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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s rugby news follows up on the recent spat over the weekend, O’Connor finding himself, Sevens stars re-signing and the Poms going pro.


Case Closed

Rugby Australian are staying on the sidelines of this one too

Rugby Australian are staying on the sidelines of this one too

Australian rugby has sunk to a new behavioural low this week on the back of the scenes that unfolded at CBUS stadium after the Wallabies’ loss to the Pumas.

For a game that has long drawn pride from being “a hooligans’ game played by gentlemen”, what took place between Aussie backrower Lukhan Tui and a spectator almost belies belief.  The sledging, the alleged knocking over of an innocent bystander and both parties needing to be physically separated flies in the face of rugby’s ethos.

As far as Rugby Australia is concerned though, the matter directly surrounding the incident is over.

Raelene Castle spoke about the matter and it seems RA’s response was dictated to some degree by Tui himself, “Wallabies team management have been in dialogue with Lukhan since the incident and he has indicated that he does not wish to pursue the matter any further and therefore no further action will be taken by Rugby Australia”.

One has to imagine that the reference to “no further action” is specifically regarding the spectator in question facing any blow-back from their actions as Castle did hint that RA is looking at just how fans and the players engage with each other, “The interaction between players and fans is an extremely important part of sport and we never want to see an incident like this again”.

Although their next statement suggests that things won’t change much, “We want rugby fans to be able to get up close and personal with their heroes and our Wallabies stars” or at least won’t change much anytime soon, “We feel that this is an isolated incident and we haven’t experienced anything like this in our game in the past, so we don’t want to race into any hasty measures.”

Where to for RA from here though remains a loaded question.  Do they further isolate their team who are struggling to engage fans given the lack of bums on seats?  Do they go the other way and open up press conferences to the masses?

Trying and interesting time for sure.

James O’Connor Vying for RWC

In case the braids and Bali trips  weren't enough, JOC has gone full white girl on instagram

In case the braids and Bali trips weren’t enough, JOC has gone full white girl on Instagram

Remember when the worst thing about James O’Connor was his hair?

The teenage prodigy burst onto the professional rugby scene as a skinny kid from Brisbane who couldn’t even buy a beer when he played his first Super Rugby match and was still a teenager when he first pulled on the Green and Gold.

How times have changed.

After 59 Super Rugby matches and 44 tests, much like a Takata airbag equipped Hilux, things started to go horribly wrong for the utility.

What should have been a holiday to Bali ended up with the him being removed from Perth airport by the feds and the Wallabies tearing up his contract.  Forced to ply his trade overseas the downward spiral continued with a late-night arrest in Paris on suspicion of buying cocaine surely marking the lowest ebb.

Jump to this week and O’Connor is taking to social media to announce himself a new man and push his claims for a world cup spot next year.

You may be thinking JOC is getting ahead himself, and you’d be right, he hasn’t played the requisite 60 tests to fall under Giteau’s law and without a Super Rugby contract in place he’s no chance of a Wallaby recall.

The posts, which remarkably haven’t featured either a plate of kale or fitspo hashtag clearly state his desire to make it back into the fold, “I have learnt from my mistakes and I am now ready. Ready to bleed green and gold. Ready to bleed for my brothers. Ready to bleed for the people”.

Whether his team-mates who have long expressed their disgust at his behaviour believe he’s a changed man is yet to be seen.

#fitspo #blessed #influencer #skinnytea #follow4afollow

Aussie 7’s Re-Signings

Can we have more of this please!? Given today's signings, yes.

Can we have more of this please!? Given today’s signings, yes.

In some non-punch-on, non-kombucha-spruiking news, the Australian women’s sevens squad has been bolstered by three of their starts committing to the team until at least 2020.

Sharni Williams, Shannon Parry and Alicia Quirk all have put pen to paper and with a combined 534 HSBC sevens points between them, things are looking up for the defending Rio Gold Medallists.

Williams and Parry not only bring their years of co-captaincy to the table but both have also pulled on the jersey for the 15 a side version of the game racking up 31 tests between them.

Sevens Head Coach, John Manenti, was suitably chuffed with the autographs collected saying, “These three women are outstanding Rugby players and leaders within our squad.

