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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at players defending Cheika, ex-players attacking Rugby Australia, a former CEO’s take on the situation and accusations of spying by Aussie Eddie.


Pooper go into bat for Cheika

Michael Cheika and David Pocock post match press conference

Michael Cheika and David Pocock post match press conference

Retired Wallabies flanker and all-around nice guy David Pocock has spoken out against Quade Cooper’s jab at axed coach Michael Cheika, believing it was uncalled for.

When the news of Cheika’ sacking came to light, no one seemed happy that Quade, who was quick to social media to comment “If he actually cared about Australian rugby he would have done it a while ago”.

Whilst he was probably saying what a lot of fans had been thinking, Pocock came out to defend the under-fire Cheika, suggesting that the comments weren’t needed.

“As players we always find it disappointing when people on the outside are taking pot-shots, because there’s a huge amount of work that’s gone in and Cheik’s the kind of guy who goes in to bat for his players,” said Pocock.

“Behind the scenes, he’s always wanting guys to be able to just focus on their rugby.

“You can please everyone. Everyone’s got different opinions — I’ve got a huge amount of time for Quade, we go way back.

“People are going to say what they want, especially when you fall short like we did.

“There’s no excuses, we’ve just got to cop it on the chin, we weren’t good enough on the night.”

Fellow flanker Michael Hooper took a more defensive approach, refusing to answer the comment whilst defending the much-criticised tactics of Cheika.

“Not giving it any air,” Hooper said.

“Our game plan was solid, we believed, we bought into it 100 per cent. I think by the way we started — which was a lot of the criticism we had copped up to the point — was pretty good, pretty sharp,

“We had guys come in and do a job.

“Going into the program, we knew that there could be changes. How they’ll be coming we’re not sure and that came in the form of selection more than anything else.

“And everyone really believed we could do it. We’re working together for hours and hours, we just didn’t get it right on the weekend.”

Legends circle corpse

NIck McArdle, Greg Martin and Stephen Hoiles

NIck McArdle, Greg Martin and Stephen Hoiles

Wallabies legends have continued to come out of the woodworks to slam Michael Cheika and the current structure of Rugby Australia.

Fox Sports commentator Greg Martin was especially critical, calling for the system to be ‘blown up.’

“I’m of the belief that the whole thing needs to be blown up,” Martin said.

“The chairman wasn’t strong enough, the CEO hasn’t been strong enough. We need rugby people in those positions, true rugby people.

“I’m talking about true rugby nouse, not somebody who was a failure at her previous jobs. They need someone who understands rugby.”

When pressed on who he thinks can solve it, Martin added to the sterotype of Aussie rugby being an ‘old boys club’, calling for good friend Phil Kearns to take over (what a surprise.)

“You think of someone like my colleague Phil Kearns, who should’ve been the CEO in 2017, but was overlooked in an absolute shemozzle, and I’m sure that’ll come out one day.

“A true rugby man who knows the game, because he’s still coaching. Phil Kearns knows the game from bottom to top and has the respect of everyone around the world, if he was made the boss in 2017 we would not be in this position.”

Former captain Andrew Slack had his sights set on Cheika, calling him ‘spoiled’ after complaining about the introduction of selectors and a director of rugby in his exit interview.

“From my perspective, and I think a lot of us outside don’t exactly know the machinations of the administrative connection with coaches but from where I stood and from what I heard from people inside he got pretty well whatever he wanted,” Slack said.

“This year changed a bit with the selectors.

“It seems to me that for the first four years as coach he got absolutely everything he wanted.

So if he wants to blame somebody I’m not sure he should be throwing darts at Rugby Australia. I’m not sticking up for Rugby Australia. What I’ve thought…is they’ve given him too much.”

O’Neil slams ‘disturbing’ relationship

John O'Neill

Former CEO John O’Neil believes that CEO Raelene Castle and Chairman Cameron Clyne must be held accountable for the current situation that the sport finds itself in.

O’Neil was particularly concerned with comments from Cheika when he acted like any dumped lover and said there was no relationship whatsoever with his former lover employers.

“Reports that the coach and CEO relationship was non-existent is disturbing. After all, the coach reports to the CEO,” O’Neill said.

“The head coach can’t ever be untouchable or unchallenged. The CEO is the one who has the job of managing the coach.

“In a perfect world, those relationships should be cohesive, respectful and collaborative. The troika of [Rod] Macqueen, [John] Eales and me worked well and successfully. We had our moments but it was sorted with some robust discussions behind closed doors and then we moved on.”

Having led Australian rugby into some of its most prosperous periods at the back end of the 20th century, O’Neil believes that there needs to be an open and widespread review of Australian rugby to get it back on the same page.

“It’s about where to now from this historical low point,” O’Neill said.

“This low point for the game in Australia by most popularity measures is a real opportunity to not just examine what went wrong with the Wallabies but the chance to open the canvas, to conduct a ‘root and branch’ review of the game, its structural limitations and barriers to success and grasp this moment to bring the stakeholders together under one banner and with a single sense of ownership and purpose.

“New Zealand did it after their loss in 2007 in the quarter-final. Their makeover has resulted in over 10 years of consistent success and dominance.”

I spy with my little eye…

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England coach Eddie Jones has lit the fuse ahead of their semi-final clash against New Zealand, accusing the All Blacks of spying on their training sessions.

Jones claims that he spotted someone filming his side train from an adjacent apartment block that overlooked their training ground, although he did nothing about it.

“There was definitely someone in the apartment block [across from the training ground] filming, it might have been a Japanese fan,” he said.

“We knew from the start that they were filming and it doesn’t change anything we do.

“Don’t care, mate. Don’t care,

“We have two security guards – Prince Harry’s…and the ex-Prime Minister’s. Only those two. Lovely blokes.”

The former Wallabies coach has admitted to doing similar practices in his past life, however believed that it was pointless in the new age of Youtube/easily accessibly footage.

“Everyone knows what everyone else does. There’s no surprises in world rugby anymore,” he said.

“We used to do it [secretly film opposition training sessions]. I haven’t done it since 2001. There’s no need.

“You just don’t need to do it anymore. You can watch everyone’s training on Youtube. There’s absolutely no value in that anymore.”

Aussie Eddie continued to heap up pressure on the reigning, defending, undisputed World Cup champions, adamant that the historic feat would be weighing on their minds.

“We get to play one of the greatest teams ever that are shooting for a ‘three-peat’, which has never been done, so that brings an element of pressure,” he added.

“We don’t have any pressure. No one thinks we can win. There are 120 million Japanese people out there whose second team are the All Blacks.

“They have to deal with all this pressure of winning the World Cup three times and it is potentially the last game for their greatest coach and their greatest captain, and they will be thinking about those things.

“Those thoughts go through your head. It is always harder to defend a World Cup and they will be thinking about that, therefore there is pressure.”

