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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News sees rugby’s private schools under threat, teams being included and omitted from the World Cup, Cheika on Folau’s comments and Gibson still feeling satisfied.


AIC look to AFL, NRL

2018 may 13 3

League is on the march in Brisbane.

Rugby Australia says it will welcome the challenge of Rugby League, with the Australian Independent Colleges (AIC) announcing they would offer league and AFL in a formal competition on a two-year trial basis during the winter season.

Schools traditionally would only offer rugby union and soccer as their two winter sports. However, this move will see schools like St Laurence’s College, Iona College  and Marist College Ashgrove potentially have hundreds of players open to playing league, which would be a big step forward for the QRL and NRL in Brisbane.

Interestingly, the push for League into these schools was driven by parents, not the QRL.

Many folks are seeing this as a further example of rugby union’s decline, but RA’s national recruitment and coaching manager Cameron Tradell told the Sydney Morning Herald that he sees it as a wake up call for the code to ‘up its game’ in the schools sector.

“We heard about this happening and we understand as schools expand into other sports,” Tradell said.

“We have to up our game and we believe we are. The ability for us to compete in that market on that broader scale is really exciting for us.”

With this news, there is a lot of talk around the school rugby sector having to galvanise change, and Tradell believes that rugby continues to place a high value on schools in the game’s heartland.

“That doesn’t mean we aren’t supporting our key markets,” he added.

“Because we are, absolutely. But we also see huge opportunities in non-traditional schools. There’s been an explosion with Sevens, particularly with the women’s game.

“We’re up for it.”

Is it just me, or does anyone else find his response a little concerning?

World Cup dreams over

spain sevens

Well, what a sight.

In the aftermath of the Belgium-Spain match, few expected to see a result like this.

With those two teams (along with Romania) fielding ineligible players throughout the Rugby Europe Championship, World Rugby has announced that as a result, none of them will be going to next year’s World Cup in Japan.

Romania was the only team to have qualified for the World Cup, so with this disqualification, Russia will take their place, appearing in only their second World Cup.

In place of Spain’s playoff position, Germany was promoted to a qualifying playoff against Portugal on June 9. The winner then faces Samoa for the last place in the World Cup.

World Rugby released a statement yesterday on it’s investigation into the matter. On top of the removal from World Cup contention, World Rugby has also banned players and slapped each offending national organisation with fines, with US$170,000 charged for Belgium, US$135,000 for Romania, and US$67,000 for Spain.

“While the independent disputes committee has determined that mistakes were not made in bad faith by Rugby Europe and some participating unions, World Rugby is extremely disappointed with the unfortunate and avoidable events,” a spokesperson for the global governing body said.

It’s amazing that this all started over a qualifying match between Spain and Belgium, which saw the Romanian referee chased out of the stadium at game’s end.

An independent committee rejected World Rugby’s requests for a rematch, but also heavily criticised Rugby Europe for not changing the referees at Spain’s requests before the controversial match.

This will be the first time ever that Romania will miss a World Cup.

Consciously detach

Cheika

Michael Cheika has now thrown his hat in the ring in the whole debate on Israel Folau, saying that many fans will likely turn away from him as a role model.

However, on Kick & Chase last night, Cheik also added that while many gay rugby fans and players will be upset, having solid support systems and ‘detaching’ Izzy’s comments from the player himself is the key way to manage the problem.

“The self-esteem in people, no matter who they are, is extremely important,” Cheik said.

“Self-belief, self-esteem, and if that’s something you don’t agree with, you detach from that.

“The way it’ll be (is), ‘He’s no longer my idol’, effects like that.

“There’s been a lot made of that but I believe it’s something – self esteem is so important – and us as parents and as coaches, even when players are getting the same in return, nasty messages, social media, it’s about trying to build self belief in them so you’re not affected by those things.

“Because you don’t want people to get affected by that stuff, that is 100 per cent clear.

“It’s not up to the kid, it’s the parents around, the others around, that’s what you’ve got to do.

“You’ve got to protect those kids, from everything that’s out there, there’s other things out there you might not like (too).”

Cheika admitted that Folau will be in the squad for the Ireland series and would like play fullback, and that there would not be many surprises in store, with him planning to nail down his squad for the World Cup.

However, he did note that some players had caught his eye, such as Jack Maddocks, Izaia Perese and (should he be signed) Pete Samu.

He also ruled out Quade Cooper returning, saying that the playmaker should have taken an opportunity to play in Melbourne or Canberra if he wanted to be considered for national selection.

Gibson is still happy

Daryl Gibson

Daryl Gibson

With the whole debate still swirling around the referee selections from the weekend just gone, there is one bloke who won’t be complaining about SANZAAR‘s referee selection process.

Daryl Gibson deemed the response from Lyndon Bray and match referee Ben O’Keeffe to be adequate for him, and said that a lot of the anger should rest on the fact that the Tahs squandered a bloody 29 point lead and lost the damn game.

“We’ve had really positive correspondence with the referees boss Lyndon and the referee himself and I’m really happy with that process,” he said to rugby.com.au. 

“It’s been a good one.

“We certainly don’t blame the referee for anything that went on in the game and we’re still kicking ourselves, around we felt we had better control of that game, we should’ve come out with a better result.

“I think there’s a really clear process in place. They’ve got the merit system, there’s lots of transparency between the referees and the head coaches and I’ve got no issue with that.”

This weekend, both the Reds match against the Hurricanes and the Waratahs match against the Highlanders will again be officiated by Kiwi refs, Ben O’Keeffe and Brendon Pickerill respectively.

  • LBJ

    Well, for donkeys years, the prevailing view of the G&GR commentariat has been to accuse the Old Boys networks of ruining the game and insinuating that they should just piss off…Looks like you got what you wanted.
    I guess those awful Sydney Club Rugby people will be next…
    It’s wonderful to see the passion and dedication to rugby that is embodied in this site – great coverage and thoughtful insight into the game – but I’ve observed a lot of negativity around some of the groups that make up our rugby communities. Perhaps this is a reminder that more than ever we need to embrace all who love this game as we do.

    • John Tynan

      ??

    • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

      Au contraire, I have come to the conclusion that the decline in rugby in Australia is utterly and entirely attributable to the number of complete incompetents that have in the past, and continue to now be, promoted to key positions due to their old school tie connections. It is a corruption that is rife, and deeply rotted in. For it to even begin to be reversed would take an entire clean out of the current RA, NSWRU, and QRU boards at the very least, and I can’t see that happening under current structure. Good luck to rugby.

      • Will

        Sadly there is a lot of truth to your comment. We still need the passion and grit from the rusted on old boys and there involvement, but not at the detriment to the growth of the game.

    • What a pile of steaming Penrith Emu shit. The game wouldn’t be in this position if the old boys network dominated unions offered more to schools and systems outside their own nests. I suppose they “love” the game more than others. FTS.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      LBJ I’m not sure what you mean here? If you’re talking about the failure of rugby to keep the pressure on in the schools then the article actually demonstrates how the “old boys network” has failed. The setup of the ARU was done in such a way that both NSW and QLD would retain control of rugby within their states because they new better than any national body how to run rugby in their area. This is why RA has not been able to develop a national framework for the development of coaches, players, administrators and referees. The article on the challenges facing rugby actually demonstrates that the people on this site complaining about the Old Boys network are in fact right because they have stuffed up the management of rugby in the schools to the extent that it is now under threat from the other codes.

      • LBJ

        Well I’m just astonished by the level of hatred and blame levelled at other people who contribute to the rugby community. So the point I’m making is that the negativity is getting worse and it’s contributing to rugby people leaving- eg the QLD private schools.

