Greetings earthlings and welcome to another Friday’s News, our last scheduled Rugby News for 2023 and what a year it’s been and still continuing to be.
Today, let’s get all the crap out from under our nails with ‘Game of Thrones’. Look at what lay ahead for 2024 in ‘#crowdfundrugbyoz’ . Pull out the acceptance speech for ‘Done Good’. Step inside RA for ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas‘. And launch in festive frivolities with this year’s last ‘Friday’s Goss with Hoss’, guaranteed to fit into a Christmas stocking this festive season.
Game of Thrones.
Hands up who’s completely over the shit-show of Rugby in Australia at present? Thought so, me too. Well, kind of. I’m not going to revisit the who said what and when. Or who knew what and when. The fact is, it’s done, to a large extent the who, what, why and how now simply doesn’t matter. What I would proffer though is thus: sometimes for something to be truly fixed. it must first be truly broken.
Welcome to Ground Zero and rugby in Australia right now. However, in my opinion, there ain’t never been a more exciting time for rugby in Australia and the chance, however remote, of a complete reset for the code, if those in suits are brave enough to make it?
Think about it for a minute. Those agitating from the shadows for boardroom blood now stand firmly in the cleansing light of day and their respective positions or politics laid bare. Wasn’t the wording something like: ‘we are committed to high performance alignment as long as there was a corporate sacrifice’?
That sacrifice was duly made. Blood was spilled and now the six unions have nowhere left to hide do they? No reason for delay, procrastination, contemplation or manoeuvring? Alignment, centralisation, call it what you will must now be a fait accompli right? Right. Right?
I guess we’ll see. The game is at an interesting time. The future, however scary, offers sustainability, profitability and certainty, but only if the leaders are brave enough to see it, plan for it and grasp it. The past? It offers more of the same and perhaps the demise of rugby in Australia completely. I know which I prefer.
However, if the puerile fiefdoms and federated power structures remain in play, we’ll end up with just another futile Game of Thrones. And let’s face it folks, eventually every Throne ends up covered in shit. How ’bout we try something new, huh!
So the man and corporation who banked record profits during the running of the Wuhan Wonder Bug (but wouldn’t repay the Jobkeeper subsidy in full) is pulling his/their Harvey Norman sponsorship of SRP? Too bad, so sad.
Sure the timing’s lousy and has been pounced upon by the Prince of Portuguese Chicken, or the artist formerly known as ‘The Hammer’, as further evidence that he could turn water into whine and can in fact walk on water, even though every business he touches, well doesn’t tank exactly, but man they end up listing badly (Magellan, cough-cough, Magellan) as evidence he should’ve been kept on in the role.
Really? OK, so the taxpayer profit pirates have pulled their sponsorship? So what? There’ll be other opportunities, other brands looking to sail in and save rugby. I mean FFS, the pampered prats of golf even accepted billions from a country who tortures and cuts up journalists they don’t like (for the record, Yowie of 216 Linoleum Drive, Carrera 4275. It’s a battle axe block, turn left at the green mail box on the corner of Simpson & Linoleum, told me to write that bit). So welcome aboard, Saudi Arabia Super Rugby. Do you need any knives sharpened and I have some ‘Skye After Dark ‘journos’ (yeah, I try not to laugh too) I’d like to discuss with you?
I get it’s always darkest before the dawn, but as outlined above, let the game take all the hits now. The upside is that it will be free of the tentacles of past deeds, past relationships and past poisons.
#crowdfundrugbyoz – if that meant a new start, then I’m all in.
Despite what you all think, a site like this doesn’t just ride on the formidable shoulders of a Friday. It takes a team. And while there’s no ‘I’ in ‘team’, there is still ‘me’, so you’re welcome. But I acknowledge there’s been some significant efforts behind the scenes, especially for the RWC coverage. This alone involved early hours, late nights and some heavy lifting from our IT guru that made it all flow smoothly like bourbon over ice.
For today I simply want to say ‘thank you’ to all who participated on G&GR for 2023 from writing, to editing, Podcasts planning, production and promotions and IT (who has been herculean behind the scenes). Indeed over the last 30 days, the G&GR site had nearly 450,000 page views and during the RWC also had the third largest fantasy league competition in the world.
These results and those to come are from the effort of all those who contribute and involves time away from paid work, families and loved ones, and that’s not an insignificant investment and one I’d like to acknowledge today and pay my respects to.
So in no particular order, thank you for making G&GR greater during 2023: Charlie, Par for the Course, Goldylocks, Georgia Satellite, Damo, AllyOz, Eloise, Yowie, KARL, Happyman, Sully, Andrew Luscombe, Reds & Wallabies Fan, Crescent, Keith, Nutta, Brisneyland Local, Lindommer, our numerous guest writers and to anyone I may have inadvertently missed. Our Pod purveyors Nick W, Nick H and the other guy. Our IT guru Heidi who always has the answer and of course Matt for the opportunity.
However, the real thanks must go to you, the little people who make G&GR the best rugby fan site in Oz. Those who regularly comment, your wit, wisdom and humour is among the second best on here. Those who read and remain in the shadows or those who read Wednesdays and wonder why we do it to ourselves, again, thank you. It’s you who are the beating heart of the site. You who self-regulate and ensure this space remains a troll-free and enjoyable digital rugby playground for all fans, even Reds.
