Friday’s Rugby News.
‘Cadbury Flakes Crumble’.
By the time you read this I will be dead!
Well brain-dead anyhow, I will have arrived in the land free of dentist’s, coincidentally also the world capital for unsolved homicides & banjo shops per capita, Brisbane in the Queensland Peoples Republic of Queensland (QPRQ) to ‘enjoy’ the decider v The Frogs on Saturday night.
This week I take a look at our second test player ratings, your Wallaby XXIII for Brisbane, I respond as a ‘fickle’ supporter and look into the deep dark recesses of the known rugby universe for the Platinum Edition of ‘Friday’s Fast 5′.
‘Please sir, may I not have some more’
GAGR Player Ratings. (Editors note – the scores & comments were compiled days prior to Moses announcing the 3rd Test Squad)
1-5 Did they play? 6-7 Did what they should – whacky-doo 7.01-8 Above average 8.01 -9 Very Strong & consistent 9.01 – 10 Buy the man a beer – outstanding
1. Jimmy Slips. Does what he does. Was strong at set piece and willing in his work 5.5
2. Lightning. Back to his absolute ineffectual best. Watch his work around rucks – he is all ‘show’ and no ‘go’. Seems intent on being seen as ‘the hard man’ rather than actually being effective. 3
3. The Abattoir. Strong at scrum, busy around the park, but I’d like to see more grunt from him at rucks. 6.5
4. The Bull-shitter. Solid without standing out. Outplayed comprehensively by the French locks. 5
5. FKA. Largely invisible for mine. Not the answer at lock and Timani must start at Suncorp. 4
6. Sideshow Bob. Only natural he must find his feet at this level, but just doesn’t get involved enough with the ball for mine. Tries hard in D, but either Mad Dog or ‘the other Izzy’ need to start at 6 on Saturday. 4.5
7. Lee Majors. Strong Captains knock. Say what you like, but if he aint playing in Mexico, we lose by plenty. MOTM by some way. 8
8. Dirty Harry. Nullified by the French who did their homework. that said , he was sleeves up and hooked in as he always does. 7
9. The Commissioner. Improved outing and looked sharper in attack, but our 9-10 axis was again poor. 4.5
10 Genesis. We make a 60 metre break, we are in behind the French, they have a fractured defensive line and he kicks the ball away…..shows he still lacks game maturity – this was one of many examples. Good goal kicking is a minimum requirement, not a reason for getting a Gold starting jumper. 4.0
11. The Exocet. Terrific game and if not for shite basic skills of others – like catching & passing – would be a dual try scorer and MOTM. Herculean effort and he deserved better from those around him. 8
12 Two-Cows. Must have converted to Islam recently as he has been absolutely Shiite in these two tests. 3.5
13. The Squatter. Poor game but not helped by Two-Cows & Genesis quality of ball and space, needs to be at 12. 4
14. TBA. Was dreadful for the whole night, not one positive redeeming aspect to his game and should have been hooked much earlier. Training bunny next week only. 2.5
15. Bastards. Was sharper across his whole game, looked assured and dangerous and more than did enough to stay in 15 next week. 7
16. Uncle Fester. Didn’t have same impact and largely unnoticed. 4
17. The Bull. French reserves were larger and better prepared. Ate him and 7A’s at scrum time for match winner. 4
18. 7A’s. As above. Little impact other than going backwards at crucial time to hand Frogs (deserved) win. 4.
19. Lurch. tried hard but French were all over him. The French locks, both starting & finishing comprehensively outplayed ours. 4.
20. Not that Isi. Again looked good in the hand to hand stuff. Makes metres evey time. We are just starting to see the best of him and his off. 6.0
21. Billy the Kid. Pass is still poo, but what he offers over and above that more than makes up. Must start in Brisbane. I also REALLY liked his post game interview – honest, frank and he had the shits – that’s want I want to see from those in gold – show me it matters and not just that you are satisfied with the ‘effort’. 6
22. Len Ikitau. Showed enough in his limited time to start in Brisbane at 13, outside the Squatter at 12 and JOC2.0 at 10. He has some class this guy. 5.5
23. The Ginger Ninja. Must start in place of TBA next week. The awareness and pass to Hoop’s for that try was terrific. 6
Overall team score 4.5
Your Wallaby Squad for le décideur
Our Gold side have had 8 changes for the Suncorp Showdown – 83% accurate with our own GAGR Wallaby XXIII side selected yesterday.
I can’t say I disagree with the team much, bar #2. IMO Lightning was dreadful last up, but injuries and inexperience see him keep the gig. Dirty Harry no doubt rested due to ‘player management’ and fair enough too. His constant physicality and workloads so far this year and with a heap of tests still to come in ’21, we need this guy fresh & firing.
My tip? Mad Dog Swinton to terrorise the tadpoles and be MOTM in a 5 point Wallaby win.
