Will the high-flying Israel Folau go kick-off aerial against the Sunwolves?

David Lord Columnist

By David Lord, David Lord is a Roar Expert

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    The rugby world will take a special interest in what Israel Folau does on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium against the Sunwolves.

    Especially at Waratahs kick-off time.

    Folau was suspended last week against the Rebels following a witch-hunt in the Test against Ireland for ‘clawing’ with Peter O’Mahony in an aerial battle for possession from the kick-off.

    O’Mahony was stretched off after falling heavily.

    Haven’t any rugby administrators ever seen an AFL game? Or haven’t they ever heard of the old saying, ‘watch the big men fly’?

    So far this AFL season there have been a staggering 22,709 marks, averaging over 90 a game.

    Get the message rugby, a total of 22,709 marks have been awarded this season with a massive number of markers climbing up an opponent’s back to reach great heights.

    More often than not, the marker falls heavily, or awkwardly, but that’s the physical penalty for success.

    The Folau suspension was laughed at in AFL circles, which begs the question: does World Rugby want to stop Folau being the undisputed best aerial rugby footballer on the planet?

    But no-one will ever convince me, and many others, that the one-match suspension, which was the equivalent of being belted with a wet lettuce leaf, wasn’t a witch-hunt. Especially as the suspension coincided with the Waratahs’ most critical clash of the season, with the Rebels.

    That the Waratahs took care of the Rebels without both Folau and the hamstring-injured Michael Hooper spole volumes for NSW’s bottle.

    The Australian conference front-runners go in against the lowly Sunwolves at Alliance on Saturday night and complete the regulation Super Rugby rounds with the Brumbies at the same venue on Saturday week.

    The Rebels remain the closest rivals for the automatic play-off qualification afforded the conference winner, and they have the Reds at Suncorp and the Highlanders at Forsyth Barr Stadium next week to complete their schedule.

    The Tahs have 39 competition points, the Rebels 35, but NSW are the only Australian franchise in credit on for and against, with plus 69, while the Rebels are the next best, with minus one.

    The Waratahs have scored the third-most tries this season in the whole tournament, with 58, behind the Lions’ 71 and the Crusaders’ 64.

    All those stats are vital in the overall, but the big picture has Israel Folau firmly in the frame.

    Will he chance it to go aerial at kick-offs? I reckon he will, because he’s the best in the business by the length of the straight.

    And it’s time for officialdom to drag itself into the 21st century.

    David Lord
    David Lord

    David Lord was deeply involved in two of the biggest sporting stories - World Series Cricket in 1977 and professional rugby in 1983. After managing Jeff Thomson and Viv Richards during WSC, in 1983 David signed 208 of the best rugby players from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales and France to play an international pro circuit. The concept didn't get off the ground, but it did force the IRB to get cracking and bring in the World Rugby Cup, now one of the world's great sporting spectacles

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    The Crowd Says (94)

    • July 5th 2018 @ 7:57am
      Philip O'Donovan said | July 5th 2018 @ 7:57am | ! Report

      “Following a witch hunt in the test against Ireland”.He was cited and due process followed.Whether you agree with it or not,referring to it as a witch hunt is both ridiculous and unquestionably bias.

      • July 5th 2018 @ 8:23am
        Jerry said | July 5th 2018 @ 8:23am | ! Report

        The reaction to that suspension is frankly bizarre. It was not remotely out of the ordinary compared to how that area has been officiated for the last 4/5 years.

    • Roar Guru

      July 5th 2018 @ 8:16am
      Simon Levingston said | July 5th 2018 @ 8:16am | ! Report

      Hi David

      Folau will be fine this week to do his thing. The TMO this week is not Ben Skeen to nit pick the game apart. Ben Skeen didn’t get a gig this week and isn’t involved in overseeing any Australian team, most notably the Reds. This will make Brsd Thotn very happy.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2018 @ 9:16am
        Paulo said | July 5th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

        You are aware Ben Skeen didn’t pick up the jump he was cited for and subsequently banned for arn’t you? But don’t let that get in the way of your own witch hunt. Carry on.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 5th 2018 @ 10:33am
          Sage said | July 5th 2018 @ 10:33am | ! Report

          Simon didn’t say he was. He said he was a nit picker which is a fair call

        • July 5th 2018 @ 12:26pm
          Orange Fuhrer said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:26pm | ! Report

          Ben Scheme didn’t pick up Jerome Kaino`s illegal in from the side shoulder charge cleanout that nearly dislocated Scott Higginbothams shoulder.At least he is consistently bad.

