Awful Aussies: Wallaby Player Ratings
All Blacks

Awful Aussies: Wallaby Player Ratings

Awful Aussies: Wallaby Player Ratings

In 1972, the Wallabies toured New Zealand and lost the three test series by an aggregate of 23 points each game (6-29, 17-30 and 3-38).

So poor was the Wallaby team regarded that they were referred to as ‘the Awful Aussies’. Fast forward to last night and to Christchurch next week, and I think we may have a competitor for this tag.

This comprehensive rout will probably have won the All Blacks the Tri-Nations Trophy and retained the Bledisloe for another year.

The Wallabies really had nothing in response. Expectations raised last week were dashed in the usual manner by inconsistency, ill-discipline and an inability to cope with the physicality of their opponents.

‘Zeno’, a poster on the blog this week said it all in response to a ‘predicted’ All Black 11 point win: “Still with the cringe, Lance? Oh, the All Blacks are supermen, they’re awesome, they’re going to smash us.”

My response to that is: “F*ck me Zeno they were awesome, they were supermen and they smashed us by 21 points! WTF awaits us in Christchurch next week?”

Whether you like it or not and dispelling the alleged ‘choke factor’ myth, the All Blacks to me look like they’ve already got one hand on the Rugby World Cup next year.

Frankly, the Wallabies were an embarrassment with their ‘soft cock’ physicality letting themselves down again. That is, apart from Bam Pocock who really was out on his own.

What was there to be positive about this thrashing? Nothing really. The red card in the 2nd half for Drew Mitchell didn’t make much of a difference, so don’t use that as an excuse. It was all over by halftime at 32-14.

It seems to me that a number of Wallaby players need to be held to account for this disaster. It’s a shame we don’t have a Brad Thorn in our team?

Ratings:

Ashley-Cooper – 6 AAC had a number of runs and made the odd break but was relatively quiet at the back. He got a nasty head knock at one stage which looks like it affected his game. He lost the ball at the next breakdown which resulted in the McCaw try but he’ll bounce back.

O’Connor – 5 This game wasn’t lost on JO’C’s wing as play really didn’t go his way. Apart from a sizzling break early on which came close to a try, not that much happened down his side. The much hyped JO’C v Smokin’ Joe battle didn’t really eventuate.

Horne – 4 Believe it or not but his stats were ‘made 1 tackle, missed 1 tackle’. He was completely anonymous in this match and I’d suggest it doesn’t look like he has kicked on. He fractured his elbow last night and is now out for the season.

Barnes – 4 If Dan Carter can have a kick charged down which led to a try then so can Berrick Barnes. Sadly, Sookface is no Dan Carter. Ineffective at inside centre, he showed no real thrust and was one who missed his fair share of tackles. He was completely overshadowed by Ma’a Nonu. I’m not sure that he’ll survive the cut next week.

Giteau – 7 I thought Gits was the best back on display, considering the pressure he was under. Great break early on and defensively very sound. He directed the backs quite well and looked dangerous with ball in hand. A pretty good effort in the circumstances.

Mitchell – 3 Great charge down and try at the beginning followed by ill discipline, where he was off the park twice (the 2nd time a red card) during the game. No matter what you think of the severity, he let his team mates down. He looked good during his cameo though….

Genia – 6 Behind a losing pack there’s only so much you can do. Defensively, the All Blacks really closed him down but his passing was as good as ever. He only played as well as he was allowed.

Brown – 5 A mixed day for Dick Bown and maybe his chances have expired once and for all. His workrate was high: he had more runs than any other player (15) but on the down side he missed 7 tackles, some of which could have been trysaving. Enter Hodgson or Higgo?

Pocock – 9 David Pocock had a blinder with a massive workrate. He made 23 tackles (10 more than anyone else) and was the turnover king. There was daylight between him and the rest, however, he didn’t actually outplay Richie McCaw. McCaw was magnificent, Pocock was just….outstanding.  Bam will eventually be the ‘Richie McCaw’ of his day.

Elsom – 5 I thought the Rock was a bit disappointing. There’s a sneaking suspicion that he goes missing at times in the really hard games. I didn’t want to say that (because it sounds a little ‘un-Australian’) but that’s my feeling. He was outplayed by Jerome Kaino and his relationship with Referee Joubert got somewhat ragged. He did improve in the 2nd half though.

