Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursdays Rugby News sees Nic White signs with ACT, Tall men getting low, Wales to top Pool D and VC wants more Technology. 


 

 

WHITES HOMECOMING

nic white kick wallabies

After signing a contract with Rugby Australia to make him eligible to play for the Wallabies in the World Cup, Nic White has finally found himself a Super Rugby team 2021 season, The Brumbies.

The deal signed with Rugby Australia allowed him to play for the Wallabies but must play out the remainder of his contract in 2020 with his English club Exeter. 

After his contract concludes with Exeter though, he will be unable to make the Brumbies 2020 Super Rugby season.

White played 67 times for the Brumbies before he departed for the Northern Hemisphere in 2015. A product of the Brumbies academy, White will return home to the Brumbies halfback roster of Joe Powell and Ryan Lonergan.

“It’s awesome to know that I’ll be returning to Canberra with the Brumbies,” White said in a Brumbies release.

“The Brumbies is home for me, and Canberra is home for my family, so to know that my future is set and that I’ll be back at the Brumbies, it’s so exciting.

“Right now, I’m completely focused on the Rugby World Cup and the Wallabies, and I look forward to getting back to the Chiefs and ripping in with them, but again, knowing I’ll be returning to a place and a club I love is really special.”

Coach Dan McKellar said he and the Brumbies were excited at the prospect of White returning to the club.

“He’s a world-class player, a player who demands very high standards of himself and expects the same of others. His work ethic, competitive nature and leadership will be so important to our squad when he returns,” McKellar said.

“He is the type of player who makes others around him better. We have some very good young halfbacks at the Brumbies, and I see Whitey’s return as a real positive where he will no doubt play an important role in their ongoing development.”

TALL MEN GETTING LOW

Rory Arnold gets into full stride

Rory Arnold gets into full stride

Standing at 208cm tall, Rory Arnold is the tallest Wallaby ever.

Being the tallest man of the field would have been seen as a major asset before this World Cup, where being tall is now a major liability.

Any contact made with an opposition players shoulders or head, unintentional or not, will see you penalised, sin-binned or even sent off and banned.

The interpretation of this law during the World Cup has made it a challenge for big men like Arnold, whose shoulder sit at the head height of most opposition players.

Two of the Wallabies big men were yellow carded during their match with Uruguay for high shots, with Rory Arnold conceding that the fear of giving away a penalty or being sent off is in the back of his mind.

“I have been working on it. It is a point in my game that I have to think about a bit. Over the last few weeks, there have been a lot of cards thrown out there and it puts a lot of pressure on your side,” Arnold said.

“In big games, or any games, I am just thinking about getting that body height down and being really disciplined in that area. Because it puts a whole lot of pressure on the team, like we did last week, it wasn’t really perfect there. Playing with 14 blokes for a while there.

“For me, it is just about working on those things at training and bringing it into the game.”

Unfortunately there is no room for lazy tackles when it comes to the big men, meaning the big fellas have to work even harder to get low, but tackling around the knees all day is also a recipe for disaster.

For Arnold it is a fine line between being aggressively dominant on the field and being mindful of high contacts.

“It’s a hard question because you can overthink it as well, and stop playing your natural game,” he said.

“At the end of the day I want to play aggressive and that’s the way I play. But at the end of the day I will be thinking about that as well: get low, don’t give any silly penalties away. And that will take care of itself.

“I guess it is mainly those taller boys who are getting pinged for the high shots. As locks and taller men, we have to focus on getting our shots down. Because at the end of the day, the rule is no contact with the head, and it’s about player safety. So at the end of the day, players safety is the most important thing. It is up to us to get our tackles down and keep working on that.”

WALES THROUGH TO FINALS

Rugby: Wales vs Australia

In what has been referred too as one of the best matches of the tournament, Wales have fended of a hard fought attack from Fiji to win 29-17 and finish top of Pool D.

The win to Wales all but guarantees them the top of Pool D, meaning Australia will finish second and face off against either England or France (Typhoon dependant) in the finals.

Semi Radradra was named Man  of the Match for a second time this World Cup, with the Fox Sports panel deeming him the Player of the Tournament so far.

Josh Adams scored a hat trick for Wales on the wing before Liam Williams picked up the fourth and sealed the fate of Fiji.

The shock loss to Uruguay now has Fiji out of finals contention, but the Flying Fijians definitely won the hearts of the crowd of Wednesday night.

Fijian coach John McKee said he was proud of the effort of his team for taking the game to a team considered World Cup contenders.

“I’m so proud of the effort our boys put in this evening,” Fiji coach John McKee said.

“They’re playing a Six Nations champion team that’s been No 1 in the world this year and they really took the game to them.

“Although we didn’t get here in the end, it was an absolute gallant effort all round.

“The players are so committed.

“A lot of them are playing round the world.

“They still come back and play for Fiji.

“They’re so proud to wear the white jersey and represent their people.

“When you see the passion with which they play in games like this…”

Welsh Captain Alun Wyn Jones praised his teams never back down approach that has been a staple of Wales in recent times, in a performance that has put them in a position to go deep into the finals

“We knew if Fiji got their tails up we were in for a hard day at the office and we found that — but full respect to Fiji,” Wyn Jones said.

