Hello, G&GRS, and happy Monday to you all!
My apologies for the delay in production today. I chose to wait for the overnight results and for the announcement of the Super Rugby Pacific Draw… Whose dumb fucking idea was it to have matches on Sunday nights
Mexico Melbourne time anyway?!?!
In today’s news, we have a wrap-up of Week Three of the Men’s and Women’s AIs, a preview of Week Four, the SR Pacific Draw and my thoughts on the current path of Women’s rugger in Australia.
Autumn Internationals – Week Three
GAGRs 15 v Soap Dodgers 32 – Well, there has been a lot said both in commentary, on social media and in sports websites. Long story short, we simply weren’t good enough. Ill-discipline, poor technique and an absolute lack of basics is haunting us. It has become VERY clear that selecting the overseas-based players (Arnold, Latu, Skelton, Beale, etc.) has been a disaster. They have bought very little in terms of performance, aside from an arguable improvement in the line-out, though a decrease in scrummaging. Australia were very bloody lucky that England had their own worries with front rowers or else I suspect we’d have reverted 2007-esque scrums… After all the positivity in the lead up to the AIs, my (our) worst fear is coming true in a horrible way: a potential three consecutive losses in Europe. If I were Dave Rennie, I’d be saying ‘goodbye’ to a number of overseas-based players in favour of those who have performed for the GAGRs. There’s nothing to lose now except one more match.
Leprechauns 29 – Nearlies 20 – This was a bloody good match… though I daresay a few of the Kiwis will be agreeing with my thoughts on players playing for other nations! With a game very much in the balance until the final few minutes, this was the sort of game that rugby so desperately needs a lot of. Sure, like many other matches, it wasn’t perfect… but there are very few games that are. I do wonder if the era of Faz is ending and the M Smith era has begun overnight? Genesis (Noah L).. or any other Aussie 10 tbh… has a lot of work to do to match this young chap.
Frogs 41 v Georgia 15 – look out, Nearlies! The French are looking quite decent.
Taffs 38 v Fiji 23 – Have heard some good things about this game… Could be worth a gander during night shift tonight!
French Baa Baas 42 – Tonga 17 – unfortunately for Tonga, the French B(aa Baas) side is as good as their ‘A’ side.
Romania 56 – Dutch Pot Smokers (DPSs) 15 –
Switzerland 20 – Lithuania 28
Belgium 0 – Canucks 24
Poland 21 – Germany 16 (karma…!)
Croatia 29 – Cyprus 8
Namibia 5 – Zambia 75
Frogs 38 – Nearlies 13
Taffs 29 – DDFs 19
Soap Dodgers 51 v Canucks 12
Jocks 36 v Japan 12
Super Rugby Pacific – Draw Announced
Even though kick-off of the inaugural SR Pacific is a few months away, it will sneak up on us before we know it. The draw can be found here. We are still awaiting where the Drua will be based for 2022 and there are a few other games that I presume are awaiting finalisation with thugby league.
As a Mexican, I am FUCKING THRILLED to see a super round in Melbourne on the last weekend of February (Round Two). In fact, I’m already booking the weekend off work and any other committments. What a weekend that promises to be!
PS… Don’t tell Dan that it’s on… He may lock us down again :|
Women’s Rugby in Australia
I had the distinct pleasure of watching the Welsh dismantle the DDF women and the French give the Kiwi girls a paddlin’. If you have time…. treat yo’self!
I must say that the skill level of the sides has been amazing. The fullback in me swooned over a number of the backline moves put on by the sides. Then again, the scrummaging and the direct, hard-running forward play made the inner referee in me chuckle with glee… mostly at not being in their way! As an outside observer of the women’s game both in cricket and rugby as well as a former high performance cricket coach within the female space, I have been delighted to see the advancement of the game for women. Why? Well, if I’m ever fortunate enough to have children (the poor lady that gets stuck with me….), I would want any future daughters of mine to have exactly the same opportunity as the boys. Now, whether that opportunity is taken up is a different question; however, as long as the opportunity exists is the main thing!
Which brings me to my frustration: where the bloody hell is the Australian Women’s side?! Furthermore, what is being done to adequately capture (and, as importantly, retain) the female talent in Australia.
Across the ditch, we have seen the Farah Palmer Cup bringing weekly success for the female space. This will then lead into Super Rugby Aupiki which is due to be launched in 2022. In France and the UK, the Women’s programmes are being aligned with the Premiership and Top League sides. It has been clear to see the level of quality improve even in the space of two seasons from the French and UK sides.
Along with this, these sides are seeing the benefits of coaching that are seeing the women’s game as a pinnacle, not as a stepping stone to the men’s game or as an obligation in order to ‘tick a bureaucratic box’. This means that their sides have consistency and a clear direction forward.
Contrast this with where the Australian sides are at present: the sacking of the coaching staff after appalling comments at the state tournament last season, the focus of RA on the 7s programme and their expectation that the players will maintain loyalty to achieve Olympic gold and the failure to retain talent. Even recently as the last few weeks, we have sen Elia Green retire and Emma Tonegato leave the 7s programme for a stint in thugby league.
Now, I appreciate that Covid has fucked a lot of things around… But if the Nearlies can send a side, why the fuck can’t we? This reeks of dollars not being set aside for the development of a key demographic of the game. Furthermore, this means that the Australian side has had bugger all opportunity to play. The recent matches against Samoa and NZ were cancelled and there is a small opportunity to play in the Pacific comp in the lead up to the RWC in NZ next year. I sense that we may be in for a bit of trouble… RA – sort it out!
Autumn Internationals – Week Four
Soap Dodgers v DDFs (DDFs)
Taffs v GAGRs (Taffs pending which Wallaby side is selected)
Jocks v Japan (Jocks)
Frogs v New Zealand (Frogs… big call for the Darkness to lose two in a row… I know)
Italy v Uruguay (Italy)
Georgia v Fiji (Georgia)
Ireland v Argentina (Ireland)
Romania v Tonga (Romania)
Apologies for swearing, but I’ve used Road links for the videos:
Dane Coles – irony surely has to be noted!