All Blacks Clean Sweep Bledisloe 2018 - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

All Blacks Clean Sweep Bledisloe 2018

All Blacks Clean Sweep Bledisloe 2018

Once again Australia and New Zealand head north for the dead rubber Bledisloe clash. New Zealand is looking to get a sense of the grounds they’ll play at in next years world cup. The Wallabies are just along for the ride

The Match

Australia’s lineout woes continued early when they lost the first lineout of the game. They won against the feed shortly after to even the score, but the All Blacks had settled into their patterns and applied enormous pressure to Australia’s shuffling defence. Eventually, the Wallabies cracked when Kurtley Beale missed a one on one tackle on Liam Squire who burst through the line to score 15 metres to the left of the sticks. The try relieved the pressure on the Wallabies and Beale was able to slot a long-range penalty on the 20-minute mark to Keep the Wallabies in it. New Zealand 7-3.

Moments later New Zealand converted a scrum penalty to ease the margin out to seven points again. Then it was back to business as usual camped deep in Australias half apply pressure to the defence. For the most part, Australia was up to the task but eventually, Kieren Read took the ball off the back of a scrum and Ned Hanigan had no chance of stopping him three metres from the line and from the side. 17-3. It was only moments from halftime that the Wallabies had their chance to score. Sefa Naivalu made no mistake scoring millimetres from the corner post. The All Blacks were ahead 17-10 at halftime.

The game is still in the balance but one can’t help but think the All Blacks have the upper hand. The Wallabies had to grimly defend for much of the half and I’m not sure if one Wallaby back, besides Kurtley Beale, is defending in his designated position.

The first 20 minutes of the second half was good hard uneventful rugby with the sides exchanging a penalty each. Until Beauden Barrett’s sensational try off a scrum. T

 Perenara passed infield to Barrett who switched to Ioane for the crash ball. Barrett loop Ioane who drew in the winger in defence and gave Barrett a clear 35 metre run to the line.

Tolu Latu was yellow carded with about 15 to go and almost immediately after Israel Folau threw a speculator and unfortunately hit Ben Smith on the chest. He put on the gas and ran 40 metres to score New Zealand’s fourth try. With five minutes to go Israel Folau score Australia’s second try off a nice Samu Kerevi offload but Rieko Ioane scored immediately hit back to take the score to 37-20 with minutes to go.

The All Blacks built their win on the pressure they mounted in the first 30 minutes and while the Wallabies stood firm and competed they lost the scoreboard, they lost the penalty count and they lost the turnover count fairly convincingly.

 

The Game Changer
Cody Taylor and Tolu Latu’s push and shove exchange. Taylor was the clear aggressor and walked away scott free Latu pushed back and got yellow carded. Both players were culpable and both should have spent time on the naughty chair.
The G&GR MOTM
Look this was two great team performances and singling out any player doesn’t seem fair. Because I have to pick one player my choice is Beauden Barrett who control the match pretty convincingly and scored the try of the game.
Wallaby watch
Samu Kerevi stood out when he came on. Tolu Latu for the wrong reasons. Folau Fianga’a for the right reasons. Israel Folau, I have no idea what position he played but what he did was good.

The Details

Crowd: 46,163

Score & Scorers

New Zealand 37
Tries: Liam Squire, Kieren Read, Beauden Barrett, Ben Smith, Rieko Ioane
Conversions: Beauden Barrett 3
Penalties: Beauden Barrett 2
Australia 20
Tries: Sefa Naivalu, Israel Folau
Conversions: Bernard Foley 2
Penalties: Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley

Cards & citings
66 mins – Tolu Latu (YC)

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

    Good Wallaby watch… I’d also add that is yet another game where Koroibete makes too many errors, DHP does some dumb offloads and concedes turnovers and in which Tom Banks did the best clearance we’ve seen from a Wallaby in years.

    • I think that was the worst game of seen DHP play. I guess everyone has an off day.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’m not personally as enamoured with him as others..

        • Well he doesn’t play for the right team for a start!

        • Brumby Runner

          Sully, I’m disappointed. As soon as someone posts a genuinely held opinion about a player, someone (usually not you) will come out and make a trivial remark suggesting team bias. Is there similar criticism of Hoss for making the same observations about DHP?

          DHP has been quite poor during most games in the RC. He is too slow to be a winger and his defence one on one has been Beale-esque. He makes too many poor decisions leading to advantage for the opposition. I don’t care if Folau is moved back to 15 or Banks is put there, but a change is needed.

        • Geoffro

          Disagree,DHP is rarely found out of position which is crucial in the custodian role and his one on one defence is easily on par with Folau.Dont care if you’re the best FB on the planet but when you’re isolated due to poor structures or opposing pressure you’re stuffed but I’ve seen him pull the fat out of the fire on more than one occasion.

    • Huw Tindall

      Yeah didnt really add much today. I’d keep Marika and Sefa with Kerevi and Folau. Banks bench. DHP carrying drinks. Sefa did well with the musical chairs system I thought. D was actually ok. ABs opportunistic try or just a good set play like BB’s try.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I can’t see the value in continuing with Koroibete tbh. I’ve never seen a player that concedes so many turnovers from pushing stupid passes. Would love Banks and Folau starting with Naivalu or Petaia.

        • Huw Tindall

          Certainly does but he is the only bloke with a good kick chase and puts the opposition under pressure off kick off. His own kick and chase to tackle BB in goal was excellent. Do we have a better out and out winger to replace him? Not a 15 masquerading.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I want more from my winger than being a good kick chaser.

          That doesn’t make up for his stupid errors, tackle misses or inability to get involved. He hasn’t had a good game in gold this year.

        • Geoffro

          Liked it when Gordy said can’t kick off his left but certainly can off his right.I’m with you mate,far from a Marika fan.

    • phil peake

      I thought the same when Banks did that kick! Foley’s kicking for touch is just terrible. You could make more metres passing than some of his touch finders.

    • Who?

      Don’t want to hose down the Banks love too much (because I think he’s great), but… There was something that helped Banks’ kick look better than it was. And that’s the width of the stadium. How far off the side of the pitch was Mo’unga when he threw it in?! He must’ve been 15m outside touch when he caught it. When was the last time we saw a game where you could play on quickly from a kick that landed 15 outside the touchline?! That’d be in the stands anywhere we play in Australia. Suncorp’s maybe 90m wide – I’m guessing probably closer to 80m wide. That’s the ‘standard’ – field width (70m) plus 5m each side. So if you put the ball 15m over the sideline anywhere round here, that kick gets taken back to where it crosses the plane of touch, because you can’t play on quickly, because it’s in the crowd.
      If Mo’unga takes that kick back to the touchline, as you would do if you weren’t playing on quickly, you’re back in the Wallabies’ half. If you play on quickly, you’re at the far 22. In terms of territory, that was actually a mistake from Mo’unga, but one you’re not likely to make anywhere else, because nowhere else is that wide.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I didn’t see where exactly the ball crossed the touch line, but perhaps Tom saw how wide the field was and then intentionally kicked like that as a result of it? He did have time after the mark.

  • laurence king

    Well, what can I say, ‘Same Old Same Old’, will be written on Cheika’s tombstone. Players again played their hearts out and matched it at times with the ABs. We clearly have the players, both in and and outside the team, the problem is Cheika, he tried nothing and learnt less.
    If your defence plan is constantly to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’, you’re gunna stung His coaching tenure is marked by hubris to the detriment of this fine group of young men.
    Banks, dying on the vine, the best fullback in the country, I really feel for the guy.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      He should have started every game of the rugby championship. Cheika is an incompetent selector.

      • laurence king

        This kid could be the best in the world and by a considerable margin or am I just kidding myself.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree. I feel like he could compete with guys like Hogg for world’s best fullback now that Smith has declined a bit.

          He’d stand a much better chance of achieving that goal if he was coached by someone other than Cheika though.

        • laurence king

          I think that if he were around 20 years ago (he’d be too old to be in the team now lol) he would have been a regular and highly regarded

        • Geoffro

          You reckon Smith has declined ? Not what I saw today

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Maybe it’s because the Wallabies are horrendous. I don’t think he played well in the rugby championship.

        • Geoffro

          He didn’t have to :)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          The All Blacks really struggled against the Boks and could have used him. I think from 2013-16 he was the best back in the world, but I just haven’t seen the same level from him this year, sadly (And I am sad to wayn it as he is one of my favourite players!).

          Edit: sorry that came across sounding far more sarcastic than I intended!

        • Thomas Murray

          Sorry Mate,Your dreaming.Smith is the best period and hasn’t had to try very hard with being swapped around in position.Banks will be the best in Aussie cos there’s no depth,Will Jordan will eat him for breakfast next year after Smith leaves

        • Archie

          Yeah Smith was excellent Last night… pure class

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Sorry, mate, but as an All Black fan I imagine you have a particular view.

          His performances this year have been well down on those pre-sabbatical (both SR and international). Whether he’s still the best is up for debate (I would think Hogg now), but he’s definitely declined since his peak.

        • Mica

          Bledisloe yes. RC no. Bokkes required you to play well and without the usual ref help they would have done you 2 zip.

        • Geoffro

          Was referring to Smith but in relation to the first Walla/Bok test-both teams were crap so if the Boks had got a call go their way and won the game they’d still have a hard time saying thay played well.

        • Mica

          Was talking about Bokke and NZ games. Agree Bokke and Aus game was pretty dire.

        • I’m not sure I agree Smith has declined. But the bits we see of Banks, if we saw him play a full series, or the full RC, I think he’d be properly in the conversation. As it is, there’s just not enough to say yet.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Smith is definitely not on the incline

        • That’s true enough. I think he’s in a sort of plateau you see in some of the great players where as his speed declines a little, but his fitness remain and his experience continues to grow he anticipates and covers in a way he wasn’t able to before and his skills remain intact.

          At some point, in the not too distant future, the absolute pace you need to play back three will just not be there and we will be left with just the memories. It’s a question of whether that is before this time next year or not – although there’s plenty of choices for Hansen to slot in to that back three as replacements. JBarrett or DMac, Ioane and Naholo or Milne-Skudder some three from that five probably make a pretty lethal and good back three if Smith can’t quite manage it, and if Dagg is fit again he has to be considered too.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely lost a bit of sheer pace but makes up for it with experience and knowing where to be and when to be there.

        • Mica

          Wish you were right, but you are kidding yourself especially with the considerable margin comment.

