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Thread: Force v Reds 20 March 2021. Suncorp Stadium

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNOB View Post
    Ok on your word I’ve bet my next beer on a Force win! ( eastern states prices)
    Nice article by Wayne smith
    Mind you it probably will motivate the Reds more
    Salutes a good rugby guy , now claimed as ours

    Article in the Oz—
    Only this week he was named in a World XV. OK, it was a World XV selected entirely from footballers who had played in the 2007 Rugby World Cup and are still making a living from the game. Nonetheless, it was still quite a tribute.

    Tributes don’t come readily to Greg Holmes. He is a prop. And unless one bench presses 200kg, runs 40m in 4.2sec and can destroy an opposition scrum single-handedly — think Taniela Tupou — props don’t get a lot of kudos. That might not be apparent on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium, however. For once, Holmes will step into the limelight, head typically bowed in embarrassment, to accept the applause of the Queensland crowd for joining the elite band who have played 150 Super Rugby games.

    The applause will be long and sustained, despite the fact that Holmes is now wearing a Western Force jumper. He would presumably have been treated just as generously had he registered the milestone at HBF Park in Perth, with the Sea of Blue there to hail the occasion. But, by a quirk of the Super Rugby AU draw, he will reach that marker in Brisbane, his home base for 144 of those caps, while playing against the Queensland Reds. Sometimes the rugby gods do get a tad sentimental.

    Western Force’s veteran prop Greg Holmes. Picture: Getty Images
    Western Force’s veteran prop Greg Holmes. Picture: Getty Images
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    Chances are you won’t recall many of Holmes’ career highlights. Oh, you will recount with great enthusiasm how he scored a long-range try against Ireland in Perth on June 24, 2006 but then everyone remembers that. Otherwise, it is just a grey blur in which Holmes, surrounded by teammates, getting his hair tousled and, in that cute boyish way of his, always managing to look proud and humbled all at the same time.

    Granted, that try does take some topping. At last count he is said to have run 80m. That is a complete exaggeration. It is no more than 70m. He is coming in to join a ruck when suddenly the ball squirts out at his feet. It is as though he has been waiting his whole life for this moment. He doesn’t dither, he doesn’t tarry. Four strides take him to the 10m line, so from there it’s another 60m to the line. He sets straight off on what, in Australian rugby, has come to be known as “the Pilecki line”.

    Big Stan was once asked how he managed to be there in support of a linebreak in the Barbarians match of 1984. Andrew Slack was beating rival after rival but when he was finally cornered who should come to his aid, lumbering out of the gloom, but 37-year-old Pilecki. “That’s what I do,” he said later, between puffs on his cigarette. “Run from goalposts to goalposts any time someone makes a break.”

    READ MORE:‘We’ll become the Queenstown Reds’|Nathan Grey gets his chance at Junior Wallabies|O’Connor’s redemption story
    Some might question Stan’s use of the word “run”. Still, on that night in Perth, that is assuredly what Holmes did. He pinned his ears back. Halfback Peter Stringer couldn’t catch him. Winger Shane Horgan finally did but by then it was too late. Holmes flopped over the line in his tackle next to the uprights, a giant grin on his face.

    “The best try in world rugby, ever,” pronounced commentator Phil Kearns, though in his next breath he instantly revoked Holmes’ membership of the Front Rowers Union. “You can’t run more than three metres to score. It’s in the by-laws.”

    Greg Holmes strains for the tryline with Nathan Sharpe in support
    Greg Holmes strains for the tryline with Nathan Sharpe in support
    Probably only his fellow Queensland players would fully appreciate the role Holmes played in delivering their only Super Rugby title in history. The Reds were hit by front-row injuries but as coach Ewen McKenzie searched around for someone to fill the all-important tighthead position, his gaze settled on Holmes.

    At that point, he was pretty much a loosehead specialist. That’s where he had played against Ireland. But there was something about Holmes’ Warwick-born “aw ‘shucks” attitude that convinced McKenzie he could stand up to the Crusaders’ All Black prop Wyatt Crockett. And that is precisely what he did in the final, scrumming Crockett to a standstill. The following day, McKenzie – himself an old Test tighthead – singled out only one Queensland player for special praise. Holmes.

    He came off the bench for his second Test against England at Twickenham in 2005 as Australia was trounced 26-16. That was November 12, 2005. Precisely 201 days later, he was picked for his first starting role in the Australian front-row with Rodney Blake and Tai McIsaac against a formidable England trio of Julian White (51 Tests), Lee Mears (42 Tests) and Graham Rowntree (54).

