The Roar
The Roar

Rugby Geek

Joined October 2011







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.



It appears to me that the teams can’t see the forest for all the trees. Teams (select players) appear to not comprehend what the plan is and how to engage as a team. Everybody in Australian rugby wants to score on the current phase of play. The recycle and build pressure concept in my view is the foundation of attacking play, until options for the other present themselves. But in the RedsVRebs game two things key things emerged. 1: Reds team is tough and improving. Short the odd position but you could see where the Thorn ideology is going. This year will be encouraging for the QRU, next year will be good. 2: Wessels has the brain, his game plan and harnessing the skills of Genia and Cooper with good backs is a delight to watch even if you are not a Rebs fan. The Rebs Pack has many standouts with Rangi, Jones, Philip and did I say Rangi and Jones? On form Rangi line out throws is superior to all other 2’s in the country. Jones once shunned by Australian Rugby, they now need his defence effort and work ethic.

The Wrap: Super Rugby finals spots still open for all teams

Ok Roar!
You own me!

Scott Johnson picks Quade Cooper as his preferred Wallabies playmaker

A real pleasure to read and think on positive issues in Rugby. I have sat through a few seminar/discussions on short/push pass concepts over the time. However the key issue is the motivation versus patience. We all know that if we can generate a 2 on 1 the games major goal is achieved and try is likely follow.
This is where patience comes into play. Players are coached to reach for the extra bit and more often than not they only remember the miracle pass, the chip and regather which gets the result/reward. This is far more juicey than the grind and graft approach to winning a game through the minute segments of the match. Afterall, it’s the numbers on the board at 80 minutes on clock that count. Players and coaches need to balance the quick fix versus forge a place of power than attack. We all know what the fans want. They want Quade to throw the blind cut 3 pass with two defenders hanging off him and the journos love it too as it give them a chance to chortole!

Why even Rebels have to follow the rules

TF you and I could drink together as I mostly agree. However What is stark to most Tahs fans is that Snorter Hunt is shaping up to be a cracker 12 in D and straight running. He created a turning point which sent the second string Saders to the sword. with a crash ball that sent a player to the bench and an offensive tackle which sent all things a drift in my inner coach feelings and sent another player to the bench! While ever his form is there so should he. TK & Kerevi are great but as a pair its a no. Kerevi is a 12 and TK has to earn his spot at 13. Too many young’ns on the scene. Also Meakes has been putting his hand up and needs to be given a train on spot this season.

The Wallabies team that can bring home the World Cup

Well Done Will Knight! Touched the “Quade” button and the clicks go wild! In OZ rugby today we need a messiah to lead us from the wilderness. It could have been Raelene, Clive and or Michael. But alas it’s our old mate Quade Cooper. Love or hate this bloke and I am more than guilty of both. But in the world of Northern Hemisphere “rush defence” the Genia and Cooper fast and flat passing is a delight to watch as our backs learn to run onto passes and through gaps. Just can’t ignore it “Quake” Cooper is shaking the ground. So lets see how he goes against the Saffies and those ugly number 6,7 & 8 all of which will get and extra strip of BILTONG for belting Quade. I believe he will acquit himself well and not end up as BOEREWORS all curled up on the ground.

Calm down over Quade

Fionn, last weeks game for me was revealing about Toomua. He is a good footballer but he Rebs had the Brums locked down and MT didn’t really get the cut through as 10 and captain. He tackles well but I think SR is hes level.

Straight lines the Waratahs’ blueprint to simple but effective attack

NB, on the money again. TK cannot be picked on future form, he like all the other players running around must be picked on CURRENT form. At this stage TK needs to step up the same goes for Beale and Hodge. I am looking forward to seeing TK, Beale and Hodge all assert themselves for selection on the paddock. For me, and I find it’s strange being such a Quade sceptic, that by line looks like
9. Gennia then Gordon
10. Cooper then Foley
11. Folau
12. Hunt then Kerevi
13. English then TK & Rona
14: Korebitie
15: DHP then Maddocks & Beale
(big questions: Nic White, JOC? I really want the OS players to be available)
Its quite strange in a nice way to see some serious depth.

This World Cup is shaping up for the Wallabies to a very scary outsider option! Perhaps Rae’s has had her special prayers answered?

Why the Wallabies should be on the midfield K-trail

Rangi has been very pleasing to watch. Can he qualify for Wallabies?

Straight lines the Waratahs’ blueprint to simple but effective attack

I think that Hunt is one of the form 12’s in Oz. I HOPE that the selectors pick on form as big change from the other ideas Cheika been having. So Meaks, Kerevi and Hunt sound like depth! nice for a change. I don’t ever think Beale is a real 12 and he should be considered elsewhere.

