As a Brisbanite Grand Final Week is always a special time of the year even though I do not have a horse in the big race.
The TRC is warming up where we will welcome our friends from the shaky isles to WA for a rumble in Perth.
As you are probably aware GAGR has had an upgrade and I am still on my L plates. The presentation will be better next week.
This weeks thoughts
New Zealand Rugby signs sponsorship deal with Altrad
The six-year deal is one of the biggest of its kind in the history of the sport. Altrad, who already sponsors the French national team and MHR, has an enormous and well-documented passion for the sport. He’s poured millions of euros into Montpellier since first taking over the club and continues to be a major figure in the French rugby.
Per Rugby Pass
As the article pointed out this did not work well for Harlequins in England. But our sheep loving friends will want to beware as the French are only to happy to import talent into their academies straight our of school and at 22 they become French eligible.
Player draft remains future possibility as Super Rugby welcomes new franchises
New Zealand Rugby remains open to the possibility of a player draft in the future, but insists any plan to open up cross-border movement would have to be in the best interests of all parties in the new Super Rugby Pacific tournament.
NZR and its Rugby Australia [RA] counterparts on Monday unveiled the new 12-team provincial tournament which will commence in 2022 and be run as a “joint venture” between the two national unions.
This needs to be a non negotiable going forward with any new competition being run by a board. The way forward requires a comp where everyone can win. Both RA and NZR need to understand that if they build a comp where the teams are relatively equal it will be worth more receive more revenue from broadcasters and therefore both countries will be able to retain top talent.
The NRL and AFL comps are set up so that continued success is almost impossible to maintain. The success of the Crusaders is a testament to the organisation but it is to the detriment of the competition.
Wallabies legend’s son rejects Europe to chase Australian dream
Micheal (Noddy) Lynagh’s son Tom was born in Italy and has grown up in England, so it shocked even his former World Cup-winning Wallabies father when he said he wanted to play for the Queensland Reds.While the pale skin was struggling with the first signs of a Brisbane summer on Wednesday, the 17-year-old Lynagh made clear where his loyalties lie as he began life at Ballymore.
“I have always dreamt of playing for Australia,” he said after emerging from two weeks of quarantine.
Growing up in England and playing in the English age systems it is a big call for a young man to come to what will basically be a new county to try his luck. The teenage Lynagh’s arrival comes while older brother Louis has recommitted to Harlequins where he gets regular first team action as a Fullback. He will no doubt be running around for his fathers old Club UQ who are struggling at the moment. refer below.
Hospitals Challenge Cup (Brisbane Club Rugby Grand Final Weekend the Big Dances)
This week as part of the festival of Rugby culminating in the Perth Test I look a the finals of the Brisbane Competition.
The Main Brisbane Competition is played by 9 Clubs each club has 6 grades plus 2 colts teams and a womens team.
The Big Dance
GPS V UQ
UQ are run by probably the best coach in Australia who does not seem to want to want to progress up to higher honours Mick Heenhan he has been there for about ten years and they have made the GF probably 50% of the time during his tenure. They play a fast exciting brand of Rugby designed to run the opposition off their feet. They are the most successful club of the last decade building off huge investments in the colts program. They probably have the smallest local following of any of the Brisbane teams as many of the Old Boys come down to play when at Uni and then return to the regions. They have addressed the set piece this year after getting pushed of the park by a dominant Easts pack last year. They have an interesting mix of experience and youth and while everyone will note the headline of Stephen Moore the real lynchpin of the team is Con (Corneliius) Foley with a name like that he could only play for UQ. He is a former Australians Sevens player who has also played MLR and brings real quality around the midfield.
GPS are coached by a first year head coach Shane Arnold. GPS are probably the most mature team in the competition. In Brisbane any player who is 25 is considered an old head and half of the GPS team are closer to 30 than 20. GPS has build there team on a Dominant Front Row all season literally depriving opposition any useful ball and having the ability to scrum for penalty anywhere on the field. GPS have usually scrummed opposition off the part but they are no one trick pony with some very good backs in former red Chris Kuridrani and Joshua Collins in the backline.
Players to watch that you have never heard of.
(UQ) Connor Vest a no nonsense number 5 who does all of the Grunt work around the park creating time and space for the electric backline.
(GPS) Maile Ngauamo IMHO the best Hooker in Queensland (including the Reds) Great set piece can actually throw a lineout and does the tough stuff.
Each team has lost to the other once this year so it should be close. for mine UQ hold the edge as they just have so much strike power. The way GPS will win is if they can make it an arm wrestle and stay close and bring it home with the forward dominance late in the game.
UQ by 10 for mine.
Remaining Games this weekend
Colts 1 Easts V GPS
Womens GPS v Easts
Saturday Games At Sunnybank
Reserve Grade Souths V UQ
3rd Grade Souths V Brothers
4th Grade Souths V GPS
5th Grade East V Brothers
Colts 2 Brothers V UQ
Friday Night Lights At Souths
Souths v Wests
All other games not on Stan will be streamed on the redsrugby.com.au website.