Analysis: Wallabies kicking woes - Green and Gold Rugby

Analysis: Wallabies kicking woes

Photo by Keith McInnes
Analysis: Wallabies kicking woes

You probably feel like we have been here before. Certainly in the time I’ve been writing for Green and Gold Rugby I’ve looked at the Wallabies kicking from hand on a number of occasions and yet we always seem to come back around to the same place.

Much like Charlie Brown and the Football gag, despite knowing what’s going to happen, Australia never seem to learn their lesson and once again are left lying in the dirt, questioning why they fell for it again.

The Football Gag

The Football Gag

Appalling metaphors aside, for whatever reason the Australian coaching team seem unable to address some fundamental flaws in the current teams play despite seemingly becoming permanent fixtures in the Australian skill set.

As always I’ll emphasise stats don’t tell us everything but if we dive into the most basic of stats, like possession or territory, whilst they favour New Zealand they are workable. England beat Australia with only 36% possession and 34% territory, but when we delve a little deeper we can see exactly where the damage is being done.

The most interesting stats for me are these:

                                      Australia                        New Zealand
Metres Run:                307                                  839
Line Breaks:                02                                     22
Defenders Beaten:    13                                     40
Kicks:                           22                                     27
Turnovers:                  22                                     20

Obviously the top three show a startling disparity, the metres run, line breaks and missed tackles tell quite a story, but kicks and turnovers play a massive part on the impact of the two above it and it’s really where the rot begins.

Australia conceded 22 turnovers to New Zealand’s 20 on face value that’s not too bad is it?

But if we also pluck out of the 22 kicks the kicks where Australia surrendered possesion directly to an All Black player then that jumps up to a whopping great 31 turnovers.

From those 31 turnovers new Zealand scored 5 tries. It gets worse though, five tries from turnover ball, three of those opportunities came from Australian kicks but a slightly more damning figure is that if you also factor in Rettalick and Daggs disallowed tries New Zealand actually created 5 scoring opportunities pretty much directly from Australian kicks.

Meaning 22% of Australia’s kicks resulted in New Zealand obtaining try scoring opportunities.

It’s a pretty damning picture that’s being painted and with such high turnover stats we get a better idea of why the metres run, missed tackles and men beaten figures are so high.

New Zealand crave broken field attacking situations. As we outlined in our Chief’s analysis from earlier in the year the less shape to the game the better, because they will move the ball to space and exploit it. By kicking to New Zealand with no obvious kick chase you’re giving them the chance to attack an unset defence – which is exactly what they want.

Will Genia kicking for the Wallabies vs All Blacks in Sydney 2016

Photo by Keith McInnes

None of this should be a surprise to anyone who follows Super Rugby because all of the New Zealand teams in this years competition have excelled at counter attacking from kicks and turnovers and after a 7 month campaign not should any of this be a surprise to Australian teams and coaches.

That current lack of attention to detail is probably the biggest failing right now. To illustrate lets look at three key points in Foley’s kicking technique that as an opposition coach I’d be looking to exploit (see if you can spot them in the following gifs):

  • Foley is a very one sided kicker favouring the right touch line even from the other side of the pitch, and if you target Foley’s outside shoulder, on the left to right, you force him to make mistakes or drive him back into the cover defenders.
  • He kicks very close to the gain line and on the run, meaning he brings the ball to the defenders making those low raking kicks even harder.
  • He kicks with a low trajectory

To illustrate  how New Zealand look to manipulate the opposition kicker let’s look at the first kick of the game, Australia get the Free kick at the scrum and tap and go, Foley puts in a raking cross field kick, but just as the ball leaves his boot watch how close Barrett comes to charging him down, and how low the kick is:

Sure the bounce is good for Australia but now let’s look at the Kaino try. While it’s easy to dismiss this as a lucky charge down, but it’s far from that. We can see by Kainos set up he’s targeting Foley’s outside shoulder and from the minute the ball leaves Genia’s hands he never deviates his line.

It’s clear that he knows kicking back to the left sideline, over the maul, is just not Foley’s style and that if he kicks open it will be a low raking kick into that same vast expanse of space Foley kicked into in the first minute. The difference being one was off a free kick with a rapidly retreating defensive line one was off a maul with a static and set defensive line.

