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Geoff Parkes

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Joined October 2012

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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 www.geoffparkes.com Meanwhile, his twin goals of achieving a single figure golf handicap and owning a fast racehorse remain tantalisingly out of reach.

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I’d like to see him square his shoulders a bit more at 10, Ralph. The Sharks are among the worst at crabbing across field and it starts at 9/10.

But yes, as a pure footballer, he’s got a lot to offer.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Gardner seems to be getting a hard time CUW, partly because he’s been showing plenty of cards. Yet all 5 last week and the two this week, to me, all looked fully justified.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

I thought both passes were good TSE.

If anything, Tupou’s pass would have been the one likely to go forward, because Lucas was potentially in front of him after his pass, but as TDN says above, Lucas instinctively held back a touch, and Tupou was superb in how he obviously made a backwards movement with his hands.

The initial feeling from those around me in the press box was that one of the passes must have been forward, but on second look, it was just a piece of great skill from both players.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

At this stage it looks as though they’re a game short, Neel.
Especially considering that one of their four remaining matches is against the Crusaders.

And you’re right, they’ve recovered really well from that horror start, and still play some great rugby. But I can’t see them making it from here.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Definitely one that slipped away from the Sharks, Ralph. It was almost one of those situations where it took them so long to get to the lead, once they did they kind of switched off for just a minute – and got blown away for doing so!

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Hi Muzzo

I really have no idea what the AB’s will do with Nonu.

One side of the argument says that he’s yesterday’s man, and that they have enough other strong options.

The other argument says that World Cups are won by having vastly experienced players in key positions. And there’s no question that he’s playing well and is a positive on-field influence.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

“I guess one positive has to be that this Blues team has a pretty one-eyed Cantabrian like myself interested in their progress!”

Very magnanimous of you PP!

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

I think it’s a maturity thing more than anything Digger. On the part of the referees (they become more experienced and gain accuracy and confidence in their decision making), and on behalf of the fans (they hopefully become more accepting of ‘bad’ decisions.

I was one of those who fumed about Wayne Barnes for too long after the 2007 World Cup. But after getting to know more about him as a decent person, and watching him become a better referee with age, and putting what was just a game of rugby into perspective, I came to terms with it all.

Of course that doesn’t stop any of us getting frustrated by a ‘bad’ call, but now I can watch Egon Seconds pummel the Rebels by 20 penalties to 1, and think, ‘there’s something not right here’, but not to the extent of losing sleep or throwing things at the TV.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

He goes pretty well, doesn’t he Tony?
And thanks for the report from The Roar’s resident Cairns correspondent 🙂

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Yes the Crusaders are really the bane of this competition aren’t they robbo?

It’s interesting how many people use the crowds to promote the argument that rugby is dying/dead. It’s obviously not a good look and it really does need to be turned around somehow. And in terms of crowd support, it again highlights the madness in not doing more to keep the Sunwolves in the competition.

But the big thing the broadcasters asked SANZAAR to do – and at the end of the day it is they who determine whether the competition proceeds or not at an acceptable funding level – was to stop the glut of blowout scores, and to make the competition more unpredictable, close and interesting.

So despite there being enormous pain in cutting the Force, that is exactly what has happened, and we have a superior competition this year. We can only hope that continues to be reflected in increased viewer numbers, even if match day crowds remain soft.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Thanks for the message RT. Will be giving the column a rest next week.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

“This year they look like a genuinely good team who find ways to lose”

I think that’s part of the evolution process PP. They’re definitely better, haven’t compounded in any matches, are more even across the park, and are playing better rugby for longer periods. But not quite enough yet to win those extra 2-3 games they need.

So it stands to reason that another incremental improvement next year, another year into players like Papali’i, Fiane, Scrafton and so on, might be all that’s needed to turn them into a finals team.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Yes, good point Fionn.
The Brumbies players obviously struggled in those conditions on the day, a bit like how the Rebels overcooked in Sydney last year.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Thanks cs, as you know I’m fond of finding links to lyrics, artists, movies etc… and that’s definitely a goodie.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

It’s an interesting final list isn’t it Peter? Probably worthy of an article in itself.

I guess it’s just like the playing squads, there are always going to be some surprises in who makes it and who is left out. And like the playing squads, the general public don’t necessarily know everything the selectors know or use as criteria.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

You may well be right about both of those calls Pogo, but to me, they’re just the normal run of play/rub of the green things that happen in any game of rugby, and in most sports.

The refs can’t pick up everything, and for all of the things they do pick up, there are going to be a few interpretations that some people are going to disagree with. It has always been that way and it will continue to be so.

But if there are refs and TMO’s not following correct protocol, or have too many errors confirmed against them, then yes, that’s another matter altogether.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

I think you’ll be proven right about that Paulo.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

“I’m almost starting to feel sorry for the Aucklanders”

Settle down mate.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Yes, so far you’re pretty much on the money with that article! So far…

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Hi Robbo

I agree that the pod system is working, I believe that the refs themselves like it, although I’m yet to be convinced that the communication with the TMO is as solid and consistent as it should be.

Overall I think we’ve been pretty well served this year, with a couple of notable exceptions. And are we happy that there’s been a balance struck between TMO intervention and calling what needs to be called? I think so.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Are you being the little boy who played with matches, KH? 🙂

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

No mate, they’re a good side, well coached.

Perhaps some people have written them off as a one-trick mauling pony. But for one, that’s a pretty good trick, which has provided a lot of tries, and two, they are obviously much more than that, are strong in the loose forwards, and have good strike-power out wide.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

Yes I’m sure that’s a concern. Once the matter proceeds to termination the mainstream media will again pile in, and I’m sure will be seeking quotes from players about religious oppression and so on.

Any player who says anything public in this environment would be very unwise to do so – if only because whatever they say, pro or anti Folau, will almost certainly be twisted and used to suit other people’s agendas, and because RA does not want to keep fanning the flames.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

That was a delightful try, wasn’t it TDN?
When the teams warm up they do little close passing drills like that one – this was one of the rare times they got to pull it off on the field.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some

“Isaac Lucas. The next QC? The next QC!”

Settle down, mate! 🙂
He’s a promising and skilful player though, no question.

Must say I felt very sorry for Hamish Stewart, he took a full on hit from Reece Hodge to his shoulder, was carrying it in back play, obviously very sore, then next thing Koroibete comes at him and crashes into the same shoulder in the act of scoring. Very gutsy of Stewart, even if he had no real chance of stopping the try.

The Wrap: Super Rugby’s week 13, lucky for some