The Roar
The Roar


Roar Guru

Joined August 2011









Nick Berry was not their worst enemy… The Brumbies were their own worst enemies – poor discipline and cynical.

AAA and the Brumbies scrum didn’t lose because of Spider Cam or boring. They spent too much time focusing on Thor all season and not enough time fixing their scrum.

The Reds have major line out issues and won because of JOC and his maturity.

Great occasion for Aussie Rugby, big crowd. But both sides are really going to struggle in NZ

Super Rugby thriller! Last-ditch James O'Connor try hands Reds the Super Rugby AU title

Very interesting point about ball runners bending into a tackle.
They are taught to do that, lower body height and drive up into a tackler.
So should that technique be penalized?
Similarly, many players are taught to turn in a tackle to provide quick clean out- this leads often to lifting tackles becoming illegal/ beyond the horizontal not because of the tackler but because of the tackled.

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Lots of comments on my reference to head gear…

What about the prospect on banning all tackles except those around the waist?

It is not an impossible prospect… plenty of medicos and lawyers want the game to go there or be banned.

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Emery really appreciate your comment- in my humble opinion it is one of the best I’ve read.

It is important to emphasise that the majority of head injuries in contact are to tacklers NOT to the tackled.

Accepting that there will be some head injuries is important too. If that is unacceptable then the game becomes extinct.

But most important is the punishment fitting the crime. Swinton and Tu’ungafasi’s indiscretions were in my opinion low level but no part of the process/ law allowed the committee to arrive at that conclusion.

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Thanks for the comments Noodles.

My question, why is a red card and 4 week suspension more affective than a yellow card and 4 week suspension?

I think Hooper and Cane have to say it’s up to our teams to get better otherwise they have targets on their backs! But my second question, NZ and Aus have probably been drilling and practicing tackle technique every day since RWC 2019. Why did these tackles still occur (in one game no less) if the rules are capable of making a difference?

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Puff totally agree that if this is about the players give them a pivotal role in the judiciary process.
And more than that make the process an actual step by step assessment of tackles and not the kangaroo court run by 3 non players we saw this week.

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Thanks for your comments.
I do understand that a major purposes (if not the major purpose) of these laws is to change player behaviour.

But is that being achieved and if not, why not?

We have two professional players who tackle drill almost every day of the year getting it wrong in one game and making contact with a players head.

It’s not isolated to a Bledisloe either. The RWC last year, the 6 Nations etc.

So is the law actually achieving anything? Arguably not. So why?

It’s been in place a year, coaches are hot on it as they don’t want to play the game with 14 men… suspensions are tough.

Maybe just maybe it’s impossible to play this game at speed and get it right all the time.

We're missing the point in the rugby player welfare debate

Wright and Koroibete have earned the right to those spots for this series now but great to see some depth with Daugunu and Vunivalu breathing down their necks.

There seems to be depth across the board now with the exception of lock and fly-half and centre. And all that will be addressed next year when there are discussions with Rodda, Arnold and Kerevi as well as JOC and Toomua coming back.

"We want him to earn the right to play": Dave Rennie speaks about Vunivalu's Wallabies call-up

We all complained for 5 years that we had no Swinton. Now we have him, we need to encourage and understand that playing on the edge has some risks, especially if you’re young.

Ofahengaue, Cockbain, Finnegan.
Botha, Burger, Etzebeth, Retallick.

Every champion team needs one.

Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand: The results


That old chest nut

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

Thanks I have taken a look actually at how League would treat it.
A ref has DISCRETION to penalize, sin bin, report and send off a player. If Swinton was playing Origin he probably would have got 10mins off and on report:
At best a Grade 1 careless high tackle is a fine or 100 points (1 week suspension)
At worst a Grade 3 reckless high tackle is 600 points (6 weeks suspension).
I would guess Swinton would get 2-3 weeks (maybe 1 or 2 with an early guilty plea).
So yeah, sending him off with 50 mins of a game less and then the potential of a 6-8 week suspension is rubbish. You get less for striking, biting and gauging in some cases.
The game is getting SOFT

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

Totally agree- 10 years ago he would have been lauded for it.
Swinton’s debut was wonderful in my book. Remembering the 2009 Lions series where Botha, Roussow and Burger went at it with Shaw, Wallace, Heaslip.
Swinton made nine first class hits and then got one wrong. Let’s not be too hard on the kid. We’ve all been crying out for an enforcer in the pack with some passion and anger- he’ll learn to control it.
Neither of the red cards last night were particularly bad. Should be 10 in the bin, on report and 1 or 2 weeks at worse. Ruining the game with these calls and replays and crowd contributions to cards (goes for both cards and crowds anywhere).

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

What has the game come to.

If it was league I reckon it would have been 10 in the bin and no more than 2 weeks.

It’s BS.

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

Every champion side needs a Swinton- think Finnegan, Botha, Etzebeth.

Go easy, I loved his debut and he will learn. He’s a young guy on debut who put in 10 shots that were great and 1 shot that 10 years ago would have been lauded.

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 4 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand


Great to see engagement with the article and wanted to respond.

