Wednesday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at Jordan Petaia’s return, national club competition back on table, South Africa’s grim outlook for Rugby Championship and the Waratahs major recruitment battle.


Jordie’s back

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

Photo Credit Brendan Hertel / QRU

The Reds are set to receive a much-needed boost with centre Jordan Petaia likely to be cleared for their clash against the Brumbies.

Petaia has been out of action since suffering a shoulder injury at training before their clash with the Jaguares in February.

With the 20-year-old resigned to missing the rest of the Super Rugby season, the COVID break has ensured that he will able to line-up for the Reds in the Australian competition.

With Petaia back to full training, captain Liam Wright believes that his inclusion would be ‘huge’ to their finals aspirations.

“It’d be huge (to see him back),” he said.

“He’s tracking along quite nicely and getting back into the full swing of things.

“I think there’s a few more boxes to tick but it’s just nice to see him back in training and looking pretty confident.

“He’s had a bad run so it’s good to see him confident in his body again and just enjoying his footy I think. Fingers crossed we’ll have a look at him.”

Wright was full of praise for the way that the 20-year-old has handled himself since his latest setback, with the rest of squad bolstered after seeing him back at full fitness.

“The boys have been really supportive,” he said.

“When he did his shoulder (in BA), he chose to stay on with us, which says a lot I think about the group and how welcoming they are to teach other and supportive as well.

“He’s done a lot of hard work and this COVID break’s probably helped him and a few other guys…as well get back into the mix of possibly playing in this competition again.

“So, it’s been probably a good thing for our rehab list to get back and they’ve done a lot of hard work while we’ve been on the field. Credit to them and hopefully they’ll get a shot pretty soon.”

Along with Petaia, the Reds are also set to welcome back lock Angus Blyth from a shoulder injury that he suffered in round two.

Club comp leading broadcast deal

Shute Shield Round 9 - Uni v Randwick

As RA attempts to negotiate the sport’s broadcast deal, CEO Rob Clarke has confirmed that a national club championship will be pitched towards suitors in the coming months.

The proposed format would see the top teams from across the country come together in a playoff-style tournament towards the back end of the season.

Along with this, it shapes as a ‘Plan C’ for the organisation as they continue to work out the domestic future of the sport, with a trans-Tasman and eight-team beefed up domestic competition still the preferred options.

“We’ve got that as a model, that would be another relevant model to explore should the other ones not prove viable for whatever reason,” RA boss Rob Clarke told SMH.

“We do have it in our schedule and would like to try and bring a short-form national club championship at the end of premier (club) rugby next year. So that would be part of our offering to a broadcast partner.

“We do intend to work more closely with that level of the game to try to give it more exposure and close the gap between any potential Super Rugby competition and club rugby.”

As they continue to work over viable options with the Kiwis, Clarke was optimistic that discussions between the two sides would continue over the next couple of days.

“You’ve seen the position we have taken with our Kiwi colleagues and I’m hopeful that there will be further discussion with them this week to see if we can move forward with a more equitable partnership-based approach on a potential trans-Tasman competition,” he said.

“That being said, we are also exploring alternatives on a domestic front alone, possibly with the inclusion of the Sunwolves, by way of example, and we are moving forward on that basis.

“And any discussions with potential broadcasters for 2021 are incorporating both of those competition models.”

Four down to three

Pieter-Steph Du Toit and Malcolm Marx

Pieter-Steph Du Toit and Malcolm Marx

Springboks coach Jacques Nienaber has seemingly poured water over their participation in the Rugby Championship, fearing that they will not be ready in time for the international window.

South Africa has been hit hard by the coronavirus, recording the 5th most cases worldwide with 452,529.

This has meant that all competitions have been put on hold, with the Currie Cup start date yet to be determined.

With the international window set for November 7 to December 12, Nienaber wants the South African Currie Cup to begin by the end of August or he would be reluctant to risk the welfare of Springboks on the Test stage.

He notes that there would be a distinct disparity in readiness and fitness for his players as compared to their Australian and New Zealand counterparts.

“The longer we stay out (not playing competitively in SA), the further we will lag behind the likes of New Zealand and Australian rugby,” he told News24.

“We have just begun training in small groups at the franchises; the New Zealand ones had five weeks of proper training and now some six rounds of Super Rugby Aotearoa – that puts them about 11 weeks ahead of us already.”

He also believes that forcing their players to be away from their families for two months during a crisis would prove difficult, particularly if a player’s partner/family member fell ill.

“That raises all sorts of extra anxieties, never mind the massively challenging rugby aspects involved,” he said.