        I’m an old boy from a Sydney GPS school and I’ve been a proud rugby man for as long as I can remember – And all I can take out of these comments (which are at least consistent for G&GR) is that you collectively would prefer that I wasn’t involved in the game. You’d prefer I didn’t coach and manage my sons u8’s, or maintained Membership at my Shute shield club and the Tahs, or attend the Wallabies games. The comments make me realise that I shouldn’t espouse to the mums at my kids school, the values of the great inclusive game which a place for everyone, and how you can travel anywhere in the world and be part of a community – because that’s not actually true even within Australia…

        So while I’ve got a thick skin (and head) and I’ll will by the game – we are witnessing many, many people walk away. Because no one wants to put up with this kind of sh1t.

        • Who?

          The issue with schools isn’t the people around the elite school communities, it’s the financial realities and the fact that schools aren’t run by their coaches. They’re run by principals. If the principals think, “We can increase enrolments/ensure future sustainability by offering a different sport,” they will. I’ve been saying it for months. Because we’ve seen it before.
          Until 2011, GPS in Qld did Rugby in Terms 2 and 3. They had a (GPS) game every 2 weeks, played non-GPS schools on some of the other weekends (to build into the season), and the comp intensified and reached its peak at the end of Term 3. Then the GPS principals decided to play soccer in Term 2. They saw prospective enrolments, greater participation prospects, and jumped. All the old boys I knew were furious. They vented at the principals. Did that make any difference, in spite of the fact that many had their kids in the schools (i.e. they were fee paying parents!)? Of course not!!! Soccer still got in.
          The solution to all this problem isn’t to push hard in the schools, where RA actually has no control. It’s all done by the Australian Schools Rugby Union – an unaffiliated body. The solution is for Rugby Australia and Rugby Families – like yours – to recognize that the clubs aren’t part of us, they’ve just been living off us for decades. We don’t own the schools, but we do own the clubs, so we need to focus on the clubs. Places where ANY kid can come and have a game of Rugby, places where everyone’s welcomed.
          It’s time to stop looking at places outside our control and relying on them to build our game. We need to take control.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I don’t think you should walk away at all and I love that you have the passion to support rugby here in Australia.

          I just think that the way that RA is set up does not allow it the ability to make the changes needed because when it was set up the people running the NSW and QLD didn’t want to relinquish their hold on rugby in their state. I also see in comments in the News and elsewhere, not just here, that they refuse to see this as an issue and instead lay all the blame at RA and Super Rugby. I absolutely wish all of them who feel like that piss off from the game because they are the ones killing it.

        • Bakkies

          KRL that’s a rather simplistic way of looking at it. The RA’s idea of centralisation is to use it as an excuse to be able to axe sides, push control further to Sydney and Sydney Uni, so after the consequences of that I don’t blame the states one iota for not giving up their IP and localised focus.

          Rugby in Australia has reached its nadir and I tipped this to occur seven years ago when the Wallabies lost at home to Scotland and Samoa with too many egos in the side. The administration was also atrocious.

          The ARU was also broke at the time yet John O’Neill brought in a fifth side, there wasn’t the player depth either as the world’s greatest sporting administrator decided to take player development back to the early 80s leaving the responsibility up to Sydney and Brisbane clubs despite a much broader national footprint. Super Rugby was also reduced to low quality Australian derbies and not playing every foreign team, that was also a poor factor in trying to select a Wallabies team.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate while you do make some very good points. Doing it wrong doesn’t mean the idea is wrong. I know the ARU and now RA have to take a fair bit of the blame but I think the lack of a centralised plan to build the skills needed for coaches, administrators, referees and players is part of what’s holding rugby back here. The states are as much or more at fault in preventing this

        • John Tynan

          You are taking comments aimed at others too personally, mate. By “Old Boys Network” I think you’ll find the Phil-Waugh-appointment-to-the-board style arrangement as the stereotypical demonstration of a broken system, or the global coaching searches that never leave the car park. It’s the self-interest of the administrators (ie Qld/NSW hanging on to the reins) vs the long term supporter’s interest in the betterment of the game.

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          Nothing personal intended LBJ. It sounds like you’re doing great stuff, and thumbs up to you and all similar.

          What “we” are talking about (I say “we”, but I can only really speak for myself) when we complain about the old boys network, is when it extends to corruption. When someone is given a job that has power, prestige, and/or is well paid, and they are given it on the basis of who they know, not what they know, then that is corruption. And yes, to some degree, that exists in all walks of life. But what we see repeatedly in the rugby circles is example after example of horrible incompetence rewarded purely due to the old boys network. One of the most obvious and blatant recent examples was the appointment and multiple re-appointments of Richard Graham to the Qld coaching position. Another form of corruption is the directing of funds or resources where there is a conflict of interest. I won’t go into any details, as I’m sure you’re capable of exploring down that path yourself.

          The biggest problem with rugby is the structure of the hierarchies are outdated and have very little inbuilt protections against such corruption, and thus human nature takes its natural course. You can see this with national governments all around the world. The least corrupt have good setups, and I’m happy to say that the British Westminster system that we inherited isn’t at all too bad. Eg the separation of powers between the parliament, the judiciary, and the executive (although the current government seems to be doing it’s best to try and break this down and gain ultimate power!)

          In conclusion, the current rugby national and state bodies are broken, and need a complete redesign. Until that happens, we may well continue to see the the current decline in rugby continue to depths unimaginable as the other sports gain more and more ground.

        • Habitual offender

          Take a deep breath, dont walk away.
          I walked away –
          Luckily for me, I was approached by a couple of players, who asked for specific coaching to improve their chances of selection to a higher level.
          Burnt a lot of bridges which I can probably never recover, but Im back and feeling positive again.
          Must admit sometimes it feels Ive maybe only climbed back in the ring with Tyson for yet another flogging.
          Stay with what you love, itll get it hooks in and drag you back anyway. (a good thing)

      • Bakkies

        The RA had a national framework for coaches and the AIS was involved with underage player development until the world’s greatest sporting administrator John O’Neill got rid of it.

  • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

    “Is it just me, or does anyone else find his response a little concerning?” – Definitely not just you. My response was Oh. My. Fucking. God. Trying to stay positive, I can perhaps assume that his comments were merely an attempt to stay “on message”.

    • onlinesideline

      your profile name reminds me of an interstellar radioactive bot from the 25th century that time travelled back to 2018 just for fun. Tell us, will rugby survive and did we ever get the Bledisloe back ??

      • Missing Link

        it’s time for disqus_NMXfOrw5ot to come up with a more creative online avatar

        • onlinesideline

          yeah coz he speaks sense sometimes

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          Thanks online!

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          It’s simply the default name disqus gives you if you don’t give a name. The ultimate anonymous avatar :D

      • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

        lol, I can also tell you the winner of this year’s Melbourne Cup ;)

        • Habitual offender

          Mafi?
          Oh, horse racing, my bad

  • Red Block

    Here’s an idea to boost school rugby. The schools play their traditional competition in Term 2 (that should keep the GPS schools happy) and then in Term 3 there is an 8-week inter-state competition held by the top finishing schools in NSW, QLD and possibly VIC.

    After which an Australian schools team is picked.

    Suddenly the best are on display every week.

    • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

      That’s a good start. Now expand it beyond the GPS into public schools (you’ll probably need a multi-tiered promotion/relegation model to prevent 100-0 score blow outs), and you’ve got an even better start. And then finish the job by getting rid of the stupid term 2 competition, and put a real competition in place.

