Dwyer's view: done decisively - Green and Gold Rugby

Dwyer’s view: done decisively

Dwyer’s view: done decisively

I reckon we’ve heard a lot of talk over the last 24 hours about how well New Zealand played – which they did. Did they play unbelievably well? There’s no way of making that assessment. There’s no way to completely evaluate their performance.

Sure, their passing was accurate and running straight. Sure, 95% of their passes weren’t too long. Sure, their support play and their realignment in both attack and defence were good and urgent. But you’re supposed to do all of those things in every game.


I heard a lot of talk about ‘back to basics’ from the commentators – but there are only basics. All your performance is is just a bunch of basics joined together, every moment of the game. Then we accurately heard Richie McCaw say after the game that they did all the simple things well. Spot on.

We were really well beaten. It’s a contest and there are different aspects of that contest in every game – but they pretty much won them all. We could say their attack was better than our defence and their defence better than our attack. For our part we need to assess why that was and what we can do to turn it around.


Now their attack was better then our defence for a number of reasons.

First, we were strangely lethargic – our realignment in defence had no urgency about it.

Second, our front-on tackling was poor, I don’t remember many, perhaps any, where we actually had a shoulder and leg drive in a tackle that drove them back. As a result they had quick recycle every time. Add their accuracy in support play and you had the tackled player going forward. New Zealand subsequently put phases together and they put us under pressure consistently. That’s good play and it’s the fundamentals.

If we compare the Waratahs defence for most of the year we saw that it was aggressive and drove the opposition back in their tracks, meaning that the opposition couldn’t keep the fluidity in their attack.



Until Foley, Kuridrani and Phipps came on the field we had no urgency or acceleration in our attack towards the opposition’s goal line and we certainly had no second touches, unless it was a pre-planned one that was so far away from the opposition that it didn’t count. New Zealand had no trouble using the ‘natural loop’ (as Mark Ella called it) from minute one via Aaron Cruden.

Their attack found space and where there was no space they found leg drive and footwork through the tackle, for virtually the entire game.

In the set plays we certainly weren’t on top. The scrum where we conceded a penalty try our second rower didn’t even have his shoulder behind the prop, he was trying to do it with his arm! I’m not saying we were dominated in these areas, but they won them both by a bit.

Of the back five in our scrum, only Hooper seems to have any pace. Both our locks, Fardy and Palu seemed metres off the pace, and somewhat ponderous.

If we go to our back line, I’m told the reason we want Toomua at 12 is that we want two ball players. I have not seen one instance of high level ball play from Toomua in an international this season. I can see that he’s probably the most aggressive front on tackle, but he has no ability to use others as a ball player.

As per the first Test, so again in the second Test – I saw nothing to recommend Beale as a fly half. I think Kurtley has a lot of individual handling and running skills with some good vision, but I see nothing in his game to recommend him as a five-eighth. Let’s end the experiment and play proper rugby that requires a combination of players with a seemingly small contribution from our nine and ten, but qualities that are essential for quality attacking play.

Ewen has talked about the need for consistency, but surely only one that leads to quality performances. Consistently low par performances cannot possibly be a worthwhile feature.


The fundamental criterion for selection in my team is this – if we can help the player to reach his potential, can he help take the team where we want to go? If the answer’s no, then we need someone else.


I can’t see that either of our locks carry the ball well enough for international rugby. I worried about it and conceded because I thought they were honest toilers. When was the last time either Simmons or Sam Carter had a set of stats like Retallick? Seven carries for 49 metres. That would be the sum total of the career stats of these two players.

Maybe we can have one of them, but the absence of Kane Douglas can only be sheer arrogance on our part. Here is a player who is contracted for Australia, paid a salary by Australia and not picked solely because he won’t be here next year. Should we strike those out who won’t be here the year after as well? To make it worse they’ve now decided to release him. What level of bastardry made a decision not to release him two weeks ago, but will now?

