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

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Hi Everyone. Sadly we have decided to shut down the news for a while. There is no rugby which means there is very little news to talk about.

Rest assured we will be back when the rugby comes back. We will miss the banter and camaraderie in the comments and hope the news is back quickly.

With thanks

The Green and Gold Rugby news team.

 

  • Steve

    Damn. I’m sitting in my bedroom in London with what I believe are the early symptoms of COVID-19 and this was my last daily form of entertainment!

    Could you all not just make up some news every day and post it up for us to talk about? FOX has been doing it for literally years and it honestly doesn’t seem that difficult.

    In all seriousness it makes sense, I hope everyone stays healthy and safe.

    • Yowie

      Could you all not just make up some news every day and post it up for us to talk about?

      Agreed. Plus game reports for the games I’d like to see. To save typing a full list I’ll summarise by saying that the Reds win every game by at least 20 points (including from the Reds scrum pushing 20m through the opposition to the tryline), and in the Reds v Waratahs game there are a number of amusing incidents where the Waratahs players crash into each other, drop the ball and fall on the ground to the tune of Benny Hill music.

      • AllyOz

        that was last week’s game against the Chiefs in Woolloongong wasn’t it

      • Damo

        Even better. Netflix rushes out a 15 episode series “The Reds Hunt for October”. Follow the weekly exploits of the mighty Reds as they battle every adversity including evil referees to finally triumph in the Super Rugby final. Brad Thorn plays Jack Ryan playing Brad Thorn (with sub titles). CGI crowds. I’ll be watching.

        • Yowie

          I like it.

          “Engage shilent drive” would be the lineout call for the driving maul move to follow.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mr Thorn, One ping and one ping only!

        • Yowie

          haha, is that Tupou’s penalty limit for the game?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep.

        • Nutta

          Thorn? Or Nate Myles? Wrong code?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well Mr Vassilly just didnt sound right in this context.
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeO4SV-wghs

        • Nutta

          Ahhhh. Missed that reference entirely did I. Apologies. Apologies.

        • Yowie

          It was a pretty sophisticated reference. Like Brad Thorn, Sam Neill is a Kiwi that we’ve claimed as an Aussie (at least until either/both make enough of a mess of something to be disclaimed).

        • Brisneyland Local

          All good old chap!

        • AllyOz

          that’s a faultless Russian accent..

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes the Celtic Russian!

      • Reds Revival

        I’m missing watching sport already. In fact, it’s got to the point where I’m starting to barrack for the state with the most number of reported cases. Go Vic!

        • Yowie

          I reckon WA should be excluded from that “most reported virus cases” competition, just to keep Victoria in it. The “exclude WA” process should be initially promised to be quick, but ultimately drawn-out over a long period.

        • Reds Revival

          But what if they offered to merge the ACT and WA numbers to make them more competitive?

        • Yowie

          Nah, vested interests mean it’s a done deal.

          WA might have try their luck with a new rapid-acting virus strain affecting them and certain Asian countries.

        • Parker

          Gold. Kudos to Reds Revival and Yowie for a million dollar riff.

        • We are falling behind a bit here on the count..
          Writing was on the wall really.

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          Go to a coles or woolies around 0800….it is full contact mmc meets running with bulls, insane stuff.

        • Christopher

          Very funny

        • Yowie

          Bloody NSW ahead on the competition by a fair margin thanks to their bigger budget and overseas imports. Typical.

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    Hooper is confident that the Tahs will recover well.

    Raelene is inspecting RA, and has found that the Corona virus has exposed the foundations and the castle is built upon sand.

    The NBA aren’t expecting to resume their season till June at best.

    • AllyOz

      Yes and with the NBA, that might be based on the fact that they are going into their summer and, there are some suggestions that the infection rates may slow as temperatures rise. However, other places I have read they say they don’t really know that will occur and that it’s just supposition as to how the virus may react if its similar to other flu viruses.

      • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

        I feel as though the winter sports seasons here might end up being cancelled, cause we coming into flu season.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      The Tahs will now have plenty of opportunity to train well with no more pesky matches to dent their confidence. Perfect.

    • Gipetto

      I can only hope Raelene and the Board receive their full salaries for the year. No need to pay the players; they can’t go overseas now for any reason.

