Waratahs serve up a big pile of rubbish to their few remaining fans - Green and Gold Rugby
ACT Brumbies

Waratahs serve up a big pile of rubbish to their few remaining fans

Waratahs serve up a big pile of rubbish to their few remaining fans

The Tahs served up a steaming pile of rubbish to their loyal fans, losing 26-24 to the lowly Kings. They were outenthused, outcoached, outplayed.

The Match

The first half was a fairly scrappy affair, as you would probably expect from to cellar-dwelling sides.  There was a lot of dropped ball, though you couldn’t fault the attacking endeavour shown by either side.

The Waratahs opened the scoring through Taqele Naiyarovoro, with the big unit finishing nicely in the corner after a Bernard Foley cross-kick was poorly handled by the Kings.

Israel Folau was looking good early, finding space on a number of occasions. He was integral in the Tahs second try, a magnificent end-to-end effort which was started by a Folau break, and finished expertly by Rob Horne.

The Kings were making headway but couldn’t get on the scoreboard, while the Tahs were riding their luck. The third try was a prime example, with Foley pilfering an intercept on his own line, with the Kings looking at a certain try if the pass went to hand. Foley offloaded to Cameron Clark, who ran 90m to score and put the Tahs up by 17.

A yellow card to Ned Hanigan opened the door for the visitors, and they scored just before half time through big prop Justin Forwood after a charged-down Foley kick. They almost had a second but the TMO spotted a knock-on, getting the Tahs out of jail and into the sheds up 17-7.

The visitors momentum continued in the second half, with Masixole Banda opening the scoring after some poor Waratahs handling. The Waratahs were hanging on grimly at this point.

A careless high tackle from Christopher Cloete resulted in a yellow card, letting the home side back into the game. But they just dropped the ball again. And again. And then gave away a penalty.

The Kings rolling maul was almost unstoppable, and they registered their third try soonafter to hooker Michael Willemse. A Lionel Cronje conversion and they were in the lead.

Another series of loose carries and penalties from the Waratahs gave the Kings an attacking scrum, from which they were awarded a penalty try.

Taqele scored a try after the siren to salvage a bonus point, but no-one really cared by then.


Here's a picture of the Kings from a few weeks ago. Who really cares at this point?

Here’s a picture of the Kings from a few weeks ago. Who really cares at this point?

Stray Observations

It’s one of the worst performances I’ve seen from the Waratahs. They’ve fallen so far in just two years, it’s hard to imagine exactly what has gone so wrong. Sure, they’ve lost a lot of good players, and a good coach too. But they’re hardly a cast of no-names. And in Foley and Hooper they have two of Australia’s best players.

Their performance tonight was arrogant. Turning down kickable penalties (even when the game was close in the second half), throwing stupid passes, not respecting the ball. They thoroughly deserved to lose.

The Kings also deserved to win. They played with an enthusiasm and an intensity that was truly remarkable. They came to play, and the Tahs did not. The Kings line speed was fantastic, pressuring the Tahs into mistakes. Their set piece was dominant, and they looked far better drilled than the home side.

If you took a drink every time Clarkie said ‘loose carry’ you’d be on the floor before half time. Seriously, is it that hard to catch the ball? Two hands out, watch it into your palms, bob’s your uncle. I reckon there was at least 25 careless knock-ons in that game. What a disgrace.

I really can’t be bothered writing any more. Not only tonight, but this season. Who really cares about this mob? At least play with some passion, some enthusiasm. I can take losing when the opposition are better than you, as the Kings were tonight. But to be so out-enthused, so out-coached, it’s just embarrassing. I don’t want to be anywhere near them until they show me something, anything. Just a bit of passion. Just 14 blokes showing they have the heart and drive of Michael Hooper, even for one game.


The Game Changer

When the Tahs pulled on their jerseys and said “let’s disappoint the few fans we have left, who stupidly parted with their hard-earned cash to come and watch us play”.


The Kings forward pack was just outstanding. I’ll give it to Michael Willemse, though Justin Forwood and Tyler Paul also had big games.

Wallaby Watch

Bernard Foley was one of the few Tahs who wasn’t a complete embarrasment. Tom Robertson‘s stock nosedived though after a fairly inept display. Israel Folau had something of a return to form, though he was anonymous in the second half.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Kings 26
Tries: Forwood, Bande, Willemse, Penalty Try
Conversions: Cronje 3


Waratahs 24
Tries: Naiyaravoro 2, Horne, Clark
Conversions: Foley 2

Cards & Citings

Hanigan (repeated infringements), Cloete (high tackle)


Irrelevant. They won’t be back.


Rohan Hoffman



  • formerflanker

    Well written Hugh. Summarised the anger, disappointment and sheer frustration of being a Waratahs’ supporter.

  • This game is what the Poo emoji was invented for.

  • Gilbert

    We are in the poo…. if this is the best the Tahs can do we have problems. The scary bloody thing is Nathan Grey is the Wallabies defence coach… like I said we are in the poo.

    • True. But the defence was not the most glaring carbuncle on this syphilitic display. It was the lack of graft, of nous, of any seeming pride in what the fuck they were doing. Or trying to do. Just a limp display of heartless rubbish.

