Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Cheika opening up, Reds make some changes, Defender gets more time than attacker, and Rangi hasn’t given up on Wallabies dream.




"Don't worry Ned theres always room for you in my team"

“Don’t worry Ned theres always room for you in my team”

After making is first appearance in public via the Green and Gold Podcast, it appears Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is making up for lost time as he continues to do plenty of media during his European come back tour.

Speaking as a special guest on the Off The Ball Roadshow in Dublin, Cheika had the chance to open up about many things including his Lebanese heritage, his time in fashion and not knowing who Beyonce was. I am sure she doesn’t know who he is either.

He also had the opportunity to open up about some Rugby related stuff, including the difficult decision to sack Wallabies attack coach Stephen Larkham.

“[It was] tough. For a friend, maybe not anymore, I’m not sure,” Cheika said. “One thing’s for sure, I don’t blame anyone for anything, I always take responsibility and that’s what you do as a head coach when things aren’t going right for you because you want to protect those people. And at the same time you need to do things to shake it up a little bit.

“So [it was] very tough but I just think that sometimes you’ve got to make those [decisions]. It wasn’t just him there were four or five others that we made changes to in the team and I’m sure that when we go to the World Cup the team will be in the right position and feeling the right way, partly because of some of those changes of what’s come in and what we’ve needed to change.”

The decision to remove Larkham, High Performance Manager Hayden Masters and “four or five” other staff came after some serious reflection post the Wallabies worst season winning four out of 13 matches.

“More challenging myself as to what will be the thing I do now to make the change?” he said. “After the season I spent a week really detailed, just myself, going through, removing the emotional connections, going through exactly what I needed to do to make sure that this season was bright and more enjoyable and that we don’t live the peaks and troughs. That we just build and build and build until we get to where we want to go.”

That building stage led to the controversial fitness camp back in January, that Cheika has now broken his silence on.

“Even though the Super Rugby coaches mightn’t have wanted me to, we went to a nice big hill, had a DJ playing at the top, pumping out the tunes, and they were just running up and running down,” Cheika revealed in a live podcast recording at Dublin’s Olympia theatre last week.

“The Sydney Roosters came down too, they ran hills with us at the same time. That’s all they needed, to say ‘this is the stuff you don’t want to do that you’ve got to do’.”

It was the same model that Cheika used as coach of the Leinster to turn that team into European champions. The idea of doing stuff you don’t like.

“Success will come when you do the things that you don’t really want to do all the time,” he told an Irish sports podcast in Dublin.

“All I did with these guys [Leinster] was just guide them into the things they didn’t want to do all the time, made them do it initially until then they started to want to do it. From there it took on a life of its own.

“I used to tell them ‘you’ve got to run up there and you’ve got to smile while you’re running up there. That’s pretty forced but I did the same when I took the Wallabies into camp.”

The camp first drew attention when a pattern of soft tissue injuries was noticed, where David Pocock, Nick Phipps, Dane Haylett-Petty and Adam Coleman all returned to their Super Clubs carrying similar calf injuries.

Rugby Australia announced a review of the camp and the training procedures.


Ruan and JP Smith  Reds v Rebels 2019

Reds coach Brad Thorn has made some big changes to his side as they look to get back on the winners list when they host the Stormers on Friday night.

Wallabies winger Sefa Niavalu will start at 13 with Samu Kerevi coming in to the no.12 jersey. The move comes after Chris Feauai-Sautia tweaked his hamstring against the Rebels, ruling him out for the match.

Recent debutant Jack Hardy will make his first Super Rugby start on the wing.

Reds attack coach Jim Mackay backs the move of Kerevi and Niavalu in the centres, suggesting that more ball to Kerevi at 12 would lead to more front foot forward attack.

“And then you’ve got Sefa there, who’s played a lot of 13 as well, firstly at Wallabies and in NRC he had a season there as well,” Mackay said.

“Just with the team we’re playing, that will give us a lot of stability in defence to stop them getting over the advantage line and in attack as well it gives us some real power for go-forward rugby.

“And Jack’s earned his opportunity there.”

“The more he gets the ball, the better for us,” Jim Mackay said.

“Samu’s ability to play through the line and then you’ve got Sefa on his shoulder, we’re excited about that opportunity as well.

“Moving Sefa in, he hopefully gets more touches of the ball.

“This year, we’ve seemed to play our best rugby when we’ve had two more strong, direct carriers there.

