The Roar
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Roar Guru

Joined August 2015

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Former sport blog writer for Massive Magazine - MA Media Studies Freelance Writer Sport Tragic and mad skier - Would like to see Barcelona with Messi play at the Camp - my brother has - lucky bugger.

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Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Law reform: Why the mark and maul rules are outdated

The ball is kicked high, the chases are making a great effort and could gain an advantage with numbers inside the opposition 22, oh no, the defending player, sliding along the ground, takes and catch and calls “mark”. It is the game’s most ridiculous and outdated ‘get of jail free’ card.

Roar Guru
Roar Guru

Does Australian rugby need to harden up?

Don’t worry, I can see the poisoned arrows coming my way already… but not so long ago, in the halftime interview during the Rebels game, new Waratahs, coach Daryl Gibson, when asked about his team’s performance, famously proclaimed “Some of that stuff out there was rubbish.”

Yeah Nick which just goes to show the damage of vitriol that reaches the peaks of hyperbole and the National governing bodies burning desire for a scapegoat in 2015. Lancaster deserved better and his staff for that matter. As per usual, most of the under-performing players live to fight another day because stars bring TV ratings and players tend to turn on coaches quickly when the media are attacking performances with real venom. You always get the players sticking up for the coaches for some time until the performances have the media turning up the heat meter on the players – no friends in business when it comes down to it – and rugby is big business!

Will England rule the world in 2019?

That is rubbish about the SA v AB semi final – the conditions were atrocious and the AB’s deserved that win if for no other reason than their defense in those conditions was as good as it gets and Carter gave everyone a masterclass in how to play wet weather rugby at 10. Even the SA coach hailed Carters masterful kicking game and the Welsh commentators were waxing lyrical on how Carter controlled the game at key moments including a brilliant drop goal which he bettered in the final. Simply in another class to any other 10 in the tournament.

Nine talking points from Super Rugby Round 1

I also think the way he was treated by the English press was pretty harsh as well in some quarters. One minute he was the savior of English rugby, the next, he is to be hung drawn and quartered – Ah the Henry VIII, Bloody Mary, and Elizabeth I mindset on justice lives long in the English media and perhaps the public as well me thinks 😉 Friend of the court one minute – villain of the people and the crown the next -not a good time to be Protestant – then next, not a good time to be Catholic back then in England – not a good time to be England Rugby Coach in 2015 WC either! 🙂 The Tudors – ah now there’s a family that knows how to spread the love – bit like the English Sports media – I felt for Lancaster and his coaching team actually.

Will England rule the world in 2019?

Perhaps your right and as a person I like SL more than EJ but SL was a man feeling the pressure of that WC and all the expectation being at home. After the loss to Wales I think part of him hit the panic button. He did some good things for England but if he is a better coach than Eddie now – and he may well be – he learned plenty of lessons in that WC just as Hansen did coaching Wales. As the saying goes – we learn more from defeats than victories. He has gone on record saying he wants to coach in the Super comp and I think ma have applied for the Blues job but don’t quote me on that. But you miss read me if think I don’t have time for Lancaster – he seems like a good bloke to me with plenty between his ears

Will England rule the world in 2019?

England may make the final – but they won’t win it IMO and SA and the AB’s battle to top their pool and who goes down which side of the draw could have much to do with who makes the final. We heard more hype on England’s chances of winning the WC in 2015 and how they would likely top their pool and the now debunked myth that Twickenham was a their fortress than when Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon…okay well almost ???? and look what happened – they crumbled under the pressure, coupled with some mind numbing tactical decisions and a tough group. This time they have a better coach but….do they have the metal of the side that won in Australia? In other words, away from Europe. Though they are certainly one of the favorites to win it, and yes, deservedly so, the pressure of winning can play havoc in big tournaments even with the very best of players and teams — I mean just the AB’s before they figured it out! The pool matches in all but the AB- SA pool have some serious banana-skin sides that could really upset the apple cart if there is an upset from a Pacific Ireland side or Argentina or Scotland or Wales do extremely well and Wales you think just might. It may well be the most intriguing WC of them all. Eddie is a shrewd coach but is he the man with his infamous high pressure coaching style going to be the one that can to help them handle the pressure of a WC? Honestly, part of me says yes – the other part says no…and as we all know pressure is and individual thing as well – who will own it – who will be crushed by it? Perhaps more than any other previous WC – because of the strength of sides – one or two upsets are more likely and will throw all predictions out the window

Will England rule the world in 2019?