I think White’s performance isn’t up to standard. He must be the most charged down scrum half in world rugby. Phipps is not perfect but if they want to swallow their pride then get Nick Farr-Jones in to talk to Phipps about the accuracy in his technique then we can fix it in one week. Even now Phipps is playing better than White.

My back line would be – Phipps, Foley, Kuridrani.

In the week leading up the Test the commentary from New Zealand was that Crotty would do well because he’d take the hard yards on the inside shoulder of the defender in front of him, and they were right. This is what Kuridrani does every week. He’s also just as aggressive in the tackle as Toomua and 20 kilos heavier


I would have Ashley-Cooper at 13, Beale on the wing (where he can use his speed and pop up). Until we can get Speight and Tomane back, we stay with Horne (who can be used more on the inside run in attack) and Folau at full back (who interestingly has been shown short again for raw pace). We can’t judge Izzy though because his centres aren’t doing anything for him at all and he still manages to beat the first two defenders every time.

In the forwards, I would bring Luke Jones back into the fold. We’ve got to have someone who can give pace aggression and leg drive. I would play him at six and Fardy at eight. I’d also be thinking about Caydern Neville, who reminds me of Kane Douglas a few seasons ago.

We need to be able to go to a higher level. On Saturday night the former Australian coach Jack Howard sent out an email to a few that said:

“Test rugby is usually a step above provincial rugby. Last week’s match wasn’t and we stayed in the game, this week it was and we couldn’t.”

If who we have can’t take us up to this level then we need to try others who can. We’ve done it before and it’s yielded some of the best players we’ve seen.

Finally, if we want to think about how we went in this game then pick a combined team from both sides. The only Australian player I can see is Hooper forcing McCaw to six. I couldn’t even see Folau moving Smith.

No wonder we got done so decisively.

  • Anthony

    One thing I saw which hasn’t been mentioned is a lack of trust in teammates. At numerous times throughout the game a player didn’t pass to a person in space or someone slid too far in defense in case the man with the ball passes it. It happens way too often and resulted in tries against us. No matter the number from 1-15 the All Black is wearing they will always do the selfless act for the team.

    • johnson

      I completely agree, spot on

      • The illusion

        Players coming off the wing at every chance and allowing the overlap. Every time NZ got the turn over they seemed such a threat as we couldn’t put together basic defence. One-on-one tackles required two/three players on Savea and the Folau v Barrett was criminal with ball carrying.

    • Mitch T Gray

      Yeah, I thought they looked like a team that just met as well…

  • Johnson

    I agree with backline but not fardy at 8, i like luke jones somewhere in the 23 at least though and i think skelton needs far more of a run especially when he guys ahead of him a below par. Front rows been solid and so has the backrow for the most part but we will never find someone like kieran read at 8 so fardy may be alright there.

  • GD

    Bit of work to be done for sure. What I did enjoy was seeing a ref who was firm but allowed the game to flow. There were times where we went 10 minutes without a penalty – lots of advantages, lots of running rugby – superb! Attack, counter-attack, and counter-attack – the Wallabies lost but Rugby Union was the winner.

    • Bobas

      I really disagree about the refereeing. I thought on multiple occasions he could have let things play on.

      Beale charged down a fly hack and it was called a knock on, despite an offside AAC chasing ‘the knock on’. McCaw should have been allowed a quick tap, but wasn’t because the referee was out of breath.

      • John Eales

        The beale call was bad, the McCaw call was because you’re not allowed to take 2 quick taps in a row while the other team is offside.

        • Dudebudstud

          “you’re not allowed to take 2 quick taps in a row while the other team is offside.”

          This is completely false. No where in law does it say you can’t take two quick taps. The law states that the players can take the quick tap as soon as the ref makes the mark. If a quick tap is taken and the defending team is caught not 10 meters back(offside), the ref awards a new penalty but typically delays making the second mark. However if the ref makes the mark quickly there is no reason the player can’t take a second quick tap.

        • SD

          It’s in the rules, you can’t do it.

          The question is whether that still applies as the play had moved on for a couple of phases of advantage.

