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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the latest Wallabies coaching plot twist, a groundbreaking doubleheader, the Springboks respond to “boring” claims and the busiest athlete in Australia.


Wallabies coaching plot twist

Raelene Castle and Scott Johnson

Raelene Castle and Scott Johnson

The Wallabies hunt for a head coach has hit a potential pothole with suggestions that New Zealand could come in and swoop Dave Rennie out of our clutches.

Rennie has been the overwhelming favourite for the job ever since before the World Cup, with the former Chiefs boss continuing his express his interest in taking the role.

He has shot to the front of the queue thanks to his positive relationship with current Rugby Australia Director of Rugby Scott Johnson, who played a direct role in getting Rennie to the Glasgow Warriors when he was Scotlands DOR.

However, sources close to Fox Sports believe that New Zealand Rugby is considering him to replace departing World Cup-winning coach Steve Hansen.

The leading candidate for the AB’s head coaching role has been current assistant Ian Foster, who Hansen has continued to praise throughout the tournament.

“Fozzie has got the attack going really good, he’s reinvented it, and is coaching probably the best I have ever seen him coach”, Hansen said last week.

But their early exit from the tournament has left the former Chiefs and New Zealand under-20s coach in a vulnerable position.

Three-time Super Rugby winning Crusaders coach Scott Robertson is another candidate that has been presented by the NZ media.

However, there’s a perception within some that Robertson must go and get some international experience coaching overseas if he wants the head coaching job.

Along with this, Rennie has become a viable option thanks to the departure of CEO Steve Tew.

Rennie and outgoing CEO Tew had an uncomfortable relationship, with both parties rarely seeing eye-to-eye, but the Super Rugby winning coach has a good relationship with new boss Mark Robinson.

This relationship leaves the Wallabies vulnerable as there would be few New Zealanders would turn down the opportunity to coach the All Blacks.

Unholy alliance

Matt Duffie reaches out to score for the Blues

Matt Duffie reaches out to score for the Blues

The NRL has announced their upcoming draw for the 2020 season.

Whilst that may seem irrelevant to rugby union fans, one interesting revelation from the draw was the announcement of a rugby union/rugby league doubleheader.

The dual-code feast of rugby will be a world first, with Auckland’s two oval ball clubs (Blues and NZ Warriors) set to take on their Canberra counterparts (Brumbies and Raiders).

The Warriors will host the Canberra Raiders at Eden Park on Saturday March 21 at 5pm before the Blues and Brumbies meet at 7.35pm (all times NZ).

“We are delighted to be a part of this innovative and exciting event in Auckland,” Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson said.

“This is a unique event and a chance for fans of both codes in Canberra to get behind their teams together in what should be a fantastic sporting spectacle played out at one of the World’s most famous venues.

“The double-header concept has been approved by NZ Rugby, SANZAAR and the NRL to proceed and we are very excited to take part in what will be a history creating event.”

“We have much in common as professional teams in international competition and we know that we have fans that follow both clubs,” a joint statement between Warriors chief executive Cameron George and Blues chairman Don Mackinn said.

“Both clubs have worked together in recent years when the opportunity has arisen, and we have been trying to make this idea work for a couple of years.

“This year we trialled a single ticket promotion to both of our games on the same weekend and fans from both codes absolutely loved it.

“With both clubs playing Canberra teams on the same weekend, it was the perfect chance to give it a go.”

If it ain’t broke

Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi and Coach Rassie Erasmus

Springboks Captain Siya Kolisi and Coach Rassie Erasmus

South Africa coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that he won’t look to change his much-criticised tactics as they head into the World Cup final against England.

The Springboks have employed a gameplan based around the impressive kicking game from Faf De Klerk and Handre Pollard and their rough as nails forward pack in order to control the breakdown and territory.

Whilst the armchair experts have come out and criticised the ‘boring’ nature of their play, Erasmus has confirmed that viewers should expect a similar style on Saturday.

“If one understands where we are coming from, being number sixth, seventh, eighth in the world, we’ve got certain challenges,” Erasmus said Tuesday.

“One of them was always to redeem ourselves and become a power again in world rugby and try to get to number one or two.

