Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 10 - Green and Gold Rugby

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 10

Super Rugby Wallaby Watch – Rnd 10

Week 9 of the Super Rugby was Australia vs South Africa. The Rebels lost to the Stormers in Melbourne, the Brumbies got a win for Australia against the Lions in Canberra and the Reds were outclassed by the Bulls in Pretoria. Here is our team of the week.


1. Harry Hoopert (Reds)

Getting his first start for the Red’s the young prop was busy and made a good impression. He made 12/13 tackles.

a mafi

2. Alex Mafi (Reds)

Doesn’t get a lot of attention playing but is consistently putting in good efforts for the sky blue. 13/13 lineouts, 12/14 tackles and 5 runs.


3. Allan Alaalatoa (Brumbies)

Scrummaged well, put some good hits on in defence making 17 tackles and worked it up the middle with his 7 runs.


4. Izack Rodda   (Reds)

A very hard worker and does a lot of work that he doesn’t get credit for. Pinched two at lineout time and made 10/11 tackles.


5.Rory Arnold (Brumbies)

With a victory that was built on defence, Arnold lead from the front. He made a whopping 24/26 tackles. He made 9 runs but most importantly was the pillar in their lineout in attack and defence.

Jahrome Brown

6. Jahrome Brown (Brumbies)

In his very first match he came out with a man of the match performance. Earnt a couple of penalties early at the ruck and was a workhorse in defence making 18/20 tackles. Also made 17m in his 3 runs.


7. Liam Wright (Reds)

Another player that worked really hard throughout the game. Up until the 80th minute when he earnt his side the winning penalty, he never stopped. He made 17/19 tackles but most importantly got that penalty at the end of the game.


8. Pete Samu (Brumbies) 

Managed to slow down the Stormers ball, made 8/9 tackles and scored a try to top it off.


9. Joe Powell (Brumbies)

Fought with Tate McDermott for this spot. He earnt the #9 position this week due to making some key tackles behind the line (16/20).


10.  Bernard Foley (Waratahs)

Slowly making his way back into form. Hopefully some more performances like this at the back end of the season will give us 2 viable options at flyhalf for the World Cup. He ran for 77m on his way to 3 defenders beaten, a clean break and a try. He kicked well from hand and even better from the boot with 5/5. Tom English won’t forget his defence either with that great hit that lead to a turnover.


11. Alex Newsome (Waratahs)

Has been putting in strong performances the past few weeks. Although not being the star of the Waratahs backline he made great metres (53) and beat 5 defenders in his 12 runs.


12. Samu Kerevi (Reds)

Another week, another time Kerevi is picked in the team. He made a huge 23 runs on his way to 47m, 4 defenders beaten, a clean break, 4 offloads and a try assist.

aac ashley-cooper wallabies profile

13. Adam Ashley-Cooper (Waratahs)

His best week back in blue. Ran for 57m and made 4 clean breaks managing to snag himself a 5 pointer. Didn’t miss a beat in defence with 6/6.


14. Sefa Naivalu (Reds)

Week in, week out plays a nice supporting role for his big centres. Made 10 runs with 46m to his name.


15. Kurtley Beale (Waratahs)

Between him and Foley, the Waratahs obviously had a plan to keep it out of their half and he did a great job doing that. Looked more at home at fullback and made 14 runs for 68m.

On the fringe of selection:

Reece Hodge – Had a blinder and was neck and neck with KB. Made 80 run metres with 4 defenders beaten and showed some toe to get to the line for a 5 pointer. Only missed out due to Beale playing a big hand in the second half comeback for the Tahs.

Chris Feauai-Sautia – They used CFS almost as a battering ram this week. He was put in situations where he didn’t have much room to move so he just used his big frame to crash it up. Managed 50m from his 9 runs.

Michael Hooper – Has showed again his brilliant defence making 20/21 tackles. Would have won the #7 jersey but gave away 3 penalties, a handling error and only made 2 runs. Still a good game though.


Sam Talakai – Came on midway through the second half and practically went straight back off again with a yellow card. Played okay when he was on the field.

Michael Ruru – I’m sure Rebels fans were with me when I put my hands in the air asking why you would kick the ball away when you’re down with 40 seconds on the clock. Luckily they ended up with the ball back but still an extremely questionable decision.

