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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby news sees the Force take on the Reds on the Gold Coast, and the Waratahs looking for redemption against the Brumbies, while Rugby Australia reveals more details on the State of Union series and the 2021 Lions Tour in jeopordy without fans.

 


Breakthrough win

The opening game of Super Rugby AU this week will see the Western Force “host” the Queensland Reds on Friday night at their new home at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast. The Force are desperate for their first win in Super Rugby AU after puting in some solid performances over the competion.

They will have their work cut out for them if the Reds show up in defence like they did last week. Reds coach Brad Thorn described the team’s effort against the Rebels as State of Origin-esque, as the players made 204 tackles to the Rebels’ 66.

Tate McDermott shot back into Wallabies contention after getting through a massive amount of defensive work, saving at least two certain tries in one-on-one efforts against bigger men. McDermott said the belief is back at Reds HQ.

“It’s all about believing and we’re slowly believing that we can,” he said.

“It’d be massive (to win Super Rugby AU); it’s hard to sit here and promise you stuff, but we keep talking about it and it must get frustrating listening to it.

“But hopefully people are starting to see what we’re about.”

The last time these two teams met in Round 3, they were narrowly separated by two penalty kicks in a 31-24 win for the Reds, but the mood in the Force camp remains positive, with veteran centre Richard Kahui saying the bond in the team was as strong as ever.

“Our culture and camaraderie is as good as anything I’ve been in,” the former All Black explained.

Grudge match

For the second game of Super Rugby AU, the NSW Waratahs travel down the Hume Highway to take on the ACT Brumbies in the ultimate grudge match.

The Waratahs are out for revenge after a 77th-minute try from Brumbies halfback Issak Fines and a successful conversion from Bayley Kuenzle sunk the Tahs when they last played in Sydney.

Competition points are also on the line, as the Brumbies currently sit on top of the table, and the third-placed Waratahs are sitting just three points adrift. Whoever gets the win in this game could have huge ramifications for the competition, with spots for the finals at a premium.

The Waratahs are riding a two-game winning streak after a shaky start to Super Rugby AU.

“There’s a bit of history between the Brumbies and Waratahs,” Waratahs assistant coach Matt Cockbain said.

“And we’re playing for the Dan Vickerman Cup too, a legend of the game and a guy who I was lucky enough to play with.

“We’ve spoken about that as well. We haven’t had our hands on that trophy, and we’d like to do that.”

The Tahs will be looking for redemption, with Cockbain claiming they are still seething after that close loss last month.

“We’ve spoken about it, that one hurt a lot. It is a bit of a motivation,” Cockbain said.

“We should have closed that game out better than we did.

“We gave them an opportunity and they took it, which is a credit to them.”

Reignite the rivalry

Lineout time

Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan has his heart set on getting the State of Union concept up and running, stating that the invitation to play would be thrown open to overseas Wallabies.

McLennan likes the idea of a three-game series as early as next year, and like Sean McMahon, Will Skelton, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Samu Kerevi, Bernard Foley, Izack Rodda, Rory Arnold, Sekope Kepu and Nick Phipps are being thown around as candidates who could come back from their respective clubs to particpate.

The bold claim would give the series a huge profile boost.

Plans are moving fairly quickly, with word that the potential NSW and Queensland teams will base Their selections on places of birth or club affiliation.

“We need more tent-pole events baked into the rugby calendar, and we will continue to create more event television for the game,” McLennan told the Daily Telegraph.

“We’ll consult with the Waratahs and Reds to get their views, but it would certainly add a lot of interest to the game.”

Rugby Australia has no illusions that it would take time to build up the rivalry to State of Origin levels, but McLennan is determined to see it on the calendar.

Another of McLennan’s proposals is to have an Anzac Day Test against New Zealand, as part of the Bledisloe Cup.

Tour troubles

The Lions Tour in 2017.

The 2021 British and Irish Lions’ tour of South Africa may be cancelled if touring fans are prevented from attending because of the coronavirus pandemic.

