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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby news sees Kurtley Beale set to become the most capped Tah of all time, and old fashion grudge match in Super Rugby, the Force kick off their season, and concerns being raised over the diversity on the RA Board.


Big milestone for boy wonder

Kurtley Beale during a game against the Reds in Super Rugby last year.

When Kurtley Beale runs out on Sunday for the NSW Waratahs, he will equal Benn Robinson’s state record of 148 games. Love or hate him, any rugby fan would agree that Beale has been a terrific servant of the Australian game, in a career that includes three World Cups, 92 Wallabies Tests and over 50 tries while playing in Australia.

From the first time he broke on to the scene as a young flyhalf at St Josephs College, he caught the attention of every rugby scout in the country, and his highlight reel went viral. His videos from his high school days are doing the rounds, and it is no doubt that he was a prodigious talent.

His high school heroics led him to be signed by the Waratahs at the age of just 16. From there, he took the Waratahs to the 2008 Super Rugby final, going down 20 points to 12 against the Crusaders.

Since then he has won a Super Rugby title in 2014 with Waratahs, in between stints with the Rebels and the Wasps in the English Premiership, and just last week captained NSW for the first time.

Along with the rest of the veterans in the side, Beale has struggled with form this season, and is rumoured to be leaving Australia to take up a contract with Top 14 club Racing Metro.

But, past indiscretions aside, his legacy will be his magical plays, and his contribution to the Indigenous rugby community on and off the field.

What more can be done to encourage young Indigenous talent to stay in the game, so we can see another Kurtley Beale running the cutter at the top level?

Rivalries reignite

Tahs and Brumbies go at it on Sunday for Country Round.

Aussie Super Rugby fans will have to wait until Saturday to get their rugby fix, with the Queensland Reds taking on the Bulls at Suncorp on Saturday 7.15pm AEDT.

The team are hoping James O’Connor will return from an ankle injury for the game, but he is yet to train. The Reds put on a good show against the Crusaders last weekend, out-scoring them four tries to three in a 24-20 defeat. Crucial kicks were the difference and hopefully this can be remedied, with young gun Harry Wilson even putting his hand up for goalkicking duties.

For the last couple of weeks, the message from the team is that they are sick of guttsy losses, and this match-up presents an opportunity to get the points against a Bulls teams that won their first game of the season last weekend.

And then … Sunday arvo footy is back again for a classic Aussie derby. The ACT Brumbies will be looking to extend their good form when they take on the NSW Waratahs in Canberra on Sunday 4.05pm AEDT for the all-important Country Round.

There has been good banter between the teams in the lead up to the game, with a few barbs being flung back and forth between state lines. There is no love lost between the two traditional rivals, with the Brumbies uncanny ability to uncover hidden gems from the Waratahs scrap heap, and vice versa. The war of words started early with Brumbies Tom Cusack and Connal McInerney roasting Tom Staniforth, who moved up to the Tahs from the Canberra side.

“Probably one of the softest carriers in the game,” quipped Brumbies flanker Cusack.

“He’s let go of himself a little bit, around the edges,” reckons hooker McInerney. “I saw him at the hotel in Wollongong and he’s getting around looking like a tall prop now.”

Fire up for this one, as form is rarely an indicator who will come out on top of this clash.

Check all the team lists here.

Rapid rise in the West

Western Force kick off their Global Rapid Rugby campaign on Saturday.

The Global Rapid Rugby season will kick off this weekend, with a double header at HBF Park, with Manuma Samoa taking on South China Tigers, followed by the Western Force doing battle with Malaysia Valke, propped up by players from the South African team.

The other round-one fixture will be Fijian Latui hosting the China Lions under lights in Suva.

Six teams will compete for $1 million in prize money, backed by billionaire mining magnate Andrew Forrest.

Teams will be playing for sheep stations this year, with competition points and a grand final berth lending legitimacy to the comp.

Force Legend has Matt Hodgson has backed the competition since day one, and it is exciting to see the inaugural season receive a groundswell of support from players and fans alike. Twelve players in the Force squad taking part in the competition have made their way through the club’s academy.

“It shows you that rugby is alive here in WA and we do have a good set-up here,” said club stalwart Kieran Longbottom.

“So many guys playing around the world today have come through this academy system. The proof is there.

“We know what’s going on here. And this is the next opportunity to continue that growth and inspire the next group of guys to come through.”