Tom English – Couldn’t get himself into the game. Made 4 runs for 1 metre, only made 60% of his tackles (3/5), gave away a penalty and got smashed by Bernard Foley resulting in a turnover.

  • David Creagh

    How did Banks not get a look in over Beale?

  • Cameron Rivett

    A good lineup. Personally Rory Arnold is my player of the week from any conference. If he played like that every week/for the Wallabies he would be a World XV contender. I don’t think any other player in Australia could have done what he did on Saturday night, and without him I think the Brumbies would probably have lost.

    • Jason

      Big call Kerevi was (and has been all season) phonominial!

      • Cameron Rivett

        I would say he’s been the best back in Australia, and it’s hard to compare two completely different players/positions like Arnold/Kerevi, so I think either would be a good choice.

      • Singapore Sling

        How do the Reds replace him next year? Sefa will be missed too.

        • Jason

          With ‘The Kid’ — Jordan Petaia, he’ll be better than Kerevi. Also rumblings that the ARU might be willing to throw some of that Folau money Samu’s way… what kind of idiot signs a 30 year old who’s game is built around his athleticism to a 5 year 5 million dollar contract! -_-

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Petaia is a completely different kind of player to Kerevi. Even if he ends up being better (big call at this stage) I don’t think that he will be as influential, as able to dominate a game, as Kerevi is.

          Especially since the kid is 18. If he is thrown into the centres too much at his age, I think he will get a lot of injuries.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yep just like the AB conundrum this year. .. .do you pick Laumape the wrecking ball or the equally impressive distributor Crotty! Both good but very different play styles!


      Nearly hurt himself twice tho didn’t he. …. he was going in so hard that’s the trade off. Your right tho he was awesome!

  • David Creagh

    I thought I would throw my potential XV into the mix. For shits and giggles I have put what I suggest Cheik would pick. Apologies for the double post.
    My XV Cheika’s XV
    1. Slipper Sio
    2. Fa’inga Fa’inga
    3. Allaallatoa Kepu
    4. Arnold Coleman
    5. Rodda Simmons
    6. MacCaffery Hannigan
    7. Pocock Hooper
    8. Naisarani Pocock
    9. Genia Genia
    10. Tomoua Foley
    11. Hodge Koribieti
    12. Kerevi Kerevi
    13. Kurindrani Ashley-Cooper
    14. Maddocks Maddocks
    15. Banks Beale
    16. Rangi Latu
    17. Sio Slipper
    18. Tupu Allaallatoa
    19. Philip Rodda
    20. Hooper Dempsey
    21. Samu Can you clone Hannigan?
    22. Gordon Phipps
    23. Pulu Banks
    Justifications for my selections:
    Front row has been the form front row in Australian conference.
    Two big ball carrying locks who can make an impact in defence. Strong in the lineout in both D and attack.
    MacCaffery has been one of the form back rowers and can cover blindside and No 8. Clever footballer who can create opportunities for others. Naisarani is a strong ball carrier who can get a side over the gain line. Both he and MacCaffery are genuine lineout options giving four targets in the lineout. Pocock, well because Pocock. This backrow is able to tackle well, carry well and compete for the pill on the deck.
    Genia is the best half in Australia with daylight second.
    Tomoua, can control a game, has a strong kicking game in hand and an OK one off the tee. Is able to defend properly in the 10 channel without having to hide him on the wings in D. Will run straight and commit defenders. Foley is not up to it IMO and sadly neither is Cooper.
    Kerevi and Kurindrani are good strong ball running centres, Kerevi’s pass has improved and they are both able to defend in position. Kerevi committing defenders will allow Kurindrani more space.
    Hodge has long leg and will be excellent for both kicking from hand and off the tee, defends well and is a big physical unit in attack, he is a bit slow for a wing but this is made up for with both Maddocks and Banks. Maddock and Banks are elusive runners with both good footwork and speed. Run good attack lines and have good timing. Reasonable defenders and Banks has a reasonable boot.
    Rangi is the best of the other hookers. Nobody has really put their hand up to get over the top of Fa’inga.
    Sio is the next best loosehead in the country.
    Tupu, well this one is a long shot really. Has not lived up to the hype this year but Kepu is past it and gives away too many silly penalties and cards.
    Philip is another good strong ball carrying lock who seems to make and cross the gainline with aggression.
    Hooper is the next best seven past Pocock (until Liam Gill comes home).
    Pete Samu is the closest thing we have to Sean McMahon without being Sean McMahon.
    Toss up with Gordon and Powell with Gordon getting the time on the bench. Phipps is past it and now too limited in my view.
    Pulu, well why not throw in a genuine finisher? Played well for Chiefs and looks OK for the Brumbies. He is only a genuine winger but with Maddocks and Hodge there is some utility value on the paddock already.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I just think Foley is going back to the old well. The well has been tried constantly over the drought the last three years. I think we have to risk going to another well or two even if we’re unsure it holds water, rather than trying the same empty one again.

