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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the Fijian response to Cheika’s jib, the bold selection move being pitched for the Wallabies, Warren Gatland’s view on Australia and the wild clash from Pool A.


McKee slams Mick Cheika

Michael Cheika

Michael Cheika

As Reece Hodge prepares to have his case heard by the judiciary, Fiji coach John McKee has slammed Michael Cheika after he accused them of not acting in the spirit of the game.

Cheika raised plenty of eyes during the week when he called McKee out for being two-faced after referring Reece Hodge’s tackle on flanker Peceli Yato to the citing commissioner.

“I prefer they come up to me and get upset with me, if they were really upset about it, not to then talk to me in that nice sort of friendly chitty chat way and then put in a referral, don’t think I’ve ever referred anyone,” he said.

The Fijian coach has taken offence to his juvenile comments, arguing that he had every right to considering Yato was knocked out and has since been ruled out of their next game against Uruguay.

“From our side, we lost a player who was nearly the most influential player on the park at the time of the game for the rest of the game, and because of the head injury he can’t play in this game either,” McKee said.

“Maybe Michael Cheika’s views of what’s within the spirit of the game are slightly different to some other people, but it’s not up to me to decide what exactly he meant by that comment.

“I think the World Rugby guidelines are quite clear around head injury assessment. Everyone is very well aware of the head injury framework and how they will be dealt with by the match officials and citing official,

“The process in the World Cup, it is the citing commissioner who cites people if they deem something could have been a red card offence and was missed on the field. In the citing official’s opinion, it’s a red card offence and it’s up to Australia Rugby to argue whatever they wish, and for the judiciary to decide.”

Hodge will be represented by Mark Martin QC; a Brisbane barrister who regularly represents Queensland players at the SANZAAR judiciary.

He was called in after the Fijians objected to their initial lawyer since the same person has done support work for them and other Tier two nations in the Pacific Islands.

The case will be heard at 3 pm local (4 pm AEST)

Barnes doesn’t Beale-ive

Kurtley Beale  chases a loose pass

Kurtley Beale  chases a loose pass

British pundit Stuart Barnes believes that the Wallabies must play Dane Haylett-Petty at fullback ahead of Kurtley Beale if Reece Hodge is cleared for a high tackle for their next clash against Wales.

Barnes suggests that Beale will struggle with the route one style of rugby that Wales plays (otherwise known as bombardment), led by flyhalf Dan Biggar, and believes that DHP must be picked at fullback or winger, depending on if Hodge gets off.

“I would definitely play Dane Haylett-Petty somewhere because I think you have to diffuse the kicking game of Dan Biggar, who’s one of the best in the business, so I would play him,” Barnes told Fox Sports.

“I would consider leaving Beale out reluctantly – I’m a great fan of him – but I think Wales might just target him.

“And I think this is a World Cup that when it’s all over will be remembered for the tournament that we stopped talking about who’s your best 15 and instead you selected the most appropriate 15,

“I think that’s a sign of sophistication in terms of coaching, so Beale might be a better player than Dane Haylett-Petty but Haylett-Petty’s game is suited to Wales, so I’d probably play him at 15.”

He also believes that Will Genia should start over Nic White, suggesting that he provides a tighter and more direct style of play.

“I would say that the greater problem started from the halves in the sense that you want your 9 and 10 to shape your game, and because the game had width and that certain Fijian feel of randomness, you can’t have control at breakdown situations,” said the former England fly-half.

“I think Nic White, as well as he played in Perth, has to take some responsibility and Lealiifano at 10 should have been saying, ‘lets tighten this up.’

“To me, after 30 minutes, I was saying Genia should be on because it just felt they needed someone who would put the right shape on the game.

“I would definitely play Will Genia at 9, I think he’s a better player than Nic White.

“If they’re both at their best, he’s markedly better than Nic White, therefore, he gets more of the game time.”

Wales full of confidence

Gatland warm up   in Lions vs Force 2013

Wales coach Warren Gatland believes that his side will be full of confidence ahead of their clash against the Wallabies.

The clash against Australia on Sunday acts as a must-win for both sides, since it will pretty much determine who finishes top of Pool D.

Gatland believes that his team can take plenty of confidence from last year’s 9-6 victory over the Wallabies in Cardiff, but was cautious of the frenetic nature of world Rugby.

“I think we can take a lot of confidence from that, they’re a tough side,” he said.

“With teams at the top of international rugby you can have a really good performance…we saw the Australians play exceptionally well against the All Blacks in Perth, then they were well beaten the next week.

“That’s the way the modern game goes. We won a tight contest in the autumn last year.

“We’ve had some really tight games with them over the years.

