Honkers Bledisloe 2010
All Blacks

First Thoughts – Honkers Bledisloe

First Thoughts – Honkers Bledisloe

Honkers Stadium

For a test between no. 1 and 2, there wasn’t much hype in the lead up. Yet, this was still a Bledisloe, and with the Aussies staring down the barrel of an eleventh straight loss, there was something to watch for… From the kick off it seemed there may have been something going on, the ref pinged sir ritchie, albeit for something he DIDN’T do. Kurtley failed to convert though. When Ma’a infringed not long later, there was another chance, but KB failed to convert again.

Australia stole a line out and threatened the line, but a missed Quade around the back not looking pass went to ground and it looked over, but the Wallabies kept their head, even turning down a gift 3 points. Their composure paid though, with a clean scrum delivery from Ben McCalman led to Quade going himself and crossing. Gits kept form, missing the conversion to see the Wallabies profiting from all the early pressure to lead 5-0.

The match settled for some time, with both teams testing the defences equally. A couple of Carter penalties threatened the scoreboard, but he may have borrowed Git’s boots and was off target.

That was until a Nonu breakdown indiscretion led to a line out. The Wallabies won and a couple of passes later, AAC singlehandedly tore the ABs open and he went in untouched.  Gits kicked the conversion from right in front.

An amazing demonstration of actual pace from KB got the Wallabies into a good position before a classic refereeing blunder, and some Oscar quality acting from Conrad Smith saw the holding of a scrum raffle, which the wallabies lost. The AB’s piled on some pressure, the wallabies beefed up the defence. KB making an amazing tackle on Keven Mealamu to hold him up over the line. The pressure all got too much with Jimmy Cowan eventually crossing under the posts. Carter converted.

The Wallabies showed they were rattled, with the kick off going out on the full. From the resultant play, it appeared the Wallabies believed they had made enough tackles for the first half and began slipping off first up tackles. Eventually a simple overlap saw Corey Jane cross for another try, with Carters conversion the ABs had taken the lead 14-12

The Wallabies appeared to settle somewhat, with normal transmission resuming and Gits missing another kick to keep his percentage intact. Alain “pretty sure I don’t know what a scrum is” Rolaind had an absolute barry crocker and awarded the AB’s a penalty, I think it was against the Wallabies packing a scrum. Carter dutifully converted it right on half time to head to the sheds at 17-12.

The second half started without much fanfare, The ABs did manage to win a line out though, so they used the half time break wisely – Yay… Some enterprising play saw the wallabies come close, with Elsom even looking to be held up over the line, at one stage, but the ABs were coping with the pressure. Eventually the Wallabies earnt a penalty, Gits duly missed it. At the press conference after the Sydney Bledisloe this year, Gits was asked how much Braam Van Straten was helping with his kicking. He commented that he was helping KB and the others, but he wasn’t working with him. How is that able to happen, why is he above the rules? Now, name one dominant team that DOES NOT have a kicker that puts fear into the opposition. With that in mind, what photos does Gits have, of who, that allows him to stay as first choice kicker.

A massive break by McCaw , with some terrible tackling from the Wallabies saw the ABs deep into wallaby territory, Nonu eventually got the ball and with the line stretched, strolled over for another try. Carter was back and added the extras.

Buoyed by their success, the AB;s rolled on, forcing the Wallabies to remember how to defend. A brief run by Elsom from a Pocock turnover gave some hope, but the ABs were up to it, with the Wallabies being penalised for not releasing.

The 60th minute could go down as a turning point, call it coincidence but Dan Carter went off and some quick hands saw Drew Mitchell get himself a try. With O’Conner taking the kick, we got the extras, making the score 19-24. Well within our capabilities, should we choose to start playing like big boys.

The wallabies were doing their best to play in the ABs half, unfortunately the kicks for the corner were either driven beyond the dead ball line or out on the full. It was not pretty. eventually the ABs started to pile on the pressure again resulting in a penalty within kicking distance. Carter would have kicked it, but Donald pushed it wide.

This gave the Wallabies hope, and with some solid play they ended up in striking distance,  with raid after raid going unrewarded, before the ABs turned over the ball. The clearing kick failed to go out and the Wallabies were back on the attack. a few more raids, a threatened yellow card and eventually JO’C went in for a try. The game was drawn, could he convert his own try to win the game?

Yes… fortune changing win before the World Cup? Who cares, we finally got them…

Final Score: Australia 26 (Tries: Cooper, Ashley-Cooper, Mitchell, O’Conner Conv: Giteau (1/2), O’Conner (2/2) Pens: Giteau (0/2), Beale (0/2)) v New Zealand 24 (Tries: Cowan, Jane, Nonu Conv: Carter (3/3) Pens: Carter (1/3), Donald (0/1))

  • Tangawizi

    Wallabies WIN! Fuck Yeah!!!!!

    Onwards and upwards to an undefeated tour!

  • The Rant

    Fucken right. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!Wahoooooooo

    Did we just win a second half? New tactic – never lead at half time!

    See ya gits – thanx for the memories :)

    • The Rant

      ps – check the highlights on O’Conners try – Cooper flies in afterwards with a nice hard elbow to the back of Richie’s head and then gives him a spray – not sure why –

      could be a citation if he’s super unlucky but I think he got away with it…. class

      • Andrew

        If Quade gets cited then what about the three, was it, high tackles by the AB’s that the ref held his arm out for but cited none in the lead up to the try!

        Also pretty hard to pack a scrum consistently when the ref’s calls a re s o o o o o s l o w!

