Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
National Rugby Championship

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News has Folau banned, Rebels and Tahs name their squads, Rugby’s presence in Western Sydney and an International Captain Retires with another one Returning.

 

FOLAU BANNED

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Israel Folau has been banned for one match following his citing for contact in the air during the third Irish test.

Folau was yellow carded and later cited for making contact with Irish captain Peter O’Mahony when he was in the air. O’Mahony was stretchered off after he landed awkwardly.

The citing commissioner, New Zealand’s Michael O’Leary, said Folau had “placed his left hand on O’Mahony’s chest”, which had pulled the flanker “over and he toppled to the ground.” Via ESPN

Folau and Rugby Australia are expected to appeal the decision that will be heard on either Thursday or Friday morning. If he is successful he would be able to play against the Melbourne Rebels.

The ban puts increased pressure on the jumper, who can’t pull out once they have left the ground, but doesn’t acknowledge the risks associated with the one-man lift and the responsibility of the lifter to bring the player down safely, not dropping them. As someone who was lifted in lineouts, coaches always said that the lifters had to bring you down, not drop you, so the same rules should apply to the one-man lift.

The decision to card and cite Izzy has brought out a lot of opinions regarding the rules and the officiating around matches. Once again players and coaches are calling for consistency over the rules. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said that there is so much grey and interpretation of the laws that he doesn’t see how the referees can clarify it.

Bernard Foley had a few thoughts but they seem to echo most people in Rugby “I think probably the inconsistency of it is the frustrating thing,” Foley said.

Irish coach Joe Schmit raised the point about grabbing players in the air, even in fair contests, stating there is always a risk in aerial contest.

“Once a player is up and he’s lifted and you do grab him — whether you win the ball or not — you’re running the risk.

“That’s the nature of the game these days.

“I know the reason is well founded because we want player safety as best as we can get it, but at the same time we’ve got to keep that competitive element as much as we can.”

Dane Haylett-Petty is concerned that teams will use the one-man lift to remove the contest or milk penalties unless something is sorted out. (via Rugby.com.au)

“I think they’re probably encouraging teams to do that if they’re going to protect them so heavily,” he said.

“Every single one of those Izzy’s got an eye for the ball, it’s a fair contest, they’re at the same level, and then any sort of contact, you saw, he fell heavily, so it doesn’t take much at all.”

This will be an issue that probably won’t stop with Folau’s appeal.

NO CAPTAINS, NO WORRIES?

Waratahs v Rebels 2018 (1 of 1)-2

Friday night footy is back.

In a must win game for the Melbourne Rebels and the NSW Waratahs on Friday night, both teams will be short their captains. Both teams are looking for a win to secure a spot in the finals.

Waratahs captain Michael Hooper suffered a hamstring injury after he was cleaned out of a ruck 17 minutes into the Wallabies third test against Ireland on Saturday night. Rebels captain Adam Coleman came off at the 45thminute with an adductor strain suffered when he was caught under a maul.

Hooper is expected to miss four weeks according to Waratahs assistant coach Simon Cron. Speaking to the media Cron had this to say.

“Our physios are working with the Wallabies physios around the time frames and from what I understand … at this stage I’d say four weeks.

“We’d hope to have him back in our finals series. It’s very early. They will keep working through it.”

Melbourne Rebels coach David Wessels expects that Coleman will be cleared to play against the Queensland Reds the following weekend.

The Waratah’s have named Will Miller to start at No.7, with Vice Captain Bernard Foley taking the captains role. The Tah’s have named Israel Folau at Fullback hoping to have his suspension overturned, with Bryce Hegarty to come in should it stand. Ned Hannigan comes back into the starting team at Blind Side, and Wallabies Hooker Tolu Latu will be on the bench.

Geoff Parling comes into the second row for the Rebels in replace of Coleman and Tom English will captain the side. Ben Daly will get his first start for the Rebels, and Nathan Charles has replaced Jordan Uelese on the bench.

The Rebels host the Waratahs at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday night.

The Rebels Squad

1. Ben Daley 2. Anaru Rangi 3. Sam Talakai 4. Matt Philip 5. Geoff Parling (v/c) 6. Angus Cottrell 7. Colby Fainga’a 8. Amanaki Mafi 9. Michael Ruru 10. Reece Hodge 11. Marika Koroibete 12. Billy Meakes 13. Tom English (capt.) 14. Jack Maddocks 15. Dane Haylett-Petty Reserves 16. Nathan Charles 17. Fereti Sa’aga 18. Jermaine Ainsley 19. Ross Haylett-Petty 20. Lopeti Timani 21. Harrison Goddard 22. Jack Debreczeni 23. Sefa Naivalu

