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Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s Rugby News looks at Paisami’s huge praise, the Waratahs and Aussie 7’s fresh injuries and the Force’s mentality heading into their Brumbies clash


SBW insipring Hunter

Hunter Paisami offloads

Hunter Paisami offloads

Reds centre Hunter Paisami is just like all of us. Only except he can hit very, very hard.

So when a new follower came up on Instagram from everyone’s favourite boxer/rugby player Sonny Bill Williams, it instantly turned him into a giggling school kid.

“I was having dinner and I’d followed him when I was at school as a kid and used to get Sonny Bill haircuts,” Paisami said on Monday.

“It came up as a notification on my watch after I’d shared his post of his retirement.

“I wasn’t expecting a message or follow back, but he messaged me and said ‘thanks uso’ … a bit of Samoan in there.

“Sonny and (former New Zealand No.12 Ma’a) Nonu; them together as a combination was pretty deadly, both liked to run hard and I’m just trying to be like them and hopefully achieve some of that.”

Paisami’s story is nearly worthy of a movie, enjoying a career resurgence after being axed from the Rebels due to poor behaviour.

With a kid on the way, the 22-year-old’s head is screwed on, with memories of floating between job sites helping to keep perspective.

“Every day I wake up and be grateful; around this time last year I was just at home, doing labouring work then got the call to do pre-season and tried to take that with two hands,” he said.

From finding a club that would take him, his focus now turns to rediscover his kicking game as an inside centre, which started with the Reds thrilling win against the Brumbies.

“I used to play touch and tag, so you’re trying to find gaps,” he said.

“Coming in fresh at the Reds it was the basics first and Thorny’s advice in the first trial game was to ‘run hard, hit hard.’

“Now I can find a bit of balance there … and I am getting better and better with my communication.”

When it rains

Lachlan Swinton see Red

Lachlan Swinton see Red

It’s a case of two steps forward, three back for the Waratahs as they prepare to face the Reds without Wallabies Lachlan Swinton and Jack Dempsey.

The Herald revealed that the back-row pair suffered lower leg injuries and were ruled out by club medical staff on Monday afternoon.

With Jake Gordon still out, the Waratahs now have three of their seven Wallabies on the sidelines.

However, the club are confident that the returning Will Harris can step up in their absence, with prop Angus Bell praising his athletic ability.

“Will’s one of the most athletic blokes I’ve played with,” Bell said.

“He’s 6′6 (198cm) and he runs like the wind. He’s a beast. He’s huge. And he’ll be massive for the team on the weekend, both in the lineout and around the field with his physical presence.

“He’s been unlucky with a few injuries over the past year and a bit but he’s ready and raring to get back into the starting side. He’s ready for the weekend and very keen. I back him all the way.”

Former U20’s coach and current Waratahs assistant Jason Gilmore agreed with one, believing that Harris is one of the most under-rated players in Australian rugby.

“I just think he’s a good footballer. He’s a big body but he reads the game really well. He can always be that guy that’s a play ahead. He can anticipate,” Gilmore added.

“Coming off 2019, he had a really good year with the Junior Wallabies. He would have captained Junior Wallabies last year if not for COVID.

“He picked up a couple of niggles last year and has done the same this year.

“I know he’s been a little bit frustrated with it. But touch wood, he’s through that. He just needs to play back-to-back games now and show what he can do.”

Racing the clock

Ellia Green

Ellia Green

Australia’s gold medal-winning women’s sevens side are preparing to enter the Tokyo Games underdone as a trio of stars recover from injury.

Gold medal winners Emma Tonegato (shoulder), Chloe Dalton (back) and Ellia Green (knee) have all recently gone under the knife, limiting their preparations.

“She’s going to be racing the clock,” head coach John Manenti told foxsports.com.au on Tonegato.

“The advantage that I’ve got with her is that I know her footy and knowledge is good.

“Yes, she’s got to tick the boxes from a rehab and athletic point of view but it’s not like I need to spend time teaching her how we’re playing.

“She’s a smart girl and experienced. If she can get her shoulder ready to go, she’ll be back in the mix.

“They’re the big ones. Those three are Olympians.”

Australia and gold medal favourites New Zealand haven’t been able to play a tournament in a year, leaving Manenti to concede that it’s felt like ‘groundhog day’.

“It’s groundhog around here,” Manenti quipped.

“Just training and waiting for a game really — which we’ve been doing now since February last year.

“We’re hopeful we’ll get some games against New Zealand and Fiji in June, which could well be our only hitout before the Olympics, but it is what it is.”

They are set to ramp up preparations with the AON Sevens tournament, set to start this week.

“We’re going to play a lot of the girls through Aon, which will give them some footy. But it won’t give them much time together,” he said.