South Africa Rugby are worried that the absence of travelling supporters would make the event commercially unviable.

At this stage, the tour is proceeding as scheduled, beginning on 3 July 2021,  but could be abandoned if the estimated 20,000-strong contingent of Lions fans are prevented from coming over.

“There has been some talk of moving it out [to a new date], but our travel advice is that by June/July, we should be at what is deemed to be normal international travel”, said South Africa Rugby chief executive Jurie Roux  in a press conference.

“But we are monitoring it on a monthly basis. Travelling for international events will likely still be under more pressure than pre-Covid [in July 2021].

“No spectators and people not being able to travel would not make this commercially viable and then we would discuss how we continue with the tour.

“We’re obviously looking at a number of different contingencies around what happens if Covid-19 continues in the way that it currently does.

“First prize is that that doesn’t happen. Second prize is that there are some restrictions and we can manage in those.”

  • Who?

    Rugby Origin? Just no. McLennan’s making a good amount of reasonable decisions, but seriously, just no.

    Also, it’ll be interesting to see how the Reds recover from the physical workload of the last game. Does that advantage the Force, coming off a bye?

    • Geoffro

      Why no ? there’s already enough vitriol spewed forth towards the Eastern subs/Mosman elite,might be time for the white shoe brigade north of the border to have a go.I’ll tune in

      • Who?

        Because we have Qld and NSW already. Because it’s exclusive. Because Rugby relies on combinations and understanding that take more than a couple of days to organize. Because the calendar’s full of better quality Rugby already. Because, even though I grew up in NSW and live in Qld, there’s nothing that would interest me less, other than perhaps intra-city club games and a club championship (which is also a farcical idea – how do amateurs get time off work to go play in another city in a knock out comp? Meaning, time off this week, time off next week, if they win again maybe even a third week).

    • Hoss

      Morning Dr.

      I like what I am hearing from this Scottish gent. Sure not all his ideas will stick. BUT, it’s got people thinking and talking about Rugby again and it’s possibilities and that’s the whole point.

      I would argue there’s a fair amount of my management style in him. Throw a heap of shit against a wall and see what sticks, but I love it, I love his vision, his passion and his left-of-centre thinking.

      It’s not the leaders job to drive the bus, it’s the leaders job to say ‘here’s were we are going,l and why were going there – now, who’s with me and what do you need to get us there – all aboard’

      • Yowie

        … my management style in him. Throw a heap of shit against a wall and see what sticks,…

        From what I can gather from the whole “me too” movement, the worst offenders had that approach with the women in their orbit for the sake of a (say) 5% strike rate.

        Not that I’m drawing parallels with present company.

        • Hoss

          ‘Hoss lets one through to the keeper Without offering a shot’

        • Ads

          The Force getting axed was good for Australian Rugby. There – distraction for you. That was close!!

        • Nutta

          When folk start referring to themselves in the 3rd person I get a bit anxious…

        • Hoss

          Technically it’s third person twice removed x pye. ‘Hoss is getting upset though’

        • Nutta

          Just take a moment and reflect on the perception of someone known as ‘Nutta’ talking in the 3rd person…

          “The Nutta is not amused…” Fkn what?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          But you’ve doubled down by deploying the definite article. It’s a very popular middle name, though (Attila the Hun, Ivan the Terrible, Rupert the Bear…)

        • Reds Revival

          The Hoff and The Rock both refer to themselves in the 3rd person, although, so does Gollum/Smeagle.

        • Hoss

          Naturally I can’t speak for Hoss, but as far as I am concerned, Hoss has never heard of said ‘Rock’ and if Hoss has I am sure I would know about it, so…..

        • Yowie
        • Geoffro

          Not to mention it is (literally) a favored tactic of aslyum and gaol inmates

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          For those who care about their hue, they use it as self applied smear tan to bronze up and give themselves a natural glow. Sometimes it is possible to have it applied as a spray tan, but you have to be good mates.