“To do that, you’ve got to have some building blocks in place and we’ve followed a certain route and play according to stats and the way the game is currently being refereed, and what gives you short-term results on the scoreboard.

Erasmus will have the full 31-man squad to select from, with winger Cheslin Kolbe the only potential change from last week’s winning team.

“We’ll pretty much go with more or less the same team. We believe that’s the way we can get best out of the team,” he said.

“It is a bit horses for courses, but we also believe it’s also our most fit in-form, best available and best combination team.

“It’s probably exactly the same 23, with Cheslin Kolbe being one of the guys who comes into the match-day 23.”

The 47-year-old also revealed that the side will take a relaxed approach in regards to training heading into the big finale, with just two sessions planned for the build-up.

“There’s not a hell of a lot you can change in your tactics in two training sessions on a six-day turnaround,” he said.

“So you can expect pretty much the same from us on Saturday.”

Double duties

Millie Boyle of Bond University

Millie Boyle of Bond University

Wallaroos flanker Millie Boyle will continue her incredible year after being named in the Wallaroos A squad.

The 21-year-old is one of the busiest athletes in Australian sport, having starred across multiple codes and formats of rugby league and union.

Boyle commenced the year in the sport played in heaven, starring in the Super W for the Queensland Reds before playing an integral role in the Wallaroos internationals against Japan and New Zealand.

In between rugby commitments, she played league for the Burleigh Bears, with her impressive performances seeing her named in the NSW Origin side for the one-off game against Queensland.

When the rugby season was over, she would go back to league, having been crowned NRLW champion with the Brisbane Broncos, reaching the final at the Rugby League World Cup Nines and defeating New Zealand on debut with the Jillaroos within the same month.

Boyle’s extensive schedule will be capped off in November as one of the senior members of the Wallaroos A squad for the Oceania Rugby Women’s Championship.

“It’s been a big couple of weeks,” the Wallaroos vice-captain admitted.

“I’ve played rugby for a while so hopefully it comes back naturally and I can pick up where I left off.

“It’s the little things I’ll have to be aware of, like getting the ball stripped at any time and not running back 10 metres.

“Throughout the year I’ve juggled both with Queensland Reds in Super W and also playing Burleigh Bears rugby league, and I’ve learned that you adapt pretty quickly.”

She is joined in the squad by fellow dual-code athlete Zahara Temara, who Boyle believes can make a massive impact in the 15-a-side game.

“She’s got a good footy head and she’s played some rugby before so I’m looking forward to playing with her,” she believes.

“She’s a flyhalf so there’s a position in the team for her potentially for years to come because there’s no-one really cemented in that position.”

  • MungBean

    I reckon that story about Rennie is absolute nonsense; designed to make the Australian supporters think Rennie is in demand so they accede to something that they aren’t comfortable with.

    • Seb V

      yeh and they say they have discounted Robertson because he has no international experience but then say Rennie is a prime candidate when he also has none. All speculation if you ask me.

      • Who?

        Rennie’s been in Glasgow 18 months, and before that he coached the Chiefs for six years. Razor’s got 3 years coaching at Super level. He’s very, very green. When was the last time the NZRU rushed a coach’s development? Which coach ever benefitted from being promoted too early? If he’s good enough now, he’ll be more than good enough in another 4-8-12 years.

        • Patrick

          John Mitchell back in the saddle?

        • Who?

          Mitchell’s results this RWC are better than when he last coached NZ…
          But they hate him so passionately over there. I think that, like Eddie (who was long hated here), he’s probably a better coach now, but the hate in NZ is often harder to dislodge than the hate here.

        • Greg

          Maybe the New Zealand team will take on the sunshine band as attack coach!!

      • Dud Roodt

        I think they mean coaching overseas, not just coaching an international team

    • Big Ted

      Agree, but let them have him I say, then we can pinch Scott Robertson from under their noses.

      A good young coach who seems to be able to instil a well balanced strategy in his team – something we have certainly missed for the past few years.

      And to top it off he can farkin dance!

      • Jcr

        Robertson oversees the best organised franchise, possibly in the rugby world ,from school 1st15 to Crusader , to the back office etc etc . Probably not what would translate well to the Wallabies. Ideally you probably need someone more used to masturbating with a cheese grater.