“We saw the best of them at times today and I’ve got full respect for them.

“We did the job, but we still have plenty to work on.

“We had to show character in both halves there, to pull back the deficit, and we showed that, but there are things we can tighten up.”

 

WORLD RUGBY EXPLORES OFFSIDE CHANGES

genia2of2

World Rugby vice-chairman Agustin Pichot says that the body will use Hawkeye to police the offside line. No not Jeremy Renner from the Avengers but the same technology used by the NFL. Because we need to give Ben Skeen more technology to interfere.

In a recent interview, Pichot has said this is an area of the game that referees are struggling to control.

His solution, more cameras and moving the last feet rule back by two metres to open up more attacking space, due to his belief that this World Cup has been too defensive.

“We have the technology so let’s use it as they do in NFL,” he said.

“The referee has too much to do working out what is going on at the ruck while the touch judges have a string of 12 players right across the pitch to judge on.

“Let’s use the technology and that will soon sort it. Within five games, players will know that Hawkeye is watching them and they will stay back. That is my view.

“Or perhaps we should introduce a law that says players should be two metres behind the rear foot.

“We have seen at this World Cup that the space is at a premium. It is too defensive for my own personal liking. We have got to find a way to free it up.”

If Rugby wasn’t already turning into American Football with its constant starts, resets and taking 15 minutes to play out five, policing the off side line like this would slow it down even more. Especially with Ben “My Technology” Skeen as TMO.

 

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Dylan. Interesting signing by Canberra. I wonder if Powell will now look at other options to get more game time. I’m not sure he’ll get much with White there and maybe should look at either Rebels or Reds.
    Good to see that players are starting to realise that if you tackle below the shoulder and use your arms you’ll be ok. I’m still against a yellow when a player is falling or ducking into the tackle as you can’t always adjust to that and I think a penalty is fairer.
    That Wales vs Fiji game was great. Skeen did his best to ruin it and he really needs to sort himself out. Interesting to see on other forums a lot of calls for a red call after so many saying they ruin the game, maybe the fans also need to be more consistent, not just the referees.
    Typical stupid suggestion from Pichot. All he really needs is for his AR’s to police the line better. Bringing in more technology to slow decisions down even more is just dumb and would only increase the cost of running the game at the higher level. This guy is becoming more and more a liability for rugby and needs to go.

    • AllyOz

      Both Rugby Union and Rugby League make the mistake of following American Football in terms of use of technology. American Football is a strategy game with one off power plays that suits being cut up in little pieces and can withstand long ad breaks.

      Both Rugby Union and Rugby League are dynamic/momentum games that work best when the ball is kept in play for long periods with competition for the ball, rugby union even more so. If we change the length of breaks and design it more for TV and long winded refereeing decisions then it ceases to be what it is when its at its best. I would honestly rather than a decision was taken quickly even though it might increase the probability that it might be wrong.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yep with you on this. More technology is a dumb idea

        • AllyOz

          Two great quotes sum it up for me:
          Voltaire: “The best is the enemy of the good.”
          Confucius: “Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without.”
          We must just accept that nothing will get the adjudication perfect and, even if we do, it might mean we destroy the game in the process. But it’s difficult now as you can’t put it back in the box and I think it has already reached too far.

        • Yowie

          Don’t forget to quote the other great mind in that trio:-
          Cheika: “Yeah-nah ya-know-what-i-mean”

        • Happyman

          That is why I love watching the QPR

        • Yowie

          On the theme of “any idiot can make something more complicated”, the technology could probably be developed to literally mark the grass with a laser line at the offside line in real time.
          I’m not sure what referee protocols would be built around that, but it would be bloody obvious to everyone when the defensive line is barn-dooring through the (marked) offside line to close off the attacking team’s space.

        • Geoffro

          didnt the argies try to utilise a bit of that laser technology agin us a few years ago (accuracy was a bit off though)

        • Yowie

          I think that was to mark the position of our goal-kicker’s face and eyes for the benefit of the Argie viewer.

        • AllyOz

          you can get collars for dogs that zap them if they move outside of an area marked by a laser. We could adapt those perhaps. It would be amusing to watch half a dozen players fall to the ground with palpitations while your side ghosted through the gaps.

        • Yowie

          Your idea smacks of racism against Kiwis.

        • Who?

          That’s gold!!! :-D
          .
          Just don’t tell World Rugby – it’s a crazy enough scheme that I could imagine them implementing it… :-(

        • AllyOz

          You couldn’t put the straps around the necks obviously if World Rugby was in charge, that’s above the nipple line. Perhaps electrode on the nips and testes.

        • Who?

          Maybe they could put electrodes above the armpits facing out, so anyone tackling above there would get a shock..?
          .
          I think we’re onto something here. :-P

        • Yowie

          In addition to all the straps, electrodes and collars, the referee could be a very dominant woman in heels, officer’s cap and carrying a riding crop.

        • AllyOz

          Poey might get a little tap on the botbot if he holds onto the ball too long in the ruck.

          If there is a line here Yowie I think we might have crossed it. Anyway….

        • Yowie

          Agreed. Let’s not go into what punishments yellow or red cards would entail.

