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Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at where the ‘Tahs will be next year, how the 7s finished up, a true Aussie battler and a potential milestone this weekend.


‘Tahs to be Kings of the ‘Castle

The 'Tahs are homeless next year

The ‘Tahs are homeless next year

Given the NSW state government’s insistence that the best use of tax-payer money, in spite of dismal attendances, is to rebuild the football stadium in Sydney meaning the Waratahs are in search of some other rectangular public spaces where they can run around next year.

It had already been revealed that they will play the Shorks, Jags and Brumbies next year at Western Sydney Stadium and that was followed up by the announcement yesterday that the opening round against the Hurricanes would be held at Brookvale oval.

It still left four home games without a venue.

The club is set to make an “historic” announcement this morning at McDonald Jones Stadium and it’s got the rumour mill spun up to full speed with suggestions that it’s because that’s the venue for their clash against the Sunwolves on 29th March.

And while it may not yet be officially announced, it’s already appearing on the club’s website as the venue for that game so probably a safe bet.

Venues for the matches against the ‘Saders, Rebel scum and mighty Reds are yet to be announced but the criggit ground has been put forth as a suggestion given its recent and dating-back-to-1882 history of hosting Super Rugby matches, especially when QLD are involved.

The 2019 Super Rugby season kicks off on Friday 15 February with the Chiefs hosting the Higlanders.

Colorado 7s

Green crossed late to tip the match

Green crossed late to tip the match

The first round of the new season of women’s rugby 7s has finished up in Glendale (home of the Raptors) and it was the Kiwis that got the gold.

In a season that doubles as an Olympic selection (the top four teams are guaranteed a guernsey in Tokyo) it was a less than ideal start for the reigning world series champs and Rio gold medallists.

With an extra round scheduled this year it’s no time to panic and the Aussies will no doubt look to rebound in a bit over a month’s time at the second round in Dubai.

After thumping wins in their opening two matches, 53-nil and 40-nil, against Mexico and Spain respectively, the Aussies had to recover from 15-nil down at half time against Russia to eventually finish atop their pool and a Cup quarter final against hosts USandA.

Coming up against a red-hot USA the Aussies had no answers, succumbing 26-5 and desperately needing to regroup to salvage some points from the weekend.

Thankfully they found their form again in the semi and cruised past England 26-12 to make it to the 5th place playoff against Ireland where a last gasp try from Ellia Green saw the team hang on to fifth for the weekend and salvage some all-important points.

As mentioned earlier the Kiwis got the gold, crushing the hosts 33-7 in the final while Canada got the shameful bronze over France.

The next round kicks off in Dubai on 29th November.

Down in the Demps

This guy's so tough, he cries blood.

This guy’s so tough, he cries blood.

Jack Dempsey has had a hell of a run of it so far in his rugby career.

The 24year-old is one of only 76 Wallabies who have never to have lost a test match.  The six he’s played without defeat is bettered only by Mark McBain and matched by one other player, John Ryan, who also pulled off the feat of scoring in every single test he’s played in.

Backing up off a man of the match performance against the All Blacks the flanker tore two tendons off the bone against the Barbarians late in 2017 and has since repeatedly has his return to play date pushed back.  Originally looking to return as early as April it wasn’t until September where he was finally back on the field when he racked up 31 minutes for the Rays in their NRC fixture against Brisbane City.

In March this year Dempsey alluded to how difficult his time away from the game had been saying, “I think the mental roadblocks have been twice as hard, getting up every morning and feeling the surgery and feeling your limitations”.

“But now that I’m running and doing a lot more lower body stuff and the load is picking up and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s really quite positive for me”.

One can only imagine how the setbacks affected the young player but support from a Wallaby legend helped him through with John Eales offering up his support during the lay-off, “He talked about his own experiences with injuries and the mindset about how you might feel forgotten, but we’re all hoping that you get back and you get strong”.

Until Cheika names his team we won’t know if he’s come full-circle but it sounds like Dempsey (and the support network) is ready for anything else rugby might have for him

Kepu to Raise His Bat

GAME FACE: on

GAME FACE: on

I’m old enough to remember a time when our cricketers racked up centuries and now I’m old enough to remember the first Wallaby prop centurion.

And so, will you, assuming Michael Cheika selects Sekope Kepu in the “dead-rubber” Bledisloe Cup this weekend.

No prop has ever reached the milestone and only one other front-rower, Stephen Moore has done so.

Speaking today, the veteran talked wistfully about his time representing his country, “You first you always remember,” he said, “That was in 2008 and I remember singing the anthem next to Wycliff Palu”.