“We’re coming up against a team that has big, strong centres and big back rowers, so while it’s not always an attack-focused mindset, there’s considerations around defence as well.”

Back rower Angus Scott-Young was a late omission with concussion, after he failed his HIA against the Rebels, forcing a bit of a shift in the forward pack. 

“He could have played at a pinch with another day or two but with a head injury, we’re just looking after his welfare.

“And he’ll be coming with us to South Africa and we’ll need everyone over there.”

Harry Hockings will start in the second row with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto moving to blind side flanker.

“It does stretch things but at the same time, that’s opportunities for others,” Mackay said.

“We’re fortunate that Lukhan can play equally well in the second row or backrow, so he shifts to the backrow and Hockings comes up which gives us good lineout presence as well.

Reds Team to face the Stormers:

1. JP Smith 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa 3. Ruan Smith 4. Izack Rodda 5. Harry Hockings 6. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto 7. Liam Wright8. Scott Higginbotham 9. Tate McDermott 10. Bryce Hegarty 11. Jack Hardy 12. Samu Kerevi (c) 13. Sefa Naivalu 14. Filipo Daugunu 15. Hamish Stewart


16. Alex Mafi 17. Harry Hoopert 18. Taniela Tupou 19. Angus Blyth 20. Fraser McReight 21. Moses Sorovi 22. Duncan Paia’aua 23. Isaac Lucas



http://Embed from Getty Images

Bulls and Springboks hooker Schalk Brits has received a four week suspension for his involvement in a punch up in the Bulls match against the Sharks.

He won’t be available until the start of May.

Interesting however is that his Sharks counterpart Akker van der Merwe, only received three weeks despite being seen as the instigator. 

Brits escaped the potential six weeks sentence by pleading guilty and being deems to act in self defence, but was unable to get it down to three weeks like van der Merwe, due to having been charged with striking twice before.

Both players were red carded at around the 60 minute mark of Saturday’s match, after van der Merwe leaped onto Brits, and exchanged punches with him on the ground. The Bulls went on to win the match 19-16.

Brits later posted a photo on Instagram of van der Merwe and himself sharing a beer after the match with the caption: Tough game out there tonight!

What amazing game that we play and we can laugh and have a beer afterwards. #enjoyyourweekend

SANZAARs Judicial Committee has come under question lately with many of their decisions, and this is no different, with many on social media questioning how a man acting in self-defence can receive a greater punishment than the instigator. 

The Judicial Committee last week found Queensland Reds back rower guilty of striking James Slipper but only gave him a warning despite making contact with a closed fist to the back of Slippers head.



Anaru Rangi

Despite being in standout form for the Melbourne Rebels this season, hooker Anaru Rangi hasn’t had any contact from Wallabies coach Michael Cheika about a chance at becoming the Wallabies hooker.

The World Cup is 6 months away and after last season, the Wallabies No.2 jersey is still very much up for grabs but it appears it might not be for the 30 year old Rebels player. 

Brumbies Folau Fainga’a appears to be the favourite for the spot along side veteran Tatafu Polota-Nau who came back to play two matches form the Waratahs.

Fellow Rebels hooker Jordan Uelese, how as in Wallabies frame in 2017 is still a month away from returning to the game after his ACL injury.

Rangi has said all he can do is keep working hard, keep performing week in week out and hope to catch the eyes of the selectors.

“It’s still a huge carrot that I’m chasing,” said the Kiwi-born, who qualifies through residency.

“I hope it’s form that matters most, and hard work, and as long as I keep doing that I reckon I still have a crack.

“It’s still fairly early days so I’ll keep pushing hard.”

Before making his Super Rugby debut for the Western Force in 2016, Rangi had been working as a builder and last season he won the Rebels Players Player award.

Unlike previous years, the Melbourne team has strong depth in the hooker stocks, with Rangi as their first choice, but with Uelese coming back, former Brumby Robbie Abel off the bench, and former Waratah Hugh Roach putting pressure, each player has to work hard for that starting spot.

“There’s massive competition here every week, competing, scratching and clawing to get every minute you can on the weekend,” Rangi said.

“When you’re training at that kind of intensity, come the game it’s almost just like another training run.”

When he went professional Rangi changed his diet and gave up the midweek beers, but now the Rebels are hoping he can add some more bulk to his 117kg frame, but Rangi is concerned it might affect his work rate around the ground, which has been so valuable to the Rebels and is what keeps grabbing the attention of the fans.

