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 take on the Tahs on the Gold Coast, and the Reds look to rebound against the Rebels, while Rugby Australia snaps up another young gun and the Blues are on high alert in the lead-up to their showdown with the champion Crusaders.

 


Feel the Force

Nick Frisby shuffles the ball on for the Force.

The first game of Super Rugby AU will see the Western Force take on the NSW Waratahs on Friday night at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. The Force will be looking to pick up where they left off after the bye and notch up their first win in Super Rugby AU against the Waratahs on Friday night.

The last time the two teams met, the Force let the game slip through their fingers after racing to a 14-0 lead, but eventually the Tahs mounted a comeback to take the game 23-14.

Coach Tim Sampson is hoping they can breakthrough for a maiden victory, after proving they can match it with the best in this new domestic competition.

A point of pride for the Force is their scrum and lineouts, with veteran lock Jeremy Thrush providing much-needed leadership and the impressive Fergus Lee-Warner adding some mongrel to the pack.

Meanwhile the back row has been the surprise packet of the competition. Henry Stowers, Tevin Ferris and Brynard Stander have been workhorses, earning consistent selection in Green & Gold Rugby’s Team of the Week.

Meanwhile, veteran All Black centre Richard Kahui and Wallaby Kyle Godwin have added some starch in midfield, and Godwin is eager to aim up against the Tahs, with speculation he will be joining the NSW team next year.

“We’re raring to go this week,” Godwin said. “We’re so close to getting that win. We’ve been playing some great rugby and haven’t been rewarded yet, but we’ll keep pushing, keep ticking along and I’m sure the win will come soon.”

Red redemption

Hunter Paisami in space.

For the second game of Super Rugby AU, the shell-shocked Reds take on the rejuvenated Rebels. With last weekend’s results, both teams are still firmly in the hunt for the finals, and a win in this game could prove pivotal to the standings.

The Reds in particular had no answers for the Waratahs last weekend, and struggled at scrum and lineout time, a facet of the game the Queensland side usually pride themselves on. I shudder to think what Brad Thorn had in store for them when they rocked up to training.

Taniela Tupou has stepped up his efforts of late, consistently playing for the full 80 minutes. Quizzed on whether he is in the best shape of his career, Tupou admitted there was room for improvement.

“I wouldn’t say the best, I’m getting there and it’s a lot better than last year I think,” he told rugby.com.au.

“A few things I need to work on, been playing some big minutes and ready for some more I guess.”

He has now turned his attention to being a leader in the forward pack, which extends to Queensland’s newest debutant (and Tongan Thor’s new protege) Zane Nonggorr, who had a tough night out.

“I didn’t really say much to him in the speech but I spoke to him after the game,” said Tupou.

“He did well at the start but he got the yellow card so he was a bit disappointed. There’s a lot for him to work on and I’m pretty happy to help him out and stuff.”

It is time for the Reds to take this competition by the scruff of the neck if they are finally going to deliver on potential.

Tahs bolster their squad

James Ramm training with the Waratahs.

The NSW Waratahs have locked in rookie winger James Ramm, who has signed a two-year contract this week.

Ramm, who was Man of the Match on Saturday in the Waratahs surprise victory over the Queensland Reds, now leads Super Rugby AU in clean breaks, and sits equal first on defenders beaten.

Ramm created a brilliant try after putting a chip and chase to set the tone at the SCG.

“I’m just loving every minute of it,” Ramm said following news of his re-signing.

“To be a part of this squad and represent the Waratahs is something I’m really proud of, and to have been able to share that (debut) with my family and friends this year is a memory I won’t forget.

“There’s been some frustrating times (with injury) but that’s made this year all the more enjoyable.”

It is encouraging to see these young guns sign some long-term contracts, with the future of Super Rugby yet to be decided. Ramm is the second young prospect to commit to Australian rugby since the contract freeze was lifted earlier this month, after the Queensland Reds’s secured Hunter Paisami’s services for another two years.

Nervous wait

Blues skipper Patrick Tuipulotu with his team. Photo: Blues Rugby

The much anticipated Blues v Crusaders clash is in doubt following the New Zealand Government’s decision to put Auckland in a three-day lockdown.

The Blues are scheduled to host the Crusaders at Eden Park in front of a sellout crowd for the final round of Super Rugby Aotearoa, but a spike in community transmissions in Auckland has thrown a spanner in the works.