1. James Slipper (102 Tests) 2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa (11 Tests) 3. Allan Alaalatoa (45 Tests) 4. Darcy Swain (2 Tests) 5. Lukhan Salakaia-Loto (27 Tests) 6. Lachlan Swinton (1 Test)7. Michael Hooper (c) (107 Tests) 8. Isi Naisarani (10 Tests)
9. Tate McDermott (4 Tests) 10. Noah Lolesio (4 Tests) 11. Marika Koroibete (36 Tests) 12. Hunter Paisami (8 Tests) 13. Len Ikitau (1 Test) 14. Filipo Daugunu (5 Tests) 15. Tom Banks (13 Tests)
16. Jordan Uelese (12 Tests) 17. Angus Bell (5 Tests) 18. Taniela Tupou (27 Tests) 19. Matt Philip (11 Tests) 20. Rob Valetini (6 Tests) 21. Jake Gordon (7 Tests) 22. Matt To’omua (56 Tests) 23. Reece Hodge (45 Tests)
‘The Fans are a Fickle Bunch aren’t they?’.
So Nick McArdle reckons us fans ‘are a fickle bunch’ eh?
Is it ‘fickle’ to reasonably expect:
1. Consistently competitive performances in terms of quality & application of basic skills
2. A win ratio somewhere in the neighbourhood of 60-70%
3. Be rated in the worlds top #3 at any given time
4. To see continued improvement across all aspects, player development, new tactics, new thinking, new approaches
5. To not be embarrassed or angry every time we witness a Wallaby performance and to expect a showing befitting ‘entertainment’. For when it’s all said and done is Rugby not in the ‘entertainment business’ and competing for our ‘discretionary spending’.
Perhaps I am ‘fickle’ in that I am tired of hearing about ‘effort’ from those in and around the Gold universe – you know our coach, captain and media pundits alike. Just when exactly did us fans allow the buzzword ‘effort’ to be an acceptable substitute for real, tangible substance, consistent results & most important for me – consistent quality of performance?
Have the Wallabies and us fans become so happily ensconced on the good ship ‘HMAS Mediocrity’ that we have accepted, nay, been complicit in allowing ‘weasel words’ and ‘defeatist phrases’ like ‘effort’ to become an accepted ‘get out of jail free card’ for an ever growing litany of shite performances and results?
Is it ‘fickle’ to be completely over 18 years of Bledisloe defeats? Is it fickle to be satisfied with a possible series loss to a second / third string French outfit – I mean when did Australian Rugby & it’s fans slip so far into the darkness that we even countenance such a thing was acceptable if the ‘effort’ was ok?
Isn’t Australian Rugby and the glory of our past successes built on a bedrock of belief, accountability and sustained performances that make us all proud? Or should we simple settle for the fact we are truly shite, but our teams ‘efforts’ are terrific – so that makes it all ok?
Or am I still being ‘fickle’ Nick?
Friday Fast 5
Fit & Fat or Fat & Fit?
Morgan Turinui has come out in the SMH questioning the ‘condition’ of our players post SR as they joined the Wallabies squad and in turn ‘the alignment’ of Wallaby & SR squads S&C programs. Having watched both he & big Sean Maloney on Stan and their ‘snug’ fitting suits (condom full of walnuts anyone?) perhaps they undertake some S&C of their own. I appreciate the TV camera ‘adds 20 pounds’, but exactly how many cameras are on them again?
Careful what you wish for.
The team from the Emerald Isle have announced 4 tests v The Nearlies over the next 12 months. With a northern tour game against NZ scheduled for November this year & then 3 tests scheduled in NZ during the Winter of 2022, well might you suggest the Oirish be careful what they wish for. With an All Black paddywhack, especially at home, this green side could go crawling home.
What happens on the field……..ends in the court’s.
Interesting news from Stuff NZ regarding a NZ club 7’s game involving formal police charges laid against a player with ‘intent to cause grievous bodily harm’ for events during an on field brawl. As a side note, surely then RSPCA prosecutors will be watching the case closely and consider laying charges against a litany of AB’s for their continued sodomy of a certain marsupial over many a year?
Mr Hooper “Yes, it sucks losing. The change room was definitely quiet. But the only negative will be if we take nothing from this, we don’t take a lesson learned.” So 18 years of Bledisloe losses, a quarter final loss at the RWC, series losses to the Soap Dodgers and the Paddy’s has taught us what exactly? ‘Slow learners’ ? Any slower we’d be forced move to Perth. Oh well, at least the ‘effort can’t be faulted’……..
A Pox on the BIL Tour?
The United Kingdom Touring Rugby side has suffered it’s first loss on tour against a ‘SAFFA A’ side in what was dubbed ‘an unofficial 4th test’ – going down 17-13 in a tough & physical hit-out. Apart from the ever-changing Wuhan Wonder Bug challenges, the BIL’s now face possible upheaval to the tour from worsening ‘civil unrest‘ in the Rainbow Nation.
I am off to The Gresham for a whisky.
Hoss – out.