Discussion in 'Rugby Discussion' started by Stands, Apr 10, 2012.
fatprop covered most of my thoughts. Most Aussies would have been going for the Force but I am glad that the Tahs didn't lose by one point again.
There was some good play from the Tahs, outside of losing a big lead, including shooting down Force runners like ducks before they got going and getting to the breakdown better on Force ball . They also shoved and did some Highlander type nuisance stuff once they got the ruck hit. However they were very clumsy and lacked alertness too many times when the ball got out of the ruck and scrum. In particular Palu looked dozy and sloppy on contact and picking up the ball.
Next to Dennis, and equal with TPN, Alcock was one of the best for the Tahs. I always look for the defensive reading lapses he had in South Africa last year but he is better this season to date. Lopeti looks more and more like a player who deserves a full contract though he comes in the side gate too much for my liking.
In the backs I liked the moment when McKibbin could have kicked from his own 22 after a turnover but dished the pill out instead and Kingston scored. It was a rare moment of the Tahs having a go when safety was probable. The move involved Foley, who should offer himself more than he does in standard play and not just choose 7s type unstructured moments to have a crack. Talking of Foley: the Tahs did poorly when they were short a man and not as good as when the Force were a man down.
The attacking defence of the backs wherein the Force guys got ball and man at the same time was excellent most of the time and I also liked their general improvement in endeavour instead of going through the motions.
Force fans must be scratching their heads. They don't have a lot big names in the backs but when they got the pill wide they threatened and not just when the Tahs were missing a man either. Harvey had a decent game at flyhalf and though those of us who have watched Gordon a bit know that there is a dark side to his play, we haven't seen any of it to date.
Even though the Tahs have just had the bye I hope there are a few changes to for the Rebels game - and it's not because I don't think that every game is a banana skin for the 2012 Tahs - I do. Coach Foley will be reluctant to bench his lineout quarterback, Mumm, but the elder Timani should start soon instead of Douglas. "Little" brother Lopeti should get a start also because once Rocky is back his bench spot may be gone. Paddy Ryan has scrummed and played well generally and deserves a starting shot. I wouldn't give Dennis a rest though, until Rocky is fit enough to start, and that won't be his first game back.
I'm not recommending these as permanent replacements but it would be better to give different guys a start against the Rebels than against the Crusaders the following week.
PS - Great to see Shep have a healthy game. Wouldn't it be good if he can play 80 minutes every game for the rest of the season?
Just my observations...
It appeared to me that Longbottom was far more effective than Maafu. He should be starting and Maafu benched. He really needs to get fit and build core strength.
For a guy his size he should be much stronger in the engagement. He just folds!!
I think Longbottom is making very good progress.
Dave Harvey also continues to impress and I think he will only get better with more experience at this level.
You do know that Robbie Deans is still the coach, don't you? Robbie almost always selects his favourites regardless of form and fitness. Ma'afu played reasonably well in the RWC 3rd place play off and the Wales/Barbarians tests. Last night highlighted that he is a bit waste of space, but before that I think Deans would have still picked him over Weeks, Palmer, Ryan and Holmes.
From my memory he only got picked because there were injuries, not because he was any good.
Yes, that may be right in Colts. When he got to first grade, he and Joel were the Gordon centres, pretty exciiting too at the time. They both got offered Brumbies contracts at the same time, but while Mortlock took his, Joel went to League for three years before coming back to the Brumbies. Andrew Gordon was, as you say, also from Mudgee, but didn't go on beyond colts at Gordon.
He started ahead of Ben Alexander in both the 3rd place play off and the later test against Wales. But then again I don't rate Ben Alexander that highly as a scrummager.
This is almost a new thread but I'll post it here.
Title of rant: Berrick Barnes, what the fuck?
What's the deal with Berrick Barnes? He is a kicking flyhalf who is terrible at kicking. I reckon he found grass on about 1 out of 12 attempts - the rest sailing into the arms of receivers. The bomb on his own 22 was the highlight. I mean, he's not even that long off the boot. Where has his reputation as a kicking flyhalf come from? Not actual performances.
Also, he throws 80% of passes behind the man. Sure, he tackles pretty well (maybe less well since trying to protect his noggin) but as a flyhalf he offers nothing. David Harvey completely outplayed him. Dan Parks would have outplayed him.
Anyone want to defend this disaster?
I don't quite get how Barnes can look at times pretty ordinary at Super rugby level and then totally look the part when in a Wallaby jumper. Maybe test footy is more suited to him. I dunno.
His reputation is as a kicking fly half, because whenever he's under pressure he kicks the ball away.
If Plan A doesn't work perfectly, the ball goes on the boot.
Even as a Tahs fan I do not rate Barnes, I think he's lateral passing is suspect and he doesn't attack/straighten the line enough.
Shit if you guys don't want him we'll take him. I don't think I've ever seen him play a bad game for the Wallabies. With possible exception to the RWC Quarter final in 2007. I don't want to start another shit fight, and I'm not suggesting that Richard Graham is any better as a coach, but you have to look at the coaching when a good player consistently plays poorly. In the 10 or so Waratahs games I've seen since Barnes joined you guys he's never looked that good.
I think it would realy suck to drop Dennis for Rocky. Dave has been oustanding this year and needs to be in the starting 15. I am sure the Rebels would see it differently though.
Tahs did a good job of shutting the Force backrow down and I still like the way Tom Carter is using an expanded skill set. He is looking good for it.
Barnes is way out of form. If he reproduced that form in a test he would be dropped immediately. The most difficult decision for Foley is "how long can I keep selecting him and hoping his form will pick up before he ruins the whole season?" His performance yesterday was diabolical and way worse than his last couple. I reckon the forwards will beat the Rebels next week, Robbo will be salivating over what he will do to Blake at scrum time, so maybe he's got one more start before the axe. But if I was Foley I'd be running Bernard at 10 for half this week's training and if at oranges on Saturday there was no improvement I'd be pulling Barnes.
Right now Hangers would be better at 10 if you don't want to rush Foley, but moving Barnes to 12 caused massive dislocation in the Tahs game so if Hangers goes in Barnes has to drop out.
Yep, as big a defender I've been of Rocky's, I reckon Dennis has been great for the Tahs this year. With Higgers stepping up his game as well, I think we may be past the time when we need to sweat on Rocky's fitness for the test campaign.
I wonder if Richard Grahams comments on palu being the most important key for the tahs went to his head? He had some good carries, but turned over about 4-5 times? The loss off the back of the scrum before half Time was unforgivable. I hope he picks up his game next week, and then again v the saders the week after.
I suspect that Rocky will start from the bench when he comes back unless coach Foley decides he will start on his rotation policy. Which will probably disappoint Lopeti Timani fans as he is most likely to be the one dropped from the team.
It's not really fair, as having richard brown off the field could be considered an advantage.
I can see Rocky starting next week, Dennis hasn't missed any minutes yet apart from a brief stint getting stitched up. Very demanding for a 6.
I wouldn't be surprised to see Jenkins miss out against the rebels (they don't carry an out and out fetcher) and the Tahs to go into smash mode
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