Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News will require in-depth knowledge of human anatomy as we cover heads, shoulders, necks and, hang on. That’s not right.

Sam Cane’s Neck

Sam Cane leads out the Chiefs

Sam Cane leads out the Chiefs

All Black openside Same Cane has suffered a year-ending neck injury.

Now, it would be easy to throw the cat amongst the pigeons and find highlights of All Black players putting the necks of their opponents into dangerous positions, or we could highlight Steve Hansen’s take on Pocock getting neck rolled “…no wonder he’s got a sore neck. He’s got his head over the ball 90 per cent of the time….” or his similarly flippant take on Remy Grosso’s injury, but this is neither the time, nor the place for that.

Save your slanderous (or libellous) comments for another time.

The loosie picked up the injury in his side’s 32-30 win over the Boks at Loftus.

Speaking afterwards, Kiwi team doctor Tony Page described the injury as a “small fracture in the lower part of his neck”.

Cane has undergone surgery and he and Dr Page will remain in Pretoria for the rest of the week before a likely return to their homeland next weekend.

It will mark the start of a long(-ish) road back to the pitch, Dr Page laid out what his player/patient was facing, “We have every confidence he will do well with the operation and like any fracture it takes a couple of weeks – months, so it will probably take about three months for the bone to get strong and we’ll take it step by step” and although (to me) looking and sounding distressed the good Dr didn’t seem to worried adding, “ The operation is really just to keep everything in the right place so the bone can heal on its own accord”.

Rob Horne’s Shoulder

Personally, good on the Poms for doing this.

Personally, good on the Poms for doing this.

It’s the game played in heaven for a reason.

There’s a great bit in Dan Crowley’s book, Undercover Prop, where talks how he didn’t so much enjoy playing rugby, such was the brutality of it, but instead he enjoyed having played rugby.  The friendships formed on and off the field made up for the physical clashes on it.

There’s no finer example of this than what happened over the weekend between Northampton and Leicester.

Having seriously injured his shoulder in the match between the two teams earlier this year Australian Rob Horne begrudgingly took centre stage as the sides went into battle again.

The match was moved from Saints’ home ground, Franklin’s Gardens, to Twickenham and the great unwashed got behind it in droves with the attendance placed at 40,013.

After the standing ovation to welcome to Aussie ground there was still a game to be played but I think we can all agree the real winner on the day was rugby.

Although more correctly, the real winners were the Tigers, a fact not lost on Saints’ director of rugby, Chris Boyd, “The loss is painful, the fact it’s a local derby is painful, the fact we wanted to respect Rob Horne and we couldn’t get it across the line is also painful. It’s not a very happy changing room” he said afterwards.

Michael Cheika’s Head

.The pointer becomes the pointee

.The pointer becomes the pointee

Isn’t rolling….just yet.

Cheika will front the RA board this week where, “He will present to us his thoughts of the last two games” (Raelene Castle, 2018) and hopefully, for the long-suffering fans of the game in this country, an explanation about just exactly what the redacted has been going on with the team all year.

It comes on the back of a down and down and up and down and down and up Rugby Championship which saw the Wallabies teetering on the brink of their first last place since the Argies joined the comp and the national team’s slide to 7th on the world rankings.

One could be forgiven for wondering just how influential that second forty had on the board’s position and Castle didn’t hide it either, “The second half, they’ve now shown what they are capable of but it doesn’t put lipstick on the proverbial,” she said.

And despite the growing calls, if your social media feed is anything like mine, the RA chief put the kybosh on any suggestion of Cheika going the way of McKenzie (yeah, yeah, he resigned….)

She added, “We’re not talking about Michael Cheika being sacked as the head coach.  I don’t think that that is the scenario that we are talking about”.

Which seems at odds with her next statement which seemingly eluded to wholesale reforms for the men in gold.

“We’re talking about changes to the whole environment”

Just not the head coach, eh?

Toomua’s and TPN’s…..arms?

These guys could both be looking at an extended Wallaby hiatus

These guys could both be looking at an extended Wallaby hiatus

Well, they have arms, and it makes my headlines work, so just, ok?

In a move that will no doubt raise eyebrow/s, coach Cheika has announced he might overlook hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau and flyhalf/inside centre Matt Toomua when he announces his squad to tour Europe later this year.

Both players were brought out from England to bolster Australia’s stocks during the RC and with 124 test caps between them added a wealth of experience to a side that struggled throughout the tournament.