“They all have such passion and drive for the program and for the game, wanting to see it grow and you can see this enthusiasm in the way they still throw themselves at everything.

“This year stands a massive year for the squad as we fight to secure Olympic qualification and to have these three as a part of our plans is the wind in our sails as we charge through our pre-season”.

Parry too was excited by the prospects of what the 2-time World Series winners could achieve, “We have an excellent program in the Aussie Sevens and a good plan for the next two years, which I am looking forward to getting into.

“The squad has continued to change and grow over the years and it’s humbling to be a part of such an exciting period for Women’s Rugby.

“We don’t shy away from the fact that we have high ambitions for this team, so there is a lot of hard work to come, but we’re looking forward to making sure that we are ready for the challenges that lie ahead for us.”

Poms go Pro, again

England's 15s are back on contracts

England’s 15s are back on contracts

In continuing good news for the women’s game, the RFU has announced they will hand out 28 full-time contracts and a further seven “elite player squad” agreements.

It’s a stark reversal after the turmoil that surrounded the game in England when following on from their 2017 World Cup campaign (where they finished 2nd to the Kiwis) the focus shifted from 15s to 7s and contracts weren’t renewed.

The reasoning behind the shift at the time, was the build up to the Commonwealth Games 7s and 7s World Cup.

With that recent history, RFU’s chief executive Steve Brown’s statement on the matter could be seen to be a little rude, “We are delighted to be able to offer full-time contracts to our 15s players.  This has long been our ambition and demonstrates the RFU’s commitment to growing the women’s game and the belief we have in the future of the sport”.  (I added the underlining for emphasis)

Whatever transpires, it seems that big things are a-brewing and the RFU might just provide the catalyst to really kick things up a notch.

“We are at a tipping point for women’s rugby globally and it is our ambition to be world number one and drive growth at every level. As an organisation, from top to bottom, we are very much behind this and want to see the continued expansion and growth to realise the ambitious targets we have set ourselves”, Steve Brown.

The contracts are set to start as of January next year.

 

  • Andrew H

    For an excellent take on the weekend’s situation involving the crowd and some of the players I recommend you check out Hugh’s article on the matter. http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/the-man-in-the-crowd-have-we-all-gone-too-far/

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    JOC is one of the most talented, complete and best players Australia has produced since 03. If he really has matured and is ready to bleed green and gold then I hope he’s welcomed back with open arms.

    • onlinesideline

      Here Here – we need to support our home grown talent and remind them that the supporters are right behind the players and that the code is not a hyper critical social media driven free for all but rather is a patriotic and rugby loving bunch of aussies in full admiration of all these guys. Sign im up and give im a decent crack at making good.

      If he’s signed up somewhere WELCOME HOME MATE – GO FOR IT

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Exactly. I’m not in for the whole holding grudges thing. Anyone can make mistakes, especially when they’re young, but can then improve and grow as people. If this happens then they shouldn’t be condemned for mistakes they made in the past, in my opinion.

      • Mike Thompson

        I seem to remember James O’Conner coming back in 2015 too. He signed a two year deal with the Reds. And, then, the instant he didn’t make Cheika’s RWC squad he reneged on the Reds deal because of “personal reasons” and went back to playing in Europe again for big money.

        Yeah, so that all appeared pretty cynical and self serving. And here we are again.

        O’Conner was a prodigious talent for sure (perhaps he still is), but, on principle, I would love to see someone like Madocks or Naivalu good enough to get into the RWC ahead of him.

        Will be interesting to watch.

        • Who?

          The two year deal wasn’t ever going to happen, given he hadn’t managed to get out of his existing contract in Europe. It wasn’t like he signed somewhere else, he just failed to stick around.
          And, honestly, I don’t blame any player who left the Reds during the Woody years. They arguably made the right call.

        • Brumby Runner

          Who, you’re not suggesting JOC had two contracts running simultaneously, are you? If he had a contract in Europe, how did he get to play with the Reds?

        • Who?

          That was my understanding at the time – that he’d been given early release for the single season in Europe so that he could attempt to play in the RWC. Maybe I had it all wrong? Quite possible. But I was sure he was already committed to Europe (Toulon, wasn’t it?) for 2016 before the 2015 Super Rugby season started…
          Wouldn’t have been the only one around Toulon at the time, either – Cooper signed to play for Toulon on the condition they release him to play 7’s.

