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mzilikazi

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Joined February 2017

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Excellent, Nic. Thanks. I think you are right, and AAA will be the starter. You highlight well why this should be so. Tbf, Tupou has thus far disappointed me. He has a really great talent, both as a scrummager and as a ball carrier.

I think he is one of a type of player who was very powerful at school, and as a ball carrier was almost impossible to handle. He has yet to come to terms fully with the truly hard men who confront him now, don’t fear him for one second. They sometimes drive him backwards at contact….one can’t use the term “rag dolling” for a man so big, but there can be an element of that in some of the collisions. In this area, Tupou has to learn to use his feet to better advantage. Then he will really be a handfull at this top level.

There is still a tendency in his game to try to hurt the other player, with still too many high tackles, shoulder charges type challenges and “cheap shot” hits. I would cite his attempted charge down on Harrison in The Tahs game. The charge down lead in was perfect….diving, hands outstretched, and def. not late. Harrison got the kick away, and was hit fairly…until Tupou just slightly turned his shoulder, and then made illegal contact. It is this kind of “mean spirited” thing that must be gone from this potentially great players game.

I have posted on the scrum below…to Don…won’t repeat.

Any which way you can: Australia’s intriguing choice at tighthead prop

“I’m also liking how he’s picking up more and more of the borderline illegal scrum tactics and getting away with it under the guise of “dominance.””

What worries me though, Don, is that Tupou is so strong he does not need to pulling any tricks. He should, imo, be concentrating ONLY on moving the opposition scrum backwards. Angling in, for instance, reduces enormously the drive from the rest of the scrum on the TH side. Tupou is so very strong that all he needs to do against most props is keep his spine ramrod straight and level. The Reds should be at the point now where any 5 m scrum is a huge threat ….pushover try or penalty try.

Any which way you can: Australia’s intriguing choice at tighthead prop

“In the year of our Lord, 1057, the Fontfroid Abbey joined the Cistercian brotherhood’. Now on my list of places to see. Just had a look at the history of the Abbey….this is great,,,, “passed into private hands in 1908, when the artists Gustave and Madeleine Fayet d’Andoque bought it to protect the fabric of the buildings from an American collector of sculpture.” Love the protection from a Yank bit.

On a rugby/Cistercian note, there is a school in Ireland, the Cistercian College, Roscrea. Roscrea is in Tipperary, and therefore in Munster, but the College is just 250 yards across the county border, in Co Offaly, part of Leinster. A small but very strong rugby school, they are forced into the much tougher Leinster Schools Cup competition, competing with Dublin giants like Blackrock College.

Their win in 2015 was an historic event. :https://www.irishtimes.com/sport/rugby/cistercian-college-roscrea-grab-history-and-cup-with-both-hands-1.2143099

Four more years: Season 1, full time

Great finish there, CW. Really enjoyed the series, with all the wonderful little details on history and culture you interweave into the story.

Four more years: Season 1, full time

Good one RR….cattle prod !!

Dear Australian rugby: Cool your jets. Love, Australian rugby

My source was 7, but a bit unclear….will accept yours, Peter…you are usually correct on these things.

Dear Australian rugby: Cool your jets. Love, Australian rugby

“we have actually seen Samu play at that level and he was mediocre at best.” How many games, Don ? It’s only 7. And he only started in one. And all under Michael Chieka’s regime. For mine, I would like to see more of the man under the new coach Dave Rennie.

Dear Australian rugby: Cool your jets. Love, Australian rugby

Sensible post, Adsa. I think we must remember that these young players may look good playing in our Australian competition, but how would they handle playing against the Sam Canes, Caleb Clarkes et al over in NZ.

I realise I do have to be careful making this statement, as pre Covid they have fronted the good NZ teams and have not been over shadowed badly.

Just a point on Wilson. I saw him three seasons ago playing for Qld. Country….off the bench…and he looked a very hard player then. So he has a lot of experience already. I did also read somewhere that last offseason a lot of work was put into his offloading decision making, which had paid big dividends straight away. I would agree with that.

