Bledisloe I match review: New regime, same old Wallabies

Hugh Cavill August 17, 2013 216

No GravatarWelcome to the big time, Link. It was men against boys tonight, as the All Blacks rode roughshod over the Wallabies, winning 47-29 in Sydney.

The Match

The All Blacks came out firing, and quickly went on the attack. It only took three minutes before the first score, with Ben Smith crashing over in the corner. An early knock-on from Stephen Moore had the Wallabies on the back foot, as he spilled a pass from Jesse Mogg that was never on. Aaron Cruden added the extras and the ABs were up 7-0.

Slowly the Wallabies began to work their way back into the game, with Matt Toomua and Will Genia combining well to play an expansive game. Christian Leali’ifano potted a couple of penalty goals to edge the home side back into the contest, before the first real try scoring chance came, through an Adam Ashley-Cooper linebreak (which was sadly squandered by an errant Genia kick).

Both sides continued to trade penalties, with the Wallabies even edging ahead at one point. But two quick tries to the All Blacks saw the momentum swing back to the visitors, with the first through an Aaron Cruden chargedown, and the next by Richie McCaw in the corner. The Wallabies were their own worst enemies, with silly mistakes being seized upon by the ruthless Kiwis.

Just when all looked lost, Will Genia scored an 80m try after an All Blacks long lineout was spilled at the back (although Rob Simmons probably should have been penalised for interfering with the jumper in the air). A late Cruden penalty saw the sides head to the sheds with the Blacks leading 25-19.

The second half started well for the Wallabies, with Christian Leali’ifano potting an early penalty to bring the margin back to just three. But from there it was black, black, black. The wheels came off for the Wallabies, none more so than for Jesse Mogg, who had an out and out shocker before being hooked at the 50 minute mark.

The tries came thick and fast- first to Conrad Smith, then to Ben Smith, then to Ben Smith again. Quade Cooper sparked a bit of life from the bench, putting forward a strong case for selection next week. There wasn’t much to talk about in the second half, though. Despite having most of the ball the Wallabies could do nothing with it. JOC scored a last minute consolation, but the damage was done. Full time was 47-29, put down the glasses.

JOC relished the wider channels

 

The older heads stood up for the Wallabies, but were sadly let down by their more inexpereinced counterparts. James Horwill, Ashley-Cooper, O’Connor and Michael Hooper were the four best for the home side, but they had little support. The forwards were well outmuscled, and were exposed for their lack of size and strength.

The backs were also pedestrian, struggling for any forward momentum. And what about our kicking game? Two words: absolute rubbish. Changes need to be made- Mogg, Simmons and McMeniman should be worried, while Toomua and Lealiifano still need to show they belong in gold.

The All Blacks were all class, as usual. You couldn’t pick a standout, as they played near flawless team footy. Forwards ran hard, backs hit the line at pace and passed well. Rugby isn’t rocket science, and don’t the All Blacks know it.

It will be a long week for the Wallabies, before they head to Wellington to try and salvage some much needed pride.

 


The Game Changer

Conrad Smith’s try in the 51st minute. The Wallabies had done well to edge back into the game after being down early, but the soft try was a big nail in the Wallabies coffin. The heads went down, and they never came back.

The G&GR MOTM

conrad_smith_4fcd7e53afPlenty of choices, but I went with the old head Conrad Smith. Flawless in both defence and attack, he was at the centre of everything the All Blacks did. Just pipped Sir Richie, who was also huge.

Wallaby watch

Not many Wallabies can really be happy with their performance. JOC was arguably the best, along with Hooper, Horwill and Ashley-Cooper. Sadly there were plenty more players who had shockers.


The Details

Crowd: 68,765

Score & Scorers

Australia: 29
Tries: Will Genia, James O’Connor
Conversions: Christian Lealiifano 2
Penalties: Christian Lealiifano 5

New Zealand: 47
Tries: Ben Smith 3, Aaron Cruden, Richie McCaw, Conrad Smith
Conversions: Aaron Cruden 4
Penalties: Aaron Cruden 3

Cards & citings

Sam Whitelock (YC, 78m)

Discussion

  • Roland Chan

    Fair bit of self delusion in the post match. Not many people talking about poor forwards performance. ABs over the gain line at will.

    • Parker

      And tryscoring at will.

  • Gun

    At the end of the day we are the best country in the world at afl.

    • Bill

      I’m sure James has a pill for that condition.

  • Timbo

    O’Connor was poor defensively. That first try was his fault. Hooper was brilliant. Scrums were a farce. Pretty poor wallabies performance

  • MM

    So much for the inclusion of the “mighty” brumbies and that “strong Brumbies means a strong wallabies” crap. From the first fuck-up to the last it was brumbies players showing us how. I thought Toomua was meant to take the ball to the line but he just shovelled it out to a deep back line. Mogg was like a rabbit in the headlights, back to super 15 son. Simmons gone – Mcwho?

    • Brackets

      This reinforces the competitive crap between the franchises in aus rugby. Every one of those players tonight was a wallaby, it should be irrelevant which S15 team they played for.

    • Stubbs

      Wow, you really hate the brumbies don’t you? JOC, cooper, MMM, Horwill, all made errors, as did many others. Do you know what link asked Toomua to do? What the exact game plan was?

      • ben

        Read my comment above. This is what im talking about. You never get this sort of talk in nz rugby circles. You guys have an inner cancer eating at your game and refuse to realise it. Get rid of the petty crap dividing your rugby, work for a common cause. Even the groundsman in christchurch knows hes marking the field for the abs not canterbury.

        • Brackets

          I agree, it was your comment that inspired my comment. Do people in NZ keep a tally of how many players from each team make the ABs then argue that there should be more chiefs than crusaders? S15 is finished for the year!

        • JeremyBC

          They do for about a week. And then they just get on with supporting the team.

  • Jimmy

    JOC the best – sorry Hugh i usually agree with you but he was poor tonight. Cost us that first try, then was nowehere to be seen for AAC big break. He and Mogg really cost us a lot tonight.

    • Ave

      Ok… Some more JOC bashing coming from GGR readers… The usual. Let’s analyze your thinking process here, which allows you to say that the best wallaby tonight was actually, in your book, the worst.

      “JOC cost us the first try”.
      That’s one way to say it. Another would be, Moore’s knock on put them on the go forward, with the whole team failing to stop momentum. In the end, Cruden negotiated perfectly a 2 v 2, forcing JOC to go up and defend on him as it looked like he was going to escape tackle from AAC.

      “Then was nowhere to be seen for AAC big break”
      The break happening midfield, and JOC being left wing, he was far from the action at the start of the break. But he then made full efforts, holding nothing back, to close up the gab and actually called the ball. It was a long shot, but AAC could have fired the pass at one moment, but he chose to keep it and look for close supports.

      Ok. Now :

      He was perfect under the high balls, gain meters every time he touched the ball (which was more often than any other back 3 players in green and gold), showed some clean and efficient short passing game, ran a few good lines that actually broke tackles and was always capable of making the next pass. He also one of the few to show mongrel and aggressivity in defense in the back line. And i’m almost forgetting his try at the end. It may have looked soft, but there’s no soft tries vs ABs.

      Honestly it was his best performance in a wallaby jumper ever since that showing vs the barbarians back in 2011-2012. Especially when he was moved to 15.

      Now that I have stated my case, please, dear MM, explain to me why you put his performance on par with Mogg’s shocker.

      Thanks

      • Jimmy

        Ave – everyone is entitled to an opionion but i’m extremely surprised you don’t believe he was responsible for that first try. AAC has cruden covered, O’Conner hesitated, then came in, waved his arms around, did nothing and his man scored. How the hell is that someone elses fault???