Sharpe – 4 Sharpie was pulled by Deans in the 48th min. Maybe he had dental issues but he didn’t seem to be anywhere near as effective as last week. We lost this match in the tight five and Sharpie’s got to take his share of the blame. Robbie wanted to drop him a while ago – maybe this is why?

Mumm– 5 Mummy did get better as the game wore on but he’s really no match for the All Black 2nd row. He’s there because there’s no-one else. I’m expecting Simmons to take over his position sometime soon.

Ma’afu – 4 Looked completely out of his depth. Made a few useful tackles but offered nothing else. Looked good against a tired Bokke outfit last week but I don’t think he’s the answer.

Moore – 6 Squeeky got pinged a few times for stupidity but had a reasonable game. He’s obviously not yet back to full fitness hence his early replacement. His set piece work was O.K. although scrums and lineouts were few and far between.

Robinson – 6 Cat had a full game this week and will obviously benefit. He’s underdone but looked to have solid involvement throughout the match. With two out of three front rowers not at full fitness, and the other not really up to it, it’s no wonder the tight five struggled.

Reserves worth mentioning:

Faingaa S – 6 Very active around the park in his 31 mins. Skillful player who offers some dynamism around the ruck.

Simmons - 6 Didn’t look out of place after he came on in the 48 min. In fact, I suspect he’s about to be promoted.

My overall rating for the Wallabies last night was 4 – I know they were playing the best in the world but the reality is they can’t match it with them. They were shit (there’s no other way of describing it).

In late news, Scott Higginbotham, Ben McCalman and Cameron Shepherd have joined the squad in New Zealand. I’d expect AAC to be switched to the outside centre position.

10 – A legendary performance to go down in the history books
9 – Outstanding performance: Man of the match shoo-in
8 – Excellent all round game
7 – Good game with a few sparkles
6 – Solid performance
5 – Average – ho hum
4 – Below par
3 – Had a bad game
2 – Tell your story walking pal
1 – A complete joke

  • Tangawizi

    Horne has broken his elbow and is out for the season. No need for him to worry about losing his place due to non-performance anymore. It is a real shame that Will Chambers is injured. We need a big bastard like him now.

    It looks like McCalman and Higgers are a chance of coming into the team but other than that Robbie will be trying the same again on Saturday night. Hands up if you think that will yield a different result?

    “http://www.foxsports.com.au/story/0,8659,27491106-5016959,00.html”

    Higginbotham, Western Force loose forward Ben McCalman and Western Force winger Cameron Shepherd will fly to New Zealand to join the Wallabies after playing weekend club rugby, according to the ARU.

    • Garry

      I don’t want to sound dispiriting, but in the 20 tests that Horne has played, can anyone remember anything outstanding that he has done?

      And I thought the centers were the glamour positions!

      • Thomas

        20 tests? Hasn’t he only played 3 or 4? But yes, he’s yet to make any sort of mark.

        • Who?

          6 Tests for Horne. 4 in June, 2 in the 3Ns. He’s been first choice all year.

  • ScrumJunkie

    Agree completely, the forwards in particular were very disapointing. They left bambam to do it on his own… would of loved to see him and george smith on the park together during their careers rather than replacing one another.

    The only thing I can console myself with is that some of our best tight forwards are injured. It´s pretty obvious, we are lacking mongrel in that forward pack, especially in the second row.

  • bones

    Perhaps not the tragedy it appeared. Game was lost mainly by shite restarts (can be fixed in a week – surely the 4 or 5 must call the ball when it comes the forwards side – Mumm to lose his spot to Simmons for his repeated failures – also no lifting of the jumper??); shite kickoffs (Barnes out for Faingaa, Giteau to kick off); shite lineouts (Moore out for Faingaa as better thrower, no competing on the Black throw); some shite defence at times (eg Brown on Jane, Elsom on Jane), and some soccer mum referring (the Drew Mitchell horseshit in particular).

    These can be solved in a week.

