James O’Connor to sign for Melborne Rebels?

My heart sank today when I read that James O’Connor is about to sign for the Melbourne Rebels. Reports are mixed, with some sources claiming it is a done deal, while others are saying he will stay with the Western Force. Foxsport is particularly confused, with their website saying that O’Connor will sign on Monday, while their on air commentators, before the Rebels game, said that James O’Connor himself was saying that there was no deal.

It has been a tough start to the Super Rugby season for Western Force fans, with David Pocock being injured in their first game and taking no part since. The Force have subsequentially won only one of their seven games and most of their losses have been by 3 points or less. To lose their prodigous all around back would be disaster.

James O'Connor Western Force

Is it the end of the line for James O'Connor and the Western Force?

Melbourne Rebels of course signed one the the Wallabies other major attacking forces, Kurtley Beale, from the Waratahs this week. I would hate to see Super Rugby become like the major European Football leagues, the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga, where, very often, he with the most money wins. Melbourne is well known for hijacking sporting events from other cities. We all remember the Adelaide Grand Prix, that is now held there and we know they would love to get their hands on the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. It seriously looks like they are trying to buy the Super Rugby competition.

Maybe a salary cap is an option to try and even things up, but, as many people are saying, this would probably result in the best players moving to Europe and the big bucks. And we all know that salary caps do not always work, the Melbourne Storm in the NRL are a prime example. Coincidence? Probably not.

On top of all this, the Rebels are wrecking my tipping results. They win when they are supposed to lose and got stuffed 40 points to 18 by the Highlanders tonight, when I did tip them to win.

James O’Connor do yourself and Perth a favour, stick with the Force. You know it makes sense.

Another point of contention for me arose in the first game of this weeks round. Lelia Masaga scored the first try for the Chiefs after being tackled and using his supporting arm, at least three times, to propel himself over the line. The referee awarded the try and the commentators said it was momentum. This type of try is regularly awarded these days. Does no one remember the double movement law?

The Crusaders went on to win the game by 34 to 16. Richie McCaw made his season debut, for the last 30 minutes and the Crusaders have comfortably won their last two games, without the aid of Dan Carter. Which must make them almost unbackable favourites to win the title this year.

By Max Power


  1. Bonus! There seems to be more talk of James O’Connor staying at the Force and they won their first game in Australia, for 2011, this weekend, beating the Brumbies 27-19. O’Connor played at inside centre where he was much more effective than at full back.

    The Brumbies continued to move Matt Giteau around playing him at full back, but wearing number 10 this week. Maybe the 15 shirt doesn’t fit him. I know Giteau is a great utility player and can play anywhere, but for my money I believe inside centre is his best position and I would always play him there, if possible. I know the Brumbies have a huge number of injuries, but I believe Giteau was wasted at full back even though he still managed to score a try.

  2. There is now talk of O’Connor moving to Rugby League. He won’t move to League. I can’t see any Union players moving to League unless they came from League to Union. There is too much money in Union these days and if that is what they are looking for then a move to Europe would make more sense than switching codes.

    Sadly I can not see him staying with the Force tho’. After this years performances, I think he will go somewhere else where he has more chance of winning something, if he stays in Super Rugby. The Force have fought hard and have a good set of forwards, but can not convert those efforts into wins anywhere near often enough and if he stays they defintely need to pick up some help for him in the backs.

    On another note, a quick shout out to sonny Bill Williamson, who I hear has donated $100,000 to the Christchurch earthquake relief fund. I have not been a big fan of Sonny Bill, as a person, since he broke his contract with the Bulldogs NRL side to chase the big bucks in France. Then he went on TV and told everyone he was doing it for other people. But maybe he is maturing, going back to his home country, playing great Rugby and putting this money where it is really needed is not be sneezed at. Much respect.

  3. Pingback: Too much football is barely enough | Oz TV Reviews

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