The Blues released a statement last night which read: “The Blues along with fellow Super Rugby Aotearoa partners and NZR are currently assessing the impact of both the Blues-Crusaders and Highlanders-Hurricanes games with the move to Covid-19 Level 3 in Auckland and the rest of the country to Level 2,”

“NZR is in close and constant dialogue with Government and we will pass on more information when we have it.

“We are working through all the numerous scenarios and will probably be in a better position to comment with more clarity tomorrow (Thursday).”

“The players and staff are now based at their homes awaiting updates, ensuring they are meeting all health and tracing requirements to keep safe.”

“We are busy this morning readying our facility for shutdown as per level 3 requirements, cleaning gym equipment which will be dispersed around players so they can continue to train and prepare for our final game.”

New Zealand Rugby are expected to make an official statement concerning the game after seeking more information from the Government.

  • Mica

    I am hoping that Taniela’s desire to be a forwards leader also translates to a reduction in some of the brain lapses and stupid actions that have spoilt his impact at times. He’s been good over the last few weeks, so I am hopeful that this trend will continue. Good luck big fella and nice to see your desire to pay it forward.

  • Nutta

    I’ve really enjoyed watching Jeremy Thrush this year. He has just been this belligerent, indomitable pest for the Forcies in every game.

    And it’s fantastic to have the Forcies back in the fold.

    I find it amusing to contemplate the possibilities in asking a 24yr old frontie if he is in the best form of his career. Great to see him playing big minutes though. Big motor.

    Backs stuff? Who cares.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I reckon Thrush is the real pain in the arse second rower we need. Although he is a Kiwi, has he ever had national slection? Can we pick him?

      • Yowie

        Yeah, Thrush can be a real irritation up front.

        • Timbo

          The Force would be wise not to scratch him

        • Huw Tindall

          Outstanding

        • Steve

          I mean, this is just great work.

        • Missing Link

          If his nickname isn’t “vag” then something is seriously wrong

        • Yowie

          What’s his connection to Volkswagen Auto Group?

      • Perth girl

        Thrush is a former All Black

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ah yep found it in his profile. 12 Tests, 6 as a sub. Bugger!

        • Tomthusiasm

          buggered off when he was just hitting his straps, had Retallick and Whitelock ahead of him though so probably, rightly so, cashed in while his stocks were high

      • Missing Link

        I didn’t realise you could get thrush in both bums?

        • Tomthusiasm

          About as common as a Pyle

        • Brisneyland Local

          Allegedly your honour.

  • Alister Smith

    Most of the issues with the Reds lineout, at least in the early stages, seemed to centre around the throw. I hope Thorn has taken BPA out to a farm and found a barn door for him to practice against. But given last weekend’s effort, if I was a pig or a chicken in the nearby vicinity I would be living in fear.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Sprayed it like a blunder buss!

      • Bernie Chan

        Was he throwing worse than Mafi? I was at a footy/soccer game so didn’t see the carnage. I don’t understand how we can have (one let alone two…!) hookers who can’t throw straight…
        Other than the yellow card, how did Nonggorr go? A massive leap to go from schools rugby straight into Super Rugby…especially as a front rower.

        • Alister Smith

          The first 3 or 4 were way off – i think two fell short of their man and one was straight to the Tahs jumper in front so he probably was worse than Mafi but it wasn’t a great improvement. I thought Nongorr went pretty well. I didn’t think the scrum was anywhere near as bad as the lineout. Reds had some dominant scrums at times in the first half but, to be honest, by the second half I was flicking over to Fr Brown re-runs it had been so bad. I was working on the hope that if I stopped watching they might improve. They actually won the second half….;)

        • Bernie Chan

          I suspect you were not the only one tuning out at 0-38! I was told “don’t watch the replay…”. The Reds coach or coaches are blooding some young talent but a picking 19yo prop pretty much fresh out of GPS rugby seems optimistic..
          BT is “Malfoy”…that’s gold!

        • Damo

          What I thought was interesting was that after he replaced TT Nongorr was getting a bit of a touch up in the scrums- hence the YC. Soon after a scrum was called about 5m from the Reds line. TT had to come back on. The Reds monstered the Tahs and won the penalty with a 7 man scrum. TT is a serious scrum beast. Nongorr has a way to go yet, but at 19 there is a lot to work with.

        • Brisneyland Local

          At the moment almost every hooker in Aus Supper has had a shocker this season. Reds just have both having a shcoker at the same time.
          Nonggorr, to be honest, I didnt seem to notice him. So cant have been either too bad or too good.

        • Mica

          Horton’s made a bright start for a rookie hooker.

