12 Quick Observations from Bledisloe I

Hugh Cavill August 18, 2013 155

No GravatarSo I have sat down and watched the replay, and it has been quite revealing. Here are 12 things I noticed:

1. The game was closer than the scoreline suggested. But ultimately it was two ten-minute periods that cost the Wallabies. We worked really hard to get back from the early try, and had our nose in front at 12-10. Ten minutes later we are down 22-12. We worked back well from that to narrow the margin to just three, at 22-25. Ten minutes later it’s 22-37 and you can kiss the game goodbye. In the remaining 60 minutes we were playing well and in the ascendancy for large periods. But you can’t afford to switch off against the Kiwis, even for a few minutes.

2. We didn’t play too badly. I used the term ‘Wallaby shite’ in my heading in the match report, which I now regret. It wasn’t shite. It wasn’t great either, but we were well in the game for the first 55 minutes or so, and then looked good in the last 15. Just those ten minute periods.

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3. We lost the game between numbers 6 and 10. The All Blacks comprehensively outplayed us in the backrow and halves. Only Michael Hooper can hold his head high. We were too often beaten to the ruck, and looked very static in attack.

4. Matt Toomua was poor. I really wanted him to be great, and still think he might be. But the fact is he was very poor. I am pretty sure he never took the ball into contact. Or even looked like taking the line on. Not once. He just shovelled. The fact is that was equal or worse than anything JOC did in the Lions series. It was his debut against the All Blacks, so I am going to cut him some slack. He will be back. But we looked FAR better when Quade Cooper came on, and he should start next week.

5. JOC’s defence was (almost) fine. When I said that JOC had a good game, I copped a pasting from the peanut gallery. ‘His defence was atrocious’ they said. ‘The All Blacks scored four tries on his wing’ they said. So I watched the game again. And I watched JOC very closely. And… I thought he was fine. Yes he made an early mistake coming in against Aaron Cruden which gifted Ben Smith a try (although it did take a peach of an offload from Cruden). But from then on in he was almost flawless.

His actions in Richie McCaw’s try were OK- he was forced to cover infield as Hooper and Horwill were tied up at a ruck. If he doesn’t come infield the ABs score on the inside. As it was they used their numerical advantage to score in the corner. But JOC is an easy target. The fact is he was very good in attack, our best looking back with the ball in hand. He should start at  No. 15 next week.

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6. Jesse Mogg had a bad game, not a shocker. At the ground I thought he had a shocker, one of the worst games I had seen. On watching the replay I have softened a bit. He was bad, sure. But a few of his errors were defendable. Ultimately he might not be ready for Test rugby yet – he is soft in contact and lacks the composure needed at the very top level. His frantic pass to nobody after his near-linebreak is a prime example of this. His trademark kicking game was also sadly MIA.

7. Rob Simmons played well. I was harsh on him in my match review. It is hard to sum up a game cogently in the 15 minutes or so you have to write a match report after the full time whistle is blown. Sometimes you have a few moments which stick in your head that affects your view of a player’s performance – for me it was a silly penalty in front of the sticks, and a no-look pass to Aaron Cruden. But those were really his only two errors in what was a very polished display.

8. Tight five were OK. Did the basics well, though I would have liked to have seen a bit more punch in tight. Scrum was good, lineout was good. Gave the backs and backrow a good platform, which was sadly not used.

AAC was one of our best

9. Hugh McMeniman was invisible. Just didn’t have any impact at all. The only thing I saw him do was miss a soft tackle on Kieran Read. Mowen wasn’t much better. Not sure what the answer is though, maybe Scott Fardy or Ben McCalman.

10. Craig Joubert is a very good referee. Had a great game, didn’t make a dud call all night. Well played.

11. There is plenty to work with here. I reckon this has the makings of a very good team. A few changes, a few guys return from injury and we will be looking good. But we will need to be good to beat the Boks.

12. Changes I would make for next week. Mogg out, with Cummins to the wing and JOC to fullback. Toomua to the bench, Cooper in. MMM to the bench, Fardy in. Simple. We’ll win by 30.

 

What did you pick up from last night’s game?

Photos courtesy of Tim Anger Photography

Discussion

  • Bullrush

    JOC has played his best Test footy at wing and Folau has played almost his footy at FB….best FB in Aus SR this year…….Folau to FB and Cummins to the wing

    • Bullrush

      **Folau has played almost ALL his footy at FB

    • cosmo

      Agreed, he will also get more involved at fullback, lot of counterattack. I think the space that will be offered to him at 15 will make a massive difference.

      • cosmo

        lots of*

    • Hugh Cavill

      JOC has never really played for the Wallabies at 15. I’d be inclined to use him there as it gives him more oppotunity to roam the field, rather than being stuck on one side. But Folau would also be a good option.

      • Josh Macy

        I feel as though wings have plenty of opportunity to roam if things are going well up front. Aus should start there.

      • brumby runner

        Hugh, JOC has not played 15 for the Wallabies, so why would you now want to start him out of his best position? Shades of Deans? Also, HB is very good at roaming the field from his wing position. Always gives the 10 an option for the inside pass, and invariably bends or breaks the line when in possession. Definitely Izzy to FB in my book.

        • Hugh Cavill

          Look I think both Folau or JOC would be good options. This business of ‘best position’ is always a little uncertain with JOC, I think it could well be fullback as his kicking/passing game (which has come a loooong way since he lasted played wing) is wasted somewhat out wide.

    • Duvstar

      Link moved JOC there when he hooked Mogg so think that indicates he’d rather put him at fullback over Folau.

      • Alan Grouse

        How good is JOC under the high ball? I think overall we were good and took some nice takes but i cant help but think the AB’s will pepper JOC if he is at 15 and put him under pressure with determined chasers. Izzy with his success at 15 this year and his catching ability second to none would be for me at least a safer and better choice.

    • Big Ted

      Actually Bullrush (great game at recess), I agree with you. If Izzy doesn’t seem inclined to go looking for work from the wing, force him to get the ball by putting him in a place where he can’t avoid it. Also, I was at the game but didn’t have the best angle for it, but did Izzy genuinely get done for pace by Savea, or did he have the benefit of the angle?

      Game 2:
      9: Genia
      10: Cooper
      11: O’Connor
      12: Leali’ifano
      13: Kuridrani
      14: AAC
      15: Folau

      And whilst we’re on it, I still genuinely think we are a chance at bringing home the Cup this year based on what I saw last night. I don’t remember the last time we had 63% of possession and 90-55 ruck/mauls against the AB’s. Take out half a dozen mistakes and give us a 10 who can create things with all the possession his piggies give him and we’re in with a shot.

      • MM

        Lets not rush another untried player (Kuridrani) into a Bledisloe cauldron FFS and create another Mogg situation! And why move the rock of the back line, the most consistent back line player in any position all year out to the wing? He’ll get his chance.