    • Tim

      I’m not going to lie i actually thought in some parts of the game we played really well. The first 20 minutes we barely touched the ball and our defense was actually strong. The game was close until Tolu Latu got a yellow card. Honestly it sums up the all blacks very well push the rules and wait for a player to do something back. Once he went off we leaked tries. Everyone likes to blame Cheika for everything. Is it Cheika’s fault the Latu go a yellow card? Is it his fault Simmons gets a shoulder to the head and is held up on the try line and doesn’t score. Is it his fault KB and Foley keep missing one on one tackles which give away tries. Is it Cheika’s fault that NZ do a blindside play of the scrum and none of our backs react at all and Hooper is the only one chasing? Is it his fault the Rodda who normally is solid under a high ball drops the ball and the All Blacks score from it? Is it his fault that Izzy pushes a pass which was intercepted which could have resulted in a try for us? I love banks and wish he was put on the wing for this game. But also saying that I hate Simmons and he actually played one of the best games i have seen in a long time. Everyone wants Cheika’s head and rightly so but honestly the team wouldn’t change that much maybe only 2 or 3 from the starting 15. I think nathan grey should go. We are leaking far to many tries and the sad thing is they’re easy tries that we are gifting the the opposition. Bernie should go our kicking game hasn’t not improved at all and our attack is still average (good on occasions). I love the wallabies but its very hard to follow when we are our own worst enemy.

      • idiot savant

        Its Cheika’s fault for failing to address the defensive problems which (I think) are partly a result of Grey’s system and partly Cheika’s selections and strategy. Im guessing Cheika’s philosophy has always been to try and score more tries than the opposition. And to do that he has selected Foley, Beale, Folau consistently as the creative core of the side. They have delivered many tries for both the Tahs and the Wallabies and are a world class attacking combination. However they haven’t been consistently in form for a couple of years now and they also all happen to be our weakest defenders. Our slide to No. 7 in the world has occurred in concert with their loss of form and the Wallabies poor defence.

        The statisticians tell us that no side can beat the All Blacks if you cant keep them to around 20 points. But Cheika persists with a system and selections that cant do that. He is absolutely defiant on that. Its a dilemma for him because all 3 are world class players but how do you hide 3 defenders in a backline? By using a crazy system of people running everywhere. Is it worth it? Is it delivering? The statistics again tell us probably not. Cheika’s winning percentage is the lowest of any coach in the professional era. If it were the Boks they would probably put 2 tackling centres in and give up the creativity. But that would mean having a different game plan – kick for territory, use pressure defence to create opportunity etc – all the things Cheika does not want to do. Where to from here?

        • Tim

          I agree Foley and Beale are very weak defenders. But currently we don’t have much choice in depth in those area’s (Toomua is one choice but again currently doesn’t join the rebels until late next year). I agree it very frustrating but again you need to look at our super rugby sides the standard of footy has dropped. Australian Rugby ATM doesn’t have any outstanding coaches and if we did sack Cheika who would take up the job most coaches are already signed for next year leading into the World Cup. Cheika’s winning percentage is the lowest of any coach in the professional era and so is the amount of people playing the game and watching the game.That comes back to no development in grassroots footy NRL, AFL and cricket are pumping money into Western Sydney as it is a very big market ARU certainly isn’t. If they get rid of Cheika they need to rid everyone in the coaching box and start fresh.

        • idiot savant

          Cheika will coach the Wallabies until at least the end of the 2019 World Cup. Im merely opining that we aren’t going to beat the All Blacks until we can restrict the number of points they score. I dont think the ‘score more tries’ strategy is going to work particularly as Beale and Folau age.

        • Who?

          Toomua doesn’t join the Rebels until the end of the Super season, but he’s actually available for every remaining Test between now and the RWC. The EOYT are during the ‘international window’, so he’s available, and then there’s no more Tests until after Super.
          But the bigger issue is that Cheika doesn’t seem to understand what a 10 does, given he’s publicly stated that Hodge was a good option there, and he’s played Beale there, when neither have played 10 at Super Rugby this decade.
          If we were to sack Cheika, there’s no requirement to maintain an Australian coach. He should’ve been moved on after 2016 (4 straight losses to England – given the lack of any intelligence or signs of learning in them – should’ve been enough), but he’s not going to be moved on now.

        • Tim

          Yeah I was pointing out lack of depth in super rugby i know his available. Yeah i agree we are in real trouble with lack of depth at 10. Foley is average but currently nobody else is standing up. Yeah I know following from my comment I was saying most really good coaches have already signed for next year. Merely stating if he does get fired they would most likely put Bernie as coach.

        • Who?

          I get the lack of depth. But last year Quade was available, and Cheika chose to find excuses not to select him. So whilst it’s not a great situation, I don’t think Cheika encouraged competition with the way he retained Foley through 2016 (moving him to 12 whilst he was completely out of form) and 2017 (by not selecting a backup 10 in the squads who’d actually played 10 that year).
          In terms of other coaches, we’ve dragged home players in the past paying out contracts, so if there was someone we really wanted, we could try. And as is regularly pushed on here, Jake White’s always got an option in his contracts to leave. For free.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate. Cheika picks the players, sets the tactics and game plan and then provides the timing of the reserves. He also provides the training and skill maintenance. Damn right he gets the blame when it consistently isn’t right.

        • Tim

          True sack him. Australia when then start to beat NZ regularly….I honestly feel people are missing the point. Australia is no longer a power house of rugby union. Looking at super rugby our standard has dropped. More of our under 20’s are either going overseas or going to League. My point is although Cheika is getting the blame we got to look at the underlining problem which starts at the bottom. Getting rid of him may solve the problem for a short while but its putting a band-aid over a bullet wound.

        • Who?

          A band aid over a bullet wound is a fair assessment, but, at the same time, if we can buy some better headlines, better results leading to a more positive mood in the general public, then perhaps that’ll buy us a little more participation, which might buy us a bit more time to fix the extraordinary administrative failures we have. But if we have no success at top level, we’ll have no money to keep going.
          Is there any point in retaining someone who’s not performing..? I do ask that in the expectation that Cheika will survive through the RWC…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I’m not saying sack him. There is no one else, but absolutely he takes the blame

  • laurence king

    It’s irritating, that feeling that these guys could really achieve something if they had a better leader (and I’m not referring to Hooper). When I’m painting, it’s fine margins between something that’s very good and something that you just put in a corner and hope for inspiration at some point in the future.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      The players deserve a much better coaching team than they have.

      Imagine Australia with Ireland’s coaching team.

      • laurence king

        Not meant to be rude, but wet dream

      • Geoffro

        Saw Razor sitting in the coaches box with Robbie Deans in the Japan/XV game.Man,those players pulled off some amazing stuff in the first 30 mins for a hastily assembled team.Got bogged down with a bit of fatigue and some rain later on but the Cherries played some nice rugby too-Jamie Joseph has done well.Seemed like excellent coaching all round.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’d love for us to swoop in and grab Razor.

  • Geoffro

    Feeling the same sympathy now for Pocock as used to for Sergio Parisse.Nice cameo from Kerevi

  • Hoss

    I come away not feeling too despondent and hopeful of a northern clean sweep. Observations of a nobody

    – we can get through them, we don’t have to go wide all the time
    – Kerevi must start next game at 13
    – Dempsey must start next
    – our D was good. Take out three opportunistic tries and we were ok.
    – speaking of tries, one off a dropped kick-ok, one of a bad line out from our penalty and one from an intercept are the killers
    – I don’t get what the world sees in Sauce – I reckon he is shite
    – Dusty – your not Catholic, hang onto the pill when you hit the deck
    – Latu absolutely deserved the yellow – he punched Taylor first as the scrum came up and then a second time that he got nailed for.
    – Poite is a bigger French joke than their surrender during WW2
    – are there 2 bigger Karmichael Hunts (K.Hunt) than A Smith and Reiki Ioane in rugby – I haven’t seen them
    – Gilbert is a bench player at best on current form.
    – Be interested to see who gets added to tour – Pateia, Valentini, Scott-young ?

    It was an improvement and about a 5.5 from 10 – better than I realistically expected.

    • Greg

      not withstanding wc performances… what wa sit form Mr Smith and Mr Ioane that raised your ire?

      • Hoss

        Ioane it’s always the shit after he scores – watch any game and it’s the pointing and shoving and BS in him. Smith is a cheat, pure and simple, a cheat. Think back to the ‘obstruction’ Mrs Ritchie Mcaw (Owens) gave against Speight (I think) in NZ and compare that to what DTF did in Gilbert in this game, FFS – but DTF doesn’t get pinged so why would he change from being a cheat.

        • Human

          I am with you on both counts. The one thing that gives me hope of beating the AB’s is the fact that they keep ASmith…that tells me that their apparent ‘no-dickhead’ policy is not cast in stone…so they will eventually end up with enough dickheads in the team that they might falter.

        • Brumby Runner

          Hoss, take a look at the try Ioane scored. Placed the ball under tackle pressure from Foley. After the try awarded, Foley wants to keep going with shit, using arms and legs. Ioane simply told him to cool it (as it looked to me). He certainly didn’t keep going with any shit, while Foley certainly did.

        • Who?

          I’m a little bit both ways on that one. Foley kept going, but Reiko, I wasn’t sure he didn’t ground the ball on his arm? No slow motion replays, but I wasn’t 100% certain, so in that context… A bit each way.

        • Geoffro

          Tevita Li turning to the Japanese crowd and giving one of those little clasped hand bow thingies in the game on Friday when he scored.Didn’t know what to make of that but fell off my chair laughing anyway.Agree on Smith but thats standard halfback behaviour.Ioane ? well he deserves to celebrate because he is amazing but yeah,could tone it down a bit.

      • Geoffro

        Prob Ioane’s excellence,pissed me off too.

    • Keith Butler

      Latu is turning out to be a bit of a liabilty operates on a very short fuse. Two cards in two games both deserved. Thought the last AB try was a bit dodgy, bit of interference by Aaron Smith.

      • Hoss

        Evening KB – yep. See my answer to Greg below Re Smith.

      • Beer Gut

        A. Smith is allowed to run whatever line he chooses in support. Beale wouldn’t have caught B. Smith anyway so it’s kind of a pointless argument…

        • Archie

          Agree. Nothing wrong with it. He was completely entitled to support in that way

        • Mica

          What did you think of the DHP one from a couple of years ago? In your view should the try have stood?

      • laurence king

        You get away with what you can get away with lol.

        • Hoss

          Mr King – now for something totally different. My little guy was 5 today and received a Dinosaur game, with lovely illustration by some company on ‘behalf of Laurence King’. Do your talents spread to educational games as well as your beautiful works ?

      • Geoffro

        Taylor knew exactly what he was doing I reckon and Latu fell for it hook line and sinker.

        • black adder

          You obviously missed the latu hit to Taylors head before Tayor retaliated ( as did I untill someone posted the clip). So it is now clear is wasn’t a pre planned baiting of Latu as some media have claimed lol _

        • Geoffro

          And what led up to the first hit ? Since we don’t have eyes and ears in the middle of the scrum prob never know.

