Eight quick observations from Bledisloe II - Green and Gold Rugby

Eight quick observations from Bledisloe II

Eight quick observations from Bledisloe II

This week it was my job to write the Bledisloe II match review. In the rush to get things out quickly after a game you need to rely on your gut feeling a lot and frankly you can get it wrong. So taking my cue from Hugh Cavill’s follow-up post last weekend I decided to take another look at Bledisloe II to see if I had drifted to far off course in the heat of the moment. Below is an expansion of the notes I took during my second viewing.

1. No one is straightening the attack.

So much of our backline play drifted towards the touchline it was embarrassing. New Zealand simply drifted across in front of us and let our support get crowded out. No one straightened and no one cut inside to support. When no one is straightening and we rarely cut inside it makes it very easy for the defence to slide and pick the moment to shut down the play.

2. Hips below shoulders!

It’s like watching a train wreck about to happen in slow motion. A prop must set up at scrum time with his hips slightly below his shoulders. Ben Alexander didn’t.

Corbiseiro's setup much better than Alexander's

3. Too many easy targets.

We seem to make the decision to pass or run four or five metres from the line. If I can see it in my lounge room you can bet your team mates know it and certainly the opposition know it. And there is rarely an in between. Pass or run! No pop pass, no draw and pass just take the tackle and set up another phase. It’s been my gripe with Adam Ashley-Cooper for years but now it seems to have spread to the rest of the team.

4. Best kick of the night

For Australia it had to be the grubber off Scott Fardy’s boot in the 29th minute. Will Genia’s effort was good too but the real question is… is it wrong for your No. 6 to put in a better punt than nearly everything our backs managed on the night?

5. How often do the Wallabies give up easy points on half time?

All you need to do is think back and there’s a hell of a lot of times you see Australia watching a penalty or conversion being kicked and then running off for half time. I did a couple of minutes research and found that in six of their last 10 Tests the Wallabies have given away points within two minutes of half time. Why are we shutting up shop two minutes early? How do we stop it?

6. The short ball worked!

So why did we use it so sparingly? Inside and outside. You saw the breaks from them. So why did we put it away and hardly use it?

7. Why can’t the backs have the ball close to the line?

We’ve seen it time and time again. We work the ball to within five metres of the opposition’s goal line and all of a sudden it’s static ball and pick and go, pick and go, pick and f’ing go! Hey I’m not saying don’t let the big guys have a trundle. But surely four or five trundles is enough! Teach the backs a tricky move and let them have a go. It could even be entertaining.

8. Jesse Mogg wasn’t as poor as I thought.

But he was still poor.

Bledisloe II


The real Question?

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned the referee and barely mentioned New Zealand. Simply put what the referee and the opposition does is out of our control. All we can do is look at what we did and find ways to do it better. After my second look I can see lots of things Australia can do better and I know there are better rugby brains than mine looking a lot closer than I did at the footage.

So a challenge to you.

Without saying XXX was crap and should be replaced with YYY.

Without bitching about the ref.

Without complaining about the other side.

Without singling out any player.

What can the Wallabies do better?


  • the other dave

    There were moments on Saturday where our backline showed the makings of an organised attack, but both yourself and Bob Dwyer have nailed it on the head, Sully, we run our outside players out of space, and this has gone on for many years now. If our defence is going to be porous, we need a penetrating backline to even up the ledger.

  • Rob M

    Kick of the night surely should be given to Mogg for outkicking Dagg in the 55th minute? A 75m torpedo from an Aussie back, when was the last time we saw that?

    • cosmo

      One of Mogg’s specialties in the s15 was his long range torpies, I love it!!! Bring back the torp

    • the other dave

      Yes, a beautiful nudge. We have the raw materials, we just need to get our WIP right.

    • jollyswagman

      Absolutely! One the things I love about Mogg is he is a throwback to some of the greats from the golden era. He has a lot of Joe Roff about him with his loping running style and big boot. Some “classic” skills that us older guys used to pride ourselves on (or wish we had anyway.) He just needs some time and experience. I believe he will go on to be one our greats in the years to come.

  • Rob from Brumby Country

    More chasers on the up-and-unders and box kicks – and less up-and-unders and box kicks.

    Would also be nice to see Folau running off Toomua’s shoulder like Ben Smith did with Tom Taylor.