“It is going to very tough for the squad to leave behind wives, children and other loved ones to spend six weeks plus the quarantining needs around the tournament out of South Africa; the coronavirus situation is still so volatile here.

“You can only imagine the predicament facing guys if a close relative, for example, is suddenly badly affected by the virus back home. Can you fly back? Do you fly back? What happens if you then hope to return to the tournament, meaning fresh quarantining requirements?

“I think we will be quite fortunate if that scenario doesn’t crop up for someone in our (midst).

“So it is going to very tough mentally to leave our shores for a couple of months … that humanity factor.”

Tahs confident of retaining stars

Waratahs debutant Tom Horton celebrates scoring a try. Photo: Waratahs Rugby

Waratahs debutant Tom Horton celebrates scoring a try. Photo: Waratahs Rugby

With Super Rugby clubs free to resume negotiations with their players, no club will likely be more active than the Waratahs considering the major task in front of them.

The Tahs currently have 40% of their roster unsigned for next year and beyond, with the likes of Will Harrison, Jack Maddocks and Jack Dempsey yet to be tied down for the future.

This process has been made difficult by the unknown competition model for next year along with the uncertainties surrounding how much money they will have to spend.

“It’s been really hard,” NSW Rugby CEO Tim Rapp told SMH.

“A level of competition is unknown…players are a little bit nervous around what next year looks like as an option for them.

“I don’t think we need to rush and get everyone done ASAP because you also want to make sure you’re getting guys coming into your squad who add value, not just because [players] are off [contract] and you need to get them.

“They may have an option to go overseas or go to another club or competition but they have nothing to compare it against.

“It wasn’t a decision [in recent months] because you had no choice, whereas now we’re starting to get a level of clarity for those guys to actually be able to say: ‘well, I’ve got this option here for a Super team compared to something else’.”

The majority of their squad will be resigned over the next couple of weeks, however, Rapp revealed that the club will have 4-5 spots available for potential ‘top-end’ signings.

“Retention is the most important thing,” Rapp said.

“We’ve got a group of blokes there who we’re looking to continue with.

“We do need to add some top-end seasoned Super Rugby players to give those younger blokes some guidance and direction. Sometimes you don’t just spend the minimum amount, you spend a bit more to get a quality footballer.”

  • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

    South Africa has no control over infections and it is highly likely that they will not play any rugby this year. Player health and those of their families are more important than playing in a competition where they can not compete fairly. Playing poorly prepared will devalue a century of Bok-All Black test rugby. Something is not always better than nothing. Looks like All Blacks and Wallabies will have to play a couple more tests this year and the NZ Maori may also play a couple of games.

    • Dally M

      The way relations are going between Australia & NZ they may not even agree on playing a Bledisloe this year.

      And again there is talk of the AB’s playing the Kangaroos in a hybrid game. Seems like they are intent on making asses of themselves as much as possible in 2020.

      • Perth girl

        Pretty sure there will be a Bledisloe somewhere this year. Both sides need the money!

        • John Tynan

          Not a truer word spoken/written.

        • Greg

          We could try a NZ v Force game!

      • Andrew Luscombe

        I’d be interested to watch a hybrid game between the Kangaroos and All Blacks, mostly to see how the players adapt.

        • Dally M

          It’s all about the rules though.

          You take out scrums, mauls & lineouts and it’s basically league.

          There is no way they will risk League players in proper union set piece action.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          It’s at the end of the league season, so they don’t have to be quite as carefull as otherwise.

          You couldn’t have modern union scrums, but they fall down too much, so no big loss. Union itself didn’t have falling-down scrums until relatively recently anyway. They are not a core union feature. Students from rugby school in the 1800’s would think of modern union scrums as completely unrecognisable and against the spirit of the game.

          What might be interesting is to go back in history to a time before the games had evolved to be quite as differen -e.g. allow any number of players to contest the play-the-ball as league used to do prior to 1925. The restriction to two players in the play-the-ball was a big part of the codes’ separate evolutions. It’s what caused union to start again in Qld and Victoria because up to that point it had been seen mostly as professional rugby rather than a separate sport and those states had just been following what they saw as the national highest level of rugby since WW1. After the new rule, Victoria switched back to union completely, and there were enough Queenslanders who didn’t like it to restart union again. In NSW, there still were plenty of union teams to go back to.

          Some type of rules from the past would be alien enough to both teams to make it fair (or at least not obviously unfair). You would also expect that because there was a common point at 1895, that somewhere back in time, there should be something reasonably equal to both teams and still reasonably similar to what they do now, and also not too much of a made-up gimmick.