        • black adder

          I totally agree with you and one can only imagine the foul shit that gets said to each other in the deep dark scrums however media articles should reflect the evidence that’s before them and not portray something unfounded or without a little bit of self scrutiny. Kearns to be fair. probably never saw the Latu strike to Taylor before he made his boof head comment about on it lol

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate nothing unlawful in Smith’s run as he didn’t change his line.
      To me the issue is the poor basics. Passes behind players or over their heads. Looking at the opposition before you’ve got the ball in your hand. Missed tackles that should be made ( although both sides were guilty of that) poor body position in contact. I just can’t understand why players at this level get that so consistently wrong

      • Hoss

        There is when your in front of the pill like an NFL blocker

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate I wouldn’t penalise that in any of my games

        • Human

          No, but more benign jostling has cost the Wobs a try or two, on review, over this series…it’s the inconsistency that irks me…that and some sour grapes.
          BB try was an absolute classic.
          Agree with Hoss on Sauce…is that 2 or 3 tests in succession that he has pushed the pass and cost us points and gifted points to the opposition?

        • Huw Tindall

          DHP has come off the boil after being consistently good for a couple if years. Maybe he doesn’t like 15 anymore!!

        • Adrian

          Huw, I think he’s a pretty good, if pretty slow footballer who is pretty good under the high ball.

          I think when the play goes his way and he doesn’t have to do things outside of his strengths, he looks good. If not, he looks not so good.

          I see him on the bench eventually covering a few spots including 5/8, where I think he’d go ok in an emergency, even though he’s never played there. He might find himself in competition with Hodge for that role when everyone is fit

        • Mica

          A kiwi who refs not penalising the ABs. Who would have thunk it.

      • Mica

        Right. Both eyes KRL. He starts next to B Smith, looks up, sees the cover coming changes his line from supporting off the shoulder to running straight across to the winger to impede their chase. It was pretty obvious. Compare that to the DHP one from a couple of years back. One’s called back and no try, the other is nothing doing play on. Who would’ve thought consistency would be so hard. Also, Latu is a bit of a tosser the way he reacts, but from the ref called when reviewing with the video ref, no way that’s a yellow. It’s a retaliatory push to the chin. Reverse penalty fair enough (for being dumb). Yellow, no way. If that’s the standard I shall expect to see yellows for all future open handed shoves above the neck. Please!!!!!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No disagree. Smith started a line and didn’t change it DHP started a line and changed it. That to me is the difference

    • Archie

      Hi Hoss. Commiserations and best of luck for the end of year tour. From a NZ perspective I’m stoked we stood up for the ‘dead rubber’ rather than taking our foot off the gas.

      Love the ‘K.Hunt’ reference. I’ll raise you… Michael Cheika (For taking whining and tantrums to a jaw dropping new level)… and Nick Phibbs (so what sort of self respecting player throws another player’s boots away? Really?!)

      Also ‘four more years’ Gregan was a bit ‘K.Hunty’ at times (… like the time he broke our hearts by saying ‘four more years’)

      Ahhh the Anzac spirit. I still hope u guys smash everyone you play in the North by 200-0. Good luck mate

      • Hoss

        All fair points mate – I am the first to admit its always hard to be objective about subjective matter. Look – the Nearlies are on a different plain, I get that. The greatness is ingrained in them and it’s something to behold.

        I didn’t mind the performance from the Gold. There were improvements across the field. I can cop Steven Segalls passion, just not his selections. It’s easy for Shag to be monagimous after a game with a 99.99% win ratio, anything from Cheik or us gold fans is fodder for ‘sour grapes’ – fair enough.

        There was enough to suggest we could go 3-0 up north. Least give us some hope to cling too going into the Kill Bill year in 19.

        • Archie

          How sweet would a win for you blokes be at Twickenham!! I wouldn’t rule it out… I’ll be up to watch that.

        • Custard Taht

          You are believing in a false dawn. Calling it right now, losses to England and Wales and win against Italy.

          The Wallabies team song should be “I’ve done all the dumb things”.

          Until they learn to stop doing dumb shit and turning the ball over, they are going to be also rans.

        • Geoffro

          England are ripe for the taking at the moment with their injury woes but Twickers is tough.Wales I think will be a tight one again I reckon either way.Didn’t the Boks go down to Italy on an eoyt a couple years ago ? I honestly can’t call it because I saw some flashes of decent rugby last night that said we can beat all three but I also saw flashes that said the opposite.

        • Bakkies

          England had injury woes last year and gave the Wallabies a record flogging.

        • Custard Taht

          England might be ripe for the taking, but we won’t capitalise, we aren’t good enough. Wales will be sensing we are ripe for the taking and probably are good enough.

      • Mica

        4 more years is just a bit of a shit stir. Hardly in the league of some of the cheap, niggly off the ball crap that goes on is it?

    • Brumby Runner

      Hoss, good observations, but I’d most certainly want Kerevi in there at 12. Am I being too hopeful that TK will be fit for the EOYT? If not fit, then get Petaia in at 13 quick smart. He again had a blockbusting game against the Drua today.

      I agree with you on DHP. He has been very ordinary during the RC and was so again.His defence is sub-par and his handling is bordering on atrocious.

      Poite is certainly a bad joke. Just incapable, not biased.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Kerevi at 12 and Petaia at 13 would be a good combination. Once Kerevi came on all of a sudden the attack straightened. He should have gone to 12 with Beale and Folau moving one out.

        • Mica

          Problem with this is that you rely on Foley for all of the hole passing. Unfortunately this combination will create real distribution issues and we’ll need to rely on tackle busts only. Blitz defence will cause issues for this combo, especially without big ball runners in the pack.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah but until you develop another 10 or until Cheika plays one you’re stuck with him so can’t change that

        • Mica

          Agree we’re stuck with Foley, but this means you need a second option to ball play either at 12 or 15.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I really don’t get that and what exactly is a playmaker anyway? I mean it’s not as though Beale is lighting up the world. I think Kerevi running straight and hard with the odd off load would provide a hell of a lot more opportunities than Beale has ever done at 12

        • Mica

          You need ball players putting straight runners into holes. With the lack of Aus front foot ball and slow ruck clearance it’s pretty easy to simply target Foley. Barrett is good enough to handle this extra pressure without help, but Foley isn’t. Frankly we need an option for a second player who can slot into first receiver to take some heat off Foley otherwise we’ll be just way too one dimensional. I like the second ball player. Ford and Farrell look good together (much better than the earlier options). Carter and Nonu were so much better once Nonu learnt how to distribute and kick. Also loved the combination of Carter and Mauger

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah get the 12 needs to do more than just crash the ball up but Kerevi put Folau into a gap within 20 minutes of being on the field, something Beale hasn’t done for about 5 games.

        • Mica

          Would love to see Kerevi turn into a distributor as well. He’s still pretty young and with hard work and the right coaching it may work out. Time will tell, but he needs more than just an offload in contact or the ability to throw a short ball.

    • Adrian

      Thanks Hoss

      Agree generally, though not necessarily about Latu or Gilbert (he’s Beale isn’t he?)

      Overall we showed more substance today than for a while.

      I think the new guys coming back give us that depth which is great…. unless we get some more injuries.

      I did like having two fast and strong wingers + Izzy

      I did like Kerevi when he came on.

      I think Beale keeps the defence guessing every time he handles and finds us 0.5 of a second.

    • RedAnt

      Tend to agree with all of that Hoss.

      I know it’s a well-worn theme, but I can’t not say how crap Foley was. Terrible passing, especially a couple of his attempted cut-outs to the wingers which looped and floated like a deflating balloon. Terrible kicks for Folau that were just never on. Ran into his own players a few times. Very average (as usual) kicks for touch. No game management. Flimsy defence (although to be fair he did pull off a couple of good covering tackles). Just as well he kicked his goals.

      Also thought Folau was poor. His pass for the intercept try was just mind boggling. He was staring straight at Smith and still threw it to him. We were still in with a chance up until then.

      Beale’s time at No. 10 seems to have totally screwed him. Hmm, funny, I’m sure the same thing happened when Dingo tried him there.

      The backs lost us the match. The forwards weren’t brilliant by any means but mostly held their own and delivered a bit of front foot ball. Even Simmons had a good match.

      • Who?

        Beale was already out of form before he was slipped into 10. He was dropping passes he never drops, he just didn’t seem himself. But I agree that moving to 10 didn’t help..
        Also agree that the backs lost the match. We wasted a lot of opportunities, and generally the defensive errors that allowed tries (and most of the tries were pretty soft – especially in comparison to some of the work we did in our own end throughout the match) were in the backs, too. If an Aussie team in almost any pre-Cheika era had that much pill and territory, they wouldn’t have allowed a 17 point margin.

      • Mica

        Foley had one of his better games in many respects. His passing is a real issue though. Short passing game is serviceable, but long passing game was kaka. Cross field kicks were rubbish too. Ill directed, too high and slow through the air.

    • Mica

      DHP has made a couple of mistakes, but if you watch any replays, look at how many times he beats at least the first tackler. He’s started a fair bit of front foot ball over the series and has been pretty good at full back. Also he has a good clearing kick; much better than the other options and not too far off Hodge.

    • idiot savant

      You and Steven are seeing improvement! Does he have you in one of his Akido headlocks?

      Was it one step forward and one step back? Simmons went forward. Go figure?
      Thor went back. The All Blacks now have 2 fearsome front rows who have become the best scrummagers in the world.

      Yeah Sauce had one to forget. Looks tired. In fact they all look tired. Which doesn’t augur well.

      • Hoss

        I may have been in oxygen drought when I write that Mr Savant.

        Let’s remove the Nearlies from the equation for a moment and the win / loss.

        It was another episode of death by a thousand cuts, none major, but enough little ones that the patient again bled to death.

        I will actually go against the grain a little here and side with Mr Segall. The tactics looked sound, the execution, well…..

        Some examples –

        -Dusty holds the ball in two hands a moment longer, commits a defender and Sauce scores – pure and simple. Gold in front after 3 minutes
        – Gilbert misses a basic 1-1 tackle – some Nearly with a mullet scores
        – Latu throws crooked line out off our own penalty Nearlies score
        – dusty throws Hail Mary after getting in behind them we know the rest. KRL reckons Smith cures lepracy, solves middle eastern disputes and negotiates peace treaty with Rocket Man all whilst innocently holding his running line
        – we are deep on attack and Rodda spills the pill 7m out on about phase 3
        -Sour Mash gets well behind gain line and makes more metres on run1 than Alyson did all game. Simmons and Rodda miss the clean out – penalty Nearlies.

        None of this detracts from how good the Nearlies are, only to serve how infuriatingly dumb we are (refer Nutta’s piece here). The sheep lovers are more than capable of beating us without a leg-up, but to CONTINUALLY hand them advantage, fuck me, that’s what the refs are for…….

        Cheik should ask for a receipt after that game – donating to a charity is tax deductible !!

        I am going to post a piece tomorrow about the obsession and current price we seem happy to pay in search of World Cup success – drill a bit further down on our current lament and essentially ask – is it worth being pure shit for 3 years in the chase of one trophy…..stay tuned, consulting Mr Daniels now for inspiration.

        • Who?

