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One Percenters: Thorn embracing Christchurch return as Waratahs flanker heads overseas

Sat, 28/05/2022, 11:10 pm
Nathan Williamson
by Nathan Williamson
The Highlanders hosted the Waratahs to close out round 14.

With so many players and clubs doing media each day, it can be hard to keep on top of a lot of the stories coming out.

Rugby is filled with them across all levels of the game and whilst most are covered through some form of media, there are others that might have slipped off the radar as Super Rugby Pacific and the champion Sevens side dominant discussions

Catch every game of the 2022 Super Rugby Pacific season on Stan Sport. Start your Free Sport Trial Now

One Percenters looks at everything you might have missed from the week of Rugby.

“It’s nice to go back”: Thorn relishing Crusaders return

With the Reds set to spend the next week in Christchurch after Friday's defeat, it's something legendary Crusader and head coach Brad Thorn is embracing.

Thorn made his rugby union name with the champion Super Rugby club and admits it's a nice feeling knowing he will return as the Reds play at OrangeTheory Stadium for the first time since 2020.

“It’s always nice to go back,” Thorn said.

“A lot of my Rugby relationships are in the South Island as well so it’s nice to see them.

“I think for anyone though, you’re going there for a reason, you have business to attend to but on a side note, it’s nice to be back there. I was there for seven years, players Rugby there in some special times with special people, it’s a nice side of it.”

Brumbies buoyed by Pocock success

Brumbies prop Scott Sio admits he is inspired by the political transition of Wallabies legend David Pocock as he looks set to enter the Senate.

Pocock is currently leading the race for the second seat in the ACT, with Sio looking to him for guidance and inspiration as he starts contemplating life after footy.

“I’m not going to stand here and pretend I know a lot about politics but as a friend, it’s good to see ‘Poey’ explore something outside of Rugby,” Sio said.

“It’s quite tough when you're in this environment for such a long time and you’re so passionate and pour yourself into something year in, year out to then go on and find something else you are equally as passionate about.

“To see him flourish in a different environment is very exciting as a group. For me personally, it’s a good conversation to see down the track where my transition will come and any advice I can get from him.”

As for Sio following in Pocock’s shoes and making a run for office?

“Nah, not at all,” he said with a smile. “I don’t think I would excel in that arena, Poey’s got a lot more poise and patience.”

Stats to stun

With Rugby Australia confirming a partnership with Sportable, there has never been a time where stats have been more rich and available to clubs, coaches and fans.

As data continued to develop, take a look at some of the more interesting and unique stats heading into round 15, courtesy of Opta.

  • The Reds have made 44 tackles resulting in turnovers in Super Rugby Pacific, the tied-most in the comp and ten more than the Crusaders.
  • Both teams are heavily reliant on their kicking game, both in the top three for metres per game with absent fly halves James O’Connor (79) and Richie Mo’unga (78) producing more kicks in play than anyone.
  • The Force will be eager to end their recent dry run at home, losing their last eight games.
  • The Blues have won their last three away games against the Waratahs. Before this, they had won just three of their ten matches away from home.
  • The Brumbies will be out to win back-to-back games in NZ for the first time since 2013.
  • Nick Frost and Darcy Swain remain some of the efficient lineout operators in Super Rugby. Both sit in the top ten for lineout steals and own line outs won, occupying first (5.4 pg) and third (5.1) in lineout wins per 80 minutes.
  • Rob Leota has been immense for the Rebels since his return in defence (16 tackles per game,) with only Tom Christie averaging more (18)

Waratahs confirm Tizzano exit

The NSW Waratahs have confirmed Carlo Tizzano will join English club Ealing.

Tizzano will link up with the Trailfinders, who were denied promotion to the Premiership on account of their stadium size being too small.

“I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to play for Ealing. Ealing is a highly regarded club and it is evident that they are going in the right direction to be in the Premiership and I can’t wait to be a part of it.”

Ben Ward, Ealing’s Director of Rugby added: “We are very pleased to sign a player of Carlo’s quality. He’s an excellent young player, adds power and experience to our back-row and will become a crucial member of our squad.

"He has proven playing experience in Australia and we’re excited to watch him develop even further.”

Social post of the week

It's the actions that divided the online Rugby community as England took on World Sevens leaders Argentina in Toulouse.

With both teams in the position to qualify for the group stages, Will Homer raced away with two minutes to go as they trailed 19-0, certain to score under the posts.

However, with the English only just ahead of Canada on points difference, Homer ran out the clock to ensure no further points, with Argentina more than happy to let him waste time with their spot already secured.

Legendary referee Nigel Owens was quick to lead the discussion, stating "I don’t think this is good for the game. A player or team must not do anything that is against the spirit of the game. I’m surprised the referee didn’t make him to ground the ball. That's what we use to do when I was on the 7s circuit, many years ago."

England qualified for the knockout stages and were defeated 26-24 by Samoa.

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