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Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby News

Thursday’s Rugby news casts an eye over the final round of the Super Rugby AU regular season, as rugby fans across the country prepare for a veritable feast of rugby on Super Saturday.

 


Last chance

Jeremy Thrush

Saturday’s final round of the Super Rugby regular season sees the first game shaping as a finals decider, with the Melbourne Rebels desperate to get a win over the Western Force to have a chance of sneaking into the playoffs. A win of four or more points for the Rebels would see them finish third and qualify for the finals ahead of the NSW Waratahs.

The Western Force will be out to spoil the party when they meet the Rebels at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle at 3pm. The game will be somewhat of a reunion for the Force, who spent the early part of the season camped in the Hunter Valley. The Force players really want the victory to ensure the Perth club finishes the competition on a good note.

“There’s a lot of motivation to finish off this season strongly,” Nick Jooste explained. “A win on Saturday will cap off an exciting campaign for the club.”

The players have spent two months away from home and their families, and have tested themselves against quality opposition, and have won praise from fans for playing some highly entertaining rugby and unearthing some quality players throughout their squad.

The last time these two teams met in July, the Force were denied victory after a Rebels try in Super Time.

The rivalry between the two teams has been reignited follwing the Force’s re-entry into the comp this year, and players on both sides will have a point to prove.

Plenty to play for

Bryce Hegarty scores a try as Tom Banks chases

The second game of Super Rugby AU on Saturday is a top of the table clash bewtween the Queensland Reds and the ACT Brumbies. The Reds will return to Suncorp after coming off the bye last week.

The Brumbies moved to 28 competition points after the win against the Force, seven points clear of Queensland.

The Reds are still smarting from their loss to the Brumbies last month, where the Canberra side snatched a 22-20 win over the Reds in Canberra.

Regardless of Saturday night’s result, the Reds won’t be dislodged from second spot on the ladder, earning the right to host a semi-final against either the Waratahs or the Rebels. That hasn’t stopped the Queenslanders from getting fired up, with some players throwing barbs towards their oppenents in the lead-up to the game.

It will be by no means a dead rubber, with many players from both sides pushing for a Wallabies spot.

In fact, the game is likely to be a Grand Final preview, with the Brumbies clinching the Super Rugby AU Grand Final hosting rights, with the ultimate showdown set for Saturday 19 September at GIO Stadium.

The Brumbies will be buoyed by the recent signings of winger Andrew Muirhead and playmaker Bayley Kuenzle, and will looking to solidify their spot as the competition’s top dogs with a resounding victory over their closest rival.

North South divide

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Wedged in nicely between the two Super Rugby AU games will be the much-anticipated North V South game, which will further complement Super Saturday. The game is scheduled to played in Wellington at 5.10pm AEST.

The North V South clash will act as unofficial All Blacks trial, with the national squad expected to be named on Sunday. The game is set to be played at a high intensity, given it is a number of players last cahnce to impress selectors.

“Everyone knows what’s on the line here. I guess there are bragging rights and what-not but the boys know there’s an All Black jersey on the line here. It’s pretty much been said the All Black team gets named the next day. So our boys are definitely up for this and I know they want to play the best footy they can,” Ash Dixon told Martin Devlin on Newstalk ZB.

“It’s definitely going to be test match intensity with a lot of flair,” Anton Liernert-Brown told The Breakdown. “We hope we can put out a quality performance. There’s going to be a lot of meaning to this game. Both sides want to win and we’re not going to be mucking around. We’re taking it seriously but at the same time having a lot of fun.”

 Fox Sports has moved the Rebels v Force game to fit the North V South, providing back-to-back games.

Should the Wallabies look to host a Possible V Probables game before the national squad is announced?

Bledisloe blockbuster

Wallabies vs All Blacks 2018 Bledisloe 1 ANZ Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

SANZAAR remains tight-lipped about the prospects of the Rugby Champsionship going ahead, with the tournament tentatively set for 7 November. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the lack of rugby in both South Africa and Argentina continues to be a challenge.

It has been reported that world champions Springboks could join an eight-team competition in Europe, suggesting that South Africa is eyeing a move to play in the Northern Hemisphere. SANZAAR boss Andy Marinos rubbished the reports as “pure specualtion.”

