Happy Thursday all.
This will be my last Thursday Rugby News for the year and in a similar way to the other contributors I may dust off the keyboard if something grabs my attention and Sully does not change my password. This year has been a blast for me and has been a great thing to do during a year with some personal ups and downs.
Special thanks to Sully and all of the other contributors who although I have not met personally seem like great blokes to eventually have a beer and red wine or two with.
Considering the comments on other sites this is a pretty safe space long may it continue.
What would last week’s game have been without the TMO
One of the reasons I love to watch the Hospitals Cup (Brisbane) on a Saturday afternoon is that the game has one referee who is the sole judge of fact. While I often disagree with the Ref at the time it all moves on so quickly that you get over it and watch the action. The TMO is trying to make the imperfect perfect and it fails every time.
In a sliding doors world if there were no TMO this is how the Wales game would have gone.
Rob Valetini (Sideshow Bob) would not have been sent off and probably would have been cited after the game.
Kurtley Beale would have at worst been penalised and the game would have kept going
The Welsh prop would have given away a penalty and perhaps have been cited
The knock on try (Sorry KARL) would have been awarded which is a shame but there you go.
Listening to Stan the other night they said that the TMO intervention was 17 minutes of time which I do not know to be true but in my view the constant stoppages for TMO review makes the product poorer and in what I believe to be an unintended consequence makes the players bigger as there is less cardio involved in playing the game.
I submit that the spectacle would have been better and the vitriol would be much reduced. As an aside as I said yesterday in the comments section who can name a TMO who when they were in the middle you said I really like the way he refs the game. I am waiting.
The TMO also heavily favours the home team in another Stan Stat (Morgan T) of the 21 cards issued during the Autumn Series 17 were issued to the visiting teams so the home television producers are having an undue effect on the outcome. Either that or all Southern Hemisphere teams are grubs.
2021 Wallabies What is Rennie Really Thinking
Special thanks to Mitch from the Rugby Fixation podcast who provided me the following information. If you have not caught up with it I would highly recommend chasing it down. I have moved the data around so if I have transcribed something incorrectly that is on me.
Australia Played 14 games this year for a 7 and 7 record and but for a few things going differently could have been as high s 10 or as low as 5 wins. Below is a list of players used and how many games played. I have used the players named in the position they played and put centres in one group and wingers fullback in another. Jimmy Slipps gets named twice as playing loosehead and tighthead is gods work.
|Loosehead 1 or 17||Slipper||12 Start 1 Bench|
|Bell||2 Start, 10 Bench|
|Hooker 2 or 16||BPA||5 Start|
|Fainga’a||8 Start 1 Bench|
|Latu||1 Start 1 Bench|
|Tighthead 3 or 18||Alaalatoa||7 Starts 3 Bench|
|Tupou||6 Starts 7 Bench|
|Locks||Salakaia-Loto||4 Start 1 Bench|
|Philip||6 Start 3 bench|
|Swain||4 Start 3 Bench|
|Rodda||5 start 1 Bench|
|Loosies||Valetini||13 Starts 1 Bench|
|Swinton||5 Starts 1 Bench|
|Leota||4 Starts 1 Bench|
|Samu||2 Starts, 7 Bench|
|Wilson||3 Starts 1 Bench|
|Naisarani||1 Start 2 Bench|
|Halfback||Gordan||2 Starts 3 Bench|
|McDermott||5 Starts 8 Bench|
|White||7 Starts 3 Bench|
|Flyhalf||Loleio||6 Starts 1 Bench|
|Cooper||5 Starts 1 Bench|
|O Conner||3 Starts 3 Bench|
|Centres||To’omua||3 Starts 1 Bench|
|Ikitau||11 Starts 2 Bench|
|Wing / Fullback||Koroibete||8 Starts|
|Kellaway||11 Starts 2 Bench|
|Wright||5 Starts 2 Bench|
|Petaia||3 Starts 4 Bench|
|Hodge||3 Starts 6 Bench|
|Beale||2 Starts 1 Bench|
I make it 50 players used with some positions being still in a state of flux. I honestly think Dave Rennie has used this year with some of the restrictions of Covid to cast his net far and wide and find out who he might want to try and bring into the fold for the next RWC.
Who would you pick as our best 23.
Mine is Slipper, Fainga’a, Tupou, Salakaia-Loto, Arnold, Leota, Hooper, Valetini, White, Cooper, Kerevi, Ikitau, Koroibete, Kellaway, Banks
Bench Kaitu’u, Bell, Alaalatoa, Swain, Samu, McDermott, Petaia, O’Connor
The Stan Coverage has frankly it has been fantastic at the start of the year there was some noise around the cost and the fact you had to pay for Club Rugby content. The facts are it is cheaper than Fox is better presented and better supported. Hopefully they continue with the same level of coverage next year as it has the chance to become something special. Thanks Raelene.
Updated NZ border plan wreaks havoc with Super Rugby Pacific draw
Looks like the new comp will have to pivot. from ESPN
The inaugural Super Rugby Pacific season and its historic “Super Round” have been thrust back into uncertainty, after the New Zealand Government on Wednesday unveiled its plan for the staged reopening of its international border.
From mid-January, New Zealand citizens will be able to return home from Australia and not endure managed hotel isolation, instead serving a one-week period of home isolation as well as significant pre-departure and arrival testing.That will then extend to New Zealanders returning home from other countries from Feb. 14, before all fully vaccinated individuals will be able to travel to New Zealand from Apr. 30 onwards, with the re-opening staged over time.
While that is good news for New Zealanders, the requirement of one week’s home quarantine presents an untenable situation for Super Rugby Pacific organisers, New Zealand Rugby [NZR] and Rugby Australia [RA], with cross-border play originally set to open from Round 1 on Feb. 18