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    For those interested in American Rugby (NFL) the Houston Texans traded DeAndre Hopkins, a 4th round pick and a 2021 2nd Round pick to the Arizona Cardinals and got running back David Johnson.

    The NFC West is going to be the NFC Wild Wild West this year.

  • Greg

    Very sad but it is reality.

    The govt seems to be largely relying on individuals and corporations to do what is needed rather than taking the lead. If you did not see Q&A last night it is worth reviewing online.

    Stay healthy everyone and take care of your community.

  • Keith Butler

    Damn. Even cancelled my Kayo sub so things must be bad. Stay safe everyone.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Cheers Sully, bit of a shit situation but completely understandable. Be safe

  • AllyOz

    Finally a solution to my GAGR addiction…my bosses will be so happy. I need to stage my return to being a productive member of the work force otherwise they will be on to me.

    • Yowie

      Perhaps some AA style group meetings for GAGR chat addicts are the solution?

      In an online comments forum obviously.

  • Hoss

    Thanks Sully,

    To all – do your bit, stay safe, stay sane and practise some decent humanity to those in need and we will get through this and be stronger for it if we all make some simple sacrifices

    Until we meet again farewell & adieu.

    I bow out with a quote from one of the great 21st Century Leaders

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pgWyWxu4FwY

    .

  • Yowie

    https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2020/mar/16/beware-sporting-disaster-capitalists-crisis-go-to-waste

    Speculative article on general “disaster capitalist” mischief that might gain a leg-up in the business end of the sporting world.

    With rugby broadcasting up in the air, a WA rival code staking out its space, always-fidgety South Africans, RA board movements, etc. we may be in for some interesting times.

    • JJ

      “a WA rival code staking out its space” ???

      Leave the word “code” out of that sentence please.

      GRR has World Rugby, RA, NZRU and Asian Rugby boards approval.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      Looking back to the history of the world wars, the biggest usually benefit long term in these type of situations (eg. the AFL), particularly when they can keep going while others can’t. It would be a good idea for RA to get together with Twiggy to at least try for a lively domestic fill-in comp for TV. Lack of live crowds may be a leveller.

      • Yowie

        So the AFL were war profiteers. Typical.

      • Reds Revival

        Andrew, I read today that The Pirate has been in regular contact with Mark Evans at the Force, with the view to bring them in on an “ad hoc” local comp if Super Rugby is going to be called off this year. I would love to see that happen, and it would be even better if a couple of the Force boys got called into the Wallabies squad.

      • Patrick

        AFL will be over soon, they are kidding themselves.

  • Reds Revival

    I can’t believe that I’m going to say this, but I feel sorry for the Waratahs this year. Actually, no I don’t. Who I feel sorry for is Penney. The Waratahs are in this position because of their own poor decisions over several years (extending Gibson, letting Cron go, poor player acquisition and retention, piss poor use of the NRC etc. etc.).
    I fear that he hasn’t even started the process of creating the sort of culture that the Brumbies have, and that the Reds are developing. It looks like it is going to be a long slow process for him to get them back into serious contention. But in the meantime, I am going to love seeing all the other teams put 50 on them.

    • Patrick

      Drunk their own koolaid.

    • I think that’s a fair shout all round. The Tahs are a mess and Penney is the poor sod in charge.

      The Brumbies look good, the Reds were clearly developing a good culture and it was starting to come through as well. Developing that will take time – if we look at the Reds, however much you individually like Thorn or not, it’s taken him 2 years and into his third for it to really start to show. I don’t know if Penney will have as long to do it but he probably needs it.

      • Brumby Runner

        I blame Cheika for the Tahs’ woes. He kept selecting the likes of Beale, Hanigan, AAC, Simmons, Foley, Phipps etc, and the Pooper, in the national team even though better options were available elsewhere. What was NSW (Gibson et al) meant to do. Couldn’t very well sack any of the incumbents but had to rely on a couple of them to see the light and take up overseas contracts.

        • I can’t believe I’m going to defend Cheika but… only half the Pooper was a Tah IIRC? And while I’m in a minority and wouldn’t pick him, I think the half that was, and still is, a Tah would be inked in to most people’s G&G side over Cheika’s tenure and in 2020.