  • The Rant

    They can do rugby better

    • Gotta say I was hoping for more.

      • The Rant

        my thoughts exactly

  • Ath

    nice post Sully.
    I’d settle for one thing: combinations.

  • RoffsChoice

    Tactical kicking for lineout deep in their half, then pressure the hell out of it until you’re winning them or they’re throwing incorrectly.

  • jollyswagman

    One of my biggest pet peeves is the continual interference of our front rowers in our attacking line on wide plays. So many times when we attempted to go wide (when it was actually “on” the ball would end up in Slipper or Alexanders hands instead of Folau or JOC. I wish someone would tell them the hang back 3 paces and be ready to hit the ensuing ruck as opposed the them going to ground and the only ones near enough to support them at the ruck are a couple of outside backs – it’s all arse about face. Backs get tackled out wide and forwards clean-out….not the other way around.

    Oh……and that kick from Genia – yes it was a great kick but if you pause the game right before he kicked it you will see he has Folau outside him and the only two AB defenders in front of him are C.Cmith and Hore seagulling out on the wing…and there was plenty of room for Folau. The were a couple of AB defenders way back but is was the perfect opportunity to give it to Izzy but instead Genia booted it away.

    All in all, it was pretty apparent that the game plan was “kick-it” first then if that’s not on, try something else. Genia’s continual failure to be able to assess the defensive pressure around the ruck is mind boggling for me. So often he gets it completely wrong…….hence the three charge downs……and that A.Smith steal from behind our scrum is simply unforgivable. Smith has completely outplayed Genia in the last two games and the Super season for that matter.

    • you almost made it.

      • jollyswagman

        Sorry Sully……I see where I went wrong ;-) I’ll try harder next time I promise.

        • Haha. I’m glad you’re taking it on board.

    • Russ the Muss

      I’ll double your first point by adding that the front rowers were continually interfering in the defensive line as well. Not much bloody point having the tight 5 defend against the likes of Smith, Smith, Smith, etc.

      But this begs the question – where the hell were the backs? Why did they not re-align in attack and defence?

  • Patrick

    My immediate reaction was your no 7. I still think Folau and JO’C were beating the first man almost at will, we could have surely scored a few more tries if we could just set a ruck or maul and either fling it 10m to one of them or just put it through the hands.

  • Bogan Rampage

    What can the Wallabies do better? Cheat more. The Kiwis have shown us that what we naively think of as ‘rules’ are merely loosely applied guidelines which can be discarded and manipulated when necessary. Complaining about this solves nothing and they’re not going to stop doing it, so if you can’t beat em join em I say.

    We need to develop and practice an arsenal of illegal tactics which are then selectively applied to each game based on the opposition and referee. Each tactic would have its own call so it could be switched on and off during the game.

    Suitable tactics could include:

    1. Killing the ball by fair means or foul as soon as the opposition has been awarded a penalty advantage, this play could be called the ‘Read’. Example: the opposition has just been awarded a penalty advantage and has taken the ball into a ruck, our captain issues the call ‘Read it’, immediately the whole team steps at least a meter past the offside line, the nearest 1 to 2 players to the ruck enter the ruck illegally aiming to trap the ball or sack the halfback killing the play. If the ball is cleared the outside defenders, who by now should be at least 2 meters offside, rush to hit the 1st or 2nd receiver behind the gain line.

    2. This one is a variation on the ‘Read’ play, I’m calling it the ‘Smith’. The opposition has made a break and is with 10 meters of our try-line, their player has been tackled, ‘Smith it’ is called. Our tackler should not release the player or ball, any nearby retreating defenders should enter the ruck from side or back and try to kill the ball. Any other defenders should advance well past the offside line ready to kill the play if the ball makes it out of the ruck.

    3. A third tactic I’ll call the ‘Franks’, it is subtle yet effective. After making a tackle roll free of the ruck towards the opposition halfback, with the aim to lie about half a meter out of the ruck in a position that forced the opposition halfback to stand over the player on the ground disrupting his balance and pass from the ruck. If the referee issued a warning for repeated infringements for any of these tactics the call would be to stop Reading/Smithing/Franking it, the ref is onto us.

    I’m sure many other tactics could be adopted, careful analysis of past All Blacks games should provide many other ideas.

    *** Yes I am serious ***

    • MM


    • Lincoln

      Was thinking the same thing! Well done!

