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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Pocock praising Naisarani, Shields tells NZ Rugby secrets, Beale bringing extra Budgy Smugglers, and the motivation for Fainga’a


 

POOPER DEBATE TO CONTINUE

Photo by Keith McInnes

Photo by Keith McInnes

David Pocock believes the “Pooper” debate will continue, with the growing talent around the Wallabies back row, in particular as the combination look to make it work for a second World Cup. But he is willing to leave that to Michael Cheika and his crew.

“I love playing alongside Hoops but I don’t know [about the World Cup],” Pocock said.

“That’s up to the coaches and what they think is going to be best for us as a team. I’ll stay out of that one. I really rate Mike as a person, as a captain, as a player and love playing alongside him and we’ve worked hard at trying to get that combination working as best it can.”

Height at lineout time and weight at the scrum has been a massive point of contention regarding the pairing; despite the fact Pocock and Hooper are often in the top performers for the Wallabies.

Pocock believes it could be development player Isi Naisarani to throw a spanner in the Pooper, comparing the 23-year old Fijian born No.8 to Wallabies cult figure Radike Samo.

“We saw at the Brumbies how damaging he could be out in the wider channels,” Pocock said.

“He’s got the classic Radike Samo ability to play the ball in one hand and get the offload away and can also be pretty damaging in defence.

“From what I’ve seen this year at the Brumbies he’s someone who doesn’t get too flustered about anything. He takes things in his stride so I’m sure he’ll be able to step up. He’s a pretty handy player.

“Next year a lot of it depends on his season with the Rebels and the growth he shows there but I’m excited for him.”

Naisarani has had impressive Super Rugby and NRC seasons, being one of the best No.8s in the Australian conference. Currently unable to be selected due to residency laws, Australian rugby fans will wait until April to see if Naisarani is the missing link in the Wallabies back row.

Until then the Wallabies will most likely continue with “Pooper”, with the battle for the No.6 spot being fought between Waratahs, Ned Hannigan and Jack Dempsey for the Spring Tour.

“I thought he made a great impact coming off the bench,” said Pocock of Dempsey’s performance in the third Bledisloe Cup match. “He’s pretty abrasive and throws himself into it.” Pocock added.

“Having said that, I think Ned has also been really good for us and is growing a lot as a player. That’s what you want – to have a number of guys in each position.”

INSIDER BRAD SHIELDS

Reds v Hurricanes

It may be a surreal experience for former Hurricane’s captain Brad Shields, should he be selected to face the All Blacks on Saturday, as he stares down his former team mates and friends as they perform the Haka.

The feeling may also hit players like the Barrett brothers or Ardie Savea as they face down the man who captained them at the Hurricanes. Despite his relationship to NZ rugby, Ian Foster believes the team can see him as “just a loosey who plays for England.”

It his connection to the All Blacks that is providing insight for the English team, according to Ben Youngs.

“Brad’s knowledge is really important because he was at the Hurricanes,” said Youngs. “He can tell us what the guys he has played with don’t particularly like and the traits they have in their game. We don’t just want to contain the All Blacks, we want to throw our game plan at them.”

Something shared was that Beauden Barrett carries the ball more than any All Black on the field. Whilst this stat impressed Youngs, it doesn’t come as a surprise when you see how the All Blacks and Hurricanes can score long range tries off their backs.

“I didn’t know that until this week,” said Youngs. “It’s an amazing stat.”

Australian rugby fans will be the first to say grabbing a NZ Super Rugby player doesn’t automatically give you a winning edge, with Crusaders premiership player Pete Samu joining the Wallabies in the same vain as Shields and England.

Shields opted to move to Wasps in an effort to play for England after being overlooked for the All Blacks, despite racking up 100 matches for the Hurricanes and playing U20s for New Zealand.

The All Blacks assistant coach Foster told the media unfortunately when selecting a national team, players miss out.

“I guess the obvious answer is the selectors didn’t pick him. When you’re selecting a national team, there’s a whole lot of good players that don’t quite make it. I’m not going to give you reasons why we didn’t pick him. But what we do know is that he is a quality person, he did a great job off the field at the Hurricanes and he was in the conversation a lot with us.”

Shields is well aware he has a job today if he pulls on the white jersey, but knows that for 80 minutes they aren’t his friends.

“What’s the old saying: ‘Enemies on the field and best friends after the game?’ That’s my mentality.

“I played with a few of the guys for a number of years so there are friendships and relationships there but you’re out on the field to do a job.

“I don’t think it’s about proving a point. As soon as you start to overthink things, that will affect the performance of the team. I’ll do my best for the squad and try to put my best foot forward, otherwise you’ll look like a bit of a sham out there. You’ve got to perform or you’re no good to anyone.”

