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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at a World Cup-winning captain’s thoughts on the current day Wallabies, the Wallaroos name their squad and a bunch of signings across Super Rugby and the Sevens set-up.


Nobody has confidence in Aussies

John Eales

John Eales

John “Nobody” Eales has backed the Wallabies to make an impact at this year’s World Cup if they learn to believe in themselves.

The two-time world champion believes that there is enough talent in the Wallabies squad to make it deep in the tournament, however, they need to trust in their abilities to get the job done.

“There is talent there but I think what they need to work on is a true belief in themselves,” Eales said on Monday in Tokyo.

“I think they think they can win the big games but it is about getting that consistency in performance that they start to win the big games more often than not…There is potential there.”

Eales was impressed with the tenacity and composure shown by the Wallabies in their 16-10 win over Argentina, which saw their leaky defence stand up and allow just one try.

“One of the most important things we saw in that game was the ability for the team to produce across 80 minutes,” he believes.

“Yes, there were some mistakes and they could have scored more tries but, when the game was in the crux moments at the end, they actually took some control of that game.

“The team didn’t panic, they maintained their calm and stayed composed.”

His confidence in the Wallabies stems from the rich history that Australia has at the World Cup, where they have been able to build momentum as the games has progressed, making the semi-finals at 6 out of 8 tournaments.

“The way you perform and go through a tournament is quite different because really the only thing that matters is the next game,” said Eales.

“Whatever you did that week, if it got you through, then it doesn’t matter.

“It is just about keeping on progressing and you will have those moments of luck, chance or magic.”

Eales couldn’t nail down his winner for the tournament, believing that there are multiple teams that could lift the William Webb Ellis Cup at the end of the tournament.

“It’s going to be a very, very open World Cup, and even if at the end of the day there are only three or four teams that can win it…there are a lot of teams going in believing they can win it,” Eales said.

Wallaroos announce squad

Wallaroos anthem (Credit Keith McInnes)

The Wallaroos have announced their squad ahead of their two-test series against world number 1 New Zealand, making three changes from the squad that trounced Japan 2-0 in Newcastle and North Sydney.

Michelle Milward (Brumbies Women), Alana Elisaia (Queensland Women’s XV) and Iliseva Batibasaga (NSW Waratahs Women) all come into the squad ahead of the first double-header test match in Perth next Saturday.

“Michelle, Alana and Ili each bring something different to this squad and it shows the depth we are continuing to build that you can bring in three top-class players into this outfit without missing a beat,” coach Dwayne Nestor said.

They come into a strong Wallaroos squad to replace Queensland backrower Kiri Lingman (shoulder) and halfback Asako Ono (overlooked) along with NSW utility back Cobie-Jane Morgan (personal reasons.)

Once again, the Wallaroos will be led by the inspirational Grace Hamilton, whose domination of the Japanese led to back-to-back player of the match awards for the Sydney Uni product.

Nestor was excited about the side having the opportunity to play in front of a sold-out crowd in Perth, believing that they have the talent and depth to cause the upset and get their first-ever win over the Black Ferns.

“A double-header Test at Optus Stadium is going to make for a great occasion and the squad has really talked about making sure that we rise to that and work hard for each other in the gold jersey,” he said.

“As a coaching group we have had some great selection headaches over the last month with every player in the squad putting their hands up for selection in the starting XV.

“We have got two great opportunities over the next month against New Zealand and we’re really looking forward to the challenge.”

The squad is as followed:
Forwards: Millie Boyle (vc) (Queensland/NSW), Emily Chancellor (Waratahs), Rebecca Clough (WA), Grace Hamilton (c) (Waratahs), Alisha Hewett (Queensland), Evelyn Horomia (Waratahs), Asoiva (Eva) Karpani (Waratahs), Michaela Leonard (Brumbies), Ashley Marsters( Melbourne), Michelle Milward (Brumbies), Shannon Mato (Queensland), Averyl Mitchell (Queensland), Sera Naiqama (Waratahs), Liz Patu (Queensland), Emily Robinson (Waratahs), Christina Sekona (Queensland).

