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Melbourne Rebels

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Cooper cleared to play, Reds see improvement, Egon Seconds Dropped, and meet the Uelese brothers.


 

COOPER CLEARED, TO’OMUA ON THE BENCH

Quade Cooper  Reds v Rebels 2019

Quade Cooper has successfully recovered from his interaction with Samu Kerevi’s knee and has been named to start after passing his concussion protocols.

This will mean star recruit Matt To’omua is in line to debut off the bench, probably a good thing given he has been in country less than seven days. 

“As we build to the back end of the season, being able to relieve some pressure off Quade having to play every single minute is very helpful,” Coach Dave Wessels said.

“Matt’s got the opportunity to come off the bench and make an impression and we’ll take it from there.”

To’omua was granted early release from Leicester to come as emergency cover in case Cooper wasn’t cleared. He was expected back next week with the plan for him to play in the Waratah’s game.

If he debuts it would be his first Super Rugby match since 2016 after he played 88 games for the Brumbies.

Wessels has named an unchanged starting back line but was forced to make some big changes in his forward pack with Luke Jones and Isi Naisarani ruled out due to injury. Richard Hardwick and Rob Leota come into the starting line up with Sam Jeffries is returning from injury onto a 5-3 split bench.

Jones suffered from a hairline fracture in his eye socket, that initially went undiagnosed until he blew his nose. 

“He didn’t realise he did it until he blew his nose and it swelled up a bit,” said Wessels, saying his backrower could miss two weeks.

Naisarani suffered an injured toe and could also be out for two weeks, but Wessels sees that as a blessing in disguise.

“He probably needs a bit of a break anyway, although he’s been playing really well for us,” Wessels said. “We’re lucky that we’ve got some depth in the back five in the scrum.”

“Ross Haylett-Petty was excellent last week, he played with a lot of intensity and seemed to be really enjoying his game and we all know what a soldier Matt Philip has been for us this year.

“Both of those guys are covering us at lock pretty well and it’s great to have Sam Jeffries back from injury.

“We’re lucky to have Dickie Hardwick back, who’s a Wallaby. He’s been a bit unlucky with injury this year but I thought he was excellent against the Waratahs when we played and then unfortunately bumped his ankle in training. But he was really good off the bench last week.

“And in Robbie (Leota) and Gus (Cottrell), we get some great go-forward from Robbie and a huge work rate, as always, from Gus.”

Rebels Squad

Ins: Matt To’omua, Sam Jeffries

Outs: Luke Jones, Isi Naisarani

1. Tetera Faulkner 2. Anaru Rangi 3. Jermaine Ainsley 4. Ross Haylett-Petty 5. Matt Philip 6. Angus Cottrell (vc) 7. Richard Hardwick 8. Rob Leota 9. Will Genia 10. Quade Cooper 11. Marika Koroibete 12. Billy Meakes 13. Reece Hodge 14. Jack Maddocks 15. Dane Haylett-Petty (c)

Reserves:

16. Hugh Roach 17. Matt Gibbon 18. Sam Talakai 19. Sam Jeffries 20. Pone Fa’amausili 21. Michael Ruru 22. Campbell Magnay 23. Matt To’omua

HAVE A RED HOT CRACK

2019-reds-v-stormers-13

The Queensland Reds haven’t beaten the NSW Waratahs in 10 matches, but that won’t be in the minds of the Reds as they look to keep their season and finals hopes alive on Saturday.

Regardless of a win this weekend, or even playing finals for the first time since 2013, Reds coach Brad Thorn has said that they aren’t the metric for improvement in his side.

They have won 5 out of 13 matches, already equalling their wins for 2018, 

“I know there’s improvement and obviously you want to beat those New Zealand teams and you want to beat the Waratahs but there’s no question there’s been growth,” he said.

“There’s been improvement, there’s been a lot of young guys developing in their game, so that’s a positive but the main focus for me, I think for the club, is winning.

“You play to win and you play to go further than just the season.

“You want to go into the finals and most of the Super Rugby comp is in with a chance so there’s 15-odd teams thinking they want to be in the finals as well. It’s actually quite a juicy competition.

“It’s quite an interesting one – wouldn’t know who’s going to be where in five weeks’ time.

“For us, that’s something that is obviously, we’re keen on going further but coming back to this week it’s all about the Waratahs and as we’ve said, they’ve been a tough opponent for us.”

One of the players Thorn has been impressed with from an improvement standpoint has been Taniela Tupou, believing the Togan Thor is in doing everything he can to earn a spot on the plane to Japan.