      • John Tynan

        “When I were a lad…” there was a school based state wide knock out comp. You played in your district (mine was CQ) then crossed over to other winners. Logistics a bit nightmarish if I think about it as an adult, but was awesome playing in it.

    • Who?

      Because we can afford that…
      And because soccer will be happy to surrender Term 2.

      • McWarren

        AIC currently do Soccer and Rugby in term 2.

    • McWarren

      You realise these are kids, big kids granted, but none the less kids. Kids with priorities other than rugby. What are your thought on flying school boy teams around the country on weekends when they should be with family, studying, dating, just plain hanging out.

      School comps in my mind do not need to involve massive amounts of travel and logistical management.

      In Brisbane you could form a two term comp from the GPS and AIC teams plus others such as Downlands, ATC and a few State Highs. Giveing the boys a solid 16 to 18 games a year. And still giving them time for other sports, study, rest and a social life.

      • Who?

        I believe Downlands, ATC, TACAPS, Scots PGC and a few others are trying to put together their own competition, given that Downlands has been consistently blocked from entry to the GPS for something like 80 years, and other schools are trying to rise.
        But we’ve got to stop relying on entities we can’t control (i.e. schools) to develop our game.

    • John Tynan

      AIC rugby already in Term 2, to cater for GPS comp which is term 3.
      It’s not just first XV’s this affects though, but every year 5 through to 10 team as well as U16’s and first/seconds comp currently under AIC.
      To be honest, most of the AIC players (except maybe Marist) are league first, union second, so it will kill AIC rugby in Brizzy, or at least drop the standard significantly.

  • paul

    This is a “Wake up call” ???????

  • A “wake up call”!? Many at grass roots levels including prominent rugby schools have been suffering insomnia for many years. What a load of BSZa. Not only will this definitely see many boys from my inner city college move to other codes, it could very well be the catalyst for me to go to. I already have to approach kids to see if they are interested in moving over to rugby. It is seen as the novelty option. The game is breaking. Or already broken, and it is administration’s fault. FTS.

    Great to hear chieka finally state the bleedingly obvious re:QC. I would have hoped he would be talking to wonder kiwi rookie boy thorn and suggesting, as he has apparently done so in the past, to play particular players in particular positions, ie qc at 10, not only because it seems the Reds need somethhing (anything) but for the betterment of wallaby rugby, to have a real second option at 10. Bronco membership seems the inevitable response to my slow shift away from the boring state of aus rugby and incompetent management. Again FTS

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate sad that you feel that way but I do understand why. I think Cheika hasn’t said that to Thorn on Quade because he doesn’t see Quade as part of the Wallabies either. Let’s face it he sacked Quade first

      • Yeah sad, but I am fn angry. what do I do with my weekends now apart from watch Australian teams lose and club and school team number decline.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          don’t blame you at all mate and I find myself watching more league and AFL these days too

        • Habitual offender

          breathe deeply

  • Jack Mallick

    Kodak made similar comments when phone cameras were first marketed

  • Gun

    Why do you reckon Daryl Gibson doesn’t see a problem with his countrymen’s officiating and decision making?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think because he knows the referees are neutral and while they make mistakes at times he doesn’t believe, correctly I might add, that this is not through any sort of bias or desire to see any particular team win. Sorry if that ruins your conspiracy theory.

      • Greg

        You have a double negative in there @krl but agree with your sentiment.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Thanks. Sorted

      • Gun

        Not a conspiracy but natural human bias. It is another part of a flawed comp that sees partisan umpires, rather than neutral. If there was balance all countries would have equal representation amongst the officials, regardless of ability. The trg of those officials would occur by the central commission or equivalent.
        It’s very easy to be a Kiwi rugby fan!

        • Missing Link

          Agreed, the refs aren’t deliberately trying to be biased, but when you’re reffing a team that you hope wins for whatever reasons, you tend to favour them. I’m sure at least one ref over the years has unconsciously biased the All Blacks simply because they think the haka is amazing

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I get what you’re saying mate but I don’t think that any referee does hope a particular team wins. Referees get into the game beacuse they love it and they understand the impact they can have. In my experience a referee who does have a link to a team is usually harder on that team. I do agree that there is likely to be an on field bias for a more positive team but even that I think is only for line calls which by their nature are going to be challenged anyway.

        • Missing Link

          Fair enough KRL, I see your point. I’d be the first to admit it if I was reffing a Wallabies game. I might not make it out of Eden Park alive, but who cares when the Wallabies keep the All Blacks scoreless and regain the Bledisloe :)

          I’ve seen it in amatuer sport a few times, a player comes down from a higher level with a good reputation, they seem to be able to do nothing wrong according to the ref/umpire.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah and referees make mistakes. I know I do. You just try to acknowledge it, look at what may have caused it and then move on. The hardest thing is ot trying to compensate and then let the other team of something. That just makes you more inconsistent

        • Habitual offender

          Consistency is the key.
          Ive often been told by players after games Im consistent.. Im sure you know the rest of the punchline

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha yep

        • Hoss

          Yeah, but if you’re consistently inconsistent, then, ipso facto …………..

        • McWarren

          I knew there was a mater in you ML.

        • Gun

          I’ve banged on about it before but our national teams rarely get home games. The power of a home ground is well known, the AFL teams outside Melbourne do well at home where they have 50k supporters and familiarity etc but poorly at the cathedral.
          At the last rebels game 50/50 us v the enemy.
          Home refereeing must be another contributor to this advantage. Given the game is rooted here, these things should be considered and mitigated.
          In Australia the irony is that we need the expats to support the game because it is just about commercially unsustainable.

      • HK Red

        I don’t think there’s inherent bias within the officials, certainly nothing intentional. However, I do think subtle influences (home town crowd, or broadcaster replaying an incident ad-nauseum) can very easily sway judgement. It’s hard for anyone to remain completely impartial under that sort of influence and for that reason it’s up to SANZAR to remove any hint of bias and ensure neutral refs are provided. Then we can all assemble here on Monday’s and say “That ref is utter tripe!”, rather than, I think unfairly, label him a cheat.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I’m always surprised when I finish a game and someone says that a supoporter was yelling at me or whatever. I think that the biggest issue with the refereeing in the Super side is that the people operating the screens can influence the TMO who then reacts to it. There aren’t enough referees in each country for a group of neutral referees at each game and I don’t think it’d actually change anything. Neutral referees may make the watchers feel better but I don’t think it would change anything on the field, nor would it change any of the decisions.

    • Crescent

      I reckon its because he knows once the whistle is blown and the result is in the book, that is all settled. It is an area that he cannot influence in coaching the team, but he can influence how the team attempts to bounce back to secure the result when everything is not going your way.

      I preferred his recognition that the Tahs blew a 29 point lead to lose the game. That is something he can influence, and should probably be shown the door at the end of the season for his inability to get this team to perform consistently to their potential from the time he took over. He had his “rebuilding” years, we endured last year and he should be out of rope as at the end of this season.

      • Gun

        Very magnanimous of him!

        • Alister Smith

          It might also be that (slightly less magnamiously of him) he doesn’t see value in potentially getting another set of officials offside who may have to ref the Waratahs in the final. In any case, if we had a kicker who could make a 40 m conversion then we probably still would have one.

      • Fed

        Good call – blame puts responsibilities of your own destiny on others. A team in such disarray won’t build from blame.

    • Braveheart81

      Because the only thing that he can achieve now by criticising the referee is he gets fined. He would be an absolute idiot to go out and publicly slate O’Keefe and SANZAAR.

