Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News has Christian Leali’ifano coming back (again), a Mick Byrne Q&A, the Wallabies in the ‘Riff and Kurtley in the ‘Fern


Leali’ifano Comeback!

Photo Credit: Peter Mitchell

Photo Credit: Peter Mitchell

Christian Leali’ifano is looking set to make his comeback to proper competitive rugby this weekend! He was only diagnosed with c*ncer a year ago too.

Leali’ifano was set to play against the Reds two weeks ago, but a pulled hammy saw to that false dawn. It is unclear whether the flyhalf will start on be on the bench, but the Canberra Times has all the goss.

“It would be a gamble if I thought he wasn’t right to play… but the way that he’s trained with the team over the last three months gives me a fair indication that he’s ready to play,” Larkham told the esteemed capital publication.

“This [Super Rugby season] is a journey that these boys have been on and it’s a pretty special group. I feel it’s a better team than we had last year in terms of the environment and atmosphere created by these players.

“Super Rugby is a grind, it’s a long competition… we’re lucky enough to be playing finals and we’ve known for six weeks we’ll be here where the competition changes, it becomes sudden death and there’s naturally a lot more excitement.

“We’re not really looking at it as favourites or not favourites, we’re going in there with the preparation to play the game that we want to play,” Larkham said of the upcoming game against the Hurrrrs.

“We know that they’re a good side but I’ve got no doubt that they know we’re a good side and they’ll be very worried about the way we play as well.”

Byrne Q&A

Wallaby Skills Coach Mick Byrne

Wallabies skills coach Mick Byrne has given a pretty interesting interview to Fox Sports, which can be found over here.

In the interview, Byrne talks everything about style of play, to actual execution play, and the what the Wallabies do have to beat the All Blacks.

When asked about the famous fitness questions, Byrne had a diplomatic answer. But, for the sake of sensationalism, you can read between the lines that Super squads aren’t up to scratch.

“[The players] haven’t been working at the level that we need them to be working at,” Byrne said. “And obviously we’re playing Test match rugby so our level is going to be higher.

“Plus, in the series that we play (Rugby Championship), we’re playing against the best teams in the world so our benchmarks have to be the best. Our benchmarks are higher than Super Rugby and in some Super environments they weren’t close enough for us to be able to move into a Test environment from a fitness level.”

Byrne is confident that fitness, along with skills, will come with increased time with the players.

“For me, great skillsets are all about great habits and a habit is something you do instinctively,” he continued.

“And we need to be able to get these habits into our players so that when the pressure or fatigue kicks in at any stage of a game, the habit they have is a good skillset.

“The key [focus] is going to be our ability to deliver our stuff under pressure and deliver it at speed.

“One of the areas I really want to work hard on is our ability to win that contact area and I think we’ve seen with the Lions and All Blacks series, that that’s a major battle.

“If we’re on defence, we need to be getting off the line well and making our tackles.

“I know that sounds really simple but they’re the things that you want to be able to do — to deliver those skillsets under pressure.”

Wallabies To Head West

Tatafu Polota-Nau now with the Force.

This news is slightly old, but it’s worth it for the amazing Tatafu Polota-Nau quote at the end.

The Wallabies – all of ‘em – are going to head out to Penrith for a day (13 August), and run the water and cook the sausages for the local teams. The Penrith RU have moved all games to Nepean Rugby Park to host the Wallabies.

This initiative has been driven by Cheika, reports the Daily Telegraph, and along with the drinks duty the Wallabies will also visit schools and make street signings and all that jazz during their time in Penrith. Cheika’s charges are going to base themselves at Panthers for a few days before the first Bledisloe.

“It’s no secret that rugby hasn’t made a strong home in the west of Sydney,” Cheika told the Daily Telegraph.

“It’s weird because we have so many players in our professional teams who are born and bred in the area. We want to change that by taking the Wallaby jersey there for people to see a little more about who we are.”

TPN, a proud Parra junior, is really keen to head out west.

“There’s a lot of juniors there that get no recognition but it’s more so the fact that rugby league have their processes set out,” he said, according to rugby.com.au.

“I feel like we need to grow the game and that’s one way we can do it as well.

“I’m really excited to experience the ‘Riff as we call it but it’ll be an eye opener for some of the guys who have barely been past Anzac Parade.”

Kurtley Wants 12

kurtley

Kurtley Beale is BACK, and was down in Redfern at the official release of the Wallabies’ Indigenous jersey.

The jersey is a snazzy little piece, and it will be worn in the 3rd Bledisloe in Brisbane in October.

“I’m a very proud Indigenous man,” Kurtley told rugby.com.au. “We’ve got a lot of young Indigenous talent in this country and for me to be the person to reveal ti to everyone out there, it’s just a special, special feeling.