        Agreed that Mogg was worse.

        • Roland Chan

          It’s crudens fault. That’s the point. The wallabies aren’t good enough,

      • Ralph

        James mum?? Is that you??

      • Mickeyb

        Ave you need a brain scan. JOC came in from his wing allowing his mark to score.

        The end. Go to bed and rest your head.

        • Ave

          My brain is fine thank you. In the heat of the moment, in a very, very quick 2 v 2 situation, JOC made the call to commit to Cruden who seemed slipping away from AAC. Not the best call obviously, but it’s understandable.

          If AAC did miss the tackle and JOC stayed on his mark, people would somehow still have been blaming JOC.

          He made up for that with the rest of his performance, including defensively but most of all offensively.

        • Richo

          Trust your teammate.

      • Graeme

        I completely disagree on the first point. JOC made a schoolboy error coming off his wing. I should know, I’ve been berated by coaches for doing this plenty of times, even when I think I made the right decision. And I’ve never had AAC inside me, probably Australia’s best back line defender.

        But I do agree with most of the rest.

      • Bcombes

        @Ave have you played a game in your life? 2 v 2 in goal line defence. You both commit to tackling your men and force the ball player to make a decision.. Not move off your line not trust your inside player and get caught between an intercept attempt on a two man tackle. Wake up idiot. He didn’t play well, I’m not saying he was the worst on the field but it was no where near his potential. I think as a rugby community if we are to take anything out of his performance is that he is better suited 15 where he can insert himself more freely

      • cay_t

        Yes JOC is an outstanding individual player… and no it wasn’t anywhere near as bad as Mogg… nor was it anywhere near his best game in Gold!!

        Undoubted skill, but he doesn’t trust his team mates – the first AB try a direct result of him not trusting his inside defender twice… Cruden’s first break and the actual score… the 3rd try he was inside in no mans land leaving two forwards to cover outside backs.

        In short, he’s wasted as a winger… I think we need him at FB… especially the way Link is playing the FB at first receiver… he reads the game so well, can pop anywhere in attack and defense, and if used as Mogg was, he’ll slow down the drift as they need to worry about him stepping and running instead of a short pop to the forward hanging out there.

      • MM

        Me? I thought he was good too, one of the best on the field for the Wallabies. My criticism is of the over hyped Brumbie players. I made no comment about JOC………

        • MM

          Yes I did, I thought his play at 5/8 against the Lions was better than Toomua’s play last night.

        • Ave

          Sorry I meant Jimmy. just a mix up, my bad.

    • Chunderstruck

      That missed tackle wad bad but I thought he did well the rest of the game. I didn’t notice him do anything else bad in defence?

    • Hugh Cavill

      Disagree. Made one error in defence, but made up for it. Was the only Wallaby back to consistently threaten the line.

      Lumping him in the same boat as Mogg is very harsh- he had a straight out shocker.

      • Timbo

        Threatening the line is one thing but in support and defence he was lacking. IMO that is a 33% effort at best and even more in this case as we let in 6 tries! 6!

        His clean out of McCaw within 5 meters from their line when we had the best possible chance of scoring is a perfect example of why he should be dropped. JOC for mine was poor defensively and in Rugby that is a cardinal sin.

        • Hugh Cavill

          Have no idea what you are talking about there. Can you give me any instances of missed tackles or defensive mistakes other than the 3rd minute? I would genuinely like to know, I may have missed something.

        • Timbo

          What I saw was O’Connor not trusting his team mates but at the same time not pushing to support or get back in defence. Could however just be seeing it through red coloured eyes after raging at his scoolboy error in that first 3min.

        • Jimbojones

          I can. Take a look at 44 second mark of the first half. O’Connor leaves his wing for the first time to attempt a tackle on Read that Mowen already had covered and completes. This leaves Cruden free on the touch line to take the pass Read offloads. Cruden then toes ahead resulting in the Wallaby cover touching the ball before it goes into touch. Moore questions the touch call but All Black throw into the lineout. The resulting lineout leads to the play where at the 3rd minute O’Connor leaves his wing again to support Ashley-Cooper on Cruden leaving Smith open to score. Same mistake twice in three minutes.

      • Red Kev

        He didn’t make one error he made several.
        1st try – cardinal sin, he didn’t (a) cover his outside man as he should, OR (b) gang-tackle the inside man, he was sitting in no-mans land between the two and allowing Ben Smith the sideline.
        3rd try – Why was he not on his wing? He was loafing near the breakdown and when the ball went to his wing and McCaw he was outside the defender for an easy score.
        AAC Break – Winger not backing up his inside man on a break.

        I looked at that game and saw Simmons, McMeniman, Mogg, O’Connor as our worst on ground. Genia and Lealiifano also made some pretty basic errors but played better overall.

  • Merv Hughes

    My wife was not sure whether it was being played in Aust or NZ.

    • Merv Hughes

      And if JOC was best on field, we’ve got serious problems.

    • Mukhtar

      You Aussies better get used to the apathy/disinterest/lack of enthusiasm from the home supporters.. Happened with the Lions, now the Blacks.. In the summer, it will again be the case when the English cricketers are in town.. Its hard supporting a losing team, I guess…

      • Merv Hughes

        Spot on. There are too many fair weather fans living in NSW.

  • Steve

    JOC was awful in defense, truly terrible, and I would have him closer to the bottom of my list than the top. I thought Slipper, Hooper and AAC stood out with Genia being good as always. We lacked the impact of a dominant ball runner like Higgenbotham that MMM/Fardy was supposed to provide.

    I was disappointed with Toomua who looked out of his depth. He didnt have the confidence to run the ball or even take it to the line that is what made him successful for the Brumbies. It took him 60 minutes to do anything but shovel the ball one pass wider to the next guy, and all he did was a poorly executed cross kick. I like the guy and needs to get his mojo back pronto.

    • Train Without A Station

      Could not agree more. My thoughts are MMM and JOC out of the team next week. Too many tries down O’Conner’s wing with him nowhere to be seen.
      I also thought Simmo was quite good.

      • Graeme

        I think you are being harsh on O’Conner. He let in (caused) the first try in defense, but was pretty good for the rest of the game. You can hardly blame him fotcharge-downs or 4 on 2 overlaps being scored on his wing.

        Also disagree with the previous ‘Genia good as always’ comment. He wasn’t.

      • Chunderstruck

        MMM yes but JOC was ok. So much for crazy mongrel Madness ripping them a new one

        • Parker

          It looked like someone had sprinkled tranquilizers on 3M’s raw steak.

    • Graeme

      Not Genia

    • Hugh Cavill

      Will wait and see the tackle stats, but thought JOC was fine in defence apart from the one error.

      Agree with the rest though.

      • Fess

        ABs mostly attacked O’Connor’s side and that’s where most of their points came. Watched the highlights and he was generally not in view as tries were scored through his defensive channel. He didn’t miss tackles because he wasn’t there – seemed a shocker in his positional play.

        • Hugh Cavill

          I haven’t watched the replay, but to simply say ‘tries scored down JOC’s wing = JOC bad in defence’ is a bit simplistic. One B Smith try was from a spilled ball and had nothing to do with JOC, and the other was a simple overlap. So even if he was ‘in position’ there wasn’t much that could have been done.

          Defensive damage done in the narrow channels, not on the wing.

        • brumby runner

          The second try scored on the right (was it Richie’s?) JOC was stranded well in field and clearly out of position imo.

        • Glenn Condell

          Me too. Headless chook defensive display in terms of positioning from JOC – with Mogg it was more lack of technique and/or ticker. Both not good enough.

