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wre01

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Joined August 2011

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It’s not really about offense and defence Rusty…
We have a game in Australia which is very fragile, often ridiculed and open to competition from multiple codes.
We have international rugby Union which is increasingly at the mercy of power brokers in Europe (where the SARU is basing up) who are implementing rules and regulations that would see Koroibete’s tackle punished.
And to cap it all off, it’s not about lunatic fringes. We have a director of rugby in SA making videos about referees and then ex Bok captains preaching about the soul of the game…
A conversation needs to be had about the direction of the game and the hypocrisy in SA whether people are offended or not…

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

It’s a really constructive comment and thanks for taking the time!

A few observations:

– SA was on the right end of a 16 to 9 penalty count. There were 2 wallaby yellow cards to 1. Doesn’t suggest a huge interpretation issue.
– Most Aussies see tackles like Koroibete’s every weekend in most games of league. In a crowded sports market sending him off for it would be suicide.
– That said, I genuinely don’t see the issue with the tackle. Yes, it was high impact and brutal but wasn’t high and an arm was attempting to wrap. Play on. There is no comparison to say Owen Farrell’s technique.
– Faf is a nightmare. Drama follows him. A lot of people find the Erasmus/ Faf/ Bok circus a little hypocritical, especially with the ‘soul of rugby comment’.
– Finally, accept that the Boks have a style but they didn’t win the last RWC playing as cynically as this. They can play powerful, direct and skillful rugby when they want to (we’ve seen too few glimpses since Covid).

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Hi Rusty

I felt compelled to write it for 2 reasons.

(a) there is a level of hypocrisy emanating from SA rugby that needs to be picked up on. From the Erasmus tape onwards.

(b) the Koroibete tackle is the first time in 3-4 years that I’ve had mates who follow league or AFL msg me saying “wow, what a moment for Union”.

It’s worth defending the game and calling out the commentary coming out of SA, even if it upsets a few.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Hi Andrew
Worth noting the guys you list above are professional writers.
My name is Will Evans. From this point on, I’ll write all my articles under my full name.
As a matter of interest, what upset you about it?
Cheers.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

You will have seen I mentioned Farrell in the article as World Rugby used him specifically as an example of a shoulder charge…
The tackle by Koroibete did not resemble an Owen Farrell special…

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

A good point Chronicle.
Faf deserved to have a penalty blown against him but would the ref, touchies or TMO have picked it up if not for White’s theatrics? And if it hadn’t have been picked up, would White have snapped 5 minutes later (as Swain did).
Personally, I see all these replays controlled by host broadcasters as problematic. Just encourages play acting but also discourages on field retribution – 20 to 30 years ago Faf might have found his jersey ripped off his back at the bottom of a ruck which might have been the only way to get him to pull his head in.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

A fair comment Winston.

As I’ve said, White should be embarrassed.

As a side note, I think the use of replays (controlled by host broadcasters) and crowds bringing TMOs into it has been very damaging. Players across the board (not just N White) are playing up to it and abusing rules that offer no discretion.

What the ref should have done is stop the game, told both Faf and White to stop acting like fools and then restarted the game with a penalty to the Wallabies reversed to the Boks.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

So Tim Horan, Andrew Mehrtens (and many other internationals) are cancelled out by Warburton?

A few others:

Swansea RFC Chris James said: “Legal height, side on tackle at speed, wrapped his left arm. Impact of initial shoulder hit made it quite hard for him to wrap though. Try saving tackle. No cards.”

And renowned rugby author David Beresford commented: “Great tackle. Had to go ‘wrong side’ with his head to stop momentum. Wrapped his arms too. Can’t penalise him because Mapimpi flies in the air due to Koroibete’s timing and super-human strength. They are both powerful and brilliant players so the impact was bound to be huge!”

The day we punish a tackle like that is the day we should all stop watching Rugby.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

No doubt there are some dissenting voices and a few who think the Koroibete tackle should have been penalised (such as Warburton).

But the vast majority of South Africans say it was a penalty try, a card and a citing.

And the vast majority of non South Africans disagree.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Think Koroibete’s effort was better than Gregan’s though arguably not as significant in the scheme of things.

9s have a defined role in defence which often involves a sweeping, covering style. Koroibete did what he did, his side a man down, reaching the opposite side of the field to his before the ball did! Incredible.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Excellent post PeterK. Hitting nails on heads as usual.

As you say, it’s the blatant hypocrisy and blinkered view coming out of RSA that is so difficult to stomach!

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

A very good post.

In my mind it isn’t about my team is better than yours, it’s about calling out hypocrisy.

