Now that’s what I call a ‘Super Round’!
Greetings & salutations rugby diehards & welcome to Friday!
Today let’s jump into all the rugby news that matter. Take a look at some farming advice with ‘Grow Some Nuts’. Dive headlong into SRP Round #12 Previews. Look at The Art of being Kiwi with Roy & HG. Drop in unannounced to Camp Wallaroo as they prepare for their first test of the year and pay more for Friday’s Goss with Hoss, mentioned by the Reserve Bank as a ‘contributing factor’ in the recent interest rate rises.
GROW SOME NUTS.
What is it with those NRL types and their propensity to use ‘roofies’ to have their way with other sporting groups?
Georgina Robinson reports in the SMH:
‘Sydney’s hopes of hosting the 2027 Rugby World Cup final could be dealt a hammer blow if the NSW government again walks away from plans to put a roof on Accor Stadium.’
‘Australia’s other two major rectangular codes have expressed their dismay amid widespread expectation that Premier Dominic Perrottet will cave to pressure from ARL chairman Peter V’landys and redirect what’s left of an $800 million spending plan into suburban grounds around Sydney.’
I get that hosting a RWC is a national event and the idea of hosting the final at Perth’s spectacular Optus Stadium should be a consideration, but for Sydney to be possibly ruled out altogether because of the actions of some pissy little domestic code where funds have been directed to boost bogan-burb-backblocks is not just bloody bewildering, it’s diabolical and extremely short-sighted.
The RWC of 2027 will be the biggest global sporting event of the year, with billions of eyeballs on it, shouldn’t it be showcased in all its glory – which naturally means hosting the final in NSW (derr!).
So Dom, what’s it to be and just what will be your legacy?
A sporting venue to stand an age and play host to countless major events over years to come. With all the employment and associated tourist benefits to the Premier State – it’s a classic example of ‘the accelerator principle’? Or boosting bogan-burb-backblocks playing host to league players as a means to filling in time until their next court appearance?
SUPER RUGBY #12
Three wins from six games for Oz conference sides and a collective spring in the step of fans, players, coaches, administrators. Basically the whole code in Oz has enjoyed a week of good vibes, long may it last. Round 12 kicks off this afternoon, so let’s get stuck in. All teams, times & coverage details courtesy rugby.com.au
Blues v Melbourne Rebels
Friday 6 May 5:05 pm AEST at Eden Park, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
The Rebels cross to Auckland this week to take on the high flying and ladder leaders the Blues to kick off round 12. There’s been millions of words written about Eden Park and its hoodoo’. For mine it’s more to do with the fact that the city of Auckland sucks and players are so bored come kick-off that the will to live has drained from them and appropriate results follow.
For all the attacking threats the Blues have, it was their defensive steel that told last week and eventually got the the ‘W’ against a plucky Force side. The Rebels on the other hand showed their own spirit in holding on against Moana Pasifika in a close run thing.
I don’t doubt the resolve of the Rebels and the hard work of their pack, but my concerns linger over whether they can throw enough attacking jabs at the Blues to get over them this week. My heart says Rebels, but my head……
Fearless Prediction: Blues by 12, but Rebs not embarrassed.
Queensland Reds v Highlanders
Friday 6 May 7:45 pm AEST at Suncorp Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
Will the real Queensland Reds please stand up, please stand up, please stand up.
This week it’s time to take my rose-coloured glasses off when it comes to the Reds. They have been largely underwhelming and their impersonation of the Brisbane Lions last week made for horrid viewing. By my reckoning the Communists kicked the ball 647 times and still lost, so what was the point again? Then the folly of trying to ‘run’ it with 90 seconds to go score the ‘Hail Mary’ was always destined to succeed, weren’t it…..especially after having zero interest in running it all night.
Anyhoo. While the Communists welcome back Pataia & Vunivalu for this match, they farewell Tupou for the rest of the regular season, have Hunter ‘The Squatter’ Paisami out with a shoulder complaint and still await the return of their rugby messiah, JOC. As a result of all that, this game will be a bridge too far.
Fearless Prediction: Highlanders by 20 and the Reds ‘slide’ to continue
Moana Pasifika v NSW Waratahs
Saturday 7 May 2:35 pm AEST at Mt Smart Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
Ok, I know what you all think. ‘Hoss will go overboard’. ‘Hoss will say something outlandish about the Tahs rolling the Saders et-bloody-cetera.
