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The Roar

nickoldschool

Roar Guru

Joined December 2011

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French-Aussie, moved to Oz in 2000. Played rugby and also football as a kid. Love most sports...except afl. Just don't get it. Love the 2 rugby, football, MMA, boxing, athletics, ski and most winter sports (bar the new 'fun' sports), golf, F1, swimming and even a bit of cricket and cycling.

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Can Matt Giteau reign over French rugby?

It has been the million-dollar question each time southern-hemisphere rugby stars emigrate to the north. And it’s fair to say that most established ‘brands’ didn’t deliver up north. Or more exactly, they didn’t live up to local expectations, which are huge when they sign a Jerry Collins, a Carl Hayman, or a Matt Giteau.

“that’s because they were already better”. Huh? You mean they have stagnated and/or regressed “because’ they were already better!? OHHH!!

Foley used to be wallabies backline weak point, he no longer is, that’s my point. He has improved more than others, the fact other guys were ‘already better’ is irrelevant (except in rk’s parallel universe). Am not even suggesting Foley is the complete 10 all teams want far from it. Perso I would not have picked him as a test 10 4-5 years ago, they did and persisted, for whatever reason, their choice. Now that he is a very decent 10 it would make no sense to drop him until we find someone better.

Pride and prejudice: The Wallaby way

Nice work PK!

Have to say I very much liked what I saw from the wallabies this year especially at the Nov tour and results aside they showed the attitude and rugby nous I want from my teams. This backline is imo the best I have seen in years (since the Latham/Larkham years imo).

Reckon the backrow will be Cheika’s biggest challenge next season though: he was the only NT coach to go with three 7s at times and doing that next year without Pocock would be a massive statement. Perso I agree with you and reckon you need at least a proper 6-8 at well, 6 or 8. (6McMahon-7Hooper-8Timani for me)

Re the backline, Naivalu impressed me most and Horne or not, he has to be next year’s starting wing. I will again slightly disagree with you and many other roarers re Folau though, imo he has become a backline passenger at best and any team who wants to win titles needs a more complete FB. If he has another good season in the centres, put him there (but where?!) or on the wing but not at FB. I actually think he is turning into the sort of utility back every team loves to have on their bench to cover 11-15 so…. Another big decision for Cheika (and Pulver).

Finally re Foley, was never a fan of his especially at the Tahs but imo he’s the most improved back over the last 18 months. it would be silly to drop him now imo. QC would have to perform at his very best at next SR to earn a starting jersey come June.

Still fully support Cheika btw and replacing him now would be pure madness. He’ll take a step back in the next few months and come back better next June.

Pride and prejudice: The Wallaby way

Same here pk, really not a fan of poetry but this was good, well done harry!

Harry, do you think that perhaps many SA fans, media and the SARU themselves were always a bit delusional and didn’t realise they were never as good (I mean for a long time) as they thought they were? Imo SA rugby has been slowly spiralling down for quite a while but in ‘my world’ SA’s fall hasn’t been as brutal as it has been for you guys as I never thought they reached AB’s heights for example (not since 1992 anyway). So it’s not a 12 storey fall but rather a 3 storey one in my world.

Sure they were winning vs most but they never had what we can call a buffer, against most teams (think rwc 2011 for examples, wins vs wales or Samoa but could have gone either way).

I still spend a fair bit of time on SA media and again I was surprised before the Italy game to read Cardinelli and others say that Boks should still be too strong, too blablabla for the Italians and win by 10 or 15. I wanted to tell them ‘mate, your team has no buffer whatsoever and if the Italians turn up and your guys play at 70%, you’re gone!”. I think they (media, fans, saru etc) should know that by now.

Perso I think this tour’s failure in the nh is what was needed, Imo much better than a dead cat bounce (say win vs wales) that would have again been misinterpreted by some/many. The good news is there isn’t much between 10 or 12 and n2 and, perhaps, not as much as we thought between 2 and 1.