        Also did anyone else feel the ref impeded our defense when the AB;s scored under the post? Looked to me as though our defences had to get around the re by which time the AB’s were across

  • Rowan

    Great win, showed lots of heart!!
    But ….
    Seriously crap game. Is always saying there is much room for improvement good when there isn’t?

    Scrum was shocking as usual!!
    Goal Kicking pathetic, Gits has to be dropped at least from conversions. Beale … unlucky O’Connor should take over not only based on this performance!!

    Many others just rusty (Cooper esp) …. but when things are polished we will have a fantastic team!

    • Dizzer

      Yep a typical Wallabies performance, flashes of brilliance mixed with long periods of errors and inconsistencies. It’s great to get a win but there is still so much to work on. I just wish we could keep the pressure on for a full game, instead of building up leads only to squander them when the going gets tough.

      I’d like to see Gits benched for a game or two, surely we can’t persist with him, certainly not as kicker?

      • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

        Well didn’t the almighty All Blacks also have a commanding lead just to let it slip?

        Come on get real. These young guys will eventually learn & then they’ll be beating the top teams far more often.

        But the game was a real mix of brilliant & below average on our part. We’re great in attack with ball in hand & poor in defense, and so on & so forth. But for now let’s all enjoy a win against the world’s best team.

        Well done Wallabies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • pants

      I thought it was the best game i’ve seen from the Wallabies this year despite the issues like Giteau’s kicking and the scrum.

      O’Connor looks like a real goal kicker based on his kicks actually flying dead straight instead of relying on a slight hook like Giteau does. Hopefully Giteau’s goal kicking days are finally over now. Please Dingo see the light.

      How good were Cooper and Beale? O’Conner had a blinder. AAC was awesome. Even Schmoo was excellent. Pocock was excellent, as was Sharpe. Genia and Burgess were both good. Barnes was good except for the one stray pass. In fact pretty much every wallaby except 2 had great games.

      Chisholm and Giteau seemed to have pretty ordinary games.

      Nonu has to be the best centre in the world. What a freak. If the ABs get a Nonu, SBW centre partnership it will be pretty devastating.

  • dobduff11

    JOC was class, beale played well and quade made two tackles

  • Sam Bananas

    Solid performance but with A MAGIC Finish!!!!!!

    Wallaby magic!

    O’Conner for our #1 kicker on Tour!

  • Alan

    Cracking first 15 mins…..cracking last 15 mins…..finishing strong isnt something we’ve ever seen from this team!

    Gits sadly i think is finished. Barnes for me looked more sure and composed as soon as he stepped onto the field, more importantly, so did the whole backline. We also badly need TPN back. I dont think Faingaa is up to it..

    Eales, Morty, Glibert… now… O’Conor. To nail that kick with so much pressure on him is pretty amazing. Top stuff boys, thanks for the win!!!

    • Thomas

      In Git’s defence though he had to face a fresh ABs squad whereas Barnes came on after 65 minutes of play so had an easier job.
      And Faingaa played well he was extremely physical and never backed down from the big boys although I’d prefer TPN starting and Moore on the bench Faingaa does create great depth

    • You’re spot on re Gits and Barnes.

      Barnes and Burgess controlled things very nicely at the death, showing composure while still letting the flair of the Beale and JOC shine through. You could see Barnes organising the attack where Cooper may have had a rush of blood.

      Barnes is the perfect complement to Cooper so let’s see him start at 12, please Robbie.

      Re Faingaa, I thought he had an impact when he came on, slowing ABs ball at the breakdown and counter-rucking effectively. Horrible lineouts, though!

      • Thomas

        The lineouts will come with age and experience but the physicality is good because it’s already there and can only improve

  • Great game from the Wallabies, I’m happy to gloss over the “swarm defence”, poor kicking and scrum timing for now and just enjoy getting a bloody win.
    Well done boys, the beers will taste fantastic tonight.

  • Rhyso

    Beale set that up for us. When the ABs stole the ball in the 79th minute (after endless attacking waves), but failed to put it out, KB ran it back 40 metres brilliantly, to put us back into a position to win. Without that run we were gone.

    I don’t think we’ll see Gits start in the 12 jersey next year – we no longer need him. JOC has the right mindset and technique for a kicker, and Barnes offers just as much around the field (and more in the NZ games).

    • Lee Enfield

      Beale has prettty much made the 15 jersey is now. He offers so much in attack, and his defence has improved out of sight. His effort to old Mealamu up was brilliant.

  • Newter

    Worst All Blacks performance of the year? Stephen Donald must be getting ready to slash his wrists. I counted three or four unforced blunders from him at the end, and it cost NZ the Test.

    • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

      Nope! I thought they were worse in Melbourne. It’s just that we were worse again.

      Though clearly without Carter they are not the same team.

  • Lee Enfield

    You fucking ripper! Go the Wallabies, finally we have something to be happy about. Still plenty of work to do, but a win is a win, and what a way to get it.

    Barnes should be our 12, the backline looks more composed and dangerous with him on the field, he compliments Cooper well, and steadies the ship when Cooper has his moments.

    See ya later Gits, your piss poor kicking and crabbing attack are no longer needed.

  • We could certainly have used Barnes’ defence in the midfield today, when QC is 10 our 12 needs to man up and bash people

    • Thomas

      Barnes can’t smash people

      • Lee Enfield

        Maybe not, but neither can giteau or Cooper. What Barnes can do, is stop the player before he breaks the advantage line, like he did on Nonu with his first tackle. The 12 doesn’t need to smash them, just stop them before the advantage line, and Barnes can do that.

