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robbo999

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Joined June 2013

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Is there any other sport than rugby?

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That was supposed to be “woman” not “home”???

The Wrap: All 2018’s rugby highlights and lowlights

Geoff – my favourite concert this year was Robert Plant and the Shapeshifters. Absolutely stunning set topped off when a home up the front urged him to take off his shirt to which he reposted – “F**k off! At my f***ing age?)

Thank for the all the columns this year Geoff – they have been must reads very Monday morning.

Merry Christmas to you and yours.

The Wrap: All 2018’s rugby highlights and lowlights

BRV – not kidding about Finnegan. I have heard him speak at a number of functions: very measured in his analysis of the Wallabies strengths and weaknesses; no “I am the greatest ego”; comes across as a good communicator and facilitator; will not take anyone’s bullshit; and last but not least – he is a very funny man who, if conflict arises, will reduce everyone to convulsions and tears on the floor. Job done

The Wrap: What can Australian rugby learn from Grant Fox?

Selection criteria for Wallabies Independent selector:

1. MUST NOT have ever been a Wallabies Head Coach (no Dwyer, Connelly, McQueen etc)
2. Must have been a highly respected Wallaby with at least 50 caps (no Kafer)
3. Must have last played for the Wallabies at least two World Cup cycles ago and for no more than five (no one under 40 or over 60)
4. Must not have a record of being overly partisan (no Kearns, Martin etc)
5. For extra security, MUST NOT have the surname JONES.
6. Must have balls of steel.

Who does that leave, Eales, Horan, Finnegan etc Big Owen for me

The Wrap: What can Australian rugby learn from Grant Fox?

Hi Geoff – if you want a good laugh, read Stephen Jones column reprinted in the Australian today where he ties himself in knots over Lawes not being offside because he did not move until Perenara picked up the ball, while simultaneously implicitly accepting that he was ahead of the last feet while complaining that referees “rarely” pay that offence any more. His confusion is compounded by his assertion that “..not only did Itoje obliterate the two New Zealand locks in all phases…”. One of the great pluses of the The Times going behind a paywall was that I no longer had to read Stephen’s drivel.

Anyway, I have nothing constructive to add on the subject of the Wallabies. As a non-constructive aside, lets just hope that the second half was the worst it can ever get (although I hold dire fears for Twickenham). Thank God we’re not playing Scotland this tour.

The Wrap: Cheika and Jones both losers, but heading down very different paths

Without question the best. I have always felt that every song just speaks to me directly -only other album that did that was “Pink Moon”. Thankfully I moved on from that. Love of a good women etc etc..

The Wrap: The Wallabies and other rugby matters explained in vinyl

Yes Geoff – the next few weeks are either going to be “Astral Weeks” or “Blood On The Tracks” despite our strong “Desire” for the former.

The Wrap: The Wallabies and other rugby matters explained in vinyl

In the Lat line I mean’t

“When Your Alone”, as Crowded House famously sang – “Don’t Dream Its Over”.

The Wrap: The Wallabies and other rugby matters explained in vinyl

Geoff , to continue with the the meme of Bruce’s greatest album ever:

Salta showed the “Two Faces” of the Wallabies.
The first half showing being a “Brilliant Disguise”, while
The second half was “One Step Up”.

However, as Yokohama showed, with the Wallabies it is best to be a “Cautious Man” while hoping that the future will be “All That Heaven Will Allow” and, that with the addition of a few “Spare Parts” and a few of our front row learning to “Wall Like a Man” the Wallabies can once again be “Tougher Than The Rest” and walk off Yokohama field next year down the “Tunnel of Love” (hand-in-hand with Australian rugby fans).

To ensure this, lets hope that on the day following “Valentines Day” next year, Cheika realises the folly of his ways and walks up to King Quade following the Rebels massive defeat of the Brumbies and says ‘Hey man, I “Ain’t Got YOU!”‘

As Crowded House famously sang – “Don’t Dream Its Over”.

The Wrap: The Wallabies and other rugby matters explained in vinyl

I watched a Northland game about 4 weeks ago and as the commentary team announced the team Jack was announced as the “newly signed Chief” so no surprises. Jack has had a very good Mitre 10 comp with Grant Nisbet and “Smithy” saying in commentary on an earlier match “why does this guy not have a Super Rugby contract?”.

I do not agree with discussion below about Australia’s (read Rebels) not coaching him properly. The big problem was that Dumper, having hung his hat on in him and Stirzaker, never pulled him or dropped him until late in the 2017 season no matter how many blunders he made, and he made many. He has lots of talent but is wasteful with it. Hopefully he will get a go at the Chiefs (which really depends on where MacKenzie plays) and I hope to see him back. Wessels brought him back from Japan last year but then lost faith mid-season. Not sure why as he had been “not bad”. But there is always something in his attitude… we’ll see.

