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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s rugby news has Daryl Gibson calling for physicality against the All Blacks, James Slipper confident about the Wallabies scrum, Melbourne Rebels sign Reece Hodge and Fiji win Pacific Nations Cup. 


Physicality Key: Gibson

Waratahs coach and former All Black Daryl Gibson has said that the Wallabies must by physical against the All Blacks this weekend if they are any chance of beating them.

“I think the South Africans showed some of the All Blacks’ vulnerabilities around being very physical and stopping their go forward,” Gibson said.

“We know that the All Blacks are very good with ball in hand, but if you can slow their ruck speed and slow down their attack then you’ve gone a long way in nullifying that strength.

“They’ll need to be physical against the All Blacks and Will’s a big man and I’d imagine he’ll be pretty critical for Australia’s plans to win the game.”

Scrum on Track: Slipper

Wallabies prop James Slipper says that the Wallabies scrum will be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup next month.

The Wallabies scrum has been inconsistent so far this season and they will be expecting a tough challenge playing strong scrummaging teams England and Wales in the Pool stage.

“With Mario coming in – and a lot of players haven’t been working under him as the Tahs have this year – it’s about making sure everyone is on the same page and working to a common goal,” Slipper said.

“It has taken some time to adjust but I feel we have definitely been improving and moving in the right direction … Going to the World Cup, we will be pretty confident.”

Rebels Sign Hodge

The Melbourne Rebels have signed Shute Shield star Reece Hodge for two years.

Hodge has been a stand out for Manly in the Shute Shield competition but has also received attention for his kicking abilities.

Hodge was recently filmed making a kick from 76 metres out at Manly oval with the help of some wind.

“I’m really grateful for the opportunity to move to Melbourne, and hopefully I’ll be able to repay that faith and continue to enjoy my footy at the same time,” Hodge told the Rebels website.

“I’m looking forward to what the next two years holds … I’m confident in my goal kicking ability if I was called upon, but there’s already some strong goal kickers down there.”

Fiji Win Pacific Nations Cup

Fiji have defeated Samoa 39-29 to claim the Pacific Nations Cup.

Former Waratah Ben Volavola helped Fiji secure the win where they out scored Samoa 5 tries to 3.

The match was close until the 60 minute mark when full-back Kini Murimurivalu went over in the corner for a try converted by Volavola to put Fiji ahead 29-24.

Fiji’s captain Akapusi Qera scored the final try for Fiji with Volavola adding the conversion.

Fiji will meet Australia, Wales and England in Pool A in the Rugby World Cup next month.

  • Skelton for 12

    …. a 76m penalty kick to win a test match. Keep workin on it Reece

  • Garry

    Fiji’s in our pool. mmmmm……. (long silence)….. yes, my thoughts exactly. If it wasn’t before, it is now, officially the pool of death.

    • Benny Boy

      Hmmm. Wallabies 4th?

      • dane

        Im hoping for Wales 4th.

        • ols

          Australia
          England
          England
          England

    • muffy

      Wales have some poor form against the Fijians! (so here’s hoping!) I would personally love to see them through, they play the game how it should be, not that stodgy mess that the NH serves up with pride!

    • Watch out, I hear Uruguay are the up and coming powerhouse of world rugby.

      • dane

        They just beat an Argentina XV

      • Garry

        the game is up on ytube. Have a look.

  • wilful

    I foolishly read an article on that terrible stuff.co.nz website, where one of the ABs was (reportedly, possibly misquoted) having a whinge that the ‘Tahs are dirty players and they’ll really have to watch out for some low blows and cheating from the Wallabies, what with Cheika as coach and Big Will being dirty and Michael Hooper being keen on punching people behind the play. It was pretty outrageous stuff.

    • muffy

      Stuff is the bastion of anti Australian sentiment – most of what comes out from them derides to the point of hate speech.
      One of my good friends, a naturalised Kiwi, was this side on holiday for the first time, he said that he felt like Borat visiting Israel, expecting to be verbally abused by bogan Aussies in the street who care so very deeply about losing to the All Blacks, the reality was, as you would expect, quite different … we laughed and laughed while eating Pavlova, whilst listening to Crowded House.

    • JPQ

      yeah stuff.co.nz is a tabloid rag; it’s all about the clickbait.