        • Thomas

          I think A Faingaa will be/should be wearing the no. 12 jersey in a few seasons as the fly half at inside centre option hasn’t work for us since Flatley/Larkham

      • Seaweed

        Barnes can’t smash ‘em, but he tackles low and hard and puts them down, which is the same thing.

  • KingofDubai

    Yep, Gits gonskies my old man was screaming at him all game. Barnes a solid performer, great in defence and made things happen. Must be 12.

    JOC to start kicking along with Beale (rusty on the boot tonight) but I thought Beale may have got man of the match? Not sure who did but unreal to watch he has come along way.

    Cooper needs to more consistant, and not over play his hand too much. Needs more composure. No idea what happened in scrums tonight but they were shite, the ref was shite in that area! Northern Hemisphere try hard.

    The look on Grahem Henry’s face- PRICELESS!!!

    Many more to come….

    • Lee Enfield

      Cooper would benfit from having Barnes outside him, Barnes is a good steadier, and the exact type of player Cooper needs outside him. The Cooper/Barnes combo worked well against the poms and it worked well in the last 15 minutes of tonights game. If we are to win the World Cup this is the 10/12 combo we need.

    • Thomas

      The problem was the speed the ref held the players up as they had to hod the position for a ridiculous amount of time so you’re more worried about holding it than the engagement, the ABs were looking for the hit which is why they kept hitting early because they were preparing for the hit so it’s the refs fault for being shit at scrum reffing

      • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

        Agree. This different timing on C, T, P, E must be so frustrating for both scrums.

        Maybe they need a metronome?

        • Richo

          How hard can it be for every IRB ref to learn the same timing? Not very, would be my thought.

  • Juan Cote

    fuck that was good

    • Rowan

      Have scrums always been such a problem?? Why now is it holding us back and also slowing and ruining the game?

  • KingofDubai

    Just want to say one more thing…..

    DEFENCE was attrocious tonight. Cooper Especially, Havent seen it that bad ina few tests. PLUS they have a new defence guy from League who hasnt done SH*&.

    • Lee Enfield

      For a professional player, his defence is piss poor. Until he brings his defence up to the standard required, the ARU should not give him another pay increase.
      If he won’t fix the problem off his own back, the coach and his team mates should make him.

      • AndrewWA

        But there is nobody else…repeat NOBODY ELSE..who can weave such magic when taking it up to the opposition line……….

        • AndrewWA

          Opps…although AA-C went very close tonight!!

    • vidiot

      I’m prepared to give Blake more than 12 days, especially as he was signed for the Spring tour which started….. today.

    • pants

      But his attack was brilliant.

    • Stin

      Phil Blake played league but has been coaching the Manly marlins in Shute Shield. They were the form team for a lot of this year”s comp and their defence was excellent, Also, he’s been with the Walls for a week. He’ll improve them.

      JO’C is the best kicking option, but is he playing out of position? where is his position?

      • rugbyfreak

        I reckon its 12

    • jase

      bit tough of the new defense coach as hes about a week…

  • chequebalance

    1st thoughts?
    YOU BLOODY BEAUTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    2nd thoughts?
    YOU BLOODY BEAUTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ab supporter

    Hang your head in shame Steven Donald.

    • Lee Enfield

      Steven Donald, man of the match.

      • Garry

        “Steven Donald, man of the match” :)

        Has Donald ever played well for NZ? Put him on our payroll please. I’m writing a cheque as we speak (?)

      • Ciaron

        Wallabies man of the match, that is.

  • Groucho

    woo woo woo woo woo!

    I missed the game, due to a social fuckup. Saw the last five minutes.

    woo woo woo woo woo!

  • Wallas

    absolutely goodbye to gits, brilliant try by AAC, barnes earned a starting spot, JOC and KB need to take the kicks. was quade’s performance down to form or good AB stifling? JOC – Nerves of Steel.

    • The Rant

      disagree barnes earned anything, few tackles were ok but we’ve always known that…he’ll get the spot by default due to gits form. He made a good break and then murdered the try. Will prefer him to gits though.

  • Thomas

    KB shouldn’t be kicker he’s just got a big boot
    And it’s kind of Hard for Gits to play well when Cooper cuts him out so often

  • Robson

    YEAAAHH. At last and not before time. Good and not so good moments but the best ones were definitely in the last 9 minutes when the WBs attacked the ABs line with persistent vengenance and little Jimmy O’Connor danced past a couple of fearsome looking tackles to score. The he calmly stepped up and slotted the conversion from wide out. Premo.

    It creates issues though doesn’t it? Berrick came on and played superbly. As I said somewhere else, he runs straight at the line and creates doubt. Will he be the starting No. 12 against Wales or whoever is next? LIttle Jimmy O’Connor has not only got dancing feet and some deceptive upper body strength, but he can also kick conversions. Will he be the starting kicker against England.

    The biggest thing to come out of this game for me was the way the Wallabies regrouped when they lost the plot late in the first half and allowed the ABs to play their game and then unleashed a co-ordinated retaliation against them in the last quarter which yeilded the points they needed for the win.

    Once Stephen Donald missed that kick, I knew instinctively that we were going to win.

    So let’s see what happens over the next few matches. It will be interesting to see how Deans allocates his resources.

    It will be a penertrating insight to Robbie Dean’s mind set to see who he selects in the No. 12 jersey now.

