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Law reform: Why the mark and maul rules are outdated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 It is the game’s most ridiculous and outdated ‘get of jail free’ card.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.”

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?

Also Nick I think there is nothing like a Spring Boks v All Blacks test match when both sides are evenly matched or close enough and if the Boks keep improving and Australia keeps falling that the Boks v Blacks historical rivalry will return. Personally, I think if NZ played the Boks in a 3 test series every year as they do the Wallabies with a cup of equal enormity in the record books for ridiculous grandiose trophies – I am not so certain the Bledisloe would hold sway as it does now. I think back to Ritchie McCaws straight faced answer to the NZ Prime Minister at the time before the 2015 WC quarter-finals. The Prime Minister asked the NZ captain which side they would rather play in the final – McCaw said straight away Australia- when asked why by a surprised Prime Minister – He replied, because of all the sides we know we will beat them in the WC final. Now that is telling when you consider the other sides in the quarters. Does this mean the AB’s think they have huge psychological edge over the Wallabies and have done for some time?

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

NZ does and that is why I said fans on both sides of the ditch Nick. I hope you are right about the Euro Tour and as you say it is not stressful until England but I think Wales could be difficult. I like the way they are playing in recent times and they are way up in the rankings I see. And not that stressful I think is on paper maybe but I think the Wallaby coaching staff will be feeling the pressure big time just quietly. I mean something would be remiss if they didn’t.

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

Nice article Nick – It is simple for me and not rocket science – truly great defense lasts 80 minutes not 50-60-70 or even 75 – tactics is the same – who cares if you have a first half of stoic D if you still let in 5 tries by games end – that means in the course of the game over 80 the defense,in the end, proved to be poor because it was not resilient or smart enough for long enough – and/or at key times in high scoring game.

Put tactics ( and by that I mean “Nelson Tactics’ that tackle the sea and enemy (the game) conditions as they change) in the same boat along with a plan B and even C – the ability to adapt quickly in the game and a captain who does not just lead with deeds on the field with but hs serious tactical nous and a similar adaptability at 9 – 10 that can ‘consistently’ do the same.

Australia is seriously lacking in all these area in some way or another and has been for too long now – yet nothing gives. They have the worst attacking record with 16 tries in RC and worst point difference. But apparently Nathen Grey and Larkham are the answer – or Cheika for that matter whose a win record since the 2015 WC is ordinary. Spare me after all this time.

People say it is too late for change – a ridiculous argument when anything has to be an improvement on the current nonsense with reoccurring issues like the line out and in the AB test the AB bench front row almost looked more efficient and better trained technically than the Wallabies starting front row. I mean Lalalau is back from a along lay-off but was superb and Nathan Harris is the AB’s 3rd choice Hooker for goodness sake – but a very strong player. Cheika keeps proving he does not have the answers IMO.

Yet nothing gives it is a bloody tragedy for fans of the game on both sides of the ditch that no one has the guts to take the action needed to address it.

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

Hi KCOL – go back and watch the game again – even the Australian commentators were talking about the AB pack driving them back at most of the scrums on the Wallaby feed and the won a few penalties there as well – some dominance some technical

Michael Cheika’s biggest Spring Tour questions

True P2R2 at 25 and 27 but they have not been All Blacks that long if you take Nepo’s injuries into account as well. They are just clearly far better drilled in the set piece. I mean even in the lineout the ref told Hooper all his new bench forwards had no respect for the mark in the line out – the AB’s called a scrum and then they horribly exposed Grey’s and Cheika’s ( he has to approve it) musical rubbish in defense – try time from dumb and then dumber!