    Robbie to make changes early in the week, and then focus on the above techical issues plus COMMITMENT. And then we can win next Sat.

    Changes: Slipper to start with Simmons, Faingaa to start at 2. Rocky to 8 and HIggers or McCalman at 6. Hodgson off the wood. ACC to 13, Faingaa at 12, Shepherd and JOC as the wings, Beale at 15. Drew off the bench.

    • Who?

      Beale selected ahead of Drew? Drew copped a red, but it was the softest red in the history of the game. Beale, on the other hand, thinks it’s ok to kick at the line when you’ve got a two on two… Mitchell on a wing, Shep at 15. And Slipper..? I still find it amazing that we’re playing a bloke who now has 5 Tests to his name, all off the bench, but only 100 minutes of Super Rugby as our backup prop. Now, given how well he’s gone (thank goodness! Nothing worse than burning a young bloke!), I’m having fewer issues with him on the bench. But I don’t know that he should be starting… Ma’afu probably shouldn’t be starting, either, but they’re not the only two fit props in Australia.

  • KDog

    Agree with all you said. Bam Bam tried his heart out.

    Sounds like AAC will move into Hornes position. Why won’t Dingo put in Fingers he deserves a go and he straightened the attack for the Reds and tackles hard. Leave AAC at fullback.

    After one turn over that Bam Bam got, I saw him clap his hands and try and fire up his troops, they walked away with a “what the f*ck look on their faces”.

    They have to find someone better than Brown.

  • Nabley

    I believe you have given Pocock several more than he deserves and similarly with Brown and Genia. Brown in my opinion needs to be replaced quick time and Hingingbottom may come into that. Genia really did have a poor defensive game missing a number of tackles. All is not bad though. To outscore the ABs in the second half with 14 men is significant. Similarly the danger the Wallabies showed whenever within the ABs 22m line in the second half. Perhaps the moral that arises from this match is Deans should start with 14 and see how they go.

    Poor Mitchell, he really is the second coming of Campese with his eratic behaviour. In fairness though he was off the ground with his first yellow card (which I have never seen replayed) when the warning about slowing the ball was given. We did see McCaw talking to his troops, but not Elsom. I think that the captaincy experiment has run its natural course. Let him play rugby without that burden.

    • Garry

      the second coming of Campese

      But at least Campo had an accurate boot on him.

      • RedsNut

        But he couldn’t defend.

        • Garry

          Mmm. Definitely in the offense.

  • Robson

    I think maybe your rating for Brown was a bit generous Lance, but I agree with your summation of Gits. I think he’s starting to find his mojo again and he played really well under trying circumstances last night. Same for Benny. He’s getting there. I can’t figure out why Sharpe was pulled and Mumm was left on.

    It was good to see the changes being made, but I would have liked to have seen them trot on to the park straight after the break, because the writing was well and truly in neon lighting by then. Pocock made a nuisance of himself and earned Ritchies respect in doing so, but David isn’t quite the giant killer just yet. All the same he was light years ahead of anyone else in the Wallaby pack. Pity he wasn’t supported because the result might have been a bit different if he had been. A bit different I said not a lot different. Too much bumbling stuff going on in the backs for that to happen.

    So what now?

    Well when your in a hole you need to stop digging and Deans should chuck his shovel out of the hole right now. Then climb out himself and take a good long hard look at those guys who are waiting for the call. Hodgo, Higgers, McCalman, Slipper, Simmons, the Faingaa twins (both of them) and Shepherd. Then he needs to set to and invent a brand new selection cocktail and make them work at training until their nuts fall off – for one day at least. And no Beale is not the answer at fullback against the All Blacks.

    Yes iit will be full of untried ingredients, but it is time to go that way now; for no other reason than it will give a lot of keen young fellahs a taste of the big stuff. And who knows it might even work.

    • Lance Free

      With Brown, yeah he did some good things – 15 runs (more than anyone), 16 ruck/maul involvements (more than anyone) and 13 tackles (2nd equal). In fact, it looked like he did the work of some of the tight forwards anyway?

      However, some of the missed tackles were significant. Stats don’t necessarily tell the whole story (they don’t tell how effective a player is at those actions) but in conjunction with the vision I think the balanced assessment for him was 5.