      • Parker

        Excellent, but won’t some skillfully applied studs render the Franks inadvisable? Or maybe a soccer style dive over the prone impediment while landing a pointed joint on some sensitive part of the lying bastard. I offer those two as replacements of your number 3.

        • Mark

          Erm, your blokes were penalised 16 times. Six. Teen. Times. They’re well adept at cheating already.

          I especially liked ‘the Mowen': Grab the ball from under the second row’s feet when your scrum is being shunted back. It’s a wonderfully cynically way to mitigate the dominance of the other team.

        • Lincoln

          No doubt Australia also penalises. The problem is, they’re not as good at it.

          The point is, that when NZ penalised they make sure they kill the ball. They’ll happily take a professional foul and did so with vigour in the first 30 minutes anywhere near their try line. However, they not only penalised, they stopped Australia getting any momentum. Admittedly, they should’ve taken the quick tap, as the ABs always start slow and finish strong. So why play to that strategy?

          So yeah, there’s a suggestion, Australia shouldn’t take any penalties against the ABs in the first 30 minutes. Keep the pace high and not let their penalties slow our momentum in the first half.

          Australia’s lack of discipline later in the game is a mark of stupidity mostly (as Mark has alluded to), rather than any sense of strategy to it.

        • Bill

          I thought the no.8 could pick the ball out of the scrum?

        • Mark

          Law 20.9 (b) All players: Handling in the scrum. Players must not handle the ball in the scrum or pick it up with their legs.

          Law 20.10 Ending the scrum (c) Hindmost player unbinds. The hindmost player in a scrum is the player whose feet are nearest the team’s own goal line. If the hindmost player unbinds from the scrum with the ball at that player’s feet and picks up the ball, the scrum ends.

        • Patrick

          Which rule does that break???

    • Guy

      When you master the art of decision making and timing WITHIN the rules, you are then free to get creative. Unfortunately we better just focus on the basics…

      Baby Steps Baby Steps

    • cantab

      Agree with the principle, except pushing the rules to the limit is something you work on and constantly refine over your whole career.

    • Timbo

      Creative however I’d rather us lose with integrity, than win with dishonesty. If we win by cheating or bending the rules as the Kiwi’s say doesn’t mean we’re better than them, Just the same. It’s when we can beat them honestly and fairly within the rules of the game that we can say we are better than the All Blacks and I for one cannot wait for that day.

      • Bogan Rampage

        That my friend is what I call ‘loser talk’, I’ll take 15 black hearted evil cheating bastards and a silver cup over your misguided love of rules every day of the week (and twice on Sunday’s).

        • Timbo

          haha what is the point of playing then? I should just have Human growth hormone for breakfast and ride in Le Tour ala Lance Armstrong. Without it’s rules sport is not sport. It may be loser talk but it’s integrity and in sport integrity is held higher in my opinion than winning. On the other hand i’d like to win soon. I was 19 when we last held the Bledisloe. I don’t want to be 40 when we do it again.

        • Bogan Rampage

          The point of playing is to win of course. HGH is soooooo 1980s, I hear they’re doing wonderful work with peptides and such in the AFL.

        • Timbo

          Of course! I see where i went wrong. I will now focus on a win at all costs mentality. My sister is an Equine vet. Where are those Horse steroids!

        • Funk

          Just get a bottle of ketamine and throw a big house party.

        • Bill

          James Hird and his exhibition of what it’s like to replace your sense of responsibility with a sense of entitlement.

        • A. Fox-Russell

          You’re not serious, right?

          It’s embarrassing when we call the Blecks cheats. They have beaten us time and again, and the best we can do is bleat “cheats!” If the ledger was a bit more even and we were going toe to toe with them a bit more, it would have some respectability about it.

          But when you’re getting owned, again and again, it is not because of cheating pal. It’s because they’re better.

          Let’s try and beat them fair and square. It’ll feel better I reckon.

        • Bogan Rampage

          Yes I am serious. Of course they cheat, we cheat too, they’re just better at it than we are. Much better, probably because they practice.
          Call me cynical if you want but I think improving our cheating is way easier than turning Ben Alexander into a competent international tight head for example.

    • gurchin

      The reason we can’t compete at the breakdown is that we simply do not have the skill. Playing at the margin is what all top level sort is about, and that is how the ABs play. Our general execution is of inadequate quality for us to be getting cute about the margins. The ABs’ execution elsewhere is so good that they can take those marginal risks.

