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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News has the Rebels excited about having good players from the Force, the Senate inquiry in Perth, missing millions and Karmichael Hunt back (again).


Force Rebels

ForceRebs7

GAGR Best Friend Dave Wessels was on our pod last night, and after we got our hands on him the Daily Telegraph got jealous and started up their rumour mill.

“Rebels hope to lure as many as 10 Force players to Melbourne in 2018″ booms the headline, adding that the new Rebels coach may find most of the Force Wallabies at his new club.

Tetera Faulkner has signed, while fellow prop Jermaine Ainsley might be soon. Ross Haylett-Petty is a probably, and he’s said before that him and DHP, like good waffles, stick together. Richard Hardwick and Jono Lance are also maybes, while Adam Coleman is torn between big Eurobucks and the Rebels. No word on Pancakes the Donkey.

Any players from the Force will join Will Genia in Melbourne.

“We need to do things differently and we’re certainly ready for that and there’s lots of change which is quite exciting,” said Rebels CEO Baden Stephenson.

“The shared experiences that the Force had this year, Dave feels there will be a strong alliance and connection between staff and players and that’s part of his driver [sic?].”

Senate Inquiry

The Senate inquiry into the Western Force’s axing will move to Perth today, and former COO Rob Clarke will be the star attendee.

Apart from being ARU COO, Clarke was also a former CEO of both the Brumbies and the Rebels, which puts his role in producing the alliance agreement with the Force under the spotlight. Last month, in the initial hearing in Canberra, former Force GM Mark Sinderberry suggested that Clarke had given the commercial in confidence document to VRU prez Tim North (so says rugby.com.au).

Funnily enough, joining Clarke tomorrow will be North. Rupa CEO Ross Xenos will also front up, as will former WA Wallaby John Welborn and former Rebels CEO Peter Leahy.

Four submissions have so far been made to the inquiry – the deadline for submissions is 12 October. The final report will be handed down on 15 November.

The hearing tomorrow will begin tomorrow at 9am Perth time, aka 12pm Official Super Rugby Time (aka 11am Queenslandaaa Time).

Rebels Shoulda Been Cut

ForceRally4a

The closest thing to Proper Journalism GAGR has ever come to is Alison Foskett’s investigation on the allocation of funds to the Rebels. In short, Alison found out that the Rebels received $30m from the ARU, including a $13m loan that was written off, whereas the Force received around $15m.

A couple of months after that, Alison has popped up on the ABC to explain her findings. This is because she has made a submission to the Senate inquiry, which yesterday or Monday or something moved to Perth.

“It is my contention that the ARU has failed … to meet fundamental objectives of its Constitution, and has been reckless in its governance,” her submission said.

“This has been to the severe detriment of the innocent players, coaches, staff and families of the Western Force, and of the game in general.”

Alison, a rugby fan originally from England, joined the Force when they started in 2006 and even gave over some spare change to help fund the Force’s legal challenge.

“What [the Force] received was a drop in the ocean compared to what they received and they received financial help in every single year that they were in the competition from the ARU and private backers as well,” Ms Foskett said on 7.30.

“[The Melbourne Rebels] were a financial basket-case I would say. I have to ask the question: Why was it us? We had cost them the least. We had incrementally improved the game in WA. We finished second in the conference last year.”

The 730 Report last night also came up with some documents that said a further $6m would be paid to the Rebels by 2020. Neither the Rebels nor the ARU wanted to chat to the ABC, but the ARU did say “It is a regrettable situation and we have deep sympathy for all people affected by this decision, including Western Force players, staff, members and supporters.”

Karmichael In

Queenslander! - Karmichael Hunt

Karmichael Hunt has basically spent his whole rugby career coming back from injury, and he’s told Fox Sports for the 4th time this year he’s raring to go.

“I’ve had a couple of solid weeks of training, but nothing compares to a game,” Hunt said, who had a 40 min cameo for Brisbane City on the weekend.

“I was a little bit nervy to start off with, but I felt comfortable with my ankle and after I got into some contact and got my hands on the footy, I really felt like I was back to playing footy again.”

Hunt is planning on turning out for City in their Melbourne Rising game on the weekend, where he hopes to break some bones and have some box kicks charged down.

“If I can get through some more time next week, obviously I’m a bit shorthanded for game fitness, but the way I felt out there today was — obviously the standard’s not as intense as a Bledisloe’s going to be in a Test match — but I really feel like my conditioning’s been in pretty good nick.

