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

Wednesday’s Rugby News

Wednesday’s rugby news has Cheika defending Skelton, Hugh Roach looking forward to challenges in South Africa, Under 20’s World Cup to be broadcasted and Ireland announce squad for Barbarians.


Cheika Defends Skelton

will skeltonWaratahs coach Michael Cheika has defended Will Skelton’s tackling technique after he was suspended for a lifting tackle on Sam Whitelock.

“I’m not sure what he’s done wrong with his tackling technique … He’s just been tackling guys,” Cheika said.

“The thing with Whitelock was a little bit unfortunate because he was just trying to get him down on the ground. Two guys like that can’t really know what the other is doing.

“Will is taller than everyone, so he doesn’t really tackle in the traditional style, of getting down. He wraps arms around and he goes to the upper body to wrestle guys to the ground a bit more because he’s a big guy.”

Skelton and Latu will find out the result of the appeal on Thursday.

Roach Ready for Challenge

Hugh Roach has just played five Super Rugby matches but is looking forward to the Waratahs tour of South Africa where he is likely to start at hooker following injury and suspension to Tatafu Polota-Nau and Tolu Latu.

“Unfortunately it’s come under these circumstances but I’m going to take my opportunity and give it everything I’ve got.

“I’ve been on a few tours with Aussie 20’s and Schoolboys and that kind of thing so it’s not very new but in saying that I’ve never been away with the Tahs … I’m pretty confident in myself.”

U20’s to be Broadcasted

The ARU have announced that Fox Sports will broadcast every Australian u20’s match of the Junior World Cup which commences on June 3 in Italy.

“It is a fantastic outcome that FOX SPORTS has continued their support of the next generation of Qantas Wallabies by providing live coverage of this year’s World Rugby U20 Championship,” said ARU General Manager Pathways and Performance, Ben Whitaker.

“Our Head Coach Adrian Thompson, his staff and the Super Rugby U20 programs have worked hard to ensure that we have a quality side that will represent Australia on the global stage.”

This means that World Rugby will not provide free live streams for Australian viewers.

Ireland Name Squad for Barbarians

Ireland have announced their squad to play the Barbarians on Thursday. Coach Joe Schmidt has chosen to rest a number of players whilst also giving a host of uncapped players an opportunity.  Jamie Heaslip will captain the squad.

Forwards: Michael Bent, Jack Conan, Robbie Diack, Tadhg Furlong, Jamie Heaslip (capt), Chris Henry, Rob Herring, Jack McGrath, Ben Marshall, Jordi Murphy, Mike Ross, Rhys Ruddock, Richardt Strass, Devin Toner, Dan Tuohy.

Backs: Craig Gilroy, Paddy Jackson, Dave Kearney, Cian Kelleher, Stuart McCloskey, Luke McGrath, Ian Madigan, Luke Marshall, Colm O’Shea, Eoin Reddan, Noel Reid.

  • Pclifto

    When is TPN scheduled to be back for the Tahs?

    • Braveheart81

      They were originally resting him until the Reds game although that is not because his doctor has mandated it. Now they’re going back to his specialist to discuss the situation with the possibility of flying him to SA for the match against the Cheetahs in round 17.

      • Mike

        True. I fear that we are not going to see him in gold again.

    • boby

      The guy needs to retire. Forget rugby i have never seen another player be so foolish when it comes to head knocks. Does he want to end up like Elton Flatley who has ringing in his ears and constant headaches. He also will have grounds for a law suit if they keep fielding him.

      • Pedro

        Pretty much. ….

      • Utah

        Is that right about Flatley? I hadn’t heard this. He retired in the end due to head knocks didn’t he?

  • Guy

    hooray fox sports! :)

  • Masher

    Cheika is an arse

    • ruckus

      alright foreskin

    • Bobas

      wrong, an arse has two cheikas

    • harro

      Why?

    • Masher

      Sorry to explain further. His comments about how Skelton is bigger than everyone else and so has a different tackling style is just absolute dribble. I’ve refereed for over 10 years in NZ and Australia and hearing some of his comments to try and explain what is a clear breach of the laws of rugby just grates on me. He is accepting no responsibility for his players and this just encourages them and others to continue to break the rules. If he can’t coach a player top tackle properly he really needs to look at himself and if Skelton can’t play within the rules he should go and play another game. As I said Cheika is an arse and is doing Australian rugby no favours with his belligerent attitude

      • harro

        I don’t think Cheika is saying what you think he’s saying. If Skelton’s tackling technique is poor and dangerous there must be other incidences of him injuring or endangering other players. I can’t think of any

      • Mike

        So far there is only one arse here – welcome to the club of which you are the only member.

        “I’ve refereed for over 10 years in NZ and Australia”
        Looks like you need another 10 years to learn how to interpret speech.

  • Brisneyland Local

    IT is extremely unlikely that these two are going to get their sentence reduced. RU officials have been purposely trying to stamp these type of tackles for a while now and are most unforgiving of them.

    • Keith Butler

      Dead right. Cheks needs to keep it zipped until after the appeal is heard. The big bloke tackling excuse is a complete red herring.

    • Simon

      I have some sympathy for Skelton, that type of tackle I see multiple times every week in SR, where the player bear-hugs the ball carrier and twists sideways to bring him to the ground. There’s no danger of either lifting or going beyond horizontal ordinarily, the problem was that Latu was definitely lifting Whitelock’s feet at the same time, which meant Skelton’s tackle very almost became a spear tackle.