        • Yowie

          The kind of natural glow that makes your eyes water.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Don’t get me started about the stains it leaves on the lounge when it is dried.

        • Nutta

          Soul-Glow

        • Geoffro

          You just had to push that envelope dindcha

      • Damo

        After years of having a Chairman who spent most of his time polishing the ivory tower (yes, that is a euphemism), it’s pretty refreshing to have a bloke who wants to lead the ‘where to next’ discussion. I’m not a fan of the rugby SOO idea, but let the discussion flow.

      • Who?

        I’d much rather see a Possibles/Probables game. But my point (from my answer to Geoffro) stands – Rugby’s a game about combinations and familiarity. I don’t see this being a high quality game, or even adding to what has already been a packed calendar.

        It’s one thing to throw out thought bubbles. The QRU considered the NRC to be a thought bubble – that’s the exact phrase used to describe it in the QRU AGM the year the NRC was announced. “Pulver’s thrown out a thought bubble with no consideration for how it’ll work, and we’ve got to make it work without allowing our clubs to take on massive financial risk, so we’re banning their involvement and we’ll put forward two teams. The GC will be included in QC…” To which there was wide ranging concern – “Gold Coast’s metropolitan, not country!” Only to have the reps from Mt Isa step forward and say, “GC’s always been part of the QCRU and part of the family; its increased population shouldn’t change that.” So it’s one thing to throw out thought bubbles. But you have to have people who can implement them. NSWRU didn’t do that for the NRC, and that’s been the greatest issue with the whole comp.

        Further, you’ve got to check what sticks. I’m not confident that McLennan’s not just going to go with his gut and proceed with some ideas just because they seemed good at the time. Reports are he’s adamant this thing’s happening, even though plenty have no interest. Shouldn’t the ideas you take forward first be the ones with the most buy in, giving the best hope of early easy wins? Yet he seems more set on this craziness than anything else.

        For mine, he’s doing well with not just accepting NZR’s rubbish about Super Rugby (both parties should shut up in the media and get a deal done behind closed doors – 11 teams, 5 Aussies, 5 Kiwis, and PI’s (mainly drawn from NZ Super franchises, which would level the field a bit)), but he needs to focus on setting up that primary competition (or whatever else might be the primary competition – domestic, whatever he can get done) before worrying about much else. Otherwise you end up with a piecemeal calendar that doesn’t work.

        • Nutta

          I would rather see a Shute Shield selection vs a Brissy Premier selection dressed in State jerseys. A proper representation based on club-play. But if-so then the John Dent Canberra guys would also have to get a look in. I would love to see the Country lads involved but the step-up is too big.

        • Who?

          That would be much more interesting to me, too. You could host it in a regional city (Woolongong, Newcastle, Tamworth, Coffs Harbour, Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast), include the Qld Country Heelers and the NSW Country Cockatoos games, along with John I Dent, and other major cities.

          Set it up with two pools – SS, QPR, JID, and whichever the next strongest team is. The other city teams go with the Heelers and Cockatoos. Have promotion/relegation based on results for the following year. At least two games per team – 1 v 4 and 2 v 3 from last year’s results, then winners and losers face off. And the winners of the second level pool would then play the losers from the top level pool for promotion for next year.

          That becomes a festival weekend (Friday and Sunday games), with the promotion/relegation game scheduled for another weekend with time to recover. It would be a step up from club Rugby, a great chance for those who don’t make it to club games every week to discover the future, and a great chance for players to show their wares looking to get a contract for next year.

        • Nutta

          Careful, you’re starting to sound like an NRC but with geographic boundaries on team selections… God Forbid!

        • Who?

          I wish! But no. I was more thinking a rep carnival. Same sort of level of play – above club footy, below Super – but wrapped up in a weekend or two max.