          - some Nearly with a mullet scores.
          Honestly, Squires’ mullet should be a dropping offence…
          Completely agree about our failings. We turn those around, and suddenly it’s a lot closer. Do we win? Who knows? But we’re certainly in a much better position. We shouldn’t be giving away points (as we do so often), we shouldn’t be making stupid mistakes that render all that ridiculously hard work done in defence absolutely irrelevant. Especially when, on so many occasions, the issues are on attack. Your list is almost completely things we did or failed to do well on attack. And that’s without things like Genia and Foley being unable to connect on a pass on a fast breakout opportunity, which turned around into points (or at least I thought it did)…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Looking forward to that mate

        • idiot savant

          I look forward to your prognostications Rugby Laureate.

          I do seem to recall when I played (no higher than reserve grade), there were a dozen ‘if onlys’ every game. And thats the nature of the game. You are always having to make good decisions and execute under pressure. Christ if only Buzzard had passed to me I would have scored!

          The moments you mention will occur every game. But, when there not much between the sides if you can apply more pressure for longer in most games at whatever level you will have to find a way to lose. Is it all the players fault that we cant apply enough pressure to beat the AB?

          I do wonder if there is a fundamental immaturity in the core leadership of this group that cant take control in the big moments against the better sides. But then you get what you pay for. If your coach wants yes men who are too shit scared to stand up to him, how can you expect them to stand up to the opposition.

          I look forward to your ideas on the RWC.

  • Greg

    Very competitive for much of the game and some good individual performances.

    We still made basic errors – bad passes, dropped balls and knock ons – and New Zealand will always make you pay. Too many missed tackles but, I thought, overall good defense.

    It doesn’t need much for us to be a lot better…. but it has been that way for a while.

    Thanks for the nice quick write up to start the conversation.

    • Geoffro

      Foley had some nice touches and was probably best of the backs (apart from Kerevi who is a beast) in his designated role.Gotta give credit where it’s due.

  • Dangerous Dave

    Barrett stretching on the ball twice before a kick, is this ball tampering?
    I know the ball gets all kinds of forces on it but why does he use the ball?

    • Geoffro

      More black magic.They’re a crafty lot aye

    • Hoss

      I thought I saw sandpaper……

  • Beer Gut

    Wallabies just too rusty and unpolished. They had so many chances to score tries but stuffed up most of them, then the AB’s in typical fashion just made them pay. There are many positive signs for the Aussies for their future games on their northern tour though. When they actually held onto the ball they looked dangerous.

    Feel very sorry for Sekope Kepu reaching his 100th test milestone (a huge achievement!) playing off the bench. What a slap in the face. I also hope the All Blacks players pay their respects to him as the Wallabies did for two All Blacks earlier in the year.

    Also G&G, Tolu Latu was the one who started the shoving as the true aggressor, as he slapped Codie Taylor in the face straight after the scrum first. It’s just bad sportsmanship. https://twitter.com/TheShadow549/status/1056088894813298688

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Thanks I didn’t see that. Still a penalty only though for me

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        He does stupid things like that far too often.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that’s true and it’s just dumb stuff

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Nothing wrong with playing your 100th off the bench. He’s been a top player for a really long time, but he’s gotten older. The other Polynesians all call him ‘uncle’. Rather like Mealamu in the last few years, I would imagine he’d be proud of his leadership position with the younger guys.

      Great player, Sekope. Huge congrats to him.

      • Beer Gut

        I do think it was wrong. There’s not much that separates Allan Alaalatoa from Kepu, maybe other than age, so just give the man a start for his 100th and do the right thing.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Kepu is playing LHP now, and he’s significantly behind Sio there.

          He didn’t play so well at all at THP this year.

      • Geoffro

        Great stuff from Sekope.watched Wyatt Crockett come off the bench for Deans world xv earlier today and he just bossed it also.

    • Mica

      Yep, ironically this was missed by the officials and didn’t come into consideration for the yellow.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Sully, pretty weak yellow actually. My mate asked me what I would have done and I said penalty stands, both get told off for being cocks and captains warned that next push would be yellow.
    I’m not sure it made a significant impact although it may have reduced the final difference.

    TBH I thought the AB midfield was pretty average. I think SBW is still well underdone and this is more about getting him into the groove for next year.

    I got nothing for you on the Wallabies mate. I don’t see anything until the coaching team changes and I don’t see that until after the RWC next year. Pretty sad actually

    • Adrian

      Agree KRL. Very weak yellow. Should have been none or both, but probably none

      • Geoffro

        Love Poite,”i jest reveerse zee penelty,yellew curd” I also say NON! it was just the old handbags at ten paces.

        • Archie

          This is the same ref that said ‘we have a deal’ to Reid before he cheated the ABs out of a Lions series victory

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Really? I feel the All Blacks were lucky not to have a penalty against them for Read playing Williams in the air.

      • It’s never going to be both yellow, pushing around like that is possibly ignore both, maybe penalties to one then reversing it for playing after the whistle.

        I’d be inclined not to have given the yellow card but with all the fuss about blows to the head I guess I can understand why it was given. As soon as it’s a blow to the head/face area you’re running that risk, even when there’s not much force involved and no fist formed under the current interpretations.

        • Huw Tindall

          D Mac’s shoulder went straight into Simmons’s head in his held up over the line play. One of those non malicious accident ones but we’ve seen that penalised all year. Tolu’s love tap, whilst fucking stupid, wouldn’t have hurt a fly.

        • Who?

          Except for when guys in black jerseys do it. That French winger’s still stuck in NZ, isn’t he..?

        • I can’t replay the held up to check so I’m not going to discuss that.

          I completely agree Tolu’s tap wouldn’t hurt anyone. But contact to the head and face always draws the attention and the risk of a higher penalty than otherwise. I still wouldn’t have given it, as I said. But you realistically start at somewhere near a penalty for pushing and shoving after the whistle has gone (you can ignore it but you can blow, depends on how serious you feel it it is). Once there’s contact with the head and face, a yellow is always going to be in consideration for the referee in this day and age. I can understand the process that gets a referee there, even if I can understand a different process gets to a different outcome.

        • Geoffro

          I think it was more Simmons head attacked Dmacs shoulder-completely non malicious as you say.Tolu-yes very fucking stupid , if he’d stayed away from Taylor’s face and just a chest shove we would have most likely had the penalty.(according to Poite)

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Doesn’t matter. …. .you have a duty to protect the tackled player.. ….not hit his head. Heard this alllll year

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Pretty stupid how every man and his dog fends violently too the face of tacklers tho and never gets mentioned.

        • Fending off is one of those things that continues to amaze me. It’s meant to be a straight arm (so you don’t strike with force) but you’re allowed to strike to the head, the face, the eyes, the throat, you name it. You’re allowed to swerve so you run into them as they run into you. This is all perfectly acceptable (to me and to everyone else) while, within the letter of the law, the strike to Taylor’s face yesterday which was certainly not going to hurt him, was certainly in YC territory.

          If you think of two really big wingers, there are many of them at test level these days, running at full speed, and one fends the other off into the throat, that could potentially severely hurt someone, kill them if you hit just wrong, but it’s not even a penalty. Under the banner of player welfare it seems odd.

          Now, I’m not aware of any stats of serious injury from fending off, but concussions from head-high hits certainly were a problem. I think the sport’s administration needs to legislate to protect the players – you can’t allow things that are going to cripple your stars, nor cripple the schoolboys and girls that play the sport but I do think that line has erred a little too far on the side of cotton wool.

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    Can anyone enlighten me as to why we persist in selecting Latu?

    A liability at the lineouts, a penalty-magnet at the breakdown, a dumb, short fuse, an apparent inability to learn, a journeyman at the scrum, and a possessor of a full can of red mist.

    And then when he came back on from the bin, he had the gall to start mouthing off at the ref again.

    It’s not as if we don’t have any decent 2s around the place. The starting hooker today was streets ahead of Latu.

    I’ve added him to my selection blacklist, along with Hanigan and Phipps.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      When he plays well he’s often best on park.

      Unfortunately, he’s worst on park just as often.

      • Huw Tindall

        Yeah when he got sent back to NRC for a game he was outstanding. Played like Malcolm Marx. Brain farts and inconsistency is a killed and I don’t think you can carry that at Test level.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yep – better the consistency of a BPA.

  • Adrian

    Could be worse.

    I think mostly good, especially more direct attack. Defence mostly better.

    NZ try off scrum was them out thinking us.

    To me, Folau was on the wing, and Korebette and Naivalu are sharing #13 role. Everyone else mostly in position in defence.

    Our worst aspect is pushed pases leading to dropped ball (and NZ tries) I think, but there were some good passes.

    I liked the work of both wingers, Folau running and Beale causing hesitancy in NZ defence.

    Forwards ok, good to see Dempsey.

    NZ just too good

    • Huw Tindall

      Yeah I reckon Wallabies would have beaten most other teams today. Some good things for sure.

      Liked two legitimate wingers. I’d be considering benching DHP and keeping the 2 wingers with Kerevi and Folau. Loved Kerevi’s cameo. Busted tackles and setup Izzy.

      I’m going to say it – Simmons had a legitimate good game. I’d have beached Rodda. Simmons and Coleman to start against Wales.

      • Adrian

        Agree 100% Huw with all of that

    • Brumby Runner

      The best proponent of the off load (until Kerevi came off the bench) today was Scott Sio. Sio was imo the best of all the props on view today.

      • Geoffro

        That must be why Cheika hooked him.(sarcasm on full burn this morning)

        • Brumby Runner

          Yeah, but sarcasm aside, it was an obvious tactic to change the front row as a complete unit. Unfortunately, Latu proved not to be the complete unit people thought he was.

        • Geoffro

          Latu is a complete sucker.Glad Sekope notched up his 100th.Now he needs to give Tolu a clip about the ears and tell him not to be such a dickhead.

        • Brumby Runner

          Kepu looked to do just that at the scrum after Latu came back on from his YC. Had a stern word in his ear and smacked his arm down when Latu was remonstrating with the Ref.

        • Adrian

          I think he did if you read Foxtel

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Adrian, definitely some good points but some pretty average individual play at times. I’m not sure the tactics of wingers running from side to side to fit into a defence is worth the effort it takes. I also didn’t think the Folau at 13 experiment worked at all well.

      • Adrian

        I think Izzy wasn’t there much. More on the wing in defence, and sometimes in defence

        • Brumby Runner

          You’re right, Folau did defend on the wing. That is precisely why the two wingers had to fill in at 13 and both often finished on the same side of the ground.

          If anyone, including Folau, can’t defend at 13, and Folau apparently can’t, then they should not be picked in that spot. It has too much unsettling effect on the rest of the defensive line.

    • idiot savant

      ‘Could be worse’.

      I like it Adrain. Sums up where we are right now….

