The Roar
The Roar

Rugby Geek

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Joined October 2011

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A passionate, yet moderate view on all things rugby. "grass is the basis of all rugby" Sometimes ref, sometimes coach, rubbish player and always will believe in the rugby family.

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Don, it’s a shame Roar don’t allow double likes!

The future of the Wallabies

Nick,
Love your stuff! But I think there is some research for you to do for us “die hards”. When coaching I always like a big skilled and fast 6. I found that they create the necessary defence deficiency that allows the jet shoes on the wing to motor. I remember fondly/sadly the scary AB’s on the side of the scrum in Josh Kronfeld and Jerry Collins for the havoc in defence and hard running attack creating the 1st phase attack that resulted in the wingers toasted try. Although those big wingers are a site in full flight is it really because it’s happened from the inside first? (exclude the kick return stuff)

Why the Wallabies need their big winger back

Brett,
1)Australian Club champs is meant for when Brisbane premiers meet Sydney club premiers
2) Boarders are closed point taken, but post covid the first comp that make the Island boys fully engaged gets a huge benefit both in players and crowds.
3)Point, post covid it could be a goal
4)Would challenge you to say that in Sydney, Wests, Norths, Parramatta, Uni and Warringah grass surfaces are great then think about the local mungo ovals we can get access to like Brookie, Leichhardt Jubilee and Canterbury. These ovals would have to be much cheaper to open the gate on then anything that is attached to the RAS and frankly all have better atmosphere for a 20,000 crowd.

July start for an Australian domestic comp, and it can’t come a moment too soon

BTW I would fly to Brisbane to see the Sunnyboys! or the Bro’s play the Reds! As a Tahs boy it would all fun. A bit like Uni or the Rats belting the Tahs! How good would that be? Even if a little unlikely.

July start for an Australian domestic comp, and it can’t come a moment too soon

Brett, Circumstance can be a funny thing. If they called it the Australia Cup, put all the super teams plus force in and add two wild cards one being the winner of the Australian club championship and the other a Pacifika team (winner of the island boys (Samoa, Tonga and Fiji) it may just have enough interest to get up. Especially if they play it without being in direct competition with the premier comps in Sydney and Brisbane. Make it short and sweet! And for god sake play it at local grounds and get it out of those oversize atmosphere-less stadiums. Seriously who wouldn’t watch it?

July start for an Australian domestic comp, and it can’t come a moment too soon

Locks are largely under utilised in OZ. They are just not bull dosers at the breakdown! If you can get a hard running lock, who can still manage to demolish the ruck in attack and defence you have the most pivotal player. Itoje is a good example.

Aussie abroad: Sitaleki Timani

Yet another reason for Australia to get over the selection self-imposed handicaps that we can ill afford. A pack with Tamani and Skelton would show a fair bit of power and go forward.
I would like to see that. Both these men run well! add young Bell and havock is the new image!

Aussie abroad: Sitaleki Timani

GP, Congrats on some thoughtful writing. My greatest fear is they run the whole business based of Wallaby Gate and TV sponsorship. Sadly the size of the numbers often put the administrations in a spend and self reward state rather than just ploughing back into the game infrastructure.
The head count in RA in addition to the States and the replication of tasks all seem wasteful. I am also hopeful that the Subbies clubs are allowed to prosper and elevate to higher leagues if they choose and the focus is on player engagement and fans. I think the admins do a lot of good but at the top end they are really Wallaby centric and the success of one team changes so much its a scary place to put the organisation of our game.