        • Mica

          The difference between Nonggorr and Tupou was massive. Best illustration was Nonggorr going backwards before his yellow card and then Tupou coming on with a pack down a player and dominating to earn a penalty. Brought a smile to my face. Not really fair comparison I might add, but illustrates the point.

        • Howard

          Yeah. Thor dominated another 19 year old not ready for this level of scrummaging. He’d have been pretty fresh having made 3 runs for 0 meters and 3 tackles with 3 missed

    • Mica

      Hope he took Mafi with him too, since this is probably the weakest part of his game.

  • Yowie

    Sir Richie Snapped Entering Pop-Up COVID Testing Line From The Side

    https://www.betootaadvocate.com/sports/sir-richie-snapped-entering-pop-up-covid-testing-line-from-the-side/

    …“I saw the gate there at the frunt, but I hate going through those,” explained the dual World Cup winner to The Advocate this afternoon.

    “So I just decided I’d come in from the side and gut my hands on a tust.”

    “Easy as you like.”

    The person conducting his test named Nigel Owens said he was happy with Richie’s actions and it’s believed the onlooking Kiwis gave him their blessing, and confirmed that what he did was completely legal.

  • Ads

    Morning!

    In no particular order:
    – I fear last week will be reversed results-wise. 2 steps forward 1 step back.
    – The Force will get a win soon and it will be well deserved. I hope they hang around so we don’t hear about that solo win for next 5 years ;)
    – Surely we are close to being able to confirm Brad Thorn as a worse provincial coach than Michael Cheika
    – I see more thug in Thrush than quality but there you go. I predict a card for a cheap shot on Hooper.
    – Great news Ramm is locked in. Tah’s need some serious tall timber recruitment!

    • Mate, there was the this time back in ’17…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Ads, we dont use his name on this site anymore. He is referred to as Voldemort or the ass clown!
      Yep I see Thrush snotting Hooper. it will be well deserved too!

      • Ads

        Deal. As long as that means I can call Thorn Lucius Malfoy – not quite as shit as VM but still an asshole, surly, likes picking on the three amigos, and defo not a good guy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I can well live with that!

      • Who?

        I thought Voldemort was a tall bloke of Tongan descent last seen playing League in France..?

        Interesting to see Nick Bishop’s article about the Reds. He praised their loose forward balance after LSL was forced into lock, and now he’s still praising LSL as a lock. But he was scathing about the balance lost by not playing McReight, and moving Wright back to 7. Pretty well every Tahs break saw a complete lack of Reds loose forward – they were relying on their locks to cover the width. That’s a big ask for the giraffes. And it was further complicated by having Wright jumping at the front of the lineout, rather than the rear. Which made it harder for him as the openside to get to the width.

        It makes the comparison with Cheika rather apt, given that all the issues with Hooper since 2015 have been about balance in the loose forwards. Exacerbated when LSL was playing 6 and unable to cover the ground required of a 6 (particularly against the AB’s)!

    • Perth girl

      As Thrush is a former All Black I think there is more to him than just thug!

      • Nutta

        Your’re right. He is a FOREIGN thug. Quick, where is Tracey Grimshaw when we need her?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold.

        • Nutta

          Awww shucks…

    • Huw Tindall

      Chek’s provincial record is outstanding. Wallabies not so much but credit where it’s due.

      • Alister Smith

        Was watching him last night sitting behind Trent Robinson in the Roosters box as the Roosters season appeared to fall apart (lost another three players including Keary to injury). And I wondered what he would bring to RL in terms of attack.

        Also wondered if, he is a reverse Meninga. Meninga didn’t last long as a club coach but excelled at the rep level (given he did have a once in a generation Qld team but the structures and systems he put in place were still a big part of the win).

        Cheika, where he had blokes with him in a club/provincial situation all the time, always seemed to get good results but, apart from the early success in the world cup in 15 couldn’t replicate that at national level. I must admit I loved watching the way the Waratah’s played in 2014 under him and I had great hopes when he took the job. Many of his players showed him a great degree of loyalty. But I think, in the end, it was his stubbornness around game plan and the constant changing of players and playing blokes out of position that cost him with the Wallabies.

        Maybe Cheika will re-emerge as a coach again in Europe and be better for his time in Robinson’s system, which is undoubtedly successful or maybe he will eventually coach a league team.

  • Perth girl

    Godwin signed for the Tahs for next season before he linked with the Force this year according to those in the know

    • JJ

      Tahs signed young WA/Aus U20 Force players Carlo Tizzano and Michael MCDonald and then have not played them. If the Tahs have signed Godwin, then I hope for his sake they actually give him some game time.