Who will step into the void to replace them remains a mystery.  Toomua ended the tourney riding the pine as he fell out of favour, giving way to the Foley-Beale 10-12 combo that spluttered, misfired and roared to life at various times.

TPN’s place might be a little easier to fill.  If you were one of the brave souls who didn’t throw their telly out the window at half-time on Sunday you would have witnessed Tou Latu’s blockbuster cameo helping the Wallabies come storming back into contention.

Latu’s performance certainly wasn’t lost on the coach,

“He was excellent. I thought he was outstanding,” he said.

“That shows that guy, how much talent and ability he has”.

“Consistency is the thing he needs to bring so he can be there in the spot or competing for the spot every week”.

Ahh, the C-word of Australian rugger, consistency.

 

  • Huw Tindall

    In other news I read at the end of a Tom Decent article on the SMH that Cheik is considering taking TK and Kerevi on tour as they are getting near ready. Would also be interested to start the chat around which NRC players could be bolters for the squad. Assume Demspey will be worked back in to the national setup soon too.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Big assumption that Cheika is interested in bringing in new players. His proven record is bringing in players who tour for training only

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Cheika wouldn’t even give Banks a run despite the fact he was Australia’s best attacking player in the latter half of the Super Rugby season.

        • Ed

          And he kept defensive enforcer Ned on instead of giving Timu a run.

          Worst line in the Decent article:
          “Forget over-analysing the technical reasons why Australia gave up 31 points in a frantic opening 40 minutes, for the opening half was purely a matter of ticker.”

          That is it fellas, it is all about ticker. Not shit skills, poor defensive reads, weak tackling technique, crap kicking, a side-to-side game plan…

        • laurence king

          ‘enforcer Ned’, has a ring to it.

        • Huw Tindall

          Give The Rugby Ruckus pod a listen today. Defensive issues are due to the complex system (plus some missed tackles but that will always happen). Clear as day. Simplify the bloody thing.

        • laurence king

          Too busy running to their defensive poositons Huw to worry about tackling

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not entirely, we still have too many players that miss simple front on one on one tackles, or have no idea how to defend.

          Koroibete gets screwed as he has to defend on both wings, but he also has the Henry Speight problem of going in for the huge hit and missing the guy totally.

          Michael Hooper actually just misses a lot of tackles. He always has, but they were often when he shot out of the line, so that was more acceptable, but he is missing more and more when he is in the line.

          Genia’s defence has dropped off hugely – it used to be a strength.

          Ned Hanigan… I feel bad for the bloke but what can you say? He is so far out of his depth that it isn’t funny, but this has to be recognised and rectified.

          Beale = no idea in defence.

        • onlinesideline

          Koribetes big rush front on tackles are nice when they come off but they are as risky as an intercept attempt. I still sense some full court press tactics by the backline ie against darkness last year, and it just doesnt work. If anything it creates opportunities for opposition that normally wouldnt arise.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Australians are too obsessed with players that look good on highlight reels, and the players seem to obsessed with plays that look good on highlight reels.

          The other side of that is that surely there is no international team that could come close to the Wallabies in terms of blooper reels.

        • Damo

          What’s way way worse is that he is almost certainly being told to defend this way.

        • Brumby Runner

          DBTB, couldn’t agree more with all of your comments. Add Bernard Foley’s weakness in front on, one on one tackling and you have the complete set of poor performers.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Oh god, how could I forget Foley in the end. I originally intended to put him last – I’m pretty sure his garbage tackling conceded the first try against Argentina. He is honestly as bad as Quade in defence, and very possibly worse.

        • Brumby Runner

          The first two tries both came directly from a Foley missed tackle, and maybe another later on.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          His defence is atrocious. He almost cost us the first test against Ireland too by missing that one on one tackle on Stander.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Watch the NRC games from this year. Foley is definitely worse.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve been very impressed by Quade’s NRC form this year actually. He’s playing splendidly!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep. But like a number of other players in the NRC and elsewhere playing well. They wont be part of the plan.

        • Darrin Briggs

          Cooper has been playing superb footy…class player

        • Nutta

          Disagree only on Sauce. He’s alright. Not great – but none of his colleagues are. I’ll rephrase and say he isn’t the problem.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          And even when Hooper makes a tackle it is hardly ever a dominant one in the mode of Cane or Savea.

