The Roar
The Roar


Roar Rookie

Joined June 2013







Is there any other sport than rugby?



Thanks Geoff .

I thought the ABs were fairly clinical and in the end will deserve their Tri-Nations victory. I assume they are all now settled into iso in NZ and we will have to mail them the trophy (or will it be a Zoom presentation ceremony next week?). On second thoughts the Kiwi refs can take it back with them next weekend.

Lomax is a lucky boy – I could not believe that Berry could come to that conclusion. Or will the Citing Commissioner be “sighted” for the first time this comp? I don’t think so.

With the the comp un-winnable should Rennie go hard for the win next week or should he do some more experimentation? I’m for the latter.

The Wrap: Rugby learnings 101 - All Blacks show how it’s done in Newcastle

I have just read Wayne Smith’s column in the OZ today. Great minds think alike – however, I reckon he stole the idea from me.

I don’t think we will see any of the Wallabies squad in pre-season until mid- January

The Wrap: Why Test rugby and Newcastle just don’t go together

Thanks Geoff. You sum thing up very well.

I think the players of all three teams have reached the point where the end of this season cannot come soon enough. While I’m sure they are all happy that they have been able to play (and earn some money) and they do not lack endeavour, I just think their collective brains have started to fog up. Both Australia and Argentina have managed at least one emotion driven game against the ABs but have otherwise been flat. The ABs pulled one off in Auckland but otherwise ditto

I think SS pre-season starts today – so that is a full 12 months that most of these players have been thinking rugby. In submitting my player ratings yesterday I struggled to find anyone who deserved more than a 5 – with many doing worse than that. Tow more weeks in camp and a final game – but i’ll bet most have their minds on beach.

The Wrap: Why Test rugby and Newcastle just don’t go together

I’m on the same deal DP. But there are some other things on Foxtel Ilke so I better check out Bounce (or is it Binge?). I’ll need to get an aerial for the ABC though. Fortunately, many years ago Foxtel fully wired my house with co-ax. Let’s see them try to take that back.

( I bought a 5K TV before the World Cup last year and was intending to upgrade my ancient IQ2 to an IQ4. But then, I thought – nah lets see. Much more prescient than I usually am).

The Wrap: A great new broadcast deal for rugby? Depends on who’s telling the story

Thanks Geoff. I am glad you highlighted the News Corp cavilling over the last week. I actually had to read the Jonesdrone just to see what he had to say. Deeply amusing. I was bit worried though as wayne Smith was nowhere to be seen, so glad to see him back this morning with some positivity.

It can often be a bit dull watching a game where you have no real dog in the fight. That was how I approached Saturday’s game. By twenty minutes in I had found my dog and it was barking. Not to pump up my own tyres 😂 , but… on a post last week I avered that I hoped to see some experimentation in the Wallabies next team but cautioned, that anyone who had watched the Pumas game against the RA XV last Saturday may think that would be unwise. are now forewarned and it will be interesting to see how the Wallabies react. The really great thing is that no matter who wins next week, the Tri-Nations will not be decided until that last round.

Vale to the Growler. Never my favourite rugby journo and I was not around for his heydays, but too too young.

The Wrap: A great new broadcast deal for rugby? Depends on who’s telling the story

Golden Eye – I have the same thinking. One issue is that BeIN has the Autumn Nations cup rights in OZ and had secured the rights to the two European championship tournament starting in December, in addition to their on-going rights to the Six Nations. May have to look at a stand alone BeIN subscription.

Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition confirmed for 2021

Also just noticed that the Brumbies have games in NZ in Rounds 1 and 2. That nails it. Only the Reds will be boosting their FF points

Three week Roar tour to NZ?

Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition confirmed for 2021

And I am also fairly certain my Rebels membership details for next year will be dropping into my inbox some time this arvo

Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition confirmed for 2021

Looking forward to this already.

I’m fairly sure the super-round will be in NZ

Rebels and Tahs both have games in NZ in Rounds 2 and 4
WF have games in NZ in round 4 and 5

If Round 3 is in NZ that will save a lot of airfares.

My bet is Auckland

Trans-Tasman Super Rugby competition confirmed for 2021

Thanks Geoff – lots off good points for discussion.

Did the Wallabies win or the ABs lose. The best “rugby” of the match was the 29 odd phases in two blocks in the lead up the ABs first try. They were essentially unstoppable. If they had been allowed to keep up that level of aggression and execution they would have blown the Wallabies away. That they were not allowed to keep playing that way is testament to the way the Wallabies rallied.

On the use of the TMO, I think that Berry just about stayed within the spirit of the law and and SOPs. My only real gripe with them is the inconsistency of application and the speed of decision making. League does seem to get in done much quicker. Berry is actually probably the best at using the TMO of any of the four that have been on display in this comp in that he talks to the TMO regularly as the game continues which I like. I am increasingly of the mind that we should move to a two referee approach (for professional rugby) – one on the field and one in the box, reducing the AR’s back to linesmen (with responsibility for touch and offside, missing one instance at any time being a sacking offence). The only downside on this could be watching the scrum of the ref’s blind side, but there is usually a camera on either anyway.