Straight lines the Waratahs’ blueprint to simple but effective attack

PeterK, I actually believe he did the right thing by the players who all needed a reality check of sorts. I have this weird belief that Australian Rugby’s biggest enemy is Play PR promotion. They seem to lose it after hearing how they are the next big thing.
Tahs, still are well capable of stealing defeat from the jaws of victory! Especially when I start to get all excited… sigh… But I would really like to see Rona in at 13 and AAC given the finisher role. For me Hunt is a very pleasant surprise and I would love to see him continue in the 12 spot while he runs straight, hard, and defends with aggressive tackles. He was my MOTM

Straight lines the Waratahs’ blueprint to simple but effective attack

So gents! Is it me or did you think the best on park for the Tahs was Charmichael Hunt? I though he really made the centres a tough place for the Reds! Ran straight and hard with the ball and was aggressive in D.

Where will the Wallaby selectors play Folau and Beale?

To fair to Hannigan last night was the best I have ever seen him. Up until last night he has been trying to find a way to engage. Still the Tahs have their selections mixed up Rona is a good solid 13 and played most of his D there. AAC should be starting off the bench as a dependable utility when needed. After all he needs respect being a back at 34!

Where will the Wallaby selectors play Folau and Beale?

Jordan Petaia at 19 years old according to the red profile he is still very young for this level. 21 seems to me to be a mature age both physically and mentally to cope with the game pressures on and off the paddock. In 40 years of footy I have seen a “si%$T ton” of good young players getting hurt for playing an age up too early. The good enough old enough saying should be used carefully when player welfare issues are concerned.

Wright time to make a mark for Brumbies

Will Knight! Thank you, This is the type of article is the type I have craved for, Rugby for Rugby sake and so positive. Having had my boy play through the Sydney GPS comp some years back we did see young Wright play on our trip to Hunters Hill. The possess all the talent you could hope for. Fortunately, he has survive the first bit of Mens rugby without a significant injury and I am sure we will see this young man stand up against a very credible opposite 12 in Billy Meakes who has earned a right to be in Wallaby reckoning. But at 10 is where he belongs and and I expect he is one of those rare 10’s who can stand at his position and defend. Ideally I would like to see he spend a little time in Shute Shield at 10 guiding a team like Gordon around the park where he will have plenty of work to do. DC the Gordon Coach, would be an excellent mentor and next year he can challenge Quade and Bernard for their Wallaby spots. This is the form of planning and development we require for such young talent as they sit comfortably under contract with RA and a light load with a Super team. Jordan Petaia, who is another brilliant player who has possibly been brought on a little too quickly and I would love to see him protected initially so these season ending injuries don’t occur. Petaia development has really slipped back two seasons now. WE need to be care and mature about our young players and blood them with a duty of care.

Wright time to make a mark for Brumbies

PeterK, Lions tours no change, RWC no change they are on 4 year cycles opposed so no change in P/R every 2nd year. Selective tours, which is what Australia and NZ does all the time, is always about games with tier 1 teams that generate gate. These are mostly about a cash collecting exercises based on entertainment and attraction value. Hence why the AB’s hardly ever play Pacific Nations. TV broadcast rights are always focused on fan base engagement. This one tournament will absorb that fan base engagement. Hence the other TV deals will not grow at their current rate due to competition with the Nations Challenge. I absolutely agree that any tier 2 team that makes it up one like Fiji will get a massive cash injection – good for them. But the conferences protect Scotland, Italy against southern hemisphere teams like Samoa, Fiji and Tonga not mention T2 african nations. I think this is OK but has issues. BTW with the TV deal, how much does WR get and what will they do with their share of the ticket. Typically they get a big pay day every 4 years now they get one every year?

Pacific Nations may not get snubbed after all as World Rugby unveils Nations Championship details

Better than first thought. BUT BUT BUT. It still feather beds the home nations. Opportunities for Promotion/Relegation are only every second year (good and bad, 1. you get two years to adapt and hold your spot once promoted, 2. you have to be patient to get there!) RWC is no longer important and every year you have a new world champion possibly diluting the excitement. NZ, Australia and SA are big losers with tour revenue opportunities Lion Tours (cash cow) protected to the cost of everyone else. Home nations get a slice of every lions tour, and everyone else gets one every 8-12 years?
Calendar will be impossible! Super and Provincial comps will not have national players on a regular basis and club rugby will have none.
Will it work Yes, and probably be good but it will cost the grass roots and the rest of the world more than the home nations. Typical, and true to form by WR.

