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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s rugby news has Wallabies staying positive, Cheika pays tribute to Anthony Foley, Nick Phipps to step up and Aaron Smith rules himself out for this weekend’s match against the Wallabies.


Wallabies Positive

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says the Wallabies are looking forward to playing the All Blacks this weekend at Eden Park – a place they have not won since 1986.

“I’m old fashioned, I look forward to it,” Cheika said.

“I think bring it on.

“It’s a great opportunity and it’s going to be a tough environment, but that’s where you want to be.

“If you don’t want to be there playing those games, where do you want to be in footy?

“It’s no good to have it all comfortable and rosy.

“When it’s tough is when you’ve got to stand up and it will certainly be tough there, but I’m so looking forward to getting over there and getting into it, it will be great.”

Cheika Pays Tribute

Michael Cheika has paid tribute to Munster coach Anthony Foley after he suddenly past away in a Paris Hotel on Sunday.

Cheika coached against Foley during his time at Leinster.

“I would be lying if I didn’t admit that’s swirled around in my head all morning, when you wake up to news like that,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe, to be honest.

“He’s a guy who I would’ve competed as a coach when he was Munster captain, competed heavily against and when you compete against someone and you earn respect for them from competition it shows that there’s a special person behind that and it’s really tragic.”

Phipps to Step Up

With the absence of Will Genia this weekend, Michael Cheika believes Nick Phipps will step up for this weekend’s match.

Phipps has been the subject of criticism recently due to a couple of in-match incidents but Cheika still has faith.

“I wouldn’t be putting him out there if I didn’t think he could step up,” he said.

“He’s pretty lucky to have a big moment, that’s what you want, you want to be in there and that’s when you want to play your best as well.

“Part of learning to become the best player you can be is being in those situations and managing them well and doing the best by your team.

“In the broader context of things…he’s got to go there and do his job and do it really well, that’s all there is to it.”

Smith Stands Down

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith has ruled himself out of this weekend’s test match against the Wallabies.

Smith was stood down for the All Blacks last match against the Springboks after he was found to have had an encounter with a women in an airport bathroom.

Smith has been issued with a formal warning for the incident after presenting his case to a panel chaired by New Zealand Rugby general manager Neil Sorensen.

“Aaron presented himself as genuine, honest and incredibly remorseful.  We have also taken into account the fact that the very public nature of this incident, has had a significant impact on him personally,” Sorensen said.

“We accepted that he is genuine about wanting to improve himself and note that he himself has acknowledged he will need the support of his family, friends and Rugby to move forward.”

  • Gottsy

    I’m sorry mr Cheika but I’m not sold on Phipps standing up. Frisby outplayed him from the bench in the England series, what would be the harm in giving him a run?

    • Huw Tindall

      At least Matt Lucas and Jake Gordon will be breathing down Phipps’s neck next year so we’ll find out just how good he is with these two red hot half backs in the Tahs squad.

      • MrPlow

        Matt Lucas is a fantastic player but he seemed so nervous any time he was involved in play at the Waratahs last term, and it showed in his passes and retrieving ball from the ruck. I hope the experience stands to him for 2017 but I fear he does not have the temperament for the elite level.
        If he does/did he’d probably already be a Wallaby as he has proven his class in the Shute Shield.

  • muffy

    Translation from AB Speak:
    Aaron is really a good guy as are all ABs. Besides, don’t forget Quade kneed Richie and is a grub.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Didn’t come across to me like that but maybe I’m as biased in one way as you are in the other.

      • muffy

        Haha I knew you would be the first KRL, I also know Missing Link will up vote it!

        I am indeed biased, and I will concede, less biased than you :D

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha I’d say just biased differently mate :-)

        • Greg

          That was actually a compliment.it is always interesting to read your (relatively) objective thoughts.

    • First time long time

      I’m pretty sure what they wanted to say was “it’s a shame all that good work getting a root in the dunny was undone by getting busted and he needs to take a couple of weeks off to rethink his tactics.”

