Welcome, G&GRs, to another edition of Monday’s News. I greet you from the
soon-to-be capital of the glue factory industry of the racing industry, with a well-deserved public holiday on Tuesday allowing me to read Nutta’s Chewsday effort in the peace and quiet of home. We’ll have a gander at the quarter finals of the Women’s RWC in New Zealand, the start of the autumn tours, and a few open letters that I had to get off my chest.
So, dig in and don’t hold back, G&GRs. Nothing better than spilling your deepest, darkest secrets and feelings on a Monday.
WOMEN’S RUGBY WORLD CUP – QUARTER FINALS
The Wallaroos’ World Cup has come to a predictable end (unless you’re Morgan Turinui) with a loss to tournament favourites, the English Roses, in the 3rd quarter final on Sunday. To start with the positives, the women did bloody well to get to this point. We all know that RA seemingly don’t give two fuqs about the women; therefore, to get even to this stage is an achievement that’s well deserved. Fair play, ladies, they never gave up trying and still put on big shots and fancy footwork to keep the English guessing. The sole try scored by the Wallaroos was a try of sheer skill and beauty. This effort demonstrates what our women are capable of if given the proper resources and opportunity. Time to step up, RA.
In torrential rain during the first half, the teams played an up-tempo brand of rugby that kept viewers engaged. With the easing of the rain the English were not to be denied and ran out emphatic winners. Quite simply, they are a level above and beyond most other teams at present and well and truly are the favourites, continuing a 27 match win streak.
There are some interesting matchups this coming weekend, though I think it’ll be a New Zealand v England final at a sold-out Eden Park in two weeks. Let’s hope NZR remembers about these matches this time… *face palm*
Australia 5 def by England 41 – match report here
France 39 def Italy 3 – match report here
New Zealand 55 def Wales 3 – match report here
Canada 32 def USA 11 – match report here
WOMENS’ XV TOURNAMENT
Music to my ears! This seems to have gone under the radar a bit… however, a tip off over the weekend has livened up the potential for the women’s game to really take off!
World Rugby reports, “World Rugby has launched a new three tier annual global women’s international 15s competition within a restructuring of the test calendar. Launching in 2023, WXV will revolutionise the women’s international rugby landscape, providing for the first time a meaningful pathway for all unions and a competitive springboard towards an expanded 16 team Rugby World Cup in 2025.”
For once, this is a damned good idea from the men in suits in Dublin. I think their counting may need a bit of work when explaining the teams from WXV2, but beggars can’t be choosers. This will be seriously good shit as it guarantees a minimum of six tests per season not including any qualifying games. The opportunities this tournament will provide could well be a selling point to many potential players as well. Furthermore, the opportunity to be a part of a global tournament every season ought to have sponsors licking their lips. If the women were smart they’d be looking towards the Asian financial markets, too.
NEW ZEALAND v JAPAN
Well, what a bloody match this was! I spent most of last week needling KARL on the Crapparazzi chat on how the Japs were going to win. Well, I almost had it in the bag which was much to KARL’s chagrin as well, keep an eye on the comments for KARL off the long run!
This game seemed to have it all, and I bloody enjoyed it. Especially when I turned it on after the two women’s matches. Whichever idiot got that wrong over in NZ will surely be cleaning out their locker tomorrow, lol, jokes it’s rugby, no one in administration is ever held accountable!
The NZ Herald reports, “The All Blacks have barely avoided yet more unwanted history, but on tonight’s evidence Japan won’t have to wait long for a breakthrough victory. An inconsistent season for the All Blacks continued – and was captured in microcosm – as they battled to an uninspiring win over an inspired opposition in Tokyo. The Brave Blossoms were a try away from a stunning upset in the final moments.”
I tell you what, if the Japanese can keep improving, I see no reason they can’t be in an expanded Rugby Championship of sorts. Maybe we can turf the Saffers. 65,188 people watching live is no laughing matter either!
WALLABIES v SCOTLAND
Well, I suppose a win’s a win. But gee whiz, it’s farking hard to be a Wallabies supporter, even with a level of rationality. I don’t even know where to start, but as a G&GR commenter said last week (name yourself!), “the aura and buzz that the Wallabies earned against the French last season has gone”. Not bloody wrong. I’ve gone from excitement of a team building under a fresh coach and solid young players with a mix of experience, to rolling my eyes every time I see a team sheet being rolled out. What the fark has happened? How did we end up here? I honestly don’t know. There must surely be things happening behind the scenes that us Joe Publicans aren’t aware of, as the sides selected ain’t getting any clearer and the players on the field, if anything, are getting worse. I don’t get it. We were on such a high at this point only last year, to now staring down the barrel of complete embarrassment. I want to be positive. I really do. But it’s so damn hard.
So sure, bank the win. But if we think our tour is going to get any easier than this, dream on. The French await next week, and they have a point to prove.