“I’m a Reds coach, so obviously I’ve got bias but you’ve got a 133kg tighthead scrummaging prop,” he said.

“If he’s harnessing all that he has and discipline and has that focus and that form, it’s a good prospect for a national coach to have because at World Cups, set pieces are important.

“We just want him enjoying his footy, working hard and putting in a good performance on Saturday.”

Back Hamish Stewart is set to miss this weekend with a shoulder injury but Thorn said he didn’t expect him to be out for long.

The Reds might not be too worried with names like Duncan Pai’aaua, Jock Campbell and Aidan Toua who could step up in Isaac Lucas and Stewart’s absence.

SECONDS DROPPED

Embed from Getty Images

Under fire South African Referee Egon Seconds has been stood down a head of this weeks Super Rugby draw.

SANZAAR has dropped Seconds, even not considering him for an assistant position.

Seconds came under criticism for his ‘hands on’ approach and questionable calls in the Waratahs and Lions match in Johannesburg that say the Waratahs on the wrong end of an 11-2 penalty count. Seconds was even involved with making contact with Michael Hooper as he attempted to jackel the ball.

This isn’t the first time Seconds has been criticised, after the former South African Rugby player officiated the Rebels and Lions match which saw the men from Melbourne on the receiving end of an astonishing 20-1 penalty count. 

Interestingly both matches were matches were the Lions hosting Australian franchises. 31 penalties against Australian teams, 3 against the Lions.

Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson showed as much composure as he could when fronting the media on Tuesday.

“I’m disappointed for the team on Saturday that a lot of our effort is going unrewarded at the moment and a lot of things are beyond our control given some refereeing decisions that went against us on the weekend,” Gibson said.

Gibson also confirmed the club would follow their regular operation of communicating with SANZAAR and Lyndon Bray

“We regularly talk to SANZAAR and have got regular correspondence with [referees boss] Lyndon [Bray] and we’ll put our usual submissions in that we do every weekend.”

Back in March, Rebels coach Dave Wessels said something similar regarding communication with SANZAAR.

“I think we wanted to confirm that there weren’t any systematic issues in our game with the referees and they’ve given us some feedback that there aren’t,” Wessels said.

“That would be the major concern – if it was happening in a certain area of our game where we were doing something systematically wrong then we’d want to address that but fortunately the feedback has been that that’s not the case.”

“I don’t think in the history of Super Rugby a team’s ever got only one penalty against them and I know for a fact that’s the worst differential that’s been in the last 10 years,” he said.

“The reality is the next worst is 15-5.

“So 20-1 penalty count, we would have had to be very unlucky to get something like that and discipline certainly hasn’t been an issue for us all season so for it suddenly to come up in that way was disappointing.

No comment has been made by SANZAAR regarding the dropping of Seconds.

 

ANOTHER FRONT ROW BROTHER COMBINATION

170903 Jordan Uelese

You have seen the impact of the Smith Twins in Queensland, now get ready as the Uelese Brothers prepare to pack down together for the Melbourne Rising.

Melbourne Rebel and Wallaby hooker Jordan Uelese made his long awaited return to Rugby last weekend playing for Gordon. This Friday he’ll be back in Melbourne colours when he packs down for the Rising in their match against the Japan Wolfpack.

This time though he’ll have a familiar face in the front row, that of his younger brother, Junior Uelese who will start at Tight Head Prop for the Rising.

Oveleni “Junior” Uelese was came up in  Melbourne before went to boarding school at Scots College in Wellington, New Zealand.

Junior Uelese played for the New Zealand Schools Barbarians team but came back to Melbourne after he finished school and and has been training with the Rebels as a development player.

“He has just turned 18 years old. When you are a Pacific Islander player and you are called Junior you know he is the complete opposite,” Jordan Uelese said.

“He is a big 130kg-plus prop and I have never played with him in my life. It will be exciting to back down with him. He is a tight-head prop and I am a hooker, so it will be pretty special for me and my family.

“It will be his first taste, I guess of pro footy.

“He is from Australia but he moved back to go to boarding school, Scots College in Wellington. A big rugby school in Wellington, so he was fortunate I guess to hone his skills there. But he wants to come back home and play for the Rebels and higher honours, so that’s where his heart lies.

“I am happy for him to come back and be in the set-up.

“When he finished up with the New Zealand schoolboys he came straight back here and wanted to work with us. He has been around the set-up, Dave has wanted him to learn from the older heads so that’s been great for him, to be exposed to the higher level. He is grateful for the opportunity.”

Jordan sees Fridays match against the Wolfpack as a great opportunity for Victorian club players to take on some international competition.