    • Nick

      As much as I respect Nathan Grey and loved watching him play, our record on his watch isn’t great. How I long for the days of the defence we showed at the 99 World Cup when only Juan Grobler from the US managed to break our line! Admittedly it was against our second string team but his was the only try we conceded all tournament which is remarkable.

      • Parker

        And who was the defence coach then?

        • Nick

          Edit: Yes John Muggleton. He was great for us.

    • Parker

      Bring back Muggleton

  • The Jackal

    The complete lack of urgency when that missed penalty came off the posts sums up Australian rugby at this point. We just don’t want it enough. Too many people have been gifted jobs for life with five professional teams, never had to fight tooth and nail for positions, just half a decent season in Shute Shield or go to Kings or Shore and you’ve just earned yourself a 10 year career in an Aussie side. Skill sets never get improved upon when you have that type of job security.

    I remember seeing earlier in the year when Hooper reached 100 caps that 9 of the top 10 youngest were Australians and that sums it up, they aren’t on that list because they are exceptional it’s because the pool of fish is so small and the competition for spots non existent. Stronger as five what a crock of shite

    • Spaldo

      Yeah nah. The tahs have had the pick of the bunch for a long time. The odds have been stacked in their favor compared to the other Aussie teams, and yet they still, consistently, produce performances like this.
      Ditto reds.
      Stronger as five? If we did not have the three “non-core” teams, the wallabies would be completely swamped by the sort of entitled players you describe. And rugby would rank alongside water polo and European hand-ball.

      • Nick

        I think we have a real coaching problem in Australia at the moment. Outside of Cheika the ranks run pretty thin. Our defence in tests and at Super Rugby level has been pathetic for years too.

        • Brisneyland Local

          You are making the judgement / assumption that Cheika is decent. I think he is the Number one culprit!

        • Nick

          He has the runs on the board. While I don’t agree with everything he does I can’t complain with what he’s been able to achieve.

        • Brisneyland Local

          His win loss ratio is about the same as Dingo Deans when he got sacked. Which is not good.! His temper and public displays on impetulance and complaining about referees. Whilst he pulled a half decent result for the World Cup out of the bag, since then it has been pretty much nothing but dross. And dont even get me started on his player selections.

        • Nick

          He’s definitely losing his lustre however I’ll back him unless we see:

          A) a consistent decline in quality of play and results; and/or
          B) a better coach sticks their hand up

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think you’ve already hit A mate. I don’t think getting rid of him is the answer as there isn’t anyone else, however I think he needs help in the areas he isn’t that good in such as selection and tactics so he can concentrate on where he is good such as motivating the players and creating a good team environment.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think you are right on the “better coach”. I dont think we have one in Oz, and to be honest I think we should be looking OS for our next one!

        • onlinesideline

          nooooooo – that means it will be a kiwi again

        • Brisneyland Local

          I would be prepared to take a Kiwi coach. Other than Gibson it seem that they know what they are doing. Ours suck ass!

        • onlinesideline

          they seem to know what they’re doing until they start coaching us

        • Brisneyland Local

          It is like that old addage that keeps getting used up here:
          “No one understands Queensland Rugby like a Queenslander!” Which is complete bullshit because most of our Queenalnd coaches have been shit house lately. This is just what is used for nepotism, and jobs for the boys.
          I tell you what if (Sir) Graham Henry applied for the job, I would give it to him over any of our plonkers including Cheika.
          I am not a Kiwi, infact KRL is about the only Kiwi I like, but our coaches have demonstrably proven that they are not up to the task.

        • onlinesideline

          Eddie Jones is a foreign coach – start planning for his 2019 return?

        • Brisneyland Local

          At this stage I would even take him! His winning record is definitely better than the complete scheizer we are dishing out at the moment. And believe it or not, as I was not a fan of Eddie Jones, I think he has matured as a coach. Whether or not the Wallabies are ready for Eddie is another story. Because they were not ready or capable of accepting Ewen MacKenzie, because he wasnt part of the Warratah mafia!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I do wonder though if the kiwi coaches like Gibson and Deans didn’t do enough to understand how to fire up their players. Gibson obviously failed big time for this game and reading Robbie’s book it was an area he struggled with.
          I still think the main difference with the AB’s is the culture they’ve instigated that provides everyone a focus to constantly improve. The Wallabies need to generate a similar culture but getting there will be different to how the Kiwis got there.

        • Brisneyland Local

          KRL, like with most things discussed, although with every other Kiwi it would pain me to admit, but with you my brother in arms it doesnt. You are 100% right. Our culture is not ready for a Kiwi coach!

          We are not mature enough. This is completely evident with what happened with the whole Ewen McKenzie departure. The Warratahs before the team was the destruction of the Wallabies!

          Dingo Deans was a good coach, infact a great coach, but his understanding of our culture (which is about equal to my yoghurt that I left in the fridge just that little bit too long), and our (the Australian) completely infantile, inbred and pathetic attitude culture, didnt deliver. I think that if Dingo was there in the John Eales era this wouldnt have been an issue, but alas I could be wrong.

