Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News – 9/12/22

Friday’s Rugby News – 9/12/22

Good morning, G&GRs, and welcome to Friday’s Rugby News. Today, we have a guest contribution from MackHath up in God’s second favourite Labor state, Kingsland! Still hoping for one or two more contributions from guests for next week. Email Sully by stumps on Sunday if you’d like to have a crack (sully@greenandgoldrugby.com).

Otherwise, happy Friyay, ya filthy animals! May your beers be cold, your days warm and your parmies (not fuqing parma, that I’ll never stoop to) delicious!

Hello G&GRS from sunny Mackay!

Long time reader and posted a couple of times while v drunk, editors clearly didn’t let it through the pipeline or I just clicked the wrong button (*so you went full KARL. Nice).

Much has been said re our orange brigade.  For me, I think Rennie’s Wallabies have shown a composure I haven’t seen for a loooong time. Despite the underwhelming attack and leaky defence, they’ve just always seemed “present”. The attitude doesn’t ever seem to drop and, with the vast number of injuries, a tip of the hat has to be made to “Moses” because, clearly, he has a bunch of somewhat entitled athletes staying in the fight.  Even when they repeatedly fuck up their attack by inaccuracy at the breakdown, but more on that later.

I’m a 75 model and so that should put things in perpsective: saw Lynagh when he was an inside centre.  As an aside, that 84 Wallabies team could handle the pill!  I played with those leather balls, and they were hard to hold onto. Watching the soft hands and sympathetic passing of that team in traffic, in the slush of the UK, well, modern players should take a very hard look.  The hard hands and bullet passes of the modern player isn’t acceptable in my book.  Possibly too much attention on the gym and sprint metrics rather than focussing on mundane and repetitive passing drills. I’m a Queenslander and yes Hoss, I can play the banjo with both hands. 

Let’s go back to 2011: Ewen took a wooden spoon team to the title in 2 years and, yes people, I was there! He then went on to coach our men in gold.  That last game he coached was one of the best games I have ever seen the Wallabies play, despite the fact that we lost.  The 1st ten minutes of the second half was mind blowing.  The immediate period after half time was traditionally the domain of the “darkness” (those in nearly all black). They are the kings of coming out post oranges and just laying hurt on. This time, however, it was the Wallabies.  I just remember being blown away by our dominance of that period.  A humble man (I believe), who turned down opportunities to coach at higher levels as he didn’t think he was ready, Ewen had a clear and detailed plan that was well executed by his troops.

I wish only that he had possibly shown some more loyalty to Genia and Horwill as I think they would have bled for him at international level if he’d stuck with them. 

When he walked, THAT was the death of Australian rugby.  Grassroots, poor coaching, old boys etc., for a man of that level of integrity to walk away, then I think something was truly rotten in the state of Denmark.  We’ve suffered since. Digression aside, I think the biggest issue in this current Wallaby set up is their inaccuracy at the breakdown; forget Folau and his crooked throws and brain farts; forget Spanners and his 2.7m kicks; forget the lack of discipline.  Our biggest issue is inability to retain the pill on attack or being inaccurate at the breakdown in defence and giving away penalties. 

How many times have we seen “shoulders through” attack where ball carriers have pierced a crack in the defence only to see the ball immediately turned over as that player was isolated.  And these instances are very often of first fuqing phase! If fixed, the ball retention would result in points for. And the lack of penalties and cards in defence would result in less points against.  In summary, the breakdown is our biggest liability and if fixed it’d turn these one point defeats into large margin wins.

Think of how many times the wallabies have turned over the pill on attack since Dave took over.  And despite this, we are still within single points of some the best teams on the planet.

Don’t get me wrong; I’ve had a near constant state of indigestion since Ewen walked away, Cheika almost completely put me off rugby for life!  However, there’s a composure on the field with our boys, despite the constant shitfuqery, that’s worth noting; that, I think, is important. We were at least 70000 points behind a team that lost to Georgia and despite only having three uninjured players we still managed to find a way back and win with the extended squad. No Quade. No Kerevi. No Valetini, Hooper, White, Tupou, or Ginger Ninja. Extended squad. Very little game time among them and yet had the composure to come back for a win.

If Dave can just get the team to stay connected, accurate and smart at the level of the breakdown, I think we’re a chance of rolling anyone.

MackHath out.  And thank you, everyone, for this website.  🙌

EDDIE JONES SAGA CONTINUES

England’s efforts to replace Eddie Jones could cost them upwards of $A3.6 million, according to the fabled rugby website, Nine Sports.

Leicester Tigers are reportedly set to demand the enormous payout sum to release its coaching trio led by Steve Borthwick. This year’s Premiership Rugby winners have indicated they won’t stand in the way of Borthwick should he decide to depart. However, it’s the additions of defence coach Kevin Sinfield as well as strength and conditioning coach Aled Walters that’s proving to be a sticking point. According to the UK’s Telegraph the trio would only be let go if the Rugby Football Union foots the massive bill. It’s a whopping amount for the organisation that’s already paying Jones a reported $1.8 million to have him out the door early. The RFU would have to pay $360,000 to buy Borthwick out of the remainder of his current contract. But The Telegraph has indicated Borthwick’s signing is a fait accompli and will be confirmed by the end of the week.

The report out of the UK indicated a formal approach hasn’t been made by the RFU yet for Sinfield and Walters beyond the initial move on Borthwick. It could create another sticky situation with Jones’ assistant coaches – Richard Cockerill, Matt Proudfoot, Martin Gleeson and Brett Hodgson on tenterhooks. Cockerill is the interim head coach in the absence of Jones. It’s safe to say that buying out Sinfield and Walters from the Tigers would also necessitate offloading some of the current assistants and paying them out too. The Telegraph added the RFU’s council is concerned by the potential spend on personnel.

I wonder if that amount was worth punting one of the most successful coaches of the modern era….

KIWI WOMEN SET FOR INJECTION OF COMPETENCE AT BOARD LEVEL

Former Governor-General, Dame Patsy Reddy, has been named as New Zealand Rugby’s first female chair according to SEN Reddy’s election was announced following the board’s final meeting of the year on Wednesday with her tenure beginning on 1 February 2023. Professor Farah Palmer and Bailey Mackey will serve as her joint deputy chairs. She will replace the outgoing Stewart Mitchell, who will step aside after nine years served on the board.

Reddy was introduced to NZR in April following years of experience as a lawyer, director and crown negotiator, as well as her stint as governor-general from 2016-2021.

Now, following the Black Ferns’ incredible Rugby World Cup win, Reddy is set to make the most of her opportunity to continue the growth of community and women’s rugby in Aotearoa. “We saw a whole different approach to rugby this year didn’t we, through the Rugby World Cup,” Reddy said in a press conference. “Particularly with our Black Ferns and I think allowing fans to get to know the players a bit more, to engage, and participating at some level (is important). Watching the rugby of course and respecting the rugby, but seeing it more as something that they can participate in.

“Whether it’s through – now that we’ve got our commercial partnership up and running – expanding our digital content and access to the game and the high-performance part of it, but’s also going into the communities. Bringing back the love of the game at the community level; the Heartland rugby, seeing school boys and school girls excited about playing rugby and in particular … I think we’ve got to be really focussing on transitioning girls into the game. For girls particularly who haven’t played those contact sports, we’ve got to make sure they do it properly, safely and securely and with a good, welcoming environment around them.”

With Super Rugby Aupiki and the Black Ferns set for another huge year in 2023, Reddy hopes added attention to the community game will increase participation in New Zealand youth.

If only RA had the same foresight…

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