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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the two Australian derbies in this week’s Super Rugby. It examines the spray given by Waratah coach Daryl Gibson in light of their poor start to the season along with a Reds desperate to break their drought against the “old enemy” at the SCG. The news then turns its attention to the clash in Melbourne in which the Brumbies seek a more balanced performance after the loss against the Hurricanes, whilst the Rebels look to hammer home their advantage in their quest for a maiden finals appearance.


Gibson puts Waratahs on notice

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo courtesy of Keith McInnes

After a less than stellar start to the season, Waratahs coach Daryl Gibson has delivered a call to arms to his side, stating that the side must rectify their poor performances ahead of their grudge match against the Reds.

The Waratahs have arguably started off the worst out of all of the Australian Super Rugby conferences, losing at home to the Hurricanes and scraping home a fortunate win over the Sunwolves, in which a missed Tolu Latu penalty decision and a late field goal miss was all that separated them from a 0-2 start to the season.

Despite the Sunwolves impressive showing against the Chiefs, in which they recorded only their second win in New Zealand, Gibson was still critical of their most recent performance, stating they needed to improve their execution and take their chances in order to turn around their season.

“I wasn’t surprised by that performance from the Sunwolves. They performed very well but we always knew they were a quality side and that’s why we picked the team we did,” he said. “But it doesn’t take away from our performance. We left a lot of points out there and (wasted) a lot of opportunities. We spoke about that in depth and we know we have to be much better to compete with teams in this league.”

Gibson took the opportunity during the bye week to warn his players about the importance of not underestimating the Reds, imploring his side to ignore the nine-game winning streak that they find themselves on against Queensland and lift their performance if they wish to compete against the much-improved Reds outfit.

“They’re much better (than last season). I think they a very competitive unit, you saw that on the weekend you saw that in the first game so we know what we’re in for,” he said. “We’re facing our oldest rival this week so we’ll put out the strongest team we can.”

“There’s obviously a lot of history and tradition in this fixture, and playing at the SCG gives the game some extra historical aspects and more meaning, but the most important thing is still the standings on the competition ladder.”

This is going to be a huge test for the Waratahs if they wish to have any title aspirations and the main fight will be within their forward’s pack, especially around scrum time, where the Waratahs will need drastic improvements to avoid the Reds from scoring constant pushover tries from their 22.

Seeing Red ahead of derby

Angus Scott-Young looking to draw inspiration from his old man Scott

Angus Scott-Young looking to draw inspiration from his old man Sam

On the Queensland side of the encounter, the Reds are desperate to break the nine-game winless drought against their traditional rivals NSW and the side must treat Saturday’s clash as a “personal battle” if they wish to achieve success.

This is the thoughts of former title-winning Reds captain Peter Slattery, who has urged the Reds to show pride in the maroon jumper that they will wear for the occasion and “emerge from the darkness” that the drought has brought to the state.

“It’s time…the Reds have shown the signs they can have a good crack at this one and I love that they are back in the maroon jersey to do it,” the Coolum-based Slattery said. “I know the game has evolved but look to any sport and that Queensland desire to beat NSW is still intense and should always be.”

Slattery, who was named in the Reds Team of the Century after captaining the Reds to back to back Super 10 champions in 1994 and 1995, stated the importance of the derby from the player’s perspective, detailing the angst that each loss to NSW brings to the players and the state.

“Nine losses in a row is horrific…it’s a number that’s very hard to take,” Slattery said. “I still remember losing one game to NSW in the 1990s, going home, sitting on my back veranda and just staring into the darkness for ages. It meant that much and I’m sure it still does.”

The importance of the fixture was not lost to second-rower Angus Scott-Young, who has drawn extra inspiration in the form of his dad Sam’s archived performances in the maroon to help push the side over the edge.

“I didn’t actually watch too much of Dad playing, might’ve been a bit of a strategy from Mum to not dwell on Dad because he wasn’t the sort of player you want these days…He was a bit too aggressive. I’ve seen some illegal, interesting stuff on film. I might have to go back into the archives for some inspiration.”

One of the key storylines heading into the clash will be the first outing of Karmichael Hunt against his old jailor Brad Thorn and the Queensland Reds after his banishment to club rugby during the 2018 season. However, Scott-Young dismissed any claims of special treatment for Hunt, who he said will be treated “the same as every other threat.”

Brumby bounce back

Brumbies' lock, Rory Arnold overbalances as he's lifted to catch the kick off.

After a less than impressive outing against the Hurricanes, the Brumbies will be looking for a more balanced performance in order to avenge their round 1 loss against the Rebels.

