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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at the Brumbies new assistant, Slipper reaching the century, some changes for the All Blacks and the Wallabies out for revenge.

Seib joins Brumbies


The Brumbies have confirmed their replacement for Peter Hewat, signing Rob Seib as an assistant coach for the next two years.

Seib will come into the side as their attack and backs coach, with Hewat taking a job with Japanese club Ricoh Black Rams

The 45-year-old was the head coach Queensland Country in their last two National Rugby Championship campaigns, along with guiding Brothers to a Minor Premiership in 2019.

“I’m really excited to join the Brumbies,” he said in a statement.

“The opportunity to join a world-class coaching staff, and to work with a young group that has already tasted some success in 2020, is an honour for me and a big step in my coaching career.

“The Brumbies have always had an identity of playing entertaining, winning rugby and I’ll certainly work hard to do my part in maintaining that tradition.

“I’ve heard great things about the Canberra community and I truly can’t wait to get started.”

Brumbies CEO Phil Thomson believes that Seib’s impressive resume will help him be a fantastic fit alongside head coach Dan McKellar and Lord Laurie Fisher.

“We’re delighted to welcome Rod to the Brumbies as our new Backs coach,” he added.

“Rod’s reputation in Queensland rugby as a professional, detail-orientated coach is well known and we believe he’ll be a fantastic fit with Dan and Laurie.

“We’re excited to welcome Rod and his family, into the Brumbies family as we look ahead to the 2021 season.”

Slipping into the club

James Slipper and Folau Fainga'a  run on

James Slipper and Folau Fainga’a run on

James Slipper admits that bringing up his 100th cap for the Wallabies was the furthest thing from his mind a couple of years ago – now it’s a reality.

Slipper is set to become just the 13th man to enter the centurions club, which is incredible when you consider he was struggling to find a Super Rugby club two years ago after he was done for cocaine use.

“That couldn’t have been further away from my thought process at the time,” Slipper told reporters.

“Thinking back, when I had the change going to the Brumbies, I just wanted to play consistent rugby. That was my number one goal. I just wanted to contribute to whatever team I was playing for and I feel like I’ve done that.

“If I think back two years ago, I definitely didn’t see 100 caps on the horizon.”

Despite having played in three World Cups, Slipper always rates his debut against England in 2010 as his highest achievement

“They all hold a little special moment in my career. I guess the debut game back in 2010 when I first played, was a really special moment,” Slipper said.

“That’s something all debutants will say. It’s something you never forget.

“All the World Cups, all the big games that are played always hold a special moment. But every time you pull that jersey on – for me, that’s really special. Playing for your country, it’s a feeling like no other.”

He’ll reach the mark alongside good mate Rob Simmons, with the pair coming through the ranks together since their time at The Southport School.

“We’ve travelled a fair journey along the way. To see him reach this milestone is special for me and it makes me pretty proud,” Simmons said.

“But I know it’s a huge honour for him and his family.

“We probably won’t get a chance to reminisce and really take a break until we get a break from rugby at the end of the year but he knows and we all know it’s going to be a special moment this weekend.”

Raring for revenge

Tate McDermott 2020 headshot

Seeing Sam Cane’s smiling as he lifted the Bledisloe Cup was a dagger to all Wallabies fans.

However, it was more painful for the players who were seeing it in person for the first time, with Tate McDermott suggesting that it has ‘lit a fire’ underneath them.

Making his debut off the bench, the Reds halfback revealed that the images post-match along with demoralising score-line was upsetting to see, leaving him eager to not let it happen again.

“The past 17 years, 17 of those years for us have been as a fan, so witnessing it, it definitely lit a fire for me,” McDermott told reporters on Monday.

“It’s upsetting, it’s disappointing, but at least we know what to expect now so next year we don’t make the same mistake twice.

“It’s actually hard to watch, particularly when you see the smiles on their faces, the disappointment in the crowd, just little stuff that really eats away at you.

“Not ideal to make your debut and watch Sam Cane smile lift that trophy, but, for me, it lit the fire and now we know exactly what we’re working towards.”

