Back this week after a some “IT “ Issues thanks to Yowie for stepping into the breach last week to provide the content.
This weeks thoughts
Three changes to the Lions XV for second Test
Warren Gatland has named three changes for the British and Irish Lions to play the Bokke this weekend. Hopefully a game of Rugby breaks out after the Aerial ping pong of last week.
15. Stuart Hogg (Exeter Chiefs, Scotland) #783
14. Anthony Watson (Bath Rugby, England) #816
13. Chris Harris (Gloucester Rugby, Scotland) #844
12. Robbie Henshaw (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #824
11. Duhan van der Merwe (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #841
10. Dan Biggar (Northampton Saints, Wales) #821
9. Conor Murray (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #790
1. Mako Vunipola (Saracens, England) #787
2. Luke Cowan-Dickie (Exeter Chiefs, England) #851
3. Tadhg Furlong (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #818
4. Maro Itoje (Saracens, England) #825
5. Alun Wyn Jones – captain (Ospreys, Wales) #761
6. Courtney Lawes (Northampton Saints, England) #826
7. Tom Curry (Sale Sharks, England) #853
8. Jack Conan (Leinster Rugby, Ireland) #839
16. Ken Owens (Scarlets, Wales) #829
17. Rory Sutherland (Worcester Warriors, Scotland) #840
18. Kyle Sinckler (Bristol Bears, England) #814
19. Tadhg Beirne (Munster Rugby, Ireland) #838
20. Taulupe Faletau (Bath Rugby, Wales) #779
21. Ali Price (Glasgow Warriors, Scotland) #843
22. Owen Farrell (Saracens, England) #780
23. Elliot Daly (Saracens, England) #822
This is a great team on paper. I expect the game to be a brutal affair after the BIL front row dished up the Boys in the second half last week.
Wallabies granted ‘economic exemption’ to enter New Zealand for Eden Park Bledisloe match
From the State Media in New Zealand reports that the Wallabies are being granted an exemption from Quarantine for the test series. This is a pointer as to why Quade and Duncan P have been called into eh Wallaby squad for the series as it only applies to players who have not been to NSW, this could be defined as a reverse Cheika.
Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon detailing the Government’s decision to allow the Australian rugby team through New Zealand’s border – after it was closed to trans-Tasman travel last week. Each game is worth about 20 million to the NZ economy which does put into context why the RWC is such good thing for the code and the economy.
The Wallabies players will arrive on a charter flight from Queensland on Friday morning, within a week-long window allowing a quarantine-free return to New Zealand, for people returning from all Australian states but New South Wales.
In a sign that our Frenemies from across the Ditch are truly our closest neighbours the second test may not be able to be played in Wellington if dates have to be changed as is it will clash with the Beervana festival on at the same time in that location. Brings a tear to the eye.
Olympic Sevens Gold Medal Decided Fiji Crowned Gold Medalists Again
Everyones favourite 2nd sevens team won the Olympic gold medal 27 to 12 over New Zealand to go back to back. They are a great team and could easily field there or four competitive teams that would be capable of wining gold. It will give all of the people back in Fiji something to smile about when you consider what Covid must be doing to an economy that is so heavily reliant on tourism. Bula Vanaka to all my Fijian friends. For the boys from NZ they will be disappointed with silver as coming second will be seen as being unacceptable in New Zealand however it is a huge achievement IMHO.
Bronze goes to Argentina (FISM) which in an irony beat Great Britain 17 to 12.
5th South Africa
12th South Korea
Hospitals Challenge Cup (Brisbane Club Rugby)
For those who need a fix of rugby this weekend and have Stan with the Shute shield in (Covid Hiatus) I can recommend the Brisbane Club Comp. The games are of a decent standard and feature some pretty handy players at this time of the year with Reds players and many players from the other super teams playing. This is a very young comp with players who are over 25 considered to be old heads.
Brothers (4) V Bond (5)
The Brothers team featured no less than 7 Super rugby players last week and come up against a Bond team that are in the last chance saloon. Bond feature a team that has a coupe of super players and a couple of former internationals. they re a team that love the throw the ball around. it is the game of the week and well worth a watch. To close to call but I will go with Bond.
Easts (6) V Norths (9)
Easts are the current Australian Club Champions and will not play finals this year. Reasons to watch this game Seru Uru, Liam Wright and for Norths Paulo (big hits only) Leleisluao also Nick Chapman just missed the Olympics. both teams will let the ball sing and it should be worth the watch. Easts have too much class and will win it.
Sunnybank (8) V Souths (7)
Neither team has much to play for but like to play expansive footy. The two classiest players on the field would be the fullbacks. Souths has a former Romanian international Luke Samoa who kicks at 90%. The Bank have Liam McNamara a very classy outside back can make things happen. Souths are a wholehearted team who should take this one.
Wests (3) V GPS (2)
For mine the game of the round. GPS second on the ladder have just handed UQ there first loss of the season and Wests with not less than 10 Super players playing last week locally becoming known as the Wests Rebels. GPS feature a very strong pack which usually dominate the set piece and this year have added some sting in the backs. I am going for the upset with West to roll into finals with the class of the parachuted players.
UQ have the bye
Enjoy the weekend and over to Hoss off the long run tomorrow.