“It will be great for those guys to get the exposure,” Uelese said.

“They get to step up and play on a big stage here at the stockade in front of a big crowd against what is a world class side.”

It’s been a long road to return from injury for Jordan, who has been cautiously managed by both the Rebels and the Wallabies, so that he can be in line for a finals push with the Rebels and a chance at the World Cup with the Wallabies.

After a sore yet successful return to Rugby through club rugby, Jordan will be looking to use Friday to get his Rebels jersey back.

“The body is a bit sore. I am a bit banged up. I played 60 minutes up in the Shute Shield for Gordon,” Uelese said.

“It took the first 10-20 minutes of the game to get a feel for the game and catch my breath but it was great to get out there again. I have been in rehab for 11 months now so it was good to get to get back out there.

“The knee is fine, I definitely came out of the game unscathed. Just normal body soreness given I hadn’t played a long time.

“The competition we have here in the hooker spot is great. Anaru (Rangi) and ‘Roachy’ (Hugh Roach) have been playing really well and I am not going to just walk back into the team. I have to prove myself again.”

Rising v Japan A Wolfpack

Kick Off: 5:05pm

Tickets Available for both Rising and Rebels Games here

 

  • Dud Roodt

    I’d like to start today’s proceedings by talking about the subject we all want to hear more about: religion.

    Just kidding.

    Thanks for getting the news out there Dylan.

    I think without a doubt the Reds are a far superior team than they were last year. If all the talk about a mutiny in the works turns out to be just talk, and the likes of Kerevi hang around, they could really be a solid team next year. For his faults, Thorn has probably been the perfect coach for such a young squad, teaching a bit of grit and probably assisting with developing some very good habits and work ethics.

    I wonder if we’ll all come back for Seconds if the reffing is shit again this week? I know I’m a big fan of getting seconds, sometimes been known to grab thirds too.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Not convinced he is the perfect coach as the attack is just ‘give the call to Kerevi’.

      I do fear the team will fall apart next year when Samu leaves. Hopefully Lucas and Petaia are enough to keep them improving.

    • Dylan Langes

      I personally don’t like Brad Thorn as a coach. but I think its important for the Reds development that they have one coach for a decent period of time. He doesn’t give a fuck what people think which allows him to ignore the pressure of who to pick. I do think they need to recruit some mature players if they are losing Higgers and Kerevi. I think they have the grit now they need some experience heads. DB is right the play of “give it to Kerevi” isn’t a great play no matter how good he is.

      • Geoffro

        Kerevi is the “go to” man in the reds backline and most teams have one maybe two who is/are usually over relied on.The shame is Petaia is next in line after Samu leaves and a bit of a burden for his young shoulders.Bryce Hegarty is one who really needs to step up and I see the potential for him becoming a bit of a late bloomer ala DHP.

      • idiot savant

        Interesting that Thorn has dropped Higgers to the bench for the Tahs game. Its like a challenge to the young guys to see if they can deliver without that experience. The Under 20s pack might have to bring it all on their own next year.

        I think next year the centres are the biggest problem with Kerevi and DP going. they will need to recruit a 12 and Meakes name has come up. I also dont know if they can hold onto Hegarty but that would seem important.

    • Pearcewreck

      An ex GF of mine liked to grab thirds, as well as half of second grade and a couple guys from first grade too!!!

    • idiot savant

      I think at a certain level the Reds made the right decision to sweep the board clean and start again. Pretty much everything they tried since Link left hadn’t delivered and probably for a whole host of reasons.

      And I think they were right to choose a coach who offered no promises except for a concentration on the basics – set piece, defence, work rate, physicality, and inculcating these basics into the talent the state grows.

      How far Thorn can take them Im not sure. The signs so far are that the next level – game plans and strategies – may be beyond him but I dont want to be too quick to judge. Thorn listed rugby smarts as one area he wanted to improve. I think the jury his out on that one. Interestingly, Reds management only extended Thorn for one year. It seems they too are waiting for signs he has the next level in him.

  • AllyOz

    An interesting article posted on Nine’s website yesterday. I am not much of a fan of Fitzsimon’s writing but he raises some interesting points in this article.

    https://wwos.nine.com.au/nrl/rugby-australia-doomsday-scenario-israel-folau-peter-fitzsimons/1d758331-a7de-4df9-957a-69e59eaa6d76

    Don’t worry, it isn’t another Israel Folau discussion but instead focuses on how rugby may have to cut its cloth in view of a likely cut in payments from Fox. I am not sure I entirely agree with his overall premise. I don’t disagree necessarily but I don’t know how SANZAAR would works and if Australia can be a little protected by it. I suspect that SANZAAR could unravel with SA seeing a greater future for its clubs in Europe as it is already bleeding so many players there anyway, so perhaps by moving their teams into a comp up there they can access the better finances available. That would leave New Zealand, Australia and Argentina and there are some doubts on whether that could be made into a commercially viable comp.

