Rebels have only one win to stand on, so stop moaning

Will Knight Columnist

By Will Knight, Will Knight is a Roar Expert

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147 Have your say

    Zane Tetevano was hurriedly changing his baby’s nappy on the bonnet of his car in Woy Woy.

    This was only yesterday morning, the Sydney Roosters interchange forward doing dad duties as about 120 kids at the NRL club’s holiday camp at Rogers Park took a mid-morning drinks break.

    Tetevano is one of, I’d estimate, 80 NRL players that still don’t have a contract for next season.

    He’s battling hard to get a new deal. There’s uncertainty there. A lot of clubs have locked in a significant chunk of their first-grade squad for next year. He’s certainly had his troubles away from the field. That might be a factor working against him, especially for clubs other than the Roosters.

    I didn’t ask Tetevano if he is peeved at Roosters HQ for not having his future sorted by now. I assume he’s putting his head down to snare that next contract, and helping to coach concentration-deprived six-year-olds is another way of showing he’s worth investing in.

    Tim Taranto was chosen at No.2 in last year’s AFL draft. He was an 18-year-old Melburnian that had to wait until November 25 to know where he was to spend his first two years as an AFL-contracted player. He went to Greater Western Sydney.

    Now that’s uncertainty – particularly for a teenager – and he had only a few weeks to pack himself up, say see ya to his family and friends and be ready to rip into pre-season training in another city to chase his AFL dream.

    No.3 pick Hugh McCluggage, from North Ballarat, was sent to Brisbane. Next was Ben Ainsworth, from the Gippsland, who went 1700km away to the Gold Coast.

    At the end of November, remember.

    The AFL’s trade period is held in mid-October. Pretty late in the year for an established player – potentially with a family – to up sticks and possibly shift states.

    There’s uncertainty in every professional sport, not knowing whether a current team will make an offer, or whether a rival club will try to lure a player away, domestically or internationally. Soccer, basketball and cricket are just a few examples of sports that have a vibrant and far-reaching player market.

    There’s uncertainty for you, me and everyone else looking to hold down a job. In any industry. Change can come at you fast.

    Which brings me – again – to the plight of the Melbourne Rebels and their fight for Super Rugby survival.

    Tony McGahan Melbourne Rebels Super Rugby Union 2017

    (AAP Image/Joe Castro)

    At about the same time on Thursday morning that Tetevano was running drills with the kids, Rebels centre Mitch Inman was in Melbourne blaming the ARU for “lack of transparency… about where our future is heading”.

    “There’s been a few things off the field that haven’t been handled as well as we’d like them to be and that’s showing with the on-field performances,” said Inman.

    The 28-year-old is the latest Rebels player or coach to moan about their treatment. Morgan Turinui’s we-can’t-re-sign-rental-leases spray was laughable in parts.

    So this is the thing – why do the Rebels act like they are some infallible institution?

    They seem to arrogantly carry on like they’ve earned a right to remain. Well they’ve been horrible this year and ordinary for seven seasons. They are second-last on the overall table at the moment.

    If you’ve been bad for a while, don’t expect any favours. Just ask the NSW Blues.

    NBA and NFL teams get moved around reasonably regularly when they don’t do well on the field and flop financially. Onto the next city. Sometimes rebranded.

    In terms of sprays directed at the ARU, Inman’s was far from a vicious one. But it’s wearing thin when another Rebel mopes about the uncertainty and lack of transparency by the ARU.

    The Rebels have failed. Emphatically. Don’t point the finger of blame when you win one of 14 games in a season. And finish outside the finals for seven straight years. They’ve conceded a jaw-dropping 537 points this season.

    Do they want us to believe it’s Bill Pulver’s fault they’ve scored a pitifully low 21 tries in 2017? In 14 games!

    Critics of the ARU point out that they should never had agreed to the latest expansion. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that Australia’s teams have been outclassed too many times this season. The gulf to the New Zealand teams has never been greater.

    Maybe Inman has perspective. Maybe he’s aware of the uncertainty across the rest of the sporting sphere – and indeed in all walks of life.

    But Super Rugby isn’t going well. Rationalisation needs to occur. Cuts needs to be made.

    They’re clearly one of two weak links – along with the Western Force – among the Australian teams. They are the wounded lamb that can’t keep up. They might need to be sacrificed.

