Today let’s brush up on classic Aussie literature with ‘Dan from Snowy River’. Let’s preview some game on this weekend in ‘Once upon a time in NuZullund’. Look at Trans Tasman negotiation tactics with ‘Show me the money’. Embrace our cultural cringe with ‘Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, A, A, A’. Go north of the border and look at Red rumbles in ‘Thorny Relations’ and have just enough electricity left over to take us home with ‘Friday’s Goss with Hoss’, now facial recognition free.
DAN FROM SNOWY RIVER
‘There was movement at the presser, for the word had passed around
Coach Dan had ‘ref regrets’, that he would fire off this day,
And in he walked still fuming – ‘O’Keeffe’s cost us on that ground’
All the hacks hurried to scribble down his words, as Chuckles entered the fray.
‘Surely you saw that bloody performance, the NZ one-eyed turd’
‘Forget ‘brave’ and ‘battled hard’ and all those sports babble phrases,
‘I mean you all saw it too, I barely have the words,
it’s the 79th minute and Reimer’s on the ball for farging ages!’
The hacks lapped up the theatre with Dan’s team now out of the cup,
Recording devices and age ol’ shorthand were whirring twenty to the dozen
But few could try and calm him when his blood was fairly up –
‘But blow the pea and award my team the kick, nope, he just stood there as if bloody frozen’.
Clancy from ‘The Overflow Gazette’ bravely fired off a question,
No better rugby journo had ever held the reins,
‘But coach Dan, your side dropped balls and a retreating scrum should surely should also get a mention?’
Coach Dan simply shot him a look, his question was in vain.
So there they were, these journos, reporting on this ‘feast’
Coach Dan becoming rabid as he vented and theorised,
As some hacks towards the rear said ‘he’ll go for $10k at least’
There’s nothing journos quiet like as a coach going outta his mind –
So it came to be on this cold day in poor man’s Eden and a story that writes itself
One man’s fury at his side’s treatment, his frustration beyond belief
The ref’s ‘impartiality’ apparently left at home upon the shelf
As another Aussie side gets royally shafted by O’Keeffe.
With sincere apologies to Australia’s greatest bush ballad, Henry Lawson.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN NUZULLUND
Once upon a time in a civilisation far, far away from the 21st century, there was to be a game of rugby this weekend, that nobody outside of this Hobbit nation cared about.
Fearless prediction: Who cares.
SHOW ME THE MONEY.
As I was almost done with my Friday shite I stumbled across this ‘exclusive’ with Christy Doran on FUX and quickly added it to my pile.
While reading it I couldn’t help but think that it was a negotiating tactic that screamed ‘brinkmanship, brinkmanship, brinkmanship’ but I guess with the following cash cows coming, now’s the time to go all in with a pair of 8s & feel the fibre of your partner’s fabric:
- FUKIRS tours
- Men’s RWC
- Women’s RWC
- Commonwealth Games
- Olympic Games
But with the current split reported at NZR’s $91m to RA’s $29m I personally find it well worth the roll of the dice, especially when we have the above ‘insurance’ to fall back on. And yes, NZR does have PE funds to keep it warm when it sleeps at night, but a NZ only comp won’t attract the big $$$ that a SRP comp does and to me that makes it basic ‘eyeballs economics’. Not enough eyeballs, not enough money.
Smart timing if you ask me. Real smart.
AUSSIE, AUSSIE, AUSSIE, A,A,A !
Yep, I hate that chant too, might as well yell out, ‘we’re simpletons who can’t come up with anything more clevererer‘. It’s only marginally better than some imperialistic invaders syphoning off an old slave era song for themselves at rugby games (Whisky Tango Foxtrot is that about?). But – I do love the concept of ‘Aussie A’ for the next tier of possible future Wallabies players. The freshly named squad will play as one of four sides in the ‘Pacific Nations Cup’, also featuring Tonga, Samoa & Fiji. At time of writing no coverage details on Stan could be confirmed, but worldrugby.com has confirmed times, dates & venues for the clashes.
There is much love around the the return of this program and those behind the reinstatement must be congratulated. For in a year where the Orange ones will play 14 tests, kicking off from 2 July and ending 27 November against Wales – all dates & venues courtesy rugbyxplorer.co. No doubt injuries and form fluctuations will play their part and we need battle-hardened, fit and quality replacements to seamlessly join the fold. Plus exposing them to the brutality of three successive games against test quality PI teams can only benefit all stakeholders both on and off the paddock.
In what is a growing list of smart, well conceived, articulated and implemented ideas, RA deserves another ‘tick’ in the ‘job well done’ column.
You oft here ‘nothing succeeds like success’ or perhaps ‘a winning dressing room, is a happy dressing room’ (although I’d proffer that bad habits are developed in good times) so it was without much surprise, that as the Queensland People’s Republic of Queensland side, or ‘QPQR’, continued their ‘anus horribilis’ (isn’t there a cream for that?) that whispers grew louder to a dull roar about ‘player unrest’ within the once ‘brotherhood’ that was the Reds camp.
