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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees DHP rejecting fitness issues, QC opens up about being Māori, Wayne Barnes prepares for the end and a former Waratah joins the All Blacks squad.

 


 

DHP REJECTS UNFIT CLAIMS

Wallabies v Scotland 2nd half-12

The fall out of the lost Bledisloe continues with World Cup winning coach Bob Dwyer being critical of the fitness levels of the Wallabies, questioning the players, not coach Michael Cheika.

“I’m sure they’re not fit enough,” Dwyer comments in the SMH

“In Sydney there were people walking with half an hour to go. You can’t really pin that on the Wallaby coaching set-up.

“We were getting comments out of the Wallaby camp that fitness had definitely improved and skill level had improved. Well, that didn’t appear to be the case.”

Melbourne Rebel full back Dane Haylett-Petty, who took the place of the injured Israel Folau, rubbished the idea that it was fitness.

“I don’t think we’re not fit enough,

 

“We need to go and look back over the game plan. Maybe we could work smarter, not harder. I don’t necessarily think it’s a fitness thing. If anything, maybe concentration we let ourselves down in key moments and you see other teams capitalise.

 

“It’s easy to throw the baby out with the bath water when you look at the score line but we actually did a lot of things right, I think,” he said.

“We just killed on turnovers and there’s not a lot of teams in world rugby that will hurt you like that from your mistakes.”

OnKick and Chase, former captain George Greegan made comment that it isn’t all about fitness but more about the mental stress that can be improved by working together. Looking back on the vision for Saturday’s performance and it would appear old Greegs knows a thing or two.

QUADE OPENS UP

Quade Cooper for the Reds 2017

Despite being public enemy number one in New Zealand for a time, exiled Red and Wallaby Quade Cooper has opened up about his struggle with his cultural identity, claiming, “I didn’t really feel worthy of being Māori.

Cooper moved to Brisbane from Tokoroa at just 13, and in an interview with TVNZ Marae programhe spoke on how being away from New Zealand changed his identity.

“Sometimes, I didn’t really feel worthy of being Māori,” he said.

“Living in Australia, you sort of not forget, but it’s not right on your doorstep.

“But I think being Māori is something that’s inside you.

“A lot of times people criticise (me), because I played for Australia, things like that.

“A lot of times I have felt it’s a bit true, because I don’t necessarily know enough about my family or my heritage, or what I’d like to know.

“I’ve been trying to learn a little bit more, trying (to) get a bit more knowledge on my roots and things like that.

“It’s all a journey.”

“If I was ever to play for the Māori one day, that would be another step in that journey.”

 

Cooper will line up for Brisbane City in the coming NRC as he attempts to make his way back into Super Rugby and even the Wallabies. It looks like that road won’t be easy though, with Reds coach Brad Thorn all but shutting the door on Cooper, and with Matt Toomua back in Australia, Cheika has some support in that spot.

Cooper maintains he isn’t phased by this saying he his proud of the work he is doing at Souths and loves giving back to his first club when he moved to Brisbane.

“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to be part of Souths and be part of the club I joined when I first came over from New Zealand.”

 

BARNES CALL TIME ON CAREER

Wallabies v All Blacks 19 Aug 2017 Bledisloe 1 first half-3

English whistle blower Wayne Barnes is set to call time on his professional career as he moves into his last season of Premiership Rugby.

In an interview with The Guardian’s Robert Kitson, Barnes opened up about his motives to retire, some of moments he remembered and his desire to have his swansong at next years RWC in Japan.

The English Ref has been at centre of some interesting moments in his career, from the 2007 Rugby World Cup final, to the Dylan Hartley send off in 2013, with reflections on some of the best and worst moments. One bright moment was after last season European Championship Cup final where despite the toughness of the match, Barnes and his team had been invited by the players to join them for a beer or two.

Barnes also raised an interesting point with regard to the heavily scrutinised TMO, saying that more not less would be helpful. So long as we can do it without stopping the game.

“I would expand it so we can check whatever we want without necessarily stopping the game. If, in a crucial moment, I can ask: ‘Is that a forward pass?’ and someone can tell me the answer in three seconds we don’t need to stop the game for 30-40 seconds. It’s like a scrum-half constantly talking to his No 10.”

The interview highlights so much of the good nature around the game of Rugby, with how much respect is/should be shown to the referee. Barnes even made reference to a comment from David Pocock on the weekend’s game:

“Pocock shouted at me at the weekend about something I’d got wrong but I had to remind him there are better ways of doing that. He said: ‘Of course, sorry, that wasn’t the right way.’”

Wayne Barnes has refereed 200 Premiership matches and 81 international tests.

FORMER WARATAH TO JOIN AB SQUAD

Angus-Taaveo_tn

Former Waratahs prop Angus Ta’avao has been called in the All Blacks squad as a replacement for Joe Moody who has been ruled out for the remainder of the Rugby Championship.