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    I just hope Rugby Australia doesn’t waste this crisis to cleanse the sport from the vested interest and poor governance that has plagued the sport in the past 20 years. It is time to unite on a single vision for the sport like the All Blacks did in 2007.

    However Clyne isn’t the type of person that will leave just because he thinks the buck stops at him. RA has been staggering from one crisis to the next and I cannot see change coming.

    Maybe one day WA will be part of Australia again but bot while Clyne and those he carefully selected and appointed are running the show.

    • Happyman

      I have read somewhere that Peace has to be made with ones enemies.

      The Force needs to return.

      • Its the World in Union… and Australia in Factions.

      • Nutta

        Why? So I can get close enough to jamb my thumb in their eye to hold their head still whilst I get a fork in their neck?

  • Patrick

    Well f*&^ Greg Martin with a goal post.

    And same for Hooper because if he thought that was solid game plan he makes Frank Ribery look like a genius. And if he isn’t stupid, well you can stick up for your mates but once you start just out lying you should probably stop.

    • Bernie Chan

      He speaks just like a Cheika acolyte…

      • AllyOz

        if you have worked with someone for six years since you were a pretty young bloke its not surprising you would be loyal to them.

    • Who?

      Ah, ok, so that’s what you’re angry about. I’ve gotta give the guys inside the benefit of the doubt. I don’t imagine they went into the game plan anything other than giving their all, and if you’re going to give your all (and those guys, look at them at the end of each game, they gave their all), you’ve got to believe in the plan wholeheartedly.
      .
      And Hooper, whilst he’s got 99 caps, the vast majority of his career he’s had a singular coach. Cheika. He needs to live outside the bubble a bit before he’s remotely qualified to make an objective call on whether it was the right plan. I’ve no issue with Quade stating what most of us thought, or what Hooper’s said.

      • Patrick

        I’m not sure. How would you buy 100% into that game plan?? Seriously, I can understand giving 100% on the field no matter what, but I cannot imagine believing that we were going to beat England for the first time in years by just taking more risks all the time.

        • Who?

          I don’t see how you could truly give 100% if you didn’t think that it’d work, that the effort and sacrifice and pain wouldn’t pay off.
          .
          And if you’ve been under a bloke your whole career… Hooper’s 27, he turns 28 on Tuesday. He’s had Cheika as coach for 6 years. First as a hugely influential state coach (where they tasted early success), then as national coach. The relationship’s always been close. In that sort of situation, you’re looking at almost a quarter of your life being directed by this one person… Even when they’re walking away, when they’re the one walking away (i.e. you haven’t pushed them away), their opinion’s still going to be massively important.
          I’m not saying he’s right (I’ve been advocating Cheika wasn’t suitable since 2016), but this is like a situation where you’ve just found out your father was a criminal, but you still think he couldn’t ever have done those evil things… Does that make sense?

        • Patrick

          Yes, in the bizzaro world that Australian rugby has become.

        • From NooZealand

          Like that situation where the kidnapped believes that the kidnapper is correct. There is name for that sindrome.

        • Gipetto

          Some people cried when Stalin died.

      • Custard Taht

        I can’t imagine the players thought the game plan was solid. How could they after 4 years of worsening results, culminating in the shit show that was the RWC tilt.

        The players were putting their bodies on the line, no doubt. But watching the Wallabies, they didn’t look like a happy team and they didn’t appear to be enjoying their footy.

        It appears as though the player leadership group were part of the problem.

        • Dud Roodt

          I’ve got to disagree with you on the players not looking happy. If you follow any of them on social media, you would get the completely opposite opinion. And no one is going to look happy after a loss are they?

          My genuine opinion is, no matter what we, the fans, think of Cheika, the vast majority of players seem to love him as a coach (Will Genia’s post yesterday saying he was the best coach he’s ever had would confirm this)

        • Who?

          If you’re in with him, I think you’re in for life. Adrian’s long pointed out he’s very loyal, and he seems to draw that response from others. If you’re out, you’re out. Fardy, Cooper, even back to guys like Mick Ross at Leinster. And then you get the odd one you can’t pick (Johnny Sexton saying, “Everyone’s a little bit afraid of Michael Cheika,” and BOD’s seeming laissez faire approach to listening to his coaching direction).
          .
          I’d disagree with Genia’s description of Cheika – because I think he grew more under Robbie Deans (thinking early Wallaby days), Phil Mooney and Ewen McKenzie (we’ve seen little progress from Genia under any coaches since 2013, and his team results peaked around 2011).
          .
          But it’s a credit to Cheika as a person that he evokes such loyalty.

        • Dud Roodt

          However he manages it, he does breed more loyalty than a hell of a lot of other coaches.

          While I would also say that from an outsider’s perspective there are of course better coaches, hard to tell a person they’re wrong for saying it!

        • Who?

          Totally, totally agree. Which is why I’ve defended Hooper on here today (you’d know that’s not my history) for it. And why I’m happy to disagree with Genia’s assessment of the coaching he received, but don’t blame him for feeling that way. Especially when it’s all so close.

      • Gun

        It shows the importance of short tenures with extensions in coach/player contracts doesn’t it. If Cheika had gone two years in I’d bet Hooper may not have played/captained as much and many others wouldn’t have started and been persisted with. Many of these guys have bought in because loyalty to the coach is important but they know that their position probably depends on the coach being around. Cheika must have been the guy who said he needed Hoooer for 5 years and many millions.

        • David Creagh

          Yup

      • David Creagh

        I have never been critical of the commitment of the players {Folau excluded, he looked disinterested most of the time), expecially the physical commitment however I have been really critical of the lack of Rugby IQ. I suspect Cheik has said “If you want to play for the Wallabies you buy into my way of doing things 100% or you’re gone” and then proceeded to coach any intelligence or creativity out of them.

    • Fatflanker

      It’s just gobsmacking, isn’t it? I honestly thought the exit plan would be forwards to work it up field a bit to buy some room in the 22 then have Hodge powder it well inside the English half.

      • Patrick

        I just thought there would be one.

      • Mica

        That sounds like a solid tactic. I hear there’s an opening for a coaching position. Maybe you should apply. :)

        • David Creagh

          In fairness some of the stuff that has been done in the World Cup is stuff I have coached out of my fourth grade side. Aggressive line speed with an intent to meet your opponent at or over the gain line to reduce the time that have to make a good decision is a key of a good defence structure (ironically something Nathan Grey was known for a s a player). A good clean exit from the 22 after scoring points is another basic that has seemed absent for a while now. Certainly little chip kicks direct to your opponent are not from any coaching manual I have read.

        • Mica

          Can’t upvote twice. Bugger

    • Custard Taht

      Well Hoppers comments speak volumes about life inside the Cheika Wallabies.

      I imagine the overarching principle was, buy in or get out, no one questions the leader, we love the leader.

      • Wallaby Dave

        Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
        Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na
        Leader!