        • The Jackal

          great new podcast that. Feel like Morgan Turunui needs to be picked up by Fox to bring some of that excellent analysis to the table

        • Brumby Runner

          We’ve all been saying for a couple of years now that the defensive system is a huge problem, but isn’t it easy to gloss over the missed tackles by Bernard Foley in the first half that led directly to two, maybe three, tries to the Pumas?

          And surely it is clear to everyone that the motive behind the disorganised defensive system is to protect a couple of our very poor tacklers from having to defend in the front line.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I wonder if the media realises that Australian fans aren’t buying what they’re selling any longer.

        • laurence king

          Absolutely

        • Ed

          I will give credit to Wayne Smith in the Oz today where he wrote about how the Wallabies and Cheika gained from Nicholas Sanchez’s injury in the first half. That would have hurt Wayne to type as he sits at his keyboard with green-and-gold pom poms.

        • Damo

          Mate, Smith is positively fair minded compared with the sycophantic crap dished out by the Cheika fan club president who filled in for Smith in Saturday’s Oz. It was certainly at odds with M Ella’s accurate rant on the same page.

        • Ed

          Thanks Damo. If it was by Eales, well I have stopped reading his articles as they typically have very little criticism of the Wallabies, rather if they do this etc.

        • Damo

          Nah, it was some bozo whose name I couldn’t be bothered remembering.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          What a load of shit dribble. Fuck as much as I hate Reason and Rattue as trolls who hate the system, at least they aren’t polishing turds like the friggen SMH journalists here.

      • Huw Tindall

        Hopefully an independent selector gets the go ahead then following the review with RA this week! I don’t think the players in the squad (no necessarily run on!) are way off honestly. No standout candidates for our perennial 6 unfortunately. Cottrel already there. Demspey only 2 full games back.

        • Bakkies

          Cusack who could play the O’Mahony role at 6 is out with concussion issues. In any case Cheika won’t really look at the NRC in any case being the sole selector. If there was a panel like in the past there would be someone on the ground looking at these games.

        • Brumby Runner

          Cottrell is there, but not used. Philip is another who would bring a whole lot more aggression, abrasiveness, toughness to the position than Hanigan if only our national head coach could see beyond light blue.

        • Adrian

          I’m afraid that Simmons was only there in case our lineout completely fell apart again. The story of his life

    • Brumby Runner

      Look no further than the two NSW sides despite their very ordinary tournaments. You know they are the best – it was just that they didn’t have a proper preparation because that numpty NRC competition started too early and conflicted with the nation’s leading Shute Shield competition.

      Please note, this is not a shot at Tahs’ fans on here, just a comment on the logic of our esteemed national coach.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        That is why he would not look at NRC players. The RA Board will get a heart attaxk if he pick any Force players…

    • Hoss

      I watched Dempsey on the weekend – man he looks fit and i like the aggro he brings and also saw a lot of lineout action in his game in the NRC

      Get him some game time and get him on at 6 pronto.

      • Adrian

        100% Hoss

      • Huw Tindall

        I didnt see any NRC via questionable IP practices last weekend so that’s good to hear. From the pics Dempsey looks bigger than when he left. Hopefully he still has that step and a bit of pace!

        • Hoss

          He is massive – in a good way. Obviously been hitting the S&C in a BIG way. Still looks mobile, although test ruggers is a different intensity. I would have in in the squad to travel with a view to giving him game time v the Pasta Lovers and maybe some bench time v the Northern Kiwis and the Soap Dodgers

          Reminds me of me at the same age, well the me I always wanted to be at that age if it wasn’t for a complete aversion to training and stuff.

        • Huw Tindall

          Maybe I’ll fly to Padua and check out the The Hoss of Seasons Past then. £75 return!

      • GO THE Q REDS

        But apparently if you shine in the NRC it’s not because your a good player or in good form, it’s because it’s JUST Nrc. :/

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I don’t think there’ll be any issues with Cane. He got a tackle wrong that’s all. Rugby’s a contact sport so get it wrong and it hurts.
    I’d love to be the fly on the wall at RA for that review. Personally I think the assistant coaches will be thrown under the bus and while I don’t totally disagree with that I think it makes the coaches position a bit less tenable. I’m not sure that if RA imposes assistants/mentors/helpers on Cheika that it’ll work out well and as much as I don’t like Cheika as a head coach I’d be on his side with this.
    The good news for him is the ABs are sending most of their top players to Europe to prepare for the EOYT and the game in Japan might be his for the taking.
    If that last post is true I bet a Toomua will be feeling pretty dirty. Going to be interesting to see how that pans out but I think he might be unavailable next year after that treatment.