The starting loose head will be out for at least six weeks with his thumb in a cast after he sustained an injury in the All Blacks win on Saturday.

Angus Ta’avao will have to make the most of the opportunity, with Hurricanes prop and All Blacks fringe player Jeffery Toomaga-Allen also currently injured, opening the door for Ta’avao to get a cap.

 

Ta’avao made 22 appearances for NSW in 2016-17 seasons before moving to the Chiefs this season, and gained the attention of All Blacks coach Steve Hanson.

“Angus had a big season for the Chiefs during the Investec Super Rugby season, was part of a very good Chiefs pack and has made big strides on the technical aspects of his position,” he said.

“We look forward to him joining the squad.”

 

 

  • juswal

    Good news round-up, Dylan. Thanks.

    What did Pocock shout at Barnes? ‘Cant you see that my head is completely detached from my shoulders?’

    • onlinesideline

      what did Pocock say to Castle on the field after Auckland Bledisloe ? Hes got his hand over his mouth and is saying something. It looks like Castle goes – “should I give Cheik the fliiiccckk ?” Pocock says ” Yeah, cant take too much more of this shit”

      • Bernie Chan

        There’s a job for you in Parliament House…you could write ScoMo’s public utterances…at least we’d laugh! Pocock would have added “don’t forget to say ‘he has our 100% support’ to cover your arse…”

        • Hoss

          Yep – last Wednesday night the Swedish Chef and Schomo stood beside MT and pronounced to the heavens that MT ‘had our full & unconditional support’. Two hours later………………

          Maybe the Pirate & RA board should do same.

        • Nutta
        • Hoss

          I thought i was the only one who loved these guys – check out their Game of Thrones one…….Jimmy Whisper ‘i am working on a gravity belt’………

  • onlinesideline

    When I saw QC’s picture in green and gold I instantly thought he’s signed somewhere and we were going to witness the biggest comeback since Lazarus but alas its about his Tokoroa blues. Fair enough …

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Still wish he’d come to the Brumbies, eh. Even if he never plays for the Wallabies again (and he won’t while Cheika is coach), he’s matured into a fine young man. He made some mistakes when immature (which many with a holier than thou attitude like to bring up to this day), but he’s now a kind bloke who seems to care about his teammates and others, and seems to do a lot of grassroots volunteering.

      More importantly, Quade is the sort of person who makes rugby fun to watch. Bringing him back, whether he is a shell of the player he once was or not, he would make the Brumbies more enjoyable to watch, and impart so much wisdom in terms of bringing about McKellar’s dream of an attacking Brumbies side again.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Watching him play for Souths has been fantastic. Like a man amongst children. I think it will be pretty similar in the NRC. As I mentioned yesterday, the NRC games will be great to watch. They will be enjoyable rugby. Especially the Fijian Drua games. They are my tip to make the Grand final.

        • Happyman

          Totally agree he has been great for all of the Prem grade clubs. Have you noticed how little he has been on the QRU web site and media which respect to the NRC.

          My pick is a Force V Drua final. Most of the Force squad played in Twiggy ball and as long as the Drua keep there discipline together they will be really good. The NSW teams will lack some cohesion due to taking three teams to two.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Agree. The Drua need to be disciplined, which was their major let down last year. If they can improve on that, their ability in broken play is unsurpassed.
          The WF will be hard to beat! They, through Twiggy ball are a united, and well drilled squad. Am looking forward to this.

        • Happyman

          Ditto are you getting out to Norths on the weekend to watch City V Country. KH back to Norths he should get a warm welcome. LOL

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep am definitely going there!

        • Happyman

          Might see you there

        • onlinesideline

          just look for a 6’8 Shrek

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have lost 10kg, so less Shrek Like!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Look for the really tall white guy sitting with a bunch of Fijians!

        • Nutta

          I suggest they eat prior to playing so they can stop chewing on opponents.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold! But hey what is a nibble between friends! (Said in my best King Julian voice).

        • The2Game

          Really, Brisneyland?

          Souths – and your NPC – is about QC’s level.

          Do the Wallabies REALLY need another non-tackling back when they already have Beale and Koroibete filling those roles?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You left out Foley and DHP.

          Seems to me like being a non-tackling back is almost a prerequisite.

        • The2Game

          I have actually seen Foley make a try-saving tackle in this Bledisloe Cup series.

          And he can kick goals, remember – ANOTHER failing of QC at the highest level!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Funny, I’ve seen Quade make try-saving tackles too. Almost like we’re both guilty of hyperbole, eh?

          Yes, they have about a 10-15% goal-kicking difference. Even though Foley doesn’t take them from more than 40m out Foley is better at kicking goals than Quade. That I won’t deny.

        • The2Game

          Okay, a wee bit of hyperbole on my part..

