Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby news sees Kerevi down and Folau up.  The ins and outs of the latest round of World Cup Qualifiers and The Brumbies blowing up over their treatment.

Kerevi Injured

A not so happy Samu

A not so happy Samu

The Reds’ season has gone from bad to worse.

And now from worse, to “no, even worse than that” with the news that bullocking outside centre Samu Kerevi is out for the rest of the season.

The Reds not only lose their danger man in the mid-field but one of their leaders around the park with Kerevi shouldering the vice-captaincy this year.

Despite playing through end of the test series against Ireland with the injury it’s all become too much for the Fijian-born 13 who eventually had scans on the injured arm after the Reds’ Friday night defeat by the Blues.

Taking to Instragram, he expressed his dismay at the injury and also his thanks to the Reds and Wallabies for their support-

“Absolutely guttered but unfortunately my season has come to an end. Just wanted to thank everyone for the support throughout the @redsrugby & @wallabies season. Time to fix the body and rest up

The injury is a ruptured bicep and by the time you’re reading this on the train to work he should be out of surgery (which is scheduled for Monday night).  It will just be start of the long road back to fitness though, as Kerevi will then face up to 16 weeks on the sideline.

How the Reds and Wallabies fill the void remains to be seen.


Folau Not To Stay Grounded

We'll continue to see this - Photo by Keith McInnes

We’ll continue to see this – Photo by Keith McInnes

Having sat out the weekend’s game against the Rebels, Waratah and Wallabies full-back, and aerial specialist Israel Folau has come out stating he *will not* be changing his approach to fielding kicks.

The suspension came following the third test against Ireland, where Folau clashed several times with the Irish under the high ball.

Speaking today, Folau approached the matter the same way he does for the up and unders, “For me, personally, it won’t change the way I approach the ball in the air”.

He also articulated what just about every rugby fan, touch judge, player, administrator, referee, barman at Lang Park and casual observer is keen to know, namely, just what constitutes foul play in that circumstance.

“I’d like to see a little bit more clarity within that particular area of the game, not only for myself, but others players are involved in those aerial contests I think it’s vital and very important.”

The idea that was widely suggested, including by Waratah coach Daryl Gibson, that at least some of the responsibility be placed on the lifter in these situations, was touched on by Folau, “I agree with what Daryl is saying; there has to be a responsibility on the player that is lifting him to bring him down safely,” while expanding on the safety issue, “It’s not going to always be clean. I understand the dangers of being in the air. The last thing you want is for anyone to get any serious injuries.”

While it remains to be seen how the issue is handled throughout The Rugby Championship fans remain hopeful that what does and doesn’t constitute foul play will be clear.


World Cup Qualifiers Continue

Namibia, coming to a World Cup near you!

Namibia, coming to a World Cup near you!

As next year’s World Cup looms ever larger, the qualifiers continue amongst the smaller and lesser-known rugby nations.

The remaining teams are fighting for both the last few qualifying positions and more importantly, to be everyone’s second team for the tournament.

First up we head to Apia to look at the first leg of the Germany vs Samoa tie. With a 2-time World Cup semi-finalist up against the 27th ranked team it was the local lads, possibly stinging after the spray from the prime minister, with the weight of expectation squarely on their shoulders.

And they duly delivered.

In a ten try to two thumping, it was the Pacific Islanders taking the choccies from the men from ze land of chocolate.  The win gives Samoa 50 points of breathing room before the return match next weekend in Heidelberg.

Next up, it’s off to Africa where the six remaining teams need to narrow themselves down to one*, who will then join the Bokke as the other direct qualifier from the African continent.

Namibia travelled to Casablanca where they thumped Morocco 63 points to seven.  The win consolidates their lead at the top of Rugby Africa Gold Cup which will also determine who takes the “Africa 1” position in Pool B.

Elsewhere on the continent, Kenya overcame a late deficit to eventually down Zimbabwe 45-36 keeping them in second place on the Gold Cup ladder and in contention for the world-wide repechage.

Closer to home, Hong Kong cruised past the Cook Islands 26-3 in Rarotonga to edge ahead before the return rubber in Hong Kong this Saturday.  The winner doesn’t automatically qualify, instead joining three other teams in the repechage.

McKellar Speaks Up

The Brums are as confused as the rest of us.

The Brums are as confused as the rest of us.

As the number of Australian rugby fans suffering from dizziness from shaking their heads in disbelief climbs ever higher, the rulings from SANZAR continue to baffle.

The latest vertigo-inducing episode comes after Hurricanes Julian Savea and Gareth Evans both escaped any further sanction after separate incidents during their team’s loss to the Brumbies in Canberra on the weekend.

Joining the chorus of dismay is Brumby coach Dan McKellar, speaking about the match he singled out the officiating for sharp criticism “The big one for me is the neck roll on Poey,” McKellar said, “That’s just dangerous”.

While pointing out the inconsistency in the how the laws have been applied this year, using the recent Folau suspension as a yard-stick.

“We see Israel get suspended for an accidental collision in the air and then we have one of the world’s best flankers with his head over the ball, twisted in an awkward (position) – it’s really dangerous”.

It’s hard not to empathise with McKellar’s take on the situation, the coach from the capital putting it starkly for all concerned, “They’re treating innocuous incidents like the Israel Folau incident …. they’re being treated harshly and we’ve got a bloke who’s nearly ripping the head off the shoulders of another player …. you’ve got to come down on that”.

With a clear position from World Rugby this year of protecting the players from foul play, McKellar has been forthright in his appraisal of how he thinks his players are being protected,

           “What have we got to do,

            wait for a fracture of his neck?”




Turned to writing for GAGR before my over the top rants about rugby landed me in hot water. Hoping this will keep me a little more measured.

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