“I just need to get some more minutes under my belt for my leg fitness.”

With basically all the backs having at least 1 very good game in the Rugby Championship, it’s going to be tough for Hunt to get back in. However, Cheika is keen to have him back.

“We’re eager for him to be back in sooner rather than later,” Cheika said of Hunt last month.

“Another player that has got good chat, he’s been in the big game situations.  He can only be a benefit…for sure (Hunt can play in the same side as Beale).

“We’ll work it out somehow. We’ll make the numbers work.”

  • Adrian

    Good summary of everything Nick.

    Unless someone has a hidden injury, it’s hard to see Hunt being anywhere except the bench.

    Before last weekend, I’d of had him instead of Hodge, but not now.

    If he is in the starting 15, the most vulnerable player might be Kurandrani. Some would say that this couldn’t possibly happen, as Hunt has never played 13. But thereagain, he’d never played at 12.

    I’d prefer bench, and use him to replace whoever is injured or out of form amongst the 10-15 players.

    His versatility, might mean a 6:2 bench, but I’d keep Kerevi, and replace Speight with Hunt.

    • Who?

      Didn’t Hunt play 12 in Europe?
      I know he played 13 outside Samu for City last year…
      That said, TK’s one of the best defensive centres on the planet, so I’d hate to see Cheika drop him. Again.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        TKs defensive form has been patchy, but I generally agree. His missed tackles against South Africa in the Perth test and Argentina last week were concerning. He’s generally our best defender though.

      • Gottsy

        He played 13 at Biarritz. Would love to see him have a crack there, could form an excellent partnership with Beale

        • Bakkies

          He also played flyhalf

        • onlinesideline

          EVERYONE seems to have played flyhalf

    • Ad-O

      For me, Hunt comes into 12 and Beale goes out to the wing. I know Beale plays well at 12 but he is still too suspect in defense for me, especially on turnovers when both Beale and Foley standing together are a massive target.
      There’s a lot of talk about Beale going to fullback but he’s too suspect under the high ball IMHO, especially contested high balls. Put him on the wing with license to inject himself into the backline, like Campese used to.

      • Adrian

        Maybe,… maybe not. Beale’s ability to ibdirectly turn fist and second phase ball into points is more important than any points he might give away…IMO

        • Ad-O

          I’d love him to play 10, but we’ve tried that before and it hasn’t worked out. I just think with Beale and Foley dropping out of the first line of defense there are too many moving parts in transition. Hunt at 12, playing well, is a better balanced side.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I just don’t think we can stick with Beale at 12, it just makes us too vulnerable on the counter when we have Foley and Beale at 10 and 12.

      Hunt to 12, Beale to 15/14 (Izzy is already essentially playing right wing while wearing the 15 jersey) and either Hodge or Koroibete dropped?

      • onlinesideline

        there is no way Izzy at 14 and Beale at 15 is ever going to happen under MC – ppl have been suggesting this almost as a reflex but clearly MC and Larkham have discussed it and they have not expressed the slightest enthusiasm for this whatsoever. Ppl need to give up on this its just a pipedream dont you think. MC clearly luvs Izzy at 15. MAYBE he would play Beale on wing but that would backfire IMO.

        • Bobas

          Did you mean: conundrum

        • onlinesideline

          no I meant concundrum and then concumdrum

          umm Yes

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I think you’d be shocked as to how little input Larkham has in selections.

          I think what you wrote should be amended to saying that Folau won’t wear the 14 jersey, for he is already playing as a winger and not a fullback the majority of matches, and has been the entire year (Nick Bishop has written about it over on the other site).

          Therefore, it doesn’t really matter if Beale wears the 14 jersey and Folau the 15, they would both still primarily be performing one another’s roles.

          The only reason I would prefer Folau to wear the 14 and Beale the 15 would be because (1) it would be an admission by Cheika that Folau is most dangerous and effective on the wing and (2) I am a traditionalist and like the numbers on the jerseys actually corresponding to the roles that the player is performing.

        • onlinesideline

          and 3) he’s at his best when he plays that League style in your face, bumping off 1 or 2 players close to the try line, how dare you tackle me mode.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’s a good one too.

          In one sense I am on board with Cheika’s idea that number on shirts are just numbers and players should have more freedom—and Folau is often playing on the wing. But I would just prefer him to wear the 14.

