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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News looks at the Brumbies inspiration heading into the finals, some good news for the Junior Wallabies, further sanctions for a Waratah and debate rages about the optimal amount of Super Rugby teams


Rise for Christ(ian)

Christian Lealiifano settles the Brumbies

Christian Lealiifano settles the Brumbies

The Brumbies are committed to sending out their inspirational captain and fly-half Chrisitan Lealiifano as a winner, with their first test coming on Saturday in the form of a quarter-final clash with Sharks.

Lealiifano has been a stalwart for the Brumbies over the past decade, serving as an inspiration both on and off the field during his journey back to rugby from leukaemia.

His announcement of his departure from Australian rugby came on Monday, where he revealed that he is set to join NTT Communications in the Japanese Top League next year.

This has motivated the players to send him off to Japan with his inaugural Super Rugby trophy, according to fullback Tom Banks.

“All the boys know how special he is to the group and how special he has been to the group now for a number of years,” Banks said. “You can just feel the amount of respect he has in the group when he’s holding the (room).”

“He’s going to be a massive loss for this team and that’s why we need to stand up and do this for him. It’s one of the sole focuses of the team, to send him out with a title he deserves.”

This was shared by injured Wallaby David Pocock, who was full of praise for his childhood friend and how he was able to provide players with a perspective outside of their rugby bubble.

“Someone like Christian, who has played his whole career here, he is the heart and soul of the current Brumbies team. You (as players) want to send him off on a good note,” said Pocock.

“[Lealiifano] makes people feel at ease. Guys want to be around him. To sum him up, he takes rugby seriously but doesn’t take himself seriously at all. I think that’s a special thing. To see him back playing like he is, in such good form, it’s inspirational actually. He is an amazing guy.”

The Brumbies will be hoping for a strong performance throughout the finals as they send off Pocock along with Sam Carter and Henry Speight, who have already announced their intentions to leave the club after the season.

One down, one to go

Michael McDonald has escaped suspension for his red card against Argentina

Michael McDonald has escaped suspension for his red card against Argentina

The Junior Wallabies have received a timely boost, with halfback Michael McDonald free to play after receiving no further sanction following his red card against the Pumitas in their semi-final.

McDonald appeared before the judiciary panel after being sent-off just before half-time for a second yellow card, with the panel deeming no further sanction was required for his indiscretion.

However, the Junior Wallabies still face another trip to the judiciary, with hooker Lachlan Lonergan facing the panel on Thursday morning after being cited for a shoulder charge.

Lonegan was instrumental in the semi-final victory, diving over for a try during the second half fight back, however, has been cited for striking Argentinian no.8 Juan Bautista Pedemonte with his shoulder under law 9.12.

If Lonergan can escape suspension, this should provide coach Jason Gilmore with a full allotment of players, with fly-half Will Harrison expected to recover from a concussion sustained during the side’s final pool game against England.

Gilmore was proud of the side’s defence structure and intensity over the tournament, highlighting it as their key metric for success heading into the final.

“I suppose playing 78 minutes a man short and then you get it again for 50 minutes of this game, (that defence has to be on point) and it is certainly something we’re going to continue into that next game,” Gilmore said.

Gilmore was full of praise for their opponents, France, who will be looking to go back to back after winning the tournament last year over England.

“France won it last year, they’re defending champions and they’ll want to hold on to the trophy. They’re a big side and they’ve got a couple of boys back from last year, so our forward pack have to aim up to let our backs do their thing.”

Captain Frasier McReight was confident that the side could cap off their strong six month period with a win, noting that the strong culture built by Gilmore and the coaching staff as the main point of difference from previous years.

“I think our biggest attribute is our culture, our team environment. We do everything together, we’re very tight and that helps massively when you’re competing, you’re sweating and you’re bleeding for your mates for 80 minutes.”

Latu’s further sanctions

KMP-WAR-CRU-2003

Tolu Latu has been banned for four games and fined $5000 by Rugby Australia’s integrity unit.

Latu was found drunk and asleep at the wheel of a moving car in the early hours of May 16th near Rugby HQ.

The suspension comes after he was fined $1300 and had his driver’s license suspended for three months after fronting court last week.

“At the conclusion of the court proceedings, the Rugby Australia Integrity Unit found has determined that Latu had committed a mid-level breach of the Professional Player Code of Conduct and has issued a sanction that includes a four (4) match suspension and a fine of $5,000,” the governing body said in a statement.

“The financial penalty took into account that Latu has already accumulated out-of-pocket expenses totalling approximately $7,000 as a result of the court proceedings. Latu will also be required to participate in any counselling and/or alcohol education programs as deemed necessary by Rugby AU and/or the Waratahs for a period of 12 months.”

His suspended period will be backdated to cover the three games that the Waratahs had already stood him down for, ensuring that he will only miss Sydney Uni’s Shute Shield clash with Eastwood this week.

Whilst this seems like a slap on the wrist, Rugby Australia has deemed it satisfactory due to the circumstances facing Latu, along with his actions in taking responsibility for his conduct and acceptance of guilt.

“Other factors were considered in arriving at the sanction, including Latu’s personal circumstances leading up to the event as well as his failure to disclose the incident to his employers before it became public via the media,” the statement said.

“It was also acknowledged that Latu took responsibility for his conduct and made a public statement, accepting responsibility and appreciating the seriousness of the situation and the impact on his team and the sport and that he had pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity to the two criminal offences.”

Four into three

Liam Wright

Liam Wright

The disappointing finish to the season for the majority of the Australian Super Rugby teams has thrown up the question regarding the optimal amount of teams in the competition heading forward.

This had led to some suggestions from ESPN writer Sam Bruce that the number of teams should be reduced from four to three.

The article references the lack of success that Australian teams have had against NZ and South African teams- with teams only managing to win 10 out of 32 games in the past two years.

Whilst this is a damming statistic on paper, this figure is a significant improvement on last year, highlighted by the Waratahs being one of two teams to beat the ladder leading Crusaders this year, and fails to mention the dozen or so matches within that batch that Australian teams were competitive in, coming within seven points of winning.

The article references the quotes by Stephen Holies on Fox Sports Super Rugby Wrap, who criticises the current structure of Australian rugby that makes it too easy for players to become professional.

“We finished third – the Brumbies – then 11th, 12th and 14th; we can’t applaud mediocrity,” Hoiles said on Fox Sports Super Rugby Wrap. I think competition for spots and salaries will drive standards through the roof, I just think it’s become a little bit too easy to make a professional squad in Australian rugby at the moment.”

It goes onto to mention the brain drain that is facing Australian Rugby, with players such as Will Genia and Bernard Foley expected to join the long list of Wallabies that are heading overseas (which is the common cycle after a World Cup for most teams, generally followed by the creation/development of new talent).

