Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News covers the Hooper’s injury and what it means, Folau in hot water, a squiz at the latest rankings and Pocock generally being a legend.


 

Hooper Injury

Hooper, before the 16th minute Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Hooper, before the 16th minute
Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

The fall-out from Saturday night’s test against Ireland continues with Australian and Waratah captain, Michael Hooper, ruled out for up to four weeks with a hamstring injury.

Hooper suffered the injury 16 minutes into the final test and he was forced to leave the field immediately.  Replays show him getting what could best be described as folded in half while competing for the ball at the breakdown and although he walked from the field unassisted it was clear he wasn’t at all comfortable.  It was a real shame for the home team, the breakdown was an area that Australia were dominant in the first test and had been kept quiet in the second and Hooper’s injury stymied the Wallabies’ ability to disrupt the Irish phase-play.

Speaking about Hooper’s injury, Wallaby coach Michael Cheika was seemingly unfazed, “It doesn’t look too bad, he’s got a fair bit of movement in there, but obviously with those things he’ll need to wait (un)til it settles down, go for a scan and then see if he’ll be back for Super Rugby in time to partake with the Waratahs in their run to the finals”.

While there are no tests coming up until the Rugby Championship the injury is bad timing for Hooper’s Super Rugby team who are looking towards a potential finals campaign and will be hoping the skipper is back on deck in time.  Their first match in the post-test run home is against the Rebels who will also come into the game nursing a test hangover in the form of Genia’s broken arm and Adam Coleman’s dodgy leg.  While Genia is definitely out, Coleman seemingly remains a chance of playing, Cheika was again not worried describing the injury as a ‘bruised hip or groin’.

“He got a bruised hip or groin, I can’t be 100 per cent sure at this point, there’s been a fair bit going on post-match, so I haven’t really had a chance to talk to him yet,”

-Cheika on Adam Coleman’s injury.

The match holds extra importance for the two teams with them both vying for the top position in the Australian conference and with it the right to host a quarter-final.

Folau Facing Disciplinary Hearing

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Australian full-back Israel Folau will face a disciplinary hearing by World Rugby, drawing their ire after separate but similar high-ball incidents on the weekend.

Due to the, at times, confusing nature of World Rugby’s regulations Folau is *technically* being cited for an earlier collision where he brought down Irish Player Peter O’Mahony rather than the 31st minute effort that saw the cross-code star given a yellow card.

While it could be suggested that Folau’s timing in the air could maybe use a little work the real victims of Folau’s bad timing are his club team, the Waratahs, who are already facing a month without their captain, although as yet, no date has been set for the hearing.

Quizzed after the match if World Rugby need to further clarify the laws around contested kicks, Cheika alluded to the muddy waters that officials often have to navigate through when considering their decisions in these cases, “The key word these days is ‘clear’ and ‘obvious’, isn’t it? I don’t know anything that’s clear and obvious in a game of footy. Nothing, right? But they run with it’.

The Waratah assistant coach Simon Cron was somewhat less backwards in coming forward on the issue, branding rugby a “nanny state” over the citing.

Cron seems to be reading directly from the law book with his take on the matter, “My understanding of the law is that when you’re both competing for the ball, you’re both competing for the ball”, however his ideas about preventing the issue from coming up again a little more ‘reactionary voter-ish’ in nature, suggesting, “The only way around that is maybe we change the sport and say you’re not allowed to leave the ground and turn it into under-12s. I’m not sure.”  (to remove my journalist hat for sec, can I just say, we all aren’t sure mate, but that’s probably not the solution).

The reality of the situation perhaps lies a bit closer to Cheika’s summation-

“Rugby, there’s no black and white in this game. It’s a lot of grey and it’s about the interpretations in the grey so, yeah, I don’t know how they can clarify it, so there’s not much point in me asking about clarification.”

Updated World Rankings

World

World

With a number of matches being played over the weekend between similarly-ranked nations the overall standings have had a bit of a shake-up.

Let’s have a look at the winners and losers after the June internationals.

The seemingly unstoppable All Blacks are still comfortably on top, despite accruing no points for their third win over France they still lead all comers.  With a score of 93.99 they are nearly 4 points clear.  Ireland edge a little closer courtesy of their win in Sydney and Wales, who sat the week out, round out the top three.

A third home nation fills the next position with England’s win over the Boks catapulting them into 4th position, displacing both Australia who fall to 5th and South Africa, now 6th.

