Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Melbourne Rebels

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at Melbourne’s Bledisloe, the Rebels making the finals, Positive virus tests in South America and, that tackle.


Melbourne’s Bledisloe test Re-scheduled

Do you recognise this trophy?

Remember that thing where the All Blacks and Australia play rugby every year and we lose a lot? Well, they were supposed to play in Victoria this year but a pandemic stuffed that upso, instead of just cancelling on them RA have negotiated a do over next July.

Here’s the media release.

Rugby Australia today confirmed that the Bledisloe Cup Test between the Qantas Wallabies and New Zealand that had been set down for Melbourne this year will be rescheduled for 2022.

The 2022 Test match against New Zealand will added to the calendar for Victorian rugby fans with the state set to host a Test in July 2021 as well as the touring British and Irish Lions in 2025.

Rugby Australia Interim Chief Executive Rob Clarke said: “Victorians are sticking together as the state works to slow the spread of coronavirus and it’s not possible to play this match in 2020.”

“The decision to swap the All Blacks Test to 2022 is a sensible one and I thank Premier Daniel Andrews and the Victorian Government for their flexibility and support.”

“Rugby Australia will continue to support the Victorian Rugby community over the coming months.

“There is an exciting Test schedule ahead for all of our Victorian Rugby fans and I know that the Wallabies players, as well as players from around the world, are always extremely excited to play in Melbourne due to the terrific home support and the wonderful hospitality of all Victorians,” Clarke said.

The new location for the Test against New Zealand in Australia will be announced in the near future.

Rebels Unshackled?

Melbourne Rebels head coach Dave Wessels reckons his side will play with freedom against the glorious Reds after lifting their finals hoodoo by limping past the Force and squeezing past the Tahs by one point on for and against. Yah

 “I’m really proud of the boys for hanging in there,” Wessels said. “Maybe in previous years or different situations we wouldn’t have hung in there and got the outcomes we needed. We stayed in the game and fought our way back into it.

“Even the last movement of [final try-scorer] Cabous [Eloff] is pretty reflective of that. Rather than just stopping, he thought to put the ball down. I thought Matt Toomua showed a lot of courage to manage that last minute and kick it over right on the siren so that we wouldn’t have to receive a restart.”

The Rebs first taste of finals footy is against the red hot Reds unit that took apart the top of the table Brumbies 26-7 a couple of hours later.

Wessels believes that although there are plenty of things to improve on from the scrappy performance, they will be firing when it matters.

“Making the play-offs has been a bit of a mental hurdle for the team and sometimes that’s bigger than the actual game,” he said. “Now we’ve got that monkey off our back, I think there is a lot of good energy in the team and the guys will play for the joy of winning rather than the fear of losing.

“I think the shackles are off now which is good. We feel we’ve got what it takes to be successful.”

Six Argentinian Players Test Positive.

Mario Ledesma

SANZAAR’s rugby Championship plans have been thrown into disarray after six Argentinian test players tested positive to COVID 19.

The likelihood of New Zealand hosting Australia, Argentina and South Africa for Tests in November and December had already been fading fast due to logistical hurdles, but the latest news will mean the tournament is highly unlikely to go ahead as initially planned.

Pumas players have been training in Argentina in anticipation the Rugby Championship would go ahead – they were set to find out officially this weekend – however their hopes of being involved were put in doubt due to half-a-dozen of some of the country’s biggest stars testing positive.

“After completing a new batch of PCR tests, in order to minimise the risk of contagion and be able to start the health bubble, the results yielded six positive cases of COVID-19 in the campus,” the Argentine Rugby Union (UAR) wrote on Twitter. “All of them [are] asymptomatic and already fulfilling preventive isolation.”

 The UAR listed Juan Cruz Mallia, Emiliano Boffelli, Bautista Delguy, Rodrigo Fernandez Criado, Bautista Pedemonte and Lucas Bur as the six players who tested positive.

