Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News

Tuesday’s Rugby News looks at where the ‘Tahs will be next year, how the 7s finished up, a true Aussie battler and a potential milestone this weekend.

‘Tahs to be Kings of the ‘Castle

The 'Tahs are homeless next year

The ‘Tahs are homeless next year

Given the NSW state government’s insistence that the best use of tax-payer money, in spite of dismal attendances, is to rebuild the football stadium in Sydney meaning the Waratahs are in search of some other rectangular public spaces where they can run around next year.

It had already been revealed that they will play the Shorks, Jags and Brumbies next year at Western Sydney Stadium and that was followed up by the announcement yesterday that the opening round against the Hurricanes would be held at Brookvale oval.

It still left four home games without a venue.

The club is set to make an “historic” announcement this morning at McDonald Jones Stadium and it’s got the rumour mill spun up to full speed with suggestions that it’s because that’s the venue for their clash against the Sunwolves on 29th March.

And while it may not yet be officially announced, it’s already appearing on the club’s website as the venue for that game so probably a safe bet.

Venues for the matches against the ‘Saders, Rebel scum and mighty Reds are yet to be announced but the criggit ground has been put forth as a suggestion given its recent and dating-back-to-1882 history of hosting Super Rugby matches, especially when QLD are involved.

The 2019 Super Rugby season kicks off on Friday 15 February with the Chiefs hosting the Higlanders.

Colorado 7s

Green crossed late to tip the match

Green crossed late to tip the match

The first round of the new season of women’s rugby 7s has finished up in Glendale (home of the Raptors) and it was the Kiwis that got the gold.

In a season that doubles as an Olympic selection (the top four teams are guaranteed a guernsey in Tokyo) it was a less than ideal start for the reigning world series champs and Rio gold medallists.

With an extra round scheduled this year it’s no time to panic and the Aussies will no doubt look to rebound in a bit over a month’s time at the second round in Dubai.

After thumping wins in their opening two matches, 53-nil and 40-nil, against Mexico and Spain respectively, the Aussies had to recover from 15-nil down at half time against Russia to eventually finish atop their pool and a Cup quarter final against hosts USandA.

Coming up against a red-hot USA the Aussies had no answers, succumbing 26-5 and desperately needing to regroup to salvage some points from the weekend.

Thankfully they found their form again in the semi and cruised past England 26-12 to make it to the 5th place playoff against Ireland where a last gasp try from Ellia Green saw the team hang on to fifth for the weekend and salvage some all-important points.

As mentioned earlier the Kiwis got the gold, crushing the hosts 33-7 in the final while Canada got the shameful bronze over France.

The next round kicks off in Dubai on 29th November.

Down in the Demps

This guy's so tough, he cries blood.

This guy’s so tough, he cries blood.

Jack Dempsey has had a hell of a run of it so far in his rugby career.

The 24year-old is one of only 76 Wallabies who have never to have lost a test match.  The six he’s played without defeat is bettered only by Mark McBain and matched by one other player, John Ryan, who also pulled off the feat of scoring in every single test he’s played in.

Backing up off a man of the match performance against the All Blacks the flanker tore two tendons off the bone against the Barbarians late in 2017 and has since repeatedly has his return to play date pushed back.  Originally looking to return as early as April it wasn’t until September where he was finally back on the field when he racked up 31 minutes for the Rays in their NRC fixture against Brisbane City.

In March this year Dempsey alluded to how difficult his time away from the game had been saying, “I think the mental roadblocks have been twice as hard, getting up every morning and feeling the surgery and feeling your limitations”.

“But now that I’m running and doing a lot more lower body stuff and the load is picking up and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it’s really quite positive for me”.

One can only imagine how the setbacks affected the young player but support from a Wallaby legend helped him through with John Eales offering up his support during the lay-off, “He talked about his own experiences with injuries and the mindset about how you might feel forgotten, but we’re all hoping that you get back and you get strong”.

Until Cheika names his team we won’t know if he’s come full-circle but it sounds like Dempsey (and the support network) is ready for anything else rugby might have for him

Kepu to Raise His Bat



I’m old enough to remember a time when our cricketers racked up centuries and now I’m old enough to remember the first Wallaby prop centurion.

And so, will you, assuming Michael Cheika selects Sekope Kepu in the “dead-rubber” Bledisloe Cup this weekend.

No prop has ever reached the milestone and only one other front-rower, Stephen Moore has done so.

Speaking today, the veteran talked wistfully about his time representing his country, “You first you always remember,” he said, “That was in 2008 and I remember singing the anthem next to Wycliff Palu”.

And he continued, covering off some wonderful victories and tournaments but it seemed all to come back being part of the team, rather than whether they won or lost.

“You never look past the British and Irish Lions, that was a great year”.

“Winning against the All Blacks in 2011, playing in that World Cup, the final in 2015 (which I needn’t remind you of), the English game that year”.

“They’re the Test matches that I remember, regardless of the result”.

“I’m just truly humbled to still be around this group nowadays”.

Here’s hoping that the team can get up for the big fulla’s hundredth and quieten down some of the yap we’ve all been putting up with from across the Tasman.



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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