  • Patrick

    Or we could have Rassie, all that building blocks, playing to the refereeing, short-term scoreboad, sounds like just what Australian rugby needs right now!

    PS: I don’t think he would use the same plan exactly, but he would certainly:
    1. kick out of our 22
    2. use a 10 that can kick for distance
    3. use a designated kicker that can kick accurately
    4. take the 3 points whenever on offer; and
    5. use our outer backs when we are going forward and not as a “get out of jail” card.

    I reckon those five things that would have flipped our winning % way above 50%, perhaps even towards 75%, if you think about how many games we lost by less than our missed kicks and by how many games we could have won with smarter tactics.

    Once we had graduated from international rugby 101 (basics of selections), 102 (basic tactics) and 103 (getting points on the board), we could start to worry again about running and styles and whatnot.

    • idiot savant

      Theres too much common sense in this approach. I can’t see it working.

    • Bobas

      1. Biased selections
      2. Want it more
      3. Run up a hill – youknowwhatimean
      4. Have a player from your back three always run to the defend openside.
      5. If you must kick from your 22, make sure it’s a chip.

      • Hoss

        Your are a fucking candidate Bobas. Would you be prepared to take $800k pa and do things entirely your own way ??

        if so – pm me.

        • Bobas

          OK as long as at the end of my contract its no secret we have no relationship

        • Hoss

          I acknowledge that at that time faeces will follow the usual gravitational pull and flow only one way.

        • Yowie

          But are you “into that type of thing” with Scott Johnson?

      • Who?

        You’re in seriously good form, Bobas. :-)

    • Greg

      This is the devastating thing. What if? It’s not rocket science.

      I feel let down….. but I feel devastated for some of the players.

      • Patrick

        Indeed. That is the worst part of it.

    • GeorgiaSatellite

      + basic skills. Some of the catching , passing and kicking from Japan, to mention just one, made me green with envy.

    • From NooZealand

      And wholehearted congratulations.

      • Patrick

        I tipped them to win from the start, but I honestly would have been happy either way, both teams have come back from nearly their nadir, RA should be studying both!

  • Missing Link

    Morning folks…. I’m sure we’ll end up with Vern Cotter or Joe Schmidt in the end and the Rennie/Robertson talk is just a red herring!

    • Bobas

      Gibson is also a smokey

      • juswal

        You spelt ‘turkey’ wrong.

      • Big Ted

        You deserve a four figure fine for that one

      • Damo

        Good idea, but I think Jack has passed away.

    • Happyman

      I think you might be correct with Vern Cotter

      A straight swap for MC as he has just finished with Montpellier.

  • Custard Taht

    England fined a 4 figure sum for breaching cultural protocol…..fucking ridiculous.

    • Ads

      In their defence, most kiwis I know agree. It’s a challenge. Do whatever you want in response.

    • Bobas

      Surprised with our PC culture they stayed in the comp.

      • Custard Taht

        I guess the Twitterazzi are tied up elsewhere.

    • Crescent

      Maybe. But respecting the 10 metres is good enough for every other team to face the haka. Why should England be exempt? They can respond any way they like – from 10 metres back as the current rules stand. (Maybe I am just bitter and biased against England – but they have gotten away with plenty and again are looking to be exempted from the rules the rest of us have to abide by)

      • yeah, they crossed a line there..

        • Crescent

          Gold!

      • Brumby Runner

        Any side can iknfringe the 10m or halfway line – they just need to be prepared to take the slap on the wrist meted out by WR. Personally, I think they all should infringe and maybe the protection of the ABs and the Haka will disappear.

        • Crescent

          Fine by me – as long as they don’t start sooking about how they are hard done by in receiving the fine – which is probably the part that rubs me up the wrong way in this case. The outcry that the Poms are somehow innocent bystanders being oppressed by World Rugby simply does not stack up. Choose to meet the challenge in breaching the protocol, wear the fine, move on to the next game.

        • Birdy

          The ‘poms’ didn’t encroach within 10 metres (the fine is because one or two of them crossed the halfway line) and as far as I know they’re not ‘sooking’ about the fine. I think they’ve got other things on their mind at the moment (no offence).

      • Custard Taht

        The rule shouldn’t exist in the 1st place….but in saying that why should England or any other team respect the 10m line, the All Blacks don’t respect the last feet line.