The Waratahs Squad

1. Tom Robertson 2. Damien Fitzpatrick 3. Sekope Kepu 4. Jed Holloway 5. Rob Simmons (v/c) 6. Ned Hanigan 7. Will Miller 8. Michael Wells 9. Nick Phipps 10. Bernard Foley (capt.) 11. Taqele Naiyaravoro 12. Kurtley Beale 13. Curtis Rona 14. Cam Clark 15. Israel Folau Reserves 16. Tolu Latu 17. Harry Johnson-Holmes 18. Paddy Ryan 19. Tom Staniforth 20. Brad Wilkin 21. Jake Gordon 22. Bryce Hegarty 23. Alex Newsome

WESTERN SYDNEY SHOWS UP FOR LEAGUE

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On Saturday night when the Wallabies took on the Irish in front of a sell out crowd at Allianz Stadium, another International match was played in Sydney to a packed house. It just wasn’t a game of Union.

Tonga played Samoa in a Pacific nations Rugby League match at Campbelltown Stadium in front of a crowd of 17,802 spectators. The crowd was treated to some fast paced league, with Tonga finishing strong with a 38-22 victory.

This match did not garner large amounts of media attention but the crowd numbers are something to look at. No Australian Super Rugby match has had those numbers in attendance.

This match occurred in the same year that Penrith are removed from the Shute Shield and the Greater Sydney Rams were dropped from the NRC. Which raises the question, what is NSWRU and RA’s plan for Western Sydney? Give it to the NRL and AFL?

Not even two years ago, Sydney Rugby Union boss David Begg floated the idea that a Super Rugby team would work in Western Sydney. He believed the cross-town rivalry between East and West Sydney (like the AFL and Soccer) would be great for the game. Former Waratahs, Force and Rugby Union Players’ Association boss Greg Harris even suggested moving the Western Force from WA to become the Western Sydney Force. (via SMH.com)

Over the years there has been talk of a Super Rugby team in Western Sydney but lately all that Rugby Australia appears to be doing is culling teams rather than put money into the area. Why does it feel like Rugby Union in Western Sydney has been abandoned?

ONE CAPTAIN RETIRES ANOTHER RETURNS

Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss

South Africa’s most capped Super Rugby player Adriaan Straus has announced he will retirefrom all forms of Rugby at the end of the 2018 season.

The former Springbok captain has played 156 Super matches so far, including 97 for the Cheetahs, and will finish his career with the Bulls.

“It hasn’t been an easy decision, but one that I’ve been thinking about for a while now,” he said.

“It is however time for me to enter into the next phase of my life and focus on a few new ventures.”

Straus holds 66 Springbok caps and captained them in 2016 before he retired from International Rugby.

As one captain retires another returns to the game, with All Black captain Kieran Read set to make his return for the Crusaders.

Read hasn’t played top level Rugby in 7 months after he received spinal surgery in December, putting an end to his European tour. Not that the All Blacks or the Crusaders appear to be missing him.

The All Blacks skipper played the first 40 minutes for Counties Manukau on Wednesday in a pre-season provincial match at Manurewa Rugby Club, south of Auckland. Hopefully some bloke in New Zealand is celebrating he got to lay a tackle on the All Black captain.

Read is hopefully he will lead the All Black in the Rugby Championships, assuming he can finish strong with the Crusaders.

“Today really was just to go out and get a bit of contact, take a few hits, make some tackles and really just enjoy the game,” he said.

“It is going to be a step up going back to Super Rugby and it’s up to the coaches to decide how they want to use me.”

 

  • Alister Smith

    “I know the reason is well founded because we want player safety as best as we can get it, but at the same time we’ve got to keep that competitive element as much as we can.” Joe Schmidt – if he really wanted player safety as best as we can get it he would have two players lifting not one.

    • Greg

      This is, imo, the issue. Unless the lifter is a superman (ref some of the sth africa videos) a single lifter cannot assure safety of the lift player if there is any sort of contact. Not grabbing… just bumping into each other… which is completely to be expected and legal.

      • Mart

        The case in point is this situation vs the DHP Kearney one. No lifter involved so no one tipped off balance by the challenge

        • Alister Smith

          This comment in a Wayne Smith article (comments from Mike Tindall) sums it up.

          “That was what got former England centre Mike Tindall most upset as he took to Twitter to express his support for Folau.

          “Surely a guy who is lifted needs to be protected by his lifter,” Tindall said. “Folau wins that contest hands down without the lift. Whoever was lifting was more interested in appealing for the penalty that protecting his captain.””

        • Mart

          The lifter is going to tip the balance of the jumper if anyone comes into contact with the jumper in the air

        • 22DropOut

          You still can’t pull the player though. That’s why he got cited, he didn’t need to do it and he did it more than once.

          Agree the lifter(s) have a moral duty of care, regardless of what the laws say, and this should be changed so that the consequences of illegal pulls are reduced.