“You don’t understand how important it is for myself and the other Indigenous players past and present to stand up and be role models for young Indigenous kids out there who are aspiring to be professional athletes.

“It’s something that I hold close to my heart and I think it’s a great step forward.”

Kurtley, currently the only Indigenous Wallaby, is just very keen about this whole development.

“I see the other codes have an Indigenous round and I can just see the reaction from the Indigenous communities when Indigenous Round is up and it’s always a special day – the Welcome to country, the smoking ceremonies, the dancers out on the field,” he said.

“It’s a very powerful thing and that’s when I tried to put my foot forward to really try and get the ARU behind it and the idea and I’m just thankful that we’ve come to it and we’re able to do it.”

Kurtley was also there to chat Wallabies.

“Being in the [match day] 23 would be awesome but I’ll definitely push my foot forward for that No.12 jersey,” Beale told the SMH. “There’s some young talent coming through. Reece Hodge has been amazing filling that spot. Recently, Karmichael Hunt has put up his hand. He’s a very, very talented player with a lot of good skill. His defence is pretty special.

“You’ve got Izzy [Folau] that can play 13 as well, [Tevita] Kuridrani [too]. We’ve got some great talent in those positions. I’m looking forward to battling it out with those guys.”

  • Bobas

    The Brumbies aren’t going to be able to pull a hare out of their arse without CLL. Would love to see him start in 12, he’s worth the risk.

    Kiwis are already pissed about their teams playing away games with twice the wins of the Brumbies. Imagine the upset, and imagine how upset that would make them.

    • Adrian

      Brumbies strength is spoiling.

      I can’t see them spoiling the Hurricanes though, with or without CLL.

      It will be more like a 30 point margin than 40 points, because the Hurricanes will take off their main stars once they are leading by 25

      • Pedro

        Canes were the only team to pump the brumbies all season. That was in New Zealand though. I expect this game to be closer than that.

    • Tommy Brady

      I sense the Kiwi are far more motivated about being the 1st to win this competition from the road. They always knew only 1 team in the NZ conference was getting home field advantage.

      You hearing these rumors the ARU have flown a special contingent to Tokyo this week? The mission is to investigate how in 2017 1 Japanese team in 5 games could do what 5 Australian teams could not in 25 games and beat an NZ side in Super Rugby. Findings should be interesting.

    • Pedro

      The canes should do for lealiifano what the tahs did for hodgo.

      • Dud Roodt

        maybe even six lealiifano I reckon!

      • Dud Roodt

        Don’t edit it! Now people won’t know what I was talking about!

  • Adrian

    I can see pros and cons for Beale at 12 and Hunt on the wing, or Hunt at 12 and Beale on the wing.

    I’m quite certain that it will be one of these, with Folau wearing 15.

    Both Beale and Hunt know how to play fullback, which is pretty much 50% of the role of one of the wingers when Folau plays. They can both kick too.

    Irrespective of his number, Folau plays much like a roving winger in attack, but drops into fullback to take kicks in defence. He’ll work well with either in the back field.

    Many will say that Beale can’t tackle, so can’t slot in at 12. From what I saw of him at the Wasps, he can certainly tackle now, including at 12 where he played a few games.

    Beale at 12 gives fluidity, ball handling and impromptu skills, whereas Hunt may be a bit more solid. Beale has shown that he can set-up Folau from 12, but I think Hunt could too. They could both help Foley with field position kicking

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I sincerely hope Beale plays at 12. We can put in either SBW, Crotty or Laumape on the field and it’ll be one way traffic.

      I really don’t get how a player who was never picked for the run on team in RWC, where you got 2nd, is now a saviour for the team after a couple of seasons away playing at 15 in a competition that is nothing like Super Rugby and who has never stood up as a saviour in the past. Maybe it’s just that there is so much dismay at the current skill sets and results that people are clutching at straws. Apparently he has X factor and that’s somehow meant to trump dedication, skills, smart thinking and effort. Not sure.

      Look I may end up having to eat humble pie, but to me Beale has always been flaky. He isn’t good on defence, he is easily pressured and falls apart when that happens and on top of that, unless there has been a huge change he has a shit attitude. I don’t see that the odd good pass or sneaky play tops any of that but I guess we’ll see.

      • Dud Roodt

        I think you sell KB short mate to be honest. There have been times when he would have been one of the first 3 picks in the Wallabies squad. And he’s capable of doing truly electric things on the field.
        I also think in the past few years his defense has improved a lot.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I guess we’ll see mate. I still think it’s more clutching at straws but I guess if I have to eat humble pie then I will.

        • lee enfield

          I am with you KRL, the problems for the Wallabies run much deeper then if and where Beale plays. Whatever the questions are relating to why the Wallabies are playing poorly, the answer is not Beale.
          That is not to say Beale can’t bring value to the team, it is just he isn’t the cure to what ails the Wallabies.