On the red cards – I thought both were correct. When the AFL and the NRL are being sued out of existence in a few years time, rugby will be grateful that we ignore the voice of the all the old codgers who whine about “what has the game become, harrumph!!!”.

As a Rebels fan (atic), it was very pleasing to see the performances of Hodge, Philip and Koriebete (my man of the match by some margin). Wright looked like he belongs there – much more so than Daugunu. Bell had a great start and Tupou had his best game of post-lock down.

Much to like about this and I expect to see a bit of experimentation against the Pumas. However anyone who watch the stream of them (now with their European based players) against the RA dirt rackers on Saturday arvo might say they should think twice about that. Isi Naisarani did have a blinder though, which was pleasing. (see fan comment above 😛 )

The Wrap: Wallabies triumph in Suncorp dogfight

Marika MOTM

I gave Swinton a 1 – that was not an aberration that is SOP for Swinton. Look back at his tackle on Naisarani in the second Tahs V Rebels game in SR AU. Drpped arm and led with the shoulder. Is had to leave the field. No penalty let alone a card. SAt this moment Swinton is a liability, not an asset.

Tome Wright had a great debut.

Hodge did his jobe well. He won’t keep the job at 10 but he showed he can do it if he has to.

First good game I have seen from Tupou since the lock down.

Philip also very good. Hosea had a great game v the Pumas today. Hope to see them pair up v. Pumas in two weeks.

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

I agree on Daugunu – but for who? A lot of people like Ramm(? the Tah) but I thought he was found out a bit on defence in Friday’s game. I would put Hodge there if only to add experience to the backline with maybe Ramm on the bench. Naisarani or Samu for Wilson. Hannigan was invisible so let the Wright and McReight have a go. If LSL is crocked I’d give Hosea a go as a starter – he was good on Friday and his reach can get to wayward throws. If O’Conner is back I don’t see a place forLolosio.

The Wrap: Wallabies mauled by resurgent All Blacks

Thanks Geoff

While there was some joy for the rugby fan to be taken from the game in watching what a well coached, highly skilled team can do with a rugby ball, overall it was a pretty depressing experience. For me the thing that stood out was that the ABs had plans and they executed them very well. The Wallabies seemed to have a few ploys (like the containment of Caleb Clarke) but any overall plan no. I said on another post yesterday that the idea that the ABs got the wrong man as coach was put to bed on Saturday. I don’t say that we got the wrong one, but I do have a question mark in my brain now. Especially about defence under pressure.

I watched the Pumas v the Dirttrackers XV on Friday afternoon and while there were some good things on show in the first half with the AU team leading 10-0 at half time, a scratch second string Pumas team (their Euro-based players are still in quarantine) ripped them a new one for most of the second half (the stream failed throughout the last 15 mins of the game during which DTs scored another try) for a well deserved win to a bunch of blokes just out of iso. Defence under pressure was again an issue.

Lets hope the Lang Park magic works next week

The Wrap: Wallabies mauled by resurgent All Blacks

I think we should add a line in these ranking for the coach. For me what last night clearly showed is that all the hype about Australia getting the better Kiwi coach is BS. The ABs arrived with plans for both the opposition and the weather and had clearly trained to them during the week. We had one plan and when it did not work we were stuffed.

I am not saying that Rennie is the wrong man – but is sows some doubts in my mind.

But the players are very much to blame too. I can’t believe that we had a plan too kick grubbers all through the first half, but maybe they were not told NOT to do it. Defence was appalling all night – perhaps a function of overtiring at the breakdown leaving huge gaps in the mid-field. Daungunu needs time in the dirt trackers to reflect on his total lack of thought. It is not coincidence that he has been done twice for the same offence in the course of four games.

Front row, Philip, Hooper, Koroibete and DHP did just OK. White tried hard but was BADLY let down by those outside him. Bench added nothing – but to be fair when you are chucked on late when the team is being flogged it is pretty hard to shine.

At least we will never again hear the the sad old tropes that “this squad has no scars”. They all do now.

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 3 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

In the Guardian’s live blog of the NRL womens grand final they stated that Charlotte Caslick had broken her back in two places playing rugby league ( v the Warriers).

If true – perhaps the downside of cross code cooperation.

Lets hope she recovers well

Cross-code collaboration helps Dalton in her quest for back-to-back gold

Brett I thought I had done this about six hours ago – but I must have forgotten to pus “add”.

Anyway thanks for all the input here over the years, helping to make this the most go to rugby site in the land. Best wishes for whatever the future holds.

And you do know that you now have few fifth columnists in other parts of the ABC with Louise and Katherine – time to form a cabal (they would not let you in to a coven!).

Welcome competition in the rugby broadcast rights race - and a farewell, for now…

With Brett in Canberra, Louise Ransom in Sydney and Katherine Murphy in Melbourne they have enough talent for a Rugby Panel Show

Welcome competition in the rugby broadcast rights race - and a farewell, for now…

Yeh – when we think Kearns is biased you have to compare him with Gould. It’s the first time I have ever heard a commentator say that the score was “unfair”!

