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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News recaps the remarkable performance by the Junior Wallabies, a young Brumby drawing off his experience with a different Sharks team, a former Brumby urges selectors to reward Super Rugby form and a certain “beast” is ruled out for the Sharks.


The future is bright

Noah Lolesio

Noah Lolesio

The Junior Wallabies have advanced to the final of the U20 World Championship after defeating Argentina 34-13.

The side got off to the stronger start out of the two, with tries to Harry Wilson and Michael McDonald putting the side ahead 17-6 before the break.

However, McDonald’s efforts would quickly go from hero to zero when he earned his second yellow card for the match after catching an Argentinan player high whilst in the act of scoring, resulting in a penalty try and his second yellow card of the match.

What would follow in the second half would be one of the gutsiest performances that you will see out of an Australian side, with the Junior Wallabies managing to shut out the Pumitas, whilst scoring two of their own.

The side held tough in defence, stifling any attacking raid by the Pumitas to cause a mountain of turnovers in which they capitalised on through tries to hooker Lachlan Lonergan and flyhalf Ben Donaldson.

Donaldson was the shining light of the Junior Wallabies, playing a steady hand in the absence of their regular halves to guide the side around the park along with contributing 19 points.

His efforts were complemented by the work of captain and Reds flanker Frasier McReight in defence, who was full of praise for his side’s toughness and courage.

“We were on the ropes at the end of that first half being up by four points and giving away that red card,” McReight said. “I’m so proud of the boys. Playing with 14 men and not conceding a point is unreal.”

Coach Jason Gilmore was thrilled with the effort and was full of admiration for his side, stating “We were pretty keen to get back into it because we weren’t happy with that first half against England even though we were a man short…The boys wanted to make sure they picked that (defence) up again today, which they did.”

The Junior Wallabies will play France in the early hours of Sunday to attempt to become the first Australian team to win the tournament.

Result

Junior Wallabies 34
Tries: Wilson, McDonald, Lonergan, Donaldson
Cons: Donaldson 4
Pens: Donaldson 2

Argentina 13
Tries: Penalty try
Pens: De la Vega Mendia 2,

All the Wright stuff

Tom_Wright

After bursting into the Brumbies starting line up, outside back Tom Wright will be hoping to draw off his finals experiences against a Sharks team from a different code when the Brumbies get ready for their quarter-final on Saturday.

Wright has bucked the recent trend of talent poaching (which has become the hobbies past-time of NRL clubs), having signed from NRL side Manly Sea Eagles just two years after leading the side to victory over the Cronulla Sharks in an Under 20’s semi-final.

His position in the squad is unassured, with Hendy Speight expected to be available for selection after overcoming a foot injury and Toni Pulu set to return after being rested.

However, Wright was confident that he would able to take on the challenge that comes with finals football if needed, despite having to spend the start of week educating his friends about who he was actually playing.

“[My mates] do and don’t know much about the teams abroad [in Super Rugby]. The Sharks and a few of the South African teams, they ask where are they from,” Wright grinned.

“[I got a taste of finals] in the under-20s when we played in a grand final, but nothing as serious as this. Being at home again is going to be really special.”

Wright initially made his name playing rugby union for the Clovelly Eagles, slicing through defences (including yours truly) before making the switch to rugby league. He made his return at the start of the year, noting that his absence from the game played in heaven had reignited his passion in the sport.

It’s everything I thought it would be,” Wright said. “Growing up I just wanted to play top-level footy. I was fortunate enough to play a few games of NRL and when the opportunity came up to come and play down here, it was too good to pass up.”

The Brumbies will be hoping that their late run of form has helped adequately grow their crowd sizes, which grew by 3,000 last week, with their requests for an afternoon kick-off knocked by Super Rugby due to broadcast requirements.

Roff frothing Brumby-heavy Wallabies

Roff backs Tom Banks to take the vacant fullback position

Roff backs Tom Banks to take the vacant fullback position

Former World Cup winner and Brumbies fullback Joe Roff has urged selectors to buck the trends and take the bold risk to select unproven Brumbies players for the World Cup.

