The Roar
The Roar


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Joined October 2018









Thanks Nick as always.

One thing I noticed with the way the Chiefs played under Rennie was they were quite a phyical no-nonsense team. They played quite direct with some hard running forwards (a youthful Retallick was one) but were also one of the more physical teams at the clean out. Guys like Craig Clarke really thrived in that Chiefs golden era as Rennie seemed to appreciate some good old fashion hard workers. They also got a reputation for being a niggly bunch.

I really hope he can do good for Australian Rugby and fans/media accept him .

The Dave Rennie casebook: Can a Kiwi coach the Wallabies again?

I think he is a good addition Australian Rugby. Comes across quite direct in the way he wants his teams to play. With a lot of the regular Wallabies under Chieka moving overseas he has a relatively clean slate to start with. Hope he goes well.

Dave Rennie inks deal to become next Wallabies coach

Dave was a Gallaher. The Auckland Premier Club Rugby prize is called the Gallaher Shield named after him.

Gallagher is well worth a watch. Was a very well balanced fullback. Find his try against Ireland in 1989. Was a great effort.

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

Good article Brett mate.
SANZAAR need to strike now and lure Japan into the Rugby Championship. Delaying this for another 4-5 years is a risk as the World Cup momentum will be lost. They are the talk of the rugby world and there is a great platform to captalise on their World Cup success. Based on keeping Joseph and Brown they are going to keep getting better.
My understanding why the season is starting earlier in 2020 is due to there not being a November International window which allowed an extra month of “off-season”. My concern is some players will not be mentally refreshed from the World Cup starting that early. Also some players who played in the World Cup are probably only going to be actively involved with preseason one or two weeks prior to the start of the competition. Preseason games are likely to be in mid-January. Just seems to early.

When will Japan join the Rugby Championship?

If the Blues get some good results early that will be huge especially if the talk is Barrett is not playing till mid-season. I just hope their forward pack can sure up.

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

That is a valid point. Falcon will be taking on that responsibility come 2021. He is a good young player as well. I would not be surprised if one of the Blues young 10s make the move to the Chiefs in upcoming seasons as well.

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

I wouldn’t say he is done at International level just yet. He is only 22 (23 in March). I think he had a good ride early on and has not adjusted to facing stiffer opposition and not able to deal well with being on the back foot. 7s would definitely help. I am also a big believer that both him and Akira need to get out of Auckland. They have been treated as “rockstars” in not a very good team (I am a Blues supporter). Both need to get out of their comfort zone.

There is still enough in the Canes to be a threat this year. Savea, Perenara, Laumape, Jordie Barrett, Goosen and Lam can all deliver. Their forwards are bolster with Lomax and Scrafton. Kirifi and Evans are 2 very useful loose forwards as well.

Crusaders have a big rebuild. The one thing they do well is new players fit into their system very well. I still like the look of their backline.

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

John Gallagher was brilliant. I only really saw him play for around 2 seasons as I was only 7 at the time. His try against Ireland at Dublin in 1989 was brilliant. A shame he was a flop when he went to league. We needed him at the 1991 World Cup.

Beauden will be a hard man to replace. There has been rumours floating about that they may get Lima So’opaga next season. All I hope is whoever plays 10 for them gets to play there regularly and not juggle with a different person week to week.

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

He will be a welcome addition. I have not seen him play in France but have heard he was a bit rusty. Hopefully being back in his home land will help get his form back. I was surprised the Chiefs did let go of both Marty McKenzie and Jack Debreczeni as they did alright last year.

A potential backline could be:

9. Weber
10. Cruden
11. Alaimalo
12. Nakenville
13. Lienert-Brown
14. Steveson
15. McKenzie

The biggest talking point for each NZ Super Rugby franchise in 2020

Haha they would probably get a harsher punishment on review.

The Wrap: The art of writing the recurring rugby column

Outstanding read to cheer me up on a windy and wet Auckland day Geoff. Thanks.

Your comment on Ben Skeen is a good one. That would be something Australia Rugby would do for sure. I have met him a handful of times through my previous job. He is actually a decent bloke with a good sense of humour. He is a deputy headmaster at Auckland Boys Grammar.

The Wrap: The art of writing the recurring rugby column

Does he need to add another 5 kgs? He is already a big bopper.

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

Good read Corne.

“I for one hope that never happens, as rugby for me is undeniably unique due to the complexity of the game.” I am with you on this. As much as the game has different styles of play and different referee interpretations thats what makes the game so great as players, coaches and even fans have to adapt.

I was really surprised that the 2011 World Cup knockout stages has less tries than 1991. The 1991 World Cup tournament was the worst in my opinion in terms of the quality of rugby that was played.