      • David Creagh

        I agree which is why he is not in my XV. Sorry if not clear this site does not handle formatting well.


      I like your team….. but it looks like your looking for a centre to play 10 if you like Tomua because he can run hard straight at the line! And there’s no way Tomua can start sight unseen…… especially when he wasn’t that flash last time in Gold and hasn’t been lighting it up at club either… .Be a solid bench pick tho.

    • Gallagher

      Sorry mate, agree with GTQR, Toomua cant be in the team unsighted as he has been. Cooper is the attack answer we need there and no doubt has improved his defence and all round solid play to be no more of a liability than every other attacking ten in the world game also is.
      I’d have Jones as your backup to McCaffrey? (Well actually he’d be starting for mine!) Phillip cant play Blindside and Samu drops your lineout options.
      No way Gordon pips Powell.
      No way Pulu beats Naivalu if you want an out and out winger, and if not, then Haylett Petty is the man.
      Other than that, looks a solid well balanced team!

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Pulu showed more at the Chiefs than Naivalu has ever shown at this level. That said, Sefa has shown he can succeed at the international level.

        • Gallagher

          Have to agree, although Sefa is looking better than Pulu this year so far, and both teams are cellar dwellers to date…

  • Nutta

    Morning. Many Thanks Mooney. Always a brave thing to do.

    Harry Hoopert is an interesting call after the great work of the Donkeys 2×1’s especially. I’m not outright disagreeing, but I’m mulling over that one…

    Mafi had a ripper of a game.

    Foley. Nup. Can’t. L’fano this week. But that said they all sucked that much I’m tempted to run 2×9’s instead and have Tate McD plus JoeyP.

    Beale – Bugger off. Banks. Or else Hodge.

    Two-Dads – Nope. K’drani was back with a vengeance.

    • Jason

      Yeah, I’d agree Hoopert is an interesting choice, he’s not bad but I think he’ll struggle to scrum at test level but he has the real potential to be a James Slipper type. He’s excellent around the park and somehow scrums very well for his size, but I would worry bringing him on in a game against a top test forward pack.

      • Nutta

        I bracket him with HJH. Good around-the-ground workrate. And no-doubt he did play well. But up against Sio and Slipps especially on the back of a really good scrumming week from the Donkeys? Big call… If it’s recognising a good game then fair enuf. But if Mars is coming to earth and we are playing for our lives based on who was available last weekend, it’s a toss between Slipps and Sio at for me. The rest of the pack though was about right I reckon.

        • Jason

          The Smith Boys shouldn’t be a bad option either, although they aren’t really showing it yet this season, you can see them ALMOST being very good but not quite getting there. But you are right it’s Sio, Slipper … daylight, and roll the dice.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Yeah but this team list is purely about Aus players singular form.. .. not a Wallabies squad pick! It makes for a very interesting read when you see basically nobodies handing it to international veterans…. even if it is super rugby lvl.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate I’m with you on Kuadrani I thought he was awesome last week and getting better and better as the season goes on

      • Ian

        Tevita is a strange one for my view, clearly very capable, but has never really made an impact in internationals.

        Almost like Scott Higginbotham Mark 2.

        • Peter Morse

          Seriously? I would have thought the other way around, he doesn’t do much at Super level but seems to leave his best for test rugby. I wouldn’t want anyone but him at 13 and with him running off Kerevi I think we’d have a great center combination, Hodge at 15 – Izzy at 14 – Foley at 10 and Maddocks on the other wing.

        • Slim 293

          Yep, Kuridrani has always excelled at test level while coasting through Super Rugby… much like Nonu, although not at his level.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Nah TK often plays well at super level too. But he is hampered by playing every minute of every match.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Lealiifano is consistently ignored because he isn’t part of the two horse race for the Wallaby 10 journey.

