Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Cheika’s got an ally, Aus miss out on WRWC, The Rebels add to their coaching stocks, and Eddie Jones is not angry he’s just disappointed.


 

CHEIKA HAS AN ALLY

CheikaSuit

“What?”

Michael Cheika supporters may be few and far in between but one person has backed him to turn it all around.

Former Irish hooker and currently coach in Welsh Pro 14, Bernard Jackman believes that Cheika is the man who can turn the horrors from 2018 around in time for the World Cup in 2019.

Jackman and Cheika joined Leinster the same yeah back in 2005, and went on to win the Heineken cup in 2009.

“It wasn’t without hiccups and it wasn’t without bad days but I think Michael’s admirable quality is he doesn’t let losses or defeats define him,” Jackman said.

“I think the big thing about him was you always felt that he was pushing – he’d do whatever it took to create a better environment for players and create a good culture,” he said.

“He had to get rid of some players and that was fine but once you showed passion and showed commitment, you never had an issue with him.

“He didn’t really mind skill errors, it was more attitude errors and definitely he changed, he gave us a hard edge and he brought in a performance coach, a guy called Enda McNulty, to do work around sports psychology.”

Cheika made large pushes to improve the amateurish nature that was around the facilities and the club.

Jackman acknowledged the pressure that would have been on Cheika in the early days given that it took 4 years for the club to win their first Heineken Cup

“He would’ve been under pressure himself because we didn’t win anything in 2005, 2006, 2007 and then we won a Magners League, which was the Pro 12.

“We won that again in 2008, which was a big step for us and then 2009 we won the Leinster’s first Heineken Cup but I think anyone who played in that era would say Michael was a key driver in it.”

Jackman believes that despite a poor 2018, that these results are not suggesting the Wallabies can’t improve and succeed in the World Cup.

“Michael, he’ll get them back on track, I have no doubt. I haven’t really been following the media in Australia but I know I will back him wholeheartedly.

“Players play for him and I think he’s kind of mid-cycle at the moment, that’s the issue at the moment for him but there’s still time to get that group improving…. that group will be a hell of a lot better in a year’s time.”

AUSTRALIA MISS OUT ON WRWC

Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne

Raelene Castle and Cameron Clyne

In the most competitive vote in the competitions history, New Zealand have secured the rights to host the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup, with Australia missing out by just five votes.

Despite the vote not going the way of Australia, it won’t change the support that Rugby Australia has thrown behind women’s rugby, according to RA CEO Raelene Castle.

“It was an amazing bid and I think what it’s shown us is that there is such an enormous passion for women’s rugby in Australia,” she said.

“We managed to unlock $10 million worth of government funding. We had the Newcastle Hunter region incredibly excited, all the rugby clubs and volunteers in that part of the world that wanted to host a rugby world cup, women’s rugby world cup, so we need to make sure we maximise those opportunities and the tidal wave is coming and is running for women’s rugby.

Castle has reinforced that RA will continue to support the women’s XV’s program with Super W and the Wallaroos.

“We’ve got Super W that’s hugely important, that now will go to another level next year, the growth in women’s participation in Sevens and XVs is double, almost close to triple digits in some parts of the country and also sometimes in non-traditional states,” she said.

“There’s a real demand for it and we need to make sure that we’ve got the competitions in place that can deliver those young athletes great experiences.

“Ultimately the Wallaroos is always going to be a focus for us to make sure we go to the World Cup with the best team that we can possible develop. We’ve now got a system that allows us to identify and deliver those athletes. We are hugely excited about the possibilities.”

The next opportunity to host will be in 2025, the same year as the next British and Irish Lions tour in Australia, and with RA looking to big for the 2027 World Cup, it would be a challenging bid, but it is something Castle said was still on the table.

“I think that’s something we’ll have to consider now,” she said.

“When you go through these processes you need to take stock and have a look and see. That is a possibility, I think we will look and see. It’s on record that we are keen to bid for the men’s world cup in 2027, so very quickly our focus turns to that.”

FORMER REBELS BECOME COACHES

361_DSC_6074_2013_06_18_1952

Melbourne have added two former players to their coaching staff in Geoff Parling and Nic Henderson for the 2019 season.

Parling , the former England and British and Irish Lion lock, will move into the coaching role after playing for the club in 2018. Foundation Rebel Henderson will step up to his first Super Rugby Coaching role as scrum consultant, after overseeing the Rugby Victoria Pathway program since he retired in 2013.

Rebels Head Coach and friend of Green and Gold, Dave Wessels is confident in the staff he has assemble as the club aims to make finals for the first time in their franchise history.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with most of this coaching group for a few seasons now and in that time we’ve built up a really good working rapport and honest relationship,” said Wessels.

“Our goal is to build a world-class Rugby program. To do that we need committed, knowledgeable staff who are prepared to work as hard as we expect the players to.

“Both Nic (Henderson) and Geoff (Parling) have played Rugby at the highest level and will add greater specialisation to our coaching group to help us best support our players to become the best version of themselves.”

“Nic has done such a great job developing himself as a coach in recent years and he has a great connection with his students. Geoff is newer to coaching, but he has the maturity and smarts to provide technical insight as well as the experience of winning cultures.”

“Both of Nic and Geoff have been around the Club for a while now and they understand the high standards we have set for ourselves. They are well respected by the playing group and at the same time are known to be tough taskmasters. When the group re-assembles for pre-season, it won’t take long for the players to feel the increased intensity we are going to bring,”

Rebels have also confirmed the remainder of their coaching staff for 2019 with Head Coach, David Wessels, and Assistant Coaches Shaun Berne (attack) and Kevin Foote (defence) all returning, after helping the Rebels to their most successful season in 2018.

 

 “REFEREE MEETINGS A WASTE OF TIME” JONES

e jones

Days before the controversial call that cost England victory over the All Blacks, a meeting between World Rugby referees and Head Coaches was held in London, the result of which had seemingly clarified the role of the TMO.

England had thought they had snatched a victory when flanker Sam Underhill scored after Courtney Lawes charged down a kick from TJ Perenara. Referee Jerome Garces awarded the try before the TMO called it back highlighting Lawes was offside.

Lawes’ position is still being debated by all manner of rugby people, but England Head Coach Eddie Jones comes from the  World Rugby directive to only overturn the onfield decision if there is compelling evidences, as discussed in the meeting of Ref’s and Coaches.

“I don’t think I’ll go to another referees’ meeting in my life. It’s a waste of time,” said Jones.

“The referees have a tough job, tough decisions to make, and all we want in rugby is consistency in decision-making,” he added.

