Thursday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby news sees the Force awaken, Rebel’s lock Matt Philip still with a point to prove, Red’s coach Brad Thorn wanting to keep talent on home shores and a Trans-Tasman comp continuing to gather momentum.

 


 

 

Unstoppable Force

Force captain Ian Prior will be looking to push his case for Wallabies selection.

This week will be the first time the Western Force are back in Super Rugby since their exile in 2017. The Force will fly out to New South Wales on Friday, and Head Coach Tim Sampson has reported that the group is “full of excitement” ahead of their first Super Rugby AU game for the year. The Force had to patiently wait last week as the new competition kicked-off.

The team will begin their campaign against the NSW Waratahs, who they played in their last Super Rugby clash on an emotionally charged night in Perth three years ago. Since then, the West Coast-East Coast rivalry has been bubbling along, and should produce a fiery match-up.

“The team can’t wait,” Sampson said.

“The excitement has been building for a long time to play against the Australian clubs again. It’s been brewing since the new Super Rugby structure was first mooted and we’re here now in the midst of game week, prepared and determined for the challenge.”

Following the Force’s game against the Waratahs on Saturday night, the team will relocate to the Hunter Valley, an arrangement Sampson is very thankful for.

“We’re delighted to be back in the Hunter Valley region after a great experience here during pre-season when we had a practice match in front of a big crowd,” he said.

“It’s a strong rugby area and there’s a lot of passion there, so we really appreciate St Philip’s Christian College hosting us and allowing us to use their facilities.”

Wallabies jerseys are on the line for the Force players, with new national coach Dave Rennie making it clear that he will picking a squad based on form in the Super Rugby AU. Coach Sampson believes the lads will have plenty to play for.

“I’m stoked for the players. For them to have the opportunity to go and play in a competition like this in front of Wallabies selectors is brilliant,” Sampson said.

“We have the utmost belief that we can perform in this competition, as there are individuals in our team that can certainly attract the attention of the right people for national selection. I’m just rapt the players get this opportunity and the loyal Sea of Blue get to witness them play at this level again.”

Rebel with a cause

Matt Philip lineout catch Waratahs v Rebels. Photo: Keith McInnes

Matt Philip isn’t ruling out a return to Australian rugby despite signing a one-year deal with Top 14 club Pau. The Melbourne Rebels second-rower wants to add to his three Test caps before his departure.

Philip claims the move to France is attempt to improve his chances of becoming a regular Wallaby. He hasn’t been able to break back into the Australian side since making his debut in 2017 and said he hoped getting some experience in European rugby would give him an edge.

“I’m going for a short stint overseas but I am available for all of the Super Rugby competition and all Test matches this year,” Philip said, shedding some light on his new deal.

“I’m hoping to come back at the end of next year’s Super Rugby season and will be available for next year’s Test matches.

“I’m hoping I will put in a good enough performance that they will want to keep me for the long term but in the short term I’m going to get a bit of experience overseas.

“Hopefully it gives me a point of difference around my forward play as it’s a pretty tough old competition over there so I think it’s going to benefit me.”

The 26-year-old said he’d been in regular contact with new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who had been giving him feedback on his game.

The Rebels are on the move again this weekend after being beaten by the ACT Brumbies in Canberra last Saturday night.

The team has relocated to Sydney, as they give up a home game to meet the Queensland Reds on Friday night at Brookvale Oval.

At least Manly Marlins product Philip will feel right at home on the Northern Beaches.

Home loyalty

Reds Coach Brad Thorn. Photo: QRU

Reds coach Brad Thorn is a big supporter of the ‘Giteau Law’ telling rugby.com.au that it is ‘strength’ for Australian rugby, encouraging talent to stay in the country.

The ‘Giteau Law’ was introduced to allow overseas-based players to be picked for the Wallabies if they have played more than 60 Tests.

The law is currently being reviewed. Some positions in the Australian playing stocks have been hit hard, and some pundits want the law to be relaxed in order to select a few overseas-based players to play for the Wallabies.

