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 Wallabies reveal the new First Nations jersey, meanwhile club rugby continues their finals series, with the Hospital Cup and Shute Shield gearing up for semi-finals.


Good luck charm

Current Wallabies with Gary Ella and Hamish McLennan, alongside indigenous players Dylan Pietsch and Triston Reilly.

The Wallabies have revealed the new Indigenous jersey for this test season. The Jersey was revealed yesterday at a special ceremony, with indigenous Wallaby Kurtley Beale dropping in to say he “can’t wait to see it again on the world stage.”

It has been a good luck charm against the All Blacks, as it was famously first worn in 2017 against the All Blacks in Brisbane when the Wallabies won 23-18.

Since then, the Wallabies have worn the jersey against England at Twickenham and during last year’s World Cup against Uruguay.

The Wallabies will wear the new jersey twice this season, including against the All Blacks in Bledisloe III in Sydney on 31 October. The Wallabies will also wear the jersey against Argentina during their Tri-Nations clash at Bankwest Stadium on 5 December.

Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie said: “There is no doubt that this jersey holds special meaning for the players, staff and wider Rugby community.

“The jersey is representative of those who have gone before us as much as it represents the new generation of players who will wear it next weekend.

“We’ve put a lot of work into beginning to build the culture of this team and we’ve spoken a lot about the First Nations people of our country.

“People have already seen our boomerang formation against the Haka and wearing the First Nations jersey during this will certainly add an additional layer of meaning to the occasion.”

The jersey was designed by Kamilaroi/Gamilaraay artist Dennis Golding to represent “Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities coming together”.

Dire straits

Photo by Tom Offer

The fallout from the Springboks withdrawal from The Rugby Championship continues, with RA boss Hamish McLennan admitting the Springboks’ no-show will cost the administration millions of dollars.

The SARU only notified SANZAAR last Friday that the World Champions would no be particpating, just two weeks before the tournament kicks off.

This forced SANZAAR to modify the schedule yet again, reverting to a Tri-Nations tournament featuring Australia, New Zealand and Argentina, with the original 12-match competition reduced to six games.

“The financial loss for them will be great,” said Rugby Australia chairman Hamish McLennan.

It won’t just cost the Saffas money, with RA already staring down a considerable finacial hole before COVID.

“It will cost us quite a lot of money but we’ll find a way through it,” McLennan said.

“We were surprised because South Africa did agree to the tournament scheduling. So we’re disappointed that they pulled out but we’ll just have to move on.”

South Africa claim that player safety was their cheif concern for not coming to Australia, having just started playing proffesionally recently.

“Our view’s different from theirs. We think we’ve given them ample time to prepare for the Tests. We thought it would be good,” McLennan said.

“We’ve already got the Argentinians out here at the moment, and they’re quite satisfied with how their preparation will go.

“But, to be honest, we’re very disappointed that they’re not turning up. They agreed to the tournament so we expected them to turn up. I think it would have been great for their game.

“We hear on the grapevine their players wanted to play.”

Bullsharks are circling

Bond celebrate their minor semi-final win over GPS. Picture: Brendan Hertel / QRU

Bond University will be making their first visit to the finals of the AllSports Physiotherapy Hospital Challenge Cup after beating out 2018 premiers GPS in a nail-biting knockout semi-final at Ballymore on Sunday.

The Bullsharks only gained the lead in the last 10 mins of the game after a tenacious fight-back, and survived three scrums and three penalty advantages to book a spot in the finals.

It came down to the final scrum, where the Bond pack, lead up front by “baby Thor” Zane Nonggorr and former Tongan prop Eddie Aholeilei, destoryed the Jeeps scrum and sealed the game for the underdogs.

“We’d made a replacement to bring on Eddie Aholeilei late and that was always the plan,” coach Grant Anderson said.

“Zane had had a massive five minutes there and Eddie really led that scrum to get that penalty. We’ve struggled with our scrum all year but having Zane back from the Reds, we can put things to rest there. We now have a set piece we can rely on and I’m really proud of the boys and the effort they put in there.”

The Bullshark’s defensive effort will give them great confidence when they go up against minor premiers Easts next week to decide who will meet University of Queensland in the 2020 Hospital Cup final.

“Easts will be hurting after their loss to UQ on Saturday and they’ll come out firing,” Anderson said. “They’re a different team to GPS in that they have a lot more ability to spread the ball. They’re led well by former Wallabies captain Ben Mowen. We’ll have to play well next week but I’m happy for the boys that they get another week.”

Do or die

Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood. (Photo: Kaz Watson)

The semi-finals of the Shute Shield will be held over two massive days this weekend, with blockbuster games that will pit Eastern Suburbs against Gordon on Saturday, and Northern Suburbs against Eastwood on Sunday, both to be held at Rat Park.

