What can be better than the first week of a Bledisloe cup encounter. We are still level pegging with the forces of Mordor and hope is springing eternal.
This weeks thoughts
Both Teams to play at Eden Park when announced
Over the last couple of seasons the it has felt like we we are getting close. I am now at the point where I look at our bench and think we are better in some positions than the Kiwis. Unfortunately in the modern day it is a 23 man game and in my view this is where we have been getting beaten. We can put out a great 15 but we don’t have the depth overall.
I will insert the Teams when announced tomorrow
Australia New Zealand
1 James Slipper (103) George Bower (3)
2 B Paenga-Amosa (12) Codie Taylor (58)
3 Allan Alaalatoa (46) Nepo Laulala (31)
4 Darcy Swain (7) Brodie Retallick (83)
5 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (28) Samuel Whitelock (125) – captain
6 Rob Valetini (7S) Akira Ioane (4)
7 Michael Hooper (c) (108) Dalton Papalii (5)
8 Harry Wilson (8) Ardie Savea (50)
9 Tate McDermott (5) Aaron Smith (99)
10 Noah Lolesio (5 Tests) Richie Mo’unga (24)
11 Andrew Kellaway (2) Rieko Ioane (37)
12 Hunter Paisami (9) David Havili (5)
13 Len Ikitau (2 Tests) Anton Lienert-Brown (50)
14 Jordan Petaia (8 Tests) Sevu Reece (10)
15 Tom Banks (14 Tests) Damian McKenzie (30)
16. Jordan Uelese (13 Tests) Dane Coles (76)
17.Angus Bell (6 Tests) Karl Tu’inukuafe (18)
18. Taniela Tupou (28 Tests) Angus Ta’avao (16)
19 Matt Philip (12 Tests) Scott Barrett (42)
20 Fraser McReight (1) Luke Jacobson (5)
21 Jake Gordon (8 Tests) Brad Weber (9)
22 Matt To’omua (57 Tests) Beauden Barrett (91)
23 Reece Hodge (46 Tests) Jordie Barrett (25)
More Teams and Officials Behaving Badly
1 Australian Olympians accused of ‘unacceptable behaviour’ on flight home from Tokyo
Showing we are not just picking on the Saffas and the Kiwis. Coming from the Olympics it would seem that the Australian 7’s Team and the Soccer team seems to have had a bit of a bender post Olympics and damaged property in Japan and gotten unruly on the plane on the way home. While this is not really acceptable behaviour you can only hope it did not go beyond a blowout after what would have been a long and isolating build up before a big competition.
2 Rassie is going to be cited and sanctioned with a wet lettuce
Everyones favourite coach from 2019 and now ocean going tool of 2021 is going to be dragged in front of WR for a hearing around making comments about officials. Truthfully he has brought the game into disrepute and that genie will not be put back into the bottle with players now openly appealing to referees and doing the silly bravado push and shove that is only designed to get a reaction and a card for the opposition. The latest new is that the part owners of the Stormers a law firm from New York are going to back him to theist. Read more here.
3 Media tactics and strategic baiting: inside the mind of ex-All Blacks coach Steve Hansen
Steve Hansen has a new biography out and while he was a very good rugby coach to no ones surprise he also played the a strong media game. His book apparently details how he used different media tactics based not the opposition. On a personal level I do not think he was a great coach as he was poor with Wales and had some generational talent when he was with NZ so only a decent coach would have done pretty well. I am OK with some of the media stuff but he and the NZ team definitely overstepped in the bugging incident on 2017.
4 Marika, Isi and Pone join the idiots club
Late breaking news from the land of the long white cloud is that three players from he Australian team have been stood down for the weekends game for staying up late and drinking to excess. As an Australian Rugby Supporter I wholeheartedly support this type of action. It is long overdue and if we had done this ten years ago some of the problems we have had in the past would not have happened.
Covid Making life hard for both the Shute Shield and the Hospitals Cup
Per the SMH the Shute Shield may not completed this year
Sydney’s lengthy COVID lockdown could see the Shute Shield season cancelled for just the fifth time in its 147-year history – and for the first time since World War One. Sydney’s premier club rugby competition was suspended along with all other community sport when the latest COVID-19 outbreak forced the city into lockdown and has not resumed in the weeks since.
Brisbane is also having its issues with the lockdown affecting all community sports as of 4pm last Saturday. Most clubs got lower grade games in as Brisbane had to be at home and in lockdown by 4pm. Let hope both get finalised and have Grand Finals. There are plans in place but it is all contingent on Brisbane getting out of lockdown.
Enjoy the weekend and over to Hoss of the long run tomorrow.