    • ryan

      you are a total joke, try watching the game without your wallabies glasses on, Matt Tommua did exactly the same thing as smith around the 10 min mark, followed by Rob Simmons killing the ball a few phases latter, by jumping on the ball from an offside position, so Read and Smith were just copying what had already been done before.

      • Funk

        Ah… there is that renound kiwi sense of humour!

      • Bogan Rampage

        My Kiwi friend, surely you misunderstand me. I am not criticising your beloved All Blacks, I merely suggest that we imitate them and their more ‘advanced’ tactics (immitation is the sincerest form of flattery and all that). Their knowledge of the game has clearly transcended our limited understanding to such an extent that a casual observer could conclude that one team is using a completely different set of rules completely. It is truly remarkable stuff.

        • ryan

          did you not read my post, the wallabies are already quite capable of ‘advanced tactics’, the difference is the all blacks score under penalty advantage, the wallabies just pass it to another forward until the ref has no choice but to stop play,

        • le roo

          I think you missed the point

        • Bogan Rampage

          Yes I did read your post, did you write it? Must have been tough so soon after you had your sense of humor surgically removed.

    • galumay

      What scares me about that nonsense is that 68 likes were given to it. As long as you all keep whinging that its the better side cheating that makes us lose you are reinforcing our losing mentality. I guess you have to have something else now that you got rid of the coach that we you all claimed was the cause of all the problems!

      Sooner or later the players have to man up and take responsibility for being beaten by a team that consistently out thinks and out plays them.

  • Davy

    Attack the opposition:

    Get the ball
    Get it into space
    Support the ball carrier
    Maintain pressure

  • Scotty

    Easy Sully – Straighter, Flatter, Harder.

    • Scotty

      Oh, and faster.

  • Nutta

    Attempting to answer the question without pinching off Bob Dwyer too much:

    Backs must realign quickly to give an option or 3 (God forbid a 2nd option… or a No10 who gets a 2nd touch… BLASPHEMY)

    Half must pass cleanly from the base – crabbing starts from there

    At least one back must straighten the angle to hold up the defence

    We must have multiple men in motion (both short and wide channels) to put questions to the defence. Make the defenders make a decision

    Besides that it was under10’s stuff:
    > Catch the bloody ball on the full
    > Pass in-front of the man – not at him
    > First tackle must STICK
    > Play a full 40min for 2 bloody halves
    > Doesn’t matter if on attack or defence, you must ruck past the ball and shift the off-side line to prevent the pilfer, avoid the penalty and better protect your half.

    • SuckerForRed

      “Besides that it was under10’s stuff:
      > Catch the bloody ball on the full
      > Pass in-front of the man – not at him
      > First tackle must STICK
      > Play a full 40min for 2 bloody halves
      > Doesn’t matter if on attack or defence, you must ruck past the ball and shift the off-side line to prevent the pilfer, avoid the penalty and better protect your half.”

    • Hoges

      Seem crazy that you have to say that about a national team – but the Wallabies basic skills have been terrible/laughable for about a decade to be honest.
      I have banged on about it for years.
      – Kuridrani/Lealifano drop can be excused, as even though the ball went to K’s hip, Lealiifano had an AB tackling him at the time..
      – halfback must clear the ball from the ruck, not do a little waltz 3 step before sending it (like an old George Gregan – that taught a generation of Aussie halfbacks how NOT to pass). And on that – I agree with the above. If the opposition rolls back toward the halfback, simply stand ON him, fall into him with a knee and do a soccer style flop until the ref starts to look stupid for not doing something about it.
      – and finally….RUN ONTO THE BALL. Why do we always throw it to a player standing flat footed. We were all taught to take the ball at pace….what happened to that?
      I will add to Bob Dwyer’s point about playing “this phase” not the “next phase” an re-aligning. Too many of our players have what I call the Leaguie Swagger – they do one thing and then get up and saunter back somewhere near our line and take another phase or two to get re-aligned. Izzy does is still. Remember Wendell, Lote, even SBW did it. Comes from where the play stops dead at each tackle…… the Wallabies have picked it up somehow!