          There are a number of features lost to the past that could be looked at to come up with something workable.

          It could also be a way to market the game “winding back the split” by “winding back the clock” – two codes experimenting on coming together in a reasonably authentic way.

        • Dally M

          There is already a set of rules:

          http://hybridrugby.com/rules-of-hybrid-rugby/

          And therein lies another stumbling block they haven’t mentioned this time. The guy who owns the rights to hybrid rugby has said he will sue if they try and go ahead without his sign off.

        • Andrew Luscombe

          I know those rules. Mark Ella organised some games using them a few years ago. It didn’t generate all that much interest at the time. They are workable, but really on attack it’s union, and any league team will struggle.

          My main point is that something history based would have more credibility. No one can stop a game that doesn’t involve this guy’s rules either.

        • Dally M

          There is already a set of rules:

          http://hybridrugby.com/rules-of-hybrid-rugby/

          And therein lies another stumbling block they haven’t mentioned this time. The guy who owns the rights to hybrid rugby has said he will sue if they try and go ahead without his sign off.

    • Crescent

      I have to agree here – it is unfair to accuse SA of running and hiding when their coach is actually being human to his team. SA is getting touched up by the Covid bastard and people are suffering. To travel 15-18 hours (+14 days quarantine) for a game of footy when you could lose loved ones is an unfair burden, alongside the concern for player welfare when they have not been playing.

      My business contacts over there are telling me their local hospital is overwhelmed in Port Elizabeth, for example, and a mate in Johannesburg is telling me they are seeing 20-30 fresh graves in a cemetery they ride past each weekend – the situation there is not good.

      Because we are fortunate enough to live on a sparsely populated island, it is easy to forget that others are suffering. It may suck on a sporting front, but on a human front, I think the Saffas are making the right noises about their prospects for any Rugby Championship fixtures this year.

      • Hannes En Brianda Barnard

        The ICUs were already fully utilized before the COVID-19 outbreak even started. It could easily become a massacre as many people are so poor that they do not have the ability to self isolate from family members or to maintain social distancing. I already have friends and family members that are sick…. The government are also full of political appointments in key executive positions that compromised the response. After the ANC government was too slow to react to HIV is appears that it is repeating the mistake with COVID-19. Although the social media may find it funny when the Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu mistaken a ventilator with a vibrator, this episode illustrates that at best that the Minister is overworked or at worst that he is not across his remit. I am very concerned….

        • Crescent

          I wish there was more to offer than hopes and thoughts for South Africa – a very nasty toll on human life is being paid.

  • Steve

    Can’t blame the Saffas for not participating this year, it would be a pretty unfair reflection of their standings. Suspect they, like many of us, will just have to write off the dumpster fire of 2020.

    Ironically I don’t think Tahs will have a huge problem with retention this time round. I haven’t gone through the list of off-contract names but I suspect the list who could be first-choice at Brumbies/Reds is pretty short so probably not a lot of domestic moves on the cards, and corona has probably made Europe look a lot less attractive than it may ordinarily be.
    So for the vast majority you’d think sitting tight is the best option, just as it is for a lot of us right now.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, be good to see Petaia back and lets hope he stays injury free for a while. I hope he’s been reviewing his tapes to see if he needs to adapt his game at all as if injuries continue he could have a very short career.

    I guess seeing club rugby is something but I do wonder how much appeal there is for a game outside of the club you support. I’m not sure it’s as much as some think and while a club champions will get a lot of support initially I’m not sure a lot of fans of those clubs that don’t make the final will care that much about the game.

    Smart move by the Boks I think. I don’t think any of the ideas put forward for the RC this year are sustainable and will create anything like a fair or interesting competition. I’ve read somewhere things like 10 Bledisloe cup games which I think is just ridiculous. Maybe we should just write 2020 off.

    Maybe the real issue with the Tahs players is that they are playing so poor who else would want to sign them – or am I being unfair? And yes definitely out there as a stir. Bite on people.