This was shared by his Reds teammate and fellow debutant Fraser McReight, who conceded that whilst the team was hurting, they were still heading into Saturday’s game full of confidence.

“The big thing as well is players can react to games individually and how they like to do it, but we’ve got a great group of leaders in the team and a great coaching set-up that actually instil confidence in us,” McReight said.

“As a team moving forward, you don’t look at the big picture, you don’t look at the scoreboard, you look at the tiny little processes that probably didn’t work for us and we can fix, and as a young player you, you look at that, you focus on that week preparing and that can get your confidence going as well.

“Everyone’s going to be feeling hurt and gutted, but everyone’s not going to be lacking confidence.”

Freshen up

All Black flanker Ardie Savea

All Black flanker Ardie Savea

The All Blacks are planning to make some significant changes ahead of the fourth Bledisloe test match on Saturday.

No.8 Ardie Savea, who missed the ANZ Stadium win following the birth of his son, is set to return to the line-up.

However, they will still be without Joe Moody as he recovers from a concussion suffered in the second test match.

“In this group there’s going to be some changes,” assistant coach John Plumtree said on Tuesday ahead of Thursday’s team naming.

“That will provide a different type of energy and excitement within the group in this build-up.

“We’ve got some players knocking on the door and there’s been some awesome competition for spots and we can expect some changes to freshen players up.”

Despite the dominant performance, Plumtree believes that the side still has a lot to work on, pointing to their slow start to the second half.

“There were patches in that game that were pretty average and the scoreboard was pretty impressive but at times we weren’t impressive,” he added.

“We made a lot of mistakes and unforced areas for a period of the game.

“Our game management and some of our individual brilliant play set us up at times and the forwards laid a platform for us, but this team keeps looking for improvement.”

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, Great to see the rise and rise of Rob Seib and the development of home grown coaches. I hope he does well under McKellar and it’s certainly a good environment to be developing to the next level.
    Congratulations on Slippers landmark. He’s always impressed me as on of those players that just gets on and does his job. Not the flashiest player at all and maybe he doesn’t make the YouTube reels but you just know he’s someone you can rely on constantly to just get the job done. Perhaps we need more of these type of players.
    I like the way the youngsters have responded to this loss and as long as they can keep their heads and just look at continually improving then I think the Wallabies are in good hands. The part that used to shit me to tears in the Cheika era more than anything else was the lack of progress individual players were making. You’d see the same dumb mistakes game after game after game. I’m hoping that Rennie changes this if he does nothing else.
    It’ll be good to see some newbies in the ABs this week. I don’t really care that it opens up the chance of a loss as I think giving players game time to see how they cope with the pressure, and then continuing to develop them so they get better is essenatial

    • Happyman

      Seib is a quality coach having done it the right way.
      Club with both Sunnybank and Brothers.
      Rep with Qld Country
      Next step Brums.

      • Who?

        We really ought to celebrate those sort of successes more. Like Sampson with the Force. Coaching the force, before that he was with the Vikings in the NRC, and Tuggeranong in the local comp, and Sunnybank and other roles before that. We need to see more of this, rather than coaching appointments made on the assumption that, “He was a good player, he’s probably a good coach.”

        • Perth girl

          Tim is an under rated coach

    • Nutta

      That largesse you feel is justified and is largely because of a serious re-think by the NZRU after the 2003 Bill. It in-turn led to a focused, centralised administration with clear & transparent accountabilities to deliver a sound and continuous production line of players who were well-skilled in the fundamentals. The objective was to put upwards pressure on maintaining excellence at the top and thereby create a continually renewing house built on rock.

      That re-orientation moved well out of embryotic and initial-growth stages by 2011 and is now into being thoroughly mature and reaping the benefits thereof. I am unashamedly envious and tip my hat to the vision, ambition and resolution to execute such a professional and commercially-astute programme.

      As I’ve said before, our Masters and Betters chose the complete opposite path of wanker-banker neo-liberalist top-down cash-splashing amongst the chosen few – through which to wet their beaks in what I regard as an orchestrated wholesale abrogation of their fiduciary obligation to the game as they tried to build a bamboo hut on sand.