“We’ve got to go into that game with a lot of confidence.”

He was full of praise for the way the Wallabies started their World Cup campaign after their win over Fiji, believing they showed great resilience to fight back thanks to their set-piece.

“I thought Australia soaked up a lot of pressure. Fiji came flying out of the blocks and were very impressive in that first half,” he said.

“Australia managed the game exceptionally well, especially in the tight with the scrum and the driven lineout.

“Fiji looked like they were starting to tire and Australia soaked up a lot of initial pressure and came away in the second half.”

Gatland also weighed in on the impending Reece Hodge hearing at 4pm (AEST), suggesting that the Australian winger will find himself in trouble.

“With the Reece Hodge tackle, it looks like he has made contact there to me but that is not my decision and the judiciary needs to make a call,” Gatland said.

Samoa survive scare

RUGBYU-WC-2019-MATCH9-RUS-SAM

Samoa has survived a mighty scare before overcoming minnows Russia 34-9 in one of the craziest games of the tournament, which saw three players sin-binned for tackles that were lucky not to see red, a drop goal and an injury while scoring all in the space of 15 minutes.

Manu Samoa looked to open their tournament with a bang when a superb pass from Tim Nanai-Williams found Alapati Leiua to crash over for the first of his brace after 15 minutes.

From here, the game turned wild, with the Russians drawing in front 6-5 at half time when Russina fly-half Yury Kushnarev kicked a pair of penalties.

During this period, the Samoans were reduced to 13 men after Rey Lee-Lo and Motu Matu’u were yellow-carded within two minutes for a pair of ugly challenges that make Reece Hodge’s look tame.

With the Samoans down to 13, the Russians failed to capitalise, not scoring a single point whilst having the old union v league numbers advantage.

This would be the game-changing moment as number eight Afaesetiti Amosa bulldozed over five minutes after the restart to give them the lead.

The Bears night would go from bad to worse, as prop Kirill Gotovtsev was yellow-carded (there’s even a case for him being sent off) for a high tackle attempting to block Amosa, who was stretchered off after twisting his knee in the process of scoring.

Kushnarev would reduce the margin to just one point after nailing a beautiful drop goal.

However, the Samoans would kick clear, with tries to Lee-Lo and Ed Fidlow securing the victory.

Alapati Leiua would add the cherry on the cake just before the buzzer, bursting down the wing to beat several Russian defenders to boost them to the top of Pool A.

Samoa will be looking to build off this performance when they take on Scotland on Monday whilst Russia will be looking to get their first win when they face Ireland next Thursday.

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    At least World Rugby is aware that the standard of officiating has been very poor, hopefully it will get better as the tournament progress. I still think with the exception of Owens and Barnes that there are not many of the other 12 referees that should even be considered for the finals. I still cannot understand how some made the final 12 for the RWC and especially the four French referees. Poite and Garces is to put it diplomatically controversial and often get big decisions wrong. I was not surprised by how inaccurate Garces performance was on Saturday as he got one in three calls incorrect. He is just not good enough to be counted under the best of the best….. it is like Bryce Lawrence all over again.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate let it go. No game result was caused by a referee decision and despite the troll YouTube clips and other crap doing the rounds, no team is innocent

      • muppet

        I don’t look to mungo for much but I would love two on-field refs [hides under desk awaiting backlash]

        • Greg

          Mate, can you imagine having two refs at a ruck or a (real) scrum? We would have at least three opinions (plus the 9s) :-)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Plus everyone watching

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m starting to think it has merit. The issue would be how to manage it. Mungo’s so much easier as there’s no contest after the collision so easy to manage.
          Also if there’s two calls – absolutely likely with the issues at every ruck, maul and collision, who takes priority.
          I just want consistency in a game and a higher level of consistency between different referees. I mean the laws are the same so it’s how they’re being interpreted that is the issue

        • Geoffro

          isnt the second ref in league just a closer in linesman/assistant when hes not in the middle of it.Dunno,my interest in RL dropped off years ago and havent watched much

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          TBH mate I am the same

    • Happyman

      Mate while I am happy to blame the referees as I have said to any team I have coached when they complain. If we don’t miss any tackles or knock the ball on and still lose then we can blame the ref.

      My view is this the home nation refs are the best they just do so many games they are all experienced.

      The French are well the French.
      Some of the Japanese refs are good.
      The Kiwi refs are the French of the South Pacific.
      The Australian refs are improving from a low base.
      The South African refs are good as long as no South African team is involved.

      • Cunning Linguist

        “The Kiwi refs are the French of the South Pacific. ”
        Bahahaha gold.