          Honestly, I’d be somewhat less opposed to a SOO concept if we went to NRC rather than Super Rugby. That is to say, if we didn’t have the Reds and Tahs playing each other in Super Rugby and then using the same names again. But I think we need to be at Super Rugby level (in terms of playing numbers, standard, and international connections) in order to have the faintest of hopes of remaining professional. An NRC-spec comp at this time wouldn’t be sustainable.

        • Alister Smith

          I think in the league world we call that NSW Residents and Qld Residents – and it would be good.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Really? Shute Shield and Brissy premier! That’d be bore fest of questionable quality that would be of interest to a very small selection of the country. Mate I know the elite here rave on about these games but the quality, apart from about 2 teams in each competition is pretty below average at best

        • Who?

          I’d take it, because it would (clearly) not be a replacement for Super games. Where SOO would be. It’d be a step up from SS and QPR, whereas I can’t see SOO being a step up from Super. It would work in the same space as the NRC.

        • Nutta

          Yeh but at least that would be arguably ‘representative’ as opposed to one Franchise vs another franchise. And it would pull a crowd. But as I said, it would have to involve the Canberrans.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I think it needs more than Canberra mate. What about Perth, Victoria, SA and the other places in Australia where people play rugby. I just don’t understand why we’d want to cut them out even more

        • Nutta

          I get you and i largely agree. What I am saying is that IF it was about SOO then I would just go Shute vs Prem.

          But IF are asking what would work BEST then i am a supporter of a properly structured and supported NRC.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Fair call mate. I’m with you on a properly structured NRC. To me this is the big thing missing in Australian Rugby and I’d rather see this than any dreamt up crap that tries to challenge league just because it works for them.

        • Perth girl

          Yep, I agree. They need to work on the NRC but QLD and NSW didnt like it for some reason!

        • Who?

          Qld liked it. The QRU was very sceptical about it, but they bought in and it was successful up here. Just look at who won the toast rack – Brisbane City twice, Qld Country once, Perth Spirit (I think?), and the Drua (again, I think?). Open to correction on the latter two. But who brought up the rear of the field each year? NSW teams…
          The NSWRU didn’t buy in, the SRU didn’t buy in (they saw it as an attack on SS), it’s on them.

        • Geoffro

          I am with you on the poss v probs.I think the calendar is hardly packed given there will be no Bled/RC nor EOYT for the guys likely involved in either a SOO or P v P.The lack of prep or combo’s doesn’t generally dilute the interest in BaaBaa games and call it what you will but C19 has reduced this years rugby to a piecemeal affair anyway

        • Who?

          It depends on whether you’re looking at it for this year or as a permanent fixture. I read McLennan’s enthusiasm for setting up this fixture as seeing it having a LONG future.

          BaaBaa’s games have a notable point of difference with the Origin concept. Origin’s meant to be to the death, BaaBaa’s games are meant to be fun. Props stepping, locks throwing dummies, halfbacks pretending they can run through hookers. If a Rugby Origin game wasn’t stupid intense, then it’s only going to be considered a pale imitation of the League version.

        • Yowie

          Barbarian games can get a bit chaotic when the NZ players misunderstand the call “shove it up your woolly jumper”.

        • Reds Revival

          Hairy second rowers get very nervous with that call.

        • Geoffro

          Sure,I agree.Id see it as more of a one off for these times.We are a bit more civilized than the mungoes and Im sure Rennie woudnt be that keen on a to the death affair either.All in all , a poss v probs is more logical and would probably generate as much interest

        • Dally M

          Take your rugby hat off and consider what would be attractive to a broadcaster, a casual fan or even one who doesn’t necessarily follow rugby.

          A possible v probables doesn’t do it for any of them. Sure from a rugby & Wallaby supporter perspective it’s what we’d prefer, but State of the Union taps into what is absolutely huge for the mungo’s and could get them tuning in for another dose of that rivalry.

        • Who?

          Until it’s played, and it’s scrappy, not the pinnacle of the game, at which point it becomes nothing more than yet another reason for them to slate the game.

