Wallabies surge late to crush Argentina - Green and Gold Rugby

Wallabies surge late to crush Argentina

Wallabies surge late to crush Argentina

The Wallabies weathered a physical Argentinian side to win comfortably in Mendoza, securing a bonus point with the 34-9 result.

The Match

The Wallabies started the game well, playing a noticeably wider style and winning immediate field position. Despite spending a good amount of time in the Argentinian 22, a careless tackle in the air by Israel Folau let the pressure off, and the Wallabies fortunes suffered a further blow just a few minutes later, losing Matt Toomua to a head knock.

The visitors continued to work away, and were rewarded with the first try of the match to Joe Tomane, on the counter after some nice skills from Folau and Bernard Foley. Though Foley was unable to add the extras, the Wallabies were well on top in the early stages.

Ill-discipline contined to hurt Australia though, with soft penalties conceded by Will Skelton and Rob Simmons seeing the Pumas work into the Wallaby half, and then register their first points through a penalty goal to Nicholas Sanchez. With the half winding down the Wallabies regained the ascendancy, and while they probably would have hoped to cross the chalk they had to settle for three points from Foley. Again though ill-discipline hurt them, with Scott Fardy penalised for holding on from the kick-off, and Sanchez putting the ball over to take them to the break down by just two points, with the Wallabies leading 8-6.

The Wallabies quickly corrected their error after half time, with Fardy making a cracking steal to put the visitors on attack, which led to a penalty right in front of the sticks. Foley made no mistake and the margin was back to five points. The Aussies had plenty of chances, but couldn’t capitalise. Quade Cooper threw an errant pass to end one promising phase, while David Pocock was bundled into touch after making a nice break down the right hand side. But they persisted admirably, and Foley kicked another penalty to extend the lead beyond a converted try.

That lead wouldn’t last long, with another couple of soft penalties gifting the Argies three points. But the Wallabies attacked from the kick-off, and after a great high ball take from Adam Ashley-Cooper the ball went through the hands and found Dean Mumm down the right hand edge. Where Pocock was carried into touch just before, the big New South Welshman fought off four tacklers to score a heroic try in the corner. Foley was again unable to add the extras, but the Wallabies now had a 10 point gap.

Just as they looked to be cruising, that ill-discipline hit them again. Quade Cooper foolishly stuck out his arm after a kick through by Argentina, collecting the kicker round the neck and receiving a yellow card for his troubles. It was soft and stupid and let Argentina back in the game with just 14 minutes to go. The Wallabies needed a big play to get out of jail, and Rob Simmons provided it with a brilliant  lineout steal. A poor mistake from the ensuing kick gave the Wallabies field position, and then a soft penalty gave Foley a chance to add to his tally, and he didn’t pass it up, extending the Wallaby lead to 13.

The visitors continued to defend tenaciously, despite the Pumas stepping their attack up a notch. Skelton, Kepu, Sio and Pocock were making big tackles, while that man Dean Mumm popped up to force a crucial penalty on the Wallaby 22 line with just six minutes to play. They worked down into the Argentinian half, winning a penalty from a dominant scrum. The rolling maul attempt came up short, but a nice Kurtley Beale inside ball put Foley in space, and he popped a beautiful ball to the unmarked Tevita Kuridrani, who scored next to the posts.

You’d forgive the Wallabies for shutting up shop with just two minutes left, but they kept their foot on the accelerator. From the kick-off the ball was put through the hands, with Folau making the break and finding Beale, who again threw a nice pass to find AAC screaming down the touchline. He fought off one cover defended and scored in the corner, securing the bonus point for the visitors. Though Foley once again missed the kick, that was the game. 34-9 put down the glasses.


Random Observations

Make no mistake, this was won by the Wallaby forwards, who made a giant leap forward from their efforts in Brisbane. Rob Simmons and Will Skelton put in massive 80 minute efforts, while Scott Fardy and Ben McCalman also had cracking games. David Pocock was outstanding back in the 7 jersey, while Stephen Moore was also solid.

Our defence was brilliant. The Argentinians never looked like scoring. While we were occasionally outnumbered, we scrambled well to cut off the Puma attack. Once the ball slowed down the home side couldn’t penetrate, and the forwards closed in. It was a thing of beauty.

The first half was a bit stunted, and I think we were a bit too keen to go wide. With a more direct approach in the second half things began to happen.

Dean Mumm answered his critics in the best possible way. His try was a belter, and he also made a big play late in the game to stop the Argentinians as they were getting a roll on. He continued on right where Scott Fardy left off. Yet another selection headache for Michael Cheika.

The scrum was a weird one. Our starters were well beaten, with the Pumas winning a few penalties off the back of big shoves. But late in the game we turned it around, winning two penalties of our own. Was it a case of finally getting it right, or the reserve props making a difference? I’ve got no idea.

The backs were hampered by the early loss of Toomua. Without a like-for-like substitution we had to bring on Cooper, and it affected the shape of the backline. Not to mention Quade had a horrible game. Bernard Foley was solid enough, though his goal kicking continues to be a big worry.

Discipline is a continued problem. On three or four occasions we conceded penalties in the Argentinian 22, letting them off the hook.

It’s great to see the Wallabies stepping up in the last ten minutes of games. That is the second week in a row we have scored two tries in this period.