      • Fines, Deegan, Orr, plus a few I forget, allthough these guys have had some time.
        As much as I understand the need for depth in a squad, after a season or two, can see why Europe starts looking welcoming for some.

        • JJ

          Deegan is a real specialist flyhalf. Did well last week in his first run on game for the Rebels.
          Fines is as quick as a lightning when he makes those breaks. Wish the Brumbies would give him a start game.

        • Bernie Chan

          Fines is a cracking talent. Won the Premier Rugby POTY in his debut season I think…then went west as he wasn’t on the QRU radar…

        • pity we couldnt keep em all eh

        • JJ

          Yes, well No actually. This morning in the SMH, Hamish McClennan was pitching a player draft and asking New Zealand to send over its surplus players to ease their depth fears about Australian Super Rugby sides.
          I am not in favour of a proper formal draft system like AFL. I think the home country or state should always have first pick of players developed in their backyard, but once their Super squad is full, it makes sense to allow players to play for one of the other 9 teams who are short of talent in particular positions. But those players should should be still be picked by their home national team, if they turn into stars while playing across the ditch in Super.
          Rather that, than having them disappear to Japan or Europe.

        • Agreed, but I’ll let you write up the document.

        • Gun

          Part of the problem with is that is the success of the Comp has been second to the success of NZ ( with us and others tagging along). Covid has laid bare the foundations and the competition itself needs to be the primary aim with national teams second. A draft even a hybrid one is a big part of that equation.

        • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

          Deegan was outstanding against the Brumbies, especially with having to make something out of the ponderous, loopy service from Lomani

          Watching the Rebels 9, with his slow wind-up, big back-swing and two-step harbour bridge passing, was like watching late-career George Gregan or Luke Burgess.

          And yet Deegan still bossed the game.

        • So it wasnt just me

        • Missing Link

          These 3 names could be real future stars, I’ve been impressed with what I’ve seen of them this year.

      • RedSheep1989

        yeah considering McDonald’s success with the u20s it’s disappointing he hasn’t had more game time. not recently, but in reverse order he’s had a tiny bit of game time from the bench behind Short, with 3, 8 and 13 min in seperate games so far this year

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        Would be great if our best players get an opportunity every week on the pitch instead of the bench or pavilion. We need to find a way to distribute our players better across all 5 franchises – if the Force are again seen as a Superugby franchise. I think Deegan, Fines and Orr would have got more opportunities at the Force. Godwin is not much of an improvement on Jooste and if he signed with the Tahs maybe we should give preference to Jooste?

        • Too Little Too Late

          If and it’s a big if, we had the money to run 5 teams. The big bash style that is being tossed around would bring back all those players currently playing overseas to prop up our current 5 teams.
          It’s all about having enough cash to pay guys to stay in Australia.
          If the cash is there then the player numbers will be available.

          Hopefully some external money comes into it, I know most people don’t like the sound of Private Equity but if that is what we need to do to stop the player drain. Then both Aus and NZ will need to fall into the PE lap.

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          If PE acts like Forrest, I have not problem….

    • Too Little Too Late

      As an ‘ex WA’ boy, (the WA part never leaves)

      I was wondering on your thoughts of what it would it would take for the WA public to embrace rugby.

      My knowledge (20 years old and out of date except for Christmas time) has rugby positioned well behind WAFL and even in schools with rugby programs, strong athletes aren’t being lured to Rugby. It seems to be still the sons and daughters of recent immigrants from SA or UK.

      I have a couple of mates in the club programs but the hearts and minds of the public aren’t being drawn to rugby.

      Apologies if this is off topic, but I’ve read
      your passionate defence of WA rugby and thought you might have some ideas of how to get the kids who don’t make AFL teams but are big boned and love contact to get into rugby.

      As a declaration I played Aussie Rules all my childhood and a few years in the WAFL.
      I went to London and played rugby and realised you don’t need to spend 2 hours next to the opposition calling you a c and hitting you in the guts. You can spend the time next to your mates and defend a line. What a joy.

      Look forward to hearing your thoughts

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack. Big weekend for the Reds and Rebels as the Reds look for redemption and the Rebels try and prove it wasn’t a one off. Same with the Tahs but for all the hype about the Force this isn’t one they are likely to lose.

    Good score on signing Mann he certainly looks useful and if he keeps improving he should be a good player.
    Tough luck for NZ and I wonder if the Crusaders would care that much if it is cancelled. Bummer for the Blues though as it’ll kill their chance of coming 2nd.

