The Rogues Rant #250

Welcome to The Rogues Rant, an occasional look at all things Rugby

Still a fair bit of argy bargy going on about the Rugby Championship Draw but SANZAR has confirmed the draw for the tournament to run from November 7 through to December 12. The Kiwis are still upset at the fact that with their last game on the 12th December means that their people will not be able to spend Christmas with their families due to New Zealand’s ongoing quarantine requirements. It’s a fair winge I reckon but all things taken into account in regard to all aspects of the disruptions caused by the virus I say fair enough and let’s get on with things.

Michael Cheika has been announced as an external advisor for the Argentinians in the upcoming Rugby Championships. What does that mean? In an interview back in March he said he wouldn’t coach against any side he had been with. Obviously in a professional sport such as world Rugby is these days that was always going to be very difficult to comply with. Good luck to him!

Speaking of the Rugby Championships, the Draw is out and final with games starting in Brisbane on 7th November. Each round will be played as double headers at the same venue, with the last round being played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on December 12. Other Rounds will be played in order at Bankwest, ANZ Stadium, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle, then back to Bankwest and ANZ.

Wallaby Coach Dave Rennie has ended all the speculation by coming out and announcing that Michael Hooper will remain as Captain of the side going forward. He is the only choice with the likelihood that the side will have a somewhat different look about it this year if the side is to settle in well enough to get some good results.

Another financial blow to the RA this week with the ending of the Qantas sponsorship announced. It must have been expected by Rugby Australia given the dire situation that the Airline finds itself in with the ongoing Covid pandemic. Even though Rugby in Australia is going through the roughest period of its existence there is sure to be considerable interest from Corporate Australia to take up this high profile international sponsorship opportunity.

The GPS Rugby program came to end this week with several Illawarra Juniors being named in the GPS Merit Team for 2020. Two Kiama players, Hooker Luke Males and center Angus Blackmore who both attend Kings were named as well as Shoalhaven junior, Prop Forward Zebadiah Maddinson who attends St Josephs. Another interesting selection was at Half-Back with Teddy Wilson, the son of former Wallaby Flanker David Wilson named.

The last Round of the Peter Woods Challenge Shield this week marks the end of Senior Rugby for 2020. After a match that was worthy of a Grand Final ranking between Avondale and Campbelltown last week the title has been decided. Avondale sits on forty points, ten ahead of second placed Campbelltown after their narrow 24 - 22 win over the Quinnies. Campbelltown are nine points clear of Vikings and Shoalhaven in second spot on the ladder in what has been a breakout year for the club under new Coach Sene Auelua. A brilliant performance from Andre Itula last week scoring four tries, has capped a fine season from the Wombats who have won all their eight games with a bonus point to complete a double on top of last year’s Grand Final win. The final Round sees Avondale traveling to Camden which should result in a strong win for the Premiers. Avondale to Win. Campbelltown are home to an injury depleted Shamrocks side and the Quinnies should finish the year with another victory. Campbelltown to Win. A second local derby between Kiama and Shoalhaven at Kiama this week should see another Shoalies win although the locals will have other ideas. Shoalhaven to Win. Match of the Round status is with Tech Waratahs V Vikings at Saunders Oval. Vikings will be keen to win to secure third ranking on the table but as usual Tech Waratahs will be just as keen to get the better of their neighbors. Vikings to Win.      

All opinions offered in this column are the opinion of the author. They should not be considered to represent the views of the IDRU.