        • Mart
        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yes. I really don’t like outcome based punishments in a sport like rugby. Punishments should be based on intention and the action (cause) not the outcome (effect).

        • Greg

          I think an exception is hits to the head. I think intent is less relevant.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I do think that there should be different levels of punishment in a scenario where (a) someone goes in to make a big legal hit and the carrier ducks into it/falls at the last second and contact is made with the head and (b) someone goes straight for the head.

          Under the current laws I imagine that scenario (a) would have a greater punishment if it resulted in more harm than scenario (b), although (b) is obviously worse.

        • 22DropOut

          Of course it should be consistent.

          We shouldn’t just go down the lowest common denominator whattaboutism road and excuse it because sometimes it is missed.

        • Alister Smith

          yes he touched him – whether he “pulled” or just “grabbed” as he was off balance is debateable and I don’t think he went up with the intent to pull the player down – he went up to catch the ball and on his return to ground reached out and grabbed. But the result is the same. You are right in that sense and a penalty and card are probably consistent with the law as its written.

          If it is really worthy of suspension will be clarified tonight hopefully and I hope they do qualify their reasoning and address some of the others issues around lifting etc in their answer (regardless of whether the suspension is upheld or not).

          Also, because the blocker/lifter is underneath it changes things for Folau too. It is unlawful to come into contact with a player who is standing on the ground to make contact with the player contesting the ball in the air. But in this situation Stander, in supporting his own player, also contacts with Folau. If Stander is not there then Folau doesn’t fall in the same way – he now falls forward and down (tips over) and this may be what makes him reach out and grab.
          After looking at this photo, I think that the tactic of lifting players in general play or restarts should be outlawed regardless of how many players are involved in the lift. We should try and maintain a contest for the ball from the kick-off – its a very exciting part of the game – more exciting than a deep kick and then and exit and kick – and performed properly without the impact of lifters it should still be relatively safe.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/461e91e406b2e7a262bbfaaaffcd815783f1ef74e28ed840ac2ee51ec9ffe2e1.png

        • 22DropOut

          He did grab him, that’s why he was cited. Despite most articles choosing to show different pictures to what he was cited for.

    • Pedro

      Just no lifting outside of the lineout. It adds nothing except to slow the game down.

    • st saens

      I suggest forwards attack in pods of three from now on…two lifters holding the third player aloft with the ball, while charging at the defence. Either the defenders stand aside and allow the pod free passage to the try line, or they give up a penalty and YC for bringing down the man in the air.

      • Alister Smith

        the lifted player can wear purple or gold shorts so the ref can clearly identify him ala golden oldies

      • Alister Smith

        and ten metres out from the line they are allowed to throw their own players up and over the defence and any defenders that he hits along the way have a duty of care to him and can be sent off (and soundly flogged) if they make contact with the lifted/thrown ball carrier

  • st saens

    Bouquets: Adriaan Strauss. Terrific player and seemed to be a pretty good bloke too.
    Brickbats: World Rugby, TMOs and citing commissioners for complete confusion and random decisions wrt aerial contests (Fall vs Folau anyone??)

  • Alister Smith

    One thing I think that might be worth looking at from a strategy point of view was the way we run our forward attack. The Wallabies attack in pods or two’s with players staying low to the ground and taking the engagement and going almost immediately to ground. I suspect it is a safety first option to minimise any turnover opportunities but it means that in many tackle situations only a single defender has to be drawn in each time – so we have two or three in attack against one or two committed defenders which, many times leaves us with just 12-13 attackers against 13-14 defenders.

    The Irish also worked in pairs but they looked to break the line first and remained more upright, giving them the opportunity to offload if the chance presented itself – this gave them the ability to vary their attack a little more and an attacker who is looking to offload draws in more defenders – often one high, one low and one to poach so in that case it leaves 13-14 attackers against 12-13 defenders. A Channel 10 commentator (probably Nathan Sharpe) also mentioned during the commentary that the Irish varied the depth of their forward runners. So there are a couple of opportunities perhaps for us to (particularly in more attacking areas of the ground) to vary our attack a little more.

  • Happyman

    The problem with the Folou sanction is it is based on outcome not on the action. There are incidents where players compete for the ball throughout the game where there is no injury so no action is taken so by that measure it is the outcome that is the reason for the suspension.
    At full speed the incident to me looks like a fair contest in the air. In super slow motion it looks like Folou grabs the Irish player and the Irish lifter does not get into any sort of position to lift the player and bring him back to the ground.

    Also IMHO if the assertion is that the penalty is outcome baed how the F^ck does a French player have his skull fractured with a shoulder to the head and the tackler is not even given a single week. I assume The citing commissioner, New Zealand’s Michael O’Leary is the same guy who was doing the French series so he must seriously be taking the piss not to be accused of bias.

