers on here

  • Seb V

    Laurie Fisher will make a world of difference, I have high expectation for the Brumbies forwards next year, Still worries about the backs, Hopefully Lilo will be 100%, so good to hear he’s recovering well.

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

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

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