Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at the LA Sevens results, a Six Nation paywall, GRR starting up, and the Tahs defending their man.


Aussie Men forth at LA Sevens

The Australian men had a good weekend at the LA Sevens. Currently ranked sixth in the competition our guys managed an impressive fourth place just going down to New Zealand 21-19.

The team started the weekend with three straight wins against Scotland, Samoa and host USA to top Pool C, and then clobbered Ireland 36-0 in their quarter-final matchup to set up a semi-final game against a red hot Fijian team losing 43-7.

Australian men’s coach Tim Walsh said he felt the team had taken a step forward in Los Angeles and would be looking to continue that in Vancouver next weekend.

“This tournament has highlighted that the team has the ability to perform at the top level and under pressure,” he said.

“We had a great performance on day one and carried that momentum into day two against Ireland, however, were unable to break through a strong Fijian defence and found ourselves in a highly competitive match against New Zealand playing off for third.

“Lachlan Miller had an outstanding weekend in the gold jersey, the way he continued to find space and his support play was second to none while Nick Malouf continued to lead from the front, especially in that final game against New Zealand.

“There has been a lot of progress here, and we want to carry on our work into Vancouver.”

The trans-Tasman rivals went toe-to-toe in their playoff but it was the Kiwis who ultimately clung on for the medal.

South Africa and Fiji met in the decider and it initially looked as though Fiji would romp home after jumping out of the blocks.

The Blitzboks clawed their way back into the contest to even things up at full-time.and Sakoyisa Makata’s extra-time try proved the ultimate winner.

 

Six Nation not looking at our mistakes

RBS Six Nations trophy – Photo credit Inpho and RBS Six Nations

After years of falling ratings tucked away on pay-TV screening games to a small percentage of the population Australian rugby knows a little about selling your soul for the cash. In all that time the powers that be up north have smiled smugly while their competitions flourished.

Now pay-TV’s chequebook is opening for the Six Nations and the union’s eyes are wide with anticipation. This year’s Six Nations, which ends on 14 March, is shown for free on BBC and ITV. The games have not been behind a paywall for two decades.

But not everyone is onboard. The Six Nations is an “integral part of Welsh culture and identity” and must remain on free-to-air television, the leader of Plaid Cymru said.

Adam Price has written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) asking for it to be protected on terrestrial television.

“Both the Six Nations and the game of rugby itself is an integral part of Welsh culture and identity,” he said.

“It is bitterly ironic that as we celebrate St David’s Day – the patron saint of Wales, and take pride in all the little things that make us proud to be Welsh, we discover that we may soon be priced out of our own culture.”

The Six Nations chief executive officer, Benjamin Morel, said a report that a decision had been taken to move all the matches off free-to-air TV was “highly premature” but the door has been left open to such an outcome.

The Rugby Paper said Sky Sports had become favourites to land a deal worth £300m and bring the Six Nations off terrestrial television “until 2024 at the earliest”.

The BBC and ITV combined to outbid Sky when the last TV deal was negotiated, securing a deal said to be worth £90m.

However, no joint bids are being allowed in the next round of negotiations.

“By ruling out any joint bids it’s almost as if the Six Nations are clearing the way for Sky,” the Rugby Paper quotes an industry source as saying. “There is a very real danger that they will be prepared to sacrifice the big audiences on BBC and ITV for more money.”

All Systems Go For GRR

Global Rapid Rugby kicks off in eleven days but it hasn’t been all clear sailing for Australia’s newest rugby comp. The Coronavirus in Asia has hindered travel arrangements and forced a re-gig of games and locations.

“We are ready and can’t wait to launch our competition,” Global Rapid Rugby CEO, Mark Evans, said.

“The situation in China and its effects elsewhere have meant the schedule has been amended a little but, I’m proud to say, there is not one hurdle we have not been able to overcome. The health and welfare of the players, the coaches and our fans has been our number one concern and we have followed the advice of all relevant authorities, including the World Health Organisation, every step of the way.”

The major alteration to the schedule surrounds home games for the China Lions, a team jointly supported by the China Rugby Football Association and New Zealand domestic powerhouse Bay of Plenty that was drawn to play three home games in Shanghai and two in Rotorua.

Restrictions on sporting teams entering China means that games can no longer be played in Shanghai. The Lions will now play three home games in New Zealand and Rapid Rugby is working closely with Rugby Australia to provide a venue for two games in Australia.