    • Hoss

      Hard round to pick with any confidence isnt it KARL? By rights the Tah’s and Rebs should start favourite, but i wouldnt be putting any of my Jobkeeper on it.

  • whatwouldberniedo

    given that thorn has had the bulk of this squad for 5 years through QLD and QLD country, is it fair enough to say that a failure to make the final 3 in this comp is terminal?

    if the reds go down on Saturday, then the top 2 spots are locked in, and the tahs will only require one win from their last three matches to take the third spot as points differential is very favourable after last weekend.

    if the tahs win on Friday, then its thorn coaching for his career on sat night. IMO he is better suited to a development/academy director role anyway.

  • Hoss

    This is surely photo-shopped right ??? I cant ever recall this happening – he must have been giving him directions for the after-match dinner.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/568a5de6bb0149ac1575f4b59927c14a0ed6a3abd6cbb6e4bf720432d88d1cf8.jpg

  • Wishing the Force well on Friday. They have been so near yet so far. If/If Mr. Forrest is as good as his word, and Trans Tasman (or Super Rugby AU) goes ahead next year, we should expect to see a star studed international team at The Force.

  • Квх
    • Reds Revival

      Russia is watching our forum. Quick look busy, and Liquid Paper any negative comments!

      • Квх

        Of course we do. We even write in the forums. I have written a lot on the topic of Global Rapid Rugby. It was a very interesting and promising tournament for our Krasnoyarsk pro clubs. They are geographically closer to Hong Kong and Shanghai than Europe.
        By the way, Krasnoyarsk time is only 1 hour different from Perth time.

        • Just reading some of your writing on GRR at GAGR kbx.
          -20hrs flight to/from Perth.

        • Квх

          You do not take into account new direct Aeroflot flights from Krasnoyarsk to Hong Kong, Shanghai and other cities in Southeast Asia. They were planned to be opened before the virus. But force majeure.

        • GRR hub based in Asia would make it easier.
          Covid has made it difficult of course, and hard to say when/where the comp is going in the future.
          Hopefully sorted well before we start fighting over the RWC 2027.

        • Квх

          Last year I proposed to divide the GRR into two Conferences North and South. This is what it might look like. For comparison, the example of the Krasnoyarsk clubs. They would fly less than the European Challenge Cup. That is, geographically, this is a perfectly acceptable option for everyone.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/67c1eafcf53788566d86de4ec59a74386d9685809ee64e8c97b23f69c6d103c1.jpg

        • Had much contact with GRR officials or just ideas?

        • Квх

          There were no contacts. But our clubs reacted positively to the idea. The director of the Enisei-STM said that if the Russian RU permits, then they are ready to participate in the GRR.

        • I’m sure at least one of them may read GAGR.
          Best of luck, hopefully soon we will have to brush up on the Russian language so we can sledge properly.

        • Alister Smith

          the climate looks interesting you have maximum temps in the summer months similar to ours but winter doesn’t look too friendly for outdoor sports. I imagine it would be night games in the summer? it would be a real contrast to, for example, Singapore or Malaysia

        • Квх

          Do you mean the climate in Krasnoyarsk or throughout Russia?

        • Alister Smith

          I meant Krasnoyarsk. The site I looked at had summer maximums at 34 Cdegrees but getting down to 10-12 C overnight which would be fine and, I imagine being continental, quite a dry heat. But winter were below zeros – it might just be my poor google skills.

        • Квх

          Krasnoyarsk is South Siberia. With cold winters and hot summers. Traditionally, the rugby season in this region is 7 months a year. No risk to play in cold weather. From April to October. In March and November, the weather can already be like winter. Although in Siberia, climate warming has been noticeable in recent years.

        • Alister Smith

          Is Georgia close enough to be involved in this as well? or not close in terms of time zone

        • Квх

          Georgia next to the Russian Sochi. This is Moscow time. The difference is 4 hours with Krasnoyarsk. The distance from Krasnoyarsk to Georgia is about 2 times farther than to Hong Kong and Shanghai.

        • Alister Smith

          Georgia out then.

      • Missing Link

        maybe he mistook your name “Reds Revival” to mean something different? :)

    • Greetings Kbx
      великолепный !!

      PK best get hold of some coloured pencils for the spreadsheet.

      • Квх

        This graphic was drawn by our Australian friend [thatrugbyguy] from the Tier 2 3 rugby forum.

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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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