      He may not be the style of 10 Cheika will pick, but still deserves credit from the fans.

      • Ian

        It shouldn’t be a two horse race, but if it were it should be between Christian and Toomua, both much more complete 10s. Although Christian has had a couple of bad games this year, and his kicking has been bad.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I imagine his percentage would be comparable or above the other two to be honest.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          His kicking% is directly between Foley and Coopers. In fact Lealifano and Cooper are very close statistically in almost every stat bar kicking….where Lealifano lags well behind this year so far…..but still ahead of Foley!

        • GO THE Q REDS

          …complete what? Ones completely Unseen and the other is completely inconsistent! But going buy the stats and actually watching all the rugby played…. .It should be between Lealifano and Cooper at this stage! At best sight unseen Tomua gets a backs bench spot!

  • Jason

    I really think CFS could be a really nice addition to a World Cup squad. Can fill a number of positions being capable of playing 11, 12 (in a pinch), 13, 14 and 15 if required. He’s got a wealth of experience for a 25 year old! Conversely, I’m still not sold on AAC I know everyone says he’s so good but I’ve not been seeing anything to justify all talk of him being in the World Cup squad. He was decent against the Rebs, but that was his first good game.


      I wouldn’t say no. 13 is easily the most open position atm and CFS is 100% in the running as a legitimate option. Injury has always been a weakness tho.. ..

      • Jason

        Yeah, he frankly didn’t ‘know’ how to play rugby coming out of high school but was good enough (big enough) that he’d just run over guys, welcome to Super Rugby and it’s a completely different game. I think that’s a large part of what lead to a lot of his injuries. But he now understands footwork and how to not just run at a guy, etc. I watched him last year in the NRC as well as a bit of him in U20’s and at school and he’s a completely different player.

        I do get hard over the idea of Samu & CFS outside of Will & Quade! But Kuridrani will probably play 13 with Kerevi at 12 and Beale at 15… and we all know Cheika will find some kind of way to justify Foley, honestly never actually hopped for an injury to one of our players but that’s the only way Cheika will play Quade.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          You do realize when Foley gets run over by a bus…. Cheika will have no qualms putting Toomua at 10 sight unseen!

        • Jason

          Cheika would be 50/50 on playing Foley anyway! It would be ironic if Toomua comes over early and plays outside Quade.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Toomua is probably watching the Tahs games. … He’s like… “got that in the bag, I’m a Wallaby shoein”

  • Gallagher

    Updated combined scores after ten rounds;
    (Picked on incumbency if a draw, numbers mean additional selections, stars mean fringe selections, Capitals is run on squad with 6/2 split, Brackets doesn’t make match day squad, Up arrow recently IN squad, + symbol means injured or contract ripped up)

    1 SLIPPER 3**, Sio 1 (Johnson-Holmes*, Faulkner, JP Smith, Hoopert)
    2 FAINGAA 3*, Fitzpatrick 2 (Rangi 1*, Mafi)
    3 ALAALATOA 4*, Kepu 2 (Talakai, L-Makin)
    4 ARNOLD 3 (Holloway 1, Swain)
    5 RODDA 3, Simmons 1 (Phillip 1, Coleman**, Carter*, Hockings)
    6 SALAKIAIA-LOTO 3*, Jones 2*** (+Valentini 1*, Hanigan*, Scott-Young, Brown)
    7 HOOPER 3*, LWright 3 (Pocock, Hardwick)
    8 NAISARANI 3** (McCaffrey 1*, Timu, Samu*, Cottrell*, Wells)
    9 GENIA 3*, Powell 3 (McDermott 1, Sorovi)
    10 COOPER 4* (Foley 1, Lealiifano 1, Hegarty)
    11 NAIVALU 4 (Korobete, Peni, Newsome*, Pulu)
    12 MEAKES 2** (Hunt 1, TWright)
    13 KEREVI 7, Rona 2 (Kuridrani 1*, Ashley-Cooper, English**, +Petaia)
    14 F-SAUTIA 2** (Clark 1, Muirhead, Hardy)
    15 MADDOCKS 1* (+Folau 2**, Banks 1*, Hodge*, Haylett-Petty, Beale, Stewart*, Lucas)

    Talking Points;
    – Any more major injuries/absences will seriously start to risk performance potential now with Valentini, Petaia and Folau being unavailable.
    – Interestingly Jones, LWright and Powell are putting real pressure on Salakaia-Loto, Hooper and Genia!
    – Cooper now has a challenger in Foley, will he be able to consistently take Cooper on?