    For F^cks sake to quote the Eggchasers “let the boys play”

    • Jerry

      Freek Burger, a former SA international ref, was the citing commissioner in the Cane/Ofa incident.

      • Happyman

        My tin foil hat must not be working today.

  • Andy

    Games gone mad. That’s all I can say about the Folau situation.

    A guy breaks his scull in 2 places, no citing…. I say no more

    • Timbo

      He was on the ground so it’s play on, not to mention who he was playing…

      In all honesty though, we’ll be watching touch soon

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      He played the man in the air – grabbed him. In my opinion a one week ban seems fairly fair given the context.

      • Mart

        When did it become okay to precariously lift a bloke over your head in general play?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think it should be allowed, I think they should change the rules to make it illegal to lift outside of line outs, but unfortunately, you currently can lift like Stander did.

        • Greg

          At the risk (certainty?) of being pedantic (I am….) we often refer to the “rules” when they are the “laws”.

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          When lifting became legal in lineouts I presume.

      • Tomthusiasm

        Was he banned because of two yellow card incidents in one game (is that an automatic ban?) or because the one incident met the red card threshold?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Dunno. I heard someone (who agreed with the ban) say that the tribunal basically didn’t apply the laws and banned him anyway. I would need to research it to be sure….

  • Nutta

    Western Sydney feels it has been abandoned because it has been abandoned for years. And I find that sits squarely with Syd Rugby firstly and then over that NSWRU and even RA as stewards of the game.

    +2m people in the youngest, fastest growing, rugby-friendly demographic in the nation literally ignored.

    It’s a dead-set disgrace. It speaks to the blue-blooded snobbery of rugby. It’s why we can’t win a chook raffle. It’s why we are no better then 5th in the world. It’s why we are the 10/12/14th biggest sport in the country.

    Have the GWS and the Western Sydney Wanderers taught us nothing?

    But that’s all just fine because GPS and Eastern Seaboard rugby will see us through yeh? Bugger me…

    • Silver Ghost

      Tel us how you really feel Nutta……
      I do agree you you.

      To be No 1 Rugby nation, in a country where the sport sits 4th in terms of winter sports, requires drawing all the natural affiliations and resources possible – Tonga and Samoa are both.

      I get too confused between SRU, NSWRU, RA and who is responsible for what in the Sydney market, but surely one of these bodies needs to step in.

      I don’t expect we’ll here anything from any of the above bodies, though G&GR should follow up. I suspect its just anothe case of what I said a couple of weeks ago – these Sydney toffs hate outsiders and poor people!

      17K crowd in Western Sydney! Super Rugby in Australia have got some learning to do.

      • Fed

        Agree here there’s an intersection of demographics – Western Sydney and Pasifika populations.

        Pasifika participation within Aus rugby is huge across elite and grassroots but nothing is done to acknowledge or foster their contribution bar a round of rugby and maybe a pre-match game at a Super game. If RA did a SWOT, that right there is the opportunity.

        • Charcoal

          Part of the problem in the past has been the strategy to only focus on the Pacific Islander population, rather than the broader population. PI’s only form a minority of the total population and while they are important, it’s not enough. If AFL can do it from a standing start, then so should Rugby be able to with the advantage of a Rugby culture, even if it is League.

      • Andy

        They can start by hosting half the Waratah games at the new Parramatta Stadium when it’s finished and making Sydney play there in the NRC. just a thought

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        To be fair it was the international component of the game that got the crowds in. I think a rugby test between Tonga and Samoa at the same ground would have the same result in crowd numbers

    • Brisneyland Local

      Mate it isnt too dissimilar in Qld. Anything out of the South East Qld corner is an anathema. The Qld Country rugby clubs through out the state are pretty strong, but the geographical challenges f the distance, are hard to overcome. That being said, QRU just put it in the too hard basket rather than looking at ways to overcome it. The only difference, is our population hasnt grown as rapidly as western sydney.

    • 22DropOut

      I think the best thing for Western Sydney in the short term would be for the Waratahs to play most of their games out there during the redevelopment of Allianz

      • Nutta

        Don’t do that. The Tarts claim they are broke enough as it is and these guys clearly consider anything west of ANZAC Pde as the Outback so they will undoubtedly fit their vehicles with Hazmat and long-range fuel tanks and charge us all an extra $50 each on our rego fees accordingly. Also for every fitted cashmere sweater wearing fatman from Paddo there will need to be a riot-police escort and that will just cost too much on top.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      nailed it mate