          But I don’t see why Beale can’t be put on the wing. Sure, it would mean dropping Hodge or Koroibete to the bench, but it would mean we would be able to defend better in the midfield, and Beale’s and Foley’s midfield defence have leaked so many points.

        • John Miller

          Despite hype to the contrary, jersey numbers matter.

          If it is true that Falou is wearing 15 but playing 14 & Beale is wearing 12 but playing 15, the difference then becomes the selection of the next player. If Falou is 15 and Beale is 12, we then select a winger instead of a centre (e.g. Korobete, Naivalu or Speight). If the opposite is true, we then select a centre instead of a winger (e.g. Kerevi, Hunt, Meakes, Rona). Make up and balance of the backline becomes the net effect.

          Of course, Cheika then confounds this little confusion by selecting “utilities” rather than specialists on the wing (DHP, Hodge, Rona). It is unnecessarily complex and totally mind numbing stuff by the myopic Wallabies coach.

          The ridiculous backrow situation is similar. When “Pooper” plays, all and sundry agree that David Pocock – whilst wearing the 8 jersey and packing at the back of the scrum – really plays as the team’s 7 and fulfils the core roles of the openside flanker position. Hooper then plays a hybrid (small) 6-8 / centre but wears the 7 jersey. What’s the problem, right? Well, if David Pocock wore the 7 jersey, there would be zero questions about his place in the side: he fulfils the requirements superbly and is arguably the best player in that position in the world. So, when he’s available / fit, the 7 jersey is a lock. Fait accomli. No questions asked. If Chieka insists on playing the Waratah openside in the run-on and Hooper wears the 6 or 8 jerseys, then his contributions are directly compared to the key skillset of the jersey he inhabits, core amongst which are: line out jumping, scrum piloting, maul leveraging, tight/wide running, collision winning, dominant ruck cleaning. That is, most of the areas the Wallabies have been falling down over Chieka’s reign. And so it is Hooper’s 6 or 8 jersey that becomes the obvious one in question. Never gonna happen as long as Chuckles is in charge.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that :)

        • Bernie Chan

          Would not be surprised if Larkham gets little say at all…remember Cheika chose Hunt to play in the centres after he had trained all week at fullback, and Larkham wasn’t told…only found out once it was announced by Hunt….

        • Bakkies

          and Larkham said he often doesn’t know who will be in the backs until late in the week. At least Cheika has binned the habit of naming 9 man benches and no bench at all until a day after the xv has been selected.

        • Bernie Chan

          One of many things about Cheika’s “method” ( or madness…) that has me puzzled. If Cheika needs Larkham as a back line coach, then why would Cheika keep him ‘in the dark’ until so late in the process? How can that help…?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Why do you think Beale on the wing would backfire?

          Does it change your calculation when you consider how often Folau is playing on the wing anyway?

        • Who?

          It wouldn’t. He played there most of the RWC…
          It’s not where I’d put him – because I want him more free to roam than Issy (because Issy doesn’t ever do much in the middle of the field anyway – not in attack, not in defence, whereas Beale roams the full width of the field and is happy to inject himself into the middle of the line regularly), but it’s worked in the past (often had Giteau still at 12, Folau at 15).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, I think his best position is 15. While he isn’t perfect under the high ball I think he is better than people give him credit for. I think he is a bigger liability in defence at 12 than he is under the high ball at 15.

          Especially when you consider that teams need to think long and hard before kicking high balls to him because, rather like DMac, they might get burned on the counter.

        • Alister Smith

          you’d hope they will both be around for the world cup and in between. Better to have this problem then the other and I think both are signed through to the world cup. Someone commented yesterday that there are 600 professional rugby players from NZ playing in Europe at the moment. Obviously a lot of them not at super rugby level but it does give an indication of the strength of the player drain and, with our lesser depth and greater competition from other sports at a junior level, we are more exposed to it. Somehow, if we want to keep our best, players can’t see playing for the Wallabies as the only reason to play in Australia though. obviously we want all our players striving to get there but there is a significant issue that once someone doesn’t get picked for the Wallabies or they are facing a bit more competition for their spot that they have the big money option in Europe. We are avoiding that in this instance but its one of our big challenges and not one I can see the answer for just yet. maybe a top up in twiggyball might keep blokes around but its very difficult to see where this fits into the schedule until we know whats happening to the super comp.