SANZAAR officials will meet to discuss the latest developments and ascertain if they have to pull the pin on the tournament. The New Zealand government was already wary about hosting the tournament with players from four countries in a hub.

It would be an economic nightmare for all four southern hemisphere nations if the tournament was to be cancelled, given they would lose broadcast revenue.

In the very likely scenario the Rugby Championship is called off, Australia could play four or five Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand on either side of the Tasman.

Owen Farrell Can’t Tackle!

Owen Farrell tries to fireup his teammates

Owen Farrell has a problem with tackling. But because he has got away with taking players heads off for years he’s never had to deal with it. Well, hopefully, times up and he’s about to feel the full wrath of the judiciary for this tackle.

Pundits are calling for a ten-week ban such was the ferocity of the tackle and it’s hard to disagree.

This from Andy Goode on Rugby Pass.

World Rugby changed its high tackle sanction framework precisely for incidents like this and it’s the type of tackle that they are rightly trying very hard to eradicate from the game.

Farrell is upright, out of control and flies in with a swinging arm intended to put Charlie Atkinson into next week or take his head off. It’s not just a mistimed tackle, it’s a horrific looking hit. He’s completely blindsided him.

You can look at it from every angle possible in terms of the incident itself and the regulations and framework but there is just no mitigation whatsoever.

It was reckless, it was intentional and premeditated to a certain extent because you could see his eyes lining him up. Atkinson was also in a vulnerable position and wasn’t dipping. All in all, it was a horrible looking tackle.

 

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. UP and at em this morning, kids eating brekky. Lifes good! My ramblings whilst drinking kwoffee!
    – Years ago I went to a Bledisloe at the MCG. Whilst Melb aint the traditional rugby crew, there was a massive crowd. 90k +. Any event that you draw a crowd to like that is worth it for RA depleted revenues. And with a hopefully rejuventaed Wallabies by then (and what I mean by that is a Wallabies crew that has someone competent in charge, and that is not you Ass clown!).
    – I am really looking forward to the Reds vs Rebs game this weekend. I think it will be a great game. And Maybe Wessell’s is right, the shackles maybe lifted. Either way I think it will be an enjoyable game either way.
    – Farrell is a dick! He has always been a dick, and is the protected species of English rugby. But fate catches up with all of us eventually! 10 weeks is the minimum. Piss off dickhead!
    Over to you GAGR’s!
    P.S. Thanks to Hoss for his Squad sheet. Really good to read that a majority of us are in agreement.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Morning mate. You’re early. SA need to hope Farrell isn’t hit too hard. If he’s in the Lions as Captain beating them will be easier.
      Cudos to Hoss that was great work.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Like the article hyperlinked in Sully’s, they will give him 16 weeks. That will be halved because he hasnt been suspended before (fuck knows how, he should have been suspended many times) to 8 games and he will be back in time for Englands first match.

        • Nutta

          Ahhh, the true cynic. But a correct cynic too I fear.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I am not a cynic! I am an optimist with real world experience! ;-)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Cynic and realist is the same thing just with different spelling

        • I’m not saying it’s right, but he hasn’t been suspended before because he got away with it before the framework because “he’s only a 10″ and “he’s the captain” seemed to give him a free pass for shoulders to the head…

          While I think he’s a maniac who has serious issues around his tackle technique, as Saturday showed, he has been better since the framework came in, he’s wrapped his arms, not led with his shoulder, and pretty much kept his tackles down. There’s been a low number of penalties for tackles that have slid up, but they’ve all been penalties.

          Sixteen weeks down to eight is likely, although they might get tougher, given his profile and the fact at least one of his hits is actually a type “shoulder to the head RC” example for the framework – they’re not required to give you leniency.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think we will all be interested to see the outcome. It is amazing that ERU have done nothing about it. the problem was glaringly obvious.