“The conditioning team wouldn’t mind if I put a bit of weight on but I like to be busy out there and the work-rate thing is a big thing for me,” he said.


  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan,

    I wish my taking full responsibility meant putting the blame on others and them being punished rather than me. I listened to the podcast, heard him speak on 7 news this morning, now reading this and I still have no idea about what he’s saying and what he means. Personally I have no faith in the guys ability to bring the Wallabies on and I fear there is more likelihood of him taking them further down the ladder.

    I hope Rangi gets a look in this year but holding off and not being tarnished by being part of Cheika’s team may actually be a good thing.

    Kerevi at 12 makes me happy. Forwards need to step up big time.

    • Habitual Offender

      Hope Rangi gets his chance also.
      Often wondered about weight, versus mobility and work rate.
      A penchance for being overweight has always seemed to go against the laws of fitness.

    • Happyman

      I have turned off MC at the moment I just dispare over who may be picked for the RWC. I just worry that Super form will count for nothing.

      Rangi should get a go he has put together a body of work and as an Australian supporter I welcome him as a grafter who obviously has rung every part of his ability out of his body. He is obviously a late developer who just loves the game. I think they will go with TPN who was a great player but frankly he not starting at his club who may get relegated in the Prem.

      Kerevi at 12 just makes sense. CFS was a huge loss for the Reds last week and unfortunately is still unavailable he straightens the attack I was hoping he was finally going to get an injury free season.

      • Jason

        The Hookers who should be taken to the World Cup are (in approximate order) Fianga, Rangi, Panga-Amosa.

        I’d be willing to bet that only one of them makes the squad, pretty sure Cheika’s already printed Latu and TPN’s tickets.

        • John Tynan

          With a minor tweak, can we take a bit of liberty and call them Finga, Ringa and Panga?

    • Jason

      I hope Rangi gets a look in this year but holding off and not being tarnished by being part of Cheika’s team may actually be a good thing.

      Nah mate Ulelese all the way, then maybe Latu off the bench. Oh and for the big games we’ll bring in the corpse of Tatafu Polota-Nau. Shame Moore has retired otherwise he’d be starting!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Uelese actually performed at international level when thrust into the deep end, against the Boks, when he was a teenager, having played virtually no rugby due to injuries.

        Not sure why he is lumped in with TPN, who was fantastic in 2016-17 even if he is passed it now, and Latu.

        • Jason

          Because Uelese has played maybe 20 min of Super Rugby, he’s not even starting for his club team fuck he’s not even in the 23… Yes Uelese did reasonably well when he had about 40 min but one good performance does not a Wallaby make.

    • Dylan Langes

      I remember an interview with Billy Meakes last year and he was talking about how after he got tips from Cheika about what he’d need to do to be selected he became so individually focused that he did more harm to the team. Once he focused on the team his performance got better. I think its the same with Rangi. I don’t want Cheika saying do this do that because it will potentially do more harm.
      Like the comedian Daniel Sloss says if you don’t love 100% of me you don’t deserve me.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    ‘I always take responsibility’

    I honestly think he believes that. Delusional.

    • Jason

      ‘I always take responsibility’

      But he did, he said it was his best mate’s fault.

    • laurence king

      If he really believed that, he’d be gone. Nice guys can have or not have, integrity. To be a good guy requires a higher standard of integrity than he has displayed. He spins like a politician and gives the impression that he has taken responsibility but he hasn’t. I’ve seen saucers of milk with more depth

  • Brumby Runner

    Cheika is the most diabolical thing to ever have happened to the Wallabies. If he accepted responsibility, he would have resigned in 2016 when the slide down the world rankings started.

    • Happyman

      :Larkham is not the answer though he is part of the problem.

    • Jason

      We need to clean house, honestly, I do think getting someone from outside in is the solution. If they are from overseas then so be it.

    • RF

      Of course he shouldn’t have resigned in 2016, that’s ridiculous. No coach would resigning 12 months after reaching the World Cup Final and finishing up 2nd in the RC. At that point it was merely a bad patch of form.

      Cheika deserves criticism and I’d like to see a new face but his strongest critics can’t see the wood for the trees at times.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Not sure what the point of this comment is.

        He lost 0-3 to England at home. Up until then I think we had only lost to England twice in Aus in the professional era.