  • Robbo

    The backline did far too much standing still and calling for a pass. Dare I say that’s why the ball wasn’t given out to them and we stuck with pick n go. Get the backline moving, straightening and running hard onto the ball and we will get over the game line and the tryline.

  • Peter

    The “pack” needs to start hunting as a pack and as Dwyer stated chase the ball. So i suggest tie stockings around one leg each so that they are chained together at training and force the tight 5 to start hunting together. As Bob said where were the locks when the ball popped out, no where !!
    Hence turn over to the AB’s. if they hunt as a pack then they would be a force but at the moment it is all 1 out, 1 man off the ruck and as such that player can’t get past 3 AB’s. we have the cattle but they r not playing together !!
    Pocock instead of passing the ball took it ahead and we bombed a try !!

    • Brumby runner


      • Peter

        Hooper sorry

  • Bill

    Fair point about the time constraints on your and Babas post game reviews. Have you guys given any thought to a live blog piece during the games? I thought Mogg was excellent forcing turnovers off his own kicks but he’s got a long way to go to be anywhere near the same sentence as joe roff as some guys have suggested. He needs a spell. I couldn’t fathom Fardy, that excellent kick came on the back. Of some ordinary hands by him. Doing the hard things easily and the easy stuff hardly well.

    I think overall we just need to improve our awareness about what’s going on in the game, what were doing right and wrong, and our decision making in the moment.

    • mania

      must say that mogg didnt roll away on his tackles hence turning over ball. good move on his part.

  • Pedro

    Genia should pass the ball into loitering opposition forwards. I always thought it was a bit pedantic when Gregan did it but if they’re not giving us advantage for it, it’s time to take the law into our half back’s hands.

  • ched

    forwards in the backline where running horrible lines and sort of static and in the way and were never really holding up defenders on the ‘decoy’ or putting doubt in their heads hence the backs were sort of forced to drift.
    more efficiency and effectiveness in clean outs with a ‘take no BS attitude’, one player was disrupting and slowing our ball way too much, genia was ordinary and I think this had something to do with it as it was such a shit fight to get clean ball. And don’t just chuck the ball back at the bottom of a ruck so it spills out the back
    could anyone figure out the wallabies default gameplan/attacking structure as it was not obvious that they had a plan
    I’d love to know Ewans instructions to Mogg are as it seems he has shackles on

  • prav

    - attack the ball in the air
    – more effective cleaning out in the ruck
    – practise heaving bodies out of the way in the ruck (this should be emphasised to second rowers)
    – get more players to contest the ball at the ruck
    – find ways to get the scrum into a platform for attack, which means win your own ball
    -fly half should call for ball when in good territory to let the backs get over the white line
    – more fitness so we don’t drop off near half time

    • brumby runner

      all those and

      – more chasers after a high or long kick
      – better communication when attempting to field an opposition’s high kick especially someone dropping back to cover a dropped ball
      – less pick and drives when close to the try line – Sully mentioned maximum of five; I would reduce that to two or three before sending the ball wide
      – a second shove in the scrum a la the Brumbies
      – no box kicks in our own 40m area
      – more awareness and less pre-determined play when clearing the ball from the back of a ruck
      – more attention by the halfback at contested defensive lineouts. How many times does the ball end up on the ground nowhere near anyone when won against the throw.
      – improved ball handling and passing skills across the board.

      All these things can be done with the current playing group!

      • hook

        Not the same bunch, props need to lay off the KFC. They just disappear in openplay at the moment

  • cantab

    You could always try picking blokes in the same position until they get good at them.

  • Joe Blow

    Use the back inside ball every now and then to keep the defense honest

    Hunt as a pack in the forwards and do everything possible to protect the pill

    Don’t miss any 1 on 1 tackles

    Bring the blindside winger and/or fullback in to create the extra man

    Use our firepower in the back 3 and counter attack at every opportunity

  • mick

    I would have like to have seen a bit of width in the counter attack. Though I guess it was a tactic to avoid running it back. Maybe a few more of the backs dropping back faster to get into a position to counter.

    Less forward pods. That doesn’t seem to be working in attack or defence.

    More inside balls. When the forwards did that it was ace.

    Smarter scrambling defence. Somehow the cover isn’t getting there fast enough.

  • Hendo

    1 Restore players respect of the Wallabies jersey and what it means.
    2 Fix our scrum so NH teams can no longer exploit it to win. This is my biggest concern next WC.
    3 Our scrum sould put a big shove on when the opposition hooker puts his leg up to hook the ball. This is when the opposing scrum is most vulnerable.

