Doth birdsong sound sweeter? Doth thy sun sit more gently on thy cheek? Doth the wind embrace you warmly like an old friend?
Shit-yeah it does.
Their is pride & steel back in the gold jersey. Hoop’s best ever as captain, stars from 1-23 and the tantalising promise of of better days ahead.
But as the Pom’s say ‘
Boris is a dickhead toff’ ‘it’s the hope that kill’s you’……
Sorry for no cover picture, but the platform we use for creating this
crap stuff has gremlins in it – so no cover picture today – I blame Yowie & Sully, mostly Yowie. Embed from Getty Images
GAGR Player Ratings.
1-5 Did they play? 6-7 Did what they should – whacky-doo 7.01-8 Above average 8.01 -9 Very Strong & consistent 9.01 – 10 Buy the man a beer – outstanding
1. Jimmy Slips. Outstanding at set piece, busy on the field and stood up to be counted 8.0
2. Lightning. Possibly best game ever in gold, parked the shite in his game and just hooked in. Terrific at the core stuff and strong in D. He has found his ‘template’ now – let’s see him back it up. 8.5
3. 7A’s. Partnered with Slips to completely nullify the Frogs and snuff out supposed numerical advantage. 8.0
4. Lurch. I said after his bench cameo in game #1 he played like a 40 test veteran and so it came to pass. Out-muscled, out-thought and out-played the vaunted French locks 8.5
5. FKA. Possibly his best in gold. Did a mile of grunt work and with Lurch completely snuffed out the French locks and loosies impact. 8.0
6. Mad Dog. What a shift. Busy and physical on both sides of the ball, used at lineout time, made his tackles, didn’t shirk the rough stuff and left it all on the paddock. 8.0
7. Lee Majors. Possible best ever game as el Capitán. Managed the ref sublimely, took all the right options AND played the house down. GAGR MOTM & Series. 9
8. The other Isi. A complete #8’s performance. Relentless with the pill, made some stinging tackles, was a lineout option and only just pipped by the skipper for MOTM honours 8.75
9. Billy the kid. Looked sharp all night, ran some great lines – more than all that though he was the general who directed his forwards all night. 8.5
10. Genesis. A more assured showing form the young man, with the Exocet sent off it was never really a night for wide expansive attack from those in gold. His ‘pick pocketing’ of the intercept shows his growing game awareness and confidence. I want JOC2.0 to play against the Nearlies, but this young mans stocks are on the rise. 8.0
11. The Exocet. Awesome, bone jarring hit that essentially won his side the game…….10
12 The Squatter. Not a game for the wider channels. Hit hard in defence but appears to have had flippers surgically attached instead of hands – is dropping a lot of pill. 6
13. No-Name. As above – with the early red card our backs roles became more about D and less about attack. The guy oozes class on both sides of the ball. Will be interesting when Jordan of Nazareth is fit again. 7.5
14. Roosevelt. Just a case of bad bloody luck, I was excited to see him back in gold . N/A
15. Bastards. Best game in gold by a long way. Looks assured, safe and confident – belief is a big thing. 8
16. Hercules. Was a monster at scrum time and busy across the field in his cameo. 7
17. The Bull. Stuck it to the French scrum, busy on attack, great hands leading to the Abattoirs try and a good engine. Our starting prop for 2023 RWC. 8.5
18. The Abattoir. The crowd erupted when he entered the fray (how good must that make you feel as a player!!!). Scored decisive try, but I am yet to see the ball actually grounded – but I’ll take it. Ate poor old reserve French loose head for shits & giggles at scrum time. 8.5
19. The Bull-shitter. Continued the great work of the starters. Lifted the intensity & grit during his time on the paddock. 7
20. Sideshow Bob. Actually looked really good, as in ‘SR good’ from the bench. Was busy, high work rate, damaging runs and solid D and for mine, his best outing in gold so far. 8.
21. The Commissioner. Ensured the tempo went up and made some nice touches and tackles to help close it out. 6.5
22. Two-Cows. Was more about his defensive starch and experience for this one. Limited opp’s with the Gilbert, but made his tackles and lead the defense of the fairies well. 6
23. The Clydesdale. Rarely plays a bad game at all. Makes up for lack of speed with consistency and Rugby smarts. A long range penalty or too might also make upcoming
cheats test opponents reconsider their incriminating tactics 8. Overall team score, a very satisfying 8. Embed from Getty Images
Been a lot on here this week re the ‘dive’ of Frog skipper Anthony Jelonch after The Exocet smashed him in a one-on-one hit at Fortress Suncorp last week.