Rounding out the top 10 for last week in June are Scotland, France, Fiji and Argentina, who’ve all had their ups and downs over the last few weeks.

After their to-nil victory over Georgia and a one-all test series against Italy, next year’s World Cup hosts Japan remains firmly planted in 11th place.  The Brave Blossoms did have an effect on the table in another way though, by knocking off the Rugby Europe Championship winners The Lelos, combined with Tonga’s win over Fiji, the Pacific nation of just over 100,000 people jumped two places to 12th.

Georgia and Italy both slip a place to 13th and 14th and the top 15 is rounded out by the undefeated in 2018 (and therefore WORLD CHAMPIONS) USA Eagles.

The Top 20,

New Zealand  93.99  

Ireland             90.12  

Wales                85.94              

 England           85.68              

 Australia         84.48

 South Africa  

 Scotland        

 France

 Fiji     

 Argentina      

 Japan 

 Tonga

 Georgia         

 Italy   

 Usa    

 Romania

Samoa

 Uruguay

 Russia

 Spain 

Pocock’s Masterclass Continues

What a ledgend

What a legend

(Pretend we’ve just done the weather and this is the feel-good piece at the end of the news, ok?)

Just in case his stance on marriage equality, environmental protection, charity work and massive biceps weren’t enough to make you like David Pocock he’s gone and pulled off another coup d’état (or should that be coup de grâce?  Not even French is classy enough for this guy), this time revealing his mateship with Irish scrum-half Conor Murray.

The pair trace their roots back to a 2005 Australian Schoolboys’ tour of the home nations where the Zimbabwe-born breakaway was billeted with Murray’s family during his stay.

Captioning the post on his Instagram Pocock was typically humble, “In 2005 on the Australian Schoolboys tour of the UK and Ireland we were billeted out with families while in Limerick.  The family I was billeted with: the Murrays.  When this photo was taken I don’t think @conormurray9 or I were thinking we’d go on to face each other in test rugby. Great to catch up after the game. Congrats on the win and enjoy the off season!”

To add to his social media presence, Pocock was similarly all class addressing the media after the match.

In his return series to international rugger, he described the loss as incredibly disappointing but was also full of praise for his team-mates, particularly the replacements, “I thought the finishers came on and really lifted. Tolu was great, Taniela was great, really lifted the energy, good to see Ned back out there”.

The opposition didn’t escape his kind words either, “Credit to Ireland this series.  Their game management’s been pretty good.  You don’t become world No 2 for nothing — it finishes a really good year for them”.

While the officiating and some other issues may be a source of frustration for many fans, let’s not lose sight of what the sport we all love is really about.

It truly is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.

  • juswal

    Before hearing Folau’s case, the panel/tribunal/Torquemada should try this. Go to the gym, set up a mini-tramp with no mattress beyond it; get a full-speed run-up; fling yourself two metres into the high and try to catch a football dropped from the ceiling, while another panel member is hoisted into your path; when you don’t catch the ball, see how much control you have over your arms and hands while falling.

    • Gareth

      Folau jumped at pace, with forward momentum, eyes on the ball, trying to knock it back towards our side. He won the physical battle in the air and gets a yellow card. The irish player was lifted straight up and gets the penalty awarded for being knocked over. At no stage was he able to control his landing without assistance. I just dont see how its a yellow and possible 2 week suspension, world rugby has lost the plot.

      • julesie

        Completely agree. I was at the game and when it happened and the replays were playing all I was thinking was “2 players in the air with eyes for the ball, neither of their fault, its the responsibility of the players on the ground to allow them to fall safely.” Ridiculous to assume Folau had any sort of ill-intent.

        • Brumby Runner

          Intent doesn’t come into the equation at all in citing him for these incidents. If Izzy had intended to knock O’mahony over from 2m in the air on three occasions he would be banned for life.

        • Missing Link

          Well hopefully common sense prevails. As I said yesterday … actually, regardless if Folau is suspended or not, he was cited which effectively means “it should have been a penalty at minimum”. We are now going to see players hoisted in the air in general play to diffuse the high ball. It doesn’t matter if they are near the ball or not, if any opposition collides with them, and they fall down, then it’s a penalty and possible red/yellow card. WR need to come out and clarify this before the weekend. Either no lifting apart from lineouts or no lifting apart from kick off and lineouts. clear and concise.