        • TheNutorious

          I would argue that the cure to what ails the Wallabies will take 10-15 years to implement! Let’s start with ditching Super Rugby :)

        • Adrian

          Agree Lee.
          Beale won’t fix the forwards, the concentration, the leadership, the tackling, the turnovers etc.
          But, if Cheika can fix them, Beale will be a big help in mounting attacks and counter attacks

        • TheNutorious

          NZ will still win and penetrate our midfield irrespective of who plays at 12.

          I genuinely believe Beale is the best 12 we have but he won’t stop that. I don’t necessarily think that a failure of our centre-combo to contain NZ will validate the criticisms of him.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I still see Kerevi and Kuridrani as your best centres. They can both tackle well, they both are able to penetrate and both of them feed their outsides well.

      • TheNutorious

        Disagree.

        I hope Beale plays at 12 and I hope that Hunt plays at 15.

        Beale was what made the Waratahs tick under Cheika. He is an excellent player.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          happy to disagree, that’s what makes this site so good.

      • Pearcewreck

        When Australian Rugby was doing really well back in 1999 through to say 2004, I take solace from the fact that I didn’t end up on a NZ Rugby site banging on about how good the Wallabies were, or any other Aussie S12 team or players, let alone criticising NZ players.
        I posted comments on Australian rugby sites only.

        • Tommy Brady

          So what changed Pearcewreck? Now you come onto Australian rugby sites and serve up a regular cheap shots at anything NZ rugby. Be consistent with your supposed standards my friend.

        • Pearcewreck

          You’re one of them too aren’t you Tom?

          At least I’m an Aussie on an Aussie site.
          What’s the problem?
          I am entirely consistent, I dislike all NZ rugby fans equally.
          Get the message?

        • Tommy Brady

          Thank you Pearcewreck – really appreciate you clarifying that. Me? I’m just a rugby fan who enjoys intelligent discussion about all things rugby.

        • Pearcewreck

          And, Tom, I admit I have a very strong anti NZ focus on this site.
          Why?
          For about 6 years or so I used to comment on Planet Rugby, and it had a really good comments section, almost as good as here.
          Then, after NZ won the RWC 2011, their comments section became over run with gloating, arrogant, ignorant New Zealanders, and it has now descended into an awful comments section.
          Prior to that, I had nothing against NZ rugby fans, but my Planet Rugby experience has changed that.
          I rarely go there now, the gloating by Kiwis is awful.

          I don’t want that to happen to this comments section on GAGR.
          We must keep the gloating Kiwis out, and the boys on the pod have said as much themselves.
          Last year they spoke about blocking the “Keyboard Warriors from Wellington”.

          I will leave a copy and paste from GAGR own about page,
          “GreenandGoldRugby.com (G&GR) is the home on the web for passionate
          followers of Australian rugby. We are unashamedly focused on two
          elements of that statement: Australian and Rugby. You’ll find no other
          sport or country’s interest our site.”

        • Tommy Brady

          Yep. We both know it’s hard to curb the passion of many fans Pearcewreck. So often it’s really only the small ignorant minority that influence the views of many. The obnoxious fans who are poor winners and poor losers too. Sadly they exist all over the world in every Rugby loving nation.

          I prefer to focus my attention on the great fans. The smart, intelligent fans who are objective in their thoughts and insightful in their analysis. The one’s who present views and opinions that are clever and well thought out – irrespective of what country they are from and what teams they follow.

          Thankfully we have just seen a great example of that with the 25,000 odd B&I Lions fans who toured NZ. I have only learnt of wonderful interaction with Lions fans and local Kiwi rugby fans. I have no doubt there were exceptions – there always is isn’t there? Someone though needs to keep the standards up and ensure it is as enjoyable as possible for everyone. Rugby is great like that. You think 25,000 touring soccer fans would have left the same impression?

          We may all support different teams – and that will never change. But we all love the game and that is more important.

        • Pearcewreck

          Yeah, it was great to hear all those “smart, intelligent fans who are objective in their thoughts and insightful in their analysis” at the Highlanders v Reds treating Quade really nicely.

          BTW, the BIL series was great because of the 25,000 touring BIL fans as you mentioned. Enough said.

        • Tommy Brady

          Excellent points once again Pearcewreck. Seriously those 15 guys in the student section who were booing in those last 10 minutes should have been hauled out for not laughing at Quade Cooper like the 14,000 others inside the stadium were.