The second row depth in particular has been depleted, with Will Skelton, Rory Arnold and Izack Rodda plying their trade somewhere else.

Thorn has said that he felt restrictions on Test selection had encouraged more players to stay in Australia.

“I think the strength of New Zealand and Australia is they’ve had that rule, if you’re not there, you don’t play,” he told rugby.com.au. “I think Ireland maybe do it over there as well. I think that’s helped keep players in the country, that’s what I’ll say.”

Thorn was full of praise for the locks running around in Super Rugby AU, backing a few for Wallabies jerseys.

“I think there’s a couple of lads in my side who have the chance to put their hand up, down at the Brumbies there the young lock there Darcy Swain, he’s doing his thing, down at the Rebels you’ve got Matt Philip and at the Waratahs, Simmo (Rob Simmons) and (Ned) Hanigan there,” he said. “And I haven’t talked about the Force as well but there’s still some talent in the country. This is the time where you’re seeing a lot of new talent coming through.

“I think it’s a positive for Australian rugby and this competition is a positive.

“I think by the end of the comp, you’ll have a good feel, some guys will have put their hand up and put their name forward. Probably the thing for me as a coach, I used to think this playing Super Rugby in New Zealand as well, often we talk about the All Blacks, but let’s respect the competition we’re in and we want to win, like the other teams, the competition.

“Let’s do well for Queensland and for the other teams and they do well for those teams, those players, that Wallabies stuff takes care of itself for the players.”

Across the Tasman

Samu Kerevi is tackled my Ma’a Nonu

New Zealand Rugby’s ‘Aratipu’ review is proposing that Super Rugby scrapped in favour of a trans-Tasman competition, revealed in a controversial report.

New Zealand Rugby announced in April that it would expand an existing review into Super Rugby. Named Aratipu, and chaired by Don Mackinnon from the Blues, it appeared to signal that some radical changes may be on the horizon.

Recommendations on a new competition structure has proposed an Australian and New Zealand format that would also include “a team from the Pacific.”

In this proposed structure, SANZAAR would be left to run the Rugby Championship, which involves the national teams from Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Argentina.

It is being suggested that Super Rugby competition could fold as early as next year. the Aratipu report also believes that any new competition would be designed to feed into a bigger international tournament, a format discussed on Green & Gold Rugby’s The Dropped Kick-Off . That would involve the winners going into playoffs against the champions from other countries in SANZAAR.

However, SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos told stuff.co.nz that a full Super Rugby competition will continue as normal next year.

“We remain very positive about that,” said Marinos. “Obviously the biggest elephant … in the room is what sort of restrictions that could come in.

“But we are certainly very positive as a group to deliver a Rugby Championship this year in whichever market we can, where we can get all the teams in and get the competition underway.

“At this stage, we are looking at the back-end of October, into November and probably early December.”

Discussions around a Trans-Tasman ‘bubble’ are still ongoing.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Good morning GAGR’s. A wet and overcast day here in Brisvegas, as I sip my coffee and ponder the wonderings of this wonderful game that is Rugby Union. BL’s random thoughts:
    – Go the Force. I so want them to be successful and competitive, and really give the Other Aus SR teams a run for their money. So I am looking forward to their first game. Fingers Crossed.
    – Thorns comments on the Giteau law make sense in isolation. But these are crazy times, and in the world of rugby there are ebbs and flows. At the moment it definitely is second rowers. The guys that we are seeing at the moment are pretty good but are they international standard. Because sure as fuck we dont wnat to be trotting out Symmons anymore. So if we have a one or two player exemption to the Giteau law that Rennie can call upon, to fix the swinging player requirement, then great.
    – I truly hope the SANZAAR arrangement dies. TransTasman and Pacifika all the way!
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Happyman

      Hard to disagree with any of the musings this morning BL

      Go the force don’t forget last start winners against the Tahs.

      With respect to our players you have to remember we are a nett exporter of talent. Our teams should be young with an expectation we will lose quite a few at 25 ish.