The Brumbies were humbled in their 43-13 loss against the Hurricanes, with their main Achilles heel coming in the form of turnovers, in which they conceded 19 in the loss, and captain Rory Arnold believes that the side must be more urgent and free flowing with the ball if they wish to push to the top of the Australian conference.

“I think the balance wasn’t quite there (against the Hurricanes),” he said. “We want to play this attacking rugby but we lacked that balance of running into the clearing, held the ball for too long, urgency at the breakdown wasn’t good enough and it really hurt us against the Hurricanes on the weekend.”

Arnold believes that the side must hold onto the confidence gained from the performance over the Chiefs and back their ability if they wish to beat the Rebels for the first time in four attempts.

“We’ve been trying to play this different sort of rugby and use our skills so there’s that balance like I said before – learning when to use it, earning the right, maybe go through them first before we look to use our skills but if the pass stuck then, I was through a hole,” he said. “So, the coaches tell us to back our skills and another day it might’ve gone to hand…Just keep cracking at it and it’ll come off.”

Along with adopting the free-flowing attitude, the Brumbies have embraced meditation, deep breathing and yoga sessions in an attempt to bury their past bad performance and help them become more relaxed under pressure.

“We’re doing yoga on Mondays. Flexibility is a big thing and having a 30-40 minute yoga session … it’s good for you,” Arnold said. “The mental side of the game is huge and checking in with yourself when you can … it’s a massive part.”

“Not just footy, but life as well. Not many sports have probably tapped into as much as they should, but I think it’s moving forward and you’ll see teams buy into that stuff as well.”

Rebels wary of resistance

-7718RebelsVCheetahs

The Rebels have welcomed the threats that the Brumbies possess, with captain Tom English recognising the importance of ramming home their current advantage if they wish to secure their initial finals berth.

The Melbourne side currently holds a two-point lead over their opponents and a victory here would provide them with much-needed breathing space in the Australian conference, along with keeping them in touch with the top of the competition.

“You can’t afford to drop your local derbies because as well as getting points, you’re taking points away from them,” English said. “That’s key if you want to go well in your conference.”

English is facing significant pressure from within the Rebels in the form of returning Wallaby Reece Hodge and Billy Meakes, whose impressive form has been outlined brilliantly by Cameron here.

“Reece has been really good at training, creating a bit of competition in the centres between Billy (Meakes), myself and him and it’s exciting to have him back,” the 27-year-old said.

Despite this pressure, English was looking forward to proving himself against Brumby and Wallaby ace Tevita Kuridrani, in the hopes of pressing his own case for the spot in the World Cup squad.

“Tevita Kuridrani has been at the top of his game for a long time and he’s stepped that up again this year having a few months off over Christmas so I’m really looking forward to battling against him.”

The Rebels refuse to take the Brumbies lightly despite their round 1 victory, with English believing that the Brumbies class will ensure that the clash is a tight one.

“We can’t take them lightly – they have a great forward pack, big mauling side so they will be looking to bring it,” English said. “Having just played them there will be a few tweaks here and there but the focus just has to be on us to perform well.”

  • NSWelsham in London

    Apologies, focusing on NSW in this comment here GAGR’s, Gibson mentions his best team will be put on the paddock. Not sure what he considers to be his best team to be but if that is true it will be interesting to see where he puts Hunt. i would like to see the following team play 1. HJH 2. Fitzpatrick 3. Kepu 4. Simmons 5. Hannigan 6. Dempsey 7. Miller 8. Holloway 9. Gordon 10. Foley (more for experience but was tempted to say Mason) 11. Newsome 12. Hunt 13. AAC 14. Folau 15. Beale
    Dropping Hooper might be controversial but he needs his allocated games off and what a chance for Will Miller to show his talent. hes a much more rounded 7 anyway.

    • Will Honeycomb

      Good observation on Hooper. Apart from his brief layoff after an Irish-induced hammie last June, he seems to have played every minute of every Test and Super Rugby game the last few years.

      I’ve come to welcome his yellow cards just so he’d get some enforced rest.

      Leaving him out of some Super Rugby games soon will be important not only for the World Cup, but for his ability to get out of bed when he’s 50.

    • Huw Tindall

      More Tah chat the better mate!

      That’s pretty much the first choice team there. I’d 100% have Hunt at 12. He’ll get up for this game against the northern happy clappers!

      Can’t have Ned at 5 though. Need a better second rower. Holloway is being groomed for that this year but where is the Saffa giant Roets? Surely he can scrum and face off against the massive Reds pack?

