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Cheers to Phil: Waugh's leadership the missing ingredient but Wallabies could do with a 'secret sauce'

1st December, 2023
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G’day Rugby fans, Barry here, and let me tell you, the latest move by Rugby Australia is like a breath of fresh air in a scrum.

Let’s talk about Phil Waugh. The unsung hero of Aussie rugby. He and, no doubt, the RA board have been quietly plotting and scheming to make the game safer and more attractive. Lowering the tackle height, penalising ball carriers who play head games, and focusing on safety – that’s the kind of leadership we’ve been longing for.

And here’s the juicy bit – tackling below the sternum. Phil, mate, you’ve thrown a curveball at the defenders, making it tougher to stop those offloads. You know what that means? More tries, more action, and more entertainment for us fans. Genius move, Phil. And yep, mums and dads will bring the kids back to play rugby again.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

But let’s not stop there. How about we spice things up a bit more? My suggestion – let’s experiment with the scrum. One proper crack at a touch, pause, engage. If the ball comes out, sweet, play on. If there is an infringement or mucking around, for the second scrum, we switch to a non-contested scrum.

That’ll keep the game flowing, less time wasted, and teams like South Africa cynically scrumming for penalties, and more excitement for the fans. No more wrapping up the ball; let’s see the ball in play, not up the crack of a forward.

Now to sub-concussions and CTE. We need to protect the players. And if a more entertaining game is the result. Everybody is a winner. After a two-year trial, hopefully, it will move up the rungs to Super Rugby and is adopted in international rugby before the 2027 Rugby World Cup.

And speaking of our Aussie World Cup, to be a genuine chance of winning, we need kickers– the long-distance territory super boot kickers, the sharp-shooting maestros, and drop-kick legends. You know what I’m talking about, deadly assassins who kick goals like John Wick racking up kill counts. Dan Carters, Matty Bourke, Elton Flatley, Jonny Wilkinson, Johnny Sexton, Handre Pollard.

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We need kickers who can send the ball to the moon and back. South Africa has produced some powerful kickers known for their long-distance kicking ability like Percy Montgomery. Territory games are key in high-stakes rugby.

Drop-kicking also needs to be part of our arsenal. In our last two World Cups, we were done in by Jonny Wilkinson and Dan Carter drop kicks.

The last time we won the World Cup, Stephen Larkham unleashed a beauty in the semi-final against South Africa.

So, what about introducing some halftime competitions at Wallabies and Super Rugby games? Force ’em back contests for the big kickers, Nation’s Greatest Penalty Shooter comp for the sharpshooters, and the drop-kick kings. Cash prizes, serious bragging rights – it’s a win-win.

Quality kickers, my friends, are the secret sauce to changing our rugby fortunes. A bit of competition and cash incentives during halftime could be just what we need. It’s time to invest in the golden boots, Australia.

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Now, let’s wrap this up. Player safety, more exciting plays, less time wasted in the dark arts of the scrum, and yep, deadly assassins with the boot. Phil Waugh, you’re leading the charge, serious respect mate! And with a bit of rugby magic, we might just see the Wallabies roar louder than ever.

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Cheers to Phil, cheers to rugby, and cheers to a year of sensible suggestions. Until next time, keep the laughs coming, and let’s make rugby bloody brilliant!

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