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Australian Schoolboys & National Championships 2009

Discussion in 'Schoolboy Rugby' started by The Chosen, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    Having just read Lance Free's match summary on the blog there is no need for me to try one here. Great report Lance, agree with everything but will have to take your word on the yummy mummy! Oh, and I thought the replacement 10 for OZ was Kyle Godwin?

    The scoreline really did flatter the young men in gold as the NZ boys ran rampant in the second half. The NZ 10. Lima Sopoaga was the clear standout on the field. Boy, does he have some vision..and skills to match!

    Some other random observations from me:

    - The 60m penalty from Nikoro the NZ 15 was unbelievable and blew the crowd away.
    - The OZ scrum in the first half was awesome. Alo-Emilie is one to watch for the future, that's for sure.
    - Massive second row for the OZ team. Gee Jones is a big lad, no wonder the Force snaffled him.
    - The breakaways impressed me. Gill is hard as nails and Tuapou has great feet and hands for a forward.
    - Woodhouse, the OZ fullback is a solidly built guy, with all the skills and a massive boot.
    - Replacement fullback Felsman sure has some wheels, and his dropkick conversion had similar wow factor to the Nikoro penalty.
    - Tyson Frizell (12) looks a likely lad - LG, he reminded me of Zipper.
    - Rohan Saifolo, the OZ 10, was all class as well.

    Finally.. bring back the ELV's! It was disappointing to see an elite schoolboy match dominated by the boot, as was the first half.

    A great game though, and well worth the entry fee.
  2. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    The game was a total paradox to Monday’s game against the Aus A’s at the Southport School.
    The Australian forwards came out swinging, figuratively and totally dominated the New Zealand opponents from the get go – for the first half. Couple of tight heads, stolen line outs and Australia looked the goods.
    An early penalty attempt to New Zealand #15 Albert Nikoro – FROM HIS OWN 10M LINE had the crowd laughing until it cleared the crossbar and landed at the dead ball for the first 3 points of the match and the Australia heads dropped big time. Australia and New Zealand traded penalties all second half, Australia missing 2 and New Zealand one for the half time score 12-6 in favour of Australia.
    Poor discipline by the New Zealand forwards was the culprit with a number of high tackles and some uncontrolled aggression. Australia points by #10 Rohan Saifolo and New Zealand by #15 Nikoro and their brilliant #10 Lima Sopoaga. The game was close to half time – no one looked dominant enough to score a try and it was a great forward battle with Australia #7 Liam Gill leading the way – be had a blinder and played his typical game – it’s been a while since we have seen this level from him – welcome back Liam.
    It did seem however that New Zealand were massing the troops and it wouldn’t be long before they just dominated. And so the second half – nothing like the first.
    In the first, backs rarely saw any useable ball on both sides such was the display by both sets of loose forwards. In the scrums it was beautiful – pure frontrowers paradise.
    The second half saw the New Zealand attack return. Back came the crisp unchallenged passes from #9 Thomas Perenara to Sopoaga, whose attack found gear and it wasn’t long before #12 Francis Saili crossed after a great break and pass by Sopoaga near the Australia posts.. Score Australia 12 – NEW ZEALAND 13 and it was on. New Zealand again committed a number of illegal tackles and eventually it was their #12 Saili see the yellow after the referee showed great patience so far in the game. Unfortunately I don’t think this yellow as warranted as Saili foresaw the oncoming calamity and actually stopped and the Australia player soaring high in the air actually floated across Saili and it was ruled against. Unfortunate but it sent a clear message and it worked.
    Another penalty to New Zealand saw the score go to 16-12 and the inevitable looked most likely. Another great try to New Zealand swathe score go to 23-12 and they looked unstoppable. Then came the class of Sopoaga – an New Zealand attack off a stolen lineout on the Australia 15m, play back to the Australia 22, an uprushing defence, a 30m lateral kick pass over a plethora of New Zealand and Australia players in a huch to the right wing position found a lurking #8 Antonio Kiri Kiri for a great try in the corner and the score was 28-12.
    Australia looked down and out. Replacements were coming thick and fast BUT NO MITCH FELSMAN – where was Felsman?
    Time was getting away, Australia attacked and we saw play on the New Zealand 22 on the far 15m, a backline move and Australia #10 replacement #22 Kyle Godwin found himself midfield, infront of the opposition posts 22m out andin all sorts of bother – surrounded by raiding New Zealand players– nowhere to run when miraculously a teeny weeny hole opened up, he ghosted through most Larkham like, could have scored himself but made a 15m pass over the 4 centre three quarters to a waiting and unmarked Chris Sautia/Feauai and he showed great skill and adeptness to catch the ball and put it down for the opening Australia 5 pointer. Score 28-17.
    Full time minutes away – an unscripted and very spontaneous Australia attack to the far corner saw finally, a very late replacement #15 in #23 Mitch Felsman score very wide.
    Quickly he took the ball back and drop kicked the conversion – score 28-24 and it looked minutely possible that Australia might steal the game.
    From the kick off – 24 seconds remaining and the obvious Australia attack, the ball spun across field to the far wing, Australia running, passing and looking possible when Felsman in a great rush of blood when a try was needed kicked the ball – gameover as they say.
    Australian players of notes:
    The Australia backline ineffective – massive breakdown 10-12-13 – just didn’t happen at all.
    Liam Gill – massive game, absolutely smashed their back row and was the main reason we were on the front foot for so long in the first half. Absolute bulldog. Was also responsible for restraining their 10-12-13 combo in the first half. Now if you can grow 6 or more inches in height.
    Australia front row – brilliant and dominated all game – Paul Alo-Emile wonderful. He singlehandedly destroyed their scrum on their feed.
    Chris Feauai – some good runs, made good ground but showed he is more a finisher than a creator. He is only 79kg (albeit only 15ys old as well) but seems to be outmuscled in the tighter stuff and is easily restrained.
    Kimami Sitauti – for those that don’t know he can be brilliant but can be easily shut down by taking his space and he then becomes singularly posessed. More often than not his defect is as noted many times before on this forum – He will not pass the ball no matter what and all too often runs across field for no gain at all, again all too often into isolation - and for a mercurial winger who can get away from the opposition into isolation – this is a curse – did more harm than good tonight. Kimami is talented- of that there is no doubt but he is not a team player.
    Disappointment of the night – not seeing Mitch Felsman until 5 minutes to go – he could have made a huge difference if on much earlier – he offers far more opportunites and potential in attack than does Woodhouse who was very quiet tonight.
    A quiet game for Saifolo and his size difference to his opponents would not have helped. Solid all the same and kept Australia in the hunt with some good goal kicking.
    Finally, my Australia MOTM - #9 Nick Stirzacker – the Queenslanders finally got to see him. Magnificent passing, always there – great performance. We were a little concerned here as we thought Ruka Hanlon may have been the better option to attack but – alas – the rugbywhisperer was wrong. Stirzacker had a blinder and is class.