        • Nutta

          Everything you said is true but I sense an element of sympathy behind your words. Don’t be soft. He has this coming. Plus he’s a back. Plus he’s English. For me that would be 20wks.

        • No, really no sympathy for the English running dog.

          Just a reluctant admission that once he knew he wasn’t going to get away with it any more, he cleaned up his act for a couple of years…

          And apparently the judiciary saw fit to say 10 weeks, down to 5 somehow…

        • Nutta

          What happens in 5wks? Test? Club finals?

        • Sarries are relegated for massive, on-going salary cap breaches over a number of years. They got a whopping -105 point penalty (in a league with 22 matches and a maximum of 5 points per match…) so no end of season finals.

          The Heineken Cup QF (2 weeks) and SF (3 weeks) are in that ban period. I’d have to check exactly for the finals, if Saracens get there. The November test window isn’t though.

        • Nutta

          You’re a wealth of knowledge. I heard about the Sarries salary cap fiasco – the UK version of the Melbourne Storm was how I compared it.

          Look, at the end of the day, the bugger finally got called for it. Good. Perhaps it will be the bite in the butt to fix it in which case all good. He is a gifted footballer. It’s just a part of his game that has been tolerated for too long and needs to be fixed.

    • Keith Butler

      No arguments from me on any of your ‘ramblings’ BL. Straight red for Farrell and a long ban to teach him a lesson, tackle lower. On that note I will be slightly controversial to add to the discussion. As the Wasps player goes to pass he does drop his shoulder and bend his knees which makes a shot to the shoulder one to the neck. I have never seen the real purpose of trying to tackle at shoulder height as most players have greater upper body strength. For example trying to bring down Tupou with a tackle to the chest would be a complete waste of time. Time to lower the tackle zone?

      • Yowie

        Corrected below.

        For example trying to bring down Tupou with a anything less than .50 BMG would be a complete waste of time.

        • Keith Butler

          Fetch me my elephant gun.

        • Yowie
        • Brisneyland Local

          Barrett M-82 .50 Cal is the only chance of taking him down.

        • Timbo

          M2 QCB with a belt of 200? 2 trace for range then 4 for effect?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Good for beaten zone, bad for precision lethal effects!

        • Timbo

          I think anyone in the way of Thor is going to be in a beaten zone.

        • Custardtaht

          Why not bring out the grand daddy of guns and go for the 30mm cannon from an A-10…..or simply use Chuck Norris.

        • Reds Revival

          Chuck Norris tackling the Tongan Thor – Now that’s something I would like to see!

        • I’d just love to see him in those shiny boots on wet grass.

        • Custardtaht

          Be better spectacle than what currently passes for a Pay Per View event.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes the GUA-8A avenger is a wonderful piece of technology.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Especially in an A10

        • Brisneyland Local

          Better when flying overhead. A beautiful sound.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Mate, I love those jets. never had to call them in support but was on the range with them a few times

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have never had them in direct support but some of our patrols did, and they were within visual range. It was amazing to watch.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          The bigger they are, the harder they fall

        • Reds Revival

          Spoken like someone who has never tried to tackle him…

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Hahaha true. Why do you think I went refereeing, all the talk and no need to prove any of it

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yep. Grasscutters I say!

      • Nutta

        Lower the tackle zone? No.

        Why not? Rugby is about competition for the ball and everyone gets a run. Players are reaching high for post-contact off-loads enough already. If we make the higher areas untouchable then they will be net-ball passing within 6mths and the only folk getting selected will be the tall people.

        Rub out repeat offending shit-bags like Farrell for a looonnnnngggggg time? Yes.

        • Jason

          (I agree with you, but) You could maybe lower the tackle zone but also make offloads illegal.

          Sometimes I do question the laying on the ground just as the ruck has formed ‘offload’ that is to just fling the ball back a few meters. But that’s a whole other issue.