          We, Australian rugby, are over paid, underachieving, full of a sense of entitlement, arrogant with out the corresponding results, and not yet ready for this impending revolution. We are like an addict that has not yet hit rock bottom. But I am sure we soon will, and hopefullly we skip the denial step, and move to admission, and start progressing. I just hope we dont pull out an excavator and keep on digging.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think you’re right. The mysoginistic people running rugby in the states looking after their own little neck of the woods are not going to change until rugby in Australia finally crashes. I’m not sure the ARU are up to the job either and the real shame is the number of people this is going to hurt and the years to get back

        • Who?

          Worth noting that Link was a Vicwegian who played for NSW, started his coaching with the Brums, coached the Tahs… So, not a Qlder, but he understood them… Would’ve been interesting to see Lancaster in a job in Australia (Super level as a start).

        • Brisneyland Local

          True! BUt although he delivered a Super Rugby Title, the insiders at QRU, always viewed him as an outsider! Look at the shit pile that has continued since he left. When Woody Graham was under review because he was utter bollocks, we scoured the world for the best rugby coach, and what did we come up with? We re-appointed Woody Graham, because the CEO of QRU at the time was god parent to Woody’s kids! Holy fucking shit! How inbred is that?

        • BB

          Any side that plays the ABs as often as the Wallabies is going to have a skewed win/loss ratio

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not if they learn and improve. The 90’s wasn’t a good time to be an AB fan and no reason you can’t get back there

        • Chinese Dave

          That’s a bit silly mate. Sure, he may not be the best wallabies coach, but to call him #1 culprit in a rugby landscape which consisted last year of Richard Graham and Michael Foley, and is inhabited this year by mcgahan and stiles is a bit Queensland one eyed. To put a non too fine point on it, your beloved reds are also beneficiaries of ARU largesse above and beyond the other “minors” and they’ve hardly been any better than the tahs over the last five years.

        • Brisneyland Local

          No one culprit for Wallabies failures I meant! Excuse my poor terminology!

    • whatwouldberniedo

      along those same lines, almost all the wallaby centurions post gregan/larkham would have notched up an incredible landmark while never having made or even been in the mix of a world XV conversation. this is a truely damning indictment on the depth/entitlement argument.

    • Nick

      It’s great to bag out private schools if it makes you feel better. The problem is kids look at the crap the Wallabies dish up on free-to-air and think twice about playing rugby. They then can’t watch Super Rugby on free-to-air and none of their mates know about it so they go and play other sports. In the 90s and early 2000s there was huge hype about the Wallabies. In the early 2000s the CHS sides in Sydney were far more dominant than GPS or CAS. I think we’ll always be quite strong in private schools but free-to-air coverage and good Wallaby performances are crucial to attracting kids from government schools.

  • Gegonago
  • MungBean

    At least the Tahs weren’t booed off this time. A crowd is required for that to happen.

  • Andy

    Some of those players threw in the towel tonight. It was so clear. And how Paddy Ryan still gets a gurnsey. 10 years in professional rugby and he still can’t scrummage.

    The main problem this team has is some of those guys are just average club players let alone capable of representing the biggest club in Oz. And an average coaching team is not going to make them better.

    Changes at all levels required by the looks of it

    • mikado

      Poor old Ryan was taken to the cleaners, wasn’t he.

      • Nutta

        He’s been taken to the cleaners since time immorial. I can recall Jake White giving him the march from the Donkeys for being nowt but the Waratarts were more than happy to give another jersey to a Uni guy…

  • phil peake

    Gibson and Grey must go. There are good players there being coached badly. Hope Simon Cron is not too busy after the u20’s World Cup..

    • Andy

      Agree the coaching clearly isn’t up to scratch. But in fairness to Gibson the players he has at his disposal aren’t close to what the team was 3-4 years ago. If you look at the players that have left or retired over the last 3 years not a single replacement is fit to polish their shoes bar Lotu (who is coming along ok). People use to complain about players like Cliffy and Dennis. I even did on occasion. But what this team would give to have players of their caliber and leadership back. Even all the “tier 2″ S15 players that did the job every week like Alofa, Crawford, Chapman, Carraro, Hoiles.

      That’s been the clubs biggest failure. Not being able to keep or adequately replace half our top talent and literally none of our depth players. We used to leave Drew Mitchell on the bench. Now we are playing guys like Reece Robinson and Hegarty… go figure

      • Julian Manieson

        I’m not sure mate… man for man, the Brumbies are a weaker side than the Tahs (and definitely the Reds), and I’d back them to beat both. People were dragging Bernie last year, but I think he’s almost certainly the second best coach in Australia (after chieka). Maybe Laurie Fisher will come back and take the NSW job.

        • Huw Tindall

          Don’t know about man for man. Besides Hooper and Latu I’d take the entire Brumbies pack. Piggies on the whole for the Tahs are terrible. And you can’t win without a competitive pack.

          In the backs Foley starts but then I’ll take Brums on form.

        • onlinesideline

          Brumbies no names over Tahs any day of the week and has been like that for 15 years and no Im not a Brumbies supporter ( well outwardly anyhow)

        • Andy

          Agree with that. And they have form making average players better. They have always had the best rugby programme. But the Tahs failure isn’t just coaching.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I don’t buy that. The players need to pull their heads out of their arse and front up. Stop the stupid decisions and work at developing their skills and fitness so they can compete for 80 mins. I also think there is a bad culture that needs to be changed. It’ll be hard and could leave blood on the floor but it needs it urgently

      • phil peake

        I disagree. The players are there, the coaching and selections are letting them down. Gibson’s been coaching there since 2013 so he’s part of that. And he and Grey are responsible for the players selected, the way they play, the tactics and the skills. They must go.