          • Roar Guru

            July 5th 2018 @ 4:04pm
            rebel said | July 5th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

            So he’s not a nit picker.

          • July 5th 2018 @ 4:17pm
            Tom said | July 5th 2018 @ 4:17pm | ! Report

            Or Joe Moody’s off the ball elbow to the throat of Kurtley Beale…

            • July 5th 2018 @ 5:48pm
              Council said | July 5th 2018 @ 5:48pm | ! Report

              Maybe Moody had recently heard what happened with Di Parson on the plane in *that* incident and Moody is a distant relative or friend?

            • Roar Rookie

              July 6th 2018 @ 10:07am
              Paulo said | July 6th 2018 @ 10:07am | ! Report

              I think we all missed the throat shot considering it didn’t hit his throat. Watch Phipps reaction to an elbow in the throat, that’s what happens when you get hit in the throat. you don’t bounce straight back up again. The was illegal and off the ball, but bring the hysteria down a notch, how many weeks ago was it now?

    • Roar Guru

      July 5th 2018 @ 8:43am
      Sam Taulelei said | July 5th 2018 @ 8:43am | ! Report

      “Haven’t any rugby administrators ever seen an AFL game? Or haven’t they ever heard of the old saying, ‘watch the big men fly’?”

      If they had they’d notice that when the big men fly to contest the mark, they’re approaching the ball facing the same direction.

      The aerial contests common in rugby are different to AFL. In AFL the defender is standing alongside or directly behind the attacking player. Offside lines in rugby and league prevent that proximity so aerial contests oppose players running towards each other following the ball in flight.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2018 @ 9:24am
        Paulo said | July 5th 2018 @ 9:24am | ! Report

        This subtle yet fundamental difference doesn’t fit with the narrative some people are trying to promulgate, so don’t waste your time. This has been done to death.

        “But no-one will ever convince me, and many others, that the one-match suspension,… …wasn’t a witch-hunt.”

        When you have this kind of open mindedness, no clear logic or patient reiteration and explanation of some long standing rules will make a difference. For what ever reason WR decided it wanted to hamstring the Tahs against the Rebels… for what purpose, clear reason is never established here. Lets just keep pounding this horse carcass into dust.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2018 @ 11:10am
        piru said | July 5th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

        “Haven’t any rugby administrators ever seen an AFL game? Or haven’t they ever heard of the old saying, ‘watch the big men fly’?”

        Hard to see how sayings about another sport are relevant

        Have they never heard the sayings “putting the rock in the hole”, “going round the horn” or “dominating the paint”?!

        Therefore stop expecting Folau to abide by the same rules as everyone else – or something

      • July 5th 2018 @ 12:00pm
        Peter Mc said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:00pm | ! Report

        And they are not allowed to grab their opponent in the air!

        • July 5th 2018 @ 1:01pm
          mad mick said | July 5th 2018 @ 1:01pm | ! Report

          This is the critical point that is continually overlooked in this debate. His opponent in the Irish test was grabbed and pulled backward out of his lifters control. Izzy played the man. No doubt about it.

    • Roar Guru

      July 5th 2018 @ 9:06am
      Derm McCrum said | July 5th 2018 @ 9:06am | ! Report

      “Haven’t any rugby administrators ever seen an AFL game? Or haven’t they ever heard of the old saying, ‘watch the big men fly’?

      So far this AFL season there have been a staggering 22,709 marks, averaging over 90 a game.

      Get the message rugby, a total of 22,709 marks have been awarded this season with a massive number of markers climbing up an opponent’s back to reach great heights.“

      Why would rugby administrators watch whatever sport AFL is that involves climbing up an opponents back and being awarded marks?