    For New Zealand;
    Sopoaga – again brilliant, #12 Saili and #13 Edwardson very solid and when given good ball are very dangerous, #15 Nikoro – very solid and attacks well, the New Zealand backrow – very impressive and does the job brilliantly.

    On a personal note – after having one as a billet for 2 nights, thank you New Zealand. A lovely, polite bunch of lads who have wonderful skills and talents – they did you all credit.
  3. The Chosen Fred Wood (13)

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    Great to read this comprehensive report- sounds like NZ had too much of a roll-on although good to see the home side finish well.
    Delighted to note your opinion re Nick Stirzaker ( refer my previous post). Nick is booked in to do a `Gap Year' in the UK next year- maybe he might get an offer that will amend his plans. Remember his name.
  4. chief John Solomon (38)

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    I'm still failing to comprehend how referee didn't card earlier. However Liam Gill was my man of the match just so abrasive at the ruck area. I really didn't like the punch that was thrown on him early either. Too add Nick too had a great game, was put off by the NZ halfback just playing with him, I really do understand now why he was selected. However the Australian team was not a 70 minute team I think the coach left the reserves far too late, as the front row was tiring and it just became reset after reset. And Felsman I don't understand still why he wasn't put on earlier. He really ignited a falling team.
  5. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    As a referee - the ref left the card for 2 reasons,
    Firstly - he did not want to ruin the night and secondly, the first tacle offence was stupid - the second and third were not malicious and you could see the New Zealand tacklers at least attempting to withdraw from the tackle - they were in all seriousness - unavoidable outcomes, In the last with Chris 's tackle Chris actually fell across the NZ defender.
    But the card did the job.
  6. chief John Solomon (38)

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    I thought the high tackle was pretty bad, and there was an attacking chance. I thought a binning was understandable there. As for the 2 in the air tackles definitely not. But the first shoulder charge was as malicious as it could get with no intention to wrap. I had a referee coach next to be who was saying that it was very stupid that a card was not issued there. And in the 2nd half when the scrum fell to pieces he was just guessing. Well done to NZ though it was a very good game.
  7. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    Excellent match report RW. I have to agree with you on Stirzacker, he was very good and has a very decent pass.
  8. Lance Free Arch Winning (36)

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    Cheers Speccy. Yeah, you're right. It was Kyle Godwin - I've inadvertently written the name of the No 22 from the Kiwi side, not the Oz one!!! That's the trouble when you're writing it up at midnight (and with a vin rouge)! Thanks mate, I've changed it.