      • Wallaby Dave

        Best comment this year

    • Greg

      I suspect the discussion went….. “There is penalty A if you choose to stand down or Penalty B if you do not. What would you like to do?”

      We have all done stupid things but sex in a dunny at an airport….. all of the players need to realise how lucky they are and stay connected to reality.

      A RL coach in Australia used to send his new recruits off to work as brickies labourers for a few weeks to help them understand their good fortune. not a bad idea.

      • Patrick

        probably didn’t hurt the pre-season either

        • jamie

          Not at all. Can’t think of many activities better for gaining strength.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    TBH I think Cheika’s comments on the game are spot on. Of course as a player you want to play the best and going into a supercharged atmosphere like this is what players live for. It will be interesting how this game unfolds and whether Cheika’s going to wind the players up with more mongrel or whether he’s going to apply some tactical nounce and have a game plan that will use the strengths in his squad.
    Better warn all the AB’s to make sure their laces are done up tight.

    • John Tynan

      I agree, that’s the message you want to hear. And this situation is tailor made for Cheika’s coaching strength. While I don’t think he will go down as a great selector, he is a good man manger and better motivator.

    • Keith Butler

      KWL. You cheat. I said that yesterday!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        copying is the sincerest form of flattery mate

    • Gottsy

      Yeah I guess they are, but to me he’s turning into a bit of a broken record. Mongrel without accuracy is worthless. My grandfather was a boxer, he always said it doesn’t matter how hard you can punch, if you can’t land it on his chin it’s useless.
      Backing Phipps to stand up is fine, but from what evidence? Is he also backing Moore to finally stand up? Is he backing Mumm to actually do something? I really don’t see the eden park hoodoo being broken any time soon!
      (Credit for the shoe laces comment too haha)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate, I absolutely agree. I think this whole mongrel talk is crap. Absolutely people need aggression. You want to hit hard, win the contact and have dominance in attack and defence and the way to do that is to be aggressive in your actions and approach, BUT it doesn’t mean being a cock, niggling the other side to get a reaction and focussing on the bullshit instead of the game. Unfortunately I think Cheika has succeeded in the second part more than the first

        • Joy

          “BUT it doesn’t mean being a cock, niggling the other side to get a reaction and focussing on the bullshit instead of the game.”

          Like Reid’s friendly advice to the Frenchman on how to handle Moore?

        • ozrugbynut

          Id personally like to see more annoying crap – more counter rucking, pushing players in the ruck back onto the half back, coming through the ruck to slap the ball before the half backs pass, jersey pulling, holding players pinned to the ruck, finding ourselves on the wrong side of the ruck, obstructing the half backs view – all the crap which has given the ABs a good edge for so long. Yes we need to be intelligent about it of course. If the ref doesn’t see it, its legal. I am not condoning high shots, eye gouging, biting, shoe throwing, hopoate tactics etc just to be clear… But these are the dark arts. Wallabies have played too clean for too long. There is a naivete about their forward play in particular in my view. {commence execution}

        • Kokonutcreme

          “But these are the dark arts. Wallabies have played too clean for too long. There is a naivete about their forward play in particular in my view. {commence execution}”

          Disagree, they indulge as much as any team in the dark arts of forward exchanges, they’re just not as good at it as other teams – leads to your second point.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          mate I agree that you do what you get away with and if the ref doesn’t catch you then good on you – but only to a point and I think it can be a grey area. I will admit I have done almost all of what you mention in the first bit (and probably more) but I can also honestly say I’ve never done anything to deliberately hurt someone so holding my head up high ish

        • Gottsy

          You hit the nail on the head there KRL

        • From NooZealand

          Just to see if I get it right. You mean that Cheika has succeded more in the game (second part) more than the first (bullshit). Not arguing, just to see if I read correctly. Cheers.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No I mean he’s succeeded more in getting his players wound up so they take the aggression too far than he has in getting them to have controlled aggression in their game play

    • Kokonutcreme

      Both teams have a chance of creating history on Saturday night. Odds heavily favour NZ as they should given their record to date and overall record at Eden Park. NZ has a few vulnerabilities and it remains to be seen if Cheika and his troops have improved enough since Wellington to exploit them. I’m not overly convinced they’ve improved enough since then to beat NZ. With Genia’s return to France, their remaining world class back is struggling for form and enjoyment. Something is not right with Folau and it’s not just physical.

