The Roar
The Roar

Geoff Parkes


Joined October 2012







Geoff is a Melbourne based sports fanatic and writer, who started contributing to The Roar in 2012, originally under the pen name Allanthus. His first book, A World in Conflict; the Global Battle For Rugby Supremacy was released in Dec 2017 to critical acclaim. For details on the book visit Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.



It’s bizarre isn’t it jez? Was really disappointed with the Stan angle on it as well, last night. Morgan Turunui explained logically what was behind the Tahs’ situation, how it was nothing to do with Penney, yet Nick McArdle brushed past that and kept coming back to the ‘Penney is on the chopping block’ angle.

Is it because media outlets truly believe they need to confect that kind of narrative to gain and keep readers/viewers?

Or do they truly not understand that most issues and situations are nuanced, and require more than knee-jerk, one-dimensional solutions?

We really are poorly served by mainstream media – in general and in rugby.

Tahs coach Penney under pressure after Force loss

Yes… I’m sure I could do a great lead-in for the Parrot!

Super Rugby tipping panel, Week 3: Blues become Rebels

Yeah, I know it’s only by accident, but you gotta love those day games, Carlin!

Super Rugby tipping panel, Week 3: Blues become Rebels

Must say, I much prefer ‘Editor Dan’ than our ‘Chairman Dan’…

Super Rugby tipping panel, Week 3: Blues become Rebels

As I think you know Highlander, I played at Dunedin with Frank’s younger brother, Paul. As nice a guy as you’d ever want to meet. I remember him being down in the mouth for days after he played for Otago against Frank, who I think was playing for Manawatu (it’s a long time ago, you’ll excuse me), and Frank kicked him in the back at a ruck (as opposed to rucking). Filthy indeed!

Thanks for the piece again – bang on, with a wee bit of coaching and the right mindset it’s not hard for players to get this right.

Cleanouts for dummies: How to avoid the dreaded red

Yes, perhaps this was slightly better than previous Perthstayer, but really only very slightly.
Would love to see this foot tickling taken out of the game.
Start the count from when he touches it with his foot, not when he’s got it to where he wants it.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Hi Andy

That’s a good point about the difference between professional and club. There’s certainly not the same power and bind as in a scrum, so even if players fall awkwardly, it’s most probably just a static pile on and there would likely be less chance of a serious injury.

As you say, definitely worth a strong look.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby


Sacking is problematic because 1. the game wants people to stay on the feet, and 2. it can cause injuries if players are pinned the wrong way. But no doubt, there has to be a way found to make the maul more competitive, otherwise we’ll just see more and more sides kicking to the corner and more tries exactly the same as each other.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Thanks mate, I’ll check it out at the source. Murray knows what he’s on about.

And yes, I recall your article. Obviously, what grated me on the weekend was what happened with these backs joining the maul and going to the front, but there’s still the issue of how the maul is set in the first place.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

My guess it’s the stop-start nature of the game, for the set pieces, that is the major disconnect for league fans, axe. Even more so now, with the NRL’s new rule changes speeding the game up even more.

Rugby is actually closer to AFL now in respect to players gathering around and mauling for the ball.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Yes, great to see Aumua start so strongly, Carlin.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Don’t think so, Fin. You can see on the replay that both Hardwick and Kemeny are well positioned off the back of the line out to deal with any running player coming around the back.

The issue is that both didn’t step forward to fill the space. Toomua did, and was well placed to make a dominant tackle if Mafi had dished it off to his outside. But because the defenders didn’t come forward in a line, Mafi was able to hold on to the ball and keep charging to the line.

I don’t think it was deception, perhaps more tiredness on Hardwick’s part, and indecisiveness on Kemeny’s part – who by the time he reacted, was blocked by the ref.

Good play by Mafi, and a good variation by the Reds to be sure. But it should have been snuffed out.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

At least the “show pony” got the ball down properly for a try in Wellington, this time around Muzzo! 😂

Would have liked to have seen Umaga-Jensen on from the start, and seen how they matched up for a whole game.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Thanks Jacko. Always worth hearing what Mike Cron thinks.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Careful RT, you’re starting to sound like Sheek, now! 😂

No, that’s one thing we’re all aligned on, this quest for instant gratification.
Not that I’d turn down a shot at the Golden Slipper either, but yes, it’s a shame that the cost is a loss of focus on breeding slow maturing stayers.