        • Gareth

          I like that, no lifting from the kickoff will bring back the contest.

        • Greg

          but intent did come into it when the froggy had his skull broken.

          I don’t think there was intent there but in that case it meant there was no sanction. It is just inconsistent.

      • Caeliv Donnelly

        Folau flung himself at O’Mahony 3 times in the first half at restarts. Got 1 YC and 1 citing. Now you can argue the rights and wrongs all day (and some have) but wasn’t it another example of risky tactics from the sideline. Given what was happening the previous week’s I would have had Folau stick to attacking the high kicks from open play to the wing where he got some joy in the first test.

        • Gareth

          Flung himself, have you forgotten that rugby is a contest? I know you are keen to defend the Irish which i am not attacking. I am questioning the law and now a two week suspension for something that has always existed in Rugby union. A contest.

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          Perhaps . If Folau was contesting a lineout and pulled on the jumper it would be a penalty and no one would argue. Why is it different in open play?
          When you launch yourself at speed at someone in the air – you are taking a massive risk the way the player in the air is protected these days. I thought it wasn’t the cleverest tactic and the two sanctions as a result bare that out.

        • Braveheart81

          It is different from a lineout in the laws. The disciplinary sanctions are also clear that the foul play aspect of an aerial challenge only come into play when a player isn’t in a realistic position to challenge for the ball. That was never the case here. Folau won those aerial challenges.

        • Missing Link

          He launched himself at the ball, Ireland lifted a man into his path. Folau is human last time I checked, not a plane, he doesn’t have a rudder, ailerons and elevators to change direction easily in the air/

        • Gareth

          You need to think about how you view the game of rugby. We are not lawyers set up to manipulate laws, we are involved in the a game of rugby where one player is now facing suspension based on a legal technicality. The fact is that he did not jump with intent to hurt an irish player and for you to keep arguing in support for a stupid law in the face of logic is …………………..

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          Not arguing in support of a law at all Gareth. I never commented or postulated what Folau did was right or wrong. But argued that the tactic may not have been the best. All the best.

        • Gareth

          Ok – i can agree that given the stupid laws then it might be risky, but as a rugby fan I just cant accept that a game was influenced so strongly because of it.

        • Greg

          clever tactic…. I think it deliberately put the lifted player at risk…

        • juswal

          Caeliv, your description makes it sound like O’Mahony was hovering in place before Folau jumped. It’s just not like that. One player was lifted straight up. The other was moving forwards and up. They arrived where the ball was and collided, inevitably.

        • Alister Smith

          I think Folau’s launching was at the ball not at the irish player – even with the lift he is above or at the same level as the receiving player and his eyes are on the ball the whole time – but yes the hand on the jumper on the way down probably does expose him to a penalty.

          I think though that it is extremely difficult to have a stable one man lift, i can certainly remember two lifters on the ground (one positioned in front of the ball receiver to put some distance between him and the attacking player) and that “triangular” shape gives much more stability. Having two lifters shouldn’t be a problem but only using one exposes the receiving player to greater risk of injury, regardless of whether an attacking player is involved or not.

        • Hugh Cavill

          I think the truth is somewhere in between here. What Folau did was potentially dangerous and deserved to be penalised, or maybe even carded.

          I think the actions of Stander made POM’s fall to earth far more dangerous that it should have been, which is why I don’t think a red card or suspension would be warranted.

        • Missing Link

          you’d have to be wearing green tinted glasses to see things that way. Schmidt is an astute coach as we saw the blocking tactics he employed in game 2, very good, and in game 3 he instructed his team to block Folau with a lifted player. It’s very smart coaching when you are going to lose the ball against him anyway you may as well stage for a penalty by dropping your own player if Folau makes any sort of contact. That’s exactly what happened on more than one occasion. Folau is now “in the wrong” because of an Irish strategic tactic to win the ball via penalty. Ireland are solely to blame here, if you can’t support a player with a one man lift, don’t lift him. It’s the lifters responsibility.

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          Ireland are solely to blame and Folau did nothing wrong! You seem to have it sussed! I’m not sure Joe Schmidts tactical superiority extends to putting his players necks in danger and given I’ve seen CJ lift POM and other players possibly over 100 times at this stage with no dramas as you say, I’ll defer to others on the subject. I was just observing that in hindsight and given that Folau didn’t win any of the 3 ariel contests in question it didn’t seem to be the best tactic.