    • Greg

      Hopefully that was in yen.

      • laurence king

        Zambian Kwacha

  • Hoss

    My fellow Haka enthusiasts good morning and welcome.

    I tread the every changing cultural protocol line today – slippery fucking slope i reckon so if in doubt crash or crash through i say.

    I’d like to start with a Welcome to Country today and acknowledge the traditional owners of the internet – the many 457 visa holders and serial masturbators who make the net great.

    I notice the Soap Dodgers are to be fined for breaching ‘cultural protocols’ and disrespecting the Haka and rightfully so. I’ve said before i cant get enough of the Shaky Isle Macarena.

    Is it just me or is the Haka everywhere today ? Go to Coles to buy a BBQ Chicken – Haka by the deli staff, parcel delivered to the front door – Haka, Stopped by ‘lollipop guy’ at Roadworks – Haka, my kiwi neighbour using the whipper snipper – Haka, cue at the Centrelink office – Haka.

    Look, i love the theatre, tradition and history of the Haka and i watched a show the other night about the 87 Cup and how Buck took a bunch of awkward white guys (his team mates) through the history, what it meant, the tradition and his journey and pride in same – it was just bloody awesome stuff. BUT – to punish a team for accepting the challenge of said Macarena in whatever way they deem appropriate to them is culturally offensive to the receiver of the challenge – surely respect cuts both ways ??

    I’d like Australians to come up with a unique response and have some ideas on same:

    – call / text in sick for the Haka. The great Australian ‘sickie’ – that’d fuck em
    – Turn up late – arrive 2 minutes in – ‘shit fellows, sorry’ farking traffic, now where were you up to’
    – Get a union rep to attend and shut the whole thing down based on harassment, bullying and aggressive behaviour – down tools and walk.
    – Get new aged ‘men’ (snigger) – you know, the skinny jeans, no socks with RM’s and manicured stubble to face it – the Nearlies would stop it out of embarrassment and just sheer bloody awkwardness

    Imagine the international responses:

    – Poms – fire a volley of muscat rounds at them – worked every fucking were else. Or send Australian troops to face it ‘cheery pip, love these Antipodeans and so useful as human shields, another Gin Winston?’
    – French – no brainer – run the other way and surrender over a nice red
    – FISM’s – to busy fighting amongst themselves to notice Haka anyway
    – Yanks – just increase Tarriff’s against NZ.
    – Scot’s – still in the dressing room working on list of excuses for another shit showing – ‘arrgh fooking Joobeer sruwed us again Mc Something’

    Come on World Rugby – it’s head out of arse time. If one team can issue a challenge then sure as shit it is beholden on the receivee of said thigh slapping dance to respond in whatever manner they seem fit.

    Maybe Mrs Hoss sums it up best when i lay out an invitation to a physical challenge – ‘you must be fucking kidding’

    • AllyOz

      you have raised something that has always troubled me Hoss. While do blokes walk around with unshaven faces and yet shave their backs and balls@cks. There is never going to be a razor blade going anywhere near my old fella – safety or otherwise – there are far too few inches to spare

      • Greg

        please don’t write that while I am work. I will end up in a lot of trouble with the coffee going across the office.

      • Hoss

        As always Mr Oz you raise pertinent social issues pertaining to the pressure and stigma of being male.

        I shall ponder on the ‘man-scaping’ epidemic that currently befalls our society and respond accordingly

    • Greg

      No socks and RMs? Please….

      The whole Haka thing is a bit rich. Yes there is a history but it is trying to establish a psychological advantage. pure and simple.

    • Happyman

      For the Scots I would have gone with a Claymore charge.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      I up-voted, good post. But weren’t they fined for crossing the half way line, not for accepting the challenge in a V?

      • Hoss

        I tend not to let facts interfere with a good story.

    • John Tynan

      We already turn up late to Wallaby games. Usually about 45 mins we kick in…

    • Keith Butler

      Another classic mate but just one question. Why would the SDs fire grapes at the Darkness unless it was to induce more food poisoning.

      • Hoss

        Gold mate.

        It’s complicated, but its mainly to do with Brexit.

        You’d think my spelling would be better, especially as both SD’s and us speak Australian.