The Game Changer

Rob Simmons lineout steal with 15 minutes to go was the play of the game. With a man down and the Argentinians set for a rolling maul just 5m out, it certainly saved five points and might have even saved the game. It put the wind in the Wallaby sails and hammered a big nail into the Puma coffin.


David PocockThis is tough. Really tough. I could give it to Simmons, or Skelton, or Fardy, but I’m giving it to David Pocock. In the thick of everything. Led the defensive line, made a couple of nice steals, and carried the ball well. In a tight game he didn’t put a foot wrong.

World Cup Watch

It was a night for the scorned Waratah squad members- Dean Mumm put his hand up for a spot on the plane, and Kurtley Beale also had a couple of really good touches when he came on. But like last week most players had good games, so it’s only creating headaches for Michael Cheika. Injuries to Fardy and Toomua would be worrying, though, as is the quiet form of James Slipper.

The Details

Score & Scorers

Wallabies 34 Tries: Tomane, Mumm, Kuridrani, Ashley-Cooper Conversions: Foley Penalties: Foley 4
Argentina 9 Penalties: Sanchez 3

Cards & citings

YC – Quade Cooper (late tackle)

  • qwas

    A million dollars to whoever can explain our scrum. Those last scrums were better than tries!

    • Seb V

      Must be Poey pushing from 8 ;-)

      • Spank

        Whatever it was in the second half wasn’t it just great to see. Imagine if we could do that all the time. Can’t say this week that the Argentine scrum suddenly got weaker (as per the suggestions from the RSA game). The Argies have the best scrum in World Rugby so our second half – or last 20 minute or so performance – was awesome to see. Keep it up guys!

        • Rob Malcolm

          Nuh, wish it were true, but this Argie scrum were smashed by NZ last week. I think the only common factor to our bad scrums is Slipper. We’ve invested in the guy for so long, but at international level he just doesn’t cut it. Sio had a bad first scrum, but thereafter was dominant. Holmes and Kepu were both good.

        • Waz_dog

          he’s had two games where he’s been below his usual standard in the scrum and you throw him under the bus. there’s been talk he’s carrying a shoulder injury (can someone confirm this?) so i would attribute his scrummaging to that (unless i’m proven wrong).

          “we’ve invested in the guy for so long, but at international level he just doesn’t cut it”… rubbish statement.

        • Daws

          Yeah sorry Rob, but he won best player of the EOYT last year, is a menace around the park and when not injured is solid in the scrum. The guy is a potential future captain.

        • dane

          Slipper has held his own against NZ, Boks, Arg and Eng in the past. He replaced Benn Robinson in the scrum as he was much more consistent.

        • Mike

          I think we can say their scrum got weaker after Herrera went off. He is an outstanding prop.

      • RobC

        haha. It was Herrara (THP) off at 52′

        Then after Ayerza (LHP) Lavanini (THL) Creevy went off, the Pumas reserves lost power. No 2nd shove

        • Spank

          For mine Scott Sio has been really excellent for Australia. Made in total maybe one mistake in his scrummaging in two games YET most writers still want to take away the credit with comments like this was opposition’s 2nd team and because Mr. XYZ wasn’t there at the time Sio (and Holmes and Kepu this time) looked better than they are. When its against Australia we complain because we have no depth and when it’s against the opposition we still find reason to criticise our team. However, if Slipper IS injured then DON’T play him at all!

        • RobC

          YES AGREE! imo Slips shouldnt have played at all today, or last week. It was obvious after 10′ last week he was playing with niggle. A few including me, have suggested he be rested all together for today’s match. Because he may be in danger of permanent damage, in terms of overall performance. And he will be needed ‘fresh’ for RWC.

          Sio. He did a v good job. In my view, he’s made zero mistakes, not one. They should have started him today and for the next month. The scrum would probably still be punished by the Pumas anyway, as it was after he came on fresh.

          But today the biggest factors in the change in scrum performance lay elsewhere:
          – for WB the lack of readiness on pressure and the angles used by Pumas.
          – More telling Pumas, the replacement scrummagers were a serious drop vs the starting team

        • Nick

          I don’t get it though. The Boks and Pumas are two of the best scrummaging teams so surely their replacements should be top notch as well?

        • RobC

          Im as perplexed as you re Pumas. It looks like there is a big drop, esp compared to last year. I’ll be asking the Arg blokes on the roar about it. As politely as possible hehe

          re Boks. They’re excellent.

          But WB scrum isn’t as bad as paintedin last 2 years. I issue last year was reserve props. imo This year, is using the scrum as a weapon. And getting Big Willy to protect against the 2nd shove. Fix that and Oz scrum will be awesome. There’s also a good pipe of Oz scrummagers thanks to NRC and willing SR coaches

    • Ben

      Skelton was part of those too, point to note for those who just assume any scrum weakness is Big Will

      • Known Rugby

        http://www.the42.ie/australia-south-africa-scrum-analysis-2227932-Jul2015/ Great scrum analysis for the SA AUS game.

        Doesn’t put Big Will in a great light. After reading the article I was watching him throughout the scrums this week. Body position certainly was an issue.

        • RobC

          Bingo. My video will show similar analysis, I got a bit of flak here for pointing out it was an issue with Big Willy.