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2018 @ 10:37am
        Sage said | July 5th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        Don’t know what sport AFL is hey Derm. Is that right. Presumably rugby administrators may be interested and watch due to the ball skills AFL players develop. The ones appropriated over time by Rugby & League. That’s a guess mind you.

        • July 5th 2018 @ 10:57am
          Jacko said | July 5th 2018 @ 10:57am | ! Report

          ball skills??????? They cant even pass a ball properly. They dont scrummage…..knock-ons are ok…Sorry but their is very few skills in AFL that are great in union…As for the 22709 marks well 21990 were to people who caught the ball uncontested and of the rest 1 guy ended up in hospital with a brain bleed and many out with concussion or other injuries…Things i did not see in the article

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2018 @ 12:19pm
            Sage said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:19pm | ! Report

            Yes, ball skills. You have to hand pass the ball not throw it and it has to be very fast. Can get messy as a result but creates very good hand skills. Do we need to talk about the general superior kicking skill or marking the ball skill in AFL? Good, didn’t think so.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 5th 2018 @ 2:26pm
        Shane D said | July 5th 2018 @ 2:26pm | ! Report

        Probably unlikely that Antony Davies (England), Beth Dickens (Scotland) and Olly Kohn (Wales) have watched too many AFL games.
        Also pretty unlikely they cared who won the Tahs V Rebs game either.
        Not sure if DL fully understands how things work!

    • July 5th 2018 @ 9:37am
      Stu B. said | July 5th 2018 @ 9:37am | ! Report

      David we know the word Falou makes a great headline but to follow up with a pathetic slow week piece demeans yourself. The guy got it slightly wrong a couple of times, had it been any other player on the planet you probably would not even have noticed plus your comparison is way of the mark.

    • July 5th 2018 @ 10:06am
      arthur rightus said | July 5th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      Glad to see some common sense in the comments here. D Lord has gone wayyy over the top here with his conspiracy theory and ridiculous comparison with AFL marks. I switched off Kick & Chase on Fox last night after their carry on over this issue. Wake up people! The two incidents that resulted in his suspension were because he dragged down a player in the air. The examples Kick & Chase showed of Folau brilliantly catching the ball, WITH 2 HANDS, were not like for like with the suspension incidents and there is no restriction on Folau competing for the ball in the air in this manner.

      • July 5th 2018 @ 11:06am
        Jacko said | July 5th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

        Arthur i also switched off Kick and chase and it was because they spent so much time saying how ripped off the Reds were…Argueing the 2 yellows the Reds got and not once mentioning that the Blues also got 2 yellow cards…At 1 stage someone even said that because of the yellows it allowed the blues to win the match as the Reds were not able to recover from that…NO MENTION at all that the Blues had 13 on the field for about 7 mins…I wondered how the blues recovered from that as the Reds apparently couldnt.

        • July 5th 2018 @ 12:07pm
          bluffboy said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:07pm | ! Report

          Jacko, surely you’re not suggesting that the Kick and Chase boy’s would give an uneven or bias account of actual events that occurred in a game that an Australian side played against anyone other than Australian side.
          See what I did there, I didn’t mention New Zealand at any stage to keep it fair……

          • Roar Rookie

            July 5th 2018 @ 12:20pm
            piru said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:20pm | ! Report

            I haven’t watched them all season – it’s actually a very, very uninteresting show if you don’t have a team in the comp. something to think about if ‘casual fans’ are the ones they are targetting.

            • July 5th 2018 @ 12:34pm
              Reality Check said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

              Piru, I`ve heard you say you don’t watch any games that involve the Hurricanes.Why is that?

              • Roar Rookie

                July 5th 2018 @ 12:38pm
                piru said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

                You have?

                I don’t remember saying that, unless I was being some kind of facetious smart alec in response to a shot at Canterbury or Perth (which admittedly does sound like me).

                I don’t go out of my way to watch them, but if they’re on I am not averse

              • July 5th 2018 @ 12:44pm
                bluffboy said | July 5th 2018 @ 12:44pm | ! Report

                I think Piru said he couldn’t watch Wellington play because Perth was having a Hurricane.