          As for what Gibson is meant to do – can I point you at a little known outfit that play over the ditch in Christchurch. Last year they had a Kiwi supporter’s wet dream of AB’s scattered throughout the team, and have for the last… well 25 years pretty much. But with resting players, smart substitutions and so on, they’ve not only developed young talent (a separate issue) but they’ve nurtured it and got it ready to play SR when the big names have retired. Twice they managed to go back-to-back-to-back and while we won’t know for sure, at the point play was suspended you wouldn’t be laughed out of town if you suggested four-in-a-row title winners. (The other Kiwi clubs and the SA clubs manage it too, as do the other Aussie clubs in fairness, but managing all those wins in a row really stands out.)

          You can certainly argue that they have a better crop of fresh talent to integrate, although that doesn’t really hold for the Aussie clubs, but they also handle it better. When Cheika, right or wrong, mandated those games rest for the Wallabies last year, why was it the Tahs that got into a pickle and ended up playing Harrison in 2 key matches at the end of the season? With virtually no match time in the previous was it 3 seasons? Every other coach managed it better… Gibson deserves a chunk of the blame for not managing his wider squad better too.

        • Who?

          I’m with Eloise. It’s not Cheika’s fault that Gibson failed to develop or sign depth at lock. Simmons is the only real lock the Tahs have had, with Staniforth a signing who’s not been developed (if you listened to the press over the last week, his old team mates were calling him a ‘tall prop’ – i.e. saying he’s gotten fat). Gibson moved Holloway to lock. He also consistently picked light back rows. So the Tahs were built to play a fast, wide, rangey game, not having huge power to punch through the middle. Gibson managed to execute this game plan across a season once, in 2018.
          .
          But it was patently obvious to all and sundry that it’s not a sustainable game plan. You can get away with it in an ambush setting, but, sooner or later, someone’s going to catch you, hold you down, and maul you into the dust. And when it happens once, it’ll happen again and again.
          .
          Further, as Eloise pointed out, Gibson’s failures in developing players, in giving younger players and understudies any real opportunity aren’t Cheika’s fault. The lack of game time for Mac Mason – who’s effectively now been surpassed by Harrison and looks to have had his career curtailed by being signed to the Tahs (something that rarely happens!) – the choice not to rest his Wallabies evenly throughout the year last year… These can’t be pinned on Cheika.
          .
          I’m not saying that Beale, Hanigan, Foley, Phipps and Hooper being there weren’t Cheika’s preference. But it’s also worth remembering those guys were Tahs for a long time, if not from their debut. AAC? If Cheika wanted him, he had the right to select him from overseas, so Cheika can’t be blamed for that. Simmons? He ALWAYS cops it on here, but you don’t play Matfield or even Sam Whitelock if you need an enforcer or a dominating tight ball runner. You pick your other lock or blindside for that role (and Gibson never got that right). And if Simmons hadn’t signed with the Tahs, he may well have gone to the Rebels. Because the Reds did what you said the Tahs couldn’t do – they chose not to sign him. If the Reds could do that, why couldn’t the Tahs? Similarly, Hooper’s issue is balance in the back row – an issue Lord Laurie and Jake understood when Hooper was a Brumby.

        • AllyOz

          if you listened to the press over the last week, his old team mates were calling him a ‘tall prop’
          They might be saying he can’t jump…from a poor jumping lock who played a bit of prop.

  • Who?

    So… How do we feel the season’s gone so far for the teams? If the season ends here, who gets a pass, who gets a fail?
    .
    Tahs, it’s pretty obvious as a club it’s a fail. But Penney and the young guys can’t be blamed. I do find irony in the fact that Covid 19’s left Beale unable to surpass Fat Cat for most club caps.
    .
    Rebels. I really don’t know how to rank them. They lost a lot of experience after last year (Genia, Cooper, Coleman), they’ve had a couple of reasonable wins to finish the season… Maybe a pass, after a very weak start?
    .
    Reds. The Reds are finally showing some capacity to play an ensemble game. They’ve held tough and been right in the game against some of the toughest teams in the comp, and started the season with in arduous road trip. But they’ve only won twice, and those wins – big wins – have come against cellar dwellers. And they’ve not lost any talent from last year. I read them to be in 10th on the table – I’m not sure that’s a notable improvement?
    .
    Brumbies. A big tick for McKellar. He’s lost arguably the most influential team member in the comp (Leali’ifano, effectively the godfather of the team), the best Aussie lock (Rory Arnold) and a heap more experience at lock (Carter), but he’s put together a group who play as more than the sum of their parts. Be it bringing through young blood (Lolesio) or bringing back guys who’d faded from view (Neville).
    .
    Those are my views, but I’m happy to be corrected. Discuss..?