        • Damo

          Yeah, I’d like to see the offending players boots flash like when the bails come off in 20/20 cricket.

        • Actually it should be pretty easy. They have those cameras on tracks for filming sprints, bike races and so on. You could have something similar behind the advertising hoardings and at a similar height to the top of them so it doesn’t obstruct the view, or just in front and low so it’s more at foot level. They move along to draw the line…

          Not suggesting it’s a good idea but the technology is pretty easy.

        • Yowie

          I was thinking of a spider-cam based thing from overhead, but your sideline-rails idea is probably more reliable.

    • Happyman

      Mate my big one at the moment is offside where the AR’s don’t speak to the ref. Last feet is fine but everyone is offside currently and with a rush defence the extra half metre it cuts down time and space. Teams are also smart they know if they go as one line the ref won’t call them.

      Also side entry all teams are guilty of it and some of the clean outs are destroying the opportunity of legitimate contest at the ruck.

      Ben Skeen is just not very good.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I’ve heard the offside is being called but referees are ignoring the call. Not sure how true this is but it may be part of it

        • Happyman

          I cannot believe that that is true. If it was clearly pointed out before the game that the offside was going to be policed then teams would adapt pretty quickly.
          It would take about 15 minutes as the defence would get marched down the field .

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Don’t get me wrong I don’t agree at all. I think it was part of the “make the game flow more” approach that was always going to end badly

        • Happyman

          Mate the same guys who advocate let the game flow think scrums are redundant.

          Players know if the ref is just trying to let the game flow that means they can infringe more without penalty.

          Even coaching junior teams you tell them if the ref penalises you take a step if he doesn’t push forward but find his balance.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Just not very good is being overly kind mate. He’s a fucken blight on the game

        • Happyman

          I try to be nice
          I thought Oxygen thief was a bit harsh although accurate.
          Let us not forget it was Mr Skeens fine work penalising Kerevi for running hard and as Hooper said rewarding poor tackle technique.

    • Cornchips

      I think the fans are relatively consistent, This was a situation far different from a high tackle and it was pure luck and ironically momentum that prevented a very serious immediate injury and a red card. Outcome should not be considered IMO, just whether the player was put in a dangerous position, and there aren’t many more dangerous ones than a free flight flip.

    • From NooZealand

      You will need a lot of patience. I think he just came into World Ruby “Central Committee”.

  • Happyman

    Watched the Wales V Fiji game last night and it was a great game.
    Ben Skeen is a pox on any game he is the TMO for. Absolutely no feel for the game.
    The Cheese eating surrender monkey (French ref) let the Welsh destroy the ruck with impunity. But to be fair did a pretty good job apart from that. He bottled it when the Welsh hooker tip tackled the player and I agree with many that if the Fijian had committed that tackle it would have been a red. But to be honest on how I want the game played yellow was fair.

    The Fijians could be a world power however politics from the South and money from the North will prevent that from every happening.

    Still I am loving the RWC inspite of the TMO and Insipid yellows. Refer to a photo making the Rounds of the Welsh guy who scored three palming of a Fijian in the face.

    • Keith Butler

      Palm to the face, legal hand off.

    • Cornchips

      The Beauden picture is better as it’s a forearm, I think you are allowed to palm wherever.

    • Flat palm is legal pretty much wherever you put it (if you’re the ballcarrier). Forearms and elbows aren’t though.

  • AllyOz

    I made this comment elsewhere (on yesterday’s news) but I will detail it again here as its related to the Wales vs Fiji game.

    Semi Radrara was awesome. That is the best individual game I have seen at rugby at this level…ever. He was everywhere in attack, he ran, he supported runners, he made front on tackles on forwards in the line and a great cover tackle that almost prevent Wales second last try. There was one front on tackle that I thought MUST have been illegal because of the impact but it was just a brutal front on legitimate shoulders and arms tackle that hit midway between the waist and the sternum. He can go from zero to flat out in a blink and has awesome footwork.

    In light of this I am proposing the Radrara Rule. It allows a player who has played for a team that has dropped out in the pool stage to play for another team as long as he has previously represented his new country in another sport.

    On a more serious note, the performances of both Fiji and Japan at this World Cup tell me that they should both be included in The Rugby Championship as soon as we can get them in. They have both proven to be competitive at this level, they both play a very attractive high paced style (though different styles from each other – Fiji is power, Japan is pace) that would add to the spectacle and is the type of game that would attract TV audiences. They deserve to be seen playing top level teams more than just once every four years.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Increasing the RC is a great idea and both these teams would be good. I just wonder if Fiji would get the players from Europe for the RC like they do for the RWC. If they didn’t have something in place for that then it’d essentially be an enhanced Drua team and that wouldn’t be so good

      • AllyOz

        I think, for the championship windows, they might have to release them but I am sure the vested interests would do everything they could to prevent it. It would certainly require protection by administrators and also some incentive for the individual players, as I am sure the French/English clubs would incentivise them to be injured or unavailable in the international windows.

