The 6 Nations Games were excellent and I am really enjoying the Super Rugby
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Rugby Prevention Managers Having a Field Day
With my freshly-minted Tin Foil Hat on my head I lost my relatively small mind at the prospect of Taniela Tupou being cited for dangerous play in the game against the Brumbies. I was ready to rail against the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune and the rage the only those from outside the eastern suburbs of Sydney can feel at how the game seems to conspire against us. Fortunately, in what can only be described as a statistical anomaly the correct outcome was reached. Now that I can look at the issue without my Reds biased prejudice, I can think about it in a more clear headed light.
In my mind it does raise a larger issue the citing seemed to be outcome based. One of my favourite sayings is that two things can be true at the same time.
To be fair the Brumbies player Jerome Brown was melted in the cleanout. He had his head below his hips and I am yet to figure out how you jackal at the breakdown without doing so. The contact was primarily shoulder to shoulder with perhaps incidental contact to the head. Taniela is 140kg and hitting a player over the ball at speed will have an effect (mass times acceleration and all of that). In my mind it was a rugby incident.
The other side is that if he misses his target by ten centimetres, he knocks the jackalling player out and faces six to eight weeks on the sideline with potentially poor health outcomes for the jackalling player. In my view in the modern game, it is the cost of doing business.
My issue is that the current system seems to be outcome based, larger players seem to be disproportionately affected by the focus on the contact point than smaller players.
This view does not make me a neanderthal, I am all in favour of safety but also understand that the current players understand the risks and are happy accept them. Sometimes in a contact sport things happen.
Story is here
AIC v GPS Schools Furore
For those who are unaware in Queensland rugby is played in two main school systems: the GPS (read wealthy) and the AIC (Catholic schools and one Lutheran).
The First XV in the GPS systems is as close to a professional set up as you can get, often funded by old boys who want their old school to win at any costs. Most (not all) first 15 teams are fully scholarship boys who pay little or no fees for the privilege. For many boys from lower socio-economic backgrounds it can represent an opportunity to gain a high level education while playing high level sports.
More concerningly, the GPS coaches are recruiting heavily form the AIC Schools who already have good systems in place with largely no sporting scholarships. The AIC schools have had enough and have send out the following letter. Letter
It lays bare some of the poor practices of the GPS schools with respect to gutting the other schools of talent. Some of the highest paid coaches in Australia are in the GPS school system and I am sure the same can be said of Sydney.
In many cases schools also prevent these kids from playing any form of club footy.
Ireland beating the All Blacks in NZ would be ‘biggest moment’ in their rugby history
I am calling it, the Irish are very well organised and I think they will beat NZ in the tour this year.
Ireland wrapped up their 6 Nations campaign with another bonus point victory over Scotland, completing a trio of bonus-point wins over their Triple Crown rivals and have now set sights on their mid-year tour.
The Irish will tour New Zealand in July for the first time since 2012 for a three match test series. It has become a highly-anticipated clash after Ireland’s win over the All Blacks in November with the potential for history to be made.
Ireland have never beaten the All Blacks in New Zealand, while no touring European side has captured a series win on Kiwi soil since the start of the professional era in 1996.
If the games are refereed by the English refs with their love of quick ruck speed, I cannot see NZ dealing with the precision and skill of the Irish team. Time will tell.
Super Rugby Teams Round Six
Friday 25 March 5:05 pm AEDT – Moana Pasifika v Hurricanes at Mt Smart Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
PASIFIKA (1-15): Ezekiel Lindenmuth, Samiuela Moli, Sekope Kepu (c), Veikoso Poloniati, Sam Slade, Sione Tu’ipulotu, Solomone Funaki, Henry Time-Stowers, Jonathan Taumateine, Christian Leali’ifano, Neria Foma’i, Henry Taefu, Levi Aumua, Tima Fainga’anuku, William Havili
RESERVES: Ray Niula, Taukiha’amea Kolomatagi, Joe Apikotoa, Alex McRobbie, Josh Kaifa, Ereatara Enari, Lincoln McClutchie, Danny Toala
HURRICANES (1-15): Xavier Numia, Asafo Aumua, Tyrel Lomax, Caleb Delaney, Scott Scrafton, Reed Prinsep (c), Blake Gibson, Brayden Iose, TJ Perenara, Aidan Morgan, Wes Goosen, Teihorangi Walden, Peter Umaga-Jensen, Josh Moorby, Jordie Barrett