However, the thoughts of a rugby “crisis” have been greatly exaggerated in the words of Mark Twain, according to the RUPA (and myself).

“Both the Queensland Reds and NSW Waratahs won Super Rugby championships when there were five Australia teams, and this year all four Australian teams were in contention for finals heading into the latter stages of an extremely tight competition,” RUPA Chief Executive Prataal Raj told ESPN.

“We believe that the focus needs to be on keeping Australian talent playing here at home for the four existing Australian teams, providing the best possible platform for success in Super Rugby, for the Wallabies, and for the overall growth of the game.”

  • Bobas

    ‘who criticises the current structure of Australian rugby that makes it too easy for players to become professional.’

    Hoiles is a nuffy, if it was too easy to become pro then we wouldn’t be getting our players poached…

    • Who?

      The irony is that Hoiles, whilst he made a RWC squad, always felt like a bloke who was a solid Super player at best… The sort of player who’d be happy there’s extra places available.

      • Geoffro

        and “competition for spots” is only going to drive more people offshore,to league or backwards to hone their skills (in the non existent competative second tier comp we have) His concentrating of available talent theory is a simpleminded solution to solving a multi issue problem

        • paul

          Australian rugby could have 7-10 professional rugby teams. The issue is not talent, it is the competition.
          Super rugby simply does not create enough interest to support those teams.

          And without any private money allowed into the structure and competing with overseas wages and bingo, a slow death by a thousand cuts.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘Australian rugby could have 7-10 professional rugby teams. The issue is not talent, it is the competition.’

          We could, but they would be thrashed beyond belief.

        • paul

          The other codes support 44 professional teams, we cannot support 4.
          Its got nothing to do with being thrashed, its the competition we play in.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That doesn’t make sense as a comparison. The other codes play in domestic Australian leagues, so of course the Australian teams are all competitive against each other when the talent is spread across only-Australian teams. And two of them are virtually Australian domestic sports only, with only tiny followings internationally (league and Aussie rules).

          Meanwhile, super rugby is an international competition where Australian teams are protected from competition so our lack of dept matters more.

          Then there is the fact that rugby is the fourth most popular football code in Australia, so of course it has less depth than the others.

        • paul

          It makes sense in regards to what Super rugby is delivering to the game here.
          After 20 yrs competing in this competition the code is decreasing in popularity or performance in every area or benchmark tested to the extent that rugby itself here is struggling to survive i go back to my original point

          What is the purpose or benefit of Super rugby to the code here.

        • Dud Roodt

          You can’t seriously think there’s 300+ players in Australia that are good enough to be professional rugby players, and good enough to compete with other nations?

        • paul

          Did you read my Post !!!!

        • Dud Roodt

          “Australian rugby could have 7-10 professional rugby teams. The issue is not talent, it is the competition.”

          Yes I did. I gather from this that you believe that with 7-10 teams (each with squads of circa 30 players) we could produce 300ish players of sufficient quality for us to be a better rugby playing nation. Is that correct?

          As DBTB points out, we might be able to sign 300ish people to professional contracts, but the slaughter they would be sent out to every week would do more damage than good.

          Unless you’re saying we do away with trying to compete with other nations?

        • paul

          Yes I do, it is the structure of that competition. The A league supports 10 professional teams.

          Again it is the structure of that professional competition and the level, who knows, maybe a salary cap would stop those slaughters, a draft, sign overseas players, private money, broadcast times suitable to a local audience, maybe it can just be a domestic competition. Who knows design a competition that actually grows its fan base.

          Where did I say stop playing other nations, but hey do we have to flog the Wallabies for 15/16 Tests a year.

          Maybe select Wallabies from overseas.

          The only way for Australian rugby to improve LONG TERM is for the game to get more popular domestically, or alternatively we can shrink our way to success, how long for the Brumbies another couple of years, stronger as three and then 2, why not just trot the Wallabies out every week.

          So to your point do we have talent for 300 professional players no

        • Dud Roodt

          The A-League perhaps isn’t the best example as their viewership has been on a downward spiral and from what I understand they will struggle to get a new TV deal. The Socceroos also suck.

          So much has to change for your idea to come to fruition. Public schools would have to buy into playing rugby at a very minimum as there just aren’t enough bodies in private schools alone to supplement the kind of playing stocks you’re talking about.

          RA is already wringing as much private money as they can out of people willing to part with it.

          Also the only reason RA still exists is because of the money they get from the SKY deal for Super Rugby in the UK. There just isn’t the money in OZ to keep the game afloat.

        • Pearcewreck

          Dud, this comment is the most sense you have ever made.
          I actually agree with everything you said.
          100% spot on.

        • Dud Roodt

          It’s at the very least in the top 20 most sense I’ve ever made.

        • Who?

          We need to stop focusing on private schools and start focusing on clubs… It’d be nice to have public schools on board, but the stepping stone to including public schools is to stop focusing on private schools as our feeders, when they’re completely outside the control of RA and limit the playing pool, as opposed to clubs, who are inside the tent, run on passion (not enrolments), and accept all players…

        • Dud Roodt

          I agree with you 100%.
          And short of that have all rugby programs at schools be controlled by RA so RA can dictate terms (as they do in NZ – as in, I think the schools still “own” the program but they do what NZRU tells them)

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          The A-League is the NSL with a few past-it overseas imports added, and a very good PR machine.

        • NSWelsham in London

          Love this and if we did want to see us compete against o/s teams then we develop a Heineken Cup in the South. Top 4 from Aus comp, Top 4 from Mitre 10 and top 4 from Currie Cup (add in any other comp played at same time) and we have an external competition for the “Vodafone Super Rugby Championship” or whatever it may be..

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It means we keep most of our good players and are generally internationally competitive.

        • Seems a good argument to keep the NRC and dump Super?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Only if you want to see an exodus of talent and see rugby like soccer, where Australia just produces good players to play in Europe.

        • Think youll find thats already happening DB.

        • AllyOz

          I think it comes down to dollars – if the comp could generate enough money we would be drawing players in from other codes at a junior level (rather than losing our juniors to the more professional, higher earning codes). AFL draws players from cricket as well as other winter sports largely because they have the dough.

        • I was going to reply AllyOz, but quickly realised far too much typing was involved.

        • AllyOz

          you disagree with to much of what I have said or just couldn’t be arsed? I have commented elsewhere today which might explain my thoughts better than what I have here

        • Agreeing mate, predominantly lazy.
          Current drain on funds to Super…but Super is where the money comes from.
          Sustainability of domestic, etc etc.
          I already need a break..