        • Hoss

          I would go one step further my Emerald Isle brethren. O’Mahoney should be sighted for having the temerity to challenge Pastor Folau. Given Folau’s freakish aerial ability nobody else has ‘a realistic opportunity’ to win such a contest, ipso-facto O’Mahoney is guilty for even thinking about challenging. I seem to recall ‘transportation’ as an effective punishment some time back, lets start there and work back for contrition, character, disciplinary history etc.

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          That was the problem with Ireland’s back play in the series.

          Couldn’t get Pastor Folau.

          Alright calm down I’m leaving.

        • Hoss

          Don’t go – then were left with nothing but Kiwi & Aussie fans arguing over ‘cheating’. The whole ‘sandpaper gate’ issue has left me a little gun shy re entering such lofty debates, i was only just getting over the underarm incident and don’t get the Yanks started on the whole ‘winged keel’ debate.

          Besides i firmly believe the AB’s do not cheat, why would they when the refs do it for them…………

          3,2,1………..

        • Missing Link

          no, we are serving pints of Guinness in 20 minutes, please stay. It’s going to be a great day :)

        • Caeliv Donnelly

          Don’t mention Guinness to an Irishman midweek – some of us have to work!

        • laurence king

          Goodness me, if Folau was playing for the Irish, we would have been bombed into the stone age.

        • Alister Smith

          I think they should transport Sexton immediately for crimes against Australian rugby – as he will be a prisoner the 3 year qualification period should be waved and he will be qualified to play for Australia at the World Cup (but he will have to wear an electronic ankle bracelet – not a real one just one of those fitbit things will do).

        • Happyman

          I sense an Irony mode Hoss

        • Brumby Runner

          What a load of crap. If Schmidt had wanted to employ a tactic like that, seriously would he have used his very best player to be the one destined to be taken out of the game (perhaps permanently) through injury?

          There needs to be some changes to the laws surrounding contests in the air, but under the present laws, Izzy’s actions really do come under scrutiny.

        • Greg

          I actually think it is a very dangerous tactic from the coach.

          You can reasonably expect a clash of bodies and you can reasonably foresee that a single lifter will not support the lifted player.

          If he instructed his players to do this, and the expectations above are indeed reasonable, and a player is seriously injured….

        • 22DropOut

          I think that most people outside of the Wallabies fan-base see it that way, no?

        • Missing Link

          Disagree, most people realise that the aerial contest is part of the game and must remain that way. I’ve only heard people with gaelic first names or surnames starting in O’ proclaiming that Folau launched some sort of attack on PO. Kiwis don’t seem to care and are just happy that we lost so they can post more comments and memes on the internet.

        • 22DropOut

          Why do you think he was shown a yellow card and cited for his offences on the weekend then?

          I do agree the rule needs to be revised by the way. I don’t believe that Folau had any bad intentions in his challenges, but what he did is dangerous and against the rules. The rules which allowed that circumstance to arise in the first place should change though.

        • Missing Link

          Can’t answer that, why wasn’t Cane or Tungafasi carded, why was Fall carded?

        • Missing Link

          Can’t answer that, why wasn’t Cane or Tungafasi carded, why was Fall carded?

        • Richard Patterson

          That is not true Missing Link. We talked about the ANZAC spirit yesterday. The All Blacks often talk about their 2 sets of supporters. Kiwis, and all Austraians with memories of Gallipoili. Kiwis bleed green & gold against the evil empire up north.

        • Missing Link

          yeah I know, cheap shot at the kiwis, but i’m talking about the ones who cannot hold astute conversation, like yourself.

        • Richard Patterson

          Haha. Sadly there are many!

        • Richard Patterson

          Does it beg the question here Missing Link… What would have been the reaction if key Wallaby loose forward David Pocock had been lifted in the air by Izack Rodda to compete against Rob Kearney who was a genuine threat for the ball at kick-off’s. In contesting for the ball in mid-air Kearney makes contact with Pocock, unbalancing him and causing him to land heavily on his shoulder. Pocock’s shoulder injury is sufficiently bad to rule him out for the remainder of the test match, denying the Wallabies a key member of their playing squad.

