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The Roar

Hazel Nutt

Roar Rookie

Joined April 2019

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I’m generally fine with the choke tackle. It punishes runners who enter contact too upright and rewards tacklers with the strength and technique to hold them up long enough for support to arrive. It’s generally not difficult for the runner to get a knee to the ground so creating a contest in that area under normal circumstances doesn’t worry me.

I don’t like maul limits for exactly the reason you said, but think that the minute the maul stops or splinters the ball should be played so I’d be very happy to trial that one. Mauls get one chance to get a run on and that’s it.

Not entirely sure how ruck limits would work, and I suspect it would be similar to the problems with limiting mauls, but I’m happy for them to speed it up off the base.

I’m most excited about the scrum reset rules but, as always, the proof will be in the pudding!

World Rugby introduces 10 new laws to minimise COVID-19 risk

There are many, many infectious disease experts who disagree with you.

World Rugby introduces 10 new laws to minimise COVID-19 risk

I’d like to see the law changed in detail, and would be really interest if the Roar did a checkbox style survey to see what people thought should be adopted for Super Rugby! 😛

World Rugby introduces 10 new laws to minimise COVID-19 risk

Would it be possible to set up a PI side based in the north of NZ as a de facto NZ side, similar to historic roots of the London Irish side? Feeders from the PI based teams such as the Drua and local comps and even through agreements with schools who offer scholarships to PI rugby prospects, but attracting sponsorship and broadcast without having to worry about travel costs. There are certainly enough PI expats in NZ to establish a supporter base.

Why the trans-Tasman bubble must include rugby

Sorry, question was aimed at jc as a ref. If you took away the advantage of a kick for goal or a long kick for the safety of touch, would the risk/reward of a deliberate collapse change and scrums be more fairly contested under these proposed trial laws? And would it ease the burden on the ref if the potential for a wrong decision could have a lesser impact on the game than near automatic points?

The principle is wrong, but are rugby's proposed COVID-19 law changes all that bad?

In your opinion, would a short-arm instead of a full-arm change the outcome? Especially if a short-arm from a collapse could not be used for a scrum reset?

The principle is wrong, but are rugby's proposed COVID-19 law changes all that bad?

The big question is, what happens if (when) a player tests positive? Does the game not go ahead, because it could have been transmitted to the whole team but not yet detectable? Can their opponents for the past two weeks still play? I think the proposed measures are just trying to minimise the risks in a high risk, constantly changing environment.

The principle is wrong, but are rugby's proposed COVID-19 law changes all that bad?

I guess this is just another way to trial law changes. As always, some will improve the game and some won’t, and the ones that work will stay past the pandemic. Although I’m not thrilled at how it’s come to pass, I think this is about the closest we’ll get to the end of no-fault scrum collapses, which I’ve wanted to see for quite some time. I hope they don’t minimise the resulting restart options though, or make the result an overly-generous shot at the posts.

The principle is wrong, but are rugby's proposed COVID-19 law changes all that bad?

Just from a cursory glance at the agent’s website and from what I’ve read, his company has close ties to a number of clubs in Japan in particular. I’d imagine this result was always on the cards, especially given how quickly the three came to a unanimous decision, and I would be very surprised if their agent had allowed it to happen if there wasn’t another contract in the works. Perhaps they’ll sit out the rest of this season, but they’d have done it with the expectation they will make up the shortfall elsewhere. The more I think about it, the more this looks like an engineered strike on QRU. The reasons or expected outcome I’m not so sure about.

Reds trio terminate contracts with Reds and Rugby AU

I think Tahs would take any locks they could get their hands on at this point, plus Lucas would make a very handy replacement for the outgoing Beale! Lets hope they pick up at least one of these players. Anything to improve their competitiveness.

Imagine if the Sunwolves picked them up on a one year contract, feeding them into the Top League next season once COVID is over. Playing against the Australian teams in the July comp would be the ultimate insult! 😛

Reds trio terminate contracts with Reds and Rugby AU

The Brumbies have seemed to have the best systems in place for some time now. All SR teams lost top tier talent post 2019 WC, but the Brumbies were the only Australian team I was confident could slot young blood into the spaces and remain competitive from the outset. The Tahs in particular need to take a long hard look at how the Brumbies manage their team.

The greatest Wallabies team of the Super Rugby era, as voted by you

I always thought AAC’s natural position was 13 and hated that he was played on the wing so often, particularly from 2015. I would have preferred to see Kuridrani battling it out with AAC for the starter/bench 13 so another specialist winger could have taken the field. Usually wingers become centres as they lose their speed by gain experience, not the other way around!

The greatest Wallabies team of the Super Rugby era, as voted by you

Perhaps I’m in the minority here, but I thought Joe Tomane was on course to become one of Australia’s great wingers when he took off overseas. He was big, but he had an amazing winger’s skillset that the Wallabies seemed to lose in their quest to fit more fullbacks and utilities in the team, or to just put the biggest body they could on the wing regardless of skill.

Why the Wallabies need their big winger back

Hi Brett, great article as always. Speaking of the unknowns, I was wondering if you had any info or ideas on a couple of points:
1. Any word on how the Japanese economy entering recession has impacted the contracts on offer or recently signed by SR players?
2. Are the two SA teams in the Pro14 currently located in SA or up north, and if they’re back home are they likely to be reincorporated into any of the proposed domestic SR formats (a la the Force in Australia)?