  • Brumby Runner

    Barrett’s try was entirely the result of a very poor substitution by Cheika. Naivalu was taken off and replaced by Kerevi in the break leading up to that scrum that led to Barrett’s try. Naivalu had been playing ok and certainly shouldn’t have been substituted before Beale who was the defensive weak link as well as was hobbling around just moments beforehand.

    The try eventuated on first phase from that scrum, with the ball at first being sent to the open side where Barrett immediately returned to the blind side and put Iaone on a bit of a run down the sideline where Naivalu would otherwise have been defending. When confronted by the last line of defence, Iaone passed to Barrett who was backing up outside and had a free run to the line.

    Moral, if you want to replace a winger then do it with a winger, not a No 12. The ABs read it like an open book.

    • Who?

      Completely, completely, completely agree. Whitelock (I think) had just cleaned out Beale behind a breakdown not 20 seconds before the substitution, and Beale stayed down, having had a good 2 minutes down the other end of the field earlier. Naivalu played really, really well, and I’d even go so far as to say he helped Koroibete (they weren’t our defensive issues). Naivalu leaves, and suddenly there’s a try through Folau down his wing.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Cheika is obsessed with playing Kerevi on the wing. Even when he plays at 13 he often attacks on the wing.

        Cheika has no idea about backline attacking and absolutely no idea how to use wingers or Kerevi.

        It is a testament to Kerevi’s freakish abilities that he did so much damage on the wing despite coming back from injury in an alien position to him.

    • Human

      I agree with you that Naivalu should not have come off, but thought they were short a man….still should not leave one man to cover that much space on the blind.

      • Geoffro

        AB’s read it like a book,was a really soft try.

    • Huw Tindall

      It was a well executed play and Genia didnt nail his 1:1 tackle which allowed the offload and the rest is history. Sefa would have been openside then anyway as that’s the setup.

      In saying that I agree i’d have benched Beale. Was struggling with injury and Sefa was doing well in the musical chairs defense. I’d like to keep them with Kerevi and Izzy. DHP cut.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Problem is how can Cheika bench Beale when Foley sucks so much as usual. Someone has to create run and organize the back line. But yes, Sefa was having a good game…..

  • Who?

    Some very good signs there, but nothing to show that anything will change. Because it’s the same old issues.
    Thought Naivalu played really well, and he actually helped Koroibete in defence. They played well together. And our pack played really well – the starting front row were very strong, deserve a lot of credit. Folau Fainga’a had his best game in gold. But the tries we gave away were once again quite soft, and our attack was ludicrously wasteful. I’ve seen compliments below for our attack, but, for me, our 9/10/12 played well below par. If we’d not thrown so many poor passes (I mean, Foley threw a bullet into Naivalu from less than a metre away – where’s the intelligence in that? And his distribution was telegraphed and slow – he wasn’t holding the defenders, he was just giving the outside rush more time to get into his receivers’ faces), we’d have been significantly stronger.
    Banks was good when he came on, it should’ve been Kerevi for Beale and Banks for DHP.
    Interesting to see Koroibete come off to allow Fainga’a back on to have an 8 man scrum during the YC period – unusual call.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      If TK is injured and Quade isn’t in the equation then I hope we see this:

      1. Sio, 2. Fainga’a, 3. Ala’alatoa, 4. Simmons, 5. Arnold, 6. Dempsey, 7. Pocock, 8. Holloway

      9. Genia, 10. Foley, 11. Naivalu, 12. Toomua, 13. Kerevi, 14. Folau, 15. Banks

      • Who?

        I’d rather, in the backs, see:
        9. Genia, 10. Toomua, 11. Naivalu, 12. Kerevi, 13. TK (he’s back playing, isn’t he? Thought he was due for the Vikings in the Semi or Final?), 14. Folau, 15. Banks.
        If TK’s not back, then I’d consider Petaia/Hodge at 13. I don’t want Kerevi at 13.

        • Hoss

          Petaia has to be in the starting team soon. Watched him against the Drua and he IS something special.

        • Who?

          It’s then just a matter of who else is there. If TK’s back, I don’t know how anyone can go past him, because he’s such a crucial player, especially in defence. But I’d have no argument playing him (with TK not fit and healthy) next game.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Who do we have first on tour?

        • Who?

          Think Bray said Wales.

        • Hoss

          Northern Kiwis, Pasta Lovers and the Soap Dodgers last (good last up to keep motivations high)

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’d be exited to see Petaia start at 13 against Wales.

        • Tim

          Yep, Wales on 10/11

        • Geoffro

          Didn’t see the match but heard he did very well.Screaming out for a good 13 and the fact he’s familiar playing with Kerevi would help ease him in.Sounds too simple eh,,another reason for our favorite coach not to pull the pin.

        • Glen Be

          I think it is best for these upcoming players to not be in the team, until a new coaching regime comes in. I feel it is better to wait a year, for Cheika and his team to move on, then introduce new player blood. Less chance of them picking up some bad habits, less chance of them folding under the weight of world cup expectations..

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree mate he seems to have it all. I like that he seems to pick well the times to pass and the times to have a go

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          As I heard it recently TK won’t be back this year mate.

          If he was then I agree 10. Toomua, 12. Kerevi, 13. TK.

          Hodge is out for the season too as I understand.

        • Who?

          I saw I’d written Hodge – meant English.
          Sad to hear TK’s definitely gone for the season. Hopefully he can get fully right for next year.

        • Tim

          No way is Chieka going to put Toomua at 10. Regardless of whether he should. Think we’re stuck with Foley.

      • Geoffro

        Honestly think Naivalu could fill the 13 spot with Kerevi at 12.Hoops will be there and cheika don’t like banks otherwise the rest may happen at some point.

        • Huw Tindall

          Think we need to get off the Chek doesn’t like Banks thing. Zero evidence and the kid had half a good super season (was rubbish in the first half) and a great match in the trial v the Wallabies. That’s it really. Potential by the bag full but needs more proving to be a walk up starter.

        • Bobas

          Half a good season? I’d take that over any other wallaby elligible player this season

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          How can you prove more than being Australia best attacking back in the second half of the sr season and best in the trial?

          It’s literally impossible for him to prove more until he’s given the opportunity at the international level, which Cheik is denying him while playing Koroibete and DHP.

        • Geoffro

          I’m not saying it’s personal on Cheiks part Huw.He has improved exponentially and having a great match in a trial should count for a bit , thats what they’re for isn’t it.It’s hard to fathom why he only got 9 mins when the game was lost well before that and DHP was a bit out of sorts unless Cheika doesn’t really see much in him.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m premising this team on a competent selector.

      • Huw Tindall

        Really like the team a lot. just put Hooper run on as he 99% will be and you’ve got a very possible team.

      • Parker

        You forgot to drop Foley and slot Toomua in at 10.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I’m talking about teams that Cheika has a realistic chance of selecting :P – assuming Link is in charge I’d like to see

          9. Genia
          10. Quade
          11. Petaia
          12. Toomua
          13. Kerevi
          14. Folau
          15. Banks

          21. White
          22. English
          23. Naivalu or Naivalu

    • idiot savant

      Yes the backs struggled in the midfield with the rush defence. The second man plays are getting stuck behind the gain line with poor timing and poor passing and a general lack of confidence and certainty. We seem to play very wide and dont get the ball there fast enough for that strategy to provide any penetration. Seems odd because it just increases the loose forwards workload and with our crazy defensive system we are gassing ourselves around the 50 minute mark.

      • Adrian

        Actually idiot, I thought the defensive system was modified a bit in this game, and could be in the future.

        It seemed to me that everyone stayed in their spot in defence except that Folau dropped back to a wing, and a winger came up into the line.

        In attack we didn’t go wide as much or as often.

        I see this as Cheika taking some responsibility for defence and attack whilst still publicly supporting his assistants

  • Greg

    Anyone watching the Invictus games closing ceremony. Very impressive effort from a lot of brave people.

    Prince Harry has created a wonderful event that gives so much to so many people.

    • Bernie Chan

      Off topic somewhat, but watched in Asia and it was amazing. If that ranga Duke does nothing else, the Invictus Games is a fine legacy.

  • The details are hazy but I remember a football team here in the UK that bought in to this philosophy of three-touch football. There was this bit of analysis that said 80% of goals are scored after you’ve touched the ball three times or fewer, so the conclusion is (falsely) you must try to touch it twice or fewer then shoot on the third touch. I’m not a football fan, I think it might have been the 80’s and I can’t remember the team or how successful they were.

    The reason I raise this? Watching most of this match made me think the Wobs should attempt this strategy. Just how many good attacking moves were cancelled out by bad passes, dropped passes or knocking the ball on in contact? Sometimes those knock ons aren’t really the fault of the ball carrier, although they’re always regarded that way, but big tackles that aim for the ball make a difference too.

    There were flashes when the Wobs played well, both sides of the ball, but far too many when their basic skills let them down. Not every team in the world will punish them as thoroughly as the ABs can – but with SBW at 12, they weren’t at their best either. He had a decent game but he’s coming back into form rather than playing well yet and I’m still not sure that BB, Crotty, Goodhue isn’t a better combination for the ABs than SBW in form.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Hey Eloise, not sure if that would work but the Wallabies need to do something to improve their skills. Far too many basic mistakes across the board.

      I think Goodhue is the better 13 definitely. I’m not too concerned who plays 12 although I think SBW needs more game time as he does appear a lot under done, not surprising with the lack of rugby this year and maybe Crotty is a better bet for now. I’d actually like to see more of Luamape but he seems to have fallen off the radar a bit

      • I’m sure it’s not a viable actual strategy, it’s just how I feel you offset the poor basic skills. Players at this level, you can understand the occasional mishap, but that number of them, and that number of them in critical positions was really poor. You shouldn’t have mitigate for the players’ poor skills nor train them in how to pass, catch and hold the ball at this level – but it looks like the Wobs do, or they need to develop a strategy where something else is working better because they just dropped way too much ball.

        I agree that they’re probably trying to get SBW match fit and I don’t overall object to that. I thought Laumape was injured? I’d like to see more of him too.

        • Who?

          According to Channel 10, they didn’t drop a single pass in the warm up. :-

        • That may be true… but I honestly don’t care if they drop or catch every ball in warmup, it’s the match when it counts. “We trained really well” is an excuse I seem to have heard far too often recently.

        • Who?

          I know, that was my point. :-)

        • Geoffro

          According to Gordo both Alaalatoa’s twin sisters play for Waratah’s ,maybe we could draft them into the side :)

  • Greg

    Just watched a replay of the yellow.

    We should cal it now and just send off all the forwards at the beginning of the game.

    • Huw Tindall

      It was truly pathetic and fans of both sides agreed. Hand bags at 10 paces. Sure they shouldn’t have been shoving but if his hand hasnt slipped up to his face and rather slapped the chest there would have been nothing. Wallabies 99% would still have lost but maybe by only 7.

      • Brumby Runner

        Slipped up Huw. Looked damned deliberate to me.