    • Ads

      I will bite on the Tah’s KARL :) I am actually more positive this year then I have been for several as a Tah’s fan despite the results. I see a good young bunch of guys with a lot of promise, that are short on experience but are getting better. We are free of the some of the sacred-cows like Beale etc and it feels liberating! I see Harrison developing well into a test style 10. I see good competition for the Wallabies in several spots. We will see, but it feels like they are improving faster than the Reds did (for example) under Thorn until possibly this year.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah I think the Tahs are moving in the right direction but I also agree with KB below in that one of their issues is no real experienced mentor around to help them with their decisions on the field

        • Ads

          Yeah I think that’s a fair point. I’m not sure Hodge or DHP are particularly exceptional to act as mentors. Maybe the private persona’s are different. I think they could do a lot worse than involve someone like Campo (who is not part of the Mosman brigade) to help guide and mentor. Although Harrison often defends like Campo :)

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          To me it’s more about the lack of on-field mentors. The only one with any real experience in the backs is Hunt and I don’t think he’s played enough to provide this

        • Nutta

          Seeing as we are now doing goal-line drop-outs and 40/20 kicks along with deliberately avoiding scrums, can’t we just get Bernie, George and maybe Latham to run about as ‘waterboys’ or ‘trainers’ in the backfield?

      • ATrain

        Yes I think with young teams, and I reckon we saw it with the Reds, is that improvement isn’t linear. They take a couple of steps forwards but can then have a huge stumble and you wonder if they have improved at all or are going backwards. But eventually, if the environment is right, the consistency improves. I think a lot of that is mental but there is also a degree of biology or physiology in it. Maturity adds muscle resilience, a young person might be able to match an older one for strength early on in a game but it is more difficult to maintain it across the full game – though some of that is refining of technique too – a strong prop with superior technique will beat an equally strong or even stronger prop with poorer technique. I also feel endurance improves with age (up to a point – a point I passed several years ago). But some of that might be that older players are much better at picking there times to coast and those where intense energy is require – and they know the short-cuts around the field better.

        • Ads

          Agree with all of that. The jury is still out for me that Thorn has any idea about what to do with the backs.

        • ATrain

          I don’t doubt it but I think he has a backs coach now though. Jim McKay?

        • idiot savant

          Wise words ATrain. Ive noticed many locks shine early then struggle for a few seasons for consistency and finally get their second wind. Sharpie for example. Props too find their second wind late.

        • Nutta

          I’m thinking mine may show up when I hit 50.

        • Nutta

          Let’s break that down (as a still-playing 45yr old Frontie I feel it is my duty):

          Maturity adds muscle resilience, a young person might be able to match an older one for strength early on in a game but it is more difficult to maintain it across the full game Yep. Straight up. I’m happy to scrum kids all day and the later in the day the more fun it gets

          endurance improves with age Again I agree. I think it’s learning an efficiency of energy expenditure as opposed to early explosions of gallivanting leading to a later match crash. Simple, efficient body positioning means you keep going longer. Hard liquor at halftime and throughout the 2nd half helps as well.

          older players are much better at picking there times We are better, but those times tend to piss off Refs. I played 4ths last weekend then the last 15min of 3rds. I got a lovely cleanout on a breakdown with 5min to go which laid the ball open and our lads scooped and scored on the turnover, only to be called back with a penalty against me. I asked if I didn’t come through the gate? No. I asked if I failed to keep my feet? No. Exasperated I asked “Well what then?” The Ref felt I had “Entered the ruck from too far back with no regard for safety.” IE – I cleaned-out too hard compared to the straight-legged nonces standing over the ruck who had knocked up. Limp Wristed Nancies. Good thing we won anyway.

        • Yowie

          The Ref felt I had “Entered the ruck from too far back with no regard for safety.”

          So all these years, Sir Ruchie just had abundant regard for safety by not entering the ruck from any distance behind it at all.
          A serving of humble pie is due to all of his critics I suppose.

        • Damo

          He felt he got his best work done by coming in through the tradesman’s entrance.

        • Yowie

          Hey Broo, when Ruchie does ut, ut’s called the “master craftsman’s entrance” hey cuz

        • Nutta
        • Damo

          Classic, I had forgotten that scene. Thanks.

        • Yowie

          That clip cuts off just before the punch-line of the scene FFS!

          (when Eric Idle and Terry Gilliam switch to talking normally)

        • Nutta

          I stand duly corrected

        • Greg

          “Maturity adds muscle resilience….”

          Reminded me (sort of) of a saying on a german beer mug of mine….
          – Wine brings wisdom
          – beer brings courage
          – water brings bacteria

        • Nutta

          I keep telling my wife that alcohol is fundamentally a disinfectant. The stronger it is the better the job it does.

