Wobbly Waratahs must deliver as Aussie crowds crumble

Will Knight Columnist

By Will Knight, Will Knight is a Roar Expert

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    If the paltry crowd at the Brumbies’ home game last week made jaws drop, there’s a good chance the forecast fan count at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night will make plenty more squirm.

    Fan numbers are in freefall at Australia’s Super Rugby fixtures, and all while the Western Force stick the middle finger up to Rugby Australia – and anyone else who thought their axing last year was a good idea – with some solid crowds at their World Series Rugby openers.

    In Canberra last Saturday night when the Brumbies hosted the Melbourne Rebels at GIO Stadium, there were 5283 die-hards. It’s a woeful figure that’s barely believable almost a week later.

    Not that the Rebels are themselves immune to such a thin crowd: they got 5538 just five weeks ago when the Jaguares visited.

    Melbourne had also reeled in 16,135 a week earlier against the Hurricanes at AAMI Stadium – proving how bipolar the Victorian rugby crowds can be.

    Perhaps more pertinent is it proves a big win will beat any slick marketing tagline when trying to sell tickets; the Rebels were coming off a 46-14 thrashing of the Sharks at home.

    Which is why the Waratahs, on a three-match losing streak, will likely struggle to get 10,000 in Sydney on Saturday night against the Highlanders.

    And the vibe could’ve been so different had they forged on to victory from a 29-0 lead over the Crusaders in Christchurch. ‘The Streak’ would’ve been dead and buried at 38 against the Kiwi teams – and ended against the defending champions.

    It would’ve been an appropriate antidote for Australian rugby only a few hours after the Sunwolves hammered the Queensland Reds. Israel Folau would’ve been welcomed back with open arms; not a man-love hug, but a simple celebratory embrace.

    Curtis Rona

    Curtis Rona (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

    But now the Tahs are faced with already fickle fans becoming more disengaged as the season goes on – and one that following the removal of the Force, started with so much hope that the consolidation of talent was going to lift Aussie rugby.

    Will the Waratahs crowd drop below the dreaded 10,000 mark?

    They might be struggling to match the crowd turning up at the Shute Shield local derby between Manly and Warringah at Manly Oval the same afternoon.

    Will they even announce a crowd figure? Bizarrely, no crowd figure has been made official at three home games this year, against the Rebels, Lions and Blues. It was estimated there were about 15,000 at Brookvale Oval for the clash with the Blues but maybe the figures at the other two Allianz Stadium encounters were too unpalatable to release. The secrecy is strange and naturally invites suspicion.

    The record for the lowest-ever Waratahs home crowd was set last year when 10,555 fans rocked up for the loss to the now-defunct Southern Kings.

    It’s hard to think that those Tahs fans that spent their Saturday night at Moore Park four weeks ago as their team got strangled by the Lions 29-0 will be itching to get back to the venue.

    The Sydney Swans are playing next door at the SCG at the same time too. The last time that happened – on the same night as the Lions flogging – the Swans got 38,000 up against the Adelaide Crows.

    It’s been a steady decline in Tahs crowds since the title-winning year of 2014, with the average home crowd from last season sitting at 14,500. That will almost certainly fall again this year.

    NRL Finals empty seats

    At least the seats are the right colour. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    The Waratahs and RA can ill-afford to be coming up short on gate takings. The both still want to re-sign Michael Hooper, Folau and Bernard Foley over the next few months. And it also means unlikely they will have the money and resources to aggressively address the mini-crisis in western Sydney following the demise of the Penrith Emus.

    Waratahs fans are crying out for a performance they can get buzzing about. Time is running out this season. They were close in Christchurch, not to mention mightily unlucky given all the dud calls they copped. Folau was enormous then and he’s most likely to light it up again.

    But you get the feeling a decent chunk of Tahs fans would love for Folau to fail on the field given his social media gay repenting crusade. A few more defeats and a few more Folau tweets and there’s the chance things might get a bit more toxic.

    However there’s also plenty to be optimistic about heading into the next three games before the June Test break. A big win over the Highlanders would win back some fans, although as the following games are away against the Chiefs in Waikato and Reds in Brisbane, they won’t be able to immediately capitalise at home.

