Happy Thursday everyone. well isn’t a week a long time in sports. We’re happy the Kiwis and Saffas are keeping the sharp implements away from the fanatics. My highlight was seeing Michael Cheika speaking Spanish at the press conference.
Let’s get into it.
Wallabies, it’s the Hope That Kills You – Opinion Part 2
Well, after the game against South Africa this last week here are some thoughts.
Firstly a quote from an NFL pod I listen to about performance. “Your character sets your floor and your ability sets your ceiling.”
So we’ve seen the bipolar nature of the Wallaby performances over the last month. Now it’s time to see where the floor is at in terms of performance. As a fan I just want to see the effort and execution at the same level as last week. If we get beaten then that’s life. If we replicate the performance of the second test against Argentina, then once more we will all be on the roundabout of despair.
Hospital Cup (Brisbane Club Competition)
This week we enter the finals of the Brisbane club comp. The finals see minor premiers Wests take on University of Queensland (UQ) and Brothers take on GPS (Ashgrove).
WESTS v UNIVERSITY of QUEENSLAND
Wests have gone all in this year with recruitment and feature a side full of Reds and Rebels who play a fairly forward dominated game. They also possess an electric backline that hasn’t quite gelled as yet. Across the board they feature some current Wallabies in Uelese, Dangunu and Vunivalu. They have been my pick for most of the year but seem to be limping a bit into finals.
A non-contracted player you haven’t heard of to watch is Connor Anderson. Can play across the backrow and he’s an excellent lineout target who’s also good on the floor.
University of Queensland
UQ are the most successful team of the last ten years in Qld and have once again put together an excellent squad with lots of Reds contracted players. They always seem to play well at this time of the year and have class and speed across the park. There game is based on speed of ruck and playing from everywhere. This weekend they’ll feature Jock Campbell at fullback who many would want to get a chance at the Wallabies.
It’s hard to find a non-contracted player to watch in the UQ squad but given an injury to Lucas Ripley last week I’d go with TJ Siakisini, a big ball running centre who gets gain line for days.
My heart says Wests but if I were betting my money I couldn’t go past UQ.
Brothers v GPS
Brothers are a well run club and build the success on an excellent Colts program that feeds into all grades. They play an excellent all court game with decent forwards and some real speed out wide. Again, come finals time they get a huge number of Reds back into the fold with O’Connor and Wilson being the most prominent.
Non-contracted player to watch is Mosiah Christian. Formerly of UQ he has a great pass and excellent running game.
GPS have the least amount of Super contracted players coming back into club. In an increasingly young man’s league the GPS club also possesses the oldest roster in the comp. The GPS game is built on forward dominance and a strong set piece; however, this game plan can be found wanting in the heat of a Queensland Spring. Super Rugby players in the squad include Tedi Tela (Drua) and Floyd Aubery (Reds), he’s a real talent.
Non-contracted player to watch for GPS would be Jason Hofmeyr, a talented ten who can run a little hot and cold.
Brothers should win this game (I feel a little dirty saying it)
More issues with economics for English rugby.
Beleaguered Worcester are set to be plunged into a fresh stage of its financial crisis as a leaked email has reportedly revealed that players and staff won’t be paid their end-of-August wages due to HMRC having allegedly frozen the Gallagher Premiership club’s accounts. This will affect the English game as players and coached will become unemployed resulting in a smaller market for overseas players. In an Australian context this will affect Fergus Lee-Warner who recently signed a contract with Worcester. Certainly he’ll shortly be unemployed and scrabbling around for a contract.
Wallaby backs pursuit of Suaalii after reports of $10 million mega-deal
Rugby Australia should chase Sydney Roosters flyer Joseph Suaalii if it will help them win a World Cup, current Wallaby Jed Holloway says.
Amid reports the 19 year old sensation will field a monumental contract offer from RA with an eye to the home World Cup in 2027, flanker Holloway said the Wallabies’ already strong backline depth could only be improved through the addition of Suaalii.
My personal opinion is that we did this twenty years ago and wasn’t that a stupid idea. I don’t watch jail rugby and frankly don’t know if the kid is good or not. However, I will say this: in a world of competing interests I’d rather see RA say we could go after some of these guys or for $2 million a year we could have a 5 team women’s league with a $400,000 budget for players per year. I have no interest in league players and would rather put the money into development and grassroots.
One last thing: this is not soccer, or is it?
Let’s look at a couple of incidents.
French number 8 gets tackled hard knocks ball on and realising he’s been collected in the head takes a dive. The offending player gets a red card and his team has to play for 60 minutes a man down.
English 2nd row pushes his opponent in the head and pulls his hair in a maul. The 2nd rower retaliates in an old school way (not even a good headbutt) and gets sent off. His team has to play for 60 minutes a man down.
Australian scrum half gets hit on the face with a slap, realises it and dives onto the floor. His opponent gets yellow and his team gets possession and a relieving penalty.
World Rugby has opened the door to diving and cannot complain when the players walk through the door. Highly competitive people will look for any advantage.
What would you do?