    • Missing Link

      Agree 100%. Add 3 extra weeks to the tournament, one week against Japan, one against Fiji and a bye week for all teams

      • AllyOz

        even play each other once every year home one year away the next (same as 6 nations) and we’ll have an extra Bled (so its Home & Away) and then another one on the way to Europe each year (HK, Singapore, Dubai)

        • Missing Link

          Actually, you’re right. it has to be home and away over 2 years except for against NZ. Japan and Fiji have certainly come a long way and deserve it. I really hope they go down this path as it would reinvigorate the rugby championship.

        • Brumby Runner

          South Africa would undoubtedly have some reservations about traveling to Japan and maybe even to Fiji.

    • McWarren

      May I suggest we add them now and then pull the rug from under them in 3 years. Just too maintain consistency.

      • Cornchips

        Only if we can force them to play for a year after we pull out said rug

  • Greg

    Thanks Dylan.

    Fiji/Wales – It was a fantastic, brutal game wasn’t it.

    I thought the Fijians lost their shape towards the end as they each tried to do it one off….. but the hands and the strength and the speed (and the beards :-) ) were amazing. A special mention to red 5 who seemed to be concussed for most of teh match.

    The forward pass down the far line that was (fair enough) called back was interesting. There appeared to be a subsequent early tackle in a try scoring position.

    I have no idea what the laws say on that any more… (KRL can advise) but I would have liked the early tackle reviewed and a yellow given if deserved. This niggle (foul play) leads to escalations. Same with retaliations… card both players and people will settle down and we see more rugby.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’ll have to see if I can see it again mate

    • AllyOz

      Is the 5 their Captain ? Wyn Jones?

      • Greg

        Yes. I thought that either he has crazy eyes that make Eben Etzebeth look calm and restrained…. or he was one a different planet.

        He had a knock in a tackle at one stage and then seemed to be dropping the ball and badly offiside.

    • Hambone

      The beards hahaha. Monsters amongst men out there. 4 day turn around for the Welsh, like Warren said the medical staff will be busy. Great hard game, I had a cheeky on the fijians at 7/1 and if they policed the breakdown a little more and stopped the Welsh slowing down the ball at every ruck I think the men in white would have done it. Even my wife was screaming at the tv.. Great game. TMO needs to take a back seat. Now time to batten down the hatches and hope this typhoon buggers off so les bleus softens up the chariot for us. Go wallabies

  • Sevenwithasixonmyback

    I’m a little dubious about the France England match, myself.
    I’d love to see France wallop the Poms and top the table – think they could pull it off, too. And prefer to meet the French than Eddie’s mob, too.
    I just think that they’d rather face Wales in the QF and avoid the path to Darkness waiting in the Semis.
    A tactical loss to the French is my prediction. Sad.

    • AllyOz

      What about watching both teams being blown out into the Sea of Japan?

      • Greg

        While I like this comment….. I also hope everyone is safe.

        • AllyOz

          Sorry Greg I should have included a trigger warning

      • disqus_NMX

        I presume you meant blown out via typhoon, but on first reading I was picturing blown out via cannons ha ha.

      • Custard Taht

        I thought it was now known as the East China Sea?

        • Yowie

          Better watch your Social Credit Points with smart-arsery like that.

        • Custard Taht

          I am trying to get the lowest score possible! I want the full, no holes barred re-education. Like the Tahs, I am in for a Penney, in for a pound.

        • Yowie

          I think the expression is “no holds barred”.
          Having said that, it will be in a prison camp, so you’re probably on to something there.

        • Custard Taht

          It is only holds if you are into wrestling. But inside a re-education facility, holes, organs, everything is on the table!

        • Hoss

          I’d pay to listen to you two have a conversation over a few syrups.

        • Yowie

          I’ll check the feasibility of setting up a weekly podcast with a 1-person audience.

          (cheers btw. It’s good fun in here with some very funny and good-natured people knocking around.)

        • onlinesideline

          if you talk to loudly (misbehave) on the fast train you are told it will result in social credit points being deducted and a record of such.

          Maybe we could have the same in the west re loud cellphone messaging pings – DRIVES ME GAGA

          female millenials are obsessed with these things and go in “I dont give a …… mode” when using them

        • Hoss

          Shhhhh – the’re listening

        • Custard Taht

          Unlike RA……

        • AllyOz

          Depends if its Xi Jinping’s atlas or Donald’s. In Xi’s the East China Sea finishes 200 metres off the coast of California but he’s looking to move it a bit further.

        • Custard Taht

          I heard Xi is seriously angry about the Indians having a whole Ocean, and China only having a sea.

        • Yowie

          At least The Chinese get the world’s tallest mountain.

          [in researching that comment I came across this – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/China%E2%80%93Nepal_relations
          the opening paragraph is hilarious.]

        • Custard Taht

          That is some funny shit.

    • UTG

      France have the dream run now. Knock over a pretty poor Welsh side in the quarters and skip out on the ABs in the semi. Doubt they’ll mind not playing England.

      • Hoss

        I am with you re Wales. I now it sounds like sour grapes as a Wallaby fan,but they will be grist for the mill come KO rugby.

        • UTG

          Their attack really is poor, default seems to be to scrap for advantage and then kick to the corner. You can get away with that style of play if you have a strong setpiece but when it was 15 on 15 Fiji was receiving penalties for having the dominant scrum.

          If they happen to come up against any of SA, England, or NZ I’d expect those teams to try and build and early lead then kick to the corner and make them attack from their own half.