And he continued, covering off some wonderful victories and tournaments but it seemed all to come back being part of the team, rather than whether they won or lost.

“You never look past the British and Irish Lions, that was a great year”.

“Winning against the All Blacks in 2011, playing in that World Cup, the final in 2015 (which I needn’t remind you of), the English game that year”.

“They’re the Test matches that I remember, regardless of the result”.

“I’m just truly humbled to still be around this group nowadays”.

Here’s hoping that the team can get up for the big fulla’s hundredth and quieten down some of the yap we’ve all been putting up with from across the Tasman.

 

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Andrew, congratulations to Kepu, that’s a fantastic achievement and it would be great to see. Love him or not anyone who makes 100 tests is doing bloody well.
    Be good to see Dempsey on the field but we know it’ll be the Pooper so I guess it’s a battle between the love child Ned and everyone else.
    Bad luck on the 7’s I think the girls seem a bit under done this year. I’m sure it’ll change as they have some very good players and they’ll come right.

    • Who?

      100 caps is a fantastic achievement, and even better when I don’t think there’d be a single person out there who wouldn’t be very pleased for Keps. Because he seems to be a top bloke – he’s never been one to go courting the spotlight, never really made any negative headlines, always just kept his head down and done his job. Well done to him. :-)

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I saw an interview with Sio and Alaaalatoa when they said that basically all the Pacific Islanders in the Wallabies looked up to Kepu as a mentor and a bit of an uncle figure, that they took their lead from him and that he provided a lot of support, leadership and guidance for the new guys. Was really nice to hear.

      • Huw Tindall

        Only blot on his score sheet was the red card for the brain fart clean out with the shoulder v Scotland. Arguably his best moment ever on the field was that game against the Chiefs in in 2017 where he ran about 60 metres to score palming off their winger first, putting on a step and then gassing down the sideline with Damien Mackenzie hanging off from about the 22m line out. Brilliant.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Would be classic Cheika to name a returning from serious injury Dempsey in a dead rubber against the All Blacks. Let’s hope that he doesn’t do so, or, if he does, that Jack isn’t injured again.

    Congratulations to Kepu, truly one of the modern Aussie greats.

    • Geoffro

      Look for Kerevi to be named also with only minutes of sevens under his belt after an injury layoff.As much as Petaia is crucial to Qld country chances in Fiji,he should be winging it to Japan instead

      • John Tynan

        Dempsey at 6 with the Pooper, Beale at 10, Kerevi – AAC in the centres. What could possibly go wrong?

        • Geoffro

          Nothing of course except we lose by 40 instead of 20 after Kerevi and Dempsey have to be subbed and the AB backline run rings around and through Foley, Beale, AAC and co……That said,I strongly doubt AAC will get a recall.

        • John Tynan

          Geez I hope not. Imagine being a young bloke working your arse off while AAC trots back in from Happy Villas Retirement XV in Japan

        • John Tynan

          Tongue firmly in cheek, mate.

        • Geoffro

          I got that but as we know with Cheika and co , truth can be stranger than fiction sometimes

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Foley at 10? I spose there’s that to worry about too. ..

        • Geoffro

          Not much choice now in the fyhallf stakes.Maybe they can do a Frisby with Jake Gordon and give him a run at 10.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Hope Kerevi isn’t named…

      • Huw Tindall

        Kerevi has essentially ruled himself out from starting by stating he hasn’t got match fitness. Leave Petaia in Fiji to play a grand final. They don’t come around all that often. I’d have done an SOS to Tom English. Had a great year at the Rebels and Rising and knows how to play 13. Bigger and faster than most people realise. Seems to have a good attitude to and is committed to Aus rugby. Izzy to 13, with Beale inside him is a disaster waiting to happen.

    • Mica

      No such thing as a dead rubber against the Kiwis!!

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        The only dead rubbers are in the disabled dunnies at the airport.

  • Happyman

    Had a look at insta last night could not get the image to load based not he quote one would suggest that he has signed with the Rebels and good luck to him. I think the photo is a cracker and a not very subtle set of forks to the Reds and Thorn in particular.

    Reds have treated him like shite this year and he has acted in a very mature manner. It will be interesting to see how many people support the Rebels with Quade and WG playing for them at next years game in Brisbane.

    http://www.greenandgoldrugby.com/community/attachments/img_3494-png.10335/

    • John Tynan

      That is gold!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That’s a great pic. Go Coops

      • Geoffro

        Don’t really think Brad would give a shit.Prob like to see Hunt and Slipper bugger off too

        • GO THE Q REDS

          And that’s the sad part. .. ….he let’s his own personal garbage cost the club millions of wasted dollars…..plus all the punters who now don’t give a rats about the Reds and will ship their loyalty off to the Rebels. Might even see some entertaining rugby to cheer for a change aswell.