      • Funk

        I would think that NSWRU would be happy to stump up the $10K for him to come out and state that O’Keefe’s, the AR’s and the TMO’s performances on the night were not good enough.

        • Braveheart81

          I doubt it. Everyone knows that O’Keefe’s performance was dire. It was been covered in the rugby media to a large degree this week. I don’t see what further comments from Gibson add apart from distracting from their game this Saturday that they really need to win.

          And unlike the rugby media hurling criticism, if Gibson does it he would certainly get accused of being a sore loser and making excuses for his side falling apart. He nor the Waratahs have anything to gain by it.

        • Brumby Runner

          O’Keefe was dire and now has the Reds v the Hurricanes.Great reward for a dire performance. Pity there’s no such thing as accountability hanging over poor referees. But then I remember, the appointments are made weeks in advance and can’t be changed. Just like the Romanian referee in the Spain v Belbium game. What a load of buushit.

        • Funk
        • John Tynan

          Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. One game, Cheika gets criticised for publicly criticising the refs. Another game Gibson gets criticised for not publicly criticising the ref.
          Cross over with apparant high mindedness on social media re: Cheika comments, you simply can’t please all of the people all of the time.

        • Habitual offender

          Not just social media either.
          Noted lately ABC news online has had nothing on Rugby in their sports column for months, now lots of crap on Folau and any bad news stories they can find
          All too negative

        • Missing Link

          ABC isn’t concerned with rugby like it was back in the 80’s and 90’s but Folau’s comments trigger left wing ideologues which seems to describe most of the staff employed by the ABC and hence why it’s something they a covering in detail.

        • Habitual offender

          You know how I love disagreeing with you ML, sadly I cant.

        • McWarren

          Thank you Mr Morrison.

        • Missing Link

          Presume you are referring to Jim Morrison. However I’m not half the cool cat he was

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Sounds like RA has got another battle on its hands in the school arena. Unfortunately due to the structure of the board and the inability of the state to relinquish any control of rugby in its area RA will be largely toothless, while the people who refuse to pass any control will then blame RA for not doing anything.

    • Andy

      I think the outcome is good for a different reason.

      Now RA don’t have plan A to always fall back on. If other sporting codes are going to make inroads into private schools then they have no choice but to go after the public school system. It will be the straw that broke the camels back, so to speak…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah maybe but considering they don’t have the money to challenge the other codes will that be a success or are they just throwing money away?

        • Bakkies

          After looking at the books over recent years, throwing money away.

  • Missing Link

    Looks like there’s a bit of blow up on social media about Cheika’s comments. Cheika answered a social question as any rugby coach would. If someone is sledging you on the field, don’t engage with them, simply detach. There are no safe spaces on a rugby field. If you wanted the answer to be something else, perhaps ask an expert in the field instead.

    • Hoss

      Spot on Link – but Cheika’s great failing with his comments is that he forgot that everyone’s a victim and that all comments should be made on the basis that:

      1. Everyone is a victim
      2. We should understand that everyone is a victim
      3. By failing to recognise that everyone is a victim, you are actually victimising them further
      4 That parents (generalisation) are actually too lazy to parent their children – so both the parents and the children are victims (referred to by the equation <PxC2 = 0)
      5. Therefore role models (and not-so role models in some cases) are surrogate parents – thereby causing their children to be victims of a victim, who is victimised (the victim 'knock-on' effect – brutal this one)
      6. And that all victims lack the basic mens rea to arrive at the point where they
      – delete the twitter feed
      – turn off facebook
      – ask a loved one for guidance
      – engage with another human on a one-to-one level – all because they are too victimised
      7. And that all victims actually enjoy being a victim as it makes them the centre of the miseryverse on the Google Machine Farce Book sites
      8. So by not being a victim and therefore one step removed from the miseryverse of aforementioned google thingy they are actually isolated and genuinely victimised as they cannot relate and be embraced by the misery blanket that is social media.

      Its a vicious self perpetuating problem and Cheika should know better than to offer a common sense answer where individuals try to intervene and provide guidance, support, direction and love – pffft what would we complain about then.

  • McWarren

    Why would Quade move to Melbourne or Canberra in the hope of being picked by a man who got him to move back from Europe to Brisbane and then didn’t use him?

    • Missing Link

      cooler weather is about the only reason I can think of :)

      • Tomthusiasm

        Maybe a land rover

        • Hoss

          Yep $650k pa is not enough to continually fix those fuckers.

          You reckon RA is unreliable – try owning one of Tata’s finest

          Fuck me.

    • Tomthusiasm

      I feel like Cheika is being disingenuous here, if any coach would pick a player out of club rugby to play for the Wallabies, it’d be him. I feel like it’s a convenient excuse hiding behind Thorn’s stance.

    • Braveheart81

      Because he still has aspirations of a top level professional career?

      • Who?

        Point is that Cheika wasn’t ever intending on picking QC, regardless of where he might live. He spent ARU money (it was the ARU back then) to get him back, then put him on a very large contract, but never gave him a clear run, even when Foley’s form was in the toilet (2016, Foley horribly out of form, so Cheika moves him to 12 outside QC so that Foley could step on QC’s toes, and then when they head to Europe Cheika decides he only wants one playmaker, and drops QC when he had the better record for the year), and has clearly shown through 2017 that he’d mentally stamped QC as ‘not to be selected again’.
        So, if the bloke’s not going to pick you, why would you completely change your life (bearing in mind Cooper’s pretty settled in Brisbane – house freshly renovated, long term partner, plus the rest of his family) in hopes of being selected by him..? It’s significant cost (both financial in moving, but also personal) for no benefit.

        • Braveheart81

          I agree that Cheika is unlikely to pick Cooper again. He has been asked to address the question though which he is. Cooper will not be selected whilst just playing club rugby in Brisbane when other options are on the table. Whether or not he would be selected for the Wallabies if he was playing for the Brumbies or Rebels is unknown but he’d be in the selection frame like the rest of the players playing Super Rugby.

          My point was whether Cooper intends on playing out the two year contract in club rugby and he’ll be 31 when it finishes, where does that leave him? His chances of getting another highly paid contract at that point in time after being in the wilderness for two years won’t be improved.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He will still be able to go to Japan. If his Wallaby career is over, why risk injury playing for a bad team like the Brumbies when he can enjoy life in Queensland and get healthy?

        • Who?

          But I disagree he’d actually be in the selection frame. Which means there’s no real point in moving.
          Especially given, as you rightly point out, at 31, he may not be able to score another top level contract after this one’s done. There’s no guarantees on Thorn’s future either way, he may or may not be Reds coach then. Cheika may or (more likely) may not be Wallabies coach. SO it’s possible that he’d be a shot at Wallabies selection in 2020, but nothing like a probability. And in terms of making money overseas, I’d agree the odds there are long without any recent Super experience. Maybe he’s just not stressed, maybe he’s preparing to retire..?

        • Braveheart81

          Cheika keeps getting asked. It would be entirely disingenuous for him to say he’s every chance of being selected from club rugby when that is clearly not the case. It would also be unprecedented and entirely unfair (as would be the case with any player) to say that they’re unlikely to be selected regardless. I think Cooper would be far less likely to play for the Wallabies in 2020 with a new coach at the Reds and Wallabies than he would be in 2018 under Cheika if he is playing Super Rugby somewhere.

          Maybe Cooper is preparing to retire after another season of club rugby in 2019 and good luck to him if he does. I just hope he’s thinking through his options carefully.

        • Who?