Open letter one – Wallabies
Pull your fucking heads in. As Lord was quoted a few weeks ago, “We are fucking built on basics. That’s us, we do that well.” You do not do the basics well. The passing is shite. The tackling is shite. The effort is, at times, from some players, shite. But, most importantly, you do not do the basic principles of rugby well. In particular, one of the golden laws of rugby is to respect the referee and their authority. This match against Scotland was embarrassing. Far too often were you throwing your hands up in bemusement, astonished and outraged that the decisions didn’t go your way. Too often you backchatted to the referee and his assistants. Too often you were too busy trying to influence a referee that you forgot to do your bloody job. Your arrogance and entitlement as a team is befuddling as you do not deserve anything in this sport. You earn it. At the moment, you are not earning anything. You do not deserve whatever ‘rub of the green’ there may be. And the way you treat the referees, you certainly won’t be getting any ’50/50 decisions’ either. There were too many of you thinking you were captain and, consequently, being marched for it. I know a lot of you have grown up thinking your shit doesn’t stink. Well, in international rugby, the referees don’t care for you and your opinion if you don’t have the small C next to your name. This includes you, Hoops. Great to have you back, and good on you for taking care of yourself. But you are not the captain anymore by your own choice. So STFU and get on with it. Men in orange, I guarantee this attitude towards referees will cost you AGAIN sooner or later. Have you not learned from the Raynal incident as to what happens when your arrogance is on show? When you cop it again, you will have no one to blame but yourself. I’m not advocating you turn into the Kiwi cricket side, but, for farks sake, get some humility and humbleness about yourselves, quick smart!
Furthermore, your basic discipline is terrible. Your choices are poor, especially under pressure. Again, your arrogance seeps through as the thought process seems to be that you deserve to do what you want. The entitlement you seem to feel is that you’ll get away with it because the sun shines out of your arses and you’ve never been told ‘no’. I can only hope Lord Laurie has the lot of you doing burpees until you’re vomiting your guts up. Learn now, and quickly.
You’re lucky to be 6th in the world. But you’re not king of the castle in world rugby. You’re not even close. Start acting like a team the nation can be proud of.
Open letter two – Dave Rennie
I’m a fan. Truly I am. But I’m so lost. I don’t understand your selections. In particular, I don’t understand the fascination with Foley. So far he hasn’t shown me anything that Noah hasn’t. Indeed, I’d rate his last three tests at no more than 5/10. You’re happy to turf Noah after one ‘bad’ match, yet Spanners gets at least four in a row? What gives? Adding to that, why is the bloke with the shortest kicking range going for touch? I fear you’ve lost the dressing room because these moments make absolutely no sense. Indeed, there are other selections that are odd, but I’ll leave it here for now.
Secondly, why guarantee Skelton three starting tests? We have two second rowers that played their hearts out and, likely, for Neville, above their ceilings. Frost had a stormer. Now you’re going to tell one of them that they’re dropped for some blokes who has burned 23 tests and countless opportunities. Tell me how this will help us. I will gladly be proved wrong, but I don’t think I will be.
Thirdly, what’s going on with being “relieved” to get past Scotland? The side was a Kinghorn’s kick away from losing a match that we had plethora of opportunities in. You have to raise the bar to be a successful team. Mere relief after beating a team we are, in theory, better than is a poor attitude and reflection.
Finally, please bring back the hype. I miss it.
Open letter three – Morgan Turinui
I don’t know why you’re trying so hard to be insufferable like Phil Kearns
was is. You started so well in your commentary career, but I find myself wanting to mute you whenever you open your mouth. I’m sick to death of your blatant partisanship and whinging. Further, for a well-educated man with an apparently excellent rugby brain, please learn the laws of the game and how they are refereed. The way you carry on is symptomatic of Australian rugby at present. As a commentator, you’re not a cheer squad for your mates like Drew Mitchell is. Your job is to be impartial and to explain, with an open mind and levelheadedness, what’s going on and why. Your pathetic rants about decisions made are insufferable. Indeed, on occasion, your explanation is downright wrong and inflammatory (example is Paisami’s ‘knock down’ which you claimed is an automatic yellow. Ah… no). Fix this or STFU.
Open letter four – Peter Fenwicke (“Gel”)
Dear Peter (“Gel”),
As you know, KARL and I are referees. We saw your post in the forums about “how the referee was inconsistent and bad”. You then proceeded to provide ‘facts’ to back up your claim of incompetence. What you did not take into account was your own lack of law knowledge.
Your timeline states, “the referee blew his whistle at 77:54… and kicked the ball at 79:40 for a total of 106 seconds”. While your maths are correct, your application of law is not. The time for a shot does not start when the whistle is blown; it is started when the intention of the attacking team is advised to the referee (law 8.19) either through advising the referee or the tee arriving. Now, I digress that the shot still may have gone a bit too long over the 60 seconds (I saw a shot signalled at 78:16 so the time is closer to 80 seconds (if not signalled, then the tee arriving at ~78:30 for a rough shot time of 64 seconds applies); however, if you think any referee will stick their head out like Raynal did is pure fantasy. The vitriol over this decision was enough to make any referee think again. Indeed, a quality referee like Luke Pearce will have this in his mind to make up. In fact, the Australians buggered around afterwards for all but the same time Kinghorn took extra. This is gamesmanship that was refereed well in the context of the match.
If you’re going to go all out on referee criticism, at least get your own facts straight. Was Luke perfect? No. Is any referee perfect? No. But to label a referee’s performance as ‘inconsistent and bad’ without being accurate yourself is the epitome of irony.
I look forward to you joining the ranks of the referees in 2023. Clearly you think you can do better and we need all the folks we can get.