Springbok Requiem

hi harry, digger (and highlander), denouements are always final, that’s what a ‘denouement’ is all about i.e ‘the outcome, the final minutes, the end result etc” (that’s a French word).

Highlander and digger, apparently a couple of French players (guirado and Vahaa) have told French media that there had been a fair bit of sledging by some AB during the game (especially after 3rd try apparently), did nz press talk about that? This was said during the French post match presser I think.

I know it goes both ways and don’t particularly care tbh but as you guys can imagine French forumers have spent more time discussing it than the game itself! 🙂

The Wallabies were beaten by a gutsy Ireland, not by the referee

Hey Highlander, you’re right the rugby/sports press in general targeted the last scrum(s) but also the Kuridrani try: a Pro D2 French ref had twitted some WR ruling during the game (or just after) stating that ‘if’ the ball touches the corner post before making contact with the ground then ball is out and in this case Kuridrani’s try should have been disallowed. Obviously French supporters loved it haha!

Perso I felt the ball had touched both the ground and post at the same time so happy with ref’s decision.

*and that was fair and square in my initial post! pheeewww!

The Wallabies were beaten by a gutsy Ireland, not by the referee

Agree with Spiro, the Irish won fare and square and Garces had a pretty decent game, All rugby games which are decided by 5pts or less are ‘controversial’ and refs, in the mind of the losing team/coach, didn’t see things they should have.

Cheika is no different from Cotter and Noves who lost vs wallabies in the last couple of weeks, they also felt that they had been robbed. That’s why personally I don’t pay ‘that’ much attention to stats as they only tell one side of the story. wallabies could well have lost their 2 games vs Scots and French and won this one vs Ireland, go figure.

Finally have to say “The final denouement of the Test” made me cringe. Pleonasm.

The Wallabies were beaten by a gutsy Ireland, not by the referee

Do you think Hodge was ‘that’ bad pk? I actually thought Izzy was the wink link. Was mad when Foley found a lineout at the 30m mark from a halfway penalty, you have to use these opportunities to put pressure and at least reach the 22m.

Have to say I really like wallabies backline, they still need to click more often and get the last pass right but overall they play some very good footy.

Oh and is it 100% certain SF wont release Genia? haven’t read anything confirming this in the last few days tbh.

Roar Forum: What changes should the Wallabies make for England?

Well done ‘MOAMAN’ 😉 !!! I think the ABs are mentally and physically tired (and rightly so) but they still have enough class to beat most teams. Am glad NZRU were smart enough not to add an extra test ($) next week. Another great season for the AB but I think the 18 wins record may well be under threat early next year during the 6N! Enjoy the rugby break mate!

France vs All Blacks highlights: New Zealand get the win, 24-19

Baptiste Serin for me. Reckon he’ll be France’s scrumhalf at the next 6N (and hopefully for the next 10 years).

France vs All Blacks highlights: New Zealand get the win, 24-19

Hi peter, don’t think so mate. Remember the “let me explain to you all why we AB are much better than you guys” article written by Chris Laidlaw a while ago? Same with ‘some’ kiwi posters pretty much every day on here (which is fair enough, they love their team and feel it’s ok to use a platform like the roar the same way ppl use facebook when they ‘check in’ at an airport lounge or any ‘cool’ place. Their call although personally I don’t like it at all).

I think our Swedish friend’s views reflect what most newish rugby followers from non rugby nations think i.e. ‘wow AB are soooo good’. I don’t think he pretends to be neutral per se but more of an ‘outsider’.

South Africa's capitulation and what's up with the All Blacks?

Yeah I saw that WCR. Georgina Robinson twitted it was slightly lower than the same Fr v Oz game 2 years ago on Ten and fox (131k and 90k respectively).

Reckon we will get more this time around as many aussies aren’t familiar with SBS (that’s OUR channel!) nor BeIn. Welcome to SBS guys! 🙂

SBS to pick up Ireland Spring Tour game

“The ABs are respected world wide”. Possibly ( I mean in the countries who do follow rugby), but so are most teams in most sports. Only some kiwi fans associate respect with being the n1 in the world in a given sport but the rest of the world doesn’t think this way. I don’t respect the AB more than I respect Fiji or Wales. Again only you guys are like that.