          The article could be more specific. His issues are only with 2nd shove, after the SB counter shove. On WB feed he’s ok

          His TH form vs Puma today looked better, but not really tested as much. Pumas push wasn’t as straight onto Big Willy as last week. Anyway haven’t done todays full analysis yet.

      • Tah fan

        Skeleton had a bad week last week cause of his body shape. This week it was much better. Also his shape for the whole super rugby season was fine.
        He’s just gotta keep his shape consistent.

    • FRANK

      One thing for sure – Slipper has let the scrum down for years and must go.

      • harro

        I think Slipper’s drop off in form has only been recent. I think someone mentioned that he’s playing with injuries

        • Sambo

          i think he has been dealing with a back injury

        • It’s a shoulder in fact.
          Cut him some slack

        • brumby runner

          Yeah – I’m more than happy to cut Slipper some slack, but what I cant understand or condone is his selection in the run on side after it was obvious last week he was suffering, and then to boot he had ankle problems last week as well. And just in case anyone missed it, Slipper was not his usual dominating self in the latter part of the Super season as well. No doubt due his shoulder issues. Why do the coaching staff keep him going when he seems to be in dire need of a rest atm?

        • Sportsdaft

          None of the opposition will be cutting him any. Ever.

        • True.

        • joeyjohns

          After world cup he’s having shoulder surgery.. Twice.
          On both shoulders. Lawl

    • RobC

      Slips playing with niggle, again. First 3/4 scrums WBs were engaging early again, like last week. This time Peyper paid close attention

      Sio came on, Pumas starting scrum still too strong. Holmes not powerful enough to keep them out. As I mentioned earlier, Kepu is more successful vs Pumas and powerful at 3.

      When the Pumas reserve scrummagers came on, the WB too powerful.

      • Qwas

        What address do I send the million dollars to? :) Cheers for that

    • bernard

      It was when their 2nd string front row were on.

    • Joe

      Argentina replacements mostly…

    • Nutta

      It’s a case of being out-foxed by the starters. Oz scrum is questioned so much about being weak that we are over-enthusiastic and charge forward at the engage early on. Our opponents expect it and so give a little ground knowing that a toey ref will penalise it. This confuses us and we lose confidence at which time they start to attack our scrum. It’s simple reverse psych. It’s actually no different to the niggle that is applied against us deliberately as everyone knows that in the rush to be seen as a “hard man” we will do something over the top and give away a penalty (Simmons, Skelton, Hooper etc). With wins comes confidence and a manner of not being so OTT & immature to prove “manliness”.

  • Bobas

    “The G&GR MOTM
    This is tough. Really tough. I could give it to Simmons, or Skelton…”

    You could give it to Skelton? Is this just baiting pirate’s rugby?

    Skelton gave away two penalties (both completely unnecessary) in the attacking 22 (one a reversal of penalty advantage we had) keeping the Pumas in the game…

    • qwas

      Did put in a big shift but i think you may be correct with your first guess ;)

    • Hugh Cavill

      Pocock also gave away two penalties, one of which was in the Argie 22 as well.

      Simmons gave away a penalty, so did Fardy. No-one kept their noses clean on that front.

      I thought Skelton had a great game, his running was 10 times better than against the Boks, and he was smashing them in defence.

      • Bobas

        Well 10 times better than he was against the boks still isn’t that good.

        Pocock and Simmons were contesting the ball. Skelton just gifted them the ball for stuff that didn’t matter.

        • Hugh Cavill

          Well Pocock was just offside from a clearing kick, that is as soft as they come.

          A penalty is still a penalty though. Not sure there are good or bad ones, especially in the opposition 22.

        • Utah

          The end result of a penalty is the same, but penalties whilst competing for the ball often come down to referee interpretation. Everyone knows you will give away penalties if you compete at the breakdown, and they still compete, cause if they didn’t then they’d be no chance. Pocock’s other penalty could have easily gone the other way IMO (penalty to Aus). The call was there was no separation, but geez it was touch and go. But yes, the offside was silly play, a rarity for him.

          That aside, I also thought Skelton played very well. His best game by some margin in a Wallaby jersey IMO.

      • Seb V

        I agree. Skelton was 10 times better this game (although was the opposition a lot weaker?). I also didn’t mind his penalty where he held the player back by the neck – he was trying to have a go at one of ours – a soft penalty to be awarded by the ref IMO).

        • Bobas

          The player he strangled was pulling McCalman into the ruck by the collar in front of the referee after McCalman attempted to clear him out fractionally after the whistle.
          It was dumb from Skelly, we missed out on a chance to miss another 3 pointer because of that error.

      • RobC

        Me too. I think Big Willy was v good. Hes made the adjustments from last week. Gainline wins, more predictable cycle

        Kept shape whilst backpeddling in scrum also.

        2 out of 2

      • Nick

        Who was the Argie who copped the big hit from Skelton? He’ll remember that for a while.

      • brumby runner

        Will’s second half was a lot better than his first. I think all of the ground he made with ball in hand was in the second half. MOTM really can’t be considered for a player who performed for virtually half a match.

    • Spank

      Have to agree that this was Skelton’s best game – in the loose – and he finally did make breaks as he should be able to do as Man Mountain BUT is he the weakness in the scrum? Given Mumm’s performance could he get the starting spot in the Bledisloe or may it go to Horwill after last week?