        Results didn’t improve in 2016. Even then, fans could see the upcoming issues and wanted him to resign. It isn’t by chance that we were all proved right.

        We got to a World Cup final in perhaps the worst World Cup in terms of form, and dodged New Zealand and South Africa until the final. We also should have gone out in the QF.

        • NSWelsham in London

          Disagree with going out in the QF. Yes we got a lucky penalty at the death to seal the game, however, Scotland had 3 lucky penalties in the final 15 to bring them back in so wings and roundabouts in my opinion, we were just lucky that the game ended when it did. Speaking to many Scots here about it post that game and yes they were dirty but they fully accepted the fact that they too got the luck of the bounce on many calls.

        • RF

          Anyone can legitimately point to his record right now and say that he shouldn’t be coach anymore. Saying he should have resigned in 2016 is ridiculous, childish and the kind of mentality you’d expect from soccer yobs.

          The point of the comment is that so much of the Cheika bashing here isn’t based in the real world but will collect lots of likes because he is a pantomime villain.

        • Who?

          I don’t think he should’ve resigned in 2016. I don’t think Coaches should resign, generally. But I think he should’ve been under hard review with an expectation of significantly better performances in 2017 (which, given we lost to Scotland and escaped against Italy in June, didn’t really happen).
          That’s not based off his current pantomime villain status, either. I’m generally early to look for change. I was looking for change after the issues in the Deans Wallabies of 2009…….

  • Hoss

    Good morning and welcome.

    A solemn start to my usual waffle today. Just wanted to publicly shout out to Reds season ticket holder #1, Pauline, know she is in my thoughts during her emergency surgery.

    I understand she is having a Fraser Anningadectomy, which can be extremely nasty if left untreated. I believe she may have contracted the disease at her own party – horrible stuff.

    Was going to start a crowd funding page, but I believe the NRA are picking up the tab, so dodged a bullet there I guess.

    Now to all things rugby. Segall’s a tool. Go the Tah’s and where are all the clairvoyants who predicted the demise of the Padre this week?

    Fake news.

    • Happyman

      The APdre’s Demise rumour was on April Fools Day my friend. The only day where people question information on the internet.

      • Hoss

        Please explain?

      • Keith Butler

        Just seen the Tahs team for the Blues. Hooper rested, Miller in his place, Spanners back at 10 with Hunt at 12 (interesting). Gilbert on the bench. Must be doing Mason’s confidence a power of good. PS I was meant to reply to Hoss. Sorry.

        • Hoss

          Miller was immense for us last year – hope he can pick up where he left off. Like Gilbert on the pine – send a very clear message that his form, or lack there of is unacceptable. Like KH at 12.

          Following the Tah’s reminds me of the cheap viagra I once bought, you never know when they will be up or down.

        • Keith Butler

          Should I feel sorry for the Shifter. My inner good bloke says yah but the Rebel in me say nah.

    • Habitual Offender

      Same Pauline used to play QLDW? Played right wing from memory?

    • Keith Butler

      Morning Hoss. Difficult to follow your Anningadectomy with a witty comment. However, the function of the appendix in the human body is a bit of a mystery (according to Webmed). A bit like Pauline’s brain. Meantime mixed loyalties in the Butler household on Saturday evening. I expect Mrs B will be howling for the Wolves and I’ll be on the couch. As long as we do not underestimate them, looking forward to another win.

      • John Tynan

        KB, it’s actually a well known fact that the appendix is used by the body to store carrots, and occassionally peas, often for months on end. When required in the early morning hours of a Saturday or Sunday, the appendix produces the stored produce to provide substance to pavement pizzas.

        • Keith Butler

          Thanks John. I always wondered where the carrots of my misspent youth came from.

    • Damo19

      I believe she was seen running up and down the ward, tubes everywhere, shouting “Get me out of here 457 doctor,457 doctor!!!!”

  • Bernie Chan

    Cheika sounds like a politician. He is talking shit…He did everything to achieve one aim, save his own arse. Still can’t figure out how he injured 4 of the fittest Wallas, and all he come with was “The Roosters do it…”?
    Prefer Kerevi at #12, but has Naivalu played #13 much other than in the NRC…has he played #13 for the Wallas

    • Kevino

      Sefa has not played much 13, he does look good when he does though. Last 15 min on Sat he went to 13, suits his game. He had not played on the wing until he joined the Rebels, all his club and NRC was at 13. Highest try scorer in Dewar shield for Box Hill etc

      • Dylan Langes

        The comments form Jim Mackay indicated he had played 13 for the Wallabies but i don’t remember him there. And he didn’t spend a lot of time at 13 in NRC or the Rebels. Less than a handful of games if that.

