The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined February 2016







Rugby tragic who asked mum what the score was at moment of birth. Best match ever = Sydney Olympic Stadium,



Agreed there Mitch. Redback was a great beer. As for XXXX, slops from the tap was tastier. 😛

Reds looking to break derby drought in Super Rugby AU opener

Qld lost their only chance of a known beer when Henry Speight left. 😛

Reds looking to break derby drought in Super Rugby AU opener

Both matches of SRA last weekend were pretty close finishes. At the 70 minute mark the raging favourites could have gone down. But in the end class (and a&se) won the day. Would it be the 1st time ever that 100% of the tipsters got a full house?

I saw a replay of the Crusaders- Chiefs game, a tough game indeed. The one glaring thing I felt was the referee was very lenient on offside. In many breakdowns, attackers went straight on their knees and/or over their tackled player and sealing off the ruck. Add that loads of blokes were coming into rucks and mauls at an angle. It seemed a bit of a lottery and at times reminded me of the “bad old days”. I wonder if the moguls who really run Rugby (tv producers) reminded the rugby union folks that people do not tune into tv to watch 30-odd penalties. This happened in the NRL about 3 years ago, the referees started the season with a ruck and off-side crackdown. The tv commentators went into meltdown and by week 3, the whistles had gone silent.

On to Tips for this week;

Oh ye tipsters of little faith. Ye who dare select against them Mightly Australian Blues, dem Tah boys. Remember that over the years, the Reds have managed to lose the last 11 matches against the Tahs. History counts! Of the starters in tomorrow’s match the Reds have a slightly better front row, the Tahs locks will kill the Reds in the lineouts and both sides have good looking back rows and likely to cancel out. In the backs the only area the Reds are really superior are the centres. I think at the 65 minute mark, it will be a tough fought bare-knuckle brawl and pretty close. But then the reserves run on and the Tahs lack of depth will be exposed. Heart says the Blue boyz but beer soaked brain says Reds by 10-12.

Highlanders have surprised with their gutsy play and are playing way above expectations. However even with home advantage and some missing Sader forwards, I suspect the Crusaders big and/or speedy backs will cut the penguins to pieces.

Brumbies have the better pack and will win by 5 lineout maul tries to 1. Both teams have pretty good backlines so we could see some excellent tries by the speed merchants.

The slippery one is Chiefs and HurryCanes. Chiefs will grind the misfiring Diggers into the Hamilton dust.

In short. Reds, Crusaders, Brumbies and Chiefs.

Sure Thing: There’ll be a stink on Monday with the Aussie rugby fans of the losing sides screeching “the Law trials suck and should be canned”. 😁

Super Rugby Week 4: Here come the Aussies

As the coach sez, it would totally depend on which rules would apply. Can you imagine a league pack in a serious scrum or maul? People could get hurt big-time. Breakdowns would be a penalty-a-thon so likely would be sacrificed to the old league rule of contested “stand up and play the ball”. On the other hand, how would the behemoths of rugby last the game with all the constant rush-up-and-back 10 metres for every single ruck?

And let’s not forget in league there are still huge numbers of head shots that would see instant red cards in union. Would AB players on big salaries care for some leaguie “accidental” arm in the chops for 80 minutes?

This is all the brainchild of some smuck promotor trying to earn a quid with another wrestling-type match-up. Do the players have to throw tantrums at weigh-ins? This has all the hallmarks of a repeat of the sham 1976 bore of Mohammed Ali vs Antonio Inoki in their so-called “Bout of the Century”. It was never going to be a serious contest as the agreed rules prohibited many moves for Inoki. That farce of a “match-up” attracted over 1 billion viewers. What’s that saying about “a sucker born every minute”? 😢

All Blacks coach open to cross-code clash

Let me guess, was it a No-News Ltd report of player boycott? As TWAS and the Rebel’s CEO say, it looks like and it sounds like a duck media beat-up.

In reality if it’s no crowds or severe limitations then does it matter if the games are played in Canberra, Mudgee (near vineyards could be dangerous) or Rockhampton? The only downsides are hotel costs and player loneliness away from home for so long.