    • Parker

      Such is the stunting scourge of prejudice.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well Good morning GAGR’s. I note yesterdays controversy, and the amount of discussion it generated. So good to read. I love that the passion and interest in our game is still there. Some people can view it is being negative. But I dont. I view it as constructive critiscism, by interested and well meaning stakeholders! (Can you tell I have just come from a meeting with my Change and Communications staff!). BL’s random thoughts whilst imbibing caffeine:
    – Per se I dont have a problem with the one week suspension of Izzy. That second incident was not good. But under the present rules it is what it is, and it is a fair sanction. It is a technique problem for Izzy and he will sort it out quickly enough.
    – IRT the tactics. A one man lift is always a risky proposition. As a very crap No4. I hated single man lifts, as it requires very little for the lift to become inherently unstable. If it is contact, a pivot point is created and you topple on your head. Even without contact, lifting a 120kg plus person, always has the possibility of the lift become unstable very quickly with bad consequences. Been there many a time. (And to be honest I was never pissed at the oppostiion player for making contact, I was always pissed at my lifter for not bringing me down safely, because that is there job. A lot of lifters seem the think that once they have you airborne their job is over! Nope, that is only half the job!).
    – Do we make it two man lifts for kickoffs and ban the single lift? If we make it two man lifts, I think that not many teams will do it. 3 players in close proximity leaves defensive gaps through out the line, that if you re-gather the ball and distribute quickly, you could have a marked advantage.
    – Make kick offs single man (no lifting) contests, so it is man on man in an aerial battle. A la AFL style.
    – The issue at the moment is with the rules, and not how they have been applied. World Rugby need to look at this seriously. Or as some GAGR members have discussed, teams will use single man liftes to negate the aerial contest. Whilst I wouldnt like to be the poor sod being lifted, this is a legitimate tactic within the current rules. But it does kill off the contest, and bugger me with a fish fork because I have alwasy loved rugby because it is alwasy a contest for the ball!
    – Fare well Adrian straus, a great servat of the game. I have enjoyed watching him over the years.
    – Welcome back Kieran Read, always good to see a champion back. even if he does play for the darkness!
    Over to you GAGRs!

    • Missing Link

      “I view it as constructive criticism, by interested and well meaning stakeholders” love it BL love it.

      Echo chambers that all drink from the same trough accomplish nothing, opposing views get to the bottom of things real quick, it’s just sometimes some people don’t want to hear them :)

      • Brisneyland Local

        In coporate terms we call it Group Think! It never ends well.
        Competitive tension aids creativty, it also ensures that what ever solution you come up with has been “robustly tested”. Through debate, argument etc etc

    • Fatflanker

      Good points. For mine, two-man lift makes it yet more difficult for the opposing jumper to make a clean go at the ball without coming into contact – better than the one-man lift for safety but I reckon just banning lifting is the way to go. The receiving player then requires a bit of a run-up to get higher off the ground, creating forward momentum and, to my mind, making for a more stable situation in the event of the inevitable collisions that will occur when two players opposing players have their eyes fixed on the ball.

      Yes, this might give Oz a bit of an advantage while we have Izzy. Other teams have their own advantages however…like kickers who can make 20m clearances and coaches that have good tactics and stuff :-)

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think banning the lift at kick of is the more pragmatic solution. There are a number of players who can do what Izzy does just not as high, and not as well. But teams will either mimic this or nullify it.

    • Huw Tindall

      Fuck it. If it’s a 14 man lift and the other bloke gets up to compete then good luck. Play on .

      • Brisneyland Local

        I would love to see a 14 lift. Can you imagine theother guy competing for the ball rossting over the other players AFL style. Pure gold.

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          I wouldn’t be surprised to see a one man lift and four man blocking move by the Kiwis next time we play them!

        • Brisneyland Local

          If it is within the rules why wouldnt you do it to nulify an oppositions perceived advantage!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey BL, I agree the passion and support on play yesterday was great. I was travelling from perth back to Sydney and had some work on but the odd break was spent reading the comments and loving them. Keep it up team.

      I’m probably against the grain here but I think the issue with the contest is just both players having to adjust their game a bit in the same way that the forwards had to adjust when lifting came into the lineout. Yes you can jump for the ball but you have to be aware of the opposition and not grab hold of them at all. If that means not jumping so high or something else then that’s just an adjustment you have to make. Every player who goes for the ball has to make a decision about it prior to the jump, if they have a chance go for it, if they don’y, then don’t jump. As far as refereeing it goes; if it’s a fair contest and no one grabs anyone else then play on regardless of any injuries, if someone causes the other player to fall then rule accordingly. I think too many of the solutions put forward are too complicated and will be too hard to rule on. We need to make it simpler not more complicated.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Completely agree, you cant deliberately or even acidentally grab the other player in the air! Agree on simplicity!

        • disqus_NMXfOrw5ot

          Yep, if Folau hadn’t wrapped one hand around his torso, and the other around his arm, then we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Coreect weight race nine!