“We are happy to take every decision they make. But if we have policies then we have to follow them.

“If we don’t follow them, then what is the point in being involved in those policies and decision making?”

“I would rather just accept it and get on with it.

Despite his strong word, Jones remains adamant that he isn’t bitter (or sour) over the lose.

“That’s the way it goes, you either get the rub of the green or you don’t. I don’t have any sour grapes at all about the game,” insisted Jones.

“You win some, you lose some, and get on with it. But there is something wrong, somewhere.”

 

 

 

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,
    Bummer on the women missing out. I was hoping to get to some games up in the Hunter. Wet, cold NZ doesn’t look anywhere near as much fun.

    Is it me or does Eddie come across as a bit of a sook?

    • Ads

      Eddie shoulda been a 9. Massive lippy little whiner.

    • Geoffro

      He’s a selective sook,didn’t boycott the meetings after Farrell got exonerated but gets technical of the recommendation for the onfield ref to make the call (I think thats the protocol they’re trying to introduce or if not that, the evidence was compelling Eddie ! stop trying to spin an interpretation ) Garces was confused but Jonker made the right call by clarifying things in my opinion

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree. He would have been ropable if it had gone the other way

        • Geoffro

          True.Our South African buds are generally pretty direct and quick to the point so not much chance of him mucking around about it anyhow.

        • Geoffro

          Our Aussie coaches have a bit of talent for their mouths running off Cheik,Jones,Dwyer,A.Jones….Deans and Link were fairly reticent though then get slammed for being unapproachable.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Can’t win can you?

        • Geoffro

          Well,you can, Shag spouts some drivel sometimes but he’s still feeling the love.

  • John Miller

    “I think he’s kind of mid-cycle at the moment.”

    No. Oh, please God noooooooooo!

    • Greg

      That might be the issue.

      Wash, rinse,……. *repeat*

    • John Tynan

      That means it’s a 7 year cycle, which should be peaking right between world cups, so buckle up for “4 more years” as a famous sledger once said!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Peace and quiet two morning in a row. I like my EA having later starts! ;-) Over to the important stuff.
    – Interesting insight from Bernard Jackman. Confirmed my worst fears. Cheika is all about attitude, the mental side, doesnt mind skill errors as long as there isnt attitude errors. sorry lads but that is bullshit. Attitude is a part of it but skills are a massive part.
    – It doesnt matter what attitude you have if the skills arent there you will fail at execution everytime. When selecting people for specialist training in the military we focus on three components. Skills, Knowledge, Attitude (SKA). But in short no amount of knowledge or attitude will over come a skill deficiency.
    – Pity we didnt get the Ladies World cup.But congrats to the Kiwis!
    – Eddie being a sook. As my old grandfather used to say “Anything that anyone says before they say ‘but’ is generally bullshit!”
    – A waiting to see what selection rabbits Cheika is going to pull out of his ass.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Sort of confirms what I’ve been saying mate. Good on motivation but lacks actual rugby knowledge and the ability to be tactical aware. It was never going to end well.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Absolutely.

      • Richard Patterson

        I still have an underlying belief that he carries the support of the playing squad. I wonder how much that is eroding as a the losses keep mounting and the playing form keeps regressing.

        • If you keep pumping up their attitude, telling them how great they are… of course you keep the dressing room.

          The rest of the world worries about little things like skills and results… what a bunch of losers they (we) are.

        • Richard Patterson

          There is no question Michael Cheika will have built a seige mentality inside that playing / coaching group. A whole “us against Castle, us against RA & us against the world” mentality which is a natural defensive tactic when things are going poorly. To date, the defectors (Fardy, Gill, McMahon etc) have all gone silently, as are the current outsiders (Cooper, Hunt etc.). The loyalty can only last so long though before the frustration of losing boils over. Maybe they just don’t care anymore. That I find impossible to believe.

          Personally I think the Wallabies belt Italy this weekend. It will then all hinge on the battle at Twickenham the following week. The latest showdown in the Jones vs Cheika battle which Jones has dominated to date. Will it be Eddie Jones who ultimately plunges the knife into his old Randwick mate? Will the Wallaby playing group rally in the hostility of the Twickenham cauldron to save their coach? Or in their last run around for 2018, will they lay down as easily they did on a grey day at Murrayfield to end the 2017 season?

        • Ed

          One thing you can bet on is Jones will have Farrell kicking high balls, with a great chase, to wherever Foley and/or Beale are hiding on the wing. Wales kicked high to Beale on the wing and I can’t remember if he fumbled or it was very messy ball.

        • laurence king

          To my great and lasting surprise, Kurtley went up and took a beauty and under pressure. It was a good take.

        • Richard Patterson

          I think you are correct Ed. I also doubt there are many sides who fear Israel Folau kicking out of the corners either. But let’s get the Italy test match over first. There feels a bit of self-belief to be discovered here.

        • I think the Wallabies should win. I think it’s a mark of just how little faith I have in the coaches, and the ability of them to impart a plan that the players understand and execute with a level of skill that, as fans, we expect of professional players that has me doubting that.

          I haven’t seen the team news yet, but I will add to that on-going doubts about Hooper’s captaincy. Will he double down on his mistakes from last weekend, or will he swing too far the other way in reaction and not go for the throat when he should? It’s an impossible job sometimes but I fear it could make the difference. Even if it doesn’t, a year out from the next World Cup, I shouldn’t be feeling like this.

          Meanwhile, Fast Eddie will have England feeling (incorrectly IMO) “robbed” by the TMO in their defeat by the ABs last week. They’ll hammer the Cherry Blossom’s this week with their fringe players (sorry Japanese rugby fans) and the senior players will be fired up for the Wobs next week. I think that could be messy. It will certainly put any speculation about Jones’ career to bed until after Japan. Cheika… he’ll be at best 1-2 on a tour where 3-0 was publicly stated to be “a pass mark,”

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not sure even that will keep their support forever, it’s got to deteriorate as the strange selections and losses continue

        • laurence king

          Pumping up the attitude and telling them the wins will come can work, however, there’s got to more to it than that.
          You can’t pump up a ball with as many holes as this team has and hope for improvement.
          Sooner or later, reality dawns and then after that you’re just lying to yourself. And I wonder how many of the poor buggers are doing just that and how long have they been doing it. That would be soul destroying I imagine.

        • I’m not sure – the strange selections build into the mentality of “it’s us against the world, we’re the ‘special ones’.” I’m suddenly aware I’m starting to make it sound like a cult and I’m not sure how much that is my frustration and how much that’s my subconscious prompting me.