        • Andy

          Agree the coaching is bad and they should go. Not disputing that. But you can’t argue that this team isn’t a shade on the 2014 team.

        • phil peake

          Perhaps but they should still be good enough to play good rugby right, even if they don’t win the title. The Kiwi teams bring in new guys all the time when their champion players move on and little is lost. It’s frustrating isn’t it? I think there are a lot of things they can do to improve but I don’t think they’re willing to make the changes.

  • Adrian

    Serious comments below
    1.Change all of the coaches now, especially Grey. Probably best bet would be someone from Randwick, or maybe Mathew Burke
    2. New captain….mine would be Kepu on the charge. As vc I’d have Foley, …. or perhaps even Folau
    3. New rule, …. no talking before games

    I might stop following this mess for now, and get back to Rugby League. After all, most Rugby followers started off following both games

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Especially 3. WTF is it with these idiots before the game saying shit like we’re looking for a bonus point win. There’s the Kings motivation talk right there

      • Bobas

        They got that bonus point

        • Huw Tindall

          Technically correct is the best kind of correct!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah I slapped myself

        • Parker

          Try an uppercut.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          hahaha well that’s ok then. Let’s hope for a few more losing bonus points ffs

      • Nick

        Should he have said we are not looking to win but for everyone to go out and have a good time?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No he shouldn’t say anything before the game. I don’t know why the players are approached prior to a game, the coaches should ban it.

    • Chinese Dave

      Matthew Burke as coach will never happen, he’d have to walk the walk instead of just talking the talk.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Talking the talk seems to be flavour of the years here, so maybe he’ll fit in well

      • Brisneyland Local

        Just finished reading his autobiography (good read by the way), and he stated he has no real interest in coaching, other than some minor coaching / consulting. he said there is no way in hell he would be a principal coach!

  • thehunters

    Very disappointing, diabolical display. I think they did actually want it, but not enough and the skills… How can a team with this personnel be this bad? How can a team that could match it with the Crusaders and the Hurricanes for 40 minutes be this bad against a team like the Kings? I’ve never been one to easily say, “sack the coach”, but we can’t believe that they could play this way with good coaching. Their confidence is low, I get it. When that is true skills drop off and they try to win the game with every possession, pushing passes, not backing their game plan and ability… back to the coach again…

  • Will

    Cut the Tahs from the comp. That was a gutless and Sh!te display of rugby. It’s not just the coaching – these guys are really really bad. Maybe decent at club level but are out of their depth in this comp.

    How they could perform like this after a good game against the canes in NZ really stinks.

    After least the rebels and force are going down with a fight!!

    • onlinesideline

      maybe the travel from Wellington ? – OK I’ll get the door myself.

  • jay-c

    I bought tickets for my parents for tonight’s game… all up it was hundreds of dollars for the night with dinner.
    Fuck you waratahs, you’re not getting a cent of my money for a long time after that.

    • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

      To be fair mate, you always were going to take your Mum and Dad out for dinner. You can’t really blame the Tahs for that. AND…. they probably lost some of their appetite, which saved you some coin.

      Hey I’m just looking for any positives I can find. Desperate times, demand desperate measures.

      • Nick

        I would have made dinner conditional on a Tahs victory, that way the wallet wouldn’t feel so light the next day.

        • jay-c


      • jay-c

        platinum (sideline)tickets are $76
        Even “gold” are $56
        Against “crap” opposition, knowing the stadium will be empty and considering the tahs season to date-
        It’s just not worth it when I can watch it at home for free.
        I’m just pissed dinner was so flat after that performance.

        • onlinesideline

          continuing playing these matches at 80 000 capacity stadiums knowing that only 7000 will turn up is also killing Super rugby too in my opinion. Super rugby needs to face reality and stop deluding itself. Small stadiums like the new RECTANGLE stadium of the highlanders should be a must. These oval stadiums, stadiums with terrible seating away from the play – this would never be acceptable in UK soccer or USA football. Their stadiums are rectangle, STEEP , intimate and atmospheric – ours are just f…cked

        • Perth girl

          NIB Stadium in Perth is ideal!

        • Nutta

          I’ll treat transport, a steak-sanga and a beer or 3 as sunk costs
          So 7,000 odd people paying between $40-$76 a ticket = $350k gate.

          Go push $20 for open-season and $60 for mum, dad and 3 kids and get 20,000 odd people for a $350k gate.

          With a crowd to show on tele the next time you will get 25,000 and you charge them $25 or $60 for family for a $600k gate.

          Work it the right way and I would say crowds at 30,000 paying $30 & $60 family is quite sustainable and worth approx $800k a chuck.

          We might be able to buy some decent footballers with that type of coin and attention.

          Am I the daft one here? Oh hang on, that would mean we would have to allow in folk who lived west of ANZAC parade wouldn’t it?

          So scrub that idea.