Otere Black was missing all last year and he is a good 10 and Stephen Perofeta was outstanding in the Mitre 10 cup for the Blues and was a key reason they took the championship. He is very young still but is very talented young player who is only getting better and quick.

Super Rugby 2019 preview series: Blues

The problem for the Blues in recent years has been poor coaching – poor man management and endless injuries….they most certainly have the side that can beat anyone on their day and man-for-man are better looking side on paper than some of the Australian sides.

This year I believe they finally have got the right coach who comes steeped in the Canterbury/ Crusaders rugby culture. They have also recruited well and have several key players, at long last, back from injury.

But they simply must settle on a starting 1st five and for me that should be OB because he has good game management but got a season ending injury last season. Nonu’s experience and class should also not be underestimated. They may use him off the bench at 12 with SBW at centre putting IMO, the best winger in the world, Reiko Ioane playing in that position. His brother is on the cusp of a sterling season this year IMO.

I think they will be a very different side this season and let’s not forget that many of their losses last season were close contests. It may take 3-4 game for them to find their rhythm but then they could really surprise this year. It’s a pretty dam strong pack with the new signings and very dangerous backline – but it need to be lead well at 10.

Super Rugby 2019 preview series: Blues

opps Geoff i meant say

The Wrap: Rebels Super Rugby pre-season clicks through the phases

Hi Brett unfortunately we will get a watered down season on all counts in a World Cup year. But that might be good news for Cheika as the Boks and AB’s will rest players in the Rugby Championship and in the AB’s case, once the Bledisloe has been decided. Who can forget in 2011 when the Boks sent a virtual B-team to tour Australia and NZ in same competition and they were subsequently smashed. In an in 2015 the AB’s rested players and tried out several combinations . In both years Australia were reluctant to rest to players or experiment that much and that worked for them in RC. But as I say – a watered down comp in Super Rugby and the RC will be the order of the day this season.

Already in Kiwi, AB players are to be rested in the opening games and beyond so it will be a season when we might see some of the rising talent over there. Whether the Boks do the same remains to be seen but if history tells us anything , they probably will. In NZ it has been reported in the Herald that the AB coaches and Super Franchise counterparts have met and everyone has agreed the interests of the All Black WC defense is paramount this season so expect some serious watered down selection throughout the season from the sides,

The Wrap: Rebels Super Rugby pre-season clicks through the phases

Perhaps because he felt more guilt than the other two for actually indeed being the architect ? You can read that noble apology in more than one way – just sayin’

I'm not calling Steve Smith and Cameron Bancroft liars, but...

Totally illogical dribble Feff – so now you turn sa typo into some weapon for your argument – I erely rebutted your gleeful claim – fke new that Cooper COMPETELY outplayed Carter in the 2011 final – whgich is most definitely fake news – go back and watch the game – Genias try from the ruck was the difference in the end not Cooper being better than Carter – I don’t care what game was played or where – Cooper is not a patch on Carter as a 10 – Period!!!

Rebels backline key to Wallabies World Cup hopes

Hi Geoff I think they have no intention of dropping Cheika and are playing a game. I mean seriously, how many coaches with his record and especially this year – get to submit dozens of data from fellow coaches and opinions of players prejudiced by their personal relationship with him and other coaches – unless it is bad in there as well – just before Xmas before they tell anyone? How convenient . They are playing a tactical game – they will tell everyone Cheiks still has his job knowing there could be a very public backlash – they won’t sack Larkham either – The fall guys will be Nathan Grey and maybe someone else. They will be relying and Xmas and the Christmas break for everyone to forget about for awhile and be in good cheer and the New Year will come. It is a gutless regime with even Castle avoiding the spotlight. These are all signs Cheika ain’t going anywhere and not that they are looking for a replacement IMO

The Wrap: Is this D-day for Michael Cheika or same old, same old?