      Already Cheika is confusing the All Blacks state of mind with rugby fans, claiming they’re under no pressure chasing the world record as they’d be thinking “they’ll do it easy” because the Wallabies haven’t really tested them this year. Last time Cheika started putting words in the All Blacks mouths about what they thought about the Wallabies to the media was in the lead-up to Sydney.

  • Bob

    I’m disappointed that there’s no mention of the ominous blackout that struck the Wallabies press conference…

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      No one noticed, they were so mesmerised by the discussion

  • Tim

    I don’t think Phipps can step up. His passing is not at international standard and never has been. All Blacks will have a field day as they could target: The line-out, Scrum, 10-12 channel, Phipps and the ruck with Pocock potentially not playing. Chieka will have his hands full at training this week.

  • Brisneyland Local

    I cant believe Phipps is still in the squad.The sooner they implement the no “Dickhead” rule into the Wallabies the better.

    • MrPlow

      The no “dickhead” rule is a thing of fiction. NZ are perfectly happy to have “dickheads” playing for them. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
      However, I would not have Phipps in the squad as he is not very good.

    • MM

      GGR should enforce their no dickhead rule but where would that leave you

      • Brisneyland Local

        Still here and commenting!

    • Braveheart81

      Because he threw a shoe or pushed a medic interfering with the ball? Phipps is renowned within the squad as a guy who is passionate about representing Australia and works his ass off in every training session. I think he’s a popular member of the squad and would certainly wouldn’t lose his spot if a no dickheads policy was brought in.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Braveheart, both actually.The “No Dickheads” thing relates back to Rod McQueen’s era of the Wallabies and it is something the Kiwi’s have talked about, but I think they refer to theirs as a “No Duckhead” rule!;-), not me specifically calling him one!
        I have no doubt he is popular, and yes he is renowned as one of the fittest and hardest raining people in the squad. My concern is about his decision making, judgement and behaviour! Both of those afore mentioned actions were utter brain snaps and not a good image for the game.Regardless of the medics actgions it is the referumps jump to sort that out not the players. Slamming a non player in the back was pretty appalling. Not good for the Wallabies image, particularly when our image in world rugby is not very good. We need to be doing it better and cleaner!

      • Missing Link

        #standbyphipps

  • Henry Dissmissinya

    let the barrage begin but I’m just going to say it…

    I think Phipps is pretty good,

    Not genia,

    But ahead of any other candidate in Australia.

    Just wish he could kick

    In saying that what did i miss, why is genia not starting?

    • Seb V

      Genia back to France because Bled 3 doesn’t fall in the international test window so his club want him back.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I actually agree, right up to the point where he lets his anger take over and then he turns into a complete muppet who can be wound and wound until he cracks. He really needs to control his anger because it holds him back from performing at 100%

      • ozrugbynut

        Agreed, it will be interesting to see what his temperament is like as a starter, as i suspect that a lot of the rubbish that has gone on has been with him as a ‘finisher’ and his role is to whip up tiring forwards into a frenzy, but of course he has been a faaarking twat though..

    • Adrian

      Agree 100% Henry

  • James Miller

    What was Cheika going to say? Something like we give ourselves no chance over there and we’re all feeling pretty intimidated by the whole occasion?

    Of far greater interest will be Cheika and the Wallabies approach to Saturday’s game. There is certain to be a festive atmosphere at the match and the All Blacks will be very focused on breaking the existing record for consecutive test wins with a performance of skilful rugby that has been their style all season. They will be determined to put on a show for their devoted fans at Eden Park and the rugby world who are certain to be paying attention.

    Ahead of a very important NH tour that could bring needed respectability to the 2016 season, Cheika and the Wallabies can adopt 2 approaches on Saturday night. They can enter into the spirit of the occasion and use the game to feature the talents of Hooper in the forwards and the attacking skills of Cooper, Folau, Kerevi and Folau in the backs. They can play with tempo, trial some backline moves, mix up a kicking game and work space for Folau, Hodge and DHP in the wider flanks.

