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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has Dane Haylett-Petty rested, Tolu Latu looking up, delayed reporting about the global season, and no French merger.


DHP Rested

The Cottlesloe speedsta, Dane Haylett-Petty, will not be joining the Western Force on their two-game tour of New Zealand, against the Crusaders and the Blues.

While it sounds fishy, Force coach Dave Wessels insists that it’s all part of the plan.

“It was part of his plan from the start,” Wessels told rugby.com.au. “I sat down with Dane probably a couple of days pre-Christmas and mapped out his season decided back then.

“Dane’s played a lot of rugby more rugby than he was used to and he has for some years had a bit of a flareup of his groin,” Wessels said, giggling like a teenage boy.

“It’s not an injury as such, it’s just load managing more than anything and this tour presented the chance to do that.”

Wessels reckons resting DHP isn’t a bad idea, saying that if the All Blacks do it then it can’t be too bad can it?

“It’s just a smart thing to do – to expect a guy to play every minute of every game is just unrealistic,” he said.

“The average number of players used in Super Rugby teams is 38 – that’s two-and-a-half teams. It’s better to try and manage that and be proactive than have to be reactive when someone gets injured.”

Meanwhile, Matt “Adamantium” Hodgson is set to return and gurn for the Force, while Ben McCalman could also make it to NZ if he proves his fitness.

Latu Likes Playing

Tolu Latu, along with one or two others, is the only speck of gold in an otherwise shit Waratahs team. And the hooker is loving getting some game time and playing well.

He’s been getting a lot more game time since Tatafu Polota-Nau moved across to the Force this year.

“At times I miss that guidance and miss getting tips from [TPN] but it’s good to step out from his shadow and get more game time and try to make that No.2 jersey mine,” Latu told the Daily Tele.

“To be honest I haven’t looked that far into the season, I’m just trying to play my role and do my part here and make sure we get the outcomes we want from the weekends,” he said.

“I haven’t really been paying attention to Wallabies selections, trying to keep my No.2 spot here.

“I came back [from Wallabies camp] with more hunger to make that No.2 jersey mine, a bit more motivated, a bit more hungry to get more game-time and improve myself.

“For now the Waratahs No.2 jersey, and then we’ll see how things go, I’ll try to play consistent and get my set-piece right. I’ve just got to fix my throw, get it a bit higher to Dean Mumm, easy fixes, we’ve just got to do it on the weekend.”

Global Season

If this rugby news is good at anything, it’s telling you about news that’s 3 days old.

On Friday, World Rugby announced that they’d finally sorta figured out the global season. Pie-in-the-sky hopes at the outset of global season discussions included such sensible ideas as Northern Hemisphere nations playing in the summer to help line everything up.

Anyway, the big thing World Rugby has introduced is a slightly altered winter internationals. No longer will the June Internationals be in June. From 2020 on, they’ll be in July!

This means they will no longer interfere with Super Rugby – which will be uninterrupted from start to end. July series, after a World Cup, will be trimmed from three weeks to two, and host nations will also now have to include at least one match with a tier-two nation in a window every four years.

To accommodate this shift, Northern Hemisphere seasons will start a week later than usual, and the Six Nations (which lasts for seven weels when you include to the two byes) will go for one week less.

Also, the designated three week window of the November internationals will be moved to the first three weeks of November, as opposed to the last three weeks.

Ne Pas Merger

The Racing 92 – Stade Francais merger has been called off after the owners realised that supporters and players might not like the idea of their club falling in with their rivals.

This is what Racing president Jacky Lorenzetti, the instigator of the merger, had to say (via rugby.com.au):

“I withdraw the plan to merge with Stade Francais. In agreement with [Stade president] Thomas Savare the merger will not take place,” said Lorenzetti in a statement.

“I heard and understood the strong reservations expressed in response to this [brainfart].

“In any case, the social, political, cultural, human, and sporting conditions were not in place. Perhaps we had the right plan too soon, only the future will tell.”

