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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Warren Gatland is stepping down.
Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s rugby news covers Gatland’s departure from the top job with the Welsh, the Rebels sweating on a couple of fitness tests, some more media coverage for premier grade in Queensland and the Waratahs looking to tick on last thing off their to-do list.


 

Wales’ New Coach

One of the stars of Gatland's side (except for that one time against France)

One of the stars of Gatland’s side (except for that one time against France)

To go with their shitty weather and occasionally wearing all black kit, Wales have taken another step towards trying to morph themselves into the world’s premier rugby team by naming yet another Kiwi at the helm.

Current head coach Warren Gatland will continue to lead the team up to and during next year’s world cup, it will be after the tournament that the reins will be handed over to new coach, Wayne Pivac.

Gatland has been in charge of the Welsh team since 2007 and during his tenure the team has thrived.  In that time, they’ve taken out two Six Nations’ titles (sort of three if you count the year Wales won but Gatland wasn’t technically coaching due to two broken ankles), a grand slam (again, sorta two) and a trip to the semi-finals in the 2011 World Cup, a match made (in)famous by Sam Warburton’s red card after only 19 minutes.

Former police officer Pivac has been directing Scarlets around the pro Euro rugby circuit since 2014 and has guided the team to runner-up in the latest season of the Pro 14 (losing to Leinster in the final) and were also semi-finalists in the 17/18 European Rugby Champions Cup where they again fell to Leinster, the eventual winners.

(side note-this does NOT constitute irony, I’m looking at you Alanis Morissette)

Before his time at Scarlets Pivac also coached the provincial sides Auckland and North Harbour and gained international experience in charge of the Fijian national team.

Rebels Pair a Chance

You can't keep this guy down

You can’t keep this guy down

With a match on the horizon against the Highlanders in Dunedin set to decide their fate, the Rebels are hoping that both Adam Coleman and Will Genia will be lacing up and taking the field.

The pair both succumbed to injury during the June test series against Ireland.  Genia broke his arm (or was it ‘had his arm broken’?) during the second test in an off-the-ball collision with Irish prop Cian Healy and Coleman is still on the comeback after a third-test adductor strain. (oooh, right in the third test, that’s gotta hurt)

Both players trained with the team on Monday and will be subjected to a fitness test on Wednesday although it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to think that Rebel coach Dave Wessels will give them every opportunity to prove their fitness before Saturday’s crunch fixture that may ultimately determine their season.

It’s a simple formula for the Rebels, beat Otago, indoors, in Otago and they’re through to their first finals appearance since entering the competition in 2011.  Lose however, and they are relying on other results to go their way if they want to play post-season football.

Whilst describing the game as winnable, Rebels coach Wessels is clear about the tall order facing his boys this weekend, “We can beat them for sure but we’ve got to play our best rugby, our equivalent of 9.9 for 100m”.

(whispers) *Triple M* (normal timbre) Team up with Premier Rugby in QLD

The Hospital Cup is set to get a boost for the remainder of the season

The Hospital Cup is set to get a boost for the remainder of the season

Adding to the product rugby has to offer in a cluttered winter sporting landscape, the QRU have announced a partnership with radio station Triple M.

The deal will see one match each week be billed as ‘Triple M’s Hospital Challenge Cup Match of the Round’.  Quite a mouthful, but another boon for the game after Fox Sports’ recent announcement they will be replaying the match of the round (the now-named Triple M’s Hospital Challenge Cup Match of the Round) of a Wednesday afternoon.

Southern Cross Austereo’s Damon Rielly spoke of the long-standing relationship between the code in Queensland and the media network saying, “Triple M is a big supporter of Rugby Union in Australia at all levels. We are the longest standing corporate partner with the Queensland Rugby Union spanning almost 30 years, we support the Wallabies whenever they come to Brisbane and we are also the Major Sponsor of Norths Rugby Union Club”.

And he too, had to get in on the achingly long new moniker for the match (albeit, slightly abridged) by adding, “I’m very proud that Triple M will be the major sponsor of the now Foxtel televised, Triple M Match of the Round. Club rugby is flourishing, and we want to help further the growth at a grass-roots level.”