Eastwood coach and club legend Ben Batger is looking for his side to find that extra edge when they take on Norths.

“We are looking to get two to five per cent better – that can win a game,” Batger told the Daily Telegraph.

“We know we weren’t perfect against Easts and we know we can improve. Our defence is something we are happy about. I though we really got up and stopped their ball runners and our forward pack was ferocious.”

Batger hinted that it will take not just brawn, but also brains to get the wood over their northern Sydney rivals.

“Defence again will win it but Norths are a totally different game to Easts. They throw the ball a lot more. We have to play smart.”

The club is determined to go one better this year, after missing out on last year’s grand final.

“It is an exciting week,’’ he said. “I want them to be more relaxed. We almost chocked in our semi final last year when we lost to Warringah.’’

Meanwhile, Eastern Suburbs will be looking to make their first grand final in over a decade. This season they mounted a remarkable comeback after staring the year with just one win after four games.

“When we were ninth on the ladder we knew we wanted to be top three and knew we had to win six of our last eight and we won eight from eight,” said Beasties coach Pauli Taumoepeau. “We can do it. We believed we could win this at one win and three losses. We sure believe it now.”

  • Custardtaht

    The previous Indigenous guernseys were much better, I don’t like this one at all. Not sure why it is aqua instead of Wallaby gold or green.

    Aqua was a good name for a band now the Wallabies look like Barbie girls. Well the guernseys are what they are, so c’mon Barbies lets go party.

    Thanks Saffas, they probably just sank the knife further into RA. A difficult task of finding a sponsor has probably just become harder and diminished the value of the broadcasting rights. With all the chat about the Saffas taking their biltong and heading north, who will want to throw big money at a potentially diminished super rugby and rugby championship.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Barbie Girls! Ouch! bloody almost snorted my coffee on that one.

      • Custardtaht

        Well, they are standing in front of a large dress!

        I was going to call them the Aquamen, but

        a) He is an action hero who wears a tougher shade of cyan

        b) The wallabies aren’t real men and are fake and plastic, just like Barbie..

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Ouch mate. b is a harsh call. Have you been listening to that NZ troll too much?

        • Custardtaht

          Yes I have!

        • Custardtaht

          I think Coles forgot he was on the Rugby paddock and thought he was in the kitchen demanding Eggs, when he slapped Thor.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Cook the man some eggs!

        • Greg

          unless they are Tahs?

        • Custardtaht

          They don’t wear any shade of Cyan, they wear a light shade of Blue.

        • Yowie

          “Sense of Entitlement Blue” according to the Wattyl Paints colour cards at bunnings

        • Custardtaht

          That must be the Qld Bunnings.

          In NSW it is known as “Waratah Blue” during the Super Rugby Season and “Wallaby Blue” during the Internationals.

          In Victoria it is called “Who the fuck are the Waratahs Blue”.

          In WA it is called “Wear Blue to protest being cut”.

        • Yowie

          I think the WA shade of blue is a bit darker. According to the colour card it is “…infused with the red mist of seething hate and unquenchable desire for revenge”

        • Qld Red?
          embarrassed?

        • Yowie

          Not every season. We’ve had good years as well.

        • Perth girl

          It’s SoB blue

    • Yowie
  • Ads

    A pox on that jersey. Not quite Reebok bad, but getting there. What was wrong with the other one? We’ve got no cash so sack that marketeer. It’s not like the green will clash with the Saffas now if that’s why they went a lighter shade of pale…

    We skipped the last bledisloe
    Turned turnstiles’ cross the park
    I was feeling kinda seasick
    But the crowd called out for more
    The room was humming harder
    As the Caleb flew away
    When we called out for another drink
    The waiter brought a tray
    And so it was that later
    As the Rennie told his tale
    That his face, at first just ghostly
    Turned a whiter shade of pale

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvryDZQt8JE

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Jack, while I like the idea of including the indigenous culture into the jersey I think I prefer the one from previous years that was still yellow. Personally I’d like to see it more often too. The pain from the Boks pulling out will go on for a while and you can sense the frustration from the other three partners coming out in McLennan’s comments. Bit of a shame and I think SA may ending up losing support from all three in other areas after this. I just hope that they still compete in the RC from next year although I guess if they don’t it may hurt them as much or more as it hurts us.

    • Anonymous bloke

      I would be happy for one of the previous versions to be the main jersey.

    • Missing Link

      Yellow? It’s Wattle Gold :)

      • Custardtaht

        Or Canary yellow?

