Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at Super Time, the Top of the table Reds, a little bit of a tiff around the Rebels, and the Wallaby Selection panel is sticking around.
Is It Really ‘Super’ Time?
In the wake of the Reds v Rebels Super Time snooze-athon Rugby Australia says nothing will change. The ten minutes of extra time included some of the dourest rugby ever seen on this and possibly other planets, where the highlight was a missed 50-metre penalty shot from Bryce Hegarty.
There was no call for this particular law change. There was talk of cleaning up the ruck, speeding up the scrum, closer inspection of the offside line but, and I read a lot of rugby based articles, not once did I hear ‘we need to force a result even if there are two evenly matched side who both deserve to win’.
RA is able to change rules if it wants but would need the changes to be signed off by World Rugby, which has encouraged the governing body to keep the same law variations in place for the 12-week competition.
However, it is understood there will be no tinkering and a review will be held after the season.
Reds top Super Rugby AU table
It’s not my fault! Once I saw the headline on Rugbypass it was in! And yes I know the Brumbies have a game in hand but, you have to take pleasure where you can. So I’m taking it here. Let’s see what they have to say?
No longer the whipping boys, Queensland Reds have emerged as early frontrunners after continuing their unbeaten start to the Super Rugby AU season.
The Reds leapfrogged the resting Brumbies with their historic 18-18 draw with the Melbourne Rebels as NSW Waratahs broke a three-match, four-month duck with a 23-14 comeback win over the Western Force.
The bottom-placed Australian finishers in 2018 and 2019, the developing Reds have turned the corner since Super Rugby’s reincarnation after the coronavirus-forced shutdown in March.
It would have been easy to put the cue in the rack when we were down by 10 points but the guys just keep going,” Thorn said.
“You can always improve your game but (the Reds have) that stuff inside you that wants to compete, just play, and it’s something the Queensland jersey demands so it’s good.”
I mean, what could go wrong?
Eddie Jones to the Canterbury Bulldogs
Okay, so firstly WTF!
So the article in the Australian doesn’t actually quote anyone but there could be some meat to this. Eddie has expressed an interest in Rugby League before and the Bulldogs could be looking for a coach in the near future. Working against this is Jones’ contract with the Eglish Rugby union which runs until 2023.
Canterbury have been formally sounded out about their interest in England rugby union coach Eddie Jones as part of a coaching structure that could involve former Bulldogs halfback Brett Kimmorley.
The Australian understands the club was told that the former Wallabies coach would potentially be interested in returning to Australia if an opportunity arose for him in the NRL. Melbourne assistant Jason Ryles, who is due to join Jones’s England coaching staff at the end of the year, could also form part of the new set-up.
The Bulldogs are mulling over a decision on the future of coach Dean Pay, who is off contract at the end of the season and yet to convince club officials that he is worthy of an extension.
Jones has remained tight-lipped after being linked with a variety of rugby league roles in recent months. However, the silence has fuelled speculation over his future amid suggestions there is genuine interest in returning to Australia to becoming involved in the NRL.
The Wallaby Selectors Are Here To Stay.
Personally, I like the idea of a couple of people not directly involved in the running of the Wallabies sitting down with the coach to pick a team. But the Wallabies former coach wasn’t a fan.
The Wallabies Director of Rugby Scott Johnson, on the other hand, is a big fan and it looks like the set up is here to stay. At least while he’s around.
Johnson, who joined Rugby Australia at the end of 2018, was one of a three-man Wallabies selection panel in 2019, along with dual international Michael O’Connor and Michael Cheika.
Since leaving as Wallabies coach, Cheika has been public about his frustrations around the appointment of Johnson that contributed to a tumultuous end to his national coaching tenure.
O’Connor and Cheika had a public to and fro last month over the selection process with O’Connor accusing Cheika of dominating the process and allowing little insight into his team’s game plan.
Incoming Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has said he would have no problem with Johnson being included in selection decisions but the specifics of that are yet to be fully discussed.
“Going forward, Dave’s coming on board here, Michael’s (O’Connor’s) not with us anymore…Going forward Dave and I will sit down and work out a selection process with the board that we’re all happy with,” he said on the Rugby Ruckus Tight Five Podcast.
“I like the fact there’s an independent in a selection room, I know it’s important a as coach because you get very very fixated, it’s hard not to and it’s not always your vision is not always perfect.”
Johnson said ultimately the job of a selector outside of the coaching staff was to bring “checks and balances” to teams.