          But, tell me, in Bledisloe II you already had Hooper stationed in the backline to ‘protect’ Beale and Koroibete. Who would you designate as the ‘Quade Protector’ either at 10 or at 15? Pocock?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’d have a totally different backline so the question is superfluous.

          I also would only pick Quade at 10 if he played Super Rugby and his form demanded it.

        • The2Game

          A good answer!

          The trouble is that your coach seems loath to make changes that are clearly required.

          I presume it didn’t escape your attention that the All Blacks this year ‘blooded’ a new midfielder, Goodhue, who can both attack and defend. Add Laumape and Jordie Barrett (2017 new caps) and you can see players who will take the All Blacks beyond 2019…

          Unless Cheika surprises me, it looks like the current 23 (Folau to be added) will be your World Cup squad.

          Where’s the development, heh heh?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, doesn’t look good does it?

          Seems like the gap will likely widen, rather than decrease…

        • The2Game

          Which is NOT good for either country: Australia OR New Zealand.

        • juswal

          Please don’t feed the trolls, Daryl

        • The2Game

          Geez, thanks, juswal.

          You go back to your ‘Everything is beautiful’ way of thinking…

        • Who?

          Foley and Quade aren’t dissimilar in their kicking. One day they’ll go 7 from 7, the next they’ll go 2 from 5. If we go to the last test each played in Dunedin, we’re talking about Quade knocking over every kick he was given, and Foley’s kicking being the difference between a draw (if he hit all his conversions) or possibly a win (if he’d also hit the penalty he missed).
          Foley’s a great bloke, and he gives everything he has. But his ceiling, ultimately, isn’t high enough to be an international 10. He’s just lucky that there’s no competition around (Quade out of favour with the coaches, no other Aussie 10’s at Super level).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes. Because he can orchestrate a back line to attack and can kick. Foley, Beale and Koroibete cant!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Exactly! Mind you not can anyone else and I put that clearly on the Attack coach’s shoulders. Larkham is failing

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh yeah! Amen to that. I could almost tolerate (begrudgingly) a limited defence if we were able to attack like bastards! But we cant. We can barely make the gain line. Having a player that can spin it wide quick to be able to exploit the defence of a team re-postioning would be great. But we choose not to have it.
          that is where NZ are so strong. They pilfer the ball, they counter attack and spin it wide so quickly your head i spinning and there is no, or a scrambling defence to get there.

        • Brumby Runner

          I reckon Sydney are a shoe-in for one final spot. They will have a much stronger squad courtesy of the reduction in the number of teams from NSW, and they have the most friendly program with the first 4 or 5 games at home (or at least in Sydney). The final spot has been handed to them on a platter.

          I think the Force will find it tough. Despite their games this year in WSR, the NRC is likely to be at another level higher. And they really have few SR standard players in the squad at this time.

          Brisbane City look to me to be favourites for the wooden spoon. They look significantly weaker of the two Qld sides, and their better players didn’t fare too well in Super this year.

          The Rising have a strong squad but are presented with a horrendous travel program with their first five games all either international or interstate. That will work against them big time over the season.

          Leaves last year’s two grand finalists and NSW Country to fight out the other final spot with the Drua. The first round game between the Vikings and Qld Country might be decisive in the long run.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think the Force will do well. They are already a fairly well blooded team. cohesive adn well trained. So we will see how the standard pans out for them.
          Brisabne Country have a great squad, but I think that they will lack the cohesiveness of last year. BUt I reckon this year will be harder to pick than a broken nose. I am hanging for it.

      • Hoss

        You make a great point Sherbert = fun, that has gone walkabout of late in Oz Rugby.

        Anxiety sure, despair, longing, disgust, pooch screwing, brain numbing absurdity – yessssirrreeeee Bob, but Fun, i vaguely remember that feeling.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Halfpenny didn’t have much fun with him in 2013 :)

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4xW9s1_Q7w

        • Mica

          How good was it to see the Badge actually with his heads up and waiting for the flick pass.
          Also we don’t see enough of the loop these days. Despite being around for ever, done well it is really effective!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I agree! Sexton is great at them.

        • John Miller

          God I miss the dynamism, deception, passing, tactical kicking and out-and-out freakish playmaking ability of a genuine Australian flyhalf. Regardless of anything else, rugby was never boring. Another victim of the suffocating Cheika regime.

        • Who?

          And that was all after the knee injury, people… So don’t tell me he’s lost it all since then. Last year’s performances were hindered by some form of leg injury (we all knew that), but the knee was fine in 2013, 2015, 2016…

        • Greg

          I feel great after watching that. That is what rugby should look like!

        • Gareth

          Hoss, id urge a lot of rugby fanatics like most people on the blog to avoid loving rugby based purely on winning. I have moved from screaming at the TV and refs during test matches to purely enjoying the game its self. Don’t get me wrong id love to see the wallabies smash the AB’s but i can now really enjoy the game and skills rather than just if we win. I also question the vast amount of fans who have chucked in their reds membership up here purely because they dont win like they used to.
          My question is to them – are you just a reds fan or a rugby fan.