        • Big Ted

          Because Kuridrani is no longer untried. He got 30 mins on sat night and thought he did what he does best-Bent the line. It’s not that I thought AAC played poorly last night, quite the opposite, I just think the aforementioned backline has the most balance to it. Otherwise we are left with Mogg there and I think he showed he is not quite there yet. And I can’t see the honey badger coming from outside the match day 23 straight into the starting side

        • shop

          The reason AAC has been playing so well this year is that his coaches have left him in the one position. That is also his best position no.13. FFS leave him there!

        • Big Ted

          Shop, I agree its his best position. At no stage have I said that AAC is a better winger than a 13. But in my opinion, Kuridrani played better in the latter half of the season as a 13 than AAC, and I would prefer AAC on the wing than Cummins, and I would prefer Mogg on the bench than starting. Hence my back line suggestion. If I remember correctly, last yr when AAC played a game on the wing, GAGR reviews were lauding his performance! I’m not saying its going to happen, I actually don’t think link will move either Toomua or Mogg from the starting 15, it’s just the team I would have out there.

      • Tyler Durden

        Love your optimism champ but I’d say the AB’s will also be considerably better next week, they were sloppy in the set piece which i doubt will be repeated in Wellington. I don’t think it will be the same kind of margin but i’d predict another 2 wins
        for the NZ’ers.

        • Big Ted

          You may be right mate, but I’m normally out for blood after any wallaby loss, but there was something about last nights loss that made me feel that if they can improve in a couple of areas, they will be right in there with a shot.

      • Southerner

        I’m new to this blog and it’s great to have so much interest in the Wallabies. But simply to say that improvements in the Australian game will bring victory in Wellington is a little too optimistic. You have to read the NZ Herald reviews (and they are more substantial than any Australian media, which says something) and you can see that the Blacks were not completely happy with their performance and will be seeking to lift their game.Incidentally, watch out for No’nu because he still does not have a Super 15 contract for 2014 so he will be out to play the game of his life in front of his favourite Wellington crowd.

        • Big Ted

          Didn’t say they’d win, all I said was they’d be in it with a shot if they could get a few mistakes out of their game, which I still believe is a possibility. I am not naive enough to think that Australia are a better team than NZ at the moment, but I do firmly believe that the void between the two teams is not as cavernous as the shoreline would indicate on sat night, and if the wallabies can compete as they did in the first 20 and last 10 mins of Saturdays game, they are a “chance” of stealing victory.

  • DaveL

    Good write up Hugh. Not all doom and gloom. During the telecast Rod Kafer pointed out that there was no one threatening on the inside for the wallabies. We were just shoveling it wide and this allowed the kiwis to drift in cover without any concern. Would think that QC might help in this regard but also is a game plan issue.

    • Clelo

      Recommended changes are spot on in my book. I expected a lot more from Toomua and have always thought Cummings should have been there in the first place. He is one guy who will keep the Kiwi defence honest! JOC at the back is great. I read previously about Folau not being able to get into the game and that’s because the Kiwis didn’t plat down his side and when Australia got the ball they were pressured inside to make mistakes. This was a game overseen by masterful tacticians and a wonderful strategy which had the Wallabies mesmerised. To say they weren’t bad is to really say NZ didn’t score as much as they could

  • Brax

    I agree with this analysis far more than your one straight after the match Barbarian. Pretty much how I saw it to. However I agree with Bullrush’s changes at the back. I also reckon Gill at 6 with Hooper at 7 wouldn’t be a bad move in the backrow, both are exceptional players. I’d prefer Mowen at 6, he’s not very good at the back of the scrum, but who else is there?

  • Old weary

    Glad you had a look again as agree a lot more with you this morning than last night.

    Now take away the charge down and the smith try when he ball just popped out of the Aussie ruck (yes I knw rugby doesn’t work like that but just humor me), the score line was not that bad. I put these down to the fact we play a game with a ball that is not round. Last night, nearly every offload or arsy pass the kiwi’s threw came off, when the WB’s had few. A result of some luck, but more time together as a team.

    Lets not overlook the fact Link has been there 2 weeks, has brought in a lot of new members to the team, with 5 new caps last night. Raw talent will show, but the simple defensive frailties I see more result of new combinations than deep rooted issues.

    Simply fixes (Moore missing his hook for example that lead to one try) I imagine will be fixed pretty easily fix.

    For me I thought JOC played very well. That first try was a brilliant offload, otherwise he would of been in a very good spot for a turnover. Same with Simmons. MMM, unfortunately wasn’t involved like I thought he would be. We really missed a big ball running 6 like the AB’s

    • Alan Grouse

      The AB’s really reminded me of the Chiefs and the Crusaders. They exploited our mistakes to the absolute fullest and attacked from pretty much everywhere. Our defence was not up to it and they were ruthless. Take away the charge down and the unfortunate spilt ball from the ruck and the scoreline is not so bad but remember Savea was an inch or so away from scoring a beaut off a chase in the 2nd half.

      We need to bring in someone like Fotu, that guy will ALWAYS get you over the gain line and suck in at least 2 defenders. Digby was missed as we didn’t have any penetrating runners lastnight. Perhaps Sio to start next week and give us a little more go forward?

      • Hugh Cavill

        Fotu’s just had a shoulder op, will be out for a while.

        • Alan Grouse

          my bad then, wasnt aware of that, thats a shame

      • Duvstar

        The Honeybadger, whilst no Digby, is a hell of a ball runner

      • prav

        Samo still has got it, get him to start and give us momentum from the beginning, and get a workhorse to close out the game (from a waratahs supporter)

    • iamhungry

      Take away the genia length of the field effort and the last minute consolation try and the scoreline looks much worse.

      • Hugh Cavill

        But take away four of the ABs tries and we have won!!

        • Tyrone

          Sure, but lets be honest. All this talk about “…well if you disregard the 4 tries let in by lucky charge-downs or poor defensive reads…”.

          NONSENSE! How can you disregard them when they are all worth 7 points on the scoreboard – whether they were scored by luck or by design?!? Luck is and always will be apart of our game especially with the odd shaped ball.

          Its ok be honest with ourselves in our assessment of our “Wallop-ies” (as my kiwi mate put it), I even heard McKenzie post-match say that “we led in pretty much every stat… except tries…so I’m not too worried about it…” hmmm, Ewan – in the REAL world points from tries DO count and have a rather large bearing on a final score. WAKE UP!

        • Tyrone

          …I beat you to it… a try is quite rightly worth 5 points, not 7.
          I might be onto something there though…

        • iamhungry

          They also talked about how happy they were with their attack because they got 29 points :/

        • Hugh Cavill

          Yeah that was kind of my point, maybe I was being too subtle.