    • Reds Revival

      Fair call, Who.

      I think Gibson has a lot to answer for with the current state of the ‘Tahs, and Penney will have to do some blood letting with a couple of the under performing experienced Tahs to let the young blood come through.
      Like you, I’m unsure of the Rebels. They seem to be on the right trajectory, but we said that last year for it to all fall in a heap. I believe that Dave Wessels is doing a reasonable job this year, with the squad that he has. I will probably reserve my decision on their season until they have played the Reds and Brums (if the local derbies go ahead).
      I might be a little biased here, but I think that the Reds are a definite improvement this year. I think that once this young team gets a few confidence building wins under their belt, they will be hard to stop. I would still mark their season as a pass this year, and Brad Thorn has done enough to earn a contract extension. I like what he is building.

      The Brumbies are the stand out team due to their consistency and their attacking flair. Like several of the Kiwi teams, any team has to play a really good 80 minute game to get past these guys (especially since their win against the Chiefs).

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I think Arnold was Australia’s best player last year.

    • I think it’s absolutely fair on the Tahs and Brumbies, with a mild note of caution on the latter. If the Rebels and the Reds are poor teams, they’re playing in a really weak conference, so beating up 4 weak sides isn’t that great. Losing to the Landers, weakest side in the NZ this year (however controversially) not great. So one win against an undeniably good side is not necessarily great.

      However, I think the Rebels and the Reds would both have been in with a shout of at least one round of finals play this season. Probably not both of them, but they’d be in the fight until deep in the season. They both had slow starts, for different reasons. The Rebels lost a load of players, and have started to gel and would probably have got some good wins. The Reds had away to the Brumbies, Lions (and some interesting refereeing) and Jaguares (and although I think they’d still have lost, more interesting refereeing), then loses to the top of the SA and NZ conferences – matches they were in both of, particularly the Saders. On the back of that, a rather excellent comeback from 17-points down, ok agains the Bulls, but still showing great resilience. That’s a pretty rough start and a team that looks like it has self-belief and would have got better.

      However, I think the Brumbies are a decent side and in a full season they’d have beaten more good sides, and as I’ve just suggested, I don’t think the Rebels and Reds are as bad as their start suggests.

      So, I’m going to agree with that big tick for McKellar. I’m going to fail the Tahs, but not mark Penney because he’s not had enough time. I’m going to give the Rebels and Reds tentative passes. I think my soubriquet that the Reds are the unluckiest side this year is sticking – four more weeks and three wins (2 at least, but a possible win over the Brumbies too) and the season has a very different complexion.

      • HK Red

        EP, I agree with a lot of what you’ve said there but I’m going to give the Reds more than a pass. I think they’ve showed real promise and resilience, apart from the odd slip. They’ve run “much better” teams very close which is encouraging. I think the reffing in the lions game was appalling and cost them 4 points, I think the same with the Jags match. One caveat, I think after that ridiculous scrum penalty in the Jags game, they got frustrated and gave up, allowing themselves to be overrun. Those additional 8 points puts them 2nd in the Aus conference and 5th overall, which gives a very different look to their season. Anyway, they’re a young team and can only get better from here, though I do think Thorn needs to move on into more of an oversight role.

        • I agree about the Lions game and the ref, I’m less sure about the Jaguares, although I accept that’s one way to read the match. I’m not sure how much the fatigue of three opening away matches, including Canberra to Jo’berg to BA had to do with the loss.

          It’s why I said I think the Reds are continuing to be the unluckiest team of the season. I think they’re a good side. I think by the end of the year, if it wasn’t truncated, when everyone else had had their SA road trip and and all the SA teams have toured NZ and Australia there would have been a decent chance for the Reds to be top 8 overall. I’m just not quite brave enough to be sure of that…

          As for Thorn, I’m a bit confused by your statement. If he’s the head coach that’s brought the Reds to the point you describe, why does he need to move on?

