Tuesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Here’s our daily round-up of the hot Oz and international rugby news.

It’s all about Quade

cooper v blues smallTry finding some rugby news this morning that isn’t about Quade Cooper – it’s not easy. So here are the key Quade stories:

Quade to blame for Tapuai’s slump – it’s outraging Queenslanders, but that’s what Robbie Deans said on radio yesterday morning. “Quade has got to be prepared to allow others to do some of the playmaking because it is more effective than if everything comes off Quade,” said the Wallaby coach.

Cooper content to wait out Deans – Robbie’s ARU contract is up at the end of this season, Quade’s runs till the end of 2014. Apparently Cooper is willing to ignore league approaches and get his revenge at the 2015 RWC.

Link fires back at Robbie – The helpful advice from Deans that Cooper needs to defend in the line for the Reds to get a shot at the Lions has tipped Ewen McKenzie over the edge. “So now he has one match to defend in the front line to make the Lions squad? It’s easy to say that now. What’s he been saying for the last 13 weeks?” said the Reds coach.

Wallabies better with Cooper at 10 – Seen an article recently looking at the Wallabies results with Quade and without (here on GAGR)? It’s 70% with Quade and 52% without. Well a remarkably similar one has turned up this morning in The Australian.

smh on cooperFrom a media watch perspective it’s been quite fascinating. The Daily Telegraph got the preparatory strike leak about the coaches email, but since then the SMH’s Rugby Heaven has picked up the baton as chief Deans explainer with headlines like “A risk Deans was not prepared to take” (the banner photo of their home page yesterday). It’s been left to The Australian to ask some questions.

I’ll let you guess which Journo is reputedly on speed-dial to Dingo’s New Zealand born media manager.

Burgess to trial v. Lions?

The Burgwan

It’s been clarified that there’s no need for Luke Burgess to actually play for the Melbourne Rebels to be eligible for Wallaby selection – the mere fact that he will be under contract with the franchise is enough.

Depending how Toulouse go in at the pointy end of the Top 14 finals, the Burgwan will either arrive in one week or two weeks’ time. Either way he’ll be in town for selection in the Combined Country match against the Lions, which is the same day Deans announces the remaining six members of the squad.


Club rugby final sells out Twickers

aviva prem rugby sold outSay what you like about Pommy Rugby, but the 2013 Aviva Premiership final between Leicester Tigers and Northampton Saints will be watched by a crowd of more than 82,000 and has sold out faster than any previous Premiership Rugby Final. Would that be the season’s gate for the whole of the Shute Shield?

Hopefully this means they can afford some soap for the showers.


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  • BloodRed

    Glad you picked up on Deans blaming QC for Taps indifferent form this year. If Deans is consistent with what he is saying about test experience being necessary and showing loyalty to those who have done the job before then Taps as incumbent 12 and one of the few backs who showed some form on the last EOYT, should be in the squad. If it’s Quades fault then surely some time in the Wallabies set up would have Taps back to his A game. Doesn’t say much about Deans as a coach if he can’t do that and his hypocrisy with selections and this particular criticism of QC doesn’t say much about him as a person. He is a dick and what failing shred of respect I had for his history as a coach and as a person is gone. He is prepared to say whatever it takes and burn whoever is necessary to justify his own stance. Fuck him off and give us an Australian.

    • St Saens

      Agree with most of your thoughts BR, except the last sentence. F*** him off and give us anyone…anyone but Deans-the-Vindictive. Mother Theresa could do a better job (even in her current state of non-existence).

      • BloodRed

        Apparently my original post didn’t pass the GAGR “if you don’t have something nice to say then don’t say anything at all” test, so I’ll try a different tack. Deans comments are beyonding confounding and each new one is contradictory of the preceding.

        His first criticism of QC is that he doesn’t defend well enough. Quade’s response on the field is a steady and obvious improvement in his tackling and a marked reduction in his time out the back and far fewer attempts at going for the strip and slipping off the ball carrier. Tick

        Next criticism is about the Reds attack and QC not doing enough. Quade’s response is the first half against the sharks and the best attacking rugby by an Ozzie team against a quality opposition this year. Tick.