Former Rebels number ten headlines New Zealand Super Rugby squads

Memberships are on sale now mate

Quade Cooper joins Melbourne Rebels on one-year deal

Watching a recent Northland game the commentator , in reading out the team list, referred to him as the “recently signed Chief Jack D……” . But I can find no formal announcement.

Quade Cooper joins Melbourne Rebels on one-year deal

Thanks Geoff. Supporting the Wallabies is at there moment is certainly not for the faint-hearted. However the second half fightback certainly made the prospect of the trip down the Geelong Road to watch the Rising more bearable (but did nothing for the trip home unfortunately).

I would not support any major changes in the coaching set up before the World Cup for several reasons.

First, I think the idea that any of the mooted new personnel would resign their current positions this close to the WC, would make them instantly unsuitable due to the deeply flawed character they would be demonstrating. I don’t know any of them personally but I doubt they have got where through disloyalty or contempt for contracts freely entered into. (Let’s leave that to the NRL).

Second, now is the time to double down on what we have and back it to the hilt. I have no objection to throwing more resources at it, such as senior mentors etc but, while our so called professional rugby players frequently seem unable to “turn up” at the designated place and time, they always demonstrate loyalty to the coach and put their hands up to take the blame for the frequent disasters. I suspect that what they need is a mind coach (or maybe a hypnotist) to get them fully tuned in before the start of each game.

I finally watched the SA v AB game late last night. As a neutral – what a pleasure to watch rugby played at that level of intensity for 80 minutes.

The Wrap: What the Dickens does Australian rugby do now?

Re Koroibete see this article on Foxsports (which they also discussed on Kick and Chase earlier this week) https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/wallabies/marika-koroibetes-defensive-duties-are-blunting-his-attacking-game/news-story/8c397172207f59fc9779ea3e2c6493c0

Five talking points from Springboks vs Wallabies

The Tahs figures are inflated by four games which they did not report crowd figures v Rebels, Lions, Blues and Brumbies – I was at the Rebels game and it would have been well under 10,000 – so for four games they averaged 14K+ . This includes the Reds game (15,648), Sunwolves (18,059) and a wild guess by Georgina Robinson for the Blues game at Brookevale Oval 0f 15,000 (nice round number that). I reckon if that had been honest about their disappointing crowds their numbers would have averaged less than 11,000.

The Wrap: No Super Rugby off-season while World Rugby gathers in Sydney

Must disagree on Smith – generally the best regular rugby journalist in Australia by some distance (although last Saturday’s column was not his finest). Alan Jones was once a very good rugby coach – a very long time ago. Today he is a budgie chirping to himself in its mirror. His column’s add nothing to the betterment of Australian rugby – but only serve to satisfy his own ego. I have stopped reading them. For a specific point, before I get the Roar sued for defamation, his persistent criticism of Raelene Castle as being responsible for all of Australian rugby’s problems, when she has been in the system for the blink of an eye, speaks to his character and intent. I wonder how he has restrained himself from a discussion of “chaf bags”.

The Wrap: No Super Rugby off-season while World Rugby gathers in Sydney

Thanks Brett – fully agree that it is time that the NRC takes the next step – but we know that will take money. The only place that will come from is the TV rights. You will have a closer insight to Foxtel’s thinking for the future, but I imagine that the outcomes will be totally dependent on viewing figures. I do my best to watch/record all the matches on TV and streaming. I had a thought last night that if Foxtel could expand the deal to show all four games live on TV they could possibly on-sell rights to Channel 10 for two of them – they have bigs gaps in their sporting coverage at this time of the year – possibly a foothold for FTA rugby at SS level in the future.

My primary interest in the NRC is the Rising and I am pleased to see that after a couple of years of focussing on youth in the NRC, they have struck a better balance this year with senior players, junior contracted players and newbies like Marsters and King. I reckon they could both end up with EPS contracts this year.

I have enjoyed watching Jack Debrizini playing for Northland in the Mitre 10 cup this over the past few weeks. He is ripping it up and I expect to see him back with the Rebels next year (if if Quade does come).

On the NRC- whats happening with the Horan-Little Trophy – it never gets mentioned these days Including last year) – the only person who seems to care is the guy who maintains its Wikipedia page. By my estimation the current holders are the Vikings. Why the lack of interest these days?

The NRC bridge must be kept open. That was the whole point…

Thanks Geoff – another long day of rugby stretching from 1.00 to 10.00 pm with highs and lows to enjoy.

Well done to both the Boks and the Pumas who both showed what is possible if you simply play for each other and the jersey for the full 80 minutes. This is where the Wallabies seem to come unstuck with increasing regularity. I don’t buy the “we don’t have the cattle” arguments, just as I don’t buy the “all our coaches are crap (especially the …… one)” either. What we seem to lack on a consistent basis is confidence inspiring leadership. Is Pocock a natural leader – not on Saturday’s performance – too “nice” and not enough mongrel. Hooper does not seem to inspire undying loyalty either, but we did miss his energiser bunny role in this game. All we ever hear from these people is platitudes, never ever open criticism of the team. For mine the only person in the squad with the experience, the reputation and the “mongrel” to captain this team at the moment is Genia.