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        To be honest, I don’t see the connection, who. Seems like a bit of a nasty job and the equivalent of ‘you can’t be a good coach because you weren’t a great player’. Hoiles was eminently super rugby standard, and still would be if he was coming through today.

        • Geoffro

          I don’t mind Hoiles as a pundit (vastly prefer him to Kearnsy,Kafe or Marto) but think he’s got it wrong.Not relevent to his playing record either.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          What specifically do you think he has factually incorrect?

        • Geoffro

          He hasn’t looked at the big picture and blames our poor sr results on spreading the talent too thin.Its an easy conclusion to come to but doesn’t encourage rectifying so many other things wrong.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think he is saying the only issue is spreading the talent too thin, but we have spread our talent more thinly with four teams, it is inarguable. Since expanding from 3-4 teams we generally only had one decent/competitive team, and this became markedly worse when we expanded from 4 to 5.

          We are playing against nations with far more talented players as rugby is a far bigger sport. It may not be a nice thing for fans to hear, but he’s right about us lacking the talent to have four competitive teams against the Saffas and Kiwis.

          I am not saying cutting is necessarily the right call, as we saw how that alientaed the West Australians (understandingly), but first things first, let’s separate the issues of us now having talent and whether it is correct to cut a team.

        • Geoffro

          Cutting a team just to make us more competetive is not going to help Rugby here.Its more a business thing.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          So we are told.

        • Brumby Runner

          The whole argument about lack of professional talent, based on this year’s results, is wrong imo. All four teams were in the hunt for finals as the super season got towards the end. The Rebels and Tahs, at least, failed to get there moreso for the lack of coaching expertise rather than lack of playing talent. The Reds will get there in a year or so if they can find a good replacement for Kerevi.

          The loss of Kerevi illustrates the other aspect of the problem in Australia. Too many top notch players are recruited to overseas clubs because they can afford to pay a whole lot more than our clubs can.

          The talent is coming through in sufficient numbers but poor coaching and the continual dribbling of the best players to overseas is what makes it hard for our clubs to be successful.

        • Geoffro

          Agreeing.If the Rebs had played to their potential,the Reds were a bit further along in their development phase and the Tahs had recruited a bit more wiseley and not had the Folau mess Hoilesy woudnt be having that conversation

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’s because our teams were protected by constantly playing each other in the conference system though…

        • Who?

          It feels a lot like he’s going to “Back in my day…”
          “Back in my day, we walked 25 miles each way in the snow to get to school, which was 10 hours a day, then we’d go and do our part time jobs, where we’d work another 8 hours, we’d get home and have to leave for school again only 15 minutes later!”
          .
          “Back in my day, you actually had to work hard to be a Super player, whereas these guys, it’s too easy.” I don’t accept that. I don’t accept that it’s any easier to be a professional footballer in a world where you’re under greater scrutiny than ever (we complain that players smile when they’ve lost), where you’re expected to be fit in January in your first week back in training (or you’ll get sprints as punishment, and the fit players will get injured), where oppositions are better organized than ever.
          .
          I see this as romanticising the past. I think Hoiles would still be a Super player today, in fact, he’d be more valuable today because he managed to hold contracts across a couple of clubs, and therefore became an experienced player. It feels like he’s wanting to deny opportunities he was given. I know, he came through when we had three teams, but he benefitted from us having four teams. It helped him stick around longer than he might’ve done.
          .
          Maybe his point about keeping players hungry is relevant – I can see it being his own experience. But making it harder to stay in the game, as opposed to jumping to league, isn’t the solution. Perhaps a better solution is to enforce discipline standards better, so we don’t have blokes with no game time, who aren’t starting for their clubs, playing for the Wallabies. That’s not just Latu for this year, it’s also last year. But making it harder for guys to be professional in Australia is no solution.
          .
          And I maintain the biggest issues aren’t related to players and talent, they’re related to administration and coaching. Only one coaching team this year has clearly managed to get the best out of their players. I don’t say coach, but instead choose coaching team, because it’s become pretty clear that they operate as a team. McKellar and his crew. They’re not the only ones working as a team (I think Ryan and McKay have become integral with the Reds), but they’re the ones who have players reaching their potential. I’ve not seen Muirhead listed as a Wallaby (ok, once or twice!), generally he’s overlooked for such concepts. Maybe he’s too small, I don’t know. What I do know is that he’s a solid Super level player, may never wear Gold, but he’s become very, very consistent. And that’s true across the entire team. How many coaching teams can say they’ve managed to draw a consistent, high standard from their players over time? Until we’ve got more than 50% of coaching teams saying that, then there’s no point in blaming players.

        • Yowie
        • Even better would be the scene from Deadpool, when meeting his new girlfriend.

          Prolly a tad long to post a video, not to mention legality..

        • Pearcewreck

          There were 150 of us living in a shoebox in middle of ‘t road!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We heard the same thing about going from 5 to 4 teams though, and the overall performances have definitely improved since the Force was cut.

          One could argue it wasn’t causative, but…

        • Who?

          So, the Force were cut in 2017. At that time, the Force were looking to be one of the better coached teams we had. We also had Gibson and Grey at the Tahs (it’s quite arguable that the arrival of Tandy is the cause of any improvement at the Tahs, though they still finished 12th this year).
          At the Rebels, wasn’t it McGahan? Who was clueless.
          At the Reds, it was Stiles, who as sacked. Replaced by Thorn, who finished 14th this year, winning the same number of games as last year, the same number that Stiles won.
          At the Brumbies, they lost Larkham, and McKellar’s shown himself to be a rather handy coach.
          .
          We’ve got one team in finals, 3 in the bottom 5. It’s arguable we’re doing better, it’s also quite arguable we’re not. It’s also quite arguable that the results are as much about coaching as anything else…

        • but… ?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think the reality is that it is easier than it was to become ‘pro’, but most professional players in Australia earn only a little money.

    • Andy

      I think what he said was poorly worded but in the context of things, not entirely incorrect.

      We don’t have the talent for 4 teams here. Reasons are:

      1. Talent drain overseas
      2. Poor player development
      3. Poor coaching at provincial level
      4. Poor pathways

      That doesn’t mean we should scrap another team though. RA can fix points 2-4 above as has NZ. And if it works for them it can work for us as we have a similar playing pool to them

      • Who?

        Thing is, he doubled down on Super Rugby Wrap. And he didn’t go into any of those points. He just said that people aren’t hungry enough.

        • Andy

          Yep. Again, poorly put but on the last point you make I don’t totally disagree with. But I wouldn’t say it is the rule across the board for Aus players. Others in Australian rugby have said similar things – I.e that a lot of our professional players don’t hate losing enough. And I think a lot of that comes from a lot of losing over the last 15 years at various levels. Our players of that generation are used to it – it’s a losing culture.