        Next is he is not assertive enough in attack. Meaningless drivel that nobody can make sense of. This is then rapidly contradicted by claiming that by directing the attack himself (being assertive non?), Quade is some how responsible for Taps being out of form. If that is the case then why isn’t deans picking Taps and backing himself to get the best out of the Wallabies incumbent 12 and one of the few guys with good form on the EOYT. To me that speaks volumes about his ability as a selector and a coach.

        Worse his comments and treatment of several players and not just Cooper speak volumes about the sort of person he is. He will say whatever it takes and scapegoat whoever is necessary to justify his inadequacies

        • That’s all fine, just no need for abuse

        • BloodRed

          I had actually toned it down before posting.
          I’ll apologize to Deans whenhe does the right thing and quits

    • St Saens

      PS: I hold the ARU responsible for this divisive nightmare (toxic comments notwithstanding). How could Deans have been reappointed when his win-loss ratio has been so poor, his game plans so utterly stultifying and his people management skills so appalling. I have been Rugby person since 1961, first as a player, then like so many dads, as a coach, referee and manager, and now just as a rabid Wallaby supporter. I have never seen the morale of the Australian rugby public at such a low ebb. Start fixing this mess please ARU. Step one…new coach.

  • Duvstar

    Taps did enough to warrant Wallabies selection last year playing outside of Cooper (although could be argued he got his chance because of huge amount of injuries). Think its very harsh for Deans to lump Taps’ shit form onto Quade. Actually believe Quade is very good about judging when to come in and take on the playmaking duties, and when to sit behind the rucks and wait for his chance.

    I know there’s a growing vibe that its just tough shit on Cooper and we have to accept that he’s not going to play, but he really is the form ten at the moment. If he doesn’t play and we lose the series only silver lining is Robbie won’t be getting anywhere near 2014.

    • Russ the Muss

      Deans’ comments yesterday disgust me. To tell Cooper that he goes it alone too much, and then to pick JOC at 10 defies logic, language and decency. I’ve supported the Wallabies (and the Waratahs, by the way – not the Reds) for 30 years and I’ve never been so furious at the way the game is run.

  • Piggy

    The really stupid thing about this whole issue, and you’d hope that the ARU was picking this up, isthat there is a growing number of people who are preparing to have the Wallabies lose this Lions series so that we get rid of Dingo.

  • QLDFan

    It’s funny how he can blame Taps bad form on Cooper because F-Sautia who came in for him two weeks ago has had a cracker outside him.

    • bill

      Chris F is playing OC. But following Robbie’s reasoning it should mitigate in Taps favour. Plus Taps has shown signs of a decent tactical kicking game.

      Looking at JOC’s strenths I’d say Robbie’s dreaming that he’ll create half breaks and offload to centres running good support lines or worry the defence enough to open up holes for the centres to target. Now if he’d just say that it would look a whole lot better than all the crap he brings up about Coopers ‘deficiencies’.

    • Gottsy

      So is mccabe playing off the bench because of poor form from toomua and lealiifano? And would you be right to think that sidey/ Mitchell have been on fire outside o’connor?

    • Sampro

      So Deans wants a 5/8 who can trust/use his inside centre as a joint ball player, to spread the load? Wouldn’t that mean you also need an inside centre who is a ball player? An amazing ball player like Rob Horne or Pat Mccabe? C’mon Robbie, you’re going around in circles.

  • bill

    I’m a bit surprised Robbie’s emerged from his fortress of solitude on the Cooper issue. The more he tries to weasel out of admitting he doesn’t want Cooper, the more hoops he pulls out of his arse for Cooper to jump through, the more twofaced he looks.

    Hard to see this not affecting player trust in him. Everytime you front up to training and your best 10 isn’t there, because why again?

    If the wallabies aren’t a meritocracy then doesn’t that undermine the jersey.

    • St Saens

      Agreed Bill. I just posted elsewhere that Robbie’s on-going public humiliation of QC (in an attempt to paper-over his own deficiencies in coaching/people management) disgusts me to the core.