And how there’s even a conversation around Rob Penney’s coaching tenure is beyond me. What’s he supposed to have done so far with what he was handed?

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Agree with that, Hika.
Whatever the solution is, it isn’t to allow deliberate collapsing.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

That was my starting point too, Brett.
O’Connor on Friday, then Simone on Saturday, clearly got themselves ahead of the ball, and not having been part of the maul at the start, they appeared to be running interference for their hookers. It just didn’t look right.

Which is why I spoke with both the head of the referees and the referee’s coach yesterday, to get clarification. My first thoughts were that the refs had got this wrong.

Turns out that both players satisfy law 16.7. a. and b. They also satisfied the directive which says they can’t encroach and join the maul until the line out is called over. As long as they stay bound to the maul, what they do after that is pretty much up to them – and that’s the point you mention, the law in this respect is pretty light on. It doesn’t expressly prevent them shifting forward and acting as a blocker.

It also raises questions about what is and isn’t a “bind”. You could reasonably argue that both O’Connor and Simone didn’t really have a proper bind, and were just going through the motions to satisfy the law.

The point was made that it looks worse, because the defenders aren’t back behind their hindmost foot, but are standing on the goal-line, which is where they got shoved aside by O’Connor and Simone. The implication being that in a normal midfield maul, those two players wouldn’t actually be interfering with an opponent (because the opponent would be further back), they’d only be pushing.

But that’s really the point. These are specific cases on the goal-line. The Law 16.7 doesn’t sufficiently or adequately cater for these situations imo. And because it doesn’t, the chances of a try are increased beyond what I think is fair for the defending team.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Yeah, we’re probably being generous counting that as a ‘bind’ BB. He came in, made contact with Mafi by wrapping his arm, then slid forward to block.

A couple of points – the Reds may well have scored anyway, without JOC. But the point of the article isn’t to whinge about one try, more to discuss the issue in general.

This demonstrated good awareness of the law by O’Connor, knowing that if he contacted Mafi first, he’d be ok. Better awareness than that shown by Powell from that 70th minute kick-off.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

That’s a quality Blues backrow RT, and I enjoyed how they bought on big red Tom in the second half, and he really ripped into things.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

What I enjoy about the Stan coverage RT is their obvious enthusiasm for the sport. That’s shown by how they’re covering the NZ games – not just as something to tack on to their Aus coverage, but as a full coverage, as if the NZ players are just like Australian players.

And really emphasising 5.00pm Friday as a time slot not to be missed, if you love rugby, no matter who you support.

That’s smart on a few counts – a double header is not too much or too little, there are a lot of expat Kiwis in Aus, NZ and Aus rugby are closely linked, and for the most part, they know they’re likely to get a quality game that helps promote the sport in general.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Yeah Danny, I don’t think the Highlanders played to their own strengths or the ref, and it would be really interesting to know how their debrief session went.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

I think the plan is TWAS, to get through the next two weeks the best they can, then hit a decent run of home games with close to a full strength squad.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

Yeah, there are protocols for that in hot weather Tooly, and I don’t think anyone disagrees with that.

Harry’s article today makes a good point about the need for those kinds of breaks in February in the UK.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

I get where you’re heading but not sure about the one week exclusion, Gigs.
There are injuries that can genuinely force a player off, but still leave the player able to play a week later.
Then there would be disparities around some teams having a bye the next week and others not.

Then there is the actual issue of what takes up the time, which isn’t so much getting the player off and a new one on, but the actual treatment of the injury itself. There are potential issues around refs pushing injured players off the field before the medics have had a chance to make a proper assessment.

Having said that, the sentiment is right. Nobody wants to see the game slowed up unnecessarily.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby

“they had no intention of playing the Reds at their own game on their own park.”

Bang on, robbo. It’s Wessels’ job to find ways to win, and to do that, you have to play to your own strengths and away from the particular opposition’s strengths.

The Wrap: Lineout issues tower over Super Rugby