Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News.

'What do you mean there's no international rugby this week!'
Friday’s Rugby News.

Hello Gaggers and welcome to another Friday.

No Rugby? No worries! Today let’s cast a withering eye on future selections with ‘Be bold, avoid old’. Prick national pride in ‘Kiwi Trolls?’. Drop into the Australia ‘A’ camp in ‘Touring Japanese’. Read another FRN exclusive interview*, this time with the enigmatic Monsieur Raynal inI fart in your general direction’. And take us out with ‘Friday’s Goss with Hoss’, happy to sell your Optus data back to you, for the exclusive G&GR member-only offer of $200 cash per identity.

‘ Did he say we’re in?’ Spanners & Gilbert at the team announcement

BE BOLD, AVOID OLD!

Good read during the week in the SMH from resident rugby Yoda, Mr Wayne Smith. Yoda beseeches Wallabies coach Rennie to ‘repay the faith’ that RA have bestowed in him and ‘be bold’ when it comes to selections for the Northern Tour.

Let’s lean in for a minute while I ask you a confidential, G&GR ears only question? Does anyone here honestly think we are any chance of getting to the pointy end of next year’s Festival of the Gilbert?

While you contemplate that brain teaser I proffer you this: we are 3 from 9 in 2022 at a 33% win rate. Now before you chip in with ‘injuries’ and ‘suspensions’ ‘and and and and’ we were 7 of 14 in 2021 and under DR’s tenure we are 37-odd%. Is that the form, pedigree, history or statistics of a rugby titan with a genuine tilt at world domination? Of course it ain’t. Not even close. So I half laugh/cry when even the most fervent among us expect some sort of Lazabethan resurrection in 2023 with the cattle we currently use.

And therein lies the rub. If it’s generally held that our lot will be cannon fodder next year, why not start building towards 2027 now? Why not be bold & avoid old now?

I’d wager the 2023 RWC result will be no worse for the Wallabies with the likes of Edmed, Stewart, Donaldson, Lonergan, Vunivalu and co as it will be with Beale, Foley, Skelton, Wright, Hodge et al in there now as opposed to delaying what seems like the inevitable?

Absolutely I welcome the ‘Oz A’ concept as a wider pool for talent identification, game time and growing the ‘base’ of players for higher honours. But, why then ignore, I don’t know, say NOAH bloody LOLESIO for example, or those who played #10 for Oz A to parachute Spanners back in? Why bring Jock Campbell into the senior squad, hear coaches swoon over his ‘rugby brain’ and quality as a player and person to hand Gilbert a spot . Why persist with Tom ‘John Denver’ Wright at the expense of exposing Vunivalu (beyond his 3 minutes in Brisbane – I mean WTF was that?) who we simply had to initially sign and then re-sign as imperative.

It’s also worth noting that if the old adage of ‘you have to lose one first, before you win one’ rings true, let’s expose ‘gen-next’ now and retire Dad’s Army to the history books to which they belong. After all, remind me again where the 2027 RWC is being held?

Another thought provoking and good read Yoda, you know I really do enjoy reading SMH’s rugby articles.

’20 more yizz boyz, 20 more yizz’

KIWI TROLLS?

Bloody hell, SMH rugby articles shit me.

Over recent months I’ve noted a certain ‘lanolin terroir’ beginning to permeate the articles of Paul Cully and our Wallabies and his Nearlies. At first his articles had a subtle phrase, term or opinion, or a slight ‘Kiwi piquancy’ if you will. But of late that spice has matured into a full-bodied offering of bitter tannins that leaves you regretting your decision to partake in the offering in the first place.

The cause of the souring of the grapes? The temerity of anyone, anywhere at anytime, to dare challenge, question, critique, or fleetingly possess any heretical thought about anything involving those dressed Nearly in All Black, or the wider Nearly rugbyverse, like the Hakarena or by association, show anything but pious reverence for those rugby deities that reside across the dutch.

