Rugby World Cup - Enjoy the moment
Rugby World Cup

Dwyer’s View: Enjoy the moment

Dwyer’s View: Enjoy the moment

I’m excited to be going to the Rugby World Cup and it certainly brings back memories of 1991. It’s really not like any other rugby tour  – the feeling when you arrive in the place is that the whole country is alive with anticipation. All of the towns and cities where the teams are based have that feeling of excitement and it gets picked up by the squads.

If you approach it in the right way – to have the ‘on/off’ switch – you can really enjoy yourself (sensibly of course). It’s like nothing else and you shouldn’t miss out on the occasion.

Having said that you also have as a team squad member to understand that every team there is going to put on its absolutely best performance; having prepared with 28 years of experience (since 1987) of how you prepare for such a tournament. Normally the Wallabies wouldn’t be that concerned about playing Fiji – they have ability but over 80 minutes of a test match we can handle them – but we certainly won’t be going into the first match that way. Fiji are better prepared than ever before. I’ll be keen to see them against England and then on the 23rd.

I’ve got great expectations for our team. Sure they can win it (theoretically any team can), but to really do so you need high class players at their best, team-work at its best and you can’t afford an off day. What I can say is that personally I’m confident that the coaching staff and team admin understand their roles very, very well. I’m impressed with the whole coaching staff – it’s as good as anyone is going to have.

Cheika has also shown that he’s very good at tournament rugby. He gets them to their best when the best is needed- as shown at Leinster. I’m also encouraged that over the last 12 months he’s been gradually refining the squad to where it is now.

If there’s anything that’s had me a little concerned is that I don’t see that either of our 9s are playing at their technical best. Both have a backswing and move sideways – Phipps does more the former and Genia more the latter. I hope that Steve Larkham has noted it and removed it from the game of two potentially very good players; it’s critically important that we don’t give anyone the chance to disrupt us in the the transition zone from tight to wide.

Outside of that I have no great concerns about the team. The scrum is first class – better than anyone in our pool. If reffed properly, we’ll have no problem. With Douglas, Simmons, Fardy – even Hooper or Pocock taking a ball – our line-out will be in good shape as well.

I remember well in 1991 we always said that as a team going into the tournament “we believe if we play to the best of our ability we can give any team a shake” and we can genuinely say that now. All we have to do is play to the best of our ability .

Some people think our pool is a difficult assignment, but succeeding it leaves us in great shape. If we’re going to go anywhere in the tournament we’ve got to be able to beat Fiji and it gives us a good lead up into England and Wales. It’s an exciting time for us and we’ve got reason to be able to hope our team can play to their best of their ability.

As for competition should we progress, over the last few years England have improved, but then in the last few months gone backwards. Can they turn it around?

One of the traditionally great tournament teams has certainly been South Africa who can lift, but they haven’t looked good in the lead up. In 1995 New Zealand looked far and away the best team in the comp, but then South Africa played over New Zealand for the whole of the final. In 2007 they managed to beat one team after another to win (what was a lacklustre tournament to be fair). They haven’t looked great this season but will  be there or there abouts.

France struggled totally in 2011 losing two games along the way but then were very unlucky to not be champions, save for a couple of refereeing decisions.

Wales have been consistently good but always the bridesmaid and it’s hard to think they can overcome the loss of Halfpenny and Webb. Halfpenny is surely the world’s number 1 fullback with his goal kicking. Webb has risen to being a world class scrum half. How can they survive the loss of both?

It’s down to the usual suspects – the three southern hemisphere teams, England and France. I’ve left Ireland out because I haven’t been impressed with their trials at all. They’r really struggling to re-build a three-quarter line bar Rob Kearney. I can’t see who’s going to come through there. How do you win a world cup without one?

Shocks? I can see Fiji producing one. I’m not sure of anyone else.

Above all the rugby world cup is a celebration of the game and we should approach the tournament that way. Some people say they’re not sure how far Australian can go, should they buy finals tickets? But it’s about the world game and the excitement for all the countries. It’s not just about your team winning, but them all doing their best – otherwise there’s no point in 60% of the teams going at all.

Just enjoy it for what it is – a special tournament indeed.

  • Patrick

    The obvious shocks are all amongst the minnows, apart from Samoa and Scotland beating South Africa to qualify out of the pools :)

    • Albertus van Wyk

      And how right you were…. But not Samoa or Scotland…

      • Patrick

        Actually, 1 and 2 in the pool may well still be Samoa and Scotland.

        But it is safe to say I did not guess Japan beating South Africa. Like everyone else I wish I had and had also bet my life savings on it, but I didn’t do that either.