Rebels deny hub boycott rumours

Would be very surprised if all of us didn’t score 2 points from this week’s efforts. Like a stuck record, I’ll repeat everyone else and predict Blues and Crusaders to take the biscuits this weekend.

This 2 horse race should brighten up a little next week when the Blue boyz meet the Daleks in Christchurch. Add in Digger’s SlowCanes travel to Hamilton to meet the Braves, oops Chiefs in a demonstration of “How the Mighty have Fallen”. Both of those games will be tip at your peril fixtures as well as the start of SR2020-OzStyle [THANK Gawd, Life has Returned]. The two games in Oz are Reds vs New South Tahs at Suncorp in Brissie and the Brumbies vs Rabbles in the capital. Anyone who scores 4/4 in early July deserves an Independence Day parade before POTUS Trump (Yanks are a day behind us so tip guru can fly to Wash DC for parade).

I almost choked on my morning caffeine hit when I read that the Tahs are going to play quite a few of their home games at the Olympic Stadium in Sydney. It would be like playing in the Grand Canyon, all that empty space.

The stampede to the NH continues with the news that Blake Enever is heading to Leicester. Weird news as the Brumbies have just released him on compassionate grounds to be nearer to his family up in Qld. Less than one week later he is off to be 20-odd thousand km from said family. Those compassionate grounds look more like monetary needs grounds to me. Out of interest, can clubs demand “remainder of contract settlements” when players leave mid-contract to go to other clubs? In further news the Rebels player Harry Potter is leaving Australia to weld his magic up Leicester way also. These two follow Kurtley Beale’s departure to France and the Reds’ trio and Henry “NZ Beer” to all points North.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 3: Everyone's feeling Blue

Sheesh Groff should be a politician, pure distraction to avoid him having to admit that HE is leading the SR2019 tipping contest. 😛

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 3: Everyone's feeling Blue

And T.Robinson was a gun last year. Blues will miss him. 😔

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 3: Everyone's feeling Blue

Damn, I have to apoligise to mzilikazi. I only just read all the other blogs and I basically repeated his post.

I guess it just proves that Great Minds think alike. 😁

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 3: Everyone's feeling Blue

Dead right, RT and little wonder that you now are in Utopia. The Blues in SR2019 showed some pretty good form at times, they just needed 1 or 2 more quality forwards, a stricter fitness (especially the mental one) regime and better coaching to gel them into a top team.

The parachuting of Leon McDonald, a coach with SR experience, and the acceptance by Tana Umaga that he needed some apprentice time has addressed most of the above requirements. Add the arrival of the #8 H.Sotutu, and PatrickT now playing top level footy for the whole 80 minutes and perhaps the very smart (and tbh obvious) move of R.Ioane to outside centre, and its going swimmingly well. Post Lockdown with SRA and they now have the talents, experience and calm of BBBBBBBB to their ranks.

On T.Umuga, one can only applaud him for accepting that he just didn’t have enough top-level coaching experience (yet) and rather than leave in a huff he has stayed on to help the team and learn. That experience brings a smarter strategy and multi-faceted game plan that all quality teams have. A pity that Brad Thorn hasn’t made a similar move. I’m sure that with a top quality coach, BT as assistant and perhaps a more reliable 5/8th and goal kicker and the Reds would be right up there in SR-Oz style. 😊

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 3: Everyone's feeling Blue

Digger is going for the Chiefs? 😛

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 2: How about them penalties?

RT, if H.Sotutu is not picked for the AB, I reckon his barber should get the gig for team coiffeur. 😛

Hoskins played a great game last week, powerful defender, ferocious in rucks and runs hard with the ball. I see Akira is starting at #6 for tomorrow’s match. Going to be some sore bodies in Waikato on Sat night.

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 2: How about them penalties?

