Friday’s Rugby News
Horan Say No World Cup With Pooper
I’ve been saying this for ages but not even my family pays any attention to me. They’re both great players and in lots of cases, you can just squeeze two great players into any position they fit. But I like to think of the back row as one position played by four players every game. If you pick the wrong guys the position is not greater than the sum of its parts.
But it’s not about me it’s about Tim Horan agreeing with me over on Foxsports.
“I just don’t think we can go deep into a Rugby World Cup having David Pocock and Michael Hooper in the backrow at the start,” Horan told the Fox Rugby Podcast.
“I just think we need a very big six and a big eight, that’s what’s happening in world rugby, you’ve got to have these ball carriers.
“I like the way (Jack) Dempsey’s been playing, I like the way that Isi Naisarani’s been playing and there’s other players as well that might come to get an opportunity in these five Test matches pre-World Cup.
“And do you start David Pocock and actually have Michael Hooper on the bench as a captain from the bench?
“There’s all these different combinations in that backrow but I’m a big believer, I think you need two big second rowers who can carry, you need a front rower who’s a really good carrier of the ball and you need a six and an eight who can carry and tackle because World Cups are about getting across the advantage line and giving yourself a platform.
“And then you could potentially bring David Pocock on later in the game.”
Pocock’s pilfering abilities remain exceptional when fit but Horan didn’t think that part of the game was as crucial as it had been in the past.
“In Test matches now, because the cleanout is so quick and players are so quick to the breakdown, I don’t think you’re getting as big an opportunity as David Pocock got two, three, four years ago,” Horan said.
“I’m a big believer that when you look at Ireland, England, South Africa, All Blacks — those four teams have really got big backrows, big ball carriers and are bending the defensive line.
“That’s something we’ve got to really look at.”
I caught Locky McCaffrey on the Fox rugby Podcast today and what he had to say about his journey into and out of and back into Super Rugby made a lot of sense. I’m glad someone made it into an article to make it easy for me to quote. McCaffrey wants coaches and selectors to concentrate on what happens on the park and look less at what happens in the gym.
A Sydney schoolboys and Australia under-20s product, McCaffrey played one game for the Waratahs in 2010, seven for the Force in 2012-13 and eight for the Brumbies in 2014.
Frustrated by a lack of regular game time, the skilful loose forward then packed his bags for England, signing with battling London Welsh
“Going overseas isn’t the first choice when you’re 24 and trying to play Super Rugby and make it to the Wallabies.
“I went over to a team on minimum wage and we lost 42 games in a row.
“I played nearly 100 Premiership and European games in three years and I think what that did is you get to show your skills as a rugby player.”
After impressing with London Welsh, McCaffrey moved to traditional Premiership powerhouse Leicester Tigers where he really stamped his mark on the English scene.
He hit it off with their coach Aaron Mauger — now guiding the Highlanders — and noticed big differences to what he had experienced in Australia.
“A lot of Super Rugby in Australia, over the last five years, from my perspective, if you’re a good athlete and you’re good in the gym and you’re fast over 20m etc, you normally get the first jersey,” McCaffrey said.
“And overseas, especially the rugby I played in England, they weren’t too worried about what you lifted in the gym or how dynamic, how explosive you were or what your speed test was.
“They just looked at you on the field and if you played good rugby they kept picking you.
JUNIOR WALLABIES DEFEAT ITALIAN U20s
The Junior Wallabies have started the World Rugby U20 World Championship at a sprint. In Santa Fe, Argentina smashed the Italian u20’s 36-12.
Australia scored five tries to Italy’s two with flyhalf Will Harrison leading the scoring on 11 points in the bonus point victory, which was built on a strong defensive platform in a similar vein to the team’s Oceania Championship triumph over New Zealand last month.
Australia currently sits on top of Pool B with five points, alongside Ireland who defeated England 42-26.
Junior Wallabies Captain Fraser McReight said: “It’s always enjoyable getting out on the field, playing for both Australia and with your best mates.
“We were a bit disappointed to concede some late points but overall it was a positive start and we’re now looking forward to our next couple of matches and hope to continue to play our style of rugby.”
The Junior Wallabies will now take on Ireland in their second Pool B match on Saturday, June 8 at 11.30pm AEST.
Will Harris opened the scoring for the Aussies after an early break from Isaac Lucas to score under the posts in the early exchanges.
Then, on the back of a turnover, winger Mark Nawaqanitawase made a break out wide and found hooker Lachlan Lonergan in support to register the team’s second try, which was converted by Harrison to open up a 17-0 advantage at the break.
A powerful Australian offensive continued in the second half, with Triston Reilly crossing 15 minutes into the second half, extending the lead to 22-0.
It was at this point Gilmore ushered in changes, bringing Sione Tui on for Reilly while Nick Frost came on for Trevor Hosea, making his Junior Wallabies debut in the process. These reinforcements sparked an immediate change of pace, with Australia scoring back to back tries through Lonergan and Noah Lolesio to make it 36-0.
Joe Cotton’s yellow card with five minutes to play opened the door for the Italians to cross twice late in the contest, through Niccolo Taddia and Jacopo Trulla, but it was all too late with the Junior Wallabies running out 36-12 victors.
Junior Wallabies 36 (Lachlan Lonergan 2, Will Harris, Triston Reilly, Noah Lolesio tries; Will Harrison 4 cons; Will Harrison 1 pen) defeated Italy 12 (Niccolo Taddia, Jacopo Trulla tries; Giacomo Da Re 1 con)
Beauden and TJ hit the Ton!
All Black pairing TJ Perenara and Beauden Barrett will play their 100th match as an inside back combination for the Hurricanes against the Lions at Ellis Park in Johannesburg on Sunday
The pair had their first match as halfback and first five-eighth respectively for the Hurricanes in 2012.
The pair, who have both played 123 times for the Hurricanes, has forged a partnership which has seen Barrett become the club’s leading points scorer (1223), while Perenara has scored 52 tries, the most by any halfback in Super Rugby history.
It’s easy to believe TJ has been around that long but Baby faced Beauden Barrett is another story. He’s 28! Has played Super Rugby since 2011 and been a test player since 2012 clocking up 73 appearances and 595 points so far.
Check this out!