  • Steve

    “Michael Cheika’s views of what’s within the spirit of the game are slightly different to some other people…”

    Translation: Cheika is a loudmouth fuckwit and in his mind shoulder charging to the head is within the spirit of the game, but exercising our referral rights is not.

    He really does display an Elon Musk-like ability for making a tit of himself.

    • Patrick

      Without the redeeming virtues. If we were currently holding a cupboard full of silver, I’d mind (less) him being a A-hole.

      But if you are both a loser and an A-hole… :(

      • Brisneyland Local

        And an Ass Clown!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think he’s starting to wake up to the fact that his legacy isn’t going to be great. Far to narcissistic to think any of it is his fault but the facts unfortunately don’t lie

    • Keith Butler

      Reminds me of the old Madness (aka the Nutty Boys) tune Embarrassment.

  • Patrick

    That is not a controversial selection call it is a blindingly obvious one!! I would love to have a vote, when are Hoss’ results out?

    Can anyone who thinks Beale should start against Wales please reply to this comment to explain to me what I’m missing?

    • Custard Taht

      Because um, um, ah, um, the vibe.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Nothing I can see mate

    • Brisneyland Local

      Because he is a recidivist dickhead that embarrasses our nation.

    • Hoss

      Results out tomorrow morning mate, need more people to vote – only 14 responses so far. First round we got 88.

      send the link to all your rugby mates

      Can tell you the GAGR faithfull have , at this stage, deserted Gilbert – big time.

      http://www.yourwallabysquad.com

      • Bobas

        I was waiting for the news on Hodge, but I just did one without him.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Done mate

        • Hoss

          Saw that mate, can i ask why you picked Foley at 10 ??

          Just kidding.

          thanks for voting

        • Custard Taht

          I think I might be playing the game wrong. I select who I think Cheika will pick, and honestly, wouldn’t be surprised to see Foley trotted out at 10 this week, with Genia at 9.

        • Hoss

          Wash your mouth out – now.

        • Bobas

          Do you get to see the names submitted? As in I submitted mine as Bobas, can you see my personal selections?

        • Hoss

          Yes, I can see individual votes mate

          Were you wanting to apologise for yours ????

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Fuck I almost snorted my wine

        • Hoss

          You O/S yet ?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not yet. Travelling to Perth for a few days

      • Human

        Done but think it will be 6:2 rather than 5:3.

        • Patrick

          Yes I was confused by that too

      • Adrian

        Voted Boss, but couldn’t find an option for a 6:2 bench,… which could be a possibility.

        Usually I’d say big runners early then more mobile defenders, BUT for this game I reckon defenders first (eg Pocock), then bring on heavy runners.

        I’d still have Naisarani, Arnold and Co crashing up early, but I’d also cover close channels in defense.

        For me, I’d ideally bring on Salakai Lotto and Coleman to replace Arnold and Rodda after they are totally fucked, and bring on Dempsey for Pocock, but possibly for Naisarani if he is buggered.

        I’d consider Tuopo on the beach covering THP, and Kepu covering LHP,… it’s probably only for 20 min

        • Hoss

          Cheers mate – great to have you back on here again.

          Re 6-2 split, yep, you’re most probably right, but the boffins could only make it either 5-3 or 6-2 so i told them t go 5-3. I will post the votes tomorrow and list two alternatives based on overall votes. A 6-2 / 5-3 bench to see how we compared.

          I see some value for having Dempsey & FKA both on the pine this weekend. FKA can cover 4,5 & 6. Dempsey can cover 6 / 8

        • Adrian

          Sorry about the Boss not Hoss, Hoss! My edit won’t work

        • Hoss

          I felt like a cotton plantation owner from the 1800’s.

          Now get back to fucking work…..sorry, all that power

    • Adrian

      Yes, I think he should start because he’s the one guy who can make a break from anywhere, and the only guy in the Australian side that keeps the defense guessing when he has the ball.

      Sure he is risky in defense (sometimes) and risky under the high ball (sometimes), but we don’t have the option of “playing it safe”.

      None of our options (Beale, DHP, AAC, Hodge,…) are “safe bets”. Some are agonizingly slow, some can’t tackle either, some don’t pass much.

      I cannot see us winning if we think that a number one priority is defusing bombs at fullback.

      The Georgia game and other games showed that Wales use the high ball in all directions, usually after a few phases and nothing is opening up for them. Everyone needs to be ready.

      • Patrick

        Thanks for responding! And it is a good response, which also partly highlights that we don’t have a second winger :(

        I think Cheika will see it that way as well. So I’m hoping Beale has a blinder!

        But I would ask why we couldn’t rely on Kerevi and Korobiete to break the line?