        • Missing Link

          Interesting question Richard, but the effect cannot be taken into account in my opinion. Some players get up from collisions and some have to leave the field. I think it was Mark Gerrard in RWC, took the ball into contact, a legal and rather innocuous tackle by the japanese player and Gerard is out for 12 months with a ruptured ACL. Rugby is a risky sport and unless there’s a deliberate act to injure someone out of the game like BOD being dumped in Lions 2005, then you have to accept you will lose players to injury here and there. You have to remember Folau was competing for the ball, he didn’t push stander over so that PO would lose balance and fall awkwardly.

        • Richard Patterson

          Unfortunately Missing Link the effect is taken into account. If O’Malley (and/or Barrett) had landed awkwardly on their ankles and ruptured tendons forcing them to be replaced then neither Folau and Fell would have been carded. Unfortunately in this “Player Welfare” world we live in now, the head and neck are simply non-negotiable positions. If you listen to both referees reviewing the sequence of events – the last point is “the player landed dangerously on his head and/or neck”. Once relaying everything to the guilty player, you will notice the final standard officiating disclaimer these days is “you have given me no choice but to ……”

        • Greg

          “you have given me no choice but to ……” seems mean

          “I don’t agree but I have no choice”

        • Richard Patterson

          Sadly Greg none of us have a choice these days. It’s the sporting / commercial world we live in. None of want to see an “Alex McKinnon” situation on the rugby field in the same way the NRL don’t want a repeat of it and the NFL don’t want someone killed by a violent collision to the head with a helmet.

        • Die Hard

          That’s exactly the way I saw it and i wear a black or a good jersey depending who’s playing. Far too risky by Folau to be worth the reward.

        • Mica

          Is it ok when Kieren Read does it?
          Last week it was the guy higher in the air who has all the rights, but this week it’s not.
          I was ok with the YC because Issy did grab the player in the air. The other ones just looked like a 100kg athlete colliding at pace 2m is the air with a guy who jumped straight up or was lifted straight up.
          Year 10 physics is going to tell you the outcome.
          Put Issy in a contest with Furlong where both players bind and push and I’ll tell you what happens too. Does this mean Tadhg should get penalised when he folds Issy in half and if Issy gets an injury?

      • 22DropOut

        The citation is for an earlier challenge I believe, he did 3 in a row.

        • Number 12

          Will Rob Kearney be cited for his arm over the top, pulling down DHP while jumping to catch a ball? Far, far worse contact than with Folau but not lifted and didn’t land on his head. Is it the action or the results of the action that are getting cited? Dangerous ground…..

        • 22DropOut

          As he hasn’t been called for it I don’t expect he will be

    • Mart

      or just get them to watch a game of AFL and blow their minds.

      ‘wha, people jump and make contact in the air’?!?

      • onlinesideline

        I never thought about that probably because I never watch it but isnt that the ultimate reference point for world rugby. So weird, after just thinking about this, this code hasnt been cited ……how often are their neck related injuries from blokes landing on their … errrr necks ? Is their any diff in nature of contest when comparing an Izzy going for the ball in rugga as opposed to a shorty shorts bloke going for the ball in AFL ?

        • juswal

          The aerial marking contests in Aussie rules do get hairy but calamities are rare because the jumping players are usually moving together in the same direction, to meet the oncoming ball.

        • onlinesideline

          “usually” but you must admit blokes coming in from opposing starting points would be say 20% of all contests in the air ie like rugga ?

          Isnt that enough for world rugby to school from though, you’d think. You would still be talking 5 -10 a match across 6-8 matches every week, all winter. A tonne of evidence. Im not saying it aint dangerous but some clarity is needed.

        • Alister Smith

          They occasionally elbow each other in the head or with the back of their arms and they also use the opposition player to get greater height – putting their knees into his back or climbing up it – i dont guess in rugby that their is ever an opportunity to do that legally – you would have to come from an offside position to do it.
          you also have the rugby league players like Billy Slater kicking out in front (not intentionally) and the opposing player cops a boot in the face.
          I would hate to see a guenine aerial contest, which has been around at least as long as the up and under kick was popularised by the Garryowen Rugby Club in the 1920s. Actually, that’s a little ironic…I will have to ring Alanis Morrisette and she can add it to her song.

    • Muzz

      The question is: do World Rugby want competition for the ball in the air?

      • Richard Patterson

        I think I know what World Rugby do not want… Having 2 receiving players in 2 weeks ruled out of the rest off the test match because of landing heavily as a result of mid-air contact when going for the ball. It is not a good look for the sport — particularly in an era where Player Welfare (like it or not) is a very high priority.