        • UTG

          That’s Australian Gold my friend and don’t you fucking forget it. Canary yellow indeed.

        • Who?

          Hasn’t been properly gold for years now. :-(

        • UTG

          I wouldn’t mind them going retro like CA did for the ODI strip.

          Original is the best.

        • Nutta

          If your fkn pigeon $hits on my scorecard one more time…

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Edited

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      The only party that can legitimately claim high ground is Argentina. NZRU and RA unilaterally canned Superugby by excluding South Africa even for future post COVID tournaments forcing SARU hands to join Pro 16, RA has been a basket case and took a risk on their broadcasting agreements knowing that they can cannibalise the broadcasting agreements of SARU and NZRU, Steve Hansen and NZRU telling the world that they do not need anyone…..almost to the point where no-one on this planet is good enough rubbish…. People in glass houses throwing rocks….at SARU pulled out of RC 2020. If this frustration continue to compromise the SANZAAR relationships, SARU will re-align their rugby earlier with the NH nations that would be a pity as the Rugby Championships is an excellent tournament that benefited all SANZAAR nations….. e may loose the baby with the bathwater.

      I recon a double header money spinner next year to celebrate the 100th tests between the Boks and NZ may just do the trick….

      • Reds Revival

        Hannes, while I take on board your comments above about player safety, I don’t think SARU were “forced” into joining Pro16. They have been threatening to do that for over a decade so that they could get more of their provincial teams into Super Rugby (which backfired on them).
        I sincerely hope that SA are still involved in TRC, for their sake, as well as ours. They tend to play a Northern Hemisphere “forward centric” game, and have learnt to deal with more “running rugby” teams from the SH. If they are only exposed to the 6 Nations, I fear their game will regress over a period of time.

      • Crescent

        I have seen nothing of SARU being canned for Super Rugby post Covid. Discussions I have seen were around how many seasons would covid affect the tournament, and what shape the next iteration of the tournament would take at the end of the current agreement. SARU has been looking north for some time – and given the time zone challenges of Super Rugby and the failure of the conference system for both teams and spectators – I don’t really blame them for looking further afield. But to cast themselves as unilaterally thrown out is reaching.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Not sure I agree with all of that. It seemed to me that SARU was looking north well before COVID mate. Look I think all sides have been guilty of some mistakes through this where they have been very narrow in their view and it has been short sighted and wrong. Not sure Argentina is without blame as they’ve done nothing to try and build anything except join in other competitions and then complain about how hard they’ve got it.

        I’d love to see something special for the 100th test between NZ and SA I think that’s really worth celebrating

        • Geoffro

          Argentina are desperate as usual to be involved and nothing precocious about it.More power to em

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard
        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Just an opinion piece looking at one side of an argument. I still maintain all sides have made mistakes in this situation. All being short sighted and not looking past the immediate issues. We are stronger together and that needs to be at the forefront of all the discussion

      • MichaelA

        “If this frustration continue to compromise the SANZAAR relationships, SARU will re-align their rugby earlier…”

        If that’s meant as a threat, then its an empty one. Effectively you seem to be saying that SARU is going to re-align with the NH anyway. That just invites the thought from us – why not let them do it sooner rather than later? It means we can get working on our relationships with NZ, Japan, Argentina etc, and SARU can get on with whatever they are doing.

    • Parker

      Saffas are feeling nostalgic for the isolation they experienced when they were not allowed to play against other more civilized nations.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Hahahahahaha ouch!

      • Gun

        Pining for the veldt is HEBB.

  • juswal

    Shute Shield: anyone but Eastwood. Great club but as with Sydney Uni, the comp needs them in the cellar for a generation.

    • MichaelA

      Looking forward to an SU-Eastwood final next season…

      (just kidding!)

  • Missing Link

    I like the jersey!

    • Ads

      It looks like what would come out the back end of my dog after he ate a blue highlighter.

      • Custardtaht

        Or this is the aftetmath of Hoss’ bulldog eating porridge?

  • Mike D

    Why’s the jersey still got Qantas on it?

    • Yowie

      Well spotted. Presumably the end of the sponsorship term still has some time to go, despite the “we’re outa here” news that has lobbed-in.

      • Reds Revival

        Yep. QANTAS sponsorship runs out at the end of this year.

    • Missing Link

      Sponsorship deals arranged and all the jersey designs submitted to asics and printed in advance.

      I’d say any new arrangement will be effective from 2021

    • They’re not renewing it, which is not the same as ending it instantly.