        • Albertus van Wyk

          Yes, and how amazing a game. Even as a South African I wasn’t depressed afterwards, because we’ve seen a brilliant rugby brain and a disciplined team at work. The amazing thing is that the Boks weren’t all that bad. I’m going to disagree with you – South Africa might still even end at the top of the group… But hey, of course I’m going to say that.

        • Patrick

          Very gracious comments mate, good work. South Africa may well yet pull it off, they did get two bonus points out of this so their fate is still in their hands, if they beat Samoa and Scotland by more than 8 points each they will be at least second :)

  • Avid

    Probably can include Argentina to provide some shock value.
    Based on RWC form NZ are set to choke – France were unlucky to lose RWC’11.
    I enjoyed how Woodward has stocked the fire for our tight five. Jubbley.

  • dane

    Its not a bob article without the obligatory jab at our scrumhalves

    • Teh othar Daev

      *not undeserved

    • Klaus

      I don’t agree with a lot points Bob raises in his articles however this one was 100% on the money. If someone doesn’t think our halves are an issue on previous games this season I am concerned about their vision. ;)

  • m0b1us

    I think form going in to the competition, particularly in warm-up games is largely irrelevant hence it’s a bit unfair to
    say that England have gone backwards. Hope the Aussie scrum can cash all these cheques being written on
    its behalf – it’s the best in the world now, right? :-)

    • Nutta

      I sincerely hope it’s not a “Ready, Fire, Aim!” issue.

    • Fatflanker

      Yes, a bit OTT from Bob regarding the Oz scrum. That said, Sir Clive is writing a few cheques himself:

      “They are working on it [the scrum] but it’s a worry because I see three or four sets of props in England who’d get into the Wallabies squad.”

      • m0b1us

        Whilst I’ll agree that Woodward’s comment is a touch hyperbolic, we do have
        a lot of good props. It’s just about the only position we seem to be able to
        churn out quality players for.

  • Michael Hassall

    Thanks Bob, a timely reminder to enjoy the tournament overall, there are about to be 48 games international rugby to watch. Love the positive view on the team prospects as well, go the Wallabies.

  • Klaus

    Totally agree with our scrum. However with Poite reffing England will be boring big time looking for penalties even Owens is a liability for the Wobs. In saying that I believe our scrum will actually do a very good job on an opposing scrum who try and bore in. They way they are scrummaging currently as an 8 in one direction will enable the Wobs to drive straight through them if they try to bore.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Bob, England Play Fiji on the 19th not the 23rd. that when we play them!

    • Braveheart81

      The article is correct. He’s talking about both matchs when he says “I’ll be keen to see them against England and then on the 23rd.”

  • Klaus

    I thought Bob would like this. In the Courier Mail today in the A-Z of Rugby World Cup

    S — S***house

    The place to which Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer loudly advised one of his players to kick the ball to during a tense period of the 1991 World Cup final at Twickenham. Sound advice, sure, but the problem was where Dwyer issued the advice. The coaches box was situated in the open stands at the famous London ground, and was surrounded by the seating for a range of VIPs. Dwyer was chastened when he realised a VVIP was in earshot. Her identity can be found back at the letter Q.

  • Fat Lad

    “The scrum is first class – better than anyone in our pool. If reffed
    properly, we’ll have no problem. With Douglas, Simmons, Fardy – even
    Hooper or Pocock taking a ball – our line-out will be in good shape as
    O come on, Bob, you’re fooling no one.
    Australia will be lucky not to have the worst scrum in the Pool. England and Wales will toss the Oz 8 around like a rag doll, Fiji will have tightened up a lot having been together for a while now and have more than enough talent in their pack. Uruguay are inexperienced but are big strong boys nonetheless.
    In the lineout, Australia are behind the eight-ball too. They can’t throw well and are easily rattled.
    This looks like a counter to Sir Clive’s nonsense the other day and I believe that is underpinned by the clause ” If reffed
    Get your excuses in early – it was all the refs fault.

    • Fatflanker

      The overhead spider camera will tell the story. Hopefully, no getting away with 4-man front rows this year anyway, my friend.

      • Fat Lad

        Nor indeed, me old china:
        boring in to the hooker,
        veering sideways
        moving backwards on the “hit”
        A pushing contest in the scrums? Nah, it’ll never catch on

    • Nick

      Worst scrum in the pool? England’s scrum has been on the decline for some time and I don’t think it’s as big a worry as is being made out. Ireland and France I think would be much more of a challenge.

  • Nick

    Thanks for the article Bob. I can’t wait for us to carve it up!

  • Albertus van Wyk

    Bob, please right about the Japannese beating South Africa. We’re shocked here in South Africa, but also in awe of what Eddie and the boys pulled off!

Rugby World Cup

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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