        • Dudebudstud

          no it’s not in the rules. Check law 21.7(d). You are making things up.

        • SD

          Ah, no. Your own description of the rule above describes exactly why you can’t do a quick tap twice.

          Looking at the replay, it doesn’t look like the referee had marked it.

        • Dudebudstud

          As long as the referee makes the mark you can take a 2nd, 3rd, quick tap. Nothing in law limits you to two quick taps.

        • bullshit

          So you only have one quick tap per game?

      • Bill

        I disagree, Beale was attempting to regather the ball, not charge it down, he just got a little lucky. Ref’s call either way, this occasion he saw it differently.

    • Parker

      I must say the referees’ preparedness to enforce ruck and scrum laws consistently last week and this has been refreshing. Last week I was of the opinion that the unfair advantage that the ABs have enjoyed for so long because they routinely got away with cheating was over and that a new age of international rugby was upon us. It is a credit to them that even with that leveler they are able to prevail so ruthlessly. I guess we forgot to take advantage of the opportunity.

  • RedsFanDan

    Two things have been really bugging me.

    1. How erratic White and Beale’s passing has been. They’re supposed to be the main ball distributors so it should be a core skill that they should be able to do well in their sleep. The number of times a pass from those two has gone over the head, behind the player, on to the hip or just to the fingertips of the player in the last two tests is outrageous.

    2. There seems to be a distinct lack of communication between players. All the high balls we’ve let bounce because no one has called for it. The collisions and accidental offsides. Surely they must have drilled these things and know who is doing what?

    • Gold Coast flyer

      I don’t get why when we saw the White / Foley combination in the 3 French games it worked and was really accurate and provide the beast attacking platform we have seen in a long time. But after it didn’t work with Beale whilst under emense pressure behind a beaten pack Bob suggest Phipps who in the same breth he says is not up to standard? WTF?

      • John Eales

        White and foley weren’t that great, and definitely weren’t the best we’ve seen in a long time. Go back and watch willie g and quade in their prime, now that was a halves pairing.

      • RedsFanDan

        Who else is there? Luke Burgess is in the squad, would you run him on with no game time for 2 months? Genia is injured. Mathewson is ineligible. Stirzaker or Frisby?

        The fact is that Phipps has vastly improved his game this season and has looked better than White when he’s come on in tests.

  • muppet

    Bob, you rightly cite the skills of players from the golden age of Aus rugby (golden, not just because they actually wore gold!). Yes, we had world class talent in the 80’s and 90’s but I fear that you inadvertently highlight the real issue with the game here…

    …we simply have not been competitive since the game went professional.

    I would propose a remedy but I’m not sure there is [a realistic] one in sight.

    • Teh Other Dave

      I disagree, we won the first professional world cup due to our ability to embrace professionalism, as well as a brace of once-in-a-generation talent. I remember seeing blokes like Tune and Dan Herbert go from looking like taipans to looking like cobras. The problem now is that we seem to forget the very fundamentals of rugby.

    • SD

      We were pretty competitive in the late 90s/early 2000s

  • The illusion

    Players bugging me:
    – White
    – Carter
    – Simmons
    – Palu (in test matches)
    – Fardy (always a silly penalty)
    – McCabe (in test matches – no real opportunities)
    – Skelton (really hasn’t done anything off the bench)

    Where we can improve:
    – Phipps (Adds the spark)
    – Foley (Wins v French and Super XV – No brainer his form is great)
    – Shift beale to 12
    – Higgers – on for Palu (Adds the spark)

    – Hoops
    – Izzy
    – Toomua (Defence is a pleasure to watch)
    – Beale (so much pressure)
    – Rob Horne (Horny to get some action)


    • RugbyStu

      Yep chorus would agree

    • Teh Other Dave

      Impressive: Slipper

    • Seb V

      Beale impressive…. I don’t think so. Don’t use pressure as an excuse. Test matches are all about pressure and he simply can;t handle it. Never has been able to. Move him to the players bugging me category.

