Planet Rugby

Loose Pass

25th March 2013 10:24

Share:

Kurtley Beale shades

Not doing himself any favours: Kurtley Beale

This week we will mostly be concerning ourselves with enfants terribles, the Kings fiasco and the Lions (not the ones the Kings elbowed out of Super Rugby though)...

Off home goes Kurtley Beale, a day or so after he apparently, distinctly the worse for a few tinnies, lamped one of his team-mates while cavorting shirtless on the team bus.

It should not go unnoticed that this all happened the same weekend that Zac Guildford - himself no stranger to a bout of drunken shirtless violence - made his return to the Crusaders team, looking in fine form.

Guildford's return is testament to the way the NZRU has managed what threatened to be an unmanageable situation for a while. He's been shown some very clear and consistent boundaries when he's gone off the rails, just as much as he's been shown how welcome he is when he gets back on them. But most important of all, he's been talked to and supported every step of the way.

Compare that to Beale, whose history of off-field drunken misdemeanours is just as documented as Guildford's and where the situations are tediously similar. Beale drinks too much, his already-super ego swells further and when someone dares to tell him the swelling is cramping others' style, Beale goes bonkers - he is still facing charges of assault after an incident in a Brisbane nightclub last year.

It is understood that the primary disciplinary action will come at franchise level, but the ARU, whose integrity officer Phil Thomson is already involved, will have to do something too.

The crucial question is what. You shouldn't just give up. But it's surely time for the ARU to take a leaf out of the NZRU's book and put Beale on a solid, supported foundation where Beale might feel empowered to admit he has a problem and do something about it, rather than just dishing out punishments which leave Beale feeling resentful and discouraged.

If Guildford can bounce back a changed and honest man, Beale can too. But the help has to come from above.


The most quotable line of the week comes from Cheeky Watson, whose excuse for breaching the SARU rules on fielding more than two foreigners a couple of weeks ago was revealed this week as being that he does not perceive his two Argentinean players as being foreigners, saying: "...there is a difference of opinion relating to the definition of foreign players..."

We're presuming you've now stopped laughing.

Virgil Lacombe definitely has, having flown to New Zealand for a couple of days before being flown back to Port Elizabeth to kick his heels.

"Back to square one, nothing to do with sport...How does one regard professional rugby after this??" he tweeted.

'Nothing to do with sport'... where have you heard that in relation to the Kings before?

The whole raison d'Ítre of the Kings was to tap into the vast well of top-quality rugby players supposedly in the Eastern Cape. It was so unfair that the Eastern Cape didn't get a look-in. It was exclusive of SARU, ring-fencing, borderline racist, blah blah blah on and on and on. Now we are being asked to accept that Argentinean is South African local.

It's such a shame. In pure rugby terms, the Kings have been better than expected, even if now the tour and the lack of squad depth is testing them sorely. Sergeal Petersen is a real find.

But in terms of 'nothing to do with sport', the Kings are proving every bit as poor as they promised to be.


With the sun now set on the Six Nations, the cream of Britain and Ireland's crop has most likely given its final audition for Warren Gatland and the Lions tour to Australia.

Obviously there are some Heineken Cup ties looming, but that hardly includes the Welsh players, while a viewing of the Waratahs v Blues and Saracens v Harlequins matches on the same day on Sunday revealed just how far behind Super Rugby the Premiership is at the moment. Club form might be a tie-breaker, but it's not going to be a decisive factor.

Anyway, we are assuming that Warren Gatland will take 37 players on the tour right now, so here's the Loose Pass pick of 37, with a starting Test XV at the end. Be gentle...