    • Keith Butler

      Yes. The triumvirate of Martin, Kearns and Kafer have caused me to mute Fox commentary on more than one occasion. Just read that Owens has the SDs/ABs game and Garces the Taffs/DDFs. No place for Gardener who star, I thought, was on the rise.

      • Gun

        Part of the great anti Oz rugger conspiracy KB. I’ve been telling everyone about it for years!

      • Happyman

        AB’s to improve there win ratio under Owens to 115%

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Maybe he’s got the final wrapped up. I like Gardener I think he’s a very good referee.

        • Keith Butler

          Definitely better over the years. His reffing of some of the Rebels games a few years ago were poor to say the least.

      • Dud Roodt

        That would likely mean Gardner has the final

        • Who?

          Or Barnes. I’d also have said, “Or Peyper,” but Jaco’s seemingly been elbowed out of contention for that role now. :-P

        • Dud Roodt

          I think as ref of the year it’s likely going to go to him. And who knows, Barnes could have a conflict of interest

        • Who?

          Could, but, after the weekend gone (both my teams losing), I hope that NZ show that Ireland weren’t that bad (improving perspective on that game) and inflict pain on England (improving the other game) by putting 80 on them. Unlikely, I know, and I do actually have time for Eddie (where many don’t), but one can hope!

        • Dud Roodt

          I’ve gone the other way (although my feelings appear to be as stable as those of John Wayne Gacy currently – just without the murder… yet) – I really like Eddie (I read his biography recently and thoroughly enjoyed it) and if England win it all, we can claim it without a shred of dishonesty…

          Also, I don’t think Kiwi’s going 3 on the trot and 4 total is great for the game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I personally don’t see an issue with it and not just because I’m a Kiwi. I look back to ManU in the UK. A team that wins a lot sets out a challenge for others to be better, and one day they will be. I think that’s great for any sport. I mean look at your swimmers. No one thinks it’s bad that they win a lot, they see it as good and something for others to improve to

        • Dud Roodt

          To a point I agree. But look at the Bledisloe and the State of Origin, I don’t think we can realistically say they haven’t been damaged by the one-sided results

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I’m not so sure on the SoO, the games and crowd there seem pretty good. I do get what you’re saying about the Bledisloe but when you guys win again, and you will that’s inevitable, the feeling will be pretty good. The challenge is to be better and unfortunately under Cheika that was never going to happen

      • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

        Apparently the appointments were done “on merit”.

        And yet, Ben Skeen is TMO for the Wales/RSA semi final.

        Really, World Rugby, really?

        • Keith Butler

          Surprised he didn’t get the ABs v the SDs. I wonder if Nigel will tell him to stfu?

    • AllyOz

      Actually I thought what he said was the equivalent to his previous “we trained really well” which, viewed more broadly might have “the game plan worked well in training”. As a former 4th grade master coach (please read ironically) myself I found that my game plans were invariably successful at training when we were running unopposed sessions. That didn’t always prove to be the case when we had real physical opposition running against us. Maybe that’s where it fell down.

    • juswal

      A while back I said that Cheika doesn’t believe his own statements to the media and I maintain it’s true. Interviews and press conferences are a mind game for him. The challenge is to demonstrate your mental strength and balance and if he comes away from the encounter without giving ground, he feels he’s won.

      Now I suspect that he’s taught the same approach to Hooper: you’re not there to tell the truth or give anyone helpful information; you’re there to demonstrate your strength. So get your lines down pat, learn to deflect and parry, pretend the surprises were expected and the mistakes were scoped in, show a little humility and pain and then come back swinging . . . but never, ever, say what you really believe, because nobody is entitled to know.

      • Patrick

        Yes I have always thought that about Cheika too (especially the never watching games part) and I can see that being true about Hooper.

        • Nutta

          By accident or intent (therefore intent) he was always good at keeping spotlights off his players.

  • Fatflanker

    Gawd blimey Cheiks now weighing in on what the nationality of the next coach should be…mate, please just put a sock in it for once.

  • onlinesideline

    I really think Quade made a big mistake in saying what he sad and WHEN he said it. There was just no need WHATSOEVER. Everything spoke for itself. His showing in NRC and then Super rugby was great, the move on attitude after no being selected was good. Any observations to be made were all there to be made, obvious and didnt need any extra soundbytes, videobytes by anyone. There is something about kicking a bloke when they’re down, that NO-ONE likes, even the subject matters detractors. Quade unwound all his good work over the last couple of years. Twitter strikes again. This app is a curse

    • juswal

      He’s got nothing to lose now. No rugby future in Australia, no professional reputation . . . he may as well say what he thinks.

      • onlinesideline

        Nothing to lose ? – what about his reputation as Quade Cooper the person ?

        • Richard Patterson

          Wasn’t that reputation tarnished by the “toxic Wallaby culture” comment in 2012? This guy has form doesn’t he?

        • onlinesideline

          yeah but what Im saying was, wasn’t it somewhat restored due to displaying a or some level of maturity re the Reds situation. Many people felt he had grown up and then he does this. All Im saying is that a tweet like that will always been seen as a pot shot. Its like kicking a bloke when he’s down. Each to their own I suppose.

        • Richard Patterson

          Indeed. Would the REAL Quade Cooper please stand up. Is it selfish, act first – think later Quade Cooper, or is it grown up, mature Quade Cooper? Indications would suggest here it might be the former.

        • Flyhalves with quick reactions are good. Maybe not always right…

        • Who?

          His reputation as a person was set in stone in most minds by mid 2011.
          To Kiwis, he’ll always be that filthy player who was so dirty attacking St Richie. They still boo him.
          To most Reds fans of the time, he was a hero. A player who could do things no one else could, who wasn’t perfect, but gave advantages that far outweighed his negatives.
          To most others, he was the flashy, inconsistent, selfish player who cost us the Irish test by throwing a behind the back pass when we were pressing their line with 2 minutes on the clock. Never mind the fact we were down by 9, and therefore, at 78 minutes, the Test was already mathematically beyond reach… These people had their thoughts reinforced by his toxic and ‘yellow jersey’ comments the next year (though when other people called our jersey yellow this year, there was nothing).
          .
          For a small number, he continued to grow as a person beyond 2011, but they’re few and far between. Some remember the 2013 EOYT. Some remember him playing on one leg through 2017 for the Reds as showing commitment, where the 2011 haters see him as ‘out of form’.
          .
          There’s no question, he’s the most polarizing player in our history. And, given everyone’s made up their mind, he may as well speak his own. Maybe he could catch up with his mate and old (Barbarians) coach, Alan Jones…
          .
          Worth noting that the person he tweeted at (Ugo Monye) was FAR more scathing in his assessment of Cheika.

        • Guess we’ll never know if he could have been the saviour eh?
          Can think of many players screwed over by Chiek that would have loved to say much worse. Maybe they had better sense, though I doubt not saying anything helped their career either

        • Who?