      • Ads

        I would like to trial Beale at 10, as this then gives us options of either hunt or kerevi into 12…

        • onlinesideline

          yessss – that would be gooddd too.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I am open to it being trialled, but from what I’ve seen Beale’s best attribute has always been running into space in broken play, and especially off kick returns. Even this year he has had some incredible runs off of kick returns.

          I think he runs a bit too laterally to play 10 internationally (a bit like Giteau), but I would definitely be open to seeing it trialled before I passed judgement.

        • Ads

          Agreed. Just thought it worth a look, given for once we seem to have good options in other positions, and Foley (whilst probably the best we have) is not as solid as some might like.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I 100% agree, Ads. In my opinion Foley is basically the (only) weak link in the backline (along with Beale in defence).

          Who knows? Perhaps Beale would play great at 10 these days. We don’t know until we’ve seen it trialled, do we?

          It’d be cool if Cheika was at least open to considering Lealiifano at 10 from next year.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Beale is really good in space. The tries he has scored have been when he’s got the ball with room to move. I don’t think his distribution skills are that great, better than Foley though, and I think the lack of space would affect his ability to impose himself. No change in the defence as both are pretty crap.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That’s how I see it.

          The question is, do we gain more from getting Foley out of the team and getting to put in someone like Hunt or Kerevi at 12 to shore up the defence and provide another really good attacker, or do we lose more by robbing Beale of the space he needs to thrive?

          I don’t think either is ideal. At the moment I feel that Beale is playing so well in attack that we’d be a little mad to rob him of the space he needs. As I said, I would be open to seeing it trialled on the EOYT, however.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          You need a good 10 who can distribute the ball both ways and tackle

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          So on that metric we need Jono Lance, Christian Lealiifano or even Karmichael Hunt.

          I think guys like Quade Cooper (or Damian McKenzie) are most important in teams that just aren’t as good as their competition and need some mercurial flair in order to really challenge. I’m beginning to wonder if, between 11-15, we are getting good enough at attacking that a guy like Lance who will just make his tackles, kick his goals and pass might be just what the doctor ordered.

          I really hope Lealiifano is given a run at 10 if his form is good next year (and based on what he’s shown at Ulster, it will be). I doubt Cheik will give him a run though.

        • Bakkies

          Got some news on Lealiifano he seems open to extend his Ulster stay beyond January.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Care to elaborate?

        • Bakkies

          Well it would take extend his stay until May/June. Of course it will have to be approved by the Brumbies and the ARU. Would prefer to see Ulster give Jonny McPhillips a run. He was the Irish under 20s flyhalf that took them to the Final after Bill Johnston got injured.

          The Olding and Jackson hearings commence in a few weeks time. If it goes to trial it will take some time to get an outcome there. I think Olding is on a far serious charge.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Interesting. I wonder if the Brumbies/ARU would consider allowing it.

          Jackson has been stood down until the outcome of the trial , yes?

        • Bakkies

          The ARU have got far bigger problems to worry about. The Brumbies might need him as there still is a gap at flyhalf without Leiliifano. If he gets extended he won’t get back on the pitch with the Brumbies due to the June test window.

          Jackson and Olding have both been stood down. It appears the alleged victim won’t testify.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I doubt Hunt has got the skills to be a good 10. I see him more as a centre, probably could develop into a good 12 or 15 if he applied himself to that position instead of chopping and changing. Would love to see Lealiifano as a 10. But maybe Jono Lance is the best bet currently

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hunt was going to play 5/8 for the Broncos. He is defensively solid, can offload, can pass both left to ring and right to left both long and short, and he can kick (honed his kicking skills in the AFL).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Hunt was going to play 5/8 for the Broncos. He is defensively solid, can offload, can pass both left to ring and right to left both long and short, and he can kick (honed his kicking skills in the AFL).

        • Who?

          Some of his passing on the weekend was atrocious. Would you trust him there..?
          Beyond that, he’s at his best as a ball runner…

    • Alister Smith

      good call – Hunt can cover 10 (at a pinch), 12, 13 and 15 so a lot more versatile. and there are others there that could switch to a wing if necessary

      • Bakkies

        Hunt played flyhalf as cover from memory in a Heineken Cup Final against Toulouse and did well. Biarritz came close to winning that match.

        He first started there at fullback and got confused with the grounding law in your own in goal law. Like league he ran the ball from the field of play in to his own goal and conceded a five metre scrum. The opposition scored a try off that scrum.

    • onlinesideline

      I think Clarence is going same way as Timani.