        • Bakkies

          Slipper has gone to the Brumbies with the Reds covering part of his salary.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Oh man, wouldn’t negotiating a business deal with Brad Thorn be a businessman’s dream?

        • Bakkies

          Like Kerry Packer said you only get one Alan Bond in your life time.

        • Singapore Sling

          And one James to blow it all!

        • Nutta

          Blow or snort? Sorry – too easy.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think BT should come out and support Quade and hope he does well. That would be a smart move.

        • Greg

          It would be, actually.It would show a bit of class.

          I think it would also be complete BS…. but that is a different discussion.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely

        • Custard Taht

          I think BT is more likely to come out dressed as a nun singing oh happy days…..

        • Geoffro

          Maybe but nobody’d believe him.He seems a fairly uncompromising bloke as he was on the park when he played.If Stewart develops into a decent 10 over the next few years it will be Quade who? anyway.

    • Greg

      That is Mr Thorne getting a big fend in the photo isn’t it!

      Have a look at the video also a few down in his instagram. It could give a coach nightmares…. but when it comes off it is extraordinary!

      Great to see QC and SBW visiting some sick kids as well. I know many players do this and do it pretty quietly.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      In a way you could almost argue that Thorn has succeeded as a coach – he has succeeded in taking Quade Cooper from a member of a deadbeat team in decline and to a team on the rise with plenty of talent and a competent coaching staff.

      Funny how the world works.

      I do wonder how Thorn’s alleged emphasis on defence will go next year. This year he successfully had them concede the most points in history, and with only a few months of an off season to prepare, now he will have had an extra year with them I wonder how many points they will concede?

    • onlinesideline

      Mate Im a Quade supporter from way back, love he is back in the game, but this is where he gets me and this is in some ways what BT is on about. IMO there was just no need for this. It’s this kind of thing, the drama, the tweets, the grudges, the soc media exposure, the individualism – its just doesnt go well with Rugby. Its this kind of self centredness that turns old school blokes like BT off. GRANTED – QC wasn’t treated well and he’s handled it well but these little displays are a step back after going 2 steps forward. You think, Cheika doesnt see this? You think he wants to stay clear of that kind of individualism in the Wallabies ? Of course he does. QC just could have cooly announced the Rebels move and let his talking be on the field. Just no need.

      • Greg

        Maybe the choice of photo was just a coincidence?

        • onlinesideline

          yarrrhhhh

      • Who?

        All year, all we’ve heard from Quade is that he’s going to try and push for selection, whilst Thorn said he was excluded. Thorn had clearly stated he wasn’t welcome, yet Quade publicly maintained the delusion that he was going to get back into a Red jersey. Is Quade’s post any more damaging than anything Thorn said all year? Is it inaccurate? I don’t think so… It’s pretty straight. We’ve had endless posts on here recently about how we’re sick of hearing PR spin from the Wallabies, how we wish they’d be honest, yet we get a pretty straight – not unfair, just honest – comment, and suddenly it’s wrong?
        And if you think anything Quade could do would change Cheika’s mind… Cheika’s got the same position as Thorn, and he’s had it for longer, with no more justification.

        • onlinesideline

          Yeah, but Quade still yearns for top honours I assume. The nature of the game is that team members are selected by coaches for a bevy of reasons and the reality is coaches are weary of too much individualism. Quade knows this. He would still harbour a desire to be Wallaby for next year and maybe even make the RWC squad. So whether you are right re what you said above about BT wouldnt the thing to do be just to move on and not attract too much attention and just play the house down. Its just giving Cheika reason to be weary too, culture wise. The reality is that players get picked, coaches do the picking. Its his choice but a bit of Ghandi wouldnt have hurt. Just my 2c.

          The point you make about players attitude when they lose and are interviewd and havent been owning up as much as they could is a bit different to the context Quade is commenting on here. Not sure I see the direct relevance of that as a comparison.

        • Who?