    But they’re not hard done by. Expect that you might be vulnerable if you don’t perform. Sport is black-and-white in that regard.

    Wins are your currency. Bank them and bank them often.

    Amanaki Mafi of the Rebels

    (AAP Image/Julian Smith)

    The Rebels have been given a fair go and the players and coaches shouldn’t blame anyone but themselves. The Rebels are all tough men playing a tough game. Perhaps they should start to show the same resilience off the field as they would on it.

    It wasn’t a massive moan from Inman, but a whinge nonetheless when he could’ve refused to pin the blame on anyone but his own club for not coming up with the goods when it mattered.

    South Africa’s Southern Kings reacted far differently. After they were named on the endangered list, they lifted. They’ve showed the Rebels how to respond to adversity and uncertainty.

    The Rebels have had time to dig in and establish themselves as a successful franchise. They wouldn’t have to look far to know what’s possible in a short space of time. The Melbourne Storm won the NRL premiership in their second season in 1999.

    Perhaps this all proves the Rebels lack the professionalism to succeed. We heard throughout the season the cliches about being focussed on the on-field stuff and putting the axing talk aside because they do what they do best on the field and all that.

    But now there’s an opportunity to blame someone for their on-field woes, it seems an opening too tempting to turn down.

    Will Knight
    Will Knight

    An AAP writer for more than a decade, Will Knight does his best to make sense of all things cricket, rugby union and rugby league, all while trying to have a laugh along the way. You can find him on Twitter @WKnightrider.

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    The Crowd Says (147)

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:07am
      Rhys Bosley said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Pfft, just another miserable article about the “need” to throw somebody else’s team under the bus. At least the analogy of the sacrificial lamb is correct, because that is what cutting a team has become about, blaming the newer teams for the gross on and off field incompetence in the established rugby states. The way some go on anybody would think it is the Rebels fault that the Waratahs and Reds can’t tackle.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:28am
        Jeff dustby said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:28am | ! Report

        Excellent shifting of the blame.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 10:18am
        wag said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        IF the Force beat the Waratahs this weekend, then they will probably finish 2nd in the (shocking) Aust. Conference,
        while NSW would finish 4th. On that basis, following the “logic”in the article, it is the Waratahs and the Rebels that should be in danger of being cut !

        • Columnist

          July 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm
          Will Knight said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:34pm | ! Report

          2011 – 15th
          2012 – 13th
          2013 – 12th
          2014 – 15th
          2015 – 10th
          2016 – 12th
          2017 – 17th?!

          My “logic” is this has been going on for a long time. Get the results and you’ll sit pretty. Pile up the loses and don’t expect sympathy. That’s sport. Its simplicity – win or lose – is arguably its greatest virtue. Don’t offer shallow excuses if you don’t deliver.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 2:45pm
            James Pettifer said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

            Even with only 1 win this year, the Rebels have still won more games than either of the Force or the Reds over the past 3 years.

            You pick and choose the facts that support the conclusion you want to make.

            • July 15th 2017 @ 2:31am
              Paul Turnbull said | July 15th 2017 @ 2:31am | ! Report

              OK fact since 2011 the rebels have being given about 30 million dollars more than the force and reds.
              Should have won a title with that much money.
              No team culture in pampered Melbourne.

              • July 16th 2017 @ 10:39am
                Train Without A Station said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                That’s completely untrue.

                And they haven’t been given any extra money to spend on players so how would that even have helped?

          • Roar Rookie

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:50pm
            piru said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:50pm | ! Report

            So next year the team that loses the most games should be cut too?

            What’s the end game?

            Just the Brumbies competing each year?

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:58pm
            Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:58pm | ! Report

            Yeah it’s pretty uncommon for expansion teams in modern professional sport to be slow starters without significant concessions (assistance) to help them get up and running.

            The Titans have been a massive hit in the NRL haven’t they?

            What about that absolute powerhouse next door to them, the Gold Coast Suns – who even have been significantly helped.

            Perhaps in the future Will you should do a little research to come to your view, not just look for the first thing you can find to support it and run with that.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 4:54pm
              Bakkies said | July 14th 2017 @ 4:54pm | ! Report

              The Titans have made the Finals a few times.