      • Yowie

        At least the SDs turn up and play when there’s a Sémillon

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha gold mate. That response by World Rugby is so wrong. I thought the English were great at accepting the challenge and it disappoints me that they were sanctioned. Bunch of pussy dicks

      • Hoss

        G’day mate – hope South Korea is treating you well. In all the noise today, for mine the big news is no Nigel Owen anywhere in the final two games. For all my shots at him i thought he had a cracker last week and was a shoe-in for the big dance !! Barnes for 3 v 4 and Garces for the Boer War III – this time it’s personal and, wait for it, Skeen is TMO…….

        • Keith Butler

          Owen pulled a calf muscle apparently. With Skeen as TMO the SDs are screwed.

        • Hoss

          Ahhhh. I thought your mob were sensational last week and perhaps the best performance by a rugby side overall I have seen in 20 years.

          I especially liked the subdued response to the win, almost ‘unfinished business’ mentality.

          Gotta hand it to Eddie. From day one I the gig he said ‘we want to be the best team in the world’ and has not deviated from that path. Incredible discipline, unwavering belief, commitment and drive and to get there will be richly deserved for all. The players certainly bought in to the vision some time back.

        • Keith Butler

          Yes, they were good. Had some doubts when he first started out particularly in not having a bona fide attack coach until relatively late in the cycle. Hope we can pinch the win this Saturday. Whatever the outcome the SDs have a squad of young players to take them forward.

        • Neil Pocock

          I hope Skeen pulls a calf muscle aswell…….. Oh wait…..

        • Congratulations. While there’s a lot of people praising Eddie, I’d just like to say congratulations to your mob for playing for the full 80. First time I can recall them doing it under Jones and I reckon they’ll need to do it again on Saturday… best of luck for it, although I’ll be cheering for the other lot as I’m sure you guessed.

        • Keith Butler

          Cheers. It will be another tough game. Will be tuning in on a Friday hoping that the Welsh turn over the ABs.

        • Thanks. With the team Gatland has picked, can’t see it, sadly. I’ll still be rooting for them of course but the long drought to continue I think.

        • Happyman

          Yes mate advantage Safa Jerome likes a dockyard brawl at the breakdown and this will make it a slow game.
          Skeen is apparently the only non English Safa TMO left so he gets the gig.

          What’s the bet he fucks it up.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I was a bit surprised at that but I think with a Frenchman in charge and the number of French referees it was always going to be the case. The only issue I have with the refereeing is the way the NH referees allow people off their feet and don’t rule on the off side. I know they are consistent but I still think it detracts from the game.

          Korea awesome and getting up to the border a lot as part of the job

        • Keith Butler

          If you see a fat bloke with funny hair riding a white horse north of the border, put the sniper rifle down.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahaha place might be better off without him mate

    • Who?

      Either we get Adam Goodes to teach the players his dance (he was keen!), or we go back to singing about sheep in an effort to distract the Kiwis (Waltzing Matilda – just as the Irish sang Fields of Athenry).

      • AllyOz

        The Wallabies could all do Greg Inglis’ lizard thing towards the haka or perhaps the Josh Addo Carrs little wobbly kangaroo ears after they’ve finished.

  • Greg

    just dusting off an oldie but a goodie…..

    Q: What do you call 15 men sitting around a TV watching the world cup final?

    A: The all blacks.

    You know you like it….. and it has been a while since I could use it.

    [sorry KRL]

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hahahaha no mate it’s fine. I’m slowly getting over the loss

      • Missing Link

        we’ve had an extra week to get through the 7 stages of grief :)

  • onlinesideline

    He actually picked Foley when he could have just picked Toomua. He was looking great.
    If we just won that match, we would have played France and then who knows … why oh why oh whyyyyyyy ??

    Sorry, sorry – just thinking out loud, I’ve moved on – really
    Back to work people

    • Missing Link

      He picked Foley in Auckland too! two crucial games, Foley was given an opportunity… Cheika’s goto 10, could also have beaten SA in Jo’burg as well.

      In a parallel universe, we could have won the Bledisloe, TRC and at minimum runner up in the world cup.

      • onlinesideline

        this is why I feel for the players – gut renching and a waste – they were the victims in this

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@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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