      The outcome of the different methodologies is there for all to see.

      We are still quite some time away from even the 2003 intervention-moment let alone realising any objective beyond that. For the sake of the exercise, even if it happened tomorrow, 2011 – 2003 = 8yrs at a minimum and 2020 – 2003 = 17yrs away to reach maturity.

      I need a drink.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Mate the central bit was always there. What happened after 2003 was Henry, McCaw, Umanga and a few others went away and discussed what was wrong with the ABs and what they needed to change. 3 main things. Change the culture so only those who wanted to make the ABs better were retained and selected. That old “better people make better ABs” they set a code of conduct and enforced it. Aaron Smith had to face up to a panel and prove why he’d fucked up, what he was going to do to change it and then prove it. Best half back in the world or not, if he hadn’t convinced the panel he was out. The 2nd thing was bring in a mental coach to sort out the top 2 inches and teach them to make better decisions under pressure. The 3rd thing was not to accept where they were at and to continually identify where they could improve.

        • Patrick

          How much we could use a mental preparer /coach

        • KwAussie Rugby Lover

          I really don’t understand why this has been shrugged off so much

        • Patrick

          Me neither. Instead we appointed the Ron Burgundy of coaches for some runs up hills, gee I’ve nearly forgotten but I’m still mad every time I remember the last 4 years.

        • Patrick

          Me neither. Instead we appointed the Ron Burgundy of coaches for some runs up hills, gee I’ve nearly forgotten but I’m still mad every time I remember the last 4 years.

        • Parker

          First we have to get beyond denial.

  • Missing Link

    my XV for this weekend that’s going to defeat NZ, hope you’re listening Mr Rennie…

    Game plan is to not try to race NZ to 50 points because we will never do that, focus on a tight defensive line to stifle their attacking opportunities and when in possession, retain it by not resorting to low percentage kicks and offloads, secure your own ball in the rucks. Take the 3 when on offer, always take the 3! it’s really simple stuff. to quote someone else on here “meat and potatos first, then the gravy”, Koroibete and Daugunu are gravy, I think we are blessed to have both of them in the team, but they need to remember they are the gravy and not to try and score a try running it from inside their own 22. A “Super Try” may be awesome in Twiggy ball, but it’s not worth a grain in a test match.

    We need not to deviate from this game plan, they might score a try against us, but that should not change because when they force us into a change and we start bringing high risk razzle dazzle into our game playing catch up, we end up stuffing it up and they score on the rebound at the other end. patience, patience and more patience.

    • Reds Revival

      That is a good team for your game plan. The only change I would make to that is to start Wilson and put Samu on the bench, particularly if you want defensive starch.
      Personally, I would have McDermott as a finisher for this year, and starting from next year, but happy for him to get a crack.

      • Damo

        I agree with those adjustments to ML’s team. On top of that Nic White as a starter needs to be a big part of playing tight and smart, unleashing the backline only when the hard yards have been done.

    • Greg

      Fully agree with the “get the basics” right approach. If we value possession, make tackles and compete at the breakdown…. I will be a happy man.

      Koroibete and Daugunu can be gravy but first they have to do the basics. If they can’t do the basics…. then give someone else a go.

    • Yowie

      I recall a bit in Rod Macqueen’s book where he initially struggled to get the players to adhere to a plan where (eg.) player X runs the ball into contact at point Y, gets tacked, recycles the ball then player Z does the razzle dazzle in the next phase.

      Too many times player X was trying to make something happen rather than just running to his mark and taking the tackle per the plan.

      It’s annoying but not surprising that we see the current Wallabies lineup (with all of 3 games under the new coach) trying to make something happen with every touch of the ball.

      • Who?

        Absolutely Yowie. It takes time to bed in new systems. Robbie Deans’ Wallabies lost 53-8 against SA in 2008, with a much more experienced team, because they were suddenly stuck halfway between Muggles’ brilliant defence and the new system Deans was implementing. That Deans defensive system was ultimately a good system (though I feel Muggles’ system conceded fewer points per game – it felt like a step sideways, not a step forward), but it needed time to bed in.