Stade’s planned game last weekend against Castres had to be postponed, after the Stade players decided to strike over the shock announcement, while fans weren’t very happy either. The French Rugby Federation also apparently learned of the merger via media, which is unsurprising but also surprising because there’s a rugby union out there that’s as badly run as the ARU.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    You are correct Latu was one of the few who stepped up on Saturday. He had a good all round game and his throwing was good. Interesting to hear the players ay that they think the training and everything has been good but something is switching them off on game day. I still think not enough attention is paid to the mental thought process and maybe some work in this area would be worth doing.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I think that this is evident across all of the Australian franchises. Our teams are mentally week.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Welcome back, it must have been a hard couple of days getting over that

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep! I shouldnt write my tips when I am pissed! No drink and tipping!

        • Pearcewreck

          Doesn’t that simply mean no tipping!!
          I mean, I like tipping, but if I have to choose ….

      • Kevino

        Actually going to defend the Rebels on this one, we lost when the subs came on in the forwards. Our depth is not strong enough to cope with the injuries we currently have.

        Bring Hanson, Timani and McMahon into that starting pack and then have Reid/Faingaa coming off the bench for the other. Timani start with Retallick/Cummins, and Smith play 80 and Fereti coming on as a sub for Weeks we would have still been in that game.

        Murray Douglas looked like a lost on the field, or over excited and trying to get involved.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Kevino, I must admit the Rebels looked as good as they have all year last week. But my comment is in reference to the Australian conferences as a whole not generic teams. We do not have the mental resilience and strength of belief that the Kiwi teams have and demonstrate regularly.
          Look at the Crusaders, they basically only play for the last 20 mins, and manage to win their games. They believe that they can win from anywhere and do!

        • McWarren

          Yes BL but look at the Highlanders and Blues, looking pretty mentally weak at present.
          I don’t buy into this mentally weak crap, maybe mentally naive but not weak. I think we are rugby dumb and have lost a lot of innate rugby intelligence over the last 10 years, but I don’t for second think our players try any less or are any weaker.
          We seem to have forgotten things like exit strategies and kicking tactics, or chasing in straight defensive lines. And I think that comes back to coaching from under age and up.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Sorry McWarren, I understand you view, but I calss rugby nous as part of their mental weakness. I.E. Not mentally prepared for the job! Does that make sense? Not just resilience, toughness, heart. ticker, but having the competitive rugby brain!

      • Pearcewreck

        Yep, spot on BLL.

    • Tommy Brady

      Let’s all be honest here… We really expect any player (or coach) to say any of the following post a defeat.

      We really had a shit week of practice. Poor attitudes, mistakes everywhere.
      I really haven’t put the “hard yards” in with my season preparation. I mean why should I, I have no threat for my position in this team (or the Wallabies).
      If it all turns to shit here I’ll just go play for the Brumbies, or the Rebels or even the Firce over in Perth.
      Why should I bust my arse, see anyone here really setting the benchmark for everyone else?
      Seriously, you really think they’re going to drop me?
      Yep we got a hiding today, but show me one Australian team setting the standard for the others.

      I maintain there are too many players at all levels who are resting on their laurels (for a variety of reasons) and unwilling to put the REAL hard work in to make themselves (and their teams) better. Until there are much greater standards demanded by Michael Cheika, and greater accountability set by the ARU then little will change. The trend has been evident now for 2 years. People will be quick to argue standards and accountability do exist. I continue to see player and team performances that indicate they are not.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        While I agree there may be a bit of complacency amongst some players I do truly believe they are all actually trying hard and want to do better. I’m just not so sure the focus is in the right area. I still remember a senior coach at a game I refereed in Canberra having a half time talk about toughening up, playing harder and getting more physical to those w*nkers in the opposition. Nothing about what he wanted players to do to change the game. Only a one off but I wonder how much of this goes on.