It will be interesting to see how selection goes between Samu, Wilson, Naisrani and Valetini. I would personally put Samu at the top for his all round ability, skills, experience and quiet confidence in all he does. But the others are all very good players on the rise.

Dear Australian rugby: Cool your jets. Love, Australian rugby

Very interesting article, Brett. “….. we in Australian rugby are all well and truly guilty of overhyping the ‘the next big thing’.” Yes, the classic “thundering herd”, rushing from one side of the paddock to the other at the slightest excuse. The more enthusiastic ones at the front always get hurt when they are pushed into the barbed wire fence that always halts the rush ! But they never ever learn. They are always at the front when the return rush gets underway.

Dear Australian rugby: Cool your jets. Love, Australian rugby

Co Cavan…so you have Ulster heritage too, CW. Hard to beat.

Interesting family history there. We have a major water pipeline being replaced outside our house just now. There are four Irishmen working in the gang….all great characters. Two from Cork with different accents, one from Kerry, one from Donegal….latter also Ulster…and the County the great AB capt. Dave Gallagher was born in.

Four More Years: Season 1, Episode 4

Yes, those are all fair comments, sm. And the refs do communicate well, and are not “cops”…or strike terror into players….just thought of one Clive Norling then !
But these men are no longer amateurs, giving up their free time. They are professionals, and I do wonder that there are not more ocnsequences for a poor game, series of poor games.
It’s a fine line, and one of the beauties of rugby is there is really never any backchat with Red and Yellow cards etc. May that never change. But I would like to see a referee being stood down for a really poor performance…say one week. I would also like to see the coaching teams have the right to challenge referees post game, in some sort of formal way, and have a formal response from the refereeing authority, not directly from the referee himself/herself.
As I say, fine lines, and I accept one has to be very careful in this area.

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

“I thought it might have been taken as sour grapes from a Tahs supporter.” Yes Phil, always hard to comment when your team loses, and I thought before I posted, as a Qlder.

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

All your articles are great, James, but this one is different in that it concerns a former Austyralian player who is now a coach at the very highest level. A rare breed indeed….Les Kiss another, and I read your article on him recently…..I had missed it when first posted.

With nothing of note being played outside our region, I think it is safe to say Daniel is involved with one of the top two teams in the world, Leinster would be up there too, if playing, and ofc the troubled Saracens.

That is quite an interview you had with him, and the insights into coaching the modern game are fascinating.

“Later on we’ll get in the gym. We’ve got a really good facility here that allows us to work on the micro-skills around our passing and the little stuff around delivery and the breakdown.”

For me, that is what really sets the NZ sides above ours here in Australia. Their handling skills are unbelievable. As a coach I used to say to players, “if you can touch the ball, you can catch it”. That is how the NZ teams play…very few dropped balls, and catches from often poor passes” Not that I am saying their passing is poor…..but a player passing/offloading under pressure won’t always get away an ideal delivery.

Aussie abroad: Daniel Halangahu

“Berry was excellent”. Afraid I very strongly disagree, D. Have seen him now three times, and I just feel he has not come to terms at all with the new law “protocols”. Also very inconsistent in his interpretations…..penalising McCreight at the end was a classic….9 out of 10 times when the player is told not to contest, that is that, play on. McCreight was legally able to contest, I thought. But when Berry told him not to, he did not, and straight away. That was a cruel call, and handed the match to the Brumbies, as it turned out.

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

Aw, they got no sense of humour !!

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

“They have meetings where they take games apart.” Jeez, does not look like that happens, sm ! Seems to me they do meet, don’t really analyse performances properly, and then spend more time on what they will penalise next week, ignoring all other offences.

Citing the the Naisrani YC, he made the tackle, and was pinged before he could even begin to try to roll, and he was also trapped. But what I saw was Hardwick straight onto the ball legally, and the ref. just did not see this. All that seemed to be on his mind was his previous warning that the next offence down that end for the Rebels would be a card, and that is all he was looking at. Should have been a pen. to Rebs, imo.