At the time I said to Brisney & his army mate, as well as KB & Yowie (who didn’t hear me over his teeth grinding through a 5th pulled pork roll) that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the tackle – nothing at all. Sweet FA I’ve seen since can dissuade me that it was just a belter of a tackle and the red was an absolute poor decision that seemed (when I watched the replay in my room later) to be driven by the AR’s more so than BOK. As an aside, I accept your apology KARL.
As the dust settles on MK’s subsequent ‘pardon’ the chatter moved quickly to ‘that dive’ and the ‘disrepute’, the stain on the game and so on. Me – I reckon we all need to chillax. The embarrassment to Jelonch will stay with him for his career (which is a shame as I thought he had a terrific series) as will the ridicule and heckling from many a fan, but were his actions really any more damaging to the game then those of every coach, player or home television network around the world?
Call it what you want ‘competitive edge’ or ‘pushing the envelope’ or ‘dark arts’ or just simply call it what it is – cheating. I still recall (& it sticks in my throat sideways) Nigel Owen overturning THAT Henry Speight try after the home network replayed it over and over, the home fans bayed for blood and Nigel being Nigel, duly obliged the NZ faithful.
Being a game of thousands of laws, some archaic, some a total baffling mystery, Rugby lends itself to being flouted by professional cheating. All sides do it, many with varying degrees or subtlety, others are more overtly cynical, while others are brazen and completely fragrant – a big welcome to our Kiwi readers joining us today – but again, all sides do it, even our own.
Which brings me to Mr Jolanch and his dive, without splash, at Suncorp.
I certainly do not condone what Jolanch did, but instead find it symptomatic of a much wider malaise that has been allowed to spread through the code – the acceptance of cheating, under all its guises. If you watch any match, any player at any time and you will see this creeping cancer in all it’s putrid glory rear it’s head over and over and until the on-field ramifications are harsher (ie: rule changes that have more bite) than us fans will be treated to ongoing ‘gaining of competitive advantages’ for many a year to come – albeit without the French theatrics on display at Suncorp. Embed from Getty Images
Friday’s Fast 5
Paranoia in AB’s Camp.
In a rare insight into disquiet in the Nearlie’s Squad, the walking mouthpiece, TJ Paranoia & the coach who isn’t Scott Robertson have taken to the media to launder their grievances overs TJ’s ‘ploy’ to join league. Call me an ol’ fart, but can you EVER remember anything like this from ‘Camp Brotherhood’ before? Can you imagine Shag and any player doing same…………..Me thinks the writing is on the wall for one I Foster and with Razor waiting in the wings, well see below.
Former GAGR star, turned RA cadet trainee journalist / tea lady, William Nathanson reports the Tahs have resigned two backs (yawn) until the end of 2022. One being the flakey winger – Marky Mark ‘The Funky Bunch’ Nawaqanitawase and the other, Mr Alex Newsome who always puts in a solid shift. This retention along with Lalakai Foketi two days back, whilst a good start just does little to stiffen a Tahs forward pack that has an underbelly like a baby Shih Tzu – soft and tickly.
Perhaps sensing a change in the way the wind blows at national levels and wanting to stay close to home, South Island break dancer and occasional rugby coach Razor Robertson has resigned with mildly successful side The Crusaders through to the end of 2024. Who amongst us thinks he wont be NZ coach in 2022 – look two articles above for tell-tale signs his time is soon-eth.
The Game they play in
This was provided to me by Nutta from Tuesday night’s training for the Jindabyne Bush Pigs Seniors side. Makes me feel a touch ‘soft’ having a jumper and a coat on at the Brisbane test and snuggling in to Brisney. Talk about good ol’ fashioned ‘for the love of the game’ attitude. Hats off boys, hats off.
It’s been confirmed our very own Wallaroo’s will play two tests against the NZ Black ferns in September at Rugby Park in Christchurch on September 26, before kicking off an Eden Park double header on October 2, ahead of the All Blacks’ test against the Springboks. This will more than make up for the disappointment of the recent cancellations for the matches against Samoa. Go you good things.
See you next week