        • Hoss

          Look, if your going to use considered, rational & calm debate on this sight, well you can piss right off now.

          I agree with what you say and personally i can cop losing to the Nearlies if our performances were of a standard that truly reflected our potential. I accept they are a generational side and on a different plain. Its the quality of our performances that sticks in my throat like a chicken bone. The lack of improvement, selections, defence et al that get me fired up.

        • Gareth

          I hear your pain and all of its warranted and i will cut out the rational crap.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You can appreciate the exquisite skills of the Kiwis, but to me fun usually comes from a tight match where one is really invested in the result and on the edge of their seat hoping for a big play at the end because they don’t know who is going to win. While it is better when skills are top notch, who didn’t have fun watching the cluch finish of the 2011 WC match against the Boks despite the fact that it was a dour affair?

          The novelty of the All Blacks playing like the Harlem Globetrotters wears off very quickly.

          I have fun watching the Six Nations and many of the tighter European Cup games in Europe, as well as the Kiwi derby clashes in Super Rugby.

          Too often, however, at Super Rugby and with the Wallabies the match is a forgone conclusion AND our teams play with no enterprising skill.

          A contest is fun, not a massacre.

        • Who?

          Problem is, the Reds don’t actually play much rugby. I can deal with losing, if we’re playing a great style. I actually really enjoyed some of the great works of attacking rugby produced by the ABs on the weekend. They’re awesome to watch! It’s just frustrating when your teams choose to ignore any semblance of intelligence in their play.

      • onlinesideline

        Speaking of fun – Since Quade has been dropped by Cheika and then BT just wondering how the coaching records of these two blokes looks like ….. bhaahhaaa – yeah – “we want to get back to running rugby” – aha – hows that win rate going fellas ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          2017 Cheika: ‘I’m dropping you because you’re not enjoying your rugby.’

          2018 Cheika: ‘I don’t care that you’re loving playing club rugby in Brisbane, if you want to be in the running for Wallabies selection you need to take a pay cut and move away from your friends and family.’

          And Cheika wonders why so many fans have lost all respect for his BS answers to the media?

          Don’t get me started on Thorn.

    • Jason

      Look, we could still witness the biggest comeback since Lazarus, he could have a vintage season with the Brisbane City, get a Māori AB’s call up and Foley goes down injured or Cheika eventually decides Foley isn’t up to it anymore… then we COULD see Quade playing in gold. And while the margins are impossibly thin it’s not impossible we could see him leading Australia in the RWC. We won’t it’s almost impossible, but it’s possible! :P

      • disqus_NMX

        We could also see Cheika given the flick.

        • Jason

          I was trying to stay in the realm of the possible. Haha

        • onlinesideline

          Mate not only is it possible, its probable IMO. We are about to get pantsed by the saffas and especially the Argies. We are so ripe for the taking, the only words I can think of belong in underage porn. Coupled with at least 1 away loss its nighty night silk trader. And with new coach viola, Quade will outlast them all and you’ll be seeing him run out mouthing the words ” I’m fit, Im healthy, Im ready to go”

        • disqus_NMX

          Yep, and we’ve also recently heard RA state that Cheika as the full backing of the board. And we all know that in business and politics, when you hear those words, the end is very close.

        • onlinesideline

          hes a goner mate

        • Jason

          Yeah, I’m in two minds about the Saffas, looking at their team list that’s one hell of a team they are brining over, but there weren’t any significant changes from the team they took to Argentina.
          While I think we are struggling against an incompetent coach (who has proven he can’t be dynamic enough for International Rugby), but from a few people in know high up in the QRU I’m not sure even a loss to SA or Argentina would be enough to ensure Cheika’s removal. Rumours are 4 losses he’s gone, 3 he’s likely going if they find someone to take over, 2 losses and he’ll likely stay and if he can win at home and in Argentina he’ll likely be safe.

  • Who?

    It’ll be a shame to see Barnes go. We don’t have many genuinely good and consistent refs at the top these days. And it’s even worse when you aren’t eligible to be reffed by one of the good ones (because Gus is an Aussie). So to lose Barnes means we’re stuck with the mediocre-at-best world of Peyper, Jackson, et al. :-(

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Indeed. I’ve felt for a while that Joubert, Owens and Barnes were the only really world class referees. Soon we’ll be without two of them.

      Rasta Rasivhenge and Gardner might get there one day, but I’ve not been super impressed by many of the up and coming NH referees.

      On the plus side, perhaps the (minority) of Kiwi fans who still bring it up will finally stop moaning about 07. Because, you know, the Kiwis have never had an incorrect call go their way in a big match…

      • Who?