A four-game Bledisloe Cup series between Australia and New Zealand seems the most likely scenario for Test rugby in the Southern Hemisphere.

Where these test matches will be hosted remains up in the air. New Zealand seemed primed to host all games from an inside a bubble until a small resurgence in COVID-19 cases has put that on the back-burner.

Rugby Australia would be keen to host some test matches, and may nab two Bledisloe Cup matches, albeit with reduced spectator numbers.

Perth could be a potential hub destination, while Queensland could potentially host back-to-back Test matches split between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Two Bledisloe Cup matches have been penciled in for 11 and 18 October, but if border restrictions remain they way they are, the All Blacks and Wallabies would have to quarantine when entering either country.

  • Nutta

    Friday. Let’s kick it off with something balanced, conciliatory and inclusive…

    Don’t give Qld the Bled. Send it to WA. They will put on a better show, the local Yarpys are more friendly and Freo has better pubs anyway.

    • Keith Butler

      The Lucky Shag on the waterfront being one. Spent many a happy hour there during RWC 2003.

      • Steve

        I remember the lucky shag on the waterfront. It was in Mexico, 2015.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold steve.

      • Nothing like a shagburger to soak up the residue after too.

      • Greg

        Is this Aaron Smith again?

        • Mica

          Different waterfront…. :)

    • Custardtaht

      Plus it might actually look and feel like a Wallaby home game with fewer kiwis in the crowd.

      Besides if I know anything about Qld now, Qld stadiums are for Qlder’s, so of the 46 players of both sides, perhaps 9 will be allowed in the stadium.

      • Ads

        It’s true. Any “foreign” players are likely to be denied medical treatment.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yes El Commandante Palashuk is being a bit tight with her borders.

      • Yowie

        Extra points for saying “fewer” instead of “less”.

        • Is that a smaller or biggerer word ?

        • Yowie

          As long as it’s cromulent it’s fine.

        • Cromulent would be admissable

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Had to look that one up

    • Ads

      Send it to Darwin and try to make it a heatstroke thing. What’s Marble Bar like this time of year?

    • Brisneyland Local

      BUt costs a fortune to get there, stay there and drink there. Come up to gods country Nutta, and I promise you something to drink other than XXXX. Which is utter shite.

      • Yowie

        In defence of XXXX, it’s not as sweet as VB. Also, it’s not a bad mixer for a black & tan if you don’t want to waste a better pale beer on it.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I use XXXX to kill insects in my garden. And to clean my BBQ. I think that is about it net value.

        • Greg

          The RSPCA will be after you!

        • Brisneyland Local

          For killing garden slugs?

        • Custardtaht

          Garden slugs are a gateway animal, before you know it you will be killing puppies and kittens and interfering with their corpses!

        • A Brum’s fan?

        • Yowie

          Yeah, they reckon Jeffrey Dahmer was fine in the head until he made a start on killing slugs.

        • Alister Smith

          Killing puppies….does that mean he will have to support the Brumbies now Hoss?

        • Hoss

          Part of their membership application i hear.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I just kill them because they attack our veggie patch. I put so much effort in helping Mrs BL build that wonderful thing, I am not having those pesky slugs each my cabbages, lettuces, and tomatoes.

        • Mica

          The kittens, I am fine with……..

        • Greg

          Killing slugs is OK. XXXX is a cruel and unusual punishment.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Quite true. I will change beer brands to be less cruel.

        • Yowie

          Not specifically for slug-killing, but I’ve stumbled across Grand Ridge beers recently at the local bottle shop, their Pale Ale and Hatlifter Stout in particular. I’m very impressed with both. Reasonable prices too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          thanks Yowie have added them to the “To Try” list.

        • Custardtaht

          Throw Young Henry’s Natural Lager on your list, drink it cold on a warm day. Probably my favourite beer.

          I think you can get them in Qld, but you might want to run it past Anna first, to make sure NSW beers are ok for Qlder’s

        • Yowie

          Anna P isn’t returning calls at the moment apparently. Not from Mexicans anyway.