    One area where I think Fitzsimons is correct is that we could potentially have seen our last $1 million/season contract for a domestic based player for a while and that RA might also need to rein in its structure (he mentions Scott Johnson’s position and other overseer positions). Certainly we probably would find it more difficult to justify higher executive salaries as well as player salaries.

    I would also argue that Fox could look at ways of cutting there costs too. They seem to have a cast of thousands and I am not sure what they pay some of their commentary team but, for me, anything would be too much for some of them. We all have our favourites I am sure. I thought Kayo sports, a cheaper offering, might help get there view numbers up.

    • The Jackal

      Fox spent too much coin on cricket and got no return on investment. The NRC & Super W are likely to go first before any sizeable cuts to Super Rugby. It’s been mentioned before by Bret McKay that’s it’s not the actual sports rights as big as they are that are crippling broadcasters but the production costs on top of that. Bare bones NRC games cost upwards of $40,000 a game to broadcast. Big time league games & rugby tests upwards of $150,000 a game.
      Makes you think about how much return they get from the ALeague when they have as many games produced as their NRL coverage, once you factor in production costs and they get games with 20k viewers. That competition is dead in the water when their deal is up.

      Absurd that they were paying hand over fist for rights that no one else was interested in. Equally absurd sporting codes thinking it would go on forever

      • Pearcewreck

        Super Rugby and A League may have a life line in that Fox makes money on both of them in European Markets.
        I think I read about decade ago, that Fox makes more money in Europe from Super Rugby than in Australia. Not sure if that is 100% correct or not, but it was something like that.

        • Bobas

          Shaq made all his money playing in college

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Think I recall the same thing as it was the place to go if you wanted to watch all the famous NZ players.

  • AllyOz

    if someone is chasing a little more IF action

    https://www.news.com.au/sport/sports-life/bungle-how-rugby-australia-mishandled-israel-folaus-contract/news-story/503e9ae61cfb7e48a008a5421fa734cd

    Looks like, from this article, that RA could have made this a lot simpler for themselves than they have.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t know what time believe now as according to RUPA you cannot add additional contract clauses to the standard contract unless it was beneficial to the player.

      The bigger issue would still be whether RA can legally terminate Folau’s contract for what he has done, given it was expressing a religious view.

      Even if the panel agrees to sack Folau, if he challenges it in court, Folau could win.

      • AllyOz

        https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/contract-debacle-that-left-rugby-vulnerable-in-folau-storm-20190515-p51npe.html

        The original SMH article suggests KB had additional clauses in his contract (but that this was the only way that RA would agree to any contract at all). It is interesting that they were concerned at the time that the additional clauses were needed if they were confident that the code of conduct already covered it.

        Folau at the time of the original incident did claim Castle had misrepresented his comments. Probably the only way we will ever here the full story from both sides would be through the court process – not sure that is what RA would want as, regardless of the result, it would increase their costs and prolong the exposure. For Folau, if there is someone to fund his court battle, it may be that he has nothing financially to lose as RA may have already terminated the contract.

        Anyway, I am not a lawyer, don’t know what is the contract and have no idea really how it will work out.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yes I found that interesting as well…. Beale’s has a clause! Perhaps there’s a way around the law to sneak in some clauses of sorts…..

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah but if they inserted the contract with KB it would have been found to be invalid later if RUPA are correct.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          If the option was have a contract with additional clauses or no contract, RUPA can agree that the clauses are overall in the players interest because they allow the player to play. Izzy would have been in the same position prior to signing if RA had pushed it, but once the contract is signed, then adding a one-sided sacking clause can’t possibly have any aspect in the player’s interest.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not certain of RUPAs rules, but I could see in a situation in which KBs contract was tested by the courts (or if folau’s was inserted) the court removing the invalid clause.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Well the law allready says he can’t be sacked in NSWs for sharing his beliefs publically! He’s protected there. It may come down to some technicality from the stone ages or even the setting of a new precedence!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure that it does say that mate. When I checked the legisolation it looked to me like NSW was the only jurisdiction in which it was Moynihan obviously illegal to sack someone for sharing religious beliefs. There are also certain other exceptions allowing employers to sack employees for sharing religious beliefs in all jurisdictions that may apply here.