        • Geoffro

          Taylor’s baiting was pretty deliberate too.,but it worked

        • joy

          Watch it again. Latu shoves first, then Taylor, then Latu again.

        • Geoffro

          And probably before Latu’s first shove a bit of niggle perhaps from Taylor.Codey looked pretty pleased with himself makes me think his plan had come to fruition.

        • Greg

          sure – but a yellow? really? they were both being dicks but there was nothing in it. none or both.

  • Hoss
    • Hoss

      Illegal….

      Ihttps://youtu.be/pK3MEJPvgz4

      • Huw Tindall

        Difference is the jersey colour…

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate the link isn’t working. I think you need to move the l before the h

        • Timbo

          A Smith can’t have been running a support line as he was in an offside position until he bumped into Beale. It’s cynical and classic A Smith play. If thats how you want the kids to play rugby, that’s a sad indictment on our game. Play fair or f%&k off.

        • Hoss

          Cheers mate – fixed now. Also attached another link for you – forgetting you are actually a ref and a Nearlies fan

          http://www.opsm.com.au

        • Custard Taht

          This needs to be am opsm ad, or at least a YouTube piss take

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold mate

        • Greg

          Calling BS on this one @KRL

          21 is in front of the ball carrier. he looks to his left to identify the gold players. He then shoulders Beale. This is illegal unless in a contest for the ball.

          He then raises his arm in triumph. He doesn’t even pretend it was accidental.

          Cynical. Illegal. Unnecessary. Coached?

          Would Beale have caught the ball carrier… who knows.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          We’ll have to disagree then. The way I see it he sees that Smith has a clear line and that if he runs his line and doesn’t change it then the Gold players have to run around him. I see it that Beale and him ran shoulder to shoulder so nothing unlawful there for me. Accept I may be biased but still the way I see it

        • Greg

          ReallY? watch his head. watch how the gap opens to the ball carrier before the carrier changes line for the corner.

          Is 21 running in support of 22 or leaning into shoulder gold below?

          https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a7d0f8a8d4f7902ab7f22f4f0f939da4930d3db0cf94094effbcf3915ef4be6e.jpg

          Also true that 15 is out of position….. and that after stepping his man Folau made a dumb dumb pass.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Sorry 1 picture of a moment in time isn’t evidence of anything. Look absolutely A Smith saw that the defence was coming across and so ran a line to hold them off but he did that before any contact was made and before they had their line sorted. Nothing unlawful there

        • Greg

          but I think you see the image! :-)

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL, I usually accept your version of contentious events because you are invariably impartial in your comments, and for that reason I hadn’t bothered to open Hoss’s links of the present and past incidents. But just looking at the above photo, I have to say that in relation to the direction of the line on the ground it is most likely that A Smith is in front of B Smith and unarguably one of Aaron’s feet is definitely in from of Ben. That would constitute obstruction in my book.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I guess I’ll just have to disagree with so many people. There is nothing unlawful about running a line that stops someone getting at a team mate. I5 happens a lot where a player slows down so a defender has to try and go around them. As long as you hold your line and don’t move into obstruct an oppositi9n player there is nothing wrong. DHP was penalised because he changed his line and ran into Savea, Smith didn’t do that.

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL I agree with what you say, but you have missed my point altogether.

          Aaron Smith was in front of Ben Smith at the time of the incident. I don’t dispute that he was running a straight line, although I haven’t looked to verify that, but the fact that he is in front of the ball runner makes it obstruction regardless of him running a straight line.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No it doesn’t mate, not under the laws of the game.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate the idea that being in front makes him offside is just showing a lack of knowledge of the rules. There actually isn’t any offside in general play. Off side comes in once there is contact; tackle, ruck, maul etc and at set pieces like kicks, scrums, lineouts. The only exception is if a player kicks and then there is one 10 meters in front of the receiver.

          Absolutely A Smith ran a line to ensure the defence had to go around him but that’s not unlawful. If he had run straight and then changed his line to obstruct the players it would have been different.

        • Greg

          “just showing a lack of knowledge of the rules”

          if we are digging into detail… I didn’t know that there were rules!

          :-)

        • Brumby Runner

          KRL, let’s just take this proposition to its logical conclusion.

          Genia passes to Hooper from the ruck. TT runs a straight line directly in front of Hooper forging a path through the ABs’ defensive line. No penalty because TT runs straight and doesn’t change his line.

          Just pure fantasy but not unlike the situation of A Smith running in front of B Smith.

        • Mica

          Are you really saying that DHP is a penalty and the Smith one is not? Also are you really a

        • disqus_NMX

          https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=10&language=EN

          10. Offside and onside in open play
          1. A player is offside in open play if that player is in front of a team-mate who is carrying the ball or who last played it. An offside player must not interfere with play. This includes:
          a. Playing the ball.
          b. Tackling the ball-carrier.
          c. Preventing the opposition from playing as they wish.

          https://laws.worldrugby.org/?law=9&language=EN

          9 Foul play
          A player who commits foul play must either be cautioned or temporarily suspended or sent off.
          1. When a player and an opponent are running for the ball, neither player may charge or push the other except shoulder-to-shoulder.
          2. An offside player must not intentionally obstruct an opponent or interfere with play.
          3. A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier.
          Sanction: Penalty.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v2UprYg5wMo

          Foul play occurs at 2.25

          Black player is clearly offside in open play (10.1.c.), and commits foul play (9.1, 9.2, and 9.3)

          KRL, your law of knowledge of the laws of rugby when it comes to application to the Nearlies immanently qualifies you as an international referee. I’m expecting you to get a call up any minute now.

        • joy

          Obviously coached.

        • disqus_NMX

          Most definitely coached and trained for. So much of what the Nearlies do is this sort of stuff, and they do it with precision.

      • Custard Taht

        Yep….it is as clear as day. In the Aus disallowed try, Gold support was clearly intefering with Black chaser. In the Black allowed try, Gold chaser was clearly interfering with Black support. Gold both times were lucky not to have been carded for deliberately interfering with a black player.

        Straight from the rule book:

        Law 69.69: No opposition player, whether in attack or defence, shall interfer with any All Black in an open run to the try line.

        Sanction: Penalty Kick.

        • Hoss

          Gold CT, pure unadulterated gold.

        • Custard Taht

          I genuinely can’t make out a difference. The black support clearly altered his line, maybe not as much as the gold player did, but both tries deserved the same outcome.

        • Hoss

          It didn’t affect the result granted, just sticks in your throat sideways though

        • Custard Taht

          Final score was 37-20…..those two decisions are a 14 point swing to the All Blacks. In the NFL those decisions would be called GAP’s….Game Altering Plays.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yawn! Hahaha I think it’s a rule that should be there

      • Mica

        Yep. I was too lazy to do the searching in my comment above, but this exactly what I was thinking. Spot the difference on it point by point. E.g. Line altered, interference, probable try scoring. Not much difference is there??

      • Who?

        Hoss, to be fair to KRL, you’ve got a typo in your post, so the link doesn’t work. That’ll be KRL’s first note.
        In terms of the rulings… Honestly, I don’t disagree with either of them. Not technically. I saw A. Smith yesterday. He was in front of Bender, so he’s required to slow down to get behind the ball. He’s also permitted to run whatever support line he wants, and, given he’s got Beale trying to run through him – he’s in front – he’s not taking Beale’s line. Beale’s running through Mr Dunny’s queue. Annoying, but legal.
        In terms of DHP’s penalty. Technically correct penalty. DHP clearly ran sideways and changed his line. But a pointless penalty because, as the Kiwi commentators called it, Speight was gone – Savea wasn’t going to get there. So there’s no point in penalizing an offence that has no material impact in the play. But, technically… And it’s all about how involved the TMO wants to be.

        • disqus_NMX

          KRL is completely wrong about there being no offside in open play. The laws clearly state that he is both offside, and committing obstruction. See my comment above for more detail.

        • Who?

          I agree that there is offside in general play, but I don’t believe that Smith’s actions were reasonably sanctionable. By the time he’s hip and shoulder with Beale, he’s onside. His actions are to move away from the ball carrier and slow down. What are the requirements for an offside player? Don’t interfere with the play, don’t advance, get onside. Smith slowed his pace (i.e. he was getting onside and not advancing – he was offside for maybe two steps), and he moved away from the ball. He definitely moved away from the ball to his own team’s advantage, but the key is he’s getting onside. If he stops dead (physically not possible), he still obstructs Beale).

          I remember years ago Pocock trying to tackle a Reds player who was running effectively a blocking line for I think Ioane to score in the corner. The support runner was behind Ioane, in a genuine catching position, but he wasn’t ever going to receive the ball – he was clearly a blocker. But it was fine. The player has no responsibility to disappear, only not to change their line.

          Put it this way – I think Smith’s actions were less obvious than DHP’s actions, given DHP wheeled a long way sideways and was on an arc, whereas Smith’s line once set was straight. I also think that an offside line call that close at full pace is one that we pick up on the tv, but one that’s not necessarily easy to pick up live. I’m not even sure that Smith would’ve been certain whether or not he was offside.

        • disqus_NMX

          Jeez, I think you need to watch the replay a few more times if you think he slowed down to put himself onside. He accelerated and stayed ahead of the ball carrier until he made contact with Beale. And while he was ahead of the ball carrier, yes he moved sideways away from the ball carrier (which has zero to do with the onside law btw, so I don’t know why you brought it up), but whilst looking multiple times across at Beale and obviously moving to block him.

          It never occurred to me before, are you a Kiwi Who?

        • Who?

          How dare you insinuate I’m a Kiwi!!! :-P
          Irish born, but lived here since I was 6 months old, and with an Aussie-born mother. Can’t even fake an Irish accent.
          I saw Smith’s initial reaction was to accelerate (not alone in that reaction – our guys do it too, before recognizing perhaps they should be in a better position to receive a pass. Earlier this year I saw one of our guys run 5m ahead of the ball carrier for 10m before realizing the sheer uselessness of his positioning!), but I believe that he was slowing before contacting Beale. No question, when he saw he could position himself legally to block a tackler, he did it. That’s intelligent rugby. Look at the positioning of the 6 and 7 at the end of the scrum for Barrett’s try – miles further ahead of the ball than Smith here, and arguably a greater impact. But harder to pick. Unless you’re TJ Perenara, and you’re pointing at the blockers (well, Squire) giving credit even before Beaudy even crosses the tryline…

        • disqus_NMX

          Yep, you just highlighted a whole swath of illegally offside players, none of which got pinged, but every one of which should have. No surprise most of them are wearing cloaks of invisibility.

        • Who?