Another two top games this weekend. I can’t wait if last week’s matches were anything to go by.
My only problem with the multitude of ruck penalties is the potential of a bore-a-thon as everyone watches penalty kick after penalty kick after penalty kick after penalty kick ad nauseam for points to become the norm, especially in finals and international matches. It was great that all 4 kiwi teams mostly kept possession and went for the try until near the end when “drawing away in 3’s” and making sure of the win took over. Way back in 2007 when they trialled the Stellenbosch (sic) law changes I believed the option to kick for goal was removed for many types of penalties. Poor Jonny Wilkinson would have gone into apoplexy.
For mine, I had no problem with the 61 penalties because coaches will now be thumping the importance of “ruck purity” into their players, which can only be a good thing. But if they really want to speed up the game then remove the kick-for-goal option for most ruck penalties AND restart play off any subsequent kick for the line with a tap, so remove the line out off penalties (Digger will like this one after last week 😊 ). Any thoughts from our Roar brethren or am I to be burnt at the stake tomorrow before play on the pitch at Waikato stadium.
I note that no Sam Cane still but Mr Gatland (coach) has heard Dan the man and put A.Cruden as starter. However the Blues welcome back Akira Ioane to stir things up in the piglets. Blues have a back row to make chief ribs very nervous.
– The Chiefs have had an up and down SR all year and I rather fancy they will be fired up for this match, so a win would not surprise me. But I dare not incur the wrath of RT while his beloved are on a roll, so Blues it is.
– Meanwhile down the road, no Barretts to be seen. The Daleks should win easily. Poor Digger may destroy his abode and murder the household pet fauna as the only noise from the field will be “Exterminate! … Exterminate!”
In short, Blues, Crusaders. 😊

Super Rugby Aotearoa Round 2: How about them penalties?

GC Bunny, after today’s rugby match from NZ, Foxtel is replaying a Super Rugby match from 2008, NSW Tahs vs Natal Sharks (from South Africa). In the early spiel they said the crowd was 37,000. The noise sounds with the crowd making loads of noise and cheering. That size crowd is pretty amazing considering numbers in Sydney are usually poor when playing against a SA team.

The last two Super Rugby matches I have been to both involved the Tahs. The penultimate (Tahs vs Qld Reds) was in late 2019 at the SCG and had about 15,500 spectators while this year at the Gong (against Chiefs from NZ), the crowd was a bit south of 11,000.

So in that 12 years the crowd numbers have dropped by 50-70% though it must be said the NSW Waratahs have been pretty hard to watch in the last 3-4 years. 😔

V'landys is out of touch and losing his battle with AFL and rugby

Mitch, the attacking team still gets the ball after failing to ground the ball in the opponent’s goal, albeit from a kick. Tim Sampson (in the article) is also in error with the failed maul try when he says “… get held up over the line. They shouldn’t be punished for good execution by losing possession,”…”

The attacking team doesn’t automatically lose possession as the defenders have to kick the ball from their tryline towards the attackers. This brings back into play the main criterion of the rugby Laws, the attack and defend sides now can contest for the ball. And as with a 5m scrum, the attacking side holds the advantage. Whether it’s by scrum or kick-recieve the defending side has a small chance of winning the ball, by deception in the kick-chase or tweaking one of the “dark art” scrum rules.

Dare I suggest WR is trying to minimise the number of scrums and especially resets in a match. I would prefer they look at the atrocity called rucks (or more ref interpretation/allowance) and the constant time-wasting by hordes of medics and water persons on the field, rather than try to make rugby union into NRL-lite.

Law variations on both sides of the ditch with a common goal in mind

Agreed Mark. That game showed that Japan was a serious force in rugby. To be sure due to average size within the Nihonjin population it’s highly unlikely they will have the overall size and beef to win the RWC. But they play a fast-paced wide running game to make up for the lack of a power forward game.

And any team off their game will get done like last night’s dinner by the Japan Blossoms. Just ask Ireland and Scotland at RWC2019. They have done this all within 24 years. One or two still-firing neurones in my head recalls a record RWC scoreline involves Japan, perhaps AB vs Japan in RWC1995? I think that score was something like 143-3.