“We’ve got to weigh up are we better training and playing. But it’ll nice for them to just be able to play some games.”

There will be an announcement this morning regarding the distribution of Olympic talent across the competition, with dual-code star Charlotte Caslick expected to be the main drawcard.

Anything is possible

Jake McIntyre looks to pass

Jake McIntyre looks to pass

The Western Force has gone full Kevin Garnett as they prepare for a date with the defending champions, believing that anything can happen.

Having fallen in their opening game of the season, the club has bounced back, managing to defeat the Tahs and narrow loss to the Rebels and Reds.

Full of confidence, star Argentinian scrumhalf Tomás Cubelli is confident that they can return to his former home and cause a major boilover.

“The whole competition is competitive. All the games are very close, and anyone can beat anyone,” he said on Tuesday.

“I think we can do some great things over there and learn from the challenge of playing the reigning champions in Round 1.”

Another player set for a return to the ACT is Tevita Kuridrani, who was a mainstay of their backline over the past five years.

He believes that the club needs to work on their execution towards the back end of games if they wish to complete their remarkable bounce-back season with a win.

“I’m really looking forward to playing the Brumbies in Canberra. There’s been a few messages from old teammates already this week,” the experienced centre said.

“We missed out on a few opportunities to close out the game last Saturday, but we learned a lot from that game.

“I think we can improve our execution. In those closing moments, we need to execute to win games.”

  • Adrian

    Big guys in Shute Shield needed for Tahs tight 5.

    They won’t come of course because they have real jobs and aren’t in the squad.

    Unfortunately, Swinton and Dempsey won’t be missed, because they are out of form. Ok back row replacements are available, though the best tacklers amongst them are small.

    Best tactic v Reds?

    A. Taunt Tuopo and LSL and get both sent off, then try to get a steady stream of Red yellow cards, as the sent off guys get replaced after 20 min
    OR
    B. Use old fashioned NSW moves involving criss-cross moves, flick passes and angled runners almost every play, but no two plays the same

    • Jason

      Not just SS but QP TOO! Heck even the Super Cup & Super Premiership (NRL feeder comps). They need EVERYONE AND ANYONE will any talent they can get. Just fill the roster on one or two year deals throw them all out there and see how sticks.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Hahahaha that’s a tactic that might just work mate. Both of them give away far too many penalties and need to pull their heads in. The Tahs look good when they move the ball like that, it’s just the lack of good handling skills that let them down. Far too many passes go behind or over the receiver and far too many knock ons.
      Agree 100% about Swinton and too a slightly lesser extent Dempsey. Both need stop trying to prove how tough they are and just play rugby

      • Mike D

        Might actually work in the Tahs’ favour. When you’ve got the exceptional names out there I think sometimes other players hang back a bit, waiting for the big guns to lead. But once they’re gone, it’s like everyone else puts their hand up to have a crack – the whole team works 10% harder to make up for the perceived loss of skill/experience.

    • Happyman

      You just signed George Francis from Qld about two weeks ago. He can scrum and was the standout prop in Qld last year. I expect him to get game time once he knows the pattern.

  • KwAussie Rugby Lover

    Thanks Nathan, Petaia is certainly playing well and so good to see improvements in his game.

    The hits just keep coming for the Tahs, not so sure either will be missed that much as both are having a pretty shit year. Far too much trying to be the toughest man on the field and not enough just good rugby.

    Go the Force! I actually think they could do ok if they keep their composure and keep the ball moving. I’d also pressure White as he doesn’t handle pressure well and his game goes to pieces a bit when he gets wound up.

    Be good to see the girls playing again as they put on a great show with some really good skills.

  • Huw Tindall

    Let’s just have the Tahs play the Reds B team again like pre season so we have a chance of a competitive game. Can give the Reds A team a. Bonus point win and the week off.

  • Reds Revival

    Is it time to start the discussion about replacing the Waratahs with the Sunwolves?
    Too soon??

    • Tah Tragic

      Now you’re just being mean.

      • Reds Revival

        The suggestion comes from a place of love … For the Sunwolves Arooo Aroo

        • Yowie

          What’s not to like with a (former) mascot with crazy eyes like this:

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/8e26e5ea087907a22aaf4862c7e07b48fa379fa51322b919f29808ab2d715b1c.jpg

        • Nutta

          The PINGA! I luv’d that mascot. Plus it always gave me flashbacks of the Fantastic Mr Fox movie with George Clooney doing the voiceover.

        • Keith Butler

          Paid a visit to Hoss when the Wolves beat the Tahs in Newcastle a few seasons back. The Mayoress and I were arooing all evening but the man took it in good part. Took a bottle of Knob Creek for full redemption though.