        • Who?

          I thought Sefa got maybe one game there a couple of years ago in Gold..? Might’ve been an Italy game or similar.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am pretty sure he was on the left wing in that match vs Italy.

          From memory, he hasn’t ever played 13 for the wallabies.

        • Brumby Runner

          Well, I do remember him defending at 13, just like Henry Speight, under the abortion of a defense strategy put together by Grey. Both with 11 or 14 on their backs.

        • Kevino

          His whole first NRC campaign was at 13


      Probably made the comment about Sefa playing 13 for the wallabies on a technicality. …. probably defended there in one of his oddly rare games!

    • It’s pretty easy to injure players doing hill running. League is a different sport after all, and what they laughingly call rucks and scrums just aren’t. They have a lot of really skilful players, but they pass, sprint and tackle, with a small number who kick too. Step running or hill running is great for sprinters, especially when you do short bursts because it really trains acceleration. (Not fun, but it’s pretty common training.) But if you’ve got muscles shaped for long pushes (like in a scrum) and holding your bodyweight (like in a Union ruck) it’s not so good for them.

      Like all these things, there’s probably a benefit to everyone doing some, but union is a sport where not everyone is a short burst sprinter, you need to pick and choose how much the various players do it. A prop in league needs to sprint a lot. A prop in union, ok, there are some freaks out there, but you need them to shove in the scrum and lift in the line out, and defend on the fringes more. It’s nice if they’re not too slow over 10 metres, but it’s not vital.

      Someone like Pocock, he needs it all, sadly, but beasting him with hill sprints is exactly the way to injure him, it needs to be properly managed. Ok, McCaw used to run up a mountain for training, but he’d been doing that for years, so his body was used to it.

  • Dean

    i clicked onto the fox sports link to read about sport. Then as i scrolled there was an image of a dead 6 year old girl… I tried to comment to fox sports to remove the image but my comment was not allowed for some reason. Maybe you guys can put a warning down prior to people clicking on the link. I have that image in my head and it very upsetting. Pick up your game fox sports

  • Larry Jorgensen

    A DJ at the top pumping out the tunes and they were running up and running down …

    The pinnacle of science driven and outcome specific training.

    • Dylan Langes

      I studied Exercise Science at uni for 3 years. Must have missed that class

      • Who?

        You were probably out at a club, listening to a DJ pumping out the tunes. :-P
        You’re doing well with this news malarkey, Dylan. But you missed all the important points from the Cheika interview. :-P
        I covered them in the comments yesterday. Things like BOD and the other Leinster boys ignoring Cheika’s threats and trying attacking moves on the field that had been banned, how he only started playing Rugby because he wanted to be able to play for Boot Money in Europe (otherwise he’d have stayed in League), how he spent the 2003 RWC on a beach in Brazil not watching any of the games, how if we’d won the third Ireland Test last year, the Wallabies’ season would’ve kicked on a lot more. And that he saw Faithless at that venue.
        That was a seriously long interview……

        • Dylan Langes

          Well I definitely wasn’t doing hill sprints with a DJ pumping tunes thats for sure haha.

          Haha you’re a stronger man than me Who? There was no way I could sit through all the interviews, its just painful. I read the stuff in SMH and Fox Sports. I tried to listen to his interview but he just sounds like he’s talking out his ass.

        • Who?

          Tunes on the dunes, dude! :-P
          Man I feel old saying that! :-D
          I was trying to remember the more pointless bits of the interview… But decided against restating how he met his wife, etc. That was in my post yesterday.
          But thank goodness for YouTube’s speed option. Double speed listening… No one wants to listen to that at normal speed!
          Honestly, I think he’d be a great dinner guest. Lots of stories. Very good at talking through his posterior! :-D Clearly a very good salesman (lots of tales of how he ‘embellished’ stories of his company’s capacity so he could get contracts), a decent leader (only decent, because a leader has to understand one’s own weaknesses and how to support oneself in those areas, and it’s clear he’s got issues there), but someone who ultimately is a fan, not an obsessive when it comes to Rugby. Someone who’s there for fun. In an arena where he followed Link, and competes against guys like Schmidt and Eddie Jones.