        • Happyman

          EP it is hard to think about Thorn he has put together a decent young squad. I just wonder if he has the intellectual ability to take them to the next level. I think the addition of McKay to the coaching team is huge if BT leaves the attack to him. An older hardheaded like Horwill coming back for one more year would have been interesting they just don’t seem to have any real IP.

        • yup, makes sense. I answered HK Red a bit more fully above.

        • HK Red

          I’m not suggesting they get rid of him, but rather that he maybe moves into a higher level oversight role. I think A lot of what he’s built is belief, teamwork, toughness and he’s got them fit. Basically character traits of the man himself. That has provided a really solid base to work from. I just feel Thorn might have reached the limit of his technical powers and that he would benefit from someone with more experience. Look, I don’t really know how that coaching structure would look, but there’s some obv improvement we’ve seen with the addition of McKay. What further improvement could we see with another similar appointment? Just spitballing really, but I do feel that Thorn may have reached the peak and he’ll need some sharp minds to help him move this team along.

        • Ah, thanks for clarifying. Move him into what the UK would call a DOR role more. Where he might still do those things but leaves more of the other things to other coaches technically under him.

    • ballymoreburning

      if the reds lineout had executed against the sharks, and if they adjusted their breakdown strategy against the lions on the fly or maybe kicked a few goals against the saders, they would have a pass mark, because they would likely have at least 5-10 more competition points. those are precisely the subtle improvements that are the difference between a 5-8th and a 10-11th side on the table. its not to say there aren’t improvements, obviously there are, but I wouldn’t like to see anyone in the reds organisation with a hint of self satisfaction till they earn a genuine crack at the title (i.e finish top 4). the real shame of this lost season is that we may have to wait an extra year before they put it all together

  • Happyman

    Hi Sully

    As always everyone on here appreciates your efforts.

    If I can make a suggestion for all of the tragics and I include myself in this.

    Is it possible to just set up the system with “The Days” news and go. That way we can fill in the blanks ourselves.

    Thoughts.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I support this. Chatting on here is a mental health service to the community. So if they can set it up for us to chat generally each day and we throw the topics out there that would be great!

      • Yowie

        I suppose, technically we could just keep adding comments to this page and not worry too much when it gets a bit crowded.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just spool new topics to the top.
          Will be funny for people logging on seeing a gazillion comments on a thread that has nothing to do with anything.

  • Ads
    • Yowie

      …she also confirmed that SANZAAR was exploring new domestic competitions as Super Rugby goes on hold during the global health crisis.

      That’s something I suppose.

      • Ads

        I think she obviously couldn’t foresee corona, but rolled the dice playing hard ball and it’s bit her on the arse. I’m yet to see any competence from her and hope she is gone with Clyne very soon.

  • Who?
  • Yowie
  • Brisneyland Local

    Ok boys and girls. It is very quiet on here today. So I will do something to evoke discussion. For all of your regular inputters, based on Super Form to date, who would your Wallaby 23 be?
    Over to you GAGR’s

    • Reds Revival

      I’ll bite Brisneyland. I’m missing the daily rugby news already, so why not start the conversation on the WB 23.

      1. The Indian Spinner – Brokehisarminhalf (aka 7A’s)
      2. FF
      3. Slipper
      4. Rodda
      5. LSL
      6. Wilson
      7. Hooper
      8, Naisarani
      9. White
      10. JOC
      11. Korobete
      12. Two Cows
      13. Kurindrani
      14. Daugunu
      15. Banks

      16. Tupou
      17. Mafi

      18. JP Smith
      19. Phillip
      20. Valetini/Samu
      21. Powell/McDermott
      22. Lolesio
      23. Sauce

      I thought it best to keep combinations together for the two front rows, and the locks, while giving Matt Phillip experience off the bench. While there’s a strong argument for Valetini to be at 6, I just think Harry Wilson’s form is too good to ignore. Kellaway was unlucky to miss out, but doesn’t have as much physicality as Filipo.

      • Brisneyland Local

        That is a nice looking team. I would probably change Hooper out for that good young No.7 from Qld, not being biased at all, and we are there.