Who will be the next local product to have a breakout season this year?

Jobs for the boys?

The Australian Womens Team lift the trophy at the Sydney 7s.

Following the news that Supercars chairman Peter Wiggs, former Wallaby Daniel Herbert and ex-Virgin Australia boss Brett Godfrey are set to join the board at the end of the month, concerns are being raised about the reduced diversity of the nominations, including female representation.

Moving forward, it appears that Salesforce ANZ chief executive Pip Marlow will be the only female director on the board, along with chief executive Raelene Castle, after the departures of Carnival Australia chair Ann Sherry and former Australian Sex Discrimination Commissioner Liz Broderick.

Sherry has been quoted as saying that the nominations are “tragedy and a missed opportunity” for the sport, considering rugby was the first to launch a professional full-time women’s program, have a groundbreaking pregnancy policy and introduce pay parity in its men’s and women’s professional entry-level contracts.

“I read about the nominations coming off the back of spending Sunday night at the MCG watching the women’s cricket [T20 World Cup final], an event no one would have imagined was possible and an event even Cricket Australia probably didn’t believe was possible, but they’ve completely shifted their position on the women’s game and made history,” Sherry said.

“Then here we are in rugby, we had a march on everybody when we professionalised our women’s sevens programs, they went to the Olympics and won gold, they generated momentum, and now we only have one woman on the board.

“You can’t have women in the game rendered voiceless, and it feels like we’re going back into the past, not into the future.”

Is this a step backwards, or just a case of right ‘man’ for the job?

  • GoMelbRebels

    “Love or hate him, any rugby fan would agree that Beale has been a terrific servant of the Australian game, in a career that includes three World Cups, 92 Wallabies Tests and over 50 tries while playing in Australia.”

    You forgot “punching his captain and sending inappropriate text messages”.

    • Who?

      Worth noting that Cheika did put in a big effort to drag him back from his Wasps deal. I don’t think there was money paid, but he was (according to the news reports I’m just re-reading) basically promised a central role in the 2019 RWC for his return.
      It’s an interesting one when we’re discussing how he was a great servant to the game in Australia when he signed overseas at his peak.
      It’s also interesting that he’ll likely be remembered as a Tahs player, with everyone doing their best to forget his Rebels stint, how that finished.
      .
      At his best, KB’s been one of the best in the world. His 2010 season was incredible. But he’s been around long enough that there’s been interminable stretches of mediocrity, periods where he was clearly, visibly exhausted on the field yet put out every week. He’s not given his absolute best every week, but I’d say he’s given the best he’s had at the time each week. Which is all we can ask – it’s not his decision whether or not he’s selected.
      The fact he’s made it to 148 Tahs games, plus his Rebels games and his 92 Test caps is very impressive – it’s a big ask for a bloke who’s not huge and relies on his pace.

  • Ads

    I was on record yesterday defending Hooper who I think cops a bad rap. One of the few criticisms I agree with of Hooper was his support of Beale in his endless idiocy. It’s good to support your mates, but when they have clearly stuffed up, you do them and yourself a disservice by supporting them. Yes Beale is Aboriginal. But as a role model, Adam Goodes he aint.

    • Rugby Lady

      I’d suggest that Matt Hodgson is doing wonders for Indigenous rugby. From a strong player & captain to Director of Rugby for Rapid Rugby. He’s got a clean reputation & one about hard work & integrity. On & off the field he’d be a far better role model in my opinion.

      • Perth girl

        Agree 100%. He is heavily invoved in charity work and is a great family man as well

      • HK Red

        Yet sadly, the powers that be, largely ignore him. It’s a good thing that the fans (the people that count) know what a great man Hodgson is.

  • Nutta

    Very much looking forward to the Donkey’s vs Tarts and here’s hoping the Reds get their act together and put the Bully-Boys in their place. Should be good footy to watch.

    Great to see GRR kicking off. May it achieve greatness and open pathways as the spin-off benefits will be great. Huge.

    Are folk surprised by the insularity of the board? I’m actually surprised it was possible to reduce the diversity further. That’s sort of an achievement. Keyboard thumping Incels everywhere in their 9-inch Nails and Tool postered basements will be whacking their bake-beans stained singlets in delight at the resurgence of the most marginalised group in society…

    Beale? Nope. I would say Australian and NSW Rugby have been remarkably good servants to him.