          Agreed on all points. Perhaps the difference between Cooper and those other players who similarly feel aggrieved is that Cooper has so much greater a platform from which to comment. Twitter Follower Count:
          Cooper – 350k
          Rebels – 38k
          Beale – 79k
          Folau – 135k
          Pocock 139k
          Wallabies 232k

        • Wow, popular boy.
          And lets face it, who wouldnt smack Richie if given half a chance.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Only some, well ok a lot. Most of my mates recognise he’s matured a lot and while we still think he has deficiencies we actually respect him

        • laurence king

          Look, his comments were mild compared to what we’ve been saying, he spoke the truth. Cheika’s arrogance, his casting aside of anybody who didn’t buy into Cheik-ball is well known. If the man was in charge for another 10 years he wouldn’t do anything different. Why are people saying how dare QC say anything? Cheika is/was a dictatorial arsehole and he has underlined this by his recent comments. Quade Cooper the person is a bloke who was treated like shit by Cheika so his comments while moderately out of line, are certainly understandable.

        • juswal

          I think he knows lots of punters hate and deride him, and that doesn’t affect him. He has the respect of the people he respects — especially his playing peers.

        • laurence king

          Yes, I think he is a person who is comfortable with himself. He’s grown up a lot since his early days.

    • Happyman

      Mate I really think you just don’t like Quade. Lets look at his timeline since he was dropped by the reds.
      Went back to club rugby and gave back to the community none of which will say a bad word about him.
      Went to Melbourne and went really well. I think a reasonable accretion could be made that the Rebels went to shit when Hodge came back from injury and they started to move Meakes around. Quade has always done better with a hard running hard defending 12 think Ant Faainga.
      Does not get picked for the RWC and still keeps his mouth shut and does one tweet after the OMNISHAMLES of a tourney saying what we all think.

      PS His last test match was against the AB’s at Eden Park with Bernard fucking Foley at 12. Wasn’t that t great test match a tactical masterclass.

      • onlinesideline

        Rubbish mate – loved Quades play and would have taken him to RWC.

        Why did you give me a timeline when I just said this –
        ” His showing in NRC and then Super rugby was great, the move on attitude after not being selected was good”

        Im saying DESPITE his good timeline, there is a time and place to keep you trap closed. He handled things well but tweeting about an unsuccessful coach 24 hours after resigning just sounds catty and shows he was harbourng resentment and in fact hadn’t moved on at all.

        He displayed some nice equanimity in last 2 years and then just blew it.

        • Happyman

          Fair call mate seniors moment need to read twice and type once.
          But I think he is just saying what we all think and is entitled to do so given how MC treated him.

      • AllyOz

        I think there is a really good chance Quade would have been in the squad apart for his/Rebels last 3-4 games. He earned attention with some really strong displays early in the year and he lost attention with some less successful outings later on in the year. He missed out in the running to the incumbent and the player who guided the side that finished highest in the Australian conference so I don’t personally think he was dudded by not being picked. Having said all that, he probably wouldn’t have gone worse than the others tried in retrospect.

        As to his latest comments, well he made them early so he’s not really joining in the pile on and his thoughts seem little different to most of the comments that I have seen on here. It seems there are coaches that he gets on with and ones that he doesn’t but, from my perspective, I personally would have kept my thoughts private.

  • Glen Field

    I don’t see much (if anything) wrong with Hooper’s comments. The media isn’t the place for a team to hang it’s dirty laundry (irrespective of how it feels privately). I also don’t mind a captain that backs his coach and throws everything behind it. It make’s the coach accountable. Can debate whether a stronger leader could have orchestrated the changes that were clearly required but that’s a pretty high bar (Alan Border in god’s summer game is only one that comes immediately to mind but may be a couple of others) and one that more than a few people have tripped over (Michael Clarke). One look at Hooper’s mug will tell you just how much effort he’s put in. We should be celebrating that and the year he’s had – maybe his best in gold.

    • Patrick

      I think it is an insult to the fans? I’m not worth Hooper’s broken little finger on a field and I wasn’t a great coach either, but I and nearly every other aussie fan am sitting there before the match thinking we’re fucked, and he wants me to believe he thought we were just dandy?

      • Glen Field

        I think as captain, and as a team, you ultimately have to buy into the game plan. If you don’t, there is a larger team fracture and associated issues to manage that can ultimately prove more persistent and destructive. Hooper may be mistaken but I think he holds those views honestly and threw everything behind it. That’s not insulting but it is deeply problematic for the wallabies going fwd if time and introspection doesn’t eek out some more critical self-assessment

  • Nutta

    Hello Drunkards & Fornicators

    Defying my avatar and putting aside reckless actions and emotion and just making some rational observations;

    * Cheks was unhappy at oversight? To be clear I am not a fan. But… Given Cheks negotiated and was handed virtual carte-blanche by RA to run the show until end 2019 as he saw fit, I would say he had every right to be pissed that the T&C’s of his employment conditions were prima-facie unilaterally changed without his mutual agreement in mid-stream. So would I. More telling is to ask about the how & why circumstances in-which RA felt compelled to so-acquiesce in, and thus how he was given such an open book in the first place. But I guess that would require just too much of an honest look in the mirror.

    * Hooper speaking in support of his coach? Have we, on this very site, not time & again railed against those who abused player-power and either coward-sniped or openly white-anted their coach? Now we take shots at a guy who does the opposite and stands staunch? Also bear in-mind this is just as much a signal to whomever the incoming coach is about the nature of his incumbent Captain.

    * JON taking shots at the current hierarchy? Please mate. Let’s not even start on the root-cause analysis of why we are where we are.

    * Greg Martin calling for Phil Kearns to be RA CEO? Yeh, well I guess we just aren’t incestuous enough are we? I mean it won’t be until players and spectators actually do look like Deliverance extra’s that folk may realise we are a bit… exclusionist. Doncha think?

    * Poet’s comments? The guy does very little wrong on-field or off and I look forward to keeping tabs on what he becomes beyond rugby. Good human walks there.

    • Custard Taht

      Player revolt should always be an option, if the circumstances warrant it.

      Warranted: 4 years of trying the same shit over and over again, with the outcome only changing for the worse.

      Unwarranted: Revolting against a coach for disciplining poor and disgraceful,
      disgusting behaviour. Then using power to have your “mate” coach installed.

      I dare say, that those players who power player powered Cheika into the role, would have revolted if it was someone other than Cheika delivering the last few years of dross.

      • Nutta

        Player revolt almost unilaterally means the career-death of that Player (QC case in point). Whilst at an existentialist level revolt is always a choice, just like breathing is a choice, it is preferable and certainly far more sustainable to use prudent good governance and oversight as check & balance than to rely on the violent upheaval of the working-man going to the barricades. Their ‘death’ in doing so will be glorious and heroic, but nonetheless it is still death. And glory and heroics mean shite when it comes time to cleanup carcasses.

        • Custard Taht

          Absolutely correct. The whole mess ultimatey lays at the feet of RA.

          If the players are going to revolt, it needs to be a United front……like the French do.