          I mean let’s be honest here. This was the guy so many in Australia pinned all their hopes on to direct Australian sides around the park. Kinda the Golden Boy right? The guy who was fined by the ARU for publicly labeling the Wallaby culture as “toxic”. The guy with more yellow cards than any other Wallaby player. The guy who on attack consistently aimlessly kicks possession away because well – he just doesn’t have the positional IQ required by a good No. 10 to retain possession and build pressure. The guy who on defense has to be hidden somewhere on the park because well – his defensive capabilities are so deficient. The guy who now is not even a very good Super Rugby player.

          Maybe Reds fans should be the one’s booing him Pearcewreck. I mean seriously – people pay money to watch the guy play? Say it ain’t so!

        • Pearcewreck

          Did I say something earlier about arrogant New Zealanders on this site running Aussie teams and players down?

        • Tommy Brady

          Did I say something earlier I’m just a rugby fan who enjoys intelligent discussion about all things rugby?

        • Who?

          To be fair to Quade…
          1. The culture in the Wallabies was toxic. It’s been toxic quite a few times since 2002 and the departure of the Bledisloe… He’s not the only one to question it – in 2014, Hooper said during Wallabies Tests in June that he couldn’t wait to leave and get back to the Tahs. Not quite the same thing, but again, a statement about team unity, from a bloke who was captain that year.
          2. Aimlessly kicking? I’d argue he’s got one of the better territorial kicking games in the country. At least he can kick, unlike some…
          Further, if you’re at the wrong end of the field, or if your forwards aren’t winning front foot ball, it’s a better idea to play up the other end than to run around in your own half and give up points. As the Wallabies did far too often this June.
          3. Quade’s defence is very poor (hence the YC record – he’s lazy at going low). But he’s not the only 10 who gets hidden on defence. And we’re not the only nation doing it (where does Beaudy defend..? And of course Bernard).
          Quade’s not the messiah, but you obviously have a good long term memory, but not as many short term memories of his efforts…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well said mate. I try to ignore the trolls although I admit there are times I take a breath and back space on what I’ve written. I love this site because in the main it’s full of people who love the game and even when they disagree they don’t turn into aresholes over it.

        • Missing Link

          I hear ya mate, but I have learned to let go over the years. If all someone has is the ability to gloat about a rugby team, then they must be in a pretty bad way.

          I do agree that GAGR should be about Aussie Rugby. It’s been a while since I went over to The Roar but every now and then I jump on for a laugh. It never ceases to amaze me how an article can be about something like the Wallabies 10 – 12 potential selection and the comments somehow become a discussion about Barrett or Cruden with Laumape, Leinert-Brown or SBW and then naturally flow into who is the greatest All Black 10 – 12 combination of all time. I swear the site must be owned by kiwis :)

        • Pearcewreck

          That’s interesting and sad about The Roar. Maybe the majority of active rugby fans in Australia are former New Zealanders (shudder).
          I actually believe that this years Bledisloe in Sydney & Brisbane will be virtual NZ home games because no Aussie fans will turn up.

        • Who?

          If I’m honest, Australian-hosted Bledisloes have felt like Kiwi home games for a long time… The ‘All Blacks’ chant is usually dominant, and the win/loss ratio is almost as good as at home for NZ… :-(

        • Missing Link

          The cake tin at Wellington will have the greatest number of Wallaby fans in the crowd, oh no wait a minute, that’s just the yellow seats…

          For the record, the articles on The Roar are still good, just the comments that are wayward

        • joy

          Kiwis are always hyper sensitive about Australia`s X factor selections and go out of their way to vilify their targets. Maybe a `Fuck off Beale` chant is just around the corner.

        • Joe King

          I hear ya, but I don’t think there were many social media sites to comment on before 2007. It will be interesting to see what we Ozzies are like on social media if we ever have another period of dominance. Hopefully we will be humble.

      • juswal

        You’ve now given your opinion in full, as you are entitled to, on Kurtley Beale. I hope that will be your last word on the subject for 2017.

        • TheNutorious

          Steady on mate, variety is the spice of life!

        • Bakkies

          The Silverfern must be an awful site

      • David Creagh

        Well said, I agree with everything you say except for the attitude bit. I thought he would fall apart when he went OS and go back to the old days of being a dick and getting on the piss hanging out with his bros JOC and Cippers. He didn’t, I know he is coming back early and that maybe because he realises that when separated from his support networks that he will fall back into that shit attitude, if that is the case good on him.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I hope you’re right and it would be good to see. However, regardless of that I think trying to tie the success or not of the Wallabies to him coming into the team is a huge call. The pressure that will go on him to perform is going to be immense and I’m not sure it’s fair to have that much pressure on one player just because the rest of the year has been pretty poor.

        • David Creagh

          Spot on there. I am not a Beale fan but I do know think that the bad ways look like they are behind them, in my view we don’t let go of the past especially when someone appears to be making efforts to change, unlike JOC. Everything else you say is spot on, I reckon you hit him once early, or he drops one ball or his shitty little chis and grubbers don’t come off he goes missing. This is why I would NEVER play him at 10.