    • Patrick

      Seconded whole heartedly re Beale.

    • Ads

      Well said mate. Board diversity is a funny one. Rugby is blessed by the support of a number of communities like (for example), private school boys, country folk, women, PI heritage players, etc. Whilst having more women would be good, ticking some of those other boxes would be good too! Just to be clear I’m not saying “less women”, I’m saying diversity shouldn’t only mean “more women”.

      • Yowie

        …to be clear I’m not saying “less women”…

        Me neither. “Fewer women” is what we should be saying.

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      I’d go even further and say that RA and the NSWRU have been remarkably subservient to Beale.

    • Funk

      My main issue is what you’ve got against NIN and Tool???

      • Yowie

        Reminds me of Courtney Love’s sick burn post falling-out:-

        “Nine Inch Nails – more like Three Inch Nails.”

      • Nutta

        I know. I’m actually a fan. But it helped create the image y’know?

    • Damo

      Winston Churchill once described KB as “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma…” At least I think he was talking about Kurtley- it might have been Russia. But an apt description nonetheless. When he retires I’m really not sure how I will assess his career. His highlights reel tells us he has had serious talent but I think the era he has played in has played a role on two fronts.
      Firstly, he has played in teams that have often been dominated up front and the front foot ball that his style needs hasn’t been there and he hasn’t been able to adapt and too often makes poor decisions under pressure. A comparison maybe with Campo, who, in a Wallaby jersey, while generally considered a bit flakey, performed many miracles on the field but who was for the most part surrounded by a tough, smart and talented team. I won’t go into the coaching aspect of Beale’s career. That’s a whole other discussion.
      The second thing is that he has been playing in an era – news cycles, constant analysis, social media etc- where there is a real risk that players read and believe their own press and ego takes over. Some players can manage that and bad behaviour stays in check. Some can’t.
      These comments are certainly not meant to be a defense of Beale. These guys are adults, well paid, surrounded by an army of advisers (possibly too many). There are no valid excuses. It’s just frustrating when talent isn’t fully realised.
      Anyway, just my thoughts. I’m sure others may think differently.

      • Yowie

        Most of us have the benefit of our young-bloke-stupid-decisions playing out away from the public eye. I made enough of those and was arrogant enough without “being a famous well-paid super-talent” feeding the beast.

        • Patrick

          I did some damn stupid things but I never punched a team-mate deliberately and I never sent explicit text messages to anyone I was professionally linked to and since I was not great under the high ball I didn’t play fullback either

      • Nutta

        That’s a well made argument. And from a purely footballing perspective he is unequivocally and unarguably gifted with layers of talent most of us would not even know how to use if we ever had even only half of it. Has he employed that talent well on the field? Quite probably, particularly when considered in the prism of your point of the availability of front-foot ball. Has he trained well and been a good team-mate with his colleagues? Apparently they largely love him.

        But for me, whilst I agree with the sentiment of Yowie’s comment that we all did dumb stuff (I likely more than most), I reflect on the off-field behaviours of inexcusable delinquency that did nothing but bring damage directly on good people and on the game.

        Whilst not a Tarts fan (I support the Donkeys first and the Scum second), I quite literally hung my head in bewildered shame when he represented my birth-state as Captain last weekend. I was gobsmacked. For a game that chooses to be quietly proud of a more educated, cultured and worldly espirit than some other footballing codes, in that moment we revealed more in actions than we could possibly say in advertisements. I said years ago in trepidation that the true-rugby perspective would shine through in years to come via our actions and not the media-savvy drivel of a nominated spokesman. Facta Non Verba would show the true rugby response to what had transpired surrounding that bloke. And now we have seen it. And I’m embarrassed by it.

        • Jack Mallick

          There are way bigger issues going on in the game for the past 15 years than one diamond and rocks player with a complicated past could create.

          If anything his dramas in the past are a by-product of a severe lack of leadership and overall direction in the game, and a terrible underperformance and entitlement both on and off field

      • While I basically agree with what you’re saying, I think I’m going to assess his career quite brutally. I’m going to call him a prima donna in a sport that doesn’t support that.

        He definitely has talent, and rugby supports talented individuals, not saying that. But it supports talented individuals that largely subordinate their talent to the needs of the team. Sometimes, sure, that’s to spot that gap, charge through it and score that amazing solo try. But most times it’s to not run away from the support, set up the next ruck and recycle the ball for the next phase with secure possession.