And just in case you are wondering, NZ won. . 😛

Australian Super Rugby broadcast deal signed just in time for New Zealand comp

Cheika is spot on! Even the RA board and R.Castle could see this and were trying to get a FTA deal going. However the media-driven putsch put paid to that so rugby just sinks further.

What’s a big worry is media barons (here’s looking at the old git Murdoch) are at the government to relax the local big sport events FTA rule. What hope for rugby if all test matches showing the WB are solely on Foxtel. 😡

Australian Super Rugby broadcast deal signed just in time for New Zealand comp

G’day Brett, hope you, family and friends got through CoVid-19 pandemic and lockdowns ok. And how good is it that soon we see a welcome back to rugger Oz Style.

As an aside, a wag within the WR organisation said after the recent re-election of Billy Beaumont et al to their board that “there were more Brett’s on the board than female board members.” Upon reading this I wondered “has our own Mr McKay shown the NSWRU how to effectively take over an incumbent board?” 😛

Australian Super Rugby broadcast deal signed just in time for New Zealand comp

Mango, I’m at the opposite end. I detest the canned crowd noise as a childish distraction. I have switched off the tv commentators and went to the ABC call who try their hardest to avoid it by lowering the sound or talking over the pretend noise. Sure I get a 2 second delay but it’s not really an issue and tbh I find it’s better as I don’t miss a sudden piece of action now.

But what really is jaw-dropping is how many people are willing to stump up their hard-earned for cardboard cutouts to make a fake crowd. I honestly think the human race is rushing to extinction by stupidity. 🤢

Australian Super Rugby broadcast deal signed just in time for New Zealand comp

Non-Realist, Ms Castle AND the RA Board tried to break away from the Foxtel shackles and get rugby onto FTA. The fact that an almost-broke Foxtel were willing to stump up $40M for what’s effectively a closed shop says someone saw a fair bit of value in rugby. The upheavals does not take away what they were trying to do, get away from being run by Foxtel for Foxtel and do something about the continuous falling off the cliff numbers in rugby crowds and viewers.

Castle got shafted because of a mix of weak-kneed RA board members, state RU political games, a vicious media campaign, certain toady ex-captains pushing barrows for who-knows-who and the timing of the Coronavirus pandemic. You don’t have to look past Darling Harbour and Sydney’s Camperdown to see who were behind much of the campaign to get rid of her and gain control of the board.

Take a look at the NRL. They struggled to move forward under the yoke of Foxtel. In 2012 they changed their corporate structure to remove Foxtel from running the show and have boomed since with Mega Buck deals and greater FTA viewer numbers. Meanwhile rugby stays under the control of Foxtel and sinks further into the mire. 😡

Australian Super Rugby broadcast deal signed just in time for New Zealand comp

Piru, sadly Cameron Clyne won’t be around to listen to your “insufferable” jibes. 😛

Former Wallabies sign with Western Force

Good to see the Westies are coming back home. Their NRC2019 side played some pretty good rugger and wiped the floor with most teams, many containing 7-10 SR players. It wouldn’t surprise me to see them notch up a couple of victories. The pack is a pretty good unit and their 9. Ian Prior, 11. Jonah Placid, 12. Nick Jooste, 13. Pama Fou backs are very very good. Write this team off at your peril.

Kyle Godwin will likely play 5/8th as the Rebels would have 1st dibs on Andrew Deegan who played for the Force NRC and GRR teams last year. I imagine any bidding war between WA and other states for the services of say K.Godwin or perhaps even a returning A.Coleman would be a one-way contest with Twiggy putting a couple of bucks into the play.

Former Wallabies sign with Western Force

Soapit, I agree this will see more boot to ball but I think WR suggested these changes be trialled as a way of opening the game up a bit more. Stifling rush defence from super fit players just 1m behind the ball is turning many matches into rugby bore-a-thon of player crushes ball up into defence trying to get quick ball against re-organising defence.

Attackers lay all over ruck to ensure no lost ball while defenders attack the breakdown to slow it up. Ball come out and repeat. Once in a while, halfback kicks an up-n-under to pull defenders back.