          AFL has looked at Origin, and they can’t make it work. And they don’t have to deal with 10-15 Tests in a ‘normal’ year. Or have as many games as League.

          The fact that it seems like a good idea to some is no guarantee that it’ll work.

          And three games for a game that has no momentum behind it is of less value than an NRC season. It won’t make money, not for years, and even then, it’s a question of whether it’s the best value for the three weekends (McLennan’s talking a three game series).

        • Dally M

          That’s what they thought about NRL Origin when it started too, and look at it now.

          AFL actually had SOO before League but the Vics couldn’t handle getting beaten by SA all the time and when NSW beat them they canned it out of embarrassment.

          No it doesn’t guarantee that it will work, but you at least have to try it, and if broadcasters and sponsor are interested it’s worth a go.

        • RedAnt

          It works in rugba league because when it started, only NSW and Qld played the game (and pretty much that’s still the case). So it made a lot of sense, particularly for Queenslanders who had most of their players playing in what was the NSWRL. It’s really not the same for rugby, and I personally think it stinks of an unhealthy focus on NSW/Qld to the detriment of the rest of the country. Also, ratings etc are not going to be great for much the same reason – it will only draw moderate interest from those two states, and bugger all from everywhere else.

        • Nutta

          Dont forget that when they are being really truthful, SOO to the Mungos is more important than Test footy. They can’t compete with us on an international footing so they needed (and so they manufactured) something else instead.

        • RedAnt

          Absolutely.

        • Nutta

          Isn’t it funny how folk get parochial like that about the ‘national’ game?

        • Who?

          Look at SOO now, because it dominates the NRL calendar. It’s the pinnacle. That’s not true for Rugby, and will never be true, unless we shrink to international insignificance.

          You’re not wrong about why AFL dropped SOO, but they’re still in awe of the passion of League’s SOO. But even with the best off field team in the business over the last 15 years, they haven’t figured out how to make it work.

          It also undermines who teams are. So, one week we’re watching Qld play NSW in Super Rugby, then we watch Qld play NSW in SOO?
          Our issues are not about quantity of product. They’re around the performance of the team (thanks, Cheik!), and the utter debacle that has been the administration of the game for much of the past 20 years. A few good decisions from each of the administrators (Pulver had two – NRC, which was a thought bubble, and investing in Women’s 7’s – one Gold medal resulting), but a lot of intransigence. Improve our performance on the field – something that’s looking likely with some good new talent and finally some coaching intelligence coming through – and make the game more accessible (something that’s been an option each five years, but an option never taken), and who knows what might happen?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah but I think it’s only huge for the Mungo’s because they have nothing else and most of their club teams are in NSW or QLD. Let’s face it most people watch it to se a chance of biff anyway rather than the game.
          I don’t think it’ll work in rugby for 2 main reasons. Firstly, it will alienate everyone who’s not in QLD or NSW, Secondly, I don’t think it’ll be a spectacle in the same sense that the League game is.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I don’t get the concept of the probables v possibles. This just sounds like Aus super rugby, the Tahs v another Aus side (less the Force, as they are the highly unlikely’s).

          We need something different.

        • Yowie

          *pissing off nearly every Aussie rugby supporter with one statement Achievement Unlocked*

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Tahs are only possibles with Cheika in charge mate

        • *mutter*

        • Probables v Possibles works pretty nicely, and I’d quite like to see it. All those tight choices for the G&G jersey, you don’t really make them, you put your #1 in the Probables jersey, your #2 in the Possibles jersey, mix it up a bit to get club combinations where it’s possible. So if you have 2 Brumbies, 2 Reds and 2 others as your starting back row, you’d shuffle them to have the Brumbies +1 in the Probables and the Reds +1 in the Possibles (or the other way round) if that works out with the loosened and tighthead props.