    4 If we box kick ensure the forwards at the edge of the ruck make more of an effort to block defenders thereby protecting the kicker. Players should also make the ruck longer giving the kicker more time / space. Genia would have been fine boxing Sat. if this method was in place.
    5 Kick offs – drop them short so Folau can use his AFL skills to catch it. He did this once on Sat. and excelled.
    6 Practice our offloads from 1 – 15. If a player isnt on then don’t throw the miracle ball re-cycle it.
    7 The whole pack need to get more agro. Come on lets bully the opposition relentlessly for the whole 80. Vickerman’s agro still missed.

  • Parra

    GO GO GO for Christ’s sake!!

    I’ll start at the end and work backwards. The game is never over until it’s over – that’s how NZ play. Yeah, with 2 – 3 min to go and 2 tries needed we were probably going to loose, but when given a penalty and not taking a quick tap (GO GO GO) rather kicking for the line, thus eating up valuable seconds we were DEFINITELY going to loose, right there, right at that moment. Scoring a try off the tap, drop kicking the conversion and then having enough time to re-start and potentially score another try was unlikely BUT was the only way to win from there.

    Ok, going further backwards to 10 – 20 min to go. The Kiwi commentators had it SPOT ON. Why the F”*k are the Aussies persisting with tactical kicking (which wasn’t working very well) when time was slipping away and they had real but largely unused threats in JOC and Folau out wide? They didn’t use the word F%çk but they might as well have. They were actually quite measured, perplexed perhaps.

    And further back to the rest of the game.. GO GO GO, get up, attack the ball, don’t let the thing bounce. I’m not going to rewatch the game an analyse it – too painful – but I reckon from let’s say 10 loose/bouncing/bobbling ball situations from kicks or drops or whatever, NZ came off the better 8 times. WHY? Because they don’t stop, they just keep moving.

  • sneaker

    I would like to add how many times, do we let the All Blacks strike back with a try right after we have scored, or kicked a few penalties.

    It seems this has happened 8/10 for the last 3-4 years maybe longer. I know they are quality side and they are capable of doing this. But its like we score a try or kick a penalty get a 7-10 point lead. Then 2 mintues later off a kick off or a charge down they score. Its like we go to sleep and take a rest because we are in front. The All Blacks simply diffuse any point advantage that we worked for, by scoring back straight away.

  • sneaker

    Also … where were the backs last during that match? I didnt see any real set moves in the backs every time we got space… all I saw was forwards in the back line just running it up… need to give it the guys who can run…too me it still seems everyone is on a different page… too much solo individuals plays, not enough team work. Also when
    I played Rugby these scrums were how we played Touch, Pause, Engage.. with the actual touch to bind in, like the new rules now, and the ref gave the scrum half the nod to put the ball in, and the hooker hooks the ball. (i am only 31) so a lot of these players grew up with this system, very poor excuse for the scrum to be a shambles. When playing as a kid, the coach always took us back to basics… do the little things excellent… and everything else falls into place… at this level you still need to be

  • dr professor


  • Dick

    I’d like to see our backs attack the line with more self belief. Every time Issie Dagg catches the high ball and has a run he is a man possessed and wants to take the opposition on. It’s an attitude thing, more mongrel!

  • John

    Folau running off the inside shoulder of both the 9 and the 10 on five separate occasions. Why? It slows down the cover defense; it gets Folau involved; it may uncover a hole; and it makes them think. Why five times? It forces them to do it at least once or twice!

  • Sam

    Great article Sully, I have a couple of things and they all relate to doing the SIMPLE things well !!!!!

    1) if someone kicks the ball chase it.

    2) If the other team kicks the ball in your direction, catch it (or at least have a crack)

    3) if you don’t have the ball, run to somewhere were you can get it. Which also means if you don’t have the ball support the bloke that does, so he can pass it to you.

    4) if the other team has the ball, tackle them. Don’t bloody rush up and put heaps of pressure on your mates, move up as a line.

    5) Work as a bloody team! If someone makes a mistake, don’t rub it in. They’ll be thinking about it enough already.

    6) If things don’t go your way, don’t whinge about it, GET ON WITH IT and take that frustration out on the other team!!!!!!

