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Joined April 2020









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Thanks for posting TC. I agree with everything you wrote. Free and speed the game up, reduce stoppages, make it safe, and keep the ball in player longer so we the viewers get more rugby rather than less.
However, I don’t have a problem with Nigel Owens or Wayne Barnes interacting with the players. It good to listen to and sometimes funny banter. Long that may stay. Cheers

The sky is falling, the sky is falling – oh hang on

Cheers Geoff and agreed. Here’s hoping. Thx

The Wrap: The patience of rugby players and fans is about to be rewarded

Thanks for posting Geoff. I must say that this is the first time in years that I have been excited about domestic rugby so I am looking forward to it. The NZ rugby has been great to watch.

The Wrap: The patience of rugby players and fans is about to be rewarded

Thank you for taking the time to write and post this JD. great read and really interesting perspective. For me, Rennie would have benefited from working closely with Smith which is one of the reasons I think we may well have a good coach for once. If he can build that team spirit, culture, and apply strategy and good selection, then that will be a great start. Oh and also help the super rugby sides focus on skills!
One question though for you. Was Rennie ever seriously considered for the AB’s top job as a replacement for a Hansen or an assistant coach? Thanks again.

A Chiefs fan’s tribute to Dave Rennie

Hi AD, thanks for that. I had an inkling but wasn’t sure if the fans were trying to drive change. I am glad to hear they are. I am based in London so try to stay in touch but don’t get as much local info. Like any competition, you want to see as many strong teams as possible so I hope they can sort it out. I think you may be right about the AFL stepping in to force change but whether that happens is another thing. Cheers

How to rebuild the ailing Adelaide Crows

Ha Ha Paul, cheers. is anyone honestly going to get their back up or offended by me describing the Snedden/Chatfield combination as boring. Okay, I am prepared to be wrong on the ‘worst’ comment and I will happily accept that maybe there have been less effective opening bowling combinations in the history of cricket. But I definitely stand by the ‘boring’ bit and actually would love to see someone try and defend that.

The not-quite-the-best Australian XI

I went to soon with my comment given the ‘wonderful’ names that have been thrown in.

Ray Bright – legendary in terms of being average. But only beaten by Murray Bennet. Crikey he was ordinary and boring. Tony Dodemaide – he was not slow but but he was not express and he was not a medium pacer. Can someone please remind me of what is closer to slow but not medium pace as that was his pace. I think SKW may have bowled faster than him when he ripped a fast delivery.
Graeme Wood or Andrew Hildich (excuse spelling). I think I would go fo the classic Darling/Wood opening partnership.

I would like to throw this one into the mix for comments. Although not Australian, are Martin Snedden and Ewen Chatfield the worst and most boring opening bowling combination ever?

The not-quite-the-best Australian XI

Honestly, and maybe I am seeing this wrong but I just don’t have any interest in this game if it happens. Apart from raising money, it markets the rugby league code and in an environment whereby rugby union needs to be pushing its own barrow to secure commercial interest it doesn’t do much for the Australian rugby union code.

A cross-code All Blacks vs Kangaroos match could happen this year

Thank you Josh for posting.

There is something seriously wrong with this club and I cannot put my finger on it. It certainly involves the culture or lack thereof, but they have just made error after error after error. Even the Suns are starting to show promise and I thought that club should have been axed years ago.

Part of me thinks that the culture of failure means that they are happy to pick up wages and be big names in Adelaide. You only have to look at Port and they look like they are hungry, want success, and are led by a very driven coach.

I am not sure that the answer is clear until maybe a few executives leave, a few more players ie TW, and importantly for change t happen the fans stop worshipping and start asking the hard questions. Cheers

How to rebuild the ailing Adelaide Crows

Hi Paul,

Thank you for posting. I think this is an excellent post.

I can’t argue with your selections. Possibly there are a few missing but then again there are only 11 spots. I can’t recall the player’s name but I think it was Trimble who bowled some very poor overs and wasn’t to be seen again. I am not sure if that was one day or tests.

I do have to support Rick Darling but only because when he was running, anything could happen and normally it was chaos and that was well worth a watch.

Dyson, apart from his catch was utterly boring. Gilbert was boring, not express or quick and didn’t ever create or doing anything exciting. Sleep – his surname said it all, enough said. He spent more time organising the fielders but you knew nothing would happen. Zoehrer – unlucky but the gum chewing was impossible to watch.

I guess there will be more. I’ll give it further thought. Thank you again.

The not-quite-the-best Australian XI

Thanks Nic. As always your analysis and comments are fascinating, accurate and well worth a read.

