Thursday’s Rugby News

Sandpit Fan August 22, 2013 34

No GravatarThursday’s Rugby News:  Latham backs Jesse Mogg, Queensland Rugby starting a Hall of Fame, Rocky Elsom rumours and the possible return of Juan Smith

Chris Latham – keep Mogg at No.15

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Chris Latham has come out in defence of keeping Jesse Mogg at No.15, endorsing his potential and urging Ewen McKenzie to leave the young Brumbies player at fullback and resist the temptation of slotting Israel Folau into the position.

Latho said ‘His first Test, if anything, he was just probably guilty of trying too hard. In that position of fullback, and I’ve been there myself, if you make mistakes they are generally exposed and seen a lot more. I think it would be a bit harsh to not pick him this week’.  

Playing in his second Test and first run-on Test, Mogg seemed to play a safety-first game, making none of his trademark long raking kicks for touch. Considering the Wallabies lineout was the strongest part of their game on Saturday, with Rob Simmons stealing two of the All Blacks throws, Mogg’s tactical kicking should be utilised to the full in Wellington.

In related news, McKenzie has indicated that he intends to keep Matt Toomua at No.10 after what was viewed as a pedestrian debut on Saturday.  McKenzie stated ‘I don’t pick people or get rid of people on one game, you’ve got to have a good look at the whole detail’. Scott Fardy for the injured Hugh McMeniman is the only change expected.

Juan Smith back to rugby?

All hail the great man

All hail the great man

After calling time on his playing career back in February this year, Juan Smith may be joining the star-studded French Top 14 club Toulon.  Smith is scheduled to undergo a medical this week, and if successful could be joining Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, and an impressive list of former Springboks at the 2013 Heineken Cup winners.  Later reports mention that he has passed the medical and Toulon will make a decision next week on whether to sign him.

Queensland rugby Hall of Fame

As part of the QRU’s 130th anniversary celebrations, a Hall Of Fame is being established to honour outstanding contributions to Queensland rugby.  Entry will be based on the following criteria: retired for ten years, played or coached Queensland, made an overall contribution to rugby in Queensland.

lloyd-mcDermott

McDermott

A panel including past Queensland Rugby players, coaches and managers, current Queensland Rugby officials, journalists, and rugby historians has selected a shortlist of 52 from the foundation of the QRU to the early 2000’s based on their impact on the Rugby landscape and their contributions to the code in Queensland over the past 130 years.  Nominees include Alec Evans, Bob Templeton, Brendan Moon, Dan Crowley, Frank Ivory, John Eales, Lloyd McDermott and Tom Richards.

The first members will be inducted at the annual Reds Gala Ball, to be held on 30 August. It’s not known how many members will be added for this initial group.

Rocky Elsom back in town

Fresh from his release from Toulon where he was providing injury cover (a position some readers may find highly ironic), Rocky Elsom has been linked with a move to Bob Dwyer’s second division French club Narbonne.  The latest rumour has South Sydney NRL coach Michael Maguire denying that he is trying to lure Elsom back to the NRL.

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Elsom was sighted at Redfern talking to Souths assistant coaches and later having a coffee with Maguire.  Elsom played two seasons of NRL before joining the Waratahs in 2003 and went on to play 85 Super Rugby games with the Waratahs and Brumbies, and make 75 Wallaby appearances, captaining the team between 2009 and 2011.  Souths coach Maguire said that Elsom had merely come down to see how Souths went about their business.

Discussion

  • Loyal Tah Fan

    haha. Toulon the Sydney Uni of French Rugby.
    Can someome at G & GR write an article on what a discrace Sydney Uni is and how it is destroying any shreds of integrity that the shute shield has. I hear that there are super rugby players fronting up for the 2nds this weekend. I’m sure they will win the comp this year but at what cost to the competition? I feel it would be a pretty empty victory for those involved, particularly the players who have been dropped after playing most the season to make way for hordes of super rugby players. Anyway thats my rant over hopefully they choke……come on West harbour pirates :) Ahrrrrrrrrrr

    • Pedro

      Just write it yourself and send it to Matt. You have a calling.

  • Tyrone

    Pretty big news is that NZ are down to their 4th string flyhalf in Tom Taylor. He hasn’t played there the entire Super 15 season, playing at inside centre and fullback, should we be licking our lips in anticipation of a meltdown? By the way, this is his test debut…
    Maybe we should send a big ugly backrower down his channel…oh yeah, we have none.

    • Jimmy

      We played a 5th choice fly half in the Lions Tour….so we know how they feel.

      • Meatray

        the difference being that the AB’S 5th choice ftyhalf is still an actual flyhalf (who’s still pretty good) and slots straight into the team in terms of ethos, ability, team culture etc etc. Where as ours in that series was not a flyhalf and the less said about his ethos and committment to team culture the better.

    • Robson

      Picking Tom Taylor over Colin Slade is inspired thinking on Hansen’s part. Slade is a competent 10 for sure, but I am far more worried about the composure and absolute accuracy in every thing he does that Taylor brings to the game. Slade can be put off his stride, but Taylor can’t and will produce a threat at five eighths every bit as potent as Aaron Cruden, or Dan Carter for that matter. And his place kicking is right up there with Carter’s. It would be fatal for the Wallabies to think that they have an underdone and limited flyhalf to oppose in Taylor.

