Polota-Nau pleads for Force’s Super future


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    Wallabies hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau has made a passionate plea for the ARU to keep the Western Force alive, saying rugby is thriving in Western Australia and has the potential to become a future gold mine.

    Either the Force or Melbourne Rebels will be axed from the Super Rugby competition before next season after the ARU agreed to cull one of the Australian franchises.

    The Force have struggled to make an impact on the field since their inception in 2006.

    But rugby at grassroots level has grown significantly in WA over that period, and the Force are starting to reap the benefits.

    The Force squad now boasts nine West Australians, including star Wallaby Dane Haylett-Petty.

    The squad also has a further three players who were brought up elsewhere but made it to the senior side by progressing through WA’s rugby ranks.

    Polota-Nau only joined the Force at the end of last season, but he’s been blown away by the strength of rugby in WA.

    “You actually need WA for the game to grow,” Polota-Nau told AAP.

    “I’m just proud of what they’ve done – especially in the community – to grow the game over here.

    “To be honest, it’s up there with the club competitions of both NSW and Queensland.

    “The proof is in the pudding when nine of our squad members are locally born and already cracking into the starting 15.”

    Polota-Nau has enjoyed a standout season with the Force, and he would love to re-sign with the Perth-based franchise beyond this year.

    But until a decision is made on the Force’s future, Polota-Nau is unable to put pen to paper.

    Polota-Nau spent 11 seasons at the Waratahs before shifting to the Force.

    He’s kept a close eye on his former club – particularly the situation where frustrated Waratahs fans have started booing their own players.

    Polota-Nau said it was a completely different story at Force home games.

    “Over here, the rugby community is really behind the Force,” Polota-Nau said.

    “Playing games at the Forcefield – the fans are there until the very last minute. It’s unbelievable.

    “Compare that to what’s going on with my old club the Waratahs – how much of a crisis it’s in in terms of their members.

    “It’s something you can’t buy – the loyalty the fans have over here.”

    The Force’s finals hopes were given a massive boost last weekend when they notched a shock 16-6 win over the Jaguares in Argentina.

    With four of their final five games at home, the Force have the chance to top the Australian conference.

    But their progress will be put to the test on Saturday night when they host a Highlanders outfit riding a seven-match winning run.

    Dane Haylett-Petty
    Ross Haylett-Petty
    Luke Burton
    Harry Scoble
    Kane Koteka
    Richard Hardwick
    Chance Peni
    Curtis Rona
    Ryan Louwrens

    Jermaine Ainsley
    Anaru Rangi
    Michael Ruru

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • May 19th 2017 @ 9:30am
      Mickyo said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      The players he claims are all locally born are not, they are born in South Africa, Namibia and NZ.

      A couple may be born in Perth, probably to SA parents.

      The game of RU may be bigger than in the past I’m WA but it is built on recent migration, when that stops so does the game, the kiwis have been heading home for that last couple of years.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 10:56am
        piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:56am | ! Report

        No they haven’t

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 2:14pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:14pm | ! Report

        If you are splitting hairs about migrants, there are a significant number of Fijians and Pacific islanders in prime spots in east coast franchises. Perth has a lot of Southern Africans, so what?

        The key point is that they came up through the local system.
        My local club has a lot of 2nd generation ex-pat Kiwi’s playing in the various grades.
        As far as I am concerned they are Perth products if not by birth but certainly from by player development perspective. Sure, their parent’s love for the game has a lot to do with it.

        The Force are also pretty good at talent spotting. Billy Meaks and Matt Philip were shunned by the Tahs and are thriving here.
        Moz and Jonno are welcome Redsfugees.
        Adam Coleman is a Tazzie boy.

        They may have had their grass roots elsewhere but their talents have been recognized and nurtured by the Force and like TPN, they are keen role models for the local kids and fans alike.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 2:17pm
        Fionn said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:17pm | ! Report

        Awkward moment when someone doesn’t realise, or conveniently forgets, that Australia is an immigrant-based country.

        • May 20th 2017 @ 12:25am
          Zulu said | May 20th 2017 @ 12:25am | ! Report

          Stop the boats! Rugby excluded?

      • May 20th 2017 @ 6:37am
        ScottD said | May 20th 2017 @ 6:37am | ! Report

        Rubbish Mickyo

      • Roar Guru

        May 20th 2017 @ 10:02am
        Lano said | May 20th 2017 @ 10:02am | ! Report

        Nonsense Mickyo, absolute tosh. The Force Academy is the most succesful nationwide in producing Super and Wallaby players.

      • May 22nd 2017 @ 4:34pm
        Hannes said | May 22nd 2017 @ 4:34pm | ! Report

        Why would migration stop? Migration from South Africa is not only driven by demand for jobs, there is a push factor as well – South Africans are desperate to leave. I was a young chemical engineer that emigrated without a job offer to find a future for my children – that was 17 years ago. South Africans have been emigrating to Perth for as long as I can remember and although it is getting harder to emigrate they still want to get out of South Africa. South Africans emigrants are skilled, between the ages of 30 and 50 with children – that will play rugby. The benefit of this emigration will be enjoyed for years to come – unless you decide that they cannot cultivate a rugby culture for their children by axing the Force and forced them to play footy as it is the only game in town.