Don't go changing rugby union's laws

Superb breakdown of what was a crucial three minutes in the final Harry. Well spotted and researched. Itoje should have thrived in that situation. Even if he was not ball carrying, he should have been one of the best people doing the cleanouts. Second row forwards need their presence felt in that area. Absolute shame for him as his semi-final effort was superb and you never know when he will get this opportunity again. Possibly the Lions tour in 2021 to make amends.

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

Hey Nicholas

Thanks for the read on the Saracens situation. Have they said what will happen if they win the European Cup but get relegated? I have read there is some sort of potential deal from the company that owns the Premiership to make the competition only have a certain number of clubs involved which would inevitably keep Saracens in that competition.

With regards to Exeter, they are a real success story on what a sustainable sports club should look like. My understanding as they have a real good local academy and a good inclusive culture. I deal with their former (and also Samoan) half Junior Poluleuligaga and he mentioned they have some great development systems. Must be also help living near the coast.

Fireworks on the fifth: What the Saracens crisis means for the global game

Hey Gregory. Personally the only issue I had was starting Barrett at 6 when he had not started a test at 6 before. Big ask in a semi. I think he has the makings of being a good blindside flanker and has done that role off the bench reasonably well. He didn’t have a bad game but just couldnt make the desired effect everyone was hoping for.

If guys like Crotty, Ben Smith etc. started against England a lot of people would have questioned why would you make wholesale changes to a team that just dominated a quarter-final. I do think Crotty and Lienert-Brown was a more functional midfield which worked well against South Africa.

Difficult one to balance. Keeping form or going back to who can do the job.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

I like Rennie’s approach. Seems to go about his business. When he was with the Chiefs he made good selections based on what on style he wanted to play. This saw some really good workman like forwards like Craig Clarke thrive in the environment.

As much as I would like to be have a good go at the NZ post, I would have no issues with him coaching Australia. If he does become the Australian coach, I would strongly recommend his coaching team has some up and coming Australian based coaches.

Rennie a good man as Wallabies coaching job becomes a seller’s market

Hey Geoff. Some excellent points there.

I agree with the hosting of the 2027 World Cup. Australia is big enough and has the stadiums to do a good job just like they did in 2003. Good opportunity to use the time between when they are awarded the rights (hopefully) and 2027 to really make some ground on the Australian public and get people interested. From a selfish point of view, hopefully by then I can finally attend a World Cup that is hosted in another country.

One other point I would say is getting the Wallabies mentally prepared to play higher pressure games. At this World Cup pretty much every game they did not start well even against the lesser teams they seemed to build into the game as opposed to put the foot down early. The slow start against Wales cost them finishing top of their pool which would have meant an “easier” quarter-final. Even after an early penalty against England, they struggled to accumulate points early on and had to play catch-up.

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

The losses the All Blacks have suffered from 2016-2019 seem to be remembered more than any victory and are always referred back to. For example how often is the 2018 loss to South Africa mentioned in comparison to the 2019 win in Pretoria?

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

Totally agree. Akira would benefit away from Auckland and the Blues. He would learn a few lessons of hard work and how a rugby player with so much talent should act. I get so annoyed with him always being the person involved with any unnecessary niggle.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

I think that’s been the general consensus from most fans with a Crotty & ALB combination. I got the feeling they left it too late in settling for a preferred combination. It seemed Goodhue was going to be starting when fit which I don’t mind but is important to have the duo.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

You raise a good point their Puff. Some of the more recent All Black losses have been due to not combating rush defence. There use to be a theory you needed to score lots of points to beat them (which did happen with Ireland in 2016, South Africa in 2018 and Australia in 2019). However look at the 2018 Dublin loss and the semi-final loss winning scores were 16 and 19 respectively but they were still dominate performances which probably hurt the All Blacks more as they only scored single digit scores.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

The 7s could actually be a wise move for him. Would need to commit now with Tokyo 2020 coming up.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

They have lost some crucial games like the Lions second test and Semi-final in recent times but have shown some great mental fortitude to win some close matches in the dying seconds. Australia in Dunedin in 2017 and South Africa in Pretoria in 2018 come to mind. South Africa timed their run perfectly to win the World Cup. A great turnaround under Rassie Erasmus and Siya Kolisi.

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019

I thought Crotty/ALB worked well against South Africa in the opening game of the World Cup. I like Goodhue but don’t think he and ALB should start together as the balance of combination seems a little off. Next year might see them get a direct running 12 like Laumape. With Ben Smith starting against England his experience would have helped for sure. Against Wales him (and the whole team) played with no pressure and freedom. The other side of the argument is they only made one change from the team that wiped Ireland in the quarter so was there much point making too many more?

The best and worst of the All Blacks in 2019