        • Adrian

          I think we can, but it is in a different way. More a big bend to be backed up than a break, but it’s all semantics anyway.
          IMO we need both, plus busts through the forwards.
          And yes, it would be good to have a second winger. I think Cheika wanted that to be Petaia

        • Patrick

          If wishes were horses… would it have killed him to take JUST ONE proper backup? Sefa, Speight, anyone?

  • Patrick

    I always kind of assumed, without thinking about it very hard, that there were regular meetings with international referees to review decisions and comment on them so as to share understanding and grow consistency.

    This does not seem to be the case, so there’s an idea for World Rugby. Especially at major tournaments!!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think you’re right. One of my big complaints with referees is that there’s not a lot of visibility on the analysis of their games, nor the process by which they talk through where they are focussing on. I think it’s a fear of coaches identifying areas to get away with things and of having to constantly explain why they made decisions they can’t even remember. The number of times after a match some coach has come up to me and asked about a ruling at x minutes that I can’t even remember is quite high.
      I just refer them to law 6.5.a – referee is the sole judge of fact and of law on the field

  • Custard Taht

    Wales can be confident, good on em. With or without Hodge, this Wallaby team is better than the one Wales beat that one time. Bombardment might work up North, but it is a key reason they keep being beaten by the All Blacks (if you ignore the white collar), the boks and the wallabies.

    • Patrick

      1. Japan is, I believe, up North ;)
      2. If we play Beale bombardment is likely as not to work a treat.

      • Custard Taht

        But under Cheika, we play ball in hand, which, if we execute it like we did in Perth, will negate the Beale Bombardment Liability.

        • Hoss

          In all the feedback and opinions of the Wallies one point consistently fly’s under the radar. We create more try scoring opportunities than any other side in world rugby. Full stop. Yes there’s rightful criticism of the finishing, but FFS, there is NO more dangerous attacking side in world rugby. There are more consistent and rounded sides for sure, but none more dangerous than ours and when we finally put it all together, look out world

        • Mica

          Hoss have you been on the bourbon early?
          Our attack is not that great. It has some potency but it’s nowhere near what it was in the late 90s early naughties.

        • UTG

          Comparing attack in the 90s and now isn’t really a great comparison. No team’s attack has the same potency as the late 90s and early 2000s because coaching teams now have hours and hours of video analysis and data crunching behind them to the extent that they’re across the opposition’s set plays, patterns of play, exit strategies etc.

          In spite of this, Cheika and the team have had some very good success creating points from structured play this year. The disallowed try against South Africa from a breakout in our own 22m built mismatches from multiple phases; the set piece try against Argentina used Kerevi and TK as decoys to allow Koroibete to use his speed; and the try against Fiji in the first half was a variation of the same play without Koroibete.

        • Hoss

          Haven’t imbibed much thus far, i fully intended too, but I am drunk from the buzz enjoying the RWC so far mate.

          Reality is we may never be as dangerous as that great side of the late 90’s early naughties. But we have no trouble creating opportunities, we have been average at finishing them. Same against Fiji, Kerevi passes we score untouched 46-19, we don’t balls-up a midfield set play with a bad pass that Fiji run away and score and all of a sudden we have a game that has a 50+ to 12-ish scoreline and we are world beaters.

          The margins are fine with the Wallabies and i reckon we aren’t that far off really hitting our straps and what hi’ve seen from the main contenders, barring the Paddies has been ho-hum

          Stay the course – there’s something special brewing

        • Custard Taht

          I think many Wallaby fans are still playing like they have for the last 3 years, and got themselves stuck in a negativity loop…..when really they should play what is in front of them and realise that the 2019 Wallabies are a different vintage.

        • Hoss

          I am not saying we will win the thing, but i am liking the trajectory and any team that can put 46 on The Nearlies rates in my book – so what about the Red to Barrett thats not the Wallabies fault. They put 46 on the best side in the world. The talent is there, the DNA is there – and Cheik has them for 8-12 weeks straight – they will be ready to go at the pointy end.

        • AllyOz

          To paraphrase Paul & Art (well probably just Paul on not sure the woolly headed one wrote too much
          “Hello (madness) my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again”.

          Love your deluded optimism Hoss, I hope you never lose that childlike spirit within you and become old and jaded like me.

        • Hoss

          It’s my Wallabies candescence.

        • Custard Taht

          The issue with the Wallabies, isn’t necessarily the creation of opportunities, it is the finishing. Fluffing the last pass, dropping the ball on a simple catch etc.

          I guess this is where the selection issues come in, we don’t select finishers on the outside. Marika has shown vast improvement this year.