          But, in the current squad there are a fair few players that would be in trouble if Cheika went. Everyone’s list would vary a bit but we’re probably looking at changing hookers, one of Pocock and Hooper as run on 7, Hooper as captain, Hanigan, Foley, Phipps, and on current form Beale – although if he has a good SR season and remembers how to tackle he should certainly be in contention next year. I suspect quite a few people will add extra names to that list, but it starts getting more contentious after that. It’s a big chunk of players, some quite senior ones in that list too, who are (assuming they want the pay check and the jersey still) rather invested in keeping Cheika, regardless of the results?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          With you 100% Eloise, the piss poor year Folau has had puts him on the list as well for me.

        • Hard call for me, I think he’s best used as a left wing. He hasn’t much of a run there and it then becomes a question of are there better left wings.

          I’m doped up on painkillers (nothing serious, old knee injury flaring up) so I’m not going to try and answer that tonight. The answer could easily be yes, at which point, he has to go. Of course, with the current head coach, Izzy will be inked onto the team sheet forever. They’ll probably pick him at blind-side next!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha to cover the Pooper shortfalls because he can jump in the lineout lol

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’d think he’s got support from his protected love children absolutely. I also think some senior players still support him but I’m damn sure there’s a few who don’t, but won’t say anything for fear of their position

    • onlinesideline

      Anything that anyone says before they say ‘but’ is generally bullshit !

      Gonna remember this one – brilliant !!

      • John Tynan

        My wife’s grandmother was a lovely lady who lived in Sth Africa – the “English” bits – and had the stereotypical old colonial manner about her. She actually was relatively open minded and treated all people well, but she was a product of her time. She was moderately infamous (at least with my wife and I) for occasionally rolling out “I’m not racist, but those bally nigs….”

        • onlinesideline

          We should win this weekend but …….

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. Have members of my family like that too.

        • Geoffro

          Actually exactly the same as my deceased mother in law.C.Town then Port Elizabeth SA fifth gen English.She referred to the servants as natives though.

        • Nutta

          There was a certain grandmother in my family, a woman of frailty and Godliness in her vintage who I didn’t ever hear mutter anything stronger than ‘Blast’ in my whole life.

          Towards the end of her time she was in a nursing home in-town after a life-time living on big sheep spreads. One day we got a call from the Admin Manager of the home. There was a complaint because she assaulted the Pakistani Doctor doing the rounds that morning. She had a blood transfusion a few days prior and had reacted to liver spots on her wrists as proof ‘That filthy N Doctor dosed me with his filthy N blood! See?!? See?!?’ and she had been chasing him trying to belt the poor guy with her walking stick.

          Wow. Just wow. It wasn’t funny. It was. But it wasn’t.

        • laurence king

          Blind spots, you all have them

        • Geoffro

          Poor old bird.When our older folks started to lose it in their old age those” bloody foreigners” seemed to be a particular threat.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep!
        Heard lots of this before:
        “I really like you but!”

        • Nutta

          He has left Crete. He has entered… The Friend Zone.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh so true!

    • John Tynan

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself mate.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks JT

    • Damo

      A bit like “With all due respect…slag, slag, slag, slag”

      • Brisneyland Local

        Absaloodle!

        • Damo

          Eddie. “With all due respect to the referees and TMO’s… YOU ARE RUNING MY PLANS FOR WORLD DOMINATION YOU MORONS!!!!!!!!!”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold!

        • Damo

          Eddie. “With all due respect to the referees and TMO’s… YOU ARE RUNING MY PLANS FOR WORLD DOMINATION YOU MORONS!!!!!!!!!”

      • Nutta

        And the classic email commencing with ‘I don’t want this to be a beat up but…’ and then be sure to have 937 people on the cc line including the 2 layers of management both up and down.

    • Mica

      Disagree to an extent. Attitude is king, but if you have the right attitude you will fix deficiencies in your skills and knowledge. You can be the most skilful player in the world, but you will never get to worlds best without the right attitude. May I present exhibit A, step forward Nick Kyrios. Compare him to exhibit B Lleyton Hewitt. Who got to world number 1 and who should (when you compare relative skills) but probably never will ney won’t with their current attitude.

      • Greg

        I agree….. but the skills of both players are extraordinary. Given extraordinary skills then attitude makes the difference. recall that Hewitt was quite a prat early on.

        We have basic skills issues that should not exist by the time you get to international level.

        We complain about the defensive systems but just imagine the brief…. “Mate, I am going to give you 2 of 7 fairies that can’t tackle. Yeah, yeah… i know that you will need people to run in circles to cover the gaps. I am hoping they will learn to pass and kick so we can beat them in attack”

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yes and no. Because I can have the best attitude and work ethic and slave my ass off. But I would never have the actual physical skills to be a Wallaby. These guys have innate skills and natural skills that most people will never have. But they also have the work ethic and attitude to get there.

      • Brumby Runner

        There’s attitude and then there’s attitude. Cheika prefers the one that translates as trying to be a hard man on the field, while a proper international standard player will have the attitude to continue improving his skills and performance on the field.

        World of difference.

        • DrFoo

          I view the first of those as aggression and the second as professionalism.

          A true professional in any/every field is constantly honing their skills…the only member of the starting 15 who appears to do that constantly and consistently, is Pocock.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Yeah, not minding skill errors, but caring about attitude.

      Explains why Phipps, Foley, Hooper, DHP, Beale, Maddocks, Koroibete, Latu, Kerevi (who I rate, but he is no TK) and especially Hanigan never face consequences.

      Also explains why most of Fardy, Higgers, Timani, Quade, BPA, White, Gill and Tomane were moved on, and why TK isn’t preferred to Kerevi.

      Anyone who isn’t a yes man, who backed Link publically were moved on, or is rumoured to perform better in matches than training was moved on.

      Scratching my head on Banks though. Seems keen and committed? Maybe Cheika resents him as he is talented, while Cheika never got to play for the Wallabies.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree on all those points.

      • Parker

        The RA needs to announce a Training World Cup so that Chieka’s selection can really shine at what they do best. Think of the boost in mid week gate takings.

  • Greg

    All good.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/castle-says-there-is-universal-frustration-at-wallabies-performances-20181115-p50g38.html

    Main point seems to be the contact. He might step down but won’t be terminated.

    • RF

      She shouldn’t be publicly passing judgement on team performances/results. That is Cheika’s role in Rugby Australia. If she’s not happy with him then replace him.

      I hope we are not going to get to a point where to save on a pay out we start shaming people into quitting. Despite his villain-of-the-moment status here, Cheika is a decent bloke who signed the contract in good faith. He doesn’t deserve this. If RA don’t want him (and I personally would like a replacement coach) then act professionally.