    • Brumby Runner

      Just for the fun of it. Assuming some presently injured will return, then I’d go with (LHPs and THPs on the correct side of the pack to start with):

      Slipper
      Fainga’a
      Ala’alatoa
      Rodda
      Philip
      Valetini
      Hooper
      Naisarani
      White
      Toomua
      Koroibete
      JOC
      Kuridrani
      Kellaway
      Banks

      Mafi
      Sio
      Tupou
      LSL
      Samu
      Powell
      Simone
      Maddocks

      Hardest spot is the No 14 spot. Contenders are Speight, Daugunu, Paisami, and Wright.

      Wilson, Wright (Liam), McReight, ASY, Swain, Blyth, Hockings, HJH all unlucky to miss out.

      Lolesio and Harrison come into contention next year.

      • Brisneyland Local

        We almost seem to have a bountiful choice accross the board. We arent looking to bad are we. With a new coach and a game plan, an actual game plan, we are half a chance.

        • Yowie
        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

        • Brumby Runner

          Just hope Rennie gets over here before a lockdown or a series of lockdowns or closed borders stops him from entering the country. If he’s not now needed in Scotland (is it?), then what’s to stop him making his way here asap?

        • Yowie

          Yeah. Instead of not watching Aussie super rugby players’ game form from overseas, Rennie should be not watching their game form from here!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. Get here before it closes down. Get set up in your house with your family. Then watch every Australian Teams Super matches for this season twice.

        • Who?

          We closed the border to all non-citizens and non-residents..? If he doesn’t have his residency sufficiently sorted, and if QANTAS don’t have any flights (which is equally plausible)……

      • Reds Revival

        The only one I have a question mark over is Maddocks. Has he really done enough to justify a place in the Wallabies best 23?

        • Geoffro

          No

        • Reds Revival

          Jeez Geoffro, you don’t need to carry on. A simple no would have sufficed!

        • Brumby Runner

          Probably not. But who is showing form atm that is better than what we know Maddocks is capable of? Personally, I don’t much like the idea of DHP at wing. He seems to struggle with the defensive patterns on the end of the backline, as I think Banks might too. Nawaqanitawase has real defensive issues at Super level. Campbell is just starting to establish himself at Super level, as is Tom Wright.Kata is not eligible, I believe. Maybe we need to go back to Henry.

        • Reds Revival

          Kellaway and Daugunu are both strong contenders, as is Henry Speight.
          It is a pity that Kata is not eligible. He is a powerhouse! Not sure what his kicking game is like, though, and you would need a good kicker with Koro on the other wing.

        • Geoffro

          We’re in a much better space as far as wings go these days.Tom Wright is one guy I really like.Reminds me of Joe Roff

        • Brumby Runner

          And has shown he has kicking skills as well. How good they are remains to be seen, but some kicks in play have been quite well executed for the Brumbies this year.

  • AllyOz

    Who? had an idea about running an extended NRC and, having thought about it, I think that would be the best option if Super Rugby is abandoned. The main thing I would like to see from it is the Wallabies players playing in an NRC comp and how much that lifted its standard. It might also be possible to include the Sunwolves players. No crowds? It’s a problem but the NRC doesn’t support itself anyway and hasn’t had big crowds anyway. What I would like about it is that it would give us an idea of what a fully domestic national competition might look like and, if merged with the existing GRR at some later point (along with a lot of development grants from World Rugby perhaps) might give us a future footprint for the game in Australia and the Asia Pacific.

    It might be, if done in a way that, if player’s safety can be prioritised (and I have my doubts) that RA can, at the very least, minimise the losses from not providing the broadcasters with the minimum SR games they can and it is some content. But, as someone I think says below, one positive test and it’s probably all over.

  • Moz

    The coronavirus pandemic will be the source of one of the most unlikely reunification stories in Australian sport, with the Western Force set to be welcomed back into the rugby fold in a five-team domestic competition starting next month.

    It will be the first time since 2017 that Australia’s five professional rugby teams will play together, after the Force were rubbed out from Australia’s Super Rugby footprint in a brutal and bitter cost-cutting exercise by then RA boss Bill Pulver and chairman Cameron Clyne.

    Andrew Forrest has approved a plan that will see the Western Force play alongside its former Super Rugby rivals in a domestic competition starting next month.