    Agree with Rugbywhisperer about the card - was a bit harsh but I guess after a few Kiwi transgressions the ref needed to take some action. NZ were a bit ill-disciplined at times and this put a stop to it.

    Lots of great comments and observations guys. I was really disappointed with the way the game completely changed in the 2nd half. I had about 10 of their parents sitting in front of me and a few of them were mouthing off. Was hoping we'd be able to shut them up but it was not to be..
  9. rugbywhisperer Banned

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    Good point about the parents there Lance.
    The kids were absolutely the nicest bunch of blokes, polite, reserved, very quiet (we couldn't get our bittet to say boo), but the parents were way offside -and relly spoiled the atmosphere. (sounds like someone I used to know in a previous life)
  10. Lance Free Arch Winning (36)

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    It's the arrogance of winning all the time RW. Wallabies, Sevens, U20s and now Schoolboys. Complete dominance over Australia.

    Sure, the last couple of years has been great for the Schoolboys but they've been on their lonesome...
  11. rugbyfreak

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  12. John Andrews

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    looks like a very strong side. But a definite suprise is no felsman. What are the selectors thinking. When he took the field against New Zealand he made an immediate impact. He is all class, with incredible pace. A very dissapointing decision. Aside from that the side looks very strong. WATCH OUT POMS!!
  13. spectator Bob Davidson (42)

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    Very interesting to see the name of Joel Faulkner in that list. Missed out on all the domestic games and I did think he was a controversial omission on form in prior years. Who made way for him though?
  14. Geronimo

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    I watched the game at Southport and then travelled up to Brisvegas for the test and don't believe there are too many surprises from my minimal observations. I think I said after the southport game that I thought Lucas went the best of the team and the others to go OK were Browning and Garland. Felsman could have paid the price of a brain explosion in kicking the ball away with no time on the clock in the test. Yes it is interesting that Faulkner is chosen, I think this is to add some punch in attack in the mid-field that was missing last Friday. I am very happy Ross Marais and Jack Kimmince made it but I feel for Moro and ruka
  15. chief John Solomon (38)

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    Also Garland for Felsman. Pretty speechless on why this occurred. I'm apparently blinded.
  16. TOCC Guest

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    faukland probably got in because the QRU had already handed him Reds Academy contract
  17. unsub god Herbert Moran (7)

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    Thought both Hanlon and Felsman were unlucky. Australia (and the game) need more running halves.
  18. high tower Herbert Moran (7)

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    Did anybody watch the game on fox sports 3 on saturday.

    I noticed the defensive efforts of the two Australian half backs were pretty ordinary.
    Some blatant examples of contact avoidance, hiding on the blindside of a ruck that was basically on the sideline.

    The placement of Stirzacker at blindside flanker on a defensive 5 yard scrum suggests, the captain/coaching staff were not backing him to make a tackle.
  19. Geronimo

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    I think you are being a bit harsh, Stirzaacker had a real crack and stood up for himself quite well. He certainly has courage in my book, however it is the only time I have seen him play. Lucas only came on for the final minutes and Australia had the ball most of that time and scored two tries so I can't see how you can make that call at all. he plays for GT up here and I have seen him play three times and I don't think he has a defensive weakness, if anything after evidencing his effort against the Kiwis at TSS I would say it is a strength.
  20. high tower Herbert Moran (7)

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    Geronoimo i think you might have been blinded by the push and shove that stirzacker got involved in with his opposite at every scrum where australia had the feed, until the ref came and stood between them on stirzackers put in. The kiwi was in his face or on his foot all game or so it appeared on the box.
    I was commenting on his effort when tackling and Lucas' single attempted tackle where he was ineffectual. For a couple of guys playing at this level it was woeful! i dont think either of them completed a tackle or contributed to stopping an oppostion player in 70 minutes of game time.

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