    • Dud Roodt

      Completely agree. From what I can gather by stalking his insty pages, he does seem to have turned a corner in his attitude.
      Everyone deserves a chance to redeem themselves (and let’s face it, what he did was never THAT bad).

      • IIPA

        Jesus Christ even I agree with DBTB today ! Would be great to see JOC back and at his best.

    • Andy

      Would be a handy option on the wing. Good feet and a rugby brain.

    • Nutta

      My worry is the disposition of folk when they start to talk of their perceived & apparent obligations beyond themselves. A stated desire to bleed for the people gets me worried he will start discussing himself in the 3rd person…

      Good footballer. I hope he has turned into a good person. But whether or not he is anything beyond a naughty little boy is well yet to be seen.

  • Mike Thompson

    I know JOC is a MASSIVE tosser, but he’s a genuine, world-class talent. IMO he had more on-field talent than Beale and at least as much as Cooper at this best.

    That individual try JOC scored in the Lions series when Deans had him playing out of position at 10, was absolutely freakish. And his overall body of work as an outside back was genuinely world class.

    Well, at least he used to be a massive talent. Has age caught up with him? His showing for QLD last time around was reasonable, but below his previous quality, although he claims he was carrying an injury. But now we’re told he’s recovering from another injury. Like Cooper, he might only be a pale reflection of his former self.

    Assuming he still has the talent, JOC’s biggest challenge will be Cheika because he’s not the sort of player Cheika will warm to because, despite anything he claims about new maturity, JOC will likely still be a self-centred, egomaniac tosser.

    And it seems like everyone wants to go to the Rebels these days. Too many?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Wasn’t he made to play 10 for Queensland? I always thought he was a natural fullback. He always needed space.

      • Dud Roodt

        For mine, when he was on the wing for the Wallabies was when he was at his best

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I actually agree, but I think that is more to do with the fact that that was just when he was at his peak, but was forced to play on the wing at Beale was in the incumbent fullback. From memory I had thought that rather like Smith/Dagg and DHP/Folau they often shared the fullback duties despite JOC being on the wing? Either way, he had a lot of good tests on the wing and a lot of good tests at fullback.

        • Ads

          He always reminded me of Horan. I wanted to see him at 12.

        • Who?

          Completely, completely agree. Always agreed. He was a ball runner who could distribute – a 12, not a 10. And his footwork meant he was brilliant running in the tight – I maintain I’ve never seen a bloke step and slip so many people and tackles in such close quarters as he did at his peak.
          The hilarious thing was that, apparently, he couldn’t play at 12, because it’d be too much for him on defence. Yet I remember seeing him barrel blokes like Parisse – guys who had 20+kg on him – with brilliant technique and fearlessness. And now, we have Beale playing 12 for the Tahs and Wallabies!

        • Dud Roodt

          His defense was almost one of his strongest attributes. If a bloke was running down his wing, it didn’t matter who it was, they ended up on the deck.

        • Who?

          He only had two weaknesses. One was that he wasn’t a great 10 (and honestly, why would you waste such a great attacking runner at 10? You want him running the ball, not giving it to someone else so they can have a run), and the other was that he clearly had character/mentality issues off the field. So many wasted years, but it’d still be great if he could turn it around for a final flourish at a RWC (I say final flourish, though he’d only be what, 31 or 32, for 2023? And AAC is trying to come back at 35 for next year!).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve heard a lot of people say that, but Horan played a long time ago when players were much smaller. JOC has already had a lot of injuries playing as an outside back, and he’s only 180cm and less than 90kg. He just doesn’t have the size to play in the modern centres.

        • Ads

          His weight at Sale Sharks is listed at 97 which, if correct, puts him in a similar category to Crotty, Jesse Kriel, Toomua, Beale etc. He always played big to me with good technique.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That seems unlikely as it would make him heavier than Hodge, but who knows. I might contact Sale and ask them actually.

        • Ads
        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Cheers. If he was nearly 100kg I wold be shocked beyond belief given that Hodge is 11cm taller, a significantly bigger build and only 94kg.

          https://www.rugby.com.au/players/reece-hodge#International

      • Mike Thompson

        Cooper was around, so no, I think JOC was played as an outside back.

