I recently had the pleasure of watching a documentary by the name of The Call of the Wallaby in the catalogue on Kayo. I highly recommend! It explores the highs and lows (mainly lows) of being a supporter of the Wallabies. At the time of publication, The Wallabies had lost 11 Bledisloe Cups in a row, weren’t those the golden years! Do you remember anticipating victory like a fool?Continue reading “Fair-weather Followers; Fickle or Fair Enough?”
The Waratah’s season for 2019 is over. Well really it’s been over for months.
No heart, no idea and not even enough smarts to punch someone whilst the ref’s not looking.
Today we witnessed the revelation of the Rugby World Cup Jersey to be worn by the Wallabies in Japan come September.
With little surprise, the reaction from the rugby community could be best described as “mixed.” With the majority of comments being negative or indifferent.
What struck me in watching the reactions unfold, was the sheer number of people longing for yester-year. With numerous calls to return to the jersey of 2000-2002. A genuine green and gold jersey rather than the canary yellow we’ve grown accustomed to over the last decade or so.
A jersey I loved. A jersey I still love, wearing it more often than not, although mine is not in such good condition.
Why do so many want to return to this jersey? Does everyone actually prefer the gold as a more pleasing aesthetic? Or is there something else going on?
Today was indeed a revelation, but not simply revealing a new jersey, but revealing the heart of a nation sick of losing. I reckon so many Australians long for the old jersey hoping it will somehow turn the tides of our misfortune on the scoreboard.
2002 was the last time the Wallabies lifted the Bledisloe cup. The most prized possession of an Australian Rugby fan. And with few exceptions the Wallabies at that time were generally successful. The Rod McQueen era was marked by pride in the jersey, and there was an inextricable link between that jersey and success.
Unfortunately pulling on that jersey will do little to change our fortunes. If you are disappointed in the 2019 RWC jersey, please don’t blame Asics. Blame almost 2 decades of poor rugby.
Pulling on the jerseys of the past won’t magically win us a World Cup. We need a radical transformation from the inside out. Putting on a facade won’t improve our fate.
All too often in life, we try and improve our fortunes by making superficial adjustments to our exterior, rather than doing the hard work to be transformed from the inside out.
Paul urges the believers in Rome to be transformed in view of God’s mercy;
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.Romans 12:1-2
The heart of the issue is not what’s on the outside, but what’s going on within.
If we’re ever going to stop being a pack of losers, we need to embrace radical transformation from the inside out.
Bring on RWC 2023…
Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby Union have declared an intention to terminate Israel Folau’s contract unless any mitigating circumstances are presented.
They have not been able to make contact with him to discuss directly. Instead opting to flag impending termination.
Holding orthodox Christian views and presenting them publicly is no longer acceptable to Rugby Australia.
Unquestionably Israel Folau has a passion for both the God of the bible and Rugby Union.
These two passions we share, however where we differ is nuance and methods of evangelism.
Izzy has come under intense scrutiny with his Instagram post which can be found here.
A game of rugby can be an absolute thing of beauty, but it can also be a real dogs breakfast. The sheer complexity of the laws when combined with an over exuberant referee and a group of players with little to no law knowledge is like a slow motion car crash, you don’t want to look, but you simply can’t look away.
Dangerous tackles deserve tough sanctions in my opinion (discussed here) but the discussion surrounding the red carding of Sio Tomkinson of the Highlanders (the video can be found here) is mind boggling. From keyboard warriors to “respected” news outlets all crying foul of what is a reasonable open and shut case. Continue reading “Your Opinion does not Dictate Reality”
Being a Waratah’s fan is hard work. We have more than a few fair weather supporters, but we don’t have a lot of fair weather to report.
In a game which had high error rates, a penalty count of 26 and multiple disallowed tries there was an air of inevitability of a Waratahs defeat.
We specialise in well constructed multiple phase play, followed by an error that would get you dropped from an under 11’s side. Tonight did not disappoint.
But the greater disappointment is there is no surprise. This is Waratah’s rugby.
Try as he might, Michael Hooper (Waratah’s captain) must be getting tired of ‘finding the positive’ in subpar performances on an endless loop.
With two minutes to go, the Waratah’s were awarded a kickable penalty. Bernard Foley is an excellent kicker with a career average above 80%. Victory was there for the taking.
But our Waratah DNA took over. It missed to the left.
Awarded a penalty in the 84th minute (4 minutes into injury time) on our own 5 metre line. It would take something special to go 95 metres for an unlikely victory. The Tah’s didn’t have the courtesy of making their mistake early, rather waiting 20 odd phases, 2 penalties and 65 metres to make that inevitable mistake.
Welcome to 2019 Waratah Fans.
The opening match of the Super Rugby season was a great hit out between the Highlanders and Chiefs. Apart from establishing the All Blacks as World Cup contenders, we saw a great match with plenty of tries, a red card and a game decided in the last 5 minutes (by the players).
It took only 2 minutes 15 seconds before the Televised Match Official got involved and sparked controversy. The on field referee Glen Jackson asked for clarification on grounding for a potential try. He indicated that his on-field decision was try and sought conclusive evidence to the contrary. 3 minutes of actual time later, nothing conclusive was discovered, yet ‘No try’ was the call. Overruling the on-field referee, undermining his original decision, without anything close to ‘clear and obvious’.
I was under the impression from World Rugby press releases late last year that the role of the TMO was to be minimised. I must be mistaken.
However in the 68th minute, further controversy was introduced. Again Glen Jackson asked for assistance, citing ‘potential foul play’. After a number of replays the Highlander replacement was found to have made contact with the head, using his shoulder and no attempt to grasp the opponent. When you describe it in those terms, its a open and shut red card. Glen Jackson explained his decision in clear terms before issuing the red card. It should have been open and shut.
At a meeting in September 2018, World Rugby’s Rugby Committee determined that certain aspects of foul play law needed to be reinforced by match officials:
High Tackles and Neck contact – Law 9.13 & 9.20
High Tackles and Neck contact – Law 9.13 & 9.20
In both the tackle and cleanout as per current law:
A player must not make contact with an opponent above the line of the shoulders.
Every time the head or the neck is deliberately grabbed or choked, the offending player runs the risk of receiving a yellow or red card
Head contact and cleanouts around the neck must be penalised.
Match officials should work together to ensure that foul play is strictly penalised and that player welfare is paramount
You can argue until you are black and blue in the face about the role of the TMO and that he should not have been involved. You can complain we live in a nanny state and call the tackle soft. But you cannot argue with Glen Jacksons logic and application of the law in this case.
In a similar incident last year where referee Angus Gardner was hung out to dry by World Rugby. Angus made a decision inline with guidelines, and yet there was still outrage.
Commentators should have a better understanding of the law, game management guidelines and protocols. For the entire time replays where being shown, there was a continuous monologue focused on a “nothing to see here” narrative. And when the Red Card was issued, outrage, shock, and continued undermining of the referee.
It is no wonder recruitment for referee associations is almost universally a challenge. At some point elite rugby needs to support the grass roots. Understanding how the law works would be a good place to start.
With rugby season just around the corner, pre season
paining training (for us referees) has just begun. Judging by my general lack of fitness, I should have started months ago. Yet with 10 weeks to go until Round 1, not all hope is lost for moderate levels of fitness come season proper.
Fitness training, as a group of referees, has not always been a thing in our association. It is a ‘new’ initiative of our executive this year. I’m pleased to run around with the other referees and help each other to work on our general fitness. But the primary benefit for training, in my view, is not the fitness. Continue reading “Pre-season Paining”