His recent SMH article essentially suggests that DR must ‘shoulder responsibility for almost setting the Wallabies up to fail on Saturday’. I would normally 101% agree that the buck stops with the coach, but Kiwi born and current Kiwi resident, Mr Cully, suggests the blame DR must also shoulder was also because he dare:

  • call out Reiko Ioane’. Yep, the same colossal prat who used a deliberate throat slitting motion in the Hakarena in Melbourne. The same ‘gent’ who spat on the ground and seemingly called the Wallabies ‘dogs’ for respectfully accepting the challenge of the Hakarena, when they formed ‘the boomerang’ formation in response.
  • For having the temerity to suggest that orange loose cannon, Lurch Swain’s actions were consistent with those of Fletcher Newell’s in the same match (that resulted in Scott Sio getting injured and out of contention for Bledisloe II) yet the treatment and punishment of the same were night & day in response. Six weeks rightfully out of the game for Swain, but what was Newell’s punishment again?
  • He then quoted AB great Kieran ‘I never won anything of note without Richie’ Read, as telling New Zealand TV that the (Nearlies) side’s intensity at Eden Park was in part to the Wallabies “talking too much” during the week.

For the record. The Kiwis are and have been far too good for the Wallabies for two decades. As much as we wish it weren’t so, it simply and irrefutably is so. I also get that any words raised by me or any Aussie fan are easily dismissed as sour grapes and perhaps they are, but my respect for Kiwi performances as a pure fan of the game seem to be constantly overshadowed and completely diminished by this ingrained sense of entitlement that has seeped into this current lot of Nearlies. From its smug coach, to its mostly (excluding rugby greats and genuinely decent human like Sam Whitelock) ‘done nothing’ players, its media, and many of its fans even those who write/worship this current iteration of Kiwi rugby player.

Yep, the same coach, side player, tactics and boardroom that fans and journos like Mr Cully demanded blood flow through the corridors and public executions be held. The same coach who effectively accused Cheika and the FISMSs of cheating after their famous and first victory on NZ soil. The same coach who smirked about the correctness of ‘that’ decision in Melbourne, the same churlish coach who has overseen the demise of the Nearlies to #5 in the world – yep, that coach.

This expected, nay demanded, reverential penitence for the Kiwis that we as Oz fans are to constantly display is pure and utter horseshite. Largely, but not entirely, this current lot are no Hanson, McCaw, Carter, Smith, Franks & co, nor do they carry themselves with the same humility, decency, professionalism or etiquette that the greats of the 2010-2017 era showed. When they act like prats they should be called out accordingly. When decisions are ‘inconsistent’ or never ever seen before they should have the spotlight of further investigation shone on them or at the very minimum, clarification sort. When there are questions about decisions, procedural fairness or just plain consistency, how is it anything but Rennie’s role to challenge them for his team and their followers.

I guess a coach’s, team’s & nation’s frustrations are best explained thus. A player dressed Nearly all in black collides front on, at speed and without mitigation hitting head-on-head with a player in orange. A whistle, a review, a citing or even an interest in any of those available options? Nope. Once again Sevu Reece escapes all punishment for hitting someone in the head! Or perhaps we could spit at and call the Kiwis ‘dogs’ after the next Hakarena?

Or is that setting the Wallabies up to ‘fail again’ Mr Cully, or ‘too much talking’ Mr Read?

How dare we, huh.

A house in New Orleans??

TOURING JAPANESE, I REALLY THINK SO.

Our own former G&GR maestro N Williamson reports on rugby.com.au that Aussie A coach Jason Gilmore has announced his side to take on a Japanese XV this Saturday night 8pm AEST. Now by ‘Japanese XV’ we mean any foreign national ex-pat who has spent more than 12 minutes in a karaoke bar and sports inoffensive tatts.