        I wasn’t ever a Joubert fan… That may be influenced by the fact he was a massive fan of McCaw whilst still on the field, and his record involving Australian teams. It wasn’t quite Kaplan-esque (HATED watching Kaplan ref a game), but it wasn’t great. He singlehandedly ruined Al Baxter’s career by making consistent incorrect calls at scrum time in Auckland. I’m happy to give him credit for owning the mistakes and apologising to Baxter at the airport (and his humility in being happy to acknowledge mistakes after games is a major credit to him as a person), but as a ref, just wasn’t ever sold.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m going to agree to disagree, I thought from about 2011 onwards he was my favourite referee by far, but at the very least he still got us to a final of a world cup ;) .

          Mind you, Cheika was re-signed for an additional 3 years because of that, so perhaps I shouldn’t necessarily be thanking Craig…

    • Happyman

      Hard to disagree with that mate but a ref is a bit like a player. You tend to remember his last couple of games where he was not up to it rather than the prime years. Listening to the times they run in beep tests they are seriously fit athletes and to be fair they are not on the coin of the players.

      I have seen good refs at the junior levels who end up slowing the game down so that they can keep up with it.

      • Who?

        Agreed – so I’m not saying he should go on, because he knows his own body. But just keen to give some recognition to one of the good ones. :-)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha I will admit I’ve called the odd forward pass just to set a scrum and rest. Bloody school kids run all friggen day

  • Missing Link

    well I’m back, it was suggested to me on monday to have a bex and lie down and I tried that, except someone has switched my bex with propofol, and the rest is history. I do feel rested though.

    Dwyer is right, the Wallabies are not fit enough, not just DHP, all of them!

    Shame Ta’avau gets called up after we played the All Blacks, I dare say it would have been advantage Australia at scrum time.

    Sad to see Wayne Barnes retire, he’s is one of the best and could have easily retired in 2008 after being bullied and ridiculed for years for not allowing NZ their rite of passage to win everything all the time. Barnes always communicated things well with the players and was very good at diffusing heated exchanges. Maybe he’s right about the TMO, maybe rugby needs multiple analysts combing through footage, which once confirmed they can pass onto the ref. in other words, the game doesn’t stop (in most cases) unless there’s a definite reason.

    • Who?

      I think where Barnes is right about TMO’s is conditional on the ref. The way Barnes and some of the other refs use the TMO – being happy to make a call for a check on the run, being the one who controls the TMO – is the key. Some TMO’s understand they’re there to support the ref, and the ref is the boss. You see that even in the way some refs (usually Barnes, Steve Walsh was the master of it) run reviews after tries, where they’ll stand there and watch it on the big screen, then tell the TMO what they’re seeing and ask for confirmation – no more. Then you have other TMO’s – like Skeen, Veldsman, etc – who think their position is to bully refs into submission… As long as all the refs remember that the ref is the boss, and they’re supporting the ref, the system can work without modification.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Spot on mate. I know that’s the guidelines but it’s not always followed. Personally I hate that little wanker from my nation Keet or Skeet or something. I want to punch him just for being such a cock

        • Human

          Get in line, KRL, Get in line.

        • Who?

          I don’t know any Kiwi who’s proud of Ben Skeen… And I don’t think there’s that many Aussies who are proud of George Ayoub.
          What would be great would be if guys like Barnes and Walsh – who used their TMO’s really well – were transitioned into TMO roles upon retirement from running the field. I know, they’ve got business opportunities – that’s why Walsh retired earlier than planned, and Barnes is part of a major international law practice. But it’s quite arguable that there’s no reason why they couldn’t do it from their home town these days, given the quality of communications around the globe…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          wouldn’t that be massive

    • onlinesideline

      Yes that was me, I was the Doctor who administered that Bex and a lie down. Sad to say no amount of Propofal (anesthetic) can numb this pain though. The only thing that can relieve these symptoms are perhaps a shock sacking, a shock dropping, or a even a shock signing (Quade and JOC sign with the Brumbies)

      • Brumby Runner

        Why on earth would you want to transfer your pain to me? Have I ever done anything terrible to you?

    • John R

      How Barrett and B Smith can be running full pace, and smiling the whole way like they’re catching up at the pub for a fucking pint, when Reece Hodge is struggling to keep up and looking like his head is about to explode, and that is not fitness??

      I HAVE EYES GODDAMN IT DANE!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        No one in the Wallabies ever takes responsibility.

        Everything we hear is blame deflection.

        • John R

          Just admit it aye. Like it’s not the end of the world, acknowledge the issue, and work on it.

          Unless the AB’s have all been injected with whatever that stuff is that turned that wimpy dude into Captain America, then they have no physical advantages, they are just working harder than we are.

