Welcome back to Monday’s Rugby News, GAGRs! I must say that the return to the column has definitely snuck up on me. Here I was thinking I had another week or so… then the reality hit! I’ve posted a bit early as I’m prone to waking up on a Monday and completely forgetting my responsibilities… Oops!
I hope you’ve all been merry and bright, particularly with our red ball brethren giving the Poms the shellacking they so desperately deserve.
On the rugby front, not much has been happening domestically. There is a smattering of action in the newly named Japanese Rugby League One with the return of the homophobe Israel Folau to the 15 jersey among other Australian players in the competition. In Europe, Covid remains as problematic as the parties in Downing St are for BoJo. This is affecting the Euro competitions as well as the domestic comps. Hopefully the return of the 6N in a few short weeks is not rooted as I love the history and tradition of the match ups… as well as watching the inevitable ‘upset’!
Super Rugby Pacific – 2022
33 DAYS UNTIL KICKOFF!!!
Here is a reminder of the updated 2022 draw:
I’m super excited for Super Rugby to return! Unfortunately, it seems like SANZAR/RA have completely forgotten to market their feature product (AGAIN) so I doubt many casual supporters have realised the competition is returning so soon.
For me, as a current Melbournian, I’m very much looking towards the Super Round over the ANZAC weekend. Hopefully all the Covid-related difficulties ease up (thanks for ‘letting her rip’, ScumMo and ConDom Perrotett…. wankers) and we can have a return to normal proceedings.
Over the coming weeks, I’ll have a deeper look into the local sides… I have to have some material!!
The Christian Leali’ifano-led Moana Pasifika have been quietly building their squad and coaching staff. They have secured Southland Head Coach Dale MacLeod, and specialist prop Pauliasi Manu to their 2022 Super Rugby Pacific coaching team. What I’m finding most impressive is the cultural aspect of these new sides. They are clearly building towards a long term vision for their sides and, well, it’ll be hard not to like them! Hopefully the Facebook link below works; if not, I’d definitely suggest heading to their page for some interesting tidbits: https://www.facebook.com/MoanaPasifikaRugby/videos/451164266568944
Want to Stay Involved in Rugby?
Following on from KARL’s article earlier this week, it seems fitting to encourage GAGR readers to look at new ways to remain involved in rugby. In particular, the refereeing associations in your local area will be delighted to welcome you to the fold.
Although I’m quite clearly biased, refereeing has been one of the ways I’ve been able to stay involved with rugby. As an absolutely shite player and with no idea how to coach above an u13 level, refereeing was my rugby salvation. What’s involved? Well, there will usually be an online RA refereeing course as well as the compulsory Smart Rugby accreditation. Most associations will then start you off in the junior ranks (e.g. U10 – 12) unless you have a significant rugby background. Even then, the likely starting point will be the U14-U15 range. Wherever possible, the associations will provide you with a referee coach to guide you on the way. After that, it’s up to you. You can continue running around with the juniors (who are always desperate for referees) or work you way to seniors. There is a pathway for those who only wish to be an assistant referee. If you can only referee every other weekend, I can tell you know that association will not mind in the slightest.
Melbourne – http://www.vicrugbyrefs.com/
Perth – http://www.rugbywarefs.com.au/
Sydney – https://snrr.org.au/ (Sydney North) http://www.sydneywestrugbyrefs.org.au/ (Sydney West) https://www.ssrra.org.au/ (Sydney South) https://nswrugbyreferees.com.au/contact/ (NSW refs) https://www.nrura.com/ (Newcastle)
Qld – https://www.qrra.com.au/
NT – https://nt.rugby/
Australia – https://australia.rugby/participate/referee
Munster play ‘Boring, Bok Style’
Well, it seems that the rugby fanatics and legends of the Munster Province are sick of their Saffa playing ways, with a Rugby Pass article published early yesterday morning.
Well, I’m not one to shy away from the issues that plague rugby union that can be directly attributed to South Africa. Indeed, beginning with Jake White (i.e. Jake ball) and the ‘win at all costs and fuck everyone and everything else and if you say anything you’re a racist and a conspiracy theorist’ attitude which then gifted us Peter de Villiers and Rassie Erasmus amongst others, it is curious to see many clubs bemoan what becomes of their pride and joy immediately after the tenure of Saffa coaching staff. Furthermore, the cultures of these clubs seems to go to shit immediately after as well. I recall my beloved Ponies as an example absolutely nosediving after White’s tenure (a theme that seems to follow White) and the absolute shock, horror and revulsion of the mere suggestion of Jake White being appointed as a Wallabies coach.
Ronan O’Gara is quoted as saying, “I’d understand to a degree if, like the Springboks, this was delivering winning rugby and trophies, but Munster never looked to play the ball into the fifteens at any stage… It was like watching rugby from a bygone era… I respect every coaching philosophy and if that is the vision of Munster’s management, you admire it to a point, but it must be pretty restrictive to play that kind of way. Munster’s South African ethos is summed up thus: Maul. Box Kick. Aerial Contest. Play if you win it, defend if you don’t… It’s not ‘being more expansive’.”
Clubs, particularly French, appreciate the ‘winning’ that the South African coaches bring as well as the players they’re able to entice; however, at what cost? Surely the absolute degradation of what your club is and what is stands for is, is equivalent to how a side wins. I appreciate that, in the contemporary world, results = money; however, when looking at long-term success, the South African modus operandi is not the way forward.
For me, losing the SA super sides, most of whom, as I’ve read recently, are now effectively academy sides for cashed up Euro and Japanese clubs, could well be the best thing to ever happen to rugby in the Pacific.
Well folks, happy Monday (and Sunday…)