As the Brumbies look to aim for their 7th straight win (which would give them more wins than the Waratahs and Reds had in the season), Roff has stated that it would be a “travesty” if the Wallaby squad was not dominated by Brumbies.

“It would be a travesty against the form and success of the Brumbies this year if the bulk of the Wallabies squad wasn’t made up of Brumbies players,” Roff said.
“Winning is a psychology and it has a momentum of its own. It’s got to be a crucial factor in terms of selections and also combinations.

Whilst this seems like an obvious decision, Michael Cheika has often disregarded the Brumbies when it comes to selection time, emphasised by the selection of just three Brumby players- Sio, Powell and Pocock during the Ireland series.

This marked the lowest representation that the ACT side had in the Wallabies for 22 years and Rolf has pleaded the selectors to change their ways and recognise the Brumbies’ impressive Super Rugby campaign with a plethora of Wallaby jerseys.

“It’s a crucial year. You have to have eyes wide open [for selection] to see world-class talent who haven’t had a chance, then have the courage to pick that. You’d have to think the Brumbies would be the foremost team being looked at for selections in key positions.”

Roff particularly threw his spot behind Brumby fullback Tom Banks for the vacant no. 15 jersey, describing the live-wire as the “complete package” despite a lack of tries comparatively from last year.

“You do balance form and big-game experience. Those three [fullback options] have specific skills,” Roff said.

“I think Tom probably has the most rounded fullback game. From his running to strategic kicking, commitment in defence, his ability to spot an opportunity. He’s a complete package in that place and it’s a key position. He could be one of those players who could step up and really make a mark on the world stage.”

Sharks lose their beast

Beast of Burden - Tendai Mtawarira

Beast of Burden – Tendai Mtawarira

The Brumbies quarterfinal opponents, the Sharks, have received a crushing blow with Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira ruled out.

The prop commonly referred to as ‘beast’ was not included in the Sharks 27-man squad as he has been struggling with a knee injury.

Mtawaria hasn’t featured for the Sharks since their Australian trip, he was expected to be selected for last week’s must-win clash against the Stormers before being forced to pull out last minute due to a “niggle”.

However, Springbok and Sharks officials have determined the risk too high for Mtawaria to return for the finals with the World Cup now just under 100 days away.

His exclusion compounds the bad news for the Sharks, who are already missing experienced Springboks Jean-Luc du Preez, Philip van der Walt or Ruan Botha.

The combined absence of their Springbok quartet is crucial for the Sharks as they seemed to struggle to match the physicality of a severely depleted Stormers line-up, leaving them vulnerable for a well drilled Brumbies outfit who have modelled their gameplan through their dominant forward pack.

There was some good news for the Sharks, with fly-half Curwin Bosch included in the Sharks squad.

Bosch has featured for the Sharks since injuring his ankle during the side’s loss to the Jaguares in Buenos Aires.

The return of Bosch helps ease injury fears surrounding fellow outside backs Aphelele Fassi and Makazole Mapimpi, who both left last week’s clash with the Stormers through injury and their status is still unknown as they prepare to travel to Canberra.

The squad is as followed: Aphelele Fassi, Rhyno Smith, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Kobus van Wyk, Lukhanyo Am, Jeremy Ward, Andre Esterhuizen, Curwin Bosch, Robert du Preez, Cameron Wright, Louis Schreuder (captain), Dan du Preez, Tyler Paul, Jacques Vermeulen, Luke Stringer, Hyron Andrews, Ruben van Heerden, Gideon Koegelenberg, Coenie Oosthuizen, Thomas du Toit, Cullen Collopy, Kerron van Vuuren, Craig Burden, Mzamo Majola, Juan Schoeman, John-Hubert Meyer.

  • Ian Rodger

    Watched the junior wallabies play last night. They are a great team, hopefully a bunch of these lads come on and can start producing results in Super rugby and build towards the 2023 rwc. One other thing i’ll say about this junior world cup is that if the refs take this attitude to the “normal” rwc we are going to see a lot of cards. A bunch of matches have had a red card so far.