“It’s exciting to think that within six hours, six teams representing the rich tradition of Australia and New Zealand, the exciting potential of Asia, and the raw talent of the Pacific Islands will be on show and growing the game of rugby,” Evans said.

“It is all systems go for Global Rapid Rugby in 2020.”

Waratahs Report Eye contact.

Ruben Schoeman resetting Rob Simmons nose.

Gun Green And Gold Rugby photographer Peter Mitchell was the right man in the right place when he got the shot of the night in the Tahs 29-17 win over the Lions.

Peter’s photo of Lions skipper, Ruben Schoeman, examining Rob Simmons eyeballs from behind has made news today with the Waratahs officially calling on SANZAAR to investigate the incident.

Footage of the incident in the 23rd minute shows Schoeman trying to stop Simmons going through the middle of a maul and then touching, albeit for a short period of time, the second-rower’s eye with his middle and ring finger.

Simmons did not appear to react to the contact and got up and continued to play. The incident occurred just after Schoeman returned to the field from an earlier scuffle with Simmons that saw him yellow carded.

World Rugby laws state that “a player must not physically or verbally abuse anyone. Physical abuse includes, but is not limited to, biting, punching, contact with the eye or eye area”.

 It is unclear whether SANZAAR will take the matter further and while the Waratahs did not want to comment publicly when sent the photo by The Sun-Herald, officials were hopeful the incident would be looked at when footage of the match is reviewed.

The Waratahs said Simmons did not suffer any injuries as a result of the incident, however, admitted the photo was not a good look for the game.

A SANZAAR spokesperson said only that “normal citing procedures will apply”.

For too many years Australian rugby has had a ‘what happens on the field stays on the field’ attitude. It’s good to see a club standing up for it’s players.

  • Gottsy

    Justice for Simmo

    • Yowie

      Not everyone’s favourite Metallica album though (no bass in the mix and some of the songs go for too long).

  • Patrick

    Frankly, go rapid rugby! I have no idea if it will succeed or if the format is any good but a bit of competition is a healthy thing I think. My hope is that in a few years we have a ration system.

    One possibility, which does not sound very rational but might actually work, would be with two regional tiers and relegation, with the top tier being basically super rugby with 12 teams, and twin second tiers. The first of the twin second tiers could be “Asia”, with say 4 or 5 Aussie teams, 2 pacific teams and 2 actual Asian teams and perhaps a few kiwi teams, and the other second tier could be “Americas” with perhaps 5 or 6 South African teams, one or two Argie teams and perhaps an American and Canadian team?

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Sully, I was lucky enough to watch a few of the 7’s games on the HSBC7s app and it was great. The boys played well right to the end and are showing a lot of improvement this year. Hope it continues.
    Good luck GRR I hope it goes well. Friggen Coronavirus is keeping me from enjoying the local bars and restaurants which will make this last 2 months a bit sucky.
    6N may well regret the decision to go behind a paywall but it’ll take a few years for the results and it’ll be the paywall provider that will lose out more. I can’t see the crowds dropping off too much and rugby will have the money. It’ll be interesting to see if the Welsh government have the ability to influence this at all but I’m not so sure they can.
    Interesting that Simmons hasn’t said anything about the gouging and maybe the photo is more damaging than the actual incident. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player gouged who hasn’t complained so not sure it’ll go anywhere just because of that

    • Keith Butler

      If it was based on the still photo only you’d be thinking a hefty ban but real time may paint a different picture. Could still get a few weeks though for contact with the eye area. Also reminds me, how often to we see players being held round the neck in rolling mauls or rucks without being penalised. Obviously not as dangerous as a head high tackle but nevertheless could do damage.

      • Yowie

        I don’t think I’ve ever seen a player gouged who hasn’t complained

        I’ve been gouged at Suncorp Stadium. I only bought 2 beers and some hot chips and got stuff-all change out of $25.

        • Keith Butler

          Been there done that. Got bitten on the elbow once. Took note of the bloke that did it and at the next maul got hold of handful of wedding tackle and gave it a good yank and twist. Not surprisingly he struck out. Easiest 3 pts we ever got.

