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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News examines the Junior Wallabies win over Fiji, returning Wallabies for both the Waratahs and Rebels and why one of the Reds best believes that it’s now or never for their Super Rugby finals aspirations.


Junior Wallabies shut out Fiji

Fraser McReight

Fraser McReight bursts through the defence

The Junior Wallabies have scratched their way to a 16-0 win over Fiji in Oceania Under 20 Championship, setting up a clash in the final with New Zealand.

Scattered showers would make for a slippery game and difficult conditions for attacking rugby, with both sides guilty of simple handling mistakes throughout the clash.

After ringing in the changes, Australia struggled for continuity throughout the match, and the Fijian side continued to take it to their much-fancied opponent until the end.

Lock Michael Wood would cross for the only try of the match in the first half, as Fiji would waste their chances, missing three penalties in the first half alone.

The Junior Wallabies were able to hold out their opponents in the second half thanks to strong defence from Pat Tafa, Carlo Tizzano and Tom Kibble, managing to curb the Fiji onslaught despite a yellow card to Joe Cotton for a high tackle.

Captain Michael McDonald was positive about the result given the greasy conditions and a physical Fijian side.

“Obviously we had to play to the conditions and we were up against a tough Fijian side, we got away with the win and that was all we had to do. Full credit to the boys, we just had to toughen up in defence, especially in that first half when we were under pressure and we did really well,” McDonald said.

The win sets up a clash with defending champions New Zealand, who secured their position with a dominant 87-12 victory over Japan, a clash which McDonald was looking forward to.

“We’re looking really forward to playing New Zealand, it’s the one we’ve been building up to…Obviously, they’re a quality side but everyone’s really excited for Saturday and can’t wait to rip in.”

“As a team, we’ve only been together for a couple of camps now and we’re really looking to build into this World Cup … that’s our main focus.”

Whilst on the topic of junior/schoolboy rugby, special mentions to Waverley College (my alma mater) who are representing Australia in the SANIX World Rugby Youth Tournament. They play tomorrow against Baek Shin High School and are currently two from two, looking to become just the third high school from Australia to win the prestigious tournament.

Robertson raring for return

Tom Robertson-G&G-Wallabies-Barbarians-51109

Wallaby and Waratahs prop Tom Robertson is raring to return to the Waratahs frame, with his recovery fast-tracked for this week’s clash with the Bulls.

Robertson hasn’t featured for the Waratahs since suffering an ACL tear in Buenos Aires last year during a regulation training session whilst in Wallaby camp.

He was expected to be eased back through club rugby in the Waratahs feeder team Sydney Uni, however, a rib injury to Rory O’Connor has accelerated the process and forced the Waratahs to take him to South Africa.

Despite the quick return, Robertson was unfazed about the chance for re-injury, believing that he has done enough training to be ready if called upon in the must-win clash.

“I wouldn’t be over here if I wasn’t ready to play and I’m pretty keen to get on the field,” Robertson said. “The knee is good to go, it’s just whether the coaches pick me or not. I’m still waiting to find out.

Having studied Medicine since 2016, Robertson is probably the most qualified person to determine his readiness to return and he was eager to come back in order to push his case for a spot on the plane for Japan.

“I’ve just got to get back playing well for the Waratahs and hopefully get rewarded if I’m in good form with a World Cup later in the year.”

Robertson remained upbeat throughout the intensive rehab required from an ACL tear, keeping a positive frame of mind and perspective.

“Rehab is a similar sort of thing every day which is not ideal…but there are people out there doing it a lot tougher than I am in terms of injuries and other jobs. In terms of perspective, it’s not the worst thing in the world but I’d love to get out there with the boys and do my job and start playing some footy which would be great.”

The Waratahs will be looking to get their season back on track after their disappointing performance against the Sharks, with Robertson emphasising the dangers of the Bulls scrum and the importance of consistency.

Rebel troops return

Dale Haylett-Petty offloads in a Bernard Foley tackle.

Dale Haylett-Petty offloads in a Bernard Foley tackle.

The Rebels are set to welcome back captain Dane Haylett-Petty and fellow Wallaby Jordan Uelese as they head over the ditch to face the Hurricanes.

Haylett-Petty returns from rupturing ligaments in his toe in round 5 against the Lions whilst Uelese is set to play his first match for almost a year following tearing his ACL against the Blues in June 2018.

The pair resumed full training on Monday before the side travelled to Wellington after a much-needed bye, which centre Reece Hodge believed came at a perfect time for a team stinging after another second-half collapse against the Waratahs.

“Monday isn’t usually our massive session but the boys were raring to go and there was a fair bit of intensity at training and a lot of competition which was good to see,” Hodge said on Tuesday.

“We’ve now lost two on the trot so we’re looking to get some momentum back into our season.”

The return of DHP likely ends the experiment of Hodge at fullback, who was one of the shining lights in the loss to the Waratahs, with the utility happy to shift around the Rebels backline wherever he was needed.

Uelese is set to be eased back into action, starting the game from the bench behind standout Anaru Rangi. Hodge welcomed the returning Uelese to the Rebels fold, noting that he hasn’t missed a step since returning to training.

“Obviously you get 12 months to lift in the gym, do running and work on your skills so when you come out of rehab you should be in better shape than when you train with the rest of the boys,” he said.

“He has seamlessly fit into training – grabbed a couple of pilfers straight away and was really good in the defensive line so to see him out there is awesome.”

Hodge stated that the focus going into the Hurricanes clash will be improving their attack, labelling it below par after being shut out in the 2nd half by the Waratahs a fortnight ago.

Tate Red-y to stand up

Tate McDermott made his starting debut

Tate McDermott made his starting debut

Reds halfback Tate McDermott has stated that it’s time for the empty promises to stop and the side needs to step up if they wish to have any finals aspriations.

The young halfback put a line through the sand on the side’s inconsistency, believing that the side must deliver on the promise shown over the next three weeks if they wish to play finals.

“As a young group this is a massive opportunity leading into the Sunwolves, Rebels and the ‘Tahs,” said McDermott. “There’s something there to be salvaged and we’re up for the challenge.”

“We’ve spoken a little about finals but we want to be the team that stops making those promises and actually delivers in this three-week block.”

McDermott pointed to performances earlier in the year against the Sunwolves and the Brumbies which were meant to be the “turn around” game for their season, however, the side would fail to back up in the following week.

“A lot of times this season we’ve said ‘that’ performance was the line in the sand,” McDermott said. “We said it in Tokyo (after a 34-31 thriller against the Sunwolves) and before the Rebels game (after a strong 36-14 win over the Brumbies) but haven’t actually backed it up.”

McDermott has been one of the Reds best, with his teammate Lukhan Salakaia-Loto reflecting the views of many during the press conference when he shouted out “Wallaby bolter” as he walked past.

Despite the talk, McDermott remains level headed thanks to supporting words from his family, particularly his mum, keeping his focus solely on playing good football for his state despite his future ambitions for gold.

“I don’t read anything into that stuff and mum always keeps me grounded with family chatter like ‘Tate, there’s another bloody article about you’,” McDermott said.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to eventually play for the Wallabies but you’ve got your Will Genia, Nick Phipps, Jake Gordon, Joe Powell and even Nic White as a big list of established players playing good footy (at halfback). I’m solely concentrating on playing good footy for my state.”

  • joy
    • sambo6

      Now hang on….if God loves everybody then that at least makes God Bi-sexual right?

      • joy

        I have no problems with that as long as you don’t try to shut me up.

        A small point. I love my daughters.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Your employers can shut you up. I’m presuming your work contract has clauses saying that you cannot bring your workplace into disrepute or publish material critical of it or likely to bring it financial harm.

          These things have been standard for a long, long time. It is the list of comments that have the capacity to bring financial/reputational harm that is expanding year on year.

        • joy

          You’re right it’s not about religion. It’s about an employer’s unjustified attack on free speech. It’s about twisting love into hate. It’s about taking offence when no offence was intended.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As I’ve stated above, virtually every written employment contract has clauses saying they can terminate employees for saying or publishing certain things. Mine certainly does.

          This may feel like more of a reach than, for example, firing a public figure for espousing anti-Semitic views.

          But the reality is that RA are reacting to the outrage and financial threats from Qantas, not to Folau’s tweet itself. Your issue is more with society (or ‘the mob’) becoming more and more easily offended. I’m sympathetic to this view, as free speech is integral to a free society, but RA is doing the only thing it can realistically do in the circumstances.

        • AllyOz

          The issue for me is did he make these comments as an employee of RA or as private individual.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It doesn’t really matter. Employment contracts don’t usually make that distinction.