        Kurtley seems to not put the work in when he’s in Australia – it still amazes me how much of a better tackler and how much more secure under the high ball he was at Wasps than at the Tahs and in G&G. Despite playing in the rain in Coventry he was solid under the high ball, in a G&G shirt that’s not the word you’d use to describe him… And while he certainly can produce amazing plays that are a joy to watch, he too often wanders sideways, disrupts the attacking structure without affecting the defensive line and fails to even look like he’s trying to make his tackles. He’d better serve the side making the contact and recycling the ball and at least getting in his channel and putting his hands on the players he’s meant to tackle, ideally his upper arm and shoulder – with his hand forward of course!

        I don’t really care about his off-field antics. That’s probably not entirely true, they’ve carried on later than they should. But rich young men in the public eye… well as a poor young woman not in the public eye, and before social media, I did my fair share of dumb things. Different dumb things, but things I wouldn’t want plastered all over the papers, the TV news and so on. He might have had people telling him not to, but “young, dumb and full of cum” is a phrase we still hear for a reason…

        Just on his on-field record, B-. Could have been a great but wasted a lot of talent showboating and not doing the hard work.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack,
    Looking forward to the Brumbies vs Tahs match and I think this’ll be another lesson for Penney on the poor quality he was lumbered with when he took the job. TBH with his rants on the youngsters who are the only ones stepping up and his inability to hold the senior players responsible I’ve sort of lost it with him and he deserves what he gets. Good luck to the Reds and I hope they get the job done, I think they’re building something good there.
    Good luck GRR hope it goes well.
    Beale – nah! I think he’s done more to discredit Australian rugby than any good he might have done occasionally on the field. Won’t be missed at all.
    No surprises that the RA board is stepping back in time. Most of the old boys network who run this show live in the past so it’s just reflecting their mentality. A crying shame and an opportunity missed I think

    • Totally irrelevant to the conversation, but in regards of the “All ABs cheat” ongoing thread..

      I agreed in all cases against the ABs, but these guys are OK I guess.

      https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/all-blacks/all-blacks-jersey-donation-for-australian-bushfire-appeal/news-story/84d6dfb097c15baa1e9a29d7dee1b95c

      • Yowie

        Why can’t the All Blacks stick to being cartoon villains? This generous charity thing is causing me a whole lot of cognitive dissonance.

        • A bit like The Joker starting up a “forever home” for cute stray kittens…

          I don’t comprehend…who do I hate now?

        • Yowie

          The Joker would definitely be up to something there and Batman would figure it out.

          Perhaps the greatest analytical minds in Australian Rugby need to look into this AB jersey donation thing. Is Nick Cummins free?

        • He’d be in it, like a bloody rat up a drainpipe, seagull on a chip, a ritchie over the top of a ruck…etc

        • Yowie

          “Commissioner Gordon! I’ve been as busy as a one-armed bricklayer in Baghdad investigating this mystery…”

        • Sorry KaRL, hijacked another thread.
          Bloody Yowie started it

        • Who?

          What’s the ‘over the top’ business..? :-P

        • I merely meant like umm… on his feet, over the ball as it were.
          *coff*

        • Who?

          I thought you really meant ‘Richie from the side of a ruck’… :-P

        • As if Id imply such behavior from Sir Richie, I’ll appear suitably offended.

        • Nutta

          Don’t start on the Coffs Harbour thing.

        • Who?

          Coffs..? I thought we were talking about Port..?

        • Nutta

          Ahhh… easy miss.

        • Always thought he was a male.
          In that case, sorry for any offensive comments Who

        • Who?

          I think Nutta means geographic miss, as in the current NRL scandal’ based around a canine team and sexual misadventures (as opposed to criminality last time) is in Port Macquarie (2020 scandal), not Coffs Harbour (2004 scandal).
          I’m most definitely a male.
          And I’m not one to take offence easily – I can’t imagine what you might’ve said that would’ve been remotely offensive. :-)

        • We do need a sarcasm font… ;P

        • Who?

          oK – YoU mAy Be RiGhT
          :-)

        • Damn, was gonna run with it and apologize for the txt msgs too.

        • Who?

