The Rogues Rant

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

The Wallabies take on Wales Sunday morning our time after their big win in Japan last week. The form of the Wallabies has steadily been improving this year culminating in the big win over New Zealand in Brisbane. Hats off to Michael Cheika, who once again, has shown that given the opportunity he can bring the very best out of his players. The Wallabies effort against a somewhat depleted All Blacks side in Brisbane was full of merit. The players showed a level of commitment and confidence in one another that has been missing from the side for some time. The form of Kurtley Beale since his return from Europe has been pivotal in the side’s performance. For mine Beale’s performance since his return has risen to a new level. He is now more willing to play with more vision in creating opportunities for the players around him. Keep it up Kurtley, players like 3rd time John Eales Medal winner, Israel Folau certainly appreciate your work.

What a great tournament the NRC has been this year. The final this week sees the top two sides The Canberra Vikings and the Brad Thorn coached Queensland Country meeting in Canberra. There were no NSW teams in the finals after a nail biting final round of matches. The NSW Country Eagles let themselves down by drawing their final match against Brisbane City, 38 all in Orange. The next day Perth got up 29 – 26 over Queensland Country to pip the Eagles for fourth spot and a place in the finals. Perth couldn’t get past the Vikings in last weeks semi going down 40 – 35 to miss a spot in the final. Queensland Country thumped the Fijians 57 - 21 in the other semi to qualify for what will be a very interesting match on the Canberra Vikings home ground at Tuggernong at 7.30 on Saturday night.

An interesting feature of the recent Barbarians v Classic Wallabies match in Lismore was the involvement of two Shoalhaven juniors. Included in the Alan Jones Ba Ba’s side were Warringah’s Tom Connor and youngster Brett Wellington who is still in school at Scotts College in Sydney. What a wonderful opportunity for both young players to be involved in this match and to be able to experience just what it takes to prepare for such a match. I’m sure both guys will be better footballers for the experience.

It’s Annual General Meeting time of the year with AGM’S happening all over the place this month. The NSW Country AGM is on Sunday 26th November with the IDRU AGM set down for the next day Monday 27th at the Builders Club. Word is that there may be an Illawarra flavor at Country level for 2018, we’ll have to wait and see! The 2018 Country championships are set for Far Western NSW in April/May next year with the exact venue to be confirmed shortly, probably at the AGM. Looks like we are in for a long trip to the Championships this time round, with the venue likely to be Warren. Shaun McCreedy will be at the helm of the Illawarriors again for 2018 with Tim Olsen going around again as Coach of the Colts Squad.    

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

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