        • Ads

          It’s already been confirmed it wasn’t/isn’t in his contract.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But having to subscribe to RAs inclusion policy is. That’s what RA are banking on to try and terminate Folau’s contract. It isn’t yet clear whether RA it Folau will win.

        • Ads

          He was inclusive. He pretty much listed everyone as going to hell if they don’t repent. Christian guy quotes Bible is hardly a revelation. RA, knowing they were struggling in the sphere of public relevance attempted to garner support by jumping on the SSM bandwagon. They didn’t think it through. They rarely do. They then folded under financial threat from Qantas like they did the Force. They are useless, and continue to make things worse. I agree it isn’t clear, but think Izzy has a strong legal case given there is nothing in his contract, and that he didn’t target a specific group, and that the basis for his commentary is religious in nature.

        • onlinesideline

          They cant shut you up when it comes to religious freedoms.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Actually, they can, in certain instances. This has been affirmed by court cases in the past, including high court cases.

      • Nutta

        Are you saying God buys sex?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Couldn’t read it as I’m not subscribed to it. Is this the Kerevi tweet thing?

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Nah, I think Samu and co are missing the point and are turning this into something it isn’t. Folau isn’t being sacked for his religious beliefs (remember, he wasn’t sacked d12 months ago), he is being sacked because he promised RA he wouldn’t publish such material again after it brought a huge amount of criticism on the sport and sponsors threatened to pull out, and then absolutely broke his word.

      I honestly don’t think RA could care less what Folau’s religious beliefs are.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I’m not sure Kerevi was saying anything about Folau. He put up a post expressing his beliefs, nothing about anyone else, and some idiots started hassling him about did this mean he supports Folau and other stupid shit. Tupou then came on commenting on those idiots. Now all of a sudden it’s being claimed it’s about Folau thanks to a few dick heads.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I heard that Samu explicitly brought him up later. But I agree, the posters who hassled Kerevi absolutely did the wrong thing.

      • onlinesideline

        Sorry but thats Bollacks. The breach of a sold called verbal agreement wouldnt have drawn RA’s ire if Izzy’s insta post was about the development of some land in the Daintree would it ? Why ? – because their sponsors woudlnt have given a crap and the social media response would have been about 10 000 times weaker.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree with what you say, but it doesn’t really connect with what I wrote. RA are terminating his contract because they consider his words harmful to RAs interests. I don’t think they actually mind what his religious beliefs are.

          People can argue that RA should risk financial suicide or should fire Folau until the cows come home, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is whether or not the clauses in Folau’s contract allow his employment to be terminated, and then what the courts think.

      • Andrew Luscombe

        We don’t know if he broke his word or not. Based on Raelene Castle’s account, all RA did was send him a couple of emails and give him some talk about being respectful, and for all we know he feels he has been respectful and considerate in warning people about a possible bad outcome when they die if they don’t change their ways, or something like that. We shouldn’t jump to conclusions. Let’s see what the hearing decides.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I haven’t jumped to any conclusions about this. Everyone I’ve heard speak about him says he’s a great guy full of love for others.

          I have no reason to think he is anything except a good, kind person with his heart in the right place.

    • IIPA

      You know Joy posting a link to an article in the Australian is a bit like telling us how nicely a room if decorated, but the bloody door’s locked.

    • AllyOz

      I wholeheartedly agree joy. RA have made this out to be a battle over inclusivity but, whether you think its about contract details or not, it is now clear that Islander people with strong Christian beliefs and others feel excluded by RA and how they have pursued this decision. And it extends to other Christian families from other ethnic backgrounds too who may not fully endorse Israel’s beliefs but see the heavy handed approach of RA to someone expressing their values as a threat to their own place in the game. It is unlikely, but possible that some of the larger faith based Catholic and Christian schools in the GPS system might also have some of their more conservative parents asking the principals about RA’s approach.

      The Waratahs only drew 10,000 to BankWest Stadium last Saturday. We will never now but that is an area with a higher islander population than some other parts of Sydney and it may be that the crowd numbers may have been higher if Israel had been playing. It is mere speculation I know and I also know that some comments below say that Samu is missing the point and I understand your point. But people find comments offensive regardless of whether they are intended to be or not. In Israel’s own comments he says he means them with love because he wants all people to share in heaven but obviously some people still find them offensive.

      Also a comment to BL. You mentioned that both Kerevi and Tupou were considering leaving BT’s Christian Soldiers because players (if I have the comment correctly) “were forced to take the knee” and pray at training. It doesn’t seem like either of those players would have a problem with a prayer session. It may be, as I think I suggested at the time, that some Islander players may have taken these steps on their own and BT was just supporting it or joined the group but didn’t direct it. Of course, we don’t know and you have a direct connection there that I don’t but i guess I am just suggesting that there is another way to read what was happening there. Some of our teams are 50% plus islander players, many of whom who share these beliefs and one of my fondest memories of rugby was listening to the Samoan and Fijian crowds at the Brisbane 7’s “trading” hymn singing under the stands as their teams played – it seems a huge part of their culture.

      I guess my overall message is, if RA was looking to be inclusive, whether they want to or not they are now being seen, both on religious (Christian) and ethnic (Pacific Islander) grounds to be exclusive – whether that is the way RA and we as supporters see it or not. Plenty of people told Israel it didn’t matter if he meant to be offensive or not he had been. Seems that also applies to RA equally. I also agree BL this has been very poorly handled by RA. Suspend him immediately sure, then a review and a code of conduct hearing, then terminate the contract if

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        So you’re saying RA should have risked losing Qantas’ money and the huge media backlash, and backlash from the secular and even religious people that disagree with Folau, in order to protect him after he broke his word about not publishing such things again?
        .

        • AllyOz

          Yes – if Qantas sponsorship is provided on the basis that RA and rugby in general is conditional on the game publicly supporting a position that Qantas themselves ignores in its commercial relationships with its partners then yes that is exactly what I am saying.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Well RAs role is to look after the finances of the sport. Not to take a noble, principled stand for free speech, especially when the player in question broke a promise he made to them not to do exactly what he did.

        • AllyOz

          You don’t know what promise he made – as I said – that is why there is a hearing. Also if RA’s goal is not to take principled stands why did it need to take an official position on SSM why couldn’t it simply let all members decide for themselves. RA has got themselves into this position by taking a position on one set of peoples rights to the detriment of another. I don’t expect RA to have an official religious position, a political one or a social one.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          True, but the media reporting indicates he was re-signed based on promising Castle personally not to publish such comments again.

          Because it wanted to take a stand that would benefit its reputation and finances.

        • Funk

          Problem is, “media reporting” and the actual truth rarely ever meet!!!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          RA are still subject to the whims of the media and public opinion though.

        • onlinesideline

          and Christian public opinion dont count ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I didn’t say that. The fact is that most Australian Christians don’t seem to mind that much that Folau’s contract is being terminated.

          Over half of Australia’s population were Christian as of the 2016 census, so obviously their opinion counts.

          I’ve asked two of my close mates who are rugby fans and practicing Christians what they think. One said they’re glad he’s being fired and the other said he couldn’t care either way.

        • onlinesideline

          you mean white Christians who arent actually practising Christians

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          What does the colour of a Christian’s skin have to do with it, or whether they practice or not? I don’t subscribe to identity politics.

          Both are irrelevant. And plenty of practicing Christians support the decision, or don’t mind it.

        • onlinesideline

          If they dont practise whats the relevance of citing their chrisianity ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Because you don’t need to go to Church every Sunday to be a Christian?

          Determining who does and does not count as a Muslim is literally what Isis does. It isn’t for you to decide who counts as a Christian. If someone says they’re a Christian, then they’re a Christian.

        • onlinesideline

          So I can say I am moral but even though I dont practise that morality in every day life it doesnt matter ? I’m still moral, because I said Im moral ? Sounds very convenient. To suggest many Christians who dont practise Christianity support Izzys firing holds no weight. They may be Christians by name but if they dont practise they are not taking into consideration Christian beliefs when deciding whether Izzy should be fired therefore rendering their opinion as “Christians” not Christian based and a meaningless stat for you site (even though you have no way of proving that many Christians support Izzys firing – how would you know this exactly ?)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’re talking in circles trying to pretend that all Christians share your view.

          First it was, ‘Christian opinion doesn’t count’.

          Then it was ‘Christians who don’t mind Folau may be fired are white’ (as if that means anything).

          Then it was ‘practicing Christians don’t agree with him being fired, and only they really count’

          And you also ignore the fact that there are many (not saying a majority) practicing Christians who don’t agree with him’

          Now you, and you alone, are the arbiter of who is a Christian and who isn’t. Following your logic means someone is raised as a Christian and go to chapel every day and mass on Sundays, but when they become an adult choose not go to church, but retain their Christian faith, they aren’t Christians according to you?