An injury list as long as an appendage (well, not Yowie’s) granted, a series of close losses or ‘blown’ leads and even from the comfort of the ‘Rugby Room’ (bookings essential) at the Ponderosa you could see frustrations bubbling near the surface. Agitated body language on the field generally and noticeably with each other and the perennial ‘it’s alright’ bum tap (which I H.A.T.E) disappearing from the side when a fellow player shat the bed, so it was little surprise a few ‘cracks’ in the Reds armory has surfaced and leapt its way onto the pages of an interesting SMH read with Yoda – Wayne Smith.
It’s fait accompli that some departing players will always lob a grenade or two on their way out the door or have an axe to grind with a selection or perceived injustice, that’s life, play on. But when some of those players allegedly moaning loudest are still on contract and pivotal to both the Reds and the Wallabies than a little more attention is required.
There’s no doubt, just as players evolve and mature, so to do coaches and I would imagine that The Padre is very much still a coach at the start of his journey and if he had his time again there would indeed be moments he may have handled differently. That’s the beauty of time, hindsight and wisdom. However, one thing I would say is that any organisation is bigger than any one person. Be that a good scrummaging prop who largely does not much else on the paddock and perhaps should stop reading fanboy press about himself and watch the work of, say, Angus Bell or 7As as to what a prop should do over the whole match, or a five year coach whose messaging or style might be wearing thin, what is needed right now from the Reds and by association RA, is leadership. All parties from RA to player(s) involved must get in a room and have mature and honest conversations and agree on a way forward. If resolution can be found – great. Equally if it cannot – great. Either way, options will exist if parties are proactive now, after all, pride cometh before the fall and the ‘fall’ is usually too late to stop the law of ‘unintended consequences’ from then kicking in, usually causing multiples of damage.
ONCE UPON A TIME IN NUZULLUND PART #2
Blues v Crusaders
Saturday 18 June 5:05pm AEST Eden Park – live and on-demand on Stan Sport and Nine Network
All teams details courtesy rugby.com.au
Ok, so I was extracting the urine a wee bit in the above preview.
If I had offered Gaggers at the start of the year, multiple wins against the Kiwi sides, several on their home turf, three Oz sides in the QFs, one in the semis that would miss a place in the final by a single, solitary & contentious point, most on here, myself included, would have probably said ‘fair nuff. Based on 2021 and our results v the Sheep Shaggers, compounded with a losing clean sweep up north, season 2022 so far is a big improvement and a ‘pass mark’ I reckon.
So to this weekend, I can’t be too disappointed that it’s another all Kiwi affair and what a match it shapes as being. You have two near international squads going at each other. The Crusaders. Well I’ve said it all year, they are brilliantly coached, have a wonderful culture, an imperious rugby production line, they are genuinely humble and likeable bunch (except Elbows Moody) and have been the ‘standard bearers’ in SH Rugby for an eon.
But, facing them are my favourite Kiwi side this year, also the most dangerous counter attacking side of the year, the Auckland Blues. The match up this weekend between Barrett & Mo’unga will be worth the price of admission alone and go some way to settling the debate for the starting #10 v the Oirish in July. The packs are evenly matched, the fairies are as good as it gets, the benches have quality, experience and ‘X Factor’, it really is a game I am expecting to watch twice so I can savour & enjoy every scintillating rugby experience I am sure it will serve up.
So for all of that just who wins and why?
Honestly I reckon the Blues will score more tries, but Mo’unga’s place kicking this year has been laser-like and the Saders will accumulate points all game and stay in it till the end, but will they be close enough to be crowned champions again…………..
I think it will be something special folks and as a ‘neutral’ I am looking forward to the rugby spectacle.
Fearless Prediction: For all the Blues qualities I just think the Saders finals experience gets them home, just. Mo’unga to kick a penalty a on the 80th minute. Saders by 2. Mo’unga to wear a Nearly All Black #10 Jersey in July.
Friday’s Goss with Hoss
Breaking Thursday news that the 29 year old crystal trophy held by the victor for Wallaby v Soap Dodger matches, previously known as the ‘Cook Cup’, has been retired.
In a great move both national bodies have instead announced the sides will battle for the ‘Ella-Mobbs Cup’ in honour of Wallaby great
Gary, Glen, Steve, Mark Ella and English rugby player & WWI hero, Edgar Mobbs
Our Wallaroos have the Pacific 4 ‘blues’ at present going 0 & 2 so far, but have a chance to get on the board this Saturday when they play the Cannucks who are 1 & 1. Round three also features the clash of the unbeaten & revitalised Black Ferns up against the side from Southern Canada – the United States.
Coverage live on Stan:
- Wallaroos v Canada – Time Sat, 18/06/2022, 11:30 at Location Semenoff Stadium
- Black Ferns v USA – Time Sat, 20/08/2022, 5:05 Location Orangetheory Stadium
‘Mr Anonymous’ – well he was for the Brumbies……..
I’ll let stuff.co.nz handle this one.
The times are they a changin’?
Here is a snippit fron stuff.co.nz – not a bad read (not for you KARL)
‘The worry for Foster and co is that if the Brumbies can beat the Blues at Eden Park in most ways except on the final scoreboard, then Australia will be coming for them too. With Quade Cooper and Samu Kerevi returning and Dan McKellar moving from the Brumbies to coach the forwards, you sense they are a gathering storm.‘
That’s it from me. COVID has breached the walls of the Ponderosa and thus far proving impervious to bourbon, but I shall be persistent, very persistent.
Hoss – cough-cough, out.