        • ATrain

          I got moved to Switzerland for work when I was 39. I found a rugby club and the first game I played was in the reserve grade – I was still pretty unfit at that stage. I didn’t really know what the level was and early on in the game I pulled off a strong but legitimate tackle on one of their young fit front rowers. I was penalised. I asked the ref (a pom) was it high? No, Was it late? No. But they said it was too hard. I clearly knew what I was doing and I should be able to work out that these blokes didn’t. Anyway, the young bloke, to his credit picked himself up and dusted himself off and grabbed the ball off the halfback to make sure he had the tap. He charged straight at me – I think imagining that, as I had been severely chastised by the ref that I would simply wait on the try line. I came off the line and met him about halfway between the tap point and the line – he didn’t finish off all the best but I admired his courage. The ref realised that their players stupidity had made some contribution to the situation and didn’t penalise me the second time.

        • Yowie

          He charged straight at me – I think imagining that, as I had been severely chastised by the ref that I would simply wait on the try line.
          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ad187efa41c451a714139b18f7aa35f21a47602453a8822ac4d60822637aae36.jpg

        • ATrain

          In fairness it was no great feat but it was very funny at the time and the young bloke came up to me after the game and we had a chat etc (as much as my phrase book French would allow).

          The funnier event was the next game. Both the 1st grade second rowers got injured in the first 10 minutes. So I came on. One of their players looks at me and shouts to his players and they laugh. Then this same bloke takes the ball off the back of a ruck and goes running towards me and another bloke from our team – we time the tackle pretty well and we take him out over the sideline. He is lying on the ground, blood pissing out, slowly coming to consciousness. I said to our half back – that bloke – what did he say before when I came on. He laughed (he was a Saffer so I knew that was unusual) and said, “they are desperate now, they have to use this old c&nt”. I have never felt more satisfied in my life.

        • Nutta

          Gradual, incremental education is always more sustainable.

      • idiot savant

        Definitely improving faster than the Reds. Thorn’s side improves the way he lets out words. Grudgingly, agonisingly slowly.

      • Brumby Runner

        Ads, sorry but I just can’t accept some of the notions you put forward.

        Harrison has a fair way to go before he will be ready for the Wallabies. His goal kicking is impressive but otherwise he does little to enhance the Tahs attack at the moment. Keunzle showed how to play close to the defensive line last week in just his first run on game. His management of the Brumbies backline was a level above Harrison at the Tahs.

        On the matter of the Tahs and Reds young players, both Harry Wilson and Fraser McReight are far more developed than any of the Tahs young players and they were both in the U20s last year.

        • Ads

          Hey,

          It’s all good. I think you are disagreeing with stuff I never said.
          I agree Harrison has a way to go. I haven’t said he is ready. He is a test-style 10 to me which is what I said. More Mehrtens than Carlos. It would be nice to have a good reliable kicker which I feel we have missed for a long time. I also think comparisons with Keunzle are kind of pointless for 3 reasons. 1) I never said Harrison was the better 10. 2) Keunzle has the luxury of playing for a better team so will have naturally a better run. 3) They both have relatively few starts in a crazy year. Let’s see how they play out. I’m optimistic for Harrison.

          My reference re the Reds was only that they have taken several years to finally look like they are getting somewhere. I’m happy with the rate of change for the Tahs. That’s all I said.

          I do find it annoying when reading The Roar for example that whenever an Aus game is discussed inevitably a kiwi will post “ yeah but they’re not as good as the kiwi teams”. It feels the same when anyone dares to even express optimism for the Tahs.

        • Brumby Runner

          OK, sorry if I misinterpreted some of your comments Ads.

          I agree that Harrison has a way to go to be a Wallaby, but atm I cannot see that his style of play will suit test rugby at all. He plays too deep in attack, essentially passes the ball to an outside player without setting up any sort of play at all, misses tackles. He looks a lot like Bernard Foley to me, and that is the last thing we want in a Wallaby backline if we want to improve our world status.

          I haven’t, or didn’t mean to say that Keunzle is a better player after just one game. I was using his game against the Force as evidence of how a No 10 should play closer to the gain line to set up attacking plays. I’m sorry you brought out the old chestnut of one player playing in a better team being able to look better than another in a lesser team. That gets a run every time someone wants to promote a lesser player over another playing better. Maybe the better team is playing better because the individual players are better. It is mere speculation to suggest otherwise.

          I am prepared to be optimistic about Harrison if and when he shows he has the goods to manage a backline attack.

          The way I look at the Tahs atm is that there has been very little rate of change. They are winless in SRAu and really not showing a lot of promise of better times to come. Sure, they are a very young side without a lot of experienced heads in the side. Are you confident the Tahs administration are up to the job of improving the roster to allow those young players to come on as well as they might? Recnt history might suggest not. Where I am confident the Reds will be a strong force by next year, I can’t really see the Tahs reaching the top of the Aussie heap for a few more years yet.