 

 

BEALES BUDGY SMUGGLERS

2018-Wallabies-v-Springboks-Captains-Run-1

Kurtley Beale has plenty of great memories playing against Wales. He made his test debut in Cardiff in 09. He received MOTM and scored match-winning tries. Last year he scored an impressive try off a strip tackle.

Though it was a social media post of Beale’s that made the last match particularly memorable, when he took a photo with the Patron of Welsh Rugby, the Prince of Wales, Prince William, wearing his Budgy Smugglers.

Beale is hopefully that the future King of England will make his way down to the sheds after the match, packing some spare pairs to give to the monarch.

“It’d be nice to see Prince William again, I have another pair of budgies for him if he comes in the sheds,” he said.

“We’ll see how we go. There is a few options there he can pick.”

Beale is excited to get back to Cardiff and take on the team that he has never lost too, and improve on the poor season the Wallabies have gone through.

“Throughout the year there has been some inconsistency with our defence and attack and we are always striving for that 80 minute performance.

“This is a great opportunity to test ourselves against the Welsh.

“They had a great result last week and will be on their feet ready to bounce and excited by the challenge.”

“The Welsh always have an exciting brand of rugby to play and I guess it’s someone I enjoy playing against.

“There is a lot of scope there as an outside back or a playmaker to try and pick them off.

“I always look forward to an exciting match.”

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Kurtley Beale [-0-] (@kurtley_beale) on

THE WOMEN IN FAINGA’A’S LIFE

Folau Faingaa

Folau Faingaa

It has been an impressive year for Folau Fainga’a who just 12-months ago had signed an extended playing contract with the Brumbies after a strong NRC season.

12 months later and he not only made a Brumbies debut, but made a Wallabies debut and is now on a European tour.

The 23-year-old’s mind is often with the three generations of women in his life that gather round a TV in western Sydney to watch him play. They might not be up in the middle of the night this week but they will still be in the front of his mind.

“Obviously my family back home is my motivation,” he said.

“I’ve got a great-grandmother still alive, she’s always crying every time she sees me on television.

“She just sees my face and she just bawls out crying and even when I FaceTime her, it’s the same thing.

“They’re my motivation for the Spring Tour.”

Even with all the changes this year from playing club rugby to now being a Wallaby, Fainga’a was able to acknowledge just how different the levels are between Test and Super Rugby.

“It’s very different to a normal Super Rugby game and how you prep.

“Games are a lot faster and there’s a bit more oomph, that’s what I’ve learned so far.”

Fellow Wallaby and Brumby David Pocock has been impressed with the effort and development of the young hooker.

“I was very impressed with his growth and his form through the Brumbies season, (where he) obviously earned the opportunity here (in Wallabies camp) and step up how he has,” he said.

“There’s plenty to learn and I guess he’s shown just how much he wanted to learn and we’re starting to see that in his game.

“The young hookers we’ve got coming through can be around for a long time, it’s very exciting.”

 

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Sitting here in my office trying to ignore my EA who is reorganising my life for me, reading the GAGR. What a morning. My random thoughts whilst contemplating my day:
    – The “Pooper” has to go! Bring Hooper on as an Impact subby, but Pocock should be 7. And if that means Hooper cant be captain then so be it. Because I think he is not the right choice as captain anyway.
    – Beale and his budgie smugglers! Just what I need to think about.
    – Three generations of women in his life. Wow! That is impressive. There has to be a lot said for the Polynesian family way. That is a great thing to hear.
    – What time does the team selection come out today? Who do we think it is going to be? I put a lazy $50 on AAC being straight into the team. Arghhhhhhhhh
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Custard Taht

      Don’t forget the one player to be omitted.

      • Brisneyland Local

        CT, very good point. I forgot that one. You see I forget anything that my EA doesn’t tell me. If she doesn’t tell me then it simply does not happen or isn’t real! ;-)

        • Custard Taht

          Based off that, I think I am the EA to my other half!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes,it just shows I am conditioned to respond to strong female figures.
          My wife is the same.

        • Happyman

          All the good wines are

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is why we marry them.
          But do you know why husbands die before their wives?
          Because they want to!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          so who’s the strong female figure she responds to?

        • Brisneyland Local

          None! She is a low unto herself! ;-)

      • Ed

        We won’t find who has been eliminated from the tribe until Friday night/Saturday morning.

        • Custard Taht

          Yep, will certainly keep the Welsh guessing.

      • Happyman

        Tom Banks to be omitted. just seem to always be omitted.

        • Custard Taht

          Can we bank on that though?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Omitted or withdrawn?

    • Geoffro

      KB in his smugglers, beer? in hand next to the Prince. Good ad for Speedo , not so much for Wallabies me thinks,but they’re both laffing their heads off so who am I to say.

      • John Tynan

        I’m sure it’s an organic kombucha, not a beer.