          Over 50% of Australia’s population are Christian. They, rather than you, get to decide their faith. Obviously every Christian’s opinions count equally as anyone else’s in Australia.

          The problem for you is that the percentage of Christians that really care about this is smaller than you wish.

        • onlinesideline

          when I said “christians opinion dont count ? ” – I was referring to the Pacific Island pro-Christian contigent that seemed to be ignored by RA. You said RA is subject to whims of public opinion. They seems to be respecting the offended gay community but ignoring the PI Christian community. Im out its 5.11 am here – shut eye.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Of course their opinion counts, but as I’m sure you know, in democracies generally majority views triumph minority views. PI Australians are a minority in Australia.

          Thankfully, it’s not up to ‘onlinesideline’ to determine anyone else’s religion. Thankfully, everyone gets to choose their own religion, regardless of what you ‘consider’.

        • Who?

          Over 50% of the population isn’t Christian. Australia’s a post-religion, modernist society.
          .
          People may say they’re Christian, but unless they’re practicing (particularly meaning attending), it’s very hard to prove. It’s like saying, “I’m a Rugby fan,” without being affiliated with a club. It may be true, but it doesn’t show up for government consideration in most situations, and it means you don’t have a voice inside the organization.
          .
          Plus, if you’re not ‘inside’, then it’s not uncommon to hold different views. I’ve seen lots of people say they’re Christian then live in the most unchristian way. I’ve seen people say they’re Rugby fans, then go leave their Rugby club to sign up with AFL or League (Apostasy! Heresy!).
          .
          People may consider themselves Christians (which is fine, we aren’t to define others), but unless they can back that up with actions (which generally means attending a church on a semi-regular basis), then it’s hard to be certain that’s true. And, for reference? There was a guy who personally surveyed churches in my region about a decade ago, finding that churches claimed active memberships from about 15% of the population, of which half (7.5% of the population) would be in attendance on any given weekend.
          .
          I’m not claiming that the Christian position on anything is unified (no one can claim that – how many different churches exist?), I’m not claiming that those who don’t attend church aren’t Christian, but surely it’s pretty obvious that, if you’re not a member of the club (not just a supporter, but a member), you can’t truly claim you represent the club (just as I can’t claim to represent the Reds, Rebels, Wallabies, etc, even though I support them).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m sorry but that’s a pretty absurd claim. Let’s say you’re a Russian Orthodox Christian and then you move to a remote area, or even a small town without an Orthodox Church. Does the fact that you stop you being a Russian Orthodox Christian? Of course it doesn’t.

          Australia being a secular country doesn’t make it ‘post-religious’. By the mere fact that we are having this freedom of religion debate on this, and that some Christians are offended and others aren’t, proves that it isn’t a post-religious country.

          You’re contradicting yourself when you say you’re not one to define others, while the rest of your message is that only churchgoers of a semi regular basis are real Christians. It’s literally the equivalent of Muslims who pray five times a day accusing those that don’t pray 5 times a day of not being Muslim.

          Sorry the litmus test of whether one is Christian is whether you know of Christ’s message, accept Christianity’s tenets and believe in the resurrection?

          More realistically, it’s surely ther one considers themselves Christian. As soon as one starts determining who and is not a Christian, they’re slipping into the equivalent of ISIS territory: “you’re not a real Muslim as you don’t practice your faith as I do”!

        • Who?

          Sorry mate, I clearly haven’t been clear enough in what I’m saying.
          What I’m trying to say is that saying you’re a Christian makes you a Christian, but it doesn’t make you a representative for all Christians. In order to say you represent people, you need to be able to prove that, and the easiest way to prove that is by showing you’re part of the ‘club’.
          In the same way that you can’t claim to represent a political party if you’re not a member. And you can’t truly claim to represent them unless you’re acknowledged as a leader in that party (and even that may change after you go on Q&A!).
          .
          Does that make sense? I’m not saying who is and who isn’t a Christian, I’m not defining what people believe or their identities. I’m saying it’s easier to qualify a person’s affiliations by their actions, and if you’re talking to someone whose actions indicate they don’t have a connection to an organisation, you can’t assume their position/belief aligns with the organisation. The same way you might have a raging racist say he votes for the Liberals and they represent his values, when he’s not a party member and his values are clearly opposed by written and implemented Liberal party policy (using a stereotype here!). It doesn’t mean he doesn’t vote Liberal and identify himself as a Liberal, it just means he doesn’t represent the Liberal policy or perspective on certain items.
          .
          Does that make more sense..?
          .
          And Australia, politically, is post-religious. That’s mostly a good thing, because while the US preaches separation of church and state, reality is that they don’t follow that principle. Reactions amongst Christians to this situation don’t prove anything regarding Australia’s status as a majority secular country.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          “saying you’re a Christian makes you a Christian, but it doesn’t make you a representative for all Christians”

          I quite agree with this statement.

          But no one is representative of “all Christians”. Christianity is a very broad Church with a whole spectrum of beliefs.

          Even within the same Church, every single person will have their own opinion.

          And I’m not saying anyone’s interpretation of Christianity “better” than the others (although there are obviously some I am closer to agreeing with, and those I agree with less).

        • Who?

          But no one is representative of “all Christians”.

          The Pope and Lyle Shelton might disagree with you there. :-P
          .
          You’re right, the church is a very broad church. :-P
          .
          I’m also not proclaiming winners and losers in who’s right and wrong and that sort of rubbish. I’m just pointing out that there’s not actually that many who can claim to be representative of Christians in Australia, and the number of ‘proven’ regularly practicing Christians in Australia is tiny.
          People might claim to be Labor people, but unless they’re members of the party, their opinion is only really relevant every 3 or 4 years (at elections). Similarly, if people aren’t in a church, whilst they might be Christians, unless they’re ‘in the club’, they’re only statistically relevant every 5 years (at the census), because there’s no way to know how they align the rest of the time. And many live very differently to what they claim.

        • AllyOz

          Not everything in the media is always true though. Also he may (by not singly out homosexuals but lumping them in a larger group) feel he has satisfied that requirement, also he may think he explanation below the meme satisfies the commitment he has made. I don’t think its as straight forward – at least in Israel’s understanding, as others may assume.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I haven’t once commented on Folau’s understanding. I’ve never even one implied he’s a bad person or anything like that.

          All I’ve said is, these are the facts from RAs point of view and why, as his employer, they seem to be taking the steps they are taking.

          I’ve never even said RA are right or wrong. People like you and Joy have strong arguments that workers shouldn’t be fired for espousing religious views, and RA has strong reasons for doing what it is doing too.

          This isn’t a black and white situation like people on both sides are making out.

        • onlinesideline

          But you ARE saying RA is right and have all along. You have said they are justified because their first concern is to minimizecommercial damage.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Saying they’re acting the right way if their main concern is minimising commercial damage and reputational harm isn’t the same as saying I agree with their conduct personally.

        • onlinesideline

          but you are because you have said many times their main concern is and should be to minimise commercial damage

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Would you like RA to not take action against Folau and go bankrupt?

        • onlinesideline

          well first off, it would be nice to know what you are saying should be done, Are you saying they are right or not right ? I can work out the choices they have and their reasons myself.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m saying they’ve made the right choices if one thinks RA should look after the financial interests of the sport.

          It’s totally subjective as to whether one thinks RA should r doing that first, or not. There’s no right or wrong on this issue.

        • Funk

          “…these are the facts from RAs point of view…” Unless you have read his employment contract, then none of this is fact, it’s conjecture.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not really. RA would hardly be trying to terminate his contract if they didn’t think they had the right to do so, would they? I’ve also heard from other Wallabies that standard RA contracts say the player will adhere to the code of conduct.

        • AllyOz

          I agree it isn’t black and white. I disagree with RA’s stance on a couple of points but I have made them above so no point repeating. I don’t pretend to fully understand the legal requirements – I have heard podcasts and read news articles that have opposing views. You have summarised my position quite adequately and I think I understand yours pretty well. I value the fact that we can discuss it.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Absolutely. Would be nice if all discussions could be civil.

        • joy

          I recall Castle inferring that Folau understood RA’s position. She was pressed by the media several times but I don’t recall anything about a promise.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Read it in a Wayne Smith article a few weeks back. If I trust anyone in the Aussie media, it is him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Read it in a Wayne Smith article a few weeks back. If I trust anyone in the Aussie media, it is him.