          Their halves shat on ours and they owned the breakdown, wandering into our rucks at will. Their forwards again had the edge in leg drive in contact so they cleared quickly on offense and disrupted our ball on D.

          The other thing that struck me was the speed of their transfer on the run and in contact. Catch and pass at pace doesn’t look as natural to us. Toomua too slow in this regard but Cooper too flaky.

        • cay_t

          I thought the same thing initially… especially after that first try… but the others down his wing were when he was at FB – AAC was moved to wing when Kuridrani was on for Mogg… take a look at the ‘overlap’ – he pops up right to cover outside as Folau had two, then as soon as it is out he races to the left….. just not early enough to make it. Not his fault, a number of other inside defenders should have pushed earlier.

      • Merv Hughes

        Lies, damned lies, and statistics!

      • Pedro

        You don’t get missed tackles if you aren’t in position to tackle.

      • Steve

        I’d admit there might have been a touch of hyperbole about JOC’s defense but I stand by my belief that it was poor. The mistake on the first try aside, I thought he looked out of position defensively a lot of the game. Probably not deserving of quite the passionate serve I let out right after the game but still bad.

        All that said I’d definitely want him in the team next week, playing 15 with Cummins to cover the vacated wing and Mogg out of the starting lineup. That and Cooper to 10 are the changes I would want to see.

  • Jimmy

    Toomua didn’t run at the line but on the other hand, i can’t really think of any errors from him either. For his debut, it was too bad.

    • Jimmy

      *wasn’t too bad

      • MM

        It was crap, unimaginative drivel – at least O’Connor had a go when he was at 5/8.

        • Jimmy

          I’m guessing you mean Coooper. And solid, unimaginative crap is much better than 50 mistakes which cost points.

        • MM

          No I mean Toomua, so much clean ball and nothing to show for it. He created no doubt in the defense. Time for Foley to step up.

        • Merv Hughes

          Is this Gollum and Smeagol talking?

    • Brackets

      It was too bad? I hope you mean it wasn’t too bad. He was solid enough, I have a lot more confidence when he is handling the ball, plus he was under exceptional pressure tonight, people looking for him to be worse than cooper.

  • Ooaahh

    Mogg and mmm both gone for next week. Tamoua worth persevering with. I’d actually start with white and play in their half until genia can open them up. Alexander off for sip while selecting. Cooper on earlier

    • Jimmy

      Cooper was terrible mate – you really want hm on. From his re-strat till his last “pass” he had a shocker.

      • Ooaahh

        Read what I wrote before shooting off. Tamoua worth persevering with.

        • Jimmy

          You said – “Cooper on earlier”. Gee relax – it’s just a forum. No need to get angry. Cooper was so bad – I’d drop him completely and give Foley a go.

        • Parker

          Help me understand then where all those line breaks came from after Cooper arrived. They hadn’t been there before.

        • Jimmy

          What? those line breaks where Cooper dropped the ball twice, not to mention the restart he kicked too short. Are people really going to say he played well??

          Well I guess everyone has an opinion.

        • Ooaahh

          Cooper was good for the most when he came on and if others ran in gaps he would have got us at least one more try. His dropped balls and short kick are par for the course. Unlike O’Connor he did t cost us a try.

        • Jimmy

          “His dropped balls and short kick are par for the course.”…and there is the problem.

        • Duvstar

          To be honest I’d rather have the excitement and the linebreaks than what we had before he came on, regardless of his one dodgy pass (just watched it back, there was only one bad pass) and that restart. Cruden made a shit restart, don’t just hold it against Quade. Toomua didn’t bend the line once, in attack he offers just what O’Connor did during the Lions. (Granted, he’s a lot better in defence). I say give Quade a proper go next week.

        • Pclifto

          Yeah, cos Quade just thrives on the pressure when playing in NZ…

        • Duvstar

          Geez it was two years ago. Look how shit Cruden was two years ago and then look at him now. Not playing Cooper simply because he didn’t play well in the country two years ago is not an excuse

        • Bullrush

          Cruden has shown in SR and in Tests how much he’s improved in 2 yrs. Has QC done thesame?? He’s about thesame at best…..

        • AB

          You obviously can’t watch cooper impartially as a waratahs fan viewing the two fly halves objectively toomua was no threat at all and made as many errors as Cooper – coopers passing game created much more pressure on the defence than toomua – also an excellent clearing kick behind the line – yes the restart was annoying but he was far and away the more dangerous fly half tonight

        • Train Without A Station

          Mate Cooper came on trying to dig us out of a hole. Give him a break.

        • Jimmy

          Yes true – but he still mad eplenty of basic errors.

        • Kwer

          How hilarious is the syntax and resulting irony from this comment

      • Fess

        Saw Bob Dwyer’s recent comment about toomua always taking a step towards the opposition as his first action. Watched cooper after he came on and his first action was always to take three steps sideways and backwards then shovel the ball sideways. It left the whole backline stationary every time. Sounds like the last few frustrating years. At least we know toomua might improve, whereas cooper won’t. The kiwi rugby fans love it when cooper is selected. If anything opened up after he came on it must have been because the defence was tired.

  • Fatprop

    I think the rating/comment for Simmons is overly harsh…two (three?) lineout steals and a couple of decent runs. What was the problem that you were seeing Sully? MMM however was absent all night particularly when we needed some mongrel on the fringes.

    Smith gave Genia some real headaches tonight and could quickly overtake him to be the premier test halfback.

    • Fatprop

      Edit: sorry, Sully I meant Hugh.

      • Joker

        Not to mention Simmons made a boat load of tackles and clean outs.

      • http://www.onesully.com.au/ Sully

        I’ll stop getting stroppy then. I also can’t see what the problem with Simmons’ game was.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Yeah you are probably right. He made a few obvious errors, but was good other than that. Have had a train ride home to reconsider, and I am softening my view on Rob…

      • Muz

        Glad you are reconsidering – Simmons probably had his best game in the green & gold.

        Horwill on the other hand – that’s 2 mediocre games for the Wallabies in a row now. He needs to step up.

    • Fess

      I’m a fan of Genia but he seemed off tonight. Awful slow looping pass to Lealiifano left him with no time to kick and Cruden’s charge-down resulted. Genia also did some awful kicks. Is he injured or something?

      • brumby runner

        Opposition kicks off. Wallabies sometimes catch and recycle. One hit up and then pass back to deep player for kick. Very repititious and very easy to put pressure on. Hence, Cruden’s charge down try. How about a bit of variety please?

      • Fess

        Just saw bob Dwyer’s gagr review of the game. He says genia great player but awful half-back for the last two games. Also says don’t drop him, just fix it. I wasn’t imagining it then!

  • Richard

    6 tries to 2. Sums it all up. The hopeful believed it was all Deans to blame. See any different from that tonight and the 3rd Likns test at the same venue? Until Aussie rugby develops some real spine, the hopes – and then the shbsequent ailures will only grow deeper.

    • Pclifto

      How can you compare the deans era vs the mckenzie era after one game?

  • Robson

    Hindsight certainly puts foresight into perspective and maybe we were expecting too much too soon. Yes there is some hard work to do, but I thought it was pleasing to see the Wallabies persisting in trying to use the ball and create space with it; nearly succeeding on several occasions. To me that was a positive and as we reflect more and more on the game, more positives will come to light.

  • Bill

    How do you figure Simmons should be worried you clown?

    • Joker

      Completely ridiculous… Was one of the few Wallabies who can be relatively happy with his game in spite of the team result.

      What’s the opposite of a red-eyed supporter?

      • Bill

        Alongside Hooper our best forward.

        • RJ

          i think simmons was better then hooper. I also think the madness was epic at 6. physical in attack and defense. Reallly missed his physicality when he came off.