          Quade also yearned for top honours under Deans, but knew in 2012 and 2013 that it wasn’t going to happen until the coach changes. And plenty have said over the years that Quade is unselfish.
          In terms of not attracting too much attention, the bloke’s got more social media followers than almost anyone and anything in Rugby in Australia, he’s got to acknowledge it, and he’s done it whilst stating he didn’t want to move. That he still loves the Reds. Isn’t that what the fans want – they want their players to be loyal? In the past 18 months, we’ve now seen the Reds discard – in the most shabby manners possible – three of their seven club centurions (Simmons, Slipper, Cooper), and fail to re-hire a fourth (Genia). Reds fans – going off the discussion on here – are very disillusioned about the loss of so much experience, so many loyal servants of the state, guys who clearly were all on track to be one club players. Would Reds fans prefer it if he just came out and said, “Hey, go the Rebels!” I’m not sure – I think they’d certainly be happy to know that there’s more than a touch of sadness on Quade’s behalf that he’s leaving, and it’s not of his own choice. Everyone wants their team to be a place where players want to stay.
          In terms of the interviews, I’m not talking about after a loss (or even a win). I’m talking midweek interviews.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not convinced that Deans wouldn’t have welcomed Quade back originally. His form didn’t warrant it in 2012, and in 2013 Deans just had weird ideas. Even if he didn’t rate Quade’s form in 2013 then Toomua was the obvious choice, JOC at 10 was a loopy decision in my eyes and to me indicates that Deans had been a bit unhinged by everything by the Lions series.

          And I say that despite rating Deans as a coach.

        • onlinesideline

          Its a good point about expressing sadness re having to leave and supporters definitely like sincere expression of emotions but here is where I may have done it differently if I was Quade. Instead of posting THAT pic, maybe a picture of the last second of the 2011 final win when the bell went. Ya know. Rising above the BT issue and just remebering the good times would have been my style. If he had of made it about the collective consciousness of the CLUB it would have transcended the personal aspect – in my books wiser. People know it was BT, so whats to gain ?

      • Happyman

        Mate I honestly believe if you are a player from outside NSW Cheika really does not even know you are alive until he has no option.

        I did not think that until recently but mark my words Dempsey will get a run over Cotterell in the NH tour. So if I were Quade or anyone not from Sydney I would not give a F&*k about what MC thinks.

        • onlinesideline

          Cotterell is injured though. But Dempsey has proven himself already in Wallaby jersey. Maybe a bit too soon after injury I’ll admit.

          Re Waratahs, it FEELS that way but in saying that 5 or 6 of the run on forwards are not Waratahs. Sio, FF, AAAAAA, Thor, Rhodda, Coleman, Poey, Samu are all not waratahs. Koribete, Hodge, Kerevi, Genia, Toomua and DHP arent Waratahs either. So does he really have Tah bias ??

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The difference between Waratahs and non-Tahs to me is that in order to get that first thing opportunity under Cheika you have to be fantastic and/or lucky through injury. Whereas if you’re a Tah you’re given that opportunity regardless of whether your form deserves it – and in the case of guys like Hanigan, Phipps, Robertson and Mumm, long after your international form demonstrates you don’t deserve your spot.

        • Hoss

          And rightly so.

        • Happyman

          Mate you really are on the Kool Aid today. Put in a canular it is more efficient.

        • Ads

          I reckon he’s just too loyal period, as opposed to it being a state thing. Coleman, Koro should have been benched/dropped lately and haven’t. Hooper probably too. I agree with your point, just not sure it’s a NSW thing.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think Coleman should be dropped necessarily (although I wouldn’t mind it to be the case). With the exception of Koroibete most of the guys that have randomly been offered positions in Cheik’s team out of nowhere has been Tahs.

          I do get you point though. Cheika is a hard bloke to put a finger on. His mind seems to work very differently from my own.

        • Ads

          Fair enough. Ulese was offered a spot out of nowhere wasn’t he? Depends how you define out of nowhere, but reckon we are pretty close to saying the same thing. The biggest issue with the misguided loyalty to me is the complete failure to develop other options. We have no options at 9 or 10, and that’s a massive problem.

        • onlinesideline

          Nailed it mate – I totally agree.

        • onlinesideline

          There have been quite a few players that seemed to get Wallaby jerseys without being fantastic, who are not Waratahs. Koribete, BPA, Timu, Samu. I wouldnt say these players are fantastic. Timu had a solid season, BPA again solid season, but to say they were fanatastic is a big stretch, yet they got caps didnt they ? Timu and BPA were part of a Super side that lost alot of matches and were first season guys. But they got caps for that.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’ve did agree about BPA (our most consistent hooker in SR), Timu (our best eligible no. 8) and Samu (Cheika is enamoured with anything shiny and overseas).