Backs: Iliseva Batibasaga (Waratahs), Mhicca Carter (WA), Georgia Cormick (Melbourne), Lori Cramer (Queensland), Ariana Hira-Herangi (WA), Alysia Leafu- Fakaosilea (Queensland), Arabella McKenzie (Waratahs), Mahalia Murphy (Waratahs), Trilleen Pomare (WA), Sarah Riordan (Queensland), Alana Elisaia* (Queensland), Samantha Treherne (Queensland).

Beale’s back

Kurtley Beale catches Waratahs v Rebels 2019 (Credit Keith McInnes)

Wallabies and Waratahs fullback Kurtley Beale has committed to the Waratahs for another year.

Beale’s motivation to stay was driven by his desire to win more silverware, having won just one premiership (2014) and two Rugby Championships (2011 and 2015) since he started his professional career in 2007.

“To represent your home state in a competition like Super Rugby, having made wonderful memories and friends is really special – I’m looking forward to building on that in 2020,” Beale said.

“Obviously, World Cup years bring about change and we’re in an exciting period here at the Waratahs with some exciting young players and a new coach to be appointed.

“To be able to play a part in that journey is exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in 2020.”

Beale was actually looking to sign-on until the next World Cup, however, a lack of certainty surrounding the coaching set-up at the state and national level left him cautious about where he sits in the future plans of Australian Rugby.

Despite the concern, Beale was excited about the future of the sport, full of confidence about its vision and where it’s looking to head.

“With the vision of how we’re playing the game at the moment – the new styles – it’s really exciting and it’s just great to be a part of it,” he said.

NSWRU general manager Tim Rapp believes that Beale will be a crucial piece in the rebuild that the Waratahs are about to undergo, with the 85-test international positioning as a mentor for the younger backs coming through the system for years to come.

“Kurtley is an extremely talented player, there’s no doubting that,” Rapp said.

“We’ve seen what he can do on the field over a number of years, the positions he can cover in the backline and the way he can break a game open from anywhere.

“Kurtley is going to have a really important role to play with some of our younger outside backs – like Lalakai [Foketi], Cam [Clarke] and Alex [Newsome] – imparting the experience he’s gained at Super Rugby and Test level with those guys.

“He’s embraced his role as a senior figure over the last two seasons and we want him to take that to another level, because we feel he has a really important role to play both on and off the field in 2020.”

Loc and Roc

Hooker Lachlan Lonergan and Kiwi escorts

Hooker Lachlan Lonergan and Kiwi escorts

Junior Wallabies hooker Lachlan Lonergan has been added to the Brumbies senior squad, signing a two-year deal to keep him at the club until 2021.

Lonergan was one of the integral members of the Australian under 20 squad that made the World Championships final, joining fellow teammates Nick Frost and Noah Lolesio in the Brumbies squad, along with brother Ryan.

“Lachie has been in the pathway system for a number of years now and has earned a full-time contract off some excellent performances for the Australian U20 side where he was one of their best,” Brumbies coach Dan McKellar said in a release.

“He’s a good young local product who has an exciting future ahead of him.

“We have seen over the last couple of years that a number of players have come through the Brumbies Academy and Lachie is another positive story.”

Lonergan has worked his way through the Brumbies system playing for the Tuggeranong Vikings and he’s thrilled to get the chance to live out his dream and play for his home town team.

“I’m really excited about signing a contract with the Brumbies and getting an opportunity to further my career at my home town club,” Lonergan said in a release.

“The Brumbies have always been an important part of my life and, having progressed through the Academy with them, it’s a dream come true to wear the jersey.

In further signing news, the Australian men’s sevens side has signed Rod ‘Rocket’ Davies for the next two years.

Davies has plied his trade for the Force since his return from French and Japanese rugby in 2018 and was looking forward to bringing his experience to a young core gearing up for a shot at the Olympics.

“I like what Tim Walsh is about and what he is trying to build with the team,” Davies said in a release.

“It’s a young team, although I am inexperienced with Sevens, I have been around Rugby for a long time so I can bring some experience to the squad.