    Or, they can take on a very defensive mindset like what was seen in Bledisloe II following the thrashing in Sydney the week earlier. Lots of grubby off-the-ball antics, lots of clock-eating time through niggle, referee interference, scrum re-sets and low risk one-off-the-ruck ball runners. They can aim to disrupt the All Blacks rhythm with ill-discipline and seek little else than scoreboard respectability.

    I know how the All Blacks will want to play. It’s up to you Mr Cheika. Saturday looks the perfect opportunity to showcase your often referenced “the Australian Way”. We hope it’s one your Wallaby supporters will be proud of.

    • AllyOz

      I don’t think it is necessarily a choice of outright attack versus a stoic defensive effort. The All Blacks seem to be able to manage to be both ruthless in attack and defense. I do agree with your comments re: wasteful and useless niggle – the only thing that is likely to upset the ABs or get their minds off the game is being behind on the scoreboard and frustrated by a watertight Australian defense. I don’t believe that Australia lose to the ABs because we have less passion than them. I believe we lose because they train & prepare better than we do (from the junior level right through to the seniors) – passion (particularly passion that translates into ill-disciplined play) is no a substitute for training and executing at your best.

      • Harry

        Excellent points. Try conveying them to Mr Cheika who so far in 2016 in matches against traditional enemies England and New Zealand has done his best to convert the contests into spiteful scraps. With the NRL and AFL off now, Cheika and the Wallabies have a wonderful opportunity here to showcase rugby to the discerning Australian sports fan. Let’s see what he serves up.

        • ozrugbynut

          Intelligent niggle mixed with a physical effort and a balanced game in terms of kicking/ball in hand. Some posession would be refreshing…

  • Lens Tamanalevu

    The All Blacks have got Selectors. I think it is kind of a specialist Job for them. Why can’t the wallabies have an independant group of selectors like the All Blacks. Let the coaches coach what they want done and let the selectors watch and pick whom they think will perform at tests. Because I am not sure if Cheika is the best Selector in Australian rugby. The guy can coach/manage/motivate but selection wise..??? But with Cheika selecting Phips, I think it is because of the other things he adds around the park. How many times has Phips given try saving tackles. He never backs down from confrontations. When he is in game/battle mode, it is his him and his teamates against everyone else, even the oppsition medics is an enemy…lol…But Phips is not a world class in the basics of being halfbacks. His passes don’t always provide front foot ball. First receiver always has to pause or bend or lift their hands up to catch Phips’s pass and for that he should be dropped.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The All Black coaching team are the selectors mate. Splitting the selection and coaching has been tried in the past and it doesn’t work. if you lose the coach blames not being able to select the players he/she wants and the selector blames the coach for not playing the right game. I believe a coach lives and dies on the results so he/she should be responsible for who plays where

      • Billy Shaw

        Grant Fox is a selector only.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That’s right but the others are all part of the coaching team. Seems like a good mix

  • Hoss

    Cheik will have to rethink his tactics. An insider told me to counter ‘A-ron’ the Wallabies were going to have a port-a-loo and a brunette stationed on halfway – back to the drawing boards now i guess.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah and four people outside videoing him coming and going

    • Joy

      Whoa cowboy. The whole team might disappear.

  • Bay35Pablo

    “I wouldn’t be putting him out there if I didn’t think he could step up,” he said.
    Which is fine except Cheik also clearly though the same thing about all the locks he picked and then dropped all year.

  • Adrian

    Clearly most people here and in other sites don’t like Phipps, and the reasons are well explained, and are all about passing….. and lately shoes etc

    Apart from Cheika, there are MANY OF US WHO DO LIKE PHIPPS, and this is why:

    Gets to every ruck and maul, preventing opposition steals

    Gets there fast

    Even if the pass is poor, as it often is, it happens a second faster than with a slower or unfit halfback.