  • Pedro

    I feel like we should nix forward pass reviews. Just call them live. They probably would have in the Fiji/Wales match but relied on the safety net. It slows the game and they never do it the other way, that is they never call it forwards then review it and say it’s not so they’re only using it negatively.

    Other problems: tackling from the ground is illegal, even if you’re not on the ground. But passing from the ground is fine as always.

    I must say I have new respect for the way Fiji didn’t complain to the ref, the same can’t be said for Wales. Biggar got involved minutes after a call.

    • Bobas

      worst part is the fijian called for tackling on the ground, Yato, wasn’t even on the ground, he had gotten to his feet after being tackled late by a welsh player.

      Wales also regathered a knock on on the ground late in the game, highlighting who the referees were trying to penalise that game.

      • This is Jerome “make up the laws” Garces we’re talking about. Who gave a random YC to a Welsh player possibly within his rights but it seemed to come from absolutely nowhere and on the 22 seemed like a harsh sanction for not rolling away without a warning. But OK.

        However, 2 minutes later he awarded a penalty try to Fiji for collapsing the maul. He’s currently required to award a YC if he can identify the player if he awards a P. Try. Absolutely no complaints about the P. Try. Didn’t even try to find out who collapsed it. Bad Jerome…

    • AllyOz

      I would hate to have Biggar’s relationship with karma if that was what resulted in the head clash. It was the equivalent of falling down the stairs and hitting everyone. And, unfortunate proof that, regardless of what we may (rightly) do at the tackle, we won’t avoid all head injuries. In a word it was sickening but there isn’t always someone to blame.

      • Pedro

        It’s also slightly comical how many of the rules refer to contact with the head. Like if you got hit by a car but it didn’t make contact with your head you wouldn’t sustain a brain injury.

      • Interesting that if it was a player from Fiji that collided with him, it would have been a red for careless/reckless contact due to safety rulings.

        Says something, just not sure what it is..

        • AllyOz

          sometimes we look for guilt because we think someone needs to be guilty. Sometimes shit just happens I am afraid.

    • Cornchips

      I don’t get why tacking from the ground is illegal. If you are onside and it’s safe, I think you should be able to tackle from wherever.

      • Mica

        Off feet = out of play (unless you are wearing black….. :) )

      • Because Law 13.3c says so.

        I mean, there’s a case to be made you should be allowed to, that’s different.

        I suspect at least one thing you’d have to consider is do you mean lying down in open space or near a ruck? Just behind one since you’ve specified being onside. You put a defender on the floor at the back of the ruck, behind the feet of the last bound player (the last player might even unbind and lie down) then if anyone runs close there’s a defender they can’t see who can legally tackle them.

        Do you really want that in rugby? Because if it occurs to me before coffee, I guarantee it will happen in the first game when it’s allowed.

        • Cornchips

          My thinking was that there would be little advantage to a guy trying to actively lay down and tackle will still just result in a around the leg tackle, there is little danger in it. It would also be more difficult than a regular tackle so I don’t know that it would really be used much. I just don’t think it should be an offense as I don’t see the advantage for doing it, you’ve tackled someone and that’s it.

    • Passing from the ground in a tackle is certainly fine, 14.7a says you must “Make the ball available so that play can continue by releasing, passing or pushing the ball in any direction except forward. They may place the ball in any direction.”

      14.8d specifically says you can’t tackle a player or play the ball in other circumstances if you’re on the ground around the tackle.

      If you’re on the ground without the ball, laws 13.3 and 13.4 say you basically can’t do anything except get back up. If you’ve got the ball and it’s not a tackle, 13.1 lets you get up, play the ball except by kicking or release the ball. If you release the ball, you’ve got to then get up.

      You might not like it – but passing from the ground is perfectly legal. Tackling from the ground is not.

      • Pedro

        Passing from the ground is legal as long as it’s legal. I don’t have any problem with a tackled player releasing/passing when going to ground. It’s the extended time that is allowed with possession like a defacto half back, picking their option. For me that’s more like playing the ball off your feet.

        • Yeah, I think there’s a lot of leeway on that “immediately” particularly for a pass.

          I think it’s meant to improve game flow though, so overall I don’t really mind too much. But it does get a bit ridiculous I agree.

  • onlinesideline

    9 days till crunch time. I wonder what the actual game plan is against the Poms. If we can put 47 points on NZ we should be able to be get some points against these guys. How do we dominate and crack these fatties. Its been 4 years, feels like 7. Do we have the strategic arsenal to blow them off the park.

    Why is Thor not starting and being groomed for the big gig ? – hes worth 6 points a match in scrummaging delights. Is Kepu ? Im not getting it.

    I was thinking if we actually beat the Poms we will be hard to be beat thereafter. We are huge underdogs in this and beating them will free up the nerves and wouldnt want to be playing us in the semi of final.

    This is our “being introduced to hot dates father on prom night” moment. Get through this and who knows where it could go.

    • AllyOz

      I like to think I am a pretty rational person but, TBH, that all goes out the window when I watch England play. They come across to me as incredibly arrogant. Marler particularly irritates me but so do most of the rest of them. They are probably lovely young men but….f*ck I hope we beat them.

