Wednesday’s Rugby News sees Bledisloe anticipation, Giteau, Ashley-Cooper & Darren Coleman clean-up for Los Angeles, the Lions Series race to the bottom and Shannon Frizell controversy.
GAGR’s own Nathan Williamson reports that Matt To’omua has enjoyed the change in positions and responsibility as he allows Lolesio to take control of the side in James O’Connor’s (groin) absence.
“It’s been good playing for Noah,” To’omua said on Tuesday. “We’ve seen him develop across those three Tests and I think he did really well to close out those games we won. In the first and third Tests, he was crucial to that scoreline.” “Being at 12, you have a different role, maybe a bit more the bridesmaids so you’re just helping out and giving direction and showing space.”
Channel 9 quotes James Slipper “You have to bring it back down to Test match rugby, and what’s going to win you that test match is probably a clinical set-piece. That’s something we always strive for. I feel like during the French series we did a lot of good work there, at the set-piece. Not only our scrum, but I thought our lineout and maul really stood up as well.”
Spicy Lung factors and a beer festival in Wellington have caused the first two tests to be played in Eden Park, with the Perth test rescheduled from 21 to 28 August. Purchased tickets will be honoured on the new game day, with refunds available to those who cannot attend as a goodwill gesture from Rugby Australia to Western Australians who wouldn’t trust Rugby Australia to watch their beer while they went to the loo.
1st Test: Sat Aug 7 Eden Park, 5.05pm AEST
2nd Test: Sat Aug 14 Eden Park 5.05pm AEST
3rd Test: Sat August 28 Optus Stadium, Perth 8pm AEST
LA win Seppo Major League Rugby
Embed from Getty ImagesThe LA Giltinis have claimed the 12-team Major League Rugby title in their first season – beating Rugby Atlanta 31-17 on Sunday afternoon.
Man-of-the-match Matt Giteau stopped short of confirming his retirement, however 37-year-old Ashley-Cooper confirmed that he will call a close to his storied professional career.
“We’ve just tried to build a culture,” Former Rebel and Aussie standout Billy Meakes said. “To finish off with a trophy is really incredible.”
The Giltinis say goodbye to Head Coach Darren Coleman, who departs to taste more finals success at the Waratahs.
The US Major League Rugby season concludes with all 99 matches completed and none lost to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A 13th team – the Dallas Jackals – will join for the 2022 season with other cities lining up to begin their quest to lift the MLR Shield.
Wretched hive of scum and villainy (BIL tour)
Embed from Getty ImagesThe skip fire formerly known as the British & Irish Lions Tour continues to generate news for the wrong reasons. In no particular order:
– For those waking up from a coma, Rassie Erasmus is set to face a judicial hearing following his controversial video criticising refereeing in the first Test of the Lions series.
World Rugby have confirmed, saying “…the extensive and direct nature of the comments made by Rassie Erasmus within a video address, in particular, meets the threshold to be considered a breach of World Rugby Regulation 18 (Misconduct and Code of Conduct) and will now be considered by an independent disciplinary panel. The date and panel will be confirmed in due course.”
– South African Forwards coach Deon Davids defended his side’s dull tactics. “No, not at all. It’s a spectacle. I think it’s fantastic. Rugby has always been about a physical battle on-field, but also a battle where opponents try to outsmart each other, whether that’s on or off-field” said Davids in his audition for the role of Iraqi Media and Foreign Affairs Minister.
– BIL prop Kyle Sinckler has been cited for an alleged bite in the 64th minute of South Africa’s 27-9 victory over the Lions.
The Englishman faces a minimum 12-week ban if found guilty.
– South African rugby website Supersport features sober & objective headlines such as “Swys reckons the outcome justified Rassie’s actions”, “Rassie being charged will fuel Bok fire” and “Can the Springbok maul be stopped?”. You can read those pieces in your own time.
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27-year-old All Black Shannon Frizell who faced two charges of male assaults female and another of common assault, had been offered “diversion” by the police and is likely not to be convicted for assaulted a young couple at a Dunedin bar. This will be determined at a hearing on September 21, as reported by stuff.co.nz.
A police diversion is a series of prescribed tasks which, if completed successfully, would result in the charges against Frizell being withdrawn and no convictions entered. At time of publication Dunedin police have not responded to GAGR’s questions about whether the tasks involve dropping a magic ring into a volcano.
“I am p….. off that he gets diversion,” the female victim’s father said.
‘’At the end of the day he is a thug.’’
Frizell will miss the opening Bledisloe Cup test after being suspended by New Zealand Rugby over the incident. Frizell remains in camp with the ABs.
Professor Colin Gavaghan, of the University of Otago, said the option of diversion was largely determined by Police policy rather than the law. It was generally used for first offences, and there was no requirement for the victim to agree. However, the individual must have admitted to the offence, he said.
All less serious offences were theoretically eligible, including the forms of assault Frizell was charged with, although less likely to be offered for violent offences.
Dr Ang Jury, chief executive of the National Collective of Women’s Refuges, said she was disturbed by the reported violence, and police offering diversion.
It wasn’t the first time a top rugby player had been offered diversion for violence, she said.