  • Jason

    Chikea has openly acknowledged he doesn’t watch all the Super Rugby (even just all the Aussie Teams) and in this interview that he doesn’t even watch all the film or review his opposition games himself. I just find this so incomprehensible, this is your full time job, and you don’t at least watch all the players you have to pick from — then you also don’t watch all your oposition games. I would love to hear about any other tier one coaches who do this, you can bet Steve Hanson watches all the AB’s games… you know he does because he references them.

    Also explains a lot of Cheika’s selection issues — if he’s only watching the Waratahs he’s only seeing the Waratahs players and thus only picking the Waratahs players.


      Great point about watching ALL the games. I myself am known to have a crack(often rather unfairly) at others and their comments who don’t watch all the games like I do!
      I feel very strongly about someone making an opinion about any player, including Cheika, if they haven’t even watched all their games! Its VERY important because some games touches can be far and few between therefore they need to be seen and taken into context!
      Looking at a summary or the score sheet is for smucks….and lazy Joirnalists!!!

      • laurence king

        Living in a bubble is great, I just wanted to say that. I don’t hear anything I don’t want to hear, don’t see anybody I don’t want to see I think up a whole lot of stuff that works in the My bubble just fine

        • Jason

          I haven’t seen anything from any of the other players to justify selection.

          How many other games have you watched?


        • laurence king

          Jason, my comment about ‘living in a bubble’ was referring to Cheika’s attitude, not yours. If I didn’t make myself clear, I apologize. I agree with the points that you made. Cheers

        • Jason

          Sorry — That was ‘Cheika’ Haha

      • As someone who is on the receiving end of your opprobrium for not watching games but commenting on players – hey I’m a fan, I have a job and I’m moving house and up here in the Northern Hemisphere I don’t get access to all the games anyway – I have to say I was stunned to hear Cheika say he didn’t watch the Wallabies’ matches and the Australian players in contention for Wallabies’ spots too.

        It’s his job FFS. He doesn’t have to watch and make notes about their skills that need improving if he doesn’t want to but he should be watching and getting some idea about their form, fitness and generally ability to carry out his grand master plan. (You’re welcome to add as many layers of irony and sarcasm as you can to that last phrase.)

        No wonder he keeps picking players that anyone with half an eye can see are woefully out of form and playing more like a boxing dingo than someone who belongs in a Wallabies’ shirt. They nod and say yes and he doesn’t watch they actually do… Argh.

        • Ed

          Exactly Eloise.

          Cheika told Matt and Huw that he basically didn’t watch his opponents and he said the same on Wide World of Sports last August. One of the panellists, RIchard Freeman questioned him on it. Exchange below:
          Asked by panelist Richard Freedman: “what’s changed about them”
          Cheika: “About who”
          Freedman: “The All Blacks?”
          Cheika: “Mate, I don’t know.
          “I want to focus on my team only.
          “I don’t think that looking at them is going to help me at all. The other coaches will have a look and see and will talk about some tactical stuff.
          “But I want to invest everything I’ve got into our players and get them to a point where they are so focused that come kick-off time that nothing is going to stop them.”

          That is so arrogant. I guess that explains the Cheika plan is A, and the only option is doing A harder. Look at what Hansen, Smith and co learnt from the 2015 loss in Sydney. They analysed and worked how to negate the Pooper and in the RWC final executed it. It also helped they had Ma’a Nonu playing in London, he missed Sydney.

          How many other head coaches of international rugby sides don’t watch their opponents?

        • I last played rugby in 1980 or 81 when a back injury (from sailing, not rugby) forced me to stop both sports. Back then I’m sure international coaches, and probably the top tier of what was officially amateur clubs watched film, video wasn’t really a thing.

          These days, well I went to a school match at my local school a few weeks ago and they have three people officially taking video of the match for the U-15’s (that was the game I watched, they do it for their other matches too). The PE teacher watches the videos of every match – I know, I asked her because I was surprised to see it being done. I’m sure the kind of video analysis she does is nothing compared to a professional club – that’s not disparaging her, she has a lot of other lessons to teach, they’re full time rugby players and coaches – but if the teacher at my local school thinks it’s worthwhile, how can the coach of the Wallabies think he’s so omnipotent and immaculate in observation and recall of every facet of the game that he doesn’t need to?