The Wrap: No easy answers for Australian rugby

PK,
I think the quality of the cattle is fine. It’s more to what we do with them as coaches and mentors. Too often, it’s terms like X factor or poor attitude, a willingness to not just be happy to graft hard during the game and settling impeccable standards in training and rugby community is where the issues lay IMO. Us, the rugby nutta’s also have a case to answer with our continual critique of the administrators. Given they have been way off form as well.
The home truths are:
1) Rugby is a young man’s/women’s game and and last seasons hero will not necessarily be great this season. But the next youngster gets his chance to stand up.
2)Wallabies are expected to be the best we can offer, but continually we don’t. Professional player must work everywhere in pursuit of the paycheck and let’s not be fanciful to think that we are so good that we can impose a handicap of 10 plus top players and still win a RWC.
3) Open and honest. Means serving the game and not self interest. That goes all the way up from Junior rugby admins to selectors, broadcasters and the board. Why are the working of RA so confidential?
4) Professional players need to adjust like administrators to a less show biz approach to the game. The code cannot be run based solely on the gate of test matches, Super star players driving Audi R8 cars being paid a million a year or given money to not play for someone else. need to be purged. The grass roots needs to be invested into thoughtfully to farm the next level of spectacular players that can perform at top level. RA’s goal should be improved engagement numbers in the game, all subscribing to the code in some form or another. These are the people RA should be accountable too.

Can we fix this? Yes we can! We just need to find a no “BS” CEO who thinks independently and wants to make the Code a success plus win the odd test match. Not the other way around.

Why new wine must shun the old bottles in Rugby Australia’s new era

Brett,
Just some feedback first. I read your journalism because it is just that. Objective argument without derision and sensationalization, so thank you.

Phill, is a good enough bloke. Conducts himself well on the sidelines of his sons games at Mosman Whales! But, why are we talking; there is no job. It’s Raelene’s and until her contract is terminated and it remains hers.
Structural reform of the game is something we all feel is needed because the wheel is not running smoothly to quote “George Gregan”.
I feel we have evolved the game into a selected bunch of self interested people who believe they need not bother the sweet little minds of the participants of the game from players to officials to spectators to what’s going on. (ie audit not ready – why? there is bound to be a good reason so state it. That keeps A.J. from inciting his conspiracy rubbish on the public.)
Rugby is not big business, really it’s a game with some games of higher interest than others on the outcome – worthy of watching etc., It’s also very unaccountable to the public who fund it, directly or indirectly. It’s about players, connecting with people from all walks of life with a common interest. It’s about character, learning to win well and lose better. It’s about trust and fellowship.
We need to bring these values back into the tent of Australian Rugby. Roadblocks to this are not having publicly elected/nominated board members, not having community advisory boards. Removing the gravy train of people who are clearly overpaid for little return. Making all elite players accountable to the game and the fans, not their personal brand, managers contract negotiations etc. Always place the player first as their opportunity is always time limited. ( That does not mean pay them telephone book number salaries). Ensure the key focus is on participation, development and growth of the player base. That is what makes it all work. Once it works then RWC wins happen and we all get genuinely excited. Qantas, Foxtel, Investec or any other well meaning sponsor does not make this happen. They just pay for the privilege of associating with the values and size of the participation base that Rugby can be. – the Geek has ranted, apologies to those I have bored.

What really is News Corp's rugby end game?

No doubt RA would be signing a higher value off the Asset Register and their player valuations. Advertising revenues would be miles apart. Audit team will be struggling to justify. Usual story but the message could only be ugly otherwise some form of preliminary agreement would have been struck before the AGM. Using COVID as the cavat.

Raelene Castle and Rugby AU execs take big pay as player talks loom

TWAS,
totally agree with your data. But is there value in spending 800K or 400K or even 3.8M. That is the key. The KPI’s on a Sports CEO are something that should be very public with a clear metric on them. RC has had her ups and downs with some really tough management roles. But her and the board have performed poorly overall IMO. If there was some actual accountability to the paid up members of Rugby then we could speak more clearly. BTW Gerry Harvey of Harvey Norman is paid less than 1m per year so go figure.

Raelene Castle and Rugby AU execs take big pay as player talks loom

Oliver,
this weekend for the Geek has its dramas! Do I let my Kayo subscription slip? Possibly so. The joy for the weekend was watching the Reds in attack and their SCRUM. Wow the young props are getting into the Bulls big time. Can’t really remember when I last thought that.
Thorn & Co have started to build some real ethos and skill in that team. My “all red mate” James has plenty to smile about. Fortunately COVID-19 looks like the winning numbers for the Tahs this season. They are like all teams on the build. Good for 30, maybe 40, lucky at 50, sad at 60, wowfull at 70 and in the car at 80! But they are improving in a number of areas, but their must be something in the team that makes it OK to be penalised. That has got to stop! Penny & Co have their hands full. So no point talking further. Brums put the Tahs to the Sword, nothing more to say.
Will we see any more rugby this season? My guess; nuph! So how do we write a review? Good luck Nick!