    • ozrugbynut

      Give JOC some time at starting kicker, assess his percentages and make a call. Gits’ confidence is clearly shot, whilst JOCs is sky high and knows no bounds.

      I’ve argued for a while that Gits has too much responsibility, between kicking and organising the backline and being one of the core group of experienced players. Have him focus on the enterprising play which has kept him in the team for so long.

      Despite the important win, many of the old Wobbly traits were still there, with plenty of errors around the 60-75 minute mark due solely to lack of composure, but those last 5 minutes were it – they were the moments that have me confident this will be turned around, and we have Donald’s failure to gain touch to thank for that chance.

  • Groucho


  • dave

    So sweet.

  • AndrewWA

    G’day guys..from your correspondent in Honkers…how bloody good it was to get a try in the 2nd half???!!!

    13 points lost off the boot…so much like earlier games…..the win/loss copuld easily be so different.

    Robbie used his bench too late but the fresh guys made such a difference on the field.

    Please to see a ref finally start to negate Richie’s pushing of the boundaries and Bam bam had a pearler!

    Go you good things!!!!

    PS Also good to see the WForce guys make a difference.

    HK a good place to be tonight!!!

  • AndrewWA

    G’day guys..from your correspondent in Honkers…how bloody good it was to get a try in the 2nd half???!!!

    13 points lost off the boot…so much like earlier games…..the win/loss could easily be so different.

    Robbie used his bench too late but the fresh guys made such a difference on the field.

    Please to see a ref finally start to negate Richie’s pushing of the boundaries and Bam bam had a pearler!

    Go you good things!!!!

    PS Also good to see the WForce guys make a difference.

    HK a good place to be tonight!!!

    • Blinky Bill from Bellingen

      Two things puzzle me about Robbie.

      One is his use of the bench both in replacements & timing of them.

      The other is his persistence with Gits as our first choice kicker. I wonder what gives there? We have far better options, Gits missed some sitters in Melbourne (& others) that could have won us the test and I reckon he’d be better off without the duty of kicker. Just let Gits concentrate on rediscovering his magic at 12 without the added pressure.

      Another (yes I know I said 2) is his odd selections. Is there none better than Brown & Mumm?

      Well done tonight Wallabies. The rub of the green finally went our way.

      • Thomas

        Horwill and Vickerman will hopefully be there next for locks then for back rowers Palu will be back so McCalman will be push back to bench but I reckon Higginbothom should have the 19 jersey at the moment give the younger guy a go as Brown has waster his

      • ozrugbynut

        Re point 2, would love to see Palu and Higginbotham together at some point. Mumm adds very little, but at least Brown gets involved.

  • Garry

    The come down has taken me near 40 minutes post match. I feel as exhausted as if I’d played the match myself.

  • Mavrenick

    Great match and awesome finish.

    Barnes to start 12 – adds bulk, solid in defence to help Quade and after an average Super14 is in form. Plus with Gits coming on with 20 to go will cut any tiring defense in a close game, and adds composed kicking (not at the posts though) when ahead.

    Similarly Burgo with 20 to go. Is everywhere, adds impact and is very hungry. Genia goes missing a little in the last 20 (although his pass from the scrum at the 60th minute that led to Mitchell in the corner was as good as you will see)

    • AndrewWA

      It’s Barnes’ tackling skills that lifts him above his opposition in the Wallabies…he should get some reward for the hard work that he’s put in!!

  • PJ

    Now the monkey is off out back. Sit back and a few beers boys you deserve every drop.

  • hillston hog

    Bloody brilliant…..even from a grey Scotland

  • Garry

    BTW, Who was awarded MOTM?

  • Nickywill

    I thought Pocock did not have nearly enough impact in the opening stages of the game but towards the 50 min mark he started turning ball over. Wallabies were two flat and unorganised in attack and were lucky to get away with this win. however when the Wallabies used set moves they worked effectively and led to phases which led to tries, should continue this into future matches.

    • Garry

      “however when the Wallabies used set moves they worked effectively and led to phases which led to tries, should continue this into future matches.”

      …..or maybe in previous matches?

  • Mavrenick

    Funny quote from the Kiwi commentators on how long the ref was taking between the crouch – touch – engage “the pause is too long, and you dont want too give front rowers too much time to think.”

    • The Rant

      At some point they have to stop using a 2-syllable word for the hit – all refs say engage differently – do you go on ‘en’ or ‘gage’ ? And why can the pause be different everytime?

      Frustrating that we kept being penalised for something shot like timing.

  • Spook

    First choice kicker was beale – o from 2. He had a shocker with the boot. His second kick was ultra wide. Beale, like Gits (also poor with the boot) played well otherwise. Quade Cooper was a disgrace in defense contributing to each AB score but is is a freak in attack. Mccalman and Robinson were pretty shite tonight

    • Gnostic

      How do you get that Giteau played well apart from his kicking. He was part of the leakest 10/12 defence the Wallabies have ever seen. He FAILED to lead the defensive backline forward at any time. SO great was the difference when Barnes came on that not one midfield break was made from that point. Due to line speed and the fact that Barnes actually tackled Nonu.

      Giteau’s one run with the ball crabbed sideways in an attempt to get on the outisde of his man which resulted in him being tackled and having no player to offload to as he had crabbed Mitchell into the sideline.

      IMO drop Giteau from the 22, he offers nothing and hasn’t for at least two years.

      Start with Barnes at 12, Turner to the wing and JOC to cover 12 and wing. In fact on the heavy NH surfaces that would allow a 5:2 bench split with either Higginbum or Hodgeson to come onto the bench.