        • Geoffro

          WTF is an organic kombucha.To an uneducated bum like me it looks like biru.Anyway,I hope his kombucha and frolicking with the Royals in his undies helps him find his mojo to do battle with Dr Evil and co.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Lucky I wasnt eating my breakfast when I saw it.

        • Geoffro

          Could have been worse,at least he wasn’t rocking a jockstrap

        • Brisneyland Local

          Or a Borat Mankini!

        • Geoffro

          Very nicea

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold!

    • Greg

      I am going for AAC at 7, Hooper to 8 and Pocock at 6. Why not?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Dont say that, Cheika might read this and think it is a brilliant idea!

    • Huw Tindall

      Mate as long as your EA has the first half hour of your day blocked out for GAGR posts it’s all good.

      Team will be named Thursday arvo UK time so you’ve got at least 12-16 hours to wait! We’ve still got a 13 problem and I’m not sure Chek has anything to be gained from playing Izzy at 13 again so it’s AAC, Kerevi, or Petaia for the spot…arguments for and against for all of them!!

      • onlinesideline

        Love to see

        11 – Izzy
        12 – Kerevi
        13 – AAC (Jordan to get 20 mins)
        14 – Sefa
        15 – Beale

        • Hoss

          i’ll see your lot and raise you

          9. Sanchez
          10. Spanners
          11. Sefa
          12 Two-cows
          13 Kerevi
          14 Dusty
          15 Bastards

        • onlinesideline

          Hoss I’d be happy with that too mate. I’d sort of forgotten about Banks because Cheika isnt showing much love, but Id love to see him be given a whole game / run on too.

          I’m not a fan of blooding backs by giving them closing minutes, just let them run on and do their stuff. They are either good enough or not. Notice the All Blacks pick debut backs, or put 1 and 2 test match backs in starting line up. Backs is about confidence. It takes a full macth from the start to read the opposition. Blooding Props (Thor) is different.

        • Hoss

          i hear you and my suggestions would never happen, but i like it as there are 3 kickers (Foley, Toomua & Banks) a tackling 12 so all can defend in their positions, pace and X factor in the back 3 and it would allow for AAC / Petaia on the bench in a 5-3 split.

          But what do i know.

        • Geoffro

          I wholeheartedly agree and I’m going back a few years ago (again) where young backs with a bit of promise were given a shot early on (and then promptly poached by league) I reckon if Cheika cared more about the future than he did about clinging onto his position which is down the tubes anyway he’ll be trotting these guys out right smart,what the hell , nobody I’ve heard on here would criticise him if he started all three of Banks,Petaia and Maddocks this week.Sorry for repeating the same thing ad nauseum

        • Alister Smith

          I am a bit lost with 14 – i just got 15 – l feel all proud like i just worked out the cross word clue (at least I think I have it)

        • Hoss

          There’s a free GAGR T-Shirt for those who can translate the Hoss XXIII

      • Brisneyland Local

        If Kerevi is fit, I would pick him. With maybe AAC off the bench for the last 20 mins.

        • Hoss

          imagine this

          9. Sanchez
          10 Two-cows
          11 Sefa
          12 Kerevi
          13 Pataia
          14 Dusty
          15 Bastards

          Reserve backs

          21 Commissioner
          22 Spanners
          23 Gilbert

        • Brisneyland Local

          That works for me. Infact lets do it.

          Me wonders how next years super seasn with the Johnny Rebs back line playing together for most of a season, then the end bit with Matty T. That could be a great build.

        • Brumby Runner

          BLL, the Rebs should be aimimg for the top of the conference next year along with the Brumbies if they continue to play the type of game they finished this year. The Tahs without Naiyaravoro will likely compete with the Reds for last of the Aussie four.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I think you are right. It will be a Rebs Ponies shoot out. I actually think that the Reds will do better than the Tahs this year. I think Thorn is really starting to build a squad there.

        • Who?

          That needs way more than one up-vote… I’d pick that, absolutely no question!

    • Hoss

      Afternoon Briz – my interest lies mainly in the bench. If its 6-2 two-dads misses out (Phipps & Toomua) if its 5-3 he’s in for versatility.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I would so be running Toomua t 12 if I had my way!

        • Hoss

          You and i both Kemosabe.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Maybe you and I should be the selection panel. With KRL as an impartial un-state biased moderator.

        • Alister Smith

          except when we play the Kiwis – he could compromise us by selecting the wrong players or selecting players out of position….actually I think we could probably leave him on the panel …wouldn’t be any different

        • Brisneyland Local

          KRL is too straight to attempt to sabotage. Way too honest!

  • Greg

    apropos nothing much at all… that photo shows Prince William up at 6’3″ (1.91m). Not a short guy.

    • Geoffro

      Think he played a little bit of rugger at Eton.Has the physique for it.