    • BennyJJ

      I don’t think you can take away the charge down as an against the run of play try. It happened a lot during super rugby and I’m sure it would have been part of the plan, especially to pressure an inexperienced 10-12 combo. The Ben Smith try, maybe, but it came because the Wallabies were under pressure and tried to get the ball out to the wing when there was nothing on.

      Agree with you on JOC. I was a little surprised by the stats – he made by far the most metres of 110 for 11 carries, more than Genia even with his 60m try and almost double Ben Smith. The WB loosies should be embarrassed by those numbers.

  • Peter

    Mccaw coming straight from off side position when we were in their 22 wasn’t “just” a penalty! It was a prof foul and stopped us in our tracks as usual!!
    This bs tactic has to be stopped by giving AB7 a yellow card !!
    Joubert has to rule this better. A soft yellow was given in the latter stages.

    • JeremyBC

      I don’t think it was a penalty at all actually. There was no ruck formed and therefore no offside line or requirement to come through the middle. Hence the reason Richie just went straight for the ball.

      • BloodRed

        you don’t need a ruck to have formed for there to be an offside line. A tackle is all that is required

        • JeremyBC

          “no offside line or requirement to come through the gate”

          Yeah okay you’re right on the offside line but as you can see in the context of the sentence what i ‘m really getting at is that McCaw didn’t have to come through the gate as there was not ruck. As long as he comes from behind last feet which he did.

        • Who?

          There is no offside line at a tackle. If there was, Lealiifano wouldn’t have scored that try against the Chiefs the other week. Listen to VInny Munro’s first line to Joubert – “First off, it was a tackle, not a ruck.” An offside line is created at the formation of the ruck.

      • mxyzptlk

        You mean it’s not a conspiracy between the IRB, all the referees and Captain Tackles?

      • Who?

        No offside line at a tackle, however you are still required to enter through the gate to play the ball. This is why Craig Clarke was penalized for entering the breakdown from the side to take out the jackal early in the S15 final. It wasn’t yet a ruck, but he was still required to enter through the gate.
        So, if it’s ‘just’ a tackle, as a defender you can go stand next to the 10, 12, etc. But you can’t play halfback for the attacking team.

    • JeremyBC

      I would add that I’ve seen you ripping on Joubert quite a bit on this site. I think you should go and read the rules as to when a ruck is formed.

    • ben

      Yea that contributed to 47 points. How dare you ritchie!

  • Peter

    JOC needed to stay on the wing as a winger should do and not come inside. This led to 2 tries.
    Notice the AB winger when JOC scored he stayed out !!
    And they score inside you then so be it.
    Hopefullu Badger will play next week.

    • Hugh Cavill

      That is just wrong. As a winger you don’t just stay on your wing come hell or high water. If there are gaps inside you have to fill them. JOC made an error in the 1st try, but had to fill in in the 3rd try.

      JOC’s try is the same as Smiths first, but not McCaws.

      • ash

        Agree.

        In JOC’s try the NZ winger stayed out because JOC was marked by Faumeuina, and JOC simply ran round him.

        Coming in on an overlap is the right thing to do for a winger. Staying on your wing when all inside men are marked is the right thing to do for a winger.

      • Peter

        Hugh, Scott Allen who I admire a lot for his analysis has posted this comment from ROAR “The first try on O’Connor’s wing came when he left his wing to try and help Ashley-Cooper tackle Aaron Cruden. As you’ll see in the video he clearly needed to stay out on Smith who received the offload from Cruden and went in to score unopposed.”

        He reiterates what I stated in that “he clearly needed to stay out”. If you think I am plain wrong and Scott Allen is plain wrong please refer to his article in full and clip

        http://www.theroar.com.au/2013/08/20/wallabies-video-analysis-perception-versus-reality/

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Y9MlrtgYwUs

  • cantab

    Leali’ifano continues to impress me.

    • Peter

      Agree
      Some cracking tackles.
      If he didn’t make them then we would have been heavily beaten.

      • James

        6 tries to 2. I think we were!!!

        Who is this whole article trying to kid? Offensively we were weak and unimaginative. Defensively we were beyond shocking, summed up by long periods of the game when the AB’s were almost scoring at will.

        Want to bother to think the AB’s will iron out a few issues this week?? They will be in the mood to put the sword on us at their place next Saturday like never before. Only 2 conversions hitting the posts prevented them notching up 50 points on this occasion. They will be much less forgiving next week.

        • Jimmy

          Don’t pretend you are a Wallabies supporter bro.

    • Lucky Guest

      Dunno which game you were watching. Did you happen to see how NZ scored their second try – Leali’ifano’s magic touch.

      He also missed a vital tackle on Nonu which led to Mogg having no option but to kick out almost straight out costing us territory.

      I see similarities in Leali’ifano and Mogg in that they both possess some real skills but neither is reliable yet.

      Hopefully they improve.

  • Peter

    Barba did you mention the mindless kicks that just fed them the ball!!
    Amazingly bad
    No guts to run it up and take the hit.
    No counter attack.
    Running rugby went missing.
    I thought the AB’s were brainless when they kicked it back to us and we should have used the ball.

    • Alan Grouse

      for most of the AB’s kicks they had someone competing in the air for it or at least had Savea chasing it to pressure the catcher.

      Our kicks, a few of Genias especially simply gifted them possession and Dagg and Smith could take all the time in the world to decide what to do. They treasured possesion and whenever they chose to kick it they did it with purpose. We were the complete opposite and it was utterly dreadful at times

    • DReido

      When those aimless kicks started, I was looking for Barnes on the field.

  • JJJ

    My clearest impression of the match is that there were a lot of passes made after linebreaks to where a wallaby player SHOULD have been, but wasn’t. Our support play was abysmal. Even the Genia try had nobody really working hard to back him up.

    As for Mogg, you have to wonder how much that costly failed touchfinder in the superugby final was playing on his mind. He obviously didn’t want to make that mistake again, and as a result sacrificed metres for safety in his kicking.

    • Duvstar

      Agreed. Even after the ball was recycled after a line break it took them an eternity to sort themselves out, so the threat was immediately blunted. Hopefully these are just teething problems.

    • cantab

      Yeah Agree re Mogg not going for distance looked intentional

    • afrosentrix

      Totally agree about the support play. When are we going to learn this!?

    • Just a Wild Guest

      It was even a bit evident in the S15 final where Rathbone went within metres of a try but it amounted to nothing because there was noone supporting.

    • mxyzptlk

      I wonder what a few more pounds of muscle would do for Mogg’s confidence. Even throughout the Super Rugby play-offs, he seemed to get rattled when the game got more physical. If he added some strength and built some confidence in the contact area, you could see that translating over to confidence in his overall game, including his passing and kicking.