David Hanham, the QRU’s current CEO, was also wrapped with the deal, going on record as saying, “We’re delighted with this agreement with Triple M, which will enable the Queensland Premier Rugby competition to continue to extend its reach into the local market and engage new fans and existing Rugby supporters. We’re excited that the traditional grass-roots rivalries in Queensland Club Rugby are reaching the widest possible audience.”

This week’s Triple M’s Hospital Challenge Cup Match of the Round sees South host GPS in a first vs third blockbuster.

 

Waratahs Aiming for the Sweep

Will the Waratahs snatch a victory this weekend over their chimaera?

Will the Waratahs snatch a victory this weekend from their chimaera?

As Super Rugby enters its final round there’s still plenty to play for.

Some teams are looking to consolidate home finals, some simply trying to stay in contention and others looking to just get through their match unscathed so they can either a) go on their end of season footy trip or b) start their preseason months early in a bid to put on a better showing next year.  (I’m personally hoping the Reds are leaning toward the latter)

There still remains a unique goal the Waratahs can aim for though.

If they win this weekend they will complete a conference clean sweep.  No other team is close to achieving that.  Even the Sunwolves and Blues don’t have a chance of pulling off the opposite, that is, losing every match within their conference.

Standing in their way is Brumbies, who, with a win, can still eke out a finals berth and will surely throw everything they can at NSW this Saturday at Allianz.

And while the QLD-NSW rivalry runs deep (especially at this time of year) the contests between the Waratahs and the Brumbies has their own sordid history, a point not lost on Waratah attack coach, Chris Malone who said, “We know that rivalry against the Brumbies has been a big part of the history of Super Rugby for NSW and NSW people”.

He subtly talked up their opponents saying, “You want to go into a quarter-final on the back of a win against a good tough side and that’s really important for us.” And is wary of the challenge the ponies present, “The Brumbies potentially still have a chance to make the eight, so they’ve got a lot to play for and it’s going to be a great game.”

Whatever happens, a final round match between arch-rivals with plenty to play for?  Let’s hope it’s an absolute cracker.

 


 

  • IIPA

    For all the ‘Wallatahs’ talk that Cheika selects too many skyblue wearers in the Wallabies it’s hard to argue given the conference clean sweep chance and how close they came in a few Kiwi losses that the Tahs arent head and shoulders the best Aus team getting around.

    Despite an average scrum, only one proper second rower, garden gnomes in the back-three, a half who can’t pass, a 10 who can’t kick, a winger with no skills except running over people and a 15 who doesn’t know how to play the position.

    Or so the critics say.

    • Bakkies

      And here the Wallabies lie 6th in the world rankings.

      • IIPA

        I never said that makes the Wallabies a force to be reckoned with. If anything the fact a reasonably well coached team playing with enthusiasm and energy but with so many obvious limitations can seperate themselves from the other three Aus teams does alas say some rather uncomfortable home truths about the state of Aus rugby.

        How’s ticket sales looking for thus weeks Force game ? Hope it goes well. I’ve loved the World Series thus far and I think the final game against HK could be really interesting ( and also gauge appetite for matches against Asian sides ) although this week does highlight some issues around the opposition teams given Samoa are playing Germany at the same time they are playing the Force…

        • ForceFan

          No idea of ticket sales for the Samoa game which should be against a Samoa development side + others. (A bit like the Fiji game).

          The Hong Kong games is on 10 Aug.

          The final game is actually against a full strength Panasonic Wild Knights side on 17 Aug.
          I agree – the Minderoo team did a top job in getting WSR together this year in such a short time.

      • Gareth

        We are currently 5th, the the boks at 6th. Somehow Scotland are 7th and wales 3rd. Its a strange rankings table at present.

        • Bakkies

          England finished 5th in the Six Nations and lost to lower ranked teams this year.

          Scotland 3rd in the Six Nations and lost to the US.

        • Gareth

          Strange that after 6 losses in a row and then 1 win the English are still ranked 4th.

        • Who?

          Wasn’t it only 4 or 5 losses in a row? Also, under Eddie, they’re still running at 75-80% win ratio, better than pretty well anyone bar the ABs (look at Australia – we’re much closer to 50%), and the rankings system isn’t instantaneous (i.e. it’s spread over a few years rather than your last game).
          If Australia were ranked on their last few games, we’re looking at what, 2 or 3 wins in the last 6 or 7? 1/3 against Ireland, smashed by Scotland (second loss in the year against them), lost against England… We’d be way further down the list than we are if we weren’t basing things off a longer term outlook.