  • That was worse than the Cheetahs loss at the SFS. The Cheetahs played quite well. The Kings played crap and still the Tahs were beaten. I felt better when the Crusaders put 96 points on us.

    • Nick

      Hawko you have broken a sacred oath. We are never to speak of that Crusaders game. You and I both know deep down you did not feel better after that one!

  • MST

    That was like watching an interpretative dance of “What is wrong with Australian Rugby”.

    It was a magnificent in its existentialism and that it was so evocative and yet sufficiency avant-garde in its rendering of what is the true essence of Australian rugby in this very moment.

    From the kick off I was fascinated by the unrelenting divergence of the moment. What started out as yearning soon became finessed into a manifesto of pollution, leaving only a sense of dread and the dawn of a new but hauntingly familiar order.

    An impressionistic representation of how I feel after watching that performance:


    • Will

      Holy shit that made me laugh!!

  • EngineRoom

    Simon Cron for the Waratahs Head Coaach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Gibson is gooooooonnnnnnnnneeeeee!

    • Pclifto

      Cron would be amazing. Let’s make it happen

  • MungBean

    The dam has burst.

    The ARU are the WICB of rugby.

    They’ve pissed away the grit, determination, smarts and graft of the 70s through 90s by parachuting rugby league blowins on huge salaries ahead of grassroots players in a “who’s dick is bigger comp” that the NRL couldn’t care less about, paying excessive executive salaries, building a bureaucracy bloated with psychologists, life coaches and ‘diversity’ cranks, and enabling & inflaming provincial division by persistently showing favouritism for the Tahs, bringing in foreign technocrat coaches without a passion or understanding of Australian rugby and its intrinsic links with rugby league, the list goes on…

    • onlinesideline

      so agree – the whole sport has been run into the ground – the decision makers are totally fake, it feels so like its a weekend job for these blokes and always has. Its going to get worse and worse too. There is absolutely no way we can turn this around without a full implosion. Our best team (ok arguably) the Brumbies just had 50 points put on them. We are easy beats across the board and every aussie team is getting spanked 40-50 points and its going to go on for years. This was always going to end in tears and it has finally arrived. Whats going to be “funny” is that when the Force get dumped and we still get spanked across the board (probably worse) the following season.

      The one thing that is glaringly noticable about rugby in OZ is that people are soooo careful with their words – the only bloke who has been aggressive in public has been Alan Jones. We need some table throwing, window smashing, door smashing. But the sport is such a old boys network and the players are scared to say anything.

      Whats the tipping point going to be ? – defeat after defeat after defeat ?

      One more point – this crap about OZ being a competitive landscape is true BUT NO EXCUSE. When they can look themselves in the mirror and say they are doing EVERYTHING possible then they can point to other sports but the reality is they are not even close and until then they should stop with this complete rubbish line.

      • Nick

        Did you catch Alan absolutely tearing Cameron Clyne a new one two weeks ago? I was flinching in the car!

        • onlinesideline

          yeah, a bit gay but it was needed – bhahaha

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      While I agree with some of what you say, I’m not sure foreign coaches are the issue. Perhaps particular foreign coaches are but it’s certainly not hurting the Force. Understanding Australian rugby at the moment looks a bit like understanding petulant players who have a higher opinion of their ability and worth than what is displayed on the field. Not sure if you need that

      • bazzar

        the foreign coaches are a side effect of the loss of Australian coaches. Who coaches England?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Good point. Although his stint as a national coach didnt end well. I think he’s Kearny from that and is a better coach now than he was then

  • Tommy Brady
  • ForceFan

    So still no crowd numbers about Waratahs matches.

    Is this a global conspiracy to keep the numbers secret?
    4 home games now and no published numbers for Allianz Stadium but many are very happy to use the equally low numbers to deride the Brumbies, Force and Rebels.
    Can anybody provide the crowd numbers for the Tahs’ home games?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I don’t know about the numbers mate but during the game there were a lot of empty seats in just about every shot

    • BF

      They’ll announce the crowd as about 15,000 again.
      My sources tell me it’s more around the 7,000 figure.

  • Pclifto

    I was at the game and oh boy, what a shocker.

    There was a mixture of anger, bemusement and resignation in the faithful around me… not a good mix.

    The only thing stopping a thorough booing off the field was the Tahs try at the death which showed the enterprise that was missing for the entire match.

    The basic ball skills were appalling, set piece was diabolical and there seemed to be a general malaise and lack of interest in attack. I hardly saw any Watatah receive the ball on the burst with a head of steam.

    I think the Tahs’ coaching team might need a clean out… and we might need to find some players with some starch and some vigour – it was like we had a bunch of stoners out there tonight.

    Frankly any decent team would have beaten the Kings by lots tonight… don’t get me wrong, they totally deserved the win… but the Canes or the Crusaders would have put 60 points on these guys.

    Really, really disappointing…

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The only issue with clearing out the coaching team is who do you replace them with? There isn’t a lot of options out there due to the lack of any strategic planning by the ARU on any development planning

      • Nick

        I agree we have no real coaching depth in Australia right now which is concerning. I still think the Tahs need a shake-up (along with most other franchises).

      • Dally M

        Laurie Fisher is available isn’t he?

      • EngineRoom

        There is one coach who is pretty good.