        • onlinesideline

          but they ARE taking a “noble principled stand” on CERTAIN speech arent they ? They are at the end of the day deciding on what to take a stand on ie on what Izzy said. Thats the whole point of the issue. They claim inclusiveness but are excluding Izzys views. He didnt incite violence, pee in his own mouth, take a video of being in a room full of 8 balls. He just expressed a religious worldview.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I don’t think they’re acting noble. I think RA are making a rational decision to save its reputation and finances, which, in its eyes at least, are threatened if they maintain their employment of Folau.

        • onlinesideline

          well maybe they should START acting noble and run the game properly. If they bend to Qantas pressure, its a very sad state of affairs.

        • joy

          So RA’s principled stand is for homosexuality at the expense of religion and free speech? This position is untenable. The only safe place to be is acknowledging the right all parties have to speak freely.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          If this has been said once it has been said one thousand times:

          Never, in the history of any country has freedom of speech ever meant freedom from consequences from your employer, ever.

          RAs stand – not saying it is principled – is to act in what it considers to be in the best interests of rugby union in Australia, financially and reputationally.

        • Keith Butler

          I think your last para sums it up. If Folau refused to have additional clauses in his new contract the the contract should have not been offered, end of. However, RA, it seems, did not want to send their cash cow to pastures new so resigned him in the hope that he wouldn’t sound off again. They only have themselves to blame for this debacle.

        • Who?

          It’s widely reported that RUPA’s EBA doesn’t allow the addition of any clauses to a contract that aren’t in favour of the player. RA couldn’t have added anything to the contract.
          Whether or not they should’ve re-signed him without additional clauses, then, is down to his value to the coaches and the marketing team… The marketing team may not have understood the risks (let’s call that understatement), but I’m sure the coaches were very much in favour of offering him a new deal.

      • Dud Roodt

        “whether you think its about contract details or not, it is now clear that Islander people with strong Christian beliefs and others feel excluded by RA and how they have pursued this decision.”

        Then they’re fucking dumb. No on has said they can’t be Christian, just not tell gay people they’re going to hell for being who they are. It’s very simple really.

        • onlinesideline

          and thats wrong. First corps deny religious expression, then whats next ? Thougt police too ? Gays are free to mock the chruch ad infinitum. Its part of their culture. Looka t Mardi Grar – When is the last you heard of a top contracted gay guy lose his job for doing that. And it should be like that. Its about Corps stepping back and getting out of virtue signalling, because they cant do it in a NEUTRAL way. If RA made that clear to the mob AND their sponsors neither Qantas and teh mob woulld have go on about sackings and beachings.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          If you don’t understand that it is generally more acceptable to mock the powerful groups in a society than the weaker ones, then there isn’t really much hope for you.

          For that same reason, it is more acceptable to mock Christians than Jews in Europe.

          You’re just very upset that most of Australia isn’t as offended over this as you are.

        • onlinesideline

          all groups , whether minority or majority should be free to express. Period.
          I made a comment about corporations stepping back and allowing employess basic rights. Your respnse is about something different. EMPLOYEE RIGHTS MATE – stay on topic

        • Dud Roodt

          “Gays are free to mock the chruch ad infinitum.”

          You keep talking like “the gays” are an organisation. Like they are some evil underground mob out to kill everyone or turn them gay.

          “a top contracted gay guy” – again, WHO ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?!

          Who is this mythical being? If you can show me an instance of a homosexual man being told by his employer to not do something, then the homosexual man does it again, and not being fired because “free speech” then we can make a comparison.

          “Virtue signalling” – again, would you have described the civil rights movement in the 60’s as “virtue signalling”? I think you might have

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan, it’ll be good to see Robertson back on the field. He was playing very well last year and provided good go forward so hopefully that will come back.

    Sorry BL but I’m backing the Canes this week. I think they’ll be too strong for the Rebels. I’m also backing out baby blacks on Saturday. Just one of those weeks where I back the kiwi teams.

    The next few weeks will be a watershed for a few teams with such a close competition. I think it’s great that it’s so close but it’s doing my head in with the picks and I’m right at the bottom of our pool.

    • Keith Butler

      The Canes have always been my pick of the NZ teams and much as I support the Rebs I cannot see beyond a big loss. A losing bonus point would be a result in my book.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s! Cue shit fight.
    On one hand (see Wayne Smith’s article in the Australian) we have certain players unnamed read into that the Tah’s mafia saying they will boycott the Wallabies if Folau is allowed back.
    On the other side we have the islander players directly stating that they may as well all be sacked now.
    RA couldnt have handled this worse than how they have.
    This is just appalling.
    The Pirate has to go, and so too Cameron Clyne.
    Peter Cosgrove is about to be unemployed, he worships rugby. Bring him in to heal this shit fight.

    • joy

      Absolutely.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      How has RA handled this poorly if they win the hearing? How better could they have handled it, other than by no re-signing him?

      • Brisneyland Local

        In my opinion they didnt do their stakeholder analysis well enough. They could have easily predicted this said shit fight and handled it behind closed doors. They didnt need to come out swinging hard from word one. They needed to come and say that there is a process that they will work through. They have now created a schism in their player group. And a chunk of that was created by them getting their talking heads to come out and trot the party line.
        They needed to show leadership, not create further divisions.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          As I recall, BL, they were forced into a corner by the refusal of said employee to take their calls. It may have been easier for them to manage had he been responsive. ‘May’ is the key word here, of course. I suspect Izzy’s agent has a lot to answer for in all this, but I also suspect we’ll never find out just how much.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Possibly. But they made the statement that he was going to be terminated, straight out, so I can understand why he didnt take their calls.

    • Custard Taht

      Absolutely agree, Cosgrove would be an excellent choice.

      Stating your religious beliefs is sackable. Apparently it brings the game and RA into disrepute among other crimes, including the greatest crime of all, causing offence.

      But getting your wang out and urinating at/on a bar in public…all good.

      Punching a team mate and the captain…all good.

      Being seen in a video in and around a substance that looks like cocaine…all good.

      Sexual Harrassment of a team official….all good.

      It seems as long as behavior doesn’t hit RA in the hip pocket, they are happy to be Officer Barbrady and say move along people, nothing to see here.

      • Nutta

        Boom-tish! I laughed. Then I remembered that stuff is generally funny because it is true…

        However many things in life aren’t fair.

        This is not about freedom to have a religion. This is about commercial contract allegiance. One of the reasons Izzy is worth big money beyond a regular try-scorer is because of his public profile (admittedly built off the back of freakish athletic ability). Izzy’s name & face on tee-shirts, tickets, ads etc helps sell stuff and get sponsors. His public profile (and what defines that) is a commercial, trade-able asset. That makes it contract-able. And he has benefited from that contract-ability (if not, it would be my pudgy fat white middle-class ass you would see doing sprints on Nike ads etc). My point is, if you want to be in a game – any game – you need to play by that games rules. You want to trade your image for cash? That’s fine, but once you sign-on you maintain your image in the manner aligned to that which the people paying expect you to. Otherwise contract something else or do something else. Izzy has chosen to play in that game, sign that contract and take that cash. But then he decided to to break those rules he just agreed to. And he has done it with full knowledge and awareness of the scenario. So he cops what comes.

        • Custard Taht

          Completely understand and agree with what you say.
          The issue is that behaviours which some people may regard as worse, basically went unpunished. In one case, it is a serial offender.
          I couldn’t care if it is fair or unfair, it makes it hard to defend sacking Folau, when RA have a history of tolerating other offensive and unlawful behaviour. Especially when the serial offender gave his word about future behaviour and broke that multiple times.

        • Nutta

          Man-loving on you here.

          Agree. Agree. Agree. Beale, JOC and more are clear examples why RA cannot make this into a ‘moral standards’ argument and retain one iota of credibility.

        • Funk

          “…retain one iota of credibility”…that ship sailed long ago…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Nutta agree this is a pure commercial contract issue. But the way RA have handled it and the blow back that has come from it is what they now have to own. You could have gotten rid of Izzy with out this very public and divisive fight. This will get a lot uglier before it gets better.

        • Nutta

          I fear you may be right there. I love the fact my subs pay for lawyers.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I get you on that one.

        • Custard Taht

          RA are trying to make this a contractual issue. The problem is their lack of sackings for other contractual breaches, has opened the door for Folau to use the religion defence.

        • Brisneyland Local

          CT 100% correct. No other player has been sacked for offences on the judicial system that are far worse that what Izzy is perceived to have committed. Yet they are gunning for him hard core.
          They should have kept their mouths, their powder dry. Handled this as quietly as possible. You never win going guns publically, when you havent got your ducks in a row.