    • Who Needs Melon

      Good point. There’s got to be a growing number of players that Deans has pissed off over the last few years. How would Nic White or Phipps be feeling now? And Mogg? And Taps. And all the players that were invited to the logistics camp but didnt make the squad.

  • Gottsy

    I really like the way that Link publicly sticks up for his players. No wonder he has no dramas getting the boys to play for him

    • bill

      Robbie gives him plenty of ammo.

      • Gottsy

        Haha that he does. It would be pretty easy for him to dismiss it and stay out of it but the fact that he always sticks up for his boys is telling. It’s always ‘we’ not ‘me’ and ‘them’

  • seandking

    The last 30 seconds of the Russell Fairfax interview are the most telling. RF: How do you beat the Lions? RD: we match what they do and after that.. pause & stutter .. find a way.

    It’s pretty clear he’s clueless on a game plan. But it’s all Ok, because they know they’ve got a job to do and they are here to do it.

    • Cam Thomson

      Sooner or later we’ll have some idiotic Robbie supporter come on here and rabbit on about how many Super rugby titles he’s won.

      For a start Wayne Smith has laid the platform for Robbie in 1999 and then Robbie was blessed with some pretty decent cattle in the likes of McCaw, Carter (initially playing at 12), Mehrtens, Marshall, Mauger, Jack, mcDonald, Blackadder & Somerville (amongst others).

      The established playing style and depth of talent at the Crusaders when Robbie took over meant he never actually had to develop anything or prove that he has the rugby smarts that people gave him credit for when he took over the Wallabies in 2008.

      He has no game plan no plan for anything other than reactive based coaching and selection designed to minimise damage.

    • Thats actually the way to beat any rugby team: beat them up front, and unlock their defence. It’s a generalisation, sure, but you would hardly expect detail at this stage. That usually comes after the match.

      • The best answer I ever heard to “how do you beat X team” was “Score more points”.

        Are you confident that the selected 25 Wallabies can do this against the Lions? I am not convinced. They are the amalgamation of the 6 Nations champions and the England side that beat the All Blacks last time they played them. Weigh that up against the Wallabies biggest problem of 2012… scoring points… and where does that leave us?

        • Cam Thomson

          Exactly – it’s got all the hallmarks of a squad that’s designed to hopefully take advantages of the opportunities presented by the Lions’ errors rather than one designed to create opportunities.

          Wales largely self-destructed in the 2012 series and it looks like Robbie is hoping for that will happen to the Lions this year. I don’t like his chances. In each of the last three Lion’s series even though they’ve lost I’ve thought just how good we, the ’05 AB’s and 09 Boks were to get over the top of them -it’s hard to see this Wallaby team performing at such a level.

        • Westo

          ITS MORE THAN THAT – how about you pile on top of what is happening with selections & the coach, with (1) eclectic public support, (2) ARU financial issues, (3) talk of player pay cuts, (4) Lack of Lions Series Sponsors, (5) leadership changes (JON->Pulver).

          There is descension in the ranks and it starts from the top, so Pulver need to pull his finger out and become a great Level 5 leader. If this does not happen this year the run up to the world cup will be directly affected.

        • Very randwick of you. Even Cheika would concede that to score more points you need to get good ball through good forward play.

  • bill

    Even if the wallabies rolled the Lions by 30 points a game it’d be pretty odd to keep Robbie. World cup 2015. Two decent aussie coaches around in Link and Cheika.

    Poor quality rugby from Robbie 2011 til now. Yes the trinations/championship is a cut throat competition, these guys have only proven at super level, they might not succeed…but that would leave us no worse off because Robbie hasn’t succeeded either.

    It’d be crazy to reappoint him.

  • Jimmy

    I see the Kiwis are complaining about the refereeing again. Best part is that Graham Henry is scathing that Wyatt Crockett got away with murder during the Blues / Crusaders game. This is the same Wyatt Crockett that Henry defended to the point of putting in an official complaint against Stu Dickensen and having POB publicly apologize after Dickensen blew plenty of penalties against Crockett in a game a few years back against Italy. That comlaint was the beginning of the end for Stu Dickensen. Henry’s hypocrisy knows no bounds. I wonder why we never saw an official complaint against Joubert after the WC final? Oh that’s right, he followed the Henry book on how to officiate the ABs – not at all.