      Ending sponsorship deals instantly can happen, but it’s generally only when the entity being sponsored ends up in jail or does something spectacularly bad: racist tweets have caused some sports stars to lose them, like homophobic ones, more rarely PED scandals. RA hasn’t done that, so the sponsorship deal will end at the end of season, financial year or whatever it was, and just not be renewed. I can’t think of an occasion when a sporting body has had it’s sponsorship ended instantly, but I guess it could happen. Some of Trump’s laws about relationships with Chinese firms might have caused that if a Chinese firm was sponsoring a sports team for example. International sanctions against various countries could cause it too. I’m too young to remember SA being excluded from the sporting community for Apartheid, but that might have caused it – I certainly remember anti-Barclay’s protests for their links to SA under Apartheid.

  • Damo

    Taniela T was supposed to be in the jersey photo shoot as well but he slept in, so they just left his jersey up the back.

  • Hambone

    Has there been any news on ratings for last test coming through, B1 supposedly pulled 500K, would love to know the increase on B2 with the media banging the drums all week.
    Finally started on the sober replay last night. Geez there isn’t much in it, still not finished, but felt compelled to weigh in on marikas behalf, he’s been copping it hard on that non grounding, but duangunu was at the end of jordies and ardies try out of position both times, not trusting his inside man.
    My eyes did not decieve, that Caleb try had no clear ball release post tackle (knee on ground).
    But rehashing the past is futile, but that final score did not reflect the battle.

    • Greg

      My view as well. A few small changes and we will be much better.

      The question then is how much NZ still have to come. Probably a lot… so we need to keep progressing.

      • Hambone

        Thats the ugly beauty of the blacks, they never stop coming.
        But I know rennie is also building a championship squad that can take these guys any given sunday.
        I think they found out paisrami, and as someone mentioned below, his top end speed will really count against him down the track.
        I’d like to see simone come in for toomua, Jordan outside him and drop our biggest tackle monster in the squad opposite Caleb. I don’t envy that job.
        Simmons has to be done, no real upside to him coming in, no punch and to top it off he’s off overseas next year.
        Let’s blood Hosea and marry him up with samu for last 20.
        I’d also love to see Pone come on to truck up some balls and inflict some carnage in defence but I think he’s on the wrong side of the scrum, with 7A’s and the abattoir, if only he could work loosie aswell.
        My two bobs anyway

        • idiot savant

          The best tackler we can put on Caleb is Petaia. I would give Koro the week off (call it rotation) and play Petaia on the wing opposite Caleb and shift FD to the other wing. The best games Petaia has ever played have been on the wing. I actually prefer him there because he can roam and he can return kicks. 13 requires discipline and you have to stay in your channel. He’s offers more to the team by being on the wing. Paisami has more acceleration over a short distance than Petaia and can really sting opponents in the tackle. Leave him there. Bring Simone into 12 and leave everyone else as they are. Least disruption to the team. Sure Banks is limited but he can catch and tackle and will do for now. DHP is too much of an injury risk. I cant see him lasting long against an up tempo AB side.

        • Reds Revival

          I don’t mind that backline IS, and your rationale makes a bit of sense. Petaia is definitely stronger in defence. He doesn’t make the big hits, but he doesn’t fall off tackles either.

        • Geoffro

          I cant really recall too many wings that have been rugged defenders,theyre mostly speed bumps.The cover defense needs to deal with Clarke.

        • Yowie

          Honourable mention to Mike Catt at fullback when he was a speed bump.

        • Reds Revival

          I’m pretty sure Jason Little earned the name speed bump after marking Jonah one test.

        • Yowie

          Perhaps the Lomu examples are skewing the statistics.

        • Geoffro

          Eh,a few smart defences managed to shut him down.I’m sure Dave is doing his homework

        • Reds Revival

          Whoever is marking him needs to study the 1995 World Cup final where SA winger James Small is in Jonah’s face every time he gets the ball. He had virtually no impact that game when everyone was predicting that he would be the game breaker.

        • Geoffro

          I think Susie gave him a double helping

        • Hambone

          Surely rod Davies takes the prize for speed bump the poor kid

        • Geoffro

          Gotta feel for the guy,defining moment of his career ‘n’all

        • Yowie

          He could probably cure cancer but still be referred to as the bloke squashed by Jonah Lomu.

        • Patrick

          Ben Tune was pretty robust

        • Geoffro

          Till he got hurt

        • Patrick

          Sure but he contained Lomu better than most.

        • Geoffro

          yeah,and Ben was a smart player but was never the same after he busted his leg,understandably.

        • Alister Smith

          Nick Cummins?

        • Alister Smith

          He towelled that swimmer lady up on the SAS show anyway….

        • UTG

          Caleb isn’t a Lomu/Naiyaravoro run over the top of his opposite type winger. He’s extremely quick on his feet for his size so is very damaging against a broken defensive line or one caught on the drift.