  • Bobas
    • Who?

      Rugby Australia has deemed it satisfactory due to the circumstances facing Latu, along with his actions in taking responsibility for his conduct and acceptance of guilt

      Yep, not telling your employer is taking responsibility……..
      I can deal with the financial side, but what I can’t believe is that he’ll be straight back into the Wallabies, despite having done nothing all year, despite his issues off the field. It’s farcical.
      And then we wonder why we underperform. I’d have thought that it’s too easy to be a professional rugby player if you’re able to stay out til 4am drinking and be considered to be in top shape. It’s handy when you’re in the coach’s good books……

      • Geoffro

        Cheika may admire him because *He’s a Tah *He’s well rested*He’s multi talented (can sleep and drive at the same time)*Has stamina (I rarely make it past 2 when I get on the piss)*Is stubborn (once he goes ni ni nobody can wake him)*is deceptive(made it to matchday without anyone finding out)*Is lucky (he didn’t injure someone and got off relatively lightly) and his name is easy to say (compared to a lot of his Pacifica brethren).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha gold

        • Yowie

          Also, the car was rolling forward (not backwards) which is the sort of vibe the Aussie scrum needs.

        • Pearcewreck

          Ha,Ha, Yowie.
          You made me laugh.
          The bit about him being asleep is a bit of a worry.
          Or is that why we have scrums, so the front row can have a snooze?

        • Andy

          LolZ

          On all seriousness though he should be hooked completely for that. Let’s see what Cheika does. He has discarded Latu before due to his attitude ect so maybe he might apply this again.

          But you have to be concerned for the guys welfare as well. He’s always come across as a complicated character and this season has been one from hell, all of his own making. He’s barely played any footy as a result and that must have some effect on him mentally

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I don’t believe he can possibly be anywhere near the Wallabies.

      • Dud Roodt

        I don’t think he’ll get picked. Nothing would surprise me of course but I just can’t see it happening.

        • AllyOz

          regardless of the recent off field happenings, he just hasn’t played enough rugby this year and there are some decent players in the hooking role who have. So on that basis alone he shouldn’t be picked.

        • Dud Roodt

          I agree. And it’s not like he’s an absolute superstar at the best of times anyway

        • AllyOz

          well he is pretty good when he is on the field (though no better than Folau F or BPA – but he is a bit of a penalty and yellow/red card magnet and that is a bit of a risk going into a knockout tournament. Get a yellow against someone like Fiji and it could be the difference between a QF or not getting out of the group stage. So he is what I would call a “strategic risk”.

        • Dud Roodt

          “well he is pretty good when he is on the field”

          Yes, exactly my point. I mean that perhaps you could make a pass if it was Malcolm Marx or an absolute freak, but he is “pretty good” as you say, so definitely not deserving of special dispensation especially considering his propensity towards the naughty chair

        • Jason

          I really feel for BPA he was probably the best hooker in Australia last year, he was outstanding for the Wallabies last year, he gets shelved for the self destructive Latu, then comes up against really good competition with Mafi. BPA could easily be a Wallaby for the RWC. But Cheika will pick Latu…

      • Brumby Runner

        The big question to me is, has RA issued him with a written warning, dictating their expectations and the possible consequences of re-offending? I wonder if RA has learnt any lessons from the Folau fuckup (sorry for the reference).

        • Who?

          Did they issue one last time Latu lost his licence..? Which I thought was also for drink driving..?
          Worth noting this offence was pretty well right outside NSWRU HQ…

      • Jason

        I’d have thought that it’s too easy to be a professional rugby player if you’re able to stay out till 4am drinking and be considered to be in top shape.

        Yeah, I don’t think it’s ‘too easy’ I think we try to hang on to too many players for too long. Just look at the Waratahs for the last 10 games — They played 32 players in their 23, of a potential 230 spots they used 32. There were 24 players in their ‘regular rotation’ (6 or more out of 10 games). 9 players played all 10 games, 16 played 9 or 10, 9 of those 16 players were over 27 years old.

        Mac Maison ‘the next big thing’ has played 2 games, in his Super Rugby Career, 2 Super Rugby games in his life and he’s 23. Hamish Stewart who’s 2 years younger has played 18 SR Games.

        We don’t have a problem with it being too easy to be a Super Rugby player, we have a problem with it being too hard to be a Super Rugby player, we don’t have enough churn, too many old players being held on to for too long.

        • Who?

          Or, even if we try to hold onto players, we should at least expose the rest of the squad to the game… They don’t have to start, but they could easily get a few minutes at the end, increasing in duration as trust is earned and confidence is developed.

        • Jason

          Yeah, spot on look at how the Reds are/have been handling Hamish Stewart, and Duncan Paia’aua as good examples get them time off the bench start them from time to time.

  • Geoffro

    I really hope Lilo gets a good SR sendoff and makes it to the Wallabies.He mightn’t be the flashiest but he has a very good rugby brain,is reliable (unlike Quade) can tackle and kick (unlike Foley) and is mostly comfortable at 10 (unlike Toomua)

    • Pearcewreck

      Yep, he is an inspiration. Unfortunately he doesn’t play for the Waratahs.

      • Hoss

        Nobodies perfect mate, but some of us are more perfect than others.

  • Jason

    I can’t believe that the ARU think 4 games is enough. This is beyond a joke! The dude was already plagued with discipline issues both on and off the field; he was on a suspended licence (can’t imagine what for), then he gets so drunk he passes out behind the wheel and was found to be nearly 3 times over the limit some 15-30 minutes after passing out. The dude has done more than Folau, should have his ARU and Waratahs contracts torn up and sent to rugby League… oh wait he wouldn’t be accepted their because they have higher standards around drink driving. We literally have less player integrity than then NRL. Feels Bad Bro.

    • Not disagreeing in particular, I feel the difference between Latu and Folau is obvious.
      Latu didn’t say, “get stuffed, its my right to get pissed and drive, and I will continue doing it”

      • Timbo

        Neither did Folau. He wrote a few lines and posted a ‘meme’ and then offered to remove it, have one on one time with a minister etc etc. he didn’t apologise because he stood firm in the theology that he believes.

        • Not arguing over the “crime” Timbo.
          You must be reading different reports to me.

        • Timbo

          Those reports sure are fuzzy that’s for sure. The truth seems to be bendy when it comes to these issues.
          For mine, Latu seems contrite but he bloody well should be.

        • Agreed.

      • Pearcewreck

        Well, he did, because he is a repeat offender, so he is continuing to do it.
        SMH, he is actually repeating the behaviour.

        • Fair Enuff.

