Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News.

Being a Wallabies Fan is like being trapped in a Time Warp. (Yowie relaxing at home)
Friday’s Rugby News.

‘It’s just a ruck to the left, then a ruck to the riiiiiigggghhhht.

You put your hand on your hips, cause our kicking is shhhhhiiiiiitttte.

It’s the lack of a brains trust, that really, drives you insaaaaaannnnnne.

The Orange get hammered again. Please let this team grow a brain.

G’day Gaggers and welcome to another Friday!

Today the kid gloves are off (why are people hitting kids with gloves for? That’s just horrible! It’s called ‘slapping’ for a reason people, the name is derived from the noise – get rid of the gloves) and I ask the hard questions in my riposte to Happy’s glass half full piece yesterday in ‘What if we can’t handle the truth?’. Take a look at the squad for the Bledisloe tests in ‘Swapping Deck Chairs’. Run an eye over our Wallaroos squad for October’s RWC with ‘Middle Earth Sojourn’. Then go one-on-one with G&GR legend, RA propaganda proliferator, the one, the only, Nathan Williamson in ‘The Rookie’. And exit stage right with ‘Friday’s Goss with Hoss’ – now streaming on Netflix.

‘I swear one more midfield box kick from a caterpillar ruck and I am gonna tear that farging moustache off his face’

WHAT IF WE CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH?

Riddle me this Gaggers, what if the truth, the bare-arsed unabashed, unequivocal, unpalatable, unpolished, boring as batshite ‘facts’ have been staring us in the face all this time?

What if these Wallabies & coaches have maxed out their abilities already and this is as good as it gets?

I mean stats don’t lie, do they? For example 88.63% of the time I have found that facts contain 62.49% accuracy and I think 23% of us here today can all agree with that. Here are some figures to make you blush about the Wallabies:

  • Currently ranked 8th in the world with a possibility of being 9th after the RC (after two likely losses to the Nearlies)
  • A win ratio of 39% from under pressure coach, Freddy Mercury
  • A win ratio over last 7 years against Tier 1 nations of 34%
  • In 2022 YTD we have won 3 of 7 and are odds-on to be 3 of 9 at the end of the Bledisloe/RC series.

What if, as fans, our side has indeed reached the summit, or zenith, the pinnacle of their powers? What if life as a fan of the Orange ones is meant to be like this, no matter how much we wish it weren’t so? Mired in mediocrity, wallowing in wastefulness, what if this was as good as it’s gonna get for Wallaby fans? That indeed our earnest fanliness was nothing more than a charade, even worse perhaps it is a textbook case of willfully choosing fiction over fact, heart over brain, religion over science? What if we have created our own Fake News Fan Universe?

Today, coincidentally, is the 12 month mark to the kickoff of the Parisian Festival of the Gilbert in 2023. So, wouldn’t one think that we would have our key personnel now identified, the style of game ‘locked in’ a likely squad of 40-ish players inked on a diary note somewhere and then utilising this 12 months to refine our game & squad?

Would you say that’s where we are at? Hardly.

To my eye we are playing some hybrid Northern Hemisphere crash ball/forward game mixed with NZ counter attack/running game, sprinkled with a Saffa-lite kicking game. But to me we aren’t particularly good at any of those are we? The only time we have looked half-decent was the first 20 minutes of the first test against The Catholics, when the forwards were efficient and direct at the breakdown, the ball was available quickly and shock-horror, ‘The Lip’ played with pace in freeing the Gilbert. Aside from that 20 minute window what we have been witnessing is some unholy, bastardised Frankenstein rugby. Maybe Jon Snow was dropped for not instigating the game plan, but I’d wager the poor bastard didn’t know what it was he was trying to implement?

Said Frankenstein rugby has lead to horrendous showings and losses. And I do mean horrendous, farcical, soulless tripe, then a week later an improved and chastened performance that garners a little redemption. But here’s the kicker. Make no mistake, that the redemptive showings from the Wallabies after horrid outings would still not be good enough to win a 2023 QF, if indeed we actually get out of the pool at all!

Maybe Gaggers this is as good as it gets for us, you reckon we can handle that truth?

‘We must be near NZ, that iceberg came from the side!’

SWAPPING DECK CHAIRS.