Pacific Nations may not get snubbed after all as World Rugby unveils Nations Championship details

This is deeply concerning for me. The Women, who have been a stand out have just faulted. This is now something that requires standards to make up the character fabric in the Wallaroo Jersey. Irrespective of the penalty issued by the judiciary, this is a high range act of foul play! It clashes with the very principles of the game and for the leader of Australian Women’s Rugby to have committed the offence is damning. I get brain explosions on the field in a rugby match, god knows I have been there! But, her Captaincy is basically untenable. RA has a new bushfire to contend with.

Wallaroos skipper gets off lightly for straight up chomping into opponent's arm

Train Without A Station, Genia has ignited some of the old magic this year. Quade is a good pairing, as he encourages Genia to pass early, largely because Quade is organised in the pocket or 10 position. The forwards, are also on the move which mean Genia doesn’t need to wait for exhaust patterns to form. Philip, Cotterill and Jones hit up stats are also looking good. Wessells is impressive, presiding over the game patterns. It’s not perfect but I am enjoying the improvement. RA / Johnson would do well to understand what’s happening in Melbourne because it’s better than elsewhere in OZ.

The 2019 challenge: Creating front-foot ball when the back foot isn’t moving

McKa, on the money again. The concept of slowing the ball by occupying the space above the ball aka Ewen McKenzie Tahs concept back in the day has come back. The thing that I observed with the Reb’s is that the contest at the breakdown was meaningful and all 15 players were in it for a turn over. This requires more attacking players to support the cleanout and they drop out of the attacking line. At some stage the attack line is under powered and a turn over will happen. Couple this with some rush defence then the only way to play this defence is by being really flat in the halves with short flat passes. Hence Quade is in his element! I expect that the Reb’s will provide us with plenty of smiles this year. The other observation is Philip and Jones in the 2 row! They have been able to impact the gain with carries and ruthless in defence with big work rates. The Green and Gold light will be shining on those two this season as well. All in all a good season in the land of OZ to look forward too. For a nice change!!!

The 2019 challenge: Creating front-foot ball when the back foot isn’t moving

Spiro, Call me cynical, I guess but why are we surprised? (cheeky humour warning)

Imaging the meeting; Gents & Rae, Our boys at Fox, Sky whatever, have come up with a great idea that will keep you all in Fox $$$$$ for the next decade. We have run the numbers and the viewing crowds are as follows….. NZ & Australia, are pretty small but that’s OK, I guess. Makes the tournament real! The markets just love the Haka!, and everyone else loves to see Australia lose, you gotta have a villian in every drama, you know. However to make it run and generate the moolah! We will need to add the Japs, and Yanks cause those guys just love cable TV! Tough, I know but that’s why I can pay you extra! But the best of it is you all get to keep your Fox loyalty cards, and your frequent Fox Viewer points will be assured there will be no max points situations on this gig. So all in all it’s gonna be a great time. Now onto the real questions? Where is the best place to get a stake in Vegas?

The World Rugby 12-team league is a Six Nations set-up

ANZACS is what we need!
Well if what we read is true? The competition is going to happen! A stand needs to be made now and quickly. Australia and New Zealand need to kill this deal off asap. What I read is a broadcast deal that puts 6 Nations and Rugby Challenge together + plus 2 big broadcasting markets in for good measure. They can over 12 years own the broadcast market and an economic apartheid will have been created. A world competition as an idea is a good thing. RWC is that deal with a number of spots open to tier 2/3 nations bidding for a one of the 16 spots to compete. But a Tier 1 nation challenge cup which is what I understand this is, will have a dramatic impact on any aspiring nation in rugby. Pacifika Nations are a valuable asset to World Rugby. They, Manu, travel the world applying their trade as paid players of the game. But in order to succeed further they will then change their citizenship and qualify for the those 12 Nations to be at the top of our game. The gold in rugby is watching Samoa, Tonga, Fiji apply their talents and progress on a merit base up the world rugby order. Georgia is another on the brink. At risk is some of the 6 nation teams and even possibly the Australia should we continue on our current trajectory. At times, I think we forget the magic of these competitions like when Japan knocked off South Africa. For me it made the world cup and that is the magic! Cash does not substitute it .