          Cheika’s getting asked because he said earlier in the year that if Cooper weren’t playing for the Reds, they’d look at tapes of club games. So he brought that on himself. He also brought it on himself by not having other options at 10. Anyone who genuinely believes Beale or Hodge is a real, genuine threat to Foley at 10, or even a substantive backup clearly doesn’t understand much of Rugby…
          And it would be wrong to say that a player is a possibility for selection if that’s not the case. However, it wouldn’t be unprecedented for Cheika, given he chose against selecting Cooper for TRC because ‘he needed to enjoy the game again’. That’s the weakest excuse I’ve ever heard. By that point, he’d clearly made a decision that he wasn’t picking Cooper again. If that’s the case, that’s ok, he’s the coach. We don’t agree with him (it’s not like his selections are universally agreed), too bad. But it’s his right to make the call, and he should’ve been honest with Cooper and the public. After all, he knew in July that he wouldn’t require Cooper when talking to Alan Jones…
          It’s not unprecedented to say that a player’s not likely to get selected – Phil Waugh, Al Baxter, they were in that situation in 2010/11. Great servants of the Tahs, Baxter (then) the best THP in the country (I’d have picked for him RWC 2011). The difference here, though, is that RA want Cooper to move because he’s not contributing to Super teams for his paycheque. That wasn’t the case for Waugh and Baxter, so they didn’t need any form of incentive. Talk of eligibility is just an attempt to incentivise Cooper to move
          I agree that Cooper’s very unlikely to play Reds/Wallabies in 2020 regardless of coaches, hence my statement that it’s nothing like a probability.
          And I also really hope that he’s lining up his post-rugby career. Because I also fear he’s likely to be coming to the end of it in 2019, if he doesn’t change to the Rebels or Brumbies for next season.

        • Hoss

          Great point mate – also a dangerous precedent.

          What message does it send that you can snub your nose at 2 x Oz Provinces, play weekend touch on $650k pa and slide into a gold jersey.

          Slippery slope.

        • Who?

          Doesn’t answer the question about whether he’d be genuinely considered, though, Hoss. If you’re demanding someone move because you want to pick them even though everyone – and I mean everyone – knows you’ll never pick them, why should they move..? Especially when the player in question is a 100+ cap player and has no interest in playing for another club? There’s no motivation for him to move. He’s loyal to his team (even when they’ve been disloyal to him), and moving (at significant cost) isn’t going to bring financial or representative benefit (i.e. increased pay, Test match payments or Wallabies caps), so he’s better off in every way staying where he is. Cooper’s said that he nailed his colours to the mast when he signed a three year deal. There’s no reason for him to move.
          Do you really even slightly believe that Cheika didn’t write him off – permanently – last year….?

        • Hoss

          Evening Dr.

          I suppose i come it from the point of view of an elite athlete who still has age, strength and fitness on his side and the desire to perform at an elite level. Yep $650k is a lot of Johnny, but in the scheme of things not enough to sustain Cooper into his 70 or 80’s. I would have thought a continued tenure in Wallaby gold, followed by a not all-together unpleasant sabbatical in his early 30’s to Nipponville of Old Blighty would net him substantially more than 2 years of Disney Ball in Clubland at $650k pa.

          I seriously doubt QC or anyone else who returned was guaranteed any spot in the Wallaby fold. Certainly i bet there was the carrot or an opportunity dangled, to put forward a case for selection – sure – but guaranteed selection, i doubt it.

          I am sure Cheik and co make compelling sales pitches, i get that, but i find it hard to believe that ‘X’ player gets quoted a guaranteed selection / starting spot.

          What a player does with that chance, how other players perform as well – that’s all the minutia we will never know nor control.

          I also cant comprehend how a line through a players selection would be drawn out of spite, or factors of pig-headiness. If they were a ‘dickhead’ aka Beiber, a repeat offender or just plain a turd of a human – then sure (AB’s have a policy – good people make good all blacks – they seem to go ok) As a professional coach, who’s continued employment and future market value depends on his track record, i would envisage Cheika very much has an eye to his future as well, so the more trophies, the more demand for him and if QC was a pathway to more trophies he would be in the run-on side for sure.

          As a Waratah’s fan the though of Foley being the Wallaby 10 makes me nauseas, but those who recall QC’s most recent form (more than any other Wally) seems to have rose coloured / nay, blinkers on. He was tried at Test level and to my (Green and Gold) eyes, he just never cut it, by some way.

          But i would concede this, if he was the form 10 in Oz SR, id bet my last good testicle he would be picked and i would still shout for him in the game – FFS anyone but Foley.

          But from clubland after refusing 2 requests to stay in Oz, well…….

        • Who?

          I completely agree that $650k’s not enough to set himself up. Hence why I’m saying he needs real incentive to move from a place where he’s comfortably settled. Because it costs money to move to Melbourne or Canberra. Even if he just rents a place, it’s still rent, it’s flights, etc. So he needs motivation. Neither is going to give him more than he gets to play for Souths.

          So he needs a real shot at a Wallaby jersey. But I don’t see Cheik’s ever really been serious with him. 2015, Cheik wanted his guys, the team he knew, which is understandable. 16, Foley was horribly out of form but not dumped, instead shuffled to 12 where he stomped all over Cooper’s toes. When Cheik decided to ‘simplify’ back to one playmaker (Beale was back), Cooper, who had a better record as the starting 10 that year, was dumped, in spite of Foley’s poor form and need for a break (he’d been in Japan, effectively no off season, even if he’d been in form he needed a break). So we went to Europe and lost to England. 2017, Cooper played behind a consistently exhausted pack which wasn’t capable of executing whatever game plan it might’ve been that Stiles supposedly wanted executed, which saw him trying to play territory (which then saw him pilloried for kicking away the ball, when his forwards were desperate for a stoppage). He was dumped from TRC, told he needed to ‘enjoy his rugby’, and that was that.

          It’s the same as Mowen going overseas. We’d all love to be Wallabies, but why spend all that time away from family when you can earn way more coin and spend more time with them working overseas? It’s like Fardy – why stick around in Australia when you’re not valued by your coach, and there’s a significant offer from overseas?

          I’m not saying Cooper was in great form in 2017. I don’t think he was in poorer form than any other candidate, but I do think his form was questioned a bit unfairly, as he played behind a beaten pack, and no 10 looks good behind a beaten pack. I don’t think he was in his top form in 2016, but I don’t see that his axing from the Wallabies whilst Foley was retained was justifiable on form or record.

          I don’t think anyone coming back to Australia expects a saloon chair ride into the Wallabies. I sure hope no one ever gets it! But having been around a while, having been burned by Robbie Deans (as was Giteau, as was Barnes, no 10 performed well under Deans for more than 1.5 seasons), having had to endure Richard Graham (undoubtedly a major reason why he went to Toulon), I’m sure Cooper’s figured out how ALL Australian Rugby works. It’s not about being the best player, or the player most complementary to the team’s style. It’s who you know.

          You may say that you can’t comprehend how a player could be written off through spite or pig-headedness. It’s not just that. It’s also understanding how to get along with people, and how to use people well. You might have the best IT guy in the world, but if he’s creepy, you might find some staff don’t feel comfortable with him. You might have a woman who could sell ice to the Inuit, but if you’ve only five prospective clients, you may not be able to fully extend her skills. If you’ve got a coach who wants to rumble in the forwards and doesn’t want to play with width, a coach who doesn’t want to kick, then having a player like Cooper who will look for width and will kick pass inside his own in-goal (but only if he has advantage) isn’t necessarily an advantage. In the same way that a flanker who’s a pest at the breakdown isn’t necessarily an advantage if you want to focus only on winning the contact in the air (Fardy).