Anyway – weren’t the Rising wonderful? A dominant scrum, a back row that played to its potential and a confident 9 who played at speed and with skill allowing the backs to work their magic (Tom English is the answer to Cheik’a prayers). Welcome back Laurie Weeks – the Rock. Leota has come out of rehab without the puppy fat and looking strong, mobile and quick. He will keep Naisarani honest next year. With the three long distance away games over and three out the four remaining games at home if they can continue to play like this they are a good chance of the finals.

The Wrap: Dyantyi and Lavanini ‘slide the doors’ for the All Blacks and Wallabies

Good to see Marika back. He had his best game in defence for the Wallabies last weekend. He will need to keep it up against Argentina this weekend who’s e;eusive wingers were very good against the ABs.

Marika Koroibete inks new deal with Rugby AU as he eyes 2019 World Cup

Thanks Geoff. I have to take a slightly different view on the “quality” of the game. I was engrossed for the whole game, despite it rough edges. While it would have been great to see two teams play scintillating rugby for 80 minutes, with the Wallabies overwhelming SA for bonus try at the death, I doubt I would have been more engaged with the game. We won. Let’s agree on what need to improve, but – let’s celebrate a little to.

Right now we are in the third rank of world rugby: 1 ABs, 2 Ireland, 3 Australia, SA, England Wales and France all about equal, each able to win against the others (or lose) on any given day. I acknowledge that that is not what Australian supporters have been brought up to expect (or accept) but that’s where we’re at. I see no sign of that changing between now and Japan. What RA need to do is plan longer term to the next World Cup via the proposed centralisation of coaching structures etc that our now being resurrected – however that plan will have to past the closed minds in certain state rugby organisations who killed it off before during O’Neil’s first stint as CEO and who are still hunting to kill off the NRC.

On the subject of the NRC, it is time to pause the “let’s help Fiji develop it’s rugby program” efforts until immediately after we beat then in our WC pool match. At their current rate of progress they will be a serious handful.

And do not get me started on the Rising – talk about scrum halves arriving at the ruck without clue – Ruru spent more time directing traffic while the defence got set than he did with ball in hand.

The Wrap: Wallabies will need more than resilience to beat Argentina

To all the commentators below who say that was not a good game of rugby, that the Wallabies were rubbish, that the Boks were rubbish, who take cheap shots at various players who gave their all tonight – sorry you are all wrong. Grow amp and accept that at the moment the ABs are a class above and we and the rest of the Tier 1 nations are not – we are close, but are unlikely to close the gap between now and the World Cup. Live with it and stop spouting ignorant rubbish. That was an absorbing and great game – by no means a perfect game by either team in very difficult conditions – but overall it gripped me from start to finish. If that game did not not do something similar for you you are probably better off looking at another sport.

No Folau, no Pocock, no worries for Wallabies

Really the whole team was a 7 – a couple of 8’s in Genia and Hooper (for resilience in remaining on with a dodgy hammy) and Taniela for similar reasons. Alan Alaalaatoa was a 5 – touched up really.

What we have to accept is that we are avery good and competitive second level side along with SA, Argentina, Ireland, England etc and that the AB’s are just a class above at the moment. Can we bridge that gap by the next world cup – I doubt it, but that is no reason to despair – onward and upward for the next one.

VOTE: Wallabies DIY player ratings vs Springboks

Fully agree on Sa’aga, and for that reason I am quite pleased the Slipper seems to be going to Canberra. Slipper is great prop but the Rebels need to be developing young players who regard the Rebels as home and will stick around. Rugby.com.au are reporting that Luke Jones is coming back in time for SS high which will be great. However it will all go to you know where without a 10. I note your comment above re Deehan – not sure. I would also not be surprised to Jack D back – Wessels seems to like him (and its a pity they let McGrath go). Also our back row was shocking against the Drua – all three of them – which is a worry. I am hoping they had just overtrained and lacked energy.

RWC bolters are out there, if they’re wanted

One of the best backrowers of the last three years just accepted reality and went overseas. That Colby Faing’a never even got invited to a Wallaby training squad is beyond my comprehension.

But I’m sorry MaCaffery is not international class.

After Saturday’s performance, Naisarani has a lot to prove.

I think that Valenti will prove to be the long term answer at No 8, but only because MacMahon has gone walkabout

RWC bolters are out there, if they’re wanted

Theory do disappear when you initially post (and then you realise that they have removed the edit function) – but sometime after they come back – go figure

RWC bolters are out there, if they’re wanted