      Think he’ll have Hooper to try and get early season momentum them sub him mid season. Will Miller did a bloody good job when Hooper was out with his hammy last year. At the Reds or Rebels I’d have Will Miller in the run on easy. Great deputy.

      Other interesting point is Taf is back and could play this weekend. Could do with his scrumming ability against the Reds. The second half could be a scrum demolition when the Smiths come on for the Reds and the Tahs have first season green skins!

      • NSWelsham in London

        Agreed on the 2nd row and that’s the problem I didn’t know of the guys name or any others in the squad- piss poor effort in recruiting there.. Taf second half will be needed but we will need to be in front by a few to withstand that second half push – still going to back us being at SCG but not feeling confident

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Holloway just flat out isn’t a second rower. Play him at 6 or 8 (I’d probably prefer him at 6 with Dempsey at 8, but it doesn’t matter that match).

          What happened to that big Saffa lock? If he’s unavailable, I think it has to be Flanders and Simmons as the locks. God aren’t they outclassed by Izack and Lukhan.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Love all this. Doesn’t mean anything as we don’t select anyone but a great debate.

      I don’t mind that forward pack, although I don’t rate Hannigan much. Still too weak in the contact for me and he needs to get his body positioned better, plus he could do with eating a few more burgers to build up his size. There are a lot more rounded 7’s than Hooper and I’d definitely try almost anyone else.

      I’m not sold on either Hunt or AAC, I don’t think Hunt has the instincts to be a good 12 yet, especially in defence but the only way he can get these is by playing and 12 is definitely his best position as long as Foley and AAC provide plenty of guidance so I agree with that.

      AAC to me hasn’t done anything that warrants him being a 13 over Rona who I actually rate and if Rona is pushed to wing to provide a place for AAC then I think that’s a poor call. I absolutely agree with Folau at 14 as I don’t think he’s either a 13 or 15 and as he can’t pass to the right he couldn’t play 11 either.

      I think Beale is better at 15 than anywhere as he can get the ball in broken play there and won’t spend his entire time crabbing across the field to find space and only succeeding in cramping everyone else up. Although in saying that I think his defence is too suspect and I’d start with Newsome as while he isn’t as electric in the breaks he plays a better structured game and has a much better defence.

    • T.edge

      Throw TPN straight in to see what he’s got. My guess is he’ll go out all guns blazing and knock himself out!

  • MungBean

    Sam needs to get a bar of soap & wash Angus’s mouth out

  • Huw Tindall

    Reece Hodge, like KB, can warm the pine until he proves a better starter than the current crop IMO. Only place in the Rebs for him I see is on the wing. Ditch Marika who is too one dimensional and turns over the ball way too much in the tackle. 6 times last weekend! Hodge is fast enough and his big boot can be used in backfield defence kick returns.

    • NSWelsham in London

      Agreed, and this always annoys me about Australian Rugby. Look at NZ and the likes of Savea.. if he was a wallaby he would still be first picked on name and past performance alone, so it will be interesting to see what happens hear with our “wallaby greats”. Will Wessels keep Meakes on current form or go to past years and throw them a lifeline – same to be said for Gibson this weekend. If we start seeing this at Super level then Cheika must take notice as he can’t pick players who don’t even make the Super team… oh wait he’s already done that hasn’t he…. Latu.. FFS we are screwed

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Personally, I think Meakes has to be the most overrated player. He’s not big or powerful enough to break the line, not that fast, and his defence is adequate. He’s a good player, and definitely handy to have in the squad. However, I’m yet to be convinced that he has improved enough that he’s better than Hodge.

      I would have Hodge over Meakes and both the Rebels’ wingers.

      • IIPA

        Oh Daryl – if Meakes defence is merely adequate then heaven help all other Aus centres.

        As for your jibe above re Simmons and Hanigan being outclassed by Rodda and Tui, I’m no huge Simmons fan but he’s got a bit more on his rugby cv than those two at this point.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, Simone, Hunt and Kerevi all have some defensive issues too, I don’t deny. But Hodge and Toomua miss far fewer tackles than any of them.

          Righto. But you do comprehend Simmons is only 50% of the Tahs’ locking pair? That’s even ignoring the relative form of Simmons and Rodda over the last 12 months.

        • Happyman

          I have never understood the hate for Simmonns he is a second rower. Provides good lineout service Scrums well and clears rucks. He is the type of player who you miss when he is not on the field.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He doesn’t clear out wel though. My biggest issue with him is the number of clean outs he misses.

          He is also prone to giving away stupid penalties in defensive line outs. Doesn’t offer much in the way of ball-running.