          Further, it was always said that Chieka saw Cooper and Beale as similar players. But as time’s progressed, they’ve grown more and more dissimilar. Beale’s running game has become ever more crucial to his success. His passing game has, arguably, faded. Whereas Cooper relies on other people running, and picking the right runner. He wants to run the game, Beale wants to run. That’s good – unless you think they’re the same type of player. They’re not.

          So I don’t see that Cheika knows how to use Cooper, or even a pass/kick/run 10 (Foley’s not that, he’s a run/pass/kick player). If you don’t necessarily understand a bloke (i.e. click with his character) and you don’t understand how he approaches the game and the best way to use him, then why would you select him?

          So I don’t see that there’s any real motivation for Cooper to move away from the Reds to an Australian Super Club. It’s all cost, no benefit (no real shot at a Gold jersey – not while Cheika’s coach). If there were an offer from overseas, maybe that’d be different? But he’s pretty settled in Brisbane, and Toulon wasn’t great, so maybe not? Maybe he’s thinking that, after another couple of years, he’ll have been around long enough, his body will have copped enough (he debuted against Italy in 2008, I thought? That’s a decade), maybe he’s made some smart investments, maybe it’ll be time to retire? I don’t know. But I’m pretty certain that there needs to be at least one, if not two, coaching changes happen before Cooper’s anything other than effectively retired from international Rugby (read, I think he knows he’s played his last Super game and Test, and is ok with that. So he’s enjoying playing with his mates, contributing to his club, and somehow still getting paid).

        • Hoss

          You make a strong case and hard to disagree – i think we can both agree we want anyone but Foley at 10, although that cupboard is rather bare.

          Hell id settle for Hamish Stewart v the Paddies, just to get the measure of the kid.

        • Who?

          Whilst I’d love to see an alternative to Foley at 10, I don’t see that there’s anyone who’s earned it off him. And I’m not sure that we should burn Hamish (or Mack Mason, or Maddocks) in the same way the Poms burned Jonny Wilkinson by playing him on the tour of hell in 98.
          I really, really wish that Thorn weren’t so stubborn that he blocked QC from the Reds. Even if he weren’t playing, he could’ve contributed in other ways. Hamish can tackle (though he’s clearly not a fullback!), so keep that, but let him learn Quade’s attacking thought processes. I was really excited about that prospect over the last year. It really could’ve been a great thing for Hamish, the Reds, and for the game in Australia. Instead, we’re letting one of our best young prospects develop his game management under a grinding lock, a winger best known for finding a Cantabrian All Black prop’s elbow (just had to phrase it that way this week), and a bloke with one of the worst coaching records in Super Rugby. If only he were learning from people with the vision and game management experience of Cooper, Lynagh, McLean (picking Qld names purely because he’s there – if he were in NSW, I’d be saying Ella. Sadly can’t think of a great NSW 10 since 1984…).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree that it is unlikely that Cheika would ever pick Quade again and I don’t think that a move to either Canberra or Melbourne would change that. I think Quade is looking for a post rugby career in Queensland after this all finishes and with the money he is making at the moment he will be very wells set up so good on him. I don’t think he’ll look at Japan and I don’t think any team in Japan would pick him from club rugby anyway. TBH I think Quade’s career in rugby will be over after this contract. A pity actually because I felt he brought a lot to the game especially his interaction with the fans and the way he was mentoring some of the newbies – if only he’d learnt how to tackle.

        • Richard Patterson

          Quade Cooper made some very poor personal decisions at the height of his playing career. He breached a fundamental rule of any great sporting organisation and put himself before the team. He promoted a culture there was to be one set of rules for himself (and a handful of others) and one set of rules for everyone else. It cost him.

          Richie McCaw once said “guys like Quade Cooper get their beans”. As Cooper currently sits officially unwanted by his state coach and seemingly unwanted by his national coach it appears McCaw was right.

        • HK Red

          That’s a fair assessment, can’t disagree.
          However, exactly the same should be said for Bieber and Beale.
          Obviously Bieber continued to burn bridges until no-one in Aus rugby would defend him and most were glad to see the back of him, while lamenting the wasted talent.
          I think Cooper started pulling his head in and behaving more responsibly a lot earlier than Kurtley did, but now in the eyes of their respective SR and National coaches, one can do no wrong, while the other is like a smear of dog sh!t on their shoe.
          So, why the different treatment?

        • Richard Patterson

          Very fair questions HK Red.
          James O’Connor was never smart enough to understand he would pay a price for his serial offending. At 27 the guy is washed up. I sense that reality is dawning on him.
          After the fiasco with Ewen McKenzie, Kurtley Beale was headed the same way – but was saved by Michael Cheika. Beale was smart enough to listen and adjust.
          Quade Cooper was not as fortunate. McKenzie was Cooper’s biggest mentor — but McKenzie was highjacked by Cooper’s good mate Beale. In that instance Beale won, Cooper lost.
          To offset that, Cooper was never willing to go away and upgrade the deficiencies in his play. The same deficiencies that the better opposition sides had identified and targeted.
          Cooper devoted time to becoming a boxer instead of painstakingly devoting time to making himself a really complete international No. 10.
          Cooper never narrowed the gap between his core strengths and fundamental weaknesses. Arguably the gap widened — especially against the good sides.
          Cooper never evolved as a No. 10. At the very top end of rugby, if you don’t keep evolving you go backwards. There is no finer example than Quade Cooper. Now he seems to be getting his beans. It didn’t have to be this way. Arguably it never should have.

        • HK Red

          QC has deficiencies not worked on and eradicated, as does Beale (as does Foley for that matter!!), but I think there’s one really key point in your reply that fairly sums up the difference………

          “Beale was headed the same way – but was saved by Michael Cheika…………… McKenzie was Cooper’s biggest mentor — but McKenzie was highjacked by Cooper’s good mate Beale. In that instance Beale won, Cooper lost.”

          I think sadly, that it really is as simple as that. Oh well.

          Hopefully there’ll be something on a cold night in Brisbane on June 9th to cheer me up.

        • Richard Patterson

          Your opening point is very apt HK Red. What does it tell you about the competitive pressures facing those players that those deficiencies continue to linger. You sense there would be a different outcome if there was real competition for the jersey and standards were continually being raised by others wanting the job?

          Sadly some players go extended periods in their career without a coach to mentor them. The truly great players go work their tails off learning for themselves. They on’t wait for someone to teach it to them. They set their own standards. That’s a characteristic of greatness. Quade Cooper could have been great. Quade Cooper never worked hard enough to be great. Now he’s 30, unwanted and playing club rugby in Brisbane. This how you wanted it to end Quade?

        • HK Red

          Bloody hell Rich, you know how to depress a man! ;-)

          It saddens me the talent that’s been wasted in Australian rugby. While there are also those that knuckle down, improve their game and give 100% every week, but for one reason or another determine that it’s better for them to ply their trade overseas, than suffer through the quagmire that is Aus rugby at the moment.

        • Richard Patterson

          I think that is the saddest reality that is emerging out of all this HK Red. Now get yourself up to Lan Kwai Fong and have a few beers to cheer up!!

        • McWarren

          Gee Richard let’s apply those KPI’s to all our recent 10’s. I think you come to the same conclusion, why is QC held accountable for a perceived defensive weakness, yet the incumbent with a worse missed tackle count, who hasn’t improved his kicking, of any genre, is not. Teflon Foley could be playing 2nd grade for the Roma Echidna’s and Cheika would pick him without blinking straight after dismissing QC.

