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[00:00:00]

Hello, and you're very welcome to the first Bohner episode of Potholes and Penguins, aptly named the weekly Pottle. Each week would be sitting down with a player or a person and get down and dirty inside the juicy gossip and all the news from the rugby world and far beyond. See, we know these people. We know that they love talking to us. They love them. We ask the questions like, what's your favorite stadium to play? And then knows that tough guy that played against.

[00:00:35]

And remember the time they met cheered in Donz and you were buying cereal over there and you give me that and so on. This week, Trembley was very fortunate to sit down with the Bangar bulldozer. Stuart McClosky, big boy, lovely beard, loves offloads, loves rugby and is a great sound fellow. It's a great chance to talk about confidence seeing into the future Stephen Ferris and his controversial comments that often piss off the players. But you look at that's what he's there for.

[00:01:13]

So they dive into all sorts. It's a great shot, a thoroughly enjoy it. Fasten your seatbelts. Here it goes. Be good, be kind. Be at peace with your mind. OK, welcome along to the first installment of The Weekly Pothole, and I wonder if you're the pothole from the pothole I can show has been completely bogged here already. Pretty sure I'm the pothole.

[00:01:41]

So we've got the bulldozers and the deep end here and straight off last weekend, our pre record shot, we touched on a couple of things that, uh, that I was going to bring up, but I think I've been misled. So first, that the weekend was talking about the impact of Bundy and the chat. And I think Ferris was talking Porcupine's.

[00:02:07]

Yeah, listen, Buddy had a good game and he did some things very well, but I think Forrest might have overexaggerated what he was saying to me personally. I heard something like that then to say to me, I know what he said. He said that Bundy was standing up arms Brad and said, not today, jump.

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You said that the kids to be fair, I think words were slot machine, what he missed when there was something else was up there, but not nothing to me. Uh oh. Bernie as well. He was giving me a hard time. The big party probably would struggle to hear it from the field. And if he said it once, that was the only time he felt like it wasn't. I think he's a he's a big energizer for that, to be fair.

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In a certain way, he does it, but I wouldn't be one to be going right back my chest. So that way it's hard not to. It's so we were I was I was in the studio with Graham Low and then first at the stadium. So to be fair, he is under pressure, is under pressure. You know yourself that I had I had issues with what Stevie said whenever whenever I was playing as well. And I suppose recently I've kind of seen and I've seen the other side of it and how difficult it is.

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You have to have something interesting or entertaining to say no. If he's just going to give me something, that's one thing. But he's maybe talking about it because he he can give a perspective on an empty stadium, which is a unique environment. And then, you know, he's, you know, what sort of charts coming through whenever you're not being distracted by the the artificial. Oh, yeah. TV noise, the crowd noise. So I like doing that sort of stuff is about telling, telling stories and giving some sort of interesting insight.

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I can kind of see I can see a lot more where Steve is coming from. And actually I think he's actually really good. I agree with you there. He's obviously got a adjust for what's going on in the whole stadium. There is a lot of child coming coming from that direction towards Zeltzer. But like it just something like that, for example, is just not a fact. Nothing was ever said to me. Nothing was ever directed my direction.

[00:04:20]

Like, I just don't like it when things are almost I start. I don't think it's even intentionally it's not intentional. He's gone. It's just that wasn't the thing that happened. And sometimes, like, I can never there's no way. I mean, the fact that didn't happen. Can you change your statement right after the game? Because it's also not particularly care about in a way. But then I come home and you watch your back and we'll see all of it.

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And it just makes the players all think sometimes that he's just made that up. And what else is he sort of making up as he goes along? Half the time that goes through, it frustrates. I can tell you, it frustrates me like a blackout because people actually and he does have some very good opinions people will take in his opinion, because he's so highly rated and as a rugby player, he knows about that because I've been doing it for so long.