        Simon Cron

        Coaching Aussie U20’s right now. Took Norths to the championship last year after 41 years and took the club to #1 club team in Aus.

        Laurie Fisher is another good option.

        But I do believe Cron is the go to man

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          He certainly seems the goods. I’d like to think a season or two under another coach would be a good idea if he can afford the time. I’m biased but if he could spend a season with the Canes, Highlanders or Crusaders it would be hugely beneficial

        • EngineRoom

          Or maybe a season or two under fisher at the Tahs then take over?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that could work. I’d like to see Fisher in some sort of strategic coaching role for the ARU helping all coaches and mentoring ones coming through

      • joy

        Mickey Mouse will do.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I would take him at the moment, because at least we know he is a clown before we hired him!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well he won’t do worse

    • Parker

      Good point about the lack of receiving “the ball on the burst with a head of steam”. Frankly I’ve noted its absence from the Wallabies too, particularly in the forwards. So much receiving the ball flat footed that makes the ball carrier an easier target for tacklers. Don’t know why it’s gone out of style in Aus rugby. Was its exclusion a condition of the introduction of place kicking tees?

  • Nickwaiheke

    I just cannot believe this WTF

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    I feel for you Hugh, that was just crap. Really disappointing after those first few points. Like you I not sure what it is but whatever the problem is it needs sorting out

    • Tommy Brady

      You imply there is a quick fix here. This is a franchise that’s been on a steady decline since their title winning year in 2014. A side that lacks the necessary skill levels to be elite and the conditioning levels to compensate for it. A side lacking innovation in their playing style and are dreadfully predictable in much of what they do (and have been for 3 seasons now). A side clearly lacking any form of values system that is bought into by every single group member. A side with too many players feeling no competitive threat for their position and therefore lack the pressure to excel. A side arrogant in their belief that they are the best side in Australia – in what has become a dreadful Australian conference. A side who persevere with a captain who tries very hard as a player but clearly cannot inspire his men on the field. A side with no leadership group ex. Hooper. A side who still don’t know how to most effectively use their best back. A side where their best back doesn’t have the desire or ability to lead his team by his actions. Oh – and a side where the defensive coach is the same low-skilled, talk too much knucklehead he was as a player.

      None of last night should be any surprise. The Waratahs are a very poor rugby side. They have been for quite a while.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not much to argue about there mate. I do agree that despite a great heart and some fantastic skills Hooper is not a captains areshole. The Waratahs need a hard nosed captain who is prepared to kick some arse on field and at training. AND keep Hooper and the rest of the players away from the press before a game. They need to walk the walk before they talk the talk, although talking seems to be all they have

        • Huw Tindall

          Hooper keeps getting nominated by his team mates for John Eales medals and such so I can’t imagine it’d be a criticism of his leadership. You don’t get respect by just being a nice bloke in a footy team.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well maybe you do. I actually think his passion, fitness and heart deserves that nomination but when it comes to team decision making on the field he’s out of his depth

        • Who?

          The perfect example of that being the continued decisions to turn away the 3 points in that game.

        • Tommy Brady

          This is why I struggle to agree with your belief that Australia should retain 5 professional franchises. Too many players are simply not competitive at Super Rugby level. Some may become conpetitive if they know they are fighting for a contract – or fighting to retain one. The Waratahs are littered with both.

        • BF

          This problem started years ago. Cheika picking his Waratah pets – a d still does – and drove a lot of very good players overseas. If those players stayed, the wallabies would be stronger and therefore this’ll flow through to super rugby

        • Nick

          I somehow think Cheika taking the Tahs to the title in 2014 was not the death knell for Australian rugby you purport it to be.

        • BF

          I’m not talking about Cheika as a Waratahs coach but as a wallabies coach.
          Explain why the kiwi’s rate Fardy but Cheika picks Mumm and Fardy heads overseas.
          Explain how Phipps get’s selected.
          Explain why Cheika made will Skelton a wallaby captain FFS

        • Chinese Dave

          Yeah Cheika is horrible, how dare he win the comp with the tahs and take the wallabies to the rwc final, what an arsehole.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’ve always thought that 5 franchises would be good so that Australia could develop depth in all the positions, including coaches. If the draw had a home and away with the teams each year or each alternative year then that would build the passion amongst the fans.
          I’m starting to think that I was wrong and that you don’t have the depth to develop. It’s frustrating as in parts both the Tahs and Brumbies were very good, but it’s just stupid stuff costing them time after time. I feel a bit like Hugh at the moment and maybe it’s just not worth bothering about. Brumbies losing to the Canes is sort of OK, although the second half was very poor, but the Tahs losing to the Kings! That’s just a bloody disgrace and some of those players need to work out whether they should be there or should piss off to soccer or some other nancy sport where their self delusional views don’t matter.

        • joy

          We’d be lucky to get one competitive franchise out of the lot of them.

      • Huw Tindall

        Something is rotten in the state of New South Wales

      • joy

        Well said and it reflects on badly on a whole lot of people including Foley.

        These guys got bashed and didn’t have the will or wick to bash back or indeed the wit to weave their way around it.

  • Pearcewreck

    On a side note, and It has been said before, but was is going on with Aussie teams building an early lead then being swapped in the second half.
    It has happened all season, and happened twice last night.
    Are we not fit enough?

