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Sports and Fitness It's football, not soccer.

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Old July 8 2013, 09:15 AM   #91
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

It's (apparently) official: Deans is out, McKenzie is in. Ignorance, parochialism and xenophobia presumably have nothing to do with it.

Meanwhile, the players - many of whom were given their opportunity in a gold jumper under Deans - who served up that garbage on Saturday will get to go on with their careers. I've never really been able to get to grips with that concept (regardless of the sport concerned). Coaches don't coach teams to screw up kickoffs, go backwards in scrums and generally play more like deer in headlights than highly paid "professional" footballers. Yet they get the boot and the players stay. It's bizarre.

I can hear the hysterical laughter from across the ditch now as our Kiwi friends absorb the (highly likely) return of Cooper to 10 and plan accordingly.

McKenzie had better win everything immediately. Apparently he's just that good. Or something.

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Old July 8 2013, 09:36 AM   #92
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Mixed feelings about this. Never a great fan of the summary sacking of a coach, but once its done you just have to hope for the best.

Glad to see White sticking with the Brumbies especially as they are pretty much in the finals. Anyway, it will be interesting to see who's in and who's out of the Wallabies in around a months time when the RC squad comes together.
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Old July 9 2013, 09:03 AM   #93
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

All the problems facing Australian rugby have now been solved.

Or something.

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Old July 10 2013, 07:09 PM   #94
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

^ Hope you're getting through your RL issues okay Orac Zen

As average as O'Connor was, Cooper certainly isn't the saviour for the Wallabies at flyhalf either, at Super level he's admittedly very good, but unless he's upped his game while not playing at international level - highly unlikely - he's going to get found out again in the Rugby Championship. Personally I'd like to see Beale get another crack at the number 10 jersey, he seemed to handle himself pretty well last year in that position when about half the squad was out with injury. Yeah I know he did play at flyhalf for about 20 minutes in the last Lions test, but even the likes of Carter or Wilkinson would have struggled to impose themselves while the entire forward pack was going backwards.

The other rugby union news making headlines around here at the moment is the 'will he or won't he?' questions surrounding McCaw playing for the Crusaders before making his comeback to the All Blacks. While it probably wouldn't hurt to have some Super game time before jumping into the deep end of international rugby, at the end of the day it's his call to make. This year sure seems to be going fast, we're already at the last regular round of Super Rugby, not to mention the Rugby Championship is just over a month away now!
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Old July 11 2013, 11:07 AM   #95
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Thank you, NCC. Much appreciated.


Beale is possibly the best of a so-so bunch around at the moment, but it's a safe bet that McKenzie will go for Cooper, regardless of the fact he's repeatedly been found wanting at international level. McKenzie has indulged Cooper ever since he took over the Queensland gig so he's hardly likely to stop now.

Some of the media reaction here to the coach swap has been beyond pathetic. It's incredible to see some of the maroon-eyed types who played in / gushed over the dreary 10-man Connolly crap era rejoicing at the appointment of McKenzie - a Victorian who played for Randwick, the Sydney club that epitomised the running rugby ethos that has suddenly become "the Queensland way" of playing the game. It would be hilarious if it wasn't so utterly puerile.

It's not exactly likely, I know, but I really hope the Tahs absolutely belt the crap out of Queensland this weekend.
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Old July 13 2013, 12:44 AM   #96
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

^That makes two of us, then

The Crusaders won at home against a much improved Hurricanes squad from last week, in fact there was only one point separating the two sides until 75 minutes in, all three of the Cantabrian tries coming from Hurricanes errors, 25-17 at full time. Damn, I was hoping for an upset, can't have everything I guess

And surprise surprise, the Highlanders coughed up a 24 point halftime lead to lose 35-34 to the Rebels in Melbourne, which really just sums up their entire season in one game. At least both games last night were entertaining enough, I'm hoping tonight's Blues vs Chiefs game will be as well because I'm going to Eden Park to watch it in person
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Old July 13 2013, 06:11 AM   #97
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Definitely an exciting finish in the Rebel's match. Only watched that last 5 minutes and jumped in just as the Highlanders got a penalty to move 4 ahead. I think it was for someone being offside during a kick from the 22, which if they lost was a very poor way to lose a game. Nice way for the Rebels to end given how many people are leaving. Delve will be missed. He might not have been spectacular often, but he was solid and a decent leader. Couldn't have been easy with the "stars" egos he faced with Danny Cipriani then followed by the "two amigos", O'Connor and Beale.

The Rebels also stated that they aren't going to try to stop Beale leaving. A bit surprised after the O'Connor news, but it looks like they are serious about fixing and improving the club culture. They might be in for a bit more short term pain, but credit for them to looking out for the entire team.

I also didn't see Beale at the Rebels game last night. These guys were his teammates and the amount of shit he's put them through they deserved to be shown a bit of respect by him. I might have missed him, but if he wasn't there that is quite a pathetic thing to do and speaks a lot about his character.

ANyway, looking forward to tonight. Hope the Tahs can win despite missing quite a number of players and of course I'm hoping the Brumbies win and the Chiefs and/or Bulls lose so that the Brumbies end up 1st or 2nd.
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Old July 13 2013, 08:47 AM   #98
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Interesting that Beale has been cut by the Rebels; they indicated he stayed in Sydney with their blessing to continue counselling for his alcohol issues. (Presumably said counselling didn't entail yet another late-night / early morning visit to the Cross.) I agree that the Rebels have handled the situations with O'Connor and Beale in an absolutely spot-on manner. Good for them for trying to build something substantial.

Also good to see that the Force aren't exactly knocking themselves out to re-sign O'Connor. He desperately needs his gigantic ego to be brought under control. Frankly, I wouldn't care if he went overseas and stayed there, although I can't imagine too many clubs anywhere wanting to pick up that kind of baggage.

Really hoping for a Tahs miracle tonight.
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Old July 13 2013, 02:56 PM   #99
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

I was going to give the Tahs a bit for the lackluster way the ended the game, but the Brumbies gave a lackluster 80 mins to lose to the Force 21 - 15.

I wonder how much the Reds just winning and the Chiefs winning took it out of any urgency from the Brumbies. If they got a bonus point win they would need to Bulls to lose for them to get into 2nd to have a week off, so they had something to play off. A week off would be good, but with the Cheetahs having to come from SA maybe the Brumbies lost that drive for the spot and were "happy" with the current known situation. Then again, they dropped their bundle last year against the Blues as well, so questions over whether the Brumbies are really ready for high pressure finals rugby.

The Brumbies looked for the pace all night. The fact that the Force scored two tries in the 1st half through quick taps within 10 of the Brumbies line showed there wasn't that desperation to hold the opposition out. The Brumbies also had 18 or 19 handling errors. It was a bit wet before the game, but the Force only had about 7 so the Brumbies can't blame it all on slippery ball.

My disappointment aside, I'm glad to see the Force get a home win. They have battled hard all season with little reward and I think the commentators said this was the first time they've won 3 at home in one season, so their supporters have been long suffering.

Finals next week. We have the Crusaders hosting the Reds and the Brumbies hosting the Cheetahs. Both Saders and Reds go in on a win while the Brumbies go in on a loss against a team off a bye but a solid win a week earlier. My early tips won't be of much surprise: Crusaders and Brumbies for week 1 of the finals.
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Old July 14 2013, 09:38 AM   #100
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Blues vs Chiefs was a bit of a comedy of errors after the Aucklanders controversially got a player sent off after accidentally rucking Craig Clarke's head in the 20th minute, the contest was pretty even considering Baden Kerr was sin binned just after half time, a limp Chiefs attack did finally see them home with a bonus point 26-16, Cruden missing all conversions somehow. Nice to see Anscombe step up at the death and nail the last penalty of the match though.

Pity to see the Waratahs lose after spending most of the second half on the attack in the Reds half, and surprising to hear the Force managed to knock over the Brumbies one week out from the finals. And the Stormers had one last awesome performance in them to give the Bulls an ass-kicking in Cape Town, 30-13 at full time, actually managed to catch the last 20 minutes of that game this morning.

So the Chiefs get top spot and they and the Bulls get next weekend off. My prediction is Crusaders and Brumbies to win, provided the Brumbies can step up after the loss this week.
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Old July 14 2013, 11:32 AM   #101
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Unfortunate that the Tahs couldn't produce the right result but given the personnel who were missing it was a decent effort. I'd grumble yet again about poor goalkicking and how costly it is at this level but...yeah. We seem to have something to build on for next year, but from a Wallaby perspective (the only one worth taking for an Australian, IMO) "next year" has got to happen sooner rather than later for the Tahs. It is not good for Australian rugby for NSW to continue to underperform year in, year out.

Not unhappy at all about the result in the west.

My interest in the Super series is pretty much over but as an Australian I'll hope for the best from the two sides I most dislike.
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Old July 21 2013, 09:30 AM   #102
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Brumbies sneak through 15 - 13, with Riann Smit missing a sideline conversion in the 82nd minute to take the game into extra time. It was a ding-dong battle with both teams hammering in defence and very active in the breakdown. Cheetahs got two tries to none, with the Brumbies just lacking that polish to find the try line. For example, Mowen threw two bad passes to an unmarked player on the wing within 10 of the try line to butcher the tries. However, the Cheetahs defence also gave its all to make sure the Brumbies couldn't get easy or fast ball. Good, hard game.

Brumbies have a tough task with the Bulls in SA next week, don't expect them to win due to the travel, being a bit off and the quality of the Bulls, but I hope they give the Bulls a tough fight.
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Old July 27 2013, 10:37 AM   #103
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Chiefs win their semi-final by 20-19 against the Crusaders, booking a home final at home against either the Bulls or Brumbies. The Crusaders looked to be well in control in the first half leading 9-3 at the break, but converted tries to Masaga and Cruden plus a penalty saw the Chiefs home in the end, even a converted try to Dagg and penalty by Carter wasn't enough to turn the tide, the last quarter of the match playing out much the same as the semi final last year between the same teams. Here's hoping the Chiefs have one more big game in them this year! Might do a road trip to Hamilton next weekend to watch the final in person. Say hi to the Reds for me, Crusaders
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Old July 27 2013, 06:26 PM   #104
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Can't believe it! The Brumbies steal the victory in the dying minute of the game to beat the Bulls 26 - 23. The game was close for the full 80 mins, the Brumbies got away to a 10 nil lead in the first 12 minutes thanks to a penalty and a great try by Mogg after a fantastic break and no look flick pass from Speight. The rest of the first half was close with the kickers exchanging penalties, but importantly the Brumbies kept their noses in front going into the 2nd half.

The second half was brutal and the Bulls came out firing. So much so that by the 60th minute when the Bulls for the first time in the match got into the lead by one point I was sure they would grind their way to victory. Crucially from around the 65th min to the 75th the Bulls went for touch instead of the penalty and failed to get any joy from it. With 4 to go they finally took one and had a 23 - 19 lead and I thought they would hold on. Thankfully I was wrong and Toomua sliced through the Bulls line in the 78th minute and great backing up by Kuridrani saw the winning try. After the conversion the Brumbies just had to regather the kick off and hold for 15 secs and they did just that to make their way into the finals.

Big ask to come back and face the Chiefs over there in NZ. Crusaders definitely found it so back in 2011 when they came back from SA and got dispatched by the Reds in the final in Brisbane. Strong chance that the Chiefs quality and freshness will see them to a back to back victory. Regardless, excited to see a Brumbies team make the final after nearly a decade as also-rans.

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Old August 3 2013, 08:18 AM   #105
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Re: Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Between the pathetic (and very detrimental) player power antics of the not-too-distant past and the fact they're based in the shithole that is our embarrassment of a national capital, I don't have much time for the Brumbies.

Needless to say, I very much hope they can overcome the odds and notch up a win.
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