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So I think the players just like a bit of consistency with what he's saying. Yeah, I know. Listen, I know I've I've been there, I suppose maybe because I've done bits in the studio for premier sport and done like a better Qualcomm's thinking. Maybe I've kind of realized I actually how difficult it is. It's really difficult to give insight and not abuse and not not abuse, but just not be critical or not. I'd have I would definitely get called out for being really naive.

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I'm just not saying what everybody else is kind of thinking there was when they actually first thought it was called a game as well. Last season, um, I think there was a night and I think last season, the season's season before your character is somewhere, wherever you and I think Rory went to throw the ball, kind of slipped out of his hands. And and I looked at TV, I remember that there it was like halfway up. It was when that was really strange and fast.

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And I looked at each other and were like, shock. I'm not going to be fair. Yeah. But, you know, it's just I didn't go hard at him and it just it just you have to say what happens, obviously. But no, you're right. It's another thing to make something. This is nefarious as well, like, I know I don't just hang around like that, cops are a general sometimes. I just think sometimes there's been something written died before.

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That's like a buzz word for the game and something that will we'll watch out for, as that happens, what's early. It's like right now, I'd said he is either class or he's having a terrible game. Yeah. So, you know, a good example of that. Actually, Anbari, the insightful Barry drew attention to this. It was a season and a half ago out on the way to Atley and Nugget. Sean Cronin got his first game for a start.

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Yeah. And he there was some start coming through sixty sixty two games. He had been in the thick of it, made such an all ridiculous Ciccio against the bench and he got you got to start. And so it was it would have got a bit of attention. His first line. It was perfect. Went to hand. No, no bother. But the commentators were like setting the scene, talking about a beautiful day in Rome, you know, just doing that we preamp.

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And so it went unnoticed. And even though the viewer at home sees that they still it's like if it didn't get talked about, it didn't happen, then the next line didn't go well. And then they said, well, Sean Shankarananda to be on the bench six times for Ireland or in Six Nations. Here's the first start. And then they go, the logical, easy, easy conclusion is and that's why. Yeah. Which is so unfair.

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It's so harsh that it's almost up that your homework and other stuff for a while it's been like the whole rest of time when he's come for exposed how games where he's played 60 Minutes. Three minutes he's thrown a hundred percent. No it's just the thing you can't have line out because he's got one throw. That's why that's why I play it. It's just a suppose commentators columns. Definitely guys in the studio, they have to tell a story so they'll have something going into that.

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They're going to have something in their head going into the studio before the game. And they'll think if it goes that way, they'll be great because I'll be able to tell that story. Yeah, but it's it's the same as me. I'll like I'll sit and watch, like, loads of different sports. And I'll say if you're watching a bit of premiership football, you actually listen to a guy who might not be having about a game. But I'll go up after being like on Pogba was terrible.

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That got that. So that's the sound about this. Absolutely. It's the guy is never going to say he's played well. So it's the same. I feel like people here just sitting at home watching the game might not be watching as intently as I like myself or you there actually want to see, like, the intricacies of the rugby. You're actually like you're seeing it all because you played professionally so long. I think if you're watching over the sofa, sometimes the CO comes and always had a terrible game or terrible first half.

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He's done this, this and this. It might not have, but he's just picked out like two moments from the half where he's not being quite a hundred percent. That's that's the opinion bad. And it can a young, charismatic, crazy person. It can shape what people think. Oh, yeah, you can go you go one way or the other. Oh yeah. Definitely, yeah. Because I know the guy sitting in the studio, they'll go OK, they'll see a couple.

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If they see one thing then I'll think of something else. Support that then. That's the story I'm going with. Yeah. So they'll be going to the producer clip that, clip that and then hopefully he does it again and we can clip it again. Really get behind this as in a good way or a bad way. The thing is though, no one ever it's not a good story to say, oh, just you know, you want a couple of occasions, you get fastball and, you know, it's boring, boring, boring, boring, boring, boring.