Super Rugby: Six talking points from Round 7

Brett & Master Chook!
Firstly, a lovely read, all upbeat and real. U20’s graduation has been impressive. Chook your comments are incisive as always. Reading this article, one can only think “Rugby is a young man’s game!” and the young’ns are taking their place. We must respect the journey men, and our fading champions as that is the way of the game. We can never dwell for more than a moment in the past. Now, RA’s Mum, RC has done a good job on this front. She was challenged and taken to task in the odd public forum about the development of our young talent, losing them to NRL clubs by many, me included. But to her credit the results have come. Well done RA(RC), credit is due.

Whats is clear now is how do we keep these young guns developing? Thats a job for our Rugby Director who is very much below the publicity line so much so his name is ….. Oh yeah Scott Johnson. Would love the pro’s at Roar to get in on his plans with an article or two.

Too be honest, I am quite excited about rugby, plenty of problems but it’s looking a little more than hopeful. I guess my geeky smile is up today.

The Australian surprise packets after the first month

Geoff,
Nail it!, Bullseye! 100%!, So True!
Well that said thanks. I read Knox’s diatribe and thought “cheap click bait” I wanted to call him on his poor/lazy/ Jones’ esque style and then realised if you reply he’s article succeeds; better not.
In the effort of being a Geek! RC has been on her game of late. The Wallaby Coaching team is a good result, the TV rights deal is a good result, so far!
The Brumbies played inspired! Not my boys but you got to acknowledge good when you see it! Red’s still not my boys, are showing the tough “THORN” approach to rugby, good result!
The Young U20’s players are adding interest. The 10 spot across all teams is really interesting!!!!
Jordan Petaia? Really sad, does this latest injury give him the name of Mr Not-durable-for-high-level-rugby?
These are the things we should be into! For the critics, lets drill deep into how the board positions get filled and strive to make this an open/public affair rather than the secret society it is?
I liken Knox to me writing on Netball. I see it, I kinda like it, I have no clue about it!

The Wrap: Lazy thinking reinforces rugby’s negative narrative

So if I get this right? Club TV is the Shute Shield broadcaster. Their work has been excellent and the country tourno’s has been good as well. So RA buys this for 1.2 million. So thats 4 x PE? (300K per year) I just wished they have kept to their knitting. Something that has grown from the reject heap is now in the mainstream being run by the people who created the reject heap in the first place.

I would like to know how this is going to get a better deal for all concerned. I fear this will be viewed as an obligation for a higher end broadcaster and it will then be dropped back into the reject heap and we will have to start again.

The USA 7’s rights were sold by USA rugby to a privateer and look at the success! Different organisations offer success in different ways. Should we just be offering RA off as part of a bigger deal? Mr Foxtel? Would you be interested????

From grassroots to the Wallabies: Rugby Australia to pitch broad package

APOLOGIES CINQUE, Fast typing and accuracy don’t always match. But the content is always KING!

