Happy Thursday everyone. This week is my last one for the year and what a year it’s been. A big thank you to everyone who has read and commented throughout the year. It’s been interesting to say the least and at times the hope has broken me.
If you want to have your voice heard or have something about rugby in Australia to get off you chest email firstname.lastname@example.org and Charlie has graciously agreed to put it up. Remember this is a fan run site and your contribution is valued and important. Next year is also a big one with the RWC so if you have the time, get involved; it probably takes only a few hours to put together a piece,
On a personal level the commentary on the 4 August piece on trans athletes was heartening and showed for me the broad church that is the G&GR community.
Enjoy the food and the associated pagan festivals coming up.
In Rennie we trust – Opinion
A week’s a long time in sport and this year has been a roller coaster. While we’ve found new and special ways to lose games this year, Melbourne being the most memorable, but this was one for the true believers. I had just about given up the drug; however, something made me get up to watch the game and my addiction has been restored.
We were lucky to win the game, but my biggest takeaway was that after 14 games of mixed to heartbreaking results, being 21 odd points down in your last game of the season away from home our team had a real dig and got the result. This illustrates for me that the players care a great deal and that is testimony to the coaching and internal leadership. Let me be clear: no team at any time wants to lose but it would’ve been easier to take shortcuts and have a big night out then get on the plane the next day but, our team didn’t do that.
It has given us all a ray of sunshine. I listen to a lot of rugby podcasts driving around and I can tell you the European craparazzi think we are a great deal better than we think they are.
2023 the year of the Wallaby?
Good News Story of the Week Adiana and Sam Talakai
One of the best sporting stories in Australian rugby features Adiana and Sam Talakai.
Adiana represented the Wallaroos at the RWC in New Zealand this year having made her debut against the Fijiana in Brisbane. Her brother Sam made his debut against the Welsh on the Weekend in Cardiff. Having travelled and long and winding path to get there.
They are only the second brother and sister combo to represent Australia in union with Matt and Kirsty Giteau being the first. So, that’s certainly something to celebrate. Neither has had an easy path and this is the kind or story that makes sport special.
How speeding up rugby could expose players’ ability to ‘think for themselves’
My personal view has and always will be that if you want to speed up the game just get rid of the TMO altogether; players make mistakes and so do referees. Just get on with it, trying to make the game perfect has led to the foolishness of Rassie and the rest. Go to any 1st grade game, the game flows quickly and the beer is cheap. If the ref makes an error you complain but the game moves so you just get on with it.
But given that won’t happen here are my takes get rid of the following:
Water breaks unless it’s Queensland hot.
Stop physios and water carriers from having radio mikes, this will reduce the coaches talking to the players during the game. Refer to the following article.
Call use it as soon as a caterpillar ruck forms and then enforce it.
Enforce the offside line stringently, it’ll open up the game.
Allow 8 on the bench but you can only use 4. (includes the front row). So if you have to use 5 to replace an injured front rower you have to go to 14.
World Rugby have announced plans to speed the game up, releasing a shortlist of ideas for how to go about the change and while the intent has been popular among fans the realities of what they might mean for the players is a speculative topic that’s starting to gain interest.
Joke of the week Clive Woodward
Woodward laments ‘worst week in English rugby’ after Springboks loss
From Pravda and many other foolish publications
Amusing that this is from the guy who lead England to a 70 point drubbing in Brisbane in 1998. Who takes 70. Former England coach Clive Woodward said Saturday’s defeat by South Africa had rounded off the “worst week in English rugby history” as he launched a scathing attack on Eddie Jones and the current RFU hierarchy at Twickenham.
The Springboks, in an echo of their 2019 World Cup final win over England, were too strong up front and had far more attacking guile among their backs as they won 27-13 at Twickenham.
“This was the worst week in English rugby history,” wrote Woodward in his Mail on Sunday column. “The game in this country is a total shambles and defeat to a South Africa side without nine of its best players showed it. When are the leading figures at the RFU going to wake up and realise English rugby is in trouble? Everything is not OK. Eddie Jones will be allowed to carry on as he likes yet again.”
Woodward added the England team were “miles off where it needs to be”, with 11 months until next year’s World Cup in France, while the former test centre was stung by the reaction of a capacity crowd of over 81,000 after full-time on Saturday.