          Both Koroibete and Daugunu are strong enough one on one tacklers to bring him down. Instead, we need to make sure (a) we don’t give him a fractured line to run at and (b) the second last man on the drift is ready for his step off his left.

          The Wallabies will do their homework on him and I expect he’ll be better contained in Sydney. In a similar manner, I expect the ABs to be better prepared for Petaia to skip outside his man. Although, from my experience the goose step is always harder to defend than the step inside.

        • idiot savant

          The thing with Caleb and BB is that they are sub 11 sec sprinters. If you give them 5 metres they can beat you with a hip swivel. Give them 10 metres and they will cruise past you. Thats why we cannot kick deep to them. We can kick shallow and bring them forward into a contest (Caleb knocked on a White box kick). Then they have no speed to beat you even if they catch the ball. The key to containing Caleb is to remove the space. No space, no time to get up to warp speed.

          So hopefully Rennie will be drilling the kind of kicks and kick chase the Wallabies can use into the side before the next match. Thats certainly an area for improvement. For mine its 3 types – all with a chase: 1. box kick (White is one of the best exponents in the world). 2. low raking kick for the sideline (dangerous to pick up) 3. an up and under that goes no further than 20 metres and is contestable (this is last resort but is good into a strong wind). Given the AB brilliance in counter attack the grubber is perhaps best left on the rack.

        • UTG

          Very much agree with shallow kicking

          The Boks and England ushered in a silent revolution of territorial kicking last year. Rather than kick long and have the opposition fullback/winger make a 30m return, hoist up a contestable kick that lands in the zone where the kick would have been returned to anyway. Then you have the chance to regain the ball and you give the opposition no chance at a run against a fractured line.

          We did it very well in Wellington, aided by the wind, in NZ we made a couple of poor kicks that cost us. On JOC’s kick that led to the Clarke bust, JOC shouldn’t have had the ball in the first place but he really needed to drill that into the left hand corner away from Clarke.

        • MichaelA

          Clarke is not god.

          The only issue with that kick was having a winger who was ready to get down there and contest the ball with Caleb. That in turn depends on being aware of what is happening, and likely to happen, around our 10 and 12. The kicker has to leave the ball in the air long enough for our winger to get there and contest, but that wasn’t an issue.

        • UTG

          It wasn’t a good kick let down by a poor kick chase. It was a poor kick because there was no one in a position who could possibly chase it. Look at who JOC has outside him when he makes the kick, Paisami and BPA. Kicking to the open side with those two there was never the right call regardless of who the winger was at the other end. The only safe kicking option for him was to drill it down the left hand touch line.

        • MichaelA

          We will have to disagree on that – I consider it was a good kick, with plenty of time for chasers to get to it. You basically admit in your second sentence that the problem was in the chasers not being up to test standard in that regard. We should expect better.

          Its not a matter of a “safe option” but of putting the opposition under pressure. O’Connor mixes up his plays which is essential to keeping the opposition under pressure, and there is no reason why that kick should not have been one of the options available.

        • UTG

          I want to retain JOC at 10 in the third test but this was objectively a bad kick that led to a try.

        • MichaelA

          We should be able to kick deep to them. Its just a matter of our wingers staying aware of when a kick is likely to come, and being prepared to contest for it.

          If the ball is in the air long enough for our winger to get there then it doesn’t matter how fast Caleb is. It rather matters how good our winger is at contesting.

          Izzy could do it. I am sure there are others.

        • idiot savant

          And Izzy played in an era where we lost more games than at any other time since before 1970. And countless AB speedsters counter attacked and set up tries with Izzy on the field. JOC kicked the ball from centre field and it was about a 30 metre kick. Both wingers were on their flanks from memory. Theres no way they are getting there to contest even if they knew it was coming – which they always won’t. JOC couldn’t kick that distance and get more height. He was maxed out. So its too deep. No maybe if Hodge had kicked it and it had more height, just maybe. Its low percentage play. Better to kick shallower and ensure there is a contest.

        • UTG

          There wasn’t even a winger on the right touch line, BPA was there. This only made the option even worse.

        • MichaelA

          Why would the winger being on the touch line as opposed to further infield make a difference?

        • MichaelA

          I am not going just “from memory”. I have looked at the kick, and it appears to me that there were more than enough players with more than enough time to get to it. And its just a cop-out to say “even if they knew it was coming” – that’s why teams practice plays. Wingers and centres especially need to be ready to work with the 10. Especially when this was NOT a low percentage play. There was plenty of time.