SANZAAR fighting a losing Super Rugby battle on two fronts

Again, though, the budget and visibility is in the implementation. My point was that the amateur game would be one half of a whole strategy. I’m not sure the state unions are doing an irreplaceable job wrangling the clubs, and the direct line from the national body to the regions would allow national growth and engagement strategies to be more directly targeted. Remember, we’re not talking huge numbers here, so a more apt analogy for the level of governance required would be a single department in Canberra handing out all the sports grants. Wait… well I guess the strategy worked!

To save Aussie rugby we must scrap the states

Thanks for the comments Andy. I haven’t been able to find comprehensive figures so my thinking on this may be wrong, but from what I could find it appears that player registration and participation have both been in decline for about 20 years, arrested slightly by an increase in female participation and spikes in World Cup years. All in all this indicates to me that business as usual at the amateur level is not having the desired outcome. As you pointed out in your initial comment, I have definitely understated the importance of the regional sub-unions and believe they are able managers of the community competitions. My argument is that their funding, support and any expertise required for their relatively small constituents could more efficiently come from a section of the national body dedicated to their growth, rather than filtering through the secondary body of NSWRU, QRU, etc, who are somewhat in competition for funding and must prioritise their state over the broader objectives of the game.

I don’t think that the national organisation taking responsibilities from the middle-management of the state unions and working directly with the regions would necessarily mean both the amateur and professional game would suffer as a result. Surely it would all be in the implementation and it wouldn’t matter if that came from the national office or the state office? The fact remains, rugby in Australia isn’t big enough for layer upon layer of management.

To save Aussie rugby we must scrap the states

I prefer the idea of a scrum clock over adding scrum time at the end of a half or game, and think the TMO should probably hold responsibility for keeping time. I’d also like to see the referee giving his scrum commands like a metronome, but that’s just a pet peeve. Ultimately, though, I don’t think any of these law changes will solve the problem of multiple resets. I suspect the solution to that issue will only be found through the whistle.

Rugby Australia considers Super variations

Good timing, I think, for both players. Best of luck to them!

Kurtley Beale leaving Waratahs for French rugby

A couple of seasons ago, before the law changes, I really didn’t rate him at all. But once the tackle and aerial challenge laws changed I found his approach far and away the most sensible and balanced. I think he’s really become one of the standouts since the WC and am always pleased to see him refereeing the matches I watch. I agree that NO is above him at this point, but he also has thirteen years on him and I hope Gardner stays consistent enough to overtake him. Also pleased to hear a ref sees the need for changes at scrum time as much as everyone else, perhaps something will get done! Hoping to see Gardner back in action soon.

The Wrap: Referee Angus Gardner blows the whistle on COVID-19

I find the main appeal of Philip is that he seems to be running an excellent lineout without losing physicality in defence (which I think is often the case for Simmons). I wouldn’t be surprised if he was the 80 minute lock, with Rodda/LSL the power locks.

Pick your Wallabies side for whenever they play next: Part 2 - bench and captain

I think I’d prefer the captain to bring a wealth of experience to the role. Captains tend to change with the introduction of a new coach, new playing style, new trends in the game, so at the international level I don’t see much point in installing someone inexperienced and hoping they grow into the role over multiple WC cycles. In the long term it would also act as deterrent to change due to form slumps or a hot new player coming through. For example, I really wish Gill had been around for the last 5 years!

Pick your Wallabies side for whenever they play next: Part 2 - bench and captain

For me the captain would probably be a toss up between JOC and Toomua in that team. Not exactly the team I would have chosen, but I would have largely been swapping out starters for bench players. Good team overall!

Pick your Wallabies side for whenever they play next: Part 2 - bench and captain

HJH never looked like a TH option to me, and I think the Tahs did him a disservice playing him there. Robertson may not have been the best TH they ever had but I think he had more development in him at TH.

Pick your Wallabies team for... whenever they play next

Again, though, while I don’t have the figures I would hazard that a prop who is playing long games would pack more scrums and hence concede more penalties, particularly as he inevitably tires. The game plan probably also calls for him to conserve his energy too, hence the lower cleanout figures. You’re right that his cleanout technique could see him binned though, particular in the north.

I think the difference in the tight 5’s largely comes down to the coaching and systems, hence why the Brumbies are still the top Aussie team despite losing their second row. I see AAA playing a well supported game that benefits him, rather than Tupou having to play a game entirely to support a team lacking depth and a bit of cohesion at times. But they’re both players who Australia is lucky to have, and I guess it’s going to come down to Rennie’s gameplan.

Pick your Wallabies team for... whenever they play next

That was almost certainly true in previous seasons, but given he was playing 80 minute games this year it’s hard to fault his work rate, and with all that extra time and being supported by an inferior tight 5 to the Brumbies I’d say his penalty count is reasonably conservative. If he keeps going the way he has been I’d say it’s only a matter of time before he’s considered one of the best TH in the game, and I don’t see why he can’t start to head that way this year assuming play resumes. I can definitely see him starting at least a couple of the big test matches.

Pick your Wallabies team for... whenever they play next