        • Nutta

          Man, 5 ocker cliches in one line of text? You’re on fire Dude. Go get your Saffa PA to decipher that bit of Australianese!

        • Brisneyland Local

          She is not talking to me at the moment because I got her coffee order wrong this morning when I went down to get them! Because she has changed from skinny milk to soy milk, and because of the easter break I had forgotten!

        • Gun

          Dare I say it in these times but she is an excellent PA if you’re getting her coffee. I understand it though my Mrs is ex army officer ATC so all I get is direction!

        • Brisneyland Local

          She is a brilliant PA. I rate her very highly. But she being a Saffa is very direct.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          He’s most likely arguing that he didn’t break any rules, codes of conduct, or contracts. If he didn’t break any rules, and he is still not allowed to play, then it is not about contracts any more, it is about taking sides in a religious expression issue, and maybe worse – taking sides in a mercenary manner. We need to see the outcome of the hearing.

        • Nutta

          Yep – if the codes/rules/contract is not objectively clear then it’s omnia observandum non est legalis (anything not illegal is legal) and RA are proper-fkd.

        • joy

          With 72% of Australians believing in a God I respectfully suggest sucking up to an noisy minority is not necessarily good for business.

        • Nutta

          Did you miss the memo Joy? RA has not ever – and I mean EVER – cared one flying fig what the general population thinks of rugby. They could not care less. They are happier to cede gift-wrapped populations of rugby-friendly potential to AFL and Soccer by the 100-hectare-plots if the post-codes aren’t right. They always have been.

          Qantas spoke. The naming-rights sponsor spoke. And that was the end of that.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But that doesn’t mean that 72% of Australians don’t think it is wrong for Folau’s contract to be terminated….

          I know multiple practicing Christians who either don’t care or think he should be sacked, and I know multiple atheists that think it is a travesty against freedom of speech that he might have his contract terminated.

        • onlinesideline

          didnt you just spend a conserable amount of time telling me whether they are practising or not is irrelvant, a Christian is a Christian and now you are including / referring to exact same label in your post to make a point. Ill be honest you seem to hold more than a multiple of views alot of the time that contradict each other on many threads.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Do you have difficulties comprehending the English language? In what way did I even imply that?

        • onlinesideline

          by saying “practising Christians” – can you read your own comments ?
          On the one hand you suggest whether they are practising or not is an oxymoron then you use the same label in your comment to back up your point. All over the shop mate.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I have got no idea what you’re talking about, but you’ve spectacularly missed the point of my comment, do I degree that I cannot even fathom.

        • Hoss

          Most sensible thing I have read on this shit-fight. Stop it, stop it now.

      • Brisneyland Local

        These guys couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery!

        • Who?

          Breweries don’t want them. I remember Bundaberg sponsorship, and now it’s Yenda…?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate spot on. A whole lot of double standards applied across the board.

        • Custard Taht

          Nothing shits me more than double standards!

      • AllyOz

        surely if you are dressed in a cow suit its OK to urinate on a bar….

        • Custard Taht

          Dressed as a dog, most definitely, it’s what dogs do…..but a cow just shows udder contempt for animal stereotypes. Dressed as a cow he needed to either lactate or take a dump.

        • Greg

          Don’t even suggest that….

      • Dud Roodt

        But all those things you listed (with the exception of the coke one, because you can’t punish someone on the basis of “looks like”, particularly if the person in question wasn’t in possession of it) ended in punishment for the player didn’t they? And did the player commit that exact offence again after being told not to? Don’t think so.

        • Custard Taht

          Were any of the punishments for breaching the code dismissal?

          In one case, the player has breached the code of conduct multiple times, may be for different reasons each time, but still mutiple breaches, and 2 of the instances, were grounds for immediate dismissal.

          You can’t punish someone cause it looks like something, even though it still brought the game into disrepute and broke the code of conduct. But it is ok to punish someone for stating a belief that broke no law, because it brought the game into disrepute and he allegedly has broken the code of conduct twice.

        • Dud Roodt

          No, as I said, they haven’t repeated the offence (almost to the letter) that they were told not to. Hence no sacking.

          1 of the things you listed Beale did was as an employee of the Rebels, and was punished by them accordingly
          Another was as an employee of the Wallabies and he was punished accordingly.
          The other thing wouldn’t stand up in any court.

          Israel did something, his employers asked him not to do it again. He did it again.
          No one accused him of being smart, but even that is dumb as dog shit.

          How anyone can’t see that he put RA in an untenable position (not the other way around) is beyond me.

        • Custard Taht

          Aren’t they all employees of RA, especially if they have a RA top up?

        • Dud Roodt

          They are, but I’m assuming RA let the team the player was representing mete out the punishment. Which they did

        • onlinesideline

          why didnt they come out last year, the first time and say he has a right to express his personal belliefs and that we dont share them. Then saying teh same thig this year WOULD be tenable. The issue is Corporations not stepping back but virtue signalling on hot topics of the day to gain browny points or fend of Mob attack. They need to get out of these debates. They are rugby admins not fricken moral overlords.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          “They are rugby admins”

          You said it. They administrate rugby union in this country. That is their goal. They do not act as lobbyists in interest of any specific player(s).

        • onlinesideline

          who mentioned them being lobbyists ? Upholding a principle of allowing free expresion isnt lobbying for a player. Where did that come from ? – bizarre !

        • Dud Roodt

          They, as a company, have a right to put forward or support any agenda they wish. Whether you like it or not.

          Can I ask, as this seems to be glossed over no matter how many times I ask it – are you saying that Rugby Australia should take the same attitude with racism?
          So if a player says all black people are going to hell, RA should say “we don’t share those views, but the player is entitled to them”? or is it just the gays that you think should be able to be said are going to hell?

    • Ads

      Well said! I remember saying this when they (RA) came out publicly in support of the yes SSM vote. That is to me when this all started. It was obvious then that it would split people and cause problems. It was obvious then that Qantas were a bunch of hypocrites. It was obvious then the Pasifika community would be offended. I’m not saying they should have supported “no”. They should have seen the obvious minefield and STFU about it. Izzy’s original post was a direct response to that. RA created the mess.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Concur.

      • joy

        I don’t see anything wrong with either side putting their position on the SSM debate but it’s not wise for other entities to take a position when a proportion of their staff, clients etc are certain to disagree. It is highly disrespectful and bound to turn toxic. You’d think $800,000 a year comes with wisdom!

      • Dud Roodt

        “Izzy’s original post was a direct response to that.”

        I’d love to blame my employer for my actions if I were in Izzy’s position

      • onlinesideline

        Exact friggin mundo
        Inclusive my butt. RA can hold a position but Izzy cant.

    • Hoss

      Well I am offended by the offence my original offence has caused.

      Jesus fucking Christ this whole religion thing is a powder keg. Sorry to any offence caused to pub workers, living or dead or those yet to come who may have handled kegs in the past or may do so in the future. I am certainly not suggesting the keg is in any way at fault but is merely a victim of circumstance.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure gold. Your humour is exactly what is required. This is just a shit fight.

        • Hoss

          Read Ben Elton’s latest “Identity Crisis’ on trip to Darwin. Everyone should read it for a great laugh – very, very timely read.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Just downloaded it to my Kindle. will have a read over the next few days.

        • Hoss

          There’s genuine laugh out loud moments mate. I have been a fan for many a year and saw it on the shelf at the airport by chance, couldn’t put it down. Even stayed sober on occasion just to read it. That should be printed on inside sleeve ‘So good i stayed sober just to read it’

        • Brisneyland Local

          Excellent. I finished a Cricket book believe it or not the other day. Called the Bowlologist by Flemmo ex Australian Fast Bowler. I am not even that much into cricket and loved. That is a laugh out loud book as well.

        • Patrick

          Bel Elton is wonderful, I’ve been hooked since Stark, but ever since his social media book that basically came true I’ve been a bit worried about some of the others too!

        • Hoss

          Read em all mate – love his work, although two brothers was a detour from his normal works. Can’t get enough.

    • RedAnt

      Mate, Phil Kearns worships rugby. Drew worships rugby. Growden worships rugby. My mate’s niece worships rugby. You want any of them as CEO?

      • Ads

        Was your mate’s niece Chief of the Defence Force too? What a coincidence!

      • Brisneyland Local

        No. But Cosgrove, has a clearly demonstrated leadership capability. Having personally served under the man twice, I know his chops. He will sort it out. No one does holder engagement like him.

        • RedAnt

          Fair enough! I’m still not sure that makes him qualified for the job. People probably said the same thing about Cameron Clyne.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Cosgrove was formally, about 9 years ago on the ARU board. So he has a degree of familiarity with the organisation.