        • Braveheart81

          Thorn made the decision that Cooper wasn’t good enough any more to base his whole game plan around the way he plays. He opted for someone who does a job and the way the team plays doesn’t change based on who is in that jersey (Lance or Stewart). The reality is that Cooper hasn’t played consistently good rugby for a long time and the reward for having so much of your success down to the way he plays has diminished.

          Foley has had shocking games and the Wallabies have still won against good opposition. Likewise he has had good games and they have lost. The point there is that like every other player on the field he’s trying to fill a role in his position. The game plan isn’t based around him. The way Cooper played best involved him doing what he did and fitting other people’s roles around trying to facilitate that. It meant so much of the outcome was on the back of Cooper. That was great when he was in his best form but far less so when he wasn’t.

        • John Tynan

          “There is no finer example than Quade Cooper.”
          The no. 10 that is going backwards fastest is our incumbent Wallaby no. 10.

        • Who?

          I’d argue that KB didn’t really narrow the gap between his core strengths and his weaknesses in the fundamentals, either. But he’s Cheik’s mate, whereas Cooper never managed to get into that clique.
          Meanwhile, both have been hindered by being hidden in the backfield. Hindered, because it’s harder to tackle back there and neither is truly brilliant under the high ball, but their moves back there have been logical, given both have great vision and can direct play very well on kick return, having good kicking games and a brilliant ability to identify space.
          Foley has also been moved back, to hide his defensive frailties, but he doesn’t have the same upside the other two have…
          When you talk about a ‘really complete international 10′, I will also mention that most 10’s haven’t been known for their defence. Larkham worked hard, but wasn’t known for putting on hits. Mehrts made Cooper and Beale look like Michael Hooper in effectiveness! I can only think of a few blokes who were genuinely strong on defence – DC (because he was so complete), Wilkinson (his defensive upside paid back some of his attacking deficiencies relative to other 10’s), Butch James (but he should’ve copped more YC’s than Quade, and his weren’t bad technique, they were consistent technique!).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah he did mate but I think he had changed. I still remember listening to him miked up during a game and afterwards and his interaction on the field guiding the play and then his interaction with the fans afterwards was very good.

        • Richard Patterson

          I understand your point KRL. Ever seen a guy all miked up by TV act like a complete jack-ass?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good point but under pressure he still came across well. I truly believe he had turned a corner. Not totally as too many stupid penalties and still can’t tackle but a start. Too late now though he’s done!

        • I agree. But this has a lot to do with the coach, who may be thought of as many as a Queenslander but this is rugby, not league. Quade May have had his personal issues in his early years but can you remind me of others, other than the obvious one which he has never been forgiven for? How do they compare with other’s indiscretions? (KB) and to what extent should they have influenced his selection? He is unwanted by what I see as a very very few Queenslanders, and the Queenslander who doesn’t, is a kiwi. The coach of the national side has shown complete contempt for selections at times, selecting players well out of form or in the case of last tour, not at all. (No second 10). While I agree with what you are saying, how should the qld rugby supporter base feel when many support QC( and his decision to stick to his guns) while selections are being made by someone who does not seem to care for what QC represents, possibly as a result of what QC may have done to an untouchable kiwi many years ago. And I might add, I’m pretty sure While it was silly, tell me QC wasn’t getting what he tried to give me hen he had the tussle with McKaw and his henchman Thorn defended his honour. Basically, QC and Qld seem to be being dudded because of Ritchie McCaw. The kiwi influence in Aus rugby is toxic. Gibson, thorn, Castle, Hore. How did this situation get to this stage? Tell me Thorn will stay true to Qld if a NZ franchise picks him up and offers him structure, professionalism and potential of a nz super team. He will be gone and qld will be none the better off.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Wow! Pretty strong sentiments there mate. I’m not so sure it’s ant QC due to something that happened in their playing days. I actually think BT just doesn’t rate him. He would struggle to rate a player who couldn’t and wouldn’t step up in defence and who can’t or won’t hit up in attack, plus who gives away so many penalties.
          There is a lot of kiwis playing and coaching and managing here. The real issue is I don’t think any of them would have that role in NZ

        • onlinesideline

          not dissimilar to Leroy Housten story. He was neverrrr going to be a Wallaby but Cheika was pretty ruthless using him as an example of how overseas players can still come and be in serious consideration. I felt pretty sorry for LH actually. He was doing fine and settled in the UK.

        • Braveheart81

          It’s a two way street. He was a willing participant and wanted a crack at making the Wallabies. He then couldn’t produce anywhere near the sort of form in Super Rugby that would have kept him there.

          He got to fulfil a dream of being a Wallaby and likely would have finished his career with regrets if he’d never given it a crack.

          I don’t think anyone is being dragged kicking and screaming into these contracts. The lure of playing test rugby is strong and no one is being guaranteed they will be a walk up starter if they come back.

        • onlinesideline

          OK, he wasnt dragged 100% but was Cheika really really genuine seeing him as THE wallaby 8 ? He was playing well in the UK but I got the feeling it was a bit of a PR stunt at a time when the issue was being discussed of overseas players affecting us. Maybe Im just cynical but I never bought it. LH was good but he wasnt that good and were we sooo short of 8s at the time ?

        • onlinesideline

          I just realised I replied to myself – I may as well give myself a like

        • HK Red

          And also, he’s passed the Giteau threshold, so who cares that he’s not in Super Rugby? It’s not form or fitness that’s stopping him from appearing for QLD, it’s a bull-headed approach from the man in charge.

        • Braveheart81

          It has nothing to do with eligibility for selection. It’s the fact that he is playing club rugby.

        • HK Red

          yes, but not because he’s not capable of playing SR.
          Also it certainly wouldn’t be the first time someone has been picked out of club rugby to represent Australia.
          And as has been discussed here at length, we all know that Cheik’s “he’s not playing SR” excuse is utter BS. He wouldn’t pick him anyway no matter if he was playing for the Rebs, or the Brums, or even the Force..

        • John Tynan

          He could be playing french/english/japanese club rugby and get picked?

        • Braveheart81

          He would need to be playing in a decent competition wherever it was. He’d have a far better chance if he was playing French Top 14 of Aviva Premiership than playing club rugby in Brisbane, that’s for sure.

    • McWarren

      And why the fuck didn’t he get asked that question on Kiss & Cuddle last night?

      • Hoss

        He did and he answered accordingly – no, QC wont be pickled whilst playing Saturday Disney Ball.

        • McWarren

          I meant my question. As in “why should he move, last time he moved half way around the world on your insistence Cheik my man you shafted him cause he wasn’t smiling enough?” Phrased just like that.

        • Hoss

          Roger. 10:4 big buddy.

        • Habitual offender

          Still wondering… typo or no?

        • Hoss

          No way HO.

          This site needs more Smokey & The Bandit references.

          Sadly lacking i feel

    • TouchFinderGeneral

      To be fair QC wasn’t really making the grade in Europe – Boudjellal was typically undiplomatic when comparing QC with the recently retired Wilkinson. Not having taken Toulon by storm he probably didn’t have too many options up in the NH, so a return home was a inevitable.

      It’s a damn shame.

  • juswal

    What Cheika says to the media has no resemblance to what he believes (unlike Israel Folau).

    In 2018, Cheika says Quade should be playing Super Rugby if he wants to be a Wallaby.