    Matt, do you think we could get a daily summary of the “official complaints” raised by Kiwis every day. Just a bullet point column would be fine. This week it’s Mark Hammett (Canes coach) and Henry. I see Hammett went “straight to Bray” with his complaint. That statement, in itself, seems to have become a cliche across the ditch whenever a team loses.

    We could also keep a running summary of “official complaints” this year. There were 3 from the Crusaders / Force game for starters. A couple a week ago, and now these. I’m sure there are plenty more I’ve missed

    • Patrick

      Great idea actually.

    • MM

      And his whinge about offside – this from a man who had McCaw as his captain. The irony is killing me. Are kiwis, the new poms when it comes to whingeing?

      • Westo

        Being an Australian I have to say that there have been some inconsistent TMO calls over the last few weeks. How, may I ask have we seen 4 or 5 poor TMO calls in the last two weeks.

    • the ardent b’stard

      Isnt the refereeing this year more inconsistent and poor than it has been for a while?.
      Recent years our SAFA mates have had the best refs across the board i think, but this year even they seem to referee only one team at a time.

      • bill

        I think they’re having to bring a new generation through, but to quote the almost late, but most definetly great Iain M. Banks, they’re “Lacking Sufficient Gravitas” just at the moment. (hope I got the ship name right).

        Hopefully that’s just lack of experience and not the result of corporate emasculation by policy manual. That Jackson(reds brumbies) will come good I think.

      • Jimmy

        I think the refereeing has been fairly inconsistent for a number of years. The only difference now is that the use of the TMO has put a lot more decisions into the spotlight and there are less excuses for the poor decisions we are seeing.

        Also, we are seeing decisions going both ways for a change. Our African and NZ cousins are finally getting their share of decisions go against them and are, typically, crying to everyone who will listen.

  • Any news on the classic wallabies match vs lions at North Sydney Oval? I wanna know the team

  • PiratesRugby

    Deans is perfectly within his rights not to pick Cooper. He’s tried that for 38 tests and got nowhere. Now he wants to develop someone else. Its his call. Cooper betrayed the “yellow jersey” by his public comments. Deans can send the message that the team is bigger than the individual.

    But this public denegration of Cooper by the national coach is undignified. The criticisms themselves don’t bear up to scrutiny and give the appearance that Deans is being defensive. The comments have taken on the appearance of a personal attack. Good on Cooper for not taking the bait. Good on Link for standing up for his man.

    Dennis and Timani have not shown much in the gold jersey and their Super seasons have been fairly forgettable. Horne is a lovely bloke and a sound Super player but has never been, is not and never will be international quality. Barnes cannot crack the Lions. Palu is potentially devastating but almost certainly fragile. Is Tom Waterhouse offering odds on how many minutes he’ll last before he goes down? Yet Deans overlooks all of their shortcomings while applying a microscope to Cooper.

    The “crash” ball at inside centre has failed the Wallabies. It effectively broke McCabe. What was the point? Run into the defence, get smashed, die with the ball and then (if the ball hasn’t been coughed up) set up again as lazy Tah forwards lumber around and start all over again?

    Hopefully, Deans will use Justin Bieber to create opportunities for players running into holes. Hopefully, he won’t use Barnes to kick to empty spaces that no-one (except a defender) is running into.

  • BMcSport

    That article in The Oz is scandalously close to Sully’s…..

    • I have to say his is better than mine. But I wonder where he got the idea?

      • bill

        ought to be worth a) a podcast appearance or b) a newscorp funded dinner for you and your mrs next time he’s in town at your choice of eatery. don’t pick mcdonalds.

  • Shit that is familiar!


Matt started G&GR just before the 2007 Rugby World Cup and has been enslaved ever since. Follow him on twitter: @MattRowley

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