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Neil Back

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Joined March 2015

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It’s another one to lay at Cheika’s door. If you keep picking a player, or worse, have another do his job, that player will never effectively address their weakness(es). Foley, Folau and Beale are prime examples.

Don’t give Giteau’s Law the boot

If I had $1 for every punter who tells me about their wins, you could have $100 off me for every loss they own up to. I’d be quids in.

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

They not always are ….

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

But I was talking to OB concerning his comment about having a bob …..ah, forget it ….

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

You’re all missing the point – which is, being a successful club coach guarantees nothing on the international stage. Don’t bet on the outcome. Shouldn’t be this hard ……

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

It’s gotta be better Chook, it’s just gotta be …. 😉

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

Lovely to hear from you TM

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

Like the scene from Midnight Express Fionn. Billy Hayes (Australian Rugby fans), having slain the brutish chief guard Hamidou (fill in the blank), steps out of Sağmalcılar Prison (Cheika’s contract), and blinks at the morning sun, as he stumbles half dazed towards an unknown but hopeful future, free at last ……

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

Not many 1500m champions who don’t have a fierce kick 150m out OB!

But the moot point here is the step up from club to International coaching. Personally, I think it’s more akin to moving from 4 to 1500. Certainly was for Cheika. There are clearly examples the other way, where great club coaches have morphed into successful international ones – but no one has yet illustrated to me the commonality that makes that the least bit predictable.

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

That’s a given smoothy. I just wouldn’t be putting my money down just yet.

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

Nope. I’m the one who wouldn’t have a bet on a 400m runner entering a 1500m race, never having done the distance before. You?

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

Not sure any sane person’s had a bet on a horse that’s yet to have a run. Best check the missus doesn’t have a TAB account.

Clean slate: Rennie appointment starts a new era for Australian rugby

It’s amazing how many show hate towards Izzy, whilst at the same time criticizing the hate they think he showed others.

I think you’re making a fundamental error here Ethan.

I don’t know Israel Folau, and I’d guess no one else on here does either, but I’d guess the majority share my view; we don’t hate the man, we hate his beliefs. That’s actually a massive difference.

In terms of harm, these particular expressed beliefs of Folau, are clearly a slap in the face of real people, in real physical and mental suffering. To then claim, as he did, that they are made out of love for all of us is, frankly, reprehensible and stupefying.

Those who hate Folau’s beliefs, and express that hate, are a slap in the face to an absent and fictional deity.

I’ll take the side of real people, my brothers and sisters, every day of the week thanks.

Israel Folau links bushfire crisis and drought to same-sex marriage and abortion

Not so sure buttered anything is good for the heart either ….but it’s definitely good for the soul.

Israel Folau and the inexplicable public interest in sportspeople's opinions

Hallelujah Ben. Spot on.

Israel Folau and the inexplicable public interest in sportspeople's opinions

The bigger problem in that equation is the nature of the pedestal we create, or that people climb on to.

Israel Folau and the inexplicable public interest in sportspeople's opinions

OK, I’m back from the weekend, and thanks for your reply. Please allow me to retort.

Here’s the thing Peter, you do not understand Harry’s history or agenda here – and why would you. The fact is, Harry carries a massive torch for Etzebeth. Has done for years, and it features regularly in his opinions. Without pointing you to the minutia of his years of comments, you just need to be reminded of this article a few years ago. It’s fandom personified :

https://www.theroar.com.au/2016/08/23/little-eben-etzebeth-grows/.

Unfortunately, as his reputation grew, the younger Itoje’s did too, and the simple fact is, he doesn’t like the idea of EE being eclipsed on the world stage by him. If you’d paid attention over the years (and I repeat, why would you), then you’d know this to be the case.

I half expected something from him after Itoje outshone the world’s premier long standing locking partnership in the semi, although wondered how even he might down grade it. When the latest article praising Itoje came out, penned by Nic Bishop four days ago, even I didn’t expect this rebuttal from Harry. But there it was.

Yes I used the word ‘assassination’. It was. It effectively blamed Itoje for England not winning the RWC, under bold banner headlines. That’s, frankly, ridiculous.

If you think my language is inflammatory, please re-read Harry’s article. And as I’ve explained, I am ‘deeply suspicious of his motives’. That’s not an attack, as I’ve explained, it’s a considered opinion formed over years of reading him.

As for being ‘unnecessary’, perhaps I should have better said ‘highly selective’, since it chooses to focus on literally a few minutes. What it gives absolutely no reference to is the fact that in a SA performance lauded for the ferocity of it’s defence, Itoje racked up more tackles than any player on either side. If you’re looking for any semblance of balance, that omission tells it’s own tale.

And if you still doubt my primary premise as to Harry’s dubious motives, he absolutely gives himself away in the line ‘ Itoje ….. cannot claim to be in the same category as Brodie Retallick, Alun Wyn Jones, Eben Etzebeth, Lood de Jager, and Sam Whitelock.’

Lets’ be clear. If you believe what I’ve written is attacking Harry, then you might want to consider his article a little more, and the language it contains. I’m simply calling this out as I see it, and have observed silently for quite a few years from him. Nor does it mean I won’t continue to enjoy reading him.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

Care to explain why?

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

Are you suggesting I took the low road Peter?

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

Sorry Harry, but this is totally on the nose, and you and I both understand why I’m saying this. I enjoy your writing. This is really disappointing.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

Spot on Ken. Not athletic enough to play on the scrum fringes, unless he really works at it and drops some weight. He and his coaches need to decide what he is, and commit.

Salakaia-Loto locked in for another three years with Australian rugby

Lazy? He completed more tackles than any other player in the final – from either side. And he stayed on the pitch for the full 80. As he always does, and most international locks do not. In a underperforming team, he stood out for England. His semi performance has rarely if ever been bettered by any lock.

This is an assassination piece from Harry, and beneath him. It’s also no surprise. He has demonstrated a remarkable man love for EE in previous articles. I am deeply suspicious of his motives here. A totally unnecessary piece.

Three minutes when Maro Itoje failed to win the medal he wanted

I’d have put a tenner on you Carlos 😉

The Wrap: Five lessons Australia must learn from the World Cup

All decent points Geoff.

Hate to appear the after the event guy, but I called Cheika out on here a long time ago. Entering the 2015 RWC with the very same 50% loss rate as his binned predecessor, a flattering RWC 2015 run (yes it was), and with a 60% loss rate under his belt over the next 12 months, I claimed Australia had been seduced by a World Coach of the Year award. It wasn’t simply what his teams and selections were serving up, you only had to listen to, and observe the guy. Out of his depth.

Of course there were too many people still dancing on the grave of England’s group failure in 2015, the ultimate endless all night rave for some, to ever take heed to a Pom. You had time to fix it. As I keep telling some of you guys, you need to listen to me more.

Lesson 6. I’m only here to help.

The Wrap: Five lessons Australia must learn from the World Cup

Get invited to parties much Stu?

England players hilariously lift the lid on their response to haka