        • Keith Butler

          Fair point

      • Jason

        I think in this situation it’s completely that Farrell just doesn’t give a shit about anyone else on the field. He’s always been fucking awful at tackling he’s had so many incidents that have been ignored let alone all the yellow cards he’s gotten and for some reason (England Capitan maybe) he keeps getting away with it — I have no doubt he’ll get away with it again like normal, but there is no issue with the laws of the game it’s completely an issue with Farrell. Maybe he doesn’t know how to tackle but at this point that’s basically wilful ignorance — he’s played nearly 200 professional games and close to 100 test matches if he doesn’t know how to tackle he’s chosen not to learn.

        • Brisneyland Local

          England love having tools as Captains. Dylan Hartley is another prime example.

        • Keith Butler

          Fair point. We all have our dickheads.

        • Reds Revival

          NZ have Dane Coles.

        • They do, and I don’t like him. However, he rarely tries to rip people’s heads off. His niggle is more in the form of sledging than repeated, frequent, dangerous tackles.

        • Nutta

          You’re right. He’s just a shit-stirrer as opposed to an outright cheap-shotter or thug.

        • laurence king

          If a person isn’t punished when committing an offence, most likely they will do it again. If the the discipline is not strong enough, again, they will likely re-commit. The bugger has been allowed to get away with it by too many people who should have known better. Straight out favouritism

      • laurence king

        Tackling Tupou? With his size and pace! I’d barely have time to throw myself out of the way

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        No need to lower the zone mate. As more and more guys get pinged they’ll adjust

        • Keith Butler

          Agreed. A few more cards and force players to change.

      • He doesn’t bend enough for mitigation. You get mitigation when you’re down on your knees, bent double, that kind of thing. If it’s a bit of a dip that looks like a lean in your running technique… not going to count.

        I don’t think there’s an actual rule, but the kind of thing where they seem to say it’s a mitigating circumstance is roughly when your tackle is aiming under the ribs and hits the head. It’s probably a bit higher than that.

    • Timbo

      ‘and what I mean by that is a Wallabies crew that has someone competent in charge, and that is not you Ass clown!’
      One day you’ll be able to go to a professional and talk about your Chiekaphobia rather than letting it devour you. Show us on the clown doll, where he touched you.

      • Brisneyland Local

        He didnt touch me, he more than touched Aus rugby. Cheika is the herpes of Aus rugby, the gift that just keeps on giving.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          The herpes of Aus rugby. Hahahaha love it

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Sully, bummer for Melbourne but with the way things are going I’m not sure there will be any internationals this year. If there are then it may be just a couple of Bledisloe games. I’m not sure that there should be 4 or 5 as I think that would get boring very fast. 3 is enough for me and 2 in Aus 1 in NZ would be great.
    Wessels could well be correct in the Rebels struggling with the mental pressure of finals but that means it’s even more important to work on that area of the game. Regardless there are big changes needed if they want to move past Saturday.
    No surprises with Farrell and it’ll be interesting to see what happens going forward.

    • If Farrell’s tackling had been dealt with properly when the problem surfaced we wouldn’t be here now! Instead English rugby tried to sweep it under the rug and here we are.

      • Geoffro

        The zero tolerance on display at the WC has fallen a bit by the way too hasnt it ? Seen a few hits lately that would have been red,no q’s asked in Japan

        • Brisneyland Local

          Swinton, Swinton, any one Swinton!

        • Nutta

          Ssshhh. Sydney Uni need him for finals.

        • Brisneyland Local

          The rules are different for anyone wearing Sky blue. Ask Kurtley Gilbert Beale!

        • Nutta

          Yeh I’ve been wondering why he disappeared very quickly mid-year. Makes me wonder about why one of RA’s most celebrated sons – who got cake and streamers and ‘we luvs you’ no matter what he did – suddenly just up-sticks and disappeared with scarcely a word. Even if he was going OS for a while to cash-up etc I would have expected they would have feted his going to make him want to come back for the next Bill. But nope. She was all just crickets… Something stinks methinks.