      • Thomas

        “IMO drop Giteau from the 22, he offers nothing and hasn’t for at least two years.”
        Giteau was the top try scorer of last years tri nations

  • Redhead

    Has anyone noticed that its almost always the boys from catholic schools that produce Australia’s best pressure kickers? Michael Lynagh (Gregory Terrace), Matt Burke (Joeys), John Eales (Marist Bros), Elton Flatley (Nudgee) and now James O’Connor (Nudgee).

    • Garry

      Is it because the Brothers teach them how to gently caress their balls?

  • mj

    Well done Aussie for the win, you guys showed some class finally and I think the AB’s needed a loss to bring them back down to Earth a little too see where they went wrong (which was just about everywhere, I thought they were periodically asleep). But seriously, how atrocious was the officiating at the scrum??!! Ridiculous calls going both way.

    And Donald Duck FTL. Talk about confirming everyones worst fears. That Colin Slade wasn’t picked ahead of him for DCs backup is a travesty. At least DC had a good game for the time he was out there, a bit more conditioning and he’ll back to his best.

  • Spook

    Barnes makes a break and stuffs the pass. Tyical barnes. Beale stuffs the first two kicks yet Gits gets the blame. Cop onto yourselves. Gits is one of the best tacklers for oz and missed nothing. Cooper was a shocker in defense as was joc – both are great in attack. I am looking forward to the return of cliff palu, horwill, and TPN who will add real starch to the oz tight 5. That’s what is needed.

    Copper is sadly no Larkham who was brave in defense and attack

    • ozrugbynut

      Agree. That pass from Barne’s to bomb the try was abysmal, and reminds me of the pass to TPN(?) in Bled 1 last year which TPN falconed with a clear run to the try line (Barnes clearly didn’t need to fire it off that quickly). I can’t even conceive of the ABs blowing a try in that fashion.

      • Groucho

        George Smith falconed.

  • Pauly

    Drew Mitchell well done – attack and defence. Too many good wingers these days

    • Thomas

      wish he had more consistency then he’d be a world class player

  • Joe Mac

    Can Barnes please become the starting 12 now? Giteau should never be allowed to wear the Green and Gold again!

    • Thomas

      That’s way to harsh!

      • Joe Mac

        Giteau was really bad

        1. i havent seen Nonu break that many tackles in a game ever!
        2. his kicking is the worst in world rugby and nearly lost another game
        3. has no idea how to straighten the attack

        give barnes his chance

        • Thomas

          It’s kind of hard to defend well when you have QC inside of you as you will have to cover for him and any mistakes he makes means there’s an automatic overlap

      • Holty74

        but fair…..

    • Stephen

      Now now that’s a bit harsh isn’t it? Giteau for 21; still a class act.

      • Garry

        What about Giteau in the number 15? At pace into holes in the backline. He’s the skills, vision, pace, kicking, linking, high ball (?), mano e mano defense (?).

        Larkham from 15 to 10, Gits from 10 to 15?


        • ozrugbynut

          Gits height under the high ball an issue there

        • Groucho

          You want to replace Beale with Gits? :(

        • Garry

          @ Groucho

          Just for half a match, to suck it and see.

          We’ve got backline options and a spring tour to try them.

        • wannabprop

          Prefer Gits to wing, and JOC to inside centre – may allow Gits to get his mojo back. At first thought they could interchange the role, but Gits would probably try to dominate. Would like to see this combo tried in one of the midweek games (or against Italy). Gits too small under the high ball, and crap kicking out of hand (as well now from ground) for fullback. Not sure about JOC’s kicking out of hand either tho…

          This suggestion is really just to keep the peace in the team (given Gits appears to keep winning the ‘popularity’ contests), I’d prefer to see him on the bench.

  • Spook

    Redhead: Gits and Beale went to catholic schools which debunks your theory (unfortunately)

  • Berg

    The lads showed good character to stick with it and were able to capitalise on some AB’s errors at the end.

    Our scrum wasn’t that bad, the ground in HK is pretty woeful and I think they were just trying to get the early hit due to the issues with footing. AB’s had similar issues though probably managed it better and were pinged a bit less. Ben A had a solid return and was everywhere which is positive. Tight five was generally pretty workman like with no standouts, maybe Pockock. Defence needs some work and Phil Blake probably needs some time to work with them to be fair.

    Can someone please teach QC how to tackle? I counted at least 8 missed tackles, most of which put us under significant pressure. I actually thought Git’s was solid (kicking was off) and I would have rather seen QC replaced by Barnes who at that point in the game was going to offer more stability. To me QC has flashes of brilliance but has equal measures of woefulness. I would actually prefer to see Barnes and Gits at midfield, with QC as an impact player. JO’C came into his own as the game wore on and a great kick under pressure in the end. Beale just gets better each game.

    At the end of the day though it is a great start to the tour. Winning begets winning and I hope to see us build confidence and get that winning feeling, so we know how to get across the line when it counts. It is early days though.

    • Garry

      But we’ve had Gits and Barnes together for a while now…and what a dry spell its been. Maybe great individually, but together? We’ve other combination options to explore, for this tour. Get your cahones out Dingo. Show us something ‘visionary’.

      and another thing…

      It’s been years since I’ve tuned into the mungo game, but last I checked, Phil Blake was a wizard with ball in hand, but not spectacularly renowned as a defensive specialist. How did he get this reputation/job? Contrast this with Muggleton, who wasn’t a top shelf attacker, but at least he was a workhorse in defense.