  • Duvstar

    Completely agree with everything here, great re-analysis, happy Simmons is slightly vindicated! After watching it back, what happened with Folau? Was he just really well covered by the darkness defence or did he just go missing and refuse to leave his wing all night? Think JOC showed some great ability when coming inside.

    Would really like a bigger runner in the backrow, think it will complement Mowen and Hooper (Hooper was very good last night). Unfortunately I don’t think there currently is one that we can call on. Give it 1 or 2 years, then I think we’ll see Luke Jones fulfilling this role from 6. Until then though, don’t know what the answer is.

    My team for next week: 1. Slipper, 2. Moore, 3. Alexander, 4. Simmons, 5. Horwill, 6. Fardy, 7. Hooper, 8. Mowen, 9. Genia, 10. Cooper, 11. Cummins, 12. Lealiifano, 13. AAC (Aka GOD), 14. Folau, 15. JOC.

    • Hugh Cavill

      The ball rarely came near Folau, both in defence and attack. He probably should have come in looking for work like JOC, but maybe he was under instruction to stay out wide. He didn’t have a great game, but didn’t make any mistakes either.

    • Old_Laurentian

      Just thinking of Folau, JOC and QC in possession with a bit of space. We do have the attacking skills (together with AAC). It will come together.

    • brumby runner

      I thought Luke Jones was unlucky to miss out on squad selection in the first place. His game for Manly against Southern on the weekend again showed his ability to make good gains in traffic. He is a definite option for the future.

  • RedsFanDan

    Simmons is a lazy penalty magnet in my mind but he had a good game last night.

    What happened to the Toomua of Super Rugby? Hope it wasn’t a coaching decision for him to abandon his normal play and shovel.

    Mogg was under a lot of presure from the ABs and himself and it showed.

    Scrums were certainly less of a timewaster but a shambles after the put in. Time and familiariity will fix this.

    Hooper was great. Nuff said.

    I was firmly of the opinion that JOC needed some time away from the game to undouche himself. He played well after some ‘settling issues’ at the start.

    I think the turning point was the charge down. After that kiwi tails were up, we kept up for a bit but the heads went down.

    Is it a common thing for international teams to resort to kicking it down the throats of the back three when the wheels fall off or is it just us?

  • bob

    did you not see AAC, joc was coming of his wing because he thinks he should be no. 10. he wasn’t much chop with ball in hand either

  • Meatray

    I didnt think it was all doom and gloom. More or less I agree with you though Im going to have to watch JOC on the wing again as it looks as though you have seen a lot in the replay I didnt see in the game. The back row were bad apart from Hooper and I dont really think Mowen is an 8 (anyone else we could play?). I thought Toouma was ok and I thought Genia was very average (aside from the excellent try). Our support play genuinely sucked and we definately miss a big ball running backrow player. Mostly I thought it looked like a bunch of blokes playing their first game together with a bunch of new patterns and some confusion. Making the changes you suggest would probably make a significant difference. However I would start Folau at fullback as he is wasted out there with nothing to do. Thoughts?

    • Old_Laurentian

      Agree with Folau for 15. Link’s game plan for the Reds where QC dropped to play 15 at times always provided the capability to run it back, and made the attacking side think twice about booting it downfield. Folau needs room to move. Think of Folau back there in possession but with a bit of space, perhaps with JOC…. (Perhaps with QC as well – wishful thinking?). The ABs do their best work in counter -attack, so why not us? Having said that, Mogg has been threatening for role Brumbies in that role, but didn’t see it this time.

  • cantab

    At least it wasn’t 73-13, not a great start for the Pumas.

  • JJC

    Agree with your changes except that I’d move Folau to 15 instead of JOC, he isn’t used enough on the wing and the ABs pointedly avoided the ball going anywhere near him….they can’t do this if he is at 15

  • Gnostic

    Barbarian – this is generally poor.
    1. How was the game closer than the scoreline suggested. Are you trying the Hickey line of statistics saying we had a good season and lost most of our games? Take one stat as an example, the Wallaby tackles were made, but they were completed behind the gain line. The ABs made their tackles at a similar completion rate, in front or on the gain line.
    2. We didn’t play too badly, except they made many fundamental errors in execution and accuracy.
    3. I would agree with this point, except the ABs targeted JOC’s wing time and again and made metres on every occasion. So add 11 to your assessment here. I would also add that it isn’t just the backrow’s responsibility to cleanout and ensure quick clean ball at the ruck. The whole pack was beaten, often 1 on three.
    4. Toomua was exactly like he has been for the Brumbies and was able to set a few up when he actually got quick ball from Genia who wanted to sit on it and hatch it instead of picking it up and doing something. He was always the safer more conservative option and that is what he delivered. I would say he was as average as everyone else around him.
    5. JOCs defence – was not fine. If it was the ABs would not have scored 4 tries down his wing. The first was an absolute shocker as he committed inside when not needed and then didn’t even play a part in that tackle. The second that you dismiss as being needed because of the others being in a ruck, well he didn’t make that tackle either. He was also beaten by the pass time and again and SMith made lots of metres down the wing. This is not just his problem but also the structure of the Wallaby defence which saw the 13 channel (AAC or Lilo) rush up to cause the ABs to turn back inside. They invariably did but made ground up the middle and then with quick ball outflanked the defenders who were still getting back from their rush up.
    6. Agree about Moggs rather poor game, but have a look again at his pass to nobody and you will see that AAC is there calling for the ball, but is on Moggs shoulder instead of two or three paces wider. Not a hail mary but definitely misplaced and showed a lack of awareness of where the support was.
    7. Simmons played well and I would dispute the validity of the penalty that was awarded against Simmons, it was a case of the ABs were doing this very thing all night and not penalised. Simmons enters from almost the gate in the same manner and gets pinged.
    8. The tight five, along with the backrow dominated the lineout. The scrums were a farce (as in the Argentina V SA game) so that is a nil point. They were comprehensively beaten at the ruck. How can one forward from the ABs win a turnover against 3 Wallabies? It happened not once, but more than a few times.
    9. MMM played as he has all year, so no surprises. General posting all year has gone on and on about how hard he is blah blah blah. Well I haven’t see it for the Force and I didn’t see it last night. I didn’t dispute the selection at all as I can see the sense in it. In the absence of Higgers and Kimlin I don’t know there are many better options, maybe Shatz.
    10. Joubert was very good but made three significant errors. He isn’t alone here and most refs are controlling the game in this fashion. a) ABs players enter from the sides of most rucks. Simmons did the same and got penalised. b)The flankers do not remain bound to their prop, they slide forward onto the opposition scrum. This allows them to tackle the opposition 8 or 9 as the ball emerges from the scrum. They cannot be in this position legally. c) the quick lineout the ABs threw from outside the 22 and then kicked the ball out on the full into the Wallabies half should have been a Wallabies throw from inside the ABs 22. But overall his performance was in keeping with other international referees in this regard.
    11. Agree and far better basic structures to work with previously.
    12. JOC at 15? FFS he can’t defend a wing channel effectively despite what 35 tests, many at wing. He still cannot kick reliably and is still a hit and miss proposition under the high ball. If Mogg is to be dropped on the back of this admittedly poor performance the next best performed 15 in Australia is Folau. and whilst we have seen precisely three kicks from him this year they were well executed, and we know the Tahs were instructed not to kick the ball.
    You missed the critique of Lilo getting charged down in very poor fashion. I am left wondering what comment would have been made if it had been Cooper kicking.
    So all in all I would have to give your review a 2/12.