    I like the look Tom Wright at the brums. He looks like he has taken back to union pretty quick and with a bit of luck he can develop in to a good 10 with CLL leaving next year,

    • Nathan Williamson

      Very impressed with how they refused to give up and held strong, despite being a man down, the trick now is to lock down the majority of this squad for the future.

      Wright has always had something special about him from a young age, and it doesn’t surprise me that he has taken it up quickly, having starred in the Joeys school system before signing for Manly.

      Brumby’s future is exciting with Wright and Powell set to be the halves pairings for the future, along with signing up young halfback Lachlan Albert from Riverview, who looks like an impressive talent.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I don’t think so. Wright’s passing look poor even when he was at 12, no way will he be a good enough distributor to play 10 unless it improves out of sight over the off season. Everything I’ve seen from him makes me think he is a running back, not a playmaker.

        I suspect Mack Hansen will play 10 next year if sufficiently developed. Otherwise, they were planning on playing Simone at 10 a few weeks ago if Lealiifano was injured.

      • Geoffro

        Is the U20’s success the vindication of RA’s pathway strategy they implemented earlier last year.Good to see they may be getting something right.

    • Happyman

      Mate the best thing about the under 20s are the boys who did not make the squad.
      The Queensland teams dominated the NRC last year and had relatively low representation so it would suggest very good depth outside to 30 man training squad.

  • joy

    Fuck the talent the ACT has on offer. This is my pick for the 2019 Rugby World Cup:

    1. Angus Bell
    2. Lachlan Lonergan
    3. Josh Nasser
    4. Michael Wood
    5. Trevor Hosea
    6. Harry Wilson
    7. Fraser McReight
    8. Will Harris
    9. Michael McDonald
    10. Ben Donaldson
    11. Mark Nawaqanitawase
    12. Noah Lolesio,
    13. Semisi
    14. Sione Tui
    15. Isaac Lucas

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      “Stuff the talent the ACT has on offer.”

      You’re bringing about as much Joy as usual then.

      Think Frost should start after his recent performances.

      • Geoffro

        A few of these guys could do worse than hook up with the brumbies who seem to do a better job at developing youth than most

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The Reds and Tahs have already signed a decent number.

          I wonder whether Jack Debreczeni may look at joining the Brumbies. As I understand it he only joined the Chiefs on a one year contract, and he said on the Fox podcast las week that he still has dreams of playing for the Wallabies. I doubt he will have many better opportunities than next year, especially given who is rumoured to be the next Wallaby coach.

        • Missing Link

          Jack D isn’t perfect, he’s young and can learn a lot from a great coach, but thank fck he has his head screwed on correctly and still wants to play for the good guys!

          Actually speaking of kiwi, and the Brumbies…. how is Toni Pulu shaping up? I know he spent some time on the injury list, but do you think he’s a bolter?

        • Brumby Runner

          I’d say more than a bolter ML. He’s got better as the season progressed and Aus is a bit short on quality wingers in form atm. And he has been to at least one, maybe a couple, of Cheika’s training camps.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I would have him in the squad and would probably start him in the first rugby championship match. But I am not unbiased of course.

        • OnTheBurst

          DBTB is that just you musing about Jack D coming to the Brums? Or have you heard something on the grapevine? It would be a result for sure.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Musing entirely.

        • Hoss

          That’s harsh – come to gods land and get 45 – 55 minutes over 3 seasons, like Mack Mason.

      • Brumby Runner

        I wouldn’t change the second row starters DB. Frost is strong at the lineout and we all saw how he can run when he gets a head of steam up, but he seems to have some issues in defense atm. Hosea is a very strong defender and disrupter at maul time while Wood is electric running the ball in traffic. The whole of the back 5 forwards is a very strong unit and largely responsible for the dominance of the forwards in open play.

        • Hoss

          What a concept the U20 lads have. A tackling / pilfering 7, an abrasive 6 also good over the ball, big aggressive locks good at the bread and butter and in the loose,a 10 who attacks and defends at same spot.

