The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined December 2016









well 29

Debuted in 2012 and plays a very physical game. I suspect his speed is off and while he can compensate in defence he is a long way short of his best. He scored a lot of tries at the top level where it seemed nobody else could have somehow made it to the line.

There is not much chance for rest and recuperation for Wallabies now so the layoff could allow some repair on wear and tear. Godwin was judged best 13 in Super Rugby and while he can handle 12 well it has to be a sub-optimal combination.

I expect TK will make a huge impact on the continuing development of the Force backline but maybe it will be off the bench and at training. As I write, my major concern is what young rising player might be held back or, worse, there isn’t any.

Western Force announce major signing of Tevita Kuridrani

I think everyone is a winner here. TK appears to be past his best by a few seasons, but a good layoff, new club, full pre-season might rejuvenate him. The Brumbies can get on with building a new backline for the future.

The worst case is that he is in the twilight of his career but I would think he would be a great asset for the Force and will make a real difference for the players around him.

I am glad for him that he had a good farewell. A few errors but some flashes of his younger self in a reasonably solid game.

Western Force announce major signing of Tevita Kuridrani

The penalty call was a real mind bender I think. Take the goal now and rely on momentum that you can be back on attack to score a winning try. Capitalise on momentum right now to go for a try and rely on field position for a penalty or field goal.

Past performance was not on their side; poor lineout v tendency to cough up ball on restart. Not just Saturday’s game but a tendency across a few teams in several tight games.

I am still undecided, although it is now obvious it was a bad call 😱

The Wrap: Rugby learnings of Australia for make benefit glorious nation of Brumbies

… and I think you should be a concerned supporter.

There were a lot of red flags for me. Nothing new there, but I am really concerned he is the wrong guy at the wrong time.

The article emphasised that he sees himself as a fixer of failing businesses, innovative about leaving behind dated business models, the leader, it is OK to be abrasive and bulldoze change through.

There is no doubt that RA is a failing business, but that is because it has failed to connect with its supporter base and improve rugby at all levels in Australia. “Big Bash” McLennan is more likely to be focussing on changing the game and seeking new audiences, rather than reconnecting with rugby’s traditional audience. Maybe that is part of the explanation for the “show bag” of new content.

The role of Executive Chair is generally viewed as a risky strategy. The NRL is going down this route with PdV and AA and it will be interesting to see who will accept the role of CEO with a Chairman who sees himself leading the charge to save rugby. My initial concern was that the process around RC’s appointment would make it inevitable that he became CEO by default. I morphed into hoping he would commit to a permanent role to give him more authority to balance McLennan. Frankly I would now be concerned if RC is appointed down the track that he has accepted being comfortable at second fiddle.

The Wallabies and the city based competitions are our 1st and 4th tiers of rugby. The second tier (Super Rugby) has fallen into disrepair and the 3rd (NRC) is a glorified and prolonged selection trial tagged on to the end of the season when all of the supporters have packed up their club scarves and reached for a gold beanie.

We need better second and third tiers, not some things that are completely different. I do not believe that SR-AU is a second tier below test rugby, or that some national club championship is a 3rd tier. Unless you rip the heart out of club rugby in each state by concentrating all of the promising players into a couple of clubs.

SR-AU was very enjoyable and satisfying. The proof will be in the Bledisloe Cup (and wouldn’t it be great if I am wrong) where we will find whether SR-AU is one step below Test Rugby, or two. I think one of the good things was that the slower pace and accuracy allowed the younger players to step up and some other new players to emerge. I doubt if they would have been as accomplished in a Super Rugby season and perhaps the performances of the Reds and Waratahs bear this out.

I have always been an advocate for five teams, on the basis that we needed to have that depth of quality etc to continue to be a leading nation in the coming decades as more countries challenge for top tier status. In hindsight I assumed that the players would be there and all five teams (with cyclical rebuilding etc) would become competitive. In the last week or so it occurred to me that perhaps we were rushing players into Super Rugby, it was too big a step up from club rugby and a couple of NRC games.

If we improve our second and third tiers and ensure that they are properly connected to club rugby we will get better results, better engagement from supporters and the commercial success will follow. I don’t think McLennan sees it this way, and I do not think that the board is strong enough, or committed enough to rugby, to stand in his way.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings of Australia for make benefit glorious nation of Brumbies

Was also thinking that Lolesio may be more comfortable with Powell. He might be the match winner and it might not be the right time to find out if he is uncomfortable taking the lead if White is at half.