      • Singapore Sling

        Is Cheika really a decent bloke? He may well be but his antics suggest he’s a dickhead. His hystronics in the coaches box, punching walls, pushing the camera man, denying Folau pulled that yappies hair, screaming “cheats”, constant ref blaming, nonsensical selections, cronyism and his ongoing petulance in towards journalists are not indicative of decency.

        People speak of Cheika’s pride and passion. This I don’t doubt but he lacks dignity which in my option is the main reason he has failed to this point as Wallabies coach. He needs to discover this missing quality for a successful 2019 but I’m not hopeful.

        • laurence king

          Are you suggesting that, his need for total control, ‘it’s either my way or the highway’, the temper tantrums when things go against him, his refusal to accommodate different ideas, his lack of humility in not admitting to mistakes means – that it’s all about him.

        • Nutta

          My understanding is that he’s a pretty good guy. He states his mind, sticks to his guns and doesn’t desert his people. That’s a Boss I would work for.

          His antics on-camera do him no favours and even tends to alienate hard-heads like me. But that said he isn’t there to please me or my sensibilities.

          For the record, I reckon it’s unfair to tag him as the sole problem when he is simply the visible tip of the iceberg of dysfunction that RA has allowed to come bobbing into our shipping lane. There’s a lot more going on under the water in terms of decades of old-boy back-slapping, over-investment where not needed, under-investment where actually needed and blatant bloody-minded ignoring of both the necessary and the obvious. His task is that he gets to be the visible patsy who deals with the 50odd guys that are the output result of 15-20yrs of near criminal incompetence in-terms of running the game for the benefit of the game in the national interest.

        • Singapore Sling

          Would he be a great guy to work for if you didn’t see things his way? History suggest’s he readily wipes guys who don’t fit his mold.

          I also think it’s easy sometimes to blame the poor administration of the game in Australia for all that’s wrong. We had the same kind of wankers in charge from 1989 though 2003 and we did OK despite them.

          I’ve been waiting for 25 years for the Wallabies to have a competitive scrum for our backs to work off and now we’ve got it what do we get? A 10 that has no idea how to release his outside men and a 12 that runs like decapitated yard bird. The lineout goes from barely functional to dysfunctional on a game by game basis and the hooker is blamed when there are smurfs in the backrow. The tactical musical chairs in defence to accomodate the piss weak defenders is all down to Cheika, Grey’s job is impossible.

          Somehow some pretty good players have been produced in a code so badly run the incompetence could burn for eternity. We just need to get those guys on the field at the same time and give them a simple, executable game plan.

          Imagine how good the Wallabies could be if the level of administration (and coaching) incompetence could be lifted from truly shite to just shite.

      • John Miller

        Having met him, my own subjective observation is that (in person) Chieka is obviously smart, surprisingly eloquent and absolutely passionate about rugby. He is a genuinely likable bloke and readily passes the two beers at the pub test. None of this makes him a good selector, a strong strategist or the right coach for the Australian Wallabies now, or for the next 12 months. When the conversation shifts from performance and results to cost or simply inconvenience, it is overwhelming time for good leadership to make the change.

        • Singapore Sling

          2 beers at the pub test? Was he driving?

        • John Miller

          Only the conversation SS.

          Cheika wasn’t actually drinking at the time. Just a figurative thing: anyone can have a beer with a stranger. But do you stay for a second?

          I’m a fairly strident critic of Cheika’s coaching performance over several seasons. But, as a bloke, a more interesting, engaging, intelligent fella you’ll struggle to find.

          I don’t like the choice of Michael Hooper as Australia’s unquestioned openside flanker or captain either. But again, in person – smart, very professional and charismatic.

        • Singapore Sling

          Good to hear on both accounts John. Thx

        • Geoffro

          Haha,Hitler and a number of serial killers were smart,eloquent and passionate,don’t know about them being likeable or passing the beer buddy test but you’re absolutely spot on that none of that makes him a good coach.Unfortunately he’s set himself up to fail and if he is that smart guy he’d walk away now.Megalomania ?? seems a bit that way

    • John Miller

      I read this story in SMH this morning and actually left a comment (about 5 hours ago now). Whilst critical of RA’s decision to not make any decisions, the wording was purposely moderate in language with the clear reasoning purported. Don’t know why I bother. At the time of writing this there are exactly 5 reader reaction comments published at the end of the SMH article. 3 of the 5 are by the same regular SMH punter (who, coincidentally, has a consistently pro-editorial opinion). My comment (and no doubt, dozens of others) are simply lost in the Fairfax ether.

      Over the same timeframe, this GAGR article – well written of course – contains no real Big Ticket rugby news items and yet has 60+ comments in a gentle canter.

      SMH publication guidelines are simply: “Respect others. Criticise ideas, not people. No offensive language.” Not too hard to follow or comply with. But much like this crippled Wallabies rugby team: dissenters are silenced or banished and those with the loudspeakers are neither genuinely voicing widespread sentiment or even interested in hearing it. Elitism is not just the domain of our national team or its administration. It is also the stronghold of those charged with spreading the word. And SMH are the national flag-bearers.

  • Greg

    Eddie said “But there is something wrong, somewhere.”

    Yep…. he was offside

  • Hoss

    On behalf of the Women’s Rugby World Cup Hunter Valley Regional Sub-committee – Western Branch I would like to say to NZ, fuck you, fuck you very much.

    Hosstilities have been declared

    I am reminded of a very famous Margaret Thatcher speech – ‘we will fight them at the Centrelink branches, we shall fight them in the sky, we shall fight them at all good woollen blanket retailers and we shall never remember’

    It’s on

    • RF

      Perhaps we didn’t treat the tournament with the respect it deserves by confining it to a minor region.

      • Hoss

        Minor region, minor bloody region, minor fucking region ??

        Spoken like someone from Sydney who couldn’t find their arse cheeks with two hands and an SES party.

        We lead the Southern Hemisphere in obesity

        We lead this great southern land in teenage pregnancies

        We lead the Premier State in Ice Use per capita

        We are the economic powerhouse that keeps the lights on in NSW and insures
        A carbon footprint my great,great, great,great,great grandchildren won’t fill.

        Minor state – I believe you have us confused with New Zealand or possibly South Australia

        • RF

          Fantastic!

        • Hoss

          Damn straight.

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          You forgot to mention the Hunter’s major contribution to the nation’s happiness scores – the wineries.

        • Hoss

          Australia’s biggest tourist attraction my arse – waste of good coal land if you ask me – and don’t even get me started on the so-called ‘worlds best horse studs’…..a huge hole and scarred landscape is crying out for exploration.