The ‘A’ side is:

1.Matt Gibbon (Melbourne Rebels) 2. Lachlan Lonergan (ACT Brumbies) 3. Tom Robertson (Western Force) 4. Nick Frost (ACT Brumbies) 5. Cadeyrn Neville (ACT Brumbies) 6. Ned Hanigan (NSW Waratahs) 7. Ollie Callan (Western Force) 8. Langi Gleeson (NSW Waratahs) 9. Ryan Lonergan (c) (ACT Brumbies) 10. Ben Donaldson (NSW Waratahs) 11. Filipo Daugunu (Queensland Reds) 12. Bayley Kuenzle (Western Force) 13. Hudson Creighton (ACT Brumbies) 14. Suliasi Vunivalu (Queensland Reds) 15. Jock Campbell (Queensland Reds) Replacements 16. Billy Pollard (ACT Brumbies) 17. Harry Hoopert (Queensland Reds) 18. Archer Holz (NSW Waratahs) 19. Ryan Smith (Queensland Reds) 20. Brad Wilkin (Melbourne Rebels) 21. James Tuttle (Melbourne Rebels 22. Isaac Henry (Queensland Reds) 23. Mark Nawaqanitawase (NSW Waratahs)

I’ve said previously I love everything about the Aussie A concept, but it has to mean something. True stand out performers must be given access and serious time in higher honours. Not just mid-week tackle bag holders or kit packers.

Surely when you look through the senior Wallaby sides the positions of:

#5, 6, 10, 12, 14, 15, 16-23 must all still be ‘up for grabs’?

See my thoughts above about picking current form over ‘previous experience’.

Australia A team to play Japan at Chichibunomiya Rugby Stadium in Tokyo on Saturday 1 October, 8:00pm AEST Coverage Live and annoying on STAN

‘Watch ziss, now I ping zem for time wasting. Nigel would love it’

I FART IN YOUR GENERAL DIRECTION*

After two weeks of claim and counter-claim, today we hear it direct from the man himself, Monsieur Ref Raynal, who met with me over an expensive coffee, some god-awful cheese, in a dimly lit smokey cafe in La Perouse:

H: Monsieur Raynal, welcome to the pages of Green & Gold Rugby

MR: Tiz a plezzure Mista Hoss. Big fan of Friday’s stuff, Monday to Zursday, not zo much.

H: I hear that all the time. There’s only one real question to ask you today, what…

MR: Le me stop you zere Le Hoss, you are going to ask what iz our Prezident’s Grand Muzzer fetish?

H: No, what has been your take o…..

MR: My take on Citroen? Well zay are a Frunch pizz-take to ze rest of ze world, we don’t even like zese zings. Zay are, how you zay ‘shit boxes’, yet we export them and zay sell, jokes on you I zay.

H: No Nigel, sorry Matthieu, if you only let me ask, in the first Bledis…

MR: Wait Le Hoss, I warn you once, hurry up and ask ze question.

H: Thanks mate, I am trying to, so in Bledisloe one in the 79th minu…

MR: Le Hoss, I find itz now a zecond warning, you zink I won’t reverse my dezizion to meet wit you here, know you no, I am how you zay, ‘not sitting you’.

H: You mean ‘not shitting you’

MR: Zat is what I zay, English pig.

H: But I am an Aussie?

MR: She waz your queen too, no?

H: Moving on Monsieur. Can you tell G&GR readers just what was going through your mind when you made ‘that’ call.

MR: Well, earlier ‘Spunooz’ he eggnore my request to ‘halt’ hiz kick while we ‘chick chick’ pozzibell forward pass on ze try and you know, he just kick it anyway, so….

H: So you wanted revenge?

MR: Sacre bleu, no! I zimply want to screw your nation out of a significant achievement, you know, like building submarines for example. Zo now you know how it feelz to be French!

H: Well, yes maybe, but we’ve never surrendered to ze Germans multiple times.

MR: Sorry le Hoss, what waz zat?

H: Never mind. my French is terrible. You must be aware of the ill feeling and discontent that decision caused?