    • onlinesideline

      Listing his skills after calling him a tosser ? mmmm – have you ever had a beer with the guy ? – just curious.

      • Mike Thompson

        Are you saying “I’ve had a beer with him and, actually you are wrong, he’s not a tosser”? If you are, I’ll say “You have your impression, I have mine, moving on”. But, other than that, I don’t understand your point.

        • onlinesideline

          Nice to see you removed the “massive”. When you remove the “tosser” bit I’ll answer your question one civilised adult to another.

        • Who?

          I’m guessing you read Mr Cavill’s article, and perhaps Mr Thompson hasn’t seen it yet?

        • Mike Thompson

          Right, so you call me a “dickhead” for being (mildly) rude about a player. That does seem hypocritical. Think about it.

          And, as far as moderation is concerned, perhaps you don’t understand how mild a term tosser is? To me, it is the equivalent of calling a player a “pretentious wanker” or “full of themselves”. Let’s just remember that JOC claimed “I am a brand” at one point. Publicly. Proudly. Multiple times. How is my characterisation wrong or, indeed, THAT offensive. I can only assume you have been raised in a very protected environment, because I can happily call friends “tossers” to their face, and they’d just laugh. Yeah, that offensive.

          And I am completely complementary about his prodigious talent. How is my assessment not balanced?

          Far from the “adult conversation” you offer, i think you want to have a child’s conversation, and I’ll pass.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think it is unfair to argue that James’ behaviour when he was younger was pretty appalling at times, and that he was said to be a negative influence on the environment of teams he played on. However, we don’t know if he was a tosser at heart, or whether he was just a guy who struggled with his fame and fortune at such a young age.

          It feels a bit unfair to me to judge the entire character of a human being based on a few incidents when they are always in the public spotlight. I certainly don’t think he ever came across as a bully or spiteful, just a bit too big for his boots and lacking responsibility.

          Regardless, a lot of Australian sports players who don’t have the best on field/court demeanour or off field/court behaviour when they are young often mature in the second half of their twenties and become Australian all-time greats. Lleyton Hewitt is perhaps the most pertinent recent example.

        • Mike Thompson

          My guess is that O’Conner is somewhat like Danny Cipriani. Age will certainly have taken off some rough edges. But will it be enough to keep him out of trouble? Interesting to watch.

          I personally never found Lleyton Hewitt too bad. He had to follow very close after Pat Rafter who was an old school gent, and he suffered by the comparison, but it was all just on court bluster, nothing ever superior, mean or bad spirited.

        • onlinesideline

          pathetic

        • Parker

          Maybe you’re spending too much time with tossers.
          And while it may have been a little premature, “I am a brand” shows considerable insight into the commodification of sports celebrity. Throw in a marketing book into your new reading list.

        • Custard Taht

          I think the point might be you don’t necessarily need to resort to personal attacks in JOC to make your point.

        • Mike Thompson

          So being utterly positive about his talent but equally being sanguine about the substantial defect which caused him to be an outcast from Australian Rugby is …. a personal attack? Eh? How is it not reasonable to include both aspects of what JOC brings to the table?

          Seems crazy to me. But I’m older and come from a different era, obviously. We can only say nice things, now, right?

          I would strongly recommend this book to anyone under 35: “The Coddling of the American Mind” by the inimitable Jonathan Haidt. It will provide interesting perspectives. Haidt identifies as (small l) liberal and progressive, so don’t be too scared.

        • Custard Taht

          Of course not, no one is above criticism, but it is possible to criticise without needing to resort to name calling.
          Resorting to name calling, in my opinion, is on the same level as resorting to violence or threats thereof. It shows that, that person has run out of reasoning and intelligence.

          I agree his behaviour and attitude in the past has been poor. If he hasn’t changed, then he should not be anywhere near Australian Rugby.

          However, if by some chance he has indeed found himself and changed his ways, then he should be selected if form warrants.

          I don’t know any man who didn’t behave poorly in one way or another between 18-23.

        • Parker

          You can say anything you like, just say it nicely. If you don’t understand the nuance between that and saying nice things, read more widely.

  • adastra32

    Has anybody looked at O’Connor’s recent form and behaviour whilst he has “been away”? Look at other WB rejects like Skelton and there is an (upward-seeming) trajectory worthy of consideration….