      • GD

        Beale needs to be there, just in a different position.

        • Seb V


        • old weary

          Carrying Oranges.

        • first time long time

          The bench!

    • GD

      Was AAC on the field? I never noticed.

      • Simon

        AAC was playing, the problem I think was there was a log jam at 12 called Toomua.

        • big dawg

          anyone see the irony in someone not passing the ball to AAC?

        • Mike

          AAC has made the final pass in a lot of Tahs tries this season.
          The trouble is, most people are too busy reiterating clichés instead of actually watching what he does on the field.

    • GD

      Skelton interests me, he doesn’t have a lot of skill or pace etc and I think that while they can use him as a battering ram in Super 15 I think he is shown up in Test footy – can the Wallabies afford to pick someone on the off chance they will hang onto the ball and put someone into a gap?

  • Daz

    I have to say Bob, comparing players, or as you have in this case the locks from either team when one team clearly dominated is as useful as comparing apples and oranges. If it was the Wallabies who had won so dominantly I bet our locks stat’s would look the same as Retallick’s last might. maybe we could have dropped all the centres who failed to get the run meters last game? Oh, btw Kane has gone. I know he did’nt sent you a farewell card but let it go, he’s gone.

    “Until Foley, Kuridrani and Phipps came on the field we had no urgency or acceleration in our attack” – Wow Bob, great insight. Glad you pointed out that two out of these three in combination with Toomua formed a really good attacking back line as was witnessed in the French series. I will let you nut out which is the odd one out, and I know no one in the forums has realised the selection and combination was wrong.

    “I think White’s performance isn’t up to standard. He must be the most charged down scrum half in world rugby” – You might want to go back and watch a few games with Genia at half back., I believe he was dropped due to this problem. I wonder if it just weird coincidence that this happens behind a beaten pack?

    And finally Bob you are so right. I mean is a team putting 50+ points on another team who area ranked in the top 5 in the world and are coming off the back off 8 unbeaten games a measure. Not a indicator at all. Do wins count as a performance indicator Bob? Or is it another case of , “There’s no way of making that assessment. There’s no way to completely evaluate their performance”

    • wilful

      seriously, the sarcastic bullshit in your tone, I don’t care what you were trying to say, show Bob Dwyer some respect even if you disagree with him. Everyone else here would far prefer to read 100 words by him than a 1000 by you.

      • Daz

        Lol, you read them!

    • Daz

      Sorry Bob. I forgot to mention that in your expert analysis you have suggested argued that we need Kuridrani at 13 as he is desperately missed then go on to say say we need AAC at 13……..

      • Finnish Flash

        He said he would like to see Kuridrani at 12

        • Mark

          Get off the computer Daz you dunce. Put your dressing gown on and get some breakfast before Bold and the Beautiful starts in 20.

        • the pirate

          yep and he has been calling for that for ages as those of us who enjoy reading Bobs’ thoughts and impressions would know

      • RonnyBiggs

        You’re an idiot.

  • RugbyStu

    To me the biggest problem was realigning in defense which was spurned on by them dominating the ruck and the gainline. So many times the backs were in the ruck and the forwards were in the backline where they were embarrassed. If every tackle and ruck you are getting smashed and fail to adequately realign everything falls apart.

  • boby

    Thank you bob for stating the fact that carter and simmons are not wallaby standard. I can now sleep not thinking I’m crazy. The way they have carried on about carter is crazy, the guy gets complimented on his engine and work rate HE HAS NO IMPACT. I watched retallick aim at 4 wallabies and take them on smash through them and score a try…lucky the ref did not see it and It was called held up. … then I watch carter almost at walking speed take the ball up and pretty much stop dead or get driven backwards… even worse lose the ball.

    • Teh Other Dave

      It’s worrying that our fullback is better at timing his run in tight than our 4 or 5.

  • Teh Other Dave

    I don’t know why I keep putting myself through the post-mortems.