    The day before the Test, new Australian coach John Connolly was nervously pacing the streets at Subiaco when he chanced upon his new front-row, all dressed in T-shirts and thongs and with seemingly not a care in the world.


    “Oh God, what have I done?” he asked himself. The next day the Wallabies turned around that Twickenham defeat by 41 points before winning the second Test 43-18. And the Australian front-row stood resolute throughout.

    These days, Holmes has reached the same age as Pilecki back in 1984, 37. And he is starting to make very much Pilecki-like noises when it comes to giving it away. “I have definitely, definitely, definitely retired … I think,” Pilecki announced at the airport on his return from that historic Grand Slam tour. And sure enough, he stretched his Queensland career out one more year before eventually pulling the pin in 1985. Holmes is now making similar statements, indicating that he might play on in 2022. As they say, you’re a long time retired.

    It probably helps him that he is only playing the last 30 minutes of most Force matches but he has demonstrated repeatedly that he is a “finisher” in every sense of the word. And his lungs are remarkable good. That comes from free diving spear fishing which he took up in 2010. All those times McKenzie used to shake his head as Holmes and Liam Gill headed off to spear fish in “Shark Alley” … it turns out they were actually putting in “extras” in training, after all.

    Still, the shadows are lengthening now for the remarkable fresh-faced warhorse. His name perhaps won’t be the first to come to mind when Australian rugby during the period of 2005-21 is discussed. But the deeper the conversation goes, the more the contribution of Greg Holmes will come to the fore. That is the way it should be for a front-rower who spent his whole career avoiding the limelight.

    Except for those 9.15sec over in Perth.

    WAYNE SMITHSENIOR SPORT WRITER

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  2. #32
    Immortal Contributor shasta's Avatar
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    Lineout fixed.
    Scrum fixed.
    Koteka having another blinder.
    Couple of shit calls had us under pressure. Maul called then gives a ruck penalty. FFS. I got a new pair from Specsavers so I'm pretty sure I wasn't seeing things with a meter forward pass for their second try. Still the boys took the Ref out of it and right in the fight.

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  3. #33
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    I’m confused... 3 high tackles & a shoulder charge, but only a penalty -no card even after a ref warning?

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  4. #34
    Veteran SNOB's Avatar
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    Two weeks in a row we miss a kick for touch by going dead! FFS !
    With 20 to go I thought we could have had that but was disappointed when we went for touch with about 5-7 to go should have taken the penalty and still had a chance of a win.

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    May the FORCE be with you!

  5. #35
    Legend Contributor slomo's Avatar
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    The missed kick for touch second week in row is hard to take. A decent Saturday afternoon watch just not the result, we're getting there.

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  6. #36
    Champion Contributor sandgroperrugby's Avatar
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    Was a good game we were in it till the end. Couple of errors that if you took out then gees they are in. it kick for dead, Marcels pass, ref obstruction, kick out after taking back in. Hunter Paisami Was bloody good for them.

    I enjoyed the game (prefer different result of course) though and don’t think we are far off the more these guys play.

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    Generally speaking you aren’t learning much if your lips are moving!!!

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by SNOB View Post
    Two weeks in a row we miss a kick for touch by going dead! FFS !
    The guys are kicking for touch like me. Wild and woolly. Distance sometimes. Accuracy, not so much.

    They haven't got that metronome action you see from the best operators who have honed that skill with repeated practice.

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  8. #38
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    I think we've seen why the internationals are taking the field each week, both McGregor and beaches make critical mistakes that could have sealed the game if they were just a bit smarter. The commentators seem to pick a story at the start of the game and gave trouble shifting from it. They talked up holmsey all night for the scrimmage but I thought the story was kaitu U and Robertson, they held Tupou to parity excellently and the Reds scrum weren't able to wheel their way to penalties anywhere near as well as they could when the reserves came on.

    McIntyre much better this week. Unfortunately I think kahui left at the right time. He's to instinctively a centre and comes inside way too much on defence.

    I can see it building. I hope we can get another win up before we play in Melbourne, I think we'll definitely end up better than the revs, it's just a matter of when

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    C'mon the

  9. #39
    Veteran chibi's Avatar
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    Could really have won the last two games; three in a row was there for the taking.

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    Japan and the Pacific Islands for Aussie Super 9's!

    Let's have one of these in WA! Click this link: Saitama Super Arena - New Perth Stadium?