        • Mica

          And introduces the Beale pass could go to no one liability. :)

        • Adrian

          Beale’s pass to Hodge at full speed for Hodge’s try was one of the best passes you’ll ever see

        • Mica

          Hee hee hee hee – watch Larkham sometime if you want to see great passes.
          Beale’s best attribute has always been his broken field running and ability to create a bit of individual magic with a chip kick or the likes after finding space.
          The pass to Hodge was a simple down the line left to right pass and was hardly at full speed, simply numbers on the edge.

        • Mica

          The comment seems to have come back – not sure what happened here????

        • Mica

          Hee Hee Hee – might want to want to watch it again Adrian.
          It was pretty much a run of the mill spread the ball to the edge with an overlap.
          You’ll see a multitude of better passes this world cup.

        • Adrian

          Did you edit your post Mica? I’m sure you had Larkham in there somewhere

        • Mica

          It didn’t apply for some reason, so I rewrote it as the abridged version.
          I also gave Beale a wrap for his broken field running and ability to have a moment of individual brilliance.
          Larkham is one of the guys who could throw a sublime pass in my humble esteem. I guess it helps when you look at the teams he was surrounded by, but still love watching highlights of his play.

        • Patrick

          I love your confidence. If we play as well as our best game in the least 3 years, possibly longer, we will win…!

        • Custard Taht

          The Welsh are good, they aren’t All Black good, the way some talk, the Welsh are gods amongst men. Our style of Rugby is the ideal counter to the Welsh style.

          The winner will be whichever teams imposes their way on the other the best, and I have seen enough from the Wallabies to believe that they will be that team.

        • Patrick

          I totally agree that we are better than the Welsh. But I also recall the last time we played Beale at FB against the NH teams, and I think they’ve gotten better all-round than then, so I really think that it basically all comes down to whether we get the kick return under control. Yes and we win, no and we are backs to the wall all game.

        • Custard Taht

          That is why I would start Genia, very good under the high ball.

        • Patrick

          Best argument I have heard yet for starting him, and yes he can play as essentially a supporting player to the back 3.

          Not quite as good an argument for playing Genia as it is an argument for playing an actual fullback and an actual winger though ;)

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,

    Good on McKee for standing up to Cheika. He really is living up to his clown status. It’s a real pity because the team is looking good in places and this detracts from that.
    I’m not as confident as some here in the Wales game. I don’t think Wales have shown all their play yet, whereas I don’t think the Wallabies have anything “up their sleeves” to bring on. I think the Wallabies will need a Perth like display and I’m not sure the Welsh will be as generous as the ABs were on that day.
    I think Barnes has some points, certainly on Beale. I also think White played like he was when Phipps overtook him here and needs to get back to how he played in the RC.
    Love watching the pool games, some good rugby here. Loving this competition.

    • Greg

      Haven’t the games been good.

      Russia took it to Samoa and it only blew out at the end. I thought that Samoa was going to be down to a soccer team at one stage. The Georgia Army 8 the night before. Great stuff.

    • Custard Taht

      I don’t think the Welsh have added anything to their arsenal, that we haven’t already seen. It is easy to look good against Georgia, and Fiji is a much tougher opponent.

      The Wallabies pack has already shown that they will be equal to the task of the Welsh pack.

      Even if the Welsh aren’t as generous as the All Blacks were in Perth, the Welsh on the flip side, are not as potent in attack and also fall short of being able to take full advantage of mistakes and lapses, like the All Blacks.

      As long as the Wallabies keep the ball in hand, and limit the mistakes and penalties inside their own half, they will win.

      • Hoss

        Bang on Taht.

      • Andy

        The last paragraph almost sums up the wallabies weaknesses and largely represents why they have such a poor record over the last 4 years.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I’m not as confident as you mate. I still see them as a bit fragile against a better team. Fiji, yeah did well but they’ve only looked good in one game this year and expecting consistency all of a sudden seems to be asking a lot

        • Custard Taht

          To me, the Poms, Saffas, Irish and Welsh are not better teams than the Wallabies. I think the Wallabies have been let down by Cheika during this World Cup Cycle, and there has been a noticeable difference in the Wallabies this year.

          Apart from the All Blacks, the only team that worries me is England, as I think Eddie might still have Cheikas number. The others I think the Wallabies are capable of beating.

          The Wallabies scored the same number of tries as the Welsh, and conceded the same number of tries as the Welsh.

          Despite Fiji being a better team than Georgia, there is positivity about the Welsh performance, and negativity about the Wallabies.

        • Andy

          Cheika is definable liable for the dross that’s been served over the last 4 years. But the players have to take some responsibility. Guys missing 1 on 1 tackles and making simple, poor decisions is mostly on them and partly on the system that developed them.