If that seems a little far fetched bear in mind we again saw, in the second half, a simple exit kick becomes a horrible scuffed hoof. It’s a great set up, D Haylett-Petty carries, and the recycle is perfect for Foley to play long and deep off his favoured right side yet it ends up putting Australia back under pressure.

Going back to Kainos try, off course, NZ don’t know that Kaino will charge it down they are going for pressure. But they do know that by applying that pressure on the outside they will force Foley into a poor kick option. It’s intelligent analytical play from the All Blacks manipulating the team in possession into doing exactly what they want and opening up options for their back three and in this case number 6.

Targeting the 10 is nothing original but Australia had opportunities to protect Foley, and we’re not talking about a kicking option at 12. 15 seconds before that fateful kick to Kaino everything was in Australia’s favour to execute a perfect box kick.

Australia get a good catch and set, a drive that had the AB’s walking backwards. It’s perfect ball to pressurise the Kiwis, the presentation to Genia is perfect for a box kick and it’s his best side as a right footed kicker. Additionally if you look how Ashley-Cooper is in position for the chase on the box kick (you can see him edging forwards waiting for the kick) you have a perfect kick chase set up…. But you also have no blind side winger covering the space in behind charge down and no Fullback because he’s in the line chasing.

The box kick is the simple, and obvious option, just turn the All Blacks, send your chasers forward apply pressure. That first word, “simple” is the most important part of this whole article, Australia’s inability to execute simple skills and strategies was their most fundamental undoing.

And that to me is further illustration of poor kicking strategy, or at the very least a poor understanding of what the strategy is.

Yet in the second half, once the game was out of site, the Wallabies twice got it right. Executing good kick chase options and twice getting good results from them. On both occasions the kick chaser was Hooper, but both pieces of play were simple. The first below was a straight forward, right down the middle, 4 second bomb, Barrett offloads under pressure and Dagg puts the ball down. 40m gained and possession regained from one kick.

Absolutely perfect.

In this day and age of video and statistical analysis any team’s inability to learn from and adjust such fundamental mistakes is quite shocking. Yet Australia are continually making these same errors both at provincial and International level, and it’s mind boggling that no one seems set to address them or that if they do the communication is so poor that players are left without a proper understanding.

That responsibility has to be shouldered by two teams the coaches and the players leadership group.

As injury cover New Zealand have drafted in three counter attack experts – Damien Mckenzie, Akira Ioane and Seta Tamanivula. While it’s unlikely they’ll get a start it shows that New Zealand are confident of some more of the same.

It will be interesting to see if Australia have learnt their lesson and if they can improve their kicking strategies in less than a week. If previous form is our benchmark I think it’s unlikely they will, but either way it simply has to be time for the coaches and the analysts to step up.

  • Pearcewreck

    Good analysis.
    The poor kicks, charge downs etc formed part of a disastrous 20 min period from about the 10 minute to 30min mark.
    In that time I think there were 3 charge downs, a couple of kicks straight to NZ players, one scrum lost on our feed, 2 line outs on our throw lost. All caused by poor Aussie execution.
    NZ were OK, but not great, they didn’t have too be.
    We handed the game to them on a platter in that 20min spell.
    Also, saw a stat analysis on Planet Rugby site that the NZ winger Naholo made 111 meters, 5 defenders beaten, 4 line breaks, but….. zero tackles.
    We didn’t force him to defend once.
    Shows how poor we were.

    • Jeff

      He came off injured before half time !!!!

      • Pearcewreck

        Must have been just after I stopped watching, which was about 30 min mark.
        It was all over by then.
        Thanks for pointing that out, cause the Planet Rugby article certainly didn’t.
        Will edit my comment.

  • RedAnt

    This really is damning of the level of coaching at a senior level in this country and, in particular, the gulf between the All Blacks and Wallabies coaching staff. There’s really not much else to say. (By the way, thanks for the analysis, Graeme. Always good to see your thoughts.)

  • first time log time

    Good read.
    Also worth noting Foley’s inability to kick with any distance and that he requires 5 and sometimes 6 steps prior to firing that pop gun drop punt of his.

    Teams know that we cannot effectively clear our 22 and a kick to touch into our qtr will likely result in an attacking lineout on or near the 22 which could be considered another turnover.
    Would be interested to see how that affects the stats.

  • Seb V

    Also, Foley’s lack of distance. Always 10-15 metres less then the opposition.