Davies briefly joined the squad during the Vancouver leg of the tournament this year and coach Tim Walsh was pleased to bring someone with electric speed into the squad.

“Even last year when he came in for the Vancouver tournament, and all the lead-up he did for it, he was half-a-second quicker than most of our quick blokes,” Walsh said.

“So yep, obviously speed is what we were chasing but then you add his maturity, his professionalism, his defence and it’s a really good acquisition for us in many aspects, on and off the field.”

  • Patrick

    Well thank the stars that for once we didn’t lock in a potentially fading star who may or may not be in the Wallabies this year let alone in 4 years…!

    (OK almost certainly this year but mainly because Folau isn’t, otherwise one could easily imagine skipping him for JOC and KHunt on the bench, for example).

    • Geoffro

      As much as I agree with your sentiment ,even with Izzy,JOC and Hunt available, in what Cheika/AR/Wallaby universe do you think KB would be left off the teamsheet.He’s about as flaky as Quade in my opinion but something keeps him there.

  • Huw Tindall

    With that Quadzilla bloke and Rocket Rod will be interesting to see the men’s 7s trying to integrate these guys. Rocket was injured in his first game so we didn’t get to see him this season.

    • Geoffro

      Rocket is probably as quick as some of the fastest 15 a side wingers (Habana etc) but Quadzilla is lightning.Can’t wait to see him.

      • Patrick

        The Americans and south Africans have shown that really fast players are deadly in sevens, so yes I can’t wait either.

        • Geoffro

          The Quad has posted faster times than Carlin and Baker who have been immense for the US team with probably less previous rugby exposure.

        • Patrick

          Then he should be amazing

      • Bernie Chan

        Along with Diggers, Rocket was one of the best broken field runners we saw at Lang Park….running off QC and Sanchez, high octane excitement machines loved by the fans. Quadzilla likely to be the fastest man in 7s, so is he has retained some of his feel for the game of rugby from his junior days the coach should be very happy….

  • GeorgiaSatellite

    Thanks Nathan. Did anyone else see this?https://rugby365.com/opinion/second-phase/readers-furious-over-all-blacks-cheating?fbclid=IwAR0U5l8i3J5TT8fRDaDL7Y6Gb3ogxxUVT9-nRDxQue2aWlznTfhHaVtnAv4
    The video scoreboard guys in Perth will have to keep a sharp eye on that Barrett boy.

    • Custard Taht

      Yep, pretty ordinary.

      The other thing to come from the game was the ref moving a saffa conversion around 4 or 5m closer to the sideline, despite the try being scored closer in.

    • Geoffro

      Blatant cheating.Go read some of the comments on stuff.nz and how so many people try and spin it.Gotta laugh and he got away with it but no doubt he’ll get scrutinized a bit more now

    • Timbo

      The saddest part is the kiwi side will write it off as gamesmanship or he got away with it so well done or rugby players will be rugby player but how is that the way we want our sport to be played? If anything he should have kicked it further out to make it harder King Carlos style.
      It’s not long before this action turns into sandpaper. Not to mention that the act of choosing to cheat like this is akin to throwing rubbish on the ground. You know its wrong, but you’ll do it anyway because fuck everyone else.
      What a tosser.

      • Geoffro

        If he’d taken it back he’d improve the angle and still make the distance easily.As you said,tosser

      • Missing Link

        Any transgression against the mighty mighty darkness will result in confected outrage and 7 years of booing, whereas questionable acts by the darknesss are quickly quelled with statements such as “everyone else does it”, “it’s only illegal if you get caught”, “you’re just jealous because our team is successful” etc. etc.

    • Greg

      There is a pretty classy response here from Mr Hansen.

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=12254467

      • Timbo

        Hardly classy. Typical Hansen arrogance. The Kiwis still(rightly) have a chip on the shoulder from a disgraceful delivery during a cricket game over 30 years ago. That wasn’t cheating as it didn’t defy the laws, but it was very poor sportsmanship.
        The recent cheating by the Aus Cricket team again is another example where you could say ‘everyone does it’ but that doesn’t make it right. Hansen not condemning this action makes it right in his eyes. As an ex, not very well liked Army officer once said, the standard you walk past is the standard you accept.
        Regardless of everyone else doing it, the best team in the world SHOULD win or at least play squarely within the rules to set the BEST example for those who emulate them.