So here’s the question/s I pose to you and other Roarers (or whatever the term should be!)

If in a perfect world, a coach will have a squad of 25 or 30 or whatever the number maybe , of players who specialise in a position.

You narrow that down to a match day squad and if you get injuries, doesn’t is make sense to pick a player who is quality and can play a number of positions as cover?

Secondly, if Eddie Jones is pushing the line that he wants players to be able to play a number of positions, doesn’t this mean that ‘utility’ players who may be outstanding as a rugby player and can play a few positions are actually more valuable/important?

And finally, if we turn it on it’s head, should coaches now be looking at these type of players and in the absence of a full roster of in-form, key positional players actually be look8ng at the Hodges and thinking opportunity over whatever else has previously been the norm?

Again, thank you for posting. Cheers

Will Dave Rennie remember Australia’s forgotten man?

Thanks Brett for posting.

Obviously the results over time will be the ultimate way in which he is judged. But for a start, I like it.

How you enter an organisation is just as important as how you exit an organisation. You set the tone early doors. In this case, if the way in which he is engaging right from the start, being open, positive, clear and concise and conversing and trying to inform instead of avoiding or playing tricks or being too clever is anything to go by, then I feel positive. It is just so refreshing to hear what he has to say and how he says as opposed to the previous coach!! Gosh the bar was lowered by MC wasn’t it.
And the little thing of knowing people’s names and speaking to them and not belittling them, attacking them or speaking down to them is important. So sad that this has to be highlighted in this modern age. Cheers

Dave Rennie lays it all out ahead of Wallabies start date

‘Others have no god-given talents but can still lift trophies and pick up awards (Dan Carter and Richie McCaw come to mind)’.
Bentnuc, I see the point you are trying to make. And yes we all agree that naturally skilled, independent thinking players should be identified, encouraged and selected. I would argue however that McCaw and Carter had talent, but worked their socks off to ensure that their talent became world class. Cheers

Why Australian rugby needs to bring back the footy player

Whilst we wish him well, and thank him for his service with the Waratahs and Wallabies, honestly I don’t think we ever saw the best of Beale in terms of consistency and over a long period of time. This is a shame because he could do some incredible things when he was fit, focused, engaged and dare I say assumed responsibility.
There will be specific games where we remember some great moments but this probably makes it more disappointing as I always believed that he had the potential to be one of the rare players who I think could have been great (an overused term I know).

Whilst I never considered him a centre and felt that fullback was his best position, I find it ironic that Chris Latham had a profile piece earlier this week in The Roar. For all Beale’s potential, he wasn’t a Latham. Salor vie!

Beale exits Waratahs

Hi Geoff, I think 6 nations is a good example.
Six nations is an incredible competition. The response in Europe is amazing, the fans travel, countries stop when games are on and it is just so successful on every level. From a personal perspective, I plan weekends around where I can watch the game. Doesn’t matter where you are, in the mountains skiing, the pubs are always rammed full!

CVC have taken a minority stake, so six nations receive some cash, retain control and the competition goes from strength to strength. They get assistance with commercial marketing, sponsors but make the decisions.
Something for NZ and Australia to aspire to.
Imagine bundling up a 3 or 4 test bledisloe series, plus a 3 test tour with regional games from a touring northern hemisphere team like they used to do in the old days. All of a sudden that has immense value. Then maybe adding in the October northern hemisphere series. Nirvana I know and not so simple to achieve.

The Wrap: Private equity can fix rugby, but only if rugby gets it right

Careful what you wish for is all I can say with regards to taking p/e money. The English clubs apparently received a cheque each for £10mln and that hasn’t stemmed the bleeding irrespective of the pandemic.
I honestly think there is a better way and perhaps NZ and Aus would be smarter to combine forces not just on a shared competition but a business. Cheers

The Wrap: Private equity can fix rugby, but only if rugby gets it right

I agree with some of your points LED. He may come back a better player or he may come back riddled with injuries which is well talked about over here amongst players who have a stint in France for a variety of reasons.

I honestly don’t know too much about why he left but I do see your point. It is a job and he needs to do what is best for him. I get that. It’s probably the manner of the way it went down. These things can always be handled better. No different to how someone leaves a job outside of rugby.

Coming back a year out from WRC is a different matter. Hopefully we will be back up to full strength on and off the field and we have brought through talented 2nd rowers. Then if he is good enough then he can help drive competition for places.