      • Rebels3

        I agree with a few things you have put, but we need to stop blaming Cheika or the ARU for the misgivings of some of our franchises. They are basically independently run and receive a top up from the ARU. Perhaps the ARU should demand more for the money they receive? As for Cheika, i’d go as far as saying the longer he had the players last year the better they got. Yep he does have his selection issues (loyalty blinkers on) but he got a lot more out of the players than what was presented to him. For instance the level the players were at at the start of the Rugby Championship was downright shocking, but as the Championship went on and the European tour developed our players ended up playing considerably better (not good enough still) than they were at the start of camp. The super franchises have 25/30 odd weeks where they control what the players do. We need to look into this. Perhaps much more cohesion here between what Cheika wants and what the franchises are offering.

        • Who?

          I question how much coaching IP is filtering down to the Super Teams. Under some past coaches, there was heaps of data going back, and good cooperation. And under others, there was pretty well nothing. I don’t know what the situation is with Cheika – I think there’s discussions, but in terms of requests for players to play specific positions or work on specific skill sets, I don’t know.

          What I do think, though, is that a good part of the improvement we saw in players last year was due to the time spent with Mick Byrne.

        • Tommy Brady

          Michael Cheika is getting data, read-out’s and analysis fed to him on every player in all 5 Australian sides. He will know player conditioning levels and output data during every match. What he chooses to do with this data will be of particular interest. One thing is certain though, there can be no misunderstanding about where he assumes players are, and where they actually are. There should be no repeat of the conditioning work Cheika had the Wallabies engaged in prior to Bledisloe I last year. We will see what differences it makes later in the year.

  • Simon

    I’m sure the Force would never admit to it but I wonder whether resting DHP is to conserve him for games they have a better chance of winning (derbies) and the Force are going to throw out this new-fangled expansive running rugby thing and try to choke the Kiwi teams with good old-fashioned Foleyball, especially with Hodgo back in the side. Even if they lose both games they could prevent a points blowout and snag a losing BP or two, which could become important in what’s looking like a fairly mediocre season in the Australian conference.

    • boof77

      Foleyball?? That shits gone from the Force play. Mark my words guys The Force are starting to play some more attractive football. Hopefully the Reds Tahs and Rebels wake up and punt their under achieving halves and start to play some more positive rugby instead boxkicking their asses to nowhere.

      • Simon

        Maybe it’s just because I’m a purist but I don’t have a problem with Foleyball when executed properly. It’s not exciting to watch but I can appreciate the skill involved in choking off a superior attacking team’s ball like they did several times to the Tahs over the last few years.

        It’s a problem if that’s all a team knows how to do, but I hope the Force do bring back some aspects of it against attacking teams like the Crusaders and Blues. I think they could build a bloody good All Blacks style game plan where they absorb the pressure and slow down the ball until they force an error or turnover, then quickly shift it wide and play expansively using guys like Peni, Rona and Morahan.

  • McWarren

    I love the French attitude to things that piss them off. We don’t like it so we’re not going to just type madly at my keyboard in the hope someone of influence and means sees my frustration and anger, I’m going to knock on his door and bloody tell him, and if that doesn’t work I’m going to strike and hit him in the hip pocket.
    Be warned ARU, if an Aussie team is chopped from SR, expect a skinny legged, fat bellied, balding old fart knocking on your door.

    • Pearcewreck

      Hey……. why do I have to knock on the ARU’s door????

      • McWarren

        We’ve all been summoned to HQ to pick our brains on diet and exercise!

  • Pearcewreck

    Quote ” “Dane’s played a lot of rugby more rugby than he was used to and he has
    for some years had a bit of a flareup of his groin,” Wessels said,
    giggling like a teenage boy.”

    I think for some GAGR’s it’s been some years SINCE they had a flare up in their groin.

    • McWarren

      Your in form today Pearcewreck, anything you’d like share?

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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