      • joy
    • Who?

      I really hope it’s Hunt at 12, Beale at the back. For one clear reason. I want Kurtley bringing the ball back on kick returns. K’s a fantastic player, had (maybe still has) a great step, runs hard. But Kurtley’s faster and more elusive.
      Both can slot into 12 and bring something different. But K straightens the attack, which is key for a 12. I remember a few years ago – maybe 2012 – Kafe did a segment on how Kurtley’s great strength was his lateral acceleration. There was lots of talk about him being an inside back again (10, 12). SO Kafe was highlighting this great thing Kurtley brings. But this was on the back of many, many complaints about our 10’s crabbing or drifting sideways!!! Giteau, Barnes, Cooper – all copped it for years about drifting, then we’re praising a bloke who doesn’t drift sideways, he sprints sideways!
      Now, I’m one of the few who advocates having players drift. And I see value in Kurtley’s ability to cover ground laterally. When Kurtley’s running, he starts creating and playmaking. I’d go so far as to say his playmaking game relies on his running game. Which means you want him running all the time – get him going from the backfield, rather than just starting at 12 and having to go sideways to get metres in his legs before he finds a wall of defenders.
      But to use that drift properly, you need players who will straighten the attack. Odds are your 10 is going to run at least a bit sideways – Cooper does, and in spite of the lack of complaints about it, Foley does too (in order to get width into the attack – which is fair!!!). Beauden Barrett runs as sideways as Cooper. But if you’ve got that, you need your 12 – the player most consistently running next to your 10 – to stay straight. If you have both your 10 and 12 sprinting at the sideline, nothing’s going to arrest your angle, and you get bundled into touch. If you have your 10 drifting, Hunt straight, Beale can inject himself into the backline anywhere he sees an opening (which is why I see him as a better general play attacking fullback than Folau – Folau always runs in the 13 channel, almost never between 10 and 12, or 13 and wing) at any angle he chooses. If that means he comes to the ball straight then runs 8m to get around the defenders the straight runner fixed on his charge into the line, that’s ok. But if he does that off a player who’s already running sideways, then it’s that much harder to get around the drift.
      And that’s all without talking about defence!!!!

    • Bakkies

      Beale at 12 shudder.

  • Who?

    Indigenous engagement. It’s something we clearly don’t do well publicly. We do ok quietly – I know my region regularly loses its DO to go and do training in remote indigenous communities (which is great for the communities, not so great for us locally, and a big ask for the underpaid DO’s), but the quiet nature of our engagement publicly makes it harder to get kids to stick privately.

    The Reds have done an indigenous round for a good while now, and it’s always gone well.

    But I want to give credit here to the ARU about something. That’s not common at the moment! But they’ve done very well is with welcome to country. Welcome to country can often be robotic and meaningless – the same words spoken without any passion. Even moreso if it’s a reference by white people. But the welcomes to country over the last two years at the Tests have been fantastic. Every one has been delivered by a person for whom the event holds significance, and delivered personally. I’m really glad we don’t have a war dance – with our history, I feel it would be hollow and tokenistic at best. But the welcome to country has become a highlight – and to all who have given those welcomes, well done!

    • John Tynan

      Someone on GAGR made a comment that stuck with me, and wondered aloud when there would be an Australian team that wore an indigenous jersey for the season – ie it’s just normal, not a gesture.
      I support the gestures with my hard earned – and will kit the family out in Wallaby indigenous jerseys once I get the loan approved – but can’t do that every year. But steps forward are great.
      I agree with your comments re: the personal nature of the welcome to country recently, very nice touch.

      • Who?

        I’ve seen the same comments about the indigenous jersey – that it should just be the standard jersey… I think, for now, it’s worthwhile for it to be a deliberate, focused recognition, but down the track, hopefully it’ll just be normal and standard.

        • joey

          TBH, I’d rather the Wallabies Jersey was changed to include Red & Black on it. We’ve already got the gold.

          Then again, I’d rather Australia’s flag was the Aboriginal one, but that’ll sure rustle the jimmies on some SOC’s (Silly Old C..)

        • formerflanker

          Consider me silly and old, but the recognition of indigenous people by rugby administrators is simply leftist political correctness. Putting funds into the Lloyd McDermott indigenous teams is far more useful.
          The smoking ceremonies, welcome to country (a recent invention), and indigenous jerseys are all irrelevant to the game. Also, they set the scene for the promotion of other leftist causes such as SSM.
          If rugby truly wants to articulate political causes, then equal importance should be given to the global warming scam and terrorism.

        • Dud Roodt

          ff I think you might be confusing this website for The Australian or Brietbart? Just thought I’d give you a heads up before you go ranting about the damn immigants and what not and really confuse people.