          Can you please direct me to the legislation and cases affirming this?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          There are 2 things, the 1st is the Ethno-religeous part of the work act. And clearly their has been direction from RA towards Islander players to unlike and unsupport Folou’s post. That would be a clear violation of that against both Folou and those players. The other main point takes into account that while NSW doesn’t have specific rights to religious freedoms protection….we as Australians are signatories to the “international covenant on civil and political rights” ICCPR.(basically meaning you can share your beliefs publically) So RA look to be up against simple basic rights laws. Their stating at one point it’s about bringing disrepute on the game won’t hold up either as Folou did not say anything directly derogatory about RA or it’s players!

      • Pearcewreck

        In your last sentence, you mis-spelt *will*

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not necessarily. No one knows for certain what the decision will be until it is tested by the courts. Am yet to see or speak to a legal academic or barrister that is certain on the outcome. No lawyer ever would be. And the law in New South Wales is far less clearly in Folau’s favour than other jurisdictions.

          I note that you never managed to provide an example of where I run down Christianity. I’m going to presume this is an example of you having no evidence?

        • Pearcewreck

          No, wrong again DB.
          You are good at that.
          Please take my lack of reply from yesterday as meaning that I have a small business to run with 3 staff, a wife, 3 children and am on a few volunteer committees, one of which had a meeting last night..
          That is, I have a life, and don’t have time to quote your previous posts back to you.
          So if that makes you feel like you wan an argument, well good on you.
          You didn’t.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Right, so you have time to make the allegation, and to reply to me challenging you on not having any evidence to back it up, but not to actually provide the evidence.

          Interesting. I think you might just not have any evidence. Might be a bit of a ‘it’s the constitution, it’s the vibe’ sorts thing.

          Do you teach your kids to accuse people of things, and then not justify it?

      • Andrew Luscombe

        Clause 1.6 of players code “… or otherwise make any public comment that would likely be detrimental to the best interests, image and welfare of
        the Game, a team, a club, a competition or Union.”

        Folau has probably breached this clause (and maybe others). In this case, by risking reduced sponsorship for his union, team, and competition. If he was told a year ago that this style of public comment was financially damaging, and told it by people who were speaking to sponsors about it, then it is very difficult to argue he didn’t know, or that a reasonable person in those circumstances wouldn’t think financial damage was likely from this type of post. He could reduce any potential damage to RA, Tahs, etc. significantly by apologising and removing his post. But given he stands by his post and has said he would make similar comments again, the financial damage is likely to be large if they continued to employ him.

        Religious practice has to be compatible with a job. He is physically capable of playing while making his comments occasionally, but you’d think the adverse affect on the financial position of RA makes his high profile employment by RA incompatible with a continuation of his more blunt public comments.

        • joy

          Apparently its OK for Joyce to use his position within a listed company and that company’s money to push his social agenda. He is the one who should have his employment contract torn up.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Apparently Nick Farr Jones had Folou over to his house to talk about everything! Folou said all both Cheika and Castle verbally said was to be careful what you say on Social media! He said the chats were very short and not specific. That is backed up by scheduling and details now made public!
      But after scrolling through the hundreds of player incidents from diff Aussie codes over the years, it truly is amazing that with just a now proven verbal handshake, RAs very first reaction was that he would be sacked. No discussion, no trying to work through the problem and certainly no real thought to what their action would or could mean in the Aussie’s sport landscape!
      I think no matter what side of this argument you may sit on, RA should be ashamed of how they’ve dealt with such a delicate topic and with one of the games greatest players! What a shame!

      • AllyOz

        I have to commend Darryl Gibson on his latest comments. Throughout this he has been dignified where others haven’t.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Although he did allow his captain and others to comment negatively against Folou and to the nature of the team environment! Apparently it’s been revealed nearly the whole squad has phoned or visited Folou in total support!

        • AllyOz

          True but was Hooper acting as the Wallabies captain or the Waratahs captain at the time…from memory he was wearing his Waratahs training gear so you’re probably right.

      • Anonymous bloke

        They did try and work through it with him! It’s been reported they asked him to take it down and apologise and that would have been the end of it. He refused.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Not sure demanding someone to do everything you say even if you have a right is “trying to work it through” It’s funny how things like drugs and wifebeating are seen as nothing compared with sharing your beliefs publically in Aus. For that you gain instant condemnation and loose your job! Because that is exactly whats happened.
          The recent cricket player who joked about being gay with his mste was fully supported, they even lied and twisted stories to help the bloke!
          It seems like it has more to do with whos agenda is flavour of the day…..