      • Hugh Cavill

        It’s hard to know, because Skelton and Simmons were also on for the second half period of scrum dominance. And would have been more fatigued as well.

      • RobC

        Nah, Big Willy scrum was much better. Need to review in more detail, but I think the issue is with the whole pod on the Pumas shove.

        On WB feed, its Slips. He’s playing injured. I dont know why they started him.

        • Klaus

          It wasn’t in the first couple. His back just isn’t straight enough. But yes later he was improved.

        • RobC

          The GAGR folks just posted all scrums on youtube. Thanks guys.

          From what I saw Big Willy buckled once (scrum six) from a straight challenge.

          Three were Pumas scrummaging into Squeak’s right shoulder:
          – Holmes and the pod behind him + Squeak not able to deal with it.
          – One of those scrums Pumas got under Squeak. Maybe two.
          – In anycase this is SOP by the Pumas, and it does indeed seem the WB scrum wasnt well prepared for it
          – Thats in contrast to WB Pumas Gold Coast scrums, which Kepu and Co defended well. Coached by the apparently inept scrum coach Blades ;)

          Two early shoves . One Holmes pancake (but cycled)

          Two really bad Puma scrums. Includes shocking binds by THP reserve Diaz. Not taking anything away from Sio Tafs Co

          In any case, Ive only watched each a few times. A few more viewings needed to be more accurate

      • Farthing

        Slipper Should be blamed first. Attempts have been made to blame Skelton.. As if somehow the loose head side going backwards is the fault of the tight head lock. But that’s ludicrous.

  • Dougall

    I thought Toomua looked the goods at 12 before he was injured, such a great runner and distributor.

    Game was pretty sloppy and we left alot of points on the field, but great to see the boys come together and hold out that 10minutes with 14 men.

    Argies tried to milk every penalty, pretty appauling attitute to see a player go down and seek medical attention for his neck, then get straight back up when nothing comes from it, disgusting and embarrassing for Argentina.

    • Seb V

      I noticed that as well. they all seemed to have a habit of doing that, too much influence from football (soccer).

    • Nick

      I’d forgotten how rabid Argentina were, especially at home. They remind me of the Boks 15 years ago. They were pretty petulant but what annoys me the most is how we often get sucked into that and have a bad game. Glad we came good in the end.

    • Daws

      Yeah was so sick of that Dougall, you would rarely see that from the other 3 teams in the RC.

  • jumbuck.

    Love Kafe’s comment about the welsh/English game plan. “Knock on from the kick-off and then scrum.”

    geez I wish we could hold steady on the early scrums and take them out of the ref’s mind. I’m already getting nightmares about Poite carding someone early.

    Great second half but still more questions than answers for me.

    • Bobas

      I got the 10 commentary… Mostly Matt Burke taking about “KEIRAN-DRANY.”

      • qwas

        I made he switch from fox to 10 after 30 minutes. It was bliss. So nice not to hear all your most unpleasant thoughts vented in a continuous whingeing stream by Kearns.

  • Sambo

    How good does that look?

    • like 2011

      • Waz_dog

        And we know how 2011 ended for us in the WRC year – this RC is chicken fodder and if anyone gets pumped or berates the team over the next game is not looking at the bigger picture.

        As much as it would be nice to win the RC, there’s a bigger task at hand this year – getting out of the pool of death.

        • Alan Grouse

          One reason why we won’t be lifting Web is we have no reliable goal kicker. It has been (along with our scrum) our achilles heel for years now and neither Foley or QC are the answer. JOC was not much better whereas Harris could have been the man but he offers little else other than kicking.

          Gits could be our man but it is very worrying when the likes of England, AB, SA and Wales all have proven, reliable kickers who WILL win test matches and on the eve of the cup we have no one..

        • Council of Trent

          Perkins coached Elton Flatley with success surely we can find a kicking coach for the wallabies. Maybe ElMasri.

        • Mark Blackwood

          Yes but this time we have options. In 2011 we had no bench. The boys look fit and ready.

        • Nick

          We came 3rd in 2011. Not too shabby but I agree it was a disappointment for all of us.

      • harro

        In 2011 both the Boks and the Kiwis rested a lot of players. That doesn’t seem to be the case this year though, is it?

    • RobC

      Excellent post.
      Looks like a good game next week! :)

  • Sambo

    Cheika needs to teach cooper to take the ball to the line again… if he could improve that area of his game he would be alot better. Some nice touches and kicking marred by a couple of terrible ones. Foley seems to have the spot nailed down at the moment. Big question now is on toomua and giteau…

    • Digs

      Foley was fairly ordinary, couldn’t direct or construct backline moves for most of the game, poor kicking in general play, some very bad missed tackles and really poor goal kicking. Quade looked very average to start (not sure why Beale wasn’t used) but improved as the game progressed. One poor pass to AAC (who wasn’t even looking to try and catch it). A big brain explosion leading to the send off (but was a little unlucky the Wallabies having been penalised for numerous times for the same offence and the ref losing patients). He at least constructed some backline go forward and had enerally good kicking in general play and was improving at inside centre as the game progressed. Overall though the backline looked ordinary most of the game. I don’t think Foley is the answer as if that’s his best it was bloody awful. Toomua takes the ball to the line but keeps on getting knocked out and Quade is sometimes just wobbly (and other times very good).