        • Andy

          Well said. There’s no loony column on this website and I hope it remains that way

        • joy

          Only the Loony Left.

        • Andy

          Jog on

        • Pedro

          National anthems are irrelevant to the game, should they to be ditched?

        • Pearcewreck

          Definately should ditch the Haka.

        • Pedro

          And the anthems?

        • BigNickHartman

          Australian rugby is on its hands and knees at the moment. Not only do I find your comments short-sighted and selfish (but that’s a discussion for another day on another site), but Australian rugby can’t afford to be anything but welcoming to everyone under the Australian sun. If that won’t motivate you to keep your thoughts inside, I don’t know what will

        • Missing Link

          Keep politics off GAGR – there’s enough politics within the ARU :)

        • BigNickHartman

          Damned If I do, damned if I don’t

        • TheNutorious

          Well it got Australian rugby dominating the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald today, when is the last time that happened? If it was a cynical ploy (which I don’t think it is) then it worked.

          Your last sentence does suggest you are a tin-foil hat wearer, though.

        • joy

          Is the SMH still being printed?

        • Who?

          The Wallabies (or was it the Kangaroos) back in 1908 did an ‘Aboriginal War Cry’. Pretty sure we had no indigenous players, and it was a farce. It wasn’t done to honour anyone, but to provide a bit of a show for the Poms while we toured. I’m very pleased we got rid of it! It was disrespectful to the indigenous peoples, and it had absolutely no relevance to someone like me – someone from purely immigrant stock (I’m 1st and 6th generation, no indigenous blood, no convict ties). Whereas at least the Haka had connection due to the stronger Maori population and connection in NZ compared to the Indigenous population and connection here.
          My standard reaction to welcomes to country is similar to yours. They’re mostly pointless, empty platitudes that are done purely to remove the possibility of offence and satisfy those who can’t move on from crimes committed against people to whom they otherwise bear no connection (i.e. white people with guilt). Largely done by white people at that (as an acknowledgement of country, not a welcome to country). And I have no real connection to them.
          But the way the welcomes to country have been done at the Tests over the past 18 months has been excellent, with intelligent representatives delivering genuine messages of welcome and creating a connection between the Rugby community, the visiting team, and the indigenous peoples and unspoken history of this land. It’s the quality of the people doing the welcomes that has been key, and the ARU have done a great job in selecting them. Rather than yet another white guy saying, “We acknowledge the (nebulous) *insert local nations here* people…” That means nothing.

        • Pearcewreck

          Spot on ff.

        • Who?

          A black and red band/hoop at the bottom of the jersey would go pretty well, I reckon…
          Don’t agree on the flag – not stressed about changing the current one, just don’t think we should go appropriating a flag from a minority group like that. It’s cultural theft.

        • Joe King

          I like the idea of a black and red band/hoop

        • Who?

          Thinking it through, that’s my promise for my run for the position of ARU Chairman! I promise that, if I’m elected by popular vote, the Wallabies jersey will retain the standard wallaby crest on the chest (our long term graphic branding), but on the shoulders we’ll have the wallaby artwork shown on KB’s left shoulder, fading into the standard green sleeves. And at the bottom of the jerseys, we’ll have a 1.5″ black hoop (above a black hem) and a 1.5″ red hoop. Then the standard gold…
          That’ll solve all the problems with Rugby in Australia, won’t it..? :-P
          But seriously, I think that jersey would look awesome, and be perfect as a permanent development pathway for jersey design for the Wallabies. Retention of traditional team colours and branding, addition of indigenous artwork that directly ties to the branding, and a subtle, permanent nod to the fact that the Wallabies represent all Australians.

      • Missing Link

        I wouldn’t mind copying the darkness and having the same gold jersey with our indigenous symbols embossed into the sides. I know the darkness had maori symbols embossed into the sides at one stage while retaining the black jersey.

        • Who?

          Wasn’t that the MAB jersey..? Starting with the centenary MAB jersey, which looked awesome.
          Only problem with these jerseys is I’m far too white to get away with looking like anything other than an idiot in them…

  • Geoffwho

    I’m sure there is a very sensible way to get Hunt, Folau and Beale on the same field together. But given the track record of Aussie rugby lately, we are bound to choose the most dumbass way to do it…

    • John Tynan

      Hunt at 12, Folau on a wing, Kurtley at fullback. Where do I pick up the cheque?

      • onlinesideline

        the ARU office – they reallyyyyy need a win

      • Missing Link

        10. Foley/Cooper
        11. Speight/Naivalu
        12. Hunt/Hodge
        13. Kerevi/Kuridrani
        14. Folau/DHP
        15. Beale/DHP

        indeed it works

        • Adrian

          Indeed it does work.