          Dropping balls and making poor decisions, that’s a technical skillset. But to be dying trying to chase down a bloke 9 years older than you. Well that’s just not acceptable.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘Dropping balls and making poor decisions, that’s a technical skillset. But to be dying trying to chase down a bloke 9 years older than you. Well that’s just not acceptable.’

          Exactly. You can’t always be as skilled as your opponents, but as professional sportspeople you can still be as fit as you can be. Unacceptable, and then denying it afterwards. Pfft.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I wonder how much the dropping balls and bad decisions is due to being knackered. I know it’s hard to make good decisions when you’re tired so maybe it’s all tied together

        • Keith Butler

          Absolutely right KWL. I played in the UK back in the early 80s. We did not have the biggest pack in the world but focused on fitness, mobility and technique. Our best time was the last 20 mins when our fitness led to good decision making while the opposition were more often out on their feet.

        • Hoss

          Wooo-up Little Joe.

          You need to take a pill and lie down, clearly you dont understand me, its my passion, not a job, i have a plan.

          Sorry – channelling my inner Cheika.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold

      • onlinesideline

        Their whole bloody team are smiling asassins. Barrett as he cuts up the Wallabies, Mackenzie when he kicks, Keiran Reed when he shakes the refs hand after the match and then Pococks. Shag with that little smirk. Makes it even worse.

        • John R

          I used to love (read: having a grudging admiration and respect) for K Read.

          But after that Bledisloe a couple years back when he was brown nosing the ref whilst Moore was trying to talk to him (‘you don’t have to take that sir.’ ‘Do you want me to sort it out for you sir?’), well, now I can’t stand the prick!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Ben Smith is the bloke I respect most in the All Blacks aye. Comes across as honest, intelligent and a good bloke.

          He’s a man I would trust to do my accounts.

        • John R

          Yeah agreed. Smith is the man. Would be between him and Retallick for me. Re: Retallick, how can that bloke be tall enough to dunk without even jumping, yet still get over the ruck and steal the ball with annoying consistency, is just beyond me aye. How does he do it??

        • Archie

          That’s how I feel about Nick ‘I’m such a dousche I throw another player’s shoes away’ Phipps, and George ‘I’m so insecure

        • Archie

          That’s how I feel about Nick ‘throw your boots away’ Phipps and George ‘four more years’ Gregan

        • John R

          You have a grudging admiration and respect for Phipps?

          Okay, bro.

        • Missing Link

          Winners are griners

        • Brisneyland Local

          “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” — Ricky Bobby

        • Hoss

          Gold.

      • Human

        I think they might be having fun.

    • Hoss

      Thank Christ Sauce came out and defended the teams fitness, that narrows the problem down to tactics, game plan, selections, positional play, defence, structure, RA, grassroots, sponsorship and participation rates.

      one down, 3614 to go.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Don’t forget brains. That’s a big one.

        Hallmarks of past Wallaby teams were that they were intelligent and competed hard even when they weren’t as skilled or as big as their opponents. This team utterly capitulates in half of their matches and display no brains whatsoever on the field.

        • Missing Link

          I don’t know what you’re talking about, Hooper completely debunks your theory in the post match presser. His response to a question was “see ball, get ball, see man, SMASH!” I mean, how does that prove the current wallabies have no brains whatsoever? :P

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bahahahawahaha

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold!

  • Alister Smith

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see QC pop up in the next iteration of World Series Rugby. He would be the sort of name they would be looking to establish a team around and if they set up a team in Western Sydney or even Singapore or Hong Kong, he seems to be sort of player that many fans want to watch (not me particularly but certainly plenty people below). So he can sit back and honour his contract until confirmation comes through that Australian players will still be eligible for the Wallabies then take a big cash payment, slip out of the remainder of his QRU contract and give himself a chance of making the 2019 RWC with a good performance in a 14 week competition that probably wouldn’t have the same demands on the body (especially around recovery and travel times).

    • onlinesideline

      It would take a serious Foley injury too which I dont wish upon him of course but thats honestly the only thing + what you said. But even so with Toomua back, its highly unlikely. Quade would have to play the house down – thats possible though.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I will be 100% honest I dont think he will get back there. But for all the things QC was knocked for, Foley is now worse in all aspects of his game. Cant Kick, Cant tackle, cant orchestrate attack, throws hospital passes. At the moment the only QC is still suspect on is his tackling. Any other 10 would have been dropped by now.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Quade has one of the best passes, and can kick. After his knee injury he never had the same threatening running game and didn’t have the same bravery in terms of running into contact. But I could never fathom how people tried to criticise his skills. He had all the skills, his game management improved as he matured. His body was the real question mark, and defence.

        • Brisneyland Local

          well he is defending in club rugby. But that pass and organising attack is still there.

    • Brisneyland Local

      You are probably right. He really has been good to watch with Souths. And during the NRC we will hopefully see him and many of the other players play some really entertaining rugby. that will make their Wallaby counterparts look like the oafs that they are!