    • Timbo

      Why not a hybrid SunTahs? With their additional playing roster we might be able to field a team. Might…

      • Yowie

        Wariwolves?

        • Timbo

          Less worried about the name and more focused on the pending phone call asking me to pack against Tupou this weekend.

        • Yowie

          Less than ideal for you if Adrian’s “plan A” is to be followed (“A. Taunt Tupou and LSL and get both sent off,”).

      • Nutta

        They did have Sam Wykes roll out for them last weekend.

        • Timbo

          Well they could do worse. I’d say he’ll get a run on this week. why not?

        • Nutta

          I reckon so. In the absence of Dempsey & Swinton the cupboard is a bit bare otherwise. But I’ve always rates Wykes.

    • KwAussie Rugby Lover

      Now that’s top level shit stirring. I’m impressed

    • Greg

      Too soon?

      Might be too late.

    • Keith Butler

      The NSW Wet Wipes.

    • Nutta

      I will say up-front that I am no fan of the Tarts. As a matter of fact I outright despise so much of the NSW Rugby infrastructure on so many levels I find it difficult to articulate without smashing keyboards.

      However I am a big believer in three things: under-dogs, the contempt that sport has for form (of lack thereof) and in the universe having a sense of humour.

      Therefore I am now putting $10 on a Tarts win over the Pinko’s. There are too many signs of an impending, inexplicable upset to ignore.

      • KwAussie Rugby Lover

        Probably a waste of $10 but it can be a funny old game at times. Good luck

    • Hoss
  • Greg

    I know this is way off topic…. but in the wake of a staffer masturbating on a colleagues desk in Canberra, I understand that there will be some sort of cultural sensitivity training. Can anyone see how that sort of behaviour can be changed by training?

    Maybe my workplace is unusual…. but I haven’t seen that around the office.

    • Yowie

      I won’t link it here, but do a youtube search for “Big Train work place w@nking” to see some fine sketch comedy work of Simon Pegg & others.

      • RedAnt

        That show was seriously under-rated!

    • Nutta

      I can see how that behaviour can be changed by training; make anyone affiliated and still employed train the same maneuver with Deep Heat as a lube. They will never do it again on their Bosses desk, on any desk, or even on planet earth for that matter.

      Alternatively, issue all Parliamentary Staffers with those anti-bark dog collars but on a manual setting. Then each time they do something barbarically dumb, zap Gods own life out of them. Twice.

      I did 6yrs in a Christian Bros boarding school with a well-earned reputation for barbarity. I learnt lots. I have plenty more strategies for inflicting unavoidable punishments on those judged worthy and anyone else in the vicinity.

      • Keith Butler

        Nah. Sloans Linament is the answer. In my playing days my old man was the team massage man. He was rubbing some Sloans into the lower back of one of our props not noted for his mobility, when he accidentally spilt some down the arse crack. It had the desired effect, said prop was like the Energiser Bunny on speed for 80 mins.

        • Nutta

          Sloans. Wow. I haven’t seen or heard of that bloody dinosaur juice in years! Do they even still make it? I’m googling that.

        • Nutta

          Ok, so it existed since the American Civil War and started life as a horse rub before being remarketed towards humans. Originally the active ingredients were capsicum and chili juices. Sold to Pfizer in 2000. Still available for sale in Chemists Warehouse!?!? Bloody Hell.

        • Reds Revival

          I have heard that the way all of those linaments and rubs work is that they simply burn the skin in the affected area, which increases the blood flow to that area. It is the increased blood flow that actually speeds up the movement and healing.
          In my naivety, I always thought that the cream was absorbed into the muscles.

    • Keith Butler

      Wear a condom.

    • Damo

      Every HR manager’s dream. You’re allowed to bring the guy in and tell him “don’t be such a wanker”.

  • RedAnt

    There’s just no way I could ever be a top-level rugby coach. I mean, how on earth do you come up with such pearls of wisdom as ‘run hard, hit hard’?

    • Yowie

      Not all coaches have such clarity of communication, but we’re having a break from talking about old-mate today.

      • RedAnt

        I think Iknowwatchyamean

  • Keith Butler

    Just had to share this gem from Bill Sweeney RFU chief executive after my SDs abject 6Ns performance. “ We have to lift the hood up, have a look in there and see if we’re heading in the right direction”. Got news for Bill and Eddie, not only have the wheels fallen off but some bastards have nicked the engine. And Hoss thinks he has problems with NSWRU.

    • Yowie

      haha, checking the engine bay for navigation reasons. I love a good mixed metaphor.

    • This morning’s sports section on Today reckons the RFU might boot Fast Eddie.

      Not sure who is out there to replace him with, and the longer story wasn’t quite as knives out, but it was really pretty negative still.

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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