              • July 6th 2018 @ 1:17pm
                Reality Check said | July 6th 2018 @ 1:17pm | ! Report

                WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSHKAAAAAAA!!!

            • July 5th 2018 @ 3:11pm
              Reality Check said | July 5th 2018 @ 3:11pm | ! Report

              So you do watch the Hurricanes Piru ?

              • Roar Rookie

                July 5th 2018 @ 4:04pm
                piru said | July 5th 2018 @ 4:04pm | ! Report

                As much as any other team, probably more than many.

                Why?

          • July 5th 2018 @ 6:00pm
            Jacko said | July 5th 2018 @ 6:00pm | ! Report

            yeah I also noted this week how the Aus commentry changes dramatically from normal ( 2 Aus teams playing each other) to Abysimal ( An Aus team playing a Non Aus team…IM with you Bluffboy …dont mention NZ…LOL

            • July 6th 2018 @ 8:48am
              Drongo said | July 6th 2018 @ 8:48am | ! Report

              We have all noticed how the Kiwi commentary on the roar never changes from hyper-critical, superior and smug. With a good measure of nasty spite thrown in by some.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 6th 2018 @ 10:15am
                Paulo said | July 6th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

                Drongo, your comments seem to create a lot of the us vs them narrative and don’t seem to add a lot to the conversation in a constructive many. Just saying, we have all noticed. Although, it is clear and obvious this seems to be the main reason behind your posts. I know I shouldn’t feed you, but I am bored waiting for my dole payment up here on the Gold Coast, and I’m not due in court for 4 hrs.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 6th 2018 @ 10:54am
                piru said | July 6th 2018 @ 10:54am | ! Report

                You shouldn’t judge people by where they come from,

                that’s what they do in Queensland

              • Roar Rookie

                July 6th 2018 @ 10:59am
                Sage said | July 6th 2018 @ 10:59am | ! Report

                Hi Paulo,
                There’s a certain irony in your comments. The “us vs them” narrative could well be used to describe many of the anti Wallaby or Australian comments that appear regularly on this site. I don’t think that line of constantly negative commentary adds to the conversation either. Some are much worse than others but it is consistent. Many times you’ll read a headline and you can be pretty sure early responses will be from someone other than an Aussie making a disparaging remark. It seems at times that some just can’t handle positive commentary about the Wallabies especially when it relates to the AB’s. It becomes very predictable and tiresome. Some react quite strongly to it like Drongo, others have left the site because of it. Lets not be too superior in our take on negative narratives.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 6th 2018 @ 11:42am
                Paulo said | July 6th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

                Sage, you and I agree on this. There are some equally provocative comments by non-Aussie posters too. In some discussions it is almost impossible to avoid, but seeing them creep into every discussion is tiresome. I, like you I am sure, would rather have proper discourse about issues without all the vitriol. A bit of tongue in cheek banter is sweet as, and I try and give a bit without being insulting or derogatory. If I ever do cross the line, I expect to be called on it.

              • July 6th 2018 @ 1:37pm
                Drongo said | July 6th 2018 @ 1:37pm | ! Report

                You never seem to notice that NEVER post derogatory or abusive remarks about any NZ player or NZ admin. Hyper critical comments that often focus on our character are what I respond to. And I don’t use abuse to do it either.
                What does rampant negativity do to anything? Ruins it for everyone. So why not focus on your own problems and issues and let us worry about ours? Let us deal with our game in a positive constructive way.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 6th 2018 @ 12:10pm
                piru said | July 6th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

                – Article about wallabies

                – Aussie commenter 1 ” they should X”

                – Aussie commenter 2 “yes they should do X”

                – Aussie commenter 3 “agreed”

                – Kiwi commenter “agree”

                – Certain people “Hey shut up you stupid negative kiwi!”

              • July 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm
                Jacko said | July 6th 2018 @ 2:57pm | ! Report

                Some never even comment on the comments….some just go straight to attacking the comment writer……….some personally insult anyone who dare disagrees with them and some constantly fail to see anything other than “we was robbed” if an Aus team fails to win and some just cannot handle the same treatment they constantly dish out
                Some are a real problem on this site and constantly changing their user name does not hide these people

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