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People want to say, give the ball or he's had a shock or something. So that's you know, that's a prime example of like it happened like remember before the last World Cup, it just everybody thought Jacob could be found like Jacob Carnot, the father of professionals, like a car is actually really good. If you speak to him about the father he knows he's talking about, you might be a couple of mistakes and warm up games, but that'd make him a like a terrible the father with a lot of people would have you believe.

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Yeah, but again, I think that's a narrative. That's the story. I sort of see if you score any score, six tries in Santa Rosa, whatever it was, if you break the record for scoring tries, you know what? And Anderson, we have your stories out, but he can't defend, whereas you could score a child protection at the federal level at that kind of the way I are is good. No, not off. Didit off that now.

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Bruford Right. Seventy. Great. You get Swails, Eli Walker, Eli Walker. So I don't know how it was done with the Clippers. So yeah. Anyway so no, no rent it. It's the most bizarre situation to find yourself in not playing rugby for five months and then just going straight into an interview and a pre pretty high standard. All we can. Both games are pretty good considered. Did you feel did you feel fit? Did you feel sharp?

[00:11:24]

Did. Over the rest of the team, I think everybody like both teams, even the Landser monster teams that really are both sides. All the guys that really good shape, I think, from speaking of those guys and I don't ALSTER like guys get back probably a better shape for running than they ever had before. It's hard to recreate that sort of a contact fecklessly with like that. The boys have to scrub as well. Godlove advocacy can scrum for executively start scrambling with three or four weeks for us to plan.

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So yeah. So that's a different sort of fitness. But yeah, I think it is a pretty good necklaced, although it was a fairly high aggregate, was probably a bit lower standard. That's almost three. And I thought it was a great outfit for the guys coming back. Yeah, I thought it looked really sharp. We probably can. It kind of caught us in The Hobbit was thrown off a little bit and kind of a fellow also reduced their tails a little bit.

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Did he get out? Did you get a hard time at halftime? I don't know yet. So yeah, apostle's I like but I took that. It's like. Yeah, you say, you say the call for the help a bit but had to held up moles that were basically over the line and but early on though it seemed like it was flyin early. Yeah. Some decent stuff like that. We like we went on like we weren't 100 percent, we definitely didn't play.

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They wanted to but we look back at it like to two pretty bad defensive arrows for the guys in the first half. And we had a ball held up, which we basically walked five players over the line. So it wasn't a great deal. Like they did play. They play some nice stuff, but we probably made a few more like silly mistakes and then just knock balls on. Yeah, they were going to break down before they they really made it hard for us there.

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They've got a few good turnovers on our show yesterday that brought this and probably we let it get away from us and that's we couldn't bring it back around. Yeah, it was it's hard enough. It's I suppose it's slightly back to normality, I suppose, because Adam forgot that when so all of a sudden after then they've got a couple of weeks to find a bit of momentum. They've got a couple of friendlies effectively. I know they're technically not.

[00:13:33]

And you're not I don't I can't say I don't know. Like, I think we if didn't approach it as a different way. I think afterwards you can look back. I think at least we could learn from it. And it's not. Oh, my. Where we have to get the point Leinster are where they're against. Let's this to go through. I think we look at it as a positive. But yeah, we definitely weren't going into the game.

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I think we actually started the first six months. We played really good stuff and we knocked the ball on the edge once, which we could have maybe turned to this score and we had a penalty kicked over, which probably never should get to the corner. But yeah, at least we can look it up. I think we can work on a defence. We can work on some of those accuracy areas. The Taliban like we need to really get something in this sweetener.

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Yeah, it would be nice to have momentum going into and it looks like it's probably going to be adverse if they. Well, I think it's too to end by forty eight points. Oh right. OK. And we're going to hang from Glasgow. OK, I fell and I fell in Murrayfield again so. Yeah. And is there any chat about how possible that's going to be or what kind of model I've heard in around. I think it's all going to have a possibly makes it slightly easier that we're as in we're based in the UK.