          The big issue with it all is that we weren’t as intelligent. In that instance. We tried – as illustrated by Ben Smith on Rugby Pass (linked somewhere in these comments by someone else) – to exploit the same short side wing issue. But Foley telegraphed the kick and then kicked the ball out on the full. That said, if we had any intelligence, we’d have run the same sort of subtle interference there at the breakdown.
          The loose forwards in that scrum play ended up where they’re supposed to end up – the old fashioned line for the defending blindside flanker may well have had him chase the 9 around the back of the scrum, but instead our guy (Dempsey, I thought? Or was it Hanigan?) came around the back of the scrum. Hooper and Pocock ran the traditional paths. But the attacking flankers expect their ball runners to get downfield of the scrum, so they go forward. But the ball spent longer behind the scrum than you’d normally expect, so their pathway wasn’t unusual, and therefore their position behind the scrum not suspicious (if not technically legal). As in, you’d expect the breakaways to run forward, and then have to stop when the play changed direction behind them.
          I’m not saying it’s legal, but you’ve got to admire the innovation in coaching and the game awareness, which is clearly on another level to our guys.

    • Human

      Smith was offside and looking at Beale when he altered his line to bump into Beale…it was deliberate interference. However, Beale would not have caught Smith so the result was not affected and, while pissed that we had a similar try disallowed in an earlier game, am glad that the TMO did not interfere in this one…let the ref make the decision.

    • Keith Butler

      Watched this a load of times earlier but refrained from commenting. Difficult to see from the angle but I reckon if you saw the play head on Smith A who was in front of Smith B makes a slight step to the left to impede Beale. May not have prevented the score but a penalty in my book nevertheless.

      • Hoss

        Agree it has no relevance in Gilbert getting to Smith mate, no more than Sauce impeding The Bus in getting to Speight.

        My point is consistency and one rule for some and different rules for the Nearlies. I should be grateful Sauce wasn’t cited…….

  • phil peake

    The positional musical chairs in attack and defence in our backline is killing me. It’s totally unacceptable.
    This is the backline I’d like to see us move towards. I’d like them to stay in position and I’d change our defensive structure particularly in the wide channels.
    9. Jake Gordon
    10. Bernard Foley
    11. Tom Banks
    12. Matt Toomua (takes kicks for touch)
    13. Tom English
    14. Jack Maddocks
    15. Dane Haylett-Petty

    Beale, Folau, Genia all on the bench
    In the forwards 5.Matt Philip, 6.Luke Jones 7. Pocock 8. Jed Holloway would all come in, Hooper on bench.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Gordon over Genia… huh?

      • Geoffro

        Toomua or English over Kerevi …huh? again.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I actually personally think that Toomua is one of the best 12s in the planet, and currently better there than Kerevi as he is the better defender, better distributor and better kicker, but I would definitely prefer to see Kerevi over English (and I rate English).

        • Geoffro

          I believe we’re going to see much greater things from Samu.Agree that Matt is a very competent all round and polished player but don’t see him as a real gamebreaker in Kerevi’s mould.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I agree. I think that Kerevi may on day be the best 12 in the world, but I suspect that it will be after the rwc.

        • joy

          Pace mate pace!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Not sure what that means?

        • joy

          I think Kerevi’s too slow to be a top 12 in the world.

        • Who?

          A 12 doesn’t need pace in comparison to players wider out. Nonu wasn’t the fastest bloke in the ABs. Horan wasn’t faster than Little. You need pace when you’re running in space. If you’re playing 12 in a decent backline, you don’t generally see much space – you work in the tight-loose, in the traffic, so you need to be strong in the contact, elusive, and have capacity to set up the guys alongside you and distribute if needed.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Besides, Samu played on the wing and was still making huge metres out of position because defenders were literally hanging onto him as he continued running.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Since when do you require pace to be a top centre? de Villiers, SBW, Steyn, Toomua, Nonu, Farrell – these are top class 12s that are not quick.

          Mortlock, Conrad bloody Smith, Davies – these are top class 13s who are not quick.

          Sure, if you had the exact same player and could magically make him run the 100m in either 10 seconds or 12 seconds you’d take the former, but it really isn’t that big of a deal for a centre.

        • joy

          DHP over Folau… huh.

        • Geoffro

          Ah well,as many huhs as we like know that the backline for Wales will be Genia,Foley,Beale,Kerevi,Folau,Korobeite and DHP.Frustrating.

        • phil peake

          Yes. Folau’s weaknesses have been ignored for far too long. DHP didn’t have his best game on Sat but has had a great season and as 15 offers a lot more than Folau in terms of defence, kicking and passing. With Folau on the bench he should just be told to come on and go for it against a tiring opposition.

        • phil peake

          Yes. Kerevi made a big impact last night. But I want a focus on defence and he’s not good enough in defence for me, and he’s definitely not at 13.

        • Geoffro

          Yes I’ve seen some shocking lapses in defence from him in the past but he has improved which shows has been working on it unlike some others who’ve been in the setup for years and still can’t tackle.He’s a better option at 13 than Folau I reckon but I would like him at 12 and give Petaia or Naivalu a shot outside him.

        • phil peake

          Fair enough. For me, I want accuracy and smarts over power in our backs. Kerevi isn’t good enough in his decision making and passing and I don’t see him as a 13. So Toomua at 12 and English at 13.

        • Geoffro

          Crazy,Kerevi has created so many more attacking opportunities in the relatively short time he’s been around than both those two combined.Don’t even care if he’s on the wing,he’s a potent asset.

        • phil peake

          On the wing? Playing players out of position has been one of the Cheika’s biggest criticisms. Like I said I want more focus on all round skills and especially defence. I see Kerevi’s appeal but I prefer the others I picked.

        • Geoffro

          Fair enough,we agree to disagree..

        • phil peake

          On the wing? Playing players out of position has been one of the Cheika’s biggest criticisms. Like I said I want more focus on all round skills and especially defence. I see Kerevi’s appeal but I prefer the others I picked.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He kept the Irish quiet all through June. In terms of defensive lapses at 13 he really has only ever had one terrible match at international level, and that was coming off an injury when he was brought back too early in a backline full of incompetent defenders inside and outside him, and the team conceded over 50 points.

          He’s actually pretty decent. No worse than Hodge at 13, and he’s pretty good at 12.

        • phil peake

          I see why you like him and he offers some great things. But for me he needs to improve his defence, passing and decision making to be our 13. I see English as ticking all the boxes for 13. I know they won’t do that, but I would.

      • phil peake

        I feel he’s lost a bit of pace and he slows down the game at the wrong times. I also think his defence hasn’t been as good. I want to see what Gordon can offer and Genia will be there with his experience to finish the games.

    • joy

      Hooper clearly outplayed Pocock yesterday.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I guess there’s a first time for everything then.

        But hey, Pocock has only outplayed him the other 50 times.

        • GeorgiaSatellite

          Maybe he was busy protecting his neck from being rolled.

      • Brumby Runner

        Hooper ran himself ragged but hard to say it was all that effective. Pocock had a quiet game for him but he puts more pressure on opposition ball at the breakdown than the rest of the pack combined.

        • Greg

          For me, the question is what did it cost the opposition to make sure Pocock had a quiet game. If he wears all the attention it makes opportunities else where. If Dempsey can be fit and have some form then things change again.

      • phil peake

        Hooper played well and I like him. But I want Pocock playing 7 and a bigger 8. Hooper can come on for Pocock at 55-60 mins and would offer a lot for the back part of the game.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Just watched the replay and one thing I did notice was for that first try Genia who was sweeping wasn’t there because he was knackered. He’d just gone across the field about 3 times to cover the outside and had nothing left in the tank.

    Watched the defensive patterns closely after that and what a shit system. Players moving all over the place, wingers pairing up in the centre with 13 and 9 trying to cover the gaps, forwards having to interchange with backs. Honestly it’s no wonder the Wallabies struggle so much.

    What really gets me with this is, like the Pooper, or one else in the world does it. That either means they are both brilliant innovations that no other coach understands, or they are a shit idea which is why no one else uses them. I’m going with the second option

    • Geoffro

      Yep,Nathan Gray has lost the plot .Pooper ? Even Sir Richie moved to the back of the scrum on occasion but Hoops would be in big trouble lately if we had a decent specialist no 8 especially if the guy weren’t a jumper.

    • joy

      The stats aren’t too good for the All Blacks either.
      Defenders beaten 23 each
      Clean breaks 16 14 to the Blacks
      Missed tackles 23 each
      Tackle success 83% 80% to the Blacks
      If the All Blacks defended in position the stats don’t show much return for it.
      The real point of difference highlighted by Hooper was turnovers conceded, 20 Australia Blacks 7, which exposes much of the misguided commentary here.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah it the final statistic of 37 – 20 is pretty good mate.
        Personally I don’t take much notice of the stats because in far too many games the losing team has equal or better statistics. I actually think we’re probably measuring the wrong things as they obviously don’t reflect the final score (& not just in this game) so maybe they are pointless.

        • joy

          How can missed tackles, defenders beaten be ignored in an assessment of a defensive pattern? Or are you arguing that the final score is all that counts in an assessment of the losing sides defence?

        • Human

          Surely it depends on where the miss, etc occurs…e.g. does the BB try count as a missed tackle or a beaten defender? I do not know how the stats are compiled but I guess that BB did not beat anyone as there was no one to beat.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Thats all part of it. So if a player doesn’t get in the right position to make a tackle they don’t miss it. They get a few more and their stats look good. However, that time they didn’t get there may have led to a try and it’s not captured.

          I still say; lies, damned lies and statistics

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No not at all. I’ve just seen so many times where statistics are taken on line breaks etc and where they have favoured the losing side that I wonder if we are looking at the right measurements. It seems to me that we rely on statistics that don’t actually have an impact on the result so maybe we need to look elsewhere

        • Hoss

          We are that desperate we now lead to lay claims to winning the stats ? My old cricket coach always said ‘you can’t draw pictures in the scorebook – a ‘w’ is a ‘w’

      • Adrian

        Agree 100% Joy.

        It was our poor pushed passing (leading to dropped ball) as much as anything

      • Greg

        It highlights an issue doesn’t it.

        It also highlights how comparable the stats were in other respects.ie how close we are to doing well.

        Improve our tackle success, cut out the number of silly off loads, don’t get sucked ion to the push/shove. What might have been?

      • Who?

        So, the point of difference highlighted by Hooper was turnovers. What caused those turnovers? Was it perchance incredibly stupid play like our flyhalf throwing a bullet pass into his winger 1m away, which the winger – unsurprisingly – knocked on?
        I think you’ll find plenty saying we did good things, but we showed a lack of intelligence in our attack. I personally have said our 9/10/12 weren’t good enough yesterday. Because we were sloppy and inaccurate in those positions. They created turnovers.
        I don’t believe most of the commentary on here is misguided, in fact I’d argue that only expands on Hooper’s point about turnovers, more clearly identifying the causes of the turnovers.

    • laurence king

      It’s what I call a, robbing Peter to pay Paul’ system. Like a pyramid scheme it catches up with you in the end, ie when someone’s knackered, players moving from one position to another on turnover ball and the opposition create a mis-match. I don’t think the ABs could play well under such a defensive scheme either. If everyone just defended their position we might be able to see something more from these blokes.