    I hate how people say its “we don’t have the skill” I think that is utter bull shit. The wallabies have a great deal of talent and just need to suck it up, get back to basics and use that talent……

    • OMG Ground breaking stuff Sam. The coaches must be teaching it why isn’t anyone doing it!

  • Malua Fever

    Toomua is good but nobody puts as much doubt in the oppositions mind than Cooper when he’s attacking the line when Cooper is in the zone he can change a game like no one else can but I am also aware when he’s not he can lose a game but hey we have lost 2 games from 2 give Cooper a go I say and give him some game time at 5/8 at this level especially with runners like Kurindrani AAC JOC and Falau outside him and running at angles off his passes we just might be able to turn the tables hey if the wallabies want to play expansive then he’s the 5/8 I say

  • Malua Fever

    Wish the media would be realistic and give Link a break the team was only put together two weeks before the first test new coach new strategies new players and they play there first game against the best national team in the world I think they have done well considering all things lets revisit how Link is traveling a year from now when the Bledisloe cup is in our trophy cabinet

  • Michael

    Australian rugby is pathetic. 11 years this is the result of not having a national competition These boys come from GPS rugby to a cottonwool rapped provincial team and their carriers are nursed along. I do not believe this players are the cream of AU rugby. Will Genia who is probably the hottest halfback getting aroung is certainly the cream of the crop but after winning a Super14 two years ago having been his only highlight was mentioning that himself and Quade have down it all. You can compare that with the career of and Allan Langer or Darren lockyer who have several premierships and umpteen origin wins and test world cups and still manage to back up for a tough domestic competition. All the analysis in the world can be done but the simple fact is that the team is not tough enough. There has been a generation lost of rugby players in Australia without a national competition to really test the tops players Australia will continue to falter.

    • Nick

      … And the award for massive generalisations goes too….. (drumroll) ….

      • Tony Dun

        Actually I think he has a point. It goes back through time as well; the ABs were always harder and tougher than us. When we did beat them it was down to running rugby and skill. These days they are still tough and are more skillful as well.

        • Scotty in Devon

          I think Dave Brockoff instilled in the Wallabies the belief that NO team was harder and tougher than us. That flowed through to players later on like Willie O and Phil Kearns, Nick Farr-Jones and later to the late 1990s Owen Finnegan etc…but this has been lost apart from a few standouts like AAC and Pocock. We need to get the mongrel back.

  • Bcombes

    Sully love the piece very concise. What can australia do better? I’d start by saying believing they can actually beat the kiwi’s. why do I say this? Because in bledisloe 1 and 2 we got into their 22m and a penalty was given to us (that’s another story) and we continually chose to take the 3 points? I suggest big kev needs to reach into his pants and find some kahuna’s and kick for touch back our line out and take 7 points from their red zone not 3 points. We are never going to beat the kiwis in a point kicking competitions, we need to score tries. Confidence is what australia needs the AB’s have been beaten by lesser teams such as the French and other northern hemisphere teams. Why? Simply because they believe they can beat them and back themselves. We don’t we play conservative rugby and some how think we are going to beat the land of the long white cloud at their own game

  • Cam Thomson

    At the risk of sounding like I’m bitching about the ref (I’m not) I’d also like to see some slight modifications to our play from game to game depending upon who’s reffing.
    Like every other Aussie rugby supporter I always think the AB’s get away with murder at the ruck etc but now, having become accustomed to losing, I’ve started to notice that while certain tactics remain constant, the AB’s do seem to try new things from game to game that they largely get away with i.e. the disregard of offside when attempting to charge down a kick.

    Sure Genia’s kick clearance was slow but was it really that much slower on the weekend than the rest of his career or did Read et al get instructed to push the envelope here? The week before they seemed to be using even more lazy runners than usual.

    For mine it’s certainly “cynical” as Link & Kev described but it’s also smart coaching and given the influence refs have on the game you’d think we’d have a better understanding of what we were likely to get before we took the field.

    • I think Genia was more a victim of poor blocking than slow kicking.

    • Fatflanker

      Insightful comment regarding playing the ref. Look how well the BIL did it, especially in the last test. Starts with the coach laying down a blanket of grovelling praise in the week prior…”such-and-such is the best referee in the world…such-and-such will reward our superior scrum”…yuda yuda.