          So if the position Im hearing (ie: he needs help) is accurate, he should just be kicked to the kerb?

        • Pearcewreck

          Well, unfortunately, RA have set a ridiculous precedent in the way they have treated Folau, so if they had a shred of decency, they would sack Latu as well.

        • Folau needed help?
          Christianity is an addiction?
          Not sure what your trying to say PearceW.

        • Pearcewreck
        • Thats not me, Im taller

        • Jason

          Yeah, except Latu was already on a suspended licence and didn’t tell RA of his issues.

        • Pearcewreck

          So, wait a minute, are you saying the fact that he didn’t tell RA about his prior form works in Latu’s favour?
          That just means he has committed a lie of omission, which makes it worse.
          Point is, he still repeat offended, whether he effectively lied to RA or not bu not telling them is irrelevant.
          Latu – Repeat offender lying criminal, gets a paltry four weeks.
          Folau – posts what he believes to be the truth on Instagram, gets banned for life.
          Injustice in the extreme.
          I wonder if IF legal team can bring up Latu’s light punishment in court, to prove that RA’s punishment of IF is completely over the top.

    • Dud Roodt

      Higher standards around drink driving maybe, but their league is full of rapists and wife bashers, so they can hardly take the high ground

      • Jason

        Yeah, I’m being a tad facetious, but the NRL at least are doing stuff about it today.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s, well some interesting news today so I thought I would dip my oar back into the water. Shall we start paddling:
    – CLL is great player and an inspiration. I am disappointed he is going overseas but that is his choice and I wish him every success. I am fully behind him and the Ponies for the Finals. Go the Ponies.
    – Latu! WTF? He commits multiple ‘criminal’ offences. Because drink driving is a criminal offence in NSW, as well as multiple contractual breaches and brings the game into disrepute and this is his punishment. The RA and NSWRU have to be kidding themselves. This is a total joke. But we know that RA is too.
    – Four teams or three teams. Four is the right number, but it is about coaching and systems. We don’t have it.
    – Almost the end of June and we still don’t have an attack coach. Am I missing something?
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Cunning Linguist

      I agree with everything you’ve said here. Latu: Should be dismissed at worst, and suspended for much longer at a minimum. Four teams fits the bill, and as you have rightly said – the structure and coaching systems in place are sub-par.
      As an example, my nephew plays under 11’s for Caboolture. They aren’t taught structure in any way shape or form. They have no set moves, no concept of how to compete at ruck or maul time…its just a free for all. During my glory days in Sunnybank U7’s, we were taught all of the above, blocking in rucks/mauls, ripping, setting things up. Not sure whats going on these days, sadly. Something needs to change.

      • Yowie

        Is the Under 11s Caboolture coach available as the Wallabies attack coach?

      • AllyOz

        I am not so worried about them not learning set moves but we should be teaching them all the skills that they are going to need throughout their career including all the contests – ruck, maul, (basic) scrum elements (not fully contested but some of the technique), passing, catching, evasive skills, draw and pass, basic rugby judgement etc. Make it enjoyable by all means but incorporate the key techniques required to make Kafer’s complete rugby player or whatever he called it.

        • Who?

          By U11’s, they should be absolutely rock solid in tackle/ruck/maul technique (that needs to be sorted heading into U8’s, and only then reinforced). U10’s you focus on scrum (because they become contested then) and lineout (so, time spent with the hookers on hitting targets – with looping throws). Passing starts at U6’s, and should be reinforced the whole time (I picked my halfback in U8’s because he was the only one we could trust to pass consistently rather than running it himself the whole time).
          .
          U10’s, U11’s, whilst the forwards are off learning how to scrum, there’s scope to introduce the concept of running lines, especially on set piece. Kiwi teams supposedly have their ‘team set play’, which they run from U6’s. But by U10’s, U11’s, there’s really no excuse not to start introducing moves, and the players who you want playing 9, 10 and 12 – the ones who think about how the game works, rather than just relying on instinct – they’re hungry for that sort of info.

        • AllyOz

          interesting with regards to the U6’s half – my brother did the same with his boy because in mod league the half had to always pass it and none of the other kids (or their parents) wanted their kids to do that be – he turned out to be 6’2″ and 100 kg centre who passed equally well both sides, kicked off both feet and had an 80% plus goal kicking percentage – unfortunately he resisted my efforts to entice him to the dark side (the offer of organising and part paying for fees for yr 11/12. it would have been interesting to see how he went but, having said that there are a lot of talent young athletes out there.

          I think we might be differing perhaps around language or maybe we just disagree. What I have a problem with is coaching at that age level where coaches are watching a Super Rugby team apply a set play and then getting their U12 side to try and perform that move on the weekend. Running lines and different ball playing skills (perhaps what you mean by moves) I am quite happy with. Learning how to draw and pass, cut pass, pass across the face of a player, perform unders runs and overs runs – definitely.

          I would prefer they learn all these skills and then learn the judgement of how to apply them in the game. What I object to is coaches pre-programming their U12 backlines to run particular set plays without thinking about when is the right time to do it. I would rather they develop they develop the skills and then “play what’s in front of them” and leave the more strategic stuff for later. I think there are some coaches whose egos get to them and they are effectively trying to play chess with 12 year old boys and girls for pieces rather than allow boys and girls to develop their natural instincts for rugby.

          For me I would like backline players to have the full repertoire or skill set and then make the judgement on when to use them ie “that inside centre is weak on his left side, we’ll call this” or “that winger is standing back, we’ll do that”. Decision making is perhaps the most difficult skill to learn and the later we start providing the opportunity to learn it the longer they will take to develop it for themselves – and we could end up with pre-programmed athletes who aren’t flexible enough to adjust to changed conditions rather than natural footballers and decision makers.

        • Who?

          I do mean set piece plays, and then general running lines. So, from set piece, this is where we go (we can run a switch with 12, we can pass to 13 directly, or we can pass behind him to the 15, that sort of thing), but in general play, this is how we want to align, and we run in vaguely these patterns. In an effort to ensure it’s not all sideways, and to best utilise kids ‘natural’ lines (because, going from what you’re saying, you’d know that some kids just want to run overs lines, and some want to run unders lines).
          .
          The idea isn’t to box kids in – even on the set piece plays (because they can make a call on what they’re doing), it’s more to stop them all running at the sideline.
          .
          The decision making you describe, that has to be empowered from day dot. Give them options, give suggestions for when to use them (i.e. maybe try crash ball 12 first off, out to the 13 second, then switch ball with the 12 or blind winger third time, to see how the defence adapts, explaining the reasons for using that sort of a pattern), but if they see opportunity, they have to have permission to take it. It’s more about giving ideas so that the team is on the same page, and knows where to go.
          The thing that my team struggled with – and I didn’t have opportunity to work on it – was support play. They were like the Tahs – too flat, too wide, looking to receive a pass rather than being behind and deeper, to be an option for a pass, an offload, a pop off the ground, or securing the breakdown.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate a few years ago I coached a U18 team in Canberra. Was really surprised at how much basically skills training was needed.