    • onlinesideline

      While they are not in same bracket as England and Ireland on their day they demand respect. It is the RWC, they will not forget all those close matches against us they lost by 1 or 2 points in the 80th minute and will be FULL of belief. Again its all between the ears for the Wallabies and thats Cheikas job. I cant see us running away with it. Will probably be another epic.

      • Geoffro

        Having lifted the 6n suggests a threat equal to Eng or Ireland but my not recalling the conditions at those games or the type of rugby played I cant be definitive.I do know they beat us in a game decided by penalties alone so wouldnt suggest a war of attrition approach

        • Hoss

          They will want to slow it down mate and play for the corners, NH style. They dont scare me at 9 & 10. Jonathan Davies is all class. Their pack is workmanlike, but i reckon we edge them. I like us for this game, big time.

          Win this and we have momentum. I like it, i like it a lot.

        • Damo

          Yep, they will be looking to frustrate and choke us NH style. I would like to see the tight 5 + Naisa+ the finishers impose themselves- really impose themselves. Both carrying & D. We want to see Poey keep his energy for jackaling not trucking it up. Gain line dominance will also pressure their kicking game and help keep Davies and North out of the game. And be in no hurry to go wide.
          This is really rugby 101, but I reckon is the right approach for this opposition.

        • Hoss

          You’re right mate and i think Isy will be primed for this game. Wales aren’t to be sneezed at and i get that all teams are holding plays / tactics back. But the day a Wallaby supporter should be scared of Wales (be respectful – sure) is the day i start following any other code – well not fucking Mungo Ball or that run and jump shit from Mexico, but certainly curling and netball.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          At least netball players are better to look at. I’ve got 3 daughters and coached and umpired netball when they were growing up. Saw much better sights than I’ve ever seen on a rugby field

        • Patrick

          It basically all comes down to whether we get the kick return under control. Yes and we win, no and we are backs to the wall all game.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah I agree. They know they’ve got a battle on their hands. I just think they’ve improved more in the last couple of years than the Wallabies.
        I smiled at that last sentence

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate considering they won the 6 Nations this year, I’d say they’re able to operate at a level beyond both England and Ireland and have demonstrated this recently

        • onlinesideline

          yeah but strange bloody comp isnt it. Does anyone play anyone twice. Arent for and against stats often used to place teams. What kind of comp is that. …good night mate :)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nyt buddy

        • UTG

          They’re coming off two losses to Ireland and a loss to England in the WC warmups, they’ve fallen behind Ireland and England since the 6 Nations.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate none of those last 3 games meant anything as all teams were trying things out.
          I agree that if they step up the Wallabies can win this one, I just think some on here are underestimating Wales and they are in with a good chance

        • UTG

          Wales will start, probably rightly, as favourites. I haven’t seen many people on here denying that, more saying that we’ve got quite a good shot given our history and that parts of our game are starting to come together.

          I don’t think it’s really fair to say that those games meant nothing. No tier 1 nations were experimenting to the extent that they were willing to accept a string of losses to other tier one nations pre-WC. To me, they confirmed that Wales have definitely come down a peg since the 6N, particularly given the spate of injuries to their second rowers and Faletau. Playing away from home in the heat and humidity of Japan is also very different from Cardiff.

  • onlinesideline

    Tell ya what – those 2 x Samoan hits against the ruskys should be shown in the Reece Hodge case by Cheika – they were much worse and illiicited no on field or off field sanction.

    On a side note, I think its about time someone in Samoan rugby start changing their approach to what it means to be a hard rugby team. It just seems the only thing these blokes aspire to taking people’s heads off and knocking people the hell out. They also haven’t seemed to realise there’s a 50% chance of knocking themselves out in the process.

    Just blatant violent thuggery if you ask me. Serves no-one least themselves.

    • Greg

      I had the same thought re those two tackles tbh.

      there was clear contact to the head. I do think that it was not deliberate but that it was reckless. Was Hodge’s tackle worse? Not that I have seen… but that has been based on limited footage.

      To be cited, they have assessed that his tackle is worse than those two as it met the red card threshold. I don’t get it.

      This is not a defence of Hodge. I am just struggling to understand what is red, what is yellow and what is play on.

      Over to you @KRL

      • Geoffro

        If the panel uses the metric applied by the refs there that ball carrier was dropping into the shoulder (hardly noticeable in the first incident but therefore only a yellow) Is Hodge safe ? Would have to go back and watch again but someone let me know

        • Human

          Yato led with his head. He noticeably changed his line and dropped his height in order to bump Hodge…the traditional Maori side-step…I.e. Yato initiated the contact. At some point the ball carrier has to held accountable.
          If the Samoans get away with two yellow cards, there is no way that Hodge should have even been cited and certainly should not be suspended.
          That said, I expect him to get 1-2 weeks.