    • Ed

      My understanding is the ABs will have a full-strength squad, which includes the return of Retallick, Mooody, Laulua and Squire for the Bledisloe in Japan and send most of the likely squad for the England test over to London after that match while the extras will be there for the Japan test.
      Toomua at most will be a bench player for the Wallabies next year – I’d have him in the first XV. Disappointing for his biggest fan, DBTB, but that is how it looks.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        From what I’ve heard there will be a mix. But a lot of the first picks won’t be there

        • Greg

          @KRL the problem is that both statements are true

          “a lot of first picks will not be there” but there will anyway be a “full strength team”

          ….unless there are any problems with airport WCs….

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bahahahawahaha. Depends if Smith goes to Japan or the UK lol

    • Huw Tindall

      Yeah wonder if resting Toomua and TPN is because they’ve got big loads in the Premiership this year with Toomua is coming back straight into Super Rugby OR because he doesn’t have them in mind for 2019? Toomua would be a shoe for 10/12 backup at least. TPN I think is dispensable now. Just a step too far and we’ve got plenty of young guys coming through.

      • Custard Taht

        TPN has been a yard off, so not including him is probably the correct decision.

        Not including Toomua, well he just didn’t look like he was enjoying his rugby. I would opine that Cheika has placed Toomua on the same list as Cooper and Fardy. I reckon Cheika would bin Genia if he could. Genia has been a bit of a dissident and looked unhappy. Problem is, Genia is steets ahead of the Tah scrum halfs.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How did Toomua not look like he was enjoying his rugby?

          What in the name of everything that is holy does that even mean?

          It sounds like Cheika BS.

        • Bakkies

          Well getting dragged the other week and benched so one of Cheika’s mates could started wouldn’t have had helped. Toomua may have got himself in to a bind as this is why he left in the first place then extended his Leicester contract to 2021.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          His wife is playing cricket in Melbourne, from what I read that was the biggest factor in his decision to return.

        • Bakkies

          She could have picked up contracts in England he extended in Leicester knowing that this would be the case.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          She signed with Melbourne before Toomua moved back. I suspect she wanted to return him, and he wanted to be with her.

        • Bakkies

          She signed that contract well after he extended his Leicester contract by three years. Him playing this season at Leicester is likely to reduce the payout and give them time to sign a replacement as more players go on the market after the RWC.

          He said his Leicester contract allowed him to play for Australia it was up to the RA to make him eligible.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          ‘She signed that contract well after he extended his Leicester contract by three years.’

          Well, that’s exactly my point. He signed with Leicester, she signed with Melbourne and understandably he then looked at a route to move back with his wife as early as possible. I don’t see any reason to doubt his words when he said that he went to Melbourne to be with his wife.

        • Bakkies

          Than Leicester should ask the RA to cough up. They tapped up a player that had a long term contract. Leinster asked for the full amount to be paid out on Kane Douglas’ contract after Cheika tapped him up. The RA refused to pay and got it at a discounted rate. I would have told the RA to shove it given that Douglas had been through rehab with a back injury which they put him through to get back on the pitch for Leinster not the Reds and had limited time to find a replacement. What a waste of money that was for Australian Rugby and now Douglas has gone back overseas.

          Enough is enough last year in the annual reports it stated that the RA spent over a million dollars paying out overseas contracts to bring players home while they are on the path to make a $3.7 million loss. Just throwing money away and hasn’t improved the results.

          In the past under previous coaches this didn’t go on from memory.

        • Custard Taht

          I think because he wasn’t smiling when he was hooked, and instead looked unhappy….one goat and all.

          At the end of the day, the not enjoying rugby thing was his reasoning behind dumping Cooper….so it is a Cheika thing.

          Butin saying that, Cheika doesn’t look like he is enjoying rugby, maybe he should dump himself.

        • Who?

          Custard Taht’s got the sarcasm font turned on this week – in full caps. :-)

        • Garry

          Are there any players that aren’t from the tahs that Cheika couldn’t do with out? That seem to be the question we are heading to.

