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HiKa

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Joined October 2014

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"Don't tell me what you believe. Show me what you do and I will tell you what you believe."

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For some perspective on rugby away from the elite level, here’s a link to an interesting article about the realities of existence in the Championship in England. That is their second tier behind the “Premiership” competition. From our view in Australia, English and French rugby is swimming in money. Well, some get to swim. Others not so much.
https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2020/feb/12/rugby-union-championship-justin-blanchet-canada-bedford-blues
In short, there’s not much in it for players who are not at the very top level and the RFU has just cut their support of the second tier competition by 50%.

RA confirms national club competition in the works; NRC future unclear

I put a comment to that effect in the live blog – that the Lions 5 had his hands on the ball throughout – but Lions 6 was claiming the try, which shows that the 6 doesn’t know what he was doing, but the 5 certainly did. I suppose we must give credit to the Lions’ 5 for knowing how to execute that move correctly. Anyone want to guess how many of the Aussie teams would get it right in similar circumstances?

The Wrap: How Super Rugby can help save the environment

The old classic of pressure for immediate results versus patience to allow players to develop.

Super Rugby Round 2 teams: Reds drop Lucas in selection bombshell

Fingers crossed!

Super Rugby Round 2 teams: Reds drop Lucas in selection bombshell

My read on the move is that there is a coaching issue more than anything specific to do with the players involved.

Super Rugby Round 2 teams: Reds drop Lucas in selection bombshell

Starting forward pack looks the goods. Fingers crossed for the young reserve front rowers. I wonder if we’ll ever get the full story on the movements around the back-line. More hope than expectation of a good performance?

Super Rugby Round 2 teams: Reds drop Lucas in selection bombshell

“I think Tom can be a (All Black) Rodney So’oialo-type player – a mobile, hard-running eight who has ball skills,” Jones said.
Tom Curry is listed as 185cm and 105kg while Rodney So’oialo is 190cm and 112kg.
Curry will never grow another 2 inches in height. He could put on 7kgs, but he will lose some speed doing it. He will never be a “Rodney So’oialo” type. He is a brilliant, quick flanker who is being forced to play out of position to fill a gap that his coach refuses to fill with a proper No.8 because he is fixated on playing as fast as possible.
There is more than a passing similarity about the shape of Lawes, Underhill, Curry and Fardy, Pocock, Hooper.
At 188cm and 130kg, Billy Vunipola’s running and handling is good enough that he demands selection regardless of Eddie’s plans, so in way BV saves Eddie from himself, but only when BV is fit.
For reference, and in no particular order, here are some of the better international No.8’s from recent years:
Kieran Read (NZ) 193cm and 111kg,
Louis Picamoles (FRA) 192cm and 116kg,
Facundo Isa (ARG) 188cm and 111kg,
Duane Vermeulen (SAF) 193cm and 117kg,
Taulupe Faletau (WAL) 187cm and 110kg,
Jamie Heaslip (IRE) 192cm and 110kg,
Sergio Parisse (ITA) 196cm and 122kg.
Digging into history, perhaps the best No.8s from an Australian and NZ view are Mark Loane and Zinzan Brooke: both 190cm tall and Loane ran around at about 106kg while Brooke was about 102kg in an era when players carried less weight than today’s full-time professionals.
What I’m seeing is a pattern that the best specialist No.8’s in recent times are generally 6’3″ to 6’5″ in old money (190-195cm) and 110+ kg with those close to 110kg expected to be very mobile.
Does Tom Curry stand any chance of becoming a dominant No.8? He has as much chance as David Pocock had. Which is to say he can be a match winning flanker but he won’t dominate at international level with an 8 on his back. And here’s a clue as to Tom Curry’s future at No.8: Pocock, 183cm tall, finished his career at 115kg while Sean McMahon at 185kg and 101kg decided his body couldn’t last playing top level at 8.
I wouldn’t be backing England for the trophy this year.

Jones insists Curry is the man at no.8

As of two years ago, Violet Crumble is no longer a Nestle brand. It was sold to an Australian family run confectionery business.
https://www.smh.com.au/business/companies/violet-crumble-back-in-australian-hands-20180111-h0gmar.html

Australia propose to decide Bledisloe Cup by super over

Chiefs, Reds, Sharks, Sunwolves, Crusaders, Stormers, Jaguares.
Home teams except Chiefs and Reds.
Here’s hoping everyone stays safe and well in the hot conditions this weekend. Rugby’s tough enough without people dropping because of heat stress.

Super Rugby Round 1: Whaddya mean it starts this week?

The lower division Saracens are heading to next year doesn’t have a salary cap. Their problem for next season is the question of whether their roster of players wants to go round in a lower comp. The problem of the salary cap only becomes active again if/when they gain promotion back to top level and only if their over-paid players have stuck with them.