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    Legend Contributor .X.'s Avatar
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    Damn - I was almost a fricken Genius

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  11. #41
    Veteran valzc's Avatar
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    Would still like something else in attack, how often we lose the ball with pick n go. No sharp wingers with Pulu out, and Byron couldn’t get space. Makara or Lacey perhaps? But really proud of ‘em, big turnaround from last week. Just fuming at high tackles allowed.

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  12. #42
    Immortal GIGS20's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by valzc View Post
    Would still like something else in attack, how often we lose the ball with pick n go. No sharp wingers with Pulu out, and Byron couldn’t get space. Makara or Lacey perhaps? But really proud of ‘em, big turnaround from last week. Just fuming at high tackles allowed.
    I think the wingers are being hampered by limited penetration in the midfield, which I can't figure out with K train and taefs playing centres, I think they need to find a way to let those two play their natural game, which might be as simple as recycling possession quickly and giving them the ball.We're pretty consistently facing solid walls in defense which means there aren't gaps or weak shoulders to run through, what we need to do is identify what they're giving up to give them that solid line and attack the vulnerability, it will either be nobody at the ruck or nobody out the back (or the other possible option, they're so much better than us that they only need one in the ruck and one back...I don't accept that on though)

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    C'mon the

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by GIGS20 View Post
    I think the wingers are being hampered by limited penetration in the midfield, which I can't figure out with K train and taefs playing centres, I think they need to find a way to let those two play their natural game, which might be as simple as recycling possession quickly and giving them the ball.We're pretty consistently facing solid walls in defense which means there aren't gaps or weak shoulders to run through, what we need to do is identify what they're giving up to give them that solid line and attack the vulnerability, it will either be nobody at the ruck or nobody out the back (or the other possible option, they're so much better than us that they only need one in the ruck and one back...I don't accept that on though)
    Taefu yes, Kuridrani needs to be on the bench. Almost every time he runs to the line he is turned over. And he hasn’t run hard or straight very often, seems to have lost something or confidence, doesn’t go looking for the ball and his name is rarely mentioned in a game. Kahui and Taefu would be a great combination. They both straighten and look dangerous with the ball.

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  14. #44
    Champion andrewg's Avatar
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    Enjoyed the game with obvious signs of improvement, but.....forearm jolts with direct contact to the head have been Red Carded everywhere. We had Kahui and Ralston go off with concussion. Seems the WF are free game in this competition??

    Can anybody who know more about rugby than I please let me know what the Attack Plan was for that game.

    We had all of the possession and territory and got over the line once.

    We don't appear to have a scoring plan when a try in the last 5-10 minutes will result in a draw or a win other than bashing forwards against good defences. We're not without talent our wide and doesn't the ball move faster than a defensive line?

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  15. #45
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    Also thoroughly enjoyed the game and great to see a lot of improvement across the board. Caertainly a lot better result than I'd expected and we could have even taken it to extra time in the end.

    Our forward pack performed well - Timani has got up to speed nicely and added some good abrasiveness. Was also relatively impressed by Macauley as well after not seeing him add too much in previous games. Was great to see a few more pick and drives and snipes from Cubelli to mix up our attack and try to narrow their defense.

    Taefu was very good (as hoped) and Kuridrani was disappointing again, getting turned over a couple of times and struggling to penetrate the line. Hopefully Kahui recovers from the concussion and we can have a Taefu / Kahui centre combo for the Brumbies.

    McIntyre performed was much better, but he still doesn't seem able to spark the backline or put players into holes. His kicking for touch in general play and from penalties also leaves a lot to be desired. I'd love for our kickers to spend half a week practising kicking for touch to get us 30 to 50m rather than the 10 to 15m we seem to be getting every time at the moment. We only seem to go for extra metres when we could get close to the try line and have then kicked it dead quite a few times this year. I would've thought it's better to aim for more when we're further out, and play it a bit safer when we might kick it dead??

    Prior's game management at the end of the game also left a lot to be desired. The ball had to go wide after a couple of pick and go's had been tried without avail but had successfully committed a large number of their forwards.

    I was also pretty dirty at the lack of a card for the Reds. Was sure Petaia's tackle attempt didn't have any arms wrapping and had high contact, but perhaps I'm too much of a one-eyed supporters as the ref and commentators didn't see it that way. There appears to be less camera angles for the TMO available this year with the change of broadcasters, which may have helped him get away with it. I was actually generally impressed by the refereeing though, which was a nice change.

    Hopefully team cohesion continues to improve and we can pull off an upset this week. Would also very much like to see one of our other options given a crack at 10.

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    Last edited by chiraag; 22-03-21 at 09:48.

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