    Two losses out of the next three games and the Waratahs will be relying on the Wallabies knocking over Six Nations champions Ireland to ensure some goodwill filters down to the last sector of their Super Rugby campaign.

    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 (235)

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:31am
      Angus Kennedy said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      ‘But you get the feeling a decent chunk of Tahs fans would love for Folau to fail on the field given his social media gay repenting crusade.’ I think the author is disclosing his own wishes with this comment. Overall, the comments on here have indicated a lot of support for freedom of speech. If you read the Australian, the comments are overwhelmingly supportive of Folau’s right to express his beliefs.
      Anyone hoping for Folau to crumble under the pressure has been left very disappointed. He was far and away the most dangerous player on the field against the Crusaders. Maybe he really does have God on his side?

      • May 18th 2018 @ 7:44am
        Christo the Daddyo said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:44am | ! Report

        “If you read the Australian…”

        LOL

        And if you read Fairfax, it’s the opposite.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 7:57am
          Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

          Most comments in Fairfax are supportive of Folau’s RIGHT to say the speech, they just disagree with what he is saying.

          Key distinction.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 9:30am
            spruce moose said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

            That’s not true.

            Fairfax are saying that Folau’s thoughts are now irrelevant. The bigger issue now is his thumbing his nose at authority (expect the big man upstairs of course) and that Rugby Australia seem to not have the courage to tell him to behave. He’s simply baiting his employers now.

            • May 18th 2018 @ 10:14am
              Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:14am | ! Report

              They’re still not denying his right to say it…

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 11:50am
                spruce moose said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:50am | ! Report

                They are when it’s promoting hate speech!

              • May 19th 2018 @ 4:36pm
                MH01 said | May 19th 2018 @ 4:36pm | ! Report

                Problem is out society at present, everything is “hate speach” . So if you don’t like something , you just have to call it hate speach.

                My questions is, do people know what a facist is ? Key words are , forcible suppression of opposition and control – and categorising so much as “hate speach “ these days is enabling facist behaviour in media .

                Problem I think is that people don’t understand free speach – it’s only free speach as long as they don’t hear certain words . That is control …..

              • May 18th 2018 @ 12:39pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:39pm | ! Report

                Most of them haven’t denied his right to say it. They’ve criticised him, maybe even said that RA shouldn’t re-sign him.

                Where have they claimed he lacks the legal right to say what he has said?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:26pm
                Campbell Watts said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

                aren’t you guys tired of this yet?

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:18am
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        zero basis on this statement by the author , its a feeling i.e his feeling which as you say it discloses his own wishes.

        Zero objectivity from the author.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 11:43am
          jeznez said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

          Or maybe the author doesn’t have that feeling at all but knows if he types that line there is a good chance he’ll generate a few more clicks?

          You guys could be right but since he hasn’t explicitly said it you are purely speculating. What do they say about assumptions?

      • May 18th 2018 @ 10:52am
        Markie362 said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:52am | ! Report

        Most of the crowd that does turn up will probably be there to support the highlanders anyway

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 1:08pm
          Ralph said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:08pm | ! Report

          LOL – Go the Clan!

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:31am
      peeko said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:31am | ! Report

      the posted crowd figure (if at all) wont matter, we will be able to tell by looking in the stands. averages mean nothing these days due to all codes pumping up their crowds (the GWS 9283 on the weekend wasnt even half close) but resorting to not reporting is woeful. this is not just australian super rugby either, NRL and AFL post rubbery figures

      • May 18th 2018 @ 8:27am
        Greg said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:27am | ! Report

        So glad someone mentioned the GWS crowd. Myself and a family member guessed around the 3k – 4k mark and wondered if more recent success has seen any real change. When we read over 9k we laughed. How anyone could look at it and say that the stadium was around 40% capacity defies belief.