        • Nutta

          https://music.youtube.com/watch?v=1s3fMaBdWD8&list=RDAMVM1s3fMaBdWD8

          It’s a pity about their obvious politics because it’s a good revolt song…

        • Custard Taht

          Yep. Ignoring the politics, the words are true.

        • laurence king

          Is that the Austrian far-right heavy metal rock band?

        • laurence king

          The French at their best are like madwomen shitting, Modern art in France was almost entirely based on too much Absinthe, opium and sex and not necessarily in that order. Are you suggesting we adopt the practices of the French. If so, I’ll just have the Absinthe, my age, you understand?

      • Who?

        But when someone – after four years of the same rubbish – decried a ‘toxic’ environment almost a decade ago, he was pilloried from then until this very week…
        .
        Even though both times – then and now – he’s only been honest, and this time only said what most of us were already thinking.
        .
        We really do need to give players a break…

      • laurence king

        I think that Cheika is such a controlling character that revolt was never on the cards. Anybody who was likely to disagree was pushed out, the original conspirators were rewarded and were the inner circle. I like Hooper, and I think that he should still play for Australia, but not as captain for the foreseeable future. And definitely no more Beale.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I don’t like oversight either, but if I produced rubbish results for 4 years I’d expect it. I don’t think he’s got anything to complain about

      • Nutta

        Stop being reasonable. Be a prick.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Oh don’t worry I can be a prick. There’s certainly at least one on here who thinks I am all the time and plenty of my soldiers have at times as well

    • Patrick

      Nutta, all sensible as usual except the bit about Cheika. Employment contracts are always about more than just the technical terms of the document. Let’s face it, Cheika just didn’t deliver his end of the bargain, he was in no way entitled to be upset that RA didn’t deliver on theirs.

      • Nutta

        Truth is I don’t disagree with you. For folk such as you or I, deep down in our hearts, we run our debits & credits and expect universal square-ups. However the more righteous and pugilistic folk would stand on contract.

  • Nutta

    Hello Drunkards & Fornicators

    Defying my avatar and putting aside reckless actions and emotion and just making some rational observations;

    * Cheks was unhappy at oversight? To be clear I am not a fan. But… Given Cheks negotiated and was handed virtual carte-blanche by RA to run the show until end 2019 as he saw fit, I would say he had every right to be pissed that the T&C’s of his employment conditions were prima-facie unilaterally changed without his mutual agreement in mid-stream. So would I. More telling is to ask about the how & why circumstances in-which RA felt compelled to so-acquiesce in, and thus how he was given such an open book in the first place. But I guess that would require just too much of an honest look in the mirror.

    * Hooper speaking in support of his coach? Have we, on this very site, not time & again railed against those who abused player-power and either coward-sniped or openly white-anted their coach? Now we take shots at a guy who does the opposite and stands staunch? Also bear in-mind this is just as much a signal to whomever the incoming coach is about the nature of his incumbent Captain.

    * JON taking shots at the current hierarchy? Please mate. Let’s not even start on the root-cause analysis of why we are where we are.

    * Greg Martin calling for Phil Kearns to be RA CEO? Yeh, well I guess we just aren’t incestuous enough are we? I mean it won’t be until players and spectators actually do look like Deliverance extra’s that folk may realise we are a bit… exclusionist. Doncha think?

    * Poet’s comments? The guy does very little wrong on-field or off and I look forward to keeping tabs on what he becomes beyond rugby. Good human walks there.

  • onlinesideline

    Just watched Jap v Saffa highlghts again – Sean Maloney sounds like Daryl Eastlake’s long lost son at times. The big booming animations. Not sure it works for Union – just a thought.

    But whilst on Japan – to me they are a glaring example of everything the Wallabies should be striving for. We should be playing that kind of rugby. Its not the Saffa or Pommy style but we arent Saffas or Poms. Somewhere along the line we have totally lost our identity and replaced it with size over zip. Anyone who says you need size and bulk in this day and age only have to look at how effective the Japs are who clearly rate speed, athleticism, strength and endurance.
    You can throw stats at me all day long but some of our guys were just too slow and Im talking both forwards and backs. We need a revolution in how our national team is seen by the national coach. What is the Japanese coach doing next year ?

    • Brumby Runner

      Well, OLSL, SA’s power game just buried the Blossoms. And need we remember the past couple of years of the Tahs with their small, energetic and fast men?

      • onlinesideline

        Was it the saffa power game or just the inexperience of some of the Japanese players in certain situations ?

        • Damo

          Online, the speed/size relationship is one thing, but I reckon much more telling test after test with the Wallabies is the poor speed of thought and reaction to unexpected game situations that they should be familiar with. It’s a bit like the IF Excel function. If this, then do this. The first 30 secs of the Wales game was a perfect example. This is a skills, drills, coaching issue- but maybe something that should be already ingrained before these guys get into the national team.

        • onlinesideline

          mate its definitely one issue we need to address but aside from that don’t you think we look like a bunch of lumbering, incohesive, slow, oversized, one dimensional, low impact, unspontaneous, underskilled, tier 2 rugby players ?

        • Who?

          The term in the NFL for that is ‘Situational Football’. If you’re facing this opposition, this field position, this amount of time on the clock, do this – NEVER do that. Rugby’s always going to be far more flexible than NFL, given we don’t have constant stoppages and live on more than just set piece. But the concept is the same.

        • laurence king

          They had to follow the plan

        • At the risk of sounding like Im having a go at refs, which Im not.

          I thought the Boks were great at slowing the ball down, helped by Barnes loose policing the rucks.
          Kill’s a style like Japan’s and always will.

        • Brendan Hume

          The constant sealing of the ruck absolutely did my head in. It happens a lot in the game today but I thought South Africa completely killed the contest with their work on their own ball at the ruck, and they used very effective counter rucking against the Brave Blossoms who weren’t sealing off at every breakdown.
          It’s a blight on the game and the top ranked teams all do it effectively.

        • Dont get me wrong Brendan, I thought the Boks were outstanding.
          It only takes a second or two to kill continuity against the fast game and they did that well too.

          Lost count of the times i heard Barnes yelling No, No, No at them on Japanese ball.
          One or two quick penalties would have sorted it real quick and maybe seen a different outcome?
          The Boks counter rucking was very effective and goes against what onsideline is saying about size, not that I disagree with him either.

        • Keith Butler

          The ruck is the worst referee’d area of the game. Fuck letting the game flow. It’s about time a few more cards were issued. If the infringements are persistent and the captain has been warned and has done nothing then send him off.

    • UTG

      Japan played well all tournament but I suspect if they continued to play the same style of rugby over the next few years then teams would quickly work out how to nullify their strengths like the Boks did.

      Probably the key problem for Ireland and the Wallabies was playing one style of rugby that was already worked out by the opposition before they even got to the tournament. The Wallabies need a coach that can get the players to perform under multiple gameplans.