      • qwas

        Harsh to blame the ref for losing patients, he’s hardly qualified ;)

        • Digs

          Ha … Didn’t you see the resusitation kit!

      • lighthorse

        Qooper came on, but alas disappointed again as he made an impact of a “wet sock”.Dean Mumm welcome back slot straight in if fardy’s injured.again the bench props made a difference.Mike Harris in just for Goal kicking????

        • Julesie Bolwell

          Ive always been a Harris fan. Nothin fancy but solid as all hell. Kicks well, tackles well, passes well. Would prefer one of Harris over 100 Beale/JOCs/Coopers.

      • Spank

        Giteau at fly-half in the Bledisloe!

        • Bobas

          Nice try Bob Dwyer.

      • Rob Malcolm

        Foley’s goal kicking was v poor, but his general play was great considering he had Quade at IC! I think Quade just played himself out of a game next week. 10 and 12 is between Foley, Gits and Toomua now. I’d go with Gits and Toomua if they’re both fit.

        • harro

          I agree, but would you have Gits inside Toomua or the other way around? Luckily there’s two weeks until the Bledisloe otherwise Toomua might have been on the sideline for it

        • Sir arthur Higgins

          I’d have toomua at 10 and give au to TKA AT 12 with AAC at 13 if the latter is 12. Toomua is superb. Qc out of the 23 surely. He was very very poor. One no look pass does not a good game make.

        • the pirate

          Murray Mexted eat your heart out!

        • harro

          Haha! Let me re-phrase that. Would you have Gits outside Toomua or the other way round?

        • the pirate

          Sorry mate but I didnt have the strength of character to resist . Love those Murray Mexted quotes

      • Who?

        Wasn’t AAC’s only time running too flat and not expecting an obvious pass…

      • If only the rest of Australian rugby could get this level of delusional support that Quade Cooper does.

        • Qwas

          Amen. I’ve depressing myself all day with the news that channel 9 are “covering” the WC again and aus rugby isn’t going to win a single new fan from it regardless of what we do

    • harro

      Cooper spends all his time behind the gain line and a good fraction of that time running backwards. Foley didn’t have a good match and it’s safe to say fly half (especially if you include goal kicking) is our biggest problem atm. It’s a real pity Toomua went off so early. Would’ve like this sorted before the Bledisloe.

  • Jamie Miller

    Great write-up Hugh. More observations:
    1) Gotta keep a cool head. In what was, until the 75th minute, a scrappy, grinding game, you can’t give away penalties when you have the advantage in the opposition’s 22. Happened not once but twice.
    2) We’re defending way too narrowly and contesting far too many rucks. ABs will feast on that. Looked much better later when we chilled out, created a 14 man line and moved up as one, and then picked out moments to contest the isolated carrier.
    3) Rarely has a scoreline flattered to deceive as much. As you point out, the match really was in the balance right up until Rob Simmons’ lineout steal… at which point I’m sure my priorities were a) don’t engage the maul b) focus on engaging… with a distant (c) being to contest. We rolled the dice big time and came up with the goods.

    • qwas

      You’re bang on I think. Can’t help but feel we are just learning how we want to play at the moment. Good on them for improving but it is a bit close to the world cup methinks

    • Spank

      Reminded me of the one against the British Lions when we won the series against them a few years back. We were right under the pump in that game and this one and two awesome steals got us ‘out of jail’.

      • harro

        That steal in the Lions match was the best thing Justin Harrison ever did on a rugby field. One of the biggest moments in recent Wallaby history

    • wilful

      “Rarely has a scoreline flattered to deceive as much.” On the other hand, how we weren’t two tries up in the first fifteen minutes is beyond me, and how many points did Foley leave at the side of the uprights? No, we didn’t play brilliantly, I’m not thinking the ABs in two weeks will be good for us, but we did deserve to smash Argentina..

  • Seb V

    I also have no idea wtf is going on with the scrums.Can’t pinpoint why we suddenly became dominate in the last 15mins.

    • lighthorse

      Scott sio Taf and kepu are better scrum Technicians.slips, Moore,Mr Holmes better runners.

      • Seb V

        But Sio lost the first scrum but then came good. Maybe TPN and Kepu was the difference. Holmes is not a great runner? Sio is the better runner out of all of them.

        • Our reserves are better than their reserves. Simples.

        • harro

          It’s hard to judge someone on one scrum, and there are 7 other blokes involved. Even the best scrummager in the world will lose one occasionally

        • Norm de plume

          Would it be sacrilege to say that maybe TPN should be given a start with Sio and either Holmes or Kepu im the Bled? If they neuter the Black scrum could the unthinkable happen with the cap’n?

          Noone should be safe.

        • jamie

          Sure, but our lineout just wouldn’t work.

        • Utah

          The Argie tight head was still on the field then. He went off after Sio’s first scrum.

      • qwas

        I thought the whole idea with bringing in holmes was for his scrummaging

        • RobC

          Holmes has better bind and excellent technique

          Kepu is also good. But much more powerful

        • Tah fan

          Holmes is good. But not better than kepu. But better than the rest

    • Simon

      We became dominant as soon as they replaced their front row. The first scrum we looked really strong in, there was a shot from behind the Argies, and I clearly saw the front row of 17, 16, 18. That’s when I knew we’d turned the corner.