    • onlinesideline

      In many respects we are still a cultural backwater and a bubble. Thats a reality some may not like to hear but its true. Spend a few years in a more globally competitive enviroment like the UK / Continent in ANY profession and its bound to have an affect. More sophisticated, more communication, more expectations and more encouragement. Tall Poppy is still dominant in OZ. No surprise people thrive in the north.

      Big fish in small pond v small fish in big pond
      (an oldie but a beauty)

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        We have better wine than them though, and Tasmanian whiskey is, in my opinion, better than Scotch or Irish too.

        So there is that.

        • onlinesideline

          Theres a tonne to be proud of in OZ. But we still shy away from our inner world. Like emotion. It such a no-go place for so many aussies but thats where all the work is really done in life. If we ever embraced that part of ourselves with less fear and more acceptance we would fly.We brush over it with larakanism and humour (which I truly love) but sometimes its to our detriment.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I quite agree mate. Like most countries Australia has lots of positive aspects, and some negative ones. On balance, I’m not sure there’s any country I would currently prefer to call home, but I quite agree with your assessment of some of Australia’s shortcomings as a society that we need to work on.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          absolutely and great to see you looking at the important things. I’d actually say the beer here is better to mate

        • laurence king

          I live an hour from McHenry’s and they produce a lovely drop

        • adastra32

          I live in a UK village with its own vineyard – harvesting starts this Friday. Small scale but award-winning stuff.

    • Geoffro

      How’s Big Kev’s form for ‘quins.He’s got the 60 tests under his belt but not a Cheika fave.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Big Kev?

        • Geoffro

          James Horwill.If fit and in form would take him over Simmons any day same as I’d take a fit and in form JOC over a Korobeite,Foley or Hodge.

      • Happyman

        Coming back from an injury has not played yet.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. I just listened to the Podcast on the ride into work, so am now fully enthused and fully caffeinated. Here are BL’s rants of dribbling nonsense for the day:
    – RA and its usual crap. I would also like to see a part where they sit the players down and re-brief them on the things to do and not to do. How “NOT” to get engaged in slanging matches with the crowd. How “NOT” to end up in a physical altercation with the crowd. How, when things appear to be escalating, how do we diffuse and extricate ourselves.
    – Maybe instead of signing autographs, maybe the players can walk around the crowd and apologise to every Wallaby fan that has dished out their hard earned to watch that shit. Wont take them long, there was fuck all people there. 16,000 my ass!
    – Re JOC. Yes he was / is a talented little bugger. Not sure what his game is like now. But if he has reformed, and he would like to prove himself. Come and take a bargain basement contract at a Super franchise. Demonstrate that you still have the skills, knowledge and attitude to perform. Get there by merit. And I will fully support you. Lets face facts, there are current Wallaby squad members who have had significantly worse behavioural records than this guy. So if they are still in the squad, then if he proves himself, he can get there too.
    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • disqus_NMX

      I’m a little bit surprised Tui hasn’t received some sort of disciplinary action for his part in it.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well at least a bit of a talking to. He has enough on his plate. But someone needs to say something.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree on getting JOC in at a level other than an overpaid Super Rugby player with an automatic run into the Wallabies. I agree he did demonstrate some great skills, and for lots of reasons both on and off the field he failed to live up to his expectations. I’d like to see him given the opportunity to prove himself, but he must actually prove he still has it. Last time, regardless of any injuries, he really failed to fire and I think the Wallabies have done enough of giving contracts on potential.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concur

      • Happyman

        For mine KRL JOC is a bit of an enigma. He actions demonstrate he is an absolute tosser. But he has played injured and does play with heart. I would only hope he has matured into a good young man. I will say this I know a guy who was at school when he has always maintained he is just not a good Human. IMHO if he came back and was prepared to work for it and was given nothing then fair call.

        • laurence king

          Who hasn’t been a tosser at some point, and especially when we’re young. It’s whether you learn from it or not. To me, it seems like Beale and Quade are much matured and have grown into decent and thoughtful men

    • Funk

      I’d say he is buckley’s of a contract under Brad Thorn after his little escapade with Ali Williams. so he will have to look at the other 3 franchises.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep with Happy Clappy Brad in charge, JOC will not be going there!