    • Simon

      At least 10-15 metres. Often more, particularly against England and now against Barrett. He needs to get more elevation in his kicks, it’s simple ballistics.

      • aj

        That style that he uses of sweeping the leg across the body significantly reduces his power and doesn’t allow him to follow through with his foot, it probably makes it harder to get decent height on the ball.

        • McWarren

          Yep, dead right. His style means he has to absolutely nail the timing to ensure any distance. A simplier more direct kicking style gives more room for timing error when under pressure.

        • Simon

          Yes, and I think that’s why he takes those extra few steps before kicking – he’s trying to get extra speed onto the ball by running. Which just increases the chance of getting charged down, especially by a rush defence, which both England and the ABs have used against us.

        • Keith Butler

          Against a rush defence I’m surprised that the occasional grubber kick wasn’t used to keep them “honest”.

        • Simon

          Are you really surprised? This is a side that’s shown no imagination, no flexibility, no ability to mix it up or respond to the opposition. England used the rush defence against us in June, it was even used by the ABs in the RC last year, and still to this day Cheika’s Wallabies haven’t shown any ability to counter it. They just keep trying to run through it and losing ground with each phase.

    • McWarren

      I agree, and I wonder if our chasers are still not figuring out that they have 10 – 15 metres less space to align? however I think it is an Aussie rugby wide problem, test and super teams all guilty, the Rebels less so.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Great analysis Graeme and goes back to what I think is the fundamental issue and that is the wallabies ability to make good decisions under pressure. It also points to the biggest weakness in the Wallaby setup which is no clear analysis of the opposition and a plan to counter it. In my mind both Larkham and Grey are the major changes needed at the Wallabies. Neither of them are providing anything concrete and neither of them appears able to offer a good analytical plan, especially to identify issues at half time that can be worked on.

    • Chinese Dave

      Good point about Larkham and Grey. Larkham hasn’t really impressed as a coach in any level. Grey was good at the Tahs, but I think he hasn’t made the step up. With the Tahs it was all about playing a certain way and doing it well, in Test Rugby, you need to go one level deeper and understand the opposition better and tailor the defence to them. If the ABs don’t feel like they’re so good that they don’t need to adapt to the opposition, then we shouldn’t bloody well feel so.

      • David Jones

        Cheika is head coach and got to hand pick his staff. He is accountable for their performance, not the other way around. I am amazed how many people shift the blame away from him, both for this loss and the England series.

        • Chinese Dave

          What’s this got to do with shifting blame? Everything that happens at the Wallabies is under Cheika, no one is arguing otherwise. I’m saying that his picks for asst coaches aren’t performing well. How is this shifting blame from him? Do I need to preface any statement with a disclaimer or something? Jesus, if you hate Cheika just say so instead of these absurd nitpicks.

        • David Jones

          The suggestion that Larkham and Grey are the major changes needed at the Wallabies seemed to me to be blaming them but maybe there’s another reading.

          I just can’t see how our kicking woes and lack of analysis are down to the attack and defence coaches. But if Cheika really has delegated that level of responsibility to them then they’ve failed and all three are out of their depth.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          To me those are the two who should be advising Cheika on how the players are working to the plans they’ve come up with – hopefully together. In 3 games against England and the against us there didn’t seem to be any coherent plan on how to do that or any changes to how the game went

        • David Jones

          Totally agree with your last sentence! I don’t know enough about the setup to say whether Cheika is trying to do this himself and failing, or asked his assistants to do it and they are failing.

    • Fatflanker

      A key marker of good coaching for mine is always a marked improvement in the 2nd half. Agree we’re just not seeing it so far this year.

    • Willem Labuschagne

      Hear hear.

  • rossco

    just seems we have players who aren’t good enough sadly

    • McWarren

      Rossco, we have the players they just aren’t in the coaches good book.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate, how do you get 22 turnovers and 22 kicks equaling 31 overall turnovers? Probably my interpretation of what you are saying but I don’t get it

    • John Tynan

      I think it was that 9 of those kicks went straight to an AB

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        OK thanks

    • Brisneyland Local

      I struggled with that too. But now have got it and it makes emminent sense!
      All adds up to the fact that our kicking game sucks the big one!

  • Tim

    Jono lance from the force has a good kicking game…… would be lovely if he got into the training squad

    • hasto

      Rhys hodge has one of the biggest shoes in aussie rugby. i’d be putting him at 12 and leaving him there and developing him as a superstar of the future.