          It’s very possibly what we’ll get it too.

          Just is that Beale and Folau will have opposite numbers.

          That doesn’t matter at all, because Folau plays more and more as a roving winger in attack, and drops back to fullback to field kicks in defence.

        • Who?

          Gotta say, it might work, but I’m getting a bit sick of the shuffling and jerseys were players don’t do the traditional role of the jersey… Beale at 12, but he defends on the wing, but really he’s playing 15 because he’s inserting himself into the line to run (and pass, but his playmaking is all built around his running game – much like Beauden Barrett). Folau at 15, but he’s really playing more like his natural position of 14 (which would usually actually be done from 11 in Rugby, but he’s a right winger), even Hooper wearing 7 but playing more like 6, Pocock wearing 8 but playing as a 7… We’re back in Robbie Deans land, where we just grab the jerseys and you wear the one that’s closest in size to your body shape! Or the one that is least offensive to your own personal preferences.
          I know, I didn’t mention Foley and Cooper both dropping back in defence wearing the 10 jersey, but that seems to be the modern game across all provinces in Australia, and also internationally, with Beauden dropping back. Even if it’s not done in the NH (can’t imagine Sexton, Farrell, Biggar dropping back. Maybe Ford would appreciate the option…). There’s logic to it – you’ve got your chief attacking decision maker there to control play, you want the ball in his hands, and another boot to get back downfield.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I’m with you. This moving around all the time seems to be half the reason that the defences are so crap. It’d be an interesting exercise to see the defence stats of those teams who stay in their position and those that change around. My gut tells me that those who predominantly stay in position will have better statistics but who knows.

        • Who?

          Even without the moving around malarkey, I’m just over putting the ‘wrong’ numbers on players’ backs. It doesn’t confuse the opposition, just the supporters, and sees us arguing over whether Hooper or Pocock is the better 7 (when Hooper’s actually more of a 6 – no one in the world thinks Pocock’s an 8!), and that DHP should be at 15 over Folau (when it seems Folau’s doing less 15 work than DHP). It’s pointless, we have positions and positional descriptors in Rugby Union for a reason, it’s time to start using them again!!!

        • Adrian

          It probably is time to use the “right” numbers, but it’s all evolving, and not just in Australia.

          The reasoning isn’t necessarily to confuse the opposition, it’s an EGO THING.

          Folau was offered 15 by Cheika because it’s COOLER than being a mere winger.

          By the way, almost all Australian teams used the old style Rugby League numbering until some time in the 70s. I’ll check the date

        • Who?

          I agree – I did say in the first post “The one that is least offensive to your own personal preferences.” Which is EGO.
          And it just confuses the fans… And some commentators. ;-(
          Think it wasn’t that far back that Rugby teams overseas did the same thing with numbering, too. But we’ve gone to standardized numbering – our last non-standard numbering was Campo (who should’ve been in 14, not 11, but he liked that jersey). That was 20 years ago – time to get back to standard!

        • Adrian

          It was 67 when Australia adopted the current numbering system.

          Before that we used the old Australian Rugby league numbers, but took them up to 15. In that (Rugby League) system, the fullback was 1, wingers 2,5, centres 3,4, five eight 6, half 7. The lock 8, second rowers 9,10, front row 11,12,13.

          The Rugby Union adaptation in Australia had the number eight at 8, breakaways at 9,10, locks at 11,12 (but sometimes these were breakaways), front row 13,14,15

          Just saying…

      • TheNutorious

        10) Foley
        11) Speight
        12) Beale
        13) Kerevi
        14) Folay
        15) DHP

        would be mine.

        Lots of versatility there and Hunt can accommodate a reshuffle

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I must admit I do see Folau as more of a winger than a Full Back. I actually think he’ll have more opportunities there to get involved and come inside the 12 or 13 on attack. Plus he is also able to attack the high balls which is still his greatest strength

        • Adrian

          Indeed. And more and more he’s playing like a winger, which is facilitated by having a fullback on the wing

    • lee enfield

      On the 1st day Cheika gave us Hooper….all was good.
      On the 2nd day Cheika gave us Phipps….all was good.
      On the 3rd day Cheika gave us Foley….all was good.
      On the 4th day Cheika gave us Horne….all was good.
      On the 5th day Cheika gave us Folau….all was good.
      On the 6th day Cheika gave us Nathan Grey….all was good.
      On the 7th day Cheika said God be a lazy fucker for taking a day off. Fuck that shit, I give you Beale….all was better than good, he made Australian Rugby great again.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Hilarious if it wasnt so scarily true!

      • onlinesideline

        thats some pretty colourful wording in your 7th day of accounts – your a brave man.