    • Jimmy

      Simmons wasn’t too bad, apart from that ridiculous pass he threw to the opposition when we were deep in attack. Thought he played better than MMM, although MMM has hardly played in 5 months – probably needs more game time.

    • Graeme

      Simmons was definitely one of the wallabies players who could hold his head high after that game. He had a very good game and easily justified his selection (and I say this as someone who would have had Fardy starting ahead of him if I was selector).

    • Hugh Cavill

      Probably a bit harsh on him. Just think we need a bit more grunt from our other 2nd rower, but will wait and see the stats. He did have a few nice touches.

      • Bill

        I can see how he could be swapped out because of the teams overall performance rather than his own. In that circumstance though I think Horwill and mmm have just as much cause for concern. Probably mmm more. Hooper was great in the first 20 or 30 but I think even as well as he played may get swapped with gill to use him as an impact weapon. Apologies about the clown jibe, I just found it a very silly reading of the game in that respect, and that guy gets a lot of shit for very little reason that Ivan see.

      • Max Brammer

        Simmons played surprisingly well & considering its a drastically new team & new coach there are actually quite a few positives. I’d sheath the knives until Ewen has had A COUPLE of games at the helm

  • Andy

    Not too many positives to take out of this game. Just looked like a really well drilled team versus a very poor outfit, that being the Wallabies.

    The amount of errors were astonishing, even by this lots standard and this is a part of our game we sadly getting used to.

    I can see Gill and Hooper starting next week purely to increase the speed to the breakdown. And Mogg will be lucky to make the 22. Showed how poor his defense really is and his play under pressure is not test standard. He was single handidly the most frustrating player on the pitch

  • Yin Yang

    Completely agree with that analysis, Hugh! Change for once eh? What was your view on Toomua? Played solid but just didn’t quite seem up to the task of leading a dangerous backline in test footy… Opinion?

    • Hugh Cavill

      Yeah agree. Struggled to impose himself on the game. Passing and game management good, but he never took on the line and his kicking was below par. Defence solid enough. Cooper showed more when he came on.

  • Hills

    Time to wake up to the fact it wasn’t the last coach??? The ABS were too good and Australian Rugby at all levels needs to pick up it’s game. For a start wake up to all the talent missed west of Eastwood in Sydney, get rugby into more schools, the old boy networks of privilege are holding back the game!

    • Ralph

      You are a nob!

    • Chris

      Certainly what is needed in the long term

    • Jimmy

      If you think back, the last coach won his forst game. We will see how Ewan is progressing at the end of year. He isn’t going to undo 6 years of rubbish in 3 weeks.

      • Parker

        The last coach won the first game and then went on to ruin Australian rugby. If we want the opposite, Link is off to a perfect start.

        • JeremyBC

          yeah he totally destroyed Aussie rugby….himself. The players had nothing to do with it. Or the Admin. Or the fact that apart from a golden period Aussie hardly ever beats the AB’s.

  • spectator

    The Blacks looked/were vulnerable 1st half, start of second but they got points pressure and Wallabies didn’t handle it.

    I Don’t think Toomua/’Leal’ is a ‘Link team’ inside combo at this point, it’s a Jack White or Deans type team combo. This played to Black advantage i thought this beforehand, nothing against the players at all or how they played, but overall team dynamic meant it was a dis-advantage and Cruden ended up shining, well played Cruden.

    I would like to see Cooper paired with either Toomua or Foley as one 10/12 combo(which ever works best), & equally, ‘Leal’ 10 paired with O’Connor 12.

    Then when things are at an even stage on the playing field, it won’t be quite so easy for the opponent to establish it’s rythme over the Wallabies for the game, which is essentially the story of this game.

    • Parker

      I second the O’Connor at 12 theory.

  • Dougs

    An odd match report indeed. O’Connor shocking in defence, cost us the first 2 tries. Best players were Ashley-Cooper and Hooper.

    Ultimately we scored enough points to win the match, main problem is we let in 47. Where was our line speed!?!?!?

    • Roland Chan

      Defence performance was generally bad. Doesn’t matter how many points you score if you let more in. Or more accurately, don’t hold the gain line.

    • Hugh Cavill

      How did he cost us the charge-down try??

      • Ave

        Hugh, it’s pretty clear we all know who the scape goat in this team is. Don’t look for rational reasons. They’re all talking about how JOC was shite in defense when really he was comited and I don’t think he slipped a tackle. Mogg, on the other hand, had an absolute shocker as you pointed, and his tackle attempt on Conrad Smith made him look like he was plucked from an amateur club, which obviously is far from the case. Yet JOC manages to catch more flak than Mogg.

      • Dougs

        Sorry, meant first and third tries. O’Connor was defending in midfield for some reason (it was easily covered) leaving his wing unmarked and McCaw went over.

        Simmons was far better than he usually is for the Wobs, criticism here seems based on past performances.

    • wowjiffylube

      You could just as easily argue that Hooper cost the McCaw try. He was the last defender but didn’t push out enough to stop Richie. The All Blacks are just good at creating space, not against one player but the whole team. Unfortunately it’s usually the unlucky bastard at the end of the line gets blamed, when in fact the entire defence gets dragged this way and that so holes start to appear or the line gets bunched up on itself. JO’C was perfectly competent in defence following that slip, and to suggest the charge down try was his fault is literally too stupid to argue against.

  • Davy

    Jessie Mogg was definitely playing hot potato out there. Keep hold of the f”ing ball instead of trying a miracle offload.

  • steve

    The scoreline looks worse than it was. We let in a lot of soft tries and probably should have been ahead at halftime. All blacks are far more ruthless and deserved to win but it will be interesting to see the stats because i thought we had most of the running. Just let down by basic errors and laziness.

    • Kiwi_rugby_fan

      Actually all your points were soft points, try from line out error, late try after game well and truly lost, penalties from basic errors by ABs. I did not see anything to suggest Oz was anywhere near to being in the contest. I must have watched a different game.

      • JeremyBC

        I completely agree. When the Wallabies were close to par in the first half after Genia’s try I remember thinking, “shit I think with our territorial dominance we should be winning by more but we’ve given away a really soft try off a schoolboy error in the set piece.”

      • steve

        Well the stats show that the Wallabies did do most of the attacking. The All Blacks defence is amazing but, charge-down tries, basic 1 on 1 missed tackles and the ball popping out the side of a ruck for a try are not regular occurrences in international rugby. Im not saying the wallabies should have won, just that it was closer than it seems.

  • MickRed

    Home ground advantage???? Was at the game and the All Blick supporters were loud and proud!! Aussie support was woeful!!! Disappointing to say the least!!! No wonder they have such a poor track record at ANZ!! More noise in a local library!!!!

    • Mickeyb

      I was yelling my tits off my friend – were you?

      A publicly proud Wallaby tragic!

      • MickRed

        Well I would not be commenting if I wasn’t Mickeyb! Clearly I’m voicing my frustration at the other 40000 wallaby fans who let the Blicks feel right at home! Surely you hear where I’m coming from?

    • Old_Laurentian

      Suncorp is our only fortress?

  • CD

    I think your review was extremely generous to JOC. He obviously based his defensive positional play off Nathan Merritt in Origin 2. It was woeful. Defence aside, he was strong offensively.

    The ABs were strong however I think it is, another, test match where the Wallabies lost the test match for themselves.

    • Parker

      I think you might be underestimating how well the ABs played. They beat us convincingly with well drilled execution and stronger desire. To think less is self delusory.

      • Old_Laurentian

        The ABs are the best side in the world, and showed it. An incredibly challenging task for a new coach and some new players to take on with limited preparation time. Things can only get (slowly) better for the Wallabies?