    • Huw Tindall

      Fuck knows. Australian rugby would be hard pressed ensuring there were enough orange slices at half time.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Wow just watched the replay, and yes that really sucked the big one. To think those pesky Warratahs supporters were paying out on the Reds, and us Reds fans last week, and now they are eating humble pie, or in this case a giant steaming turd sandwhich minus the bread!

    Total arrogance, thinking that they were better than the Kings. I thought the Reds dropped the pil a lot, these guys took that to a whole new level. As the old saying goes; “They hit rock bottom, then got out their excavator!”

    Gibson and Grey have to go, that much is obvious. I also think we need to incentivise winning again. You only get 50% of your salary, and if you win you get 100%. Because these guys are getting too much to play shit like that. The D grade Under 17’s from Wagga Wagga would have put in a better effort than that!

    I think the Warratahs are the microcosm of Australian Rugby at the moment, and demonstrate clearly the flaws that exist in all of the franchises as a whole! Oh how the mighty have fallen!

    And by the way all of us prententious Aussie rugby fans, we have to stop calling the Kings the lowly or poor performing team of the Super 15, because they just pantsed the Warratahs, and almost pantsed the Reds, so I think it is time to start referring to us as the lowly performing crap, shit house, dog blowing teams of the Super 15 competition.

    • Pearcewreck

      Well said BLL.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Well up til last night, I thought us Reds fans were sitting on our own surrounded by an ocean of diarrhoea! But alas, it turns out the Tahs are in a worse position.

    • Nick

      The Kings are shit and I will never concede this fact. That they beat the Waratahs and almost the Reds does not change that.

      The Reds are shite too though. Will be a good old shitefest when we play you filthy northerners.

      I agree with you on match incentives though. It’s funny that the players want to treat it like a business, however there are rarely repercussions for them after a bad match. If I put a shift like that in at work I’d be performance-managed out of there quick smart!

      The players take the money that comes with professionalism but not the consequences of poor performance.

  • Nick

    I haven’t posted much this year as I’ve found I’ve just lost interest in Super Rugby. I’m sure I’m not alone. The standard of rugby is poor and I can barely watch it on TV let alone go to a game. Worrying times and a far cry from the dizzying heights of the 90s and early 2000s.

    Re: This game. Pathetic. A new low. What’s more to say? I’ll stick to club rugby and then hopefully the Wallabies can dig in over the winter!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Except these players make up part of the Wallabies so can’t see it changing too much.

      • Nick

        A guy has to dream KRL.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Thanks for the report Hugh. Just reading it I can tell it was painful for you.
    “But to be so out-enthused, so out-coached, it’s just embarrassing.” Sounds like we weren’t Out Embarrassed, so that’s a start. Right? Hey, you sometimes got to look for small gems among the rubble.

  • Chinese Dave

    Just when the senior players needed to step up, I’m looking at you Mumm, and you, resident dud kiwi taavao, and you folau, but you Holloway, they shrank away like the pissants they are, leaving hooper and Foley looking like the only ones who aren’t shocked and who give a fuck. Gibson, get the fuck out of here and take taavao with you, and get rid of the senior dick heads. If we’re going to play like clueless neophytes, at least let’s leave some wallabies top ups to the teams that care.

    • onlinesideline

      whats a neophyte ?

      • Brisneyland Local

        a person who is new to a subject or activity.

        • onlinesideline


        • onlinesideline

          sounds a bit like a sexual disorder but anyway …

        • Brisneyland Local

          Maybe, or just the way your brain thinks! he he

        • onlinesideline


  • DK

    That’s it, I’m done. Never ever again and when a player calls to ask me to renew my membership I’m unloading both barrels at him personally, at the team and at the organisation. How dare he calls me in my free time to ask me to help pay their salaries. Never again. Done. Nothing can be said, done or won to get me back. I became a member 1st year of super rugby in 1996 and have been ever since even when I was living abroad i paid my membership, but now I’m done, broken even a little sad…done.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Feel your pain DK. Loyalty like yours deserves more.

  • onlinesideline

    who was the bloke again that wanted to organise that hybrid game of 2 halves of rugby union and rugby league a few years back – anyone got his number still ?

    Hey Bobbbbb ? who was that bloke that …….

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Just watched 9 news at 5 tonight (Saturday). Not a mention of any rugby. The ARU need to get off their collective arse and sort this out. How the hell are you going to improve this game when major news organisations aren’t even mentioning it? Ok the news this week wouldn’t have been good but FFS no mention anywhere. So the only people seeing this competition are those who buy Foxtel.
    I know there are big problems with certain state management more keen on protecting their little influence than looking after Australia as a whole but this is unacceptable. Combine this with losing current supporters by the bucketload and the problems are bigger than they can recognise. I feel sorry for all my Australian brothers and sisters who want to see Australian rugby get better. I’m not sure it’s going to happen anytime soon and I think you’re almost at the point that it has to fail dramatically to force it to get better.

  • Nutta

    About 6-8yrs ago we had a huge blew on this site over whether we should boo the Tarts or not.

    They should be booed. Long, loud and incessantly. They deserve it. They suck. They embarrassed themselves and thereby us.