    • I did. Sorry, but faux outrage. Every kicker I’ve ever seen does it. When it gets too egregious, I’ve seen the referee send them back to the mark. I’m not 100% sure but I think the last but one kicker I saw sent back to his mark was… Foley by Barnes.

      • Greg

        Eloise, Making Foley take longer kicks is cruel…. just cruel.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I did yawn with the outrage on this

    • Patrick

      That’s astounding. Also stupid, every player and ref will be watching him like a hawk now

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,
    Looking forward to the Bledisloe series and watching the women play before the men. I’m hoping the games against Japan have really got the combos working in the Wallaroos. Both games should be good.
    I’ll put it out there that John E is 100% correct and if things go their way the Wallabies can be very competitive at the RWC. I think the last 4 years will have an impact though and perhaps the Wallabies will need more to go their way than some of the other teams like Wales, Ireland, England and NZ. However, bounce of the ball, the odd decision by players and referees and any team can win on their day.

    • Hoss

      I’ve run the numbers, done the computations, allowed for variables, divided by π for French referee influence – sacré bleu and barring something unforeseen we shall meet the Nearlies in the Final where we shall triumph 26-24. Pocock scoring on the bell to enhance his Canonization as St David the redeemer.

      The two variables are the Nearlies & Gold both win their pools or both finish second, either way = wont meet until the Big Show. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/920895067a597bc9241f371885925007ea4fd58a60815ea3ae2aa16af2d21d38.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/2be722fc04dd201e328dbbef0bf3f515d2edd9718d56fe90e9328eeecc67a54e.jpg

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha always nice to have a dream mate

        • From NooZealand

          What if it becomes a nightmare? … and it might, Perth will show it.

        • Hoss

          ‘There is more to heaven and earth than dreamt of in your philosophy, Fellatio’

        • Greg

          When Hoss relies on Fellatio, you know we are in trouble.

        • Hoss

          You do Shakespeare your way, I do it mine.

        • onlinesideline

          “Doth call me snickers, always satisfies thee” ?

        • joy

          All of the above is crud.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          One swallow could make a spring.

        • Hoss

          Or a terrific first date.

        • Keith Butler

          Well blow me.

        • From NooZealand

          “There is more slash in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than is dreampt of in your philosophy.” I think that you are being abusive (with no reason). I shan’t bother you again.

        • Hoss

          Huh ?

        • Hoss

          Your right mate, I am dreaming. Your mob probably won’t make it that far……

        • Yowie

          I remember that the biggest mood swing of my life (from the black dogs of despair to air-punching ecstatic highs) occurred between Australia being knocked out in the Qtr Final of the 2007 World Cup one evening, then the Kiwis suffering the same fate the next morning (Brisbane time).

          [The trouble with the Germans is that they couldn’t come up with their own word for schadenfreude.]

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold

      • It’s a shame there aren’t more Canuck referees, you could legitimately divide be e, and the joke would land better.

        • Hoss

          What gives EP ? I do the shallow, fairly obvious humour and you do the deeper, thought provoking analysis FFS. I don’t go round quoting Newton’s Law of Relativity or that wheel chair guys theories on everything.

          Respect your roles please. This is how the chaos theory started.

        • I do critical analysis of the jokes too! And you put π in the humour, it was always bound to catch my eye.

          I have friends (no jokes please) in another community who are all getting excited for EH Con in 10 days time, there was some bleed between my worlds…

        • joy

          No, not Newton’s law of relativity. He had no knowledge of nuclear physics. It was Einstein. Regrettably Newton’s 3rd law of motion triggered this response: every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

        • Yowie

          Bert Newton disproved his own 3rd Law when he called Muhammad Ali “boy” and didn’t get his head punched off.