        Its not just GWS either, the highly competitive sporting market puts pressure on clubs to maintain or grow memberships/crowds year on year and they turn to crowd and membership ‘fudging’ to get there. No sport is immune to it.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 8:36am
          Peeko said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

          Agree, the crowd included 600 people who were there to beat the world record for number of people boxing in an arena

          • May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm
            Robbo said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

            I was at the game – I thought around 7-8k so definitely some cream on top. Noone beats the NRL and Super Rugby for fudging crowd numbers though. If there was 13k at the Rabbitohs and Dragons game then ANZ stadium must hold 200k.

            • May 19th 2018 @ 6:56am
              i miss the force said | May 19th 2018 @ 6:56am | ! Report

              nope. i was there. 3000 at best. you afl are the best at it.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 9:32am
        spruce moose said | May 18th 2018 @ 9:32am | ! Report

        Yup.

        I reckon the published ‘crowd figure’ is the amount of tickets sold/given away, not the amount who walked through the actual gate.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:36am
      Cynical Play said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:36am | ! Report

      Get thee to the club ground Tahs. Manly, North Sydney, SCG, others?
      The fans love. Play in the arvo of at 5.30. Bingo..CROWDS.

      Off topic..just read Sean McMahon may be back for June Series. TPN back for RC. Now if only QC would go play for the Brumbies, he’d get in the squad too. Back to the future everybody.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 7:56am
        Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:56am | ! Report

        That is excellent news, although it does concern me that we could have Hooper, Pocock and McMahon all in the 23.

        It does mean our injury depth in that position becomes wonderful.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 8:00am
          Ed said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:00am | ! Report

          Understand TPN is having time off but this leaves us with an inexperienced hooker. Ireland with a strong lineout will target us there, particularly with us playing the Pooper.

          • May 18th 2018 @ 8:01am
            Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:01am | ! Report

            Yeah, and I’m still not convinced Timu is enough of a jumper.

            Will be interesting to see what happens.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 10:29am
              PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:29am | ! Report

              I could still see Chieka picking all 3 opensides to start.

              Even if he doesn’t it would not surprise me that he prefers McMahon to Pocock (since Hooper and McMahon failed last year but never mind) since he values attack and ignores defence and the breakdown even more.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am
                Cynical Play said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:30am | ! Report

                #3opensides

                bring it on

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 10:32am
              PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:32am | ! Report

              Say Pooper is selected and knowing Hanigan is out who would you select at 6 or 8 then?

              Other genuine 6’s or 8’s who are performing like Cottrel aren’t better lineout options than Timu, or then you need to use a converted lock like Tui or Rodda.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 10:39am
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:39am | ! Report

                Cheika was on record as saying that Pocock was our most valuable player at the RWC. I think that, whatever other accusations could be levelled at him, he realises that Pocock is clearly our best player.

                I would select Timu and probably the Pooper at this stage (although someone like McCaffrey, Higgers and Cusack are guys that can play 6 and jump). If Higgers showed his 2017 form he would be an answer.

                I like Mad Dog McMahon off the bench especially though. I love his attitude and his strength.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 10:46am
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:46am | ! Report

                If Higgs showed any form I would select him AND Timu with Pocock at 7.

                If Pooper is played it would be really close between the 2 to select.

                I am not convinced that either McCaffrey or Cusack are any better in the lineout than Timu and they certainly aren’t as good in general play nor offer the balance of a good ball carrier in tight and hard defence that pushes them back.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 10:49am
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:49am | ! Report

                Oh, for a Ben Mowen, a Scott Fardy or a Luke Jones.

                Any of those guys would be a godsend right now.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am
                Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

                Gosh, things are bad then😳

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm
                jeznez said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

                Would love to see Fardy back – might even acquiesce to the Pooper if Fardy were six and Timu on the bench.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                Jones would be the next best thing to Fardy I think.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 1:20pm
                jeznez said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:20pm | ! Report

                I’d look no further than Fardy, while hoping that a couple of Naisarani, Valetini, Timu, Timani, Hanigan etc come good.

                I like Jones but think he lacks a bit of dynamism for the back row.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:28pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:28pm | ! Report

                Oh, Fardy would be number one for me. I think he’s the best (at least non-eligible) Aussie forward playing abroad.