MR: Well yes ov course Hoss. I am not an island, I understand zere will be strong opinions, but at ze end of ze day zere iz only one opinion zat really matters, wee?

H: You mean ‘yours’ as the match official?

MR: No, no no, Nigel’s of course.

H: Nigel Owens?

MR: Wee Hoss. You zee, uz refs we are a bruzzahood a fraternity ov like minded men doing our best for the pursuit of greatness.

H: For the game of rugby you mean?

MR: No you dimwitted progeny of convict scum, for New Zealand, for ze All Blacks.

H: So yo…

MR: Let me spell it out Hoss and then you can leave. We feel bad about ze mizunderstanding with zat Kiwi boat, ze ‘Rainbow something’ and we….

H: ‘Misunderstanding’, you dirty bastards sunk it and killed people.

MR: Exactly, a mizunderstanding, we not know people would be on za boat, I guess you could blame the Kiwis for zat one. So we feel bad for UnZud, zen your Premier Le Grande stick hiz fist in our nation’s anoose and tear out ze underwater boat contract so we zought we might do a little ‘Nigel’ of our own, no?

H: So this was payback?

MR: Zat is crass and undignified, even for you Hoss.

H: So what would you call it then Monsieur?

MR: ‘remboursement’

H: Fair enough. Look that’s all we h……..

(phone rings)

MR: Wee Nigel, yeah almost finished, would love to, 8pm, zure, zee you zere, love to Richie.

MR: Zorry Hoss, I warned you earlier to play, time iz up and I reverse my decision to meet, enjoy the stale cheese and vive le Kiwi revolution.

H: Cheers Mons…..

MR: Too late Le Hoss, decision made, you and yours screw ze pooch again……au revoir. E Ihowā Atua, O ngā iwi mātou rā……………..

You heard it here first eventually!’

FRIDAY’S GOSS WITH HOSS.

The language of losers.

I get STAN have a product to sell. I get their ‘on-air personalities’ are glorified salespeople. No drama, that’s the gig. Talk up the product, get eyeball on screens, increase streaming income, sponsor & advertising revenues and a host of commercial benefits. But when I repeatedly and I do mean repeatedly, hear last week ‘the Wallabies came back from 18 down last week’ it infuriated me. The real question for the STAN team should be ‘why do the Wallabies constantly find themselves down by these sorts of margins‘ and not the tired ‘miracle of Melbourne‘ BS

Find that definitive answer and I could just have a coaching gig for you……

Padre gets a partner

The Queensland People’s Republic of Queensland side or ‘QPRQ’ have changed up their coaching staff for SRP 2023, with Phil Blake coming in as defensive coach and highly regarded & successful Queensland Uni coach Mick Heenan coming in to ‘partner’ The Padre, Brad Thorn. With 6 grand finals wins from 9 grand finals appearances since 2009 for Heenan, The Padre had better start winning against Kiwi sides consistently & soon, or he may be ‘partnered’ out the door.

Refs right of reply?

Interesting read on stuff.co.nz (the real home of Paul Cully hmmmmm) and a suggestion that refs get the chance, immediately post match to elaborate on decisions. Keen to hear from Charlie, KARL and Lindommer on here for your thoughts. Gotta say, I don’t mind the idea.

Nothing on Newell?

Interesting reading on rugbypass.com, that former AB Liam Sopoaga who won, the, umm, the, Taranaki Rock Eisteddfod & $20 mutton tray at the annual 2016 Whykickamoocow School Raffle, has weighed in with his ‘opinion’ on Swain’s actions, adding to Beauden Barrett’s criticism of Swain’s tackle (quoted in the same article). To be sure no fan ever wants to see a player injured to the extent they spend an extended time on the sidelines and I’m sure I can speak for all on here when we wish him a speedy recovery. But, at time of printing these two bastions of right, these captains of consistency hadn’t released a statement on Fletcher Newell’s identical tackle during the same match. Our G&GR correspondents are standing by….

*interview may have ‘technically’ not happened.

Until next week.

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.

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