      • CD

        That is a fair comment. The ABs were ruthless and a step above. I should have said the Wallabies errors cost us them the opportunity to be competitive.

      • CD

        That is fair. The ABs were clinical and a level above us. I should have said the Wallaby’s errors cost them the chance to be competitive.

  • J-Rugby

    Our best bet would be to see if the NRL will lend the ARU the QLD Maroons league team plus Paul Gallen and Jarrod Hayne … I was maybe hoping for too much tonight. My fear is though that we just don’t have the skills in the Rugby population – hence the comment above.

    • Timbo

      What for? Glassing women after the game to take the focus off the poor rugby? Mungos are good for two things. League and being fuckwits

  • Graeme

    The Smiths all had blinders, so much so that Ben’s three tries were the least remarkable. Conrad gave a masterclass in number 13 play and Aaron easily outclassed Genia, who, apart from the try, was very poor. I’m not sure if it was a communication issue, but his service was uncharacteristically bad. And Cruden destroyed any of our vain hopes that the AB’s wouldn’t have an heir to Carter.

    I don’t think the result was terrible, there were a lot of positives to take from the game. Apart from the scoreline.
    But it’s implications were obvious. Our defense was unacceptable. Under Deans we were capable of putting out B-teams and winning games purely through defense. The Reds this year also were one of the tightest defensive units in the competition. It is work in progress, but I think there is definite potential going forward. I doubt we’ll ever put in such a shit display in defense again, and if we can up the positives (set piece, etc) we can be there.

  • Mickeyb

    Just walking from the stadium. Basic errors and dumb kicking straight to blacks in our half repeatedly. That cost us dearly and led to tries. Mogg failed to kick to the corners once. JOC doesn’t trust his inside defence and led to the first and following try. The ABs looked beatable but we weren’t cohesive and looked too lateral on attack. Like a team afraid of losing rather than with nothing to lose.

  • Bill

    Hooper had the best gme I’ve seen him have tonight. So fair play considering I thought it was a bum call starting him ahead of gill. If he hecan do that every other game I’d be ok starting him every game, even though I’m a gill fan. Mmm ok I thought. Simmons, there’s been a lot of shit talked about him, if there’s a better work rate 2nd rower in aus then get a fing hold of him and stop fing whingeing! … Can’t believe 78 percent thought the scrums weren’t better. For a first up game that was excellent.

  • Cypod

    As much as I rate Genia, his service to the backs is just far too slow. He picks up the ball and takes an eternity to clear it. Backs play comes down to milliseconds and they just don’t seem to have any timing, because there never sure what he’s up to. You watch when Phipps and White have come on in the last couple of tests, the backs get on the front foot and over the gain line. A good long quick pass from white and o’conner was over in the corner.

    • Graeme

      I was a shocked at his service tonight. Maybe he really does need Cooper outside him, or to develop better communication with Toomua. Off the base he often spent several seconds trying to size up the situation, without taking on the line, allowing the AB’s backs to completely shut down our backline.

      • Old_Laurentian

        Yes, at one stage, ball in hand he looked all at sea, and didn’t know where to go. I have never seen him do that before. Box kick was awful. He got a good whack (knee?) to the head, I wonder if that had any effect?

    • Parker

      I agree to some extent. Will was not as swift as usual, but take a count of the number of times he had an AB body on the ground in the way not rolling away. While I am pleased that the ABs didn’t get away with their usual high quota of offences at the breakdown, I was suprised they didn’t get pinged for not rolling away more often.

  • ben

    Look. You guys man for man arent that bad. Theres obviously no clarity in game plan. Go back to what gatland said after the lions tour about divisions in aus rugby franchises players etc. Nz franchises work for the abs and are guided by the abs coaching staff. A single common aim. Nz teams base performance on having “good buggers” in the team working for the team. Aus rugby needs stripping back and starting again with everyone on the same page i.e. For the team namely the wallabies.

    • Matt James

      The problem with that is that the Reds and Tahs play a completely different style to the Brumbies. To reconcile the two different approaches would be very difficult as evidenced by tonight’s poor team performance.

      • mxyzptlk

        I don’t think that’s the problem — that’s the point. There are at least three different philosophies being enforced at the SR level, and a fourth at the national level. Comparatively, you can see that NZ style at work even in the ITM Cup, as evidenced by Wellington and Canterbury this past week (among others).

        Who knows, maybe Link can get players and coaches on the same page, so the players better understand what needs to be adjusted between the two levels. But right now there isn’t consistency between the different levels of play or even between teams, which means at Wallabies level they at least need a game or two together as a team before they really click.

        • Russ the Muss

          The game plan in attack was one dimensional. I hope that was just a first effort from Link. It looked a lot like the Waratahs’ plan of running left, then right, then left, then right, and repeat. It worked OK, but we needed to be more direct at times, and also involve the back 3 in changing the angle.

        • mxyzptlk

          Funny — running left, then right, then left, then right, and repeat was pretty similar to what the Brumbies did in the Super Rugby final. So maybe there is some more consistency across teams.

          I was also reconsidering that lack of consistent philosophy, and think that’s not always the case. At least when it comes to the back row forwards; whether it’s Hooper, Gill, Pocock, George Smith, etc., there’s a consistency to how they approach their role that transcends which team they play for.

  • Bill

    Next week. Well, first of all Cooper is our best 1st five, unfortunately it was Toomua who showed that. Mogg, again unfortunately proved Whte right. Too early for him. From there? Fuck knows.

  • the ardent b’stard

    Spot on Hugh , men against boys is exactly right
    Just back from the game so a few observations
    How good is McCaw, Cruden impressive, Toomua I thought went ok. Aussie lineout put good pressure on the ABs but both Wallaby locks poor round the park. Steven Luatua is going to be a legend.
    – What the hell is going on with the new scrum laws – before at least I could have an opinion even it was wrong, no its a bloody mystery.
    – Joubert confirms his growing reputation as a a ‘homie’
    Wallabies went sideways most of the night , ABs ran straight and executed with less ball.

  • AB

    JOC the best???? Defensively out of position most of the night. Amped up in attack in the 2nd half.

    Not a single ball was put in straight tonight – they always seemed to tail off. The difference between the acceptable and infringing feeds was negligible. The idea of waiting till the ref allowing the feed is also ludicrous – rather it should be the ref saying put it in because you’re taking too long – as it gives the opposition the chance to give a second shove at the opportune moment, rather than letting the front row dual for the ball.

    • Graeme

      Joubert’s instructions or policy was fairly obviously to crack down on non-straight feeds. I think once teams adapt to the new laws and scrummies start feeding straight the scrums could become a bit of a 50/50.

      The downside to this is that teams will start to cynically give away scrums knowing they have a reasonable chance of getting the ball back. The upside, and I reckon this was one of the IRB’s considerations, most scrums occur because of knock-ons and dropped balls, so having contestable scrums will probably encourage more risk taking in attack.

  • Graeme

    I think it was unfair to blame the knock–on leading to the first try on Morgan throwing a ‘never on’ pass. Moore was not marked so the pass was on, and Morgan spent several seconds in the tackle looking to pass the ball before finding Moore. So it was really just a basic, simple knock-on by Moore.

    That said, Mogg turned out to be a bad selection. White based the brumbies game plan around his (and others) boots getting them out of the 22. I thought he was a very good selection before the game for this reason. But Link’s game plan didn’t utilize this strength and the AB’s were able to exploit his weaknesses in defense.

  • Mickey

    How we all thinking now about Israel Folau. The 4th amigo?

    • Ralph

      What?!!! Explain your stupid comment.