        • Ads

          They are winless in SRAu and really not showing a lot of promise of better times to come
          Don’t tell the Force people they have been kicked out again – they will lose their minds!

          Happy to disagree on the rest of it. It’s just speculation. This to me is ground zero (yr1) of Tah’s rebuilding. I think its very premature to say they have not gotten anywhere, given Covid and everything else gone on (same for other teams btw!).

    • UTG

      Club rugby would surely get more support than matches between two foreign sides. NSW residents would be much more likely to view a QLD vs ACT club battle than the Highlanders vs Chiefs.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Yeah that’s true and I guess they’d only be interested in the result if it affected how NSW stood on a combined ladder. I just don’t think there’s a huge audience for the games like you mention. There will be some interest for sure but nothing like the interest in the AFL and NRL clubs

        • UTG

          The advantage of established club rivalries is that you have entrenched hatred of certain sides. I dislike Randwick in the Shute Shield and even if they got through to some club championship and Norths didn’t I would vigorously support an out of state side to knock them off.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          hahahahaha that’s true I guess. But what about if it was a team from Melbourne and one from Perth. Would you care that much?

        • Yowie

          I think you’ll find that “East Coast Elite Club” rules require the Melbourne team to be supported in that example.

        • UTG

          I guess that would depend on who was playing. If there were potential Wallabies playing probably, if it was just a true club competition then probably not as much.

    • idiot savant

      This Tahs side could be the best in Australia in 2 years. They’re just young but richly talented. The only caveat Id put on that is that they will have to replace a lot of their back 5 forwards and we dont know yet whether Harris, Tafa, McCauley, Tizzano etc have the same talent as the backs.

      • Hoss

        This from Tah’s GM Tim Rapp yesterday

        “We do need to add some top-end seasoned Super Rugby players to give those younger blokes some guidance and direction. Sometimes you don’t just spend the minimum amount, you spend a bit more to get a quality footballer.”

      • Brumby Runner

        In 2 years time, the Wallabies will still predominantly be Brumbies.

        • UTG

          I’m not sure the starting 15 will predominately be the Brumbies this year.

        • UTG

          I’m not sure the starting 15 will predominately be the Brumbies this year.

        • idiot savant

          Thats a big call. It will be interesting to see what shakes out of the Covid effect on world competitions and super rugby in particular and how much money will be left for Australian players next year. The Brums have a lot of players who could command big dollars overseas – Sio, Slipper, Fainga, AAlatoa, Samu, Powell, Kuridrani, and Banks could all be eating cheese on the Champs Elysees next year. Still, I could see Swain, Lolesio, Simone and Wright in gold in 2 years time.

      • Brumby Runner

        In 2 years time, the Wallabies will still predominantly be Brumbies.

  • Nutta

    I’m sorry for rugby that the World Champs are off-limits. But to be frank, after years of Saffa bully-boy ‘give us what we want or we quit’ palaver I’m not sorry at all that they suck on lemons for what should/could/would be their money-maker and glory year. Plus I have no-doubt that a big chunk of this is Saffa pre-positioning for justifiable excuses should they play and lose.

    Meanwhile, it would be great to see club footy back on telly.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      I just hope some of the stories being bandied around like 10 Bledisloe games just never eventuate. I wouldn’t be too sad with no internationals this year but anything more than a 3 game Bledisloe series, hopefully in both countries would be shit.

      • Nutta

        Nothing like a bunch of revenue-rewarded numbat Marketers to ruin a good product mate.

    • Jason

      Nah it’s a purely rankings decision, they are currently the number 1 ranked team, they wouldn’t be winning against Australia or New Zealand and probably not even staying within 15 points. Two losses to New Zealand puts them out of that number 1 spot. And if Australia win a few games they could get to 4th.

  • Keith Butler

    Reading the piece about the Tahs made me think about how a Jack Maddocks is going. I for one was really pissed off that the Rebels let him go when he had such a good season in 2019. Surrounded by players like Genia, Cooper, DHP and others gave him an excellent group of older, experienced mentors, if you like. Now at the Tahs he does not seem to have that experience with a load of young guns (KH apart) in the backs that may be looking to him for leadership. His last two games have been pretty ordinary and his body language against the Rebs, remarked on by the commentary team said it all really. Young players like Jack need time to grow into their roles both positionally and as leaders and I think in his case it may be too much too soon.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Probably a fair call actually. The Tahs rally haven’t got a lot of old heads guiding the backline and Hunt probably doesn’t fill that role anyway as while he’s been around for a bit I wouldn’t say he’d have anywhere the same rugby knowledge of a Hodge or DHP. No fault of his he just hasn’t been in rugby for that long.