    Bob, you’ve nailed it once again, and it’s embarrassing. Our failure to do the basics was plain – they made easy breaks due to our inability to realign at breakdowns, we chased the game after the first two tries and threw passes that were just not on, and we continue to crab sidewards. The only bloke who looked like straightening up all day was an ex-leaguie!

    As for our forwards, where does one begin? Our locks. Completely ignoring the sin-binning (New Zealand managed to have two players binned, and put up an AFL score), Simmons and Carter were liabilities. We basically played with 13 players. And why do we stand so tall when carrying the pill in tight? Maybe I’m old-fashioned, but the Kiwi forwards maintained good body height all night. We need a bloke like Ilie Tabua the human skewer to come to training and demonstrate this.

    OK. Enough ranting. I’m about to spontaneously combust.

  • Alan Grouse

    ”The scrum where we conceded a penalty try our second rower didn’t even have his shoulder behind the prop, he was trying to do it with his arm!”

    That is unforgivable. We are only 13 months out from the WC and we have a lock who struggles to pack properly. What hope do we have against the poms??

    I haven’t rewatched the game but whoever is the guilty party should be dropped. Bring in Skelton who can add some weight or for that matter any lock regardless of size – just as long as they can form into a scrum and support their prop.

    • One Eye

      Skelton is not your answer, at least not until he has shed 15 kg and gotten fitter – he was blowing and slow after only being on the field for 5 mins.

    • Henri bergsuun

      Have a look at that penalty try again, and there is only one Aussie with his head in the air not pushing, the captain, not a good look

      • Nick

        To be fair to Hooper in a 7 man scrum as an openside flanker you are probably concerned about the No. 8 picking the ball up and passing to the scrum half for a quick try to the side of the scrum. Openside flanker impact at scrum time is minimal and to suggest he is at fault is short sighted in my opinion.

    • Mica

      Don’t worry about England yet. Have you seen the Argie scrum and how the Bokke got there collective asses handed to them in the past two tests!!

    • Bill

      From memory we didn’t pack an 8 in that scrum, so it was probably Palu and Hooper flankers and Carter and Fardy locks. For some reason during the game I thought it was Palu who shifted to 2nd row. Which would made more sense than Fardy as a test lock.

  • idiot savant

    Great analysis Bob. Yes the ABs did the fundamentals well but the intensity was at the top of their dial. In 30 odd years of watching rugby, Ive rarely seen an Aust side play with that level of intensity. Not sure we can. I think the causes run deep – our school culture penalises ferocious intensity, our boys are well paid, rugby is not a religion here etc etc. What wouldnt we give for a Tony Shaw or Steve Finane right now…

    The big change I have seen in 30 years is that the ABs are now better exponents of running rugby than us. When I was a kid they played 10 man rugby. Now they are more creative and better coached in attack than we are. Add their forward power and its an uphill battle.

    You are so right about the 9 and 10 not having to be razzle dazzle superstars. Again I can hardly remember the ABs ever having all stepping creative geniuses there. A quick pass from 9 and a good decision from 10 always go further. The “Mark Ella problem” that you had a hand in still dogs our game and is a topic for a bigger conversation but I think even you would agree that Mark became a much more lethal player when he stopped trying to beat everyone and use his skills passing and backing up out wide.

    And on great running backs, I have always thought Beale could be a weapon on the wing. A bit like JOC was. And its no surprise Izzy isnt the quickest over the distance. Stand beside the man. Hes a very big unit, built for power to break the line not win the Stawell Gift. But put Beale on his shoulder…

    I do worry about Link’s decision to pick Beale at 10. It feels like an ego play. ‘Im gonna put my stamp on world rugby and show you what a genius coach I am’ sort of thing. Remember what happened to Michael Voss…

    • Parker

      Good point in you first paragraph. Though I think you could delete “school” and it would be a more accurate description. Our culture penalises ferocious intensity. Those who display it are disparaged as try hards. We seem to have this absurd notion that achievement can be gained with little effort, off the back of a beer. In fact it requires a wild desire, focused discipline a determination to let nothing get in the way of success. Get fierce and let it rip Australia!