        • Dud Roodt

          Wouldn’t that be held against most people!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Generally speaking yes.

    • Dud Roodt

      I wouldn’t lay the blame of Tupou misreading the situation at the feet of RA. What did RA have to do with Kerevi apologising for sharing his beliefs?

      If Tupou thinks RA are saying that he can’t hold the beliefs he holds, he is, quite frankly, a fucking moron.
      They aren’t saying players can’t have Christian beliefs, or Buddhist beliefs, or Flying Spaghetti Monster beliefs. Just not to publicly state the parts of their beliefs that call other humans evil for their natural biology.

      Very simple. I don’t get why these fucking idiots can’t get that through their heads.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Because that is not what they are being told behind the scenes by club personnel.

        • Dud Roodt

          So they’re being told they can’t be Christian? Or they can’t say they’re Christian?

        • Greg

          or can’t say people will go to hell if they are gay?

        • Brisneyland Local

          They are being told they their views are not consistent with modern society and with the RA.

        • Dud Roodt

          Sorry to be a stickler – but are they being told their Christian views are not consistent with modern society and RA, or that their views on homosexuality aren’t consistent with modern society and RA? Because those to things are very different

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes they are. They are being told their views on both are not consistent.

        • Dud Roodt

          Right, well then they should all sue RA

        • Brisneyland Local

          Not being told that formally in writing. They are just being spoken to quietly. But have heard from two players this is the case.

      • Hoss

        Amen – oh wait, i meant nice, fuck-shit, can i even say that anymore.

        I concur – no, wait, that has ‘Con’ in it, so racist and upset the Greeks – ahh stuff it, no cant say that either, upset the bulimics and those who are ‘plus-sized’, fuck, now i have lost the mathematics lobby for derogatory use of ‘plus’.

        I will stick with upsetting everyone.

        There, consistent, unbiased and fairly distributed – dodged a bullet there, no, wait – phone ringing from anti gun lobby.

        back to my box i think.

    • Patrick

      Wait what, you’re telling me that we could have:
      1. the Tahs out of the Wallabies
      2. our Islanders onboard; and
      3. our best try-scorer back in the team??

      What is there not to like!?

      • Brisneyland Local

        YEp that is what I thought. Hooper gone, back row balanced!
        Foley gone, an attacking 10 who can kick, sweet.
        Beale gone. Most of your off field and on field issues gone too.
        Yahoo

        • Patrick

          Plus on field leadership issues fixed because Hooper can’t be captain either.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Now you are talking!

  • ballymoreburning

    wow, castle must act now. it needs to be made abundantly clear that waging a war on the game in the media is an untenable position to take, and that further commentary, attempting to contextualise a breach notice as a war on religion, is also a breach.

    Australian rugby is beginning to reap the rotten weeds it has sewn by recruiting through league and nationalising players of overseas origins. put simply, these people have other priorities.

    this reminds me of an article I read a decade ago about the demise of Pakistani cricket (can’t remember if it was Waqar, Imran, or Wasim) when kudos in team culture was beginning to be awarded to the more godly and solemn, rather than the more fierce and skilled.

    Australian rugby is now populated at the elite level by people who neither care about Australia nor rugby. they all come from and play for ‘different teams’.

    if you’re not bleeding wallaby gold in a World Cup year? If a year after being super rugby player of the year and then promptly taking a massive step back to mediocrity, your greatest contribution is to levy a misinformed media outburst at the game we love, then Mr Topou, f%$# off and get paid elsewhere. (I would love to know if thorn is encouraging this. if so, he has to go. they are playing for god, not QLD).

    • AllyOz

      If Thorn was picking Tupou because of his religious belief ahead of others then why has Tupou spent of good part of the year on the bench behind the Smith brothers.

      • Who?

        Worth noting, the Smith brothers also come from a very strongly Christian Saffa family (they have family in a church run by a pastor who is a vital part of my club).
        My Saffa pastor mate doesn’t come across as a modernist, as someone who’d hold ‘progressive’ views on a majority of issues, so it wouldn’t surprise me if positions held by large sections of the ex-pat Saffa Rugby community (who are also a growing part of the Australian Rugby community) share many of these views.

        • joy

          Spot on. Some Saffa teams pray on field then prey on Aussie sides.

        • AllyOz

          That is also my experience, particularly of those with Dutch/German background rather than those from the English background.

    • Gun

      Amen brother.

    • Jonny

      The top tier rugby nations have actively recruited and nationalised Pacific Islanders so I don’t think we can act surprised if players from these predominantly devoutly conservative Christian regions hold allegiance to their religion and their mates from their birthplace/ancestral home over their adopted country’s rugby interests and relatively modern values.
      On the bright side, this whole furore at least gives the ARU the opportunity to make the wallabies stand for something other than dysfunctionality and disappointment. I will gladly support a side which stands for inclusivity and socially progressive values even if it’s a shit side rather than support a side made up of backwards religious zealots (who still only win 50% of the time!)
      Finally can I add that this “freedom of religion” argument doesn’t wash with me. What Folau did was to use his huge profile to vilify an already marginalised section of our community based on a very selective interpretation of a small part of a book that he has made the choice to use to guide his life. The fact he had the opportunity to do this is him exercising freedom of religion, dealing with the consequences of his beliefs being backwards and harmful is merely life where you sometimes get held accountable for what you believe or stand for.

    • idiot savant

      I can’t say I agree with all of this but there is an uncomfortable truth at the heart of it. There is a price to be paid for recruiting youngsters from Pacifika cultures with the avaricious ambition to use them to win games for Australian schools, clubs, franchises, and national teams. It is an unreasonable and dubiously ethical expectation that they should subvert the priorities of their heritage to another nation for pieces of sliver. You are right – they have other priorities and are frankly entitled to them.

      • ballymoreburning

        thanks for not shooting the messenger

  • formerflanker

    Full marks to Hodge. He was outstanding at fullback and yet moves seamlessly to another position.

    • Keith Butler

      At last a comment on rugby the game. Much as I support the Rebs I reckon they are in for a world of pain when the face the Canes this weekend. All games are important but may time to give our half backs a break so they’re ready for the must win home games and the Moondogs.

  • Brisneyland Local

    The question you have to ask yourself now is:
    “What does a win look like to RA now?”
    1. Sacking Folau not having to pay out his contract and now alienating up to 1/3 of your Wallaby squad?
    2. Ended up in a protracted legal battle with Folau, and potentially multiple other players?
    Where is the win.
    RA have to aim for the middle ground, where the most amount of people are the least offended. But fuck me there are still going to be significantly upset people.
    No one in RA “Wargamed” this scenario out as to the permutations and combinations of things that could have occurred. What is our worst case scenario, and what is our best case scenario?
    No stakeholder analysis. Who are our core supporters. Our Change resistors. Our champions of change. Nothing!
    How do RA rectify this mess? How do they bring the two player groups together and smoke the peace pipe. There was already a big enough schism in the player group, this has made it worse. And they certainly poked the bear on this one.
    Fuck me I wouldnt be the Pirate for Quids!

    • onlinesideline

      thats why I said 2 weeeks ago in my first post fthe year, they need to remove themsleves from the marketplace of ideas like corps did only 20 years ago and say what they used to say and that is ” Izzy has a right to his personal opinion, while it doesnt reflect RAs, we have to allow for our employees to have a right to express that in the public arena” That always worked. This is a religious worldview he is expressing. He is not someone behaving badly. Muzzling him is a massive mistake and usin the breach of contract as an excuse, which it is IMO, is just bending over (pun intended) to the gay CEO of Qantas and the militant gay community at large. Qantas are not the only people on the planet who sponsor RA btw.

      • Brisneyland Local

        True, but at the moment they are the only sponsor stepping forward with the types of money RA need. No would want to sponsor RA before this due to our form. But now after the handling of this, no one will want to touch the Wallabies with a 10 foot pole.

        • onlinesideline

          its MAY be the case, but you cant tell me BL if the doors were open and Qantas walked, there wouldnt be a bank or 2 licking their lips. They are all the same – its the mood of the day versus potential payday. It would just take someone a little less “principled” than Alan Joyce to sniff out an opportunity.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well you are right there about the less principled and the banks. I think they would come in, but it wouldnt be the same level of moolah that Qaintass are currently coughing. And with RA operating at a loss, and now with more legal bills than Salim Meagher and the CFMEU combined, and payouts to come. They are bleeding financially.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Banks do a lot of work trying to improve their image and look good.

          A lot.