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So, yeah, it's not that cross-border. Six of our countries are. Yeah, well yeah. But at least the teams based the teams based the Belfast at. But I, it must be tough for them. Every time I look at everything that's going on I come get to coaches to the game organized, although it seems like it's such a hassle for everybody have the least. We just have to turn up and play rugby. Basically it's tougher with the guys like Brendan.

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Yeah, better team manager and Nigel, who's a cootie manager. Basically it. Yeah. And it's nice that at Murrayfield to be just exactly the same way on this. Uh, yeah. It's pretty similar to what we played like in the middle of the year. As you'll remember, he was very many people there. So although they're got 700 people this week, so let's play full capacity of the right wing that was packed, absolutely packed. And so strange up.

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Yeah. For a nation that loves rugby so much to not get people to go. Yeah. And it was it was it did it feel strange on the pitch with an empty stadium or do you just get on that. Yeah. It was end the shutdown. It was like it was fine for the warm up because that music blared. But then when we walked out of the tunnel, it's just it was just dead silence. I don't know if you could hear anything on the TV for found always running, but no, it's all just thought to kind of fake.

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Yeah. Or even for walking. I was just that you heard a pin drop like it was dead silent when the whistle blows for the minute's silence. So again and again, there's not even a peep at all, it feels like dead silence is basically dead silent for about two minutes before the game and enjoy the game. It's not about how you get out of it. It's just days before the game. And then after the game is do the hustle and bustle about the.

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Yeah, yeah. That's what I expected. I think it's the before and after the game. During the game. In the middle of play. I don't think anybody noticed really much. Did you find it enjoyable to watch it on the TV screens. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. It was great. It was, it was it was really nice to get back to Robbie. I know from one Rabiner to another, it was it was a bit of a novelty.

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Yeah, it was. I thought was great. Well yeah. I hope it stays. I hope it's good. Good to watch for people like us. Yeah. Is it's not the same. It is the same. But we'll forget about it for a few months hopefully. Yeah. So talk us through then what those the last few months have been like then. Get back your sense. They're only starting to score in the last few weeks. But what it was that kind of staggered back to normality like.

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Yeah I think well when we were all for all stories told to stay on top of things and we had like bits and pieces of program or programs to use and run a few times a week and things like that, then came back small groups of six for three weeks, I think, in the grips of 15 for another three weeks. And then back at the team stuff for maybe that was three or four weeks. So where all gathered maybe as a full team for four weeks.

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So you and I actually did rugby players Ireland tackle your Freeland's campaign together and give some coffee shop in Belfast? And I think something I don't think I really appreciated until a couple of years before I finished playing was the difference in the culture and the environment and in our rugby team, because it would have been way before your time. Whenever I came into the squad to start, it was it was it was alpha meals. It was very few fellows would be, you know, making themselves vulnerable, chatting about stuff that they were going through or thinking about or upset by.

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Whereas now it seems I don't know. I'm sure it's not just that your feelings be and but it seems like the environment and proper teams is just so much more normal than real life than what's going on out there are less stereotyped stereotypical. Yeah, I don't think it's I don't think it's what a lot of people think it is, but I think that's the same with a lot of sport. And I think even the coaches coaches have to it's the different way they approach players and things now and trying to see what suits everybody and what what way speak to people.

[00:19:02]

Like some people don't react well to having to go with them all the time. And definitely people ask all the different than some people do react. Well, that's what I think. Coaches are pretty good night. Like Understanded who needs Walten? Yeah, a lot of players as well. So there's guys it chata all the time. Make sure you feel good about themselves and these guys that are really like the challenge. Also you have to let and do what they want to do.

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Yeah. And it's the other thing is different environment now or certainly in the last while is that different types of people are more welcome. So back, back whenever I want to come into the squad. And I was shy, so I was probably an extreme version of this. I didn't talk to anyone for about twelve months. I just kept my head down, just I was gone. I'm just going to try and earn your stripes almost, you know, and just get into it.

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Whereas there's kids coming in with more personality, a little bit of a swagger. I'm not necessarily looking at you here, but I'm looking at you. Yeah, it's OK. But you I think at the start you thought I was someone I wasn't like I give a fuck that I'm not like, seriously. Yeah. I think it's just about maybe baby was younger that I thought that's what you had to do to to sort of make it in any way like.