        • Nutta

          I once played a few games of village rugby in France. I recall getting an in-depth education about eye-gouging in a bar. This is how it was explained to me…

          An open hand, giving a bit of massage, creates a bit of panic in the recipient but rarely does any real damage. It’s not cool but it’s not “gouging”. Besides the ever-reliable thumb-poke, putting your middle finger over the top of your pointer finger is a good way to set your hand to poke someone properly. But be sure to have a small downward bend in your fingers or they can bend back the other way and break. But that’s a poke and not a “gouge”. Once the attacker starts hooking their fingers and dragging that can get nasty quite quick. But it’s hooking. It’s not “gouging”. Gouging is when you take a finger or two and possibly a thumb to insert, twist and pull. That’s gouging.

          The nastiest I ever saw was a guy who jammed his thumb down the outside of the eye-socket and then closed his fingers around the ear and side of the head. He then squeezed and twisted out, breaking out the eye-socket and causing real problems behind and into the guys ear. Nasty stuff. That was in Ireland in a game up on the border.

          To be crystal clear, I don’t condone any of the above.

        • Yowie

          It makes me laugh to read (in my head) the above description of the finer points of eye gouging being delivered in a sophisticated French accent with the mannerisms of a sommelier.

        • Nutta

          Yeh – the tasting notes would be interesting. Lingering hints of fresh grass, asparagus and a zephyr of summer peach…

        • Yowie

          …the recipient having a lovely sense of terroir

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I remember club rugby in England being pretty brutal at times too

        • Keith Butler

          It was KARL. Particularly for us soft southerners when we travelled to all points north, west and of course the welcoming Welsh.

        • There’s always a warm welcome for the English. The term I most commonly heard (for a long time I didn’t actually realise it was two words) translates most directly as “English devils” so we trust try to make you feel at home back in Hell :)

        • Keith Butler

          I remember St Helens, The Gnoll and Rodney Parade very well. Not such a warm welcome on the pitch but good craic afterwards. Those were the days.

        • Keith Butler

          Ah the French. The nation that invented gouging.

        • Nutta

          I found no irony in having such a discussion in France.

        • Yowie

          In the 1999 Wold Cup final when John Eales threatened to walk the Aussie team off the field unless the ref did something about the French foul play. Meanwhile over in the French huddle:-

          “oo are deese colonials with no appreciation of ze finer arts of rugbee?”

        • Nutta

          Monsieur Pierre FitzSimons may have a bit to say about “l’art de l’oeil” as well.

        • Geoffro

          His contemporary Richard Loe was the master.Finessed in French rugby as well I think

        • Nutta

          I believe so. I had a crack at filthy Kiwi’s last week but out of respect for Karl I was keeping clear. Ahhh… the sweet stench of iron in the air…

        • Geoffro

          It’s pretty mild these days.Was a mere slip of a lad but still carried weekly ruck scars and still remember with vehemance when the thug Meads ended the career of probably our greatest ever , Kenny Catchpole through foul play.

        • Parker

          That atrocity happened right before my eyes when as a 7 year old I stood with my father right up against the SCG fence. I’d already been a little spooked by the haka and was then deeply troubled by the violence in that ruck. Took me many a year to dissipate the abiding hatred for big men in black that was triggered that day.

        • Geoffro

          Aye.As a fledgling backrower it did little to inspire my mum who signed me up to play league the next season.When I returned to union I avoided much of that foolishness by playing in the outside backs :)

        • Nutta
        • Keith Butler

          If you’ve got a moment look up Michael Palmie. Part of the French GS winning pack in 1977. He partial blinded someone with one punch. Also check out Gerard Cholley, nicknamed the Beast of Bezier. They were the most fearsome unit I’ve ever seen, without doubt.

        • Nutta

          I’m familiar with the work of the Artist formally known as Cholley. Palmie I am not so familiar with though… research…

        • AllyOz

          Yes the good old days….some of it is good to be gone. I can never remember in country rugby in Australia having anything much around the head. Biting and gouging (or any of the listed French variants above) never occurred much to my knowledge, the “squirrel grip” was looked down about. We punched, we rucked pretty heavily and it might have occasionally looked like stomping but rarely to the head (or testicles) and some of the tackles were a bit high. Still, I am not sad to see most of that go (though I do occasionally wonder if we would have a quicker game if some elements of rucking was still allowed).

        • Nutta

          I got bitten in a game in southern NSW once. That hurt. But your comments are pretty accurate. I still ruck a bit but I make sure my shoulders are well past the ball and just churn the feet and I generally don’t get penalised. It’s funny to see the kids come out after it looking aghast and to be fair, most of the older Refs shrug and say words to the effect of “He was playing at the ball, you must roll away.” Then at the next quiet moment they may have something discrete to say in my ear… But yes – it does tend to speed up the clearance rate in a lower-grade game.

