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AlBo

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Joined December 2012

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Roar Guru
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AAC: the man for this moment

A quick glance around The Roar and you would think our hopes against the British Lions systematically come down to the trials of the same few headline players: Will Genia, Quade Cooper, Israel Folau and James O’Connor.

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Roar Guru

Wallabies must start Ioane at 13

Something isn’t working. That we can all agree on. For a long time the backs have been the Wallabies strength while the forwards have been lacking the required ‘oomph’ and ‘mongrel’ to take on the bigger packs in the world (which are more numerous than we’d like).

Sorry, autocorrect turned AlBo into Bwad somehow. I wish I could stay logged in.

Just an edit: I meant “sport and politics” not “sport and rugby”. Cheers all and go Wallabies!

Injury made Michael Hooper Australian captain. He's not the best man for the job

I agree entirely that he is best as a roaming 1st and 2nd receiver, which is why if he were ever to be 10 he would need an inside centre to be able to shift in at first reciever effectively as well.

I see no reason to drop Foley as I still think he’s our best option at 10, but if Foley were to go down injured and Beale went to 10, he would also need a playmaker at 12 to allow him this freedom. It would be interesting to think about what 12 would allow this best… Hodge? CLL? Toomua?

I know there’s a lot of talk about Hodge at 13, 14 and 10 but I still do think he has the attributes of a good 12.

After 130 minutes of slumber, the Waratahs quickly wake to the task

Kurtley Beale is proving more and more effective at first receiver. It always seems that when the Tahs are struggling to find holes or gaps, he shows up and finds one for himself or others. That straightening up of the line and inside ball to Foley was the kind of ‘playing what’s in front of him’ creativity that is missing in a lot of our 10s. I don’t think there is a better back up to Foley right now or potentially even a better performing first receiver (including Foley). That being said… a lot of what Foley does at second reciever is great too.

Say what you like about either of them individually, but there is little doubt that when they are both ‘on’, they are as good a combo as anyone. If they fire, the Waratahs fire, if they don’t… unfortunately we don’t seem to have much of a Plan B (as seen in the Brumbies match).

After 130 minutes of slumber, the Waratahs quickly wake to the task

That might be a tad hyperbolic Woodart. Most of your best players won’t move until they’re in their twilight and Australian teams don’t necessarily have enough money to offer them more than what NZ could offer them. If they did move for the coin then it raises questions about their motivations anyway which is important to the AB selection mentality.

Also I don’t think it devalues the jersey in the slightest. NZ strength is in their core developmental skills and pathways and a season at the Brumbies is not going to destroy a superstars talent.

Nevertheless you can take head in the fact that clearly this option would be an issue for NZ fans so perhaps this option is a long way off yet.

SANZAAR United: everyone into the talent pool

Just a quick question about the plethora of NZ talent that exists. All your other points aside, isn’t more pathways for more young NZ players who may never get a rep chance because of competition, a good thing? It’s over simplifying I know, but I would think that the game is bigger than all of us and the more people able to earn a living doing what they love is a genuinely good thing. There must be so much talent in NZ that goes unheralded.

SANZAAR United: everyone into the talent pool

Appreciate your passion Jacko. There are plenty of articles about the failures of the ARU and I totally agree that there are plenty of other areas that could be looked into as well and probably should be and more that we can do to learn from our Kiwi neighbours. The Waratahs have tried to do this with Hore leading the charge and Gibsons coaching, not to mention Castle at the forefront of it all.

This is just an option for the growth and popularity of the competition as a whole and socialist options are always scariest for those who are on the top of the heap.

It’s important to understand that most of us don’t believe that NZ ‘owe’ anyone anything. In fact if anything, I feel like this comes off the back more of rugby fans in Australia feeling like we owe it to our competitors to find a way, any way, to lift our game and improve the strength of the herd.

SANZAAR United: everyone into the talent pool

Appreciate you taking the effort to respond and appreciate the detail. I make no assumptions about what is best for NZ rugby and as stated a few times in the piece I am very aware that this idea can be seen as having disparate effects, most notably on a NZ structure which, less face it, doesn’t need to change a bloody thing if results and depth are indicators. Put this down to desperate Aussie rugby fans who want to look at all options to try and make a difference to the state of our game here. I’m certainly under no illusions about the downsides for the likes of NZ, but call it blind optimism that there’d be enough in it for consideration.

Regardless I was hoping someone would provide more information than I could give on the New Zealand side of the coin. Cheers, bluesfan.

SANZAAR United: everyone into the talent pool

This loss gutted me. And it had nothing to do with competition points.

Standing on the hill at Brookie was amazing. The place was packed and atmostphere was fantastic. Those last five minutes on the Blues line had the crowd as loud as I’ve heard a Tahs crowd in a long time.

It sucked the air out of that atmosphere and deflated a great moment for Australian rugby to get the monkey off its back and that’s why it hurt so much. I love this game so much but jeez its moments like this that hurt the most. We won’t have as good an opportunity for a while unless our basic skills pick up. Onward… and upward I suppose.

Warning to Rugby Australia: The Waratahs and Wallabies will be mediocre without Israel Folau

It’s comments like this that remind me why I rarely come back to The Roar these days.

Rob Horne gave everything to his state and country on the footy field and loved watching the passion with which he played. .

Terrible news and wish good luck to him, his family and his future.

Former Wallaby Horne forced to retire

Thanks ‘Chook! (In my best Dame Edna) and thanks Sage. Just one of those bleedin’ hearts that needs to put everything in perspective. 🙂

Please don't mistake relief for hubris

Exactly Morsie!

I would love to see footage of the final whistle of every game where the AB’s have been beaten in the last 15 years and see if any of them weren’t jumping into each others arms at the end.