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But that's that's not really that's not really me at all. I think it doesn't really like I think you have to have a bit of it. There's definitely but you have to have a bit of self confidence, but it doesn't go down. Well, if someone is arrogant, I think you get told it pretty quickly. Yeah. There's guys that have come in, young guys, and I think it's the best thing for them when they get older sometimes.

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Yeah, but so so I think rugby teams have kind of met halfway because players get told, first of all, that, you know, you're locked and that's not right. Yeah. But also teams are a lot more welcome and appreciate appreciative that there's different types of people there. I think back in the day you got all your little break and I maybe get a couple of guys would put your arm around you first to be like, yeah, I don't really like that.

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Might be a wee bit of a break, but we really like it. Yeah, pretty much. I got yeah I do feel like you definitely put down right. Someone's hair, just cut it back a bit or don't like. But it says I'm just going straight. I would be called the idea that they could get like a few chances and I said a back about eight years and. You might have heard it before, you're definitely backwards. Twenty five years ago was back in the day when prices were four points.

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Uh, yeah, no, no violations. Yeah, yeah. No, I remember you're right at the start and I was like, this guy's got a swagger and I was gone. But I want I'm very interested to see how this goes. And again, probably I probably probably jorgy right at the start and then before I got to know, you know, I got to know you and you're just like you're just like me. Like, no, no, please, no.

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But yeah, I think Robby Robby teams are just more accepting of different types of people and I think it's a far more healthy place to be. Oh, definitely. Like, I think. A lot of people that were there maybe five or six years ago would probably flourish a bit more. No, I live at a time probably before their time is limited. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That's the area to stick out. Like, I think you're great.

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Thanks. But I think you're great. Right at the start, there was a little bit of chatter, but you potentially obviously there are a few centers in the squad at that stage and you had to kind of battle your way to get us started to get a better game time. I think it's too old and particular was coming through at the time. And there is a little bit of chat. There might have been a suggestion that you were going to go into the back row on stage.

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Yeah, it. Was there any truth in that? Yeah. I got asked if I wanted the I think it was Kesi. Um, it's not terrible idea. I think we had who was it was Kivi. Jared stealing and looking imasu. I think we're all cop all the time. And if Steve wasn't he was reckless again because he's a serious player. Um yeah. They're like I'll even mind maybe try to lighten the back room even if we put you there for the end of the game.

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And we'll just run a lot of my notes. And you say carry an option like the back or you just sort of float around. So it must a great. Well, I at a time I think it was explained to me as I got this, we you lose yourself. Maybe there'll be a business that I go out and talk to a few people about it and they're like, because I hung up at the time and think, oh, if you do that you probably better stick.

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And their plans are different. I try to be the best that they can be and there's always that opportunity. So there's opportunity. When you get bit older, you want to keep playing like I thought at that time. I think it will start at twelve, but it was still hit and miss. A lot of guys are like we always had Seth injured. I thought, just try to keep that. I thought I thought I could start twelve for those like was there twelve.

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But they're very like, oh, no worries. I don't worry. It's all right for the edit. So yeah, I would have been a mistake in hindsight. Yeah. Well you know, part of the university. Yeah, yeah, yeah. It definitely would be a mistake. That would be a good secretary. Yeah. Have you ever looked at other options outside Alster. Uh. Not firmly that could spin bits and pieces there, like if everyone at the fair wanted to go, but I like I love it here.

[00:24:33]

Like I signed last contract, I had a year and I like 14 months left. I don't know what to say. Like, I really wanna stay. Can we sign something extra on the side? So I'll basically decide for like four years just without that. And Paly and JB were pretty good. We've actually got a lot better because we came through asado pretty, pretty bad times every two or three years. Dad, would you know that you just sort of forgot about before you the toys problem, just retired stuff.

