Rugby

Monday’s Rugby News – 17/10/22

Monday’s Rugby News – 17/10/22

Happy Monday, G&GRs, and welcome to the start of a new week of articles from your faithful crapparazzi! Twas another jam-packed weekend full of rugby of all sorts, with the Wallaroos taking a win in the RWC in New Zealand, the Steelers preparing to face the Yanks for gold, the Australia A match against Japan XV and the Wobs side for the spring/autumn internationals being announced. The Queensland Reds played their second innovative game (‘surprising’ {not} how little has been said about these amazing ‘innovations’) against the Chairman’s XV and, if you still had time before the missus/mister caught you out, then there were plenty of u16 and u19 matches to be found. I reckon I’m going to need a week to catch up!

EXACTLY why representation in sports matters. How good is this!?

WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP – WEEKEND TWO

Well, folks… what a second weekend we had over in Noo Zeelund! Some of the better tries you’ll ever see scored among some massive defensive tackles and everything in between, even two red cards for the Wallaroos *facepalm*. It appears that the Black Ferns have really hit their straps under Wayne Smith and are starting to look as if they’ll challenge the Red Roses’ win streak (now at 27 games). It was brilliant to see the Fijians score their first RWC win as well!

Scores:

Fiji 21 def South Africa 17 – match report here

New Zealand 56 def Wales 12 – match report here

Canada 22 def Italy 12 – match report here

Australia 14 def Scotland 12 – match report here

USA 30 def Japan 17 – match report here

England 13 def France 7 – match report here

AUSTRALIAN STEELERS AIM FOR GOLD

The Australian Steelers will battle great rivals the United States for the wheelchair rugby world title after securing a thrilling 56-55 semi-final win over hosts Denmark in Vejle. Attempting to reclaim top dog status after missing a medal at last year’s Tokyo Paralympics, the Steelers reached a fourth consecutive world championships gold medal match on Saturday.

Look out for the game at 1am proper Australian time AEDST Monday morning. Article here.

AUSTRALIA A LOSE TO JAPAN XV IN A THRILLER

Well, G&GRs, if you stayed up on Friday evening and watched this game, then I’m sure you found it tricky to sleep afterwards. What a farking game this was! I’m not even annoyed that we lost. What we saw was, strangely, a match that both did, yet didn’t, do the score justice. The defence at times was incredible; at other times, the attack was simply sublime, and you could do nothing but applaud. I know my poor little border collie had the shits as I kept waking her up with my cheering! Sorry, pooch 🐶🐶

Despite being behind for pretty much the entire match, especially at oranges with the score of 35-19 to Japan, the Oz A side kept fighting and pushing their opponents until the very end. The frantic nature of the match ensured the spectacle of rugby was very much there, even when the match looked like it was over, well, until the fat lady sang, it was very much on! If you have time, definitely one to watch again.

Some thoughts about the match and series:

  1. Some players earned their business class seats to Europe in this series. Marky Mark and Jock Campbell in particular were excellent. Full credit to Tom Banks for his return from the horrific arm injury he suffered earlier in the season, too.
  2. A number of players should consider themselves unfortunate at not making the European tour. In particular, Ryan Lonergan was farking outstanding in his performance. Apart from his usually reliable boot going a slightly astray in the final match, he did very little, if anything, wrong across the three games. I still believe he is the Antoine Dupont of Australian rugby. There’s a huge amount to like with this chap, not least his temperament and speed of ball delivery. Another who probably should be on the plane is Seru Uru who was able to work well with an atypical 6/7 combo of Brad Wilkin and Rory Scott. Hamish Stewart proved himself (again) to be a steadying figure at 12 as well.
  3. The Suli Vunivalu union experiment is over. His first ten minutes or so was really good, I’ll absolutely give him that credit. Unfortunately, his next 30 minutes, especially after getting bumped by ‘The Flying Fridge’, as Googy Harrison put it, wasn’t. He was rightly hooked at oranges for the highly impressive Peitch who was phenomenal. I’d be shocked if he wasn’t playing gaol ball in March 2023.
  4. The concept of an Australia A series like this is invaluable. Ryan Lonergan summed it up well, saying “future tours to Japan at all levels would be beneficial to Australian rugby because the way they approach the game is like nothing else.” I said this a few weeks ago, but it’s a shame that there isn’t a squad heading over to Europe for a few matches. That said, it’s been a long season and we’re bleeding players as it is. I hope this concept is here to stay.
  5. We have similar problems in technical skills in the ‘next lot of blokes’. Our lineout wasn’t great and our kick restarts were abysmal until Cadeyrn Neville came on after oranges. Curiously, the restart is exactly where the Wobs have significant problems. Hmmm. 🤔🤔

The match article is here.

QUEENSLAND REDS v CHAIRMAN’S XV

Unsurprisingly to me, there was very little fanfare with the second of the ‘innovative law’ games played in Brisvegas over the weekend. If there were significant changes to game play, etc., then I reckon we’d have heard about it already as the saviour to rugby union in this country. Alas, I fear it’s an experiment that was worthy, albeit doomed. Fair play to the RA administrators having a go (for once) and trying something new, even if it wasn’t the miracle they expected.

