Happy Hump Day fellow rugby fanatics. That day of the week where from 12:00 it just gets better.
Tupou out for remainder of Super Rugby Pacific
In news that will devastate most Reds fans, and the remainder of Australia when the Reds play any NZ team, Taniela Tupou will miss the remainder of the Super Pacific season after suffering a calf injury in Saturday night’s loss to the Chiefs.
Scans on Sunday confirmed a strain with the Reds releasing a statement “he will seek further medical opinion…..but it is expected he will miss the remainder of the season” . There is still hope that he will return for the finals run in June, while the three test series against England in July remains firmly on his radar.
Reds are having a bad run of injuries with Tupou joining JOC on the injury list. There is some good news with both Vunivala and Petaia training this week and appearing to be able to face the Highlanders this weekend.
I think the Reds have been unlucky and unfortunately they, like the Crusaders and most other teams, are struggling with depth and losing a couple of key players has been something they are struggling with. Let’s hope there aren’t too many more as the season continues.
Team of the week – Nathan Williamson
- Scott Sio – continues his mid-season form revival
- Mahe Vailanu – good lineout and some great ball in hand impact
- Cabous Eloff – a consistent shining light at the Rebels
- Jed Holloway – Iispirational against the Crusaders
- Darcy Swain – becoming the anchor in the Brumbies pack
- Charlie Gamble – all round performance enough to hold out Valetini’s freak try
- Fraser McReight – despite the penalties he just keeps getting better
- Michael Wells – a captain’s knock, led from the front all night
- Tate McDermott – kept the Reds in the game almost single handedly
- Carter Gordon – stepped up well with Toomua out and did a Gregan-like tackle to prevent a certain try
- Dylan Pietsch – stepped up and put in a MOTM game
- Idea Simone – shines in a very good Brumbies backline
- Izaia Perese – stepped up for the Tahs
- Tom Wright – continues to get over the advantage line with the ball
- Reece Hodge – seemed to find another level after a slow start to the season.
Not my picks in every position but great to see Nathan set himself up by putting this out there.
Flanker Depth not an Issue for Rennie
Dave Rennie says Fraser McReight will get his test chances this year as he continues to push skipper Michael Hooper for a starting jersey at No 7. McReight has been a standout in the Reds team this year and is mounting a strong case for a start in either the RC or English series later this year.
Leading into last week’s matches he has won more turnovers than any other player in the Super Rugby competition. The 23 yr old has played in 2 tests in 2 years coming off the bench and he needs more time to get ready for the RWC in France next year. Rennie agreed that McReight could do little more to earn selection. “I agree Fraser has been outstanding” Rennie told AAP. “His continuity has gone up another level, although he needs to make sure he’s disciplined around the post tackle as he has given away a few penalties there”.
In a statement that makes me like Rennie even more he said that playing two specialist open side flankers would limit the wallabies lineout. Finally a coach who gets it. I personally have never liked the idea of two 7s and I always thought that under Cheka the Wallaby loose trio was unbalanced and that created a lot of the issues they had. (Mind you with Cheika in charge there were so many issues it was hard to pinpoint any one.)
WARNING – Opinion Piece
Rugby World Cup winner Ben Kay has entered the concussion stakes claiming that “It is, without doubt, the biggest concern that rugby faces and that if things don’t change rugby potentially may not be here in 50 years time”.
I am 100% behind World Rugby’s attempts to reduce the instances of concussion by reducing head contact. It absolutely gobsmacks me that so many coaches and players here, and in NZ, don’t seem to care and continue to do the same dumb things each week.
What really gets me the most is the sheer stupidity of the commentators in this area. Now I know these people have got more experience than me in playing the game but I’m also reminded of the two lessons I learnt when I first took up refereeing after playing for about 30+ years: how much referees have to run and how many laws I didn’t know. These idiots are demonstrating their lack of knowledge in every game and with every 2nd statement they make but what really gets me is they are abdicating their responsibility to the game and contributing to the problem.
Most people viewing the game think that these people must know what they’re talking about and so follow their lead when they complain about a good piece of refereeing that punishes a player not following the WR direction. This absolutely shits me and I think they need to be held accountable for this. If they can’t support the initiative then they should get out of commentating on the game.
Their stupid is continuing to cause damage and it needs to stop.