      SANZAR is a dodo it just does not realise it yet let them run the rugby championship and the provincial teams can go to Europe as I have said they would for three years. Let just stick to our time zone.

      With regard to our local comps I always think what would the NRL least like us to do. That is have a local comp in our time zone including PI teams and Japan (if they are interested)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I would love to see Japan in the Comp. BUt I think they have re-committed to their Industrial League. Pity!

        • Aaron Meadows

          Posting from not-so-sunny-Suva here and a few thoughts on the inclusion of a Pacific team.
          1. Affordability – Per capita GDP is US 6000, so tickets will have to be priced accordingly
          2. Grounds – ANZ Stadium in Suva is the only venue with a decent surface capable of hosting a fair-sized crowd. Maybe one game a year at Apia park, but no more
          3. Where will the team be based and from where will it draw talent?
          4. Who is going to bankroll the thing?
          5. Cyclone season runs through to May and we had a cat 4 come close in April. This needs to be taken into consideration.

          Probably a bunch of other questions to be asked, I’m just thinking out loud here

        • Brisneyland Local

          Bula Vinaka. I used to live in Fiji. I love the place, it is my home away from home.
          -The Nandro Stallions ground at Sigatoka last time I was there had a good grandstand and pretty reasonable ground. But must admit that was a couple of years ago. Also is it Churchill stadium in Lautoka? that used to be pretty good too.
          -Ticket affordability is very important in Fiji, agree 100% there.
          -I think West Coast Nandi would be the logical location for flights etc.
          -Bankroll will have to be supported by Aus and NZ as well as WR.
          -Yep and Cyclone season is a doozy. Dont miss that part.

        • Aaron Meadows

          Bula vinaka mate, it’s a wonderful place to live and love rugby – Skipper Cup is starting up in 2 weeks and I’m looking forward to firing up the ute and driving around Viti Levu to follow Suva (seniors, U19s and women’s games for FJD$10, it’s a great day out, BYO folding chair).

          Not sure if the Stallions ground would cut it, but Churchill in Lautoka, yes. The Force played there last year. Still, when the Chiefs and Crusaders come over, it’s always ANZ and there are still a couple of daily flights Nadi-Suva.

          Basing a Pasifika team here would be a huge incentive to keep local talent at home (Samoans and Tongans too). Such a team could also play a few games in Auckland, where they’d draw a strong crowd.

          So yeah, bring it on, but do it right. And go the Reds!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Vinaka vaka levu! I am trying to convince Mrs BL that we relocate to F1J1 for at least 6 months of the year when we are in retirement. She has been there with me about 8 or 9 times and loves it too.
          The Grandstand at Sigatoka was pretty good, and the Old Qld’er hut were the expats sit and get Served fiji Bitter is fantastic. The surface is a little rough, But I am sure with a little injection of funds it could be bought up to speed. Plus for those coming over for a game they can make a weekend of it and stay at a nice Coral Coast resort.
          I for one and really keen to have Fiji and the PAcific Islands take their rightful place in the premier southern hemisphere rugby tournament.

        • Happyman

          The interesting thing about the Japanese league is that the company teams are a 100% tax deduction for the companies. So realistically they cost a company like say Panasonic nothing. That is as it was explained to me by a guy who was involved up there for many years.

          I know of kids who are over there playing for University teams on full scholarships. It is a great deal for them.

        • Brisneyland Local

          YEs my nephew left the Reds to go and play in Japan. Lets Just say he has been treated far better by the Japanese then he was by the Reds.

    • Dally M

      Hmmm…word out of NZ is that the board is split on the makeup of said TransTasman comp. Half are happy with 5 teams from each country and the other half want only 2 Oz teams and a Pacific Islands one.

      Won’t be much TV money from OZ for 2 teams!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. And the internal wars if we cut down to 2 teams would be horrific.