                He, Toomua, JOC and even Tomane would be huge benefits. I think we should just make it 7 years in Aus rugby + 30 or 0 caps and make Toomua, JOC and Fardy eligible.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 7:31pm
                Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

                Tomane needs to lose a lot of weight.

        • Roar Guru

          May 18th 2018 @ 10:26am
          PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:26am | ! Report

          McMahon needs to sign for a super rugby team for 2019 , then he could play for the wallabies not just june series but the RC for games that are in the test window and all games on the eoyt

          • Roar Rookie

            May 18th 2018 @ 10:43am
            Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:43am | ! Report

            Apparently Top League is having the year off for the RWC, so all Japan based players may be looking for something to do next year. Rumours are the Reds are where McMahon wants to go, but can’t rule out a return to the Rebels either.

            If Pete Samu also comes back the glut of short backrowers will be getting a bit ridiculous.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 10:50am
              PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:50am | ! Report

              agree

              I would be more interested in Berrick Barnes coming back.

              A good goal kicker and adding depth to 10’s.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:05am
                Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

                Wow, theres a name. Where on earth has he been?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:08pm
                jeznez said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:08pm | ! Report

                The Panasonic WildKnights and prepping for his 32nd birthday.

              • May 18th 2018 @ 11:53pm
                Scottd said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:53pm | ! Report

                At 33 for RWC may not be a realistic option but certainly adds depth

              • May 20th 2018 @ 7:33pm
                Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:33pm | ! Report

                Carter was the same age at the RWC.

            • May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am
              JP said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:04am | ! Report

              Paul D,

              Yes I agree totally, it will be ridiculous as those talented backrowers will be wasting their time coming home. Michael.Hooper has a mortgage on the 7 jersey even when in poor form .Even our greatest 7 of the past 5 years Poey will be shifted to number 8 by supercoach come June.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 1:26pm
            Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:26pm | ! Report

            Not really. McMahon is playing in Japan this year again. He’d have to forfeit his contract to be available as the RC would interrupt most of the season.

            • Roar Guru

              May 18th 2018 @ 4:01pm
              PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:01pm | ! Report

              world rugby rules would mean he would have to be released for the test window.

              I imagine though he would refuse to play though to preserve his contract.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:04pm
                Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                Or depending on the contract structure he’d give up a lot of it.

                The fact is he could have played Super Rugby this year. He chose not to.

              • May 20th 2018 @ 7:35pm
                Bakkies said | May 20th 2018 @ 7:35pm | ! Report

                The window doesn’t cover the whole of the 4 Nations. Du Preez and Habana were only able a portion of the competition.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm
        Train Without A Station said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

        McMahon isn’t going to be back for the June series. Not as a player anyway.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 2:42pm
          JP said | May 18th 2018 @ 2:42pm | ! Report

          Poey will be number 8 though.

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:46am
      Christo the Daddyo said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:46am | ! Report

      Considering the Waratahs are the NSW Waratahs, I’m surprised they don’t take a few games on the road around the state each season. How about an annual game in each of Newcastle and Wollongong each season. And one out at Penrith?

      • May 18th 2018 @ 7:49am
        i miss the force said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:49am | ! Report

        if they dont, the Brumbies should

      • May 18th 2018 @ 8:33am
        concerned supporter said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:33am | ! Report

        Christo,
        Couldn’t agree more with what you say. but currently the NSW Waratahs are being kept solvent & afloat by INCOME in 2017 of “Stadium Rebates” of AUD 2,491,000.
        Without this AUD 2.491 Million they were gone financially.
        In 2019 with the reconstruction of the SFS, I presume that the NSW Government has budgeted for this Stadium Rebate to the NSW Waratahs. They should still receive it.
        Then they will be free financially anyway to do as you suggest.

      • Roar Rookie

        May 18th 2018 @ 11:02am
        Paul D said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:02am | ! Report

        Moore Park owners pay the Waratahs a lot of money to play there due to the corporate box sales. As good as the suburban games are for atmosphere, they hit the bottom line in such a considerable way that a full ground won’t mitigate it.

        Sucks though, I agree. I hope they play some games in the new Parra stadium when Allianz shuts for rebuild.