  • dane

    I disagree with Gibson’s sentiments that showing physicality in the rucks with nullify the All Blacks’ strength. Slowing the ruck will simply cause the ABs to employ their astute tactical kicking game and putting pressure on our kick receivers to pressure turnover ball. The key to nulifying the AB strengths is to ensure we have support players around kick receivers to avoid turnovers.

    Also key is to quickly react in the event of a turnover to shut down AB opportunity. Given that the ABs begin so many successful attacking raids from short passing interchange amongst the forwards from turnover ball, I for one would have thought this would be where the Wallabies should focus on nulifying the ABs strengths.

    • Nick

      Word on the street is that Pocock has been benched and Hooper is starting.

      Hooper loves a ruck, so ABs should be unlikely to see much turnover ball…

      • Klaus

        What ever that street is looks awfully like a dead end as a road to nowhere.

        • Simon

          Yes, particularly with that street reported to contain Foley living at Number 10 and Horwill just down the road at Number 4.
          According to yesterday’s paper, anyway.

        • John

          Horrifying isn’t it!

      • Kiwi John

        Mate Hooper stays away from the rucks from what I saw in S15. He spends more time out in the backs than in the rucks

      • dane

        Eh? Hooper is a great player but if you are comparing him with Mr Pocock I believe the ‘Cock takes the points come ruck time. Excuse me if I misinterpret the subtext of your comment, but my sarcasm detector seems to be malfunctioning.

        Secondly, the ruck is not the only placed turnovers are sourced. The ABs are likely to start attacking raids from poorly placed kicks, quick lineouts and dropped balls (an Australian staple in the last 4 years)

  • Bizzare

    Not sure I would agree that the scrum is on track until there is a prop with ears like Graham Rowntree. There is a man who loves the scrum :-)

    It’s been a while since I saw ears like that in Australia

  • Pedro

    Damn didn’t realise Volavola had signed with the saders and Fiji. Good luck to him. He was on my radar as a future wallaby, a great talent to lose.

  • Robson

    The key to beating the ABs is being able to play with intensity, pace and accuracy right up to and beyond the 80th minute of the test match. South Africa wasn’t able to do that against either Australia or New Zealand and the lesson from that is not about physicalitty, but about physical conditioning. I am anticipating that the Wallabies will do a great deal better against the ABs in that department than the Springboks. How much better will – imho – determine who will win. Providing, of course, that all the kicks at goal go between the sticks.

  • Muzz

    Ha ha yeah Veitchy hasn’t taken the cricket world cup loss well at all. I used to find him as a voice of reason on many sporting topics but through the world cup we saw the other side of him. And he’s still pissed about it! Likes winding the Kiwis up about all that he sees is bad about Australia.
    The All Blacks will probably win on Saturday night but what if they don’t? The inferiority complex will go into overdrive and people like Veitchy will be up in arms about everything Australian.

  • Kiwi John

    Vietchy should be ignored. I don’t know whether he believes what he writes or is just stirring people up but either way I am embarrassed with what he writes.

  • JPQ

    I don’t actually think people will be as reactionary as usual if we [the AB’s] lose this game since its a WC year. A lot of the dialogue in the media this week has been “should we care about the Bledisloe Cup this yeah or is it irrelevant?”. From memory no one really minded when we lost the Tri Nations in 2011…

    The thing with Veithcy is that he just hates the sledging and demeanour of the Australian cricket team; it goes against how we expect winners to act like in New Zealand. The AB’s generally dominant world rugby yet they are comparatively humble.

  • Simon

    Yeah, because the Kiwi equivalent would be if they booed a rugby player of Maori heritage every time he touched the ball… Oh wait.

  • Richard

    I sense those comments could be applied to every sporting team, state or country mate. Somehow, people want to focus on the small minority and single them out for attention as if they are the vast majority.

    Understand that the large percentage of rugby loving Kiwi fans respect the Wallabies because they are typically very good and typically very competitive against the All Blacks. This Saturday in Sydney will be no exception and whilst many Kiwis hope the AB’s play really well and win comfortably, the reality is it will be a dog-fight that will be extremely close. It never changes.

    New Zealand rugby is best when Australian rugby is strong. Been the case for close to 40 years now. That also never changes.

  • galumay

    Indeed, aussies criticising other fans for poor sportsmanship is the definition of pot, kettle, black.

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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