          Words honestly fail me. But you’re right, he’s revving the players up on his plan and there’s no thought to how to breakdown the opposition and exploit their potential weaknesses. It’s no wonder the Wallabies are sliding down the rankings, they’re playing the same plan A with the same players and everyone is unpicking it. Meanwhile, every other country in the world is developing their game in all kinds of ways. Ugh.

    • nmpcart

      Hard to watch SR matches when he’s too busy watching league….

      • Jason

        I’d love it if he watched League, we’d see some innovation. He’s probably too busy running his ‘fashion company’ that he doesn’t really even run.

  • Habitual Offender

    Good to see young Jack Hardy running on at 11.

    Maybe his younger brother at 10 in a couple of years?
    I believe their father once played 2nd grade in 10s or something once. ;)

  • Damo19

    After a few rehearsals we get to see where Oz super rugby sits this weekend. Brums in Christchurch, Tahs battling the resurgent Blues in Auckland, Rebels against the Japanese banana skin and Reds take on the SA bash masters. There will be some words typed next week if somehow it’s 0-4. Anything better than 1-4 is probably an upset. I’m going 2-4 and with crossed fingers hope it’s the Reds and Quade’s crew.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah I think this week is more of a litmus test than some of the previous ones. Brumbies beating the Chiefs was fantastic but nothing much since then.

  • Bernie Chan

    The fuxwit on fuxsports (Doran…) basically slagging off at Kerevi fo signing (yet to be confirmed…Suntory?) to play overseas after the RWC and not being loyal to Oz rugby. Makes a few comparisons with some NZ players etc…some staying, some going overseas. Doran fails to ask the question as to why so players are heading overseas. Money is a big factor (and Kerevi has the typical obligations felt by Pacific Islanders to look after the extended clan…) but opportunity is also a major driver, and the playing environment another. Is it a coincidence that so many Reds players are looking for an ‘out’…?. No shortage of players have left Oz because they have not been treated as well as the deserved because they are not the “chosen few”. Up this way the glaring example if LFG…how did RA come to the conclusion that he was not worthy of an RA top-up payment? Only two players (Izzy and Hooper) have been given long term generous contracts and one could argue that they are not the players that RA should be focusing on….IMHO…a bloody cheap shot from the RA PR firm…

    • Who?

      Just read the same article. It must be great to live inside the RA bubble in Sydney and make judgments about players who live 700+km away, without considering the contractual environment in the other state.
      Also interesting to see him slagging off Genia wanting 3 years, when Folau’s roughly the same age, is less crucial to the Wallabies (no Genia, no quality ball for Folau), and already has decent alternatives in the wings. Whereas I don’t see Gordon, Powell, McDermott being anywhere near Genia’s class as yet. Maybe, if we’re lucky (because I’m not really trusting the coaching to help as much as it should), one of them will get there. How old was Gregan when he retired? And Larkham? Whilst I’m not advocating that Genia and Cooper be our starting 9 and10 in 2023 (because I’d like to see talent come through), they wouldn’t be older than those two, and Carter in 2015, at the next RWC.
      I’m not normally as harsh on Doran as this, but this is pretty clearly a whinge about players without considering the history of signings in our game. It always used to be that you’d go where you’d get the best Rugby program, and that might make up for some shortcomings in payment (especially Australia vs Europe, because living overseas has other costs which living in Australia doesn’t). But now, it’s quite arguable that the coaching programs are, like the money, overseas…

      • Andy

        I’m not a massive Doran fan but he was frank in this weeks podcast on the “losing culture” of the current wallabies crop of players. It was good to hear someone at Fox being objective and calling it as it is. So props to him for that.

        Didn’t stop Cheika loving McCargle telling him he was being harsh… shows that again, they all have an agenda in Fox Sports and can’t be objective.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Doran is part of the propaganda brigade whose steadfast defence of the status quo (Cheika, his selections, the setup, etc) that has resulted in the continuation of this dysfunctional setup lone last its expiry date.

          I see him and threat of his buddies in the mainstream Aussie right media as being equally culpable for the disastrous situation we’re in. More concerned with protecting their privileges and position than in being honest when it has been required.

        • Ed

          Spot on DBTB. You know I have similar thoughts on many of the Oz rugby propRAganda group.

        • Andy

          Agree. Hence why I was so surprised to hear his comment on a losing culture.

          If you get a chance it’s worth listening just to hear nick mcardle’s response. It’s such an “in the bubble” reaction

  • Doesn’t blame anyone. Heaps of others sacked. He remains. Who is he blaming?


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

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