          And while it’s not perfect, because you don’t have the combinations, you get to see the top 46 players giving a go in what’s basically a final selection match. Not sure if you want JOC or Toomua as starting 10? Line them up against each other, with a good pack and a good 9 and 12 and lets see how they go…

          That’s probably not the decision the selectors will make on the back of it, but they’ll be looking at that those last few decisions like that.

        • Hoss

          That’s gold mate.

        • Who?

          Tahs bias on show there mate. :-P
          Nice piece of trolling. :-D

        • Alister Smith

          I think we a five team Super Rugby Au comp we are seeing possibles vs probables every week. No interest for me for that concept. there is genuine tradition in NSW v Qld, something to build on.

        • Perth girl

          And ignore the rest of the country?

        • Alister Smith

          Yep, for this particular event. NSW v Qld has 130 years of tradition. I don’t see it as a selection trial like some others do so it doesn’t matter if all players don’t qualify. That is not how the league one works and it isn’t necessary that ours does the same.

          In years to come, when WA and Vic can field teams with 75 – 100% of their players coming through their own systems then perhaps you widen it out but they tried that in both AFL and with the introduction of an NZ team into the Super League state of origin and it didn’t work.

          This potentially works because of the tradition and history and, at the moment, WA doesn’t have that. It has a lot of other things but not that when it comes to rugby.

        • Who?

          NSW vs Qld has 130 years of tradition as the Reds and Waratahs, who play each other twice a year already. In Super Rugby. To add SOO to existing NSW Waratahs and Qld Reds is confusing.

        • Alister Smith

          NSW don’t play Qld twice a year. Two franchises named the NSW Waratahs and the Qld Reds play each other in a club competition that doesn’t reflect where players originated or were developed. Both these clubs have players that came up through their junior development systems playing for the other state. Players from three other franchises, a majority of them who have been developed through these two state systems, do not get the opportunity to represent their states. So, if you like, call the two club teams Sydney and Brisbane, only use the historical NSW Waratahs and Queensland Reds names for the annual clash in State of Origin. If the other state or territory organisations have enough locally developed players to participate at the same level then expand it. We used to have a 3 way series with the ACT and there was at least one occasion (1994?) that ACT beat NSW.

          Some people might not be interested but I personally would watch a NSW vs Qld match based on where the players were developed.

        • Who?

          It’s not a direct showdown. Which is what League’s SOO grew from, before their international game died. Five teams is a comp.

    • Gun

      Yes I agree with the large man. People are talking and I’d watch it before the rugba league facsimile.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I agree. I can’t see how it’ll do anything other than piss off the other states

      • Hoss

        And ????

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahahaha You Mosman Toff you

        • Hoss

          There’s something in the air down there mate. Was at a wedding two weeks back down there and when I came home I had this unnatural urge to sew leather patches onto everything I owned.

    • idiot savant

      You seem unconcerned by the fact that Rugby is broke and that traditionalists are preventing growth. If a Union SOO gets the game on free to air and earns even 5M in broadcast rights that’s a win for the game. If it fails then dont continue with it but the game has to try things. The traditionalists looked down their nose at the Big Bash and now its the most valuable product cricket has. We have to go forward, come up with new products, find new audiences.

      • Who?

        If they’re offering $20 million for 10-15 Tests and a full season of Super Rugby, they ain’t paying $5M for 3 games.
        I’m not ignoring the financials. I don’t see anyone paying for a concept that’s unproven. Because, at this stage, it’s worth less than the NRC. The NRC gave far more content across a longer period of time.

        I’m happy to look at new products, provided they make sense. I don’t see how this works at all.

        • idiot savant

          You are ignoring the financials. Its about new audiences. You need to think beyond the rugby base. SOO is a marketable concept to people outside the rugby union bubble, hence the possibility of free to air coverage. The NRC (and I love it and think it is the best development pathway we have ever had) is only for rusted on rugby nuts like you and a few of your mates up in Toowoomba and me and the dog and some old busted rugby players. At this point in our evolution its just gonna lose money. And we can’t afford that right now. We need new audiences to make money and save us from having to play qualifiers against Belarus and Kazakstan.