        • Damo

          Obviously a Trans Tasman comp would be a massive departure from where we have been over the past 25 years. In that case, why not go all the way. Why not create a 10 or 12 (PI + Japan ??) team competition operated as though it were being played in a single geographic location rather than in 2 or more countries. Club focussed, rather than country focussed. Players are free market tradeable, regardless of where they are from. BB, for example, could be contracted by the Reds for a couple of seasons and it would not be seen as some kind of treasonous act. I doubt the Aratipu report is suggesting this approach but I believe it has merit.
          The objective would be to build a robust, quality rugby competition that was seen as valuable to broadcasters, sponsors and fans. Perth/NZ would be the worst of the time zone issues. We see an ebb and flow of performance within the NRL clubs and I think it would be the same with the TT. No draft, but a salary cap in place. A financially viable structure would mean players can be paid well enough to resist northern hemisphere offers- benefiting both quality of TT and the constituent national teams.
          I’m guessing NZ supporters might say that right now they don’t need this and that it would dilute the quality of their rugby- and maybe the All Blacks. Over time, I think the opposite would be the case because of the quality of the competition.
          And I welcome anyone here to critique the concept. I’m sure there are negatives but we really have to move forward somehow.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Going straight out to 10 or 12 teams would be big. BUt with Aus (5 teams) Kiwi(5). Pacifika (1 Team Fiji plus others) and Japan (Moon Doggies) there is the 12. That would be a great touranment to watch.

        • Damo

          Yes mate and I’m sure we share the view that something has to be done about a competition which arguably delivers the best provincial rugby in the world but which year after year is playing to an ever diminishing support base. Maybe the rethinking happening at the moment is rugby’s Covid silver lining.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Damo let us all hope so!

        • Dally M

          Provided that they also kept it the way the original SR comp was i.e. playing each other once on a rotating home and away format each year and then finals.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          In a lot of ways I think this makes sense but I’m not so sure that NZ would agree to having their players go and play elsewhere. One of the issues with that is that while they play for a NZ team the coaches of the team and the AB’s can, and do, work closely together to ensure that players are developing in the right area, working on the right skill sets and meeting what the AB coach needs for them when they play for the AB’s. This would be difficult to do if they played in another country and so I’m not sure you’d get the good players who were likely to make the ABs moving around. Yeah the Ruru’s and others that are not going to make the AB’s but do you really want many of them?

        • Damo

          KARL, you have summed up the truth of it there. I guess my desire would be that the competition and the support of the clubs be seen as an end in itself first and a job application for international selection 2nd. Anyway let’s see what the smart people come up with. It will need to be soon.

        • Tah Tragic

          I suspect if it were only 2 Oz teams then it will be the Kiwis making the decision as to which ones they want. The decision would be taken out of Rugby AU’s hands. Still it would be a blood bath here and I can’t see Rugby AU agreeing to it.

        • Dally M

          Well they know themselves that a NZ only competition is unsustainable.

          You’d like to think that with the support we have shown Fiji through the NRC that they would be siding with us if we put together our own comp.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Lets hope.

        • JJ

          Or Fiji could side with the Western Force for Twiggy supporting their first professional squad into GRR

        • Dally M

          Well with the Force back in the fold, that would add extra weight to them sticking with Oz

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. Blood bath is about spot on.

        • JJ

          Well, if the Kiwis only invite 2 Aussie teams, then it could be just the Brumbies as the strongest and the Western Force as the most financial. Twiggy has made friends in high places in NZ rugby, Bay of Plenty (Shangai) and Crusaders (Taiwan) were already scheduled to be part of GRR in 2021.

        • Brumby Runner

          If the Force are omitted, then no matter which two teams get the condescending pat on the head by NZRU, the other two would likely very quickly join the Force in GRR and Forrest would be more financially able to sign the best of all the Aus players rather than them joining the favoured two.

          GRR could well become the premier Aus competition in those circumstances.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        And none of them liked anything in between – eg. 5 NZ and 3 or 4 OZ teams?

        • Dally M

          Haha apparently not.

          Twiggy has the contacts to go with a mix of SR and GRR if we had to do it without the Kiwi’s.