          I was wondering where those messages originated. :-O

        • Funk

          Every time I hear Aaron Smith do his “wohooo” after his team wins a penalty, I’m ready to punch him in the face…right there is someone to hate!!! He could donate every cent he’s got and the 1st “wohoo” afterwards, I would hate him just as much as before.

        • Ill give him two or three, in respect for good form

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          That’s gold

        • Greg

          Just imagine that sound if you were standing outside a public convenience!!

        • Nutta

          Jess Parete from the Highlanders gave one of the really schoolboy childish laughs the other night against the Rebels I think it was. The Rebs player (Sauce?) was penalised and Parrot gave off one of those high-pitched smart-arsey laughs akin to something as mature as “Yeh sucked in ya nob” sort of stuff. It makes me want to punch them fair in the face (I get it – that’s the whole point). The Ref turned around straight away and said “Do that again and I’ll penalise you. Grow up.” I loved it.

        • Hoss

          The problem would be the broken fist by first having to penetrate the ‘disabled’ toilet door to get to him.

        • Who?

          Ah, but it shows the continuing Kiwi theme of, “We’re morally superior to you.”
          :-P
          With the exception of KARL, who’s stooped to our level. :-)

        • Yowie

          By personally giving nothing to charity I refuse to play the AB’s game on their terms.

          Who’s morally superior now? Muhahaha….

        • Nutta

          Someone somewhere someday said something about lifting the average IQ of both nations?

        • Greg

          @nutta but it was a kimi who said that which sort of negates the point…..

        • Nutta

          Sarcasm Dude. We need a sarcasm font.

        • Bobas

          ThIs Is SaRcAsM fOnT

        • Nutta

          Nooo,,,, that’s just hard to read…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Sort of ouch and thanks at the same time

        • Who?

          I know, it reads terribly… :-(
          But everyone’s morally superior when they’re at home. I think we (Aussies – including immigrants like you and me – remember, I wasn’t born here either, even if I can’t fake my ‘home’ accent) have been brow beaten enough to realize we’re imperfect. Though most of the time we’re ok with that. We know we’re racist, sexist, homophobic, maybe even heterophobic, but really all that matters is that we’re ok with ourselves, and we’ll try to keep improving. Sometimes, though, it feels like groups don’t miss an opportunity to take a shot where they can.
          .
          When Kiwis leave home, they, like everyone else here, relax into the local perspective of “She’ll be jake mate.” Kiwis make great Aussies, it’s very well proven. :-)

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Just caught that. Pretty cool and I do love the way our countries come together in adversity. Support for NZ during the earthquakes and Mosque shooting from here was awesome and seeing the support from NZ on the fires is just as good. Great to see the ANZAC spirit work so well

        • The bond that will never be broken, at least till the next Bledisloe when its put on hold for a few weeks.
          Great support from Kiwis as usual.

        • Yowie

          Although if the federal government deports to NZ enough lived-here-their-whole-lives-Kiwis there might be a tipping point to the usual good spirit.

        • Yup, a bit over the top, especially in regards to our shared history.

        • Nutta

          I don’t think old mate Dutton is really in this for popularity, which is a bit contradictory for a politician!

        • AllyOz

          I am pretty sure he doesn’t give a f*&k how popular he is in New Zealand anyway

        • Yowie

          I think the problem for all immigration ministers (of all political persuasions) is that power goes to their heads in a pretty big way. The discretion on who can come in or must go out is extraordinary. Also – “when you have hammers for hands everything looks like a nail” – so deporting people (and similar off-shore skulduggery) seems to be the go-to response to many situations.

        • I think you could even remove ‘immigration’ from that statement and still be correct

        • Take it you’ve checked today’s ABC news.

        • AllyOz

          I wonder if the mosque shooting was a mixture of sympathy and even some guilt given it was one of ours that committed it. as a north coast resident who went to school in the shooters town and new some of the extended family it was shock and sadness and a strange sense of how did one of our people raised in our environment think that this was a solution to anything

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate I think the response would have been the same even if the guy had been from another country.

        • AllyOz

          Yes, I think we are, underneath it all, largely the same people culturally, brothers from the same mother (country) for a large proportion of the population and with similar attitudes to life…just one of us has a remarkably better performing rugby team….still the All Blacks might catch us one day (oh if only there was one skerrick of truth in that statement – maybe there was in 2001)

          Still, and I can only speak from my own experience, while I think the response would probably have been the same, as a local in this area, the emotions behind it were perhaps a little different than they were elsewhere.

