Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees a Game of To Knee or Not to Knee,  Someone Doing Exactly What They Said They Wouldn’t,  Club Finals Fever  and European Internationals Commence

WALLABIES TO TAKE A KNEE?

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Advisory Warning: This is likely to cause considerable consternation. It will also contain some personal opinion towards the end.

In a move that is certainly going to garner a lot of attention, if not controversy, senior Wallaby Dane Haylettt-Petty has revealed the Wallabies could take a knee during the national anthem prior to the Bledisloe game on October 31.

Haylett-Petty told FoxSports that it was certainly something worth considering and the squad as a whole would be discussed before they take to the field again next week.

“It’s great that sport has an amazing opportunity to have a say and join conversations, a lot of sports have done that and it would be a great thing for us to do,” Haylett-Petty said. “I obviously can’t speak for everyone but definitely I think it’d be a great show of support. I think that’s probably a discussion to have as a group, and we’d definitely consider it.”

Haylett-Petty went on to add that the work of new coach Dave Rennie in recognising and embracing different cultures in the camp is also a factor in the coming discussion about taking a knee.

This all coincides with the launch of the latest iteration of the Wallaby Indigenous jersey and the call by one of Australia’s most famous indigenous Wallabies, Mark Ella, for more development pathway opportunities for young indigenous players. With only 14 players of indigenous heritage having pulled on the green and gold, it is definitely an area that more can be done in.

Now this is where it could get controversial for some. Please read something else if it makes you uncomfortable.

It would appear that not all think the Wallabies should follow the lead of most other sports worldwide and show solidarity for the equality movement worldwide. Former Wallaby captain Nick Farr-Jones has told the Wallabies not to take a knee, telling 2GB’s Ben Fordham that he didn’t see a problem saying, “I don’t think here in Australia that we have a major issue in relation to discrimination of coloured people,” Farr-Jones said. “We went to South Africa in ’92 when it was opening up, when apartheid was just about behind it.”

He added, “We had a minute silence for victims of township violence before we played our Test match in Cape Town but here in Australia I think if you surveyed your listeners, I think 99 per cent would agree that all lives matter. We don’t have that issue. Let’s not make it a political issue in a sporting event.” Except of course, when he was backing Israel Folau using his voice to make political statements, but I digress.

In saying all this, Farr-Jones shows just how out of touch he is with actual, normal human beings. He may not see a problem with “the coloureds” in Point Piper but you only need to look just a little bit outside your comfortable little bubble to see what issues still exist here, let alone overseas.

Up here in Queensland we have seen one major party propose a curfew after 8pm for youth in Townsville and Cairns, which while it doesn’t explicitly say it, specifically targets indigenous youth. We see continuing imbalances in health, education, employment, examples of differing treatment by law enforcement, and yet Farr-Jones says there is no problem? Farr-Jones’ comments are ignorant at best, and I genuinely hope that’s all it is.

How about you take off your rose coloured glasses for a moment, see there is a problem, then see what you think Nick? Ask indigenous players what has been said to them on the field, then see what you think? Visit an indigenous community where economic opportunities are limited because there is no land ownership even though that is where the so-called “white protectors” moved them a century ago.

No Nick, there is a problem, and to be honest, with comments like that, you are part of that problem.

MAN DOES WHAT HE SAID HE WOULDN’T

Michael Cheika

After being relieved to thinking I would never have to type his name in a news article again, I was saddened to have to report Michael Cheika is back in the news.

The former Wallaby coach, who left the role after the World Cup last year famously said earlier this year that he could never coach against a team he has worked with in the past, telling the Times it would be traitorous to coach against a former team.

He said, “I’ve always felt that I couldn’t ever go back and coach against a team I’ve already coached,” he told the publication. “I feel that’s almost being a traitor; I know this is probably not very cool or modern day professional. But that’s been in my mind with a couple of conversations I’ve had in France.”

Well fellow readers, it is time to prepare the stocks and rotten tomatoes because a certain Cheika, M., was featured in social media images of the Argentina Pumas as they got to work preparing for their Tri-Nations tournament in coming weeks.

I am in two minds on this one to be honest. Part of me is really sad that he has gone back on his word in this and is helping the Pumas. The other part of me is really hoping he is taking a key role in attack coaching so they can be as predictable as the Wallabies were for the last few seasons.

CLUB FINALS FEVER

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With only a couple of weeks left in the club season and the stocks on the shelves looking low, let’s grab a tin of beans from the back and see what we can cook up this week.

In South Australia it is grand final weekend and Brighton will be looking to reclaim their stranglehold on the trophy in recent years and win the trophy back for the first time since 2018. They’ll have their work cut out against Old Collegians, who smashed last year’s grand final winners Burnside 42-17 in last week’s preliminary final

To New South Wales now and the Shute Shield is onto their elimination finals and after the close games last week there should be more action in store this week as the four remaining sides fight to play on for the title next week. After escaping with a one point win against Randwick last week, minor premiers Gordon will be facing a stern test in Easts, who made it through despite losing to Eastwood last week. Some reward for being the minor prems and winning in the first week! The TV game on Sunday (7TWO 3pm ADST) sees Norths play Eastwood.

Both games shape up to very tight affairs, as was the top half of the Shute Shield table all season long, but my prediction is that Gordon and Norths will win through. So expect them to lose.

Up to the Hospital Cup in Queensland and it is preliminary final weekend. While I am here can I just curse the fact that every competition in every capital city seems to have a different finals format? It can get confusing at times for an old bloke. Anyway, after last week saw Uni comprehensively put away Easts to book their spot in the grand final next week, we see the Tigers backing up to play Bond who put away GPS in a much tighter affair.

Logic says that Easts should win, after all they were rivalling Uni for top spot all season but Bond fought extremely hard to beat GPS, defending like demons in the last five minutes or so in their own 22. The question will be whether that was their grand final or if they have more in the tank. My kiss of death says Easts should win by 8.

 

EUROPEAN INTERNATIONALS COMMENCE

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Despite soaring case numbers right across the continent and the uncertainty that goes with it all, the Northern Hemisphere internationals swing back into action this weekend with a few interesting clashes, including the recommencement of the Six Nations games that were suspended right at the start of all this craziness. Four teams are still in mathematical hope of winning, as explained by the BBC here. The Womens Six Nations will also resume, with England in a very strong position.

The weekend also sees the English Premiership final, with newly crowned European champions Exeter looking to complete the double against a Wasps outfit hit by positive cases to 7 players and four staff in the past week. Such is the world we now live in is that Bristol, who were beaten by Wasps in their semi-final were on standby to take their place if more positive tests had emerged. Exeter really should win this one, but if they peaked last week in the Euro final or Wasps can put together a real back to the wall effort then it could be a different story.

We also have a round of the Pro14, which rather predictably has been dominated so far by the big Irish provinces.

The international schedule in the North looks like this- Friday night UK time has Scotland tacking on Georgia in a tune up for the Scots remaining Six Nations games and the following Eight Nations competition. Saturday has the delayed Six Nations game between Ireland and Italy and a friendly between France and Wales.

Sunday afternoon UK time has England taking on the Barbarians- the English are missing Wasps and Exeter players and the Baa-Baa’s squad is not perhaps it’s usual standard with all the international travel restrictions but regardless, this is usually a pretty high scoring match where defence is perhaps a little more optional than usual.

 

 

 

 

 

Rugby
@Ben_Marczyk

Passionate about rugby from the grass roots up. Usually found at Brisbane club rugby games, or being involved in the junior and schools system. Love a chat, happy to admit when I'm wrong. I will watch any game of rugby regardless of who is playing, from juniors through to tests

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