    • John Miller

      The single only prospect for Quade getting a Gold jersey is Cheika getting his marching orders. Same scenario for getting Gill back. Same scenario for getting Fardy back etc. etc.

  • Adrian

    Thanks Dylan

    I generally ignore players comments such as those by DHP. They are just doing their media duty.

    They are clearly a bit unfit though.
    How could they be fit, if most of them have actually only played about 7 or 8 games in the last 3 months? Key players DHP, Hooper, Genia have played less.
    It showed as they chased kiwis around the field in the second half of both tests.

    To me, fitness was ignored, because it was good at the beginning of June. Lineouts and scrums were ignored because they were good in June.

    IMO a combination of unanticipated NZ tactics combined with low fitness, lack of speed in key positions, and a not very well thought out decision to play the tallenred Hodge at 13 crueled us.

    We definitely didn’t teansitran well, but we weren’t playing 2017 style musical chairs in defence, so that excuse can’t be used.

    Re-think firnwss, tactics, selection and speed

    • Brisneyland Local

      And all of those are the realms of coaches!

      • Adrian

        100% BL

  • Human

    Continuing a discussion from yesterday…speed is the one thing for which there is no defence, except more speed. I have a son involved in T&F – his coach is very well regarded. I wrote a post about this time last year noting that said coach had been invited to visit the AB’s later in the year to teach them about speed – the AB coaches, not the players. He taught them about how to sprint, the mechanics, how to accelerate, how to train for speed…he was invited back early this year. I think we might be starting to see the results of those trips emerging in the AB’s. We will also see it in their men’s and women’s 7’s programmes. One of the NZ 7’s girls came out to train with the T&F squad last summer. There is a reason why the flying 40 is a KPI in the NFL Combine. Over the last 2 decades there has been an obsession with bulk in rugby in all positions…this has come at the cost of genuine speed…both over the ground and between the ears, in my view. Speed is a skill like any other, it can be taught.

    • Adrian

      Spot on Human

      • Human

        Thanks Adrian. I wish there was a way to get RA to understand.

        • Adrian

          Everyone can be improved by 10% speed–wise.
          On and off over the years this has been recognised, then forgotten.

          Sometimes bulk, sometimes strength, sometimes tackling/wrestling, sometimes handling, sometimes kicking……and sometimes speed are accentuated, but seemingly never at the same time.

          Rare is the coach that recognises this sort of thing, and doesn’t just go along with the crowd.

          I think League coach Craig Bellamy is such a person, and they should try and hire him with the money saved from ditching Grey and Larkham

        • Human

          Bellamy is a very good coach.

    • Ed

      I don’t know who the Wallabies S&C coach is but the ABs have a good one in Nic Gill. He is now an associate professor in human performance at the Uni of Waikato, where he has published papers and is a supervisor of PhD students in the field. I bet he would be aware of the importance of speed in a game like rugby.
      Gill is also a handy triathlete in having qualified twice in his age group for the Ironman world championships in Kona .

    • Missing Link

      Unfortunately RA already tried this, their world wide search took them as far as Wetherill Park where they were approached by a bloke in a tracksuit who offered to sell them some top notch speed if they wanted to follow him down a laneway.

      • Human

        …from where they are yet to emerge.

    • Larry Jorgensen

      Agree Human. Watching Hodge run one wonders how his head stays connected to his body. It (his head) is bobbling around like a ball in the lotto draw bubble. Simple bio-mechanics not sorted at this level.

    • Larry Jorgensen

      Agree Human. Watching Hodge run one wonders how his head stays connected to his body. It (his head) is bobbling around like a ball in the lotto draw bubble. Simple bio-mechanics not sorted at this level.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan a nice mix there.
    I’ll miss Barnes as I like the way he explains himself so you know what is going on. I love his approach to the TMO and WR should take that on board.
    Thanks for the party line DHP sorry it has no credibility but nothing said by the rest of the team has either so you’re not on your own there.
    The kiwi inside me finds it great to see Quade looking to his heritage. I personally see it more as a NZ culture than a Maori culture but glad he’s reflecting on it. Not sure he’d ever make the Maori ABs but it would be interesting to see.
    Another Aus doing good in NZ. I hope this is forcing RA to look at the learning structures here.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I’d love to see him in the Maori AB’s so he can stick it up the Aus side. And embarrass RA.

      • Alister Smith

        I wonder if he is able to be eligible for a Maori AB’s side? I certainly wouldn’t mind seeing him play that and/or playing for Auckland if BT stays firm and no other Australian side is willing to play him (though I suspect his RA top-up would disappear if he played outside Australian franchises). Can he actually be picked for the Maori? It’s an interesting one, clearly he is Maori but he is not exactly a NZer having played 60 tests for Australia. Is there any precedent in the past for say a person of mixed Maori/Tongan heritage being picked for the Maori side having previously played test rugby for Tonga for instance?