        • Keith Butler

          TV and video have sanitised our game. Back in the day, if you had the mind, you could literally get away with murder. As an ex lock it was not unknown to slip your bind and ‘pull one through’ on the opposite hooker/prop. Mind you retribution was equally as quick.

        • Nutta

          As the recipient Hooker of such attentions in my younger days I always felt a non-verbal comment using my hooking knee was the most apt response.

        • Keith Butler

          An appropriate response.

  • Keith Butler

    Looks like the Telerights virus has spread north with a possible Sky takeover and no free to air tv internationals. Money as ever talks and sod the fans. Never played rugby in Oz ( too old) but spent 20 odd years at the same club in the UK in the amateur days of the 70s and 80s. Grass roots rugby was thriving then. We regularly ran 6 teams on a Saturday. That same club, in Nat League Div 1 now only runs 1 team with some semi pro players. There was a very interesting article in the Guardian a few days ago bemoaning the fact that the professional game and league systems right down to the lowest level (where 1st xv players get travel expenses) are slowly strangling grassroots rugby. Don’t have any knowledge of the club systems here apart from SR, NRC and the big comps in NSW and QLD. Is/has club rugby gone the same way?

    • AllyOz

      My old club in Brisbane is a Hospitals Cup side. I think it still maintains 6 grades and 3 colts sides plus Womens teams – so it is probably as healthy or maybe a bit healthier than it was when i last played in 2007. I also don’t know if any players are paid by the club – I can never remember it being so in my day but they would have been the sorts of arrangements that wouldn’t have been publicised.

      I suspect many of the country clubs I played for would be struggling to maintain their teams. A combination of drought, changing demographics, more immigration to the cities.

      It’s also in my mind that younger people today probably don’t play team sports as much or at least don’t maintain it for as long. I played into my mid 30s in Australia, coached and made a playing comeback at 39 when I had a year overseas. I noticed in the UK that people seemed to play a little bit older (maybe the grounds weren’t as hard, maybe the travel wasn’t as cumbersome, maybe there is something different around lifestyles and other options here).

      Towards the end of my time playing it seemed rare to have blokes playing past 30 here in Australia and perhaps less appetite to drift back down through the grades as you got older. I think, if I am correct, then that is a shame because you used to learn a lot from those grizzled veterans (both in the team and in the opposition) when you were going up through the grades as a youngster.

      • Keith Butler

        Cheers AO. Pretty much the same story for me. One club, started at the bottom as 17 yr old had 2or 3 seasons at the top level, drifted down, did an RFU coaching course and ended up coaching the 3rd to 6ths. No easy task I have to say.

        • AllyOz

          very similar experience – coached 3rd & 4ths while playing 5ths in my last two seasons

        • Nutta

          Similar story. Started playing opens footy for the local country town side I would come home from boarding school for holidays. Played wherever I got a run. Even though always a front-rower at school it was always 6/7/11/14 back home – I was a kid after all. My proper scrummage & game education started once I left school at the hands of afore-mentioned grizzlies and made me grow up in more than 1 way. I was lucky enough to be at a club renown for scrummage and endowed with a small army of fronties to learn off. I try and do the same now – always happy to share as I’m playing 3/4/5ths and we aren’t playing for sheep stations. I still enjoy playing. I’m not a good Coach (I manage folk for a living so I’m not pandering to fkwits on my own time) but I’m happy to be a Trainer and will go to whatever club asks and spend some time (usually Tues nights) going back through the basics of scrum/lineout/ruck/maul with an eye to making sure everyone knows their role, recognises the importance of binding and has decent body-shape. Country footy is struggling but Sydney Subbies is still pretty strong numbers wise. But 1st Div Subbies 1st Grade (Kentwell Cup) has dropped in standard significantly since they enforced an amateur status on the game.

      • Geoffro

        remember well getting schooled by a bunch of fat old blokes when I subbed out of colts.Happy enough to go back to my own age group after that experience

    • It’s a bit more complicated. The BBC and ITV both majorly hacked off the Tories in the run up to the general election. Ofcom more or less told the Tories to grow up and grow a pair, but that hasn’t stopped them.

