Good morning G&GRs and welcome to Friday’s Rugby News.
Today let’s dive straight into the rabbit hole of SRP round #4, look at rumours regarding potential new FISM’s coach ‘El Capitan’ Michael Cheika. Jump into the murky world of ‘academia’, plagiarism and the potential nasty outcomes for rugby players and World Rugby. Examine flexible discipline in the West with different strokes for different folks. And round it all out today with ‘Friday’s Fast 5 Bonus’ successor, ‘The Goss with Hoss‘, months in the making & an entirely different animal with
five a number of abbreviated articles to wrap up Friday’s Rugby News.
SRP Round #4
Another round of teams, times & tripe fearless predictions. Read on if you dare…………………with thanks to newly promoted executive in charge of toilet & porcelain cleanliness at rugby.com.au Billy Nathanson.
Blues v Highlanders
Friday 11 March 5:05pm AEDT – North Harbour Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
The Highlanders are winless through 3 rounds and sit on a whopping 1 point, equal with the Rebels so far. While they haven’t been awful, they will be nowhere near good enough to topple the Blues at home.
Fearless Prediction: Blues by 21
Rebels v Brumbies
Friday 11 March 7:45pm AEDT – at AAMI Park, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
Not really much to say on this one. I can’t keep hammering the Rebels on these pages, it’s simply not fair anymore. They’re a terrible rugby side and will be for some time. Sure, the Rebs get a boost by getting Reece ‘The Clydesdale’ Hodge who tops the mistake count so far in SRP (cool stats Happs) & Andrew ‘the Ginga Ninja’ Kellaway back onto the paddock, the latter who has also resigned with the Rebels and RA for a further two years (why do it to yourself Andy – I mean 2 more years at The Rebels – FFS!). But the problems at The Rebs lie in the constipation to their play at #10 and until that’s sorted then everything else is simply shuffling deck chairs on the Titanic.
Fearless Prediction: Ponies by plenty.
Hurricanes v Moana Pasifika – Postponed due to COVID.
The luckless MP team again misses out for the third time in four games, this time due to COVID running rampant through the Canes squad. I wish all impacted a speedy and healthy recovery
Crusaders v Chiefs
Saturday 12 March 5:05pm AEDT – Orangetheory Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
This should be a cracker and if not for the fact the match involves two Kiwi teams I’d probably watch it. The Saders were ‘clunky’ against MP last week, but did enough to win comfortably. However the Chiefs are an entirely different animal all together. I reckon the respective forwards cancel each other out – just – but that backline of the Saders is a thing of beauty and the difference between the two sides. One of them is 2022 Porsche gliding effortlessly at top speed through the bends with ‘Soul Glo’ in the drivers seat. T’other, a 72 VW Beetle Superbug with a blocked carby yet to leave the start line.
Fearless Prediction – Saders by 18
Reds v Fijian Drua
Saturday 12 March 7:45pm AEDT – Suncorp Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport and Channel Nine
The Reds host everyone’s second favourite side, The Flying Fijian Drua, this weekend in what could be a very entertaining fixture. With James ‘Jon Snow’ O’Connor showing rugby wisdom and calm a-plenty against The Force last week, I can’t see the Reds getting sucked into Harlem Globetrotter, unstructured Rugby at all, cause if they do, it could get messy for them. That said, ‘if’ the Drua could get a sneaky two try lead, well this game could be anything.
Interesting to see Jordan ‘of Nazareth’ Petaia getting a start in the #15 Jersey, cause for mine, based on form Jock Campbell would be nipping at the heals of Tom ‘Bastards’ Banks for the Orange #15 at present and seems a much improved footballer this year. For all that, I am keen to see JP at 15, but he’ll want to kick well or those Fijians……………………..
Fearless Prediction: Look to the Reds to slow the tempo, plenty of set piece and grind the Drua down. Closer than people might think though. Reds by 12.
Waratahs v Force
Sunday 13 March 2:00pm AEDT – Leichhardt Oval, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
Round four winds up with a Sunday afternoon match with the team many on here love to hate, the Force, taking on the team who apparently upset Nic Berry in the run in to their last game. The Force were strangely flat in what, with their long awaited home game, was touted as the second coming of Alan Bond over West. They were calmly and thoroughly routed by a composed and methodical Communist side in a comprehensive belting.
On the other hand the Tahs were competitive and left a possible two tries slide against a Ponies side that admittedly ‘clocked off’ around the 55 minute mark and nearly got ‘pantsed’ by the vastly improving side Sky Blue.
The Force blew it last week, at home, own fans (‘Sea of Blue’ my arse, more like a ‘leaking faucet’ of rusted on fans), rested and comfortable – if they couldn’t get it done at home, then they are no chance this Sunday arvo on a boggy Leichhardt Oval.
Fearless Prediction: Perese to score a double and Tahs to carve the Force up in the centres. Tahs by 17.
ya sabes a lo que me refiero !
FUX Sports reports the Chek ‘could’ be headed for the head coaching gig with Los Pumas. I actually don’t mind this rumour, if it turns out to be true and reckon it’s good for the FISMs, the next coach & world rugger.
A short time frame, tournament play and enough time for El Capitan to work his mind meddling, but not long enough for it to wear thin on players or coaches. He has an association with his ‘assistants’ role over the past couple of years, whichever way you look at this it makes sense. A new ‘permanent’ coach is on a hiding to nothing. No ‘real’ time to make meaningful change, but enough time to take 100% of the blame should things head south, so enter, stage right, one M Cheika, the role is perfect for him.