      • 22DropOut

        Wouldn’t read anything into the rankings.

        My “rankings”
        Elite group: 1 team
        1: New Zealand
        ——————-
        Chasing group: 3 teams. All can potentially take eachother on and on their day could challenge NZ.
        2: Ireland
        3: England
        4: Australia
        ———————
        Next group: 4 teams, level below all above. Capable of beating the chasing group on a good day, unlikely to challenge NZ
        5: South Africa
        6: Wales
        7: France
        8: Argentina
        ———————-
        Next Group: 4 teams. Capable of rare big displays against the better sides but lack the quality and consistency
        9: Scotland
        10: Fiji
        11: Japan
        12: Italy
        ———-
        The rest…

        • Tomthusiasm

          I’d bump England down and Wales and South Africa up. Scotland should be higher too, barring that USA loss, they’ve been very good and more consistent than past years.

        • st saens

          I’d add South Africa and Moe Howard to the chasing group and drop Italy, Curly, Joe and Curly-Joe to also-rans.

        • 22DropOut

          Really? They’ve been appalling in this World Cup cycle, at the wrong end of the Rugby Championship table, horrific form in November internationals and picking up the odd win against half-strength European sides at altitude in June tests.

          Perhaps Erasmus can turn them around but at the moment they seem a long, long way away from being considered contenders at test level.

        • OnTheBurst

          I reckon the Saffas are looking dangerous at the right time of this WC cycle. Think they are going to be 100x better in this year’s RC than last year…

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Why would you bump Italy up from 14? They have Tonga and Georgia ahead of them – rightly so, IMO.

    • idiot savant

      They are hands down the smartest rugby team in Australia.

      • Mica

        That’s like saying Larry was the smartest of the stooges…… :)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bahahahawahahaha

        • st saens

          it was Moe…no question about it

        • Mica

          I took a punt and was obviously wrong. :)

    • first time long time

      Wait a moment…… did a Waratahs fan just claim that Rob Simmons is a real second rower? What a difference a change in colour of jersey makes ; )

      • IIPA

        Much improved player this year !!!

        In all seriousness I don’t think the Reds have lost too much as it’s really allowed Rodda to come in to his own but Simmo been good for us.

    • Who?

      It’s amazing how a season can change things. If you looked at previous years (bearing in mind Gibson was almost gone last year after two terrible campaigns), then there wasn’t near the team performance justification for selecting a heap of sky blue jerseys. This year, it’s quite arguable that, based on team performance, there should be more than last year. Then you look at whether all the teams are playing to their potential – are they the sum of their parts, more, less..?
      I think Gibson has done a great job of turning things around this year, he’s finally implemented more of his own style (rather than relying on the remnants of the Cheika era, whilst the personnel have changed), and it’s arguable that he’s got this team performing better than the sum of its parts. Whereas other teams, perhaps they aren’t..?

      • onlinesideline

        spot on mate – sum of the parts analogy is bang on with waratahs. Thats exactly how I see them and TBH IMO how it should be. Its a team game after all.

        • Brumby Runner

          The only issue with that analogy is that the Tahs have three crucial parts that can’t be replaced. If any of Foley, Beale or Folau go down, then the whole thing starts to unravel.

        • Who?

          The REALLY scary thing is that the same is basically true of the Wallabies, for those three and also Pocock.

        • Brumby Runner

          Although, in the case of the Wallabies, they have a much better pack of forwards to play behind.

        • Who?

          But there’s no real substitute for Pocock, or Beale, or Folau, or Foley… Lose one of those four and we’re in trouble. Lose 2 and we’re gone.

        • Andy

          That’s true I think. You can add Rona in there as well to be honest. He links so well with this guys. Remove any of them and they aren’t the same.

    • Andrew H

      What’s scary is that the ‘Tahs can flog all and sundry from Oz and will probably make up a good portion of the Wals but struggle against the Kiwi provincial teams. I wonder how it will play out come Bledisloe time?