          “And Izzy played in an era where we lost more games”

          No, sorry, that’s not relevant in the context we are discussing. I was simply pointing out that he could have got to that kick and contested it against Clarke. A good player doesn’t stop being a good player in a particular skill set just because he plays in teams that don’t win for various reasons.

        • Alister Smith

          not sure one on one will fix it. I think it needs a more strategic approach – he beat some normally good defenders last weekend and I reckon he has the capacity to make most of them look stupid if he has only one person in front of him when he gets the ball.

        • idiot savant

          I just want an excuse to play Petaia on the wing! I think he offers much more across the field then the 13 jersey allows.

      • Mike D

        I’m actually thinking NZ won’t improve that much. Eden Park was pretty much their best side with their best effort. No doubt they will tweak things, but their general approach isn’t going to change. It’s unlikely they can get any more physical than that, and I don’t see any great leader in the playing group standing up to drive standards – maybe Whitelock will – but I don’t see the likes of Cane really inspiring.

        Aus has a lot more upside. Losing Toomua is a blow, we need another good communicator at 12 to link in with JOC. I’m not sure who that is. But that aside, there’s basic skills gains to be had in tackling, rucking, running support lines when someone makes a break.

        • Parker

          All true until BBarrett returns to form and has a blinder, not just one run.

        • Thomas Murray

          You reckon?ABs still got tons of improvement,The Aussies still look predictable under Rennie who was nothing without Wayne Smith.Holding onto the ball and still looking the same doesn’t say much.

        • UTG

          Same number of attacking opportunities as NZ inside the opposition’s 22 with 20 less points says Australia are the ones who have room to improve.

        • Geoffro

          Think you on the wrong site cuz

        • Reds Revival

          Thomas is our resident Kiwi troll. He turns up on this site every so often, throws a few stupid barbs designed to get a reaction, and then disappears.

        • Geoffro

          OK.Still annoying though

        • Thomas Murray

          I’m still here,What did i say wasn’t true?

        • Reds Revival

          More’s the pity. Why do you even come on this site?
          Did you have lunch by yourself a lot at school?

        • I think both sides have room to improve. KARL and I disagree on exactly what, but agree the midfield for NZ is not the best they could have. There’s definitely debate around the back row, I don’t think they’ll drop Cane but I think they should – he’s not consistently the best 7 in NZ, despite the game he had on Sunday. Jordie is not a winger, and he’s not really that hybrid wing/FB that the ABs like either for me. I think Jordan and Clarke would a fun pair on the wings, they both seem to have pretty it all, pretty much.

          And I think the defensive coach will be happy in parts, but look at 21 missed tackles and the amount of pressure the Wallabies exerted in the first half and have them working hard on improving there.

          Are there huge improvements from Saturday to come? Possibly. Think about how the match played, with a lot of Wallaby pressure being absorbed, then 10-15 minutes of AB free scoring, then a pretty even-steven contest. It’s rare for a side to dominate for the full 80 of course, but the AB teams of old have comfortably dominated for a full half or more, and they will be striving to get back to that.

          Of course, rugby isn’t played against nobody; there are improvements in this Wallabies side too and they are looking to improve even more. I think the days of such simple, prolonged dominance like that are probably gone. But the ABs will still be striving for it.

        • Who?

          To be fair, the Wallabies lost Toomua before they fell apart. His absence just after half time was HUGE – our structures in both attack and defence disappeared, but also, his calming influence when we just needed to hoof it into touch rather than trying to play off the ABs mistakes when we were already gassed.

          And hey – week two! Takes time to turn around the Titanic.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Big call on NZ not having any room for improvement. I think both sides have lots of areas they can improve in and I think both coaches will be able to do this. I think Australia will take longer purely because after the last 5 years they have further to go, however I think by the time we get to the 23 RWC they will be very close

      • Alister Smith

        Just two changes would make a heap of difference 1. Make tackles 2. Don’t drop the ball – not a lot has to change for a huge improvement

    • Missing Link

      I noticed those 2 errors re Daugunu. sorry to say it but it’s a schoolboy error.

    • UTG

      I’ll also add something on Koro’s behalf—he hasn’t been able to see his family for four months. He’d be doing it pretty tough and perhaps a reason why his head didn’t look completely in the game.

      • Hoss

        Great point, well made.

    • idiot savant

      The Ardie try, FD was facing 3 on one. He chose a shoot at the ball carrier at the only hope to stop a certain try. If he’s stayed on his man they would have walked over untouched inside him.

      He made a bad read on the J Barrett try though. Strange when Banks was in front of him and had the man covered. Six on the arse for that one. Its amazing how many times wingers get nervous in those situations.