      • Adrian

        Who’s Clarence?

        • onlinesideline

          Henry Speight = Clarence Williams – didn’t you ever watch the Mod Squad ?

        • onlinesideline
        • onlinesideline

          Peggy Lipton was my childhood crush, soon to be replaced by Lindsey Wagner (the Bionic Woman) soon to be replaced by Susie Quattro singing Can the Can

        • Hoss

          Leather Tuscadero – there’s a crush from way back when

        • onlinesideline

          yeah she was great – this was around the time my old man took me to see my first Dirty Harry movie and I saw my first pair of on screen tits – but I really really really digress.

        • Hoss

          i need to lie down

        • onlinesideline

          oh but Peggy Lipton – what a fox – tell ya what, here in Budapest there are plenty of foxes – OMG – its incredible

        • Hoss

          i worked in Bratislava when they first split – would spend weekends in Prague & Budapest – i hear you.

          I was young, single, thinner and in love 4-5 times a week………

        • onlinesideline

          so you know – until you’ve been you cant fathom …..
          just beautifullll

        • onlinesideline

          were you in the Military Hoss ?

        • Hoss

          No mate, an economics major who, like most Aussie youth went to London to, uh humm ‘work’ for a year and followed my nose to a newly liberated Eastern Europe and some commercial opportunities there at the time. I would move to Prague tomorrow, have been back a few times – its one of the few benefits of Russian control for so long – they remained in a ‘time warp’ – prices were low, real estate cheap and the most gorgeous women in the world. It was a life experience, the times, the geo-politics, amazing to be there ars history was being written and the desire of the people, their governments to be ‘westernised’ overnite – computers, resources, clothing, food, music, culture – it was electric.

        • Bakkies

          Nah it was more to do with the beer

        • onlinesideline

          been to Bratislava but not Prague. Seems flooded with tourists. I liked Bratislava, not too big.Central Europe is great though. They luv their cancer sticks still here in Hungary – does my head in but nothings perfect.

        • Parker

          For my mind, Peggy Lipton is irreplaceable. She had me all over again in Twin Peaks. That Quincy Jones is a lucky bugger, among other virtues.

        • onlinesideline

          madchen amick in twin peaks 1 – google her

        • Adrian

          Occasionally watched, but didn’t think of that. Yes, great nickname I’d say.
          Yes, I hope both Timani and Speight stay in the tent, even if they seem to have been overshadowed by others.

          I’d start Timani v NZ in 3rd Bled. I’d have both Douglas and Tui on a 6:2 bench, along with a lock. Tui could come on for a lock late in the game if necessary. Dempsey would come on for Timani after 50

        • onlinesideline

          Mate, may rustle feathers, but I wouldnt have Timani in squad. Speight yes as backup but as far as Im converned Timani is a giant no show. I would have Tui at 6, “I dont give 2 shits” at 8, because hes settling in there now. Tui will give the grunt plus speed you’re after. Hes more impact, faster, more angry.

        • Adrian

          Understood.
          My reason for Timani, is that he’s actually been good in the tests he’s played, even if not good in NRC recently. He’s a hard man, and we’ll need a few of them early in Bled 3.
          I’m not assuming it will happen, and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world

        • onlinesideline

          he may be built like a brick u know what, but hes just doesnt break tackles, he hits the deck too easlily and hes just too slow to the ruck. This is our main test, our counter rucking speed to offset ABs. Thats the main point of difference and where kiwis are phenomenal. Additionally he is not a player that takes the initiative. It feels like he has been told to just be the hard guy but doesnt seem to have any, “f..k it, Im going to take the game by the scruff of the neck and do x or y” – like Dane Coles is a bit of pioneer as far as hookers is concerned, or how Coleman has stamped his personality on the field. Timani is just too vanilla. Ulyseees has x factor, we need a pack of strong characters like that, real leaders.We are getting there. Timani to me was a pick when we had no hard guys in team and MC was searching. But along came Coleman and now Tui and Rodda and even Dempsey – different feel now.

        • Brumby Runner

          Has Tui really got the speed you credit him with? I notice other posters are querying if he has the speed to succeed at 6.

        • onlinesideline

          I think he has, more agility and speed – sort of related – we’ll find out soon.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m not convinced he has the speed to defend the fringes at 6 from what I’ve seen.

          I don’t understand why he isn’t being considered as more of an 8 than a 6, however.

          Surely a 6. Dempsey, 7. Hooper, 8. Tui, 20. McMahon offers more in terms of physical impact and line out than Dempsey-Hooper-McMahon?

  • You don’t have it on Wed news but a thought: how bad are ARU communication channels? Rather than the mess of Ledesma, and of QRU sacking Stiles, imagine this:

    ARU knowing that QRU aren’t happy with Stiles as head coach, and knowing Ledesma is heading off, they recruit Stiles behind the scenes to replace Ledesma, bring in QRU Country coach as head Queensland coach, and call it ‘pathways’. Imagine how seamless that would have looked, and how well managed that would have been. Sad!

    • Bakkies

      The ARU will use lack of money as an excuse for their car park appointments yet they are willing to waste another 6 million on the Rebels and a worldwide search to replace Pulver. They will get another Shore old boy to replace Clyne when he finally does something honest in his lifetime and resign.

    • jamie

      But…. then the Wobs are stuck with Stiles.

      • I feel like that’s what is going to be the outcome…. that or Michael Foley (which i’d favour)

    • USARugger

      Bringing a guy in with literally zero top level coaching experience to try and coach a franchise out of a hole in the strongest domestic Rugby competition on the planet sounds like the product of a majorly broken pathways system

  • onlinesideline

    I tells ya what, with all those presently vying for backlnes spots,

    Genia
    Foley
    Beale
    TK
    Koribete
    Hodge
    Izzy

    Hunt
    Kerevi
    DHP
    Sefa

    thats some serious firepower.

    I would just love to have Quade in the mix, just as a backup, he’s someone who can come on in last 15 and potentially win a cliffhanger, especially against the big frumpy Poms. I really really hope MC buckles a bit and he tours. (stay tuned for baabaas)

    IMO this is the best looking backlines possibilities we have had in years
    To have JOC in mix would be great. QC and JOC are finishers and gamebreakers. (I know just musing)

    With Ulyseees, Tui and Rodda coming and “I dont give 2 shits” hitting form they are starting to look really good. If we can get a shrink in there full time and obess about elininating any crabbing – then we will be hard to beat at least (as opposed to very recently)

    Bled 3 not English match will determine season for me.

    • Tomthusiasm

      I hope Quade smashes it for the BaaBaas, and then smashes it for the Wallabies.

      SBW is out of form for sure, leinert-brown and Crotty with Lumape on the bench.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I wouldn’t read too much into what Reason writes mate. He’s not respected in NZ because he is a troll who spends his time pulling anything to do with rugby down.

      • onlinesideline

        maybe Reason is but this was pretty apparent even at beginning of season. He just doesnt come across as a natural, not saying he doesnt have some strengths but I think he is a weak link in the chain. Kiwis can do better.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          UActually my apologies it was Rattue. An even worse troll than Reason. Personally I think he’ll be fine. It seems to me he’s doing the same transition that Nonu did after a few years. SBW has struggled with injuries and that’s held him back a bit but I rate him to get up to speed. And as you say, lots of options anyway.

        • joy

          SBW made 23 tackles on the weekend. How many does he make when fit?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Exactly.

        • onlinesideline

          great stat I know but its not the whole picture.Its his reaction times and speed I think that are letting him down. With the regime he has, hes definitely fit, I just question his natural ability in offense. I think hes not THAT good but yeah his defense effort is awesome.

    • Greg

      re “bash and barge”…. Folau has been approaching the line a little straighter and harder I think. It is magic to see him slide through a gap but he is 6’4″ and more than 100kg. He should be hitting the line hard.

      When he does hit the line hard he usually goes over the top of the attacker in part or full. He then either a) offloads or b) is turned-over. b) is largely down to his team mates.

      • onlinesideline

        agree he is going straight more often and also agree that he needs to better pick when he does, he does isolate himself sometimes. Maybe he should be hitting it up more and trying to find Beale more as opposed to the opposite. I do find some of his running it back into the line of fire a bit perplexing at times. Is it that he needs a huge windup because he just almost voluntarily takes the hit and just drops to the deck sometimes.

    • Waz_dog

      Genia – 9
      Foley – 10
      Koribete – 11
      Hodge – 12
      TK – 13
      Izzy – 14
      Hunt – 15

      There is as much firepower in that defensive structure as there is in the go forward. Yes Hodge is green there but this back line would not take long to click. Would love QC steering that back line around but he’s just too sh!t off the tee.

      • Duvstar

        Not enough creativity for me, especially in the midfield. As much as he struggles defensively, Beale has gotta be in there, he’s been so dynamic.

        • Waz_dog

          Well if Foley can’t create something with those guys, he needs to go. There is ample talent there to create holes

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Beale can chip in and out from fullback and provide creativity. Pick his moments.

          It is what Ben Smith and now DMac does for the All Blacks.

          I’ve always preferred the second playmaker coming from fullback than from 12. You need a hard running and powerful 12 capable of getting over the advantage line and providing some go forward. It just takes so much pressure off the 10. Remember, the only time Giteau looked good as an international 10 was when he had Mortlock running off him at 12.

        • Who?

          And Gits looked his best at 12 with Snorky running those crazy outside in unders lines at 13.

          With Waz’s team, you could run QC at 10, because Hodge at 12 could take on all the goal kicking duties. He’s done enough of it for the Rebels, and his stats at international level would improve if he were taking kicks less than 40m out.

  • Moz

    Hi Nick, love your daily write-up. However, if you could just amend one point – the Senate Inquiry last month was held in Perth, not Canberra…. I know Perth doesn’t count in the overall Oz rugby setup now, but still… (sorry, couldn’t help that comment!!!).

    • BigNickHartman

      Thanks mate. Will fix

  • Moz

    Well done Alison!!! Here’s hoping Clarke is found out today.

    • Bakkies

      WA Government up now.

      • Moz

        Thanks Bakkies! Do you have the link?

        • Bakkies

          It’s in the Watch Parliament diary

          http://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events/Watch_Parliament

        • Bakkies

          WA Government were aware that the Vic Government were dealing with the Rebels and were told by that respective Government that they are about to finalise these deals. I take that on board that the Vic Government have confirmed that the deals are unsigned and the ARU still took that on board in their financial ‘assessment.’

        • Bakkies

          What do you think so far Moz?

          It was an interesting session with RUPA particularly in regards to them not being updated by the ARU in relation to the Rebels so they can speak to the players, tried to negotiate the CBA around October time last year which the ARU refused, he said there were certain individuals particularly in NSW that were out to undermine the Force, at least 37 players have left Aus Rugby this year to play overseas, RUPA presented alternate competition solutions to the ARU but were blocked by Sanzaar and wondering themselves where the additional 30 million dollars in broadcast revenue disappeared too.

        • Moz

          I actually thought the RUPA’s Ross Xenos came across pretty well, didn’t blatantly dump on the ARU, whilst acknowledging that RUPA were disappointed with some of the ARU’s decisions and actions – I guess they still need to work with the ARU going forward. He certainly was pretty scathing of some NSW people, as you mentioned – I’m wondering if he meant Papworth et al? Its also interesting about how the ARU dragged out the CBA, with the implication that they were already working on banjoing the Force. And he will check his emails to see who sent him the Alliance Agreement.

          37 players already left, and even fewer places available for those remaining…

          Is it the VRU Lawyer speaking In Camera at the moment?

        • Bakkies

          Tim North via video conference (typical) is going to be on in a couple of minutes tie.

          The NSW people for all we know could include the likes of Roger Davis.

          RUPA still have to work with the ARU going forward particularly with the CBA. The Force players are still contracted Rugby players in Australia.

        • Bakkies

          I wonder what Pulver is thinking now that his mate Clarke tried to throw him under the bus and got called out for it

        • Moz

          I think they would have thought they were still fine at that stage – blame each other, dodge the issues and hope it all blows over.

          However, I think they would have been worried when Mr Leahy disappeared off to give evidence “In Camera”… Clarke was introduced to Cox to start the negotiations, even though he claimed he barely knew Cox. Who are the Unit Holders of the Imperium Trust, that held the license for the Rebels? What were the criteria in exercising the Put Option to transfer the shares in the Rebels from Imperium to VRU, as Leahy said the VRU had nothing to do with that, and that the Put Option clause was put in the the ARU.

          I think I have that correct?

        • Bakkies

          I say so, lot to take in the audio files should be out by Monday

  • Bakkies

    I recommend people read the submissions to the Senate Inquiry by Dr David Masters and the NSWRU http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Committees/Senate/Community_Affairs/Futureofrugbyunion/Submissions

Rugby

Hopes to play David Pocock in the inevitable biopic. Lifelong fan of whoever Jarrad Hayne is currently playing for.

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