Super Rugby AU final teams: Lolesio back for Brumbies, Petaia given the all-clear

Or worse, slandered in the Fitz Files

Super Rugby AU final teams: Lolesio back for Brumbies, Petaia given the all-clear

Dodgy I thought, but a difficult one as my admittedly dodgy recollection is that he also appear to take a knock in the tackle. I was confused trying to figure out what went wrong. For all money he looked hit in the head, dazed, and then sitting up worrying about his knee.
Either way, as you say, the Reds got an advantage but sheer luck both occurred in the same tackle. I don’t see it as a harbinger of a rash of dodgy HIAs although players and coaches have proven innovative over the last 50 years.

Super Rugby AU final teams: Lolesio back for Brumbies, Petaia given the all-clear

That really annoys me. The media are just desperate to promote any achievement by a woman as a “first”.

I think she has had a great year, very tidy along the touchline. Precise and underplays her presence. The same in her game in charge. Some pundits praised her for the most accurate interpretations of the new laws.

All of that is impressive, and then just trivialised by some journalist after a cheap thrill headline.

Super Rugby AU final teams: Lolesio back for Brumbies, Petaia given the all-clear

I don’t think it has been overnight. The last couple of seasons he has been pretty ineffective in attack in a lot of games.

It seems to be widely accepted that he is a strong defensive organiser and blind Freddy can tell you he is a strong defender. I would not be surprised if better analysts told me his main function in attack in the last few years has been as a decoy or to take the ball into contact.

He has been unable to beat a man one on one for a couple of seasons although every now and then the game went his way and he would be unstoppable. Coupled with his passing, it was just a matter of time before someone did the maths about points saved versus points foregone.

All credit to him for retaining his position in the team but I hope he is not going around again. If he does play in the final I hope he goes out with a game worthy of his career, I would not be confident about betting against him.

Has the K-Train come to the end of the line?

I am not even buying that. Australian rugby does not have many more chances. Setting a low benchmark of achievement for 5+5 risks not reaching it again. We have to grow from strength.

SR AU is an OK competition with a reasonable standard of rugby usually played by at least one team in a match. Some really good games and some shockers where both teams played poorly.

I do not understand why all of the boosters thinking that SR AU is proof that we can go it alone, can’t see an alternative that finally we could have a great NRC competition instead of the one round of rubbish post season for SR fringe players to win a contract.

2 teams (max 3) in a TT plus a good NRC provides a really solid foundation to build from strength plus two good pieces of viable content. It will only work for rugby when there is a sensible pathway from club to NRC to SR to Wallaby.

That is the only thing that will work for broadcasters too. RA is trying to create some concept which a mug TV buyer thinks they can sell to a non-rugby audience.

I watched the Raiders/Chooks game on Saturday, to see SBW and Morris’ 300th game. It just kills me to watch the monotony of tackle and play the ball. Watching breakdowns does the same thing to non-rugby supporters.

It is time we accept it and focus on competitions and initiatives which improve rugby and and are attractive to rugby supporters. That is a big and lucrative enough market to be chasing.

The Brumbies just don't have the tools to compete with the Reds

It was great to see the Reds putting a lot of the pieces together. Given all the grief NSW and Qld get from the other states I have started to like them. Just a little bit.

Like SMI I have been waiting all year to finally see it start to click. It will be disappointing if they do not keep improving from here. Definitely a team I like to watch and it will be a bit of a step back for SR AU if they do not go on to win the competition. The Brumbies and Rebels are not good enough to be champions.

The Brumbies just don't have the tools to compete with the Reds

IMO, he has been inconsistent year on year for some reason and did not seem to me to be at the level of five years(?) ago. Whether there has been an injury or the airport incident or something else, I don’t think he has been as good the last couple of years.

Admittedly, a view from the front row, but this season he has seemed to be at a new level, playing the game at a different speed to everyone else. Is it just me getting older and even slower?

The Wrap: The curious and disturbing non-case of Lachie Swinton

I think he has shown a lot more control this season and that was a frustrating (for me) and bloody stupid penalty. While I agree that he needs to be pulled up, it really falls to Penney to make sure it does not happen again.

TWAS makes an interesting point as to whether he has the nous to take it to the next level. He certainly has played more football this year with better impact at the breakdown, carries and tackles. Last year it was mostly off the bench stints dominated by collisions at various levels of legality.