    • jamie

      And your point just highlights the gap between Super and Test rugby. Those things you can get away with against provinces. Against Northern Hemisphere teams? Well. Didn’t work last time did it?

  • Nutta

    My understanding is that Damon Rielly holds a General Managers title within SCA and he says “Triple M is a big supporter of Rugby Union in Australia at all levels”. That’s nice. Ever listened to MMM is Sydney Damo? They actually appear to go out of their way to slag the code at near every available opportunity by my observation. I think their high-point was on their breakfast show about 8mths ago were citing that if any NRL team was given 4wks to learn some scrumming and lineouts they would wipe the floor with the Wobblies, AIB’s Bokke and every other comer. Look, I appreciate sponsors and what their dollars let sports achieve. I really do. But don’t talk salesman slime. It demeans us all. Most Mungo’s I’ve come across including their commentators couldn’t spell “contested possession’ let alone comprehend or accomplish it.

    • Andrew H

      I think his role is with SCA Brisbane. And at least Triple M Brissy has Marto flying the flag for rugby.

      • Nutta

        Probably fair enough points Andy. I come from an industrial/quasi-legal background where folk are generally held to their inaccurate statements if made whilst wearing the shirt. If Damo’s remit is Brisbane and he says Brisbane then all good. But claiming Australia when your brand in the biggest city in Australia slags us off consistently grates me.

        • Andrew H

          It’s less than ideal, but in some ways it might be just what’s called for. Triple M up here are (rightfully) looked upon as a bit of bevan station so having them get on board might boost interest from a non-traditional fan base.
          Honestly, I think rugby in this country is at the point where they need all the media they can get and getting a local station spruiking it might drive a bit of tribalism around the club scene.
          Thoughts?

        • Nutta

          In terms of shifting the market and acceptance to include those outside the private-school old-tie network, you will get no more vocal supporter than I. If MMM Sydney were on-side to talk up the game AND there was actually an avenue for participation in the geography where their listeners were (that would be mostly western and south-western Sydney – precisely where rugby is seemingly doing its level best to avoid) then we would be on-fire and I would have ‘MMM Rocks xxx’ stickers all over the place.

        • Andrew H

          yeah, not sure if the same model would work in Sydney but here’s hoping it’s a good fit in Brisbane.
          Imagine Souths vs Norths being billed for a week as a battle for the title of best side of the river? (it’s north by the way) Triple M up here have done some other suburb vs suburb comps for stuff over the years so they have an insight in to how to drive competition between the different parts of the city.

        • Nutta

          I’ve maintained that the NRC should be North, South and West. West should be limited to only open to West Hrb, Parra and Penrith players to provide them a direct, attractive and favourable pathway to attract & retain talent. Plus if it was to truly be Wests vs Norths then we have the old Silvertails v Fibro’s action back in-play. You would get a crowd for that i promise.

        • Charcoal

          Absolutely Nutta. I’ve also always maintained that the only way to engender any sort of tribal following in Sydney in the NRC is to base the teams regionally with the Shute Shield clubs as feeders in their respective regions. That includes the West. I can recall in the original ARC, when I think it was the then Sydney Fleet (actually representing South Harbour clubs), played the Western Sydney Rams at a packed North Sydney Oval. There was a real buzz.

          The North Harbour clubs were actually represented by the Central Coast Rays based in Gosford, which was a strange setup. Looking back, it would have made more sense for the Central Coast/North Harbour franchise to be based at North Sydney and the Sydney Fleet (South Harbour) based in that region (say SFS). At least the Rams got it right being based at Parramatta Stadium.

          Yet, after all this time they still can’t get it right. I don’t think a contrived team supposedly representing NSW Country is going to cut it. It will be mostly made up of Sydney based players, so what’s the point of it, regardless of their origin. Any talented “Country” players who have higher aspirations will usually link up with a Shute Shield club anyway and Sydney club supporters are more likely to follow their respective regional teams where these players are involved.

          That doesn’t mean that Country NSW should be neglected. This can be addressed by each Sydney based team, whether it be two and preferably ultimately three, playing one home game at a Country regional centre. After all, there would be a sprinkling of Country origin players in each team.