    I wonder if any of them ever read J. Alfred Prufrock and thought about a life measured in ‘good training sessions’…

    Now if the Force wins… Bahahaha!

    Thx for the write up Hugh. That one would not have been easy.

  • Fan

    2 people in my group didn’t go to the game because the fixture list fridge magnet that the Waratahs sent out with the membership pack said the game was on Saturday night… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d76fc65a599e69062b6f77a8d05f1005c08f286db27866c703ec3569a52c95c9.jpg

  • Tim

    It goes to show Australia doesn’t know how to complete at the ruck. We typically chose one person to be the pilfer, eg Pocock or smith but for the tahs its Latu. Although we have 7 other forwards that do not pressure the break down or go for steals? Whys is this overlooked?

  • cantab

    The upside for Australian rugby at the moment is that the Aust conference is anyone’s game, with the prise being hosting a quarter final.

    All 5 teams are still in the running and things might just start to get interesting.

  • Perth girl

    Perhaps we don’t have enough players to support 5 teams, time to cut the worst performing team the Waratahs!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha can’t see it but yeah after that performance

  • Mulach St Hillbillies

    I am prepared to give Gibson some wiggle room as its the assistants these days that prepare the team and an assistant team made up of Blade, Malone and Grey – well that’s where I would start to cull particulary set piece (Blades) and defence coach Grey.However Gibson needs a big stick – if he could put pride aside Laurie Fisher is the man – LORD dont they need him. Brumbies have already closed the door on Fisher for 2018.

    My team to play Qld –
    15 – Clarke (Kellaway prefered but injured)
    14 – Taqele Naiyaravoro (needs to get fit and learn to tackle – maybe should defend at 12, certainly should be given more ball)
    13 – Izzy (has to play as *punishment) he is getting to paid to much to sit idle)
    12 – Irae Simone
    11 – Harry Jones
    10 – Foley
    09 – Flash Gordon
    08 – Halloway
    07 – Hooper
    06 – Ned Hanigan
    05 – Senio Toleafoa
    04 – Big Willy
    03 – Matt Sandell
    02 – Latu
    01 – S. Needs

    bench = Sekope, Roach, David Lolohea, David McDuling, Michael Wells, Matty Lucas, R. Horne, Mack Mason.

    Gees no room for Mumm, Phibbs pity or bloody Paddy who still cannot scrum. Robertson needs an off season to build up, to small. Technically very good at set piece but needs to bulk up a little more. Lets have a look at Sandell as Ta’arvo is a waist, Hooper looks burnt out and although we need him a sabatical before the June series might do him a world of good. Some of these so called wobblies need to put some pride back into the jumper before they start.

    • Adrian

      I see your points Mulach
      I think Phipps should play though, even on the wing (1.5 tests there) because he has passion and energy and never gives up. He’s also a great defender, even if the rest of his game is not brilliant

  • Adrian

    I’ve calmed down a bit.

    Many (many) years ago I played in games where similar things happened. I was in both shit hot teams, and poor teams, so I’ve seen it from both angles.

    This stuff tends not to happen again.

    It’s a “cultural” thing, where the red-hot favourites just can’t bring themselves to play a poor team, one ruck at a time, one scrum at a time, one kick at a time.

    They get ahead of themselves, … Hooper talking about bonus points before the game gave a clue.

    Call it arrogance, or call it something related to choking, but it happens.

    The Tahs (who I support) have people like Grey in their ear all the time telling them defence is simple, then putting in place complex defensive structures, and silly stunts like the world’s longest rope.

    Grey doesn’t fit with the quietly spoken Gibson, and Grey should go.

    I think that for the next match, Phipps should play, even if it’s on the wing (where he has played 1.5 tests)

    The Tahs must CONCENTRATE ON DEFENCE and set pieces.

    The attack will take care of itself, given the team has natural attacking players like Folau, Foley, Nayivorova, Skelton etc.

    This doesn’t mean they will win, it just means they can earn self respect and have a chance of winning.

    I could say all of the above about the Reds as well

    • Brisneyland Local

      True! If reference to the attitude thing you are spot on!
      With the Reds I think it is more a belief thing, a confidence thing. I dont think that they have that or enough to even be arrogant, because they know they are haivng a crap time because they are still psychologically scarred from the Woody Graham era!

      The Reds defence is about the same as the Warratahs, but I must say their attack, when firing, is better than the Tahs. I think there kicking game is better too. But I guess we will all find out next weekend. But you sare spot that attitudinally we have a problem. Infact I think all of Aus rugby including the Wallabies do too! The fish rots from the head down!

  • Fatflanker

    Forget not having the players for five teams – we don’t have the coaches for five teams. Loved him as a player but it’s getting pretty obvious that Grey is not cutting it as a defensive coach. Frankly, the standard of coaching across the Oz franchises is an embarrassment.

    Progress at the set piece has stalled or regressed across all the teams. Not sure what influence Nick the Kick is having in terms of getting basic skills like catching the effing pill sorted…sweet FA so far by the looks of it.

  • Tomthusiasm

    Give the rope a run this week.

  • Christopher

    Didn’t catch the canes game!? Or missed sarcasm by me…

ACT Brumbies

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