      • Meatray

        Taylor is very very very good

      • Funk

        Agreed he’s a very good player, but it’s his debut, and to think that he can’t be put off his game during it would be crazy, I’m sure that Link will have thought about it and would want to try, if he doesn’t get put off his game…nothing lost. I want to see Fardy try to smash him every time he gets the ball.
        On a side note, why is it that can every Wallabies fans see it, even bullfrog Hansen can see, it but the kiwi keyboard warriors can’t?? Hansen said in an interview that the reason he beilieves that the AIGs can keep coming up with great players is that rugby is their no.1 winter sport, unlike the Wallabies who have to compete for talent with rl and afl.

        • ben

          But soccer is englands no1 spirt and they compete with league an union but they’re shite at soccer…. So ……whats your point. Dont forget 23 million vs 4 million we shouldnt get close to you in any sport really.

        • Patrick

          Well if you have four times as many registered players as we do (and a quarter again as many as the UK) then maybe you should???

        • ben

          Mate. Take a look at number of adult registered in each country. We dont come close to eng france sth af aus even japan. 4x???? What google site you looking at?? Its the fact rugby is ingrained in our countrys fabric and installed in kids from 5 onward. Extremely competetive at all ages and part of our blood thru the whole country embracing all our socio economic groups and cultures. Numbers have nothing to do with it.

        • Trent

          Yawn. I was reading that sob storie feeling warm and fuzzy. Then I realised I pissed myself laughing.

        • ben

          Pal you can buy adult type nappies for that i heard. Save you a lot of embarrasment. Guess you dont go to many wallaby games then cos they make you laugh a lot and well in a massive crowd…how embarrasing is it?

        • Bcombes

          Honestly you can dress it up as you want. Nz just have the current form players in the generation, lets not forget the ABs haven’t won a RWC away from home…. Just throwing a line out

        • Patrick

          http://www.rugbydump.com/2011/09/2103/rugby-world-cup-daily-player-numbers-around-the-world seems to support my view but this suggests that you have slightly less http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rugby_union_playing_countries. I wasn’t suggesting that you had nearly as many players as the UK although I underestimated how big the gap was.

  • Gary Gleeson

    Hopefully McKenzie plays a specialist winger like Cummins on the wing or is that too radical?

  • Merv Hughes

    Latho – what a beast of a fullback that guy was. Some of his solo tries were seriously Cirque Du Soleil brilliance. And what a travesty that Eddie Jones kept picking Mat ‘the Tat’ Rogers in front of him. Here’s to picking form players not favorites. Here’s to the era of Link. Give Mogg a chance to be great.

    • Patrick

      And Latho started his test career with a shocker!

      • Merv Hughes

        He sure did mate. He was a risk taker who just kept getting better. You need to invest in a few of those characters and eventually they’re the guys who help you win a World Cup.

  • Mike

    It’s definitely far more difficult making your debut as a number 10 or fullback compared to (for example) the back row.

    In those positions the difference between a good game and a bad one can often be whether a kick finds touch, or a pass goes to hand. It would be very tough to hold it against a Toomua for playing far too conservatively on his first time on the biggest stage.

    That being said, it definitely looked last week like Toomua may have the goods for test rugby, but Mogg looks a little erratic and flaky. Sorry, I mean Mogg has “X-factor”

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      What did Toomua do last weekend to make you think this?

      I was desperate for him to be our answer at 10 but all I saw was someone pass the ball to the next bloke and fail to take-on the line even once. I thought he asked no questions what so ever of their defense.

      Having said all that, I still like that he’s run on at 10 again though. But he needs to have a go.

      • Funk

        Exactly what I thought..nothing really bad but didn’t do much more that pass it along, which I guess is understandably on his debut, but definately wast to see a lot more this week. In defence he really needs to pressure Taylor and in offence he needs to hit the line.

  • Pedro

    I think you have to give Mogg another go. He’s certainly not the finished article, plenty of improvement to go, but his pace vision and kicking ability are such an asset to this wallaby team. I seem to recall Latham having a few torrid moments early in his career and he retired one of our best ever.

    Dumping Mogg wouldn’t just be bad for his own development but bad for the team psyche, especially after just one game.

    • Robson

      I believe you’re right, but Mogg needs to be persuaded to come out of his shell and really unleash that big raking left foot punt of his.

      • Pedro

        Yeah, no doubt.

    • Bill

      I think he’ll be fine either way. But he needs to attack the ball carrier not just play goalkeeper. From that point of view he could do with 5 or 10 more kilos. At fullback you have an opportunity to read the play in defence as well as attack. It should be a pretty vocal position. Anyway, easier said than done.

  • Meatray

    Id be keen to give Mogg another go. Id also be keen for the Honeybadger on the wing instead of Beiber. On another note Simmo really suprised me last week, he looked pretty decent.

    • Mart

      Agree about Simmons. Best game I’ve seen him play. I’ve never rated him But that was solid, maybe all the experience is finally coming through.

      • Bill

        He’s had decent games before but people have been seeing what they want to see.

        • Mart

          I dissagree

  • cyclopath

    Mogg needs a bit more time, but he really needs to start turning a corner soon. I think we’ll see his best in 1-2 years, to be honest.

    • http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/ Steve Lenthall

      Good point Cyclo. It must be remembered that he was playing club footy only 2 years ago and Jake White just happened to be at a game he played in and noted his name after a good display.

      • servo

        Actually, Jake White went around and spoke to all the John I Dent coaches and asked if they had a couple of players that they thought was outstanding. Out of all of them Mogg’s name was on top of the list. Then White watched a few games that he played and the rest is history.

  • http://about.me/cbiggins Christian Biggins

    I have a soft spot for Rocky. I really like the guy, I like his playing. Just not sure what happened. Hoping he can see out his career injury free and with bon-crunching physicality as we’ve seen him do before.

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