        • Brisneyland Local

          To be 100% honest I am not sure of the Maori AB selection policies are! Maybe KRL or RP could fill us in?

  • Number 12

    Anyone else interested in a backline of:
    Genia
    Cooper
    Toomua
    Hodge
    Koroibete
    Maddocks
    DHP

    Oh that’s just for the Rebels! The Tahs might struggle against that!

    • Brisneyland Local

      I would pay money to watch that!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t rate Koroibete I think his defence is crap and I’m not sure he’s up to this level of rugby. I’d actually have Folau over him

    • Huw Tindall

      No. Tahs backs with a light weight pack had it all over the Rebs this season so no. To be fair TN was a literally big part of that success.

  • laurence king

    Ok, we have just got hammered, twice. And the second time, two AB tries were fortunately disallowed otherwise the score would be over 50. Don’t they have any shame, isn’t someone prepared to take responsibility. In both games, the ABs were off their game in the first half, heaven help us if they had hit the ground running. We were lucky it wasn’t worse. The selecting of players in wrong positions and/or without the requisite skills to implement Cheika’s attacking rugby is obvious to all and sundry so why are folks like Gregan and Eales talking it up? Are they thinking of going into politics? If Cheika is not going to be dismissed, why not have an independent selection panel. At least that way there may be a hint of respectability in the scoreline. I’ve been watching the Wallabies for 50 years plus and I’ve never been so thoroughly disheartened as I’ve been over the last two weeks.

    • Hoss

      Its a common thread here this week mate – accountability and care-factor.

      It hasn’t got much of a mention but i loved Erasmus’ comments after their defeat by the Falkland Island Silver Medallist’s – basically it wasn’t good enough, he took the blame as coach and stated their are no excuses – love it. Honest, forthright and determined. Compare that to the tripe we get served from our mob.

      • laurence king

        Look Hoss, I’m buggered. As a supporter of Cheika I’m bloody frustrated, I’ve got the shits that bad my hearts doing an impression of a bloody haemorrhoid and Castle, Gregan, bloody Earles and co. are all business as usual. If it was a banana republic they’d be up against the wall. Did I say I had the shits?

        • Hoss

          Rest assured i am a kindred spirit. I had defended the Lebanese Silk Trader on here for many a year believing he was the man for the job.

          But where is the growth where is the improvement – where are the markers he can point to that say ‘look here – we are better in these areas’ instead of the mythical ‘depth’ and ‘plan’ dribble.

          If i hire a builder and after three years all I get is ‘depth’ all i would end up with is a good site for a garbage dump, not the strong foundations require to build on.

          What good is depth when the collective are so badly scarred form years of defeat, scattered defensive plans, players picked out of position or long past their form dictates.

          Right now my beloved Wallabies are like marriage – always in the shit, only the depth varies.

        • Missing Link

          I believe the lebanese silk trader is still a purveyor of fine goods, a lot of the problem seems to stem from an apparent “if we score more than the opposition, we win” or “the best form of defence is attack”, take your pick. I saw a stat recently that when held under 20 points, NZ only win 13% of those games and when Aus keep any opposition under 20 points they win 88% of those games. I know directly correlating those 2 stats is somewhat of a stretch but if you still look at them exclusively it tells you that our game plan should revolve around stopping the opposition from scoring first and foremost. Law of averages says we will do some scoring of our own. Somewhere along the lines, it seems to have become gospel that NZ will score tries against you, so why not try and score more tries than them… the trouble is NZ are solid defensively as well.

          In short, I’d rather see the back of Nathan “trust the system” Grey before Cheika goes. After game 1 I wasn’t a fan of the new forwards coach but game 2 displayed a solid line out with complex moves to ensure possession is retained so he gets another chance, whereas Grey has used his all up… 2 years now!

        • Brisneyland Local

          At least in a marriage, one out of the two generally know what they are doing.

        • mikado

          That’s what my wife tells me!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep mine too!.

        • Brisneyland Local

          At least in a marriage, one out of the two generally know what they are doing.

      • mikado

        The Saffas got tonked by the Malvinas Argentinas mob, which was a much worse performance and result than Australia’s. So while Rassie’s comments were appropriate, better would have been to not get tonked in the first place.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Falkland Island Silver Medalists! Pure Gold. BUt they werent first, so their last!

      • Huw Tindall

        Hats off for the Argie dig. Hats off

  • mikado

    I remember that when Wayne Barnes started reffing at the top level he was widely despised as an officious, self-important pr!ck who was overly literal in his interpretation of the laws. Seems that over the years he has gradually morphed into a much-loved elder statesman. It will be a shame to see him go.

  • Bakkies

    Foxsports put up a stat Wallabies have played 34 tests since the last RWC and have conceded 109 tries. FMD.

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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