So thank you all and I welcome you all back here in 2024, when for only $8.99 month, you’ll be able to enjoy all the fun once again.
The nightmare before Christmas
‘Twas the nightmare before Christmas when all through rugby house
Not a staff member was stirring as ‘mutiny’ lurked about.
The ‘letter’ was sent from those who claim ‘cared’:
In hopes that Lord Hammer would no longer be there;
The rebels were nestled, their text messages sent,
With visions of their own Chair Herbie, himself an ex Red;
While fans slept restless still processing Eddie & his crap,
A solemn rugby community, our collective energies sapped.
But as murmurs grew louder, increasing to a clatter,
News broke that Hammer was out and nothing else mattered.
His reign had ended and him gone in a flash
No doubt exacerbated by his treatment of Rennie and NRL dalliances with cash.
The recriminations were swift and off to 2GB Hammer did go,
He raged against all, the board were all traitors and plodders you know.
No room for self reflection or acceptance of blame
Simply self adulation and the clinging to fame
Only he could save the game, it was obvious & clear
Well, at least it was to Hammer, the poor disillusioned ‘ex chair‘.
‘Sure I fired Rennie and hired a proven failed despot‘
‘But we got beaten by Italy, so, so frigging what!’
‘Ok, we near beat Ireland, NZ and France‘;
‘But he sang Kumbaya too much, he had his bloody chance’.
‘We had to make changes of we’d be laughed out of the Cup‘,
‘At least this way Eddie assured the only way was up‘.
‘And yes there’s no money from funds or large banks‘
‘But Twiggy got us discounts on Akubras and RMs‘.
‘And so what if we only won two outta nine‘,
‘Eddie assured me to stay calm, we we’re doing just fine’.
‘And while it was in his contract, it weren’t part of the plan‘:
‘That he’d leave us in the shit and piss off to Japan’.
‘So while I accept there were challenges still to come‘,
‘I am sure I could do it, in fact, I am probably the only one‘
When the clanging had stopped inside of his head
A moment of honesty and the fleeting pang of dread.
While he sure done some good in his time in the chair;
He had also lead the code to the utter point of despair.
A despised former coach, no money and no wins;
Our women’s players still having to find their dinner from bins
As he sat near his Bentley as Nathan finished a farewell wash,
He saw no other alternative than to go home and get sloshed.
He picked up the phone and told his wife no one would listen;
She said ‘come home my love, there’s always my Portuguese Chicken’.
Another rugby year closes and will this be the end
of despots and dictators who drive us all completely round the bend?
As I sit at the Ponderosa, enjoying the sights
it’s Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight.
Friday’s Goss with Hoss.
In all the noise from recent self-inflicted wounds in Oz, this one slipped through nearly unnoticed. Sisters Maddison and Teagan Levi have inked a two year extension to stay with rugby and keep them, for now, away from the clutches of rival codes. Not only are these pair outstanding athletes, they are sensational rugby players as well. Maddison in particular is twice world player of the year, as well as holding the record for most tries in a World Series in a year. The only person not considered for the RA chair’s job, Nathan Williamson has more on rugby.com.au
As they say at Disney ‘Let it go Fozzie, let it go’. Currently unemployed possible future Australian coach, Ian ‘Fozzie B Bear’ Foster tells rugby365.com that certain decisions and the loss will haunt him a lifetime. Possibly why Mr Bear should take the Wallabies job! There’ll be shit loads more to distract him and take his mind off that final.
Schmidt: for brains?
I don’t mind a bit of good click-turbation, but even this one on rugby365.com is pushing the limit a touch. With a headline like ‘Schmidt tipped to replace
lying scumbag who shafted Australian Rugby Eddie Jones’ I must admit to a stirring of the loins south of the equator, not felt since the SR final of 2014.
Although they may just be copying the exclusive poll a few Fridays ago that also showed ‘Aussie Joe’ Schmidt as G&GR’s preferred next Wallaby coach, only marginally ahead of perennial fan favourite, one M Cheika as I recall.
The Soap Dodgers own Venus di Milo, Owen ‘Shoulders’ Farrell has his sights set firmly on a 2027 RWC appearance in the land of exorbitant interest rates. 32 year old Farrell confirms his man crush on coach and Pom whisperer Steve ‘we don’t need to play no rugby does we’ Borthwick and his desire to play for some time yet. planetrugby.com for more.
‘Poor role model’, modelling poorly.
One of three poor role models as identified by Eddie-san is ruining the career of yet another promising young #10 it seems. rugby.com.au has more on the wretched experience QC is passing onto Jack Maunder.
Nearly a robbery.
Is it just me, or do the perps who broke into SA rugby HQ and attempt to steal the Bill Ellis Cup appear to have silver ferns on their jumpers? And why did they all have far eastern Australian accents? And why did one say: ‘FFS Sim, if you hiddin’t gut sint orf, we cooda wunned ut lugit’ and the reply ‘Gitt ficked Ardee’ also get picked up?
The Elon Musk site formerly known as ‘you can say what you want about anyone for a monthly subscription fee, even if it’s not remotely true’ has more via planetrugby.com
Happy Festivus from my family to yours. I hope you can celebrate this festive season and eat, drink and be merry and spend time with people you love and your (insert partner’s status here) family as well.
Until next we meet again. Be safe, be kind and you get to choose what to be, so be happy.
Go the Tahs.