  • dane

    There absolutely needs to be a lot done to give opportunities for young indigenous talent (both boys and girls) to find success in Rugby Union. Particularly outside of the major cities. North QLD, Torres strait Islands, country NSW in particular have potential to be significant breeding grounds of future professional players

    • Agree dane. Missed opportunity is an understatement.

    • Yowie

      Now that you mention it, the Tattersalls Club “indigenous player sign-on promotion” in the Members’ Bar was a bit under-subscribed on the day.

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      Maybe more young indigenous men would choose rugby if the ‘role model’ wasn’t the deeply-flawed Beale.

      • HK Red

        ** Underrated comment

  • Rugby Lady

    Limited women on the board & no one from the 3rd largest rugby heartland – Western Australia. Situation normal it appears

    • JJ

      Rugby Lady, there are a bunch of WA women and blokes on here. GAGR are smart and apparently recognize that we are the 3rd largest rugby heartland in Australia, and probably growing faster than one and two.
      For those who want to watch the GRR games this weekend, they will be on Kayo, RugbyPass and free on rapidrugby.com – I heard Foxsport will be replaying one of the games on sunday morning, but no details.
      I totally agree Hodgo is a legend and wonderful role model.

      • Crescent

        As I was setting up the recording schedule for this weekend’s rugby, I saw the GRR fixture on Fox, and it has been put into the mix so I can watch all the action at my leisure and without distraction (i.e. while the Leader of The Opposition and my small children are all asleep)

      • Reds Revival

        Thanks for the heads up JJ. I am keen to see GRR in action this year. I hope Twiggy makes it a real goer (as well as the fans in WA).

  • formerflanker

    What is the reason behind the arguments here that only women can deliver better rugby ideas and better rugby outcomes for women?
    Many men can deliver exactly the same results.
    The logical extension of the “women’s ideas are better for the women’s game” is that only men can deliver policies for the betterment of mens rugby in Australia.
    Neither statement is true and any forced diversity on the Board of RA will only put up barriers for the best and brightest man or woman.

    • Nutta

      I’ll declare outright I am generally sympathetic to the views of Jordan Peterson. Not all of it. But I am particularly swayed towards to the ideal of differentiating between equality of opportunity and enforced equality of outcome. But there must be the opportunity provided at least. And further to that, to work against the opportunity of equality (by basically proactively engineering an all white, all male, all ex-private schoolboy board) is to deprive oneself of the input, alternate perspective and fresh ideas more statistically probable to come from those entire chunks of society which were – to be fair – hitherto largely simply excluded from decision making. Your point about logical extension of the “women’s ideas are better for the women’s game” is that only men can deliver policies for the betterment of mens rugby is particularly valid and leads to such outright idiocies as Matt Burkes classic (paraphrased) “if you haven’t played it you have no right to an opinion”.

      • Nutta

        @wilful I’m interested to know why you disagree. Not attacking, you’ve been a fellow resident here a long time, honestly just asking.

      • ThePhoenix

        I think that was Campo, not Matt Burke that said that

        • Yowie

          Just like on a cooking show, here’s one we prepared earlier (on Tuesday):-

          “Firstly, Matt Burke in The Sydney Morning Herald said, “In the most humble way possible – until you have played at Super Rugby level you can’t comprehend what happens out on the field.” https://www.theroar.com.au/2011/04/01/critics-of-tah-booers-miss-the-point/comment-page-4/

          I wouldn’t rule out Campo saying something similar at some point.

        • ThePhoenix

          This is what I was thinking of:

          “On Twitter this morning, Campese made an offensive remark about Fairfax journalist Georgina Robinson, covering Australia’s current tour of Europe alongside News Ltd’s Iain Payten.
          “Why does the smh get a girl to write about rugby. Growden who was a great jornio (sic) and now we have someone who has no idea about the game!” was the tweet from Campese’s official account.”

        • Yowie

          I remember that now. Classy stuff Campo.

        • Who?

          Hilarious from Campo – many would think that Growden was no less ignorant than GeeRob can be! :-P

        • AllyOz

          maybe we just don’t let journalists write about rugby…only ex-players . G Rob, for mine, is a good writer but, and this probably applies to most rugby journalists, gets a bit tied up in the rumour and innuendo and “New Idea” rugby coverage, but I think she is also does some pretty decent analysis (not Tom Decent analysis). I think probably her and Wayne Smith, and probably Bret Harris at the Guardian are some of our better rugby writers.