      Their starting front row were excellent, their props are good and Creevy is just about wider at the shoulders than he is tall. Slipper for whatever reason couldn’t cope. Holmes struggled as well, though not as badly.

      I’m thinking we might need Kepu on as starter for his bigger bulk, and just aim to hold our own in the first 50 minutes without giving away too many penalties. Then in the last 30, bring Holmes on against the replacement and use his superior technique to get a few penalties late in the game.

      I’m not convinced Skelton is a stabilising influence in the scrum. But he showed he’s definitely not the weakest link. Tonight that seemed to be Slipper.

      • RobC

        Besides Slips, I think Squeak is letting the Pumas engage lower than the WBs. But need to have a closer look at this also.

        • Who?

          Amazingly for a nation renowned for its scrummaging, I found the tv direction quite poor for analysing the scrums…
          Can’t help but wonder how straight the Pumas were pushing, though. All looked to be boring/shearing, and the first free kick? The Puma LH had his elbow pointing to the ground, putting Holmes’ knees on the deck before anything worth a FK against Slipper happened on the other side. But Peyper was unsighted.

        • RobC

          Free kick, Slips Squeak were pushing early. Peyper called right.

          Pumas were scrummaging into squeaks right shoulder. They do that all the time. WB prepared well for it last year (Gold Coast).

          Didn’t notice the LH side. Will review all later

        • Who?

          I knew the FK was for an early push, and don’t debate that Peyper was right there was an early shove, though I do question the FK too quickly. I hate early shoves, but it looked like the scrum was moving both ways. And what odds he’d have pinged the Wallabies for not taking the hit if they’d allowed Los Pumas to push off the mark..?
          I do think the reffing treatment the Pumas receive at the scrum is a bit… Dodgy. They get more benefit for their illegal tactics than most nations, purely because they’re ‘known’ to be a strong scrummaging nation. But the requirement is to drive straight, and I don’t believe they generally do. I didn’t manage to watch their feeds very well, but last year they also managed to get away with feeding at 45º… I’m keen to hear what you think when you get time to review. :-)

        • RobC

          Will do mate. Still trying to find time to do final edits on last week. I wasnt watching the feeds either. It wasnt like Squeak was in any position to hook it against him. hehe

          I know what youre saying about the Pumas scrums and the adv. But it was indeed a clear WB early push imo, as I was watching for it to continue from last match. Its an obvious WB tactic to win the contact area, take up a bit of midline and bend the THP a bit off shape.

          That’s why the SB scrum last week was a little slanted one way. Because the pre-shove shoved the SB LH back (Im guessing Big Willy’s weight). SB too experienced. Beast and his pod just stepped back. The pod then helped him get into his driving shape and applied his pressure straight into Kepu and Big Willy.

          Pumas from what I saw, drive into Squeak. Which is their SOP. You should see how last year in Gold Coast, Kepu. Carter and Fardy repelled Pumas last year’s drive. It was brilliant, until Kepu was replaced as he was knackered by 60′ (or was it 50′)

        • Mike

          Exactly, re Beast stepping back. Same thing Robinson does when opponents try that.

        • Simon

          I did notice our front row popping up a few times. Might have had something to do with it. When I watch it again I will have a look. The camerawork in general didn’t seem as good, either, especially at the scrums. It was hard to see what was going on at times.

  • harro

    It was interesting to read the Boks did a fair bit of pilfering against the Kiwis last night. So maybe last week’s break down problems were more a result of a Bok strength than a Wallaby weakness.

    I thought the Pumas defended very well tonight. The biggest positive for me (apart from our subs’ form again) was that we kept them tryless at home when the Kiwis conceded two at home to them last week.

    I’ve got a ticket to the Goldmine for the Bledisloe. These two weeks are going to go so slow

  • Larakia

    Dear Dean Mumm,

    On behalf of GAGR, I apologise for the constant questioning of your place in the squad. I’m sorry we called you soft and I’m sorry for the accusations you were picked by your dad. Your try and as an absolute better. A beautiful mix of power, speed and skill. Weclime back to Australia!

    • Who?

      And Mr Cheika, well done for using Mumm appropriately. At 6, not at lock, where he had space to roam. I’m among those who questioned him, but my questions were always prefaced on him being selected as a lock, as well as formerly foreign based.
      He better not pick Douglas, though… Especially after those performances from Simmons and Skelton today! Skelton turned it round after last week, and Simmons stepped it up. Even saw a sidestep!

  • RobC

    Excellent review thanks Hugh. Key WBs were 4 5 7

    Izzy despite the brain fade, his diagonal runs to the left corner were fantastic.He created the time and space for his wingers try. Really beautiful

    Once the Pumas front row and 4 was replaced, their scrum was finished. Pity was looking for a better contest.

    Lot of niggle in the game

  • Tommy Gordan

    So where are all you Quade Cooper supporters now? Still believer’s? James Slipper a greater attacking threat at test match level.

    • RobC

      100%. But not as 12

      • Julesie Bolwell

        Couldn’t have said it any better.

        • RobC


          to be clear. Im as much as a fan of Foley as QC. There’s too much senseless NSW Qld side taking on the ten selection, trashing players at the soonest opportunity.

          They are both v good tens.

          Except for placekicks. Both are equally unreliable

        • Julesie Bolwell

          I agree wholeheartedly with you.