    • Meatray

      Nice review. I really do need to watch the game again. Especially JOC, as my initail thoughts were that he was bloody bad as was targeted specifically

    • Hugh Cavill

      Aww, can’t believe you (of all people) don’t like it Gman. You’ve ruined my Sunday with your piercing critique!!

      • http://www.onesully.com.au/ Sully

        I’d like to know where he got the ‘statistic’ about the tackles before and after the gain line. I stopped reading there.

        • Hugh Cavill

          I generally stop at the username, but sometimes I just can’t help myself…

    • Kiap

      Give Barbaa a bit of credit, I see you’re even agreeing with several of his points. Being prepared to look again is a good thing.

    • rotary hoe

      Watch the game. O’Connor played at fullback for just under half of it.
      Bad error first try that was it and one of the few sparks in attack.

    • BennyJJ

      I probably stopped watching the game critically towards the end but watching the highlights again, didn’t JOC move into FB once Kuridrani came on? Was AAC on the left wing for those tries? I could be wrong but watching the last two Ben Smith tries, either JOC was baaaadly out of position or he was playing FB. He was on the right wing helping Folau in defence on the blind side and couldn’t scramble to defend. If he was meant to be on the wing, then yeah, more ammo against him but he seemed to be in FB so some of your argument falls flat.

      • Hugh Cavill

        You are correct. JOC played fullback from the 53rd minute.

  • Dougall

    “Simple. We’ll win by 30.”

    Love the enthusiasm, but if we couldn’t do it in Sydney I really do not think we can break the drought at Eden.

    • the ardent b’stard

      not playing at eden park….either game

      • Dougall

        Sorry I meant Wellington, was talking to a mate about Eden Park when I wrote the comment and it must have been stuck in my head

  • Piggy

    Our support play was poor for much of the game, but we made some poor choices in simple things as well – like getting Mogg to kick to the left hand touch line, a right footer would have been the more logical choice.

    McCaw was immense last night, helped by some poor clean outs by the Wallabies

    • Lee Enfield

      McCaw should change his name to McSeagull. He just got lucky that his seagulling seemed to be rewarded with opportunities to impact the game.

  • Hawko

    Does anyone think it was an accident of fate, a statistical anomaly perhaps, that every time NZ attacked down JOC’s wing? Think about it. NZ clearly identified this side as an area of weakness; or to be more precise that Folau’s wing was an area of strength to be avoided at all costs, even though they had Julien Savea there.

    Folau has been the best Aussie 15 in Super rugby since about round 4. Instead we selected Mogg because either the Brumbies had a good season or Mogg has a long kick. Neither of those reasons was worth a stamp last night. The fact that he misses one in three tackles was clearly thought to be irrelevant. That went well, didn’t it.

    Then when Mogg was replaced we moved JOC in there, who I think played part of a couple of games there this season. Cheika had it right – play Folau at fullback and run it back MOST times. It worked a treat in Super and was always a threat; it can be again.

    • Hugh Cavill

      They certainly attacked down that side of the field, but JOC didn’t miss any tackles or make any particularly bad reads after the 3rd minute. They may have identified it as a weakness, but they didn’t just stroll through at their own leisure- how many good runs and linebreaks did Ben Smith have other than his 3 tries? I can’t remember many.

      • Jimmy

        O’Connor couldn’t miss that many tackles on his wing because he was never there. There just seemed to be a permahole where he should have been.

        • Hugh Cavill

          Have you even watched the game? Seriously. What you say is absolute rubbish, he was on his wing for 90% of the time in defence, if not more.

        • Gary Gleeson

          Yep he was only not there for the 10 per cent of the time when the All Blacks repeatedly scored through the hole my under 13s wouldn’t have left.
          Being a winger is as much about defence as attack and JOC just doesn’t have it.

        • rotary hoe

          again,O’Connor played last 30 mins at fullback…,you know ,when the other 2 tries were scored on ‘his ‘ wing.
          First try poor defence but that was it,had good game.

      • Tyler Durden

        I think it’s safe to say that Ben Smith had a considerably better game than JOC. He’s also the the polar apposite in terms of attitude and ego.

        • Hugh Cavill

          I disagree. Smith is a great player and finished well. But in reality he didn’t have much work to do on any of his three tries. JOC created far more off his own bat. Smith probably shaded it, but both had good games. I don’t think attitude or ego have anything to do with it- rather a dominant forward pack and a skilful backline.

        • Tyler Durden

          Opinion is divided here i’d say Hugh. You say JOC had a good game and was within touching distance of hatrick Smith, and everyone else says the complete opposite.

          My point about ego is generally, not related directly to this game. Smith is a quiet unassuming chap, only ever appears on the back pages and has the respect of his team and coaches at all levels of the game, that sound like JOC to you?

        • Tyrone

          I agree, Smiths 3 tries were the result of being on the end of a great backline that created a lot for him, even in defence when Kuridrani lost the ball. Smith can create a lot on attack if given the all clear, he’s probably a better open field runner than Dagg as his natural position with Otago is fullback.
          JOC was solid under the high ball. I don’t think he has a polished kicking game though.
          Hugh, who do you think has the best short/long kicking game in the Wallabies? Im actually leaning towards Lealiifano, thoughts?

        • Hugh Cavill

          Well I would have said Mogg before Saturday, but you might be right with Lilo. JOC isn’t bad either.

    • idiot savant

      Agree with the idea of running it back. I feel like we have to go back 8 or 10 years to a Wallaby side that was competent as a team with general play kicking, both kicking and receiving. Ive ranted about Genia’s box kick before. It was disastrous in the RWC, yet somehow the coaches still let him do it. It led to another try last night.

      But its way more than that. When we kick I feel like there is no organised plan amongst the backs. Surely when the ball is in the air, at the very least, its the whole teams responsibility to asses their positional play. I saw backs under Deans put their hands on their hips when we kicked it. Then wait ‘to play whats in front of them’ later! Which was often too late to stop the opposition winning the duel. And then when the kick fails all the experts blame the kicker! Kicking is part of Rugby, and we have been substandard in that area tactically for some years.