        • Yowie

          …maybe we just don’t let journalists write about rugby…only ex-players

          The equivalent idea for League is a non-starter.

        • AllyOz

          no that would require ex-players who can write obviously

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          And any articles would end up as posts in a high school year book.

        • Who?

          I agree GeeRob’s a decent journo. I was more highlighting that Growden had at least as many detractors.
          I completely agree that GeeRob’s great flaw is that she’s basically a mouthpiece for vested interests and creates gossip-rag coverage.
          I think Wayne Smith, and maybe Bret Smith are very good writers, otherwise, we’re looking at the authors on here and Brett McKay and Nick Bishop at The Roar as being the only quality coverage of the game in the country.

        • AllyOz

          Yes Brett McKay is good. Nick Bishop is a great analyst.

        • Nutta

          Oh no. It was The Burke. Campo has probably also said something similar but we all sort of expect/know/forgive Campo for that loose wire.

      • idiot savant

        Im with you Nutta. Its about perspective. In my experience business failure often owes something to an inability to appreciate perspectives other than your own. An all white, all male, all ex pvte schoolboy board is great if you’re selling real estate to Cranbrook school mums and dads, but utterly f…ng useless if you are trying to broaden the game’s appeal to all Australians.

    • Who?

      You’re right, great outcomes for women and minorities can be created, driven and delivered by white men.
      .
      But that’s hardly the point. The point is to find ideas that might exist outside the same small clique that has run the game for its existence. It’s to demonstrate that there’s a role for everyone in our game.
      .
      What concerns me even more than the lack of diversity in the appointments is the lack of diversity in the lists of those who were nominated. If you’ve equal candidates other than one being female or from a minority, then there’s no argument about the old white guy missing out. But if no one’s been listed as worthy of nomination, what have we done to find them..? Have we pushed them away from our game? Because I’m sure there’s suitable people out there who happen to be women or from minorities – have we just managed to isolate them from our game? I’d certainly hope not.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s,
    Well after last weekends of exciting Super and 6N rugby, I cant wait for this weekend. It is going to be brilliant. I am very excited about rugby again which is a good thing. But alas, today I will contrate on a negative. Here we go:
    – Kurtley ‘Horror Road Smash’ Beale. In the article it talks about putting aside his past indiscretions, but with a player you must look at their ‘body of work’ according to Morgan Tuirinui. And I agree with him. KB over his career has never been a real team player. Yes when he is good he is fantastic. But it doesn’t over come his inability to tackle and defend in general. His brain fade moments. His running sideways and compressing the attack. Off field, he is the most recidivist in nature of all players. We could write an article alone on all of his fuck ups, well those that have been made public, let alone the ones that have been conveniently swept under the carpet. JOC’s record when he was sacked (not now) was no where near as bad as KB’s but he lost his contract. KB, has been a protected species since day one. He is an appalling example to young children in the game. He was one of the key reasons the Wallaby coup to oust Link occurred. The payout from RA to Di Patston was large, all so he, and the other waratahs players never saw the inside of a courtroom. Just fucked. With Cheika era finally over (and lets be so thankful for that) KB will not get picked again for the Wallabies. And to be honest he is lucky to be getting picked for the Waratahs the way he is currently playing. No other SR franchise would pick him at the moment. So lets temper our rejoicing of this ocean going variety of knob jockey!
    – Come on Friday night.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Nice rant mate.
      As you say at least the rugby’s getting better. I’m pretty confident on the Reds knocking over the Bulls

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am hoping too.

      • I think the Bulls are still a shadow of their former selves, and the Reds look like a side that knows how to play.

        Reds at home, no contest.

        • Bernie Chan

          David Alred had better been training the kickers hard…can’t afford another”none-fer..” off the tee…

        • I think the Bulls, Lions, Highlanders and Tahs are my contenders for worst teams of the competition this year. The Reds are, without doubt, the unluckiest.

          I honestly think that, even with a nonefer they’re good enough to beat the Bulls.

          That doesn’t mean I don’t think they need to improve that of course but I don’t think it will be that close.

        • Reds Revival

          The Sunwolves didn’t make your list?