    • Nutta

      For me, a clear single man lift in the open field is dangerous play esp in the face of oncoming frontal traffic as your handholds are lifting 90* to the impact. Thus pivot. In a lineout its a little different as you are lifting front and back of the contact area and 180* inline with them.

      • Brisneyland Local

        yep! As my flying instructor always told me. It is angles and energy!

    • Huw Tindall

      I think Stander should have been carded for lifting PO’M past 90 degrees and dropping him…unfortunately you be penalised for fouling your own players…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Having been lifted and dumped many times over the years, I favoured punching your team mate in the face!

  • Missing Link

    Well at least the Irish are happy now because Folau got what he deserved because he “pulled PO down”.

    What about later in the game when Kearney pulled DHP down from a kickoff and it was no penalty but a knock on. “It’s about the outcome, not the action, DHP landed on his feet”.

    So if it’s about the outcome, why didn’t Cane and Tungafasi receive any suspension considering the outcome was a Frenchman with a caved in skull? “it’s just not the same” What about Fall vs. Barrett? Fall received a red because Barrett fell on his head right, it’s about the outcome! but then Fall’s red card was cancelled? work that one out please…. “oh look over there”

    This is not about Folau for me, it’s about consistency of rulings and it’s about ensuring that certain tactics aren’t used in future to exploit the game, based on the Folau ruling ie. using two man lifts in open play to ensure there is no high ball contest. I’m sure the ABs coaching team are currently working on this as they’re “always ahead of the game” and when they use it against Ireland in future, the Irish fans will be pissing and moaning about their players being sin binned for challenging a lifted player “because they had their eyes on the ball the whole time”.

    And finally, the assertions that Kearns “fiddle-de-de potatos” comment is an act of racism is a massive stretch. Kearns is a dick but seriously, racism is a stretch.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Well said. I’m Irish – not funny and unprofessional, but it wasn’t racism. It was just an unfunny joke. In the age of perpetually offended people look for excuses to be offended. Meanwhile, virtue signallers go out of their way to see offensive material everywhere.

      It’s no more racism than if an Irish commentator said something about ‘snags some on the barbie’. Let’s get over it.

    • Mart

      DHP landed on his feet because there was no one (lifter) underneath him tipping off balance. Ban the lifter in general play

    • Alister Smith

      I don’t think it was racist…but it wasn’t very funny and to be honest his commentary is cringeworthy at times for its bias – I would prefer he used his expertise as a player when commenting rather than coming across as a fan (if I want to hear one-eyed support I will just turn the TV down and listen to the (many) voices in my own head)

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The standard of the commentary for a pay TV channel is bordering on disgraceful. I think most of us pay in order to get tactical and technical insights that we wouldn’t otherwise get. We don’t want to hear biased cheerleading and pathetic “jokes”.

        • Happyman

          I agree have a fox sub and switched to the Ten coverage which was insightful, unbiased and constructive. I did hear some of the Irish coverage on Kick and chase last night which seemed just as poor.

        • Fed

          These guys are an absolute joke. Sport is about a contest – fair play, but their commentary over the past few years has gotten progressively worse and them coupled with Cheika’s approach to the game is exactly why Australian rugby is in a fix – blame puts responsibility on others so we will never really face our own demons as to why we’ve been under-performing for a long time now. Kearns/Kafer/etc please retire again lol

        • onlinesideline

          This is all I have ever wanted from a rugby commenator.
          The fire going, the family dog curled up next to me, a hot cuppa soup in hand and a bit of light hearted banta in between some medium paced narration from a guy who has a voice that could calm oceans. Its about relaxing ad enjoying,

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZLe7GlTD8Y

        • Missing Link

          I loved Bill McLaren, both on the TV and playstation “Mercy me almost put him in ward 4″

        • Andy

          Lomu is still the best Rugby game ever made

      • 22DropOut

        I am sure that Kearns is ignorant of why these potato comments are slurs against the Irish and its historical context* but his comments were very clearly intended to be derogatory. I don’t think racism is a stretch in this instance at all, no matter what his intentions were. However, as for whether or not Irish are offended by this, I do not know.

        * The Irish/potato association is based on their dependence on the crop due to tyrannical Brisih rule which had disastrous consequences during the 1800s and what modern scholars believe to be genocide. The authorities were aware this would happen, purposefully did not put in contingencies and declared its inevitability as “divine providence”. It is always used negatively, and not comparable to “shrimp on the barbie” which was a self-projected image. I am sure that Kearns is just repeating these Irish/Potato comments without knowing this, because he is an imbecile who doesn’t belong on the airwaves.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I imagine Kearns was simply referring to the fact that potatoes, like tea, are stereotypically a staple of the Irish diet (and believe me, they absolutely are).