        • Brisneyland Local

          There is little doubt about that. No one left in the regime to protect him.

        • Ads

          I reckon Occams razor is such that he got an opportunity, & they saw an opportunity to save $$. Doesn’t need to be more than that (though could be!).

        • Nutta

          Quite likely you’re right and I’m being an arsehole.

        • laurence king

          I’m just glad he’s gone

        • Ads

          Fair enough Laurence. I was merely saying that there doesn’t necessarily have to be another captain punching incident or similar that is being covered up. There have been generational changes at the Tah’s and the young guys are really exciting (to me at least). It’s the right time for KB to go. He had prodigious talent that arguably never reached potential either through his lack of work ethic, or the reluctance of those around him to give him the kicking he sometimes required (or both!). Arguably “Rugby” failed all the 3 amigos in their early years. It’s good to see JOC getting it sorted now. JOC would be my Wallabies 10 for now.

        • laurence king

          Totally agree Ads. He’s gone and it seems to me that Penney and his coaching staff are probably pretty relieved that he’s gone. Now they can start to shape this young team without the all the baggage of the past. To me, Quade and OC both seem to have become more rounded individuals but I’m not so sure about Kurtley. OC imo would make an excellent Wallabies captain and precisely because he has overcome his demons.

        • UTG

          You see what you want to see though. I think Kurtley was well past it in terms of his footy pre-COVID but I don’t believe he’s any less mature than the other two. Last year, for instance, he played a large role in organising clinics for kids in western Sydney.

        • laurence king

          Well, that’s wonderful to know. Thanks for that.

        • UTG

          No worries mate, I think you’ll find a large contributing factor to JOC’s turnaround has been he and his mates having their phones turned off on nights out.

        • Mike D

          Yep. Nothing like life experience to develop a man. I think that the mental discipline he’s developed would be perfect for grabbing a team and saying, “yep, got a bum call. Now we move on.” Would keep the team focused on the job and avoids insulting the ref.

        • Alister Smith

          might be something to it. They were all at training and he was on a party cruise with Alan Jones and some celebs at the time the announcement was made. Still it is possibly just what it appeared to be on the surface, he had a chance to make money elsewhere and the tahs had an opportunity to save some.

        • Keith Butler

          Was he ever cited?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Oh course not. He wears sky Blue

        • Nutta

          Yeh but it had to come off a bit. They went silly during the Bill.

        • The framework is still in place in fact, although there are a couple of places (when the player is down near the ground) where there are clearer guidelines around mitigation.

          The referees are not being so good about applying them though.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        absolutely

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Wonder if the rescheduling of the Melbourne test is part of the Clyne‘s “save the Rebels deal” in 2017? It is 3 years later and we are still no wiser on what Rugby Australia had to give up to support the Rebels. Let’s hope the game will be a sell out and played at a proper stadium like the MCG so that RA at least get something from that disappointing chapter of our history

    • GoMelbRebels

      It was to be Marvel Stadium this year, assuming it still will be. Still not ideal for Rugby but at least you are closer than at the G. I recall the Lions game there in 2013 was quite watchable (and drew a record crowd for the stadium).

    • Perth girl

      Don’t forget Clarke is in charge of RA and he had a big part to play in 2017. We may never find out while he us at the helm!

  • Alister Smith

    “flies in with a swinging arm “

    Normally he doesn’t bother using his arms at all – maybe this will work in his favour.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yep normally it is just straight shoulder!

    • Nutta

      I doubt it – the one time he used his arms it got him busted. The other method is proven to not get him suspended.

  • Alister Smith

    There is a headline in the Oz today about the Force doing what suits them best and, if I remember it correctly, talking directly with NZ. Couldn’t get behind the paywall but would be interested if anyone does read it. It coincides with their signing of Tom Robertson, though, and no offence to Tom, but they probably need more than Tom (though the existing Force props are fairly mature).