      There are major moves afoot to basically tear up the BBC’s mandate and dismantle it or completely reshape it. It will be wildly unpopular, akin to dismantling the NHS but the mad inner circle seem more willing to take on that fight because they hate the journalists with a passion that rivals Trump’s.

      So, taking the 6N away from the BBC and ITV… petty little step in the war but an easy win for them.

      • Keith Butler

        Cheers EP. Now where have I heard that one before. A certain LNP (IPA) and the ABC.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Cannot wait for GRR. The Force looks strong again smashing a Newcastle team reinforced by Shute Shield players this weekend. What a fantastic 7s final with the Blitzboks showcasing the benefits of a never ever give up attitude coming from behind in extra time to clinch a win. I hope we will not get to a situation where teams will study the match game recording to look for “evidence” of some compromised material that can be used to accuse players of foul play.

  • Who?

    ‘Normal citing procedures will apply.’
    As in, if it’s an Aussie, they’ll be cited. If it’s a Kiwi in SA, they’ll be cited. If it’s a Saffa, it depends on what the lucky eight ball says.

    • Yowie

      I’ve pasted a comment from the South African rugby forum so save people clicking on a link:-

      “While chewing my biltong I’ve been looking at that photo. Rob Simmons is deliberately squinting really hard on Ruben Schoeman’s hand, causing Schoeman to open his mouth to say “aaahh!” due to the pain.”

      • Keith Butler

        Class mate.

  • ForceFan

    Thanks for the mention of GRR Sully.
    First games in <2 weeks.
    Double header at HBF Park on 14 March.

    • Crescent

      Any info on where we can watch? I assume it will be streamed at the minimum. Keen to watch the first season of the full blown competition. Was able to watch the exhibition series on TV – hoping this season also has coverage.

      • JJ

        I heard Hodgo say in an interview that GRR would be on Kayo, RugbyPass and other streaming services. Not sure about SBS as per last year.

        • Crescent

          Cheers – appreciated!

    • All your work mate. Peaked my interest.

  • JJ

    Compliments to GAGR who always report on developments at GRR and the Western Force. Clearly by the number of comments there many who are interested. Another well known rugby website, who no doubt receive the same press releases, seem to be studiously ignoring the GRR and the Force. Well done GAGR, keep it up.

  • juswal

    Today’s Geerob effort to destabilise Raelene Castle and the broadcasting negotiations features yesterday’s man, John O’Neill, bloviating that “The main game is having the new chair and new board take ownership of the broadcasting negotiations ASAP and everyone laying down tools until then.” He adds that “a non-negotiable condition for the new chair” is the willingness to travel overseas at least five times a year for SANZAAR and WR junkets.

    https://www.smh.com.au/sport/rugby-union/we-don-t-need-hobby-farmers-cracks-appear-as-rugby-faces-overhaul-20200302-p5463s.html

    • Who?

      I wonder how JON would’ve felt if he’d had such an active and interfering Chair when he was CEO…
      .
      GeeRob really does know how to infuriate the Rugby public, doesn’t she? Has she ever written an article that wasn’t in some way divisive, let alone one that was widely acclaimed as insightful..?

      • AllyOz

        I can’t remember now who was on which side but I seem to remember that it was the then Fairfax media that, almost single-handedly took it upon themselves to undermine McKenzie’s position at coach. A lot of innuendo about McKenzie-Patson etc. that was only being reported in the SMH etc and not so much elsewhere. At the risk of getting litigated many of those stories came through Gee Rob. At the time it seemed like a coordinated effort from one side of the media to force change of the coach (and an almost equally coordinated effort to resist it). There is some rugby writing that is the equivalent of New Idea – we saw it around this incident with Beale-McKenzie-Patston and also around Israel Folau and none of it is worth reading. As a game we could do without it.

      • Parker

        Mate, most Aussie journos don’t think they’ve done their job unless they’ve stirred up some controversy. Their role is not to create an informed public as much as an agitated one. It’s cynical, dispassionate agitprop, and I don’t mean a fired up Nutta.

    • Yowie

      …O’Neill, who earlier this year ruled himself out of the running for chair,…

      [nfos/] A minor point, but John O’Neill has prior form in terms of weasel words to disguise his intentions.

      If I recall correctly, in his autobiography he talks about the lead-in to his second stint at the ARU. He stated publicly that he “would not be a candidate” for the job (with the silent second part being that he would accept a direct offer of the job which of course he then did).

NSW Waratahs
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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