If you’d like a gander, here’s the link. The match can be found on the Reds’ Facebook page.

WALLABIES SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENT

The Wallaby squad for the autumn/spring internationals has been named. Unsurprisingly, there are very few bolters as we are quite close to a World Cup.

Thoughts on the squad:

  1. Thank fark there’s no Kurtley Beale. I 100% agree with Knuckles who said, “playing Kurtley, who hasn’t played in eight months and struggled to make the team before he left, makes no sense. If he has a great Super Rugby season and plays the house down, he goes”. Hear hear (suck it, Hossman).
  2. VERY light on props due to injury. Pone, with his THIRTEEN previous calf injuries, was unfortunately injured in the first half of the Oz A game with what looks to be a similar hamstring injury suffered by Nathan Sharpe. Hopefully Nela has sorted his shit out.
  3. Players rewarded for form in Japan. Good. Players punted for poor performances in Japan. Good.
  4. Where’s Wally Harry? I’ve copped it a little bit on the writer’s chat, and maybe fairly. I’ve been dismissive of Harry as a ‘one trick pony’ of sorts; however, I’ve been put in my place a bit with Super stats. Now, while these don’t always transition over to international stats, I do wonder what is going wrong with this young bloke. Hoss reckons, and he might have a point here, that Dirty Harry should go overseas. Maybe Razor will have him for a season in place of Matera?
  5. Why is Skelton here? Perhaps similar to Dirty Harry that he doesn’t fit the Australian plan (whatever the fark that is, coz I don’t know) and nothing has been done to accommodate HIS skills. I’m still not convinced; it seems many other coaches are getting exactly what they need out of him while he has been, well, shite for the orange men. In fairness, Rennie has to use his ‘Giteau Law’ players somewhere and we’re damned short on second rowers as we are props. I’m happy to eat humble pie.
  6. Welcome back, Hoops. I don’t know if he walks straight back into the starting side but he’s a player you’d rather have around than not.
  7. WTF is our game plan then? Who is starting the matches? Are we going to chop and change again and again (inevitable is Foley starts as he isn’t available for all tests). I did manage to watch the Search for Australian Rugby doco on Binge over the weekend, the key part I took away was cohesion. Well, there ain’t been any of that! Yes, our injury toll has been a nightmare; however, in key positions, when we can, we haven’t done a ‘pick and stick’. A classic case has been Noah. Talk about another season wasted for his potential and development. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s stuffed around again and Donaldson gets a crack. It’ll all end in tears come RWC 2023.

Let’s hear what you think, G&GRs!

Wallabies squad for the 2022 Spring Tour (age, team, Tests played)

Allan Alaalatoa (28, ACT Brumbies, 60 tests), Tom Banks (28, ACT Brumbies, 20), Jock Campbell (27, Queensland Reds, uncapped), Ben Donaldson (23, NSW Waratahs, uncapped), Folau Fainga’a (27, ACT Brumbies, 33), Lalakai Foketi (27, NSW Waratahs, 4), Bernard Foley (32, Kubota Spears, 73), Matt Gibbon (27, Melbourne Rebels, 2), Nick Frost (23, ACT Brumbies, 5), Langi Gleeson (21, NSW Waratahs, uncapped), Jake Gordon (29, NSW Waratahs, 16), Ned Hanigan (27, NSW Waratahs, 25), Reece Hodge (28, Melbourne Rebels, 60), Jed Holloway (29, NSW Waratahs, 6), Michael Hooper (30, NSW Waratahs, 121), Len Ikitau (24, ACT Brumbies, 21), Andrew Kellaway (27, Melbourne Rebels, 18), Noah Lolesio (22, ACT Brumbies, 14), Lachlan Lonergan (23, ACT Brumbies, 6), Tate McDermott (23, Queensland Reds, 18), Fraser McReight (23, Queensland Reds, 8), Mark Nawaqanitawase (22, NSW Waratahs, uncapped), Cadeyrn Neville (33, ACT Brumbies, 3), Hunter Paisami (24, Queensland Reds, 20), Jordan Petaia (22, Queensland Reds, 22), Matt Philip (28, Melbourne Rebels, 27), David Porecki (29, NSW Waratahs, 7), Tom Robertson (28, Western Force, 27), Peter Samu (30, ACT Brumbies, 28), Will Skelton (30, Stade Rochelais, 21), James Slipper (c) (33, ACT Brumbies, 123), Sam Talakai (31, Melbourne Rebels, uncapped), Taniela Tupou (26, Queensland Reds, 43), Rob Valetini (24, ACT Brumbies, 27), Nic White (32, ACT Brumbies, 56), Tom Wright (25, ACT Brumbies, 18). FUX article here

Have a cracking Monday, folks! CM – out.

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