      We of course remember the most obvious mistakes…

      • Robson

        Brown could have got through just 80% of the rest of the work he did around the park and still deserved a higher score if he had actually made two tackles which both cost tries. One on McCaw and the other on Jayne.

        He was badly positioned for McCaw because he was not awake to what was happening both sides of the ruck. That is a primary task for a No. 8. However, given the way he tried to stop Jayne, I don’t think he had a snow ball’s chance in hell of stopping McCaw.

  • piggies 7

    how long is chambers out for? would be great to slot him in…although in all honesty, if he did get thrown to the all blacks, they would give him a real working out

  • youngun

    rob horne makes next to no impact.the wallabies need to search for more big backs.Dean mumm needs to improve his work rate. When the wallabies want to get involved they play great,namely against the boks and the second half against the all blacks. When the going gets tough most of the wallabies seem to prefer to leave it to giteau and pocock to steady the ship.

  • Joel D

    Can’t say I’m shocked by this at all. You can’t keep picking the same guys that have been putting in subpar performances and expect to defeat the All Blacks with their current form. Our starting team probably only has a handful of the form Australian Super 14 players in it. Guys like Hodgson, Simmons, Kane Douglas, Anthony Faingaa, Al Baxter, Van Humphries, Ben Daley, Laurie Weeks, Patrick McCabe and Phil Waugh were probably the top Australian players in their positions this Super 14 season yet none are in the starting side and some aren’t even in the squad.

  • Moe.

    BRING TURNER BACK.

    He was statistically the best defensive back in the S14 this year (or very close to it in the end). A solid line of defence would be a good start. O’Connor in time will be great, but he’s not a winger.

  • Ben

    Joel D makes an interesting point……..some of the best super 14 performers are not there…How baxter isnt there amazes me at least of the bench. Also maybe Rocky or Higgers need to move to the second row. Allow a backrow of Hodgson, Rocky/higgers and Bam Bam…also makes the pack have a tougher edge than with Mumm.

    We have some tough bastards there is Hodson McAlman and Higgers. Time to give them a run…I am sure Bam Bam would appreciate seeing them get stuck in with him

  • James

    Please Robbie leave AAC at 15 and slot Faainga into 13, he’s a better bet one spot out of place than anyone else. Plus the thought of Cam Shephard coming in anywhere scares me, saw him play Shute shield the other week… looked ordinary among part-timers.

    Rocky needs the captaincy pulled, he’s been racking up too many errors and doesnt provide any leadership at all.

    Completely agree with Joel D, why are we running about with quite a few blokes who are so-so at provincial rugby, expecting them to “step up”?

    • Jon Cooper

      Agree with you mate in regards to leaving AAC at 15! If you cant give A Faingaa the 12 jersey then 13 would seem a very reasonably option seeing CHAMBERS, IOANE and Horne are out.

  • Mike

    Give big Tom Carter a shot

    • Rocky Elboa

      God I hope this is a joke, surely things aren’t that bad

  • Skip

    This week we came in the same old (error strewn) way and they stopped us in the same old (clinical) way.

    About the only positive is we didn’t roll over in the second half and have a chance for some redemption this week, but I fear it may be painful. I am starting to think the AB players just value their shirt more and would probably die than turn in the crap we are used to from the wallabies.

  • bones

    Big call – but I believe it has to be Genia on the wood on Saturday. Because ABs are deliberately trying to break up the Wallabies structure. Genia is a structure creater; Burgess is an individualist, who doesnt fit our game when the forwards are on top, but does actually when the forwards are not – he is very good on mid-field high balls, desperate cover defense, unsuspected openings around the ruck for a strong half back run, and generally loose play. I’d play Burgess for the first 60 and then Genia for some sniping runs once the ABs tire in the last 20. If our forwards get on top, then bring Genia on earlier.

  • matty dee

    Lance,
    Don’t agree with all your ratings.
    AAC – should be higher
    Horne – clearly he is not the answer. It was like he wasn’t even there.
    Genia – the ABS lined up and waiting for him to pick up the pill. Let’s not hear any more rubbish about Burgo hatching the ball.
    Mumm – not up to it.
    Richard Brown gets an A for effort.
    You are completely wrong re Elsom – he is one of the few who does not go missing in the tough games. Look at the tape again.
    Pocock & Rocky the only two tough guys we have.

