Hubert Hugs Coach After Victory
What could have taken place at Windsor, a battle between loose and tight head props from CW and Caps – Buydens and Marshall, actually took place in the Land of the Long White Cloud when Byden’s Manawatu Turbos edged Hawkes Bay for the ITM title, 32 – 24 this past weekend. Described as a classic battle and a high standard of play, one of the features was a scrum near the end of the half when Buydens actually had Justin Marshall “skywalking”! We give you the utube link, as our site prefers not to show it as it does contain language that may be offensive to some, although it does add a touch of humour (amongst FRF members, that is!), to the event!
Meanwhile, across the Pacific in OZ, Jake Ilnicki completed a very good season with the NSW Country Eagles when they lost their semi-final against Quade Cooper’s Brisbane Eagles, 26 – 32. Ilnicki started in ten of his twelve matches and played alongside Wallabies such as Hoiles, Mc Kibbin and White in so doing. These props are three of a squad of 33 that Kieran Crowley has named for fall tests against Namibia (#22) in Wales on Nov., 7th; Samoa (#9) in France on Nov., 14th; and Rumania (#16) in Bucharest on Nov., 22nd. This is a schedule that really throws down the gauntlet to players who want to play in next year’s RWC. It has all the ingredients that the team will face – opponents of lower, similar and higher rank, the rigors of travel and unknown venues and friendly and unfriendly spectators!
Currently there are a number of injuries to players who will hopefully be important considerations for the final team – Mack, Evans, Phil MacKenzie, Hirayama, Scholtz, Jones and Underwood. For this pundit, the #10 shirt appears to pose the most questions. It looks like Braid and Parfrey are the options. I wonder if the idea of Hearn, who we have seen in good competition play #10, might ever be a consideration? He can boot the ball to buggery to get field position, he knows how and when to pass and can take a gap at pace when the opportunity arises. Two years ago one would not have considered this idea but at this point in time, it could be an answer, as his game has matured significantly – heavens knows, Rugby Canada has shown at the ARC’s that they are not afraid to experiment! It would appear that McRorie is the leading challenge for the other half back spot.
The forwards look solid but must come up with the goods. Ardron is the skipper and is playing well in the U.K. and the rest of the group hold no surprises except for Richard Thorpe – played with London Irish, Leicester and London Welsh for a decade or so in the Guinness/Aviva League. So the tight five; Barkwill, Beukeboom, Buydens, Cudmore, Hamilton, Hotson, Ilnicki, Marshall, Pearson, Phelan, Tiedeman and Woolridge. Loosies are; Carpenter (does he still have have the pace....he certainly knows how to pick up a ball when a pack recedes, or will he be playing hooker) , Dala, Gilmour, Moonlight, Sinclair and Thorpe.
There is plenty of pace in the backs with Hassler, Duke, Paris, van der Merwe, Wilson-Ross and Trainor. Others are Braid, Blevins, Hearn, Jamie Mackenzie, Mc Rorie, Parfrey, White and Pritch in the custodian spot. This is definitely the best available group. Perhaps some are getting a little long in the tooth but it is a side not short on experience nor desire, as proven in the past with most of them. The opposition will test the skill level, tactics, toughness and unit strengths. CW wishes the touring party and staff all the best and we will be following with extreme interest, the outcome of the matches. Go, Canada!
MINI GURU, MATT GORDON CELBRATES A MILESTONE BIRTHDAY!!
DAVE ("BING") CROSSLEY LEADS HIS U14's TO ACTION AT THE PIGGIE DOME!