Squad: Gethin Jenkins, Adam Jones, Cian Healy, Dan Cole, Mako Vunipola, Euan Murray, Rory Best, Richard Hibbard, Dylan Hartley, Geoff Parling, Alun-Wyn Jones, Ian Evans, Richie Gray, Ryan Jones, Justin Tipuric, Sam Warburton, Jamie Heaslip, Chris Robshaw, Toby Faletau, Sean O'Brien, Ben Youngs, Mike Phillips, Danny Care, Jonathan Sexton, Dan Biggar, Greig Laidlaw, Owen Farrell, Jamie Roberts, Brian O'Driscoll, Brad Barritt, Jonathan Davies, George North, Alex Cuthbert, Simon Zebo, Sean Maitland, Leigh Halfpenny, Rob Kearney.

Test XV: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Brian O'Driscoll (c), 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Simon Zebo, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Sam Warburton, 6 Justin Tipuric, 5 Geoff Parling, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Rory Best, 1 Gethin Jenkins.

Loose Pass compiled by Richard Anderson

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 26
London Welsh vs Gloucester19:45
Saturday , September 27
Saracens vs Sale15:00
Leicester vs London Irish15:00
Northampton vs Bath15:15
Sunday , September 28
Exeter vs Harlequins14:00
Wasps vs Newcastle14:00
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
Rugby Championship
Saturday , September 27
South Africa vs Australia16:05
Argentina vs New Zealand23:10
More Rugby Championship fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , September 26
Edinburgh vs Scarlets19:35
Leinster vs Cardiff Blues19:35
Glasgow vs Connacht19:35
Saturday , September 27
Zebre vs Ulster15:00
Munster vs Ospreys18:30
Sunday , September 28
Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , September 27
Toulon vs Montpellier18:00
Stade Francais vs La Rochelle18:00
Bayonne vs Toulouse18:00
Brive vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Oyonnax vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
Lyon vs Castres18:00
Grenoble vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Currie Cup
Friday , September 26
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls19:10
Saturday , September 27
Sharks vs Eastern Province Kings14:00
Pumas vs Western Province15:00
Griquas vs Lions15:00
More Currie Cup fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , September 21
Newcastle 10 - 35 NorthamptonNewcastle vs Northampton Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Ospreys 62 - 13 EdinburghOspreys vs Edinburgh Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
ITM Cup
Otago 38 - 7 WaikatoOtago vs Waikato Report
Wellington 20 - 42 TasmanWellington vs Tasman Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , September 20
Sale 46 - 8 London WelshSale vs London Welsh Report
Harlequins 26 - 23 WaspsHarlequins vs Wasps Report
London Irish 32 - 36 SaracensLondon Irish vs Saracens Report
Bath 45 - 0 LeicesterBath vs Leicester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Newport Gwent D'gons 13 - 33 GlasgowNewport Gwent D
Scarlets 43 - 0 Benetton TrevisoScarlets vs Benetton Treviso Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Top 14
Racing Metro Paris 27 - 16 ToulouseRacing Metro Paris vs Toulouse Report
Grenoble 24 - 15 Bayonne
Montpellier 23 - 3 Stade FrancaisMontpellier vs Stade Francais Report
La Rochelle 26 - 29 Bordeaux-Begles
Clermont Auvergne 43 - 12 LyonClermont Auvergne vs Lyon Report
Castres 27 - 18 Oyonnax
More Top 14 results
Currie Cup
Western Province 36 - 12 GriquasWestern Province vs Griquas Report
Blue Bulls 15 - 26 SharksBlue Bulls vs Sharks Report
Eastern Province Kings 22 - 37 CheetahsEastern Province Kings vs Cheetahs Report
More Currie Cup results
ITM Cup
Hawkes Bay 36 - 17 Bay Of Plenty
Manawatu 36 - 17 Southland
Auckland 32 - 7 North HarbourAuckland vs North Harbour Report
More ITM Cup results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , September 19
Gloucester 22 - 25 ExeterGloucester vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
Guinness PRO12
Munster 31 - 5 ZebreMunster vs Zebre Report
Cardiff Blues 9 - 26 UlsterCardiff Blues vs Ulster Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Bath314
2Saracens313
3Northampton311
4Exeter310
5Leicester Tigers39