As an aside should the rest of the world not respect NZ in sciences, technology, medicine, arts etc cause you’re far behind many other countries in those areas? You fly boeing/airbus, use Samsung/apple/nokia tech, NH elaborated medicines etc don’t you?

That’s this “we are universally respected’ bs that’s off putting. Honestly I have never heard a yank, norwegian, french, Mongolian (they dominate sumo’s world!) or yes aussie come up with such drivel when they dominate a sport! Some of you are unbelievable, seriously. (have said it before but am absolutely sure some AB fans tell their wife about that at the dinner table ” well you know we are universally respected and the whole world knows who we are, our achievements etc.” Different planet.

Stop the whinging Ireland, you're better than that

Don’t think the French will see this as a slap in the face tbh. EOYT are exactly for that, blood new players, fine tune things before the RC, 6N or rwc ( NH sides do that all the time, in June and Nov. The French sent their b squad in Arg last June and learnt a lot from it). Does Cheika feel that Noves is disrespecting them by picking a young prop on debut (Baille) or Nakaitaci, Vahaa and a couple of others who have been fringe players for a while and have disappointed in their short career with the NT? Don’t think so. Plus both teams have massive games to come next week (and the following for the wallabies) so this is coaches’ last chance to see other players. Plus in a tour where you play the 4 Brits & Irish the other game or 2 are always going to be ‘slightly different’.

My only surprise re Cheika’s starting xv is in the midfield and at FB. Would have loved to seen Reece Hodge vs Lamerat (similar profile) and Fofana. But perhaps it just shows that Cheika has been impressed with what he has seen so far ( I have) and already rates Hodge as the incumbent 12? And would have also liked to see DHP at FB, long overdue. The rest is imo fine and expected. Plus the wallabies were extremely lucky to win vs Scots so obviously things weren’t perfect last w-e and new players deserve a chance.

50/50 match. 5 Fijians in both backlines.

Eleven changes made to Wallabies side - Godwin to debut, Pocock skipper

Well as we speak, France 23 to play the wallabies (15-1) Spedding ; Nakaitaci, Lamerat, Fofana, Vakatawa ; (o) Doussain, (m) Machenaud ; Gourdon, Picamoles, Ollivon ; Maestri, Vahaamahina ; Atonio, Guirado (cap), Baille.

bench: Chat, Chiocci, Slimani, Le Devedec, Chouly, Serin, Lopez, Fickou.

The Neutral Weekly: New waves ready to rise in Irish and French rugby

Hi Nick, re loose-heads I think we do have quality actually, they are just too green right now. Don’t you think Ben Arous or Jeff Poirot are or will be test standard soon? They are still fairly young and should peak in the next 2-3 years ( I think Ben Arous already is tbh). Then you have guys like the younger Taofifenua or Baille who are 23-24yo.

More worried at lock (or 10).

The Neutral Weekly: New waves ready to rise in Irish and French rugby

Yep we do have a strong rivalry in handball. Alpine skiing too but these days your girls are much better than ours and our boys are much better than yours so its a bit of a hit-and-miss affair for now!

Re handball, quite a few french rugby players started with hand at school then switched to rugby in their late teens (funnily enough handball is quite strong in the south west (and Paris suburbs), same as rugby. Even in Spain btw, they have quite a few strong clubs in or around the basque region Irun, Pamplona, Santander etc). Will talk football some day as am also a massive football fan (not so much into Ibra these days though!). Very much a Emma Green fan too for completely different reasons though.

The Neutral Weekly: New waves ready to rise in Irish and French rugby

“Kepu signed a rich deal with the Bordeaux Beagles”

Never heard of this club! Beagles as in poodles, German shepherds etc 😉 ? Come on AAP! The club’s called Union Bordeaux-Begles, Begles is a suburb of Bordeaux.