whoops Carter not Crater

Rebels backline key to Wallabies World Cup hopes

Yeah Cooper’s a better 10 the Carter no question !!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is daylight between them quite frankly in tactical and goal kicking, defense, organisation, reading the game in defense and attack and consistency – and in attack as well just watch Crater’s performance in the Lions series where it is widely considered even in the UK the best performance by a 10 of all time. Cooper wouldn’t even be most peoples best international 10’s of all time . Yes Carter did play that game I forgot he came back from injury before that game and I just watched the game again and what is fascinating to watch is how cool and calm, Carter is around the park in comparison – Cooper most certainly did not completely outplay him – that is rubbish – they both had some good moments . It was Genia’s try that won the game for the Reds and he had a bigger influence on the game than Cooper or Carter that day – especially in the second half. And the QLD pack was the best QLD pack there has been for awhile as well and they didn’t outplay the Crusaders pack but they matched them for most of the game.

Rebels backline key to Wallabies World Cup hopes

With an earthquake torn homeland in Christchurch – no home ground – travelling to get to every game one way or another – travelling back from SA and yet they still made the final. Carter didn’t play in that game.

Rebels backline key to Wallabies World Cup hopes

It’ is not hate – that is ridiculous thing to say – It is our observations of him over the years and he deserves most of the criticisms that come his way whether you like it or not – though I do not agree with Kirky and TWAS underneath is right – Cooper was very good at Super level in 2011 operating with Genia when both were in top form and at international level he had his moments, not the least of which was an outstanding game against Wales at Millennium Stadium – easily his best performance at test level – but his weaknesses were exposed at the higher level no question and especially by the AB’s who virtually had it over him psychologically in many tests and it was visible for anyone with half a rugby brain to see it. No one hates Cooper that I am aware off – we just don’t rate him at test level because he is badly error prone – last time I checked that wasn’t a crime – he often makes poor decisions under pressure – runs side on too often – his defense can be very poor at times – but sure in space with dangerous players around him or near the line he can be very dangerous because he has the skills to hurt defenses but too much of the rest of his game is not at test level standard – his errors too often too costly – and he is without doubt an inconsistent performer at 10. But he will do some very good things at the Rebels throughout the season in attack but I think we will see all his errors under pressure there as well. Time will tell who is right I guess.

Rebels backline key to Wallabies World Cup hopes

Nick I think Cheika is good club coach but at club level the pressure is not the same as international level where you get less time with the players on average in a given year playing opposition sides – they play at different clubs and sometimes in different positions and your opposition in the very top, is full off genuine world class players in every position and in some sides – on the bench as well. The fitness levels have to very high as well – something Cheika has been found out on during his tenure. I don’t think his player management at test level is good – in fact poor- he fails to develop proper back-ups in some key positions like 9 and 10 and his revolving selection, especially at lock, has hurt the Wallabies and the development of combinations.

His coaching box and post-match carry-ons show a coach that does not handle the pressure of international coaching and the signs have been there for more than eightenn months now. He also makes poor selections with coaching staff and fails to recognize when they are failing at their job or do anything about it. He also should have had his antonymous role as selector of side taken away from him at the end of last International season – because he panics after a loss and makes some mind boggling selection decisions that make things too often, go from bad to worse. Cheika is not the answer for the WC and he is now clearly the main problem and has been for far too long now.

Why the answers for Australian rugby are blowin’ in the wind

I think l it is high time you climbed down off your protect my mate stance on Cheika DL and had the guts to admit that he is not up to as an international coach and before you say 2015 WC – the Wallabies were very fortunate to beat Scotland and the runners-up tag flattered to deceive when itcame to Cheika and the results since have shown this to be the case

Sacking Michael Cheika won't solve the endemic Wallaby problems

Good article Nick and Ireland deserved the win. Full credit to them. That being said those predicting that this is the demise of the AB’s are being way premature ( not that I am saying that you are) but the muffed three tries as Hansen said and perhaps kicking the ball back to a side who just loves to hold onto was not such a good game plan but you can’t get right all the time- not even the AB’s.

At the end of the day, there was only one converted try the difference – hardly the spelling of the end of the AB’s. The gap is closing no question – for now – is it fully closed? – As in the back-to-back 3 test series over 3 weeks which we never seem to have anymore except in June in the Southern Hemisphere? I am not so sure and I wouldn’t be quick to bet my house against the AB’s in back-to-back three test series over three weeks . When was the last time they have been beaten back-to-back?