    • Parker

      Why do you need to subject him to underpayment as penance? Seems like the only person who would be made happy by that is one who still bears a grudge. How about focusing on motivating him to get the best out of him

      • Brisneyland Local

        We have gotten the best out of him. This is as good as it gets with him.
        Unlimited run, most time together as a squad / team prior to RC. Full time coaching staff. No coach of the Wallabies have ever had the support and opportunities that this guys has had. It aint going to get any better.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Great to see the girls getting signed. It seems weird that RA are doing so well with womens and 7s rugby but failing so miserably elsewhere. Is this because the power brokers at NSW and QLD don’t care about these games and so aren’t getting involved and therefore allowing the RA to actually work? Certainly looks that way to me.

    • Damo

      KRL please don’t ever resign in your role as GAGR’s chief protagonist and critic of the anachronistic, bureaucratically laden traditional elders of our game – the NSW & Qld RU’s. Centralising rugby in this country is going to be one hell of fight.

    • Funk

      What do they care for women’s rugby…none of them went to their schools

    • Happyman

      Mate I can only speak for Queensland but although I am only too happy to put the boot into the QRU there are a couple of things they do really well. First is the media buys they are awesome with the content.
      second is the female rugby the funny thing is when it was really getting going it was a QRU employee doing most of that work as a volunteer as it was not her actual role.
      The comp up here is growing at a rate with the comp being run over a broad base with comps being run pretty informally being all about participation and clubs essentially self grading so the developed clubs not going out to smash the opposition off the park. they are running the comps as 7’s tens or 15 dependant on the what eh other clubs can put up. There is still a good 15’s comp but the base is growing and in the next 5 years I expect it to be pretty big.

  • nmpcart

    Re JOC – don’t know the guy at all but when he was in Brisbane for the 10’s competition last year he (and his team) were down at Easts in Brisbane for training with the public invited along. After training had finished and all of his teammates had departed JOC was still there taking photos with fans, chatting to them etc. He was very popular and very giving of his time – no indication of attitude at all.

    I know in the past when he was very young and probably poorly advised he was apparently full of himself, and his return via the Reds was marred by injury, but he has been playing in France and now England for a while. I don’t know what his performances have been like there but we shouldn’t keep harking back to what he did when he was a precocious teenager.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree, however he also should have to prove that he still has the skills needed before being offered a golden ride into the Wallabies.

  • first time long time

    The more shocking news beepeda beep beep… Cheika still hasn’t resigned : (

    • Custard Taht

      I read somewhere, maybe SMH, that RA are looking at bringing either Gregan or Eales in to assist Cheika.

      • Bobas

        The short list is actually:
        Phil Waugh
        Al Baxter
        Dean Mumm
        Phil Kearns

        • Custard Taht

          It seems they overlooked Rob Horne, Tom Carter and Waratah Man.

        • Bobas

          Tah man is one of those guys, like the stig from top gear

        • Custard Taht

          I always thought it is was Matthew Burke. Just looking at Tah Man, you could tell there was a man who played at Super and International level.

        • Bobas

          You can’t begin to understand how to be a good mascot for a team, if you’ve never played at that level.

        • Hoss

          Al Baxter – the origami of props – folds under pressure.

          Say it aint so ?

        • Damo

          But if ever an angry facial expression is required at the selection table he’s your man.

        • Brumby Runner

          Ha, ha. Made me laugh out loud. Many a true word uttered in jest.

        • Who?

          Feels wrong, but… I have to defend a Tah’s reputation to a Tah fan! I still maintain he was debuted too early and dropped when he finally matured… Now, I’ll admit, he wasn’t exactly young when he debuted (26), but in terms of the development of his game, he was a late bloomer. By the time Robbie dropped him in 2009, after he’d bested Myth Woodcock at Eden Park (but been penalized off the park for doing so by long time AB fan Craig Joubert, who later apologised for it), he’d also exorcised the demons of Sheridan 2005 with le Return of Le Fuse in 2008 (a truly special memory).
          I think Kiwi fans would point more at Bill Young…

        • Hoss

          You are usually fairly astute good Dr. I think i have PTSD still from that day at Twickers with him and Dunning………….

          Ohhhh the humanity.