          I agree that some people may automatically connect it with the famine, but that seems very much (a) a looking for offence interpretation and/or (b) a scholarly interpretation, where the more complicated solution is preferred over the simple one.

          It’s the unprofessionalism of Kearns that irritates me. He’s meant to be providing high-quality insight and analysis and comes out with this childish rubbish.

        • 22DropOut

          I agree Kearns is just basing it on the association rather than why. I am not sure if that excused it but it’s fair argument.

          However, it was clearly intended as being derogatory to the Irish people. Would a cricket commentator imitate an Afghan accent, imply they are morons, and say (forgive this but you understand why I quote it) “durka durka durka” etc?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The answer is, no, they wouldn’t. However, I do think that the latter is more offensive than what Kearns said. I also think that the Aussie and Irish have a bit of a history of making fun of one other.

          The analogy I used above is if an Irish commentator was saying ‘g’day, mate’ or ‘put another shrimp on the barbie’. Ditto if when we were playing against the French he said ‘sacré bleu!’.

          Infantile? Absolutely. But it is not the sort of thing that I would bother being offended by as an Australian, just like what Kearns said didn’t offend me as an Irishman. With all the issues in the world the fact that a minority (and it is only a minority) of Irish people found this offensive are largely tilting at windmills.

        • 22DropOut

          “The analogy I used above is if an Irish commentator was saying ‘g’day, mate’ or ‘put another shrimp on the barbie’. Ditto if when we were playing against the French he said ‘sacré bleu!’.”

          Respectfully disagree.
          G’Day mate, shrimp on the barbie etc, is an image that Australia has invested a lot of money into projecting around the world and it doesn’t carry any negative connotations.

          The Irish/Potato thing is not and the root of these comments are based on colonial British attitudes towards them (and others) which sadly are inherited by white Australia.

          Let’s not make a mountain out of a molehill here, Kearns shouldn’t have said it and shouldn’t be commentating on games. Stupid comments like this aside, the bigger issue is his inability to commentate rationally on a game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree that the roots of the phrases are somewhat different (obviously the potato famine was the most traumatic event in Irish history, and it took the country about 100 years in order to return to its pre-famine population), but I think that how they’re used in ordinary vernacular is significantly different – both just playing to national stereotypes.

          There’s also the fact that a significant portion of Australia’s population are either of Irish descent or even hold Irish citizenship, so I think it was intended in a good-natured banter sort of way, as opposed to an offensive/colonial way. But as you say, better to agree to disagree.

          P.S. Some French get offended by ‘sacré bleu!’ too. When I was studying in Dublin I had some very close French friends, and goodness did they always rise to the ‘sacré bleu’ bait!

        • HK Red

          I’m Irish by birth, as is the rest of my family, though I grew up in Australia. Have a strong Irish heritage and connection and I and the rest of my family weren’t offended by Kearns’ comments. The comment was however unnecessary, unfunny and just confirmed the already well established belief that he’s a d!ck.

        • IIPA

          22DropOut….the remark was silly. It’s not fitting for test match commentary. But if you felt “derogatted” by it then I think you’re being very precious.

        • 22DropOut

          It was derogatory, the meaning of the word applies perfectly to it. As for being precious, I don’t see how. Wouldn’t be burning him at the stake for it, it’s just symptomatic of an inept commentator.

        • Andy

          Apparently he was the next option for CEO of RA. Pretty crazy

        • Huw Tindall

          Potatos orginiated from the Americas so what the hell were the Irish eating before old mate Christopher Columbus came bag with goodies from the new world?

        • Packy

          What did they eat before potatoes? Brussel sprouts. 5000 years of brussel sprouts. Man were they pissed off

        • 22DropOut

          That also pre-dates the British plantations so they could have grown crops, kept animals etc the same as everyone else in the world.

      • Fatflanker

        I think we all agree Kearns is just not up to spec as commentator, especially for a subscription service. Its a shame because if he just learnt to bite his lip a bit and stop the partisan ‘my Wallabies, right or wrong’ crap, he can offer some decent insight. Foxtel sets the bar pretty low for rugby and I suspect they actually welcome stirring a bit of controversy.

        That said, I do recall the local commentary, last time Wallabies played in Ireland – it was comically one-sided.

        • Alister Smith

          Yes I suppose we are always going to be open to bias. I also don’t go much on Greg Martin as a commentator – similar reasons to Kearns – too busy trying to be funny – the next Fatty Vautin (though I think Vautin does have funny moments, is self-deprecating and can make insightful comments). Another one who can do it is Skull O’Keefe in cricket but, when he talks about the game seriously the persona changes and its obvious he is extremely well researched and gives great analysis.

        • HK Red

          Jeez, Greg Martin is appalling. Just a partisan, loud-mouthed boor.

        • Alister Smith

          How the bloke has a two decade career in radio and sports commentary I have no idea? Boorish is a good description.