      • Bakkies

        Well there are back to back not the Heineken Cup now again sponsored by Heineken matches and a heavy Chirstmas/NY schedule straight after the AIs.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Agree on TPN. Time to bring on some newbies

    • laurence king

      If they were to bring in selection panel, that may be the only thing that could help Toomua’s cause. If Toomua is treated badly in this, it just underlines that Cheika can be a bit of grub if you’re not one of his boys

    • Happyman

      Mate I think the attack and defence coaches should have jumped under the bus themselves. Go away and learn to be better and come back as a better coach

  • laurence king

    Nice write up Andrew, thank you.
    Liked Horne a lot as a player, and it seems so did a lot of other people, a nice send-off and it’s terribly sad about his injury.
    So Toomua may not play on the spring tour, surprise, surprise and their going to do something about the whole environment, but keep Cheika, surprise, surprise. So they’re not worried about greenhouse gas emissions then. Maybe a case of not seeing the wood for the trees.
    Have a nice week GAGRs, I’m going painting up country for the rest of the week at a place called the Gardens, look that up on Google images, blow your socks off

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Need more info mate. Typing in “the gardens” pulls up 3 cafes in Sydney

  • Custard Taht

    The biggest news out today is Cheika says the Fism game provided a season’s worth of lessons…

    • disqus_NMX

      Lol, every time Cheika speaks, I feel like vomiting these days.

      • Bakkies

        What do you expect when the governing body is run by morons who couldn’t organise a root in a brothel and make the head coach unaccountable for his poor results.

        Gary Flowers had the dignity to resign over the Wallabies’ poor results even though they were better than Cheika’s.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Fuck they’ve learnt some lessons over the last 4 years then

      • Greg

        Well the issue seems to be lessons not learned…..

        The guys are trying and are gutted when it goes pear shaped.

        but then the same ting happens again and again…

      • Custard Taht

        Apparently not! The only question I have left is…..have we reached peak shit or do we still have further depths to plunge.

      • In Cheika’s mind at least. Shame he fails to communicate them to the players though…

  • disqus_NMX

    Raylene, it’s time for Cheika to go. If Cheika doesn’t go, then it’s time for you to go.

    • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

      The RA probkem goes beyong the coach and CEO, it is the Board that must be restructured to get rid of the NSW click. Raelene has no power she is a puppet.

      • disqus_NMX

        Absolutely agree. The whole of RA needs rebuilding from scratch, starting with the constitution.

      • Bakkies

        For that to happen the Chairman and the so called independent Buildcorp/Sydney Uni board Nominations Committee need to go. They replaced Stooke with the ultimate Sydney Uni, Shore and Waratah Old Boy Phil Waugh. Rorke the former Gordon president took Broderick’s place on the board. Now it turns out that Broderick was tabling reports for a sex discrimination commission last year while the RA board was badly damaging the game last year and going in front of courts and a Senate Committee. Can’t make this stuff up.

        The RA are too thick to realise this is a problem so don’t blame Papworth and co for raising it in their letter and finally highlights in the media what everyone else can see.

    • Custard Taht

      Nah man, just looked out the window and saw a swallow….it definitely summer.

  • disqus_NMX

    Cheika must have read all the calls here on GAGR for a Genia-GC-Toomua combination, and obviously that’s a no no no no no, so obviously Toomua needs to be dumped from the squad to put a stop to that idea.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I hope it is just a matter of dealing with contract issues with Leicester, otherwise it is just stupidity.

      I am beyond letting the Wallabies upset me though. I’m happy to follow the Boks and Ireland until after the next RWC at this point. My second teams are giving me more pleasure than the Wallabies now.

      • disqus_NMX

        Doesn’t the EOYT come under the rules for club players to have to be released for test duties?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yes, but clubs apparently put a huge amount of pressure on their players to play for their clubs. Toomua may, for example, not be given his salary from Leicester if he goes on the tour.

          The Rugby Championship fell under the rules too for release, but Bismarck du Plessis and Duane Vermuelen didn’t play for the Boks for the same reason. Imagine how much better the Boks could have been if they had been a part of the side.

        • Bakkies

          Vermeulen had been injured. He is supposed to be going back to SA but it appears that no team can afford him. They are all broke apart from the Cheetahs and the Lions. Both teams don’t pay overs for aged players.

        • Huw Tindall

          Yeah pretty sure it does but they aren’t free for the camps in the lead so just dropping in cold to the team is tough

        • onlinesideline

          its a shitte tour anyhow this year – its Wales AGAIN for the 20th time in 6 years, England and Italy. No chance for revenge against Scottish implosion last year and no chance for revenge against Irish. Really badly organised.