        • Patrick

          If he had really dropped his shoulder he would have in fact scored, he just braced for the contact. But yes his technique was poor too.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Hahahaha thanks. Unfortunately I’m as stumped as you are. Clear hits to the head, like Hodge perhaps mitigating circumstances in body positions and intent, but under the guidance both clear Red Cards to me.

        I think the issue with the refereeing is that all the referees seem to have been told to let the games flow and are letting thins that aren’t totally materiel to that go; side entries, driving off your feet in a ruck, collapsed scrums and the like when the ball is coming out. I think this is a mistake and it’s affecting the rest of their game.

        • Keith Butler

          In that case my message to the IRB is why fucking bother with having laws if the referees are being told not to enforce them. This issue is really starting to annoy me.

        • Human

          Indeed. It is what the NRL did in order to make the game more entertaining…hence the farcical scrums and almost any dropped ball being called a knock on, thus requiring a farcical scrum.
          Mind you some of the knock on calls/non-calls in the RWC are bewildering.

      • Patrick

        No that is not true,all three were cleared by the team on the ground and all three were cited: https://www.scotsman.com/sport/rugby-union/rugby-world-cup-samoa-pair-could-miss-scotland-clash-after-citings-for-dangerous-tackles-1-5011173

    • Geoffro

      they met their match in the first half against a team of Rusky hard men though and ran away with it in the second when they decided to play a bit of footy

    • Cunning Linguist

      I agree. They really should have been reds in my esteemed view.

      • onlinesideline

        and with a name like that Im sure you are indeed held in high esteem by some

  • muppet
  • sambo6

    ” And I think this is a World Cup that when it’s all over will be remembered for the tournament that we stopped talking about who’s your best 15 and instead you selected the most appropriate 15.
    I think that’s a sign of sophistication in terms of coaching”

    ‘Sophistication’? ‘Coaching’?

    Well that’s us fucked then.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Life is well, coffee is here. Rugby is going on like a good thing. BL’s random thoughts whilst examining the world:
    – Reece Hodge will get 1 week. That is my tip. They have to find him guilty but cant spank him too hard due to the inconsistent referumping through out all of the games.
    – Cheika is still being an Ass Clown. I tried really hard to be positive coming into the RWC, but Cheika keeps being Cheika. Arghhhhhh.
    – Good on McKee for pointing out the Cheika is being a dick. But to be honest he doesnt really need to as Cheika is doing just a good a job of it himself.
    – Beale has to be on the bench or completely out for the Wales Game. Depending on the judiciary.
    – Yep those Samoan shots were big, and in my opinion to achieve consistency need to be referred. The reality is us fans are confused. If one player is done for a shoulder to the head accidental or not. Then all players must be. But hey this is rugby, if they achieved consistency, what else would us fans have to bitch about. Actually I know the answer to that! cheika!

    • Missing Link

      Cheika is just building a siege mentality for Wales

      • Brisneyland Local

        But that is the string he has to his bow. siege mentality.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not going to work this time

  • Missing Link

    Just to cut the tension in here, the latest news in Rugby Fashion is that Argentina’s match jersey and casual polo are in fact one and the same designed by Ralph Lauren himself. The only difference being the optional accessory – baby blue alpaca woolen pullover draped over the shoulders and the sleeves tied in a knot for off field catwalk appearances. I hear RM Williams are also official Argentina outfitters… If Ledesma learned one thing from his time in Australia, it was never step out onto the catwalk without your RM’s.

    • Geoffro

      I woud call your item off topic but having just read a Daily Mail story headlining Poey modelling his bright coloured budgie smugglers during the Fiji game……..I just dunno

    • BarneySF

      Well ol Ralph does own the Rugby.com URL. Somehow

    • Handbags

      Bundy bear V2.0

  • Brisneyland Local

    It is more pertinant now than ever.

    • Greg

      yeah…. but let’s not play the man.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Probably fair, but we have played the issues over and over again and they keep occuring. The one central point that remains is Cheika!

  • Hoss

    Morning Shaggers,

    :Liking our chances against The NH Kiwis this week. Got our loss in last year against them and i reckon we are up and ready for this, actually, i reckon we are specials.

    If Georgia can score 2 tries against em, we will score 5.

    Wallabies by 16.

    Cheik, what you gonna do, would be boring without his contributions

    Also don’t forget to vote for your Wallaby Match Day XXIII on this link – post results tomorrow

    http://www.yourwallabysquad.com

    • AllyOz

      I had a crack but this time went for what i think they’ll pick rather than what I want.