  • Bobas

    Yeap. Its time to bone Richard Brown and Barnes.

    Both Fiangaa’s should start next test.

    Higgin into 8.

    AAC into 13.

    JOC into Fullback/Wing with Shep.

    I would like to replace both locks at the 50th min, Higgin into lock to bring the other fetcher, Hodgeson, on.

    Deans has got to get creative!

  • Zuriel

    Sorry Robinson was rubbish, no passion. 2
    AAC numerously couldn’t place a ball behind him which led to a number of turnovers
    dissapointing…

  • ADC

    Some of these scores are very generous, there wern’t nearly enough 1’s 2’s and 3’s.

    Moore and Robinson were both clearly lacking match fitness, 4’s at best.

    Horne, Mumm and Ma’afu were invisible, a 2 at best, back to club rugby for all of them.

    Barnes and Brown were conspicuous only in their errors, a 1 for both of them.

  • marty

    i thought Robinson was not up to his usual high standard either. his lazy (too tired?) running in cover defence let in J-Rock’s try.

    if you mark down Dick Brown on his poor tackling efforts at crucial moments (as you should), then i believe Tubby Robinson should also lose a point or two for that slack performance.

  • Linus

    Look everybody has their opinion and being relatively new (to this site), I’ll agree to disagree with some of the ratings. With most of the negative, woe is me, replace this guys because he is crap going on around a loss, the hard thing is to remain objective. And I expect the lower rating then I would have scored, but …

    Brown is particular was defensively obvious missing tackles yet gets the same 5 as Rocky. I don’t agree that Rocky made crucial errors or that he went missing.

    I think Genia and AAC got generous scores but hey, I’m loving the much more balanced views I get to read here and these are small issues compared to anywhere else

  • Jon Cooper

    VAN THE MAN! We need him, I dont give a rats arse if he is 59 years old! He is a motivator, he is aggressive not ill-disciplined! Ditch Sharpe and MUMM. Simmons, Kane Douglas and VAN the man has your 3 Wallabies locks. Imagine the lift VAN would give to the PACK as well as his ability to nurture the young guns. Sure Horwill at full fitness and form is a near certain starter next year. Bring In Hodgson to 8, then Higgo to the bench! Brown has had more than a few chances now.

    Also like to mention that the only part of the Aussie Super Rugby teams form that has carried over to test Rugby is the re-starts. I cant remember any Aussie team regularly catching their own ball from kick re-starts. Why cant the “elite” test coaching staff fix this?

    • Garry

      Under the Dingo regime, I’m reminded of Aussie cricket teams of the past whose reputation was….

      It’s harder to get out of the Aussie cricket side, than it is to get in.

      • Richo

        It’s a very different story when you’re the best team in the world and good enough to carry a player back to form. The Woblies are far from being analogous to any Australian cricket team of the last two decades… except perhaps the current one.

  • Lee Enfield

    The 14 man Wallaby team showed that when they perform as team, they can match and beat the All Blacks. For Christchurch I would like to see:

    1. Robinson (Will be better for last week)
    2. Moore (Will be better for last week)
    3. Slipper
    4. Simmons
    5. Sharpe
    6. Elsom
    7. Pocock (C)
    8. Higginbotham
    9. Genia
    10. Giteau
    11. Mitchell
    12. A.Faingaa
    13. Ashley-Cooper
    14. O’Connor
    15. Beale

    16. S.Faingaa
    17. Daley
    18. McCalman
    19. Hodgson
    20. Burgess
    21. Barnes
    22. Shepherd

    • Rocky Elboa

      Seriously are you advocating a back three of Mitchell, O’Conner and Beale you remember they will be up against Jane, Rokocoko and Mils

      • Lee Enfield

        and the Backline on Saturday was awesome, wasn’t it. It is time to wield the axe and give the fringe players a chance to prove themselves, one way or the other.
        Beale had a good season at 15 with the Waratahs, and his defence couldn’t be any worse than O’Connor, the moving turnstile, so why not give him a go. If he fails, add him to the list with Mafu, Mumm, Brown, Barnes, O’Connor and Horne. Personally, I would try Shepherd on the Wing and bench O’Connor until Hynes is fit, but I picked O’Connor because Deans will pick him on the wing, because for whatever reason, Deans has faith in him. If Deans goes with Giteau and Barnes at 10/12 and O’Connor at 14, we will lose again.
        Having Faingaa at 12 and Ashley-Cooper at 13 will give the Wallabies the hard straight running backs we need and will stiffen our mid-field defence.