        • disqus_NMX

          Revenge? We’d only add another victory to Scotland’s tally tbh.

        • onlinesideline

          mmmm – reality is painful enough without any nightmare scenarios, thanks very much.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          We have no chance for revenge against England either, even though we’re playing them.

        • onlinesideline

          then that would make how many losses against the Poms since RWC ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I believe it will be 6 in a row.

        • onlinesideline

          thats truly vomit inducing

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep, 6 will be yet another ignominious record for Cheika’s Wallabies.

          I’m sure Georgina Robinson and Tom Decent will put a positive spin on it, however.

        • Ed

          They are experts in polishing turds.

        • Custard Taht

          Ah you need to see the positives, that is 6 lessons….

        • Who?

          You’ve been absolutely on fire the last week…

        • Greg

          “Yep, 6 will be yet another ignominious record for Cheika”

          I thought you meant Fardy.

        • Garry

          Revenge? Are you guys serious? Cheika should set his sights (and best team), on Italy. It’s the only piss poor record he doesn’t own.

        • adastra32

          ….and Italy are on the up too if recent club form is anything to go by. Some good players and a coaching team that is beginning to make an impact at national level.

        • Who?

          They trailed by a point with about 10 minutes to go last June…

        • Ed

          At some stage Wales will beat us. We have them in November and at the world cup, so I would not be surprised if they did beat us in one of those games. Their play in the Six Nations was pretty good and gave Ireland a tough time.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Wales are the one side we maintain a mental edge over us, but judging by recent form (and by Gatland’s improved coaching) you wouldn’t be surprised if they beat us this November and in the World Cup.

        • Bakkies

          Gatland has moved on from Cementball which is as predictable as Cheika’s one way tactic.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep, thus ‘Gatland’s improved coaching’.

          Even when predictable, Gatlandball was at least consistently effective against some sides.

        • Bakkies

          Wales are going back to their tradition of having smaller backs rather than having 11-15 at 100 kg plus playing league off a poor kicking game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          South Africa and Argentina too are showing the value of smaller, more elusive backs (especially outside backs). But Cheik is still obsessed with having everyone outside of the 10 and weirdly enough the 12 being 100kg straight line runners.

        • onlinesideline

          yep – definitely due for a win against us. Would 2 from 3 losses on tour make any difference – doubt it.

        • Ed

          I doubt it would make a difference, where it could be three losses from four on tour if you count the Bledisloe in Japan.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Wouldn’t surprise me if the Taffs got past the Wobs, although they’re at least as erratic as us. They only just edged past Georgia by cheating (claimed their subbed prop was injured when his replacement was YCd, and therefore had an uncontested scrum on their 5m line with the Lelos on the rampage up front and a few minutes to go. Said prop had been warming up on the sideline for some time).

        • Bakkies

          Three weeks of the window do.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Maaaaaate come to the dark side for your second team. ANZAC and all that

        • Bakkies

          Would rather eat coal.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha fair enough mate

        • John Miller

          Might have some teeth whitening benefits

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Good to get you moving, but not advisable if you already have the shits. Now that I think of it, perhaps the Wallabies could rebrand as ‘The Laxatives’?

        • Brisneyland Local

          They give me the shits that is for sure.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I would go for the All Blacks against everyone but Australia (my home), Ireland (my heritage) and South Africa (my favourite country that I have ever travelled to).

          But at present I want the gap to close and for more matches to be more competitive.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fair enough too. My support for Aus is based on 28 odd years in the Army where I worked with Australians almost every year

  • Twoilms

    TPN and Toomua aren’t getting picked because:

    1. Premiership ends in May.
    2. TPN is old, and needs his workload managed
    3. Toomua is required to immediately start playing for the Rebels
    4. International rugby starts again following the end of Super rugby.

    That would be well over a year of straight rugby at both club and international level for Toomua, directly before a world cup. The odds of him making it through that and being fit and able for the Wallabies would be extremely slim.

    Taaf can barley manage 30 minutes of test footy at the moment. Clearly needs his load managed.

    • Andrew H

      At least at hooker we have Latu, dude’s a monster.
      Who will fill Toomua’s void in spring is a harder question to answer.