No, instead I will leave it to others to say what I shall refrain from:
‘Greatest rugby win ever in the history of the World’ M.Cheika FISMS coach
‘Great day for Australia and all Australians. How good are the Tahs! Wouldn’t have happened under Labor‘ S.Morrison – Cronulla
‘I didn’t see it, I was out pricing milk. They won’t get me again, but I think under a Labor government they would have won by more’ A. Albanese Western Sydney somewhere
‘We would ban all rugby as the increased exhaling of carbon dioxide by athletes is contributing to climate change’ Adam somebody – Greens
See, I can show restraint and humility. So to this week’s match featuring the greatest Australian provincial rugby side ever, against their next
victims opponents, Moana Pasifika.
What’s stood out for me this year from the Sky Blue is simply their willingness to work as a team and that’s not something you could always say about the Tahs and keep a straight face. It’s the consistency and cohesion that I have admired most and that’s a great reflection of all at Tahs Rugby. It’s also the grounded reality and humility (I am too busy and important for that) coming from the camp – good read on that front from playground brawler Christy Doran here on FUX Sports.
MP were unlucky not to get the chockies last week against the Rebels, a game that previous Rebs team would have found a way to lose.
For all the above what happens this game? Well may you ask, the sky blue juggernaut keeps on keepin’ on.
Fearless Prediction: Tahs by 19.
Chiefs v Brumbies
Saturday 7 May 5:05 pm AEST FMG Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
Wow. Just wow.
I had to check it was the Brumbies I was watching! High octane, quick tap and goes, a 125kg #8 putting in a left foot grubber from 50m out and winning the chase (try of the year so far for mine) and just exhilarating rugby. Sure I am unfortunately & considerably experienced in seeing it from a Kiwi side, but rarely seeing it done to a Kiwi side. Yet so it came to pass. The Ponies out-Kiwi’d the Kiwis.
The Ponies must surely arrive across the dutch respectful, but, with confidence that they have the game, players, coaches AND resolve to go ‘toe to toe’ with those of muddle earth on the rugby field and in my opinion in Brown, Samu & Valetini have the best balanced loosie trio of any side in SRP.
Add to that the return of 7As from the pine and Nick Frost back from injury I just can’t go past them for this one. The Chiefs are at home and are always quality, but these Ponies have their tails up and are a side on the march
Fearless Prediction: Ponies by 12.
Western Force v Crusaders
Saturday 7 May 7:45 pm AEST at HBF Park, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport and the Nine Network
Let’s be frank. The Crusaders have been poo the last two weeks. Mo’unga & Matera got them out of jail against the Rebels, but four ABs rested against the Tahs and a similar fumbles, forward pass shit-show against an improved Tahs team and they got what they deserved.
The Force? I thought they were terrific against the Blues and just didn’t have that ruthless edge to their attack, only natural given their rookie #10, to claim it at the death (that and the Blues ‘D’ was sensational).
There’s never a ‘good’ time to face the Crusaders, but, after two horrid showings and a loss plus the return of rested AB players and a week of brooding I think there may be an added edge to the Crusaders this week that makes them hard to resist.
The Force have lost their fearless workhorse Kane Koteka (also the Force’s 2021 ‘Best & Fairest’ Player) for the remainder of the year with a foot injury causing a reshuffle to their pack. While I am always a sucker for an underdog story, I just don’t see it happening here.
Fearless Prediction: Crusaders by 18
Hurricanes v Fijian Drua
How good was Fiji finally playing in front of Fijians. The noise of 15,000 Drua fans was something that made the hair on the back of my back stand up. Add to that two tries early to skip out to a 14-blot lead and I certainly dared to dream. I’ve said it all season. The Fijians score tries that NO other rugby side could even dream of, let alone pull off.
Can they conjure Fijian magic and an upset in NZ? Well, without Ardie Savea (rested under NZR’s policies) to hold the Canes together in attack & defence – yes, yes they can
Fearless Prediction: Drua by 8. Yes, you heard me right.
Sunday 8 May 1:35 pm AEST at Sky Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
THE ART OF BEING KIWI.