    Fringe worthy selections;
    Tupou, Dempsey 1, Higginbotham, Cusack
    Slipper, Alaalatoa, Arnold, Rodda, Naisarani, Cooper, Kerevi and Naivalu
    Jones, LWright, Meakes

    Tupou, Johnson-Holmes 2, Kepu 2, Ainsley, Faulkner, Talakai 1, L-Makin, Ruru 1, Foley, Cooper, Mason, Beale 1, Meakes 1, Hunt, English, Simone, Peni, Muirhead, STupou, Maddocks, Korobete, Folau
    Still no selections?;
    Tupou, Paenga-Amosa, Phipps

    • Brumby Runner

      The forwards pack is just about right and is a very possible starting pack for TRC and RWC. Sio at No 1 and Pocock at 7 would be the most likely changes if there are to be any.

      The halves and outside backs are close as well, but the centre field is just wrong. Why are you still showing Kerevi at 13 when he has played more at 12, and is the stand out performer at 12? His form at 13 is not as good as at 12, and the latest form of Kuridrani should see him battling with CFS and English for that spot. And why CFS on the wing? Again I believe he has played more at 13 than on the wing this year. His form should have him considered for 13.

      I am also perplexed by your rating of Maddocks as disappointing although, in the absence of Folau he is leading the race for No 15. If that’s disappointing, how would you rate all the other contenders for 15?

      I may be missing some of the intricacies of the system you use, but I really think it’s time for a rethink in the makeup of the backline.

      • Gallagher

        Oh I think your not understanding what I am doing perhaps? In short if players are known to play multiple positions, and they have higher votes, then the team squeezes in players with higher votes, which is the case with Meakes. As Kerevi can play both positions and Meakes is the next best 12, then they are both in. Having said that I have adjusted the team to slide Kerevi and FSautia in as you say is absolutely a better option, but only because I realised that Rona could play wing and has the votes to start and push Meakes out, making way for Kuridrani on the bench. NOW THATS A GOOD TEAM!

        FYI none of the Fringe Worthy or Disappointment votes are mine, they are all the G&GR journalists mate.

        • Howard

          Journalist? Re read the intro..

        • Gallagher

          Like I said, they are not my ratings but the G&GR journalists, I just do a tally. This paints a picture of performance over a season i.e. can you remember how Korobete went in round 2?. No? What about Pocock? No? Well neither can I.

          For your education the meaning of Journalist = “a person who writes for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or prepares news to be broadcast”

    • Huw Tindall

      Fair team and will be interesting to see how the tallied results at the end of the season match up against the first Test side. One thing though, how has McCaffrey only been nominated once in team of the weak? Think he’s been the form 8 all year.

  • Parker

    Can you please explain how failing to find touch from a couple of penalty kick squares with “kicked well from hand”. There mustn’t have been any one else available for Foley to get picked.

    • Bernie Chan

      Mmm…nah, can’t explain that…
      Spanners had a poor first half, Cooper a poor second half…but reading all the RA press one would think Spanners had a “blinder”. And Beale gets the nod over Hodge…?
      Great to see 2 Oz sides win is SA…bit worried about the inconsistent form though…

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Spot on mate

    • Zippo

      What about Christian Lea’laifano?
      No ball, no territory, but led the Brumbies exceptionally well.
      Against the odds, they still managed 3 tries, the waratahs only managed 2 and 1 was from a dodgy over-throw from a lineout

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    If Beale is the Wallaby 15 then the Bledisloe is locked in again for another year

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Mate, Cheika’s the coach, it already locked in

      • Jason

        Just like Quade will either get 5 minutes off the bench, and ‘not impress Cheika’ or get a start against the Kiwis with some kind of awul experimental backline and do poorly (wonder why), only for us to never play him again…

      • disqus_NMX

        Nah, Beale is still a lock in for 12 :P


    Whose? Cooper has better defensive stats than Ritchie Mounga……and Foley has the 2nd worse defensive stats behind only EJanties. Christian has made twice as many ineffective tackles than Cooper has. Stats only tell half a story of course tho….