Rennie & co have announced a squad of 36 for the two Bledisloe fixtures kicking off next Thursday in Melbourne, which in & of itself seems odd? I get it’s on a Thursday to not ‘clash’ with the finals of ‘everyone gets a point’ Mexican Football, or the ‘sexual assault roulette’ finals in NSW, but why Melbourne again?

But I digress. The squad sees the welcome return of Methuselah (Cayden Neville) from the knee injury he sustained against the Soap Dodgers. Good timing too, as Andre the Giant has headed to Nipponville for the arrival of a bub – good luck to the Arnold clan from all on G&GR during this special time.

The squad also sees the addition of Kurtley ‘Gilbert’ Beale back into the fold. Gilbert has been in and around the squad while recovering from a long-term injury picked up in Le Frog land. Now by injury, I mean he added too many pounds as a result of fromageitis, as it’s known in medical terms.

Apart from that the squad is as per that against the Pope’s Lot with Phil Collins likely to be available for selection; however, the Squatter looks like he’ll miss Bled #1 under concussion protocols. My tip folks is that Commissioner Gordon starts with Joe Dirt on the pine and The Lip gets a spell in the wilderness.

Talking with Brisneyland Local behind the scenes and he really agrees with me that any Orange XXIII with both Spanners & Gilbert in the run-on is better for enhancing the chances of an Oz victory and long term rugby ascension of the Wallabies.

Full squad details courtesy rugby.com.au.

‘Welcome to Middle Earth’ NZ Chieften Jacinda-something.

MIDDLE EARTH SOJOURN

Our 32 member Wallaroos squad for the October RWC in NZ has been announced on rugby.com.au

Shannon Parry will lead the team for the tournament and the squad is sprinkled with experience and next-gen stars. One real feel good fact is the return of women’s rugby Legend Sharni Williams who, at age 34, will be running out in her fourth – yes 4th – RWC. Williams joins the likes of Tui Ormsby, Louise Burrows and Shannon Parry as fellow four-time World Cup players having competed at the 2010, 2014, 2017 and this upcoming 2022 campaign.

I loved watching the skill, starch and calming experience Williams bought to our Comms Games Gold Medal campaign and can’t wait to see her in the XVs format again. Go well Sharni – you’re a bloody legend and I’ll let you shout me a bourbon sometime, well if you ever get paid that is.

I think our back row and loosies are very, very good. I am a fan of Hamilton & Chancellor, add in Williams to the mix and we look even stronger. We have some pace and skill out wide, but our struggle will be getting them good ball from #10, where it must be said, a lot of Wallaroo promise evaporates into the ether of ‘lost opportunity’. Does Empress Caslick have any spare time in October? She would be a brilliant XVs #10.

That aside, I’ll be watching every game of our Wallaroos. Our girls take on the Black Ferns in the opening fixture of the cup.

Go you good things.

Baby faced Natho bought his CV to the interview.

THE ROOKIE.

This week I had the chance to go mano-a-mano* with the guy who puts the ‘Rrrrr’ into rugby, the positivity into ‘piss-weak’ performances, the light in the darkness & the fuel in Hammer’s Range Rover, the one, the only, G&GR deserter and RA ‘jack of all trades’ Mr Nathan Williamson:

H: Natho, welcome back to the hallowed pages of G&GR, the same site you famously abandoned, causing near collapse, financial ruin and leading to two, yes two refs now contributing, so perhaps you should start with an apology?

NW: ‘Thanks Hoss, good to be back, I think and yep, sorry ’bout that’

H: How’s it feel to come back to where it all started?

NW: ‘Nervous actually’

H: What, never been around a real journo before?

NW: ‘Well yes, there is that, but also if I don’t move Hammer’s Rangie every half hour to stop potential flat spots on the tyres, he goes off his skull’.

H: What usually happens when he loses his lollie?

NW: ‘NZR calls and offers him money and end up sharing half their TV sponsorship dollars’

H: Right. So how’s life at RA? I’d imagine with the several roles you fill your days would be rather busy, so what does a ‘normal’ day at RA look like for you?