        • Geoffro

          next time you fall down some ancient uncovered hole in Stanford Merthyr you’ll change your tune.:)

        • Hoss

          You know your geography young man – neighbours a town that the indigenous called Kurri-Kurri, which loosely translates as ‘arsehole of the world’.

          To be fair it’s not the end of the world, though you can see it from their.

        • Geoffro

          Used to walk my mums dogs around Merthyr when she was living in an old miners house in Kurri years ago Since the old windowless 1 1/2 bedder was so stuffy good to get out and about and Stanford Merthyr had a pub AND a swimming pool if I remember correctly (long time ago now). Fair dinkum there was plenty of signs about warning you to watch your step due to old mineworks.For a young bloke up from the city it was pretty close to the ahotw but would prob be just the right pace for me these days

        • Keith Butler

          Been quiet for a few days but back on top form. Chill!

        • laurence king

          Yeh, puts a smile on the face for the rest of the day. lol

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold!
          South Australia is the Boodie is a barrell land! strange murder capital of Australia.

        • Hoss

          Yes mate – I spent 15 years in Adelaide one weekend.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I travel down there with work alot. The Barossa and the Clare are lovely. The rest of the place is a hole. And the people there can tend towards the weird!

        • Geoffro

          makes me think of a Les Norton novel

      • John Tynan

        Ima just grab some popcorn and watch this one unfold when Hoss reads you besmirchifying his region.

    • Archie

      Mate unlike the Bledisloe… I’m sure you’ll get the WRWC next time :)

      • Hoss

        Something like ‘4 more years girls, 4 more years’

        It’s the Gregan prophecy coming back to haunt us.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I’m with you. A tournament up in the Hunter is a lot more attractive than in cold wet NZ

      • Hoss

        Despite one or two drawbacks, shortcomings on your behalf really, I knew I always liked you.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    I constantly wonder at what makes Cheika’s coaching tenure untouchable.

    Just for sh!ts and giggles, I looked back at our previous RWC coaches and how they fared post-cup.

    1987 – the Parrot took a team that was equal-favourite going in, and lost the third-place playoff. He was gone soon after, replaced by the original Ned Flanders.

    1991 – Bob Dwyer won Bill, our first one, and was allowed to stay in the job until the next RWC.

    1995 – Dwyer took a team in decline, having hung on to too many of his 1991 squad, and we got dusted by the Soap Dodgers and Rob Andrew in the quarters – our worst result to date.

    Dwyer was gone soon after, although his replacement, Greg Smith, wasn’t an improvement, and John O’No broke out the red slacks..

    1999 – Rod Macqueen won the whole shindig, went on to win the Bledisloe and beat the Lions, then passed the job on to “the other Jones” before his time was up.

    2003 – Eddie Jones got the team to the final where he ran into Jonny and lost narrowly. This unexpected result (helped in no small way by Andre Watson’s “sympathetic” refereeing of our scrum) bought Eddie two more years in the job until his time was up.

    Knuckles answered the ARU’s SOS, on the instruction to “un-Eddie” the team and his own insistence that he would only do the job until RWC2007.

    2007 – Knuckles couldn’t get us out of the quarters either. And as promised, he quit. And in came the Dingo.

    2011 – Robbie Deans lost in the semis, but won the third-place playoff and kept his job up to the losing Lions series, but was punted in favour of Link before the next RWC.

    And we all know what happened to Link, and who did it to him.

    2015 – Cheika got us to the final, where he ran into the buzz-saw that was NZ. This unexpectedly good result (we were by no means pool favourites pre-tournament) seems to have bought Cheika the job for as long as he wants it.

    So what’s my point?

    Well, Cheika seems to be the first coach since Dwyer (who actually won a RWC) to not be held accountable for poor results post world cup.

    But then again, apparently, he has a plan. I despair.

    • Alister Smith

      Perhaps this is part of RA’s thinking. By sticking with Cheika until his contract runs out – laudable perhaps but certainly not common practice in the sports coaching industry – no one else has to own his results.

      Connolly was taken on in a similar position and was unable to turn the ship around. Cheika is probably the only other coach to take the team on in a similar position and his unexpected success (which my Scottish friends constantly remind me regularly was laced with a fair degree of luck) bought him additional longevity that he is yet to justify. I am personally in the camp of let it run its course and begin putting in place the structure and the coaching team to take over from November 2019 to give them the best chance of success.

      • Singapore Sling

        Knuckles really struggled getting the backline to fire as Larkham was on one leg getting on QF01. Barnes debuted at 10 in that RWC and went pretty well considering the pressure.

        The big issue though was the front row. It was very, very ordinary. Baxter, Dunning, Sheperdson and Holmes. The latter two went on to be solid scrummagers but the former are now infamous.

        For the first time in almost two decades the Wallabies have a competetive, even dominant scrum but lack the attack to lever off it. If Knuckles had that scrum the Wallabies would have progressed much further.

        • Alister Smith

          Yes I think he actually deserved a longer go with them…though not sure if he wanted to carry on coaching after the 07 RWC. He inherited someone else’s team and never had the chance to put his own stamp on it. Pretty sure with the Qld packs of the past that it would have been a major focus for him rebuilding that.

    • Bakkies

      Dwyer didn’t get poor results post 1991 RWC. Wallabies won the Bledisloe Cup in 1992. Won in SA. Lynagh and Farr Jones retired around the same time and we needed a new fullback. 1993 we beat the Boks at home. 1994 we were undefeated despite having a trial run of 10s, a new 9 (Gregan) and both centres our injured.

      Herbert, Burke, Roff, Gregan were blooded.

      Cheika hasn’t done any of that.

      • Alister Smith

        He’s blooded plenty of players…..none of them thus far look like Herbert, Burke, Roff or Gregan though.

        • Greg

          to be fair… front row.

          He needs to give some for the new backs a run this weekend.

      • Packy

        I always read your name Bakkies to mean you were a South African emigre rugby nut who pushed his way head first into the bowels of Sydney rugby. But this post tells me you’re aussie. Can you settle this argument i am having

        • Bakkies

          I am Australian mate.