Michael Cheika’s biggest Spring Tour questions

Good wrap Brett and I totally agree that Hooper needs to move and I think 6 is goos move for him with Pocock going back to his specialist position at 7. I think the Wallabies scrum was a worry.It got thumped at times in both halves and there was a couple of scrums another ref would have given the AB’s a penalty the Wallaby front row were popping up and/or skidding backwards so much. It was the bullying of their scrum that led to Read’s try. Hannigan was reluctant to break away early because he feared an AB push over. Another worry is that the the AB’s new bloods or at least young guns in the front row, looked better drilled in the scrum and had superior technique and for all his hype, Topou got given a couple of lessons at scrum time when he came on. Sure the AB tight five is one of very best – if not the best in the world as Lions forward coach Graham Rowntree assessed – but what was significant was when Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe and just back from injury, Nepo Laulala came on, they out muscled and scrummed the Wallaby bench. This is the issue for me with the Wallabies- it’ is too often one step forward one and half steps back. And the defense again was not good as some have claimed – it was poor – Rugby is an 80 minute game not 40 or 60 and they leaked 12 tries in the first two games against the AB’s and 5 in this game – 17 tries in 3 games and Nathan Greys defensive musical nonsense was horribly exposed by the gas of Ioane and Barrett and the AB move done the blind. The Wallabies scored the least amount of tries in the RC just 16 ( over double was scored by the AB’s= 33 ) and had the worst For and Against record yet Cheika still backs Larkaham and Grey – I mean seriously Brett com’on when is something gonna give because it sure as hell needs to?

Michael Cheika’s biggest Spring Tour questions

Good wrap Mathew but I can’t agree with this “decision to send Tolu Latu to the naughty step was really poor.”

As Steve Hansen said post match – there was nothing much in it but the laws of the game are clear, and strike to the face is a yellow card – and as Hansen said, The ref had no choice as it is the the laws of the game and he would have copped it from his own bosses had he not yellow carded him.

So I am sorry Mathew but you can’t accuse a ref of a poor decision when the laws of the game as Hansen pointed out are clear on this and as Hansen also said it was dumb from the young hooker if if there there wasn’t much in it. So good wrap but that criticism of the ref is plain wrong under the laws of the game

Seven talking points from Bledisloe Game 3

Yes Nick and haven’t the Tahs looked a better organised side since he junked it? There were those out with the knives for Gibson but one wonders if half ( not all) of his problem was Greys defense that even three mathematicians from Harvard have been driven to drink after analyzing it “The formula is like reading a sheet of Mozart music” they keep saying – except he was an genuine genius in the true meaning of the word, and it always made sense!

It's time for the Wallabies to stop the music on defence

Yes what I call the ‘two card shuffle’ – they flip the top card but its the one still face down that is yet to be flipped that is the real game the negotiator is waiting to play – usually when the deal is going so bad for the other player -in this case with fans and the media -that when he flips the other card, little blame will come down on the dealer because they finally did what everyone was calling for. Slime all over it, but rarely fails – because there is sense of relief that the action was, at last, taken.

It's time for the Wallabies to stop the music on defence

Hoy I think things will get shaky if they get flogged by the AB’s this weekend, and especially if we see a another poor first half performance like the Pumas game – if that happens, just because it is the best side in the world will not wash with plenty of fans – an expected loss is one thing – another flogging is a totally different equation – Grey would then be the scapegoat by the end of Euro tour one feels unless results go Cheika’s way which I doubt – I think Wales are waiting in shadows this time round and the Scottish dominance of the Wallabies in recent times will spark their fire for certain. I also think WG learned plenty on his tour to NZ with the Lions

It's time for the Wallabies to stop the music on defence

Thanks Nick – and yep Nick I think that is certainly the case but I think Cheika’s inability to remove any of his band of merry men is one of his greatest flaws as a coach and that goes for players as well until very recently and even then….IMO someone should go. The dreadful result sheet since the 2015 WC shows that what they are doing and the never ending changes they are making just is not working. Something has to give …but Cheika is too stubborn and like to be surrounded by those have his back first and foremost – that is the no1 priority for him – and there in lies the rub – he puts absolute loyalty before consistent performance and nous IMO.

It's time for the Wallabies to stop the music on defence

I fear the stubborn two musicians are still playing and don’t know the party is over – and it was a long time ago – but the parents haven’t got the heart and guts to tell them, and they don’t have have the vision to look around see the bleeding obvious which condemns them both IMO – lucky for them they have an insipid all forgiving judge and a jury of mates. It has cost Australian rugby and will continue to do so until they both go and Larkham as well, whose attack stats are some of the worst of any Wallaby side in the last two decades.

Sure, defense is more potent these days in most top sides but it hasn’t stopped the AB’s scoring tries so that is not an excuse. We should be calling them the 3 Amigos possessing all the stupidity and the lack of nous of Martin Shorts, Chevy Chase and Steve Martin – except the former are not funny!.