Rob Penney wants his side to harden up

Well this is what you get with a new coach and new team of young fellas. The two keys areas were attitude and attitude. Last night they learnt that you can’t go through the motions and expect it all just to work. Blues played their niggle game and Simmons miss the opportunity to get in the refs head. Rookie error! Blues continually play outside the coffee table and infringed in the red zone everytime the Tahs we hot on attack. Where was Simons????? To his defence the physical effort and line out from him was a double tick. But at least two warning from the ref were due but not given. Kiwi teams just laugh at us and our total lack of guile in a match. (so learners Australia wide)
Coaching team? They know if you have serial pests living the in the “material affect” zone of the ref (aka Ritchie McCall) you just gotta smash them so so hard they either learn or get injured. Don’t defend your space, you lose the ruck, lose the ruck lose the game. That’s pretty much it. Harrison learnt a heap last night and I am still backing him. Hunt ran hot and cold. Maddocks needs to start at 15 (so obvious) KB ???? what do you do with him, this week I am thinking 12. In the forwards You gotta start Demo at 6 and bring back Hollaway at 8. Hoops was best on ground! Not being a Captain suits his game. Our young winger Markie mark! Needs to adapt his play. No longer can he just rely on his under 20 bulk he needs to tighten up and eliminate the errors in the not so glamorous parts of the game like tackle, ball security and kicking. Coaches to do list is pretty big from last night. Let’s hope the can get a bunch ticked off. Still in Tahs camp.!!!!

Rob Penney wants his side to harden up

Mary, the general public may not be known as a women’s 7’s fans, but I would vouch to the contrary!
At the Hamilton 7’s last year the Australian Women’s 7’s fronted and joined women’s teams as mentors and water runners! How brilliantly humble and inspiring! There presence, attitude and enthusiasm for the grass roots won lifetime fans. (geek included) They certainly make an old bloke look good in a photo! Love them to death and wish them every success in Sydney! RA need to create fan bases and despite the guru’s in RA. Turning up to grass roots events is highly successful! Just want to encourage our elite to become more accessible.

The personal motivation fuelling Aussie women at the Sydney sevens

Brett,
I am a big one for it’s only a trial! What the real story (next week) “Is how well the young’ns stood up!” That will give us an insight on the Wobblies potientals/probables etc. Looking forward to who will announce themselves. The Geeks big call is “Will Harrison for 10”. The other big call will be Penney and Thorn will have good seasons. Call me hopeful, missguided or other. But I like the way these men are holding themselves in a positive grounded way. (Refreshing)

What do we know about the Australian conference ahead of Round 1?

DJ,
Good review with good research thanks. So what do I see? Skill from the Kiwis is always the big test. I would hope that our young’ns be dropped into hot pot while the Saders while they are a little underdone. It’s the only way to see if they can manage the toughness of the Supers. Tipping they will stand up and we will have a better season than we could expect. Like you, the Front Row has the biggest challenge.

Super Rugby 2020 preview: NSW Waratahs

Brett McKay, really appreciate you keeping your fingers sharp over the break! The journo’s hold the key to our “Man Bradley”. Personally, the fact that he breeds culture and weaves fabric into the team is fundamental to building a tough resilient player group. Something the Reds have lost for nearly a decade now. ( Geek is on the right side of the Banana curtain so don’t bother calling bias)
There is plenty of rugby smarts in the Reds outfit, so it’s the tough, dig deep stuff that gets them the all important close wins. Add to this the “x” factor ( what is this stuff) so let’s just call it good attacking players. The Reds have plenty of them too.
Brad Thorn strikes me as a tough uncompromising profile which means the Press can stick it to him if he gets a couple of losses on the trot. I hope for a good start for the Reds because I want his culture to breed for the good of Wallaby Rugby.
In this vein I also hope that the U20 Culture comes through as well. Self belief is hard to coach, so much easier if they already have it.

The big questions coming out of the shortest ever Australian rugby pre-season

LOOSEY GOOSEY!
Would never have stuck at the ref business without the boys & now girls upfront! The different one liners that have put me away are always well received. But a good scrum ref that lets the contest take place (safely) where everyone knows how it’s going to go! BTW “Pony ” in the Ratties can easily tell you when she thinks your head is in the wrong place! Such a pleasure to ref with a ton of real skill.

It's time we educated ourselves on the laws of rugby

Chook
Fat is a relative term…. especially with my mirror lying to me every day!

It's time we educated ourselves on the laws of rugby

Chook, You would have been a handful on the paddock, such intellect could only have come from a LHP. By far the most entertaining of the FR. Always with the eye on the ref to see if he will look away for just a minute to allow you a cheeky dip and twist on your opp TH

It's time we educated ourselves on the laws of rugby