      • Hoss

        Overheard a backs coach from my playing days saying he didn’t mind if a winger got beat on the inside – meant it was his centre’s fault, BUT. if he ever got beat on the outside he would tar and feather him for not staying on his man

        • Alister Smith

          That was definitely the approach in my day. Not sure if it still applies with all the new defensive systems but wingers have an advantage that others don’t in that they have the best defender of all outside them – the sideline.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    So Rugby Australia had a very different view on Bok player safety concerns than SARU. This should not be surprising as it is not Rugby Australia’s risk to take and not their decision either. Rugby Australia would not need to compensate Japanese, French and English clubs if their contracted players gets injured playing in the Rugby Championship, they will not loose commercial value if the Lions test series is compromised, it is not their Superugby Unlock competition that will get depleted as a huge squad needs to travel to Australia to cover injuries etc…. absolute nonsense comment from McLennan. SARU’s made the call that was in their best interest, tried until the last minute to make it work however flagged very early that it is not likely that they will participate. Supporters like myself argued months in advance that the Boks should not participate and devalue Bok and test rugby.

    Playing 6 games in Australia would have been a real big money spinner for Rugby Australia, however if you spend that money before you earned it you can get yourself into trouble. Rugby Australia has done in the past when they had to ask sponsors and even the WA government to pay in advance so that they can use future revenue to cover expenses, The whole Melbourne Rebels rescue package is based on that flawed strategy.

    • Mica

      Hmmm – they looked pretty ready in the Green vs Gold warm up match that I saw.
      There didn’t seem to be any concern about being underdone for this match and the injuries that may happen.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        I watch that game, they were terrible. However playing six games in six weeks is a very different ball game even for match ready players.

        https://supersport.com/rugby/springboks/news/201003_Many_errors_but_many_lessons_learnt_in_Springbok_Showdown

        • Mica

          I don’t remember it being that bad, but must admit I don’t remember anything of note either. Maybe I was just desperate for a rugby fix and not having any skin in the game may have diminished the impact of a poor showing. This is what I love about the GAGR community. You can have a different opinion without it degenerating into a slanging match.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      So not really player welfare then. Just risk management of the cost of injuries that might occur. Shows the flaws in their policy of allowing all their players to go off shore and then bring them back for tests. It’ll be interesting how much this affects the Lions tour as well as I would imagine even with the international window some of these issues will still come to the forefront

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        It depends on how wide you are prepared to define player welfare. If the risk of picking up injuries are so high that you cannot afford the insurance for example isn’t that a player welfare issue? I am also concerned about the ability to select overseas players but Bok rugby cannot afford them. As revenue drop in NZ and Australia it is only a matter of time before others find themselves in a similar position. Therefore it is crucial that SH stand together.

        • MichaelA

          Constantly citing that same article (which is pretty one-sided) doesn’t seem to have much to do with “SH standing together”.

          Shouldn’t we just let SARU go their own way, while we and NZ concentrate on developing the market for rugby in Asia?

        • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

          You could…and that would be ok for the #7 (WB) team to play the #2 (NZ), #9 (Japan) and #11 (Fiji). The #1 (Boks) could then join the 6 Nations where they would regularly play #3, #4, #5, #6, #8 and #10. However if you are NZ I think you will be concerned about maintaining your competitiveness especially as the AB brand is so dependent on it. Regular games between the top ranked sides Boks, NZ and at times Australia have benefited all three nations in the past. It would be a pity if we just let it go.

        • MichaelA

          Rankings change, often within a year, sometimes quite a lot. Its a poor basis for making long-term financial decisions. If, as your article seems to imply, the Boks see their long term future with Europe, then they should go. The sooner, the better so we can all set about forging our new paths.

          In any case, you aren’t being realistic – there will still be plenty of quality rugby for Australia and New Zealand. Tours are by no means a thing of the past, whether its England, France, Ireland, the Lions or whoever.

          In the medium term, there is a lot of potential for marketing a carefully balanced Super Rugby style competition in Asia. TV revenues tend to drive everything these days, and that in turn depends on the size of the potential audience. Sooner or later someone is going to see the potential, and then they will want a source of high quality players to help fill out the teams. We would have our part to play. Its a thought.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard
  • Keith Butler

    Must be a mix up. Looks like a skirt worn by the Diamonds.

    • Mica

      If only they were as successful against the Kiwis as the Diamonds are!! Maybe they are hoping to channel their success.

  • Ron Moloney

    There has been some talk that Rugby Australia’s Wallabies may “take the knee” at the next Bledisloe game. To me, this has the potential to divide the rugby community more so than the Israel Folau saga. The wearing of the indigenous jumper is a great initiative for recognition of our native Australians and has unanimous support. But to delve into the political time bomb of supporting the BLM movement is fraught with divided opinion due to the association of the BLM movement with the far left extremist group ANTIFA. Any views?