The big wrap on Penney was player development, and Swinton’s progress next year may well be an indicator.

The Wrap: The curious and disturbing non-case of Lachie Swinton

If only I believed that RA would be correct in forming a view on the future.

It will be easier for us all, including me, if the last ten years were an aberration and we can look forward to a new group of players and coaches returning us to ‘rugby as normal’.

Two important principles stand in that path; the past is the best predictor of the future, and on-field results will not recover until off-field administration does.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

Just hopeless.

They are just brainstorming any concept that they think a TV executive who knows nothing about rugby will buy. This is not a cohesively designed package but a grab bag of different competition concepts that might interest someone. Anyone.

Rugby’s customers are its supporters and RA is signalling that it does not really understand what might be of interest to rugby supporters. Are broadcasters that arrogant they they think they know more than RA? Quite possibly they are, but you would be an idiot to go into partnership with someone who knows less than you do about their area of expertise.

If they do sell some of these concepts then they will probably bring in private equity who will buy a share of the future revenues from those competitions. Hopefully they use the money to pay down debt rather than waste on excessive player payments or a new squad of administrators and coaches.

Either the SR competition will fail (taking RA and the SR teams with it), RA and SR teams are unable to control costs within their share of the revenue, or more likely both.

The private equity group will still have the rights to participate in competitions and will cherry pick the players required to make it work for them in the future.

The winners will be the private equity group and the elite players who in the long run will be able to move back on to high salaries that will not be possible in the proposed RA competitions.

I also suggested on these pages that Kayo should sign up all clubs in Australia to stream their club footage. A mob called Cluch TV has been doing this with free streaming via FB and it has now been elevated to the Cluch TV platform. I assume they intend to make money out of this and will sign up the vast majority of rugby players and supporters in Australia as subscribers.

Rugby supporters are the customers and they will mainly be signed up to Cluch while RA and FTA broadcasters are still chasing an audience with no interest in rugby.

The losers will be any creditors of RA and the states, the broadcasters who pay for stuff that will never attract the audiences they need, and players who can’t make the cut for future competitions.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

Which timezone are you asking the question ATW?

Perth only recognises three geographical regions; WA, Indian Ocean and Eastern Australia

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

I try and avoid Malcolm Knox but his headline likening McLennan to V’Landy with no pants, did get me in.

He was pointing out that fans want to watch the best AFL/NRL players in the best AFL/NFL competitions in the world and rugby can’t match it.

You don’t need to attract hundreds of thousands of TV subscribers to watch one game. You just need to attract a couple of hundred to each of thousands of games each week filmed by the clubs and supplied for free.

Can somebody please tell me what I am missing?

The NRC could be a tremendous competition if it was designed to promote club rugby and attract club rugby fans to attend. A costly afterthought running in opposition to the Rugby Championship tagged on to the end of the rugby season which was cut short for every club player and supporter in the country accordingly.

Then they televise only one game a week and wander around moaning about nobody being interested. Should be run during the season, home and away, Sundays and throwing discounted tickets around like confetti on Saturdays at all rugby venues.

Let’s be realistic about Rugby Australia’s new broadcast offering

Always strange reading the diverse comments about Hooper. One of the few Australian players recognised globally as world class. A tremendous all round footballer (and there are not many in this country) with a big engine, huge stamina and durability and hits well above his weight carrying the ball or defending.

There are some good 7s coming through and I would be surprised if he is still a starter in 2023, although you will not find me betting on that. None of them have his all round game, and the supposed limitations on back row balance are disappearing under the number of 6s and 8s coming through at the moment. When the day comes to overlook him, it will be tough day at the selection table.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

He does have that lanky build and my first reaction when he came to the Tahs was that he was way too small. Japan may be a better place to develop as a 6, speed of leg and thought as well as football experience are probably what held him back. Also seems a lot more confident in contact this year.

One pleasure age brings is the patience to watch players develop over several years.

Except for the last couple …. 😔 Maybe they will only be backs 😛

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

Absolutely agree Jacko.

However where do professional rugby supporters come from? My view is that it is players, families and friends. Very few do not have club connections.

At the moment you will find most clubs have bolted on supporters who attend most games, or as many home games as they can. Some will make an effort to get to a couple of games to reconnect and have a few beers etc. Some are like me, and get to few games despite best intentions. There are lots of reasons for that.