      • Alister Smith

        my make a decent rower

        • Geoffro

          What,backrower or boat rower ? Read a piece once which reckoned his fellow students loved smashing him on the field because he was who he was , don’t reckon rugger would have been his favorite sport.

  • Silver Ghost

    Thanks Dylan
    Is this report coming from London?
    I heard you got press access for the Wales game. That must be G&GR first.
    Looking forward to the game report.

    • Adrian

      Sounding good.
      Maybe live blog (no tv) plus game report and inteview with Nard

  • Alister Smith

    G’day All,

    Thanks for the write-up on a slowish news day (I am assuming that if we are talking about Beale’s undies and the Pooper (Hoocock) that there isn’t a lot of pertinent rugby information out there).

    On that basis, I would like to raise some random rugby thoughts. Firstly, does Australia’s approach to coaching need to be revised substantially at all levels to produce more highly skilled players to select from. There is a lot of focus on the Wallabies coach here, and rightfully so, but I also notice in critiquing selections that we will often identify particular flaws in players.

    1. Foley – poor long kicking skills, defensive issues
    2. TPN – lineout throwing
    3. Folau – kicking, positional play at fullback, passing on a particular side
    4. Hooper – clean-out skills
    5. AAC – passing on a particular side
    6. Beale – defence, capacity under the high ball at fullback
    7. Q Cooper – defence

    etc, etc – now i dont agree with all of the above but I think we could just about go through every Australian player and find a technical deficiencies. I am not talking about a skill that one person is better at than some others but a skill that is deficient or missing all together.

    Most of these skill deficiencies aren’t the fault of the Wallabies coaching team, nor even the Super Rugby coaches to an extent. Players lacking some of these very basic skills shouldn’t have to learn them at Wallabies camp or at Super training. These skills should still be practised and further refined there and a focus on maintaining basic skills is part of the All Blacks success but i would suggest that All Blacks entering camp already have all the basic skills (obviously better at some than others) and its just a matter of maintaining and improving them.

    For us though in Australia, how does a player make it through to U12s at club level, make it to selection in regional age rep teams, school rep teams, Australian U20’s etc with significant skill deficiencies like some of these (Folau we can perhaps excuse in his early days because he didnt come up through our system). I think a large part of it is coach training and resources available to coaches. I had a quick look on the RA site to look at coaching resources and compared them with what is available from NZ.

    http://www.rugbyaustralia.com.au/coaching/RugbyLearningCentre.aspx

    and compare this with
    http://www.communityrugby.co.nz/courses/coaching-courses

    and the resources on
    https://www.coachingtoolbox.co.nz/
    and
    https://www.rugbysmart.co.nz/

    in Australia we have SmartRugby – which is almost completely focussed on OH& S and player safety – essential I agree but not part of the players education around the game itself, then L1 and L2 coaching. L3 is invitation only for Colts 1, provincial/regional rep and Metro Grade 1 & 2. As I understand L4 is an elite level largely based on written work – a mini-thesis topic if you will looking at a particular aspect of the game.

    The NZ system, from what I can see has targeted skills for each player level and for the coaches who are working with this level. And the resources behind it look fantastic at first glance, simply teaching techniques with key skill points highlighted. We may well have something similar but I couldn’t locate it and key parts of the Rugby Learning Centre look to be still being developed (but it might be that we are catching up).

    This is where I would like the RA’s and the state bodies work to be focused on – junior player and coach development – and this is the area that I hoped Rod Kafer’s group would be working on but (unless I am wrong and I am happy to be so) it seems more focused on the elite level. I have been out of rugby coaching for a little while and I don’t pretend that I was ever that good but I don’t think we are getting any “trickle down” from what I have seen at U8, U10, U12 games and training I have been watching. I was actually told by a parent of an U12 coach at a Brisbane club that one coach was offering prizes for individual performances and most tries (money and the use of an Ipad for the week) and the top performers on his criteria would win the ipad and more money at the end of the year. There was no focus within that on building skills or processes or working as a team – just prizes for his “best player” and “top try scorer”. The reverse of what I would be trying to encourage at that level.

    • Damo

      Very insightful post Alister – thank you. It is a great question isn’t it? How on earth do these guys get to SR level, let alone Wallabies selection, without being able to execute the relevant skills of their position in their sleep. I would add one other perspective to your analysis. One of the critical issues for the Wallabies in recent times is the failure to execute skills under pressure. These guys can actually pass, kick, throw etc but it’s not ingrained enough to stand up when someone is right in your face. Our top tier opposition know this very well and we have paid the price in many tests. Of course under intense pressure it’s not only basic skills that fall apart it’s also decision making. It’s the old adage “everyone has a plan- until someone punches you in the face”.
      When I coached teenagers I tried to make sure that every skills drill we did was carried out with some level of pressure. I’m sure the good coaches would all do the same. Maybe there is another reason. Maybe our elite young players get to the business end of their career i.e. SR and beyond not having played enough games under pressure in their junior careers. Have a look at KB’s schoolboy highlights reel. He hardly ever seemed to face a D line that tested him. And not forgetting if you played GPS or comparable you generally played less than 10 serious games a year.
      On top of that these outstanding prospects then tend to go into elite programs and often not spend much time doing the hard yards of club rugby- which I believe would be a great environment to hone skills.
      I don’t personally have any experience with junior development in NZ but I’ve got a feeling the big difference is that their kids are developing in a more robust and competitive environment. I think it shows.
      It wasn’t always this way. If we honestly accept that there is a problem then the kind of programs you have suggested can make a difference. Unfortunately it won’t happen tomorrow.

      • Alister Smith

        G’day Damo – I think you make some excellent points. Two particularly stand out.
        1. Skill performance under pressure – yes that is critical and, while I am sure it is possible to train it in some ways I think it is not entirely possible to replicate game situations.
        2. The amount of games played by schoolboys. My experience, which included working in boarding at one of the “rugby nursery” schools entirely supports your opinion. Players are trained to the highest standards available in Australia but they play (in Queensland at least) a couple of trials and I think 8 games for their season. The reps will then have the schoolboy carnival and perhaps a tour for the best of them – AAGPS also play 8 games. In my experience, kids are actively discouraged in many cases for backing up for their club sides or colts past u12 etc. There are a tonne of kids at u8-10s but by U14s a lot of the club teams will have only one age grade team (there might have been 6 or 8 or 10 at the 8/10’s age).
        When I grew up we played school (which was Waratah shield for us in rugby) and we might have got 3-4 games into that at best – generally we won the first 1 or 2 and we were out. But we also played in the “town” comp or local club comp and that was a full home and away season in an 8 team comp – so we were pressing towards 20 games per year if we made the finals.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate that is a great synopsis of the issue here. Unfortunately there is no way in hell that a sensible solution will occur while RA, QLD and NSW spend all their time and resources trying to figure out who’s the top dog on the shit hole.

      Personally I don’t think any changes will occur until rugby crashes and burns in a big way. TBH I think we are becoming so used to shit performances that even getting kicked out of RWC at the pool stage won’t be enough now.

    • Happyman

      Great contribution AS
      From my perspective watching having watched the process from junior levels. Junior rep teams focus far to much on size over skills.
      – Generally when under rep 12 teams are picked you get the big fat boys picked who are not skilled and just run over kids 20 kg lighter. The vast majority of these boys disappear when the other smaller boys and can suddenly whack people.
      -The focus is on the now and I can guarantee the big 12 y/o is almost never the big 18 y/o as they are fully grown at that age. Junior rep teams almost always try to play the power game as they are not teaching skills and the kids they have picked are not smart players.
      -Rep teams are almost always picked by coaches with to much at stake in the process, be it school coaches who have to answer to kids parents for picking a kid from another school or club coaches in the same position. Certain clubs also stack the process to get a certain outcome.
      -The problem is further exacerbated by the school systems not allowing the boys to play as much as possible.
      -Boys who are not selected at 15 are not really considered after that date regardless of performance or skill or growth until senior grades.
      -Boys are picked on size, School name and often a youtube highlight reel.
      It is easy to be a keyboard warrior so here are my solutions
      -Education of coaches from the ground up try and get every coach from under 10 up to be a level two coach at no charge (it is unreasonable to expect a coach to pay for the privilege of coaching his son and also pay his fees. It should at no cost Australia wide would cost less than half of the cost of Micheal Hoopers contract.
      – Set skill KPI’s for players to be selected eg pass from left to right right to left, tackle on both shoulders etc. It gives the kids measurable things to work on.
      – Coaches must not coach in that age group of be able to select from there own school and no horse trading allowed with oversight.

      • Alister Smith

        I like it and I agree particularly re: size. It also disadvantage those “big” kids in the long run. I remember a particular U15 who had been the big kids up to that age and had got away with run into and over the opposition. when he came back from holidays one year everyone else had caught up but he was unable to change his game – kept running into now bigger kids and didnt have the passing or evasive skills to beat the man – also didnt have the “team play” to support or be supported by the players around him.

        There is a perception that early talent identification is the key but these blokes tell a very different story.
        https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/kids-sports-myths/

        • Happyman

          Ditto mate particularly boys 14 through 17 boys some of the boys are fully developed at 12 some at 19. Ultimately a late developer has no chance in Aus at the moment.
          The boys are smart lots are heading overseas as they see what the system is here.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Great points mate. A couple of years ago England RFU paid for all level 1&2 coaching courses and all level 1 referee courses.

        This will prove hugely beneficial in the long term as the kids start to get decent skills coaching

        • Happyman

          Thats where I stole that idea from. I think BMW sponsor it. It is a great initiative and can only improve engagement and alignment. Shame it won’t happen.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          If the bloody RA got its shit together it could

        • Ed

          England also used some of the RWC2015 booty to invest in grassroots – facilities and coaching as you say.
          What did we use our 2001 Lions/2003 RWC bonanza on? Not that.

      • Patrick

        Agree with all that. When I finally crack and stage my not-bloodless coup at RA coaching and skills nationwide from U8s up will be my third action (after: 1. replace (at least nearly) the whole board (if any escape the coup that is) and governance structure of RA, 2. rework the whole governance structure of the NRC, Super Rugby and the Wallabies).

        It should probably be my second action.

        • Happyman

          When it happens let me know I am sure I would not be the only one there with my pitchfork.

        • Patrick

          No I’m sure you wouldn’t be!

      • Who?

        I like that. One more fix:
        Coaches for rep teams shouldn’t be from schools. Most regions don’t allow you to coach your own kid’s team, but if you’ve got a club -sourced coach, you’ve got someone who isn’t worried about their employment prospects, recruiting for their own school or from their own school (and none of them are going to be stupid enough to select purely from their own club – it ruins their chances of having a win).

  • Alister Smith

    On an unrelated point to my previous point, I like most things about GRR (like a [Malaysian] tiger) rugby and I don’t want to dismiss Andrew Forrest’s contribution at all but I am a little worried about the potential rule changes that he is trying to foster. I think the NRC got it wrong when they tried to use experimental rules and players then had to go back to old rules etc. The word Rapid worries me in that he is looking to redefine rugby as a speed game (in a similar way to what Super League tried to do with Rugby League). I like that he is trying to increase the amount of time that the ball is in play but I am concerned that players playing under the Rapid Rugby rules might have less focus on traditional scrummaging skills etc and we end up with a situation like we had under Eddie Jones at the end of his Wallabies coaching tenure when the scrum was seen as only a re-start and players were picked primarily for skills “around the paddock” rather than on the full range of skills required to play the game effectively.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree mate. I think it’s stupid and will only make it less relevant and less likely to expand

    • John Tynan

      Nice nod to the D-Gen, mate, love your work.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Great comment. ‘Rapid’ seems like the sort of crap that a marketing “guru” brought in as a consultant by RA might suggest “would boost consumer interest by 7.2 per cent according to our focus groups”.

      Actually, we could place said “guru” alongside the obviously incompetent graphic designer that designed RAs new logo to replace the old and fantastic Wallaby inside the rugby ball.

      • Alister Smith

        I’m not sure who writes Twiggy’s stuff but some of it comes across a bit cringeworthy. I like what he has done overall though, particularly with grassroots and regional development.

        I agree re the RA logo – reminds me of the MASH stencil but says nothing to me about the game – they could be selling widgets

  • onlinesideline

    I just looked at Kurtley Beales insta page and watched him play a shot on the gold course (bloody nice swing actually) and he is a left hander !!

    And yet he kicks with his right foot. Is that normal ?

    • Hoss

      Only for Jehovah’s chosen ones mate.

      I bowled right handed, batted left, play golf left handed, but tennis right and write, right-handed.

      • Greg

        and all of them at an exceptionally high standard?

        • Hoss

          the older i get, the better i was.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fuck yes

      • Alister Smith

        Jehovah’s chosen or one of the devil’s brood – as i found on wikipedia….”In 19th-century Europe, homosexuals were referred to as “left-handed”. Black magic is sometimes referred to as the “left-hand path”, which is strongly associated with Satanism.” So if you are someone who switches hands and feet you must be the ultimate deceiver.

        • Hoss

          Have you seen my resume – god-damn hackers

        • onlinesideline

          I know switching hands when you get tired is definitely Satans work.

        • Damo

          Satan actually pioneered cricket’s reverse sweep. Or was it Davie W- same same.

        • laurence king

          Left-handedness in writing used to be strongly discouraged in my mothers day with a swot across the knuckles. As a school teacher I often would think how lovely it would have been to have the liberty to just autonomously be able to whack a child. This is why I had children of my own. Aah, the freedom from the moral constraints to commit violence, is this why rugby was invented? Or have I said too much?

        • Geoffro

          We used to get a rap across the knuckles if our writing sloped backwards.The Marist Bros loved rugby also and various forms of corporal punishment.(the lay teachers were allowed to join in too so you would have been covered to express yourself)

        • laurence king

          Josephine nuns in Taree, they were alright. Although the old one in kindergarten used to hit us with the soft end of the feather duster lol. So I apparently missed a bit of fun in the private schools.