      • RedSheep1989

        I’d agree on Hunt’s rugby knowledge, though of note is that he has played a fair bit now:
        Biarritz: 15
        Reds: 32
        Tahs: 12 (surely more than that?)
        Brisbane City: 21
        Wallabies: 6

        total: 80

        source: his wiki page

        you’d think given all that he’d be suited to it, but given how it’s going it doesn’t seem like he’s providing that ballast or guidance

        • Damo

          You can’t fault KH’s effort or his passing, tackling etc individual skills. Heat of the moment decision making is probably his downside- e.g. he doesn’t seem to be able to control his instinct to chip or grubber kick in the middle of promising Tah attacking raids. My guess he is probably a positive influence in the playing group rather than a guiding mentor for particular players.

        • Hoss

          Also known as ‘Gilberts Curse’

        • Damo

          Although unlike Gilbert, KH was around the day they were taught that a straight line is the shortest distance between 2 points.

        • Hoss

          ‘Straight line’ – are you inferring lines from LGBTI6HQ74 communities are somehow inferior? Also whats with reference to ‘shortest’ I am growing concerned you may be a ‘heightest’ Damo?

        • Yowie

          Also, talking about “2 points” as if it’s normal is a bit of a sledge on polyamorous people.

          The Society for Love Unlimited Triangles and Similar will be all over this hate-speech.

        • Damo

          ‘Polyamorous’ Adj. A person who has developed an unnatural romantic preference for the outside layer of a 1970’s cricket bat.

        • Damo

          Yes, In my latter years I seem to have developed a few superiority complexes.

        • Nutta
        • Hoss

          It was so far ahead of its time – it’s spooky.

          ‘It’s nobodies fault, not even the Romans’ – pure gold.

        • Nutta

          It’s symbolic of our struggle against reality.

        • Damo

          Mate, The People’s Front of Judea lives on.

        • Nutta

          Splitter!

        • Hoss
        • Yowie

          I fuqn love that bit

          “What ever happened to the Popular Front?”
          “He’s over there.”

        • ATrain

          Don’t send that clip to Netflix please. I would like to watch it again at some point in the future.

        • Nutta

          Beagle runs a straight line. It’s just that he is running sideways facing up-field.

        • Yowie

          That’s to confuse the opposition! (not that a forward could be expected to know such sophisticated backs-running techniques….)

        • Damo

          I think what he does what is called “describing an arc”, which I first learnt about in Year 8 tech drawing which I hated with a passion. True story: We were asked to do this one day by the guy who tried to teach us this crap. I thought I said inaudibly something like “it’s a big boat full of animals”- and spent the rest of the period on the veranda.

        • Yowie

          gold

        • Greg

          You could always try this one to solve a maths problemhttps://media.truelocal.com.au/2/A/22664716-4CEA-440C-AC03-1A719A3F638A/find-x-maths-tutoring-dromana-tutoring-880d-938×704.jpg

        • Greg

          It is just one point was on the sideline…..

        • Nutta

          My dad used to say ‘You learn something from everyone you meet Boy. Usually it’s what NOT to do. But you will learn something nonetheless.’

        • Hoss

          Yep. I’ve learnt more of ‘what not to be’ from some real nut-jobs over the years. That’s why there’s no such thing as a ‘bad experience’ only an opportunity to learn from it.

        • Nutta

          I’m proud to have contributed to the Knowledge of Hoss.

        • Hoss

          There’s a 6 page tome alleviating insomniac anxiety across the globe.

        • Yowie

          Like learning to decline future offers of private tutoring from Father O’Riley?

        • Nutta

          Why knock back two Mars Bars and a coke?

        • Nutta

          Father O’Riley was irritable. He was running late to get his last bet on before the TAB closed.

          So he says to Jimmy, who along with Tommy, was polishing silverware in the Sacristy – “Boy, Jimmy! Can you cover Confession for me whilst I nip out?”

          Jimmy says “But Father, that’s a sin!!”

          Fr O’Riley says “Aarghh! There’s nowt to it Lad! Mutter the prayers, listen to the sins, look them up on the Penance Table behind the door, tell them what it says and mutter some more prayers! They can’t be seeing who you’d be behind the panels! That’s all she’d be!” and he shows him the cross-referenced table of sins, all laminated and easy to read behind the Confessional door. It looked easy – it was like Confession For Dummies!

          Jimmy says “Orighty Father, I’ll give it a shot.” And so Fr smuggled Jimmy into the Confessional Box without anyone seeing him and nicked off to the TAB.

