Super Saturday in the 6 Nations and a disrupted Super Rugby Pacific this week.
Club Rugby is also just around the corner.
Jim Hamilton’s View of the Red Card in England V Ireland
I listen to The Rugby Pod on my drive to work and this piece was then put onto Rugby Pass regarding the behaviours that have to change in rugby circles. His style could most charitably considered to be robust and usually to the echo of the whistle.
Former Scotland second row Jim Hamilton had predicted that red-carded England lock Charlie Ewels will be on the receiving end of a six-to-eight-week ban when the result of his upcoming 6 Nations disciplinary hearing is known. Eddie Jones’ pent-up forward was sent off just 82 seconds into last Saturday’s round four game against Ireland after he clattered into the head of James Ryan with his own head.
Personally I think he is probably about right on the ban.
Best Coaching Move of the Weekend
I watched The Force v The Tahs on the weekend and one thing struck me after the game was that the best piece of coaching on the weekend was Tim Sampson. The Force were clearly not getting any love from the referee and were not showing a great deal of composure. This culminated in the carding of the captain, Feleti Kaitu’u, a decision that I thought was very tough. I know it was for repeated infringements but an inside the ten showed that the ref had probably also lost a bit of composure. Kaitu’u was having a poor game and was clearly not communicating well with the ref so when Sampson did not bring him back on I thought it showed excellent in game coaching.
Too often we see the replacements made at a set time with little to no feel for the game and how the replaced player is performing, so it was nice to see a coach have a feel for the game and his player. I am sure that the review was difficult for Kaitu’u and he will learn from the experience.
Super Rugby Teams Round Five
Teams for the weekend and the Wuhan Wonder Bug causes disruptions in NZ.
My picks are the Reds, Tahs, Force and the Chiefs
Friday 18 March 7:45pm AEDT – Brumbies v Reds at GIO Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
BRUMBIES (1-15): James Slipper, Folau Fainga’a, Allan Alaalatoa (c), Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Nic White, Noah Lolesio, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
RESERVES: Connal McInerney, Scott Sio, Sefo Kautai, Tom Hooper, Luke Reimer, Ryan Lonergan, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Jesse Mogg
REDS (1-15): Dane Zander, Josh Nasser, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Fraser McReight (co-c), Harry Wilson, Kalani Thomas, James O’Connor, Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia
RESERVES: Matt Faessler, Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Connor Vest, Liam Wright (co-c), Spencer Jeans, Lawson Creighton, Isaac Henry
Saturday 19 March 2:35pm AEDT – Fijian Drua v Western Force at Leichhardt Oval, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
DRUA (1-15): Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Mesulame Dolokoto, Samuela Tawake, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Joseva Tamani, Vilive Miramira, Nemani Nagusa (c), Frank Lomani, Teti Tela, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Apisalome Vota, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Jona Mataiciwa
RESERVES: Zuriel Togiatama, Jone Koroiduadua, Manasa Saulo, Chris Minimbi, Kitione Salawa, Peni Matawali, Napolioni Bolaca, Onisi Ratave
FORCE (1-15): Harrison Lloyd, Feleti Kaitu’u (c), Greg Holmes, Jeremy Thrush, Izack Rodda, Fergus Lee-Warner, Ollie Callan, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Jake McIntyre, Manasa Mataele, Bayley Kuenzle, Richard Kahui, Byron Ralston, Jake Strachan
RESERVES: Andrew Ready, Bo Abra, Santiago Medrano, Jackson Pugh, Tim Anstee, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Reesjan Pasitoa, Grason Makara
Saturday 19 March 5:05pm AEDT – Moana Pasifika v Chiefs at Mt Smart Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
PASIFIKA (1-15): Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Luteru Tolai, Sekope Kepu (c), Mike McKee, Sam Slade, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Solomone Funaki, Henry Time-Stowers, Jonathan Taumateine, Christian Leali’ifano, Neria Foma’i, Danny Toala, Levi Aumua Tima Fainga’anuku, William Havili
RESERVES: Samiuela Moli, Taukiha’amea Kolomatagi, Joe Apikotoa, Alex McRobbie, Josh Kaifa, Ereatara Enari, Lincoln McClutchie, Fine Inis
CHIEFS (1-15): TBC
Saturday 19 March 7:45pm AEDT – Waratahs v Rebels at Sydney Cricket Ground, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport and Nine Network
WARATAHS (1-15): Angus Bell, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Jed Holloway (c), Geoff Cridge, Hugh Sinclair, Charlie Gamble, Will Harris, Jack Grant, Ben Donaldson, Alex Newsome, Lalakai Foketi, Izaia Perese, Dylan Pietsch, Will Harrison
RESERVES: Tom Horton, Te Tera Faulkner, Ruan Smith/Archer Holz, Langi Gleeson, Carlo Tizzano, Teddy Wilson, Jamie Roberts, Mark Nawaqanitawase
REBELS (1-15): Cameron Orr, Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eloff, Matt Philip, Josh Canham, Michael Wells (c), Richard Hardwick, Tamati Ioane, Joe Powell, Matt To’omua, Glen Vaihu, Ray Nu’u, Young Tonumaipea, Andrew Kellaway, Reece Hodge
RESERVES: Efi Ma’afu, Matt Gibbon, Rhys Van Nek, Sam Wallis, Brad Wilkin, James Tuttle, Carter Gordon, Stacey Ili
6 Nations Concludes This Weekend
Ireland v Scotland. Ireland host the Scots and a bonus point win and the Poms beating the French will see them crowned champions. They are also going for the triple crown, ie, beating every home nation. When they get fast ruck speed they are irresistable.
My heart says Scotland by 3. (Brain Ireland by 10)
Wales v Italy
Wales by plenty
France v England (La Crunch)
This will be the game of the weekend, can England spoil the party for the French team who are capable of playing sumptuous rugby? The English attack is poor at the moment and frankly apart from Italy they cannot score tries. I will be intense and the atmosphere will be epic.
France by 20