        • Who?

          I know… But that’s what made Twickers 2008 so very, very sweet. :-)

        • mikado

          Ah, happy days… :)

        • Brumby Runner

          Bill was a very good player, but certainly one of the exponents of packing at 45 degrees in a scrum.

        • Happyman

          Surely Drew Mitchell and Greg Martin are also in the mix.

        • Brumby Runner

          Bobas, you certainly caught a net full with your fishing down below. The clue, if anyone was looking, was in all were ex Tahs. Please.

          But I did enjoy the discussion about Baxter and his facial expressions.

      • laurence king

        This is the same Gregan and Eales who commented Cheika was the right man for the job a few weeks ago? I’m not filled with confidence. He’s either the right man for the job or he isn’t and what does assistance mean?
        Are they going to take him aside and read the riot act to him, and it’s the last chance saloon for him. Well I hope it works.
        Or is it a case of seeming to do something when your actually are doing nothing? Maybe their all sitting on bar stools drinking Claytons.

        • laurence king

          I hate myself lately, I’ve become so bloody cynical. My apologies .

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Well said I think. I’m sick of the whole establishment protecting each other and bullshitting to the public about how well things are going. Do they think we’re morons? We can see how bad things are. At least admit it even if you aren’t going to change anything.

        • laurence king

          Just for a laugh, replace Rugby Australia with Bureaucracy.

          Bureaucracy is the epoxy that greases the wheels of progress.
          James H. Boren, in When in Doubt, Mumble : A Bureaucrat’s Handbook

          Bureaucracy defends the status quo long past the time when the quo has lost its status.
          Laurence J. Peter

          There comes a time in the history of all bureaucracies when they must inevitably parody their own functions.
          Roger Zelazny, Isle of the Dead

      • Moz

        Eales? The clown who helped knock back Twiggy’s money? Yep, that’s who want giving us more advice!

    • first time long time

      Wow, I was on a little fishing expedition, testing the waters for any Cheika support.
      Maybe he still has the support of the change room and RA but by jingos he’s lost the online chatroom!

      • laurence king

        It is one of the problems with being the only selector isn’t it, everybody in the change room is on eggshells, and for a motivator it creates the wrong kind of motivation

        • first time long time

          I’ve said it before mate, I think he is a bully which whips people into line initially but does not genuinely motivate.
          He’s a mini dictator

        • laurence king

          When you have the degree of control that Cheika has it becomes dictatorial whether that was the intention or not. I think Cheika is a good man, well intentioned, passionate like the rest of us but all is not well in camp Wallaby and the results are indicative of that imo

  • onlinesideline

    Sir Hoss is still back stage signing autographs.

    • laurence king

      I would like Hoss to write some fitting words emploring, suggesting, demanding the resignation of Mr Cheika to the tune of “Leaving on a Jet Plane”, “Monday Monday” or whatever, Sir Hoss leading us on a white charger leading us into battle against Rugby Australia and it’s chosen champion. We are becoming whipping boys, a byword for stupidity, a non-entity …..etc. I tore my eyes out the other night and writing in Braille.

      • onlinesideline

        Im not sure he is 100% in that camp yet mate, like quite a few people. But I say “yet” …. after Bled 3, I think people will have more of a committed opinion about this rather sad topic.

        • laurence king

          Well, I hope he’s sharpening his sword. I can’t watch anymore as I have dark bloodied pits where my eyes used to be.

        • onlinesideline

          Well strap in mate because there is still some slow medieval like torture to come. The next 3 weeks is going to be like having your toenails ripped off. Convinced of it.

        • laurence king

          I will do my best, to quote a line in a movie, ‘I am used to torture, I been married……. twice!

        • laurence king

          It’s like being an Egyptian enduring the ten plagues

        • onlinesideline

          Yep, Pharoh should have quite while he was ahead.

      • NickAJW

        This is quite telling.

        I train at the gym with a former wallaby who last night told me that he didn’t watch the games anymore because the quality of the rugby is diabolical. He is a little older so I will give him some leeway.

        What I thought was worse was an Aussie mate stopped watching at half time in bled 2, went to get a coffee and saw James Horwill Sat in the coffee shop reading a book clearly having been there for ages.

        A guy who played a while back I understand, but someone who recently captained the side being disaffected it says something about the product.