      If players dont support the kicker, he loses confidence. And thats what we have now – a bunch of kickers whose brain has been scrambled about when and when not to kick.

  • Robson

    After watching a highlights replay of the match I think that O’Connor was stuck between a rock and a hard place when the ABs scored their first try. Most people judged him to be out of position to make the final tackle, but the truth is that the Wallabies were outflanked and outnumbered and the ABs would have scrored anyway.
    I don’t think the Wallabies played as badly as the score suggests either, but our attack didn’t have any sting because we just didn’t get fast enough possession from the breakdown when it was needed. The Wallabies work at the breakdown continues to be their Achilles Heel. When you compare it to the speed at which the ABs recycled the ball it is no wonder that they were able to find space on the outside several times and we didn’t. The result was that all the Wallabies could do was “shuffle” the pill to the touchline and back again. It was nice to see them moving the ball, but given how slow it was from the ruck it was forlorn stuff. The Wallabies work at the breakdown must improve significantly for a running game to have any kind of edge to it. Hooper was the “lone ranger” at the breakdown. So long as that persists it is always going to be a long night at the office for the Wallabies.
    Apart from Mogg who clearly is not up to international standard yet, I don’t think too many personnel changes will make a lot of difference. There has to be an attitude change to the Wallabies work at the breakdown. It is part of the game that requires a burning sense of urgency to it from all three loose forwards. When that improves so too will the Wallabies fortunes.

    • http://www.onesully.com.au/ Sully

      Really can’t see how you can say he wasn’t out of position. We weren’t ‘out flanked’ it was a two on two. Ashley-Cooper tackled his man O’Connor touched no one. As for the rest of his game it was not bad at all.

      • Robson

        Yes, I would agree with you after watching a replay for the second time. We were outflanked all the same, because the inside running of Cruden created so much space on the outside that it was hard to see how Smith couldn’t have gone inside O’Connor even if O’Connor had held his line.

    • Patrick

      I agree we should try Gill and Hooper until Higgers and Pocock can come back.

  • Robbo

    I’d prefer to see Toomua retained for at least one more week. It’s a question of confidence – for both Toomua and Cooper.

    Toomua needs to know that one bad game won’t get him sacked or he will spend the rest of his career not trying to succeed, just trying not to fail.

    And Cooper just needs to get his swagger back. Starting him in Auckland against this All Blacks team now would put at risk all of the good work he has done in trying to recapture some of his old form.

    He’s a confidence player. The All Blacks have been targeting him psychologically for some time, and if he has another bad game at Eden Park, it might just kill his confidence for good.

    • waiopehu oldboy

      Starting him in Wellington’s probably not too flash an idea either… or do you know something about the state of Westpac Stadium the rest of us don’t? Toomua is worth another go, he just needs to stand shallower, run straighter & if he’s gonna pass do it closer to the line of contact… last night the AB were able to pretty much ignore him & concentrate on defending the 12 & 13 channels, worked too other than the AAC bust.

    • Nick

      Yeah toomua is basically an usman kawaja; you’re mad to drop him right now because he has demonstrated genuine class in the recent past and needs to be confidently backed for a bit longer

    • Gus

      I couldn’t have a more opposite view. Currently the Wallabies are still playing for both the Bledisloe Cup and the Rugby Championship, that means we need to put a team on the park that gives us the best opportunity to win. Quade is the only 10 that does that and this is simply not the time to be sentimental. If, and more depressingly probably when, we lose at Eden Park then everything changes and selections can look more towards the future.

      Toomua simply doesn’t have the experience and it showed. It’s not like he made a few schoolboy errors on his debut trying to do too much. He looked shell shocked, unable to make any impact on the game and unable to play his natural game even a little. He didn’t take the ball into contact once which is his great strength, decisiveness in taking the ball to the line. I could be exaggerating but I’d bet the farm he didn’t do it twice, which says everything you need to know about whether hes ready for test rugby.

      Even the best start with cameos off the bench and Toomua has shown he should be treated no different. I also think it’s better for his confidence to play him on the bench. If he starts and we lose he will have most likely played poorly in and lost his last three games (the three most important of his career), how is that better for a young player’s confidence then being dropped to the bench after a bad game.

      If he just made errors I would be fine with him playing again but he showed he is simply not ready on Saturday and it won’t do the Wallabies or himself any good to rush him back to a position he is currently unequipped to be successful at.

  • kambah mick

    I agree with the point that the support play was slow to get properly aligned, but thought this was also a problem with the defence. Too slow to regain a line which resulted in easy yardage out wide especially.

  • MM

    I think we need to get off JOC’s back a little and let Link get the best out of him. He was one guy out there trying his guts out among some others who were clearly out of their depth.
    I think it would a big mistake to play Cooper in New Zealand. The round of booing that issues from the crowd every time he touches the ball is sickening and a display of the south pacific trailer trash mentality that permeates those islands. I know my Kiwi friends are also pretty sickened by it. Until he returns to full mojo from playing against other teams he should play only cameo roles.

  • Mike W

    Yeah always better to analyse these things properly the next day and well said for humility’s sake. Joubert is still an aussie-hating, whistle-loving dick however. He missed a forward pass and knock-on that gave them tries, and called a knock-on against us that wasn’t, but overall, he was less camera-loving than usual last night. Agree on the whole however with reviews of the Brumbies young guns. Perhaps it was nerves, perhaps it was the change of environment from White’s shrewd tactics to Link’s shrewd but different tactics? Quade’s attack with Toomua’s defence rolled into one would be mind-blowing. Madness seemed good to me for the moments I watched him but there were no ‘starring’ moments. Stick with this group though, they will keep getting better.

  • Bobas

    10. Craig Joubert is a very good referee. Had a great game, didn’t make a dud call all night. Well played.

    What about the scrum where no one hooked it and it came out the side? hit the all blacks flakers hand (which was on the ground) went forward, then he was allowed to pick it up, no call.

    • http://www.onesully.com.au/ Sully

      Well one mistake then.

    • Pclifto

      What about when Genia was first penalised for not feeding straight…. Then the AB feed straight after was just as crooked, but was judged as fine???

      • mxyzptlk

        Was going to mention that one too — although I think he did generally pretty well, with only a couple questionable moments. Looked back to see if he gave Genia a crooked feed later to even it up; think he got one in the second half.

    • Hugh Cavill

      I blame the touchie for that. THe scrum screwed around and Craig was unsighted. TJ should have called it back.

  • devils advocate

    The issue with the game plan the Wallabies had, and I’m sure in time they will be better as some signs are there. But if you run the ball against the All Blacks, you leave the back door open. But I think the All Blacks will not be entirely satisfied and will be fired up for next week. No doubt however that the Wallabies will be better. I think Toomua needs to be persevered with, starting Cooper in NZ would be a brave call. The centres were impressive, Hooper was good.
    The scrum laws are not just pathetic.