        Once Cooper returns, I would go 9.Genia 10. Cooper 11.Mitchell 12.Giteau 13. Faingaa 14. Hynes/Shepherd 15. Ashley-Cooper.

        • Andrew

          Right on Lee. A Faingaa and AAC both offer penetration and direct running in attack and are otherwise very solid in defence. These two should actually be the centre pairing from now till the world cup, even though Deans would never drop Gits. Barnes should be a reserve in waiting at best. Regardless of whether people think AAC is our best fullback, he is definitely our best outside centre and it is his preferred position.

          I’d leave O’Connor at fullback and wait for Hynes return. He doesn’t have the finishing speed an international winger needs. I’d like to see Shepherd on the wing and would still replace Mitchell with Lachie Turner – I can’t understand why he’s been shelved.

    • Dogman

      Awesome line up… if we’re playing Italy!

  • Cookie

    Elsom needs to be gone from the captaincy and either dropped or put in to lock. He was nearly crying to the ref about AB slapping at the ball and woops there goes brainless Mitchell. Rocky’s wide running is poor at best. Half the time he drops the ball and what is with running to the line stopping and attempting to palm a kiwi front rower. For the so called toughest man in the pack stopping at the line is pretty soft.

    Brown got the big don’t argue from a winger…….gone. My best fowards were pocock, simmons and Fai’inga. Thats pretty sad. Elsom in at lock with simmons. Higgo, Macalman and pocock back row. At least the young blokes who want to be there play without fear. Fai inga comes on with 10min to go in first half he is the best hooker but let moore take the punishment.

    Mitchell should never play for aust again. His defence is shocking and his speed is not worth the risk of schoolboy errors.

    Put Fingers in at inside and then slide them all out when Cooper comes back. I do think Gits played well but why is he looking the the odd one out in the backline.

    What about this?

    1. Robinson (Will be better for last week)
    2. Moore (Will be better for last week)
    3. Slipper
    4. Simmons
    5. Elsom
    6. Mcalman
    7. Pocock (C)
    8. Higginbotham
    9 genia
    10 cooper ( i know he can’t play)
    11 Gits
    12 fingers
    13 AAC
    14 ?…………Beal maybe ( Is that super fast red guys still hurt. the dark headed one.
    15 O connor

    Gits is to small for fullback but would have a full roving commission.

    • Garry

      Be careful about putting a loosy in the second row, it may be found out at scrum time, esp. at the elite level. Scrummaging is an art, I think any old dogs from the tight five would agree, and the way our scrum is performing, it may be a recipe for disaster.

      And don’t think that by playing Rocky in the lock, that the WB’s will get an extra loose forward. We need more bone around the ruck and maul.

    • JTM

      I’m not sure that we should just call for Elsom to be dropped from the captaincy. You just can’t do that to a player who HAS tried as hard as he has the last two games to get everyone going (ref management is something else that he can learn…not being Brumbies C set him back a long way). Apart from Pocock, Elsom was the other forward who didn’t give up at all whatever pre illusions you might have of him, and he was still busting tackles right up to the end of the game fighting for meters.

      They need a second rower who does the hard yards, like Kane did for the Tahs and Van did for the Reds. Simmons does it too so get him in there with Sharpe (providing that he realises that he must lift up). Get them in there so that for God’s sake there is someone taking some of the load off of Pocock!

  • Cookie

    sorry Genia Captain

  • Lance Free

    I think we need to keep our heads a bit here. What I think we should do is this – I’d only make one ‘unenforced’ change in the backs – Berrick gone.