        I sense if Beauden Barrett or Peter O’Malley did anything wrong then I suggest World Rugby will move on. I sense neither did. Somehow though both suffered injuries that cost them and their teams.

        • Alister Smith

          Is it Folau’s fault because he jumped higher than the opposition?

        • Richard Patterson

          No it is not. But it is Folau’s responsibility to not make contact with a competing jumper. It is the same rules as a lineout when 2 players compete for a ball.

        • Alister Smith

          I think you can make contact – i dont think you can grab (and he did grab as he came back down after at least one so agree that should be a penalty of some kind

        • Greg

          if one player is lifted and stationary and another is moving and they make contact…. teh lifted player is almost certainly tipped over.

        • Greg

          if one player is lifted and stationary and another is moving and they make contact…. teh lifted player is almost certainly tipped over.

        • Richard Patterson

          Correct Alister.

        • Greg

          I don’t agree…. if folau had crashed into the Irish player – shoulder to shoulder – as they competed for the ball the Irish player is landing on his head and folau is red carded.

        • Alister Smith

          I think you can make contact – i dont think you can grab (and he did grab as he came back down after at least one so agree that should be a penalty of some kind

        • Mica

          Under what law?
          If he’s going for the ball and is in a position to catch the ball and there is a collision, why is it his responsibility.
          It’s general play. Lineouts have a gap and you are not supposed to jump across the gap. This is why the collisions are minimal if at all. The only similarity that this has to a lineout is that CJ decided to lift POM and this doesn’t mean that the lineout rules apply (gap and contact etc.)

        • Richard Patterson

          It’s all properly outlined in Law 10.4 (i)

        • Mica

          From what I can see 10.4 is about dealing with an offside player.

          10.4
          An offside player may be penalised, if that player:
          a. Interfereswithplay;or
          b. Movesforwardstowardstheball;or
          c. Wasinfrontofateam-matewhokickedtheballandfailstoretireimmediatelyto an imaginary line across the field 10 metres on that player’s side from where the ball is caught or lands, even if it hits a goal post or crossbar first. If this involves more than one player, then the player closest to where the ball lands or is caught is the one penalised. This is known as the 10-metre law and still applies if the ball touches or is played by an opponent but not when the kick is charged down. Sanction: The non-offending team can choose either:
          i. Penalty at the place of infringement; or
          ii. Scrumwheretheoffendingteamlastplayedtheball.

        • Missing Link

          In the case of Benjamin Fall vs. Beauden Barrett, who’s responsibility was it there to not make contact with a competing jumper and why?

        • Richard Patterson

          It is each player’s responsibility Missing Link. The rules very clearly state that. If you think there is a risk you are going to impede a player in the air then you back out of the contest. Isn’t that a trait of the really talented players in this area of the game? Don’t they understand that the risk/reward is heavily stacked against them if they get their timing and launch points wrong.

        • Missing Link

          so it was PO and Stander’s responsibility not to impede Folau who was airborne? Folau cannot control himself once airborne, Stander was supposed to be controlling PO, he could have moved. Using lifters to set up stationary pillars with the sole purpose of blocking players from competing in the air will hurt our game, it’s a dangerous precedent, the onus should be with the lifter, if you can’t lift your team mate and hold him, don’t lift, it’s as simple as that. If Folau receives further sanction, we will see this tactic used in at least every test match going forward.

        • Richard Patterson

          Very possible. A little like defenders running into referees and then claiming interference. Imagine if that cat was allowed out of the bag? God – it would make every striker at the Soccer World Cup look like a patron freaking saint!

        • GKDA

          This is what the citing is for. Very hard to argue Folau isn’t unnecessarily affecting him there.
          https://imgur.com/f415orV

        • Richard Patterson

          A somewhat compelling picture… Pretty challenging for the guy at the base to be supporting a guy experiencing that amount of interference at the top. Folau is without question world class as an aerial threat. However, like it or not — until he learns to demonstrate better discipline with his execution, he runs the risk of unfortunate consequences. I think he discovered that on Saturday. Right now, the Rules are all care and all responsibility. He (and others) must understand that.

        • Missing Link

          Sneaky :) I see what you did there

        • juswal

          It was not a good look for the sport when a French player was ruled out of his whole tour because of facial fractures caused by high tackles. World Rugby took no action on that, so this issue can’t be much a concern.