              • July 14th 2017 @ 5:12pm
                Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:12pm | ! Report

                In a competition where half the teams make the finals they have made them 3 times.

                1 of those was 8th. In Super Rugby that would not get you into finals.

                That’s also in a competition that has an equal salary cap across all teams in the competition.

              • July 15th 2017 @ 5:49am
                Darwin Stubbie said | July 15th 2017 @ 5:49am | ! Report

                But doesn’t that ignore the conference system … by every measure the Aust conference is weak – a half decent year would have seen the rebels challenging the pointy end and therefore a guarantee of a home final

          • July 15th 2017 @ 10:38pm
            Hereward said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:38pm | ! Report

            Was position on the table a kpi for survival as a club at the start of the season Will?

      • July 15th 2017 @ 9:32am
        Ian said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        Only someone whose head is in the clouds would attempt to argue for all four Australian teams remaining in the Super rugby competition. It’s not financially sustainable (i.e. it takes away money for grassroots development) and it’s not player sustainable. Four teams have diluted the Australian conference and the players have to be blind if they can’t see this reality.

        Besides, when 2020 rolls around, South Africa will head north and Super rugby will come to an end.

        • July 15th 2017 @ 10:41pm
          Hereward said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:41pm | ! Report

          There are 5 Australian teams. And long may it remain so.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:11am
      Luke Ringland said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:11am | ! Report

      I just wish we heard more players talking about what’s best for the game in Australia. If they want to make the case that cutting a SR team is necessarily bad for rugby in Australia, then fine. This is not a perspective that I agree with, but at least it is one focused in the right area.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:13am
        Rhys Bosley said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:13am | ! Report

        Get real, nobody offers up their jobs for the good of anybody else. These sanctimonious statements from those whose livelihoods are not affected are getting nauseating.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 10:10am
          El Gamba said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:10am | ! Report

          Yes, and it’s not a few players at a club facing uncertainty, it’s the whole club including support staff. That’s a huge mental disruption and Qld showed how important the mental aspect is in professional sport in their win Wednesday. The ARU have royally f’d this process, blame shouldn’t be shifted to the players.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm
            Jibba Jabba said | July 14th 2017 @ 1:39pm | ! Report

            Agreed 🙂

          • Columnist

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:37pm
            Will Knight said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:37pm | ! Report

            Mental disruption?!? I’d argue as a professional sportsman you should be able to roll with a bit of adversity. These are fit, tough guys with plenty of psychological strength. They wouldn’t be at that level without it. Inman saying the uncertainty is “showing in on-field performances” perhaps proves their approach is sub-professional.

            • July 14th 2017 @ 5:27pm
              Jacko said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:27pm | ! Report

              Will he was saying that after some 3 months of not knowing what direction his life is taking…Its not just some rant after a bad decision made today….its been way too long and you know it. If you dont like the rebels and want them out then just write that but this critique of Inman is a bit too much

            • July 14th 2017 @ 9:18pm
              Jibba Jabba said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:18pm | ! Report

              Check out the responsibilities of an employer… fyi i interviewed a 130kg tattooed pony tailed, bearded hairy man yesterday, a gun toting huntin fishin bloke and member of some Ayran anti brigade group and he was a sensitive pansie…. .so appearances can be deceiving… but the responsibilities of the employer remain the same..

              • July 16th 2017 @ 10:40am
                Train Without A Station said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:40am | ! Report

                But an employer doesn’t have the obligation to provide a workplace in perpetuity…

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:18am
      DH said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:18am | ! Report

      You don’t need to cut a team to improve performance.

      There are lots of other things the Rebels could do to improve performance.

      As a fan, it’s disappointing that they point the finger externally when there is a lot internally which needs fixing.

      You could blame injuries, but the coaching staff have compounded it by shuffling the whole team every time a player goes out or comes in.

      Dropping teams isn’t going to magically create the playmaker the Rebels so desperately need.

      It doesn’t seem like there’s anyone at the Rebels who’s willing to stand up and take it upon themselves to lead the team like they need.

      Very little of this has to do with talent, which is all that you’ll be improving by culling one of the teams, spreading a little bit of talent around the league a little bit more.