      Can some one Phil me in? (sorry, to much of the celebratory elixir)

      • wannabprop

        I was thinking the same thing – Dingo didn’t need a defense coach, and we let 2 of quality go overseas (Muggleton and Les Kiss). Now we have Blake who’s been coaching at Manly? for how long?

        Great nail biting finish – great to see the Wallas go at it for the whole 80min – well done. A celebratory drink at last!

        Also good to see the reserves used – even Mummy looked animated when he came on.

        • Brax

          Isn’t Blake contracted as the backs coach? In place of Graham?Or are you guys just assuming that because he had a league background he would be defensive coach….

        • wannabprop

          Replying to meself here, but actually in response to Brax (no reply box?)…

          The reports I read were that Blake had been contracted as the new defense coach (at least in the short term for the spring tour). As far as I know, Nucifora is temporarily acting in the assistant coaching role, until a replacement is found for Graham. I would have thought the assistant (or backs) coach announcement would be with much more fan fare? At least it’s what I had read (albiet some time ago), but I could be wrong.

    • rugbyfreak

      Its been well documented that Quades hero growing up was Carlos Spencer. The similarities are obvious-
      1 ) Brilliant attacking players but guilty of the odd brain fart
      2 ) Weak/non defenders
      3 ) Hot and cold kicking games
      I thought this was Quades worst game with the boot- he had been ok up until now.
      He definitely has the potential to be a much better player than Spencer in terms of consistency and his coaches will be putting a lot of work into him to achieve that end (to use a Robbieism).
      As Robbie said after the game he is a 22 year old in his first year of Tri-nations and is learning how to run the Wallaby backline.We have to give him time to grow into the job- there is no doubt he is the best 10 weve got.

  • Number8

    Drew Mitchell’s try was a cracker – first phase from an attacking scrum. Skip pass and bring full back in to the line outside the centre. Like watching the Canterbury backline from the 1980’s or Crusaders in their attacking prime. From the Robbie Deans play book… that’s what JON wanted him to bring across the ditch. Love it.

    Good to see some grit and belief from the Wallabies too. This team has traveled a long way in 12 months and the trend line is up. Unbeaten tour coming up?

  • Pedro

    Gits wasn’t as bad as people are saying, his kicking was poor, but defensively he was solid, at least positionally.

    I thought j’oc was mom, he frequently beat two defenders & was busy. Ben alexander was immense coming back from injury. This was a great team effort though, rough calls and lucky breaks were the order of the day for both teams. The scrum was a lottery thanks to lame officiating, we had the edge in lineouts but only just. The important thing is the result, momentum & beleif. Bring on the wc!

  • Joe Blow

    Woo Fuckin Whoo!!


    Thought McCalman was very good, as was Moore and Alexander. Slipper immediately destroyed the AB scrum on his side. He is obviously a loose head that can manage on the tighthead side. Surprisingly he was superior to Fat Cat in the scrum.
    Coopers worst test of the year as his flakiness of previous years crept back into his game. The bullshit on McCaw at the end just shows that he is a little lost in the top 2 inches and gets carried away.
    Now I agree. Gits must make way at 12. He is no longer the best kicker in the team and either Barnes or JOC must be given a shot. Gits on the bench to cover 10/12.

    Well done Wallabies!!!
    It is going to be a tough tour but now not quite as tough.

  • Tangawizi

    I would like too see how a Cooper/Barnes combo at 10/12 goes next weekend but doubt Robbie will dump Gits.

    He should definitely take the goalkicking duties off him so he can regain some confidence and form.

    I’d also like to Van Humphries come in for Chisholm by the end of the tour and for Cooper to go an entire match without missing a tackle! Not sure how likely either of those are though.

    • Thomas

      They tried to move the kicking duties to Beale and he shanked them a hell of a lot more then Gits

  • Number8

    Yeah I think it’s an important win. Are the trajectories of the two teams diverging. The Wallabies can now believe their story is coming true – a young team of underdogs becoming battle hardened and building in to a ruthless unit that will win the world cup.

    Conversely, doubt is firmly planted in the All Blacks minds. there story isn’t coming true – no unbeaten season, no unbeaten end of year tour. Have they have the peaked to soon again? are they hanging on to old players too long? why isn’t there back-up Carter and McCaw yet? Maybe the winning streak glossed over some issues? Maybe they are destined to choke at the RWC semi-final stage?

    I’m starting to think, and I want it to be true, if the Wallabies get a front line goal kicker, in 12 months they will be 14 points better than NZ.

    Still, a terrific test with a grandstand finish played between two might rugby teams. Gotta love it.

    • Thomas

      The ABs have just lost after a 10 game winning streak and lost in the final minute I wouldn’t say those things are true

  • Garry

    Mid second half, when our piggies were tiring and momentum was swinging away, I felt that Dingo was late again in using the bench. Then I remembered that the bench consisted of Mumm and Brown.

    My shoulders slumped, and I swallowed hard.

    • Holty74

      But after that meltdown you were ecstatic to see the result??? C’mon we need more belief, this is a fantastic result.

      • Garry

        I raise another glass to the result, and ‘Blinky Bills” rub of the green.

        Luck is the residue of good planning. (sorry, not mine)

        I’ll get the next round.

  • Number8

    Kurtley owns the number 15 jersey now.

    Just take the kicking duties away from Gits for starters. We have plenty of other goal kickers. I reckon Robbie will give Berrick a start or two at 12 during the tour too.