        • Custardtaht

          Gottaa give it to her, she has been able to do what Trump can’t, and she didn’t need a wall.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes we are becoming a little bit isolationalist. I shall go to Uncle dan’s adn have a look.

        • Custardtaht

          Well at least you guys are still free to go about your lives for the most part. I am in the police state of Victoria. It seems the Ass Clown has gone from the Wallabies head coach to being trapped inside Dan Andrews. I see no other explanation as to why he only has a Plan A, with Plans B through Z being more more of Plan A but with more intensity.

        • Mica

          Windows will be smashed soon. :)

        • Yowie

          Are the same shoddy quarantine security guys getting hired again and again despite not performing?
          (apart from that one guy who had no trouble performing I mean)

        • Custardtaht

          I think so, probably out of position too….I heard the pooper was a thing for them too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Like the other Ass Clown it looks like he is in deep water well beyond his level of competence.

        • Mica

          Added to the list – cheers

        • Mica

          Thanks for the tip. I like to be promiscuous with my beers.

        • Alister Smith

          any brown beer recommendations – like Newcastle Brown, which you don’t seem to see anymore. Not quite a stout but dark with similar but mellower flavour?

        • Yowie

          Good question, I’m keen to see if any recommendations pop up. I’m a bit biased in terms of not liking a beer that looks like it should be a full-flavoured stout but ends up being quite mild flavoured (eg plenty of dark ales). It’s like being teased with “what it could be if it tried”.
          White Rabbit probably falls into that category – perfectly drinkable and delicious but bugging me all the same.

        • Brumby Runner

          White Rabbit Dark Ale does it for me. Have you tried Coopers Vintage – 20th edition is out now, but doesn’t stay on the shelves long.

          Asahi Black is a bit like your description; promises a lot but a little light on flavour. The draft version is better than the bottle.

        • Yowie

          Cheers for the heads-up on Coopers Vintage. I’ll try to grab a carton tomorrow. Likewise about giving Asahi Black a swerve.

          It’s weird. Objectively White Rabbit is brilliant. I could happily drink it for the rest of my life if stuck on a desert island….BUT because I know what Coopers Best Extra Stout tastes like, I feel a bit like Obi Wan in No 3

          (“You were the Chosen One! It was said that you would destroy the Sith, not join them. bring balance to the force, not leave it in darkness”).

          Probably what it’s like to go out with the twin sister of a supermodel who looks fine but isn’t obsessive about diet etc. (or, for the ladies, “going out with a non-buff Hemsworth” ) .

        • Alister Smith

          Well I am typically a 50/50 drinker – half tooheys new, half tooheys old but I like to mix it up and have half old half XXXX gold – my own invention – the OLD GOLD (i am in negotiation with Cadbury over rights issues). It has 0.6% less alcohol than the typical 50/50 so I can have an extra gulp and still drive home (but instead I usually have an extra two and walk). It is more for quaffing than tasting but I am blessed with limited taste buds and low expectations (an advantage in more than just one area of life).

          I have had the White Rabbit and I quite like it so that is a good reminder and thanks also for the German beer suggestions from Bernie – I will take the opportunity across October to sample them.

        • Frosty morning

          Newcy Brown… the only time in my life that I’ve vomited blood the next day…

        • Bernie Chan

          German Dunkel…or Bock..

        • Custardtaht

          But will another brand be effective?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Only one way to find out.

        • Nutta

          It’s too early in the day to start on Black & Tans.

        • Brumby Runner

          Would never spoil a dark beer with any light shit. Any time of day.

      • Come west BL. It’ll be worth it.
        Yowie will shout you at Gage Roads and Little Creatures for the entire week.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have lived in Perth a few times with work.
          I lived at Cottesloe. Love the place, but since the mining boom, boy did it get expensive. And full of Saffa’s!

        • Yowie

          I remember in one of those SAS autobiographies the author moved to Cottesloe/Swanbourne for SAS selection reasons. He says he went to the local beach for a bit of a lie down and wondered why he spent the whole time telling interested blokes to f-off. Turns out that bit of beach was/is a well-known gay hangout.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep, I noticed that. But the OBH was such a calling card. And the Cott was a good beach to Swim at. I lived in Eileen St just around the corner from the pub. I could run or ride to work. And on the weekends we would head down to Margaret river. A mate had a vacant block of land down there so we would head down in the warmer months and camp and go surfing all weekend, and drink in the wineries. Mind you back in those days there was only about 20 of them. Last time I went there was over 100.