          As far as the Rams go, if they were to be readmitted in the future, I think that Eastwood should be included as a feeder club, as it has been to date. With the changing demographics in its core territory and the sale of the T G Millner complex, the club is now, sadly, proposing to relocate its base towards North Western Sydney and it could legitimately be regarded as being part of Western Sydney, if it hasn’t been already.

        • Who?

          So, Charcoal, you’re in favour of dumping the one team in NSW that’s been consistent and well supported across multiple venues each year in the Country Eagles..? You’re right – everyone who’s thinking they’re going to get a Tahs contract will end up in Shute Shield, sooner or later. But why does that mean they should lose the opportunity to represent their home region for part of the year?
          And how does a Sydney team playing in a regional area make up for the axing of a genuine Country team? My town (Qld Country) has hosted Qld Country games, and they’ve been successful. We’ve hosted NRL games for non-local teams, but that doesn’t mean much. Fans turn out for the game, not the team. They’re as likely to support the ‘visiting’ team as the ‘host’ team. If you have an arrangement for an NRC team to start playing a game in Tamworth, perhaps because the first year you’ve got a local player, what happens when the local player leaves? Do you swap the club that’s representing Tamworth because the former Pirate’s now playing for the other club? Or does that remove all tribalism? Or is the tribalism based on actually having a ‘local’ player in the team..?
          Time to leave the Eagles in peace – the Sydney Clubs have done enough to prevent the growth of the game outside their control as is! If Queensland Country can make it work, and the Eagles actually topped the table 2 years ago, why should they be axed?

        • Charcoal

          With respect Who?, a genuine Country representative team should comprise players who are actually playing for Country based teams, as they used to in the bygone era of City v Country matches. With most aspiring Country players now moving to Sydney, that competition is no longer relevant, just as it isn’t in NRL. We’ve moved on since then.

          The NSW Country Eagles were basically a South Harbour Team anyway, by another name, and their connection with the Country is irrelevant. At the same time, it pissed off local support from the southern Shute Shield club supporters with a minimal number of “home” games, with most being played outside Sydney.

        • Who?

          A genuine country-based team would be absolutely annihilated and would have no place in the NRC playing against teams full of Super and fringe Super players. Because they’re not going to have the resources – the off field resources – to make it work.
          The issue isn’t with the concept of the Country Eagles as they’re being run this year (i.e. with Tahs players not originating in Sydney being fed into it), the issue you’re raising (South Harbour) is that the NSWRU abrogated their responsibility in setting up the competition, and left it to the clubs. South Harbour were smart in branding themselves NSWCE, because it opened up their potential fanbase. And it worked!!! The failings in the city did create an opportunity for country fans to feel part of the NRC, part of a top level comp and watching some high quality rugby in their home towns for the first time in forever. Why should that be denied them? The Country Eagles are a good thing, a good news story in NSW Rugby at the moment, just as Qld Country is a good story for the QRU. It’s not time to remove them. There’s no reason why – with better planning than the original NSW setup – there couldn’t be 2 or 3 Sydney teams, plus the NSWCE. But the solution to a ‘lack’ of teams in Sydney isn’t to close down yet another team and burn yet another region (a region who would undoubtedly then be locked out permanently). Don’t fix one problem by creating another.
          And if you’re really worried about City vs Country games, then they – the rep games – should be held at the same time as the NRC. The NSW Country Cockatoos and Qld Country Heelers (the rep teams) play around this time of year (I’m a little less connected this year, but honestly they’re due to play any weekend now, Qld won last year, I think NSW the year before. The rep teams still exist in the country), the City rep teams aren’t interfering with the SS/PR comps, and the rep teams can be diluted by losing their top players to NRC clubs. Which would make the contest closer (though you’d expect City would still romp home every year, given all the best Country players move to the city), making it more worthwhile. It’s similar to the Australian Barbarians team or the NZ Heartland team, not the best players from the comps (NRC or ITM Cup), the best players who don’t have contracts at the next level.

        • Nutta

          Dude if they go NW for real then of course they should be proud Westies. But as long as they stay around Ryde or have anything ‘East…’ in their names they wouldn’t be legit would they?

