All Blacks

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Good morning, GAGRs and welcome to Monday Rugby News for July 12th. My name is Charlie Mackay and this is my debut news article for Green and Gold Rugby. Thank you to the crew for their faith in me as the most rookie of writers! I do apologize to the loyal readers about the potential (lack of) quality. I’m hopeless with HTML and a Sunday night shift is, apparently, not a great place to learn! I’ll be better next time :)



First up is the naming of the Wallabies side to play Les Bleus on Tuesday in the sporting capital of Australia, Melbourne! I can only say this now that I have ‘immigrated’ from the previous sporting shit hole Mecca that is Canberra. Dave Rennie has gone for same 23 that played in the first test in Bris-vegas, with the notable inclusion of Tupou starting in place of AAAAAAA. With the rollercoaster of emotions behind them, I hope to see an improved level of rugger against a French side with a distinct sore spot from the 81st to the 84th minute from match one. Dave Rennie has stated this week that “he picked what he thought was the best available squad for the opening Test and that has not changed – despite acknowledging the shortcomings of their great escape.” What was more telling for me is the faith that is being shown in this key group of players. Indeed, Rennie further added, “We lacked accuracy, we gave up soft points early and we think there’s more in this group and we want to give them another crack.” I look forward to being in the crowd at AAMI on Tuesday evening!


  1. James Slipper (101 Tests)
  2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (10 Tests)
  3. Taniela Tupou (26 Tests)
  4. Matt Philip (10 Tests)
  5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (26 Tests)
  6. Rob Valetini (5 Tests)
  7. Michael Hooper (c) (106 Tests)
  8. Harry Wilson (7 Tests)
  9. Jake Gordon (6 Tests)
  10. Noah Lolesio (3 Tests)
  11. Marika Koroibete (35 Tests)
  12. Matt To’omua (55 Tests)
  13. Hunter Paisami (7 Tests)
  14. Tom Wright (4 Tests)
  15. Tom Banks (12 Tests)


16. Lachlan Lonergan (1 Test)

17. Angus Bell (4 Tests)

18. Allan Alaalatoa (44 Tests)

19. Darcy Swain (1 Test)

20. Isi Naisarani (9 Tests)

21.Tate McDermott (3 Tests)

22. Len Ikitau*

23. Andrew Kellaway (1 Test)

*denotes uncapped




In a busy period over the weekend, there were two tests played across the Ditch, with New Zealand defeating a valiant Fiji 57 – 23. The score line hardly does the Flying Fijians any justice in a gripping encounter that would leave the hosts battered and bruised. Ian Foster will have much to consider after his All Blacks were routinely whacked at the breakdown with Fiji causing havoc until, unfortunately quite predictably, ran out of gas with 15 or so minutes to go.

Tonga v Manu Samoa was, again, a thoroughly enjoyable match-up. In the first of two matches to determine direct qualification to RWC 2023, there was plenty of action to go around. Whilst the Tongans played much of the first half through their forwards, Manu Samoa were determined to utilise the flair in their backline. The oranges at half-time were clearly modified to induce a breakneck pace for the second half with tries being scored from everywhere!

Despite the loss, Tonga still have a chance to earn direct qualification to the World Cup next weekend when the sides meet again in Hamilton, however they will need to win by 30, with the tie decided on aggregate. The team who doesn’t qualify from this series still has a chance to do so, however. The unqualified team will go down another qualification path, beginning with a clash against the Cook Islands. The winner of that one-off match will then advance to an Asia/Pacific playoff against either Malaysia, Hong Kong or South Korea. The winner of that match earns a spot in Pool B at the World Cup alongside Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and another European qualifier.

What is clearly evident, and is perhaps suddenly dawning on Australia and New Zealand head honchos, is that the Pacific Island sides can no longer be neglected the way they have been. There is a huge following that, if given the respect they deserve, would be a boon to the game locally.

Other games were England v Canada, with the hosts belting the Canucks at Twickenham 71 – 14, and the Irish giving the Yanks a similar belting by scoring 71-10. The unfortunate referee, Mr Carley of England, of the Argentina v Wales game owes his comrades a slab by allowing a 20-all draw. Booo!



Some of you may have seen some earlier writings on The Roar about refereeing in the local competitions and my experiences within this space in our game. I was fortunate enough to hear through the grapevine of the efforts of one particular referee in my local Association which I’d like to share with the masses this morning.

Word had reached the President of our Association through directors of Vic Rugby. The praise was for one of our local referees who, according to the players, was “the best referee we have ever had!”. It was so uplifting to hear positive feedback reach the referee in question. As referees, our ‘good deeds’ often go unnoticed (which, in a way, is exactly what us referees like) whilst our every other move is scrutinized and, unfortunately on occasion, criticized. That being said, it does absolute wonders for any referee to have a ‘thanks, ref/sir/miss’ and a handshake/fist bump post-match as it certainly goes a long way. Well done to all involved!


The British and Irish Lions have beaten the Durban Sharks 71 – 31 in their second match after a hasty rearranged fixture due to the Covid developments enveloping The Republic at present. Whilst there were plenty of tries scored in the second half, a worrying first half from the visitors that lead to a 26-all score line at half time won’t impress Warren Gatland. In particular, shoddy defence and handing the Sharks the ball from crucial yet avoidable errors and penalties will not be looked upon favourably for any tourist looking to play in the first test. Gatland will be further aware that the match became decidedly easier after a red card was brandished by referee Wayne Barnes for an elbow to the face of Liam Williams by Jaden Hendrikse.

We all hold our collective breath as we hope that the Covid pandemic doesn’t scuttle any of the remaining matches.

All Blacks

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