        • Oh, fair shout.

          They wouldn’t have, given how well they were doing in Japan, but now “home” is somewhere random in Australia, I think they probably will.

        • Bernie Chan

          I hope you are correct…

    • Happyman

      Welcome back BL

      Ocean going is an understatement at least Quade and O’conner seem to have grown up. That mans stupid goes all the way to the bone.

      Eventually your stupidity outweighs your ability and KB is certainly an example of that.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very true. What pisses me off is the protection racket that surrounds him.

        • Happyman

          Yes mate the elephant in the room is as an indigenous player he has been cut more slack than he should have been.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I hope that isnt the reason. I was banking it more on him being a Waratah! ;-)

        • HK Red

          Unfortunately, I’m with Happyman on this one. Continually acted appallingly, humble apologies followed by more violent outbursts, yet was always held up by the sport as a shining example. Not sure what that example was/is, as he’s been given chances many others could only dream of. So maybe a shining example of spoilt privilege? Matt Henjak probably wonders why he wasn’t given so many Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free cards.

          * to be clear, Henjak was a dckhead and was treated accordingly.

        • Happyman

          To be clear I would hope that is not the case but the weight of evidence paints a different picture. Although given the Waratah statement perhaps MC was grading him on an NRL curve in which case play on.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah after the Cocaine snorting pack rapists did it again, Beale definitely belongs in that team.

        • Jack Mallick

          Whatever your thoughts on Beale, I reckon to bring his race into it is bullshit and to do it in the safety of an alias is pretty gutless.

    • Forceright

      Couldn’t agree more about Beale being a protected species. I reckon he could almost be solely to blame for the entire Link fiasco which ended up almost destroying the Wallabies. Along with Cheika who persisted in choosing him in the team – I was always suspicious at Cheiks’ involvement in the fiasco as KB apparently whinged to Cheika on a regular basis while in the Wallabies at the time. I’m also cynical how he seems to use his ‘indigenousity” to his own advantage. I’m sure there are other indigenous players out there in rugby land with more integrity – Matt Hodgson for example. The sooner he f##s off overseas the better in my view.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. I will leave Race out of it, as a 50 year old white male I am sure someone will question my privelige. But alas, Beale’s behaviour, the fact that Hooper, AAC, and the other Waratahs supported his behaviour and let him get away with it time and time again. That is the bit that shits me. Beale will behave is he was allowed to behave. If a big daddy had put him across his knee and given him a dam good thrashing early in the piece it might have been different.

  • AllyOz

    I think the thing about female directors might be a bit overdone and, perhaps, premature. Firstly, I am not sure who nominated for the positions. But you have one high level corporate executive (with experience in sport [afl Tasmania bid] in Godfrey, the other one is head of another national sporting body in Wigg. I think both those blokes, on the face of it at least, have the qualifications and experience to sit on the board of a sporting body.

    Daniel Herbert fills the ex-players position. Nothing wrong with filling the ex-player position with a former female player but there aren’t that many yet with professional experience given that we have only profressionalised the women’s game in the last 4 years and its still really only the 7s. For the other positions, we don’t necessarily know who applied. But we still have Pip Marlow on the board and Raelene Castle as CEO is also on the board. So, from 9 of 10 positions, we have two female directors.

    AFL has two female commissioners – Gabrielle Trainor and Major General Simone Wilkie (actually the former wife of Andrew Wilkie the independent politician) – so 2 out of 9.

    Cricket Australia has two female board members, Jacquie Hey and Michelle Tredenick (2 from 8).

    NRL has two female commissioners, Amanda Laing and Professor Megan Davis.

    Paul McLean will retire in June/July and it is possible that his position will be filled by a female if she is the best applicant at the time and brings skills the board lacks or desires. But, in any case, given we already have roughly the same as most of the other top sporting bodies and, we have a CEO with much more opportunity to make a direct contribution to change, I don’t think there is an issue around gender diversity at RA. There are many other issues but not one about this.

  • Patrick

    Love or hate him, any rugby fan would agree that

    This was the comment-bait troll of the year? Absolutely, well done :)

    • Brisneyland Local

      you wouldnt have got a better response out of a Quade Cooper line in the old days!

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Mad rugby supporter from Newcastle. Offering unbiased takes on why the Brumbies are the best team in Super Rugby.

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