      • David Creagh

        I am hoping there was a large amount of sarcasm there. Phipps struggled to be the starting half for the second worst team in Australia for most of the year. Grey’s defensive pattern resulted in some absolute try fest for the opposition. Horne is a good player at Super Rugby but struggles to remain fit and has been shown up at test level. Beale on his day is class but can go missing for whole test matches at a time. I will concede Folau and, grudgingly Foley. There is no real alternative to Foley at the moment, Copper isn’t it, Lance isn’t it either and Lelilefano is not far enough down the comeback trail to risk. Everyone else is a foreigner.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Gold mate

  • Pearcewreck

    Great to see Christian back.

    Whether we win or lose, he is still a winner in my book.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah it’s an awesome achievment. I’ve always rated him as a player and so good to see him back on the field

  • juswal

    The Wallabies’ day out at the Riff is a good thing. Everyone will get something out of that.

  • Adrian

    Gibson shows class, if not coaching skills.

    It was good to read that NSW coach Gibson refused to blame his players, but instead accepted responsibility for the bad year himself.

    He may or may not be a good coach, but refusing to slag off players publicly is a good example to other coaches.

    Public shaming doesn’t work anyway.

    Slagging in private only sometimes works.

    The only case I know of where Gibson criticised a player in public was with Latu re his fitness. Even then it was in response to a media question, which quoted Cheika’s comments about Latu to Gibson

    • TheNutorious

      By all accounts he is a very good coach and a good guy.

      My concern with Gibson, which is based on an outsider’s view of results and performances, is that the role of head coach/manager requires a different skill-set/personality type and perhaps he is not best suited to it.

      • Adrian

        Your totally right. I don’t think he gels with these particular guys as a coach, though apparently he does as a person

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Good point. Some people work better as the No 2 than the No 1. maybe he’s one of them

      • Funk

        De ja vue…are we talking about Gibson or Richard “woody” Graham here????

  • Brisneyland Local

    Have all you GAGR’s seen the article about Nathan Grey doing a review into himself and the defensive plans of the Warratahs and the Wallabies?
    WTF. Am i the only person that thinks he is on the wacky tobaccy?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’ve heard it said before. Fixing defence is just a tweak. Easy peasy mate

    • Pearcewreck

      No, what article is that BBL?
      Does it contain any pictures of that Goat we were talking about?

      • Brisneyland Local
        • Harbo

          Leaked 40 points 7 times this year and before this year only 12 times in the last 281 games…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Harbo, that says it all!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fuck me, already wishy washy. Not the coach or systems just players not following through. I have no confidence in anyone actually criticising him as the “old boys network” will protect his arse.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. You are 100% correct. This will be a monumental fuck up. It will be bigger than the Reds searching the rugby globe for thebest coach, and then at the end of it re-appointing Woody Graham. Nathan Grey is the new Woody Graham!

  • Nutta

    Wow. I go on-leave for a week, get in some camping with the kidlets, cook some damper, drink some port, have a game or 2, come back and log on for politics, terrorism, Lefty PC, blackfella/whitefella criticisms and plenty of stuff that makes nooooo sense at all. That escalated quickly.

    Anyway, my 3cents for the record:

    Indigenous jersey is great. Use it more often. Beale is not great. Don’t use him more often.

    Welcome back LiLi.

    Skills coach says our skills suck because we are unfit. Bugger me…

    Wobblies in Penrith? Relocating the Head of the River are we? Running water for the locals you say? I’ll believe it when I see it. In the meantime, watch their downloading of e-compasses and let’s see if they show-up with Conargo Pub stickers on their back windscreens and canvas water-bags hanging off the front bumpers of their Audi’s

    • Pearcewreck

      Classic Nutta.
      Actually, that Conargo Pub must be popular, I keep seeing stickers on cars for it.

      • Nutta

        On CARS?!?!? For authenticity the placement of a Conargo Pub sticker requires a Kingswood ute with bull-bar, roll-bar, truck-flaps, twin extractors, a minimum of a 308 V8, 4 on-the-floor, aerials aplenty to make astronauts lairy and enough spotties to blind God. Anything less and it’s a show-boater. Fkn sedans my arse.

        • Xaviera

          Meh – Conargo is suburbia. A real unit like that should be sporting at least a William Creek sticker. :) PS Love your work.

        • Nutta

          No 1 Oodnadatta Track. Great address. But I wouldn’t trust my old HX to make it that far.

  • Pearcewreck

    It’s official, just got email from Brumbies confirming Leilafano is on the bench!!

  • Shtinatina

    Haha, I’m pretty sure TPN’s used the Anzac Parade comment before, nevertheless always gets a laugh.
    Sending Wallaby camp to Newcastle, Cessnock & the ‘Riff is a good thing. I’m sure they’ll find Cessnock an interesting experience.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Piss off

Rugby

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

More in Rugby