          I wish Qantas and everyone elsr didn’t care what Folau said, and I wish social media didn’t exist for these issues to arise.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Agree they are now doing a lot to improve their reputation. But they have come off a low base.
          Personally I dont mind the banks.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Banks want the support of the broadest possible section of society. Everyone is a potential customer, and there is far more competition between Australia banks than between airlines servicing the Australian market.

          So maybe they wouldn’t drop RA if they were already the sponsor, maybe they wouldn’t (although I think they would drop RA, I don’t think Qantas would have such an overt opinion on the issue if they thought doing so had the capacity to do them financial harm), but I definitely cannot see them taking the risk of picking up sponsoring RA if Folau was still employed and posed a risk of publishing such material again.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Concur.

        • Custard Taht

          The NRA Wallabies has a ring to it. Perfect sponsor for the Wallabies, apparently they are full of guns!

        • idiot savant

          I doubt the banks would see the value in it. The Wallabies jersey sponsorship has global value and suits global brands. Its not going to deliver much value for an Australian bank.

        • Dud Roodt

          Show me on the doll where Alan Joyce hurt you

        • onlinesideline

          Its simple – he is pressuring a corporation to muzzle ther employee on a persoanl rehious beleif. Alan Joyce is a grity and skilled CEO but on this issue I feel he is wrong at society’s sexpense. I like most think Izzys content is wrong but he has the right to express this IMO.

        • Dud Roodt

          As long as you’re OK with anyone saying anything about anyone.

      • joy

        You’ve started a neo straight talking Me Two movement.

      • idiot savant

        So what exactly are you loving OLSL?

        • onlinesideline

          that his right to express and not be muzzled by his employee in expressing a personal opinion on a platorm under his personal name is being seen by many as a right and that modern day corporation strategy of being inclusivenes of all is being found out as wrong, as its impossible to please everyone due to multitude of belifes and prefernces. Corps need to step back to older psition of “thats his personal beliefs not ours” – has always been acceptable. Why now can the Mob demand his sacking ?

        • idiot savant

          Im not sure I understand any of that. All I can see is that RA have alleged that Folau has breached his contract and given Folau the opportunity to show cause that the contract should not be terminated at a formal hearing. Anything else is pure speculation.

      • Dud Roodt

        So we’d be OK with Foley saying Polynesians are going to hell as they’re his beliefs?
        As long as it’s one minority group we’re OK with people saying are evil, that should apply to all of them.

        “Militant Gay Community” – who exactly are these people? The kind of people who don’t think a public figure should be able to say they’re going to hell for the way they live their life? I’ve got to say, I’m on their team.

        This honestly sounds like fringe lunatic Breitbart territory you’re going down

        • Patrick

          That comment shows how limited your own interactions are.

          I know plenty of people, not just Islander rugby players but also judges, lawyers, politicians, CEOs and teachers, who all believe essentially what Izzy said. That doesn’t mean any of them would discriminate against a gay or other person. Some certainly would, but others equally certainly would not.

          I would have required him to make a very strong statement supporting gays playing rugby and full of stuff about God’s will and loving all God’s creatures, and then to sponsor the Bingham cup or sth, and maybe fined him, but I would never have gone down this end of the earth route.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, but you don’t know how important Qantas’ sponsorship revenue is, how likely it is that they would stop sponsoring the sport, and the extent to which RA thinks they may or may not be able to find another sponsor.

          None of us know that.

        • Patrick

          Nope, and fair points too. Maybe those factors would have pushed me to react differently, maybe not.

        • Dud Roodt

          “I know plenty of people, not just Islander rugby players but also judges, lawyers, politicians, CEOs and teachers, who all believe essentially what Izzy said.”

          And luckily your anecdotal evidence is equal to the value of mine – i.e. none whatsoever.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Don’t forget (and I paraphrase) “Non-practicing Christians aren’t Christians. I decide who is a Christian, not people themselves,”

        • onlinesideline

          reacting to the extent that they call for his job is pretty blood extreme isnt it. What happened to the offended just rebuking Izzy for his views and moving on. The gay community know there are ppl who think like Izzy and their are people who support Izzy. Its about the right to express without consequences of losing ur job or really there isnt any fre speech – thats my point.

        • Dud Roodt

          Who exactly called for his job? I haven’t seen such a statement from any organisation that isn’t RA?

          I certainly have seen people both gay and straight say he should be sacked. Does that make all of them a member of this militant group you speak of?

        • Dud Roodt

          You honestly sound like the type of person who would have called Martin Luther King a militant if you were around in the 60’s

        • Dud Roodt

          As DBTB has said, the “what about free speeeeeeeeeeeeech!” crowd seem to forget that that term never meant that you can say anything you want without consequences. Nor should it ever mean that.
          The simple fact of the matter is, if your employer doesn’t want you to do something and you do it, then leave you’re fucking job. Have the courage of your convictions and leave an organisation that should be abhorrent to you.

    • formerflanker

      “Fuck me I wouldnt be the Pirate for Quids!”
      I always thought “The Pirate” was Fitzy’s nickname, because of his red bandana.
      Is it a nickname for Castle, and wouldn’t her $800,000 p.a. salve any pain for mismanaging Rugby in her country’s most important opponent?

      • Brisneyland Local

        FF, Pirate is Hoss’s nickname for Raylene Castles. Because she looks like a pirate in her current get up.
        Trust me $800k is not worth it for the constant shit that she has to put up with. I actually she in genuinely trying to do a good job. she just doesnt have the skill sets and the right advisers around her. She inherited the Force debacle, now all these current messes are hers. Well her and that ocean going variety of fuckwit that is known as Cameron Clyne!

        • onlinesideline

          well they are about to bleed out another 4 million. Like you say they cant really win because they lose in both scenarios. But free speech shouldnt shoulder the burden for RAs previous 10 years of below par performance and resulting financial stress.

          She is in a very very tough situation, extremely stressful and wouldnt wanna be her, as you say. But at the end of the day, what will win this for Castle is principle not bucks. If she stood up and buck the trend and bucked the Mob, people would have come out of the woodwork within days to support her. Dont underestimate the desire to smash PC in this country mate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think it is just a continuing theme of poor decision making.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          They can potentially win. No one knows until the courts decide.

          Brisneyland, did AG ever get back to you on that legal reference?

        • onlinesideline

          I think you are missing the point of the kind of “win” BL is referring to. Its a lose even if they win.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You’re right, it’s a sad situation for everyone.

        • Hoss

          Yep, OLSL we are in the ‘best loss’ scenario now.

        • Dud Roodt

          Perhaps you’re underestimating how many rugby supporters were happy with RA’s decision terminate Folau? Seemed from everything I saw online it was an incredibly popular decision.

          This sounds a lot like the Liberal party talking about their “base” of 5 people who are scared of their own shadow and terrified of advancement into the 21st Century

        • Patrick

          How many suburban rugby clubs did you try that out at? Because online is great for some, but it isn’t our country.

        • Dud Roodt

          It’s surely a wider source to pull from that a suburban rugby club though isn’t it?

        • Who?

          A poll through local rugby clubs would be much more relevant to RA than the net. Because the net is the place everyone goes to spew bile and behave without human empathy. So you get extremism, rather than the more nuanced approach you’d hope to find in person, and you also talk with your base, rather than people who otherwise might not care about your game.

        • Dud Roodt

          That would be under the assumption that most of Australian rugbys supporters play the game of rugby. Which I don’t think would be the case. Also not the great subsection of society being polled.
          Perhaps at a Wallabies game would be more appropriate

        • Who?

          I’d have no issue with that, though I’d acknowledge that it’s also true that attendance at Wallabies games equally isn’t necessarily representative, given it’s not exactly affordable or necessarily convenient to attend Test matches (i.e. you’re not going to get many regional people, and lower numbers of families).
          But both are clearly more accurate as stakeholder engagement than polling the internet.

        • Dud Roodt

          Disagree that a suburban rugby club is a greater example of mixed demographic. largely made up of white, privately educated men, hardly seems a huge range does it?

        • Who?

          I agree a singular club might not be a better demographic – I referenced plural, was always intending that way. I completely agree that a singular club is likely to be a narrow demographic. And, if you pick the wrong club, you may well end up with something even more demographically elite than those who can afford Wallabies tickets.

        • onlinesideline

          I saw a alot of ppl support Folau, from legal eagles, to Alan Jones, to gay ppl themselves.

        • Dud Roodt

          Well if Alan Jones is on your side, you know you’re on the right side of history!

        • Keith Butler

          I always thought that she looked like she’d come off the set of a B movie remake of the Addams Family. I will now call her Mortica.

        • Singapore Sling

          You’re on the right track KB. Imagine uncle fester now add straight black hair and goth lipstick…. Voilà aunty Fester!