          With these kids coming through, maybe Gilmour should be next senior coach of the Wallies as well.

          Its been like watching the Wallabies of the late 90’s, early naughties – thy’re great.

        • OnTheBurst

          Yes it’s been a delight watching them. Sad to say but it’s like a flashback to the glory days

    • Hoss

      A lot to like about these young men. Their defence, skill in attack and attitude are first rate. Whats the story with young Wilson at 6 – which State / team is he aligned with for the future?

      • idiot savant

        He and McReight are contracted to the Reds. Wilson usually plays 8 but like Scott Young can play either 6 or 8. Throw in Wright and the Reds back row next year will be young – but talented.

        • Hoss

          The Padre is gathering some good fruit up north.

          Meanwhile in Godville i can here the crickets chirping when i ask about Tah’s recruitment.

        • idiot savant

          The Tahs have the 2 star flyhalves wrapped up in Donaldson and Harrison but slim picking from the rest of the junior wallabies
          https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/05/05/junior-wallabies-backgrounder

        • Hoss

          i hope they are line-bending halves, our stocks are low in the Big Boppa department.

        • Brumby Runner

          Don’t think Harris should be labelled ‘slim pickings’ in anybody’s language. Hard as nails No 8 who should be a Wallaby in a couple of years or so (if Gibson doesn’t ruin him in the meantime).

        • Geoffro

          Sad isn’t it and the one recruit from this year never even made it on the paddock

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    The Saffas always throw up some good names, but Rhyno Smith and Cullen Collopy are up there with the best.

    • Hoss

      Yep, but King amongst them, one Fanie DeVilliers.

      Makes me want to scratch my nether-regions.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan, I watched the U20’s last night and they played very well. The Argies didn’t help with stupid running, being held up 5 times is pretty poor. What was good was that they took their opportunities on top of such good defence. Hope they kick on.
    Looking forward to the games this weekend. I’m hoping that the teams go out to win rather than not to lose but I guess we’ll see.
    Selections are going to be very interesting this year. TBH I can’t see Cheika changing too much and if he uses the argument that you need to play better than ok to move an incumbent then I think he’s got ammunition to not change that much.

    • Geoffro

      The French U20’s look like beasts , hope they don’t try to outmuscle them.I’m banking on the chiefs to down the jags to make the brumbies task a bit easier and reckon that will be a high octane match but the brums v sharks may get a bit stodgy.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        With a considerable amount of luck, there is actually a pathway for a Brumbies home final.

        Brumbies beat the Shorks, Chiefs beat Jaguares (I’d say 50-50 chance), Brumbies beat an exhausted Chiefs in Canberra, Canes beat the Crusaders (I’d say at least 30% chance) and then Brumbies vs Canes in Canberra.

        Unlikely, but possible.

        • Geoffro

          If the Brumbies did travel to beat the Jags and the canes prevail who gets the home final ?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Brumbies. It is all based on positioning on the table, regardless of overall points.

          1. Crusaders
          2. Jags
          3. Brumbies
          4. Canes

        • Geoffro

          See you said that in your previous post (bit slow this morn)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It’s a stupid system though, and as much as I wouldn’t want to hear the inevitable whinging, again, I would be livid if I were one of the Hurricanes’ players and had to travel to either Argentina or Australia for the final after finishing with more points than them and beating the Saders in Christchurch.

        • Geoffro

          Agreed but something had to be done to disadvantage those bloody Kiwis :)

        • Hoss

          I don’t think we should rule out some sort of military action. All options should be on the table.

        • Geoffro

          With our current cabinet led by the rh Raelene Castle and General Cheika in charge of strategic planning it could be our greatest defeat since Gallipoli

        • Hoss

          We shall never surrender.

          Some of those U20 lads would look right at home in Senior Gold – Wilson at 6 has ‘Fardy’ written large all over him.

        • AllyOz

          did his room mate attack him with a texta while he was asleep? it should wash off OK i suspect

        • Who?