  • Lance Free

    From Hong Kong Stadium:

    Finally stopped drinking piss and can make a few cogent comments at this end(eh, maybe).

    The venue was very organised and controlled (loads of security staff). The pitch was in terrific condition.

    Crowd was manly ex-pat incl lots of poms but I’d say about 15% chinese.

    Pre-match entertainment incl a chinese Beatles tribute band – and they were good if you were of a certain age….

    No mid strength piss here – Stella Artois was the match beer and was available in jugs.

    You couldn’t take your plonk from the concourse into the stands, well, you could if you put it into a large coke container….

    The match amosphere for a crowd of about 25,000 was fantastic. Loads of interaction with strangers in green and gold clothing of all sorts. I thought the crowd was just great.

    The game itself – I texted Juan Cote with 20 mins to go and said we’re gone. To his credit he kept the faith and said no, the Wobblies will win – and he was right.

    Wasn’t as pretty as could be but we were the better team and in the end deserved the win. Step 1 – 6 to go.

    • Groucho

      The pitch must have looks better in real life then. On television it looked disastrous, with players raising divots in open play and the scrums struggling for grip.

      • Lance Free

        Although we had a few…ahem…Stellas last night we (at the ground) didn’t notice any issues with the pitch. You might have gotten some closeups on TV where there could have been the odd divot but it’s not something we noticed from the stands.

        Last time they played in 2008 there were problems with the pitch. Don’t know how true it is but I heard that they’re going to pull the stadium down and build a new one.

  • Hillsy

    Does anyone know who made that high tackle in the dying stages there? Looked quite bad i thought, and was that the reason why Quade had a go at Sir Rich after the try was scored.

  • dobduff11

    hillsy – it was stephen donald

  • hillston hog

    I thought gits played well – kicking aside

  • Jnor

    Well we did our best to butcher it but the difference was we did that AND managed to come away with the points in our favour.


  • KingofDubai

    “Beale stuffs the first two kicks yet Gits gets the blame. Cop onto yourselves. Gits is one of the best tacklers for oz and missed nothing.”

    Spook, GIteau deserved to get pulled. Yes Beale missed a couple too but Gitea has been “off” for a good while now, missing some sitters. Beale’s recent kick in SA, and playing form to date is far superior to Giteau. Giteau was pinged for holding on after getting isolated.

    Nonu had a field day today in the 12 jumper, and Barnes was noticible in defence with some text book boottlaces tackles on him when he came on. Giteau, was found wondering out wide on the wing when Nonu went over.

    Gits is a very valuable player but not in form AT ALL. He’s a bench player and will get relegated I think and will become a great impact player when his formn returns. Does he need a rest?

    • Thomas

      “Giteau was pinged for holding on after getting isolated.”
      Players were all over the park then, they’d just made a line break a heap of players were tackled so there was a lack of support and Genia stood there for about 5 seconds looking for someone else to clear about so the penalty wasn’t Giteau fault. Barnes defence was good as that’s his specialty he made 1 line break against some tired forwards when he was fresh then butchered the pass on what should have been a try

      • Lee Enfield

        Even if the pass to JOC had been better and it stuck, Rococoko had JOC covered easily. I doubt it would have resulted in a try, at best it could have resulted in a try a few phases later.

        • marty

          yeah totally. just like Jo Roc had him easily covered for that final last minute try.

  • Garry

    AB’s peak too early again for the RWC.

    Has the first seed just been planted?

  • EAG

    Overall, not a bad WB performance, still looked like the All Black could get over the gain line far to easily. Quade really struggled with his defence, missed 3 or 4 crucial tackles, really needs to get the shoulder in and drive as opposed to just hitting with his chest.

    I think worst on field was Mark Chisolm, he had a terrible game, extremely ineffective with ball in hand, he was driven backwards every time he took it up. Missed a few tackles, in particular one on Nonu, which led to a line break. And to top it off, all his cleanouts seemed useless. He is not up to it at test level.

    The pak really needs to have more urgency at the breakdown, too many forwards standing out waiting to carry the ball up while the ball is being lost in the ruck, due to a far stronger kiwi presence.

    Last thing, Rocky needs to improve his body height when he runs with the ball in tight, hewas getting hit hard and driven back by the kiwi defence, its ok for him to stay a bit higher when hes running out wide, but in close he really needs to lower his body height to be effective.

    • Garry

      I’m looking forward the the stats on the set pieces.

      The ref seemed all over our scrums, and I was expecting a yellow card any moment. Has anything improved? I bet the ‘To and Froms’ will be licking their sun burnt lips?

      Line-outs. We seemed to have them in the first half. How many did we steal? And then went to sleep in the second half, at times not even contesting.

      Restarts. Same old sh*t. Laughable?

      3 areas that are not improving at all.

      Thank Christ for SDonald, or this forum could be carrying a different tone.

      • Scotty in Devon

        Well I suppose if the Kiwis had won, they would all be thanking Cooper for his missed tackles???

        Thought not.

  • piggies7

    AAC’s try was mortlock-esque. he has a fantastic try scoring rate against the ab’s. and great to see schmoo dritchell not fucking shit himself and do 5 laps of the field when he scored a try

  • Bullrush

    Hard to watch us lose that game but I guess I guess it was going to have to come at some stage didn’t it?

    Quade Cooper has got to be the most over-rated Wallaby. Everyone has already talked about his defense (or lack thereof) but apart from scoring that try, I don’t think he did anything on attack that was that special.