Ireland and England look strong for the WC – the later of which I thought were the best I have seen them against the Wallabies in terms of spreading the ball. On that note Cheika must go – end of story. I said two years ago he was not an high quality international coach and I have been proven correct.

Just for the record – Fafita will be th no6 for AB’s ( Italy or not, he was bloody outstanding showing his real potential at last – voted best player by the NZ media in that game) at the WC and Jordie Barrett will be on the left wing with Ben Smith at the back IMO. Jordie has the pace and he is outstanding in the air at 6ft 5″ in the old lingo and an outrageous off-loader – I think we might see some big changes in the centres as well and Akira Ioane has been in sensational form for the NZ Maori and will be at the WC and the future no8 for the AB’s – And Dane Coles is back and looks very good – Finally!!!!! Nonu returns to Auckland this year? …….will he make the AB’s? probably not but if he has an outstanding season …he might be in the conversation who knows.. new coach as well now Umaga has stepped down

I think the Ireland’s defeat of the AB’s was fantastic for them and they totally deserved it ….but is it just what the AB’s needed before the WC?

The biter bit: Ireland wrong-foot the All Blacks in Dublin

Nice wrap Geoff – Cheika and his cohorts should have gone before this tour. Couldn’t get any worse could it?

This is not the first time Hooper has made a bad call and not taken easy points in tight game – he is not learning – he must go as captain.

The off-side was in the NZ game was totally off-side. Every other English player is behind the last mans feet and especially under the new laws of the game where it is no longer when the 9 gets his hands on the ball that you can move but has lifted off the ground and is in the motion to pass it. He was today, tomorrow and yesterday off-side all day long. It was fantastic match but that kind of weather is a great leveler as we all know and journos from NZ and England commented on the satisfied looks of English players in the warm up looking skyward knowing that helped diminish NZ attacking threats – I would love to see the same game on a dry track but credit to both sides.

Is Itoje a very good player who is a little over-hyped? Both the NZ locks were better around the park – Whitelock topped the NZ tackle count – he was immense in the D – he might live in Retallicks shadow but no one else’s IMO.

Barrett silenced a few of his critics as well no question drop goal and all!

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

Nice suggestion Brett but I think Cheika will be so concerned about losing to Wales after somany loses – I think he will be conservative with his selections – one change maybe as an experiment but not much – maybe some changes on the bench perhaps but the starting might have some teaking but not very much.

The main issue is Kerevi returning to centre which would mean Folau back to 15 or on the wing unless he wants more impact from the bench. With Biggar and Halfpenny Wales have strong tactical kicking power.

Three opportunities for the Wallabies to experiment. But will they be taken?

I think England’s lack of potency in midfield in attack could also prove very costly – no tries against SA is a serious worry. The England side won’t beat NZ with Farrells boot alone and more set piece penalties could come the AB’s way, not England’s, as you point out. I wonder if Eddies will start with Ford and move Farrell back to 12 unless Tuilagi is fit enough but is not as otent as he once was – a bit like NMS who days as an AB with the rise of of brilliance and pace of George Bridge are very numbered to say the least IMO – if they weren’t already. Bridge rise means Dagg will head overseas as well sooner rather than later. Even at full strength England don’t have the strike power to upset NZ and the AB’s bench is significantly better as well.

Twickenham showdown: Why the boot will be on the other foot at scrum time

Great points Fionn – I am worried for England next week -my god not a single try against the Boks…They will need at least 4 to best the AB’s or 3 converted with ton of Farrell penalties – I bet Ford starts st 10 and Farrell at 12 against the AB’s as well. He is a bit more creative in attack than Farrell

Ireland vs All Blacks to decide the best rugby team on the planet

Did you see Nick that in the SMH Castle is saying the continual losses (after the last game) are not great but she is hoping for Euro clean sweep to make up for it – all in nice friendly tones of course.

Gee no pressure there eh? I think she intended to send a wee message maybe what do you reckon? They better not lose to Wales then or there might be some nervous Wallaby coaches and call from above made post-match!

Do the Wallabies have reason to be cheerful from Bledisloe 3?

Yes agreed 100% Nick which is kind of a worry I think

Do the Wallabies have reason to be cheerful from Bledisloe 3?