      As you say, if we do manage to get past them then anything can happen. The boost it would give to confidence and belief, after losing some many consecutive tests against them, would be immense and it would also open up the draw. Some teams that were expected to be in that top echelon, including Ireland, look beatable so I think whoever manages to get through the Qtrs has a legitimate chance.

      • Yowie

        At least the Qtr final isn’t played in England. It pisses me off with all the BS that goes on with the home stadium big screen getting the crowd baying for blood over some slow-mo contact that none of the officials have cared about to that point. Likewise the historically selective supply of camera angles to the officials for a TMO review.

        • Who?

          We’ve played England in 2 QF’s. We’ve faced them 6 times total, twice in pools (won both – Concord 87, Twickers 15), twice in Finals (won at Twickers in 91, lost at home in 03), and lost both our QF’s (95 and 07 – both by less than a kick).
          We’ve never lost to England in England in a RWC. We’ve never lost to them in a pool match. We’ve never beaten them in a knock out match outside England, or in a QF anywhere…

      • Keith Butler

        And of course there are no arrogant or irritating players that wear the G&G or any other country for that matter. The ‘arrogance’ comes from a proportion of the fans and the media and to some extent management. Me I prefer to think that we have to beat the French first in order to play Australia and that both will be extremely tough matches. I would actually rather face Wales than the G&G.

        • AllyOz

          my attitude is completely irrational KB and probably wholly undeserved. I bet Joe Marler is one of the most decent blokes going around off the field and I would think he was fine if he was G & G as you suggest (though I have never liked Shane Warne so I do have some limit to my bias). Surprisingly, I would probably hate them less if they weren’t coached by a cocky arrogant Australian.

          France is a real banana skin for whoever they play but I expect to play England in the Qtr. It will be interesting to see if they actually get to play the game on time with the weather forecast looking pretty poor. I am not sure what the contingency is or if they have to play a catch up, which wouldn’t be ideal for either side involved.

        • AllyOz

          actually I looked it up and it says;
          “Where a pool match cannot be commenced on the day in which it is scheduled, it shall not be postponed to the following day, and shall be considered as cancelled.

          “In such situations, the result shall be declared a draw and teams will be allocated two match points each and no score registered.”

          But then the article that quotes that says that there might be a contingency that at least allowed France vs England to be played the next day. Scotland v Japan is also critical and it would be a bugger if they weren’t played.

        • Yowie

          I think you have overlooked Rule 22 which clearly states:-

          Where it is in the interests of a Home Nation to do a thing, other Rules shall be subordinate to this Rule 22 and such Home Nation shall get its way. If two Home Nations have competing interests, the order of preference shall be God’s-own Englishmen, then Taffies, then Jockos, then Paddies.

        • Keith Butler

          I think both games should go ahead even if it means playing at an empty stadium.

        • Yowie

          The Brumbies and their visiting teams have done ok on that basis for years.

        • Keith Butler

          Much the same at the Rebels.

        • Keith Butler

          You are forgiven. I have also been know to be irrational when it comes to Welsh rugby players having been in the receiving end of a good few shoeings back in my playing days. Marler is an annoying bastard and likes to get under the skin eg Gypsy boy taunts at Samson Lee of Wales a few years back. I am surprised that EJ has kept his trap well and truely shut so far. Maybe he’ll resort to type come the Q/Fs. Whoever we end up playing and that includes the the G&G ( my second team) there will be no easy games in the knockout stages.

        • AllyOz

          technically I didn’t apologise by the way but thanks ;)

        • Keith Butler

          I was wearing my arrogant England fan hat, which I have now removed. Really disappointed that the England/France game has been cancelled. Imagine how the supporters that have tickets feel. At least the G&G will get a workout against Georgia that will help finalise the team for the big one. The long lay off for England may be the bonus that gets the G&G over the line. Not confident.

        • AllyOz

          It’s interesting. I am not sure how the coaches would feel. You don’t run the risk of injury and you are technically a bit fresher going into the Qtr’s but you miss an opportunity to get things right and maintain your momentum. Look at Wales last night, they had a win and took a bonus point but possibly lost their 10 for 2 weeks and got a couple of other injurys (both 13 and 14 (or 11 – the one that isn’t North) were heavily strapped by the end of the game.

          I think Eddie will have them firing regardless. It’s not a game you need to get up for.

        • Keith Butler

          A real conundrum in more than one sense. Now what do I do with the half dozen tinnies that I was going to enjoy the game with?

        • Yowie

          Store them in the fridge then, later on for a change, try drinking beer cold?

        • Keith Butler

          But it’s a well known fact that us SDs like warm beer. Luckily being in GodsOwnCountry these past 13 years has broken me of that nasty habit.

        • I didn’t realise you were living in Wales!

        • Keith Butler

          Gold!

        • Keith Butler

          Gold or should I say Welsh Gold.

        • Custard Taht

          Drink them watching the Wallabies tomorrow night…..That way the Wallabies will look good.

        • AllyOz

          I am sure you have the 2003 final on vhs KB. You can always drag that out. Beer will taste just as good.