NW: ‘Well I am up at 3am to chamois the execs’ Euro shite-boxes, finish that around 5am and Lex lets me shower under the hose behind the car park. Into the office by 6am, make sure the virgin Moroccan cocoa beans have arrived, that and the Tibetan yak milk they like at room temperature for the first executive coffee round. Then I prepare the yoga mats and lay them out in a east-west fashion. Kearnsy can be a real prat if he doesn’t get his downward facing dog out of the way early. Out to the kitchen, polish the cutlery, knock up some salmon and cucumber rolls, served on a bed of imported Kiwi feathers (Hammer loves it) do the rounds of the trolley and by 9am I am at my desk, pen in hand ready to go.

H: So that’s when the journalistic magic starts?

NW: ‘The what?’

H: Never mind. You must have plenty of ‘inside goss’ from being in the presence of our players and administrators, any funny anecdotes you’d care to share?

NW: ‘Not really Hoss, by the time I carry the players’ bags to their rooms, clean their boots, and get their food prepped it’s about bed time. I get wrecked if I don’t get my usual 4 hours shut-eye.’

H: Wow Natho, sounds like your living the dream! So with what you’ve seen so far, how do you like our chances in 2023?’

NW: ‘Well, Hammer has his eye on the new Hybrid Rangie, Lex keeps carrying on about some Audi and Kearnsy is keen to try some new stretches and………

H: Sorry mate, meant chances at the 2023 RWC?

NW: Oh yeah, of course, knew that. Well ‘Rens’, Dave Rennie to you lot, Rens tells me we will probably win it so he’s right & we’ll win it.

H: I get that’s what he thinks, but what about you, what does your insight, experience into the team dynamic, what do you think?

NW:I am unsure what you mean, I’ll check with Rens.

H: Let’s move on. There’s been talk of RA funding our women’s XVs game properly, what insight can you give us into any progress there?

NW:We have a women’s team?

H: Ok then. With the FUKIRS on our shores in 2025, Men’s RWC in 2027 & Ladies in 2029 and rounding out with the 2032 Brissie Olympics, your promotional team must be in a deep dive with planning and leveraging great financial outcomes to leave a legacy for the code a generation?

NW: ‘Marketing department? Good one Hoss’

(both of us fall around laughing for a moment)

H: Natho, that’s all we have time for today. It’s been great to have you back and thanks for talking to us little people here at G&GR

NW: My pleasure Hoss, could I grab you a latte, yoga mat?

H: Cheers mate – all good here.

NW: ‘The Land Cruiser need fuel? Hoss, Hoss……’

‘You heard it here first eventually’

FRIDAY’S GOSS WITH HOSS.

Blame the laws, not the refs? Where’s the fun in that!

Good read on stuff.co.nz suggesting changes to 5 key laws that would see more ball in play. What’s not to like. I reckon our on Keith Butler came up with the reserves idea on these very pages. Take a bow KB.

‘Golden Eclipse’ or Orange Swamp mist?

Natho pens something on rugby.com.au about something-or-other with our sides winning & stuff.

Wise is Yoda.

SMH’s Yoda, Mr Wayne Smith, has an interesting read about the seemingly forgotten man of Oz rugby against a potential investment in the loig kid. Suliasi Vunivalu is reportedly our best athlete, best in the air, attacking freak and physical specimen, yet can’t get a run against a side who blind-bloody-Freddy knew was going to target us in the air – what gives?

‘Ren’s’ & RA maybe dust off an oldie and absorb the lyrics of Crosby Stills & Nash and ‘love the one you’re with’

Rita Ora to sing at RWC opening

Who cares.

The Kiwi sides always do their own little dance and song before every kickoff anyway. The Black Ferns, I swear, incorporate ‘the sprinkler’ in theirs, I shit you not. Surely they are extracting the urine ain’t they? Check it out here – 30 seconds in.

That’s all from me, it’s astounding, time is fleeting and madness (well & truly) takes control folks. Let’s do the Time Warp again – you know you want to. Play it loud

*interview may not have ‘technically’ happened.

Hoss – out.

Rugby

A Masters from the Uni of Life, majoring in BS. Call the Hunter Valley home and a passionate Wallabies, Tah's and then the also-rans of Oz rugby next. Yearn for the days when uppitty Kiwis knew their place - losing in dying stages of Bledisloe's or as garbage collectors.

More in Rugby