    • Gallagher

      Cooper and Mounga have about the same tackle percentage this year so far at 69%. Its true Foley has missed the 2nd most tackles of any fly half, and 10 more than Cooper, but he has made more tackles as well. Cooper would have to make 7 more successful tackles to catch Foley’s missed tackle percentage of 73%.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      According to Fox Quade is 66% tackle effectiveness (made 40, missed 18), Lealiifano is 79% (made 72, missed 14).

      I don’t think a 10s defence is the main stat used to pick one, but they’re impressive stats from Lealiifano.

  • Gallagher

    Interesting stats and analysis for the Wallaby fly half jersey;
    (Stats are ordered arguably by their importance or impact to a positive or negative score line change, from most important to least (1 point for best, 2 for second best, 3 for worst)

    Cooper V Foley V Lealiifano
    Try Assists – 9, 2, 4
    Conceded penalties- 4, 2, 1
    Kick % – 79%, 71%, 70%
    Tackle percentage – 69%, 73%, 83%
    Line breaks – 7, 2, 5
    Tackle busts – 9, 9, 14

    Handling errors – 18, 6, 13
    Turnovers – 20, 9, 18
    Points – 84, 66, 49
    Metres per run – 8.7, 11.6, 11.4
    Tries scored – 2, 1, 1
    Offloads – 10, 2, 6

    Cooper – 17 points (Run on)
    With 3 wins in the top 6 most important stats, he is directly generating tries for his team, kicking with the highest accuracy and making the most line breaks, with equal second best tackle busts. Although he has the worst stats for conceding penalties and his tackle percentage, they are not damning by any means (seven more successful tackles would catch Foley). The risk that comes with Quade’s game style, that being the point generating threat that all teams fear and develop game plans around is, on balance worth the risk for the reward he is garnering.

    Lealiifano – 20 points (Bench)
    Also with 3 wins in the top 6 most important stats, he is conceding the least penalties, has the best tackle percentage and busts the most tackles, solid in contact. His kicking percentage is the worst, but only slightly behind Foley in 2nd place (two more successful kicks would surpass Foley). Lealiifano brings an all round game, he lacks the outright flair that Cooper has, but still generates point scoring opportunities, although with a less risky game style. An excellent bench or second playmaker, especially if the scoreboard is under control.

    Foley – 21 points (Bye Bye)
    Despite sitting behind Lealiifano by only one point, Foley has no wins in the top 6 most important stats and also finds himself losing two of them. He finds himself uncompetitive when it comes to generating points, being the worst at try assists and line breaks, although he does draw level with Cooper in 2nd for tackle busts. His tackle percentage and kick percentage are only just above 3rd place also, showing a clear lack of x factor that Cooper provides, and an inability to provide the same level of all-round stability that Lealiifano provides. Handling errors and turnovers are his only shining lights as he is outpointing both Cooper and Lealiifano by some margin on both stats, but they do not hold as much weight as stats that impact score lines directly such as Try Assists, making advantage line metres on attack or preventing the same in solid defence. In the mould of Lealiifano, just not with the ability to generate points at the same level.


      Another great write up there Gallagher!
      I must say….. It feels nice to see the stats back up your gut feeling from watching these players all season! If you havn’t read the Roar article on the weekends “kick fest” it’s pretty much inline with these stats and form guide. Foley made twice as many kicks as anyone with only a 50% success rate. The 2best were Hodge and then Cooper! (and yet Foley was still this week’s 10 and Hodge missed out at 15 over the pale blue halo wearing Beale)
      And I know this week isn’t the 1st time we’ve discussed Foley and his poor kicking!
      GREAT to see Lealifano ramping up his season too!

  • theduke

    This was always going to be contentious, so well done Michael for putting this together. To give my anxiety a break, I am going to NOT talk about backs for once.

    I’m excited about the battle for selection in the forwards. Real contenders in every position.
    – The second row battle is fascinating – Are Arnold and Rodda the lock-ins? I’d love to see Coleman storming back into contention.
    – The number 8 and 6 spot are also close races – Naisarani and Jones?
    – Hooker – love to see Rangi as a bolter. He offers versatility, enthusiasm and has been key to the Rebels lineout which is a genuine weapon.
    – Prop – like I could decipher what the f*ck happens in the front row. I’ll leave that decision to wiser heads than mine.

    Loving the competition for positions and I will remain optimistic that form will influence selections.


23 year old Rugby tragic who plays for Merewether in Newcastle. Too young to remember a Bledisloe Cup win.

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