        • Who?

          SOO’s marketable provided it meets expectations. Expectations from external people. And it won’t. Because it’s not going to be the polished product required. How’s it going to be a polished product without it taking away significant time from other existing products – Super Rugby, Test Rugby, etc? You don’t get a defensive effort like the Reds’ efforts (regardless of the fact the Rebels aren’t a great attacking team) without a good amount of time together to develop trust.

          Further, no one’s paying $5M for 3 games. It just isn’t happening.

          I get what you’re saying about NRC. I think, sadly, it’s gone. I’m not pushing for it. And I’m open to new concepts. I just don’t think that aping the Leaguies is the way to go.

      • Alister Smith

        5M would be 5 or 10 or 15 player salaries that we couldn’t afford otherwise. I am not certain how it would all work , particularly bringing back OS players that are contracted to Nthn Hemisphere clubs but I would like to see it.

        State of Origin is the biggest single rating for any annual event of any kind on Australian TV so, if another network felt that they could get at least a little of something similar, plus the possibility of sales internationally (that probably depends to some degree on how well the Wallabies are going) then I reckon it could work, it is certainly not the worst idea we have had and I think one point that McLennan made was very pertinent, that was that this is the longest sporting rivalry in this country of any winter sport at 130 years and that is something worth honouring (and exploiting).

    • UTG

      Need some footy on free to air tv sometime this year though (especially with no tests being a possibility), Origin is a concept they’d be more likely to pick up.

      That said, I like the idea of an Australia vs Australian A series as they did with ODIs in the 90s. Call it Wallabies vs Joeys and load up the Joeys side with all those youngsters on the cusp like Wilson, Harrison, Ramm etc.

      • Geoffro

        An incumbents v incoming would be good.5 cap min on the incumbents would still allow the likes of Uelese,Isi,Jones,Petaia etc to turn out for the incomers.

    • Hambone

      Bringing back overseas based players is something that could really add steam to this concept.. to see the likes of macmahon, gill, skelton ++++ running around on home soil again mixing it up with the youth coming through. Hell it might even help to drag the lads back kicking and screaming for a gold jersey glory rerun …

      • Geoffro

        Would be good to see though hopefully , Spanners would be too busy chasing his sevens dream to become involved

    • Howard

      Force played Tahs last week. Brumbies had bye

      • Who?

        Thanks Howard. :-)
        Can’t believe no one picked me for that sooner!

  • Damo

    In other news Josh Flook is getting his first run on start for the Reds tomorrow night- at 13. Be interesting to see how he goes in mid field. Interestingly Thorn has kept JP at 14

    • Reds Revival

      It’s a game call by The Padre. Putting a couple of young (smaller) guns up against Kahui and Godwin. I would have felt more comfortable with Jordy at 13 in this match.

      • Damo

        And now he is back and fit I think Jordan should be playing 13 all the time.

      • Kahui and Godwin, a few more games together and…
        Be an interesting combination to watch develop, running out of time this year.

        Youngest and smallest defenders possible suits me fine, just not too agile thanks.

    • idiot savant

      Flook is an outside centre so knows the positional demands particularly in defence. He has also probably been training there all season. Jordy has played more super rugby on the wing and knows defensive positioning there. So at this stage with the Reds injuries and the cattle they have got its likely the better option. Jordy offers a lot in attack on the wing, coming off the blind, back 3 returning etc and there’s nothing to stop them swapping for scrums and line outs in the opposition 20.

      • Reds Revival

        Thanks for the extra info IS. I was under the belief that Flook was a 5/8th.
        I have to say that for his size, he tackled very well in the Rebs game. Quite fearless at times. He will need to be if he has Kahui charging at him (I have faith that Hamish will be able to bring him down).