On other matters, I thought that Camerons’ presentation speech was just about the best I had heard from a sportsperson in some time.

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Thanks Geoff

A bit hard on Cher even if her best was “I got you babe”. Syll not my favourite siren – that was, is and shall ever be Tina Turner. One of my best ever concerts was seeing her in Jakarta in 1987 – in an unairconditioned auditorium (that no longer exists). You have never seen such energy, dripping in sweat and, from about the fifth row, me and my brand new wife could nearly wait to get home (i can’t find a suitable emoji). Cher on the deck of a battleship could never compete.

Many nations made mess of the process of professionalisation. Scotland was particularly egregious. Carling’s comments applied to them in spades. But I think it is fair to say that the original Sanzar nations did reasonably well along with Ireland who probably did the best in retaining control of their international team while fostering a competitive regional structure.

The current pandemic could be an opportunity for a major restructure of the game world wide – not just the short term fix of private equity (which really scares me – these guys make the Vikings look like do-gooders). However I see no real signs of the leadership needed to make that happen anywhere at the moment.

Anyway – vis-a-vis your article of a few weeks ago, it seems that the refs last night had decided that anything short of decapitation was not worthy of even a penalty. A good game though.

Good to see Isi back in the fold 😊

The Wrap: If rugby could turn back time…

Daniel – I have to disagree on the first point – this was just another Eden Park flogging from my view. We very rarely get flogged for 80 minutes – it just takes 15- 30 minutes of multiple scores as our defence goes to pieces – flogging done. There was much improved from last year, but we still got flogged.

On who can tackle Caleb Clarke – don’t know but by next year there may be another rFijian winger in the Wallabies who can match him in degree of difficulty. Anybody else see Vunipola’s try against the Raiders on Friday night? I assume he’s going to Reds next year because he is Wallaby qualified. I hope so.

Caleb Clarke's performance to the Wallabies' defensive wobbles: Four talking points from Bledisloe 2

Once To’omua went off there was no one to organise them.

But what was also made very clear – a few of then are just not big enough or tough enough for top class test match rugby. Hopefully something that will change with time.

The Wrap: Player welfare no concern as All Blacks take it up a notch in Auckland

When I said “gazelle” I think I meant “seagull” – old man lockdown brain.

Re the differences between Wilson and Naisarani – accepted. But Isi does the work of a number 8 a whole lot better, thats what this team needs. I see Wilson as a big Hooper and Hooper has been the only effective backrower in both tests. And Hoopson or Wilsper is never going to catch on.

The Wrap: Player welfare no concern as All Blacks take it up a notch in Auckland

Thanks Geoff – disappointing match from many angles – but mostly how the promise of some many of the “newbies: from last week was put back by some way in my opinion. Duangunu “can beat people in a phone box” but Clarke just destroys the box -0 different class, mostly because of size. Paisami was was exposed once To’ouma went off (as was the rest of the defence) and Topou’s value to some French gazillionaire is going backwards by the game. Also, I really do find all the hype around Wilson confounding. He gazelles well (that worked really well for Higgenbotham as I recall), but in his core business of ruckwork where was he? Thumping defenceless half-backs late (not quite as late as last week) makes for a goos highlights reel, but when the ball has already been distributed makes for no impact on the game whatsoever.

There were a few old heads that did not “nail it” as the current performance BM jargon has it as could see some pain in two weeks. O’Conner is the stand out here but LSA was essentially missing for the second week in a row, Koriobete had a shocker and Simmons and Wright added nothing when they cam on (although to be fair the whole team had become a shambles by then).

Slipper, Philip, Hooper, White (if only for his recovery of the ruck that led to are sole try), To’omua while he was on (and after that try don’t tell me he is not our best 10) and Banks (although I have always thought he is a pedestrian full-back at best) did not let themselves down at some point.

Talking of player welfare, when did Koroibete last see his wife and kids (or they him)? When will he?

As for SARU – I gave up on them being here weeks ago, so no disappointment when finally announced. If this is the first step on the long walk north, that will be disappointing.

The Wrap: Player welfare no concern as All Blacks take it up a notch in Auckland

Great article Harry.
Re Uelese being faster to the break down – ESPN Stats report that he made 11 tackles in 28 mins on the field – equal second highest with Samu after Hooper – no missed tackles. Pretty impressive IMHO. He was in just about in every ruck at the death on the Wallabies line where many of those tackles occurred. But the best was at about 64 mins – White box kick from inside 22 to Norman Bates – over his head but regathers and passes to midfield (can’t remember to whom but a clear attempt to start a typical AB counters attack from deep). Who shuts it down on their 22 – Uelese.
He has to start next week.
And yes I am a Rebels supporter .

Where were these Wellington Wallabies?

I gave Uelese an 8. Why? 11 tackles made in the 20 odd minutes he had with no misses. He was especially prominent in shutting down on the gaol line at the death. One line out throw was fine. scrums went a bit awry once the front row changed – but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt as who knows whose fault that was

VOTE: DIY Wallabies player ratings vs the All Blacks - Bledisloe 1