          I don’t necessarily disagree with what you and Ads are saying though. I think there is a lot of truth in it.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          definitely put Koroibete in that mix. Never ever shown anything that demands a place as a test winger but continually picked

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But with the exception of Koroibete most of the non-Tahs that are tried once or twice randomly are then dropped: Carter, Naivalu (who ironically has demonstrated more in terms of being a test winger than Koroibete has in my eyes), BPA, Timu, etc…

          It is really Koroibete + the Tahs who are continually picked again and again in spite of their performances.

        • Silver Ghost

          I think Koroibete has never been given the chance to be a proper winger. He’s generally been too busy in defensive compensating for Foley, Beale et al. Or in attacked pushed to 1 metre from the side line by the cross field runners (Beale).
          IMO his form for the Rebels has been good and worth consideration for the Wallabies. Although like you DB, I think Naivalu has more up side.
          If you ask Cheika he would probably say that Koriobete trains harder and looks better at training!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep I’m agreeing with you mate. It’s just bullshit and why the Wallabies are 7 and more likely to go further down than back up under this management team.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          History shows that to be pretty true.

      • Singapore Sling

        Onside, Quade suffered a fairly damaging public humiliation at the hands of BT this year. He was told he was not wanted, excluded from his place of work and denied any chance of potential earnings associated with representative honours. Through these actions Thorn made it clear he believed Quade could add no value to the Reds cause. In fact by paying him not to play he is basically suggesting Quades NPV in November 2011was (negative) – $1,300,00….. Pretty insulting really.

        Through all this negativity Quade remained positive and Thorn steadfast in his exclusion. I was told by an ex player in the know that Rupa had advised Quade to take the Reds to court and a leading Brisbane barrister had offered his services gratis. Quade apparently elected not to proceed.

        I don’t personally like social media but I accept its how gen y roll and if Quade takes a parting shot at Thorn good luck to him he’s earned it!

        • onlinesideline

          Yeah its a good point. Maybe your all right.

        • Purce

          I completely disagree with this. BT and the Reds could have very easily stated publicly the reasons why he was no longer seen as a fit to the team going forward. THAT would have been damaging, painted him in a very bad light and severely impacted his chances of being employed elsewhere. In the circumstances, QC not being seen as a player the Reds wanted around a young team, I think the Reds handled it about as well as they could have without damaging his reputation. If anything the carry on around this has damaged the Reds more.

          Alluding to QC being a bigger person because he has elected not to take the Reds to court is ridiculous. Have you ever thought that he didn’t take it up because there is a long line of events which have lead to this decision? The Instagram post shows that he clearly isn’t the bigger person.

          Onsidesideline I think your original post is 100% spot on. I also think he is a talent and hope the move to the Rebels ignites them then pushes him back in contention for the wallabies 10. God knows we need that. I do fear that even if he plays the house down MC won’t select him.

        • Ads

          I reckon they stuffed up, if as is reported, they didn’t look to cut their losses and partly fund getting Quade to another club. That’s petty, and poor management financially.

        • Purce

          Completely agree with that from a financial management perspective

        • Singapore Sling

          You disagree Pruce? … Good for you mate.

        • Alister Smith

          There might be something to that. Even from a cynical perspective, if you are trying to get the best possible contract price for him to reduce the amount you will pay to another club for him to play with them, then you would want to keep any negative information on the quiet.

        • Alister Smith

          I guess it would be embarrassing for him but they did pay him and if they did honour that part of the agreement I am not sure on what basis he could sue. It is a different situation I know but for some of the other players on the fringe who might be on a $50-100k contract but are not picked I don’t think they could sue for a breach of contract. I guess he has also told him they won’t require him at training but I imagine there are fringe players who that happens to as well. Quade might have got his own legal advice that it wasn’t going to be a worthwhile exercise.

        • Singapore Sling

          The difference with players on the fringe is they are given the opportunity to prove themselves. Quade was excluded from his place of work and denied the opportunity afforded to others opening up a raft of possibilities. People talk about mental health and decency but you wouldn’t treat a brown dog the way Thorn treated Cooper.

          If Thorn or the Reds had given Quade a few months notice and put him on the same contracting cycle as other players in the market it may have been a non event. If Thorns appointment did not provide the time to meet this cycle the Reds board should have forced Thorn to suck it up and work with Quade.

        • Alister Smith

          That presumes that the Reds board weren’t happy with his decision to exclude Quade. I think you are being a bit precious about his treatment. He’s not in a detention centre on Manus Island or living in the rubble in Syria.
          My brown (well black and tan) Kelpie would be happy to run around in another paddock all day but still get her biscuits. Quade still got paid and he had a couple of offers to go elsewhere during the year that, for whatever reason, he was unwilling to take at the time. As a contracted player he must be paid but no player has the right to get picked if he doesn’t fit the coaches and selectors needs.