[00:25:08]

Yeah. They showed no residual straightaway. Five years like that. Not that very well. I a 30 day stuff, it still could have only paid for an or two or three years where it kicks in quick though. I kicked in so quick I felt I felt great on that one. This isn't about me, but one year since I got injured in the autumn, I just got back. I played a couple of games and thought, Right, happy days, I'm good to go here.

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I'm going to pick up like on that we spell, you know, where we were in South Africa. Then the All Blacks game and the walk are the six year before that. Yeah, I'm going to get another year. Another purple patch picked up a hamstring injury. I actually picked up a hamstring injury running out of the kitchen, made out of a shot, and Jack was falling down the stairs. Run the car. You pulled my hamstring.

[00:25:57]

And that was the beginning of the end. I didn't make it for the end of the six nations. Then that fall on preseason, Jacob was killing it in preseason. And then I was like, well, that's kind of not looking, not looking great here. And then let's remember, we went to Xebra at the start of the following season. That might be my last year. I was captain. We got beat and I got the blame pretty much.

[00:26:20]

I think I actually like I played that game. Yeah. I it's it never shows how bad it was, even you and your rugby knowledge and memory and you've still blanked that over. That's gone for me. Like so that was the beginning of the end for me and it kicked in quick and then straight away you just feel as old as the hills. What if I just turned on your fly and no, you'll get away with longer fear because.

[00:26:45]

Yeah, well, I feel as though I don't need Pearsons like Winger's. That's that's a problem that starts too early. But again, the school that I know, it's really I find that offensive. So like I need another Illo Walker moment then. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Grant uh remember what the question was. We started but. Oh yeah. But if you're going somewhere else. Yeah. No I would consider it maybe if it was a bit older and things were going well here about twenty, thirty years.

[00:27:17]

We can't try to if things go near settled down and I've of everything is sick and a little bit. Yeah. Two dogs. Yeah. Too expensive dogs if you love you know. So not a lot of people might appreciate this but we used to be Jim Jim partners. A lot of people probably wouldn't expect that I would be able to to keep my head above water and a gym partnership with yourself. But I did OK for a long time.

[00:27:46]

Yeah. By contrast. So I've been cross fit in there recently. And my most recent crossword class, I was last I was last to finish and the last minute and half of me training by myself. And there was a middle aged lady just like Klapper me and said, Come on Andre, finish strong, you can do this. Have you gone through hell? Or I say go across, but sometimes it's too hard. I think it is.

[00:28:11]

And if you're anyway heavy, if you're quite like a if you're overall lose your your duska. Yeah, I kind of like details. I like and it's technical as it really is. Lucy technique and gymnastics and all that one. I am, it's a lot of work and I would try to get really good dynamic now to but I'm happy just I love as well. To be fair, I'm not usually that bad, but that day it was pretty bad.

[00:28:31]

Shoot you out of the know. I don't know you. I mean it and it you know every opportunity top off I'm sure here that's a type that's very on on Brown with crossover. Yeah. He's going to see that. Yeah. So what about this weekend then. Finish up do you think Donald. Go full strength. Yeah, I think we're just going to try to hopefully just get a better momentum from it. We've had that semi I guess and hopefully.

[00:29:02]

Yeah well no better way than to get things back on track then. I kind of dig deep and get another emotional one against Lenzer. Obviously the quarterfinal last year was was a big opportunity and it's never difficult to get off like him. Know, I think I'll lose. I'm so cliche. I like, but it's so easy to get up for the world. You're playing against guys basically vying for a position as you and out of the squad, for example.

[00:29:28]

So guys, it's always basically a shop where there wasn't for the Irish coaches these games. So you got to play in some way or like even though you're just feel your way back and you've got have you got to be there or thereabouts, just make sure and try and do what one day would do. You look for the venue, the Beaver Show. Not today, but I think that this will be a good one. What what? This guy was about six inches taller.

[00:29:58]

Thanks a lot for coming on the show. Really appreciate it. You look at the weekend, Jack.