          He’s fairly quick for a lock, has good ball skills for a lock and is a very good line out caller and jumper. I don’t think I would have him in the Wallabies’ 23 anymore though.

        • Mica

          Summed it up nicely

      • joy

        Meakes is the heaviest back in the Rebels lineup. Meakes 100kg. Hodge 94kg.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I personally don’t trust those stats, and they’re contradicted by other stats I’ve heard in Hodge referring to him as 100kg.

          But I also fail to see what it has to do with what I said?

        • joy

          You said his not big enough to….

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Fair point, Joy!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hodge played 10, 12, 13 and all three outside backs last season and the only 2 positions he did any good in were winger and 15. He hasn’t got the distribution skills for any of 10, 12 or 13 and his defence and positioning in all three were poor. Meakes may not be at test level as a 12 yet but he has demonstrated more in 2 games than Hodge did all season. I’d absolutely have him as 12.

        Agree with Hodge over Koriobete though. He was shit last week

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Sorry, but I just don’t think literally any of that is true. Meakes is slower, less powerful through contact misses as many tackles and doesn’t pass any better than Hodge.

          Hodge also doesn’t pass any worse than Simone or Kerevi.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Any of it?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I rephrased to be more polite before I saw your reply (I’m terribly sick and not thinking properly – I’m sorry for that).

          Hodge was played out of position at 13 for the Wallabies and in a poor backline created at least one line break every game, and actually kept our centre channels pretty defensively strong, despite playing outside of Foley and Beale at 10 and sometimes even 12.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No worries mate. I was hurt but got over it fast :-)

          I remember him playing 13 for the Rebels at least once last year where I thought he was poor. To be fair to him, so much of what happens at 13 is based on what occurs further in field that at times criticising a 13 is unfair. However, if you look at the prime role of the 13 which is distributing the ball to the wingers and 15 at the right time, managing the hardest defensive position on the field and making the right decision about carrying the ball forward or not I think Hodge struggled. I feel he works better at either wing or 15 and he just seems more suited to those positions for me.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Again, I do beg your pardon for my rudeness.

          I agree his time at 13 last year made evident that he wasn’t a 13 sadly.

          However, I think he has all the makings of a 12. To me, his biggest strengths are his good mix of speed and power (very quick for an inside back and reasonably strong through contact), his big boot and his defence. He can also throw a pass at 12, even though he looks unco, and nowhere near well enough to play 10.

          I think he runs good lines and supports well, even though he doesn’t have Kerevi’s power or footwork. And while he is too slow getting boot to ball, this is something that he can practice, and I would love if we had a centre who could take advantage of open space like Ngatai.

          I don’t think he has the skill, speed or guise to be a fullback, and I don’t think he’s quite strong enough to be a top class wing, unless he needs to defend in the line for a Foley/Quade at international level.

          But he may not even get a chance. Meakes may get the nod given his partnership with Quade (and who can argue) and then Hodge is likely to be moved around too much to cover injuries anyway, and will fail to develop as a 12.

          But I can see him developing into a Jean de Villiers style 12 if he plays there consistently.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not so sure but even if he did develop, would he be a better 12 than either Kerevi or Meakes? I guess the issue is what is the best position for him where he can be either the best or 2nd best so he can make the Wallabies

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally I think he’s already better than Meakes. Being faster and strong through contact than Meakes, as well as running better lines he runs the ball better than Meakes; he has a much bigger boot; he misses fewer tackles in that position; and is similar in terms of passing.

          I would prefer Kerevi as a 12 for sure, but Kerevi needs to cut down his error rate in terms of losing the ball; Kerevi misses far more tackles; and I would like to see Kerevi show better judgment on when to pass and when to offload. Despite this, I prefer Kerevi, but as I understand it Kerevi is likely leaving Australia after this year anyway. Sadly.

        • Brumby Runner

          Again DBTB I disagree about Simone’s passing game. He has a very accurate long pass to get his outside men away. His off loading game is also quite good. Overall, a much better ball passer than Hodge and others.

          I am more than happy though for Hodge to be on the Wallaby bench for his other attributes.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe I am being unfair about Simone’s passing. Will watch that closely over the next few weeks. He still has a lot to learn, but has huge potential – especially if he works out his defence.

        • Brumby Runner

          I’ve always thought his defense was his weaker area, but his tackle stats for last weekend were very impressive – something like 13 made from 15 attempts.