    Andrew Forrest has approved a plan that will see the Western Force play alongside its former Super Rugby rivals in a domestic competition starting next month.CREDIT:RICHARD WAINWRIGHT

    Provided government restrictions and guidelines on travel and gatherings allow it, the Force are set to play once again against their former Super Rugby rivals the Waratahs, Brumbies, Reds and Rebels, in a national subsitute for the trans-continental Super Rugby competition.

    Senior state officials confirmed the news was likely to be announced late on Friday, with the five teams set to play a home-and-away round robin tournament starting on the first weekend of April.

    The coronavirus outbreak is the unlikely push factor reuniting two organisations, and the West Australian rugby community, who were two years ago bitter exes.

    The pandemic forced billionaire magnate Andrew Forrest to pull the pin on the first full season of Global Rapid Rugby, while Super Rugby’s cancellation and international travel bans forced RA to conjure a broader solution to a proposed intra-conference competition including Japan’s Sunwolves.

    • hmm

      • Moz

        It will be interesting where they show this. Hopefully RugbyPass will pick it up!

        • Reds Revival

          I think they are trying to honour their commitment to Fox.

          Apparently, ESPN approached the NRL about showing their games in the US, as there is NO sport being played there. Hopefully Rugby can cash in on that deal. I daresay the 6 Nations would be quite interested in picking up on our games too, Who knows, Rugby might not be dead in Australia just yet! (I meant who knows, not you, “Who?”, although you probably do know…)

        • Who?

          I haven’t had a teabag split in my morning cuppa lately, so I haven’t been able to read the tea leaves. :-P
          .
          I’m glad the Force are involved in this, though I still think that going to NRC would’ve been smarter… It’d be great if we could sell to the US and the like, but we’ll face the same content issues there that we have here – 8 NRL games a week, against 2 Rugby games. We could’ve had 4 games…

        • Reds Revival

          As much as I understand your thinking, the more teams you have playing, the greater the potential for infection (and subsequent shutdown). The standard isn’t as high as Super Rugby too.

        • Who?

          I’m amazed that the NRL hasn’t been extremely prescriptive in how the players can behave and what they can do. Every night there’s a story (often involving the Storm) saying they don’t know whether or not the players can go buy a coffee.
          But I’d have thought the travel and contact with family would be equally high risk. Like the fact that Cameron Smith’s got kids in school, so that puts him in regular contact with people who are in contact with a huge number of other people.
          I still think the smart option would be to put all the players and games in a single region, and play without travel…
          .
          I don’t think the standard would be an issue. It’s not about the standard being high and the games being intense, it’s more important – especially if on-selling rights – that the games are worth viewing. And NRC games have traditionally done well there.

        • Well, there goes that idea for the moment

    • Reds Revival

      This is great news Moz! Not only does it mean that we get to watch Australian rugby again (and I am hanging out for that already!), but the fact that the Force is welcomed back into the fold is a double bonus. let’s kill the fatted calf and celebrate this great milestone (or should that be mill stone?).
      As I said previously, I would love it if 1 or 2 of the Force players were able to play their way into Wallaby contention.
      I think the more players we have competing for limited spots, the more we push the standard of Australian rugby back up to where it should be. Just a pity that it took a worldwide pandemic to make it happen. However, credit where credit is due, well done to Raelene Castle for initiating the discussions with the Force and making it become a reality. I tip my hat to you Ma’am.

      • Moz

        It is great! I was actually down in Perth last weekend (yeah, I know, I shouldn’t travel, but my work trips were canceled so it was a good opportunity to head down and see the folks. Plus I brought them a few packets of toilet paper!). So I managed to see the Force play on Saturday night. Great first half in particular, before the rain settled in and slowed everything down in the second. Brad Lacey on the wing looked good, although that also seems to be one position where Oz is quite spoilt for choices at the moment.

    • Patrick

      News of the year! And also, this virus is officially better than Clyne

    • Frosty morning

      It’s fantastic. But I worry that when a player tests positive for this virus (and they will) that the whole thing will be called off.

    • Patrick

      I initially reacted positively to this but it is actually a terrible terrible idea. They simply have to cut their losses and accept that there won’t be any rugby for a few months. The only other way to make this work is that the entire competition quarantines itself from everyone else, and even then, most likely several people already carry it and we will still end up with players or support staff in ICUs :(

      • Who?