          I just think Cheika needs to start coaching Quadey to attack the line again rather than let him play “his natural game” where he dances around across-field half the time. And dear God never play him at 12 again. Experiment tried and failed. Coopers vision is what makes him a great player

          Also about having the correct 10/12 combo. Toomua + Cooper I think is the most perfectly balanced centre combo the Wallabies can offer when playing the dual 5/8 style. I think Giteau would compliment Foley in this regard since Foley plays the straighter game and Giteau offers the flair that Cooper offers with Toomua. Giteau would act as a superior Beale you could say.

          Like you said, love em both and they offer plenty in different ways. I just think it depends on the balance in the team.

          Thank you for your time :)

    • Who?

      I’ve no issues with the way that Foley and Quade played today. Foley’s kicking was awful at goal, but longer than I recall in general play. And his defence was solid, too. Some of Quade’s kicks were quite excellent, only tarnished by poor chasing early in the game. His defence was ok (not as good as Foley, but nowhere near his worst), his passing was mostly quite good (one poor pass), and they worked well together. They didn’t trip each other up.
      Worth noting that Folau’s kick at 61 minutes, lauded by Matt Burke as the best kick he’s ever produced, still went directly to the man, on the full! AFL trained him well! It was a long kick, and it was just lucky that ‘the man’ happened to be a trainer on the touch line!

    • Terry

      i think everyone should just relax. Cheika will start him at flyhalf in the 2nd Bledisloe Cup test in Auckland. History shows Quade always brings his best for the All Blacks and Eden Park.

      • LED

        especially after he antagonises the NZ public by swearing at their newspaper reporters on twitter. Go the public relations strategy.

  • Larakia

    Dear Dean Mumm,

    On behalf of GAGR, I apologise for the constant questioning of your place in the squad. I’m sorry we called you soft and I’m sorry for the accusations you were picked by your dad. Your try was an absolute better. A beautiful mix of power, speed and skill. Welcome back to Australia!

    • Nick

      I was quietly confident Dean Mumm would surprise everyone here. He will be invaluable as part of the lock rotation which is actually building depth now. You don’t get named Captain in the Aviva Team of the Year for nothing.

    • Pedro

      Agreed, I was happy to be proven wrong.

    • Marcus Pontmercy

      We promise to never mention the name of luke jones again

      • Patrick

        Um, why?

    • Alan Grouse

      No doubt the bloke had a smashing game but lets not get carried away. I think its a little premature to be penciling him in for a spot on the plane for the WC.

      Mumm has form playing the odd occasional blinder or producing a moment of magic like the try last night (remember his epic palm off against Coetzee) but those moments are usually overshadowed by his consistently MIA appearances.

      Obviously I hope to be proved wrong and what better test than against the AB.

      • Your idea of ‘form’ is both weird (you reprise a great run) and way out of date.
        Then you talk about him being MIA but that’s years ago!!!
        Why bother?

        • Bay35Pablo

          Because this is the usual b#llshit approach that curses Australian rugby. One good game and they/he are world beaters, 1 bad and it is apocalypse now.
          2 good plays or one good game does not make up for years of Mumm being a little man in a big man’s body (and he wasn’t the only lock in that category). I have always felt he is too small to be a test lock, and that he is a 6. When you look at the Skeltons, Matfields etc they are just plain bigger than him.
          I hope that his years in Euro have made him a better player, and he proves the doubters (of which I am at the front of of the mob for, after years in the Manny Edmonds Memorial Doubters Club) wrong, but we will see.
          Too many years of being a Tahs supporter.

    • Aussie D

      People were more questioning the process, not happy with blokes being plucked from Europe over those putting in the hard yards in super rugby. hopefully Dean continues in the same vain that he did against Argentina in future matches as everyone wants competition for places inside the Wallaby squad as that will drive the team in lifting its performances.

  • Nick

    Dean Mumm scoring that try reminded me of the time he sent Marcell Coetzee flying with a vicious fend for the Tahs a few years back. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BqlQQEh0g5M

    Also I thought the Argentinian lock Lavanini had a cracking game. A star in the making for them I think. Only 22 and apparently 130kg.

    • RobC

      My bold over enthusiastic prediction is Lavanini will overtake Eben Retallick and everyone else.

      He’s a jumping, scrummaging, rucking beast.

      After watching him last year, I hoped he could be attracted to the Reds. Ended up in Racing instead :/

  • Don’t think the discipline was overly problematical though Quade might have cause to disagree.
    Sick of hearing Clarkie’s laments.

  • I love the fact that we didn’t play all that well and yet still won with a bonus point. And to top that off we came home with a wet sail 2 weeks in a row. That’s a Wallabies trend I could get used to.

  • Pedro

    Was anyone else hoping that Hooper would come on for Toomua? It would have been a more like for like sub than QCooper. Nice write up Hugh.

    For me the game was a lot like when we demolished the French. The score was close for nearly all of the match, with the Wallabies a nose in front, but with the run of play. Then, with 15min to go, all Wallabies. I think we looked really good, especially the second half where I though nearly 100% of our play was positive, even when we didn’t score, we were over the advantage line.

  • Waz_dog

    Fair enough to throw QC the flack he deserved – poor pass when we were trying to score, botched kick from the 22, yc and only took the line on with a step or two. In saying that I thought that QC slotting in 12 was weird and all the smack that comes QC’s way should be tempered slightly (still deserves what’s written though).