        • Geoffro

          Geez,I had the nuns too but they had no problem with the woody end of the old f.duster.Ah well , spare the rod………funny though,my old man or mum never layed a finger on me though I sure got the shit beat out of me by the teachers.

        • laurence king

          My old man, got brought up hard and his weapon of choice was the cord off the Iron. I’d got it from age four and 20 or 30 of them swung with gusto made anything else by anybody else seem like they weren’t trying.

        • Geoffro

          Not good mate,thats no laughing matter. :(

        • laurence king

          His father was an invalid from the Boer war, dad supported the family from age 12 shooting rabbits and foxes, then went into the airforce as a bomber pilot, came back ruined. His brothers went of to Tobruk and Kokoda at 15 and 16 respectively, so compared to their lives mine has been a doddle. Getting the stick a bit much has hurt me too much.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Marist Brothers. I think I still hold the record for the most straps in one term. 43 I think. I must have been a right little shit of a kid lol

        • Geoffro

          The Brothers were ok and some of them were funny knockabout guys-really loved their sports too.The discipline thing was part of the culture and since I was living with my single mum she welcomed it.It’s hard to say we didn’t deserve a bit of a stropping when I look back.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely mate. Deserved everything I got. Being proud of a strap record says a lot lol

      • Damo

        Ditto. Mostly badly!

      • juswal

        Just like my late Dad, Hoss

        • Hoss

          Your from good stock then mate.

      • Who?

        Bat and bowl right handed, but kick left footed here… Well, taught myself to kick off the right foot, too, but natural left footer. My son’s a leftie – writes and kicks left handed, bowls right handed, bats left handed… Rather common for lefties to do things like throw right handed. My wife had to learn to throw right handed because they didn’t always have a right handed softball glove at her school.

    • Simon

      I’m the opposite – right handed and left footed. I’ve found it’s an ideal combination for playing on the right wing. All I’m lacking is size, speed and talent!

      • laurence king

        I can paint and draw equally well with both right and left hands, except when I think about it and then I’m just right-handed.

    • juswal

      Cross-dominance: not normal but not uncommon. There have been a few top golfers with a non-dominant grip, including Ben Hogan and Jordan Spieth.

      • Greg

        Easy with the cross-dominance stuff….. you will distract Hoss from his work again!

        • Alister Smith

          would that be “the devil’s work”

  • RugbyM

    ** the Prince of Wales is Prince Charles (Will’s father).
    Prince William is the Duke of Cambridge

    • Alister Smith

      And Harry is Duke of Sussex (or soon to be Governor General of Australia according to the head of the Monarchist movement in Australia)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Doesnt the GG have to be an Australian Citizen?

        • Alister Smith

          Just convention apparently – it can be a British citizen too (though the article I saw said it doesn’t stipulate at all in the constitution.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Interesting. I have checked. The last non-Australian GG was in 1965. William Sidney, Viscount De L’Isle.

        • Who?

          Also not unprecedented for a member of the line of succession to be an Australian governor – pretty sure one of Queen Vicky’s lads was governor (of Victoria?) in the 1890’s…
          Harry strengthened my republican resolve. Watching him cheer for us to lose in Sydney in the 2003 RWC Final reminded me that it’s just wrong for our head of state to be on the opposing side of any argument.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am neither republican nor monarchist. But any person that serves on the front line in a war zone earns my respect. I have served there, I know the hardships, and for Harry to do that when he could have lived his plush life is something truly to respect. Plus setting up Invictus is a really good thing. Ok so he cheered against us. To be honest in the last few matches I have been cheering against us too. Hoping that another loss would have the Lebanese Silk trader fired. But alas he is still here.

        • Who?

          I have nothing but respect for Harry, I just got annoyed that someone who’s supposed to be on our side was against us. It showed that we’re not the highest priority, and our head of state should have us as their highest priority.
          I think he may actually be a key to the whole republican/monarchist thing. Because conservatives – constitutional conservatives – point out that the royals actually don’t cost us much money, and the system works. If we go to a republican model, we’ve got expense finding the president, for a ceremonial role. But do we want a ceremonial president? Many don’t. But do we really want an extra clown in power..?
          Maybe it’d be simpler to split the House of Windsor. They can have King Billy, we’ll have King Hazza. He’s the Aussie royal – history as a party boy, someone who was willing to sacrifice (he wanted the front line, and no position on deployment is truly safe), great work supporting Africa (specifically Lesotho), and now Invictus..
          Oh, and it’s one thing to want short term pain for long term gain compared to wanting us not to win the ultimate prize. There was no gain from us losing in 2003.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. True. He certainly does love it here.

        • Alister Smith

          I, like you, had some understanding that there was a constitutional change of some kind in the 1980’s that it now had to be an Australian Citizen but apparently not…I therefore nominate Sofia Vergara as next governor-general of Australia

        • Brisneyland Local

          I dont think it was a constitutional change. But am pretty sure both sides of the political divide decide that that will be it moving forward.
          I second your nomination.