    • 22DropOut

      Whataboutism isn’t going to get us anywhere.

      Folau pulled a player in the air several times during the game, he got a mild citing for it.

      Like most, the laws of the game should be reviewed to reduce the likelihood of this happening again.

    • Tomthusiasm

      Kearns is an Irish surname so he’s bagging out his own lineage. He is a walking embarrassment and probably should be fired into the sun, not only for cocking-up Danny Bhoy’s comedy, but other numerous gaffs and jokes (to call his attempt at humour “Dad jokes” is an offence to Fathers everywhere) and gaffs. I watched a lot of the Irish series at mates’ homes that didn’t have Foxtel and found Ten’s commentary to be a breath of fresh air, ads were annoying but.

      • Brisneyland Local

        You have to watch Channel 10, otherwise you dont get to play the ‘Gordon Bray’ Drinking game!

        • IIPA

          Is that the one where every time he mentions someone’s school or father you have to drink?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep that is the one. The people I watch the game with (one Fijian, One Kiwi, one Scott, Two Italians a few Aussies and a taswegian), have expanded that to include any bit of Gordon Bray useless trivia! Suffice to say, we end up rather inebriated at the end of the game!

        • Tomthusiasm

          Bray’s the Lord! I’ll have to wait for the RC to play this game. also, it’s good to see Nathan Sharpe on the telly too, now there’s an ex-player with proper broadcasting/media skills.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah Sharpie is pretty cool. I sat next to him once on a flight. It was hilarious. I am the same height as him, yet he is bigger set. It was like we took up half the plane!

        • IIPA

          Love it !

        • Missing Link

          Don’t forget “rugby nursery”, that’s a “finish your drink” call

  • Brumby Runner

    Wallaby hooker on the bench for the Tahs. Looks odd to me, but I’m sure there are people here who can enlighten me as to the advantages Fitzpatrick offers over Tolu Latu

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I would hazard a guess that it goes something like this. A lot of matches are won in the final 1/3 once the defence becomes tired.

      Fitzpatrick is more mobile and a bit quicker, so is probably more reliable in the early parts of the game, as well as being an accurate line out thrower.

      Latu is more powerful, much better in the scrum and at the breakdown, as well as high-impact ball-running.

      Better to bring on your high-impact players at the end of a match against a tired defence rather than when they’re fresh. Also, Fitzpatrick is the incumbent and probably wants to maintain team cohesion. So I would expect Latu to get at least 30mins, if not the entire second half.

      Agree it seems odd though.

      • Huw Tindall

        Shh facts and truth DBtB

    • IIPA

      Look at it like this. Latu has played one very good half of football for the Wallabies this season.

      Fitzpatrick has played a very decent 2/3 of a season for the Tahs where despite his limited size their scrum has survived, despite having only one proper second rower in the squad and two 5ft 11ers in the backrow the lineout has gone well and he’s been excellent around the park. Bit of loyalty by the coach I would say.

  • Huw Tindall

    If I could destroy people’s dreams i’d also fold the shitest dream I found

    • Brisneyland Local

      That is a bit esoteric for me this morning Huw. Can you provide some context?

      • Huw Tindall

        not really – a fat rib eye and much pinot could explain something though

        • Brisneyland Local

          Got it!

    • Fatflanker

      Absolutely!

  • Adrian

    All I’ll say, is that there should be such a thing as a “dangerous lift”, where the lifting side is penalised if they can’t ensure that the lift is stable

    • Brisneyland Local

      Most one man lifts are unstable and potenitally dangerous. Its not the lift that is the problem, it is the bringing them down bit!

    • first time long time

      How about no lifting except in lineouts?
      Just make it mano e mano.
      They banned lifting to stop penalty goals ala John Eales, so there is no reason they can’t do it elsewhere. It’s not like I go to watch a game to see the great lifting at kick offs.

  • Richard Patterson

    Really noticeable the broad outburst of celebration occurring across the soccer world today with reigning champion Germany eliminated in the pool stages.

    How fortunate we all are. The rugby world such a classier, more knowledgable crowd. No way we’d see that level of emotional outpouring if the same fate happened to the All Blacks would we?

    Note: Please all get in the queue and be orderly with your turn to voice your agreement.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I would only celebrate voicifourously if it was Australia that knocked them out! Purely out of it being once in a lifetime type of thing!

      • Richard Patterson

        1991 & 2003 BL. Happy days?

        • Brumby Runner

          Was there in 2003. Happy days indeed.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes but I am an old man now, and they are distant memories!

    • Georgia Satellite

      New Zealand? No. England? Well, I did enjoy that.

National Rugby Championship
@DylanGLanges

Once captained the 3rds Rugby team, but then again so did Nick Farr-Jones

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