      • onlinesideline

        Kiwis can play more than a one dimensional game but they all also pick front rowers who have some speed and locks that have some impact. We need to scrummage and jump but also play with more speed cohesion and and skill in the open. There is something about our play that looks lumbering and hesitant. Our forwards cant seem to take the hit and then pop pass, or link. We just go to ground. It looks terrible,

    • AllyOz

      I think one of the keys to their play is ruck speed. The half has made his decision on the way to the ruck, the next runners are already in position and are moving before the half releases the ball, the player and the support players taking the ball into contact have their technique spot on so that they are engaging/committing defenders but aren’t really allowing the defenders to get too engaged in a contest for the ball. We could do that if we wanted, I am not sure if it completely suitable to our strengths but it is too many. Thing is you can run a faster game, in some places, as long as you are wasting your energy getting smashed to tor exit from your 20. We tried to run EVERYTHING a high pace and so, its no surprise to me that, from 60 min in we are starting to flag a bit and being over run by the higher teams. We need to be able to vary our ruck/maul speed and speed of play generally to suit the game conditions and I think we were a bit gung-ho on one strategy and not open to vary or adjust it to suit conditions, oppositions, events (send-offs etc).

    • Human

      The AB’s have size and speed….that is what we should also have.

      • laurence king

        The Japanese and the ABs both seem to be able to play at speed with clarity of thought, operating on an intuitive level. And that is definitely what we should be doing, it’s what we’ve been known for in the past. That young Wallabies outfit certainly is heading in the right direction. To be fair to Cheika, I think that’s where he wanted to go, just didn’t know how to go about achieving it.

  • onlinesideline

    Just watched Jap v Saffa highlghts again – Sean Maloney sounds like Daryl Eastlake’s long lost son at times. The big booming animations. Not sure it works for Union – just a thought.

    But whilst on Japan – to me they are a glaring example of everything the Wallabies should be striving for. We should be playing that kind of rugby. Its not the Saffa or Pommy style but we arent Saffas or Poms. Somewhere along the line we have totally lost our identity and replaced it with size over zip. Anyone who says you need size and bulk in this day and age only have to look at how effective the Japs are who clearly rate speed, athleticism, strength and endurance.
    You can throw stats at me all day long but some of our guys were just too slow and Im talking both forwards and backs. We need a revolution in how our national team is seen by the national coach. What is the Japanese coach doing next year ?

  • AllyOz

    Good write up Nathan but I do take some minor issue with Greg Martin being included under a header that says “Wallabies Legends Circle Corpse”. Martin played 9 tests, I suspects some of them because of injury. Now just to play one test would be a real honour and he was a much better player than I would ever hope to be but I don’t think he would be in the pantheon of Wallabies Legends and wouldn’t make too many teams of the century (maybe UQ’s but I think they would have had better fullbacks over the last 100 years). He also dropped the stupid pass that Campese threw in our own in goal. Now it was a pass that should never have been thrown but it also should have been caught.

    Rod Kafer played 12 tests, I think a good percentage of them may have been off the bench. He does a lot of interesting technical analysis for TV but, the thing about that is, its much like our commentary on selections. It is never really tested, it’s all about “he should have done this” but we don’t know what really would have happened if he did and the player also doesn’t have 16 camera angles and half an hour to analyse each decision that he makes. He also seems to think he is doing radio commentary on TV and that he has to describe everything we can see perfectly ourselves. I have subscribed to Kayo at the moment to catch all the world cup games but I will watch on FTA if they have the game because Bray, Burke and Sharpe are a much better commentary team IMO.

    • juswal

      On target today, Al

    • Handbags

      Marto had cancer from memory

  • muppet

    Genia says he helped him grow as a player…
    Well on the back page they highlighted 7As fumble in our own 22 but Willie took 2-3 steps before passing it into his ribs, poor guy.

  • Happyman

    Fellow Drunkards and Fornicators

    – Lets look forward gents post RWC what would be the best for Rugby in our region.
    – My two cents worth is a new comp without SA or the Argies (They are both going to leave soon and when they do we will not be in a good place.)
    – Five teams 15 team comp 5 teams each from Australia and NZ 4 from Japan and one from HK.
    – Eligibility rules for National teams would be anyone who plays in the comp is eligible for their own national team. Eg a Kiwi playing for say Suntory will still be eligible for the AB’s etc

    Advantages
    All in the same time zone.
    Great TV potential revenue (potentially dwarfing League)
    Growing Market
    Great sponsorship opportunities
    Over time the higher level of KIWI player’s in each squad will equalise as locals get better.

    Discuss

    • laurence king

      Sounds great. This is something I imagine Ziggy would be interested in. And it would be good to get the Pacific Island teams involved. And any Islander playing in that comp is FREE to play for their own national team. So maybe a quota of Island players possible for other teams. I think that at least one Pacific Island team should be included, worth the price of admission on the way they play the game.

      • *ahem* – Twiggy.
        Bloody Taswegians

        • laurence king

          Thankyou, I stand corrected, lol. And what can I say in my defense, we’re a breed apart down here

        • Its OK mate. He sprinkles stardust where ever he goes according to some.

        • laurence king

          I think that he is a good (in the true sense of the word) man and that Australian Rugby could do with more people of his ilk being involved in the game

        • No, Tasmania cant have him

        • laurence king

          No, it’s OK, we have Keith Butler

        • Keith Butler

          Sorry Laurence you’ve lost me. Please explain?

        • laurence king

          HO and I were talking about good men ie Twiggy Forrest. He said that we apple islanders can’t have Twiggy, and I said, Its OK we have Keith Butler. I say this because, despite your SD origins, you always seem to raise the tone of this comments platform and your wisdom is widely and highly regarded.

        • Oh, I thought you meant he has shitloads of cash.
          Just bloody wasted an hour designing a prospectus to PM to him

        • laurence king

          What, doesn’t Keith have shitloads of cash, I’ve sucked up to the SD for nothing?

        • Keith Butler

          Good job this isn’t Skype cos I would be going a bit red with embarrassment. Cheers.

        • Hoss

          Having met and enjoyed the company of said Taswegian Royalty i can vouch for same. Having said that he does retain certain SD criteria:

          – Wouldn’t ‘shout’ if a shark bit him. Wallet last seen been carried in the ark of the covenant
          – Doesn’t mind the occasional loud Hibiscus shirt
          – Cannot hold his whiskey and resorts to imbibing strange looking bath water that’s been drained through an old sock – beer.

          Apart from that, thoroughly engaging chap – for a Soap Dodger (always a disclaimer).

        • Keith Butler

          Cheers Hoss

        • AllyOz

          David Bowie is forming his own comp? Awesome, Mars will be in it I’m sure. And plenty of other Star-men

        • laurence king

          Beam me up Scotty

  • Hoss

    Isn’t Rugby Grand.

    First time i’ve ever seen an elbow by a Frenchmen cost both his team and the ref a spot in the finals…

    c’est la vie.