  • Nicholas Wasiliev

    Not going to lie, us not getting the World Cup is a real gut punch: the cherry on top of what has been a mighty depressing year. Was really hoping we’d get it.
    The growth in the Women’s game has (along with the NRC) has been the real positives out of this year. If we’d got this, how much would it have lifted the spirits? See, we CAN play rugby?! The fact we lost the vote though by such a small margin is even more disappointing. It is good that Raelene wants to keep putting more resources in the game and get that talent coming through.
    The Kiwis will do a good job hosting it, and the Black Ferns will be tough to beat at home.
    At the same time (and I say this in the most friendly and banterful way possible), screw you ya bastards! Destroyed us in Super Rugby, 3-0 in the Bledisloe, 2-0 against the Wallaroos, knocking our womens sevens team off at the Commonwealth games, and now this! Urgh, so much inflicted pain…

    • Richard Patterson

      Keep the faith Nick, good things come to those who wait. Australia (with NZ playing a minor supporting role) should bid for the Men’s RWC.

    • Bakkies

      We are wasting our time bidding for these RWCs. They cost huge money which will cut in to the RA’s junket budget and be used as an excuse not increase grassroots funding.

      SA and Ireland both lost money due to their unsuccessful bids.

      A union that has dwindling attendances, bs merchants presenting the bid case, a shrinking to greatness policy and fighting its own constituents doesn’t make you a suitable candidate to host a RWC. SA were called out on this in regards to their bid.

      In this case it wasn’t the home unions that bid against the RA it was the southern unions. A message has been sent to them loud and clear.

    • Happyman

      Agree NW the WRWC would have been a real fill for the game at club level the ladies game is flourishing and we ate now under serious threat from the League’s who understand that they cannot afford tp lose this battleground.
      Fox and News are giving the Woman’s league a huge leg up and this would have bee a good way to move the woman game to a higher profile.
      I agree the Kiwi’s will do a good job but it won’t assist in growing the game in any meaningful way.

    • Alister Smith

      see we CAN play rugby….well 50% of the population anyway

  • Adrian

    Thanks Dylan

    Bookies say WB by 18.5

    You are in UK aren’t you?

    What are locals saying about that match, or don’t they care?

    ….afterall plenty of other real matches + Brexit + races at Ascot etc

    • NSWelsham in London

      Hi Adrian, I am in the UK and if you are not playing a Home Nation then no one cares here. The game will be assessed on Monday when the UK media need to dissect our team for the English public. The great thing here is that all of my work colleagues still think Australia are a world beater and it took a great Welsh team to beat a great Aussie team which gives me hope for next year if we stop the backs running around like crabs.

      • Adrian

        Yep NSW
        Planet Rugby thinks we are the real deal….so we must be

  • laurence king

    Hi fellow tortured souls, thanks Dylan for the write-up. Looks like Rebels could be rather formidable next year.
    It’s no surprise that a foreigner would be supporting Cheika to continue the good work.
    A question, when does the team to play Italy get announced? If Cheika goes for safety and same old same old, it will do my head in.
    I’m hoping for fresh faces, and hoping those fresh faces shove Cheika’s ill-conceived ideas up his jacksie

    • Brisneyland Local

      Should be announced Thursday afternoon Europe time, which will be early Friday morning our time.

      • laurence king

        Thanks mate.

  • Bakkies

    The RA’s bad reputation aside they are only really started pushing elite women’s Rugby when Mrs Buildcorp threw her toys out of the cot. That is too recent. Other unions that have hosted it recently had a much longer background in regards to promoting and developing elite women’s Rugby. The last three Women’s RWCs has sold out matches and there is no guarantee that the RA can ensure that with their inability to promote the game.

    The Wallaroos play little Rugby and they are the only major nation not to tour to play AIs this year. That’s astounding.

    Ireland and France have had years of terrestrial and radio coverage of international womens Rugby. The English games have been on Sky for years and playing matches at Twickenham. I doubt Australia has. The French hit a million in their tv ratings when they hosted.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      Bakkies, you may be the antiHoss in terms of style, but I always learn from your contributions. Thank you.

      • Bakkies

        Cheers mate.

  • Silver Ghost

    Thanks Dylan.
    So, if, Folau gets his attitude right he’ll be able to pass both sides?
    If, Foley goes into a game with good attitude he’ll be able to kick like an international fly half should.
    If, Beale has the right attitude he’ll stop dancing his way to the side line.
    If, (I’ll stop now – my brain already hurts).
    Jackman actually doesn’t say anything we didn’t already know. Timani dropped for Hanigan – with the coach saying Hanigan trains well and has the right attitude (pity he’s not up to international skills level).
    If you have the skills, representing your country should produce enough attitude.
    The only thing that Jackman does in this article is reinforce that Cheika is a club coach and not a national one. He did well in his first year and the RWC by focusing on team cohesion, with guys that had skills. Since then he has been the worst coach of the modern era.
    Lucky he’s brought the right attitude to the training track and dressing room though!

    • Damo

      Ring,ring
      “Hello, Cheika speaking”
      “Hello Michael. It’s Trinity here from Rugby Australia’s PR department”
      “Hi Trinity. How are you today? And what can I do for you”
      “Michael, I’m very well. In fact it’s my 17th birthday today. Reason for my call is that we are getting a lot of bad press lately about your coaching performance. We need t do something about it. The boss is on our back a bit.Even the media that are on our side are saying things”.
      “What do you suggest?”
      “Well… we had a marketing coordination meeting this morning. Someone put forward that we could try winning a few games, but the rest of us thought that was a bit harsh and probably far fetched. What we decided is if you could suggest someone who you coached before who might say you are a good coach and you really know what you are doing even if you don’t. Something like that”
      ” Yeah, there could be one or two. I will make a couple of calls and get back to you”

      • Silver Ghost

        nice one!

      • John Tynan

        Put “coffee-out-the-nose” emoji here.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Love the 17th birthday line

        • Greg

          But probably it was next year….

    • Beale *might* stop dancing his way to the side line. We’ve seen he can run up and down the field too sometimes, so it’s clearly a choice. If his attitude changed, he might might run forwards more often.

      The rest… well yeah, right.

  • Mica

    The Rebels keep increasing their playing and coaching stocks. I’m excited to see how this plays out and hoping that they can be ultra competitive, but is anyone else wondering how they can afford this and salary cap implications?

    • Brisneyland Local

      Salary caps in Union in the Super Rugby Franchises is like the Constitution. Its Mabo, its the Constitution, it’s the VIBE!

      • Silver Ghost

        Agree BL
        Having said that, the rebels would have released a bit of salary cap with Timani, Mafi, Parling and a few others moving on.

        • Brisneyland Local

          And Qld are picking up half the bill for QC.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Salary caps in Union in the Super Rugby Franchises is like the Constitution. Its Mabo, its the Constitution, it’s the VIBE!

    • Happyman

      It is a bit like the Roosters in League more of a sombrero than a cap.

      Most of QC’s pay is being paid by the Reds.