  • derek byrne

    Did anyone else find the sponsor’s CGI logos annoying? Hopefully it’ll be removed, turned off during play during WC.

    • Hoss

      Damn god yes. How farking annoying was that !! When play was on those areas it looled like the graphics and screen shimmer of my old Commodore 64 – FFS.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Mate you can see A Smith look up and see the players coming and so he ran wide. The thing is, and the difference with the other one is that once he’s running he never changes his line. There’s no law that says he has to change his line to make it easier, what he’s not allowed to do is start running and then change his line to interfere and he never does that

    • Mica

      Watch the replay Hoss provided and see where A Smith starts angling in back towards B Smith and heading towards the touch line. He sits on his shoulder looks over at the cover coming and runs a wider line towards the far touch line. I actually think it looks worse because B Smith starts to head towards the corner. Looks like he has intent to interfere with the inside defence to me, but I think it really needs a front on to be absolutely definitive. The front on made DHPs interference much more obvious.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely but when he angles away he’s not running 8nto anyone and then he just holds that line

    • Greg

      The line he runs needs to reasonably be in support of the ball carrier – no?

      to take a ridiculous extreme, if he lined up KB and ran at him and crashed into him, but never changed his line, would that be OK?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        No it doesn’t need to be anything. And that never happened so what’s the point

  • Greg

    We lost and we lost clearly. congrats to the NZ team.

    Just a positive thought…. there are few people today saying we were complete shite. We are talking about a few specific issues.

    – Dumb offloads
    – Dumb yellows
    – a few starting selectons – hannigan, beale

    Our stats were mostly comparable to the NZ team
    Our defense was pretty solid
    The defense patter (I thought) was simpler.

    Our scrum was solid
    Our lineout was (mostly) solid

    it doesn’t need much for us to produce a very good performance. We just need to do it…..

  • Nutta

    The disgruntled and bad-tempered grumbling of a pissed off old man:

    Congratulations New Zealand. Deserved winners. I have strong issue with some stuff around your tactics. But they didn’t cost us the win. And they are easily dismissable as the warblings of a sore loser anyway.

    We were once a team of smart lineouts, good skills, nouce and level heads to squeeze out a result. What we have now are a group of athletes – blokes who look like condoms stuffed with walnuts and I am sure have static jump scores, bench-press weights and 10m sprint times par excellence – but not a single guy amongst them who knows how to make and maintain pressure to squeeze out a win. Well maybe Pocock does but he is 100% on his pat malone.

    We have a whole generation of players who have completely no idea how to manage a game, hang tough, make your tackles, not give away mindblowing inept penalties, squeeze out the 1%ers and just bloody well ‘be there’, both on scoreboard and in the head, come the last 10min to pressure a win.

    Our lads are well big enough, strong enough, conditioned enough… but they have no rugby IQ. No brains.

    We once had players at the national level who knew how to win. Now we have guys who would be lucky to be able to spell their name in terms of rugby IQ.

    Not until we address that – and that unfortunately is an intergenerational issue – will railing at or wailing about Mr Cheks, the referee or questionable AIB tactics make 1 single fkn iota of real difference.

    Our issues are far more fundamental. To quote another famous Kiwi, ‘Too much weights…’ but I would replace the adjoiner about speed with basic rugby smarts.

    • Greg

      Presenting that the other way…. If we cut out some dumb penalties and some dumb offloads….

      For me that was the good news from yesterday. We can actually say if only A and B rather than just shake our heads.

      • Custard Taht

        Problem is with your way…..that has been the story now for years. So there is no reason to believe that Cheika and his sidekicks, and his team of core undroppables, are capable of making that change.

    • idiot savant

      As I said to Hoss, you get what you pay for. Cheik wants a squad of players who are too intimidated to question him at any level. How can you expect a bunch of yes men to go out and take responsibility on the field?

      • Nutta

        Can’t argue with that. But again I slate that back to RA. After the despicable manner of Links exit at the hands of officialdom salivating after player power – led by all manner of clarion warnings from David Nucifora onwards – the RA had no negotiation leverage so Cheks had carte-blanche and open-book. My Da used to warn ‘Don’t be surprised when a sheep grows wool Boy’. RA knew full well what they were employing and Gee Wizz Bugger Me with a Christian Brother – they got it.

    • disqus_NMX

      Absolutely agree. Except where you let Cheks off the hook. He’s had 4 years or so in charge of these guys under him as full time professional players. If he knew what he was doing then 4 years would be well and truly enough time to turn the condoms stuffed with walnuts into players who know how to play. The fact is, Cheks doesn’t know how to play either, so of course he can’t teach them.

      • Nutta

        Oh I’m not letting him off the hook. I think tactically we are poor and the clinging onto under-performers is quite sad. Given what Cheks has in terms of meat, I don’t think he uses that meat well.

        But for me, more fundamentally, we cannot let RA off the hook for providing consistently low class meat. We saw it first back in the early to mid 00’s when after about 5yrs of professionalism leading to 2001 we then saw a glut of guys come through with similar fundamental flaws – all muscle and no brains. But fortunately in the middle of all that we still had gems like Greegan, Larkham and Latham. We were then lucky to get Barnes back. OK, I can write that off to adjustment to professional footy. And lots of countries were guilty of the same. The difference was those other countries adjusted. We didn’t/haven’t. Now we have an absolute dearth of rugby IQ. Cheks can’t teach them that. He can pre-programme their play sets, defensive patterns etc. But I can’t turn a Samsung into an i-phone.

        All that said, what’s done is done and cannot be undone. It is what it is. What we can do is be sure we do three things to go forward:
        * At junior level, send out a general missive to stop just picking the biggest kid in each spot. We used to do it with the fat backrower picked as a prop. We learnt. Same again but this time value brains. Seriously, the physical similarities in the Wobbs at the moment proves it – they look like a team of mungos they are so similar. Look at the bloody Jarpies and AiB by comparison to see it’s not ALL about flex and reps.
        * Identify clear pathways and developmental channels for those brains to come through without getting smashed and not be lost (Club>NRC>Super).
        * Have those chubby fat-boys I see sitting the grandstands each Super match in their No1’s back at their bloody clubs chalking up minutes instead. Learn how to play against MEN. Learn the grind. Not just chalking up reps in a gym and pies at the buffet. There is not many places on earth I can’t get in 24hrs on a plane. So leave them at home and playing unless called.
        * For the love of God expand the playing base to unearth more talent in the first place and put upward pressure on quality via quantity. I’m sick to death of going on about it – and I’m sure regular readers will roll their eyes when I say it again – but the deliberate non-capitalisation on significant potential player bases (and none bigger than western Sydney) is a screaming crime against the game.

        Cheks isn’t off the hook. He uses the assets provided poorly. But bugger me, no one can doubt the poor quality of asset RA is pumping (or should I say dribbling) out for him to use.

  • phil peake

    I don’t think that’s totally fair. I think he’s involved in quite a lot of our tries. I think with Toomua outside him it has worked well in the past and it will work well for us. He hasn’t been his best and his line kicking frustrates me, but I think he’s still the best option there, with Toomua at 12. Who’s your 10?

    • Who?

      Has Toomua lined up outside Foley? I don’t know that they’ve ever been selected in those jerseys under Cheika… Beale was almost straight into 12 in late 2014, and hasn’t moved except in 2016, but I didn’t think Toomua was around in 2016?
      I’d have Toomua at 10 over Foley. Every day of the week, twice on Saturdays. He’s a 10, not a 12. Grew up playing 10, wants to pass the ball more than run it. The fact he can tackle doesn’t force him out to 12 – it didn’t force Wilkinson or Noddy out to 12.

      • phil peake

        I don’t think they have, but Toomua’s has shown what he can do at 12 for the Wallabies before and I like him there. I hear your points but I would still like to see the Foley Toomua 10-12 combination. I like Toomua’s skillset for 12. I like that he can pass – it’s something he has that would offer more than Kerevi and he has more composure than Beale. And he’s powerful enough to take on the line. I think he would also help Foley run the backline and take some pressure off Foley.

        • Who?

          But why would you want to retain a player who’s clearly not up to it? Foley isn’t the future, he’s at his peak, he’s not good enough. The reason Toomua went well at 12 was that his skillset complimented Cooper’s skillset. If it’d been Toomua at 10 and Beale at 12, I still believe that combination would’ve done a lot better than we saw this year.
          Toomua as a ball carrier isn’t a threat at 12. Not slightly. He’s pretty well the same weight as Beale, Foley and Cooper (Cheika describes Beale and Foley as little blokes – they give away at least 15kg to Kerevi, SBW, etc). Beale is only a threat at 12 because he’s fast. He’s not actually a traditional threat, he’s more like a fullback injecting himself into the line.

        • phil peake

          Because I’ve seen enough of him creating and scoring tries and winning big games to know that he still offers a lot. I like his pace and his vision and I like that he never gives up. He’s got a good brain and he’s a good leader.

          I disagree about Toomua being a threat. Billy Twelvetrees at 105kgs would disagree too – remember him running over the top of him playing against England? I think he’s very direct and he uses the space well. He’s a powerful runner with a very strong kicking games and a strong passing game – something Kerevi struggles with. So that’s why I see him working well at 12. I don’t think they need to bash through people anyway. I want them to use the ball and look for space and make smart decisions.

        • Who?

          I can’t recall Foley creating tries for a good while… And I don’t really care about how many my 10 scores. He’s got a short boot, a slow pass (which isn’t that long), doesn’t defend in the line (or misreads and allows tries when he does – two against Argentina directly attributable to him, at least one last weekend)… His vision isn’t at the same level as Beale (he’s just less burdened by responsibility than Beale). I’m happy to say he’s a good bloke, tries his guts out every game and that he’s a reasonable leader. But Toomua is the better 10.
          So you’re happy to risk a 90kg inside back with a history of concussions as a direct primary ball runner? Based off his ability in a one-off, one on one situation on the goal line where he won the body height battle and was able to drive through another player?
          I’m more concerned about having his kicking and passing game at 10 than at 12 – I’m happy for him to throw cutouts to 13 if needed. They’d be faster/flatter than Foley’s…

        • phil peake

          I take your points. But I still see Foley as the guy at 10. And especially with the right guys outside him. I’d make him defend at 10 and everyone else defend in their specific positions.
          I mentioned Twelvetrees as an example of him being able to take on the line and to beat guys that are bigger than him because he mentioned his weight disadvantage. He’s the same weight as Crotty who plays 12 sometimes.
          But as I said I don’t want him to bash into people – I want him to use his brain and his rugby smarts to make good decisions at 12. Or use 13 to take the ball to the line. Make use of those passing and kicking skills that you like about him. I don’t see Kerevi having those skills (and I do see what Kerevi offers). I want the outside backs to get more clean ball and he would contribute to that at 12. That’s why I’ve gone for speed in Maddocks and Banks on the wings.
          And Toomua can still come into 10 off phase play.

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@Only1Sully

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

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