    Cheika perplexed me with that decision for a couple of reasons as these starting lineups are really the dress rehearsal for the RWC. He could of chose from the following:

    – Bring KB on and have the 10, 12 as he has set up for the tahs and then sub QC in at flyhalf in the 2nd half.
    – Bring KB/QC onto the wing and actually try Bob’s suggestion of TK at 12, AAC, 13 and then slot QC into flyhalf in the 2nd half.

    For me this was a missed opportunity to not give QC a run at 10 when we clearly had front foot ball by the forward’s hard work. Its also is a little disconcerting that Foley couldn’t produce more attacking opportunities too.

    • Ah, the next excuse in the QC defence – he shouldn’t be made to play 12.

      It’s a long list

      • Known Rugby

        I mean you have an inside centre on the bench.. Why would you bring on a guy who cant run straight into the 12 slot? It’s a recipe for disaster, and that’s how he played.

        • a) er, you do actually need to be able to run straight to play 10

          b) so the only position Quade can cover on a bench is 10? (if you like lateral 10s I guess)

        • Known Rugby

          As a genuine position? I’d say so.

          We had cover today for any backline position to be filled with someone who has regularly played there before. That’s why I found it confusing.

        • I agree in the sense that Beale was a better straight swap in the moment.
          But if you’re Cheiks going into the RWC you need to know who to make space for on the bench. Last week Quade showed he wasn’t the starting 10, this week he also showed he can’t cover 12. It’s giving a pretty clear signal in the choice between QC and MG as cover for Foley and Toomua. Beale can be seen as back three cover and Cheika knows he can step into 12.

          This was actually Cheika giving Cooper another chance to claim a role and he didn’t take it.

        • Known Rugby

          Do you really think hes out of the race for 10? I mean lets be honest, Foley missed 4 tackles this morning, had a shocker with the boot and was pretty average in my opinion. Majority of the people ive been talking to think that he’s going with a QC Toomua combination.

          But having said that, Foley and Toomua looked bloody good when they were together.

        • Waz_dog

          What I don’t get is the bench has to accommodate Foley needing a playmaker outside him. This was an opportune time to test an above scenario an not even bring QC on at all. It just seems folly to put QC in a position that you know others can do a better job.

          The WRC is a long campaign – I’m not sure testing QC in a position he’s clearly no good at, (thus grounds to not pick him) is the way to go when the kiwi’s used their 4th string flyhalf to win them the last final.

        • Mike

          The bench doesn’t “have to accommodate Foley having a playmaker outside of him”. That happens because Cheika wants it to.

        • Waz_dog

          or needs it to…

        • Utah

          Yep, that makes perfect sense Matt.

        • Funk

          Well i think Foley also showed he is not the starting 10…..so which of the non starting 10s does Cheks go for?

      • Waz_dog

        Thinking about this comment Matt and fark me talk about not trying to figure out ways to strengthen the depth of the squad.

        When it really comes down to it there wasn’t really much outside those errors I mentioned that QC did wrong and for a lad that hasn’t played there in goodness knows how long he did a decent job.

        Care to enlighten me on how Foley should retain the no 10 spot after that lack lustre performance? Certainly didn’t play himself into the number one role based on his goal kicking…

        • Are you talking about the 4 try bonus point lack-lustre performance?

          Yes his place kicking sucked, as did Quade’s the week before

        • Waz_dog

          Foley’s lack lustre – he should of done so much more with all that front foot ball. But We’ve already digressed so far away from the topic.

          Still puzzles me why Cheika couldn’t have tried other options and left QC on the pine. I could just imagine the article of Bob’s gracing the pages of GAGR if his call of TK in the 12 channel came to fruition haha.

  • Waz_dog

    Phipps annoys the shit out of me. Clearly a quicker pass than WG but fark me he makes some dumb decisions.

    The guy tries his heart out and punches well above his weight but those errors that are in his game will cost us points in the big games.

  • Dan

    Just need kane douglas back as we’ll

  • AndrewWA

    I’m assuming that the comments re Simmons and Skelton being in the running for MOM were said in jest. Once again Skelton could barely raise a jog after 50 minutes.
    More than half of his ruck involvements were in the first 20 minutes.

    Pocock was head and shoulders above all other candidates.
    18 tackles/nil missed, 3 TOW (from 19 Def Rucks), with 54m from 7 runs he was only beaten in run m by Folau (93m) and Tomane (56m), 3 Def Beaten and 1 Clean Break.

  • Gus

    There is a kind of symmetry with prior years what with Quade now making naughty tweets and Hooper cited for swiping some argie in the back play to Mumms try. What’s the minimum for punching? 3 plus one for deterrence less one for good behaviour plus 2 for being Australian? Wallabies shoot for their feet again. Is the NZ equivalent the elbow?

  • Utah

    It was a very good pass. However I struggle to take many other positives out of Cooper’s game. Poor on balance IMO.

  • LED

    Foley was rushing his kicks – watch again the time he takes for them. Presumably was an arranged tactic to combat the potential lasers he dealt with last time. Anyway – not a good strategy as didn’t help him get them over. We prob wont see him do that again. Should be much better in 2 weeks agaisnt ABs


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