        • Singapore Sling

          “He was shit last week” yet the pencil necked Paul Cully put him in his team of the week. Apart from his work in the last minute of the match he turned over almost every carry. I actually can’t figure out what he does in contact for the ball to eject so violently from his grasp. It looks like it’s been thrown into an aeroplane propeller. Beale has a similar problem.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          This will come across as rude, but I cannot understand how Paul Cully’s analysis of backs is actually published in the SMH (well, it’s the SMH I guess, look at his competition…).

          His analysis on forwards is usually much better. Although he has made some baffling comments regarding Dempsey, and I’m not convinced he understands that not only can 8s be smaller than 6s, and run in wider channels, but that they are and do more often than they don’t.

        • Brumby Runner

          Koroibete is also very easily shepherded to the sideline and easily pushed over it. He plays a lot lighter than he looks with ball in hand.

        • Damo19

          I think he still hasn’t fully lost his NRL mindset where if you lose the ball you will get it back in 5 phases anyway. That has to influence the relative respect for possession.

        • Brumby Runner

          So, he’s not yet a rugby player. I have to agree.

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL I have long thought 15 is Hodge’s long term spot. I know a lot of posters don’t give him credit at 15, but I think he has the skills to do well in that position; huge boot, good to very good under the high ball, good one on one defense, capable running game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m yet to be convinced he has the footwork, hands or guile to play 15, and I think his defence is his best attribute, which is wasted at fullback.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I tend to agree mate, not sure he’s the best fullback but fullback is what he’s best at.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep but he’s still good enough for Cheikad wallaby 10 :o

        • Keith Butler

          And therein lies the problem. Hodge is a good outside back but not outstanding in any one position. Could end up asa pine warmer for both the Rebels and maybe the G&G.

      • T.edge

        And frankly, Meakes should be kicked out for doing a stupid dance after running in a try, whats next, getting cornrows in his hair or late night benders at macca’s. He needs to turn that right down or is it a Melbourne thing?

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Was always impressed with Maddocks. Never a smile or any celebration. Just straight back too work after he scores… .

        • T.edge

          Nothing wrong with being happy and celebrating a try but that dance was embarrassing for to watch!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Agreed but just shows where a young Maddocks head is at! Seems a very mature footballer. …

        • joy

          He had a Japanese inspired celebration with Genia last year.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep he really let his hair down with that one lol

      • Happyman

        Makes is the smarter player and while he probably lacks a yard of pace I would have him somewhere in any team as he does the dirty work.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Is he smarter? He was fairly average last year.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        I am 100% with you. There’s no doubt he’s playing better and more confidently with Quade around… .. but a player like that needs to prove he can do what he needs to do all the time…. It at least over a long period. … not just a few games

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’d have Hodge of Koribete any day mate.

      • Happyman

        Mate I can name probably ten wingers I would have before Koribete he is just not a Rugby player. He is also the ultimate coach killing player as he looks to have all the tools in terms of his physical attributes it is just a shame he is not a good Rugby player.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    F**k the super rugby draw is in abomination. How can the Rebels have play the Brumbies twice in their first 3 matches?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      It’s definitely a FUBAR

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        It’s pathetic I think.

        I also wonder whether we should always try and start with Reds vs Tahs to bring in the crowds and gain some media coverage from round 1.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Agreed…… ALL teams should be pitted Vs their Arch enemy as much as possible and then let their system kick in after that….

        • Human

          Good idea, however that would have almost every team lining to to play NSW in Rd 1.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks for this Nathan,

    I like the way you looked at it from each teams point of view. I think there’s going to be some cracking games here with a lot of points to prove from all 4 teams. Some of the match ups will be good and I’m really looking forward to this. TBH I’m not too sure of which way to pick on these games. I think Rebels and Reds but not sure yet if I think the Reds can win or just want them to. Going to be an interesting week I think

    • GO THE Q REDS

      I can’t see the Reds winning when they don’t look like a team that scores points. Great pack and backrow……just not enough connection between forwards and backs and between the backs themselves. Relying on individual brilliance to score……in my mind takes the win off the Reds!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Well isnt this going to be a cracking weekend of rugby. Pure Gold. I am salivating at the prospect.
    – I am thinking the Johhny Rebs over the Ponies but only by 5 and this will be a close one. Always a close game after a team takes a kicking.
    – Reds to put the Tahs to the sword by 10 points. We will take the scrum sir! Will be the call.
    – The Kiwi games are looking interesting. Normally I would pick the home team, but this year the home teams have not fared so well.
    – I genuinely hope the Aussie selctors are watching all of the games. As we know Cheika will only be watching one.