However, I do agree with you that ensuring all the referees and linesmen are on the same page and enforce the current Laws properly would be a nice start also.

Rugby Australia confirms law changes for Super Rugby AU

But the player still has to front the discipline tribunal and both he and his team lose his services for the period of any ban. So the 20 minutes playing 1 man down (and presumably a lesser player) and the loss of that player for x number of weeks is a fair outcome.

I think this rule has come about because so many red cards are in a very gray area and rugby is a game of so many specialised positions that the loss of one person can cause massive disruption in one or more areas. League is different in that if a 2nd rower gets red carded, they just put a big winger there to do his job. Only difference is said winger has to do more tackling. Imagine putting K.Beale or M.Koroibete to cover for loss of a lock. LoL

Rugby Australia confirms law changes for Super Rugby AU

I agree with the rule/trial Law changes and can’t wait to see how teams adapt and just how much more attack and attractive it will be. I’ve been saying for years that a red card should allow a replacement after 20 minutes. Thank goodness the Kiwis listened. But I still think the 50:22 and 22:50 rules are just too easy for any decent kicker. Let’s get real, any SR kicker that can’t accurately punt a ball 28 m to near the sideline and roll over it should hang his head in shame. I watched many of the last NRC2019 matches where they trialled these two rules (and the line kick for held-ups) and most folks agreed they opened up the defences as people had to stand back to cover for the kicks. I would have preferred the attacking rule to be 40:22, so kicks must be from the attackers’ 40m to the defenders’ 22m zone. This exponentially makes the kick more difficult (accurate 38m kick with defenders charging you is not easy at all) but still rewards skill.
It didn’t happen much in the NRC, certainly not to a one-trick attack but the fear with this rule certainly is teams that have a powerful maul (looking at you Brumbies) will aim for the sidelines and then crush the opponents with 5-6 lineout maul tries. That’s one reason why I would prefer a more difficult kick to get the reward of a line out near the enemy’s try area.
This leads to my 2nd gripe, what do we do with mauls? I notice nothing has been said about the maul which I still view as organised obstruction once the ball is passed back. Having said that is there anything more sterling in rugby than seeing a well packed maul push forward 20-40m upfield, but seriously all the advantages are to the team with the ball. All through the rugby Laws, we read of a fair contest for the ball, but once it’s pass back the word FAIR is eliminated. I remember even before RWC2015, Scott Allen had a Roar article along the lines “how can we fix mauls?” Most Aussies and some Kiwis wanted mauls radically changed whereas many Saffers and other Kiwis were traumatised at even the thought of messing with their beloved set pieces. ????
So it is what it is and too firmly entrenched to bring about major reform. The only Law change I can think of that has any chance of success is “The maul can only move forward if the player who originally had the ball remains at the front of the maul, even if the ball has been passed to players behind the front line”. What this leads to is no twisting of the maul and/or groups of players peeling off and charging forwards as if a new maul. In SR many teams employ this tactic, “push forward, twist, peel off and score try” despite Truck-n-Trailer laws (ref interpretation!!). So now, as soon as a maul twists the defenders can directly attack the ball carrier, even if he is packing behind 7 other blokes, rather than having to bash their way through the 7 “blockers”.
The only other gripe that likely will never get addressed is the multitude of medics, water boys/girls, towel holders and “horse whisperers” which flood the field every time someone needs a rest goes down with an issue. The whole stadium sits in a time warp while players catch their breath and reorganise their defence. Far more time is wasted with this flouting of “safety first” rules than scrum resets.
Any comments, Roarers?
Lastly a coronavirus joke as humour is a good medicine. Today I walked down to the local shopping centre for milk and a newspaper (crosswords and sedoku) and this bloke coughed while standing near me. I felt nervous as he was well inside social-distancing rules.
I know people can’t help it but I would feel much easier if they would FAR COUGH. (say that fast!!!)

Rugby Australia confirms law changes for Super Rugby AU