        • Keith Butler

          I have it on DVD. I was in Oz for some of the games and back in the UK for the final. Didn’t actually see the game live on tv as I picked up a bad virus following the the trip back and spent a week in bed too sick to watch even the Tele. Bummer. I watch it now and again to remind my self how good the SDs were back in 2002/03. And to see Johnny ‘The Rodent’ Howard’s face as he presented Bill to Martin Johnson. Not too many of the current squad would make it into the Cup winning team. They were something special.

        • AllyOz

          DVD … that’s a bit flash. That was certainly a great team and the timing was managed spot on.

        • Keith Butler

          Woodward had the players and coaches. In other respects he was a complete dickhead, as the 2005 Lions tour to NZ proved.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          The difference is I think Eddie knows who his best team is so the lack of game is less of an issue. Those teams where there’s still questions will find it harder. Shit situation but was always a possibility

        • AllyOz

          I think Eddie has a very clear vision of what he wants to do and how and who he wants to do it. Definitely.

        • Patrick

          Me too I was really looking forward to that one!

        • Yowie

          I’ve always admired the lack of arrogance of the French….

      • While I hope the Wallabies beat England, pinning your hopes on Ireland’s performance is not great as an indicator. They had a dismal 6N and looked a real shadow of their 2018 selves. Looks like they peaked a year too soon and/or too many players tipped from “experienced veteran” to “old”.

        England are not suffering from that – 2018 was a real wake-up call and while you wouldn’t want 2019 to be a rebuilding phase in most camps, Jones seems to have managed it with a fair degree of success. How deep it will take them… not sure but if I were a gambler, I’d put the price of a coffee on a soap dodger win at this point. There could be a rash of training camp injuries for England and Cheika could shock me with his team selections otherwise I think it’s QF and bust.

        The only bright point in that is that RA can stop messing about and start properly looking for Cheika’s replacement.

        • Yowie

          “…but if I were a gambler…soap dodger”

          2007 World Cup reference. Very nice.

        • AllyOz

          I hope you’re wrong but I also have a feeling that’s the way it will go

    • idiot savant

      Tupou is worth 6 points to the opposition in penalties, more if the ref is Wilson. A lot of refs think his scrummaging is illegal. And he is a card risk with a track record of no arms tackling. In knockout rugby he is a big risk.

      • Hoss

        Its KO rugby and worth the risk i reckon. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. If we arent prepared to take a chance Eddie and his plus-sized forwards will eat us for dinner.

      • Custard Taht

        It is not as though the other forwards and backs aren’t a risk either.

        • onlinesideline

          excellent point young man

  • Bobas

    Cheikas motivational speech before the quarter final will be simple:
    ‘Win this boys and we don’t have Skeen for the next match’

    • Greg

      That will do it. no more to say.

      (except…. no cards, make your tackles, secure the ruck, don’t drop the ball and don’t kick it away…)

  • disqus_NMX

    I know the ball and all tackle is in vogue to prevent the offload, but it’s pretty hard to offload when you’re being blasted backwards by a 208cm, 120kg bloke who’s driven his shoulder into your guts. Thus my solution to the Wallabies high tackling problem. And quite frankly, a massively under-utilised tackling technique in general.

    • Geoffro

      A few of those hits by the Fijiaans last night were just beautiful to behold.I thought Parkes was going to cry when he got up from the first and no offload he just spewed up the ball

  • Timbo

    How good were the Flying Fijians? I was thinking that they’d threaten the Welsh after they gave us a scare and the welsh looked less than convincing in our defeat.
    They’re a Ben Skeens away from beating a Tier 1 nation and when they do, there are going to be more Semi Radradra’s running around Suva and making their way into French/Top 14 teams, giving Liam Williams nightmares.

    • Pedro

      So what you’re saying is the Welsh won by the Skeen of their teeth?

      • Timbo

        Yes and that the Fijians lost but they played out of their skeen

        • Yowie

          They both had Skeen in the game.

        • Timbo

          The TMO should be the child at the dinner table in the 1950s.

          Skeen but not heard

        • Jcr

          Appears no one’s forskeen. Would that make him a natural cock?

        • Parker

          This thread is unraveling fast. Time to roll it up into one tight skeen.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          It’s unanimous: he’s cock-eyed.

        • Pedro

          Instead he’s skeen as mustard.

  • Who?