          It’s ok – Taniela Tupou’s not his room mate. Referencing Tupou’s pranking of a sleeping Ruan Smith here.

        • Yowie

          https://www.goodthingsguy.com/fun/ruan-smith-scare-video/

          FFS, i’m surprised there weren’t more instant-reaction punches to the head in response to those antics.

        • Who?

          I just want to know what JP did to him through his childhood to make Ruan so easily frightened! The reactions… You’re right, almost no punches, just straight into a flight response most times.
          But hilarious!

        • Yowie

          Hahaha

          General Cheika:-

          “Yet another daylight charge over the mine field towards the machine guns. It’s the last thing they will expect.”

        • From NooZealand

          You already have some air force personnel in the Mainland (near the Canterbury plains); but knowing your soft spot for us, consider the mass immigration of non-rugby players/coaches into Oz. The best option señor Hoss is to bring a group of senior players and coaches. We do not look down on you, just fallen brothers? cousins? relatives? friends? acquaintances.

        • Hoss

          Not only a Kiwi, but a Cantabrian………hmmmmm, not sure how i feel about that. Its like being told you have herpes twice.

          Having travelled as a younger man i must admit if their were Aussies & Kiwis in a bar it was always a great night.

        • From NooZealand

          Not Cantabrian, but prepare for unmitigated herpes – I am in Auckland (yeap a JAFA as I am usually reminded when outside Auckland) .

        • Who?

          What’s the national anthem over there..?
          “God defend New Zealand.”
          .
          Because there’s almost no funding left for the armed forces!
          .
          As the ad said in the first season of The Gruen Transfer, borrowing from ScoMo’s 100% Pure NZ ad campaign…
          100% Pure
          100% there… For the taking.
          .
          .
          :-P

        • From NooZealand

          LOL – Bloody Invincible.

        • Geoffro

          don’t start my muttering n grumbling n gnashing of teeth

        • From NooZealand

          Sorry, never meant to upset you so much.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely. A big ask but hey you’ve got to hope

        • From NooZealand

          I considered you my friend till: “Canes beat the Crusaders” – I will vote you down for eternity …. he he he – Seriously the canes is the team that produces nightmare in my dreams.

  • Patrick

    I’m with Joe Roff

    • Yowie

      Agreed. But get set for the usual Waratah-based Wallaby lineup.

  • Missing Link

    Go the Under 20’s… into the final! and not against the team I expected, but against France. This has shades of the 1999 RWC… c’mon boys!

  • AllyOz

    There is an article in today’s Sydney Tele lamenting the loss of all the current senior halves after the World Cup. It says both Genia and Cooper could be heading to Kinetsu in Japan, Phipps and Foley both on their way out and the Rising Sun stealing LLF away as well (to paraphrase Cold Chisel). I see it instead as a great opportunity to rebuild. There are some decent young halves in the U20’s as well as Tate McDermott. Mason may, like Bryce Hegarty has this year, show some improvement if he actually gets to play a few games and not just train for the Super Rugby season. What we have to make sure of is that we have the right coaching staff at the Wallabies and in the franchises to bring that talent through. What Jack D has shown this year is that, in the right atmosphere, culture and coaching set-up, our players have enough talent.

    The article goes on to suggest that the loss of all these “big names” will make it more difficult for RA to negotiate the next TV deal but I don’t think any of the players that are likely to leave (with the possible exception of QC and Genia at their best, which doesn’t include the last two games of this year) are huge crowd pullers. And I think with crowd and viewing numbers as they are at the moment, we are already at the point where its just the hardened fans that are left. We will be probably just as interested about seeing the young talent come through as we are seeing established “stars” run around.

    • Hoss

      Morning Mr Oz.

      Look at the buzz on here this week re the under 20’s. I for one am excited that the colostomy bag of existing RA ‘Talent’ is about to be flushed down the gurgler, with a few exceptions like Brian & Methuselah and a few more. To not win anything of note (look Tri-nations in years were the Nearlies are resting players is like rooting your own sister. Sure she is good in the sack and it feels ok at the time, but upon reflection it doesn’t really count for much. Hurts even more so that we have had a weapon like Brian and done three parts of SFA with him – what a colossal waste.