It’s the ULTIMATE compliment.

Please don't mistake relief for hubris

Thanks K, I totally understand what you mean about trends in sporting cultures. For the most part, on the Roar at least, the Kiwi fans have been incredibly gracious and complimentary. In fact a lot of the message of this article was going to Australians too. We certainly exhibit those unfortunate and fortunate trends you speak of as well as any other.

I guess there may have been a little projecting on my part when it comes to these feelings as I know them all to well. No-one likes losing, especially to a team you historically have the wood on. I was in Newcastle for the first Scottish loss. Drinking with hundreds of drunk Scottish fans afterwards was painful… ok, maybe a little bit fun.

As for the jersey, I’m a massive fan. Perhaps its that little bit of something different the Wallabies can start doing. I think they should keep it for the Spring Tour at the very least. What better way to return to the British Isles than in indigenous flair.

Please don't mistake relief for hubris

Topo, I appreciate your response more than you could know. My name is Alistair and it’s an honour to meet you.

I should start by saying my somewhat knee-jerk reaction was spurred by recent events and as a result the off-hand comment by all above was perhaps a tad excessive and for that I apologise. That being said I still stand by the sentiment.

I have found the ineptitude of this current administration to be indefensible. It has seen our game fall into a fools ballpit at a time it could hurt it the most. These people deserve criticism. They don’t play the game of split second choices that players do; they have time and resources and a public yearning to be heard. This should be talked about and as I said critically analysed from all sides. Alas, I have no answer but will look for the right questions as you do.

My issues stem from the attitude we seem to have grown towards players specifically and that’s where my concern lies; that and the fear and loathing we se projected on them for reasons like selection, as if they are to be blamed for getting picked. We should critique performance and question attitude but we need to set the same high standards and expectations on our own discourse if we are going to have a conversation. Sadly I see that conversation on here turning more and more from the reasonable to the mostly ranting. I get why, frustrations are high, but we inevitably dont get as far.

Anyway, similar to Scott Allens feelings I feel I’ve overextended my welcome here on the Roar having been a ‘Guru’ for a number of years now. It just doesn’t seem a place convivial to me and my ‘bleeding heart’ anymore. Maybe I do need to toughen up a bit. Perhaps I’ll just stick with the banter at the local and on the hill.

Topo. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and your service to rugby. A true legend all the way.

I've been accused of relentless negativity over the Waratahs - really?

Genuine question: What if every part of Brumbies was retained, the name, the jersey (with maybe a minor alteration) and the history…

except you lost ACT and got something less specific but would actually now cater to fans outside the ACT, of which there are plenty across rural NSW… I’ve said Southern, but there could be others.

and you lost half the games to Melbourne. I can imagine this would be a sticking point for those who go to every match but I know that it’s very hard for people to do that these days.

I know it’s not ideal, but would that be bareable?

I say this as a Brumbies fan, not supporter. I know that it’s easy for me to say knowing that my team, NSW, won’t be up for the chop… but I would love to think there’s a way out without losing support of the great Brumbies fans if it were to be them.

Australia's Super Rugby players on tenterhooks

I tabled Southern Brumbies before. I think Brumbies history needs to be maintained but IF there needs to be a presence in Melbourne then this is the best way.

Most Brumbies fans live outside of the ACT anyway in Southern NSW. I think that this way you keep some of the Brumbies history but lose the state name (which is not the defining factor for a lot of Brums fans) and all they lose is some games to Melbourne.

Considering the other possibilities I think that might be the least disruptive solution.

Australia's Super Rugby players on tenterhooks

Ricciardo must be a lock.

Not only a character but an imminently likeable one who also has enormous talent.

Ticks every box.

And champagne shoesies with Gerard Butler? Pure gold.

Vote for the 2016 Sports Personality of the Year: The Roar's Sports Awards

Has to be done.

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

Maybe the Doctors of the Doctors team are regular players.

Brian Lima – chiropractor
Dylan Hartley – Eye specialist
Richard Loe – Plastic Surgeon (specialising in Rhinoplasty)
Hopoate (played a game of club rugby)- Proctologist
Michael Chieka – Physio (loves a good spray)
John Eales – Team Psychologist

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

Mark Loane as well. This is harder than first thought. Greg Burrows (1984 GS team).

I’m sure plenty have ‘honorary doctorates’.

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

Mos def.

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

You’d think with the amount of times the game had to wait for him to put his contacts back in. 🙂 but no law was his game.

I feel a Doctors vs. Lawyers article coming along.

Maybe followed up by a Teachers vs. Engineering bout. Paul Carozza would be in there for sure… Any chance Richard Loe built bridges?

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

When you say never makes a good run that is just not true. Give him space and he’s very effective. Just watch his try against the Argies last year. He ran through and over about five players down the sideline.

Not to mention the greatest fend in history against the Shorks in Sydney.

Mumm hasn’t been as effective recently but to say he never makes a good run is just unnecessary hyperbole.

Douglas is gone, but can Lopeti Timani get a Wallabies debut this time?

So far I have David Kirk, Jannie du Plessis, Jamie Roberts, and Felipe Contepomi.

I’ll throw in Luke Inman but I’m sure there are doctors with higher rep duties for Australia, but a great servant to Tahs rugby nonetheless (as player and team doctor).

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

Can someone put together a Doctors XV?

I’m sure it’d be a stellar group of players. Sheek I’m looking to you here.

And by doctors I mean purely medical 🙂

Wallabies put their faith in the 'Doc'

Great news. I have a feeling that we’ll see Hunt hit another stride next year too and having Quade there will help a great deal.

Can’t wait for the Reds v Tahs in Sydney. Should be a cracker.

Quade Cooper signs three-year deal with the Queensland Reds