    • Roar Pro

      May 19th 2017 @ 9:55am
      Crazy Horse said | May 19th 2017 @ 9:55am | ! Report

      WA is a migrant society. All of those mentioned played their junior rugby in Perth clubs. Three of them in my own club where I’ve watched them grow since small boys.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 10:18am
      Jock Cornet said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

      Stretches the truth. Club rugby is crap over there. They over price the seats hence no crowds. The crowds are loyal though and the potential is great being a mining city. There admin though have done sfa to tap into it. Rebels should get the chop though. There is great potential in wa

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 10:21am
        Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:21am | ! Report

        You haven’t even been to Melbourne.

        I bet you’ve never been West of Anzac Parade or South of Coogee.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 10:58am
        piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

        Wallaby Tatafu Polota Nau

        “To be honest, it’s up there with the club competitions of both NSW and Queensland”


        “Club rugby is crap over there”

        Now who do you believe?

        Also your continued rant about seat pricing is baffling and false.I
        can only assume you were tricked by a scalper or something

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 10:59am
          Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:59am | ! Report

          I think Super Rugby tickets are the same price as Shute Shield entry funnily enough.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm
          Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:22pm | ! Report

          In WA, Club and NRC games are free. Super games are about $30 but that gets the kids in for free.
          The focus is on the growth of Rugby, not profits.

          Now the wallabies games, that is a different matter.
          If I hadn’t got freebies for demoing Viva 7’s before the game there is no way I would have forked out $80 for a cheap seat to watch the Pumas play. The stadium was half full because of the obscene prices, not the commitment of the fans.

          • Roar Guru

            May 19th 2017 @ 3:09pm
            Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:09pm | ! Report

            The focus is on the growth of Rugby, not profits.

            You’d hope not. They haven’t posted one since 2011!

            • Roar Rookie

              May 19th 2017 @ 5:33pm
              piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:33pm | ! Report

              Cheap shot

      • May 19th 2017 @ 7:26pm
        Feralforce said | May 19th 2017 @ 7:26pm | ! Report

        They’ve sent players and coaches up to the goldfields for clinics with the kids in kalgoorlie and have even been to the schools in kambalda. 650 kms from perth , a great effort to engage grass roots and expand the game.

      • May 22nd 2017 @ 4:22pm
        Hannes said | May 22nd 2017 @ 4:22pm | ! Report

        The quality of club rugby has improved significantly in the past decade. The intensity is high but cannot comment how it compares with QLD and NSW. Should ask players that played in both competitions like Tetafu.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 10:55am
      Mattocks said | May 19th 2017 @ 10:55am | ! Report

      With due respect to Tatafu, basically all the things he says about W.A. rugby apply to Melbourne rugby

      • May 19th 2017 @ 11:55am
        MitchO said | May 19th 2017 @ 11:55am | ! Report

        If what you say is true Mattocks, and I am happy to believe you and others with a much greater knowledge of Victorian rugby than I, Taf is not knocking Vic he’s giving a pump up to WA and perhaps questioning what the heck the Tah’s are doing.

        The list of 13 or so players above shows what can be done in one generation in WA – approx 10 years. And of course it does not include some guys who came up and have already left such as Kieran Longbottom and Ollie Hoskins. That is 15 guys who are of super rugby standard in one generation. No doubt more because I am forgetting Zack Holmes and Nick Jooste.

        The other important factor is that the Force have given a home to guys in Australia who can put into the community and help develop rugby. I don’t know why NSW did not want to keep Taf (looks like a list management decision gone wrong since NSW lack heart and Taf has plenty and Hooper can’t do it on his own) we are happy to have him and we already have two okay hookers. Also from what I could tell, Peter Grant is loving his rugby over here. I saw him play first grade and really get into it. I don’t know the guy but I reckon there are a lot of people in clubland learning a lot about tactical kicking from him and everything else he’s picked up in his career.

        if the Vics are doing anything similar then there is a solid argument for them to stay too but certainly not instead of my team.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 12:03pm
          Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          It wasn’t a list management decision.

          TPN signed overseas, Waratahs singed 3 hookers for 2017, TPN’s deal fell through.

        • May 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm
          Mattocks said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

          I don’t think he was knocking Vic rugby.
          I was doing the same as him
          Just saying vic rugby is also strong.
          I have said in pervious article posts that I like the force and don’t think they should go
          But I don’t think we should go either

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 12:08pm
        piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

        Mattocks – I don’t know Vic rugby, but if this is the case, where is the noise in Victoria?

        Is it a difference in state psyche do you think?

        When they came for the Force, pretty much all of WA has snapped back that we’re not going quietly.

        From Vic we get the occasional comment, stats and figures, but very little blood and thunder.

        I don’t mean this to sound like I’m having a go, just interested in the difference in response.

        • May 19th 2017 @ 12:12pm
          Mattocks said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:12pm | ! Report

          Just because we are quieter over here doesn’t mean we are any less passionate.