    1. AAC to outside centre for Horne.

    2. Faingaa to inside centre for Berrick.

    3. Shepherd to wing or fullback.

    4. Retain Mitchell – he was playing OK until the brain snaps – surely won’t happen again?

    Three changes in the forwards:

    5. Simmons for Mumm

    6. Hodgson for Brown (at flanker) and use Rocky at No 8. (Higgo/McCalman on the bench)

    7. I wouldn’t have had either Ma’afu or Slipper at tighthead if I’d had a choice. Would have selected Le Fuse right at the beginning of the June internationals (before he was injured) and probably Fairbrother, slowly introducing Slipper. I’d discard Le Fuse when Alexander came back. Without those options available, I’d have to go with Slipper.

    Sad fact of life is Beale is not yet a test player, certainly not defensively. Faingaa would go back to the bench when Cooper returns.

    • Who?

      Reads well to me, Lance. Only one question – tighthead. I agree that the Architect should’ve played in June (after Alexander was injured, before he was injured), but, with him unavailable, why not keep looking at the Tahs? When Robinson was picked for the Wallabies, he wasn’t first choice loosehead for the Tahs. Palmer and Tilse played some pretty handy games at the end of the year – I’d have picked the more experienced Palmer before Slipper.

      I think, too, that your player rating for AAC was a little high. He didn’t have that much impact, it was certainly a game below his usual high standard. Being half conscious may have had something to do with that! We must remember that he set up Richie’s try by taking the ball into contact when he should’ve hoofed it (he was half conscious at the time), and he should’ve hoofed it just into the second half, rather than running it out (which led to Mitchell knocking the ball down and copping the red). Both were uncharacteristic mistakes. It was a 4 or 5 from him.

      And Robinson… It wasn’t near his best, either. Wasn’t his average. He was outscrummed by Franks, who got under him. Needed the hitout. Again, 4 or 5.

    • Thomas

      I agree with your thoughts on Beale, why do they persist with him even being on the bench? He is obviously not quite there yet. They’re too scared to use him. He’s just taking up space. I think Turner is a much better option.

  • Groucho

    I know it pisses some posters off to talk about injuries, because it deflects the conversation from other things they’d prefer to complain about, but this is who we’ll be missing next week:

    Alexander
    Nau
    Horwill
    Palu
    [Cooper]
    Horne
    Chambers
    Ioane
    Hynes
    Davies

    I’ve also bracketed Cooper there, although of course the only thing injured is his availability due to suggestion. The point I want to make is that this lost seems also to be a list of our physical players. The current team is indeed a team of powder-puffs – compared to the ABs, and compared to this team who (with the addition of a few of our reserves) would also blow them off the park by a considerble margin.

    I’m not making excuses for losses. I’m having a bloody moan. :-(

  • gallopingurchi

    we are farked

  • Feno

    Am I out of line here to say:

    Piss brown off – my god wouldn’t know a try saving tackle if he feel into it! Or anything half decent! Ok maybe too harsh but still he needs to go back an be an above average s14 player and nothing more.

    Move Elsom to 8 and bring Waugh in. Yes he is old and likes to keep the ball with the forwards but at least he has some aggro and it will give pocock a partner and not flying solo.

    I agree that we need some younger players but I don’t like how we dump some of the oldies who can show some direction when our players go missing mentally!

    My 2 cents.

  • Langthorne

    Baring injuries, I would only bring in Hodgson for Brown in the forwards, in the starting 15. I would bring on reserves early if things start going wrong.

    In the backs AAC must go to 13. That means Shepherd or Beale come in (although I still don’t know why Turner isn’t in the squad).

    Higginbotham is a huge risk to bring on in the run on side, but it would be nice to see him come on from the bench.

  • Scoot

    Reports from CHCH today seem to suggest Beale, A Faianga, Simmons all featured heavily in main team training session. Shep was laid up with the flu.

    Brown trained as part of the back three unit.

    • HHH

      We need the “Triple H” threat to bring a bit of mongrel back into the pack. Humphries, Higgers, Hodgson.

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Roscoe Tims (aka @LanceFree): A nasty, opinionated little man whose views are indeed narrow with a capital 'N'. Favourite Sport: mungo bashing. Does he ever have anything positive to say?

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