1. Australian Rugby can’t afford too many more days like yesterday. Financially or otherwise. Is that unfair on Rennie and his young team. Yes.

2. Hooper’s presence in the back row has unbalanced the pack for too many years. He was not the best 7 in Australia when Pocock was fit. He is not the best 7 now. Keeping him there continues to cause problems on and off the field. Alternatives at captain AAA, McReight, Toomua or JOC. My pick would be McReight.

3. I care little for Alan Jones but yesterday’s performance gave him oxygen. And Kearns is a very powerful/ prominent figure in rugby running the campaign for RWC 2027. To say ‘who cares’ misses the point.

4. Lolesio scoring on debut is about the only good thing you could say about his first Test. It is not a positive but a small mercy.

Youth is no excuse for national humiliation, but it is the solution

Paenga Amosa, Lukhan and Philip only obvious positives from that game.

Lolesio and everyone outside him were clueless, immature and disrespectful of possession.

If we are going to blood youth let’s do it properly. Bench Hooper for McReight. Bench White for McDermott. Retire Hanigan and Simmons.

VOTE: Wallabies Bledisloe 3 DIY player ratings vs New Zealand

I think you’ve answered your own question though…?

The NRC has zero tv audience. It is profit neutral at best. So the question most seem concerned about is how do you create pathways. The pinnacle must be in this order:

State of Union
5 Super Sides
Rep/ Merit Sides (Country, City, PM XV etc)
Club 1st XV

Among that list there is a clear pathway for players to aspire. Rep Jumpers used to mean something to guys playing club- some got to that ‘merit level’ and realised they’d never be pros. Others took the next step.

Again, don’t understand how you can ask players, let alone the public to aspire to or emotionally invest in a NRC side with no tradition that’s been created in the abstract to ‘fill a hole’. As a young bloke, I tried my guts out to play for QLD country even though I knew I had no chance of the Reds. We need to foster that desire and pathway at both school and club level.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

But that’s not the point Brett.

Of course the Lions won’t play Waringah, although funnily enough Randwick played one of the greatest games of Rugby played in Australia against the All Blacks just 3 years before we won a World Cup…

Anyway, my point is that the Club Comp should be a feeder into City/ Country selection as well as touring sides like PMs XVs or even ANZAC XVs that go and play Natal or Western Province or Auckland or North Harbour etc.

Said it before and I’ll say it again, the NRC has no appeal to TV money or audiences.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

The NRC was meant to be a Curry Cup/ NPC equivalent but both of those comps have huge history and tradition. They are also of a much higher standard than the NRC (could you imagine the Lions for example playing Perth Spirit?)
We need to base a strategy on traditional clubs and rivalries. I’d also love to see more use of possible v probable games as well as tours where say the Reds Healers’ or PMs XV went to NZ or Argentina or similar- curtain raisers for tests! Get the grass roots community coming back into these empty stadiums. That won’t happen with NRC

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

The problem is the NRC costs a lot more than it makes. It’s also arguable it’s only really been utilised by QLD to bring anyone through and even then, most of the players who were signed from it would have been anyway.

I think a huge misconception is that by having a club comp there will be nothing between that and Super Rugby (or whatever it’s called).

There will be schoolboys and u/20 rep rugby but there will also be QLD or NSW reserve or country tours of NZ etc. All that won’t just disappear.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

To me the development pathways are absolutely key but can only come from existing comps.
I’m a Sunny Coast boy, I have no particular allegiance to GPS schools or premier clubs. But I do think that you start with the clubs that are viable, that have history and take it from there.
Norths in Brisbane should be a feeder club for QLD country for example. Brothers already has a huge connection with Nudgee etc.
But I can’t see how having sides in the Shute Shield who routinely are thrashed helps them, their opposition or rugby in general.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

I tried!
My view is that half the Shute Shield First XVs should be playing in Reserve Grade- the comp is unbalanced and has been for a long time. Scores of 50 nil etc happen on a weekly basis.
That said, it looks like the new board is avoiding that battle, keeping all clubs happy and I like the proposal which should see the finalists in Sydney playing Brothers, Tuggeranong etc.

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

This was my point last week when I wrote an article about a club comp.
The NRC is a Frankenstein comp made up of teams created in the last 5-10 years with no history or tradition. Hard core rugby folk watch it but nobody else does.
In my opinion, this tv offering takes the best concepts from AFL, soccer and league and commits to growing them.
Was very happy when I saw it.

Optus reportedly eyeing off Rugby AU's new broadcast offering

Tried to tell you last week Jez…
No broadcaster wants the NRC. There’s no tradition or following behind it, it’s only watched by hard core rugby people.
I think the proposal is an excellent one!

Champions League and State of Origin-style fixtures headline Rugby AU's bumper broadcast offering

That’s true.

The other thing to say is the Rand has been weakening steadily for years even since before Covid.

How is SA going to keep any of its Boks playing provincial rugby when they can make 5 to 10 times as much in France, England or even Japan but stay eligible to play for their country?

Sorry Australia, the other two nations will supercharge southern hemisphere rugby