Possibly my favourite sports quote, observation, critique of a nation’s people that I’ve ever heard. It’s the year 2000, the whole country is swept up in the emotion of the Sydney Olympics and Rampaging Roy Slaven, sitting alongside fellow provocateur HG Nelson, delivers this zinger after the Kiwis get their first medal of any type in the games – for rowing:
‘Kiwis are at their best, sitting down, going backwards’ I laughed out loud then and it still makes me laugh today 22 years later
But it seems the concept of Kiwis going backwards didn’t end there, well at least according to this read on stuff.co.nz
Now KARL, before you jump into me, I 100% understand Oz sides have had one reasonable round. We haven’t won anything of note and there’s a plethora of data & statistics to once again quell the fires of growing Oz rugby ambition. BUT I would point out that these opinions are growing in number and frequency from the other side of the dutch, you know, the nation that invented rugby, so……..
As Wayne ‘Yoda’ Smith points out in the SMH, ‘one swallow does not make a summer’. Indeed not, Yoda, but it’s a hell of a first date and I reckon it gets you rather excited for the next encounter.
BRING IT ON!
Buildcorp Wallaroos team to play Fijiana
Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane on Friday 6 May at 5:00pm AEST. Live and exclusive on Stan.
Our very own Wallaroos kick off their international season with a bang this Friday against Fijiana in Brisbane and what a cracker it should be! With no less than 15 Super W Waratahs in the squad and after their first ever Super W finals loss to the Fijiana this match with be extra spicy. Wallaroos coach Jay Tregonning has named 11 debutants and tels rugby.com.au
“With so many debutants in the side, this is a truly historic moment for the Buildcorp Wallaroos – and signals a clear path forward for our programme,” Tregonning said in a statement. “The team has waited an extremely long time for this Test and the group we have assembled here on the Gold Coast is a truly special selection of players. This Test against Fiji, as well as our next Test against Japan on the Gold Coast on Tuesday, represent the start of a new era for the Buildcorp Wallaroos as we build up to the Rugby World Cup later this year.”
It will mark the first time the Wallaroos will wear the iconic gold jersey, which pays homage to the World Cup-winning side of 1991.
The Road to NZ starts now. Go well team, go well!
FRIDAY’S GOSS WITH HOSS
McSettle down people!
I get those of you up north of civilisation have very little in your lives to clutch too and there’s only so much moonshine and banjo music you can take, but please, please, please, calm down about Fraser ‘Son of Brian’ McReight. He may be the heir apparent, but better than Hooper at an international level? No sirrree Bob, not even close. Good read from Paul Cully in the SMH.
No doubt his time will come, but not McReight now.
Big Red Dread!
Tahs own ginger, Harry Johnson-Holmes (HJH), ‘could’ miss the rest of the season with a knee injury sustained with their win over little known south-isle battlers the Christchurch something-or-others last week.
Future Wallabies coach Darren Coleman told the Big Sports Breakfast radio program “Harry picked up a nasty knee injury, so he’ll be racing the clock to get back for the season.”
Shame, as HJH has been in the form of his life too.
Fall from Grace?
What gives with the Wallaroos? Tahs & former Wallaroos skipper Grace Hamilton is no longer Wallaroos skipper? rugby.com.au reports that the honour has been instead bestowed upon the returning 32 yo Shannon Parry of Rugby 7s fame. Call me biased but there was a certain cosmic calm with two Tahs stars leading the national teams, but now, I feel a disturbance in the force.
Reason by name, reason by nature.
I’ve always found Mark Reason to write sound, thoughtful & objective pieces and here is another one on stuff.co.nz about the ‘growing familiarity’ between players and refs and the growing problem that is lack of respect from Kiwi players and the failure to act from NZR when these culprits impinge time and time and time and time and time again. Although I find Nigel ‘you happy with that Richie‘ Owens’ opinion a little rich……….
Be interested in our resident G&GR refs take here – Charlie & KARL?
Damn Lies & Statistics.
Moses speaks to rugby.com.au
Paraphrasing – the demise of NZ rugby is nigh, you feel rugby’s tectonic plates shifting to, don’t you………….
Until next Friday – go
the Tahs all Oz conference sides
Hoss – out.