        • Currently coaching a senior squad to run, pass and catch.
          The guys know all the advanced stuff, but don’t like all this pointless running around business.
          Apparently their last coach gave much better discussion..

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am thinking that he should be dismissed outright. It demonstrated a recidivist nature and pure stupidity!

    • Bernie Chan

      The sanctions on Latu are a disgrace, as was the pathetic fine imposed by the magistrate (Latu must have a very good QC, as we’d not get treated so lightly…).
      And you are correct about the coaching methinks…3 of our sides were very poorly handled, and how can we not have an Attacks Coach when we are less than 100 days out from the RWC? How does RAs High Performance Manager still have a job…what’s his KPIs…?
      Hope Jason Gilmore doesn’t end up as simply another part of this busted machine known as RA
      BTW…I read that the Nations Cup plan has been abandoned! I’m not shedding any tears…

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am worried that the attack coach will be gibson!

        • Bernie Chan

          ‘Say it ain’t so…”!
          Mind you…Grey is (still) the Defence Coach, so stranger things can happen in this rugby black hole that seems to have sucked in all semblance of common sense…
          Hoiles in on the same fuxsports Super Rugby review panel as Drew Mitchell…and makes about as much sense…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. It is more in bred than Tasmania!

        • Keith Butler

          Steady on BL. Only in Ravenswood mate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am using that in the colloquial sense not the actual sense!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well I guess at least Grey and Gibson will know the moves seeing as they worked together for so long

        • From NooZealand

          That is a joke; right?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not really, well not more than the whole setup at the Tahs is a joke anyway. They worked together under Cheika before and won a title together do glory days mate

        • joy

          I don’t think they would actually benefit from one esp. if they opt for more of the same.

        • Brisneyland Local

          As Cheika said it wont an attack coach per se more a mentor and a water boy!

    • disqus_NMX

      To be fair, RA itself is drunk and asleep at the wheel, so I can see why they were lenient on Latu.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate Latu is part of the chosen few. He’s entitled to a different standard of justice because of that.
      The lack of attack coach announcement is a worry and points more and more to it being a job for the boys rather than a real job

      • Brisneyland Local

        Bets on it is Gibson! Or Giteau!
        Etiher way not good!

      • joy

        Yes, it tells me Latu has been already earmarked, probably because he has a bit more mongrel in him. The drunken sleep driving incident actually strengthens his case.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Weird that such behaviour would strengthen your case. Doesn’t show off a good culture within the team when that’s seen as a plus

    • Hoss

      Not a bad read this one mate – put McCaff at 6 & Naisarini at 8 and i love it.

      https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/06/18/super-rugby-2019-team-of-the-year

      • Brisneyland Local

        Not bad at all. Lets see if Cheikmeister has read it!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate until there is a national framework outlining the way players, coaches, administrators and referees are developed and measured this rock show will continue. What really gets me are those people in the Norther Sydney SS competition who still think SS to Wallaby is a clear pathway. They are the anti-vaxers of rugby. Stupid, pig headed and not facing up to reality

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold. Absolutely.

    • RF

      Latu’s offence is much more serious than Folau’s albeit a less fashionable one for SJWs.

      Not defending Folau fwiw

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. Whilst what I think Folau did was absolutely stupid. It was not criminal.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    Good to see some common sense with judiciary, his incident was only yellow and it was red because it was a 2nd incident, not because it deserved to be red. I’m blown away with the common sense of it all.

    Be good to see the Brumbies step up this weekend, with just a little bit of luck they’ll have another home game against the Chiefs next weekend.

    Latu pfft! to be expected, can’t upset the chosen few.

    Hoiles needs to understand that it’s not too easy to become a professional rugby player, the real issue is that, especially at the Tahs and Rebels, there’s no accountability for poor performance, inability to learn and develop further and that too many have a huge sense of entitlement and feel safe because the coaches aren’t allowing anyone to challenge them once they are there. I for one can’t wait for these under performing and inconsistent players to go so that a younger generation can come through. I think a lot of them are going to struggle when they go to a club where they will be accountable.

    • Yowie

      One of the reasons I’m not a professional rugby player is that it’s too easy so I consider it below me.

      (another reason is total lack of talent, athletic ability & drive along with an unhelpful dose of delusional narcissism)

      • Dud Roodt

        My only roadblock was that I wasn’t very good. if I could have overcome that… well… I don’t want to say I would be the greatest player of all time…. but.. you know..

        • Yowie

          haha. To quote a Stewart Lee stand-up bit:

          “I’m not saying I am Jesus….that’s for others to judge.”

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          Yeah, me too. Between Campo and me, we’ve played 101 tests…

    • The Jackal

      Case in point Ned Hanigan & Reece Hodge continually making 4th grade mistakes and being rewarded with good jerseys. Failing upwards was the term wasn’t it?

      • Andy

        Those 2 are an example of poor development. It happens across the board in Australia. I would bet my house that if both those players went to NZ and played NPC for a few seasons and even some SR over there they would both have a specialist position and both would be miles better than they are now. You just know it’s true

  • Timbo

    So wait, 4 game fine, a $7000 slap on the wrist for an act that causes over 6000 deaths a year not to mention the physical and mental injuries and financial cost that Australians pay every year. That is $14bn for alcohol related harm.
    But fear not. I’m sure being offended cost more.
    The sooner RA are cleaned out the better.

    • Yowie

      Some 14-year-old gay kid on the verge of suicide (and his/her family) has to be considered too.

      It all gets a bit nebulous when we try to weigh up “community harm” in the really broad sense when weighing up punishments for individual professional athletes’ conduct.

      • Timbo

        I’ve looked into the stats. Youth suicide takes around 3000 lives a year. Horribly tragic and possibly avoidable. Youth suicide collectively costs around 500mil aud a year. Not discounting the impact on individuals, but Alcohol and alcohol abuse far outweighs youth suicide both financially and through cost of lives.
        Again this isn’t a this vs that scenario. Both issues are horrible and should be dealt with both as a society and by RA with their employees

      • Pearcewreck

        Which 14-year-old gay kid on the verge of suicide?
        Where?
        Stop making crap up.
        Stop virtue signalling and being offended for people who don’t exist.

        • Yowie
        • Pearcewreck

          Sorry, where is any one affected by Folau’s post.
          Also, if you get your news from the ABC, then you are not getting news, you are getting left wing propaganda.