      But unfortunately Skelton was still involved in a dangerous lifting tackle and the punishment is probably fair. If they had each gotten four weeks, I would think Skelton could justifiably appeal for a cut to two weeks, but there’s not much scope left for a cut now.

      Latu deserves the four weeks, no question.

      • Cramps

        I’m just glad we have a man-mountain that can man-handle Whitelock! Skelton just needs to work on his smarts.

  • Cramps

    ‘This means that World Rugby will not provide free live streams for Australian viewers’ – The ARU needs to understand that until there is some kind of increased viewer accessability of rugby to the average Australian, they will not be able to grow the supporter base.

    Look – I’m glad it’s being shown, but who is it being shown to? The existing demographic. It’s a defensive measure.
    Where’s the strategic plan fellas? In 2003/4/5 I worked in Adelaide for a bit. Following the RWC, people would go to a pub to watch the Bledisloe because it was a spectacle. Punters were AFL mad, and didn’t know the rules of rugby. But it was a chance to watch someone pull on a gold jersey and smash c***s. The national team is how the ARU needs to appeal to non-rugby players – because there is no AFL equivalent (discounting international rules). The under 20 world chamiponships could work almost as well. But youv’e got to give them a chance to see it!

    • Braveheart81

      How many new fans do you think will be engaged by under 20 matches played in the middle of the night that can be streamed online? The numbers would be miniscule. Anyone who is at all interested can easily get around the geoblocking anyway.

      Also, the ARU have zero control over who buys the rights in Australia.

      • Cramps

        Fair points, but I’d rather have confidence that this was a concious decision within a strategic framework…
        Argh, I’m just bitter.

        • Braveheart81

          The Aussie pool games are as follows: Wednesday 3rd June: Australia v Samoa, Pool B, 2.30am (AEST)Sunday 7th June: Australia v Italy, Pool B, 6.30am (AEST)Thursday, 11th June: Australia v South Africa, Pool B, 6.30am (AEST)

          For anyone going to the effort to stream them online, geoblocking shouldn’t get in their way.

        • Bobas

          geoblocking is that latin for rockblocking?

    • Patrick

      Look, it is really simple. Live streaming appeals to the hardcore fan base, only. Fox will replay it at civilised hours and get a massively bigger audience (even if still only a few thousand that’s always that!). FTA would be nice but Fox is a great start, and we should all celebrate this as a great step forward for rugby.

      • Mike

        “we should all celebrate this as a great step forward for rugby”
        No it isn’t Patrick. Less than 30% of Australian households receive Pay TV. Unless the code gets quality games onto FTA TV it will not grow.

        • Patrick

          Sure, I agree totally.

          But you have to start somewhere, and for now, this will increase the number of people watching the future of our game by maybe 100 fold. That’s 100 times as many people who might recognise these players in NRC, then in Super Rugby, who might be that little bit more interested.

          Also don’t forget it is going to be replayed at decent times, so schoolkids are that much more likely to watch some, and be that little bit more inspired (and hopefully that little bit more educated).

          After all, this is U20s, not many sports have their U20s on national tv of any kind. And any sport is more likely to get to FTA from Pay TV than direct from free streaming.

          This is not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow but it absolutely is a big step forward.

    • Nick

      Damn … I didn’t read that far down. Yay we get to pay to watch it now!

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Good to hear that Fox will broadcast the Under 20’s World Cup. I quiet enjoy seeing the future champions in action as well at looking how each country approaches it’s Rugby program.

    Last time the young Puma’s impressed but there was quality and potential everywhere. Here’s hoping our fellas go better this time around.

  • Stivo

    Players need to adapt their play to be within the laws, the laws don’t change to accommodate players. Cheika’s reasoning that it is because Skelton is a big guy so he tackles differently and therefore its not his fault and should be ok is just silly.

    It would be like when Stirzaker was suspended for 1 week for his stomp on McCaw, if Tony Mcgahan had come out and said “Look Nic is a Ranga, and we all know that Ranga’s are a bit hot headed. Its not his fault that he is this way, so he should not be suspended”…

    • sethjnz

      Good comment and I completely agree. The laws are clear that the tackler has to make sure the tackled player doesn’t land on their head or shoulder (or upper body I think). It’s good it’s written this way, it doesn’t say “how” to tackle (with a couple of obvious exceptions) and I’m glad it doesn’t, otherwise they’d need to rewrite it every year and we’d end up with an even more verbose law book than we currently have. It’s Cheika’s and Skelton’s job to find out how to fix his technique — that’s what they’re paid for. Why is it so hard to say “we stuffed up and we’re going to fix it” then moving on?

      • Dom

        10.4 (j)”Lifting a player from the ground and dropping or driving that into the ground whilst that players feet are still off the ground such that the player’s head and or upper body come into contact with the ground is dangerous play.” They lifted him. He then got a foot to the ground first, followed by his hip and shoulder at the same time. His head didn’t touch the ground until he went for the oscar (of course we don’t have a law against diving; that was just whitelock being an arsehole). It’s good to actually referee but the laws of the game.

    • Hambone

      fair play on the ranga call though.. surely ‘some’ leeway should be given.. poor kids…

  • harro

    I can’t see what the problem is with Cheika defending Skelton. If Latu had not been involved in that tackle it would have ended the same way as any one of the hundreds of previous tackles he’s made. Safely and without a suspension. I agree that there is no need for Skelton to change his tackling technique, which is not the same as saying he’s a big bloke and so we should allowed him to dump people on their heads.

  • Nick

    Awesome that the U20s will be broadcast.

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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