In today’s news, we’ll recap the weekend gone with rugby results and women’s rugby in Australia getting the same old treatment from the old boys’ club.
You’ll have seen that Green & Gold Rugby has been sold by Matt Rowley to Ponderosa Publishing. As the name suggests, this means that the recently departed group of writers, who formed their own site a few months ago, will be returning from next week as the owners of Green & Gold Rugby. So, for the second time this year, it appears that I’ll be hanging up my G&GR whistle, cards and notebook and head off into the great rugby unknown. The reality is that I can’t go through the whole process again considering how the last insurrection unfolded. If I wasn’t wanted then, I doubt I’ll be wanted now. The reality is that, for a long time, writing for G&GR was like a Wallaby jersey – it is not yours in perpetuity; one is simply a custodian of the site. Under new ownership, I don’t know if this will be the case.
My best and many thanks to Newtta, GoldyLocks, Par4Course, The Masked Avenger and Blindside Bludger who stepped up and wrote some truly fascinating articles in the last month or so. Without you, G&GR would likely have faded into the distance. Anyway, that’s enough from me. I wish the Green & Gold Rugby well, but for now and likely ever, it’s farewell.
SUMMER NATIONS SERIES RESULTS
Ireland 29 def England 10 – match report here
Further reading about the ‘Depths of Despair’ facing the Soap Dodgers and their new coaching regime led by Steve “Boring Rugby” Borthwick can be found here. Long story short is that, were the Wallabies to face the Poms in the RWC, I certainly wouldn’t be as worried as I would be with, say, Argentina. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Billy Vunipola after he went ‘Full Faz’ and got himself likely a few weeks’ break, too.
France 34 def Fiji 17 – match report here
A weakened French side got the job done against the Fijians. That being said, the Fijians will be much better for the run. Watch out!
South Africa 52 def Wales 16 – match report here
Things looking good for the Boks. On the other hand, the Welsh are looking like they’re in trouble. At least with the Wallabies, I can see improvement.
Italy 57 def Romania 7 – match report here
If Romania are getting pantsed by the Italians, then I fear they’re in for a very long RWC considering they’re in the ‘Pool of Death’ with South Africa, Scotland, Ireland and Tonga to play. Pending results, ‘For and Against’ may well be a useful stat.
Georgia 22 def USA 7 – match report here
Definitely a big game approaching for both Wales and Australia. On their day, Georgia could well be trouble. How good for rugby though!*
*unless the Wobs lose… then that’s very bad.
Samoa 28 def Barbarians XV 14 – match report here
Uruguay 33 def Argentina XV 13 – match report here
YOUR MOVE, RUGBY AUSTRALIA
Once again, RA have allowed the marketing pigeon to completely misread the room and post a (since deleted) video of the WAGs of the men’s side allegedly living it up on the RA dollar prior to the departure of the Wallabies.
Now, I saw the video before it was deleted, and it was so tone deaf that I sat there in shock that even RA could be so f*cking stupid. I mean, I should expect this from an organisation that can’t even write a proper employment contract, but still. This is the same organisation that could have bought touch football in Australia. But they didn’t, and it’s since gone to the NRL. This is the same organisation that could’ve blown NRLW out of the water before it even started. But they didn’t. Now, some of the most marketable names (think Emma Tonegato and Charlotte Caslick as examples) and previously up and coming players, some of whom (like Grace Kemp) have had over 10 years’ worth of rugby union development put into them, going to play NRLW either permanently or on side hustles. This is the organisation that has had a functioning women’s side (albeit pretty much totally amateur) and going to WRWCs for more than two decades. Guess what? Absolutely nothing has happened. This is the organisation that lost a major sponsor, BuildCorp, when RA failed to create a women’s NRC in 2017. You’d have thought that they’d have learned at least something. Alas, clearly not. I would go as far as to say this is Phil Waugh’s first failure as CEO of Rugby Australia.
Looking at the success of the Matildas (both on and off-field, to say I couldn’t care less about soccer would be an understatement. Indeed, soccer in general is on par with my care factor as the Waratahs are. But I was still swept up in the “Tilly fever” as much as the next person. On top of the success, what was noticeable was the passion that was spoken about for women’s sports. At morning gym sessions the discussions of women’s sport have been a breath of fresh air. That women and girls of all ages were able to share in the celebration and success story of this world cup will both boost soccer in Australia for a decade and, likely, cost rugby in one way or another at the beginning of their own ‘Golden Decade’. Unless the issues that are so blindingly present in the women’s game are sorted before the end of the year, then rugby will find itself on yet another precipice in this country. Clearly this level of goodwill hasn’t quite reached the Eastern Suburbs of Sydney, where all focus is on the Shite Shield finals and fuq everything else.
To say that I was delighted that Rugby Australia was called out by pretty much the entire women’s rugby side is, again, an understatement. See below:
Some of the names in the women’s game sharing this post include the current Wallaroos captain, Piper Duck, and former captain, Shellie Millward. Millward said on Instagram, “the talent I’ve watched walk in and out of rugby due to the way our female game and athletes are treated… Our game should be valued and marketed, not a sub-par box ticking exercise for you.”
Alicia Quirk on Instagram says, “The first thing I thought of during this FIFA World Cup was that (RA) need to employ every single person that was involved to have the same effect for the 15s WRWC in 2029. RA can’t afford to miss another opportunity to propel with women’s game forward.”
Allanah Ferguson says, “There’s a WRWC in 2029, plenty of time to invest and make a huge impact before we host on home soil. we all had the privilege of experiencing the positive effects for the Matildas, time to inspire mini rugby heads!
Don’t forget that, for most women, playing rugby beyond clubland usually costs them a fortune. See this article from a few seasons ago.
TL;DR – do better, RA.
CM – out.