        • Yowie

          After the 9th scrum reset:-
          “I’m just aboot sick of this”

      • Keith Butler

        As I so eruditely put it to you the other day the SDs, Taffs, Men in Skirts and Paddies will be the semi finalists. Bill will return to the NH and world order will be restored. And then just like that whole season of Dallas it was all a dream.

        • Hoss

          The Taff’s are your best bet mate and given we will top pool D they will (most likely) meet the dodgers in a QF, then NZ in a SF and well, goodnight nurse.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Your dreams are better than Hoss’s mate

      • Keith Butler

        Thus spoke Hosstradamus.

      • Thylacine

        Picture yourself on a Flight to Japan
        With tangerine whiskey and marmalade pies
        Somebody calls you
        You answer quite slowly
        The Poey with kaleidoscope eyes

        Cellophane Wallabies of gold and green
        Towering over the Nearlies
        Look for the Cheika with Sun in his eyes
        And he’s gone

        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Aaaaaahhhhhh…

        Follow him down to the stadium by the fountain
        Where Wallaby fans eat meat pies
        Everyone smiles as you drift past the Soap Dodgers
        That smell so incredibly high…

        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Cheika in the sky with diamonds
        Aaaaaaahhhhhh…

        Newspaper magnates appear on the stadium
        Waiting to take you away
        Climb in the white van with your arms in a straight jacket
        And your gone….

      • joy

        Most Saints are canonised after they have left for the afterlife. Pocock is at the tipping point.

    • joy

      In all sports Australians have produced surprises in do or die major knock out tournaments for many decades. I just fail to see it this time. Pseudo bash and barge is simply not enough unless we release x factor backs from left field, ie those prodigies under 23 joined with veterans O’Conner, Beale, Cooper And Co. No need for an attack coach because none of those have eyes on the back of their heads. Even then we’ll need a tail wind.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    Who care about picking the right team and developing skills when you can just fix it with “believe”? Eales name, unfortunately for me, with Pulver and Clyne will always be associated with the poor way they managed the Force Fiasco. Nobody is clearly not perfect anymore.

  • Hoss

    Couple of good news stories out of RA today – credit where it is due.

    Some interesting trial laws for the NRC (i actually really like them) & all games streamed live and free via rugby.com.au

    The Nearlies have trimmed their squad for Oz as well.

    https://www.rugby.com.au/news/2019/07/30/nrc-2019-schedule

    • Yowie

      Similar to league’s 40-20, the NRC will allow teams to try for a 50:22 kick, which would see a team given the lineout throw if they kick a ball from their half and find touch in their rivals’ quarter.

      Are they taking the p!ss out of Bernard Foley with that one?

    • Keith Butler

      Agree with the trial laws as long as the 50/22 kick has to land in the field of play before going out

      • Hoss

        I’d imagine so otherwise the existing rule would kick in – out on the full, scrum from where the kick happened and opposition feed.

        • Keith Butler

          Very cold in Tassie. Must have frozen my brain. Anything that frees up the midfield gets my vote. Prefer to see props or locks dropping back to hone their kicking skills.

    • I’m willing to see how the 50:22 law plays out. My hot take – teams will either adopt NZ’s approach with a “second fullback” winger or something more the Sader’s system where that epitome of the hard rush defence, #10, falls back to help out 15.

      No one regularly breaks down the AB defensive line in a big way and the Sader’s defence was the stingiest of the last campaign in both points and tries.

      This gives you a rush defence of a ruck with the guards on the side of the ruck, probably a loose forward or two, and two centres making a solid defensive line in the rush defence that’s pretty wide still.

      Net effect… nada. Actually, worse than nada. Because if there’s a turnover, other sides will go “wah, where’s our 10?” while the ABs will look up and run the pill and still score.

    • joy

      Castle’s enthusiasm for the 50/22 law change reveals her true colours. 5th columnist comes to mind. The Wallabies are at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to tactical field kicking. Why on earth should we lead the charge? This is even dumber than her attack on Folau’s personal convictions.

  • Geoffro

    Oh , the bizarro one

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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