        • Parker

          Australia’s defence has never looked so good nor been more effective than when Muggleton’s system was in play. I applaud your praise of it. Gets far too little appreciation on this site.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Interesting team. I personally thought BPA was pretty good and not sure why he’s replaced. I’m not so sure on Naisirani as while he does some good things in attack I think his defence positioning is poor and he also goes missing in a game. I quite like the backline but I’d hope that Lolesio is included in the 23

      • Missing Link

        yeah for sure, I don’t blame Noah as I said on Monday, he was forced into a tough situation and I’d like to see him come on at the 60-70 minute mark. The bench selection issue for me is whether to include Hodge or Paisami.

        • Geoffro


        • Reds Revival


        • KwAussie Rugby Lover


    • Nutta

      Agree with all of it except Ulysses. Dead set he can’t hit water with a ball even if he threw it out of a boat. Drives me spare.

    • I might be inclined to pick BPA over Uelese, Wilson over Naisarani, and Lolesio, O’Connor, Petaia, with Simone on the bench. I want the old head in a position that a) he’s played recently, and b) he’s in position to give advice to the players on either side of him, swap into 10 if it’s desperate etc. I might even go White, Lolesio, O’Connor to mix the experience and youth a bit more.

      I don’t hate your team and game plan, I’m just really aware that last time out, all that inexperience together in the backs really got showed up. This is not a “forever” plan, and against Argentina I’d be really happy to see your side run on for both tests. This is a plan to take young players, and give them someone to turn to, someone next to them to remind them what the plan is, when the ABs are threatening to cut loose and run up 26 points in the first half and stiffen their resolve, get them back in position quickly and so on.

      Oh, and as a quick addendum, I’m taking the defensive out the back and putting a gag in his mouth and cuffing his hands behind his back if he so much as mentions moving Lolesio to the 15 spot on defensive plays.

      Personally, I’d put Banks in over DHP. DHP’s kicking was woeful last week, and I want to give Banks the time to find his feet and shine. But Rennie prefers DHP too, so I’m not going to fight him and you on it.

      • Who?

        Pretty well agree with you, though I’d note that Banks was more secure under the high ball at Eden Park than DHP was in Sydney. And DHP’s normally excellent under the high ball.

        • I agree, but it was his first game back after injury and pretty bad conditions. I thought I’d give him a pass on that this time since he’s usually so good.

          If he carries on being bad though…

      • Patrick

        I too would not have bought DHP in yet.

        • Apparently Rennie has changed his mind…

        • Patrick

          Yes let’s hope this is teething problems only. There are no more French games to cheer me up either :(

      • Patrick

        I too would not have bought DHP in yet.

    • Patrick

      What I don’t get is that _all_ test rugby is won by tight hard defensive pressure (including kick chases!) cracking the opposition.

      That has to be the go to game plan. The Koroibetes are here to make the most of every opportunity that comes from the opposition cracking under that pressure.

  • Nutta

    Zdravstvuyte tovarishchi

    Slipper – it’s amazing what happens to focus and clarity when you simplify your approach to things eh?

    Tate – so it lit a fire. Great. Good for him. But that sort of comment implies there was no fire there before though. So what was there?

    AB Changes – they have earned the right. They have done us. They could send out their U21’s team for the experience and it would make no difference to the outcome of the series. Full credit to them. To the victor goes the spoils and that includes things like this. How’s that fire Tate?

    • UTG

      Some games are more personal than others. When playing for the Reds, Tate probably feels like the contest against the Tahs is much more personal than against other teams.

      Having experienced losing to NZ, I expect Tate now feels a lot more personally connected to the contest than he did before.

  • Reds Revival

    I’ve always liked Slipper. He seems like a really nice guy, well liked and respected by all of his team mates. There’s no bragging, or big noting – he just gets on with the job, and does it very well. This was typified by his brilliant chop tackle in the last game, and great scrummaging. I hope for his sake, the team can lift to celebrate this great milestone.

  • Funk

    So apparently the boks have committed to the Rugby Championship until 2030.


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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