      The way the Rebels have played, there’s probably only a handful of guys who would be worthy of a new contract on merit anyway, so don’t know if many of them would want to be signing leases anyway.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 14th 2017 @ 10:01am
        Alex James said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:01am | ! Report

        Agreed. They neede consistency wherever they could but it has been a bit of a lottery:
        You are at 12 one week, 14 the week after, then 13, then maybe 15. Perhaps have a go on back row against the Highlanders?
        They have had a miserable season. But they did get (a very dull) draw in SA. Not many Australian teams have picked up any points overseas. And beat the Australian champs! They need a new coaching set up as well as a bit of security.

        • Columnist

          July 14th 2017 @ 2:40pm
          Will Knight said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:40pm | ! Report

          Hmm. At the Crusaders, Israel Dagg, David Havili and George Bridge move around the back three all the time. And deliver wherever they move. This is true across a few of the NZ teams. Beauden Barrett and Aaron Cruden often go to No.12 and fullback. And kill it.

          • Roar Rookie

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm
            piru said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            12 and 13 aren’t back 3 positions

          • Roar Rookie

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm
            Alex James said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:51pm | ! Report

            Good job. If some of the most versatile and greatest players in world rugby can do it, everyone should be able to and easily. Honestly?

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 2:52pm
            Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:52pm | ! Report

            Did the Crusaders have their captain ruled out in the warm up due to injury 3 games in a row?

            • July 14th 2017 @ 2:59pm
              Council said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:59pm | ! Report

              When is the last time Cruds or Beaudy played 12?

              I’m thinking you don’t watch much rugby.

      • July 15th 2017 @ 9:22am
        Jaydos said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        “Dropping teams isn’t going to magically create the playmaker the Rebels so desperately need”. Where in all of Australia is this playmaker? Debreczeni was at one stage the next big thing but didn’t progress. There just isn’t the talent (Cheika won’t even give Cooper a go these days so only one trusted 10 in all of Oz rugby who can’t kick).

        • July 15th 2017 @ 10:44am
          Hannes said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:44am | ! Report

          I expect if the Force is dropped that most of the Force players will move to the Rebels. The Force’s current playmaker iGrant will be forced into retirement so that leave Jono Lance as playmaker. The Foce will play another year, and that may be in Rebels jumper and for Cox’s pocket.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:19am
      Council said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      Well this is one of the more pathetic articles we’ve seen in a while.

      You compare the cutting of a team to a draftee not knowing which team he will go to, till the end of the year?

      The fact is yes, the ARU has acted disgracefully in this matter, with no communication with teams or fans, no plan at all and what appears to be no direction at all.

      You compare privately owned American franchises that move around, yet super rugby hasn’t had this precedent.

      The only time a team was cut, was when SA dropped a team to bring another in. Which seemed to be done without all this pathetic carry on.

      SA recently showed the ARU how cutting a team should be done and carried out.

      So yes. The Force and the Rebels have every right to be pissed off. And the fans moreso, this will kill Union in which ever state loses a team.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 8:30am
        Jeff dustby said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:30am | ! Report

        Looks like the author hit close to home with you and you can’t see with your blinkers on.
        Good bye rebels and force

        • Roar Rookie

          July 14th 2017 @ 9:38am
          Alex James said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:38am | ! Report

          It’s like you don’t want fans outside of the traditional 3 teams to have any passion.
          The blinkered view is that by cutting two teams everything will go back to being OK. It won’t. The Wallabies represent the whole of Australia, not just 2 (3) states and IMO you want the support of the whole country behind them.
          There are some truths in this article but it is laughable to compare results of any Australian franchise with the African ones. All the Africansides got to play sunwolves, cheetahs and Bulls. This will have helped the Kings massively.
          NZ are way in front-no secret.
          MI is leaving and having a parting shot. So what?
          I’m not sure there is any industry where a prolonged uncertainty in terms of future employment can just be ignored and everyone just gets on with it in a stoic manner.
          Sometimes you just wonder what the comments would be like if they had said one of QLD or NSW will be cut because numbers are dropping in terms of fan base and AFL is growing! We’ve invested in the 2 new teams and it takes time.
          Unlikely because it seems there is so much ‘old boys network’ in NSW and they basically don’t want to see any kind of shift away from their comfort zone.
          But NSW is the real crisis state. Look at the attendance last week. AFL got triple. In Sydney! But I guess it was the school holidays and the BIL v ABs was on! Come on. It’d be great to see Force and Rebels win this weekend. Might not happen. If it does, awesome.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
            SJ said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

            “it is laughable to compare results of any Australian franchise with the African ones”

            Look at the head-to-heads – it’s comprehensive.

