Wednesday’s news has a Wallabies injury update, a return to the finest traditions of South African rugby, Drua players make up 54.5454 (recurring) percent of Fiji World Cup squad and this week’s episode of UK Soccer Grub Watch.
“I’ve had worse” – Kerevi to start World Cup despite probable broken hand
The SMH reports that the Wallabies are confident centre Samu Kerevi will be available for the opening Rugby World Cup clash next month despite picking up a probable broken hand in the final stages of the Wallabies’ near-win in Dunedin.
Kerevi left the field in the 74th minute after catching his right hand awkwardly while going for an intercept. After playing on for a few minutes, and holding his hand gingerly, Kerevi was replaced by Izzy Perese.
Sources with knowledge of the situation said Kerevi is likely to undergo a minor operation to stabilise a fracture.
With a recovery time of around three weeks, a broken hand is not ideal but is still a better result than other potential ligament problems in the hand and wrist.
The Wallabies are confident Kerevi will be right to play against Georgia in Paris on September 9, and could even be an outside chance to play against France on August 25 in a warm-up game at the same venue.
Hooker Dave Porecki also left the field with a shoulder problem and back-up hooker Jordan Uelese was a late withdrawal due to a knee injury. Debutant hooker Matt Faessler, who was called up for Uelese on the morning of the game, turned in a solid 66 minutes. Faessler is apparently being kept in a locked bouncy castle at a secure location until Folau Fainga’a joins the Wallabies’ pre-departure camp in Darwin as extra cover at hooker.
Springboks consider whether “dirty play” tag might stick
RugbyPass reports that ex-Springbok assistant coach Swys de Bruin has warned the Springboks not to carry on like they did in Buenos Aires against the Pumas or risk getting the ‘tag’ again from match officials.
South Africa’s discipline has come under the spotlight after conceding 13 penalties and a yellow card, but it was the off-the-ball antics that the former coach did not like.
In the first half lock Marvin Orie and scrumhalf Cobus Reinach got into a scuffle with Pumas winger Emiliano Boffelli that spilled over the sideline. Boffelli was trapped at the bottom of a ruck underneath a pile of bodies before Orie decided to give him the facial treatment.
Reinach dropped the knee into his rib area while trying to fetch the ball before hauling him out of the ruck underneath his armpit.
The Argentinian was clearly unhappy, springing to his feet to confront the Springboks No 9 who was shoved towards the advertising boards.
“No need to do whatever happens there, you’ll see Marvin will come in right in front of the AR [assistant referee], he’s putting his hand on the guy’s face on the ground, on his head,” de Bruin said.
“Remember the moustache tickling with Nic White? You don’t touch in the face. It’s out.” “Now Rienach, I don’t know what he does… he pulls him almost into the AR… now that is causing chaos. Guys leave it.”
Another clip showed Pumas flyhalf Nico “can’t think of a nickname” Sanchez hit extremely late in the back after the pass by openside flanker Franco Mostert on a set-piece launch. Sanchez was left reeling by the ‘dog shot’ which nailed him in the ribs, leaving the referee no option but to issue a yellow card.
“The ball is passed, there is a double tackle without the ball,” Bruin said. “It’s unnecessary. There is a fine line between being aggressive and bad discipline. You can be very hoord, you can be very tough, but that’s not it.”
Drua players dominate Fiji World Cup squad
RugbyPass reports that every non-Fijian’s second-favourite Super Rugby team will make up 18 players from the Fijian 33-man squad for the World Cup next month.
After only their second year playing in Super Rugby Pacific, the Drua made the quarter-finals this season.
Racing 92 flyhalf Ben Volavola is the shock exclusion from the squad, as Raiwalui has opted for the Drua’s Teti Tela and Caleb Muntz as his No. 10s.
Fiji will arrive in France in high spirits having beaten Tonga, Samoa and Japan over the last three weeks. They have warm-up Tests against France and England before getting their campaign underway against Wales.
“We have had a good journey for the last five weeks starting from Taveuni. I couldn’t be more proud of the players and the input they had in all our three test matches against Tonga, Samoa and Japan,” Fiji head coach Simon Raiwalui said to Fiji Rugby. Full squad list in the linked article.
Pom Soccer fans could be banned for mocking tragedies
As a rude awakening to those who think shiny-shirt wearing English soccer fans might be alright, the Guardian reports that, under updated guidance from the Crown Prosecution Service, soccer fans in England and Wales could be banned from matches if they mock tragedies such as the Hillsborough disaster, the 1958 Munich air crash – which killed eight Manchester United players, the Bradford City fire in 1985 – in which 56 fans died, and the death of Emiliano Sala in a plane crash in 2019.
In recent years, there has been an increase in chanting and online trolling relating to Hillsborough, which has been described as “banterfication” of the disaster. Louise Brookes, whose brother was killed at Hillsborough, said “hatred of Liverpool fans” was fueling the abuse.
The CPS guidance will state that actions such as singing, chanting or displaying offensive messages about disasters or accidents involving players or fans can be seen as a public order offence.
It has been backed by the chief executives of the Football Association, the Premier League and the English Football League.
The guidance will help prosecutors as they make legal decisions on cases and will set out how lawyers can apply for football banning orders, which can stop supporters attending matches and impose other restrictions, such as on travel to certain areas and during tournaments such as next year’s 2024 European Championship, or being allowed in pubs while games are taking place.