      • Tim

        yeah his really good but our 10’s need a bit of a shake up

      • McWarren

        Hasto, firstly he has to serve a long meaningless apprenticeship that will ensure his skills go backwards, then and only then will he be ready for the Wallabies

  • John

    Great stuff! Finally an article talking about one of the Wallabies real issues. Now hopefully you have the time to comment on offense, defense and lineout.

    We need more commentators like this who discuss key areas of the game that we struggle in.

    The amount of people commenting on the backrow and how 1 or 2 changes there will equal victory is doing my head in. Just cause we have lot’s of 7s doesn’t mean the fault is there.

    Not being able to exit safety is one of the key reasons why teams lose. When you are unable to play out of your half you leak points.

    • Who?

      The lineout’s easy to fix. Don’t be so stupid as to pick a team with two jumpers against a team with four!
      Defence isn’t that hard either. Don’t flood EVERY breakdown (leaving yourself short out wide), and give yourself a chance to take a breath by kicking for touch (rather than keeping it in play).
      Offence is much deeper…

  • H Bomb

    This was exactly predicted by this analyst.

    When are the Wallabies going to wake up. Foley cannot kick to international standards and Saturday’s Test was the result.

    • first time long time

      HBomb it is so obvious to any objective observer that Foley’s kicking is killing us including the opposition!
      I am at a loss as to what is going on in the Coaches heads.

    • Mart

      Solid vids

      It’s hard to believe how much these guys are getting paid some times

    • Those Videos are spot on, hadn’t seen them until now – do you know who the analyst is?

      • A80

        Vids attributed to Hugh Stone.

        • yes mate, I know that, i’m just wondering who he is and if he does analysis for anyone.

        • Unanimous

          Hugh Stone posted links to these videos in his comment on the last article by Nickolas Bishop on the roar web site. He wondered what real analysts from other teams were thinking of the Wallabies if a couch potato such as himself could identify these faults so easily. Nick suggested he produce some for the roar.

  • Jim Marsh

    Great Analysis, our clearances have been a weak point for several years and I think if anything this article highlights just how intelligent the ABs defensive patterns are. There are too many occasions we turn midfield attack into try line defence due to poor exit strategy and execution. Hoping the boys are spending the weekend hammering basic drift defence and clearing drills.

    • chisel68

      Very true. Foley has the bad habit of taking too many steps and a low trajectory kick, plus their is no backup kicker at 15 as Folau can’t kick (a fact I still can’t comprehend as he had a stint in AFL!). I say Folau to 13 and DHP to 15 with Kerevi at 12.

  • Simon

    Foley must be averaging about one chargedown per test this year, and at least two of them have resulted in tries. Absolutely unacceptable – if you did that in schoolboy First XV you’d get binned, never mind international level.
    His kicks are too flat and he takes too many steps before kicking. I never thought I’d be saying this but maybe Genia needs to box kick more…

    • sampro

      I must admit that when I saw Genia step back for a box kick on the weekend I shouted at the TV “NOT A F’ING BOX KICK!”. Turned out to be one of the best Australian clearances of the night.

      • Simon

        Me too. It was about the only part of their game they executed well, and definitely the only aspect of the game they’ve improved since June.

  • Brisneyland Local

    This is a great article and very helpful. Clearly articluated the thoughts that a had but couldnt document or codify. Other than our kicking game blew dog!
    I might be on my pat malone here, but I think there are also two parts to this problem.
    1.When and where to kick to?
    2. Kicking skills.
    Our kicking is poor distance wise and accuracy. I really do believe that our guys would truly benefit from doing some AFL time, or bringing in an AFL kicking coach. (I note that this will not fix our penalty and conversion place kicking).
    Both England and NZ our ranged us and were more accurate. That concerns me greatly.

    • SD

      I’ve said this before too. Australia has the best out-of-the-hand kickers of an oval ball in the world, and people who know how to coach it. So why are our rugby players such terrible kickers? Long, accurate kicking should be one of our strengths.

      I miss the days of Campo’s 60m torpedoes.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Although I was completely crap at it, being a number 4 in Rugby! I lived in Melb for a few years and ended up playing ruck for an Aussie Rules team. I wasnt fit enough to start with, man they run heaps. But learning to be able to kick left and right foot and at full speed, taught me that it is not that difficult as skill to get above average results at. So why are not all of our players learning. Even fat forwards too!