    Sometimes the wobbly pass breaks up predictability, especially if there is an unpredictable player like Beale or Cooper to pick it up.

    It goes without saying that Phipps is a great tackler etc, but this is not why I’m speaking up for him.

    It’s about speed, and a stopwatch will show that the ball reaches the first receiver much faster with Phipps as halfback, even taking into consideration poor passes

    Phipps hasn’t been responsible for loosing any games, but he’s helped to win many.

    It’s unbelievable how once the knives start being sharpened by armchair experts in blog sites, everyone joins in. At least this site isn’t as bad as some

    • AllyOz

      I don’t think Phipps has had a great year but he is the next best option at half – Frisby deserves a go but he will get that later in the game. Phipps deputised well in the World Cup but his best game this year was probably as a substitute winger – showed a lot of courage in that game.

      • Adrian

        Good point Ally Oz re the work off the bench. Scored a try and set up another

    • ozrugbynut

      Add his running game. He does snipe well and is strong in contact. Pitty he sprays his passing sometimes and gets a bit slow and loopy. The finisher role does suit him though.

    • SuckerForRed

      Adrian, you argue your point well and there are some points there that I would say “Yeah come to think of it” too, but…
      Let me start by saying that I do think that Phipps has improved over the last couple of years and you don’t see quite so many issues now as you did even 12 months ago. But I still think that it is his passing that holds him back. I just don’t think that they have the zing & accuracy of some other half-backs and after about 30-40 mins you see a noticeable decline with quite a few of his passes ending up at the feet of the receiving player. So, as ozrugbynut said, he plays the role of finisher well, not only because of his speed but also because accuracy is not AS important against a tiring defending team. If you are not accurate against most teams in the first 20 you are going to be punished, against the All Blacks you are going to be crucified. But that applies to across the park, not just to half-back.
      I guess what I am trying to say is that, yes he is a good solid player, has some good qualities and has shown some improvement recently, but, I don’t think that he is as good as an inform Will Genia, I think that the 2015 Stirzacker was better than him in some aspects, and I can see more potential in some of the blokes running around in the NRC. Will any of them be the right fit for Saturday night? Nup, so I guess the argument is moot.

      • Adrian

        Frankly I agree with everything you say Sucker.

        He’s definitely not in Genia’s class, or Aaron Smirh etc. Yes too, some of his best efforts have been off the bench.
        Someone I know agrees that its probably general fatigue from all the effort he puts in,….though his legs pump ok. He reckons Phipps needs to learn to relax tired arms between plays, just like good wicket keepers do.

        I defend Phipps because some of the criticism seems “mob driven”, and has never been thrown at many others including Frisby who had some shockers in SR.

        Yes, NRC’s Jake Gordon looks the real goods

  • Liam

    The absence of posts here to the story L’Equipe reported today that Dan Carter and Joe Rocokoko have been cleared of all doping allegations following an investigation by the medical commission of the French Rugby Federation is noticeably different from the barrage of commentary that was seen when the story first broke. I guess for some, gossip is more appealing than fact. Or maybe for some, good news is in fact bad news. Sad.

    • Braveheart81

      Stories on Aussie sites started appearing after this was published. Have you ever seen any L’Equipe stories linked on the daily rugby news post?

    • cantab

      All the headlines were based around Carter being caught for steroids. But then the last line of each article would say something along the lines that it wasn’t actually a breach and everything was legit

      There’s no anti AB’s or anti Carter agenda, it’s just stock standard media ‘click bait’

    • Nah yeh

      Not as though they can point out two players specifically. We wouldn’t have many professional players left if the sport only allowed completely clean players to participate. Part and parcel of professional sport nowadays and I prefer that if it allows for more games to be played

    • Missing Link

      If you want to talk about fact, then I’m sure you are aware that Carter was found with an extremely high amount of corticosteroids in his system. Corticosteroids, despite not being Anabolic are still a banned substance. Therefore fact is Carter took a banned substance – that’s not what was in dispute. What was in dispute was whether or not he had a Theraputic Use Excemption or TUE which are surprisingly quite popular in sport. Obviously now that he’s cleared, it’s deemed that he did in fact have a TUE or “the right paperwork” to allow him to use an otherwise banned drug.