  • rodger the dodge

    What can they do better? Settle, gel, practice, bond, gain confidence with wins against other teams (which I think they are quite capable of). What can we as fans do? Give them some bloody time! Time to get used to Link and each other. Give them some respect for the fact they just played the Nuns twice and they played better against them in the second game when the Nuns were at home. We can stop moaning about the ref in the media and forums as it gets us nowhere. We cant fix it at training and we just give the Kiwis some sort of moral victory as well as an onfield one, in their minds at least. I think we did better in the 2nd game. We’re already making more linebreaks than we have done and we’re showing more promise.

  • Blair

    I would suggest you print your article, along with all the posts and photocopy them, bind them and hand them out free to the entire Wallaby squad, as an early christmas gift?

  • Robson

    This is all entertaining reading, but that part of the article (which is excellent btw) that talks about the Wallabies switching off early is very relevant to the Wallabies and a real problem. Coaches tell their teams that this is an eighty minute game and that’s what you should consign yourself to every time you take the paddock, eighty minutes and not a second less.
    Well the senior team I was associated with a few years ago had the same problem, but the more we spoke about eighty minutes of effort, the less we got of it. So I started to talk about something different. I started to talk about 4,800 seconds and every one of those seconds is critical to the way the game is going and its eventual outcome. For instance it takes a split second to drop a pass, miss a tackle or get yourself off side. It doesn’t take much longer than a second to execute a punishing, dominant tackle or put someone into a gap with an offload etc, etc etc. They got the message and the difference in second by second energy and attention to detail in every aspect of the game produced nine successive wins and the championship trophy.
    But hell, I’m just an amateur and an old one at that, so maybe I don’t know much anyway.

    • Your right maybe they are concentrating on 80 minutes instead of the next few seconds!

  • observer

    I think we should have two
    game plans and two sets of players to accomplish the task.

    Use the ol’ half time

    It seems that the first
    half we battle well but then the opposition adapts to the game plan and we fall
    to bits in the second.

    If we want to play the
    tactical game in the first, lets bust it open in the second. Swap the players
    at half time so they have a full 40 to make it happen.

    Defensively, our tackles
    are not dominant enough. There are not enough collisions out there that put
    fear into the opposition players. Hit them. Hit them hard, smash them back and
    put them on their arse.

    If the first tackler can’t
    do it, get a second tackler in there and drive them back!

    Oh, and instead of going
    for the charge down all the time can someone flatten the kicker? Legally?

    Can someone out there take
    a run at the line, get the ball in motion and punch through a gap! We don’t
    seem to have many players in motion when they receive the ball. There are a lot
    of stationary starts making it too easy for the defences to swarm in. In any
    attacking play there should be multiple options for the half, 10 or even 12 to
    pick from.

    The new scrum engagements
    mean a dedicated approach. Too many players giving emu impressions when they
    should be pushing. If the hooker can’t contribute then the rest have to be
    driving hard to make sure we win that ball. The breakaways and half can be
    watching where the danger will be coming from but no-one should be disengaging

    Fake to kick sometimes. Often
    in the kick return there is only one player that has chased hard enough to pose
    a threat. Fake, step and take off!

    Which brings up the point
    of chasing the kicks. Chase hard! Always! Then flatten the kicker if they are
    too slow. A bad kick from a player under pressure can yield good results.

  • Basos

    What is Alexander’s problem? Corbisiero gave him a lesson, and during the next games he kept his arse down (see Super games thereafter). No brain thereafter I think.
    Mogg is the most piss-poor tackler after Cooper — F******* disgrace. JOC F****** show pony (see his web site).
    Mongrel is required and that the Wallabies do not have. Back row is useless.
    Get agroooooooooooooooooo

    • ‘Without saying XXX was crap’

  • Coatsie

    One quick observation from Bledisloe Two: We sucked

  • Nobody

    We need to become RELENTLESS in our execution of the BASICS. And we need to take huge pride in that execution. Everything else follows from that.

  • younggun

    Unfortunately, I’ve got to agree with Bogan Rampage, although I’ve a slightly different take on things….basically I think the only way to deal with the Kiwis is to shoe the absolute shit out them. If the referees aren’t going to bother reffing the game then ref it yourself I say. The All Blacks insist on cheating, insist on ruinng games…is it any wonder I support anybody that plays them…PS Ulster fan here, go the Aussies, Argies and Saffas


Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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