The bigger story in my opinion is the reaction to Koroibete’s tackle. A sad indictment on the game that people seriously want him cited.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Good point Piru!

And hear hear. Adelaide turned it on.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Boks are more than capable of playing with a powerful but flowing rhythm. Think Lions in 2009. Think first half against the AB’s this year.

This isn’t about a DNA or style. It’s about them deliberately slowing down the game, cynically allowing support staff to loiter on the field and creating dangerous contests in the air that look to force knock ons.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

No justifying Whites behaviour, it was embarrassing and wrong. But is Faf any better… and he is celebrated in SA?

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

Important to say this isn’t just a social media thing – the majority of rugby writers in SA have said the same things.

As I say in my article, White should absolutely be embarrassed but with Faf involved, well he’s just as bad.

Most concerning is this campaign against Koroibete. If we reach a point in the game where we are punishing an effort like that, we may as well give it all away.

Boks stealing rugby’s soul, not White and Koroibete

He actually wasn’t- was one of the best for Aus A.

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

Wilson is an 8 but he’s not as good as Valentini in 2022. Rennie tried to fit him into the side but as you say he’s not a 6.

Everyone knows how important 6s are for the work you don’t see more than anything.

Holloway and Swinton have been the best 6s since Rennie took over. Both have had 2 or 3 starts, let Holloway grow into the role – he’s a third line out option, has a bigger body and has played plenty of 6 in his career.

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

Holloway isn’t a razzle dazzle six, we don’t need one of those.

Cockbain, Finnegan… rarely showed up in highlight reels. They are in there doing the tough stuff rather than hanging about in the centres.

Holloway has shown more than Wilson, Swinton etc at 6.

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

The way I see it, now is the time to give Campbell 4 tests at full back against NZ and the Boks to see how he holds up against the best – he should have played against Argentina but a baptism of fire and a chance to make a name for himself… get it done.

Yes he’s small but so if Willie Le Roux. Beale isn’t big. Cullen was 85kg dripping wet and there is heaps of Cullen about Campbell.

Petaia is erratic, Wright is not a full back and Beale … please no! If Campbell can’t hold up then our only option is Kellaway and he should play every test at 15 afterwards.

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

Good point with Kellaway covering wing/ fb on bench.

There is a lot to say about taking a chance with Cooper and Kerevi out. Unfortunately I just don’t see Rennie doing all that. Won’t drop White, seems to think Campbell too small, likely to pick Hodge as his utility.

Beale and JOC not the answers!!

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

Start Campbell! He may be small but Cullen wasn’t huge- his beautiful balance, instinct and heart made him a great 15.

Pending injuries, this side should be picked:

1. Slipper
2. Porecki (best find of 2022)
3. AAA (Tupou needs a rocket)
4. Philip (Arnold did nothing special)
5. Swain
6. Holloway (answer to probs at 6?)
7. McReight (needs time)
8. Valentini

9. White (bring McDermott on early)
10. Lolesio (pick and stick Quade out)
11. Koroibete
12. Paisami (closest to Kerevi)
13. Ikitau
14. Kellaway (Peataia too erratic)
15. Campbell (give the boy a chance!)

Against the Boks they may well need a 6/2 split on the bench. Sio, Faingaa and Samu should all be there. Rennie has a big call on Tupou- cr@p attitude, doesn’t seem to want to be there, very poor discipline which seems to be a lack of focus

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

100% they have to try Campbell.

Wright is not and never was a 15. Could never understand how his performances v England got people so excited. Uncertain, indecisive, risk taking- like a winger playing full back!

But let’s not put it all on Wright. Petaia is a player who thinks he can do it all, win the game on his own. Tupou doesn’t look like he cares a lot. Arnold doesn’t deserve to start ahead of Philip.

But more than all that, we were playing a third choice 10, third choice 12, 4th and 5th choice hooker. Thank goodness it wasn’t against the Boks.

Kellaway should come back on to the wing along with Koroibete. Wright to the bench, give Campbell an opportunity!

ANALYSIS: Rennie must take leap of faith in Campbell and Beale to solve Wallabies' worrying fullback puzzle

The evasion comment was really interesting…

Does it flag up fewer replacements/ fewer stoppages? Only way you can increase number of gaps, make players smaller etc.

What's missing from Foster's All Blacks? Key reason they've fallen from grace as coach nears exit

I suspect it’s Schmidt. Don’t think it should be but I’d be surprised if they have the balls to go with Razor

What's missing from Foster's All Blacks? Key reason they've fallen from grace as coach nears exit

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