      • May 18th 2018 @ 1:27pm
        Lion Down Under said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:27pm | ! Report

        Don’t think there’s much support for them in Newcastle. I play rugby here and although the blokes love playing rugby union they generally support the Knights or the Warriors when it comes to watching professional sport, the NBA is also wildly popular as well (and even the NBL to an extent).

        The few who do watch Super Rugby generally support NZ or South African teams. NSW Waratah fans are a very, very rare breed.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 3:50pm
          OldSaltyDog1968 said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:50pm | ! Report

          Used to live in Newy and totally agree. The “term” NSW Waratahs is a bit of a misnomer……….Unless they regularly take games on the road ,Newy, The Gong, Penrith basically only covers a radius of 100Km from Sydney how is that NSW? Regional towns are crying out for some type of footy they don’t really care if its League, Union or AFL. Look at the crowds the NRL teams have had this season in places like Bathurst and Toowoomba The Waratahs are perceived as being a Sydney only franchise with silver spoons in their mouths and it doesnt help that in the main tin the “eastern suburbs” anything west of George St is viewed as the bush

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:50am
      Old Bugger said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:50am | ! Report

      That’s the thing…..”winners are grinners” except, there’s been very little to grin about lately. You lose and the fans choose…….Walla sides just have to remove, that choice…..simples!!

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 11:48am
        jeznez said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Poetic OB and very true.

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 3:00pm
        The Neutral View From Sweden said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

        So why are crowd numbers in NZ down also, both for SR teams and the AB’s?

        • May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm
          Perthstayer said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:13pm | ! Report

          NVFS – Wow, I didn’t know. Same happening in France, and England (according to wiki).

    • May 18th 2018 @ 7:57am
      Ed said | May 18th 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      NSW Rugby does publish the crowd figures – in the annual report which is released around April of the following year. The Brumbies and the Rebels announced those poor figures yet the Tahs reveal a thin-skin to their crowds.

      Sales for the Irish series are quite strong, so there should be a good crowd at the SFS for the test.

      Folau is entitled to his freedom of speech, which means he is not free from its consequences. Land Rover reportedly took his car back following his social media comments on gays.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/104009189/israel-folau-reportedly-lost-sponsored-car-over-antigay-stance

      • May 18th 2018 @ 8:36am
        Jacko said | May 18th 2018 @ 8:36am | ! Report

        I guess Folau will just have to use his Lamborghini to get to matches now…..That Landrover was so good at getting over curbs too…..i wonder if Landrover has now introduced a questionair to perspective buyers asking their views on a range of topics and barring some from purchasing because of their beliefs?

        • May 18th 2018 @ 10:24am
          Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:24am | ! Report

          Buyers? You’re saying theyre taking back Folau’s bought car?

          I thought that was called theft.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 10:34am
            spruce moose said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:34am | ! Report

            Folau doesn’t own his Landrover, Taylorman.

            • May 18th 2018 @ 12:00pm
              Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

              Yes I kinda knew that, was just making the distinction between buyers and those ‘privileged’ enough to be given them. Abus?se your privaleges, see what happens…free speech doesnt mean it doesnt cost anything 🙂

              • May 18th 2018 @ 12:56pm
                Jacko said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                Yes they are Indian givers Tman…Here is a lovely present…(in front of media)…..once media leaves they take it back……….I guess they got their 5 mins of fame from it so all good

              • May 18th 2018 @ 3:07pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:07pm | ! Report

                Jacko, a sponsorship isn’t a “gift,” it is providing stuff (money, equipment, etc) to an athlete in response for them positively publicising your brand.

                When the player stops doing so in the eyes of the company, why should they continue to provide the goods to the player?

              • Roar Rookie

                May 18th 2018 @ 3:11pm
                piru said | May 18th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

                It’s like being given a job as an architect then being fired when it turns out you don’t know how to architect.

                So unfair!

      • Roar Guru

        May 18th 2018 @ 10:40am
        PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 10:40am | ! Report

        That make you happy Ed?

        That he has finally been punished, that you have got at least some retribution, some pound of flesh off him?

        Or isn’t enough yet?