I do try and watch when they are on TV, or my Dad’s old club, who of course I followed when young. I have little interest in watching other clubs go around. A few weeks ago my best mate’s son was having his first game in Colts 1sts. Due to an unforeseen cockup we could not get to the game but then I found I could watch it on Cluch.

Clubs should be promoting this to members because the more they watch on TV the greater the likelihood they will attend games. The more games they attend the more likely they are to become a member (ex-player membership subs must be the biggest potential income source for rugby ‘grass roots’ but most clubs are poor at capturing it).

It is scary how many of my mates have made a conscious decision to zone out on the Waratahs and Wallabies. They are sick of RA and the controversy and are only interested in following their club. If anything.

This has been a problem with RA and it does not look like improving to me. The dumbest business coach in the world can still tell a client it is a lot easier to retain a current customer than find a new one. Fans/subscribers are just marketing statistics carved up on age, gender or whatever else they think is useful. As Kearns said on his interview, you just have to keep the supporters happy and the rest of it looks after itself.

Rugby must be one of the easiest business in the world, but they do have to fix their customer base and revenue, or cut their labour costs to suit. Even if the slides in revenue can be reversed I suspect the playing and competition costs have to be brought under control. The current level of costs will require a much larger active, paying supporter base.

Let’s be realistic about Rugby Australia’s new broadcast offering

I assume McDermott called the switch and Mafi swerved infield as McDermott went outside, taking Hooper out of the play. It really fell down because Mafi put himself in an impossible position to make the pass and did a ‘flick Mary’, coughing up the ball.

Given the number of times the Waratahs outside backs have allowed themselves to be suckered into committing to the wrong tackle I agree with BS that it was the percentage play. To that extent McDermott challenged the percentages but note Maddocks was in excellent position.

Mafi restored the balance of percentages. I think he has gone backwards and is possibly not playing with a lot of confidence, ditto BPA. A shame I liked them both. From seemingly having a lot of good players coming through at 2 they all seem to be regressing a bit.

Haven’t watched FF closely but guess he is continuing his consistent form. Horton looks like a good prospect.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

I would rather prefer players to go overseas at a younger age and come back better rounded young players ready for super rugby. There is no return having a 50 test front rower go to Europe at the twilight of his career. Tremendous value in an U20 prop or hooker spending two seasons there.

Hanigan was heavily involved in the play but also failed to make any impact as a ball carrier. Lineouts were tremendous but maybe he would be less effective if 10 kg heavier? On the night the Waratahs back 5 did OK against a much heavier scrum, you know my thoughts on TT.

I think he will have a great time in Japan and the rugby will probably play to his strengths. I am a bit dubious about him coming back as a better player, but that will ultimately come down to how determined he is to come back and challenge for a Wallaby spot for 2023 RWC.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

I would disagree there. It more looked to me that Hooper was ensuring Ram stayed on his man and not rely on Hooper making the tackle, as per your assumption. Hooper drifted in to cover the support player McDermott who then created the threat you see by switching to the outside.

Hurts me to say it but 16 (Mafi?) undid his good work. While still on the ground after being tackled he then tackles Hooper before getting to his feet. That used to be a penalty.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

At some point he looked to switch to lock as it was intimated that his best chance of Wallaby selection was there. Maybe post 2015 RWC. I am almost certain his last season at Waratahs was in the second row. At the least that was the intention.
Commentators indicated Hanigan was off to Japan. A shame, I think. A few seasons in Europe and with extra bulk he could have come back as an effective player. Can’t see him getting that level of improvement in Japan but maybe he has decided that he has reached his limits.

Michael Hooper shines in sky blue slaughter at the SCG

Cluch TV is showing games on FB from club footage, quality is good. All grades, subbies, country etc. That is strategic key to RA winning back support and making professional rugby viable. They do not get it, just trying to get NRL and AFL fans to watch rugby.

Even if SS is tied up, a broadcaster probably can’t do the lower grades. It may even have trouble doing all 1st grade games to a broadcaster standard. A large number of bolted on rugby people would buy a “Cluch” subscription to watch all of their own club’s games and others in the competition. And any other game.

I can watch all grades, colts, women for my club and my mates’ sons playing in other competitions, even in lower grades.

The most valuable asset in Australian rugby; unloved and free to a good home.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering