Rugby Union 2013 Thread

Discussion in 'Sports and Fitness' started by Jono, Feb 16, 2013.

  1. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Yeah, that game was real heart attack material so I can only assume mine is in reasonable shape since I'm still here. Not every kickfest is boring, although the ref got just a bit carried away IMO.

    Lord, we made that difficult for ourselves. So many handling errors and stupid passes and the like; every time we worked ourselves into a decent position someone would drop the damned ball or pass it to an invisible person. Still, we played what little rugby was on show in the game and deserved the win.

    I, too, was quite convinced Halfpenny would drill that kick. Thank God even he can miss occasionally, even with Neil Jenkins in his pocket every time he lines up a shot. Warburton was extraordinary and the tide definitely turned when he went off.

    And O'Connor, despite that pass, isn't the answer at 10. There has to be a better option, and his name isn't Cooper.

    The other day I said this:
    Well, now we know what's next - the Horwill thing. How completely and utterly pathetic. The British and Irish media whine and the IRB jumps to do their bidding. Yet more crap from the northern hemisphere and yet more proof they do the sport far more harm than good. I agree that Horwill won't be playing on Saturday - they'd hardly go to all this trouble just to re-confirm the original finding - and that's a disgrace IMO.
     
  2. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Glad to see that the Canadian QC upheld the original decision. Nice to see the IRB rightfully looking stupid (or at least more stupid).
     
  3. Infern0

    Infern0 Captain Captain

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    I want an israel Folau backpack
     
  4. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Incredibly enough, he's actually an English QC living in Canada. They couldn't even get someone genuinely independent. :rolleyes:
    It boggles the mind that they keep managing to find ways to look even more imbecilic. Regardless of whether or not one agrees with the original decision, it was arrived at properly and competently. Which is more than one can say for the IRB.


    Meanwhile, big call from Gatland and co to drop O'Driscoll. He hasn't exactly had a stellar series but even so. He's quality and always has been. It's a pity we won't see him again.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2013
  5. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Smith back into the starting side for the first time in a couple of years. Wonder what his contract situation with Santory is and if he'll be available for the RC or if this might end up being his final test.

    Gill is the one who misses out and has been dropped along with Horne with Ben McCalman coming onto the bench. Not really a big fan of McCalman, but given Palu's fairly average run so far I can see why you'd want a loosie that can cover no.8.

    Probably haven't been this excited for a Wallabies match since 2011 RWC semi-final against the ABs, though unlike back then I genuinely believe that the Wallabies can win.
     
  6. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    During a soundbite on the news earlier Smith seemed reasonably certain this is his last hurrah. Still not 100% convinced about him just wandering back after three or four years and getting a start, but I won't complain too loudly. Yet.

    I remain hopeful rather than confident about Saturday. O'Connor isn't a 10; I hope Deans' persistence won't end up biting everyone on the arse.
     
  7. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    15 to go and the Lions up by 20, I'm going to call it now. The Lions put on their best performance and the Wallabies put on their worst. Lions looked far more desperate and had the intensity, so maybe the Lion's call that the Wallabies played their grandfinal last week might not be too far off it.

    Jesus, they just scored a pathetically easy try to Roberts with a simple run from a lineout.

    This is an incredibly disappointing way to end the series. Can't help but think what could have happened if Beale wore better boots or Leal played out the first test, but in the end the best team has won the series.

    Edit: The Lions got another try and it was 41 - 16 in the end. Not the ending anyone would expect to such a close series. The forwards were absolutely dominated, the scrum was a shambles and the backs didn't get anywhere near as much ball as they needed. Even when they did have the ball the Lions defence was outstanding.

    Shame to see Folau get an injury, but Mogg stood up well in his debut. Made a good break, but lost the ball in a fantastic ankle tap. He also took over a lot of the place kicking and his tactical kick into the Lions corner was an example of what he can bring.

    Looking towards the Rugby Championship I don't see Deans changing much. The new players he blooded have done well. The biggest question will be whether he continues to push O'Connor at no.10. My Brumbies bias has me wanting to see some more Brumbies join the squad, but really only Nic White has a reasonable chance of making the extended squad.