    • Just pay for the Oz like everyone should Alister. (Then send me a copy, or your login plz)

      • Alister Smith

        The Western Force have acknowledged the possibility that they could be based in New Zealand next year as part of Super Rugby Aotearoa, even as reports filter across the Tasman that there will be some cross-over fixtures against Kiwi sides at the end of the domestic competitions.

        Matt Hodgson, the former Force skipper who has become head of Andrew Forrest’s Global Rapid Rugby, told The Australian on Monday that the Perth club was anxiously awaiting some formal decisions about what the 2021 season and beyond would look like before deciding which path to take.

        “There are many things to go through,” Hodgson said. “Obviously if we are in NZ we’ve probably got to be based in there because the trans-Tasman travel budget will be up by the time you start planning these things. It’s an interesting one.”

        Rugby Australia appears to have only the vaguest idea that the Force is even considering relocating to NZ but clearly, if that was to happen, it would have immense ramifications for Australian rugby. For starters, it would mean there would be only four professional franchises remaining here – the NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, the Brumbies and the Melbourne Rebels – which would leave the Super Rugby AU competition next year light one team, possibly two.

        I got this much.

        • Thank you kind sir!

        • hmm, long article.
          Where to paste it…

        • Hoss

          I am more chance of getting The Beatles back together then that squad eventuating.

        • Nutta

          So you’re telling me there’s a chance…

        • Hoss

          Mate – for my 30th, many moons ago the family shouted me a ticket to ‘Elvis in concert’ at the Ent Cent. 40 ft screen his actual band ‘The Jordanaires’ playing live at the venue and the King rocking out on screen. Closed my eyes and I was there in his heyday baby. Epic.
          The Eagles did the ‘hell freezes over tour’ after swearing never again but the Beatles may find it a touch harder me thinks.

        • See your point Hoss, but some interesting stuff up on rugby.com.

          https://www.rugby.com.au/videos/2020/06/25/super-rugby-classic-force-waratahs

        • Hoss

          Hook, line and sinker.

        • Sorry mate, couldn’t help meself.

        • Hoss

          I was so offended and it set of my nerrrvoooouuuussssss tick agaaaaaiinnnn.

          Bastttttttttttttttarddddd.

        • We gotta have something to crow about, bit scarce of late.

  • Nutta

    Morning Cobbers

    Whilst I find the idea of a 5x Bled appealing on the surface, please don’t over-play Bleds. I know folk are desperate for revenue, but part of its allure and value is its rarity. Don’t flog it and so devalue it.

    Owen Farrell needs to be stomped on for this. Enough.

    Rebels unshackled? From what? Their own emotional insecurities? You are professional footballers guys. Not bloody war veterans. With a backline like that they should be racking cricket scores. C’mon lads.

    I’ve been disappointed to see Dylan Hartley bleating a bit on my social media feeds of late. There must be a book coming out or similar. Prodded by duly momentarily sympathetic pundits, he labels himself as unwelcome in the halls of power to have a career therein after player-retirement. Duh. Have a look at your rap sheet Dude. No one else pulled those stunts. There was no scandal or conspiracy. Other folk weren’t calling Refs ‘Fkn cheats’ in Finals etc. I see lots of long nights staring at empty pint glasses and reflecting on what might could of been in someones future.

    • Reds Revival

      Harsh, but fair.

    • Stop picking on Dylan. Hes just a poor misunderstood young man.

      • Nutta

        I chuckled. What part did he misunderstand? That being suspended for >60wks in a professional career may be limiting in some respect? That stuff like eye-gouging and calling Refs cheats may have repercussions? The poor misunderstood bastard. Sometimes life is so unfair isn’t it?

        • Yes, and such a polite young lad..