      • Mickey

        Show pony pal. MIA on the big stage. Champions step up.

        • Bcombes

          You’re an idiot mickey. Hard to get any impact on the game when your backline doesn’t attack the advantage line.

        • Mickey

          Go looking for work. Impose yourself. Be an example for those around you possibly struggling with the magnitude of the contest. Possession stat’s will tell you the Wallabies had their share of the ball. Folau was unsighted all night. Humbling feels polite.

        • Bcombes

          To use folau as the scapegoat is an easy option. Toomua didn’t threaten the line, CLL doesn’t know what to do when he hits hole and finds space and mogg was a super rugby player trying to make it on the international stage. Leaves very little option for impact from a winger. In saying this I personally believe folau is a centre. But that’s another story

        • Mickey

          Maybe. Too many jumped on this band wagon prematurely thinking he was the next coming of God for Aussie rugby instead of measuring his week in, week out contributions – especially on the really big stages. He has to get better, the really good players typically do. It usually starts with work rate.

        • stillatragic

          There was one crossfield kick to his wing that didn’t hit the target, from memory. Yes he should have been used more, Why wasn’t this done? Was it the game plan or the execution?

          Yes he needs to go looking for work a la Diggers, but maybe he doesn’t have the rugby mindset yet. Can’t think I saw him doing that at the Tahs.

  • Bcombes

    Hugh.. If you knew anything about rugby you would know JOC had an average game at best. Two on two in goal line defence and opts for the intercept/assisted tackle. Absolutely poor selection in defence… And that’s just one out of many mistakes…

    Can’t expect much out of a guy who thinks rob Horne is the best centre in Australian rugby.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Thanks for the condescention, champ. He made one mistake, but was certainly not alone there. More than made up for it in the ensuing 77 minutes.

      So do we say Horwill had an average game solely because he missed Conrad Smith to give him his try??

      • Bcombes

        As I said, pointing out one mistake in a game where his defence was not up to par. Many times did he opt to enter into the contest leaving the blindside (shortside) wing open for players like dagg to gain an easy 10 metres.

      • Graeme

        Actually I would say Horwell did have a pretty average game.

    • Chunderstruck

      Can someone please tell me about any of these other supposedly many defensive mistake he made?

      • Bcombes

        Read below as I said. Just one of many. I’m not saying he was the worse player. But it was obvious tonight that the AB’s attacked his wing and scored a lot of points from doing so

        • Graeme

          Most of the tries were scored because of the AB’s taking advantage of insufficient numbers. Link or the defensive coach have to take responsibility for that, not the guy at the end of the line.

  • Old_Laurentian

    Watching dejectedly from Paris, I can only say the French have a word for it –
    ‘plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose’
    It was never going to happen overnight, and there is plenty to work on if we are to learn the lessons the ABs taught today. I disagree on JOC, his defence was poor and the ABs played to his wing knowing that. Mogg didn’t tackle or kick well either. Issie didnt see much of the ball, and I thought Hooper was our best, and AAC sound as always. Should have given QC a bit more time on the ground to see what he could do?

    • Graeme

      Your french is not very good

      • Old_Laurentian

        You care to correct it?

    • Parker

      That’s about 8 words!

      • Old_Laurentian

        Ha-ha, OK, it’s a phrase, but in this case, yeah the more things change, the more they stay the same. But let’s give it some time. It took White and Cheika a long time to change from the way their respective teams had been used to playing.

  • Fatflanker

    Come back Dingo…all forgiven mate.

    • Ralph

      You are a bigger nob than the other bloke!!

      • Fatflanker

        F*ck you pal. At least Dingo’s ‘play what’s in front of you’ was some sort of plan – I didn’t see anything resembling a plan tonight. Link white-anted the shite out of Deans and tonight’s tripe was what we get instead??

        • Jimmy

          Link has had 3 weeks to undo 6 years of crap and you are condemning him on one performace. I’m not saying he will be successful, but one fucking performance after 6 years of tripe…..give yourself an uppercut.

          Deans is responsible for most of the shit we still see.

        • Fatflanker

          Well, we agree to disagree then. Yes, Link is new on the job and things will no doubt get better. I, like most, was expecting a new game plan to playing the Kiwis and some evidence of insight into how to beat them – this is something Link has repeatedly suggested he will bring.

        • Jimmy

          He might have a new game plan, but it will take a while for the players to get their head around it. Look at Jake white with SA….one of his first matches was a 49-0 thumping in Brisbane and he went on to wint the WC the next year.

          There are no guarantees with Link but he will definitely need more than 3 training weeks and one game to bring us whatever he is bringing.

  • Gottsy

    if anyone needs me i’ll be crying into my beer. Not enough positives to allow me to post rationally

  • Bcombes

    Unfortunately as expected toomua was a little overawed by the situation and failed to offer any option or threat in attack. I’m sorry to those who believe in this brumbies combination but its not ready just yet. CLL looks like a lost dogs when his hits a hole, he’s not sure whether to keep running or look for support. Toomua (whilst I agree was the inform 10) looked outgunned and scared of attacking then the AB’s line or even the advantage line for that fact, opting rather to be a shuffled of the ball creating lateral attack for the wallabies. Thank god for AAC intuition to straighten up otherwise we wouldn’t have even looked like a threat at the piercing the defence

    • Bcombes

      Also to add that Simmons should be worried, you clearly have no idea when it comes to rugby. Do yourself a favour watch the game over again… Who won us the two line out turn overs. That was Simmons. Pull your head out of the sand and learn it about the game before you go critiquing Australia’s best.

  • Gary

    Toomua OK but no one can move the ball to the outside backs quite like QC

    • Graeme

      I like having cooper on the bench. It didn’t quite work out tonight, but with Toomua battering their half all night and QC coming on at 60 minutes against tired legs.

  • Duvstar

    Had to watch this shit in a bar in Japan surrounded by supporters of the darkness. Only thing that made me feel better was that at least there was more Aussie support in the pub than there was at the ground.

    JOC was polarising. Our spark in attack, popping up everywhere, but then woeful in defence. Calls to drop him are ridiculous. If anything I’d consider moving him to 15, and the Honeybadger to the wing, don’t think Mogg’s quite ready at this level yet.

    I’d keep the front five together, thought Simmons was actually pretty good, those calling for him to go simply jumping on the negativity before the match. Not having any line benders in the back row cost us, but don’t know what the answer to this is.

    Quade in next week for Toomua. Then someone yell at Folau to leave the fucking wing every now and then.

    Finally, I love AAC. He is one of the only bright sparks week in week out. Adam, I would turn for you.

    • Alan Grouse

      Agreed, Aussie rugby fans are truly a poor crowd. I was surrounded by arrogant kiwis, many of whom continued to boo QC at every opportunity. A real pathetic bunch but at least they make some sound for their team on occasion. They made so much more noise than us I nearly forgot i was in sydney.

      Wallabies were just awful tonight. The drop balls, missed tackles, pointless kicking… atrocious. Too many unacceptable errors.

      Our forwards were again outmuscled and our attack lacked any real penetration. Apart from Genia’s (who imo was poor) wonder try, we never really looked like scoring till at the death. Often we looked flat footed when receiving the ball or isolated – the very opposite of the ABs who’s every pass was perfectly weighted and accurate.

      Our defence though was just ridiculously shocking, a shambles.