      What the fuck have we achieved in the last 7-8 years with Spanners, The Bovine Sprinkler, Sanchez, The Sunshine Band, two-Dads et al ? I am not saying they didn’t have some positives or talent in them, but as a collective we have been 101% shite for a generation and it must change – if a purge is needed than bring it the shit on – Christ, i’d settle for 40 days and nights of rain if at the end the RA Ark was full of the ‘next gen’

      It will hurt me the most, i have to come up with new nicknames for the next gen, but its a sacrifice i am willing to make for the good of the code in our colony. So ask not what your code can do for you, but what you can do for your code. Gen Next ?? Bring it the fuck on and goodbye to generation shit-shower.

      No,no,no – you’re welcome.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Bang on mate. worst thing for me is having to decipher the next lot of names. TBH I’m hanging out for November when them a d the muppets coaching them are gone

        • Hoss

          100% mate. I have never known any type of organisation, like the current Wallies where mediocrity is the benchmark

        • Brumby Runner

          I’d be happy Hoss if the coaching at the Wallabies had been mediocre over the past four years. Would have been a huge improvement on what we’ve been served up.

      • AllyOz

        I have the sort of personality that can find a cloud for every silver lining but I just want to “manage expectations” around junior world cup success and further success at the fully professional level. Just looking through the team names from the last time we made the JRWC in 2010 and we have – Lachie McCaffery, Nic White, Matt Toomua, Scott Sio, Colby Faianga, Luke Jones, Aidan Toua, Jake Schatz – certainly all very good players but they have all been available for selection over the last 10 years for the Wallabies and it hasn’t meant we have done particularly well over that time.

        • Hoss

          Indubitabley .

          At some point the talent will come into contact with a coach that has ‘passion fingers’ – they fuck everything they touch – and some will fall by the wayside.

          Its why i suggest Gilmour perhaps would be well placed as a future Wallaby coach – he has nurtured and trained these young bucks, obviously has an affinity with them – whats to lose ? Also, how good was it seeing Bernie running the water – great stuff.

        • AllyOz

          passion fingers – sort a cross between Cassonova and the Midas Touch?

        • AllyOz

          looking through the list we have players like White and Jones who had to go overseas because they were being ignored here to be honest. But yes I think we have the talent if we can find the right people to get the best out of them.

      • From NooZealand

        As KRL says BANG ON MATE and I would gladly accompany you for 40 days and nights of rain if at the end the RA Ark was full of the ‘next gen’

  • Pearcewreck

    So any news on Tolu Latu’s punishment?

    • Hoss

      He’s been sentenced to 6 straight Sundays of Izzy’s sermons.

      that’ll learn him good.

      • Dud Roodt

        Was a bullet an option?

        • Hoss

          He that is without sin among you, let him load the first chamber – or some-such.

        • Pearcewreck

          Nope, they have given him 4 weeks instead.
          Now que all the bigots who hate Folau trying to justify that it is OK for a repeat crimal offender in Latu to given four weeks, whilst Folau has his career ruined for a few words on Instagram.

        • Dud Roodt

          I’m OK with that. And I’ve moved on from Folau. Like I suggest everyone else does.

      • Pearcewreck

        He ticks a few boxes –

        Drunkard – tick
        Liar – By not telling RA you could say it was a lie of omission, rather than the more common lie of commission.
        Cheat – Tried to cheat the road rules

        Can’t remember the rest on Izzy’s list …… there was something about ….. nah…… it’s slipped my mind again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c17ff97bfcfd7342887f57c071c71da6d980a3883b1c37284f72d1e0263049b2.jpg

    • AllyOz

      eighteen lashes…with a wet lettuce leaf and a stern talking to is my guess

    • Nathan Williamson

      $1300 fine and three month suspended licence, will potentially sanctions from the RA integrity unit still to come

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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