          My wife has worked at the ABC for 20 years, and I can tell you it is a biased left wing organisation, from the bottom up.
          They even admit there bias now.

        • RedAnt

          ha ha ha ha ha, you’re hilarious

        • joy

          To me the drastic fall of ABC ratings is hilarious. Ha.

        • Greg

          Sadly it is real.

          It is certainly not the only problem in the world…. but nevertheless is very real.

        • Pearcewreck

          Rubbish, enough of this crap.
          Give me names, people, otherwise this is nothing more than left wing made up crap to try and silence people.
          Please provide the evidence.

        • joy

          14 year old kid offended by this! I had no idea company executives were appointed so young.

    • Community harm would be somewhat irrelevant when it comes to RA. Its more about percieved harm and protection of “The Brand”.
      The courts can decide the rest.
      Your comment on cleaning out the RA is accurate, but being from the West I maybe a bit biased…

    • joy

      So RA weren’t happy with the conclusion of the court and sanctimoniously handed out another dose of fines and sanctions. That’s double jeopardy which should be illegal in this country. There is no doubt that RA think it knows better than the court.
      On the brighter side. Driving while drunk and asleep at the wheel as some reports put it! Genius.

      • Who?

        RA not handing out their punishment until after the criminal proceedings are complete is very consistent. I was (indirectly) involved with an incident where the police were called about an incident at a footy field, and the governing bodies were all insistent on not even looking at the case until such time as the police investigation and any possible proceedings from them were completed. In the situation, there was a strong case for a ‘no fault stand down’, as per the NRL’s arrangement, for the person being investigated (which implies it wasn’t a player). But that didn’t even happen from the unions – we had to play the other club involved (and the other club was absolutely fantastic about it all) before the unions even started looking at the situation. The situation involved junior teams, and they weren’t willing to intervene, even in the interest of potential child safety (not physical harm, more psychological).
        .
        The Union’s position (and this was a directive right from the top that came down to us) was that any findings by the Union would prejudice any possible court proceedings. There’s logic to that (though no logic in not putting in place a ‘no fault stand down’ as an equivalent to pre-trial detention/bail), and so for that reason I’ve no issue with RA not acting until the courts had finished their works.
        .
        However, I’d think that driving drunk whilst disqualified, then passing out at a red light, and rolling into that intersection passed out would bring the game into some pretty serious disrepute, and be worthy of a higher grade of punishment than a loose high tackle might receive.

        • joy

          I have no issue with the prejudicial argument. I am saying the court dealt with the issue and it’s double jeopardy and pretty arrogant of RA to say it’s not enough. RA is belittling the court’s decision. How can anyone justify secondary punishments from employer bodies that increase with the employer’s and offender’s public profile? We are part of an egalitarian society despite the corrosive efforts of employers who clearly think otherwise.

        • Dud Roodt

          I don’t think double jeopardy means what you think it means…

        • Who?

          The court dealt with the issue in terms of criminal offence, but even the court noted that there’d be further actions from his employers. That doesn’t happen if you or I end up in court
          .
          I know you’re unhappy with the Folau case. The difference between this case and the Folau case is that one has a legal argument as to whether or not he’s permitted to behave as he did, and Latu doesn’t. There’s no freedom to drive around drunk at 4am. There’s no justification for not informing your employer of criminal charges that are going to cause issues for the game. The code of conduct that’s being used against Folau has no question of alternative rights. Latu’s actions – recidivist actions, given he was already on a licence suspension – are clearly outside the code of conduct, have brought the game into disrepute, and show a lack of commitment to his job.
          .
          In my job, I don’t have to be fit and healthy (no one cares when you’re behind a desk), but I’m expected to be mentally competent. Latu’s expected to be fit, healthy, rested. Cheika’s complained about his fitness levels before. And I don’t see how drinking until 4am is consistent with those requirements. He’s falling short of his contract in a lot of areas through this one form of indiscipline.

      • Dud Roodt

        “That’s double jeopardy”

        This is satire right?

    • RF

      Compare this to the list of sinners from Folau according to his religious beliefs.

      I think that we were right to sanction Folau but this whole thing stinks of hypocrisy.

  • AllyOz

    Thanks to Nathan for the write up. My takeaways:
    1. Do we have too many teams at the top of the pile or is it too few at the bottom. Build the base of the pyramid and the game should grow?
    2. I think RUPA are correct. The issue for me is not the number of the teams but the coaching at those teams – we have one excellent coaching set up with a good young coach who has experience around him. Hopefully, we have a similar set up developing at the Reds. All head coaches are relatively experienced. The head coaches in 2011 and 2014 both had extensive coaching experience both in Australia (Cheika less than McKenzie) and overseas and had some success overseas. McKenzie had taken the Waratahs to the finals of Super Rugby 2 or 3 times before.
    3. I am sure they won’t want to do it but I think the ratios between NZ and Australia are a little out. We could reduce our teams to 3 and have them stay at 5 or they could increase the number of theirs to 7 or 8 and we could probably have 5 at that level.

  • Greg

    I thought the second yellow on McDonald was soft. It seems the judiciary did as well.

    • Geoffro

      considering the pumita launched himself into the air over McDonalds shoulder in the first incident I’d say he was hard done by on both accounts

      • Greg

        You are correct.

        The blue layers feet are together and both in the as he hit the tackle. That could only end one way.

  • Hoss

    Good morning Parishioners, Puritans and part time Rugby enthusiasts.

    Sorry i am late, decided to drive to work hammered, run a few red lights, an occasional nap.ddiohofverghveeibjvbnlj;hnvfwo;vbhvb;bhvqbvn;lsnvw;nkm – sorry, ran off the road whilst i was texting. For $1,300 its cheaper than using Uber and i get a few sherberts as well, whats not to like.

    I can see the comments section alight again with those calling for the death penalty for Latu and Volvermort gets a run again and if you look closely, there’s even some rugby on here – it really is a rich tapestry today. If we could manage to work in some macro-economic reform debate, animal husbandry and the benefits to watching porn on 4K TV’s (i wear goggles and a rain coat the effects are so real) then my day will be complete

    • Yowie

      “how did you injure yourself”

      “i was in the lounge room dodging like Keanu Reeves in the matrix”

      “Dodging what flying at you exactly?

      “…”

    • My humble apologies for the part I have played in the aforementioned comments.
      My defence – It has something to do with my name suiting my poor personality, and the fact I played halfback once in under 12s.

      • Hoss

        We each have our sins HO, although being a half-back is nigh on unforgivable.

        Had a smart mouth one – unusual i know – said to me one day, on the paddock ‘you so and so and so and so, you’ll never catch me’ to which i retorted ‘yeah, but i only have to catch you once……..’ – he stopped yapping after that.