            No doubt the Cheetahs and Bulls would have been quite happy to have played the Australian sides this year.

            • July 15th 2017 @ 9:24am
              Jaydos said | July 15th 2017 @ 9:24am | ! Report

              +1 – i’d have my money on the Cheetahs and Bulls to win in most games against Oz teams this year. Didn’t the Kings beat the Tahs in Sydney? Enough said. I always loved the Wallabies when there was no Rugby in Melbourne. I will continue to do exactly that – only difference is we won’t have a franchise getting beat like a second rate team each and every week of the comp.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 11:21am
          Treetops said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:21am | ! Report

          I agree Jeff,

          Good article Will. The Rebels have been an absolute embarrassment to Australian rugby for years, and if your not good enough (which they aren’t), then get out

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 11:23am
            Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:23am | ! Report

            For years?

            They’ve only existed for 7 including this year to begin with. They finished last year with 7 wins. 8 got a team into a play off spot.

          • July 14th 2017 @ 12:07pm
            AndyS said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

            Lucky the sport has only recently gotten so Darwinian. In S12 the Bulls had five years last or second last, only won about seven games in that whole period and finished one year without a win at all. They’d have been burnt at the stake now, and we’d have lost an eventual multiple SR cup holder…

            • Roar Rookie

              July 14th 2017 @ 12:13pm
              piru said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:13pm | ! Report

              Highlanders used to be cellar dwellars, and didn’t the Blues suck for quite a few years?

              • Roar Rookie

                July 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm
                Dave_S said | July 14th 2017 @ 12:53pm | ! Report

                Yes for some reason some dullards think that every comp has to be a relegation comp in which teams who don’t regularly win are cut. Defies reason and historical experience.

                I try to avoid bagging Roar authors but this is one of the silliest articles I’ve seen here.

              • July 14th 2017 @ 5:30pm
                Jacko said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:30pm | ! Report

                Yes Piru…The last 5 or 6 years…Better this and last year and on the up…

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2017 @ 2:45pm
        Will Knight said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:45pm | ! Report

        Inman brought up the uncertainty being a problem. An AFL draftee faces enormous uncertainty – firstly, will he get picked up at all and if so, is he going to Queensland, Sydney, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne? Why isn’t that a decent reference point for a position of uncertainty? And guess what – if the situation is truly unbearable, there are other SUper Rugby teams in Australia, a huge number of clubs in Europe and Japan etc. It’s not like it’s the Rebels or bust.
        The ARU have fumbled the process but head office isn’t missing tackles on the weekend.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 2:48pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:48pm | ! Report

          Guess you’ve never worked anywhere that had the threat of redundancy or relocation hanging over people WIll.

          Once again. Easy to say how others should be reacting from behind the notepad.

          • July 16th 2017 @ 1:01am
            Ben said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:01am | ! Report

            And this doesn’t apply to the Force? Or is it only so because it’s your team that’s being talked about being chopped by the author. How hypocritical.

            • July 16th 2017 @ 10:41am
              Train Without A Station said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:41am | ! Report

              My team is the Reds.

              My comment doesn’t talk about any specific team buddy…

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 2:49pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 2:49pm | ! Report

          And as for your AFL draftee comment. That may be relevant, if they generally weren’t playing against other potential AFL draftees. i.e. people in the same situation.

        • July 15th 2017 @ 10:48pm
          Hereward said | July 15th 2017 @ 10:48pm | ! Report

          False equivalence. Most AFL draftees end up living with mum and dad in Melbourne- a few get shifted – like going to uni for example. It’s not the same as being part of a club that is cut from a competition completely and it’s disingenuous to argue otherwise.