    • Keith Butler

      Should be a great (long) weekends rugby when you include the 6Ns as well. The Rebs game to difficult to call. As usual it will rest with the Rebs pack. Play like they did against the Landers and we could be OK for a close win. If the Ponies start to dominate and kick to the corners under penalty, with their line out drive being near impossible to stop we could be in a world of trouble. Reds pack to dominate the Tahs but have they got the backs to finish the job?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I know it is great isnt it.
        Am genuinely excited.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        If they boot Hamish Stewart and put Teti Tela at 10 they would be a different team on attack. Teti was very good preseason so my mind boggles why Stewart just HAS to be squeezed in on the field somewhere at the expense of players playing in position. To me it’s the “Quade Cooper syndrome”…….they forget a 10s primary role is to playmake. Not be a monster in the defense line. ….or be a fetcher. The Reds are clearly suffering for it atm……

        • Brisneyland Local

          They had a number of good 10’s a while ago, but still managed to keep putting Jake McIntrye on the field. The Reds will always find a way to stuff things up.

        • Damo19

          And BL it would be interesting to see how Jake would go now if he came back. He has held a spot all season in Agen’s matchday 23 in the French Top 14 and has been the starting 10 for more than half the games (albeit Agen are in the bottom half of the table). He came into the Reds setup at possibly the worst time in its history in terms of coaching/ operations. From that we probably have no idea if he was any good or not.
          I personally think Stewart has a lot of positives but if the Qld coaches keep doing that 10/15 musical chairs thing they did last weekend, then he could get spat out as a failure without giving him a decent go at 10 or 15 (which by the way I think could be his best long term position). As you say, the Reds finding a way to stuff things up.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Be interested why you think he would be a better or even a good 15? I’ve never seen him as a running threat. .. .he doesn’t make tacklebusts, line breaks and he’s not fast. And he certainly hasn’t shone but rather been very anonymous at 15 so far this season. Surely it’s not because he’s an above average kicker?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Would you rather the Tahs succeed, or Thorn succeed though?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Infact am apathetic to it.
        I want to see Aus rugby do well. And I want to see the players playing well to force genuine commpetition. But that being said, a loss for the Waratahs is good for rugby! ;-)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, the worst case scenario is Nard and Beale demolishing the other Aussie sides.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep you said. And if they happen to play themselves into blistering form, as dissapointing as it may be personally it is good for Aus rugby.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The issue is in previous years decent super form for them hasn’t translated to decent international form.

        • disqus_NMX

          Well this is the thing, we’ve got perfectly good players being completely ruined by Cheika’s coaching. Beale in particular, is capable of being one of the best and first picked players in Oz, but is playing like trash with the ass clown in charge.

        • Who?

          Not the first time we’ve had a national coach who could take halves and coach them out of form. IN 2011, we had the most in form 9/10 combination in the world at the beginning of July. By October, they – particularly the 10 – were shells of the players they had been. Coached out of any semblance of form.

        • NSWelsham in London

          haha, its funny you put it that way, as a lifelong NSW fan, I have this burning feeling in my gut almost hoping they have a horrific season just so Cheika is forced to look elsewhere for a 1-23 wallaby outfit. So I am absolutely with you, this year is the first year I can honestly say I want every Australian team to do well and have been genuinely a little gutted to see some of the losses so far (even the QLD ones). Heres to a 21-19 scoreline to the (gulp) Reds, showcasing stunning rugby with passionate defence and mind boggling skills and effort to score the tries. No shots on goal as discipline is outstanding and a 81st minute conversion attempt from the sideline just missing the uprights for a 2 point loss. Oh and same thing goes for the other game!!! Brumbies though for the win.

  • Hoss

    Welcome to Waratah Wednesday.

    I have decided to take Oaths of Fealty today, from you, the common man who have the misfortune of residing outside NSW.

    Gracious, i know, but i must remember to walk amongst the common people, the peasants and hethens from time to time so stay abreast of matters outside the Kingdom of the Tah.

    Apologies and acts of attrition will be well received for slights against the Blue Holy ones

    All signs point to a massacre against the Crimsons on Saturday, lead ably by perhaps the best Australian 7 to ever play the game and guided by a maestro at 10.

    Hail to thee NSW, hail to thee.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Always good to see someone so positive mate. I’d try drinking from the other cool aid machine myself but I guess Saturday will be the proof one way or the other

    • Greg

      “All signs point to a massacre against the Crimsons on Saturday, lead ably by perhaps the best Australian 7 to ever play the game and guided by a maestro at 10.”

      Smith and Larkham are back?