World League plans won’t pay off

Mr Spiro,
Just to summarise your article. You are wanting players selected on Merit. Totally agree! The undeniable facts of rugby are its a “young man’s’ game” . Every year as a ref the season starts with the players the same age running around the paddock and I get another year older and tad slower! It’s the natural order of things. However, Rugby Coaches have loyalty to players who have delivered in the past and they have a tendency to support the play until the “use by date” glows a little to bright. Add to this your mob! Journo’s the world over herald the praises of players feats, as they should. But, Rugby is a young man’s game! A kid who comes to stake his claim is often overlooked until the he can no longer be. That is the natural order of things. Cheika, is intensely loyal to his players has possibly got the balance wrong (a bit) and the selector policy of RA will fix this. Waratah bias is a well trodden path by the Rugby fan base and administration. This is a negative and more often than not fantasy that bread discontent. But and a BIG BUT is the new generation of player lineups are showing real promise for our Rugby fortunes. I for one have enjoyed the return of Ol’ Mate “Quake Cooper”, he has delivered! Karmichael Hunt another. Tom Banks, a young gun staking a claim that possibly cannot be overlooked! More exciting is the fact there are more! All I want now is Scott Johnson to dismantle the Giteau Law and create what we all really want. If your good enough to play for the Wallabies then you are best we have, for the squad, for the series, for the next 80 minutes and then the process starts again for the next game. Competition for places is a good thing. Hooper and Pocock competing for the same spot will cause an incredible standard for other players to feed off. To prove my point look how the Reds player under the standards of Brad Thorn. Times are much better!

The Wallabies need to drop some of their Waratahs stalwarts

MJ. I am all for being balanced in the discussion on all things Rugby. RA aka Fort Fumble is not always hopeless. They do some great stuff, Women’s Rugby is their crowning glory! The AUS7’s girls, I will defend on almost any issue and they have great standards and embraced all things good in Rugby. I saw 5, Aus 7’s players at the Hamilton 7’s (near Newcastle) and these women acted like true ambassadors of the code. Such quality, and the attention they gave to the girls (players) was humble, enthusiastic which actually made me feel proud of them. Sadly the men done seem to get it? Why I am not sure, perhaps its the edge you get when your’e a professional and bigger than the game. Most of my critique on Rugby is RA’s obsession with money (quick money actually). They pretty much bet the house on the Wallaby Test gate revenue + whatever Uncle Scrooge (Fox) hands over. Rather than actually building the healthiest and broadest base they can! Other competitive codes don’t really have the same level of international competition so they spend more time on their base which in turns builds their strength. ALL I EVER CALL FOR IS LEADERSHIP! All I want Raelene and the board to do is to publish a plan! work on it and publicly report back on the progress regularly. Currently I see RA as the sum of the individuals is greater than the organisation. That should not be acceptable by RA. They need the players to the humble, generous, selfless ambassadors, they need the RA strategists to develop a player base that focuses on all factions to develop the game and Coaching systems that protects our talent and allows them to develop into the stars of the future. I feel there has been too much in the way of turf wars and self interest in almost every faction of rugby(clubs and administrators) which has caused us to arrive at our current position. Change for the better requires courage to make a plan, hold it up for challenge, modify as necessary and transparently implement and assess it its progress. No one is above mistakes, but humility in rugby is always loved and arrogance is our deseaster!

Rugby supporters, can we please change tone?

I read this on the wire. I seem to recall that this has been raised before. Riverview and Joey’s were keen but other schools were not so keen. So unless you have AAGPS (NSW) agreeing there would be no deal. Since these schools are private it would be reasonable to expect they would need to be paid as well. Somehow I feel this is a real thought bubble and has a lot more thought has to go into it. Better still, why would you bundle this into fox? If I was in the RA, I would be begging it to go free to air! Surely that would be a goal! Shute Shield has been a boom so why not reward those guys?

But what about the ISA, CSA and public schools. Perhaps its a school knock out competition that needs to organised. NSW and QLD GPS would be a great start but who would leave out Waverly, Knox, St Augustine’s just to name a few.

Rugby Australia set to hold talks with Fox Sports over screening schoolboy rugby

The old saying “the fish rots from the head first!”. Key to this, is board members performance. I note as you and most avid rugby followers that the board consists of some high profile people who have come to the priviligde role of board member. But questions of accountability of their performance is certainly unpublished. I draw your attention to Anne Sherry, by all accounts a spectacular individual with a huge expertise in all things insurance. But the during her time on the board has any work been carried out in examining the players and match officials insurance programs and adequacy? Certainly not to my knowledge and questions need to asked why have such skill and not take advantage of it? (Fort Fumble at its best!) The next area worthy of change is to make transparent the election of board members. This way genuine people with a genuine rugby desires can give back to the game. I particularly don’t want top see a progression of elite ex players but rather club administrators, match officials, competition managers all getting a shot at the top as well. Perhaps then the obvious problems may well be addressed!

Rugby AU concede yet another own goal following salary top-up revelations