    • Roar Rookie

      July 14th 2017 @ 8:21am
      Huw Tindall said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:21am | ! Report

      Brutal article but some truths in there. Biggest issue with fairness among Aussie franchises, which we all know, is the imbalance in Wallaby top ups. When you let your best players choose where they want to play you aren’t going to get anywhere near a fair distribution of your best talent. Yeah you shouldn’t force people to play in certain teams but have a draft or combined Super/ARU salary cap for the teams. Rebels and Force have been on the back foot from day one. Look at how AFL did it with GWS and learn.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 9:45am
        Akari said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:45am | ! Report

        Brutal article but some truths in there.

        Agreed, HT.

        A dose of balance though. It took the Chiefs, Highlanders and the Hurricanes 17, 20 and 21 years respectively to get it right and win their first super rugby championship. One could add that it took 21 years before NZ super rugby sides to become dominant over Australian sides. One might ask why it took so long for this to happen given that NZ have had a very strong domestic provincial competition for over 100 years when Australia has only introduced the NRC about 3 years ago. It is unfortunate that one the Force and the Rebels would bow out of rugby at the end of this season before they’ve been able to have time to develop into a better and competitive side as was the case with the Chiefs, Landers and Canes. And then, we are asked at the same time to put up with a hopeless and useless Japanese Sunwolves from next year.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 14th 2017 @ 10:50am
          piru said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

          Seems to always be the way in Aussie – if things don’t show a result immediately, change it!

          Look at the original NRC

          • July 14th 2017 @ 10:58am
            Jock Cornet said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:58am | ! Report

            Give it 100 years

        • July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am
          Bakkies said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:00am | ! Report

          The Canes have always had the talent. Outside of 9 and 10 they have often had better backs than the Crusaders.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 5:34pm
          Jacko said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

          No one else was beating the Crusaders and Blues during that time regularly so it clearly should have been a 2 team comp and after the final it should be cut to a 1 team comp…BS

        • July 15th 2017 @ 8:36am
          Darwin Stubbie said | July 15th 2017 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          those sides still made finals play offs and also finals appearance … Also ignores the conference make up as well

      • Columnist

        July 14th 2017 @ 3:02pm
        Will Knight said | July 14th 2017 @ 3:02pm | ! Report

        Rebels and Force have had some pretty good cattle in the past. Some established Wallabies – Pocock, O’Connor, Beale, Giteau, Mitchell etc. But aint been contenders.

        • Roar Guru

          July 14th 2017 @ 3:05pm
          Train Without A Station said | July 14th 2017 @ 3:05pm | ! Report


          The Rebels had a whole 2 of them for 2 seasons (where both missed about half the games due to injury) and weren’t contenders?

          What useless buggers. If you can’t go from cellar dwellers to champions by throwing in 2 outside backs behind an average pack then should you even stil exist?

          The fact that most of the players you mention being backs seems to imply you don’t consider the nuances of a game of rugby Will.

          • Roar Guru

            July 14th 2017 @ 4:58pm
            John R said | July 14th 2017 @ 4:58pm | ! Report

            2 outside backs who were going through a fair bit of off field drama at the time as well.

        • July 14th 2017 @ 9:26pm
          Harry Rugby said | July 14th 2017 @ 9:26pm | ! Report

          Clearly, this Knight hasn’t been watching – perhaps just taking the piss.
          Will, you can not be serious – by your reasoning the Tahs with so many internationals should have been undefeated for last 10 years.

      • July 14th 2017 @ 5:06pm
        Bakkies said | July 14th 2017 @ 5:06pm | ! Report

        Huw there’s more than one way to get ARU top ups. There are players at the Brumbies that came in under Jake White and more recently that hadn’t or barely played Super Rugby. They developed, improved and performed. They weren’t ready made players. The Rebels on the other hand recruited ready made players with poor attitudes and disciplinary warnings.

        Players perform for their team and get picked for the Wallabies. There’s barely any players at the Rebels putting their hand up week in, week out. That’s why they aren’t getting players on ARU top ups.

    • July 14th 2017 @ 8:31am
      Jeff dustby said | July 14th 2017 @ 8:31am | ! Report

      People won’t like this article because it’s the truth

      • July 14th 2017 @ 10:50am
        hog said | July 14th 2017 @ 10:50am | ! Report

        No it is one point of view.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 14th 2017 @ 11:01am
        Alex James said | July 14th 2017 @ 11:01am | ! Report

        Correct: people won’t like this article.
        Incorrect: because it’s the truth.
        It’s a whimsical moan.

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