        • You’d be familiar with the nest then, home of Cott rugby. Best place for any back to play, staring out at the ocean for the entire game…

          Expense is an issue sadly. We blame RA of course.
          I do enjoy the company of the jSaffa’s, grand people jwith a great sense of.. something

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep know the Nest well. Used to watch games there a bit. The Saffa’s are great to hang with, but both they used to always tell me how great South Africa is, and how much better it is than Aus. I always used to ask them then why were they living here. There response was never positive. But they were always fun to drink with.

        • Yowie

          There is a bit in a rugby autobiography (I forget whose) where the Wallabies are touring South Africa and some local in the golf club is telling them all about how safe South Africa is. The Wallabies present asked him, if SA was so safe, why he had a massive revolver on his belt?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep I went over there to go surfing and visit friends in J Bay. They all had big ass compounds that they lived in. Broken glass on the top of the walls, and they carried big ass guns with them pretty much everywhere they went. they also never stopped at red lights. they would slow down, make sure the intersection was clear then speed on through.

        • JBay, never got there yet, one day..
          Margs 70s, 80s, early 90s till it became crowded.
          Surfed QLD thru to the border in the late 70s, went back around 5 years ago, to say its changed would be an understatement.

          Hide elsewhere and keep the spots to myself nowadays.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah we generally only surf the Sunshine coast these days as that is where the holiday home is. Marg was beuatiful even until mid to late 90’s. But then went apeshit. The cost of property there is out of control. And now there are too many wineries.
          Qld still has a lot of good surfing spots. But on the GC DBar, and Snapper rocks now are just tooo busy.

        • yep, thats what I decided 5 odd yrs back.
          Left over cyclone swell as we flew into Coola, ended up surfing Nth of Surfers main bch on a peak that appeared out of nowhere.

          Had a play on a rented Sup down at snapper, got flogged at DBar, damn heavy.
          Ever get this way gimme a yell.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah Dbar and snapper can get heavy. These days I am mini-mal’ing it. Shortboards are becoming hard work, and my fitness level isnt what it used to be. Plus taking my daughters out on their foamies is great, they love it.
          When the Covid thing finishes, I am sure to be back over WA way and will give you a yell.

        • Nothing like surfing with your kids mate

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeeah it is pretty good.

        • Mica

          Stop at the robots BL. :)
          I also saw some funny stuff. Memorable quotes. Would you like to see my gun room (it was like a walk in robe)?
          At a night club – we’ll need to check in our guns with our coats :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah the guys I was staying with was ex-British Army formerly Rhodeisian. So I expected him to pack an arsenal. We didnt go clubbing, we just surfed and hung out at his property.

        • Yowie

          um, well, I’ll happily be part of a system where “who shouts” is rotated amongst the participants throughout that week.

    • Cant fault Freo.

      Friendly local Yarpy’s… maybe I’d best delete those comments from the other day before they decide otherwise.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahahaha great windup to start the day off. I hear Perth is using Covid as a reason to break off from Australia anyway.

      • Yowie

        With enough mining explosives placed along the border they just might succeed in setting WA adrift into the Indian Ocean as its own island nation.

        • Reds Revival

          I’d heard that they had lined up up all the West Australians along the coastline, each armed with a paddle. It seems like they are moving slightly north.

        • Yowie

          FFS the torque from that uneven load is going to twist the mainland. Tasmania will be off the NSW coast unless sense prevails.

        • Reds Revival

          I had always assumed that the reason the state borders were represented as broken lines on the map was so that one day someone could “cut along the dotted line”. I.e. In case of emergency here.
          If that is true, maybe WA doesn’t need to detach, let’s just set Victoria adrift (and maybe NSW too, just to be on the safe side).

        • Yowie

          True, like a submarine or warship movie where it’s a bit “sorry champ, you’re on the wrong side of the closing bulkhead door to the flooding room”.

          Makes sense to design a country the same way.