    Also this results will continue the speculation about whether Deans will see out the rest of the year. If the RC is average or a disaster he'll have no hope as there is coaching review after the RC. Wouldn't be surprised if the QLD push for McKenzie starts tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2013
  8. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    A weird weekend for rugby, first of all the Chiefs got utterly pantsed by the Crusaders in Christchurch 43-15, almost made me think it was some kind of ruse to manage to lose by that much close to the playoffs, but no they were just that shit. Next up we had the Hurricanes lose to the Highlanders in Wellington in an absolute seat of the pants tryfest 44-49, the men from Dunedin managing to win even after having two players yellow carded during the game, and finally moving off the bottom of the table. And last but not least the Wallabies had an absolute shocker and got thrashed in Sydney by the lions 16-41, that while the Lions didn't have a decent halfback until well into the second half. The Australian scrum went backwards for the majority of the game, and for once even Genia appeared to have an off day. At least you guys got a new quality goal kicker out of the series in Leali'ifano, nailing 100% of his kicks at goal during the three tests. I think it's fair to say Deans will be looking for a new job shortly, and if I were a betting man I'd say Ewen McKenzie will be the new Wallabies coach.
     
  9. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Even though I think Jake White is a better coach I don't think he'll get the job. Australian fans want the Wallabies to play like the AB all the time and White's South African mentality, which is far closer to European, might be tough to sell. Not to mention the very ugly side of nationalism that has dogged Deans would continue to be an issue. I've already read comments by people at rugby sites that go along the lines of "What's worse than a Kiwi? A saffa" in relations to the Wallabies coaching job.

    In the bigger picture it would also be better to keep Jake White at the super level as it would help keep the Brumbies competitive. Australian top level rugby coaching stocks are already pretty thin and if White moved up we would probably see McKenzie leave QLD completely and end up overseas again.

    Edit: Just read that Ewen might be going to the Rebels so might not lose him if White gets the job.

    Other news from the Rebels is that today they've announced they are cutting O'Connor loose at the end of this year. Even with O'Connor's issues I've found this new surprising because I was under the impression that the Rebels were also losing Beale to the Tahs. Maybe Beale is staying afterall because you wouldn't think the Rebels could afford to lose both of them. As for where next for O'Connor, the Force would probably be his destination if he's to stay in Australia.
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
  10. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    Well, after all the hype and buildup that was quite a disappointment, wasn't it?

    Bigger issues in offline life just now mean I'm less downcast about it than I'd otherwise be, but what a letdown for all concerned that we saved our poorest performance in quite some time for (arguably) the biggest game in this country in a decade. Meanwhile the Lions were brilliant. They'd have beaten pretty much anyone with that performance, never mind a team that basically had a collective shocker.

    It's not often a game is lost at the kickoff but I'd argue we were gone that early. All the work to rebuild our scrum's reputation is gone yet again, and even though I don't rate O'Connor as a 10 no one on earth could have conjured anything with the pack going backwards all night.

    Every bit of due credit to the Lions. They clearly were up for the occasion and while I highly doubt they wanted the win more than our blokes did, they certainly gave that impression.

    I suppose Deans is gone, which will be a victory (of sorts) for the bigoted jingoists out there (like that maroon-eyed dickhead who writes for the Murdoch broadsheet). The mind boggles at what sort of puerile reactions we'd see if White was appointed. I genuinely despair and fear for this country and where it's heading these days, a far wider and more important issue than who coaches our rugby team but not entirely irrelevant either.

    That O'Connor is being punted by the Rebels is...well, I'm not quite sure what to make of it. It would be weird to see him slink back to the Force but I doubt any of the other sides would want anything to do with him.

    All's not lost. IMO Deans has made some weird decisions but he's brought through a lot of blokes who might not otherwise have had a go. I certainly don't subscribe to the mindless, jingoistic conspiracy theory bullshit that he's destroyed Australian rugby. He's done more good than harm, but the moronic element that seems to be on the rise in this country will never see that. I dread McKenzie being appointed but I suppose I'd better try to start getting used to the idea.

    That said, it could be a long RC for Wallaby fans.
     
  11. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.

    :rolleyes:
     
  12. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  13. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    All the problems facing Australian rugby have now been solved.

    Or something.

    :rolleyes:
     
  14. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    ^ 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!
     
  15. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  16. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    ^That makes two of us, then :lol:

    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 :devil:

    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 :techman:
     
  17. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  18. Orac Zen

    Orac Zen Mischief Manager Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  19. Jono

    Jono Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    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.
     
  20. NCC1701

    NCC1701 Commodore Commodore

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    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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