          What do they have up their sleeve? Not much i suspect. Without Super Rugby you can bet Sky will be wanting to renegotiate that big TV deal too.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I suspect all SR TV deals are conditional on the competition being as planned, so if one third of the comp drops out the whole contract is void.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        I just read that. I think it’s a couple of members more than a split board but dear old Georgina hasn’t had any shit to write about over here for a while so she’s stirring up NZ. For me it all depends on where this sits. I still think there needs to be a local competition between the clubs and Super rugby here and perhaps a mini competition here at the next level With a promotion/relegation To pick the 4 teams that play at Super rugby level. TBH I’d be happy with 5 Aus teams and 5 NZ teams but the issues here is “can Aus afford 5 teams or NZ for that matter if there is no SA sponsorship money?” Maybe we need to accept a smaller competition because if that

        • Dally M

          I think we are stuck with the SR franchises as they are i.e. state based, and club rugby won’t be changed so it’s a matter of what fits in between that.

          The SA money has been overinflated for a while i think. The NZ deal with Sky had them set to bring the most to table from next year.

          If a TransTasman comp can include some form of Japanese Top League team involvement, then there should be some money & interest there.

    • Keith Butler

      Dead right about the locks BL. Symons getting past his sell by date with little known about the young pretenders. If Big Willy gave it up in the NH would he walk into a G&G jersey? Like the idea of a Trans Tasman comp. A beefed up Drua that received additional funding that would attract the top players back, maybe.

      • Brisneyland Local

        The Drua beefed up would be excellent to watch. I love watching them play. Everytime they played in QLD during the NRC i went to watch them. Just fun to watch. Plus all the CUzzy Bro’s turn up which makes for a great day onthe Karva, Fiji bitter and a bit of singing.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hey Keith, I think the biggest mistake a coach can make is trying to pick someone to come straight into a test team here with only their form in the NH club scene to base the decision on. I’d like to think that if a player was to be picked from outside the local area then he/she would need to come back and be introduced into the team gradually. Maybe as a reserve to start with. Big Willy’s a classic example. Supposedly storming it up North but when he was here last he didn’t exactly cover himself with glory so why do people think he’d change if he came back now?

        • ATrain

          I think, if there is any value in State of Origin or some form of possible vs probables match in Australian rugby this might be it. If we do abandon the Giteau Law then we need to have some process to assess if the players coming into the side are at a comparative standard.

        • Keith Butler

          You are right KARL. If he comes back he needs to prove himself in SR. Thought he was a bit over rated at the Tahs and in the G&G. That spell at Saracens seems to have done him the world of good. Lost weight, more mobile improved his scrummaging but line out still a work in progress. Would be interesting to see him at the Rabble with Geoff Parling an England and Lions lock mentoring him. Not much good him playing for Sarries in the Championship next season imo.

        • Brumby Runner

          Won’t be playing for Saracens, I understand. Believe he has signed with a French side.

        • Brumby Runner

          On the other hand, Rory Arnold was storming it up quite recently here and in the RWC. A hell of a lot more confidence in his ability to come in and go from the get go.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Afternoon mate. Nice fine day here in Sydney, for now. Just passing the time until I head off to the Red Cross Blood Bank to add to the culture by donating some plasma.
      I’d like to see the rules changed to allow the coach some greater flexibility and be able to choose the odd overseas layers if there was no one available locally, but I’d not like it opened up too much or it will damage rugby here.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah agree. What do you think 2 or 3 players?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Maybe 3 or 4 but approved individually by RA. I think it’s the reality of the situation

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep agree.

      • Yowie

        …until I head off to the Red Cross Blood Bank to add to the culture by donating some plasma.

        That explains my interest in scaffolding and my thirst for L&P after I had that emergency transfusion.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          There you go. At least your culture isn’t confined to a week old yoghurt in the fridge

        • Yowie

          I’ll have you know that Australia has it’s own very fine cultural traditions. Eg. Phar Lap, Russell Crowe, Sam Niell…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Gold

      • Keith Butler

        If Saffas blood is green what colours yours? Black and silver with a drop of gold now.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahaha I’d say more black and gold now mate

    • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

      These aren’t crazy times, they are, if you ignore the Antonine, Justinian and Black plagues, small pox and Spanish flu pandemics, unprecedented times. In unprecedented times, like the musical, anything goes and like 2am in a nightclub, any port in a storm. Scrap the Giteau law, it has a stupid name and implement the pick whoever the fuck we need to beat the all blacks law.