          First up came Mrs Mary O’Donnell. Jimmy was fairly shitting himself for she was a fierce woman of no small reputation for both piety and a weighty left hand when used on her poor old husband Frank (the man just liked an occasional drink after all – and being married to her and all for thirty years who could blame the poor bastard for that?). Anyway, she kneels down and quietly says “Forgive me Father for I have sinned…” Blah blah blah and something about blasphemy, Lords Name in vain and forgetting to genuflect when leaving mass.

          After the initial shock passed, Jimmy looked it up on the chart; blasphemy was a decade of the Rosary and aggravated by no genuflection was a multiplication factor of x2 and so he doled out to Mrs O’Donnell that penance was x2 decades of the Rosary.

          Together they muttered the Act of Contrition and off she went – seemed easy enough. And so it went for 3 or 4 more goodly Parishioners and Jimmy was getting quite comfortable with all this.

          But then came the last Parishioner, and it was Rosy O’Various. Everyone knew of Rosy O’Various and the way those magnificent puppies and bumps always seemed about to burst out of those chambray blouses and tightly fitted skirts. As she takes her spot on her knees in the now otherwise empty Church, she says “Forgive me Father for I have sinned” poor Jimmy was thinking “I’ll bet you have…” But he gathered his wits and solemnly intoned “May God, who has enlightened every heart, help you to know your sins and trust in his mercy. Tell me of your sins Daughter…” (in delicious anticipation mind you).

          And with the slightest note of timidity Rosy launches into a wild tale of two rounds of oral sex with the local Publican whilst his wife was in the coolrooms and then a quickie with his son in the keg-store.

          Well this was more than Jimmy could handle. He coughed and spluttered whilst for the life of him he couldn’t find the terms ‘blow job’ or ‘quickie’ on the Penance Chart. In a bit of a panic he slips out of the Confessional box and races back to the Sacristy where Tommy was finishing up the silverware. He bursts into the room and rather breathlessly demands of Tommy “Hey Tommy! What’s Father O’Riley normally give for blowies and a quickie?”

          Tommy put down the Chalice in his hand, thinks for a wee moment then says “Normally it’s two Mars Bars and a Coke.”

        • Yowie

          Council workers Paddy & Shamus were digging a ditch across the road from a house of ill repute when they observed the vicar walking along the street then furtively darting into the establishment.

          “Look at those dirty Protestants, up to no good as usual”

          A while later a priest enters in a similar manner.

          “Take your hat off Shamus. One of those poor girls must have died in there!”

        • idiot savant

          I recall KH was a reasonably good fullback at the Reds and he played there at school level as well. He used to go up to Cooper at breaks and ask him what he was seeing. But you’d also think that Maddocks would’ve learn from DHP in Melbourne. Maddocks is I think impulsive in his play which can be good or bad and thats what we are seeing. A touch excitable.

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          Yeah but compared to someone who’s grown up playing rugby from kids through to this level it’s not a lot. It’s one of the reasons I dislike code hopping, both ways, the code hopper doesn’t have that instinctive knowledge that someone who has played from young has. Lots of great skills and some superb athletes but not the instinct

    • Nutta

      Too much too young? I think I heard that somewhere before…

      https://youtu.be/hjxf7jkDCck

      • Keith Butler

        Indeed. Courtesy of The Specials AKA.

  • Jason

    South Africa were probably going to be touched up anyway — they wouldn’t have had half their World Cup side, they wouldn’t have been in any kind of positive form coming into the tournament.
    So the decision was ONLY a financial one with plenty of downside for their reputation and world ranking given they’d only lose points. Especially since the RWC pools are due to be calculated quite soon they’d probably have more to gain by not spending the money and not losing their ranking.

    • RedSheep1989

      yeah on the point of the pools being formulated soon, surely that has to be delayed. it was bad enough without covid but now it’s untenable really

  • Dally M

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/300067670/integrity-goes-missing-in-aftermath-of-highlanders-queenstown-hijinks

    Just imagine for a second this was an Australian team…lol. There is no way they would get away with not naming the players or any form of published punishment.

    • Yowie

      There’s another way for the Highlanders to handle this.
      Reveal who the seven players are, make them accountable….

      Where is Ben Mowen when he’s most needed?

      • Brisneyland Local

        God bless Ben Mowen. And that my friends was the point the Tah players put their mutiny into full swing

        • Yowie

          …which worked out so well for Australian rugby.

          I have fond memories of Link having different tactics for different opposition teams (sigh).

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep that Waratah infection is like herpes. The gift that keeps on giving.

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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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