        • Charcoal

          Whether they retain their “Eastwood” name is still to be determined, but the intent is that they will always be known as the “Woodies” or “Woods”. The “East” reference is irrelevant. For the record, when the railway line was opened in 1886, Eastwood was originally known as Dundas, but was changed to Eastwood a year later, reflecting the heavily wooded area east of Parramatta with which it had a connection. A significant part of Eastwood, as well as most of Epping, is administered by Parramatta Council, so it has some legitimacy as being part of the West.

          It’s not uncommon for some long established teams in NRL and AFL to move away from their original base, but retain their identity.

        • disqus_NMX

          Norths might have taken the moral high ground (wankers), but Souths are definitely better ;)

        • Andrew H

          In terms of rugby clubs that could well be true, but in terms of which side of town to live on, the northsiiieeede crushes it.

      • Who?

        Wasn’t Richard Barker (the recently departed QRU CEO) previously head of SCA Brisbane..? And a former Qld Country rep player. So there’s definitely history there. It’s just a shame the history is that Marto is on the airwaves…

        • Andrew H

          hahahaha, Marto’s alright!!
          And you are correct about Barker coming from SCA, maybe this deal has been in the wings for a while but couldn’t go ahead due to a (possibly just perceived) conflict of interest?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I agree mate. While I’m a fan of taking the money, it alsao has to show rugby in a good light.

    • Hoss

      I’ll be damned if i am gunna sit here and listen, well read, you besmirch the good name and reputation of the gang-banger and the meat-head on Sydney MMM on my watch Nutta..

      Fine, educated, well-articulated blokes, real blokes, proper Aussie blokes, of pedigree, wit, intelligence and reason. The sort of blokes that are happy to wait in line for their turn, punch on for a mate and just bloody good blokey-blokes.

      • Greg

        oh dear….

      • Nutta

        Bloody oath. Dinkum-as Cobber.

    • Happyman

      Mate the Rugby League guys understand that they cannot afford to give Rugby any positive ammunition in Sydney or Brisbane if at all possible. Lets face it if League were to fall behind Rugby in those places how relevant would it be as a sport. Much like the AFL in the Australian marketplace they are fighting for there very existence.
      Many league guys understand the differences but some of them have absolutely no idea. Jamie Soward on Foxtels Back Page still thinks that Rugby guys cannot tackle he just has no idea and worse does not want to learn.

      • GeorgiaSatellite

        He may have a point with Folau. Oh wait…

      • Nutta

        In terms of the relative positioning of rugby league as a sport I agree with you whole-heartedly. NSW Country rugby league is a shadow of its former self as is Qld country. That game as a whole is now basically Sydney, Brisbane, outer suburbs of Auckland, Yorkshire & Lancashire and that’s about it. The Polynesian renaissance is nearly all based around western Sydney influence. Once Rugby decides to get real it will devour them in one cash-fueled gulp. That is what pisses me off most. A virtual drop in the bucket of cash and organisation into western Sydney would return bloody near untold riches in players, support and cash-flow for our game but we can’t seem to get beyond our own self-imposed snobbery and bloody-mindedness to do it.

        In terms of turning around AFL true-believers, well that’s a whole different story…

    • OnTheBurst

      Haha well played Nutta

      While we’re at it let’s aim the gun at Channel 9. Their (lack of) coverage of Rugby in favour of talking up Mungoball is a total disgrace

  • nmpcart

    I don’t know anyone in Brisbane who refers to Premier rugby as anything other than ‘Premiers’ or Prems – certainly not the Hospital Challenge Cup competition. Good on TripleM for sponsoring it. Greg Martin is on Triple M in Brisbane apparently (I’ve seen the billboards) so that might have some influence. The more coverage of rugby we can get in any media is good, it barely rates a mention generally.

    • Andrew H

      Marto definitely is on Triple M up here, as much as people decry him I find he often adds a voice of reason to the discussion that often degenerates into the radio version of click-bait.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Andrew,

    I wonder how many Welsh coaches are starting to get pissed off that they keep selecting NZ coaches. Maybe they need to put in place a framework so they can develop their own coaches – That’d be a good plan for Australia too.

    Not sure there really is much chance of the Rebels beating the Highlanders at home (I know never say never because it’s a funny old game) and maybe more time to recuperate and get ready for the RC is better idea. I think Cheika would be gutted if they got back early and succumbed to a further injury in a match that didn’t achieve much.