Finally, the clock is ticking for the ARU to get a plan executed for next year etc. If not, I am sure there will be more. But let’s note that the grass is not greener in the Northern hemisphere at present.

Izack Rodda makes French connection after Reds departure

Firstly, MOC is a gentleman who is not prone to exaggerating. I have no problem with his comments as reported.

Cheika – I say well done for your success at Leinster, and the Waratahs, , and for getting the Wallabies to the final in 2015.
But after that, it sadly went down hill in a big way and he was a failure. As a coach, he stood still whilst other international coaches moved forward. No two ways about it. We don’t need to go over why he was a failure because we all know. Of course he is now trying to defend his legacy, and rewrite history. It’s what one does when they either can’t face reality, have no humility, or their ego is too massive. He is unable to accept blame, nor admit faults, cannot do any wrong, didn’t help to sell the game et al and so on and so forth. that sadly reflects on him. The best thing he can do is go away and do whatever he is planning on doing. But the fact that he cannot accept criticism and bites back says it all.

On to the players. Sorry but I cannot accept that they could not not stand up for themselves. Are you telling me that Genia, Pocock, Hooper, Toomua and others are not strong enough regardless of the outcome to have a view on what they are doing, how they are playing. Whilst Dwyer and Macqueen were great coaches, I can’t imagine that the 1991 and 1999 teams didn’t have a say or input into tactics, style etc. Difference is those coaches understood man management. You only have to listen to Martin Johnson and Dallagio talk about overruling Woodward on occasions. Did Steve Waugh take a back seat? Honestly, I don’t know whether to think the Aussie 2019 team were dumb, naive, weak, lack pride, or Cheika was that much a bully or dictator.
So that is enough of my rant. Can we now look forward and forget about this guy please. Cheers

Cheika denies O’Connor’s World Cup claims

As a general comment, The agents will always do what is best for the themselves and what they think is best for their client. Unless there are exceptional circumstances and the agent really does look after the best interests of their client, this normally involves money given the role of the agent.

I must admit, I don’t know much about this situation. But it smells fishy from most angles. From the player’s angle, the agent angle, and from the QRU and ARU angle.

In normal circumstances, I think the ARU would move heaven and earth to accommodate a 23year old with massive potential, 25 tests and a long career ahead of him. But they are not in a position to do this obviously or are incapable of doing this. Maybe it is just a petulant 23yr old whose ego is out of control and had his head turned by the agent. Or maybe he just wants to travel and see the world (just throwing that in to cover all bases).

I would say that once things have settled down, let him play his year and then use the lure of a lions tour, a World Cup and if finances are more stable then try and attract him back if he is important. And if he has matured!

In the meantime, ARU needs to start working on a plan to stop losing young talent to NRL and overseas. If the finances don’t get sorted in time, this won’t be the last high profile name me thinks.

Izack Rodda makes French connection after Reds departure

Here is a rant….’ why on earth do people like TSP come on here’. Seriously, one can only roll one’s eyes.

Anyway, onwards and upwards as they say.

Brett, I agree with you. Given the dramas that we have been through that are by no means over, it was just nice to get a few green shoots of rugby in the past week. Yes we are by no means out of the woods, and still face serious financial, structural, commercial, issues, but for one week it was nice to see some positivity, some good, coverage, conversation and a bit of hope. I don’t think for one moment that any normal minded person underestimates the mountain that Aussie rugby has to climb, but I will take this for the moment.

Thanks for posting Brett, cheers.

Rugby’s back - and what a difference a week makes

Great to see rugby back on the field. And some great games as well. Let’s hope the Aussie games deliver the same level of excitement and skill….maybe hoping a bit much on the skill level!

I can still remember when the NSW and Queensland games were awesome and real state rivalry. And when you could go to a club game and see world class players running around ie; Randwick in the 80/90’s amongst other clubs.

It’s pretty simple…deliver a product that people want to see, parents can take their kids to, and they can walk away excited. It’s not rocket science. Unfortunately Super rugby has become arduous.

And yes, the States and those sub par administrators are just as culpable as the ARU has been for the demise of the game in OZ.

But I take hope from club rugby, from the 40k Aussies who went to Japan and that our under 18 and under 20 sides show so much promise. With a new Chairman, coach and coaching team, with the potential of a WRC in a few years, a Lions Tour, an Olympics, maybe just maybe we produce State and a National team who are taught skills, have attitude and pride in the green gold and we start something. Hope is not a bad thing to have until reality clicks in.

The Wrap: New Zealand rugby gets the jump on Australia, and everyone is happy!

Cheers Muglair, thank you for the response. Really enjoying the chat.