        • I shall go whence back to the dark recesses of something resembling a certain QLDers mind.. and do atonement of 10 Hail Bloody Mary’s.

        • Hoss

          Peace be with you my son.

        • Da??

  • Andrew Luscombe

    I’m not sure why some people think that reducing teams will lift standards dramatically. What do they base it on? It didn’t do a lot last time (predictably), and it wouldn’t do a lot again.

    All the stats I am aware of show that you get about a 6 point better team from merging two teams. 6 points per game adds up to something over a season. It would take the Tahs from 12th to about 7th for example, but it won’t close the gap we see. If the Wallabies played in Super Rugby, they’d still struggle against the Crusaders. NZ at the moment could produce 3 teams that would be competitive against the Wallabies over a home and away season.

    Good coaching, not just at the top, but from juniors through is the most effective thing. Money to bring in some coaches from OS to help develop our own might be money better spent than on a few top players.

    Playing more against NZ teams at as many levels as possible will help. Dropping the SR conferences will help for example. Matches at NRC level would help too – perhaps a brief knock out comp involving NRC and Mitre 10 Cup teams could be arranged. More contact at junior and even school level.

  • AllyOz

    No ‘magic bullet’ for Super Rugby’s crowd crisis: Castle
    by Georgina Robinson and Chris Dutton

    I know where I’d start with some “magic bullets”

  • AllyOz

    Anyone think that maybe taking Deegan and the half from the Force (Fines?) might be worthwhile? It is hard to compare the standard of the two comps – you really need to see them play against a full strength NZ franchise – but they might at least benefit from the opportunity to train with that group and I think they could have something to offer

    • Been watching a few games AllyOz?
      Maybe a bit early for Isaak Fines, but Deegan has the experience.
      Just my opinion, who knows.
      Guarantee their fitness wouldnt be an issue

      • AllyOz

        Yes I watched the Samoa game (the one in Brisbane) on Kayo but I wish I had gone up and watched it (290 km drive but would have been worth it – I may have run into the four young girls they interviewed who were going out with Isaak that night – he might not have everything but he’s got something…and I never had it).

        Yes probably a bit early but the thing I noticed was his pace over 10-20 metres and his willingness to take on the gaps on the fringes.

        • AllyOz

          I also watched a couple of the Asian series too

        • Watched all of them, and been to every game in Perth.
          Feels just like rugby, only faster.

        • He is something else thats for sure. So is his support squad.
          Didnt know much about him till he burst on to the scene not long ago.
          Seems he has some experience after all.. https://www.westernforce.com.au/teams/issak-fines/

        • AllyOz

          my work server says that site is forbidden….

        • Rugby Career

          Juniors: Reef Raider, Port Douglas.
          School: The Southport School
          Senior Club: Sunnybank Rugby
          Premier Grade Club: Perth Bayswater

          Representative Honours
          QLD Schoolboys – 2013
          Red’s U20’s – 2015
          Australian Under 20’s – 2015
          QLD Country, NRC – 2016
          Brisbane City, NRC – 2017

        • AllyOz

          yes well hopefully he will get the chance to develop. The Samoa game I watched was easily the best game of rugby on that weekend from an enjoyment perspective. I love scrums but I really enjoyed the fact that the time is limited. The pace is fast and, towards the end of the match, it really opened up (also that corresponded with when Deegan and a new 15 came on). If you were to sprinkle (back) in a couple of the ex-Force players now with the Rebels then you would have a pretty decent side. I honestly hope GRR is the future for Australian Rugby. A combination of the existing NRC sides plus these Asian and Islander sides and then some sort of cross over with the NZ’s ITM would be a great comp to watch. I am looking forward to how those other sides develop next year after the RWC with the full GRR comp in place. I think Matt Hodgson might have a couple of busy months in Japan coming up soon.

        • TBH – I had my doubts at the inception with rule changes etc.

          Converted now, believe it is the future, even if just for WA, a few from Pasifika and Japan.
          There is lots of talk of a few other squads next year in the comp too, but I’ll leave that till the official release statements.
          A great way fwd for this side of the big Island.

        • AllyOz

          It’s awesome to see it all coming together. I think there will be some decent signings to that will create interest but I also liked the initial plan that each of the franchises would need to commit to a development model that required them to develop their junior strength etc. I think the game could grow in places like China, India and even in Indonesia and Malaysia and Sri Lanka. (though the HK team might be a bit worried about going to Beijing for a game and then not being allowed to go home). I played against Sunnybank in the early 1990s (or maybe mid 1990s) and they had a winger in 1st Grade who was a captain in the Chinese army – a very decent player.

          I also think that by slightly extending the half time break that they could incorporate a full game of 7s. That could be between the two teams playing on that day, the womens teams from those clubs or two “development nations” who might not have the strength in numbers to have 15s but, because of the Olympic involvement, would be looking to compete in 7s. Lots of possibilities to grow the game through the APAC region.

        • 7s at halftime.. When do we buy our beer though?
          Be well worth a trial run, and better than halftime entertainment.
          Know a few WA SuperW players all keen on GRR, always asking when its going to happen.
          So many possibities, only problem I have with it all is Im getting too bloody old to play.

        • AllyOz

          You don’t go to a kiosk to buy beer. Every seat hooks up to a tube and they just poor a beer down in when you push a button. You don’t have to leave your seat. Only problem is they send the hot dog down the same tube… some teething problems but Twiggy will work that out.

  • AllyOz

    From SMH “NSW Rugby boss Andrew Hore said a 10 per cent rise in Super Rugby ratings on Fox Sports and strong crowds for some Shute Shield games showed interest in rugby was still strong. “All teams across all sports are struggling with crowds. We have to find a niche in the market and we’re up for the challenge of finding that point of difference,” he said. “There’s actually good crowds at the Shute Shield, broadcast figures show there’s still an interest. “It’s about getting the unity back into the game in NSW so it’s all linking back into the state team.”” from SMH.

    Finding a niche, eh? How about feeding some Christians to some lions…oh that’s right we tried that and it didn’t really work.

    • Who?

      “It’s about getting the unity back into the game in NSW so it’s all linking back into the state team.””

      And the NSWRU continues to ignore the NRC…..

  • RF

    Reduce to 3 teams… for goodness sake.

    Is anyone in Australian Rugby actually asking why we have top level professional teams? Is it to promote and grow the game around the country and give young players something to aspire to, or do we just want to win this awful tournament they have committed us to?

    If it’s the latter, why stop at 3 teams? Why not 2? Move the Brumbies to Sydney, keep the Reds and roll all the players up. Why stop at 2, Argentina set a precedent…

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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