  • Alister Smith

    I can sort of understand the decision on TPN and Toomua as they will both have very busy seasons in the Nth Hemisphere and then Toomua will go straight into the Rebels, the June tests and a shortened RC before the RWC. He will have a chance to press for selection through the latter part of Super Rugby next year and, if the Rebels make the finals, Cooper and Toomua play the house down etc it might create a momentum that might be too difficult to ignore. I personally would have liked to have seen him play at 10 rather than 12 with Beale for the Wallabies (and for that matter would have liked to have seen him have the opportunity to play 10 for the Rebels as I think that is where we need the back-up particularly but giving Cooper an opportunity is also important and the Rebels need someone for the full season and not just the last third. By the time he comes back we will understand a lot more how Cooper is travelling and what the other options are. We also might see how others like Deegan and Stewart mature and we could even have someone tossed forward with the World Series – it will be interesting to see who their marquee signings will be that they intend to spread through the comp and also who they might unearth for the Western Sydney club.

  • Happyman

    Fellow GAGR’s I have returned from my sojourn on the beaches of Queensland and with eh benefit of modern technology got to watch some Rugby. The time away gave me time to reflect upon the state of the game and some for the issues that I see at play.
    IMHO opinion the issues that have come home to roost in the last few years as frankly we don’t have the cattle to compete at against the worlds best.
    We do have the athletes and we do have the athletes playing rugby but an fish rots from the head.
    Coaches in this country are continually looking outside the code for solutions to the problems rather than trying to raise standard from the bottom up.
    I will put forward two examples to illustrate my point.
    – Firstly I listened to the NRC commentary on the weekend with the Qld Country playing the Sydney Rays. Sean Maloney Stpehen Hoiles et al made a big deal of Israel Falou’s Brother along the lines of look at this blah blah blah. I can name a player of greater ability who was overlooked who is now playing ITM and will play Super Rugby in NZ after being overlooked in Australia Levi Aumua link attached. http://www.mako.nz/tasman-makos/levi-aumua I guess it was to difficult to go to a club game to find him. There are other example but in probably every club but the just don’t get identified.
    – Secondly the walk up selections of league players at junior levels. I watched some of the NRC U19 as I know a few of the boys playing and noted that the Australian BaBa team had two players who played a full season of league and a grand total of one game of colts each. I consider myself a fair judge and both of these players were not even the best players on their respective clubs let alone the competition. Even if you suggest that these players can be elite level rugby players they have no sweat or blood equity in the code. I would argue that it actually lessens the quality of the competition at the national championships and disrespects the players who work hard and improve. The will also just go back to league if that suits them.
    – With regard to our system it just seems that the selectors don’t go out and look at games in detail. We continually focus on picking metrics not rugby players until this changes then we will see the same results at the set level the occasional good rust but not sustained excellence.

    Other Views welcome.

    • Habitual Offender

      Basic and obvious issue with juniors levels, is lack of exposure to the game.
      The concept of Fox Only is the killer, kids will emulate whatever they see, and rugby is too well hidden.
      This needed addressing many years ago, and we are now seeing the ensuing fallout.
      It will not get better soon, and never will if this is not turned around.

      Everthing you say is correct with existing players/leagueys and selection.
      It however would be seen as near irrelevant with a larger uptake of the game.

      IMO its taken many years to fk up the sport, and will take many years to fix it.
      Short term solutions are needed, but long term solutions are important for basic survival.
      No, I havent the answers..

      • Happyman

        Mate with proper alignment it would only take five years.

        • Habitual Offender

          Sounds reasonable, more a q of how many yrs to get the initial action

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Spot on. No wonder the Wallabies are struggling with such a small minded approach. In a lot of ways this actually feeds into the Papworth letter where the local clubs can influence this practice to cease and provide real rugby players.

      • Happyman

        Mate I can only speak for Qld Prem clubs but to be honest local clubs do run pretty high level Colts and development programs for grades. Most are running off season S and C and will begin training in November.

        Alignment is the issue. RA and States should be supplying information from the top down it is not about money information is free. The clubs are doing it for themselves on the smell of an oily rag and doing it pretty well. Having coached at younger age levels I know boys just want more information and skills they have a hunger for it.

        • Who?

          The issue isn’t the clubs, the issue is selection for rep. Selectors, and eligibility requirements. In my region, we had a DA (a great bloke) using Junior Gold Cup as a recruitment tool. So the team was made up of Leaguies and kids from the elite private schools (A’s and First XV players, who weren’t permitted to play club).
          So it’s not on the clubs, it’s about requiring eligibility requirements – including at contract level…

        • Andrew H

          Which club are you aligned with?

