Right team, as from 12 today it’s time to stop with the disappointment of the past and start looking forward to the next game. It’s been 10 days since we played England and it’s 10 days until we play Argentina. Let’s look forward not backwards.
Not a lot of information on where teams are at for the upcoming games and so there isn’t a lot to say about them. About all I’ve got is that I think the Wallabies need to beat the FISMs and at least 1 game against both the DDF and the ABs to be setting things right for the RWC.
Eddie not interested in coming back to Australian Rugby
According to an article in SMH co-written by Georgina Robertson, Tom Decent and Ian Payten, Eddie is disenchanted with Australian rugby and stunned at the diminished profile of rugby here, even since his last tour in 2016. He was also apparently wounded by the “traitor” sledge at the last game in Sydney.
Admittedly, there’s always a danger in being definitive with anything Jones does as he’s a master at laying false trails and creating chaos where none are needed. However, with the current shitfight with NZ, the poor state of the finances and no real direction on where rugby’s going either domestically or internationally luring Eddie back into a role may be a tough road for the executives of RA.
I think the question also has to be in what role would he be happy with and that Rugby Australia could afford and provide support to. Personally I think Eddie is happier when he is in charge and while he has a sort of Director of Rugby with his club in Japan I’m not sure he’d want to come back and get caught up in the middle of the fight between the clubs, states and Super franchises that is ongoing here. After all it is now July with pre-season starting soon and as yet we have no idea on what next years’ competition, or competitions, will look like.
NZRFU making AR look good
To be honest as much as I support the Wallabies against everyone except the ABs, and the enjoyment I get from the banter and friendships I’ve made with Australian rugby people since moving here in 2010 I have always been a little bit smug watching the ongoing shitfight between the Sydney and Brisbane clubs, Rugby Australia and the Super franchises. With Cheika as coach there was always so much going on with the lack of results, poor performances on and off the field and the tension between him and the rugby supporters I always felt just that little bit superior.
However, boy am I eating some humble pie at the moment. It appears that the NZRFU have taken note of everything bad that has happened and decided to replicate it in NZ. From stupid announcements about how they wanted to run a competition without half the Australian clubs, almost working hard to ensure South Africa wasn’t part of the Super competition anymore, and now doing almost exactly the same thing with coaches and director of rugby that RA did before crashing out of the RWC. Not sure why they thought such an abject failure would work for NZ but I guess we’ll see.
Now I’m not going to put in the thousand links to all the articles on this but a couple that may be interesting are here (breathing life into the RC), here (Foster needs to step up), here (heat still on Foster) and here (NZ goes from bad to disastrous)
Opinion Piece – why inconsistency often isn’t
I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many complaints about refereeing as what I’ve seen this year. Sure there have always been complaints, and there are a number of coaches who use the referee as an excuse for their losses on a regular basis. What I do find amusing is that the same coaches never seem to question the referee when they win, only when they lose. These coaches (and players and supporters) also seem to like pointing out one or two plays where the so-called wrong decision decided the game without apparently recognising the hundreds of decisions made by players from both teams all the way through the game that actually decided the contest. However, this year it seems these complaints have grown out of proportion and I blame a few things for this. Firstly, that utter dickhead Erasmus and his video, along with the pathetic response from World Rugby, that seems to have given tacit approval for every coach, player and supporter to think that it is now ok to question every decision a referee makes. Secondly, the inability of coaches and players to modify their tackling technique and defensive patterns to reduce head contact that has seen such an increase in cards during most games. And thirdly, the lack of understanding by most coaches, players, commentators and supporters on the laws of the game and how they are applied during a game. Not totally unexpected as there are a lot of laws and the World Rugby Guidelines tell referees how they should be applied are not common knowledge – even among some referees.
Now we all know, or those of us who have played know, that rugby is a dynamic game with a lot happening. The biggest difference between rugby and other codes where the ball is carried into contact is that for the other codes when the contact occurs the contest stops and the game is reset and play starts again. In rugby the moment of contact is actually the start of the contest for the ball, Players run into each other, tackles are made and then both sides continue to contest for the ball. Rugby itself is built on the premise of the laws enabling a fair contest for the ball both when you are attacking and when you are defending. Sure skill, application of the laws and tactics allow one side to be better but the laws don’t favour either and specifically allow for a fair competition (except the rolling maul which I personally hate). The dynamism of the game and the way that there is so much happening means that the decisions made during the game are almost completely subjective and are based on what the referee is seeing at the time. The difference between a good and not so good referee is largely based on the ability of the referee to get to the right position, at the right time, to be able to make the best decision on the law for the game at that time. Inevitably when the ball is being contested there is a lot happening and if a referee is on one side they’ll rule one way, and if on the other side with a different picture they will likely rule another way. Inevitably during a match the tv and people on the sideline will see a different picture from the referee and so often don’t understand why a particular decision was made.
One of the biggest complaints that often comes in after a game of rugby is that people want to see more consistency with the rulings by the referee during a game. In a lot of cases this comes about because a referee will sometimes penalise a player doing something and at other times when it looks almost exactly the same they won’t and this can be confusing. The main reason for this is that referees apply the laws of the game in two ways – technically and tactically. The technical aspect of the game is as the law is written. A flanker is ahead of the last part of a ruck or maul and so is offside and incurs a penalty – not usually any argument. However the referee also applies the law in a tactical manner. This is based on the material impact of the law. So if the flanker is offside and the ball is coming out that side of the ruck/maul then they can materially affect what happens and so they get penalised. If, on another occasion, the ball comes out the other side and the offside flanker doesn’t affect how it’s played then the referee won’t penalise them and will instead allow the game to continue. However, all that a spectator sees is a player offside and sometimes being penalised and sometimes not. Even worse, when their player is penalised and the opposition one isn’t for what they see as the same play they feel aggrieved and start asking the referee to be consistent. Actually the referee is consistent in that he/she is consistently applying the law in a tactical manner so that the game can flow not be a continual stop start for penalties.