  • Just a Guest

    Slipper was stunning (never used that adjective to describe a forward before). I’m excited about our tight-five’s development under McKenzie.

  • BloodRed

    Much better review BaaBaa. For the first time ever I’m going to pinch your opinion and quote it as my own. Only difference I’d make is that I’d keep Toomua on as starter. I think he had the air of a guy playing with the thought “don’t fuck up, just don’t fuck up” running through his head. As a consequence he really just didn’t do anything. He will be more self assured for the experience (a deposit of self belief perhaps) and I reckon we’ll see a bit more from him next week.

    Glad your revised your opinion of Simmons, after Hooper he was our most effective forward. Finally that big frame was being put to use and his line work was the nights best.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Haha happy to be of service. I had to come good eventually…

      • BloodRed

        law of averages at work I guess :D

    • brumby runner

      I wonder how much of Matt Toomua’s play was designed to implement Link’s game plan, which seemed to be to go wide whenever the ball was available to the backs. If he retains the starting spot, I would assume he played as Link wanted. But even so, I hope he takes the line on more in his next outing.

      • BloodRed

        Going wide regularly was certainly the intent but all he did was shovel the ball to Lilo. Can’t remember one cut out, one loop play, one second touch. I suspect a few of those would have been expected as part of the basic strategy and I hope we’ll see it in Wellington, as well as a bit more taking the ball to the advantage line first (from him and QC).

  • Timbo

    How many times was possession given away at that farce the IRB calls a scrum? Like Kearnsy said post match what is the point of having big blokes in the front row if you’re going to take the hit out of the scrum? Honestly it looked like an under 10s scrum with the bind to stop the little boys hurting themselves.
    At least Joubert was consistent in penalising both the scrummies for not straight feeds.

    • Who?

      Scrums were great, other than the fastidious focus on the feed. Should’ve guessed a Saffa ref would be like that, though. And he doesn’t know Law 20.7(b). But how good was that second shove after the feed?!

  • d_funkt

    I’m no expert so this may sound simplistic but I really think you should have had a go at converting Hooper to an 8. You’re always short there and it seems to me he runs and busts like an 8 ought, he could grow into a great one. Gill at 7. Mowen at 6.

  • Big Ted

    Bravo Mr Cavill, best article I think you’ve ever done in my opinion. Concise, and for the most part, I agree with you in every aspect. My only differing opinion would be I thought our tit five was poor in the defence around the rucks, which was why Aaron Smith always looked dangerous on the snipe. And the only other point that I see differently would be to keep Kuridrani at 13, shift AAC to tha schting and have JOC at 15.

    Well played sir

    • Hugh Cavill

      Thanks mate. I would worry about moving AAC away from 13, think that is one of the few things that has been consistently working for us.

      • Big Ted

        Yeah, I think the masses are in agreence with you mate. I still like what the K man brings to the table. I certainly wouldn’t be upset to see two dads stay at 13, my bigger fear would be that means Mogg remains at 15.

  • Gary Gleeson

    JOC was trying to be hero as usual, all over the place. He should have been in position marking the number 14. He in no way justified being selected on the wing, especially over specialists like Cummins.

    Falau was better but still less than impressive on the other wing. If he is going to play it should be at Fullback where he did most in S15.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Trying to be the hero? What a load of crap. Watch the game- he was on his wing in defence for the vast majority of the time.

  • Pedro

    Only caught the highlights of this one. Pretty disappointing from a supporter’s perspective but it’s not that surprising. New game plan, new personnel, playing against the world’s best. I think if we want attacking exciting rugby from the Wallabies we have to give them time to gel. Let’s see how we go once this group has more time together.

  • BIG OUTSIDE BACK BOPPERS

    Greg Inglis how much you want ???

    • Timbo

      At what point is GI going to be a better option than AAC, Kurindrani or Folau? The only reason he looks good in League is because League players cannot tackle. I would bet my life savings that even Matt Toomua could drop a rampaging Greg Inglis and i would bet everything else that if GI ran at Nonu and Smith he would be getting nowhere.

      • Bilbo Baggins

        Very tongue in cheek Timbo!!

        • Timbo

          You bugger!

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Like all Wallaby fans I was hoping for a miracle win over the nuns. And like most Wallaby fans I was more or less expecting a hiding. So no real surprises.

    That said the one thing I was surprised about was finding myself almost agreeing with Phil Kearns in the Fox Sport post match. Nick & Marto gave the AB’s big wraps 9.5 out of 10 scores. Kearnsey though thought the AB’s, while clearly outplaying us on the night, scored 4 gift tries.

    Initially I thought ‘here we go, more PK mindless dribble’. But then I reflected and thought maybe the guy has a point of sorts. Maybe it’s not all doom and gloom. Maybe if we improve our execution, make smarter decisions and trust the bloke along side us to make his tackle, maybe…just maybe we can develop into a pretty good Rugby team. Then again maybe I’m just desperate and grasping at straws.

    One thing for sure is that I expect the AB’s to be better still in Wellington, so we’d better make the most of the next 7 days.

  • N

    Good write up mate. Possibly a bit too harsh on Toomua? Didn’t do too much wrong really, would’ve like a bit more go forward but wasn’t disastrous by any means. Also Craig Joubert? Don’t know what game you were watching but he made some absolute howlers, for both sides. No concept of flow and is oblivious to some of Ritchie McCaw’s tactics. Hard game to watch when he’s refereeing.

  • gazza

    2015 WORLD CUP Wallaby backline
    9: Genia
    10: Quade Cooper
    11: Greg Inglis
    12: Christian Leali’ifano
    13: Jarryd Hayne
    14: Tony Williams
    15: Israel Folau

    • Noisey

      Yeah mate that’s what we need, more league backs. What could possibly go wrong? Of course as an Eels fan I would love for someone to pinch the Hayne Drain of us, if we could get Luke Burt back..

  • pants

    Has anyone else noticed that we have not once managed to do a cross field kick to a winger successfully in the past 10 years? We try it every now and then and every single time, the kick is inaccurate. What a waste.

  • Jason

    Peanut Gallery, Classic… I copped a bit of Spray for saying there was to Many Brunmbies in the team. I was only playing around though…. Matt Toomua got a fair go from Ewen, He could of put cooper on earlier( I think he should have) but thats why I like ewen as a coach….. When Cooper did come on we there was more direction, and the back line sparked up… Be listening in on the Podcast this week
    Good Article Hugh

  • Who?

    Good article Hugh! Disagree on one point. First off, I don’t like Joubert. So I’m happy to admit that up front. But I’d have thought he’d have learned, after three tries were scored on scrums where the ball came out of the tunnel in 2010, that it’s a reset. The ball came out of the tunnel at 56 minutes, it was between Gill and Luatua, Luatua had the LH, so he was better able to dive sideways onto it. Should’ve been a reset, but instead led to an easy try. There’s other examples of poor calls, but that’s the worst.