    • Greg

      why… let it go.. some good games this weekend

      • AllyOz

        At least today I focussed on legality and avoided theology…give me some credit…

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! AH Thursday. A lovely day, you can almost smell Friday afternoon beers from here! And with a scintillating weekend of ruggers coming forward lets get into it:
    – Good to see QC back for this game, and even better to see Toomua. Gee the Rebs have an abundance of back line players. I think Matty T coming off the bench in the 50-60 min mark will be great. Hope he has learnt the plays down quickly. So with QC pushing hard for a chunk then Matty coming on the finish, this could have bolter finish written all over it. Lets hope the piggies stand up!
    – This Reds Tahs match is starting to look interesting. The Reds seem to be getting that little bit better every week. And the Tah’s appear to be getting that little bit more inconsistent every week. I smell a potential underdog victory here.
    – well SANZAAR have finally acted. My octogenarian neighbour with the Zimmer frame could have done a better job than old Seconds! Pity they aint going to come out and say anything.
    – I love these little family pockets appearing in Aus rugby. It is a positive thing.
    – Another week and still no attack coach. Another week and still no closure on Izzy Gate. Another week, and still no decision on NRC. Hmmmm I think RA doesn’t have its eye on the ball.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Dylan Langes

      It will probably be an week or so on the attack coach. Scott Johnson said it would be after next weekend Wallaby camp in Brisbane.

      Its important when they review Seconds games that they look at what he missed and why. A lot pundits said the Rebels deserved 20 penalties, but the Lions deserved more than 1. There were a few questionable calls against the Tahs but what he let the Lions gets away with is the real problem.

      • Brisneyland Local

        There was no doubt it was pandering to the home audience.
        I am just worried who the attack coach is going to be. Listening to Cheika talk about it, he is basically getting some one who will run messages and be able to mentor the boys. Not an actual attack coach that will formulate a plan to make the most of the attacking strengths we have.
        But considering AAC will probably be in Cheika’s run on side, our attack plan is going to be limited. Not that AAC is a bad player, in his day he was good, but now is not his day!

        • Bobas

          I saw an interview with Matt Giteau after he name was thrown up and he said a few things like ‘I haven’t signed anything’. So to me it’s pretty clear that he knows he’s in line for it but hasn’t been told anything official.

          Probably just in-case his rugby philosophy evolves during the year and it makes him ineligible.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah that is what I was worried about

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate, I think AAC has been a bit crap to be honest. He’s not mentoring the other younger players and not achieving a lot himself. I just hope the Tahs didn’t pay too much for him to be there

        • Brisneyland Local

          About $87k I heard

        • GO THE Q REDS

          He’s on a bare minimum contract!

      • Bobas

        Wallaby camp? I thought it was a calf stress testing convention.

        • Dylan Langes

          They want to replicate the Pocock results

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Bang on Dylan. It’s not that he’s penalising the foreign teams too much, it’s that he’s letting the locals get away with shit that should be penalised

        • Dylan Langes

          He penalised Rangi for standing up in the scrum (long arm) then when Marx did it he gave reset feed to the Lions.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I can’t agree that it’s good to see QC back. Even if the doctors said it was okay, I think players should sit out for at least one week after a head knock like that.

      It’s only a sport, it isn’t worth risking longterm term impacts of head trauma, in my opinion.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Don’t forget he has a very small history of concussion. Mostly due to his stand up tackle technique. So that 100% makes a big impact when being tested! I remember an article years ago where Beaden Barret and Smith both defended Quades tackling style as they both use it, themselves being smaller backs! They hinted that time would tell if tackling massive blokes over and over for years using a safer technique would pay off!

      • Brisneyland Local

        You are probably right there. By my recollection that is QC’s first concussion?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Dunno mate, but no memory of concussion issues with him.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have no doubt he has had a few knocks to the head. Like every other person playing rugby. But I have never seen him knocked out before.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        The protocols around the testing are pretty tight so I’d say he’s ok if named. It’s the sort of thing the coaches and players actually don’t get a say in these days so I’d be comfortable

      • joy

        Surely this is a decision for professionals.

    • Who?

      Also very pleased to see Junior Uelese coming through, scrummaging with his brother for the first time. If he’s a good one (and there’s cause for hope – 18 years old, 130kg, brother who’s a Wallaby, school in NZ), that’s yet another quality THP for the future, and he’s learning in a team with a scrum that’s outperforming their preseason seeding, with an experienced THP who’s led strong scrums (Sam Talakai).
      .
      Reds/Tahs… Whilst the Tahs have won the last 10, the Reds are clear of them on the table. And they’re at home. I’m not sure the Reds shouldn’t be favourites for this one. I’m sure they’ll claim underdog status (it’s the Qld thing to do, whereas, in Rugby, claiming undeserved superiority is a NSW thing to do), but that doesn’t mean they’re underdogs.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Look at the ladder and the Tahs are underdogs…. look at the team sheets and the Tahs should be massive favourites….