    I’d seriously look at getting KB time in the 10 jersey…the guy has got a pretty similar skill-set to QC AND he can tackle. And what was with his poofta little push and shove at Richie after the O’Conner try?!?!

    It will be interesting to see how your scrum goes over the tour.

    Despite the loss, I think the ABs still have it over the Wallabies. Given who made the crucial mistakes last night, a couple of the key guys coming back from injury and the guys we left back home, I don’t know that the Wallabies are that much better. Especially in the forwards. Pocock is becoming your McCaw….WTF will we do without him???

    • Thomas

      KB is shit at fly half, all the years he’s been there for the Tahs has proven that and Quade offers allot in attack. And with your comment on KB defence he isn’t that good of a defender he tried to tackle Cory Jane with his arm when he step on the inside of him at least Quade uses some of his body

    • Funk

      Coopers attack had 2 to 3 ab defenders looking at him every time he got the ball, his defence really needs some more work (maybe Deans needs to get a full time defensive coach just for him). His attack and his play is getting better all the time, his silly errors are reducing, not everything works every time, as he plays more he’ll take the better options more often. As a reds fan I’ve seen the worst and he’s getting better all the time.
      As for his poofta littel push, I was dissapointed that it was Quade giving him a push, instead of someone like Sharpie or Chis, one of them should have stood up and given Ritchie a good hard slap for his high shot and attempt to pull JOC’s head off….I was rather proud of Quade for sticking up for his mate, and not letting the kiwis get away with the typical kiwi cheap shot (RE: richard loe). I saw at least 2 high shots in the last 5 mins of play!

      • Really?!?! 2 shots in the last 5 min??

        I saw one – Stephen Donal (sigh) on AAC(?).

        I’ll have to watch the try again but I don’t remember any high shot from Ritchie on JOC. But it doesn’t take away from the fact that it was a soft little shove from someone who had less than 30min earlier been thrown around like a rag-doll by McCaw in a pathetic attempt to tackle him.

        And I really don’t remember Cooper being all that dangerous in the game. Again, I’ll have to watch it again cos I watched a replay in a fairly hung-over state but I certainly didn’t think “F**k Cooper is good” afterwards.

        i still think Beale should be looked at for 10. I know he’s stryggled there for the Tahs early in his career but you’d have to admit that his attitude to the game has done a 180 degree and I think that would see him play better at 10. Maybe we’ll see him there a little in Super Rugby next year.

    • Tim

      To be fair, we spent a decade saying the same thing about George Smith.

  • fr3ak

    A more balanced review than Dwyers but I think you both missed the point for me, this was out and out luck. We bungled our real chance(s) to actually close out the game in the last minutes and only through Donald failing to put the ball out (and missing a penalty) did we win, face it, if Carter had been fit (as he no doubt will be for the RWC) he would have played 80 and we would have lost… again. On the otherhand we have lost some close games through the rub of the green not going our way recently, but for me that was a second string ABs team for the last 20 and thats what lost the game for the ABs. Ritchie even said it after the game, something like “realistically that ball should have been kicked out” you could see the frustration on his face and I could understand it, any other no.10 in that position would have kicked it out and there would have been enough time for the ABs to reset their defensive line.

    Giteau is a great player, I rate him over Barnes as a starting player (and love Barnes as an impact player) but he should not have the kicking duties at the moment, I’ve never liked the way he relies on curving the ball through the posts and find it refreshing to see JOC and KB kicking the ball straight on.

    Alain Rolland had no idea what was going on at scrum time, Franks was binding on the arm from the get-go and didn’t let up or get penalised, merely warned ONCE. He rarely even called crouch and was so bloody slow to call the rest I’m not surprised there were so many problems. Absolute shocker from the refs.


  • Scotty in Devon

    And from this Aussie in Pommieland these last 10 years – I can’t wait for the boys to start playing over here, with Wales the starters to the main course! Good old BBC I shall be recording every game….

    We BLOODY WELL WON!!!!!!!!!!

    Well thats what I said yesterday accompanied by a spot of Hewitt arm pumping….my wife and daughter looking both suitable bemused. :-)

  • ab_fan

    I will personally pay for slade to be flown over to europe for the rest of the tour, Donald played well for his own standards however terrible by international standards. I’m not angry him missing the penalty, that happens (though Slade kicked 11/11 against wellington the night before) but chip kicking in your own 22 when your up by 12 with 10 on the clock…
    nice ballard though and congrates to the wallabies for the win.

  • robbo999

    To all those who doubt Cooper’s value – two first phase tries against the AB’s both because of his stunning flat passes – one to the right and the second to his left – we have not had that since Larkham. They can fix his defence ( I hope) but only he can deliver that pass.

    • ” They can fix his defence ( I hope)”

      Really?!? Anyone who has played rugby will tell you that defense and tackling is probably about 90% attitude.

      All QC shows every time someone runs at him is desperation and fear.

      • JTM

        Similiar to Kurtley Beale not so long ago I imagine…he is certainly proof that the whole attitude issue can be reversed. In the last few months he has been pulling off try savers left right.

  • Garry

    This from the number crunchers at the NZherlad:

    The Wallabies won the battle of the breakdown, turning over All Black ball eight times and only conceding three penalties in the process, while the All Blacks won five turnovers but conceded a whopping 11 penalties in the contest zone.

    Good work fellas. Good work WB’s, and great work forum subscribers in making the ref aware of ‘Richie McCheat’.


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Steve Timms, He likes watching the odd game of Rugby, occasionally writes about it.. Proud member of the original Mudchooks.

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