      The Waratah’s V Waratah A’s will be interesting.

      • Brisneyland Local

        You always make me laugh! Pure gold

      • Who?

        Only question is… Who’s overseas right now that Rennie would want? Other than Arnold? Can’t see him dragging back Phipps/Genia/Foley/Cooper. I think Dave’s likely to want to make this his own team.

        Beyond that, in these times of short quarantine (i.e. 14 days, not 40, as in Venice), can you imagine trying to get someone back into the country to play in our Trans Tasman Bubble? The Covid Clubs of the North don’t like releasing them for the week (and remember, TRC is generally outside the agreed “International Windows” of June (or whenever the mid year Tests now land) and November), let alone for three weeks for a singular game.

        And surely you know that anything not documented on the latest CCP social media network (i.e. TikTok) is effectively undocumented? As opposed to what’s happened on there, which is documented, but immediately forgotten. :-P

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Maybe Kerevi as well. I think of the change not being about the now per se, but more of an insurance policy going forward into future seasons, as professional rugby in Aus is shakier than the Kiwis claim they invented pavlova.

    • Brumby Runner

      I think SANZAAR (Marinos to be accurate) is seriously underestimating the ability and power of NZRugby to run the agenda. What NZ wants, NZ usually gets.

      • Brisneyland Local

        True.

    • Huw Tindall

      Between the NRC and GRR we’ve got the makings of an expanded domestic comp already if the Kiwi’s don’t want to play ball with 5 Australian sides. Even if it was just the 5 states plus beefed up Drua and Sunwolves rising from their grave it would be a nice comp.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Very true huw. Really still would love to have the Kiwis in it though. It would force us to get better quicker.

  • Tah Tragic

    Got my tickets to the Tahs v Force game. Great to see the Force back but can we not have a repeat of the Tahs last game against them. Horrific.

    • A feel a need to disagree re: the last results. I was reasonably impressed.

    • JJ

      I see SCG tickets have restricted to Tah members only, to make sure there are not any pesky Force fans who live in NSW are not there waving the wrong shade of blue.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack, like most I’m hoping the Force come out and play some really good rugby. It is very cool having them back in the mix and I hope they do well.
    I’m sort of with Thorn on the overseas players, maybe there is a way to modify it and allow more flexibility if there are times that the coach hasn’t got anyone in Australia to fill a particular position, but I’m not sure watering it down too much will be in the best interest of Australian rugby.

    Good to NZ finally facing up to the reality of the shit SANZAAR has put together. Regardless of what Marinos says to try and keep his high paying job now that he missed out on World Rugby Chairman, I think the travel restrictions are likely to kill of Super rugby anyway. He can dream all he wants but what we had is not going to come back. I think a Trans-Tasman competition is realistic and sustainable. Personally I’m not sure there is the funding, governance, facilities or commercial balance to include a PI team, however if these issues can be addressed it’d be great to have one in the mix.

