The Rogues Rant #280

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

By Ron Wood

What a great morale boosting win for the Wallabies in difficult circumstances against the French in Brisbane. The 33 – 30 win which sealed a series win for the Wallabies,even though against virtually a French B Team will add much needed confidence in the Squad as they prepare for the upcoming Rugby Championships.  In a horror first five minutes the Wallabies lost both wingers and where left one player short for the duration. Filipo Daugunu was the first to go with a suspected broken arm from his first involvement in the match. Reeling out of a tackle Daugunu was replaced by Reece Hodge in the opening frantic minutes of the match. The injury was compounded by the Send Off of Marika Koroibete after five minutes of play. The outcome of the incident was described by Aussie Coach Dave Rennie as “terribly milked” by French Captain Anthony Jelonch, The Send Off goes against all the good work done so far by officialdom to deal with the dangers of high tackles in Rugby. There is no doubt in my mind that the Referees got this one wrong, with the actions of Jelonch critical to the outcome. Yellow Card maybe yes, Red Card no. Subsequently Koroibete has been cleared by the International Juduciary. The players can’t have it both ways. If they want the support of Referees and fellow players in an effort to rid the game of dangerous tackles then they can’t be allowed to get away with the sort of rubbish we saw from the French Captain in this match.

With Covid continuing to create all sorts of drama for people all over the country it really is looking unlikely that we will get back on the field in 2021. The IDRU Board and clubs are in discussions trying to come up with a possible scenario which could see some form of on field conclusion to the 2021 season. The latest suggestions in regard to a possible date for a lifting of Lockdowns doesn’t auger well. It would suggest that there will not be enough time for clubs to be able to sufficiently prepare for a worthwhile tournament before the September 25th deadline. There is still some hope out there that this can be achieved but obviously the longer the lockdown goes the chances diminish even further.  

There are also concerns now for the Rugby Championships with the New Zealand Government pausing quarantine free travel across the Tasman for 8 weeks. This will impact directly on the opening Bledisloe Cup match set for Wellington on August 7th. It also throws into doubt the Rugby Championship tournament itself, set to commence two weeks later. The Springboks and Pumas are programed to play their two games against one another in South Africa before relocating to New Zealand and Australia for the remainder of the tournament. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and goodwill between the various Unions and National Governments if the health and safety issues can be resolved in order for this tournament to go head. At least we will see some action at the Olympics in Japan.

The British and Irish Lions take on South Africa in the first of three Tests on Saturday in Capetown. With the country in the firm grip of Covid and experiencing recent unrest in the community, the Test Series will be conducted surrounded by heavy security. All three Tests will be played in Capetown in an empty Cape Town Stadium over the next three weekends. There has been plenty of competitive banter being exchanged by the two camps and I think we can expect quite a physical series of matches. You can watch them all on STAN, starting at 2.00AM on Saturday.



25th September        Grand Final, WIN Stadium       

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