        • Richard Patterson

          You are making a comparison to a different issue. Sonny Bill Williams been rules out of rugby for a damaged shoulder suffered in the 3rd French test. It’s a contact sport – sometimes stuff just happens.

        • juswal

          The common issues, as you cited, are player welfare and the image of the game. World Rugby took the ‘stuff just happens’ stance on the Grosso and Barrett injuries, so the O’Mahony case should go the same way.

        • Richard Patterson

          Probably will. The issue with the O’Malley incidents are there was more than one — all involving Israel Folau. I sense World Rugby may take a “let’s take a closer look here” approach. Who knows what their ruling will be.

    • 22DropOut

      That is true. The rules need to change, but unfortunately he did violate the antiquated rules 3 times in a row on Saturday.

  • OnTheBurst

    How have Wales gone from nowhere to third after beating a dreadful Argentina side

    Doesn’t add up

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The World Rankings are, in my opinion, nonsense outside of number 1 and 2.

      Towards the end of our dreadful 2016 we were still 3 in the world (at least when we played Ireland). England have a win percentage of 83% since the RWC and are 4th, meanwhile, we have a percentage of like 45% and are only just behind them at 5th. It’s nonsense.

      The rankings are so much based on the last 3-5 matches and away wins are worth so much more than home wins. All Blacks clearly best team in the world, Ireland obviously second and then 3-8 you can basically have in any order. I’m not confident that the Wallabies would beat any of 3-8, but at the same time I’m not confident any of 3-8 are better than us either.

      • Braveheart81

        Aren’t the rankings explaining exactly what you’ve suggested? There is very little between teams 3-6 and they have been changing week to week based on results. The All Blacks are way out in front and Ireland are comfortably second. It seems like they’re a pretty good reflection of reality.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As I said, I think rankings 1 and 2 are usually accurate. After that, I rarely think they’re indicative of much.

          To suggest Wales is the third best team, for example, seems a bit silly to me.

        • Braveheart81

          They’ve won 5 or 6 games in a row. All they can do is beat the teams they are playing. As it stands they are third and could drop to sixth in one game if the right results happen between certain teams.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not sure what your point is, sorry?

          ‘As it stands they are third and could drop to sixth in one game if the right results happen between certain teams.’

          That’s sort of my point.

        • Braveheart81

          That the rankings accurately reflect the fact that there is very little difference between teams 3 to 6.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But they state that Wales are the 3rd best in the world (after losing to Ireland and England, beating the Boks B and then beating an Argentinean side that has, what, won one match against tier 1 opposition since the RWC?) , England are 4th (after losing 5 of the last 6, and then beating a Book team in a dead rubber where they didn’t play their best team), etc.

          I don’t see any value in the rankings outside of 1 and 2. I don’t think it’s accurate at all, and I definitely wouldn’t say Wales are the 3rd best.

    • Missing Link

      They haven’t beaten us in 100 years yet sit above us on the rankings :)

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      they won away from home and that gets more points

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Yeah, I know how the system works, I just don’t think it’s particularly accurate a lot of the time.

    • laurence king

      The rankings are anything but an exact science, however they do indicate the closeness of the teams. It’s clear from the 6 nations those teams are pretty close. Hopefully we will do well in the Rugby championship and things will change.

  • Nutta

    The way it’s being ruled, to me it seems you need to get to the mark first and own the space then take the air. And the presumption of innocence is certainly on the Receiving team.

    Now I think that is wholly wrong in terms of having a contest, but that’s not the point. We must deal with the laws as they are

    Therefore we can’t high-ball to contested/populated areas and charge in. We need to either kick to open country or put it on the ground. That’s the logic of it.

    • Brumby Runner

      Nutta, that’s exactly it – we must deal with the laws as they are. In that context, Izzy must be in trouble. The laws don’t allow dangerous collisions to occur simply because there is no intent. And they don’t presently apportion blame to the side lifting a player to the contest.

      Hopefully, there will be some more meaningful clarification after this has been dealt with. Maybe the answer is to ban the one man supported lift in general play? I don’t know.

      But I am most disappointed with the tsunami of Wallaby supporters arguing that Izzy is the innocent partner in these particular collisions under the present laws.