    In 2017, Cheika said Quade just needed to look like he was enjoying his rugby if he wanted to be a Wallaby. He also picked his TRC squad without regard to Super Rugby form, and augmented his EOYT squad based on NRC performances. The NRC is meant to feed the next year’s Super squads, not the current year’s Wallabies.

    It’s clear that Cheika pays no attention to Super Rugby. He’s just positioning Quade as unpickable so that he can persist with selecting no backup for Foley.

    • Gipetto

      When the ABs needed a Test standard #10, World Cup winning coach Hansen retrieved Cruden and the Beaver from less likely places than where Quade is presently. Of course our Coach Clown is not remotely in Hansen’s league.

      • Braveheart81

        Both of those players had played Super Rugby through the 2011 season. They were pretty obvious selections (because there weren’t really any others healthy). The only other starting Super Rugby 10 that didn’t make that RWC squad at some point was Stephen Brett.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Afternoon GAGR’s! Well a lot has been said today. Here are BL’s Points in no particular order:
    – So O’Keefe gets to referump the Reds Vs the Crusaders as punishment for his crap performance last week, I think this is fairer than a suspensions. I think referumping a Qld Reds game would just be a sould destroying experience. I know because being a reds fan certainly is one!
    – Cheika! Well what can I say that I havnt before. He is an ass clown!
    – RA will have no idea how to respond to League coming into private schools. Certainly up here in Qld (God’s country! And Yes remember I am a NSWelshman), they have been champing at the bit to do that for years. The kids are more interested in it than Ruggers, so it was inevitable. When our SR sides suck, and the Wallabies suck! Is there any reason why the kids would be interested. Kids want to be like there heroes. We dont have many of them in our game at the moment so they look else where.
    Not a lot of good news. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Fuck mate that’s a negative view on life. The trouble is that I can’t really argue with anything you say.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I know! Sad place to be really!

    • Richard Patterson

      Harsh but true BL…
      I watched the Kick & Chase Rugby show last night figuring Fox Sports as the broadcaster of the game (read: big financial stakeholder) had 2 options they could go with the content of this week’s show (I will deal with the Q&A with Michael Cheika later).

      Option 1 – The Constructive Approach
      a/ Analyse the effectiveness of the Waratahs play that allowed them to open up a comprehensive 29-0 lead after 30 minutes.
      b/ Properly breakdown the opening try to Cam Clarke which featured some highly effective interchanges and nice width of the playing field to create the overlap
      c/ Analyse the Waratahs rush defence in the opening 30 minutes which created all sorts of problems for a typically organised Crusaders team.
      d/ Look at how the Crusaders turned the situation around in the 2nd half. Direct ball running, field position, instances of clever “situational rugby”.
      e/ What are the lessons (albeit still raw and painful) that can be taken away from the match that could be used against NZ sides for the remainder of 2018? Why did Tareqe Naiyaravoro attempt an intercept when the Crusaders had a penalty advantage? There was zero upside but lots of downside if the intercept attempt failed and he was deemed to have knocked the ball down intentionally. Isn’t that playing intelligent “heads-up rugby”?

      Option 2 – The Negative Approach
      a/ Despite the game being 4 days old let’s keep re-running the incident of Joe Moody striking Kurtley Beale. Yep it was poor – but they made it the feature of the discussion.
      b/ Highlight supposed Kiwi foul play dating back to 2011. In any given professional game there are consistent off-the-ball distractions in the same way there is “Holding” on 98% of the snaps in the NFL. It will never be eradicated from the game and attempts to do are efforts devoted to a poor yielding conclusion.
      c/ Feature bad Kiwi officiating. Yep that crew badly missed the Joe Moody call — no debate there. They were poor. But detracting attention onto a referee’s performance for a loss is tiresome and lazy.

      The Michael Cheika Interview
      a/ Was Michael Cheika ever going to say anything remotely enlightening on the Israel Folau saga? Why go there?
      b/ Why no reference to the priorities for 2018 which emerged as a result of the disappointing end to 2017?
      c/ What is he expecting from the touring Ireland side 12 months from the World Cup?
      d/ What intelligence are they gathering on the conditioning levels of players entering the June series. Hasn’t this been a problem these past 2 years.
      e/ What themes does he see emerging out of NZ and SA this year as he plans for the Rugby Championship?

      Like many here, I genuinely worry about the future of Rugby in Australia. At all levels and in all states the game is under attack.
      Kids as you correctly point out BL want to be like their heroes. Their heroes should be singled out for what makes them great rugby players. These kids should be saturated with footage, analysis and discussion on great rugby and why it is great rugby. Instead, Fox Sports devoted attention to an incident of foul play, crap refereeing and supposed Kiwi cheating. How is a talented, keen to learn Australian youngster smarter after watching that show? How did that show promote Rugby to the discerning Australian sports fan?
      It was a huge missed opportunity at a time where opportunity after opportunity keep going missing.

      I guess there is a silver lining BL. There was no mention of a poor Reds loss in Japan or a keenly contested Australian derby match in Canberra. I guess discussing crap refereeing makes everyone smarter.

      • Gun

        That’s a solid post Richard. I think the climate we Australians find ourselves in is so far down the road of that level of introspective and positive analysis that it’s not possible. It’s easy being a positive Kiwi; we are responsible for many of the factors that have brought the game to this level but there are a multitude of external forces that have also brought us here.

      • Ed

        Good post Richard. I remember touring NZ in 2006 and watching Reunion. I wished we had a similar program that talked about the game, the tactics etc but alas we don’t. Kafe’s chalkboard was decent value.

        The South Africans used to have Boots and All before TMO, now First XV. The below is a clip from last year, which I would like to see on Kick and Chase. Only the presenter is not an ex-Wallaby, so they could something similar.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjN45Z5Te38&list=PLrknD2SRMNPl6FfQG0_zb9qoKwJLD-uN_&index=7

        • Richard Patterson

          High quality session Ed from a master. There is so much more value to a segment like that than dredging up recycled criticism of referee decisions.

      • Brisneyland Local

        RP, yep I dont have fox for that reason. The commentary and the peoplepaid to make supposed intellectual comment and analysis, are incapable of it. Just morons. Actually I retract that statement. Calling them morons is an insult to all those poor morons out there.
        I now make a point of turning off the tv everytime that Cheika comes on. There will be nothing smart or worthwhile coming out of his mouth.
        Re the Reds, as long as they are inside 50 points of the Crusaders I will be happy! But hey they shipped 60+ points to the Moon doggies so this could and probably will go totally pear shaped.

        • Richard Patterson

          Well BL as someone who is regularly described as a moron I am grateful for your consideration for us. What saddens me is many of the smart, intelligent rugby folks out there (we’ve all met some) refuse to go on TV shows like Fox Sports and SKY Sports in NZ. They don’t want to be associated with low-quality junk and media broadcasters more interested in stirring up shit because it gets more “clicks” or “eyeballs”. Too often we are left with the trash who are not especially clever – but can create headlines with poorly thought out opinions.

          Very big game for the Reds tonight. They were humiliated last week. Tonight they must show fight, poise and the ability to work hard to stay in the contest. The Hurricanes bring plenty of fire-power. The Reds season will turn back up if they work hard tonight and stay committed. If it all gets a bit hard and the heads drop it could get messy – quickly! We’ll see how much this young side have matured as professionals.

          Enjoy the weekend footy mate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          With your level of keen rugby intellect, I find it hard to believe anyone would call you a moron. My wife calls me a Moron. But she says she has a licence that says she can do that!

  • Hoss

    i am so sorry mate, do you want to talk.

    Love – Oprah xxx

    • onlinesideline

      ur a fucking card Hoss

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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