        The only other way to make this work is that the entire competition quarantines itself from everyone else, and even then, most likely several people already carry it and we will still end up with players or support staff in ICUs :(

        Completely, completely agree. Which is why I said NRC in isolation.

        • Patrick

          But that is a brutal load to ask the players and support staff to bear… no contact with families or anyone else for three weeks at least, and crossing fingers that no-one within that group already has it

        • Who?

          Absolutely. And, if we’re talking NRC, we’re not even talking professional players – it’s semi-pro. So it’s less of a burden at Super level (because those five teams are all professional, so they’re far less likely to be taking unpaid leave from work – though, I guess, sadly, that’s not as big an issue for some at present), but still a huge ask.
          So you consider shipping off the families as well. Because not many players would have school age kids, and I’d guess a good number would only bring their partners (i.e. no kids). But then instead of it being just the players sacrificing, we’ve suddenly got even MORE people sacrificing…..
          .
          I think it should be in the too-hard basket.

        • Patrick

          I was excited about it at the start but living in France I’ve become a lot more familiar with this virus the last week or so of home officing and schooling and I’m torn between too hard and too stupid but either way they must not go ahead with it.

        • Mike D

          I think that, yes, this is hard to do, but it is viable. Really players would have to isolate for about 2 months. Yep, that’s tough. But no tougher than say oil rig workers doing 6 weeks on. And I think the professional players would already be self-isolating in case they get a chance to work.

          Also, you would need a second team almost in isolation – watching out for themselves, because this could be their big break when Johnny Incumbent gets sick and suddenly they’ve got their chance.

          Maybe games every two weeks rather than every week so players can watch for symptoms. Tough, because maybe they play almost back to back games (Thursday then Sunday) then take 10 days off.

          Ultimately these blokes play rugby for a living. If they’re not doing that, they don’t pay the bills. We’ve all made sacrifices around family time to do our jobs, it’s never pleasant, it’s not the best way to be, but I think it’s the least bad option.

          So yeah, it’s tough, but it can be done.

        • Who?

          It could be done, but I don’t think that anyone would agree to it.
          .
          AFL Season now on hold until at least May.

  • Reds Revival

    Sorry, but I just had to add 1 more post to get it to 100 comments.

    Quite ironic that the most commented piece on GAGR is on a news day about nothing. Almost Seinfield-like.

    • Brisneyland Local

      I just think it highlights how much we are all rugby tragics desperately requiring some kind of rugby hit!

  • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

    Just to keep the posts ticking over….
    Quade Cooper has been the best wallaby 10 bar larkham, and Foley was nowhere.
    The coup of replacing McKenzie with Cheika was worth it.
    Israel Folau………

    • Brisneyland Local

      NOw you are just stirring the pot.

      • Who?

        And poorly – being a fan of both Cooper and Cheika?! That’s a non-existent cross section of the community! :-P

        • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

          I am just channelling my inner Scott Morrison, saying one thing then contradicting it in the nexr sentence, like the coronavirus, it is all the rage.
          Plus I am giving people from both sides of the spectrum something to argue the affirmative on.

        • Who?

          In this situation, given how fluid everything is with Covid 19, given the advice is changing, and in comparison to our closest allies (no, not NZ, who seemingly (due to lack of reporting here) did nothing before rapidly turning turtle and locking everything down, but the UK and USA), he’s been calm, clear and consistent. It’s the media who’ve been in overhype mode, trying to panic us all. Not that it’s worked – it seems half of us are at home with 500kg of toilet paper, and half of us are at the beach all day and the pub all night!
          .
          I think it’d be easier to find people who think losing Link was a bad thing but don’t think Cooper was great than finding people who were fans of both Cheika and Cooper. :-)

        • Yowie

          haha. Can a Venn Diagram just be two circles with an air gap in between?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Wow that makes you a Unicorn!

    • Patrick

      I don’t get it, one perfectly sensible comment and then two silly clickbaits? :)

      • Mortahs Incoming – custardtaht

        In these times, sensationalism is a must and along with it fake news.

  • Reds Revival

    The proposed domestic comp has been postponed until May, before a single Gilbert was kicked in anger. Disappointing from a fan perspective, but completely understandable from a human/health perspective.

  • Matt Kassulke

    There’s plenty of news ie the destruction of our game

Rugby
@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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