Details of Saracens' salary cap breaches published

I too can admit to being a rubbish astronaut.

The Wallabies need to adopt a no Plan B selection culture

“In Australia, we do not always have enough players to cover the park 1-15 in their core skill set, therefore, we experiment with wingers at FB and centre or wherever there is a shortage.”
That is the outcome of a quick-fix mentality at the Super franchise level where pressure for performance now keeps outweighing developing players in positions across the park. Quite the Aussie trait to keep taking the quick/easy options rather than the slower, more long-term effective solutions.

The Wallabies need to adopt a no Plan B selection culture

Yeah, I read “humbling experience” and took it as one where you recognize that you’ve stuffed up and aren’t as good as you thought you were. ( Hooper was and is a terrific player. Not much chop as skipper. )

Michael Hooper steps down as Waratahs captain

To be fair to Gill, he gave White a pretty soft landing and didn’t for a moment look like hurting him.

Michael Hooper steps down as Waratahs captain

Me too.

Foxtel versus rugby: The next battle

Rennie really needs to focus on the Wallabies. Getting the structures for development from grassroots to elite levels right must fall into Johnson’s role, but you’d expect Johnson to consult the best coaches he knows in doing this.

Wise choice: Scott Wisemantel new attack coach as Wallabies confirm multiple appointments

Nice article, Brett.
One suggested edit: ” The biggest beneficiary of that amnesia, Jordan Uelese, will be looking to get through a full season for the first time in yonks .”

It’s a big Super Rugby season ahead for…

What’s he like in a lineout these days?

It’s a big Super Rugby season ahead for…

Bobby, there is always a bit of a gap between the theory and the actual practice of things and that gap is filled with messy details. When it comes to soldiering, those messy details can change people’s views in profound ways. A relative of mine that I only met in his later years confided to me that he had been happy in his Catholic Christian beliefs before he was sent off to New Guinea. What he learned there was that war is hell, and living back in Queensland was heaven.

The last column about Israel Folau ever, I promise

“If someone posts their private views …”
The daftness here burns.
OK. Not daftness, but il-e-literacy.
If you POST something to an on-line social media service (including The Roar), you are PUBLISHING IT, so it cannot be PRIVATE. If you act as the public face of your employer, even if it’s just dealing with customers that walk into a shop, then what you say in public can affect your ability to do your job. If you never see the customers and spend your time stacking shelves out the back, then box on.

The last column about Israel Folau ever, I promise

Ah, Bobby. You’ve grabbed the wrong end of the stick there, old mate. The language you complain of is older than when Europeans first bumped into this continent. By the way, they were Dutch, the year was 1605 and they landed on the western shore of Cape York.
Here’s the fruit of 0.49 seconds of Google effort:
“To call a spade a spade” entered the English language when Nicholas Udall translated Erasmus in 1542. Famous authors who have used it in their works include Charles Dickens and W. Somerset Maugham, among others.
To be clear, the “spade” in the Erasmus translation has nothing to do with a deck of cards, but rather the gardening tool. In fact, one form of the expression that emerged later was “to call a spade a bloody shovel.” The early usages of the word “spade” did not refer to either race or skin color.

From www[dot]npr[dot]org/sections/codeswitch/2013/09/19/224183763/is-it-racist-to-call-a-spade-a-spade
To add extra context, Erasmus had translated a similar expression from Greek authors – possibly as early as Arisotphanes (died 386BC) but definitely at least from Plutarch (died c.120AD).

The last column about Israel Folau ever, I promise

Yep. It’s a buffet and people pick and choose what they want.
I know Michael Jones could have played more test matches, but refused to play rugby on Sundays, and for him it was an amateur pursuit. Yet, in the modern professional era there are many avowedly religious rugby players who turn out every day of the week.

The last column about Israel Folau ever, I promise

“You realise part of him suing was to stand up for being able to express his [intolerant] religious views [while being paid top coin by an avowedly inclusive organisation]? Money too of course.”
He was always free to express his religious bigotry. The big unresolved question is whether he can hypocritically collect a paycheck at the same time. In the end he didn’t stand by his position to set a precedent for others to do as he did. He walked away with bugger-off money and the exchange of mutually insincere apologies.

The last column about Israel Folau ever, I promise

I think you construe Folau’s “job” too narrowly. His employment wasn’t just to run around a footy field. For $1M p.a., I’d say that assisting in promoting rugby (which requires following the code of conduct) was an essential component of his position. For some (albeit wobbly) precedent, James O’Connor found out the hard way that it wasn’t just about the on-field performance but your ability to promote the broader ethos of rugby. This was the argument I was looking forward to seeing play out in court. We’ll just have to wait a little longer for some other flag bearer to bring it on.

Martin: Folau settlement like a Christmas present

That church is his dad, so the money is not going to go too far away from home.

Martin: Folau settlement like a Christmas present