        • Reds Revival

          That actually sounds more like what an English Admiral would say, but it would be along the lines of, “Sorry old chap, but you need to take one for the team, and all that. You know what they say – what’s a few men?”

        • Sounds fair, we’ll still detach, but have QLD, as long as the locals get off at departure.
          NT and SA can stay with us, dunno where ACT fits in all this, maybe just use it as a qld departure lounge.

          Then we just moor Tassie to S.A (aust, not africa).
          Any others Ive missed?

        • Reds Revival

          I like it! In one fell swoop you have got rid of all the show ponies and whingers. Now we can get on with building a really great empire.

        • What do we name the Empire?
          geez..this succession stuff is turning out hard…
          I might just go fishing instead

        • Yowie

          Twiggistan?

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          The Rineland?

        • Custardtaht

          or outsource it to a Malaysian Air Captain….

          Would it then become East Madagascar?

  • Super Saturday – 3 games back to back..
    What the hell are we supposed to do Friday Nite and Sunday?

    • Brisneyland Local

      I was just thinking that. At least Mrs BL will be happy, it is all over and done with on one night.

      • Greg

        This is sound like Hoss actually….

        • Brisneyland Local

          Great minds think a like!

        • Tah Tragic

          …and fools never differ.

      • Hoss

        ‘one night’ – bragger. Second verse of ‘hope and glory’ from Mrs Hoss and the full time whistle sounds.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I was talking about the rugby. Remember anything more than 30 secs is purely for their benefit! ;-)

      • Mica

        Watch the Premiership Rugby.
        A few ex-pats running around there.
        Sorry Mrs BL

        • Brisneyland Local

          Forgot about that!

    • Brumby Jack

      Could always watch the replays on Sunday …

      • Yowie

        Only if the right team/s win.

        • ye of little faith.
          I shall watch the Force decimate the rebs on sunday, good idea BJ

        • Alister Smith

          The “right” teams Yowie…have you started reading the Australian?

        • Yowie

          I have actually. You know what, with all the so-called evidence around the place I never realised that “climate change”, “Coronavirus” and “Pell abusing kids” are all made-up conspiracies from the left. Now I know better.

  • Hoss

    Morning all.

    Just a reminder the GAGR Super Coach site is open – https://forms.gle/3BotG23WLGeGLnCs9

    Pick your Wallaby squad of 46. 26 Forawrds / 20 Fairies.

    I will publish the results on Monday.

    • Done.
      Sorry mate didn’t recognise any of the other names so I picked all Force players.

      • Hoss

        Thanks Twiggy.

        • One question regarding the form though –
          Is it permissible to enter referee’s names under “other”?

        • Hoss

          It is, but Nigel Owen’s has been a regular selection in the Kiwi squads for years,so……

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          if it works………

        • Hoss

          112% win ratio for games he controls…..

  • Yowie

    Perth could be a potential hub destination, while Queensland could potentially host back-to-back Test matches split between Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

    As a more lively and better-for-Rugby alternative to a Gold Coast test match, could they not dig a grave somewhere and play the test match in that?

    • Bernie Chan

      Noooo…not the Goldie! Better of playing a Test in Townsville

      • Brisneyland Local

        Goldy you are putting up with Bikies and Russian Mafia. In Townsville you are getting hit by the Ice Zombies that come out after dark. Both locations suck!

        • Hoss

          I was considering you for a Queensland Tourism Board gig – you can forget that now.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well I would spruik the nice areas. But let us face facts. every state has it problem places.

        • Hoss

          You’re talking about Sydney right? Concrete shithole.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes and Adelaide (excusing the wine regions they are great) But Adelaide itself is below par.

      • Reds Revival

        Absolutely agree with you there! While Townsville is a League town, they still love their sport, and would get behind it, particularly with the number of Islanders in this region.

        • Yowie

          Rugby is the oval-ball code of the Aust military isn’t it? If so, the local AJs should get right into a test match.

        • Brisneyland Local

          They would if they are there. Tville Army boys play a fair bit of rugby. But they may be otherwise occupied at the moment.

  • D-Box

    Bledisloe for WA.

    The only venue and state in which the Wallabies have a 100% success rate against the All Blacks

Rugby

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

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