      I questioned Mogg here after the Super final only to be laughed at but he was sadly very, very poor tonight. The Smith try where he simply pushed him away was embarrassing. We don’t need another poor defender in an already fragile backline. Put Izzy at 15. Yeah JOC was poor at times but he should be kept, as should Toomua. It would be madness to start Cooper in Wellington, bring him on again in the 2nd half. I have been uber critical of Simmons for forever but it looked like he had a good game! Sadly MMM was MIA as were a few others which is a shame considering we achieved parity in the scrums and dominated the lineouts. Didn’t think Mowen gave us enough go forward at 8, he looked to have played well so should be moved but Fotu should be thrown in to at least get us over the gain line and on the front foot more often.

      I didnt and we shouldnt expect miracles from this team after such little time under Link but jesus he has alot of magic to work.. Wellington could be painful

  • Chunderstruck

    Don’t really agree with all this “Folau should look for the ball” talk. Is that his job? If the backline works properly they should get him enough ball. He knows how to find the line, that’s what he’s supposed to do

  • BPC

    Having been to the match, on tickets won in a competition, I am damn glad I didn’t part with any of my hard earned for the privilege of watching that crap.

  • Ross

    Ill say what our coach, captain and commentators could not say, we were beaten by a better team on the night! There I said it

  • Timsbo

    Why can’t we as a team adapt to what actually works on the field. Early in the game AAC goes straight past Nonu and smith. Nonu is susceptible to that type of running. We didn’t see it again all night.

    I find it hard to believe that any rugby purist could say that JOC was one of our best. He tried in attack but let’s be frank every player has roles to play both in attack and defence and he didn’t play his role in defence very well tonight. He is a test standard player but one of the first things you learn about wing defensive play is do not leave your man and trust your inside defence. Rookie error and no where near good enough. That was one of a few of is defensive errors not to mention his poor back up play to AAC on that break.

    The AB’s scored 4 tries off our errors. That was about 24 or 26 points. We don’t make those errors it’s game on. Everybody is dropping everybody for next week on these posts. If we just execute finally we have the team to win. I agree with some of the comments Toomua and Mogg were poor, JOC we expect better, far better but I would resist too much change.

    I thought hooper was great and also strongly agree with the posts that have supported Simmons game, those of you that don’t agree, watch the replay tomorrow.

    We have to better, at the breakdown we allowed them to loiter as always and disrupt our ball of which we had enough. I’m happy for us to go wide early but we have to be accurate and we have to have a lot more players in motion making the opposition make defensive decisions, we had none of that and poor execution, passes behind players etc.

    At risk of being shouted down I would keep Mogg for aother chance, I just think he is a test player but had an off day. If JOC had a first test like that we would all want him dropped as well but we all know what he is capable of. Mogg has the skills this wallaby side needs I believe.

    • spectator

      Mogg used as a bigger component in the direction of the team on field, would help his game and add to the Wallabies i reckon. The soft pawn off for the try was basically a result of a confused game pattern on a player.

    • Phil

      Not too sure about Mogg,I think he may need more time before throwing him against the AB’s,but I agree with all your other comments.I thought Hooper was our MOM and I am not a Simmons fan but thought he went ok.
      I thought there were some good signs from the team but you just cannot afford to make so many errors against that mob.They live off pouncing on mistakes and there is no team who can make you pay like them.

  • devils advocate

    I cannot stand the new scrums. Pen pen pen fk fk. No impact, no competition- just an embarrassment. IRB should have an emergency meeting in the morning.

  • Trampel

    Good write up as usual Hugh. Couldn’t have been easy!

    I thought JOC played well apart from the 3rd min brain fart. As did QC when he came on, really seemed to threaten the line.

    On the other side though Mogg and Folau were no were to be seen! Toomua just proved Quade should have been there, I don’t remember him attacking the line once in 60 mins! Hopefully he comes right but tonight he was found wanting!

    MMM was quiet, which was disappointing always a big risk starting so many new players against the bloody AB’s

  • prav

    can’t help but agree with most of the article, more so i can’t believe rob simmons actually played well. good on him

    i think this game showed, for test matches your props shouldn’t first be picked for mobility, but for strength in scrummaging. i rekn we missed fat cat. tamooa looked a bit too nervous, but quade looked ok.

    MMM showed what a lack of game time does. hopefully by the end of the year we can look back and say we’re headed in the right direction and our results show it.

  • Nick

    I think today is today proved how Super Rugby expansion is going to kill Australian rugby. Both New Zealand and the Wallabies came in to today’s game with many players out or not fully fit as a result of busy Super Rugby schedules. For the All Blacks, the loss of some of their test players had little effect because their replacements are good enough to play test match rugby. For the Wallabies, the losses of players like Pocock, Beale, Higginbotham, Ioane, Polata-Nau, etc… is too much to overcome. If the ARU cares about the success of the Wallabies, Super Rugby coaches are going to have to figure out a way to coordinate ways to give their players more rest throughout the season. If this doesn’t happen, the Wallabies will always be playing tests without 4-5 of their best players and results like today will become pretty standard. Theres not much the coach can do when a large percentage of his players are just not good enough to play tests matches.

  • subfreq

    You just can’t drop Toomua after that game, it would destroy any development you might hope the team and player could have. No 10 would have looked good in a Gold shirt tonight.

    We never controlled our possession or dominated the gain line, it gets no more complicated than that. The forwards were comprehensively out-musceled and our phase play was too simple and easy to defend against.

  • Hoppy

    Give this o’connor admiration a break please. He has had just about the worst defensive game imaginable and done nothing in attack until the 79th minute when he beats a tiring forward in order to score a try – but even then there was Folau on the outside who just needed the ball to score instead. O’connor didn’t look like he even saw Folau.
    As for those who suggest Toomua was ok – he ran our outside backs across field all night and provided such little threat at the line that te AB defence had an easy night of it.
    Whoever is coaching our kickers has a big job to do – the low raking kick is not great in the face of a fast closing defence – high % chance of a charge down. And Mogg’s around the corner penalty kicks for the line were a lottery as to whether they would go out let alone gain any distance.
    Hugh, your choices of O’connor as best and Simmonds as one who should be worried are difficult to understand. Simmons was one of our best forwards from start to finish and Oconnor one of our worst backs, especially in defence.

  • gaxman

    Sorry but I think most of u guys r missing the point. Stuff the backs. It was in the forwards that we lost it. Front row shit, second row were actually pretty good. Back row were rubbish except Hooper.
    Consistently in this game the All Black’s had one or two players in the ruck causing chaos and slowing our ball down, yet we were ineffectual with the same if not more players committed to the ruck. The cleanout was a joke!!! I found myself asking why nobody was cleaning out throughout the game. I know Link had a plan not to commit too many players to the ruck thus giving us more players to attack. Fail. How many times did we have to commit an extra player to the ruck on attack compared to the All Black’s?
    The All Black’s were able to do what Link was talking about. We never created space for the backs. Despite this two dad’s had a great game. Everyone else was shit. I give a pass mark to Christian as he kicked well and was solid in defence. Folau had one run in the game!!! R u f king kidding me????? Just passing the ball to the man outside u doesn’t create space with a drift defence. This crap from left to right to left to right rubbish just annoys me. If u don’t beat them around the corner it is useless. They did we didn’t, EVER. Genia had a good as usual but this blind side shit is becoming horribly predictable. Sometimes u just have to pass the f king ball and quickly. We created opportunities but didn’t capitalise on any. Sound familiar?
    I was hopeful but I feel like Toomua was set up to fail. He never ran the ball at the line and played deep all night. Cooper created more but as usual stuffed up more when he came on. I much preferred the way we played with him on the field though. Seriously WTF was happening out there? I knew we were in trouble when Christian was stuffing around with that penalty before half time, pulling his socks up and whatever. Time wasting, just trying to get in the sheds. No killer instinct, now we can score again, just let’s get in the sheds just 3 down. I said to my mate (a kiwi btw), I bet u guys score now. They almost did and got the penalty anyway.
    Absolute rubbish. Pissed off and sick and tired of my kiwi trying to be coy when they flog us. That’s what it was, a flogging. We were never in that game. They never looked like losing that game. Being a rugby man really has pushed me to my limits. Enough is enough, stand up and be counted.