One could argue you would appoint the next ‘long term’ coach as his assistant to expose them to the environment and garner valuable experience and post RWC2023 when Chek exists the scene and you have a smooth succession plan in place.
What’s not to like!
The Brain Pain.
In a convoluted story, involving potential plagiarism on an industrial scale, which has lead to the resignation of Australian Neurologist, Academic & Chair of ‘Concussion in Sports Group’ (CSIG) Dr Paul McCrory – World Rugby might now have a problem on their hands, so to those players guided by WR ‘concussion protocols’ developed by CSIG.
It is alleged McCrory has copied academic research & articles and then published them under his name in his role as chair of CSIG. The same group who advises a number of world sports on concussion, both the dangers of concussion, but worryingly, who also developed protocols for the safe return of athletes from concussion.
Rather than rewrite it all, I have attached two links here that cover the story better than I. Get a cuppa, allocate 15 minutes and read these two – they are confronting on a number of levels.
I welcome G&GR reader input here especially from you, Eloise, as after multiple readings of both articles I am still unsure if:
- The research is correct, but plagiarised by CSIG; however, the concussion protocols and practices in place from these plagiarised works are correct? On the surface this would appear simply a case of corporate malfeasance – ripping off somebody else’s work to profit from it. Or…..
- The selective nature of the plagiarism is designed to support concussion protocols from CSIG that may, in fact, turn out to be incorrect/unsafe? This would be a whole different animal if that were the case?
After 3-4 readings I keep landing on a different answer.
However, there can be little room for misunderstanding regarding this statement for the Australian Sports Brain Bank in the second article:
In February, the Australian Sports Brain Bank announced preliminary findings on 21 brains posthumously donated by sportspeople and examined since 2018. Of those who had played sports with risks of repetitive head injury, 12 had chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) lesions, and 20 exhibited some form of neurodegeneration.
“Three donors with CTE were under 35 years of age. Six of the 12 donors with CTE and one of nine without CTE had died by suicide, suggesting CTE may be a suicide risk factor,” wrote associate professor Michael Buckland in a paper of additional findings published by the Medical Journal of Australia. “Screening for CTE in all deaths by suicide is probably impractical, but our finding suggests it should be undertaken if a history of repetitive head injury is known or suspected.”
It is plainly not a subject that should be open to interpretation, plagiarism or guessing. There’s simply to much at stake for too many people. Get this wrong and it’s genuine pain and misery to those who do not deserve more from the world body.
Courage ‘Flexibility’ of your convictions
Really Western Farce, Really!
Ok, so this might be a week old, but still. Three Force players indulge in a glass or two of red with their meal as they fly back to the Dark Ages of WA from the promised land East to tackle The Reds last match, so what, who cares right!
The players included Andrew ‘Love a Pie’ Ready and some winger who no one cares about anyway, but interestingly it also contained 118 year old tighthead Greg Holmes. Now, according to Force GM of Rugby Matt Hodgson:
…..“They weren’t drunk or intoxicated on the plane, they each had one to two glasses of wine with their meals, but this was a player-led decision and it was determined that because we were wearing Force uniforms and with the short turnaround between games they shouldn’t have been drinking,”
So the three piss-pots confess, fall on their sword in a joint mea culpa and receive the same sanctions right, right RIGHT? Well, actually, no. It seems discipline is even handed unless of course you are a tighthead and the team is short of quality tightheads that is. This from The Daily Telegraph:
Veteran prop Greg Holmes is also expected to be penalised, but will not be stood down for the Round 3 fixture due to the team’s lack of tighthead options, according to the News Corp report.
So the rules and punishment are flexible depending on……………….
Nothing sinks an organisation quicker than shite like this. Once you have ‘cracks’ in your consistency or discipline application you are in trouble. Like water, people will always gravitate to the cracks………and once you’ve set a precedent, well.
The Goss with Hoss.
Feeling the man-love
In form, rampaging Tahs #13 Izzy Perese has inked a 2 year extension with the Tahs/RA in a ‘payback’ to the club that ‘took a chance’ on the young man after some of life’s misadventures. Ok, so I am slightly Tahs biased, but his early season form must have many a pundit pencilling him into the gold #13 for the season ahead. More from SMH here
Week #2 Super W
Week #2 of Super W kicks off Friday night when the Rebels host the Brumbies, followed Saturday with The Reds v Drua and rounding out Sunday when the Tahs teams make it 2 from 2 v The Force this weekend. All teams, times & venues courtesy rugby.com.au
Slap – Happy?
You got to hand it to the visionaries at NZR and their use of a Sevu ‘The Slapper’ Reece, who pleaded guilty in 2018 with domestic assault of his partner, as the face of their tweet supporting the ‘International Women’s Day Celebration.’ Tone deaf much? Read more here on stuff.co.nz In other news NZR are apparently looking to use V.Putin as international peace day ambassador as well.
Jaco Johan has an opinion.
Jaco reckons it would be ‘awesome’ if The Popes’ Lot could gain entry to the 6Ns and I am sure he is at home making a YouTube video on the subject now. More here from planetrugby.com
Former AB ‘greats’ Jeff Wilson and Sir Somebody are at it again calling for Aussies to ‘dutch a tim’ which I think is a drinking game, but I am not entirely sure. Anyway, not interested in their thoughts, but more so their title of ‘former greats’. Last time I looked, Wilson was most famous for NOT scoring a try (you can see George G’s effort here) and Sir Somebody who was so piss-poor in D he made Campo look like David ‘Cement’ Gillespie. If you can be bothered, you can read more here with the SMH
Until next week, stay safe, be good to one another and give to any worthy cause raising flood funds. It’s Armageddon up north
Go the Tahs – Hoss