        • Seb V

          Folau still struggles after his 2 year stint in AFL, Some people just struggle in certain area’s

        • Brisneyland Local

          Which is funny because his kicking wasnt that bad when he played AFL. It must just be the context.

        • McWarren

          By some people do you mean Bernard Foley?

        • Seb V

          Yes McWarren I mean Foley. Don’t think it’s an easy fix for him, will take years to break his poor technique habit.

        • Brisneyland Local


      • SiriusCove

        Not many people seem to talk about Chris Latham, but I reckon he was the most complete fullback we had in recent years. He could kick the long torps, but also the delicate kicks right down the touchline, and quite often regaining possession. Great player.

  • Nicholas

    Foley is one of the worst kickers I’ve ever seen at the elite international level. It’s pretty pathetic that he might still be the best option we have at 10. Quade definitely needs a shot or two at redemption this Rugby Championship because we sure as f*ck won’t be winning too many games with a flyhalf who could get out-kicked by some U12’s

    • Tim

      Quade needs a shot be he isnt that good of a fly half either. I would call up Jono Lance from the force his kicking game is outstanding

      • John Tynan

        And other than a kicking game? Passing game not as good as either Quade or Foley, let alone speed/pace. Although he is a good defensive 10. But that’s why he fits into the Force as 10.

        • Tim

          Jono Lance almost single handily beat the brumbies in the last round of the season. He put to shame the brumbies backline (which did have toomau and Lilo)

      • Moo Magic

        Bloody oath

    • Chinese Dave

      It’s like you didn’t even read the article. The point isn’t about Foley being a bad kicker. The point is about Foley being a limited kicker and the game plan doing absolutely nothing to take that into account. Everyone keeps talking about players, but there’s more to Rugby than who you pick. It’s more important what you do with them.
      Quade will get a start, and if nothing changes, he’ll fail, since he is limited too, just in different ways. Then we can go back to sighing and arguing about how Foley is shit, and Quade is mentally weak and nothing will change.

      • Simon

        This is a good point. We’re not NZ, we don’t have the luxury of choosing world class players in practically every position. We have to tailor our game plan to take both strengths and weaknesses into account. Right now it seems we are not doing that.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely mate, when you are limited in your players you should be basing your game plan about the strengths you do have, not have some ambitious plan that the players can’t achieve.

        • Moo Magic

          Dead right.

  • Seb V

    Greart article. Should probably rename it to “Foley’s kicking woes” given he is the only one doing the kicking. No idea why a player like DHP, or Toomua when he’s on the field isn’t used more.

    • Chinese Dave

      This focus on Foley is exactly the wrong thing. It’s as if all we need to do is replace Foley with someone else (Quade?) and everything will be fine. Experience shows that’s rubbish. We’ve always had issues with kicking. Remember Nic White giving the game to the ABs with a pathetic box kick a few years ago? Remember how we almost never contest bombs? Note how the ABs have Aaron Smith’s kicks timed to the millisecond with the runner contesting it? This isn’t about Foley, this is about kicking essentially being an afterthought in our game.

      • JT

        spot on Chinese Dave. It’s a team mindset.

      • Seb V

        Let’s say we fix the mindset and tactics/strategy around kicking – which i agree is the biggest problem! But Foley would still be a bad kicker – so he is still part of the problem.

        • Chinese Dave

          Sure, but then, A. he wouldn’t be kicking as much because we could have other people kicking too, like effective box kicks, B. the team would be playing to his kicking ability. Without going into a discussion of the merits of him playing, assume for the sake of the discussion he is playing and he has other parts of his game that are good, with his kicking being weak. A well coached team and game plan recognises that weakness and covers for it just like any other weakness anywhere else any team has (even the ABs aren’t perfect).

        • Seb V

          Absolutely. Like I said before, my mind is blown why DHP and Toomua weren’t used more in exit strategies. Even AAC on the wing can be a kicking option. Poor tactics are really not helping us.

  • formerflanker

    A very thoughtful analysis. Thanks Graeme.
    At a superficial level, a kicking game when the opposition has such strike power at the back is a stupid strategy.
    An u14s coach, when faced with the same situation, would say “run the ball back at them”.