    • mark conley

      top post re. Folau; he does the hard bit, the break; the AB’s would have Savea or like to finish it off

  • skip

    The only solution to this is for Link to stick 10 slabs of cold piss on the deck in the middle of the changing room and say “no fucker leaves till that’s gone, and then afterwards not one of you touches a drop again till we avenge this fucking disaster” which would be followed by a series of trainings on the basics of the game done to such an intensity the players think they might not live.

    That and taking the drastic step of picking players in their positions.

    • Parker

      That’s an overly elaborate way of targeting Beale.
      What else do you think it achieves?

      • skip

        I think what hard training & picking players in their positions can achieve speaks for itself. Several beers & and the induced “zone of honesty” can be very useful. The poms did it after the 36-0 RWC 2007 debacle and then knocked us out 3 weeks later.

        But I’ll concede “the only solution” comment might be a bit definite.

        • Parker

          In that case a shot of sodium pentathol for everybody. It will have a far less destructive effect on their conditioning than that much beer. Thanks for the explanation. There’s merit to intent of your approach.

        • USARugger

          I’m just going to go out on a limb here and say that the ARU would have a few oppositions to injecting their players with any form of barbiturate outside of an operating room.

  • Red Kev

    I’d like to thank Bob for showing us just how out of touch from reality he is.
    The article started off well, basics, then went right off the rails.
    One paragraph he’s banging on about how poor the penalty try is with the lock not even lined up behind the prop and then he is suggesting playing the culprit (Fardy) at no.8.
    Then he wants a backline that can’t throw a pass – with Kuridrani and AAC in the centres why bother with wingers?
    Then he thinks he can fix a halfback’s passing technique in a week. Identify it sure, but change it and ingrain it so that under pressure and tired he still does it right…he should know better.
    As for Douglas, McKenzie is trying to build for the RWC because he knows that the result there is what he will be hung with. Douglas isn’t available for that, end of story.
    The Wallabies were monstered, that is a mental problem.

    • Pclifto

      Forget about “mental problem”. Doing Wallabies too much credit.

      When you can’t execute the basics what hope do you have against anyone, much less the best in the world.

      The All Blacks are consistently the best, as each player executes his role ruthlessly well.

      Another example is Johnny Wilkinson. He was the best kicker in world rugby (probably ever) because he practised and honed his craft to perfection.

      My view is that a team with honest, hardworking players, all of whom know their role and consistently work on improving their specific piece of the team, is always going to do better than rolling the dice and chasing x-factor.

      Props need to scrummage and WIN scrums. This is their PRIMARY job.
      Halfbacks need to deliver quick, clean ball and keep the opposition on the hop.
      Etc etc etc..
      Do this for every position and select a bloke who is going to deliver the best against that job description.

      Add to this a general level of skill that again is displayed by the All Blacks – how to catch and pass, how to tackle, how to bust through tackles using low body height and running on to the ball. Under 12s stuff.

      It’s not rocket science! McKenzie needs to give himself a huge uppercut, work on the basics and pick the best players for each role. And then have them perfect their execution at every training session. As Bob Dwyer would say, execute “perfect practice”.

      Otherwise we will continue to see more debacles like saw on Saturday.

  • Robson

    I never watch replays of a match, so what I have to say about it is an overall impression gained from looking at the game in its totality. So it certainly doesn’t qualify for indepth analysis. From an overall impression of the test match last Saturday, however, I do agree with Bob, but I think he’s left one thing out. To me what the Wallabies (especially in the forwards) were most lacking was mental intensity. They were certainly not locked into the immensity of the challenge in the “top two inches” and that is where the game, in my humble opinion, is won or lost. NZ has had a “resident shrink” for years. His name is Gilbert Enoka, the Wallabies, after getting the selections riddle right, then need to employ their own version of Mr Enoka. Sooner rather than later too.

  • rebelpirate

    we talk too much…that’s our problem.