  • Adrian

    Based on info from people who know people who know Cheika, or even people who know Cheika straight out:
    1. He sticks to promises he made or things he said, even if they harm him. He doesn’t change this unless betrayed directly, no matter what
    2. He expects the same of others
    3. He undervalues his own tallents, and overvalues people that he thinks are intellectuals

    • Brisneyland Local

      Adrian, that scares me even more.

    • onlinesideline

      in other words – 1000% all emotion in every respect on all matters.

      • laurence king

        You need more than emotion when you’re working in the realm of elite sport. Pumping up the attitude may have worked in Salta but it has had no effect otherwise.
        You can’t pump up a ball with as many holes (defense, kicking, lineout etc) as this team has and hope for improvement.
        Sooner or later, reality dawns and then after that you’re just lying to yourself. And I wonder how many of the poor buggers are doing just that and how long have they been doing it. That would be soul destroying I imagine.

    • laurence king

      I don’t think that there is anybody here who doesn’t think that he’s a decent and good man. That really isn’t the issue, the issue is his crazy arsed plan and his often baffling selections. In terms of rugby knowledge and intelligence I would have to rate somewhere in the area of gibbering idiot.This is the worry, if I can point out the difficulties and accurately predict the outcomes then we are in crisis.

    • Huw Tindall

      Sounds like an honest bloke with a bit of good old Aussie cultural cringe!

      • Adrian

        Spot on

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate I agree although I don’t think any coach will make a difference without major changes in the playing group. Not necessarily because of skills but because of attitude. There are far too many current players who see themselves as too important and who don’t contribute to the “team first” culture that is needed to improve.
    I can’t see this happening and I predict it’ll be the same group next year regardless of results

    • onlinesideline

      that comes from knowing they wont be dropped after consistently losing. Its human nature. We would all react this way. The blame is on Cheika for persisting with same selections. I think its a lack of skills though which is the first and main problem. A skillful player group who win will always gloss over a bit of attitude. We aint winning though.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I think you’re right mate, these players know they are safe and so they haven’t needed to put in the effort to develop their skills further. AS such they are now well behind the eight ball

  • Silver Ghost

    I suppose the question really is, what keeps in the job?
    He survived the last game against the argies by basically saying the second half is how we want to play and what we train for.
    Then next two games they abandon the that game plan for the ‘headless chook’ strategy played for the other games in 2018.
    So, if they beat the Azzuri by playing direct (2nd half argie game) but lose to England by playing headless chook, where does that leave us? – back where we were after the argie game!
    If I was the Azzuri coach I would have a simple game plan – let the Wallabies have possession, after 3 phases they will stuff it up, collect the turnover ball and kick to the corners. The WB will fling it about in the 22 and give away an attacking penalty. Take the 3 points. If the Azzuri do this they have more than a chance!

    • Adrian

      Yes Silver, the thing that MOST disappointed me with Cheika was the switch back from what worked in 2nd half v Argentina to pass the parcel in the next 2 games. Should have been so obvious to him.

      Similar speech to Arg speech at half time last year in Bled 1. We did ok in the second half of that game, then in Bled 2,….before we reverted back to rubbish again.

      Does HE really make these decisions?

      • Silver Ghost

        If he’s not making the decisions, then why is he the head coach?
        I’m not a great believer in the “buck stops with…..” because that doesn’t reflect modern leadership and adding value through team contribution. Nonetheless, any leadership does require a leader and it does seem we are lacking in that area.
        The post match interview after the Wales game with Hooper and Cheika emphasized that.

      • Brisneyland Local

        He has to. He is the head coach. whether he makes them or allows them, he is the one that signs of on it. So the blame lays with him.

    • Geoffro

      O’Shea is likely to come up with some trickery like his uncontested ruck ploy to confuse an already confused WB’s

  • onlinesideline

    Do you know whats going to make this Cheika reign even harder to stomach. Not only will we lose to the Poms again next week, but we have a whole bunch of tests again next year before the world cup which will be more of the same. We will be looking at something like 5 or 6 wins from 18 or 19 matches over 2 years. You think its un heard of now that a coach with this record is not fired. Next year we will be looking at a coach who in his FOURTH year is still losing all the main test matches. Its utterly ridiculous. There are no backline 10s or 12s coming through and if there are they wont be in the run on side. So we are looking at basically the same team with same limitations right through to world cup. Bizzare.

    We will be a team that has or will lose every main test match in 2016, 2017, 2018 an 2019.

    • Singapore Sling

      Cheika has just celebrated his fourth anniversary with another loss. Next years his fifth.

    • Huw Tindall

      Thinking of 2019 who are we playing in June? We have a shortened Rugby Championship but do we know who is coming out in June? Been a long time since France have toured in Aus…

  • Alister Smith
    • laurence king

      Fantastic, today has been good for some great laughs. Pocock for captain

    • Brisneyland Local

      Tip of the hat Alister! Tip of the hat!

    • Huw Tindall

      This has made my day and it’s only 0830.

  • Woolfe

    Twelve months after he promised a new style of rugby union with the breakaway Western Force, Andrew Forrest has unveiled a new 70-minute, eight-team Asia Pacific competition with a $1 million premiership prize.
    https://www.msn.com/en-au/sport/rugby-union/andrew-forrest-unveils-global-rapid-rugby-a-new-format-aimed-at-reviving-interest-in-the-struggling-game/ar-BBPJ0pW?ocid=spartanntp

  • Woolfe

    Comment on Twiggy’s new comp up and running next year censored. FMD

    • Huw Tindall

      No – the news just came late in the day mate. There isn’t a conspiracy theory and certainly not on GAGR.

  • Patrick

    That’s not true, Jake White and Eddie Jones can turn a shitstorm around on a dime. They might not be the coaches to make us a great team but they might well be the coaches to make us a credible team.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Jake and Eddie are both capable of creating great teams – Eddie just has a short lifespan!

      White’s systems created ongoing success at the Boks and the Brumbies after he left, despite the massive decrease in coaching competency that occurred at both clubs (no offence to PDV and Larkham, they just aren’t Jake).

    • I would add Vern Cotter to that list. He took a side that had been defensively OK but not scoring tries, tightened up the defensive structures, added the ability to score tries and.. led Scotland to beating the Wobs. He was only there for a couple of years and did it all really quickly and largely with the same players.

      • jamie

        Wouldn’t give him too much credit.. beating the wobs isn’t hard anymore.

        • True, they also improved dramatically in the 6N under Cotter too though, and have fallen back a bit under Townsend.

      • Patrick

        Definitely, I should have thought of him. Take an under-skilled bunch playing like headless chooks and turn into contenders… sounds like the job!