    • Happyman

      Hey mate no one beats my team ten times in a row. We will take the Scrum sir

      • Hoss

        insolence

        • Mica

          Sedition!!

    • Brisneyland Local

      You left Gilbert out!

      • Hoss

        The Prince of Play-makers

        • Brisneyland Local

          The Falcon Master!

        • Who?

          I’d have agreed, until last weekend……. Marika’s falcon was just incredible. Dunno why he wasn’t sent off for a HIA!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold.

    • Keith Butler

      I have a sense of the Hans Christian Anderson’s about your post Hoss and the Kings New Clothes. NSWhaleians see a man in a lustrous blue jersey. The rest of us a sight that doesn’t bare thinking about.

      • Hoss

        ‘We know what we are, but know not what we may be’

  • Adrian

    Interesting tips this week.

    Whilst bookies have Tahs beating Reds by 8.5, many are supporting Reds.

    I’ll go with Tahs, even though Reds played very well IMO in losing to Crusaders, who are a (THE) top TEAM, with or without their stars.

    Tahs 1 point loss to Hurricanes and 1 point win over Sunwolves are not necessarily poor results if we look at the form of these two teams last week.

    Tahs will work out some scrum tactics I think, and probably pull a few rabbits out of the hat. TPN will be handy if he plays.

    They can’t do much about locks because they don’t have many fit ones to pick,..and couldn’t find any available ones to recruit. Holloway may therefore stay as a lock for now, though I’d swap him with Hannigan who was originally a lock.

    For now, I’ll trust Gibson as to who is the best 12 and 15, but I think Hunt at 12 and Beale at 15 is probably the best combination. I’d have Rona at 13, but if it is AAC I don’t really care that much.

    I think Gibson will be wondering how to find someone to do even half of what Naiyaravoro did. John Folau, or Izzy? I think Izzy will be given a lot to do, and won’t get bored.

    Re the Rebs/Brums game, the bookies are giving the Brums 3.5 start. I thought it would be more.

    Obviously last week’s Brumby capitulation is seen as being more about how good the Hurricanes are than how bad the Brums are.

    For me, the Rebs know how to win, and how not to lose, so I’m tipping them

    • Brisneyland Local

      Some very valid points there Adrian. I think both games are going to be very close, and great to watch.
      I really hope we see good games and not a case of poor skills from all four teams.
      CLL vs QC will be interesting.
      Tahs Scrum vs Red scrums will be fascinating.
      I think the Reds Lineout is going to savage the Tahs though.
      Cant wait

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Afternoon Adrian, I’m not so sure that games weren’t poor by the Tahs but I guess we’ll see. I noticed Chris Whittaker saying how well Beale played against the Sunwolves and to be honest I didn’t see it so I guess they are seeing something I just don’t get. I think it’ll be a close game but I’m not so optimistic on the Tahs working out some scrum tactics as they haven’t done this to date so why all of sudden can they now.

      I agree with you and I’m picking the Rebels because they seem to know how to win, whereas the Brumbies seem to know how to lose.

      • Adrian

        KRL I think that TPN will bring both wisdom and strength to the NSW scrum. I think that when you add the wisdom of Kepu and Fitzpatrick, we’ll see something different…but I don’t know what that will be.

        Yes, I saw Beale v Sunwolves and I agree that he played well, as did Hunt. It wasn’t them that caused the near loss, more the intensity of the Sunwolves..IMO

        A few times Beale and Hunt swapped, and it looked ok to me. I recall Mathew Burke saying Las year that Beale should/could play 13. He pointed out that defence for a 13 is a lot different today compared to only 5 years ago

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Seems like a crazy risk to run in terms of prop injury coverage though.

        • Adrian

          I don’t really think he will play prop, though I think he is about the only hooker in Australia who could. He is immensely strong, wide and thick. I think he has played prop for Parramatta though.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Neither do I – which is why I think it’s crazy to draft him in when a prop is injured, with at least 2 other hookers in the squad.

        • Adrian

          I think they had to say that they were getting him as cover for an injured prop (Vui), but I think they really got him to cover Latu.

          Under whatever complicated rules there are which cover short term replacements, they are not allowed to get someone to cover a suspended player, it has to be an injured player.

          I think that Gibson thinks that his back-up props are better than his back–up hookers. He could be right.