    • mark conley

      … doesn’t worry you we, officially, are the only rwc team that came without a goal kicker, one that can kick goals …

  • Adrian

    Georgia game went as expected, but Georgia did show a way to rattle Wales in the 2nd half. I think we have forwards who can do the same.
    Welsh breaks were mostly on the fringes or one out from there, which indicates Pocock a likely starter…for his defense. I’d try a 6:2 bench as well.
    Everyone is calling for Beale to go, but it would be pointless if we don’t have an alternative way of breaking their line. I’d say it’s 50:50 on whether Hodge survives. If he doesn’t I guess it is DHP, but could be AAC.
    I’m happy to go with what they come up with. They are there and I’m here.
    Wales looked good, but definitely beatable

  • Andy

    I agree with Stuart Barnes. Smart teams know how to beat the Wallabies. And that’s just being smarter than them.

    – Keep it simple in attack as their defence will almost certainly crack at some point.
    – put pressure on certain players who regularity cause turnovers (Beale).
    – keep it tight and simple in Defence. They may score some points but they will definitely create many scoring opportunity through poor defence and turnovers

    I think Wales have the ability to play that game

  • OnTheBurst

    DHP at 15 would make me feel much more at ease vs Wales.

  • UTG

    Agreed, I think what’s being missed here is that Cheika won’t refer foul play to the citing committee post game at the very least without bringing it up with the opposition coach (see the Kane Douglas incident). I’m sure this is a sort of gentlemen’s agreement between most international coaches that has in this case been broken by the Fijian coaching staff.

    The cricket analogy is an apt one, earlier in the year in the IPL Ravi Ashwin ‘mankadded’ Jos Buttler (ran him out at the non-strikers end before bowling the ball) without warning which, while allowed under the laws, is something no one ever does. Pretty similar to the unwarned referal of Hodge I think.

  • Bernie Chan

    In a major upset…Uruguay has beaten Fiji! Wonder if McKee was a bit overconfident, as he made 12 changes to his starting XV? Or was the short turnaround the reason for such a massive team change?

    • Keith Butler

      You got it. McKee was not a happy camper in his post game interview. Great credit to Uruguay, they left it all out there and then some.

    • Geoffro

      Sweet.Pretty well locks us into a quarter final

    • Human

      Karma

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I think the short turnaround was the main issue

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    No mate but he represents the Wallabies and Australia and he’s not doing a good job of either at the moment

  • Ads

    3 weeks for Hodge

    • Greg

      Just saw that.

      Have the Tonga players been cited? I can’t see it yet.

      If not then I don’t get it.

      • Haz

        Both Samoans have been cited. Don’t think there were any bad tackles by Tonga?

        • Greg

          Thanks @Haz. Corrected.

    • Geoffro

      Took a plea

  • voodoo economics

    Reporter, “So Micheal, what is it exactly that you don’t like about the Fijian Rugby Union staff”.
    Cheikso, “Well….their friendly”
    Reporter, “I see…wha”
    Cheikso interupts, “And they talk to me all nice and stuff….You know, like with respect and all that.”
    Reporter appears confused and hesitates.
    Cheikso continues, “What the (expletive) is with that (expletive). They should’ve called Hodge a (expletive) to my face. I mean his face. Not go behind me back, I mean his back. I’ve never referred anyone in me life, not even those cheatin (expletive)s the (reference to a international rugby side withheld).
    Reporter, “Ok so how do intent to cover the loss of Hodge”
    Cheikso, “Oh thats easy. Kurtley will stand at fullback during the kick off, During attack he will swap with Kerevi but only when we have completed 3 phases and not any more than 2 phases after that. after 5 phases we box kick and don’t chase. This will ensure we are on defence. We will assemble a 3-3-5 defensive pattern and Kurtley will defend in the front line and Pocock will be goalie.”

    • Greg

      Hang on. I am just making notes. It’s great to finally see this written down.

  • laurence king

    I’m a little confused concerning Hodge’s suspension. He gets three weeks for recklessness. A guy running into him at such speed that Hodge not only is sent flying, but has no time literally – maybe point 2 of a second – to get his arms up to tackle the oncoming player. The Fijian player changes direction and lowers his head. How can Hodge in such a small time frame be accused of recklessness. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HQtIearBLAE

    • Greg

      Honestly, I think the Fijians put themselves into dangerous positions and lead with their heads. It is not clear enough (to me) that something like that happened here.

      If Hodge appeals on the basis that the white 7 recklessly attacked his shoulder with his head…. I think it will be a short appeal.

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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