    • Parker

      Also Henry.

      • Patrick

        Yes agree, those two could also be a winning combo.

  • Huw Tindall

    Cottrel ain’t on tour. Niggling injury along with Holloway I believe.

    I’ll go the other way than you Adrian – this team needs a change/break. I want to see Gordon, Petaia, Toomua, Arnold, Samu, Banks and even AAC get a run. Switch the bench/starting front rows and bring on Folau Fa’ainga for Taf. Water and orange duties for Poey, Genia, Hooper, Beale. Maybe play Poey and Hooper a half each.

    • Adrian

      That strategy is ok by me Huw.

      Really, what I don’t want is a carbon copy of last week.

      What I do want is recognisable attack tactics that are understood by coach and players…and carried out

      • Huw Tindall

        There were recognizable tactics last week but execution let us down (as usual). Overall attack plan was to spread the ball to stretch the Welsh defence then hit back up the middle. The up the middle stuff was missing. I think it was a good general tactic but arguably we didn’t have the cattle to do it – which probably means it was a floored tactic to begin with. I’d have gone with a different plan against the Welsh and played pick and go rugby in the centre field with forward runners either side of the ruck and Foley and Beale on a side each. Keep them guessing which side the play will go. I’d have taken Toomua as well to help with our kicking and play as little rugby as possible in our half.

  • laurence king

    The Wallabies side to face Italy. I’d have to say, that Cheika is hedging his bets. Not a lot of courage in his selections and what has Banks done wrong?

    1. Scott Sio (53 Tests)

    2. Folau Fainga’a (6 Tests)

    3. Taniela Tupou (10 Tests)

    4. Izack Rodda (15 Tests)

    5. Adam Coleman (29 Tests)

    6. Jack Dempsey (8 Tests)

    7. Michael Hooper (c) (89 Tests)

    8. David Pocock (76 Tests)

    9. Jake Gordon*

    10. Matt To’omua (40 Tests)

    11. Jordan Petaia*

    12. Bernard Foley (66 Tests)

    13. Samu Kerevi (23 Tests)

    14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (116 Tests)

    15. Israel Folau (71 Tests)

    Reserves

    16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (87 Tests)

    17. Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test)

    18. Sekope Kepu (101 Tests)

    19. Rory Arnold (19 Tests)

    20. Pete Samu (7 Tests)

    21. Will Genia (98 Tests)

    22. Kurtley Beale (82 Tests)

    23. Dane Haylett-Petty (29 Tests)

    • Greg

      Where is Bastards?

      At least 2Cows and Petaia are in the starting team.

      • laurence king

        Cheika hates Banks, something to do with the royal commission

  • Adrian

    Wallabies to face Italy

    1. Scott Sio (53 Tests)

    2. Folau Fainga’a (6 Tests)

    3. Taniela Tupou (10 Tests)

    4. Izack Rodda (15 Tests)

    5. Adam Coleman (29 Tests)

    6. Jack Dempsey (8 Tests)

    7. Michael Hooper (c) (89 Tests)

    8. David Pocock (76 Tests)

    9. Jake Gordon*

    10. Matt To’omua (40 Tests)

    11. Jordan Petaia*

    12. Bernard Foley (66 Tests)

    13. Samu Kerevi (23 Tests)

    14. Adam Ashley-Cooper (116 Tests)

    15. Israel Folau (71 Tests)

    Reserves

    16. Tatafu Polota-Nau (87 Tests)

    17. Jermaine Ainsley (1 Test)

    18. Sekope Kepu (101 Tests)

    19. Rory Arnold (19 Tests)

    20. Pete Samu (7 Tests)

    21. Will Genia (98 Tests)

    22. Kurtley Beale (82 Tests)

    23. Dane Haylett-Petty (29 Tests)

    • laurence king

      Not a lot of courage in those selections eh Adrian. What has Banks done wrong? Frankly, I’m not very impressed or kindly disposed towards this coach

      • Adrian

        Banks and the other 8 wingers in the squad might be a bit pissed off.

        What it does is get guys out of their comfort zone.

        Whether it works or not in this lose-lose situation is another story

        • laurence king

          If the game goes a little pear shaped, he will have the same old same old players. Pull Toomua off, Beale on, Gordon off, Genia on, Petaia off, DHP on etc. It’s about winning the game and giving the look of change without having the actual courage to change. Well we all suspected that he lacked the nerve, this proves it.

        • Huw Tindall

          To be fair to Chek it’s a dammed in he does and dammed if he doesn’t kind of position on this game’s team selections. He’s changed more positions more than many thought. I’d like Banks on the Bench personally. Don’t need both Beale and DHP on the bench.

    • Huw Tindall

      Urgh Foley to 12 – whats the point? He is 10 or on oranges duty.

      Give Banks a run. No need for either DHP or Beale off the bench.

      Overall though glad Chek stayed the course and made a plethora of changes.

      • Adrian

        Agree Huw

        I’ll put my Samurai sword away.

        One good thing is that the combinations in the backline won’t be disrupted….if you know what I mean.

        I “smell” Cheika in the selections, and now I await the tactics

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah tactics will be interesting. Haven’t seen any Italy games so no idea what their approach to the game is and thus how we’d want to counter it. I’d just like simple tactics and play. They don’t have the skills or composure the execute the more complex plays that Bernie is putting together. I don’t think his tactics match the caliber of players we have right now.

          So for this game I want:
          – Toomua kicking it out of our half. Play nothing inside our 40m.
          – Forward runner options either side of the ruck mixed with pick and goes. Switch sides and keep the Italian defence guessing.
          – Mix this up with inside runners in the backs when we shape to go wide.
          – Counter attack with support runners down the blind side with short passing.
          – Short kick off to Izzy 90% of the time.
          – Ditich the ‘open side’ winger shenanigans.

        • Adrian

          Pretty on the ball I think Huw.

          From memory Italy have big forwards, the odd flashy back and use the occasional chip and chase.

          I think he’ll perhaps expect Gordon to drive a bit of urgency at the rucks too.

          I can see Gordon working with Tuopo to have him on the move or picking and driving.

          All going well, we might see it open up mid second half, and see some good tries.

        • Huw Tindall

          Here’s hoping. Keep the optimism flag flying mate!

    • Bernie Chan

      Faark…had to find a spot for Foley? But he failed miserably at #12 last he played there for the Wallas….but Cheika blamed Cooper n dumped him instead of Foley…Will Toomua cop the same BS…? Petaia out of position…better if Toomua/Kerevi/Petaia was the 10/12/13 combo…?

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

More in Rugby