          I think he is also after more experience, given that 3 of his available props and 2 of his available hookers are very inexperienced

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree with you, but am I correct in understanding that there is now no backup THP in the squad? If that’s the case mans he still got TPN then he is playing with fire.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Well you all saw something in Beale that I didn’t see. I think he has gone backwards over the last few years. Doesn’t defend well, doesn’t pass well and cramps up the outside backs. I personally don’t think he’d do well at 13 either and he should get out of the tight running backs and into the more free flow at the back where he will have room to move. I think Hunt is a much better 12 than beale but I think he still has a lot to learn on defence and he can only do that if he stays there and works on it. I personally don’t like all this swapping around and I fail to see it work better than all the other teams in the world who don’t do it.

        • Adrian

          I think he has only gone backwards since mid 2018. He was brilliant at the beginning of 2018 I thought. The mucking around re positions didn’t do him or Toomua or Foley any.

          My view is that these days Beale would be best at 15. I only mentioned 13 because Burke mentioned it. His point was that these days it is hard to find a gap anywhere, especially at 12.

          I thought Hunt was good-ish at 12 in the June tests in 2017, so I’d play him there.

          I thought that Beale looked a bit less arrogant than “normal” in the Sunwolves game. Whilst this probably has off-field origins, it won’t hurt for it to have an on-field application.
          Obviously Beale isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but IMO Australian Rugby Union needs everyone they can find who generates excitement as we get back up. The same goes for Cooper and other guys with talent

        • Keith Butler

          Wisdom in front rowers? The ones I came across back in the old days were as hard as nails and as thick as pig shit.

        • Huw Tindall

          They aren’t called the piggies for no reason mate!!

    • Huw Tindall

      TPN is technically injury cover which means he is cover for Vui! Tahs have 4 hookers on the books and with Latu suspended still another 2 to choose from. He has played prop too and that is the place with least depth. Still, I fully expect him to play 2 whatever the contract says.

      • Adrian

        Agree Huw

    • Huw Tindall

      With Kerevi at 12 Hunt is definitely the best 12 option for this game IMO. Kerevi vs KB would be a bloodbath. Also the big forwards would be running at the 10/12 channel which would stress a Foley/Beale comobo.

      Also with the Reds sh!t mid field kicking game last week KB at 15 shouldn’t be under too much pressure.

  • Mart

    Can we re phrase the starting paragraph. Waratahs were 1 point from being 2-0 and top of the Aussie conference? ;)

  • Brisneyland Local

    Normally I would give the tlineout to the tahs. But at the moment Rodda is peaking. Just in the zone. I cant wait to see these two games.
    I am excited about rugby again.
    If you havnt already ready, I highly recommend the Fox Rugby Podcast with Ant Fa’ainga.
    As you know I am not a Fux fan, but that interview is really good. You would like it.

    • Adrian

      Ok, I’ll look. I use Kayo now and stream it. I know that the Podcast is there, so I’ll try it

      • Brisneyland Local

        I am getting the free trial of Kayo this weekend for the games.

        • Adrian

          Simple to use either live or replay. Yes, the free bit tempted me to try it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          What is Kayo?

        • Adrian

          It’s just really Foxtel via streaming ala Netflix. $25 a month covers all Foxtel sports including cricket. Can cancel any time. Isn’t 2 weeks free.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Presume a VPN is required?

        • Anonymous bloke

          Nope, it’s legit.

        • Adrian

          No, not at all. It’s really just a version of Foxtel. You can get it on your phone and cast to TV, or watch on iPad, or receive directly on TV if it is smart TV

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Amazing. Is it owned by Foxtel then?

        • nmpcart

          Yes.

        • Adrian

          Yep.

        • Huw Tindall

          Adrian is the new GAGR tech support!

        • Adrian

          I should add, VPN if not in Australia

        • Brendan Hume

          I’ll shift from Foxtel Now (Go, Play, whatever it’s called now) to Kayo then after Game of Thrones finishes and I complete True Detective. That’s great

        • Adrian

          No worries

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I suspect both sides should be able to win most of their own line out ball. Going to be hard for Rodda to disrupt Simmons, Holloway, Hanigan and Dempsey with Fitzpatrick throwing (best throwing booker in aus).

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah, that is what I thought too, but look at Rodda’s last two games in the lineout. Stole 2 of the dark saders!

  • Huw Tindall

    2 * FREE TICKETS TO TAHS v REDS at the SCG this Saturday.

    I won some tickets to the Tahs this weekend but can’t use them for geographical proximity reasons so if anyone wants them let me know. They are e-tickets so can email whoever. Have asked rugby mates in Sydney and they are either already going or can’t make it so free to any GAGR fan who wants them.

Rugby
@NathW1997

Loved rugby since the day I could remember, got the nickname Footy to show that, I watch Matt Dunning's dropkick every night before going to bed

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