    • At least the frenchman retired for his part in it.

      • Hoss

        sacré bleu

  • LBJ

    I just can’t help it – I love Chieka as a coach! …yeeees I know what your group-think response will be – I only ask that you keep it respectful (to him,not me)… but to dig myself a deeper hole, I actually think he’s been terrific for Rugby in this country.

    He comes across as a sook after he’s lost though – this is really the thing I’d like to see him change, but not much else.

    A couple of things for context;
    – Running rugby IS the way Australian rugby should continue to go – When it works, its beautiful – the problem is it takes a generation to learn it, it doesn’t always work (need to be a bit smarter there), and you need the worlds best players to be successful – which we simply don’t have in some very key positions. What should we do as an alternative…? Jake-ball would murder the game in Australia dead.
    – The Wallabies forward pack is absolutely world class (and young), every nation acknowledges this – it is an absolutely outstanding achievement given what he started with, and he deserves great credit for it (as does Rawali – i was sceptical, but he has been terrific)
    – A few of our backs really shone bright, but we simply are short in three specific positions – 5/8, Wing and Fullback + bench support. The honest truth is that we simply didn’t (don’t) have the cattle at present.
    – Our defence wasn’t too bad (in the RWC) were it not for interceptions, our numbers would be pretty good. We honestly didn’t have many failures.
    – The passion from him is infectious! I’m not sure I’ve EVER seen this level of support for any coach than what I have seen from his team(s) – really something to appreciate
    – The Wallabies results are better than the Super Rugby results. In 2017 Aussie sides won 12% of games against O/S sides (0 against NZ)….42% in 2018. 2019 was also abysmal (don’t have numbers yet) – the only reason our teams didn’t take the bottom three places in 2019 was because the Sunwolves were just a bit worse. The Brumbies were gallant, but never had a chance of making the final.

    We all want the Wallabies to achieve great things – but in reality, a quarter final or a semi final is where Australian rugby is at – and frankly, any other coach might have gotten them to the Semi (by virtue of not losing to Wales in the pool, not by beating that England side) but that would have been it.

    I really hope he’s not lost to Aussie rugby – we need people like Cheika that can engage (and enrage!!!) people ‘across the aisle’.

    If he does move on though, I’d love to see him have a crack at the US national team…would be pretty interesting to see what he could achieve with the raw talent over there – scary thought.

    • laurence king

      I hear Pluto is looking for a coach

      • LBJ

        Ha, I recon Disney could be a genuine candidate for a rugby side in the US….

        • laurence king

          Not the dog, the planet. Why? What have you heard?

        • LBJ

          MLR is gathering steam – disney are exploring new ideas including sporting avenues

        • Knapsta

          ….interesting indeed, problem is US sports are typically very big on video analysis so his “game plan” would already be known and dissected before he arrived

    • AllyOz

      Good on you LBJ – I don’t agree but it’s a well presented point. I just think that Cheikas approach was beyond the skill level of perhaps any playing group but he infused them with belief and passion and they thought they were capable of playing and at times when they got a little bit of the rub of the green too we looked brilliant. However I think it was a little too easy to defend against and took too much physically. But at some point he needed to recognise that and just modify parts at the approach, add a bit of light and shade, learn to play at difference paces. It was high risk and potentially high reward but the percentages are just to small

      • LBJ

        Cheers,
        I really think we were only short a couple of world class players (easy words to write on paper).
        The AB’s choose not to play this way – but i recon they absolutely could – SA also could.

        • AllyOz

          I think the issue for me is we can play that way for a while, 20-30 minutes perhaps, but maybe not for 80 minutes. Also if you know someone is going to try to run out of their 22 EVERY time or even 8 out of 10 times, its easier to formulate a plan to stop it. If we had still worked on and implemented some other exit strategies some of the time is would possibly have made it more effective when we did try to run. But anyway, its done now.

  • LBJ

    Dear Quade,
    Not even Israel Folau achieved a public slap-down from David Pocock.
    So thankyou for clarifying for why, despite your undeniable, extraordinary talent – you have been dumped by so many teams – I had been curious up till now.

    • laurence king

      Knock it off mate, Quade is entitled to his opinion, and incidentally what Quade said was bloody mild. Cheika has time and again shown himself to be a graceless dick over the last four years. If you want reminding, have a look at his post game interviews after a loss (there is quite a few). Pocock may be a good bloke but he was also part of the inner sanctum of Cheika’s side. He makes out that he believed in the Plan, well if so, he’s not as smart as I thought he was.

      • Ack! You dare speak of Pocock in that manner
        Geez, thats like givng Sr Richie a slight tickle at the breakdown.
        Lucky for you its a long swim to Tassie

        • laurence king

          Lol, I’ll have to make sure the alarms are turned on after that comment I guess. Yes, good man, sincere and helps the down an out and dispossessed, hence his involvement in the current Aussie side.

        • laurence king

          A pack of trained Devils and Quolls roam the perimeter of our property and they like nothing better than to gnaw on the bones of an interloper from the mainland. Be warned

      • LBJ

        Of course he’s entitled to his opinion, I’m just holding up a mirror,
        There are opposing views, so the question is who’s opinion do you respect more: Pocock, Hooper, Genia and it seems everyone who worked with him…or Quade?
        Track record of employment is valid in answering that question.

        • laurence king

          Results also prove something, Pocock Genia and Hooper have been part of a regime that has taken us from 2 or 3 in the world to number 8 and led by Cheika, who they fully support. Cheika without doubt is probably the least cerebral international rugby coach in living memory and so I think Quade’s comment is a fair call. Now personally, in regards to Quade’s comment, move on. It’s a comment, nothing more. To interpret a man’s character and worth through a tweet is a tad presumptuous and symptomatic of a society a tad too politically correct and precious

        • LBJ

          Geez mate, precious? politically correct? symptomatic of society?….what are you on about?
          Quade is a big boy who knew precisely what he was doing.
          If you cant handle an opposing view to your own – well…

        • laurence king

          Yep, precious, politically correct. I think that judging Quade’s character and life because of an idle comment that given a bit of circumspection he may have been better of making, is making a mountain out of a molehill. Despite the fact that in regard to Cheika’s tenure, he was entirely correct. Cheers

        • LBJ

          This conversation is a bit odd really…

        • laurence king

          What can I say, I’m an artist. My best work is done when I don’t think.

        • Who?

          Or when half asleep. :-)

        • laurence king

          Have we met before? Your comment, it is eerily and disquietingly, accurate.

        • Who?

          Nah, I’ve not toured the east coast of Tassie since I was 4! It’s also a musician thing. Musicians know that some of the most creative times you’ll have are when you’re half asleep, hunched over your guitar/keyboard (or whatever else it might be that you play). You connect with your subconscious, your mental hang ups are gone. I’ve fallen asleep over instruments many nights…

        • glad your not a Dr

        • Who?