      I don’t think the issue is with Carter or the All Blacks, but moreso anyone using a TUE to enable them to get the edge over other athletes who aren’t. The question remains for any athlete – do they really need the TUE or are they exploiting a grey area?

      • Liam

        You are correct in your analysis Missing Link. It is also a fact corticosteroids are used to help reduce inflammation. It is also a fact that Carter at the time was receiving medication by Racing Metro medical staff as he recovered from a calf injury. It is also a fact that Carter and his Management Company Essentially Group were “relaxed” at the time because Racing’s club doctor had filled in all the required documentation. Where any confusion existed was because Racing Metro officials at the time stated their treatment was administered in an authorised manner, given in response to a proven condition several days before the Top 14 final and not requiring a TUE. All the medical procedures were carried out in total respect of the national and international anti-doping rules.

        Sadly, the final outcome means all those folks who at the beginning of the story hoped that Dan Carter could be found guilty of cheating, have been left disappointed. Despite the hopes of many unfortunate folk, Dan Carter is not a cheat. He’s just a really fine rugby player. Rugby fans everywhere should appreciate that.

  • SuckerForRed

    Did you know that the only team to beat the All Blacks since December 2012, is the Wallabies. (I am fairly sure, but please let me know if this is not right.) Just thought I would tell you.

    • cantab

      The saffas beat us in 2014, but otherwise you are correct.

    • Cuz

      They have only had six losses this decade so far and we are responsible for three of them (2010, 2011 & 2015) with two draws in their also. We are propping the rest of the world up when it comes to once in a blue moon wins against the AIGs

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Close mate. Since 27 Aug 2011 (loss to Australia) the AB’s have lost to; England 1 Dec 2012, South Africa 4 Oct 2014, Australia 8 Aug 15 and drawn twice – Both Australia 20 Oct 2012 and 16 Aug 2014

      • SuckerForRed

        Ah yes. The South Africian loss in 2014. I had forgotten about than one. Still, Wallabies are the only ones to have beaten them in the last 2 years. Has to count for something. :-)

  • Joy

    In the event that Foley doesn’t make it as a No12 Cheika has indicated he will drop Cooper and move Foley back to ten.

    The Australian today…

    “Cheika said he expected to know by the end of this year whether the Cooper/Foley inside back combination was a long-term option for the Wallabies. “We’ll decide if we will go that way or we’ll go back to (Foley at) 10, depending on where we are at with our playing stocks,” he said.”

    I’m disappointed with that.

    And he seems happy with just one lock of the many he has looked at this year…

    “Cheika has called for more consistency from the Wallabies second-rowers with rookie Adam Coleman the only lock to hold down a regular spot.

    “I don’t think I’m talking out of school by saying guys have been inconsistent in that area and I want them to be consistent,” Cheika said. “I want them to bring more to the game. That’s the engine room of the game. I want them to stand up and be counted. They are the big men in the middle of the pack. I’m looking for locks who will stand up and be counted in the battle.” ”

    No argument there.

    • ozrugbynut

      That is disappointing if you like a 10 with creativity. I actually dont think the combo is too bad (theyve asked foley to pick up where gits left off) but its just that there are some centre combos with more attacking nous and defensive clout available.

    • Missing Link

      I think he’s trying to fire Quade up for the weekend and I’ve mentioned Fardy before, gut feeling that he’ll start this game at 6

      • Joy

        This occurred to me but I believe Cooper is the sort of player that needs to relax before games. He’s been revved up in the past which I believe contributed to his string of injuries.

  • Missing Link

    Is there any real need to single another user out? I have my opinions and have been singled out by people that disagree, but really we are all here to discuss Aussie rugby and you are bound to butt heads with most people over a number of issues, I know I do :)

  • Greg

    @Tim, if you are referring to me – I think I am the only Greg on the forum – then I would appreciate a link to the offending post. I am pretty certain I never said any such thing.

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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