          60 weeks, that’d be some kind of record surely.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep

      • Keith Butler

        Yesterday’s man.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Oh so true.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I’m with you on cutting down the number of Bledisloe games. 4 or 5 is too many

      • Nutta

        As a completely one-off year I can sort of understand it. It’s not like we are going to play anyone else now is it? But no matter how good Hoss may think his cousin looks in those Daisy Duke shorts, you just don’t go there (more than the 3x ties a year he does now). It’s unhealthy.

        • Hoss

          Let the record show – ‘cousin’ is only a word.

        • Nutta

          Too true. So is ‘degeneration’.

      • Alister Smith

        I think it would risk destroying the product forever. Particularly if one side was not competitive. Unless they bring in a last try wins rule like we used to play in club touch.

    • Keith Butler

      The ref was every SH supporters favourite Wayne Barnes and Hartley pleaded that he was calling his opposite front row cheats.

      • Nutta

        Yeh I remember it. I watched it. It was pretty clear to me what he said and who he directed it at. And you can hear on the audio that Barnes warned Hartley about gobbing off previously. Bloody shame actually. Just dumb stuff.

        • Keith Butler

          In mitigation he does hail from the land of Dan Cole.

        • Nutta

          That he does. That he does.

      • Like Nutta I watched it. I suspect unlike him, I watched it live.

        I literally dropped my cup of tea. I don’t remember seeing someone so clearly swearing at a referee, looking at him and directly swearing at him. I mean, I’ve certainly heard grumbling, and rude grumbling about decisions at all levels of rugby.

        Fans (and commentators) swearing about the referee, sure. But players in the match…

        He was lucky it was such a short ban.

    • The book came out about a month ago.

      • Nutta

        Ahhh. That explains why he is suddenly ‘up’ and topical on my feed then. Paid promo stuff. Cheers.

  • Reds Revival

    Slightly off topic from today’s news, but I would like to ask the learned rugby brains on this site about Harry Wilson in SRAU. Pre COVID, he was everyone’s favourite player and was getting massive run metres and offloads, as well as a mountain of tackles. He seems to be much more subdued in this current competition. His work rate is still right up there, but doesn’t seem to be making the line breaks or offloads as he did previously. Is this because he has lost his touch a bit, or are the opposition paying him more attention, and therefore limiting his opportunities? However, if he is running the great angles that he was before, he should still be really hard to defend against. Or is it just that others in his team are stepping up too? What do you think?

    • Nutta

      I think he has come off the glamour path a bit and done a bit more silent work. Plus opponents are far more aware of him so I would say he is getting swallowed-up a bit. My dad used to always caution against talking up the new guy too much and to wait for what he called his ‘second spell’ to get a gauge on him as by then the bruises had settled in, the opponents had wised up to him and he was no-longer an ‘unknown’. I reckon we may be seeing his 2nd spell.

    • Damo

      Mate, I think the Reds have tweaked back on their offloading game generally. Not sure why because it looked good in the pre Covid game plan. It looks to me like the Reds game plan seems to now be very focussed on strangling the opposition with an impenetrable D line led by 6,7 & 8, waiting for mistakes and then attacking in wider channels. Wilson is playing a big role in this defensive strategy. And it’s working. Worth noting he is still managing to sit 3rd on the SRAU Carries list.

      • Reds Revival

        Good insight, Damo. JOC 2.0 is now leading the offload statistics, so perhaps Jim McKay has made him the pivot for all attacking raids, and the back row focus more on defence.

      • whatwouldberniedo

        I reckon it was at half time in the first SRAU game against the brumbies. they pushed passes all over the shop in the first half and then noticeably played deeper and safer in the second half. JOC and TMD failed to take full advantage of the momentum shift by continuing to play deep despite the forwards dominance in the collisions. its like they were told to pass well before the gain line.

        I reckon they’ve tweaked it since and have found a balance between risk and reward. they are definitely player longer periods of mistake free footy and seem happy to build pressure. the high offload game seems reserved for only when they really think its on.

Melbourne Rebels
@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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