    • Greg

      I think it is even worse than you describe. Say an attacker takes a high ball cleanly and then crashes into someone lifted. Teh lifted person pivots on the lifer and goes head-first into the ground.

      1. this is really dangerous.
      2. Almost certainly the attacker will be pinged for dangerous play.

      There were no takers on my comment yesterday. I suggest this is actually dangerous play by the lifter. The lifter can reasonably expect that there will be an aerial contest. The onus should be on them that they can reasonably support the player in the air if there is a clash of bodies in a legitimate contest for the ball.

      Something needs to change. I think lifting needs to go except in lineouts.

      • Alister Smith

        I agree that the lifting – particularly a single lifter – makes it more risky.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Ben Smith was talking about this and he said the challenge is to know if you are going to get a clear go at the ball and have the ability to pull out if it’s not clear.
      If you do jump, then just as in a lineout, you can’t play the opposition at all. I think the jumpers, both attacking and defending, need to get better just as locks has to.

      • Greg

        I think what you are saying here is that there cannot be a contest.

        Two players jump. One vertically, one with a horizontal velocity component. Their aim is to arrive at the same point in space (the ball). Momentum must be conserved (mass x velocity) and the vertically jumping layer will necessarily travel horizontally. If he is supported by one lifter then he lands on his head. This is all foreseeable.

        I think the ways to avoid are:-
        1. no contest
        2. more lifters
        3. no lifters

        I like 3.

      • Mica

        Was this just in the context when there is a lifter or in contesting any high ball?

    • Die Hard

      The irish then were certainly there first. Waiting with a lifted. They lifted and then Folau arrived into that space with momentum.

      Can you not see the problem. Unless Folau makes a perfect snatch it is a possible calamity

      • Mica

        Then kiss goodbye the cross field kick to score a try – or just make yardage……
        In fact kiss goodbye any attacking kick where the player is arriving at the same time as the ball is landing. Both players would need to arrive early without momentum and then jump if this is how it’s going to be ruled.

        • Die Hard

          Not at all. In those cases there would be no lifter. We are talking abou a set piece, a kick off.

        • Mica

          Right, so there will be a new law for contesting the ball in general play when there is a lifter??
          The talk in this thread has been about the collision in the air. It is even more bizarre if we are now saying that without a lifter it is ok, but with a lifter it is now somehow the opposition’s responsibility.
          This would imply that it is the lifter who is putting the player in a dangerous position as my take is that you’re saying without the lifter it is play on.
          Is that the scenario?

      • Nutta

        Absolutely agree. And I say it rests squarely on the jumper and lifter for creating it in such a manner.

  • Caeliv Donnelly

    David Pocock aka Benjamin Button.

  • Hoss

    Morning all.

    Trying to muster some type of enthusiasm for Super Rugby this weekend, but when you’ve been fed lobster 3 weeks in a row, fish fingers just doesn’t seem as appealing anymore.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Just depends on the last time you ate? Fish fingers to a starving man are a bounty!

    • laurence king

      I’ve been watching the Wallabies for 50 years and I’ve rarely seen them start of a season so well, sucks to lose but yes, it was a great series.

  • Missing Link

    Rebels vs. Waratahs this weekend in a battle to the top of the Aussie conference. With Genia and Hooper out, and possibly Coleman and possibly Folau pending his trial, conviction and sentencing, who knows how this game will pan out. It’ll really test the depth of both teams with a few good men missing. Backing the Rebels on this as I want them to top the log and get a home final.

  • Jerry

    How come David Pocock looked exactly the same while Connor Murray looked like a 12 year old?

    • onlinesideline

      Poey is losing hair at a rapid rate since his sabbatical. He’s heading for full time head gear off the pitch as well.

      • Missing Link

        yeah yeah

      • Brisneyland Local

        Its not baldness. As Poey is envonmentally friendly, it is just a solar panel for a jackling machine! ;-)

    • Brisneyland Local

      Because Pocock doesnt age. Part of his Demi God status! He is immortal! ;-)

  • onlinesideline

    I wonder how many people would LIKE a “Bring back Quade FB page” ?

    With QC highlights front and center.

    Didnt Cheika publically respond to some blokes letter which was a real tear jerker ?

    I know I’ll LIKE it.

    • cantab

      He has been injured most of the year and is currenlty out.

      • onlinesideline

        thats rugby – wil be back in 2 weeks – good for RC

Rugby

Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

More in Rugby