        • Hoss

          ‘We had a good team on paper. Unfortunately, the game was played on grass.’

        • Brisneyland Local

          On fire today!

        • Keith Butler

          Nice one. Too late for the Rebs and Tahs but nice to see that ‘Sloppy’ Seconds has been stood down.

        • IIPA

          How so ? They have two undersized front rowers in their starting scrum, only one proper second thrower, a lightweight backrow, a starting halves combo whom all of GAGR agree are shite, either a pensioner or a club player at 13 and two no-name but tidy wingers.

          You can’t have it both ways. Frankly it’s a disgrace the Reds have lost 10 on the trot to the Tahs.

        • Singapore Sling

          Robinson starting? I thought he’d been recovering from a knee injury but apparently he’s had a tightheads ear grafted to the left side of his head.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Who I agree. I can see this one going either way on the day. If the Reds scrum holds, and they use their big boppers to monster the Tarts (and the Saffa teams have given them the blueprint on how to do that) I think the Reds may be able to get it done.
        If the Reds discipline is lacking and they are soft on tackles that Tahs backline will be able to get through.

        • Damo

          Yeah, hopefully last weekend’s “magic” NRL round hasn’t torn Lang Park to shreds and have another Reds neutralising scrum debacle like we had at the SCG a few weeks back.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Suncorp always holds. that is a very good surface and a great curating team there!

        • Who?

          Really? I reckon they run the grass FAR too short… And you always see an army of curators out on the field stamping down divots. The few times I’ve been out there on game day (my son’s team played at 4pm the day Link resigned from the Wallabies), the grass has always been very short underfoot, and quick to lift. Can’t help but feel leaving it a little longer would protect the surface more…

        • Brisneyland Local

          You would remember after the Brissy floods they had to replace the whole surface. And when they did they went for a sandier base and shorter grass to prevent the inevitable lawn grub. Personally I think the surface is pretty good. and does repair quickly.

        • Who?

          I agree it repairs quickly, it just always shocks me how much soil and grass is turned over during a game there, compared to a full day of club games at my local, which also has training sessions there all week (where Suncorp doesn’t cop that traffic during the week).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nope but I bet if you took a fall on your local paddock it wouldnt be anywhere near as soft as suncorp.

        • Who?

          Our club doesn’t have a paddock, they have three full size fields (read, they even have 22m in-goals!) at a new $40 million sporting complex. :-)
          But I’d have to ask the boy which is softer.

        • Happyman

          Sunnybank I take it

        • Who?

          Not in Brisbane… And we share the facility with other clubs. The overall facility has 8 fields suitable for Rugby. 38 hectares.

        • Happyman

          Sounds spectacular my club struggles for space with 800 junior and senior players and one field with a second available for junior games.

        • Who?

          My club (I’m a life member, but I’ve fallen out of regular contact) would love to have those sort of numbers… I’d be surprised if they’re much over 200 at present. :-(

        • Brisneyland Local

          MAte where is that? In Brissie?

        • Who?

          Not in Brissie. West…

        • John Tynan

          Reckon I’ve been there. On the range near T’ba?

        • Who?

        • John Tynan

          I’ve got you at Highfields? Went up for a veterans (over 35 ) day last year.

        • Who?