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

Top post, Highlander. All very clearly explained. Just on the offside at the lineout, and not rolling maul related totally, I think many don’t realise that in a clean catch situation, no one can cross the line of touch till the lineout is over. That is when the ball is passed from the catcher or maul that has formed, or the hind foot in the maul has crossed the line of touch.

So often a player will step across the line as the ball is still in the air even, and then contest. And so often the commentator…and sadly the ref. too…will say “He is there legally, he came thru’ the middle”…..rubbish, man is always offside.

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

You can either laugh or cry. I usually find a way to laugh in life, Geoff, and as a staunch Queenslander this morning, your article with so many amusing bits, helps enormously. Thanks for the article.

Best thing to concentrate on right now from the weekend is clearly the wonderful Pone Fa’amausili performance. The man clearly has wonderful gymnastic talent, and must be selected by Dave Rennie for his entertainment value alone. Imagine the comments in the crowd at places like Twickenham, Murrayfield….or best of all Lansdowne Road(refuse to use the ridiculous name so many now use).

One comment I really enjoyed was by tsuru in the blog: ” Did anyone catch the score from the judges on Fa’amausili’s one and a half somersault with one and a half twist (degree of difficulty 1.5)?”

The Wrap: Super Rugby AU comes of age in Canberra thriller

68 – 73….bit younger than me then, CW….I was a lower grader at Uni in Belfast, 65 – 69…..Uni was magic, rugby even better. Our club captain in my first year was the British Lions scrumhalf.

Four More Years: Season 1, Episode 4

Yes, I also thought Valetini did a load of good work. Very different contribution to Samu. Will be interesting to see Rennie’s wider squad, and then final 23….if we ever get to that point in 2020.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win

Yes, agree re the Brumbies patience….very measured and controlled team, and well aware of what the ref was not penalising, and played to that.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win

“while Petaia was struggling to escape Kuridrani, who was blatantly holding him back without the ball.” Yes, I just found it astounding that that was not even considered…..you are right, Rhys, that was into the bin, try or no try.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win

“including their lack of discipline which is a constant in their game. ” Richie, that comment worries me…not getting at you, but it is used a lot by commentators too. A fair number of penalties come from poor refereeing decisions, or 50:50 calls. For example, a lot of offsides given against backs are not offside at all….the ref. watches the breakdown, and only checks the backline when the ball has left the scrumhalf’s hands. Looking up, he sees one back rushing up and assumes he was offside….and he was not !

So what is called indiscipline is so often not that at all.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win

In the clear cold light of a Sunday morning, I have to say that the Brumbies, though lucky to win that game, had long passages of good play. I thought their first 20 mins was excellent, if unspectacular. Qld’s little mistakes cost them…like the spilled ball at the KO, missed tackles, and silly penalties conceded.

For the Brumbies, Samu was again outstanding in a quiet, even unobtrusive, way. His footwork and lay back skills are outstanding. That little kick ahead and inside in the second half was superb, and he so nearly actually regathered it. Another very good kick too…by Tupou !

There were a lot of very encouraging performances from that Qld. team. The young prop Zander was very good, LSL had a very strong game, as had Wright and Wilson. The latter so often makes good post contact metres. Really the whole pack played well.

In the backs, Campbell showed again his potential, especially running the ball back from kicks. Petaia was very impressive, James O’Connor was very decisive, and while not a natural 10, is far and away the best Qld. have. I like a lot of what Stewart does. Just a pity he always seems to do something stupid every game….this time the sort of tip cleanout that cost his team a good field position.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win

“a brumby from behind drove him off his feet hands onto the ground ” Would need to look at the laws, but I would think that Brumby was offside, and had no right to be involved in the breakdown till he retreated to an onside position, and re entered thru’the gate.

Penalty delivers Brumbies last-gasp win