    I think the Brumbies/Tahs match is going to be a really interesting match this week. neither team can afford to lose and it’ll be interesting to see who handles the pressure better.

    • Hoss

      Digging too deep mate, the only difference between the Welsh & The Kiwi’s is longitude and latitude.

      David Attenbourough reckons they were once the same land mass, drifted apart over time.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha yeah I’ve been there a few times and we get on too well to be too far apart

        • Hoss

          Great people the Northern Kiwis, Hosspitable (couldn’t help myself), warm, welcoming, love a drink and the singing at the games, spine-tingling.

        • Who?

          But also – sharing with Kiwis – a history of some hardcore conservatism (completely abandoned by younger folks in both countries), to the extent that you couldn’t have a drink on Sundays. So, lovely people, but some of them are a bit dour…

      • Nutta

        I thought it was Kiwi’s and Scots – the whole dour weather and cliffs edge / highlander thing.

        • Mica

          Only in Otago.

      • Keith Butler

        Must be explains their love of sheep and oversized gum boots.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          mate leave baabaarah out of this

        • Hoss

          Yes, but look at the innovations derived form their, ahem, love of livestock.

          – velcro, for better grip
          – the bungee rope – escaping sheep would always return – the chase is half the fun
          – Ugg boots, all the left over wool from the ‘Brazilians’ to the sheep

          This unnatural love affair has contributed billions to the Shaky Isle economy, its a win-win, well yes, maybe not for sheep – but for everyone else.

        • Tomthusiasm

          This is all well and good, but you jokers literally have a song called “Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport” written by a convicted pedophile!

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Good thing you didn’t mention ‘Two Little Boys’

        • Tomthusiasm

          I was just trying to limit it to lighthearted bestiality

        • Who?

          Which is why we used to sing Waltzing Matilda before Bledisloe Tests. Just a little light hearted ribbing. :-P

        • Nutta

          Look, you shag just one goat…

        • Tomthusiasm

          He was just a Kid

        • Nutta

          Boom Tish

        • Hoss

          so that’s what he meant by each had a wooden horse.

        • Hoss

          Gives a whole new meaning to ‘Jake the Peg with my extra leg, diddliddddiup’

        • Nutta

          Tie me Kangaroo down Sport, Tie me Kangaroo down (go fuck a Wallaby), Tie me Kangaroo down Sport, Tie me Kangaroo down…

          We got the beastiality fair in there good & proper.

    • Andrew H

      Ii wonder too, but rugby these days is a highly professional animal and you’ve got to select the best person for the job regardless of where they are from.
      That said, Pivac is already coaching over there so they may have adopted him already? Like their version of Dingo Deans?

    • 22DropOut

      The Welsh do get pissed off but they need a reality check. It’s a deprived region of England, they bang on as though they’re the USA.

      Gatland has done a phenomenal job with them and has them punching far above their weight and they go on as if he’s holding them back.

    • Andy

      Pretty sure they are doing that in the international set up with Larkham and Grey.

      Domestically, Thorn is basically a Qlder. He lives there at least and he’s coming through the Oz coaching system. You could argue the same for Kepler as well.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah maybe but it seems pretty random and unplanned. I’d like to see a better structure to develop the coaches as to me it looks too much like mates looking after mates not a planned framework that allows the development of the coaches properly.

        • Andy

          Agree, completely unplanned.

          You would think Shute Shield would be a good pathway but you rarely see them get a chance. Obviously Hickey and Cron are the exceptions.

          I did hear Mannetti from Eastwood got offered a role at the Tahs some years ago but he turned it down due to money as he was making way more from business.

  • Funk

    So the reds team was just released and the great George Smith is out, still suffering from his knee injury…sad way to say good bye for the last time…???

    • nmpcart

      Smith is off to Bristol (I think that’s where he’s going) – I expect after that if someone is willing to offer him a contract he will go around again – doesn’t seem ready to stop and if the body is not giving him too much pain I think you will see him pop up somewhere. Not sure what he will do when he stops.

  • skip

    Alanis spent the 90s saying that things which were actually unfortunate were ironic, meaning, ironically, that she does not know what irony is. (Ed Byrne)

Rugby

Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

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