    So, we’re going to look at Hawkeye…
    Forget the fact that the NFL is ALL set pieces. So the line of scrimmage doesn’t move. Whereas the offside line – the back heel of the last player on their feet – moves all the time in a ruck. And what odds – with no official on the field communicating that line – we see a lot more penalties? Because the officials on the field – when being bothered to monitor offside still often get it wrong. Either halfway up the ruck, or, if being strict, they’ll make it the last part of the last player lying down in the breakdown. Even though they’re off their feet, therefore not part of the game, and therefore not part of the ruck or eligible to create the offside line.
    .
    The real question is, why are refs having issues maintaining an offside line? I’d suggest there’s two causes.
    Firstly, the AR’s are useless. They’re more interested in getting Bin Skeen to look at infractions by Tier 2 nations than doing their job – watching for offside and forward passes.
    .
    Secondly… There’s a lot more rucks. Not just more breakdowns, as the ball stays in play, but specifically more rucks. And more offside lines. And it’s World Rugby’s fault.
    Well, if I really wanted to drag it back, I could blame Conor Shea for playing the laws as written, but I’d rather blame the RFU for not teaching their players the laws of the game, and World Rugby for being spineless fools and changing the laws off a load of whinging from a team who won the game anyway.
    It all goes back to the England/Italy game in 2016, when Italy decided not to contest the breakdown, avoiding the creation of rucks and therefore offside lines. Innovative, legal play, that the English players were too thick to understand or counter (crazily thick – especially when the correct counter was for the tackled player or a supporting breakdown player to pick and go, as Italy’s tackle defence wasn’t particularly strong! How dumb are you if you can’t figure out, “Pick up the ball and run!”..?). SO they whined to World Rugby, and WR changed the laws so that the tackle created the offside lines. They later backpedalled a little, and changed it to having an arriving player – from either team – creating the offside lines.
    This – unsurprisingly – created a lot more offside lines per game! The tactic of not contesting the breakdown had been in use in the SH for at least 4 years. The ABs had regularly used it, they just hadn’t been as obvious about it as Italy. I remember complaints on here in 2014 and 15 about the ABs regularly being offside, when they simply hadn’t created a ruck and therefore hadn’t created offside lines. They were much more focused on their narrow defence, getting off their line to win territory (rather than possession), and then reloading with the highest possible number of defenders in the line. With more offside lines created, and breakdown laws changed to make it even harder to contest possession (making me wonder what drugs Pichot’s taking – surely Twiggy’s drug testing policies also apply to his executives? The only difficulties with retaining possession this RWC are when teams don’t commit enough numbers and referees don’t police the breakdown – entry angles, retaining feet, etc. Too busy hearing from Bin Skeen), there was less incentive than ever before to contest a ruck. There was incentive to create mauls – and we’ve seen teams do that regularly (Ireland had done it for years, but Wales and England both developed the tactic). But no incentive to create a ruck. So teams stopped contesting, went to a defensive realign/reload model, and suddenly there’s more feet to police in more offside lines created than ever before…
    .
    If World Rugby would simply stop messing about with their laws – laws they clearly don’t understand – then perhaps they wouldn’t keep on creating problems……

    • muppet

      Did someone say “ELVs”? ;)

      • Who?

        The ‘tackle creates an offside line’ change was in the ELV’s, and was scrapped because it was such a bad idea. Typical World Rugby…

        • Damo

          ELV’s have left the building.

    • joy

      Surely holding the defence back till the half releases the ball (or till the first receiver catches the ball) would be better that this stupid 2 metre rule.

      • Who?

        That would mean the scrumhalf could score tries untouched..?
        .
        I know what you’re saying, I just don’t believe there’s a problem. Beyond the current issues with failing to enforce the laws as they stand.

      • Yowie

        The defence would be well-rested with Genia or (in his day) Gregan at 9.

      • Custard Taht

        Or we could try holding the defence back 10m, and once the ball is played, the defence can move forward, and if after 6 tackles the other team hasn’t scored or given up possession, the ball is handed over to the other team.

        • Yowie

          You could drop the flankers and level of spoken grammar while you’re at it. The amended game would be “heaps more better”.

        • Custard Taht

          Now that’s somethink I think could take off you know.

          Just need to come up with a name for it, derived from Rugby……

  • Keith Butler

    Just read that the England/France came has been called off. Nothing about playing elsewhere. No news about Japan/Scotland game.

    • Hoss

      SMH reporting the Nippon v Haggis Lovers scheduled to go ahead – same venue, next day

      • Keith Butler

        What a difference a day makes.

        • Hoss

          Its official – 3 games canned, Sunday game TBA after they assess any damage.

          Seems a smart call all round. I cant imagine 270km winds.

        • Keith Butler

          Divine Wind. A bit like me after a decent vindaloo. In all seriousness, safety is the primary concerns. If the Japan game goes ahead, all well and good. The other games should be rescheduled as they do have a bearing on who plays who in the Q/Fs and more importantly the S/Fs.

        • Damo

          And whoever wins the toss on Friday night- “we’ll run with the wind, sir”

        • Yowie

          Forward-passes might become an issue with 270kph wind on your back.

        • Custard Taht

          We stay right the fuck away from Yokohoma. This shit wouldn’t happen at Goodyear.

        • Who?

          But I always had handling issues with Goodyear, never dropped anything near Yokohama.

        • Custard Taht

          My mate Phil reckons it is the dew in Goodyear.

    • Ronnie

      NZ vs Italy also off. all teams in canned games get 2 points each and a big rest before quarters!!
      not sure why they cannot be rescheduled for Monday?

      • Keith Butler

        True but I’m sure there’s a reason. Maybe switching disadvantages the teams that have a shorter recovery period but they do have 31 players to select from.

  • joy

    How on earth can a player 40 metres away from the set piece or ruck be expected to know where the 2 metre off side line is? If Hawkeye can read the line why not program it to project the line on the field using overhead lasers. (patent pending).

    • Yowie

      I lodged my “offside line laser” patent four hours ago (see below). Expect a prickly letter from my IP lawyers.

Rugby
@DylanGLanges

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

More in Rugby