        • May 18th 2018 @ 11:39am
          Ed said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:39am | ! Report

          His comments don’t affect me PK.

          Those who talk about freedom of speech believe the speaker should be free from any consequence of it.
          If Land Rover felt Folau’s comments were not the values they wanted to be associated with, it is their right to take any action they believed was in their interest. And if the sales of Land Rover fall due to people being upset by the car maker’s action, then the market has spoken.

          I would prefer to be talking about the pros and cons of Folau on the football field: remarkable athlete, great in the air, creates space around him when he is aware of it against his little use of a kicking game and his defensive positioning for a fullback after five years in the code.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 11:52am
            PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 11:52am | ! Report

            his comments obviously affect you enough to post the bit about landrover though

            Of course land rover have that right, no question.

            • May 18th 2018 @ 12:16pm
              Ed said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:16pm | ! Report

              I have made few posts on Folau and his comments. It will be my last.

              More than enough time has been spent by all sides on the matter. The code is dying in Australia, yet this issue, the refereeing from last weekend and cheating have been the main points recently.

              Where are the stories about Kafer and his coaching structure? Has it begun?
              You shared a story about TPN and his lineout throwing. It shows the crap advice he was receiving here by his coaches. Hopefully Taf could give some advice to Latu. Why is Cheika possibly chasing the wrong Aussie Crusader? Was Cheika asked about his flyhalf problem with the Wallabies during his media appearances? If so, what was his BS response?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:45pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:45pm | ! Report

                very good post

              • May 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm
                Fionn said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:48pm | ! Report

                ‘Why is Cheika possibly chasing the wrong Aussie Crusader? Was Cheika asked about his flyhalf problem with the Wallabies during his media appearances? If so, what was his BS response?’

                I wish we had answers to these questions. Why are we going after Samu?

              • May 18th 2018 @ 12:56pm
                JP Bogers said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

                If Samu got offered a ABs contract? (even the Tahs didn’t want him) is this a case of Playing in NZ and now he’s good enough fit the WBs?

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:54pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:54pm | ! Report

                a waste of scarce money when it is one position well filled i.e a 7 or a 7.5.

                Get a flyhalf , or a 6/8 or even a 6/lock utility.

                If McMahon is coming back then don’t offer Samu anything.

              • May 19th 2018 @ 5:28pm
                Ken Catchpole’s Other Leg said | May 19th 2018 @ 5:28pm | ! Report

                Great post, Ed.

                Especially the bit about the rugby media letting Cheika get away with rubbish responses to the number 10 question.
                It is our code, not Cheika’s fiefdom, no?
                Between Cheika and Thorn I predict that we will see the end of the ‘sole selector’ clause in coach contracts.

                Who is your first choice 10 Mr Cheika? Second, third and fourth choice?
                And what is your logic for this opinion?
                Ditto to Mr Thorn.

                Our coaches are not so much lunatics in charge of the asylum, as much as teenagers on work experience, on seriously big coin, and no one to answer to.

        • May 18th 2018 @ 12:03pm
          Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

          Nope, more to come as I predicted from day one.

          I’m not offended by his comments, but I know some will be, and its them that deserve the right to see any passage that tries to malign their livelihood due to sheer ignor?ance made an example of.

          This is one for them. Let there be more.

          • Roar Guru

            May 18th 2018 @ 12:17pm
            PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:17pm | ! Report

            not a right at all just plain old simple Schadenfreude.

            • May 18th 2018 @ 12:34pm
              Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              Oh, so only Folau ‘has rights’. Cool. Good way to think I guess.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 12:47pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 12:47pm | ! Report

                no one has a right to see people made an example of especially for legally held and expressed views

              • May 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm
                Taylorman said | May 18th 2018 @ 1:24pm | ! Report

                Thats an opinion, I say they do, and others will too. Its a rebalancing of societys willingness to accept igno”rance. Folau has his opinions, his land rover owners have theirs.

                Nice piece of rebalancing going on there. Needed to happen.

              • Roar Guru

                May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm
                PeterK said | May 18th 2018 @ 4:03pm | ! Report

                not a right as defined by any world authority or any national government that I know of.

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