      • Parker

        You nailed it. It’s the small mindedness and lack of vision, compounded by fear of those who have vision.

  • Nutta

    I wish Sam a sound recovery and no lingering effects. And to Rob H I raise a glass as well.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Here Here!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      absolutely

    • Who?

      Can’t help but feel a tinge of irony with the Saints director of rugby talking about the pain of the loss, the pain of losing a derby, the pain of not giving Rob the win.
      Yet Rob’s injury means he lives in chronic pain…
      Just felt a little insensitive, somehow.

  • Missing Link

    All the best for Sam Cane’s recovery, but it reeks of irony, maybe next time Hansen will choose his words more wisely

    • Andrew H

      That has proven rather unfortunate but no-one else seems to be mentioning it.

      • Nutta

        Nah. Let that one go. There is no mileage in joining someone else in being that classless (as Hansen was).

      • Missing Link

        You can count on me when it comes to saying the unsayable :)

        • Nutta

          You know that wasn’t directed at you yeh? I was aiming at Hanson.

        • Missing Link

          Oh I know. But I’ll take it and wear it as a badge anyway :)

  • Brisneyland Local

    Hey @Hoss. Have you heard back from RA about your job application? Me and the team are ready to go!

    • John Tynan

      Giddy Up!!

  • Mishad

    I read here everyday, close follower of the wallabies and even made up part of the pitying 5 or 6 wallabies supporters in the Port Elizabeth match the other week. I secretly relish getting up at early hours of the morning to watch our boys perhaps turn one around, and last weekends match was worth staying up for. Even though it was ugly to start. After re-watching the game I saw some key points worth mentioning that have been mentioned also here (from the POV of an ex-back):

    – Koribete is a machine with ball in hand in space and can tackle (when he doesn’t miss) but sadly he needs several more years in the lower levels getting basic ball skills and his rugby nous developed. His rush up defense is creating more problems than results, not sure why they persist with it. If they come up in a line then it puts pressure on the offense eventually. It’s not exciting but it works. His offloads are also shit, attributed to lack of skills. Not sure why we persist with size and limited skills over smaller faster and smarter players. Bigger is not always better (so my partner tells me anyway)
    – Beale takes too much pressure on himself to create the match winning break and try everytime he gets the ball. Seems he has lost the ability to control his urges and keep with basic boring structure until the time is right to pounce. He has great skills and speed but he is playing too much high risk rugby when he doesn’t need to and we are seeing the mistakes as a result. Reign in that urge Beale, trust your mates to set things up phase after phase then take your chance. Also put you shoulder into a tackle everynow and then, not this upright chest to chest crap.
    – Foley, what can I say here, some days he’s shit hot and others he’s shit, sometimes both in the same day as we witnessed. I would like to see Cooper have a crack maybe take the pressure off Beale from being the playmaker all the time. I’m on the fence with Foley still but if anything he needs to sort his tackling out – or get the loosies to cover properly to fills the gaps.
    – Reece isn’t a centre. Couldn’t see much of an impact from him except a couple missed tackles leading to tries against him. Be good to see the two Ks back later this year.
    – Overall I didn’t see alot of bad things but the mistakes we did make hurt us. In the first half missed tackles led to tries. Failures to clean out properly (again), losing lineouts (again). Thankfully replacing the front row solved the main issues up front apparently enough to let the backs to do their job. Can’t say any of the loosies did a remarkable job in turnovers either, incl pocock. Although Pocock featured everywhere else, either running with ball in hand or smashing players.

    Aussie rugby isn’t running rugby only, and it’s not Jakeball either. When we have done well its been a blend of both – boring and exciting. Boring gets results and running multiple phases up the middle, kicking for territory (out to touch not into their wingers hands), and then strike with your exciting plays. Bring back the simplicity to our game please coaches.

    • Nutta

      Hello Mishad
      I was nodding along until you mentioned QC. But apart from that I agree with a lot of what you said. The poor tackling and aimless cleanouts of the 1st half were just gobsmacking.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Nice. I certainly will

  • The Big Lebowski

    Is it just me, or do English crowds welcome Australian rugby players with more enthusiasm and positivity than their home crowds?
    In any case, what a wonderful event for a bloke going through a tough time. I know someone with a similar injury (from water skiing) but remains close to rugby and still coaches. Hopefully we’ll still see Rob on the sidelines in some capacity.

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.

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