    • Who?

      The better question is whether BLM properly expresses connection with local indigenous causes. BLM has huge ties to the US – it’s effectively a US campaign, that’s had some local support and appropriation. Taking a knee wouldn’t be poor symbolism (though it doesn’t look great when we have no indigenous players to take that knee), but tying to Black Lives Matter doesn’t necessarily directly address reconciliation or any of the issues that indigenous Australians face. It doesn’t help with drawing attention to the fact that, in spite of politicians saying they support BLM, no Australian government’s actioned a single point from the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission.

      But BLM US (which does have leaders with rather left win agendas) and the nebulous Antifa..? Yes, nebulous – Antifa’s a concept with adherents, but it’s not an organized structure like the opposing KKK. So, nebulous. To drag that into our politics and our game is massive overreach. Thankfully, we have compulsory voting which means our elections are decided at the centre, not by “energising the base” by spouting hardline, extremist or even fictional narratives.

      My perspective is that there’s nothing to be lost by espousing equality, however, it shouldn’t be something that’s not genuine. This is an area where RA has actually excelled in the past. Most Welcomes to Country that I have seen across all sports and politics are formulaic and become meaningless platitudes. By having Indigenous people with real Rugby connections invited to speak their own words seemingly unfiltered at each event, RA’s managed to turn what is often a moment of insincerity into a highlight.
      The risk with taking a knee – especially with no indigenous players on the field – is that we look like all symbols, no action, and those symbols rapidly lose context and meaning. Becoming nothing more than another example of perceived indifference to the indigenous population. And I say that as someone who advocates for personal responsibility, who doesn’t accept being born into a socioeconomic strata is the sole determinant of your outcomes (given I lived in housing commission and caravan parks as a kid).

      • laurence king

        Best comment that I have read on this matter for some time. Gold

      • Mike D

        Good comments, and respectful. Thank you.
        Where I disagree with your position, is that I think there are elements in our political system who do use the US approach of ‘spouting hardline, extremist or even fictional narratives'; Clive’s $60 million campaign, “African Gangs”, “Children Overboard”, “Retiree Tax”, “Swamped by Asians / Muslims / Minority-of-choice-to-vilify-today”. In fact some of the spouters went over to America to specifically study with like-minded think tanks, and brought that style of rhetoric back with them.

        The BLM movement, both here and in the US, is an effort to cut through all that shouted sloganeering with a genuine message. While it originated in the US, it has been used in Australia because that was what they could use, there wasn’t anything else with near as much traction. Since the Black Deaths in Custody Royal Commission, the progress in addressing the issues has been painfully slow, and sometimes going backwards. BLM is a way for people to peacefully express discontent about that. I wish there was something of that impact more identifiably Australian, but there isn’t.

        • Who?

          Hi Mike. We don’t massively disagree. :-)
          I absolutely see the commonalities between Palmer’s methods and Trump’s. Between Sky and Fox. But I don’t believe they’re necessarily effective here. In the US, you have to ‘get out the vote’. Here, everyone’s required to vote. We don’t vote on a Tuesday, when everyone’s at work (a hangover from the days when farmers would go to market on Saturday, go to church on Sunday, and then have a chance to vote on Tuesday). We vote on Saturdays, when people are nominally available. And pre-polling and postal voting aren’t difficult. So there’s a strong argument that the tactics used in the US to energise the core constituencies by making things more adversarial than they should be won’t work here, given those whose beliefs live at those extremes won’t have their minds changed, and those who are the centre are likely to look at the hyperbole and say, “That guy’s an absolute nutter; I wouldn’t vote for him.” Worth bearing in mind Clive’s language was much more measured when he won his seat, and he’s had less personal success since then.

          I completely understand the reasons why local campaigners jumped on BLM and brought it here – but like you, I wish there was something more identifiably Australian.
          Not much disagreement there. :-)

    • RedAnt

      what utter tosh

      • Ron Moloney

        Not sure if you mean that my comments are a load of tosh or that the Wallabies engaging in a political stance is a load of tosh. Anyway it is no longer an issue as they have decided not to go ahead with the old knee bend. I believe that is the best decision and will prevent alienating some rugby fans, that we cannot afford to lose.

        • RedAnt

          I’m afraid to say it’s your comments that are a load of tosh.

          Seriously, supporting equality is not a political stance. It’s not a left or right issue. It’s simply supporting equality. If that’s going to divide the rugby community then the rugby community should have a good hard look at itself.

    • Pedro

      2020 – supporting racial equality and opposing fascism are “far left extremist” ideals.

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