          Yeah, I was president 2014/15. VP Juniors 2013, Secretary 2016. Life member, but don’t live out there anymore.
          I try to stay largely anonymous online, so I’ll delete all this after posting. You should have it in email, though. :-)
          .
          So you played the Silverbacks! The Raging Bull (Scott Mead) is a great bloke, I hope he’s managed to hand on the day to day running of the Silvers – he was trying to hand it on for about five years!
          .
          You look at those facilities, and think, “Why on earth did League pass on it?!” While I was president, we had to undergo some serious belt tightening, but we had a brilliant canteen co-ordinator (now retired) who increased turnover by 3300% over 4 years, we balanced the books, managed to win some funding and scored the park.
          I don’t claim to have been a great leader (far from it), but I was pretty happy with how we managed to steady the club while I was there.
          .
          Then my successors were lobbied and eventually endorsed going into seniors A grade (third season, don’t think they’ve won a game yet – dunno why you’d play Senior Rugby up here, you’ve got to go to Roma and St George! That’s 6 hours each way – when you could go to the Coast for a swim and then a Super Rugby game, and spend less time away from home. And if you’ve got kids, they’re unlikely to be at the same venue), which costs significant cash… I’m just hoping they’re going ok (I receive no correspondence from the current committee).
          .
          I was also on the Downs Junior committee from 2012 through 2016, chairing it 2014-16. It’s supposed to be a 3 year appointment, but we constantly switched GM’s, and they weren’t all great – they needed someone there with some understanding of how the place worked, and the history of the place.
          .
          Given my Downs involvement, and the strength of league, to have a facility like that… I’m stoked that we were able to wangle our way in there. Anyone can host whatever they want there, but we have priority, we don’t have to cart anything there, and we own everything in the kitchen (i.e. given we paid for our stuff – soccer wasn’t required to do that in their end – we can refuse access to our kitchen and cold room, which makes our area much less attractive, and means that anyone wanting to use our kitchen has to meet our teams, making it profitable for us). So it means that Rugby has a foot in the door at a facility which I’d imagine is up there with some of the best in the state.

        • John Tynan

          Excellent facilities.

        • John Tynan

          Love your work, and rightly proud.

      • John Tynan

        I think bookies have NSW $1.80, Reds $2.00

    • Damo

      NZ rugby seems to have always had lots of those “family pockets”. It’s good, and must make a lot of parents proud. In Wales they all have the same name but aren’t related.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Jones, Williams and Davies. I am sure a long way back up the family tree they probably are related.

        • Who?

          Mostly, sure. On one of those ancestry shows I saw my wife’s surname in a family tree. Five minutes of Googling and I was able to prove that the ‘celebrity’ is my wife’s fifth cousin.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold. Being an orphan I have no family tree at all. SO at least I now have no one to blame for my bad genetics! ;-)

        • Who?

          Neither of us have strong connections up our tree (i.e. we have no contact with uncles or aunts), but with birth certificates getting her to the 1880’s, then piggybacking off other people’s research, my wife can go up her father’s tree to about 1620. On convict stock!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wow that is serious lineage!

        • Damo

          Maybe you’re related to Dr Who. 13 of those plus time travel. Bloody hard to track that lineage!!

        • Funk

          Don’t forget the Thomas’s and Jenkins’

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very good point.

      • Pearcewreck

        These family pockets are great.
        I mean , look at cricket and the Chapell brothers, that all went fine …. Oh, wait, what?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey mate, back from a little trip out on the open ocean watching helicopters land and take off from the back of a ship. Really interesting to follow it all.
      I think with the Bulls travelling and the Rebs at home they should take this. My real fear is that they get bullied in the forwards and that Koroibete just stuffs up. I still don’t know what he’s picked week in and week out. A conspiracist would start thinking his contract included a clause guaranteeing he be selected because he form sure doesn’t deserve it.
      Reds vs Tahs should be good. Personally I think The Tahs will have too much fire power but again it could be a close match and if a couple of things go the Reds way they could take this.
      I heard Johnson say there’s no worries on the lack of an attack coach so maybe there is a plan but the Izzy work is taking the focus. TBH Fuck Knows and that probably includes RA.

      • Happyman

        On the Eggchasers pod KRL they have a saying. Money plays

      • Who?

        I’m sure there’s a plan. The question is, have they yet realized that ‘Kick it to Izzy’ doesn’t work when they’ve sacked Izzy..? And how long before that plan morphs into ‘Give it to Samu’..?
        :-P

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah. The whole no problems having no attack coach is a smoke screen. Could you imagine any other top 5 team not having one? So we have it right and then wrong. It is just excuses for poor leadership and management. But hey were Aus rugby fans. We are used to it.

  • Greg

    Breaking news…..

    “Alan Jones went on to say that if Labor wins the election, he’ll retire from radio and all public appearances.”

    https://twitter.com/timpoliti/status/1128250875317608448

    • Pearcewreck

      Oh well then….. iF aLaN jOneS saYs So, iT mUst Be TruE

    • Who?

      Is Alan trying to give Labor a last minute boost..? :-

      • Pearcewreck

        Voters all around Australia: Hold my beer. Now, watch this…..

    • Happyman

      Is that the same as Israel saying he would quit if he caused a problem

  • Singapore Sling

    I haven’t seen much of Uelese. Is he any good? He’s a big unit so scrummaging must be a strength but what’s his work rate like when he’s fit? Does he have ball skills?

Melbourne Rebels
@DylanGLanges

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

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