It's time for the Wallabies to stop the music on defence

I wish people made some effort to understand rankings before commenting on them. Teams like Australia have always benefitted playing top-ranked NZ so often and it has frequently led their fans to overrate their world status and the SH

I do not believe the game in Australia anor on the rankings have they benefited from plying NZ and getting beaten on almost every occasion bar a couple – for a start they are batted and bruised with confidence down before they play other sides and their recent record against sides like Argentina, England and Ireland and even Scotland reflects that.

And Ireland would stay 2nd on ladder just – if they lost 3 test in NZ but their points would drop from 90+ to just over 88 – that my friend is a drop in rankings by points even if not by their position – that puts other teams closer and NZ goes to 92 points+ pulling them further away – you have to look at the damage losing continually to NZ can do to your points and thus your place in thus your place in rankings is more and more vulnerable.There is bigger picture her that you are not looking at

Barrett, Hooper, and Beale join Team Santa, and Cheika is the gift that keeps on giving

When Johnston is at his mesmerizing best even the Kangaroos have no answer to him – He made their defense look like stunned mullets at times. But the Kiwis were the better side and I think by more than the scoreline suggests – some league journos in England think so to

Everyone was wondering how Australia would go minus all the recently internationally retired big guns and NZ after their abysmal World Cup showing and with a new coach – I guess we found out!

Great game though

Kiwis pip Kangaroos 26-24 in Test thriller

Yes I read that article – but it wasn’t just B. Barrett alone Hansen he was referring but also his brother gifting tries with stupid quick throws under pressure – and no one calling for the drop goal – neither Barrett – D Mac who was right behind the ruck and in front and the captain for not making the call and Perenara who came under scrutiny because he was scrum half with 15 to go and should have worked with Barrett and DMac but apparently he was calling the forwards to keep the pick and go going. Mo’unga still has to prove he can handle the pressure of big match test starting which I am sure he will and get better and better but still he has to prove it. Sacrificing Neholo is a big call – he had the second highest run metres in RC ( and didn’t start every game either) and he is a good poacher. NMS will take a contract in Europe sooner rather than later I imagine – hasn’t been the same since his injuries IMO. But Dane Coles looked bloody good in first game back this weekend for Wellington – shade of the old Coles back and looking sharp long last. On side note Cheika keeping his job is stupid IMO and he has just announced he won’t be changing his coaching staff before the WC is dumbfounding. He has 42% winning record since the 2015 WC which seriously is crap by any definition. And Erasmus has done more in a few months than Cheika has done in few years. I have never rated him as an international coach and he has done nothing to change that opinion. Enjoy the Northern tours Nick – they will reveal more about all sides involved.

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

Well Nick, Dan Carter who knows more about playing at 10 than just about anyone in the history of the game would respectfully disagree with you https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/all-blacks/107757254/dan-carter-backs-barrett-as-abs-first-choice-over-mounga

Beauden Barrett and Richie Mo’unga: How the All Blacks pieced the jigsaw together at Loftus

We heard beating the All blacks in Brisbane was turning point and look what has happened since then – they still finished with the worst points difference -52 Puma -47. If they give away those leads to the best sides in the game it will be another story

Six talking points from Wallabies vs Argentina

Great comeback but…The turning point was Sanchez injury for me – he was controlling the game and unleashing the Pumas backs – the replacement scored a great try but he didn’t control the game like Sanchez completely outplaying Foley in first 24 minutes before he left the field. The Pumas had no direction at 10 in the second half and the tactical kicking took a nose dive as well.

A grand illustration of what happens when you have no depth at 10. Wallaby bench made huge difference as well but if that had been 30 – 7 at halftime against England, Ireland, NZ, SA, or even Scotland or Wales these days – one doubts the comeback would have happened and that is not to be underestimated when making an analysis. The D was woeful for 40 minutes. Sanchez mastery was not there in the second half and it allowed the Wallabies to control the game – the Wallabies lifted and the Pumas folded. Great comeback but it window dressed a woeful first half and the Pumas were still getting easy yards up the middle even in the second at times. But you take it – a win is a win – but Cheika and his cohorts should still go but won’t now unfortunately for the long term good of the Wallabies IMO. Surely Grey should at least step down as defense coach? How many easy tries have Wallabies let in this season alone? 12 against the AB’s in just 2 games alone and a key reason they were in playoff for the RC wooden spoon

Incredible comeback sees Wallabies win 45-34

No that is not entirely accurate Neil but some of what you say has merit though not all

Barrett, Hooper, and Beale join Team Santa, and Cheika is the gift that keeps on giving