  • Geoffro

    Pity Banks,Maddocks or Petaia if they got selected and their first real chance to shine is playing outside AAC-they’d never see the bloody ball.

  • Brisneyland Local

    That is his style!

  • Custard Taht

    That seems to be the method every coach, regardless of the sport, adopts when their seat is hot. It never works, but luckily for Cheika, he won’t be sacked when it all goes to Poop.

  • Alister Smith

    I doubt she has a picture of it on the bedroom wall at home (unless its stuck on the dart board)

  • Gottsy

    One thing that ever so slightly concerns me about the pooper (and the rest of the team) is that this spring tour is pretty much the last chance we have to try anything different before the World Cup. I highly rate Valetini, Naisarani and Dempsey but unless something drastic is going on behind the scenes that the coaching staff have been able to keep hidden this entire time, I just don’t see how any real changes are going to be able to made to the side in time. Should have taken Hamish Stewart on tour too.
    Fingers crossed I’m proven wrong!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I fear you’re not mate

      • Hoss

        Team just announced – Kerevi, Sefa, Coleman and Dempsey to start. Hannigan and Simmons on bench. Maddocks on pine. Can’t-getright and bastards out of 23 all together.

        Not a bad team given his myopia for the Pooper. Would love Bastards at 15 instead Of Sauce and I reckon we are close. Toomua at 12 and Gilbert on the pine and we would be even better.

        Two-dads not in the 23

        • Adrian

          Thanks Hoss
          More exactly it is:
          TEAM
          IN: Jack Maddocks, Adam Coleman, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Matt To’omua

          OUT: Marika Koroibete, Folau Fainga’a, Tom Banks, Rory Arnold

          Wallabies to face Wales

          1. Scott Sio (52 Tests)

          2. Tolu Latu (10 Tests)

          3. Allan Alaalatoa (30 Tests)

          4. Izack Rodda (14 Tests)

          5. Adam Coleman (28 Tests)

          6. Jack Dempsey (7 Tests)

          7. Michael Hooper (c) (88 Tests)

          8. David Pocock (75 Tests)

          9. Will Genia (97 Tests)

          10. Bernard Foley (65 Tests)

          11. Sefa Naivalu (8 Tests)

          12. Kurtley Beale (81 Tests)

          13. Samu Kerevi (22 Tests)

          14. Israel Folau (70 Tests)

          15. Dane Haylett-Petty (28 Tests)

          Reserves

          16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (86 Tests)

          17. Sekope Kepu (100 Tests)

          18. Taniela Tupou (9 Tests)

          19. Rob Simmons (91 Tests)

          20. Ned Hanigan (18 Tests)

          21. Nick Phipps (70 Tests)

          22. Matt To’omua (39 Tests)

          23. Jack Maddocks (5 Tests)

        • Hoss

          Yeah – I reckon Sefa and Sauce make way for Maddocks and Toomua at 55 mins. Gilbert back to 15 and Toomua to 12 and I reckon that’s starting to look a lot more like our RWC backs.

          Forwards look ok – but with Valentini and Naisarani (plus McMahon) looming large for RWC how much longer can we play the pooper. We must have a genuine 8
          and I LOVE Dempsey as 6 & Poey as 7 and a genuine big bopper at 8 (Naisarani, Holloway). Tui (sorry can’t remenber his new surname) may find it very hard to make this squad again.

        • Adrian

          I like the former Tui as a lock

        • Who?

          What odds Latu gets a third straight YC…? And in which 10 minute period – 0-10 mins, 11-20 mins, 21-30 mins, 31-40 mins, 41-50 mins, 51-60 mins..? Guessing that even Cheika would sub on his replacement hooker before the 60 minute mark…
          Can’t believe Falou Fainga’a got dumped when you look at the two in the last game. Fainga’a played his best ever game in gold, an absolute corker, did everything right, and that’s without considering Latu’s brain explosions. Horrible decision.

        • Gottsy

          Well BPA got dumped after not doing much wrong so I guess it kind of makes sense haha

        • Adrian

          I like it.

          I’d have had Korebette on wing and Folau at 15 with Sauce on the pine.. otherwise the same including Latu.

          Idea of that back 3 is to tempt Wales to kick, then run it back.

          As it is, statistically they kick 2x NZ

          I am more interested in our tactics actually, … which I hope are up the guts backed up by loosies and inside backs, then (when earned) spin it wide

        • Hoss

          Dempsey gives them that option – his step and acceleration at the gain line are best in Oz rugby. I love that and his physical edge, I really rate the kid.

        • Gottsy

          Yeah not bad hey. Still think it will be the same shit we’ve been dishing up all year though

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

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