Family the reason behind Sekope Kepu's club rugby return

What a brilliant article! Your assessment of French rugby (for someone who reckons he knows ‘very little’ about French rugby) is imo pretty spot on, at least more so than many other roar pundits who ‘think’ they know/understand NH/French rugby very well (on both sides of the roar that is).

And you’re right, the divisions/factions, regionalisms, anti-parisianism etc within French rugby are probably at the centre of NT’s poor performances. Let’s not forget that many French supporters are also club first NT 2nd, so FFR and LNR act accordingly and have no choice but to give fans what they want i.e a strong club comp. Now that we have a list of 30 ‘protected players’ (for the first time ever a French NT coach had his troops almost 2 weeks before the first test match, never happened before.) I think Noves will steady the ship (dunno if we can expect much more for now). And for what it’s worth, I think the last (of many!) hammering vs AB at the 2015 rwc was the wake up call that we needed, everyone realised something had to be done.

Re the impact of foreign players, I see things slightly differently and think we do have too many foreigners in French rugby and it does impact NT’s progression. French rugby imo peaked in the 1990s when foreigners represented possibly 10% of the squads and were mostly Romanians or Argies. Today, far too many potential NT players spend their top 14 season on the bench or at mid-table clubs. not good enough. I think that the benefits of having many very talented southerners in club rugby does not outweigh the problems it generates i.e we are losing our rugby identity, less pride and passion for the jersey etc. From what I read on forums many French supporters have had enough; they say yes to quality imports but a big no to average SH talent no better than locals. Problem is French coaches and club administrators absolutely love southerners, islanders etc and if you have a kiwi, samoan, saffa passport you’re almost guaranteed a spot in a squad even if you’re 5’8 and 72kgs and have never touched a football.

Finally, French rugby is imo fundamentally amateur and even ‘amateurish’: camaraderie, brawling, drinking, poor discipline, light training sessions are part of the problem and it’s hard to fix this. Players are still imo very unfit compared to their SH counterparts or even the Brits and Irish. I often say to my aussie/saffa mates that when I grew up in the 80s and 90s sporty kids didn’t play rugby: we played football, hand, basket, volley, athletics, cycling, all ski/winter disciplines etc. Rugby was for dilettantes, unfit kids and brawlers. Rugby squads were “courts of miracles” with all shapes and forms especially non athletic ones ( if you’re small and fat, tall and fat, small and skinny etc…AND you don’t mind a Sunday brawl at 3pm and a boozing session at 5pm, come and play rugby!).

Again, well done mate (love your ‘Irish work” too btw!). You’re a breath of fresh (well very fresh from Sweden) air on here.

The Neutral Weekly: New waves ready to rise in Irish and French rugby

Gotta feel sorry for PSDT. When you play 2m tall & 115kgs locks as flanker you get an extra lineout option but you also lose in mobility, speed and vision. Coaches’ call. Have the feeling Youngs could have thrown the same dummy, cut inside and scored under the posts 5 more times.

A good England side beat a disinterested and limited SA one. Just too divided right now to expect better results.

Highlights: England end 10-year drought against Springoks

Sorry ethan cricket isn’t a “huge world sport’. Inexistent in America (north and south), continental Europe, 2/3 of the African continent, same with Asia. Sure it’s the national sport in 2-3 heavily populated countries but it doesn’t change the fact that 180 countries do not watch nor know anything about cricket.

Rugby is a bit different but there is still a long way before it becomes a ‘huge world sport’.

A Saffa ramble

Zola Budd vs Mary Decker, that was something!

Zola Budd was big news then and we all knew about her story, the white saffa adept of ‘natural/barefoot running’ who couldn’t run for her country!

Remember being conflicted between Budd’s amazing story and Mary Decker’s ‘beauty’ (in my pre-teen yet libidinous mind Decker was stunning). And have to admit Mary Decker easily won my shallow self support (not even a contest haha).