          It’s ok, I’m only responsible for creating large scale buildings. :-P
          I don’t do that kind of work half asleep (well, not deliberately!).

        • Yeah, we had one playing with us years ago..wasnt that bright I thought.
          Then again he was also a Saffer :P

        • laurence king

          Yes, some of my best ideas for paintings arrive when I’m half asleep.

        • Custard Taht

          I’ve scoured the North West of Tasmania in search of the Tasmania Tiger….after a decade of searching, starting to think they might actually be extinct.

        • AllyOz

          I play bagpipes and can honestly say I have never even come close to falling asleep while playing.

        • Who?

          It’s not everyone who worked with Cheika. Our best 6 played for Leinster this year, whispers are that he and Cheika didn’t get each other either.
          The opinion of those who worked closely with a person aren’t the only thing that matter. If they were, we’d consider Charles Manson a great bloke (to stretch things to their most hyperbolic).
          .
          If you’re talking about track record of employment, then Cooper can’t be completely horrible. Given he’s gone to Kintetsu, which has Nick Stiles as coach. Nick Stiles, who according to reports on here 18 months ago, was very unhappy that Cooper wouldn’t follow his game plans. Which was a major reason why Thorn was so correct in not playing Cooper (because it couldn’t ever have been personal)…
          .
          I get that you’re mourning Cheika’s departure. So I’m not going to waste our time on that subject – there’s plenty we can all read everywhere, some fair, some not, some consistent, some (especially from paid journalists) extraordinarily hypocritical. But there’s also no value in the path you’re pursuing here.

        • LBJ

          Charles Manson….really?!

        • Who?

          Yeah, had to go to hyperbole.
          But reality is that, if you’re close to someone, you may not see their flaws. If we saw all our spouses’ flaws, then we’d be getting divorces. When you’re up close, you’re less likely to be objective. There’s no issue with that, but the subjective perspectives of those close to someone aren’t the best justification in an argument about an objective perspective. It’s like saying, “I’m great at *insert activity here*, just ask my mum!”

        • laurence king

          Tremendous tight forward, new the dark arts particulary well

    • Who?

      I think you must’ve missed the stories about Pocock during the height of the Folau drama. His ‘smackdown’ of Folau was equally diplomatic, indicating his maturity, demonstrated by the fact he can disagree with someone yet retain respect and even affection for them.
      .
      I don’t consider either statement (Folau or Cooper) a smackdown, rather just acknowledging he disagrees with that person on that point.

      • LBJ

        I was only poking fun at a dumb comment.
        But since you raise it – i agree of course that Pocock – i hope he runs for parliament – is always thoughtful and respectful, but i got the feeling this was taken pretty personally.

      • Bernie Chan

        Pocock is class and dignity personified…don’t think he ever did a ‘smackdown’, rather ‘politely disagreed’. He’d make a great team Manager

  • StewedP

    Phil Kearns respected! Rubbish.

    • laurence king

      Highly regarded in the fux community. His public ejaculations are legendary

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nathan,
    Not really surprising to see the player support for Cheika and it is returned loyalty so good on them for that. It’ll be interesting to see how the relationship between the new coach and Hooper goes. I dare say there’ll be some interesting conversations.
    I’m not so sure a couple of people with very short playing careers and long commentating careers can be considered legends of the game. Personally I find their comments laughable at best and cringeworthy more often. I think personally haven’t seen anything from Kearns that would take RA or the Wallabies forward but have certainly seen behaviour and heard comments that makes me think he’d be as bad as Cheika.
    Gotta love Eddie. Gamesmanship starting already. I think he’s nervous and this is how he releases tension and try’s to build his own team up. Rock on Saturday. I think it’ll be a tighter game than last week and a lot closer. Still confident though

  • David Creagh

    To be honest I am not surprised that there are a number of past and present players who are coming out in support of Cheika. A significant number of the players who are saying “I owe Cheik so much” are the ones that have had lengthy careers in Sky Blue and in Gold that he gave opportunities to, often to the point of stupidity. In my opinion there are a significant number that would probably only have played 20 or 30 tests not 60+ had other coaches been in place who were prepared to look at other solutions to the problems.

    Ultimately Cheika stuck by one of his Blue Haired Golden eyed children for one test too long, got done by Wales and had to face the Poms rather than the French.

  • Bernie Chan

    Sadly, the more I hear about the intrigue around Cheika and the RWC campaign the worse it seems to become. The public spat (apparently only broken up by Morgan Turinui…) at a public event at the Australian Embassy is at best unedifying. The fact that Cheika chose a public event to vent his spleen at his boss is churlish (was he angered that Castle approached the RA DOR…?), the fact that it occurred in an Embassy in Japan where giving respect is paramount is a disgrace.

    • laurence king

      Not a good look, but that doesn’t seem to bother the bloke

      • Greg

        Unacceptable from both of them to be honest.
        Poor behaviour from Cheika not to do what the boss told him in good grace.
        Poor judgment from Castle to force the attendance when she should have been aware of the risk.

        Just unacceptable that either of them let it blow up in public.

  • Gottsy

    Not saying by any stretch that I endorse her, but what has Castle done that is so bad? It seems like she has inherited quite a mess (like Cheika’s ridiculously long contract) and is trying to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Honest question though because I don’t know too much about what has and hasn’t been done under her watch

    • donktec

      Been some discussion on that in the comment here this week and on the podcast. Fair to say she inherited a lot of problems, had to deal with Issy, etc. One theory is that she let MC finish his contract to then deal with it after the RWC, work on other things in the meantime. So lets see what happens in the next weeks/months and with coaching appointment(s).

      • Gottsy

        Cheers mate I’ll have to get on to the podcast

  • Gipetto

    Why wouldn’t Pooper love the Clown; look at the pay deals they received.

  • Patrick

    How to react to criticism: https://www.planetrugby.com/criticism-not-negative-but-shows-passion-faf-de-klerk/

    “Players always say they try and stay away from it, but it’s impossible not to see what is being put out there,” said the Sale Sharks number nine.

    “Some of the stuff is really funny, and I really enjoy some of the stuff that people come up, but some guys also get a bit personal.

    “But people love the Springboks and they are very invested in the team and if they see something go wrong, or if they’re not agreeing with it [gameplan], they let us know.

    “It’s not because they’re negative; it’s because they’re very invested and we appreciate that as players in that we know we have got a great support behind us.

    “At the end of the day, when we win they are going to be happy that we got the job done.

  • Jason

    50/50 Cheika’s next job a cult leader. Fuck me it really sounds like it from some of the things you hear coming out of the now broken up camp. Everyone else from the outside saying the strategy, tactics and game plan look insane (if not are actually insane), and have proven to be in effective 7 from 7 against England, 9 from 10 against New Zealand, 3 from 7 against South Africa…

    I can not see any metric by which you measure the Wallabies as having success since the 2015 RWC (where we should have been knocked out in the quarters). We’ve only won 9 of 30 odd games against tier 1 oppositions since 2015.

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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