  • formerflanker

    I’m keen for the SOO game so I’ll get straight down to implementation issues.
    What does “club affiliation” mean?
    Lots of people these days refer to their state team as “club” – or does it have the old fashioned meaning of district club?

    • Reds Revival

      FF, from what I have heard, “club” refers to which state a person first played their rugby for. E.g. Karmichael Hunt was born in NZ, but first played in Brisbane, therefore Qld. Maro Itoje once flew over Cairns as a child, therefore he qualifies as Qld. Dane Coles is despised by all Australians, therefore NSW. You get the idea.

      • Ads

        Dane Coles is despised by all Australians, therefore NSW

        – Gold. They should call the team the mosman latte’s just to bring the hate.
        Don’t forget players moving to WA are being “developed” too, but those moving back are “stolen”

        • I nearly commented there for a moment

        • Nutta

          Resist.

        • Nutta

          Ah, the Andy Murray dance; when he’s good he’s British (ergo English) and when he loses he goes back to being Scottish.

  • Nutta

    At the risk of actually talking a little rugby…

    I’ve been a quiet fan of Thorn. I like what appears (from the outside) to be a straight-up, no-bullshite approach to the game and to life in general. I also though understand the rumours from the inside say it is anything but that. However from my view, it’s a simple philosophy that is seemingly finally starting to get results. Long may it reign. Still gotta fix dem lineouts though…

    I enjoy Tarts v Donkeys. It’s always been a physical belter of a match and i think this one will be no different. I tip the Donkeys reign to continue.

    It seems the universe continues its conspiring against the bastions of rugby ideology. In a world of ersatz-everything including Spotify rugby (one-offs and you-tube remixes of best-bits with albums/tours engineered out), to not see a Lions tour go ahead would be a loss of one of the cultural pillars of our game and a true tragedy. I get it – it’s Covid and if the circumstances are such we must do what is prudent and sensible. But bloody hell give us a break…

    Thanks Jack

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m with you on Thorn and I still think most of the issues are due to his lack of experience more than anything else.

    • Hoss

      Yep. I find the Padre a no-nonsense straight up, decent kinda guy and unfortunately I am also a huge fan of his young reds team.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack, I’m looking forward to the Tahs vs Brumbies. I think that it’s the Tahs game to lose this as they have demonstrated an improvement we haven’t seen from the Brums this year. Really looking forward to the Maddocks vs Banks battle. I’m a fan of Maddocks and while I do admit he’s got a lot to learn he appears to be doing that.
    I can’t see the Force winning this one as I think the Reds are too strong Mind you I’ve called a lot wrong this year so who knows. Good luck to the Force as it’d be great to see them get a win.
    Be a real pity if the Lions tour doesn’t go ahead, not least because it’ll mean the Chiefs having another losing year under Gatland.
    I’m not a fan of SOO and it’ll be interesting to see how or if they include the other states. Be wrong if they don’t I think

    • Nutta

      Out of interest, where do you stand on Nth Island vs Sth Island?

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        TBH I don’t really care that much. I’m from Wellington which is in the North Island, but I only see value in it as a trial for the AB team. I don’t care who wins

        • Nutta

          Are you atypical of the general perception?

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          In some ways although there are people wanting to watch it as a spectacle in itself. There will be a lot of support for the teams from those who live in the North or South. In the past the South always got a lot of support because it was a chance for them to kick it to the North. A lot from the south saw that rugby was focussed in Auckland and Wellington and so this game gave them a voice they wouldn’t otherwise have. With Super rugby being in place and especially with the Crusaders doing so well that sort of feeling won’t be there so much.
          Most of my mates are wanting to watch it to see how some of the players go against each other and as a trial for the AB’s, they don’t really care who will win.

      • As someone who watches rugby from just about every first tier country, I’ll be watching it. I don’t have any skin in the game, but like KARL, I’m looking at it as an AB trial.

        It’s pretty close to their pick of the best, playing against each other. The result doesn’t really matter, but I’m hoping for a spectacle.

Rugby

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

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