    On JOC’s defense, I’d like to further agree with you! That McCaw try? If JOC hadn’t been obstructed by Hore, he may well have caught Dagg with a blind side hit and shut it down. The ABs had a clear numerical advantage, the only way to prevent the try was to have someone rush up and make the tackle. Hore prevented JOC from attacking the ball carrier, giving Dagg just enough time to get the ball outside JOC. Game over.

    From the scoreline and almost everything else you read, you’d think it was the end of the world, and Robbie needs to come back and save us. His worst defeat had a 1 point greater margin, and wasn’t in his first game. Link’s got a very new squad (almost half the team have under 20 Tests, something like four debutants, four more with under 5 Tests), they clearly played a different style of Rugby to what we’ve seen from the Wallabies in the past five years (how good was it to see Coopy make a couple of breaks off set piece?! Straight hard running, against the drift!), and no one can completely remold a team in two weeks. There’s negatives, sure, but there’s more positives there than most – especially Kiwis – would have us believe.

    • Southerner

      Yes, I agree with this comment about Link’s tactics. Definitely more running from the backs, no matter what the field position. It was gutsy stuff. My criticism would be that the movement was crabwise and there was just the one major break from AAC – with dismal lack of support. Where are the straight runners in the backline going to come from – perhaps JOC into Inside Centre and Leali’ifano to Fullback. I really don’t know. My attitude is that Links’ main eye should be on 2015 and to drop Toomua now does not help his development. I think there has to some concession to the current strength of the Blacks and the realization that a build-up period is necessary

  • Noisey

    Okay gents, we lost another one. A new coach with a new squad failed to dislodge the darkness. It ain’t Scripted by Disney boys and girls. Was it all bad? Definitely not. Is there a bucketload of promise to be taken from this game..damn straight. Toomua and Cooper are fine. Maybe not betting all of the chocolates on a raft of new players is a lesson learned. Maybe giving JOC a bit more time to settle back into a outside back role is needed, before bringing out the knives. Same with MMM, he’s been away from the green and gold for a while. I want improvement, and I think I saw enough to keep the wheels of belief moving. Keep it going lads, you’ll get there. I am not sure it will be this year against the ABs but this group has the ability to secure no 2, then challenge no 1 next year.

  • Foybus

    Toomua to the bench after one game? A touch too harsh, he’s only played one game in the green and gold. JOC although his one on one defence was okay he was found out of position. Ben Mowen had an average game and pressure was put on him during scrum time.

  • James

    The fact that once again NZ proved that holding the ball and chasing 5 pointers will win you matches against a team that takes 3 point options at every available opportunity.

  • Suzy Poison

    As a Saffa, I have this to say, for the first time, in about 20yrs, I actually believe the Boks to have a better back line than the Wallabies. Ewen’s game plan of “taking the AB’s out of their comfort zone” fooled no one but himself. Pretty much the same in the Reds versus Crusaders game. I noticed how much more the All Blacks kicked the ball and did up and unders. In other words the AB’s played a “Jake White territory game” whilst the Wallaby shuffled the ball, from one touch line to the other. Ewen’s 2011 Reds game plan doesn’t work at international level. You need forwards to give you quick ball to play that up tempo game, and Australia simply doesn’t have the cattle in the eight. Can’t see Link winning a game with his current flawed strategy. But hopefully for your sakes he will adapt, Reds have played a kicking game on occasion. Link’s not stupid, but throwing 5 rookies against some old hands wasn’t the smartest move. Men versus boys basically. Hooper was brilliant, Mowen and Hugh Mmm went missing in action. Feel for Mogg and Matty T, tough introduction to test footy. They will learn their trade in the school of hard knocks, and be better for it.

  • GB

    That game should be viewed by WB fans with a healthy dose of perspective. A lot of new combinations , new caps and a new coaching approach. It is hopefully short term pain for some long term gain. We may have to take our lumps for TRC as we build towards 2015. At least we created several opportunities, even if we blew at least two of those in the second half. But I enjoyed watching the WBs play last night, something that has not been the case since RWC 2011.

  • Pclifto

    Was it just me, or were there constantly All Black players loitering at the back of the ruck in the way of Genia when we were in possession?

    Anyone else pick this up? Just want to make sure I’m not being overly one-eyed. The way I saw it, Joubert should have done something about it.

  • Scrunch

    If it wasn’t clear before, it is now. The Bledisloe has become our annual reminder that rugby is now a niche sport in Australia – horribly out muscled by the other sporting codes. The ARU is bleeding money (to the tune of $19m). Super 15 teams run at a horrendous loss The grass roots have been neglected.

    The sobering fact is that 90% of ARUs money comes from the Wallabys. And having been the AB’s whipping boys for a decade it’s hard to see how domestic supporters can be expected to grow that revenue base. If anything they’re turning away in droves.

    The final nail in the coffin will be when the Kiwis supporters stop turning up at ANZ stadium as well. It can’t be long now. Even the Kiwis must be getting turned off by the Wallaby no contest.

  • Redsy

    Joubert didn’t make a dud call all night”

    • Redsy

      Maybe this statement is factually correct, but the man is a pedant and perhaps the more solid analysis would be the calls that he failed to make. I thought he was inconsistent, especially on the scrums

  • Mart

    Great write up BarBar

  • Scott from Sydney

    Cooper was good off the bench, maybe that’s his position. Matt Toomua should be given time to settle. Not sure how you missed Simmons’ game Hugh, easily his best in Gold. Thought Joubert missed obvious ruck infringements, mostly on the part of the ABs. AAC looked to be the only composed back. Kurandrani looks like he might be a special player. I’d like to see Fardy in. I was also disappointed with Madness.
    But we all know that the problem isn’t necessarily going to be solved with tinkering the starting team, The value that Link brings is his holistic approach to the puzzle, on and off the field.

  • Yarpie

    What a lot of rubbish. The AB’s played an 80% percent game and still put the fourth highest total on the Wallabies. Mogg’s was no better than a club player.
    Totally outplayed, the Wallabies will lose to the ‘Boks by 30 to 40!!

  • waz_dog

    Good summation Hugh – I’d like to leave the JOC defense aside and ask for your comment on the below.

    I was dismayed on how JOC didn’t stay the wing channel in attack and left AAC without an outside option when he did make those breaks. There’s one thing to go looking for the ball but the role he was assigned to play he left a lot to be desired.

    He looked good sharking around 1/2 off flyhalf inside the last 15mins and he may ultimately end up playing 12/15 but the options he presented his fellow backs for the rest of the game suggests he is still playing me footy instead of team footy.

    Thoughts?

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