        • laurence king

          It’s so sad, I’m just an enthusiast but for guys who’ve played for and captained the Wallabies it must be, well yes, diabolical. It is fortunate for the bureaucrats at head office that these last 3 games aren’t in Australia as I don’t think anybody would show up. These young men playing their hearts out don’t deserve the procrastination and the obfuscation of Rugby headquarters. We all know that Cheika has done his best and come up short (hey it happens to us all at times).

        • mikado

          Given he’s just finished a 36,000 word thesis, perhaps Horwill might have had good reason to be reading at that moment?

  • Hoss

    Afternoon fellow sufferers,

    Good news re Jimmy O. Its funny, that brashness and confidence that i loved and got him into gold early is the same stuff that has paralysed his career. But you scan never say never. Love to see him at the Tah’s to cover when Dusty goes north to Bnana Land next year (to be honest i am so over Izzy, i just dont care where he goes. I would say apathetic, but i cant muster the enthusiasm to even get there)

    I vividly remember saying to Mrs Hoss ‘this kid could be anything in Rugby’ (maybe he still can – i hope he can). A fresh faced kid, played 15 kgs above his size and was electric – i was (and still hope to be) a fan. I also remember saying if i ever came home and caught him bed with Mrs Hoss i would tuck him in and get him warm milk and a cookie if it helped the Wallabies.

    I am a team player.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Pure Gold. Taking, or in this case, not taking one for the team!

  • Adrian

    I’m not saying we want him, but the only team that could handle JOC culturally and coach-wise would be NSW

    • Who?

      Or maybe he’d fit right in..? :-P
      Sorry Adrian – too easy a target – couldn’t resist! :-D
      I believe the Brums backs are full, Thorn wouldn’t have him, it’d either be the Rebs (but they couldn’t afford him, and I don’t know that the organization – if there’s anyone left there from last time – would want him) or the Tahs, and the Tahs could use him very well. Especially if, as Hoss suggests, Folau were to head to Qld…

      • Adrian

        Ha, ha.
        He would fit in, because the coach could handle him.
        Gibson is more worldly than most. He’d give him targets, but not be arrogant about it.
        JOC would probably play wing or 12, but Tah backs float anyway

        • Who?

          You don’t think he’d go to 15 if Folau went north?
          I’d LOVE to see him finally get a decent run at 12, providing he’s willing to put in off the field, and providing he’s properly fit. He could go to 12, Beale to 15… That’d be pretty horrible to defend against.
          And I agree with your points on Gibson.

        • Adrian

          Yes Who, he could do 15, even with Folau. Could do 12 too, but depends on game plan, as he’s IMO primarily a runner rather than a setter-upperer.

        • Who?

          I agree he’s primarily a runner, but I reckon that Beale’s the same… They set up the guy alongside them, not the guy a double skip pass away. But both of them together in a backline, even outside Foley (who’s not dissimilar, just not near as quick or elusive), and a few big runners (i.e. Folau, if he stays, or guys like Naiyaravoro – though I realize he’s gone) and that’s a pretty good backline balance. The big issue – apart from culturally – with Cooper, Beale, JOC and Barnes in the same team was that you ended up with too many guys who wanted to play ball player and not enough straight out runners.

        • Adrian

          Agree Who.

          Are there rumours we are getting Barnes, or did you just mention him to illustrate the point?

          I think we’ll miss Naiyaravoro a lot, but that Gibson will work out another strategy to score tries, unless another similar guy appears.

          I’d like Tahs to get Tui, and even Mafi if he’s available

        • Who?

          I haven’t heard anything about Barnes, just illustrating the point (the point being balance of the backline).
          Maybe AAC will take Naiyaravoro’s spot..? Just for next year.

  • MungBean

    “Dialogue…blah-bl-blah…interaction…bl-blah”

    What a pile of gutless word salad nonsense.

    The fan was a twat. He pushed someone (I believe to be Tui’s sis), RA should tell him to tell his story walking.

  • Ian Rodger

    It would be great to get JOC back if he has turned his attitude around. The guys just had/has so much talent. I’d rather have a team go for him instead of AAC. AAC has been a great servant for the wallabies but at 34 he’s probably a bit past it now.

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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.

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