I see your point 1 and tend to agree. On point 2, I also tend to agree and it does reinforce how much of a dogs breakfast has been created. Same old story, sub par executives at a state and national level, lack of cohesion, ego’s, lack of a long term strategy et al…. we all could go on and on.

Clovis in Europe – I am based in London and enjoying a beer whilst typing. Club rugby has been smashed here and at present there are the beginnings of a civil war between players and owners in the UK. Quite simply, the model doesn’t work because the clubs don’t make enough money to cover the wages of both players and enormous staff rosters. And that is even with wealthy owners. I predict that the UK and French leagues will go after less foreign players and focus on the top few and pay handsomely if they can within restricted salary caps. This will ultimately benefit them. The Welsh are in serious trouble so need CVC money, the Irish are pretty sound, and the Italians will continue to be the minnows. If the Welsh get the SA teams, then that will help. Pro 14 is less watched than the Top 14 and UK premiership. The one saving grace is the SIx Nations and Heineken Cup (or whatever it is called these days).

On not for profit status, probably best to clarify my comments. I do agree with you. If a club can make a profit that is then spent strengthening the club, helping the community, youth, or whatever, then great. As the pandemic has shown, in AFL, NRL and Rugby, the majority of clubs are either poorly managed, or their business model doesn’t work. Yes the pandemic was an exceptional event, but it did expose the various business models. Quite often, volunteers who are incredible underwrite the club in a way. My point is that greater thought has to be given to the rugby code in Australia from top to bottom to ensure that the code can grow, be healthy and survive and prosper for all to benefit. Too much focus has been put on the stars and the tv rights. I for one absolutely agree that talent needs to be retained but at what cost. This is a much bigger and more complex conversation and my brain hurts at the moment.

On the subject of a rugby power, I would argue that our winning World Cup teams in 91 and 99 and their records leading up to those wins equate to ‘super power’ status. The term super power is probably the most incorrect term. Let’s just say that as a country, we enjoyed enormous success and were particularly dominant over those two periods. Probably more so with regards to the 1999 team. Super power these days probably equates to who has the most money so therefore who has the most power on the world council.

Private Equity is not the answer as we both agree. Private ownership has its limits unless you are as rich as Andrew Forrest and commit long term. But private ownership could work subject to detail – the devil is always in ththe detail and how that works across all areas that we have discussed.

I agree with all your points following. I think the ARU whorls control the game, the States should manage their respective areas. At the end of the day, and coming back to the question of a super power, if NZ can run the game the way they do, and I consider them the only superpower then why can’t we copy them. (We cant because of all the reasons we have stated). It would be nice.

Simple problems, complex solutions and other priorities

Muglair, thanks for taking the time to write and post this. Really interesting and some fascinating comments.

As a general comment, and definitely not aimed at you, whilst it is great to look back I think it is more appropriate to look at our current predicament, plan around that to move forward. Doesn’t mean we shouldn’t aim high it just means that we need to be aware of the base we are starting from, the resources we have for the interim.

Unfortunately, a few of the people who responded need a slight reality check on our current situation. 1. We are not a rugby ‘super power’ at present. We have been before and I hope we are again but currently we are not. 2. We also have no money at the present. 3. The business model as is now being played out in most countries (except Japan) is broken and doesn’t work. 4. Private Equity is not the answer. 5. States, with the exception of Western force need to realise that they need to change their business approach. 5. All the states including WF need to buy into the collective as the NZ system does. 6. Tough questions need to be asked around who we actually want to sign as players versus maximising the opportunity for the young and outstanding talent coming through and reducing the loss of talent to the NRL. 7. Centralise everything at the ARU except for the playing side so as to avoid ridiculous duplication and costs. On the playing side, get 4 or 5 States working more cohesively. 8. Get rid of State CEO roles and appoint a manager. Have a Chairman if necessary but any costs for them and a State board is picked up by the States.

I actually had a few more points but to be honest stopped writing because it became soooooo arduous!!!! I think you get my drift.

Thanks again for posting. Cheers

Simple problems, complex solutions and other priorities

Hi Justin, I am never going to knock anyone who takes the time to write an article and post it so well done and thank you.

However, on your final lines and bold predictions….I reckon lowering your sights and nailing your colours to something a bit shorter term. I am not sure your predictions at this stage really are earth shattering. Go on…really have a crack and state something that is going to create some controversy. Cheers

V'landys is out of touch and losing his battle with AFL and rugby

Cheers James

Super Rugby retrospectives: Alistair Murdoch