        • Roar Guru

          May 19th 2017 @ 12:20pm
          Train Without A Station said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

          Probably because it’s a completely different situation with the private ownership scenario and also a completely different and more competitive market.

          If people didn’t come out and support the Force it would absolutely fold. Even then support has hardly been great.

          The Rebels are privately owned and what happens for the rest of 2017 may not matter one iota.

          The other difference is the Rebels are currently having their worst season in their history.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 19th 2017 @ 12:24pm
            piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 12:24pm | ! Report

            Fair enough, just seems odd to me – fair enough when they’d been assured they were safe, the less attention drawn the better.

            But now it seems like the noisier you can be in support of your team the better.

            Anyway, I support no teams being culled – just for the record, again.

            • May 19th 2017 @ 5:57pm
              Perthstayer said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:57pm | ! Report


              WF nailed it at outset when Rebels mistakenly thought they were safe. That was bum deal for them.

              Rebels fans are playing catch up and whilst that is a shi**y position they have not made as much noise as they should have. I am not into us v them (I am pro 5 teams) but I suspect the silence has been because IMO they do not have the facts and figures to call upon that WF do. This means Rebels need a new strategy other than crying foul, that will just paint ARU into a corner.

        • May 19th 2017 @ 2:24pm
          wyn said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:24pm | ! Report

          Hi Piru, if any of the comments we make could affect the outcome I would be at it a lot more. All I can do for the Rebels cause is to support them by going to every game. This year it has been pretty painful, but we go each week hoping things will improve and I believe they will in the last couple of games at home as more of the injured players return.

          If the Rebels survive I will be a member again next year and go to every home game. If not, it would have been good if the ARU could have come to some arrangement with the rest of the Australian conference to have Brumbies play their “away” games in Melbourne plus an additional couple of home games against Kiwi and SA teams as well. On this forum that suggestion has been shot down in flames by Brumby supporters and if that is the sentiment of the decision makers, so be it.

          • Roar Guru

            May 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm
            Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:33pm | ! Report

            Why stop with the brumbies,
            Spread the love around.
            All Australian teams play a home game there.
            Better if the unaffected NZ teams could chip in 1 each as well. After all Melbourne is pretty close.

          • Roar Rookie

            May 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm
            piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

            If we don’t make enough noise, the bosses in Sydney forget we’re over here – I think the Rebs are in the same boat now.

            Keep shouting!

          • May 20th 2017 @ 5:39pm
            ScottD said | May 20th 2017 @ 5:39pm | ! Report

            Whatever happens, if there is a franchise cut then each remaining franchise should play one “home’ game in the city of the cut franchise.

            The ARU should also sponsor an NRC team in that city.

            • May 20th 2017 @ 9:55pm
              Train Without A Station said | May 20th 2017 @ 9:55pm | ! Report

              The first I don’t agree with.

              Super Rugby teams get 7.5 home games per year.

              It’s not enough to give one away.

              The ARU should absolutely use some of the savings (maybe $1M per year), to ensure that region is able to maintain a competitive NRC team and can entice some Super Rugby players and quality coaching to their region for the tournament.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 2:31pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:31pm | ! Report


        Keep banging the pots and pans!
        Both the Force and the Rebels have value to Australian Rugby and neither should be discounted.
        This simple fact should not be forgotten.

        The ARU needs to find a way to keep both grassroots and fan bases.

        For my mind, the only way is a merger with a genuine 50/50 home game split and retention of the Rising and/or the Spirit as player bases.
        I am sure it will annoy a few people but a lot less than having their team cut completely.

    • May 19th 2017 @ 2:07pm
      Boomeranga said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:07pm | ! Report

      I miss TPN. He’s the only rugby player my kids can identify.

      • Roar Guru

        May 19th 2017 @ 2:34pm
        Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

        Is it the Fro?

        • May 19th 2017 @ 5:30pm
          Boomeranga said | May 19th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

          Yeah. I rate him all round as a good bloke / player, but the boys just dig his fro.

          • Roar Guru

            May 19th 2017 @ 6:52pm
            Timbo (L) said | May 19th 2017 @ 6:52pm | ! Report

            What about Henry Speight.
            Now that he is playing without headgear again, he is very disco as well.,

    • May 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm
      Johnno said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:14pm | ! Report

      What about Melbourne TPN, why aren’t you championing them? You being supportive of the Force not the Rebels let’s get real here. He’s being a bit biased.

      • May 19th 2017 @ 3:16pm
        AndyS said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:16pm | ! Report

        Probably because he doesn’t play there and can’t speak for what is happening there…?

      • Roar Rookie

        May 19th 2017 @ 3:57pm
        piru said | May 19th 2017 @ 3:57pm | ! Report

        Yeah and he’s always tackling players from other teams, because he is biased against them scoring tries

      • May 20th 2017 @ 5:41pm
        ScottD said | May 20th 2017 @ 5:41pm | ! Report


        Give the guy a break! Did you think that he might have been asked for his comments on the Force? I doubt someone asked for his comments on the Rebels because he’s never played for them……..

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