A Saffa ramble

Never understood this ‘but big nations exploit smaller nations’ drivel we get in rugby. In most other sports players from all around the world play club football, basket, volley, hand, hockey etc in richer nations (or just outside of their birth nation) yet the overwhelming majority play with their NT at international level. If things are different in rugby it’s players fault, nothing else. No one forces them to target another NT and switch allegiance. Hundreds of Georgians, Romanians etc have played club footy for decades in france yet none of them has played for france. No one’s fault but players’ if some Islanders, saffas, kiwis etc choose to play for Romania, France, Oz, Eng, NZ etc. Again I have nothing against them and their choice but pls don’t blame the country that welcomes them.

In football or basket african nations (or even within europe) love it when big rich clubs like barca, man u, ac milan etc open an academy in their country as it helps develop local talent. Sure the best ones may end up playing for barca but whats wrong with that? What’s wrong with Messi moving to barca at 13yo, developing to become the best player in the world AND represent his country of birth? It was HIS decision. A rugby Messi would probably have made a different choice and played for Spain. Hundreds of African or south american players have made similar choices. Different story in rugby though.

The players who CHOOSE to switch allegiance and target an AB, wallabies, french and now Romanian (and soon China if rumours are true) etc jersey are ultimately responsible for their choice, they are the ones taking advantage of the rules, not the clubs who welcome them, pay them handsomely, support/bring their family and offer them job opportunities they would never have had in their country. If anything euro cubs would prefer if their players chose NOT to represent their new country as they would be fully available to the club!

Do the All Blacks exploit the Pacific Islands?

Agree PH. roarers keep forgetting that NH are more about clubs than NT’s test matches, especially non cricket nations. And that we have many, many other sports, and politics, economy etc are much more prominent than on Fairfax owned nz and aussie media.

I read an article on l’equipe (was quite surreal actually!) a few months ago in which they were trying to explain to their readers the concept of test matches in the SH and what it means for SH nations “these are ‘real’ matches, very important and all SH nations take them seriously blabla’ as for us ‘test matches’ is something between a friendly and a proper 6N or WC match. We don’t know nor have ‘test matches’ in other sports, its WC or euro qualifiers or friendly, we don’t even have a word for it and use the anglo term ‘un test match’. The Nov tour has always been the preparation for the 6N, nothing more nothing less.

As of now it’s still all about euro cups, the top 14 and Foley in the media, and a few words about NZ’s record, but not much at all about les bleus. On rugbyrama the test match tab is even after the amateur’s. We simply don’t talk about international rugby 365 days/year like here in the sh and especially on the roar.

This Wallabies side will not win Australia's second grand slam ever

It’s possible brizvegas.

Imo both DHP and Savea had been fighting for position (off the ball) a few seconds before the actual ‘obstruction’, Savea grabbed DHP’s arm first, DHP does the same, then they both get closer to the touchline, Speight grabs the ball and ‘this’ happens.

Again I just think ‘fighting for (best) position’ is part of rugby.

Eight talking points: All Blacks vs Wallabies, third Bledisloe Cup Test

Fair assessment digger.

Re ‘that’ TMO call, I reckon Savea milked it big time. ‘The bus” who breaks tackle after tackle, smashes forwards all match long, lost his balance when DHP ‘changed lane’? Right.

Imo he knew he would not catch Speight and when DHP made contact he looked at the ref ‘football style’, almost lost his footing etc. Rugby isn’t netball, you often make contact with your opponents off the ball and ‘those’ tries are given by most refs in most games. Just weird Owens and TMO went by the book, called it obstruction and didn’t question Savea’s ‘acting’.

Re the ‘Cooper boo’ as moaman aptly calls it, completely agree with him, nothing malicious in it. ‘Uncool’ things or bad jokes become cool or funny after a while and you just can NOT stop or you’ll make it look uncool/bad again. Booing QC in NZ is a meme that ppl keep repeating without really thinking about it, there is no ‘proper’ reasoning behind it. Fine piece of banter imo.

Eight talking points: All Blacks vs Wallabies, third Bledisloe Cup Test