      • Alister Smith

        Looks like he has only signed for one year. I guess that might be what both QC and Melbourne wanted. It gives him the chance to make the Wallabies and they get a front line (maybe not front of defensive line ;) ) player for a bargain price until Toomua arrives with 2.5 years on his deal. Their salary somberero is compromised and, if he goes well he will be able to potential go to another world cup and sign a 3 year deal with a European or Japanese club to finish off his career. Alternatively, i think BT only signed a two year deal initially so (unless he has renewed it) and he fooks up next year then Quade can come home and finish at the Reds as captain coach.

    • Bakkies

      Dig deeper on his recent Tweets and you will see a Tweet from Rob Penney who is coaching in Japan asking for a PM from Quade or Khoder.

  • John Tynan

    For those of us who are not in NSW and still insist on saying “Lang Park”, what is “McDonald Jones Stadium”?

    • Alex

      Newcastle Knights home ground

      • Nutta

        Cheers. Had me stumped as well.

        • Brumby Runner

          Yeah – never heard of the place. But the headline sort of gave it away …’castle.

        • Bakkies

          Got that Scotland game in the bog out of your head?

        • Hoss

          i was there and its as close to a cyclone i have ever experienced and cold, ball numbing, snot freezing cold.

        • Bakkies

          I take it you haven’t been to the Stade de France out past the northern suburbs of Paris in the middle of nowhere. That area is far colder than central Paris and they have 9pm kickoffs there.

        • Hoss

          I have a few times, but i found a glass or two of the rouge kept ol Jack Frost at bay.

        • Nutta

          I once went and watch NZ Maori play Glasgow Warriors in Perth (west-coast Scotland). 6.30pm kickoff. Late November 1997 I think it was. Damn near died.

        • Ads

          My first game watching footy in England was to see Sale Sharks beat someone (don’t care who) 6 to 3. In horrible 4 degC drizzle/sleet. Maybe they lost 3 to 6. My eyes had frozen over by then. 3 penalty kicks. All game. Why?!
          And then I saw the last or second last proper game at Cardiff Arms (Eng V Wales) in 1997 I think it was. THAT was amazing.

        • Nutta

          I got a game on Cardiff Arms once. Was playing for Mumbles in 96/97 I think. Still makes my arm hairs stand up thinking about it.

        • Hoss

          Know it well mate, Perthshire, i was living / working at Bristol and had a mate who was FC at Glenn Fiddochs at the time who lived in Glasgow and we travelled a bit – home of many Scotch Distilleries (nearly got towelled up in a pub when i asked for ‘dry’ in mine – the pub went quite, they locked the door and these huge Highlanders stood up and walked my way – the bonny lass behind the bar refused to pour it – she said something like, ‘you want to kill it’ ya doooo it yaself’) I was there in 95 & 96.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Freezing cold nights watching the rugby is part of what is fun. When I was studying at Trinity watching the lads play in the winter when it was endlessly raining and chilling you to your bones made you feel alive. Especially going to the Pav afterwards.

        • Nutta

          And that was just the footy. What about the weather?

        • Hoss

          Poey literally got hypothermia that night – and we got rolled FFS.

        • Nutta

          I spent 1/2 a season with Stirling County in the mid 90’s and we dead-set had some sort of dispensation from the Scottish Rugby Union that as long as both Captains agreed, the back3 could wear trackpants under their shorts and socks as otherwise hypothermia was a legitimate risk and games would be (and were) cancelled.

        • Who?

          That’s hilarious – I’ve read on the Rugby Refs forums where refs in the UK have ordered juniors off the field to take off their full length skins bottoms in the snow!

        • Damo

          I played in the Qld Country state champs in Townsville at Easter many moons ago. Finished up peeling from sunburn. What a wonderful game we all love!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Athletic Park in Wellington during a southerly in Mid Winter. Still the coldest I have ever been

        • John Tynan

          Yeah, probably should have worked that out. Although with Raelene Castle being head of RA (work with me..) and NSW being the only province they care about, there are a number of meanings to it….

    • Hoss

      Within staggering distance from The Ponderosa mate – go the Tah’s.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        You’ll be at that game then

        • Hoss

          I am sensing an opportunity for an exclusive GAGR Member only function.