    • Nutz

      Gaxman I rate the emotion – if only the team shared it. My biggest frustration was that I could see throughout the game that the ABs were definitely beatable. Even after the first try they were tentative and got pinged for silly penalties, giving us plenty of opportunities. Unfortunately I couldn’t see ANY leadership on the pitch from our mob, but particularly in the backs. How do Mogg and Folau figure their job is to receive the ball and pass it on to the next guy, instead of straightening and pinning their ears back. No kicking for position. No idea what to do when we got a break. The success of the ABs was that each error and doubt on our part resulted in a try – and good on them. The psychological damage they have inflicted on us means our guys are as surprised as everyone else when they make a break. That all said, lets back Link to build some belief – I wouldn’t take the scalpel to the team just yet, apart from Mogg who didn’t want to be there last nite.

  • disqus_TFt5hnGe3Z

    Cooper at 10, Gill at 6, Sio at tight head, Mogg had a shocker but will not repeat it, Wallabies to cease the errors getting out of our half and we’re a chance.

    • TSR

      Sio doesn’t play tight head.

    • the ardent b’stard

      You really want a 21 year old loose head playing his starting test at tighthead in Welly – boy not asking for much

  • Gavin

    I think there were a couple of things that were really disheartening about the loss tonight. Firstly Toomua who looked the goods during super rugby was practically invisible. He didn’t make errors but had zero attacking impact and looked afraid of the occasion. He could be the best option by the World Cup but not now. It was night and day between him and Cooper, one is currently a test flyhalf and one just isn’t. That’s not to say Cooper is infallible as his mistakes showed but he was a class above Toomua.

    Also I thought our back 3 might be a real handful for the All Blacks but they also misfired. Folau was anonymous, Mogg was out of his depth, and O’Connor was positionally poor in defense. I think some rethinking needs to be done before this unit clicks.

  • Nobody

    Lealiifano still needs to show he belongs? Simmons should be worried? Perhaps you should watch the game again, if you missed it the first time. Not sure how JOC was one of our best either – until he went to fullback he was completely at sea.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Maybe a bit harsh on those two. It’s bloody hard to write these things sometimes, having to digest a game and pump out a cogent article in the space of 10-15 minutes. With the benefit of hindsight I can see both had pretty decent games.

      • Old_Laurentian

        Hugh you do an amazing job of getting your reports out so fast, thanks so much. I think many of us often have a bit of a change of judgement after looking at the replay and / or a night’s sleep, and you don’t have the benefit of that when you go to press. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

  • Joe Mac

    All AB tries scored on JOC’s wing. At least three because he was out of position. His performance was diabolical.

    • Hugh Cavill

      Well he was playing fullback for a few of them. And only on one did he make a defensive error. This notion that a winger has to be permanently stuck to his wing is old-fashioned. Other players can cover, and they made the error in the case of the McCaw try (which was also a simple overlap and very hard to defend anyway).

      Plus all the damage was done through the middle, the tries were just the icing on the cake.

      • stillatragic

        Hugh, it may be old fashioned, but someone has to cover and I’d rather see a wing cover for a flying Dagg than a hooker.

  • skux

    The Brumbies players, who play well together under Jake White, can’t seem to produce a respectable performance as individuals in a new team under a new coach. Moore, Alexander, Mowen, Toomua, Lealiifano and Mogg were all very substandard and don’t seem to be able to cope at international level without their coach and environment

    • stillatragic

      The Brumbies didn’t play the ABs, to the best of my knowledge, and didn’t do too well against the Chiefs.

  • thedarknessfan

    didn’t Robbie deans actually win his first match against the All Blacks , when he replaced the coach before him.

    The wallabies did some great things and a lot of bad things. at the end of the day the All Blacks never looked like losing. Genias try was lucky against the run of play, and JOC try at 79th minute was meh.. consolation. ,

    The recurring theme in the replies is if they can just get this right and that right, they can win, did anyone stop to think that the all blacks will be looking to improve too? they have plenty to work on. retaining the pill, missed tackles, lineouts…

    NZ media are already saying if all blacks can get it right in wellington look out wallabies…. and thats the truth of it they are on the up.. improving still. stars would have to align, half the all blacks will have to be out with injury, and the wallabies will have to be red hot. for the all blacks to lose in wellington, and if by some miracle they do…. they would have to repeat this feat in Dunedin House of pain, wallaby back to back wins in NZ? not going to happen.

    oh by the way thanks for the bonus points we might them to get over the saffas.

  • J

    Cooper runs the back line better than anyone else. Gill was very good when he came on, even ripped the ball off McCaw after he’d made a steal and he can jump in the line out so could play 6. Simmons was very good and pressured the AB’s line out throughout. Wallabies need to play field position and pressure the AB’s line out. It’s about the only part of their game that was shaky. We’ve finally got a goal kicker who can make them pay. If you play in their half with the ball they will give away penalties as they did in the first half, maybe even concede a yellow card. All well and good playing “up tempo” and “expansive” but better to do this when 10 up not 10 down. JOC was awful in defence but will learn as will Mogg. Shouldn’t throw the baby out with the bath water, just need to use what they learned tonight and make it hard for the AB’s, not easy. Tackling was a little off, line speed and dominance needs to improve.

  • Justin

    They need to get rid of Nick Scrivener from coaching staff. Back line confusion over clearing kicks had his grubby hands all over it. If you’re going to appoint a head coach they need to be able to pick their own assistants to get a unified message. The ARU need to pay out all coaches contracts from Robbie’s era and let McKenzie pick who he wants so at least there is a consistent game plan.

  • waiopehu oldboy

    Is JOC the new QC? By which I mean the guy people blame when things go wrong, whether he had any part in them going wrong or not … out of position for the first try yes, overlapped for another yes but hardly responsible for the loss, that was down to a poor effort from the forwards at ruck & maul – except Hooper who I thought was really good.
    Bringing Cooper on to play catch-up footy will seldom work, I reckon you either start with him & drag him if he’s having a shocker or don’t have him in the 23 at all. And putting him in to start next week would be insane so please do it :-)
    Lastly, scrums were more hair-tearing-out impossible to understand than previously, I know we’ve gotta give it some time but if that’s as good as it gets I’d rather have a Frenchman gouge my eyes out.

  • Lambet

    “JOC was arguably the best”

    Is this a joke?

  • Pat

    Simmons must have read all the negativity here after the team was announced Thursday, played well! Just have to back it up this week.

  • cosmo

    I disagee that Leali should be worried, i thought he had a great game, good hard running, good ball skills, hit some good lines… not to mention his boot was close to the only thing that gave us a chance last night… Im not saying hes amazing but hes a solid player and had a solid game

  • cosmo

    hooper had a cracker, great to see him start to be more effective at the breakdown at this level… some nice turnovers and a mountain of work

  • TC63

    New scrum rules were interesting. Seems the bind is going to make it much more of a wrestle which will see a good contest.
    Can’t help but feel the incorrect feed issue is not going to be refereed consistently and will result in way too many penalties.
    What about the Referee feeding the scrum ? Radical I know but at least would remove the penalty issue.

  • Dougall

    On the other hand, probably one of the best games I’ve seen AAC play

  • Same old Oz

    So…McKenzie to rescue the mess that deans created and left behind – some perspective for the Wobblies, not that Oz does perspective, just hype!

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