  • Straith

    Over the past couple of years in super rugby and national level, Australian teams almost always come off worse after a kicking duel. I’m talking 80% of the time against SA and NZ teams we kick down field straight to the opposition who then boots the ball 65m back down our end, where we regather multiple meters back from the original kick. The resulting kick back is usually worse as the kicker is under pressure and the opposition are receiving the ball on their own 40m line with room to run.

    The usual result is that the Aus team has handed possession over 5 to 10 meters away from where they originally kicked, and at that point you may as well have thrown ball to them. We would honestly make more meters doing a 30m bomb to ensure you can tackle the catcher and pushing them back that way.

    Does anyone one else agree that this has been the case? It was beyond me why Cheika wanted to try beat NZ at their own game when we have no evidence of being able to do it.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Couldnt agree with you more!
      Our kicking is complete and utter dross!

  • idiot savant

    Outstanding stuff Graeme. Did Cheika and his team realise Foley had been worked out before you I wonder?

    Maybe thats why Cheika wanted to play ball in hand against England?

  • Fatflanker

    Do the wallabies even have video analysts? GAGR, work your magic…get this man on the ARU payroll.

  • Tim

    Thoughts on this fowardpack I think this starting 8 would kick ass
    1. Alan Ala’alatua
    Came off the bench and was one of the few to compete.
    2. James Hanson
    Has constantly been a bridesmaid to Moore and Tatafa Polota-Nau, but this 80-minute footballer deserves his chance in general play and is by far the better lineout feeder.
    3. Tom Robertson
    Completed his first season of 13 games for the Waratahs and despite being an inexperienced 21-year-old, has held his own in top company and shown his mobility.
    4. Adam Coleman
    For his 204-centimetre, 122-kilogram frame, his lineout ability, his mongrel, and his mobility.
    5. Rory Arnold
    For his NSW Country heritage, his 208-centimetre, 120-kilogram frame, his mongrel, his lineout ability, and his mobility.
    6. Sean McMahon
    Has enormous talent, which Cheika cannot afford not to use.
    7. David Pocock (capt)
    Must be back where he belongs, an outstanding leader and an inspiration to his teammates.
    8. Lopeti Timani
    For his 193-centimetre, 117-kilogram frame, his mongrel, his lineout ability, and mobility.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      It certainly couldn’t do worse mate. Looks good and I’d love to see it.

    • Keith Butler

      Not a bad pack of mongrels (never clear what the term meant) – but not sure it applies to Arnold. I’d still have him there though for his lineout and scrum. LT has not had a lot, if any, game time at the top level at 8 so I’d be concerned about dropping him in to such a technical position. I could see him at 6 though with a genuine 8 in that position, not a converted 7.

      • jamie

        Not to mention, 3 Rebels. Fantastic. One of the more dominant packs of the competition.

    • jamie

      Pretty sure Timani is heavier than that. Rebs list him at 124.

    • Willem Labuschagne

      Seems a bit disconnected from the interesting analysis of the article?

  • Andy

    Agree with the gist of the article. Our players, not just kickers are not getting better in the fundamentals of their positions. Phipps another example

    This is another case of promising players not improving in Australian Rugby. The AB’s have an uncanny knack of perfecting player improvement. We are becoming bloody hopeless at it.

  • Daverugby

    The perfect box kick….what an oxymoron. Foley could let in two try’s per game for another two years and Genias charged down box kicks still would have led to more try’s

  • Tucker’s Son

    Thank you Graham Forbes, H Bomb and Hugh Stone (the videos in the comments).

    That all was an eye-opener.

  • Unanimous

    And when the Wallabies didn’t kick for long periods in the Melbourne test, that didn’t work either, although the Wallabies were able to move up the field, just couldn’t convert field position to points. Perhaps something to try is move it up the field with simple phases, and then try a bomb or cross field pass. With Folau, there ought to be a reasonable chance of scoring.

  • Harry

    Good but depressing read. An increasingly long time ago in another millenium and for 3 years after that, the Wallabies used to be the smarter and better prepared side. Its obvious to everyone where we are deficient – and kicking is obviously one – yet test after test, this is ignored.


an Englishman living in France, Graeme runs the Rugby Analysis website He coaches in his spare time, is an IRB qualified coach and you can catch him on twitter lazily re-tweeting other peoples comments.

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