          Game v The Moon-doggies slated for Saturday March 29. Perhaps a late Saturday lunch and drink as an entree to the expected Tah’s rampaging victory.

          Sunday an exclusive Hosspedition to some little known Pokolbin Vineyards and lunch at a hidden treasure

          Naturally ladies welcome.

        • Nutta

          Why are you inviting the Backs?

        • Hoss

          Egalitarian.

        • Greg

          misguided?

        • Hoss

          Well, yes, there is that too.

        • Nutta

          Very noble of you. Misguided. But noble.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It is penciled in the dairy mate

    • Happyman

      Winner of the worst conditions I have ever watched Rugby at Australia v Scotland. O my lord it was cold wet and windy. Apparently even the Scottish players said it was awful.

      • Hoss

        Were you there mate ?

        • Happyman

          Yes mate it was a beautiful afternoon and at about 5pm when on the way to the ground the East Coast low arrived. At about half time I was expecting snow god it was cold.

          First time I have seen a mid field bomb go dead. The gale was blowing straight down the field neither team could get out of the 22.

        • Hoss

          Yep, me too. i was in the Eastern Grandstand. The rain came in at 90 degrees, you couldn’t escape it and cold, i mean i have never experienced cold on the coast like that before and that East Coast Low i thought the roof was gone for sure.

  • Missing Link

    Welcome to Melbourne Mr. Cooper!

    • Bernie Chan

      Crikey…the possible starting XV looks formidable….Sanchez/QC/Toomua (best 9/10/12 combo seen in Wallas colours in recent memory…?) at the controls, Hodge and DHP…a bunch a speedy wingers as well. Luke Jones returns and Naisarani is considered the Wallaby #8 in waiting. If Wessels can coach then 2019 will be huge for the club. QC will be a PR teams dream…he will bring the kids into the mix and memberships will go up 9they dropped for the Reds when he was punted…). Though our clan are long term Reds’ tragics, QC can hold his head high in this matter….the QRU/Reds can re-write the manual on mismanagement as they have set a new low standard.

  • Jason

    I’m sure the Waratahs would be welcome to have their game against the Reds at Ballymore…

    • Pedro

      If you want them to play in front of hostile crowds they should play all of their home games at Subiaco.

      • Who?

        Hmm… SO the Force get dumped after getting a serious stadium upgrade (at NIB), yet the Tahs stick around when they don’t even have a home ground… :-P

  • Hoss

    Good morning huddled masses yearning to breathe free,

    What gloom and foreboding shadow creeps in on this great sight today.

    Forlorn hope, despair, downtrodden,beaten, dismissed and with low expectation.

    That’s not the Australian way – no sirrrreee bob. The Australian way is to get behind these 30 brave & true. Believe a new dawn beckons, that a glimmer of hope is spotted on the burgeoning horizon and that the promise of a sweet nectar of success will once again sit on our lips like the lingering kiss of that youthful beauty that oft visits in the quiet shadows of reflection.

    Stand tall brow-beaten brethren, heads up, backs straight, chests out, inhale with the vigour and passion of belief, pride, resolute conviction.

    Now is the hour, now is the time, now is our moment.

    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of the Nearlies I will fear no evil: for Cheik art with me; thy rod and his staff they comfort me.

    Raise this team up, believe, support and rediscover that which brings us together – victory. Victory against all odds, victory against the tide of darkness, victory that shall reverberate through the ages – victory, sweet victory.

    Then when the good fight is done and our team shrouded in glory – we may pull them all asunder and cast vast amounts of faeces on these Tall Poppies – now THAT’s the Australian way.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha gold mate. Good to see someone else apart from the team is drinking from the cool aid

      • Greg

        I only recently came to understand the origin of “drinking the cool aid”. I can’t really use it any more.

        • Hoss

          it was actually ‘flavour aid’ but Kool Aid plays better.

    • Who?

      The other part of the Aussie way – and those with military histories can probably correct me – is that more often than not in our history, we’ve not had a Monash, we’ve had abysmal generals whose tactics have been ill considered and unsympathetic, leading to successes based solely off the incredible valour of our personnel at the front.
      So perhaps the Aussie way is for the guys to slog their guts out, but then be pilloried for failures of planning and tactics..? :-

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        From memory, the majority of current scholarship when I was last reading it – 2-3 years ago – seemed to fall on the side of the general arguments of lions led by donkeys is somewhat exaggerated although still significantly true in some respects.

    • onlinesideline

      There has been reports a giant 135 kg man in a Wallaby onesey has been walking around the Hunter Valley looking forlorn. Occassionally frequents the local bookstore leaving with vintage black and white photo books of by-gone rugby eras, giving out free rugby balls to the kids and asking them who their favourite players are. Was also seen reminding a few of their mothers that his knickname used to be “Snickers” and handed out a few snicker bars to the kids as well.

      • Hoss

        You have been paying attention.

        • Hoss

          Good – cause there’s a test on this stuff at the end of the season.

    • Nutta

      Well done.

      • Nutta
        • Greg

          now that is petty special!

        • Hoss

          THE MORAL OF THE STORY

          ‘Sometimes in life, a game is not a game. Sometimes what seems like just another event is actually much more. My pride, my honour, my country are not the vehicle for anyone else’s self-aggrandisement and hubris, be it the All Blacks or Quade Cooper.

          Seventeen Tests in a row eh? Fuck ‘em. Belt ‘em’

          Yours is a wasted talent amongst us mere mortals mate.

          Eloquent brutality.

          Maybe just maybe if Steve is seething enough, pure rage simmering just below the surface he can draw up his players as one, so they might deliver something special that we have a marker in time that was truly ours.

        • Damo

          The best part mate was that your coach only gave you 3 things to remember to do. Such clarity of intent would not go astray in our highest echelon of coaching in Oz today. One thing I personally remember was that you did not hang around the breakdown any longer than necessary – especially if you were on the deck or, if you were a back like me, within an arm swing of a forward!

        • Nutta

          That one of the great things about old Soapy our coach- ’twas always a simple message. Brutal & direct, but simple nonetheless.

        • idiot savant

          Your names not Steve Finane is it Nutta? Ah those were the days. Dempsey and McMahon play that way (take it to the bastards). We need more of them.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Fardy had more controlled mongrel than all other Aussie forwards since Deans took over.

          And he was dropped for Dean Mumm and then Ned Hanigan…

        • Nutta

          Nah. I was just a wee pup learning the ways of men.

  • ForceFan

    Good to see Jack Dempsey back in the squad but on the basis of watching him in all of his NRC games, and live in Perth, I hope that he’s seen as part of the Spring Tour rather than part of Bled 3.
    He was enjoying his return from serious injury and was giving things a good crack but well down on match fitness and was carrying plenty of condition.
    IMO not yet ready for Test match rugby let alone a match against the ABs.

  • Alister Smith

    Just finished reading Richie McCaw’s autobiography and I think he put it as follows: “People like Quade get sorted” or words to that effect. I think he subsequently said they have since had beers after the game and there was mutual respect but I also feel that the All Blacks or at least some of them, felt he showed a lack of respect in the past. Perhaps they were confusing his competitiveness with lack of respect (or maybe he is a bit of a c#*&head – i really don’t know personally.

    Certainly I would think that Thorn’s decision not to play him had more to do with the cultural change he was trying to bring to the Reds and his experience with Quade in the previous year when he was in Nick Stiles support staff. I think he has made a decision around acceptable behaviour within the team environment and Hunt and Slipper have been major casualties of that but I think it is easier to understand the action in their cases then it is with Cooper who, from the outside at least, has largely gone about trying to get back in the team through his on field efforts.

    I personally think it is as much about BT wanting to have control over game plan and strategy and to develop the team that he wants to play the game he thinks will have the best chance of winning (or at least playing how he wants). Cooper is a strong personality who probably has a very different approach to those aspects of the game. BT probably thinks it pointless him coaching something all week and then Quade saying once they have run out over the strip that they’ll be playing his way now.

    • Greg

      I think you could be right about Thorn needing control…. but in the end his jobs is to provide the support and the plan for the players to do their thing.

      You can’t control it all from the coaches box. The wonderful plan pretty quickly goes to custard and you have to rely on the team’s ability to adapt and react. This is about the coach ceding control.

      • Who?

        NFL coaches plan out as far as the first 15 downs. Because they control everything on ‘the offence’ – they control who is on the field, how they line up, everything. But even they don’t manage to get through their program most of the time. How you can expect to control everything in Rugby…
        You’ve got to set up structures and patterns and then trust that your players can execute them, and trust that they’ll adjust as needed for the plans to work. Obviously some coaches are better at this than others. Both setting the plans, and trusting the players.
        However, it’s fascinating that a bloke who was part of teams that would go on the field with clear instructions from the coach, then huddle and rewrite them before the game started (according to the interpretation of some on here of Richie’s autobiography’s description of the Crusaders) would have a problem with that. That it’s fine for him and his mates to go totally off script, but he expects complete discipline.

        • Greg

          or it’s religious…..

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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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