        • Keith Butler

          I think you have it – Aunty Fester. Done deal. We need a bit of levity and more discussion on the forthcoming games.

        • Damo19

          And if she is looking for Lurch, I last saw him captaining the Chiefs. Thanks for changing the subject Keith.

        • Keith Butler

          Nice one. Brodie does have that look about him.

        • Damo19

          And if she is looking for Lurch, I last saw him captaining the Chiefs. Thanks for changing the subject Keith.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Gold.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Roy and HG used to call Alan Jones ‘the Parrot’. Perhaps he’s not on Castle’s shoulder, but he may be in her ear quite a bit.

        • Brisneyland Local

          No he screams at her through a newspaper. They have met once in person to discuss what AJ believed was wrong with Aus rugby. She didnt take it to kindly. So he went back to blasting her through the news paper!

    • Sevenwithasixonmyback

      The failure to attain the “Pass Mark” for the 2018 Spring Tour was not declared a clear FAIL, so if RA fail in digging themselves out of this shambles it’ll probably be just bevvies at The Buena Vista as usual and be damned with the $4M payout.
      What a stink. Handled poorly again.
      Bring on the next chaos.
      Shouldn’t we be preparing for some fuc#in’ tournament in 6-months?

      • Brisneyland Local

        We should be they are dealing with another semi-self inflicted wound.

    • Bernie Chan

      I think miltary types call something like this a “clusterfuck”…?
      First RA tip-toes around the initial problem and tickle Izz with a proverbial feather as ‘punishment’…then they overreact to the second instance. SO poorly managed that one couldn’t make this shit up…In the full knowledge that some 30% of our Super players are Pacific Islanders, and the fact that most are practicing Christians, why didn’t Pirate and the rest of the overpaid, self important RA Executive pull the players group together and explain what they were intending to do, and why…RA management style is so bloody reactive…and as you noted, no one in RA seems to ask “what if…?”.
      Whisper is that Tupou is looking for a way out of Ballymore…is he making a ‘first strike’ to force a move…?

      • Brisneyland Local

        He resigned a few weeks ago. I think Thorn the Happy Clapper will fully support him on this issue.

      • Sevenwithasixonmyback

        Clusterfuck…
        aka FUBAR.

        • Who?

          SNAFU.

      • Dud Roodt

        Would your employer get you in a room and ask your opinion on their plan to punish another employee because they did something they were asked not to?

        • Bernie Chan

          My employer…no! But they (RA) don’t seem to have considered the repercussions with the Pacific Islander cohort, and don’t seem to have engaged with them…might have avoided the social media brouhaha..?
          Perhaps “what they did and why…?” might have been better…though I have no doubt the lawyers on retainer may have counselled against anything..

        • Dud Roodt

          To me it seems like the PI cohort (at this stage it appears to be Kerevi and Tupou) haven’t understood what RA were asking of Folau.
          At no stage were they asking him not be have his faith. Just not say that he thinks gays are going to hell.
          It’s very simple.

          Also, people on here seem to think that Kerevi was “apologising” because of anything RA did? He was apologising due to things that were being commented on his instagram.

          And Tupou seems to seriously grasp the reality of the situation.

        • Bernie Chan

          A failure of communication methinks…I think you are correct, that RA only wanted Izzy to not post such statements…no one has said “you can’t be a (insert religion of choice…)…”

    • Nutta

      You could be more on-message here BLL regarding smoking a peace-pipe. The noun of choice for the culturally-aware like you governmental types these days is ‘makarrata’. It’s actually a fantastic concept, but it’s rapidly becoming its own cliche. I wrote 5,000 words on it only last month!

      • Who?

        That sounds interesting Nutta…

        • Nutta

          Nope. It wasn’t. Yet another good idea lost in the maelstrom of self-interested, power-grabbing bullshite.

        • Who?

          But educational to those of us who haven’t seen the newest form of political correctness and cliché coming down the turnpike.

        • Nutta

          Ahhh… gotcha. It’s a Yolngu aboriginal word which has really nuanced meanings around peace-making, coming together and finding a path after a fight…

          So quick & impolite history lesson trying not to let any of my bias show: No one has been game to go anywhere near the idea of recognition of Aboriginal rights let alone Treaty since Hawkey backflipped on his Barunga promise and then the Wik decision kicked off hysteric-cries of Torrens-title and pastoral-lease Armageddon (remember Dept Prime Minister Tim Fischer and his ‘bucket-loads of extinguishment’ palaver?). Then the country said no to Aboriginal recognition in the preamble of the Constitution (remember the referendum that everyone thought was just about the Republic?). That’s why we finished up with this ‘Reconciliation’ crap that didn’t go anywhere for 15yrs. It was a Clayton’s show at doing something when we really weren’t doing anything (both sides acknowledge that). Then ATSIC got going but was then de-funded when it turned into a milking cow and since then we’ve had this series of Govt commissions that ALL came back and said ‘Listen we really should do a Treaty and tidy up the Constitution’ but each time they said that the Govt of the day (BOTH sides) would disband them and start another Commission who would say the same thing… eat sleep rave repeat…

          Anyway in 2017 the latest reiteration of those Commissions (a REAALLLYYYYY long name that means not-much) got more than they bargained for when the First Nations Convention held at Uluru came out and basically said “Stick your preamble approach in your arse. We want Voice in parliament and through that we want a Makarrata commission to set up a Treaty.” That got George Brandis and most of the Nats really fired up and so Turnbull’s knickers got in a huge knot and he killed it by calling it a ‘3rd house of Parliament’ (which was total bullshit but no-one was listening by that stage).

          ANYWAYS… the big news is that Labor PROMISED to make TREATY and CONSTITUTIONAL CHANGE to recognise INDIGENOUS RIGHTS their FIRST PRIORITY if they win THIS FEDERAL ELECTION. Dead set they did. But now the election is actually on they have gone rather inextricably quiet about it…

          I reckon Labor will win this election. And then you will be hearing that word a whole lot more. Makarrata…

        • Who?

          Thanks Nutta. :-)

        • Nutta

          ‘Ya heard it here first…’

      • Brisneyland Local

        Do tell. I work within government, but am not a government employee or public servant. They are a growth client because I go in to fix up there stuff ups. And there are lots of them.

        • Nutta

          Public Servant.

      • From NooZealand

        Thank you for sharing this Makarrata theme.

  • Greg

    This is the mess and Mr Folau appears as though he just doesn’t give a rats.

    Either he is arrogant or not very perceptive.

    This is a team game and the ongoing circus is starting to give me the poos.
    Unhappy.

  • Who?

    According to QI, the Pope isn’t Catholic, he’s the head of the Coptic Church (in Alexandria), and the bloke in Rome isn’t (officially) the Pope! :-P
    Nothing’s simple in this world. :-)
    .
    I agree with what you say. I wasn’t meaning to say religion is a political party. For most religions, it spans politics. I was just using political allegiances as a simile.
    In terms of ‘Christian’ influence, I’d agree it exists, but argue that it’s waning. I don’t think it’s inappropriate for it to be waning – because that correlates with church attendances. Appropriate as long as it doesn’t see anyone’s freedoms impeded.
    .
    In terms of Christian hospitals (which is really predominantly Catholic – I went for my appointments leading up to getting the snip at the Catholic hospital, but the procedure was done in the Presbyterian hospital) and schools, they definitely get exceptions, but that’s largely about choice for those who support/choose them. It’s kind of like Bono’s take on preventing the spread of AIDS in Africa – don’t ask Nuns to hand out condoms! Get them to do what they can (so they preach abstinence). But of course it’s also a hangover from times when health and schools were handled more by religious charity than by government, and tied to ownership of assets.
    The euthanasia debate, I think it’s likely just as ‘religious’ as the SSM debate was – in that, there’s people on both sides of it, and religion doesn’t necessarily determine which side a person’s on. Often, it’s more just tradition, experience. Which I suspect is often true for people who specify ‘Christian’ as their religion, too…

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Yeah agree with basically all of that. And I didn’t mean to imply that one’s religion determines their opinion on euthanasia.

      That being said, I think there is certainly a significant correlation that the religious heads themselves and the religious institutions, especially of the Christian Church, are generally opposed to euthanasia. These groups are organised and wield a lot of influence through lobbying.

      But of course there are plenty of Christians (and Muslims) who are in favour of euthanasia, and plenty of atheists and agnostics who are against euthanasia.

      P.S. It’s interesting when you look at how many ‘Popes’ there are in the world – dozens and dozens of Popes exist, heads of smaller churches! Plenty of small churches still exist throughout the Middle East, and especially in the Holy Land.

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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