  • Hoss

    TRAVEL ALERT

    Force Players staying in Hunter Valley – please note

    1. Make sure vehicles are locked at all times – do not leave valuables such as new thongs, beanies or stubby holders in plain view – secure these items safely away from plain sight
    2. Beware of ahem ‘amenable locals’. Hunter Valley natives are well drilled in the martial art discipline of ‘coitus deceptivus’ and use this as a distraction while partner or young children steal aforementioned valuables from vehicles
    3. Do not entertain attending local watering holes after 6pm. The male of the Hunter Vallian species known to mark there territories with urine or Loig jersey – sometimes both. Said ‘territories’ become murky and virtually undetectable once the influence of the much imbibed local nectar kicks in from 6 pm. Physical confrontations likely to occur.
    4. Native tongue, when approaching male or females of the HV species use ‘Dazza or Shazza’ and odds firmly in your favour being likely correct. If younger children of the tribe with them use stupid terms like’ Epiphany, Kerosene (pronounced Kerressenay), Brooklyn, Blaze or La-a (pronounced ‘Ladasha’) if unsure use ‘ward of the state’ as back-up.
    5. Assimilate – local Loig team is Goanna’s and anyone from Kurri-Kurri should be punched on suspicion alone – as not to show you are not a local.
    6. When leaving the town, lock vehicle doors, eyes affixed straight ahead and keep hand gestures small and slow. Ensure crotch rot cream and suitable volumes of penicillin on hand to ensure no lingering ‘memory’ of your stay.

    Apart from that, welcome to Cessnock, enjoy your stay and i am sorry the Tah’s belted the bejesus out of you on Friday nite.

    Yours in HV Lifestyle.
    Mr Hoss

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahahaha Do I need to be remembering the same when I come up in a couple of weeks mate

      • Hoss

        You’ll be alright mate – rumour has it you’ll be with HV royalty.

    • Geoffro

      I assume the mayor,Reg Regan, has heartily endorsed your recommendations

    • Brisneyland Local

      You forgot to put to avoid the Ice Zombies post 10 pm.

      • Hoss

        We have our own ‘Disneyland’ at Cessnock West (‘Westy”) – strap yourself in. We normally play – see if you can drive through and come out with your wheels / rims unstolen. Talented lot up there in the ‘Arctic Circle’ (other name we use)

        • Yowie

          If any racecar teams are looking for the world’s fastest pitstop tyre change crew…

        • Yowie

          If any racecar teams are looking for the world’s fastest pitstop tyre change crew…

    • Anywhere to eat, or safer to bring your own?

      • Hoss

        Per capita – obesity capital of NSW – we’ve got you Mc Covered.

    • JJ

      And then Force belted the bejesus out of the Tahs on Saturday nite at the SCG

      • Hoss

        I stand by what i wrote…………

        • JJ

          So do I

    • Damo

      And, in the space of one day, thoughtful, philosophical Hoss is consigned to the scrapheap.

      • Hoss

        Who ??????????? Did that fucker get out again.

        • Who?

          You called? :-P

      • Yowie

        I don’t know how “thoughtful” or “philosophical” it is to sit around in the dark speaking in riddles about snails crawling along the edge of straight razors and “the horror” and similar.

    • Keith Butler

      Bloody hell Hoss you should have warned me and the Mayoress when we visited. Now where’s that anti itch cream!

      • Hoss

        As i recall you were definitely BYO……………….

    • McTarts

      • Hoss

        We’ll be McWinners come full time

  • ATrain

    Bit of a slanging match between Morgan Turinui and Dave Wessels being carried on through the papers at the moment. Makes for interesting reason – Wessels defended himself quite well in the bit I read today.

    However, in one of the articles in the SMH I read this

    Meanwhile, Wessels has dropped Wallaby Reece Hodge to the bench for Friday’s match at Brookvale Oval but insists it is to do with workload management.

    We have just had 10 weeks in lock-down and are looking at a 10 week season ahead of us. I didn’t think “workload management” would be an issue this season.

    • Dally M

      I thought Turinui’s comment was fair enough, however Wessels has then played the man, not the ball in return.

    • Damo

      Reece, your workload last Saturday night was piss poor. Manage it!

      • Hoss

        Gold Damo.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      10 week season with 2 byes too.

      • Yowie

        Still, some backs work pretty hard. It’s almost enough to mess up one’s hairdo.

  • Huw Tindall

    This meme/gif is basically Andy Marinos since COVID. I guess he needs to keep plugging the line that Super Rugby will continue as normal in 2021 as without it he’s probably out of a job if all that’s left is Rugby Championship to organise!
    https://media1.giphy.com/media/cteJ7ZUgPAJfq/giphy.gif

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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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