  • Rhino

    Some decent points here by Bob but not nominating Higginbotham as someone to be considered for starting side just confirms once again that his biases are alive and kicking. Higginbotham showed some drive and aggression in his 20 minutes that was sorely missing by Fardy and Palu.

    And if he thinks that Kane Douglas is the answer, he obviously failed to watch the British Lions series that clearly demonstrated that size alone does not make up for a basic skill set. Douglas should have been marked “never to play for Wallabies again” after that series.

  • BrokenDownMiner

    backline – phipps, Foley, Speight, Kurrindrani, Ashley-Cooper, Folau, Beale

  • RuggerB

    The key to the AB’s victory I reckon was the speed in which the All Blacks played the game, the Wallabies were always on a hiding to nothing as the backs were far to slow getting into position on defence and that was their down fall.
    A confident team that plays with pace will always shine through.

  • Sid

    Another thing the wallabies lacked was a leadership group, whereas the all blacks had the likes of Mccaw, Read and Conrad Smith directing their side with such fluency,

  • Dan Cottrell

    I think Bob has set out an agenda which gives a good basis to “discuss” the game.

    My view is that the game was won and lost on two factors:
    1. AB second game syndrome
    2. Momentum

    How often do the ABs pull it together after an under par performance? They are the masters of taking their game up a level. And this they did. Harder, faster and sharper.

    Harder in the tackle area – and that meant more accurate as well. They are NOT a super-sized team. They just do everything with much finer detail – because they believe in the system.

    Faster – of mind and of body. They stepped quicker to the gain line, and quicker to the holes. How does Ben Smith do it? Just seems to find those extra few metres. Plenty of people on here have said it – they got “go-forward” and that creates a back foot defence. No wonder the front foot tackles were not apparent.

    Sharper – and that comes of playing together. This Wallaby side is not in the same place as the ABs. They are still learning. I think messing with the back line does not help. England suffered from it in the summer tests and I think it is happening again here.

    Solutions to 1: Confidence in the system, picking sweeter combinations, and patience.

    2. Momentum

    This game was won by half time. Forget the second half. It told us nothing apart from what one would expect from an international team like this – they will fight to the end, even if they know they will lose.

    How different would it have been if a couple of decisions had gone the other way – like the 14 point turnaround for the Cory Jane high tackle?

    Clutching at straws? Not at all. The ABs were on a mission. They needed to be derailed. Questions needed to be asked, not merely held back. A player who has to think because he is being asked a question tightens up, he has less flow, he does not push that extra inch.

    You can effect momentum so much, but the bounce of the ball, the referee and the weather you cannot. In which case, you have to challenge your opposite number.

    On paper it should have been a tighter game.

    I don’t think there is a lot of soul searching to be done here. More and further adjustments along the line.

    This is a team who will be in the top three by this time next year. But it has lost some belief in the last four or five years – and it is slowly coming back.

  • London Eadie

    Where have the back line moves gone? Lost for 20 years since Campo and The Ellas’departure, they had been reintroduced by Cheika…only to be shelved by The Wallabies.

    • Nick

      I don’t think our forwards have been good enough against the top teams to give the backline any space to move unfortunately.

  • Jason

    Hard case article, but bob be careful not to praise the ABs too much, makes your article a bit weak really, i expected a bit better from you, on June 9th you wrote in an article after one of the wallabies games against France i think the first in fact the following – In the early part of the match the French had their moments but our scrambling defence was excellent – far out what would you call the ABs attack and defence on Saturday night, the french werent to flash, in this article you dont once mention the fact this was a very clinical performance, a blind man would of admitted this, if Australia played the way the ABs did you would be all over them

  • Quenton

    Hooper is one of the only wallabies during the game that showed he wanted to win the rest just gave up after they were down a few points


If you don't know Bob Dwyer is the world cup winning coach of the 1991 Wallabies, then give yourself an uppercut. He did a load in between, but he now runs Bob Dwyer's Rugby Workshops, which you can read more about on his site.

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