RESERVES: James O’Reilly, Alex Fidow, Tevita Mafielo, Tom Parsons, Ardie Savea, Cameron Roigard, Ruben Love, Salesi Rayasi
Referee: Brendon Pickerill
Assistant Referees: Paul Williams, Jono Bredin
Friday 25 March 7:45 pm AEDT – Melbourne Rebels v Fijian Drua at AAMI Park, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
REBELS (1-15): Matt Gibbon, Jordan Uelese, Cabous Eloff, Matt Philip, Josh Hill, Brad Wilkin, Richard Hardwick, Michael Wells (c), James Tuttle, Matt To’omua, Glen Vaihu, Ray Nu’u, Stacey Ili, Andrew Kellaway, Reece Hodge
RESERVES: James Hanson, Cameron Orr, Rhys Van Nek, Daniel Maiava, Sam Wallis, Joe Powell, Carter Gordon, George Worth
DRUA (1-15): Jone Koroiduadu, Mesulame Dolokoto, Kaliopasi Uluilakepa, Sorovakatini Tuifagalele, Te Ahiwaru Cirikidaveta, Joseva Tamani, Vilive Miramira, Nemani Nagusa (c), Frank Lomani, Teti Tela, Vinaya Habosi, Kalaveti Ravouvou, Apisalome Vota, Selesitino Ravutaumada, Kitione Ratu
RESERVES: Tevita Ikanivere, Haereiti Hetet, Samuela Tawake, Isoa Nasilasila, Kitione Salawa, Peni Matawali, Caleb Muntz, Jona Mataiciwa
Referee: Jordan Way
Assistant Referees: Reuben Keane, Amber McLachlan
Friday 25 March 10:00 pm AEDT – Western Force v Brumbies at HBF Park, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
FORCE (1-15): Harrison Lloyd, Feleti Kaitu’u (c), Santiago Medrano, Jeremy Thrush, Izack Rodda, Fergus Lee-Warner, Kane Koteka, Brynard Stander, Ian Prior, Jake McIntyre, Manasa Mataele, Bayley Kuenzle, Kyle Godwin, Toni Pulu, Jake Strachan
RESERVES: Andrew Ready, Bo Abra, Greg Holmes, Tim Anstee, Ollie Callan, Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, Reesjan Pasitoa, Richard Kahui,
BRUMBIES (1-15): Scott Sio, Lachlan Lonergan, Sefo Kautai, Darcy Swain, Nick Frost, Rob Valetini, Jahrome Brown, Pete Samu, Ryan Lonergan (c), Rod Iona, Andy Muirhead, Irae Simone, Len Ikitau, Tom Wright, Tom Banks
RESERVES: Billy Pollard, Fred Kaihea, Tom Ross, Tom Hooper, Rory Scott, Nic White, Hudson Creighton, Jesse Mogg
Referee: Angus Gardner
Assistant Referees: Graham Cooper, Jordan Kaminski
Saturday 26 March 2:35 pm AEDT – Highlanders v Blues at Forsyth Barr Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
HIGHLANDERS (1-15): Daniel Lienert-Brown, Liam Coltman, Jermaine Ainsley, Manaaki Selby-Rickit, Josh Dickson, Shannon Frizell, James Lentjes, Marino Miakele Tu’u, Aaron Smith (c), Mitch Hunt, Mosese Dawai, Scott Gregory, Fetuli Paea, Ngatungane Punivai, Sam Gilbert
RESERVES: Andrew Makailo, Ayden Johnstone, Josh Hohneck, Fabian Holland, Gareth Evans, Folau Fakatava, Vilimoni Koroi, Hugh Renton
BLUES (1-15): TBC
Referee: Angus Mabey
Assistant Referees: Mike Fraser, Mike Winter
Saturday 26 March 5:05 pm AEDT – Chiefs v Crusaders at FMG Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport
CHIEFS (1-15): Ollie Norris, Samisoni Taukei’aho, Sione Mafileo, Josh Lord, Brodie Retallick, Tupou Vaa’i, Sam Cane (co-c), Samipeni Finau, Brad Weber (co-c), Bryn Gatland, Etene Nani-Seturo, Quinn Tupaea, Alex Nankivell, Shaun Stevenson, Kaleb Trask
RESERVES: Tyrone Thompson, Aidan Ross, Angus Ta’avao, Naitoa Ah Kuoi, Kaylum Boshier, Mitch Jacobson, Cortez Ratima, Josh Ioane
CRUSADERS (1-15): TBC
Referee: James Doleman
Assistant Referees: Brendon Pickerill, Dan Waenga
Saturday 26 March 7:45 pm AEDT – Queensland Reds v NSW Waratahs at Suncorp Stadium, ad-free, live and on demand on Stan Sport and Channel 9
REDS (1-15): Dane Zander, Josh Nasser, Taniela Tupou, Ryan Smith, Angus Blyth, Seru Uru, Fraser McReight, Harry Wilson, Tate McDermott, James O’Connor, Josh Flook, Hamish Stewart, Hunter Paisami, Jock Campbell, Jordan Petaia
RESERVES: Matt Faessler, Harry Hoopert, Feao Fotuaika, Connor Vest, Liam Wright, Kalani Thomas, Isaac Henry, Lawson Creighton,
WARATAHS (1-15): Te Tera Faulkner, Dave Porecki, Harry Johnson-Holmes, Hugh Sinclair, Geoff Cridge, Charlie Gamble, Carlo Tizzano, Will Harris, Jack Grant, Tane Edmed, Alex Newsome, Jamie Roberts, Lalakai Foketi, Mark Nawaqanitawase, Will Harrison
RESERVES: Tom Horton/Mahu Vaihau, Angus Bell, Ruan Smith/Mahe Vailanu, Jed Holloway, Langi Gleeson, Teddy Wilson, Dylan Pietsch, Triston Reilly
Referee: Nic Berry
Assistant Referees: Damon Murphy, Reuben Keane
Hamish Watson Can Play Rugby
There are some truly wonderful players running around but surly one of the most underrated is Hamish Watson.
He did not miss a tackle in the 6 Nations making 70 from 70, Indeed he hasn’t missed a tackle in the last four years of 6 Nations. I makes me wonder what the rest of the team are doing.
He has made his last 353 Tackles in test rugby since his last miss which is some effort. This included Scotland and BIL games.
He’s also a decent ball carrier and very good over the ball.
Who is your favourite openside and why?