Friday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
Rugby

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees the Wallabies and Irelands squads named, another edition of club corner, the Force on helping Super Rugby and World Rugby clarifying it’s backflip.


The battle lines are drawn

Tom Robertson

Tom Robertson

The Lansdowne Cup is up for grabs this weekend, and both sides have made a couple of interesting decisions on the squad front.

The Wallabies squad sees Lukhan Tui come in for Caleb Timu (who has been dropped from the squad entirely), while Izack Rodda and Nick Phipps come into the starting lineup to make up for injuries. Ned Hanigan and Joe Powell have also come onto the bench.

Wallabies Squad:

1. Scott Sio
2. Brandon Paenga-Amosa
3. Sekope Kepu
4. Izack Rodda
5. Adam Coleman
6. Lukhan Tui
7. Michael Hooper (c)
8. David Pocock
9. Nick Phipps
10. Bernard Foley
11. Marika Koroibete
12. Kurtley Beale
13. Samu Kerevi
14. Dane Haylett-Petty
15. Israel Folau

REPLACEMENTS
16. Tolu Latu
17. Tom Robertson
18. Taniela Tupou
19. Rob Simmons
20. Ned Hanigan
21. Pete Samu
22. Joe Powell
23. Reece Hodge

The Irish squad has also been named:

1. Jack McGrath
2. Sean Cronin
3. Tadhg Furlong
4. Devin Toner
5. James Ryan
6. CJ Stander
7. Peter O’Mahony (c)
8. Jack Conan
9. Conor Murray
10. Johnny Sexton
11. Jacob Stockdale
12. Bundee Aki
13. Robbie Henshaw
14. Keith Earls
15. Rob Kearney

REPLACEMENTS
16. Niall Scannell
17. Cian Healy
18. John Ryan
19. Tadhg Beirne
20. Jordi Murphy
21. Kieran Marmion
22. Ross Byrne
23. Jordan Larmour

This match is seriously too close to call. What do we reckon GAGRs? Who’s in for the win?

The other matches of the weekend see an in-form Fiji host Tonga, Japan will host their third test of the year against Georgia, the All Blacks will go for a whitewash against France, while the Springboks will look to do the same against England, before the USA look to finish their June internationals undefeated when they head north of the border to face Canada, and the Pumas will look to win their first match of the year when they take on Scotland.

Finally, World Series Rugby also get’s back underway this weekend with the Western Force out to prove a point when they take on the Crusaders in Perth. The Force have named a strong squad, with Jeremy Thrush and Cameron Orr set to make their debuts for the WA club. It’s sure to be a tough assignment for the men from the West, but they have impressed a lot this season, so nothing is off the table.

Force Squad:

1. Harrison Lloyd, 2. Heath Tessmann, 3. Chris Heiberg, 4. Fergus Lee-Warner, 5. Jeremy Thrush, 6. Henry Stowers, 7. Chris Alcock, 8. Brynard Stander, 9. Ian Prior ©, 10. Andrew Deegan, 11. Rod Davies, 12. AJ Alatimu, 13. Brad Lacey, 14. Masivesi Dakuwaqa, 15. Peter Grant

REPLACEMENTS

16. Feleti Kaitu’u, 17. Cameron Orr, 18. Tom Sheminant, 19. Leon Power, 20. Johan Bardoul, 21. Tevin Ferris, 22. Harrison Orr, 23. Issak Fines-Leleiwasa, 24. Henry Taefu, 25. Clay Uyen.

Club Corner

BLK Queensland Premier Rugby Grand Final Easts v Souths

Some kind of place where the sun does shine and the moon doth glow and the grass doth grow… there be club corner.

Kicking off in Queensland, round 12 saw Easts defeat Brothers away from home 36-48, Norths pull off a 19-20 win over Souths, Uni of Queensland prevail over Bond Uni away from home 19-29, and GPS knock over Sunnybank 36-12.

Round Thirteen Fixtures:

University of Queensland v Sunnybank
Brothers v Souths
Easts v Bond University
Norths v Wests

GPS have the bye.

In Sydney, round ten of the Shute Shield saw Gordon continue to struggle, losing 17-71 to Eastwood. Randwick fell at home 22-23 to Southern Districts, Manly flogged Parramatta 64-15, Northern Suburbs went down at home to Eastern Suburbs 8-36, and Warringah prevailed over the Students 15-12.

Round Eleven Fixtures:

West Harbour v Manly
Southern Districts v Parramatta 
Eastern Suburbs v Eastwood 
Warringah v Gordon 
Sydney University v Randwick

Northern Suburbs have the bye.

Down in Melbourne, round eight of the Dewar Shield saw Box Hill surprise Melbourne Uni 38-17, Harlequins smash Footscray 40-12, Melbourne smashed Endeavour Hills 71-17, and Power House went down 26-46 to Moorabbin at home.

Round Nine Fixtures:

Endeavour Hills v Power House 
Footscray v Box Hill 
Melbourne Uni  v Melbourne 
Moorabbin v Harlequins

In Canberra, round eleven of the John I Dent Cup saw Gungahlin pick up a surprise 20-12 win over Royals, Wests come back across the border with a 10-30 win over Queanbeyan, and Tuggeranong went down 28-31 to Uni-Norths at Viking Park.  It was a round that saw the competition open up a lot after a couple of surprise results.

Round Twelve Fixtures:

Easts v Wests 
Queanbeyan v Uni-Norths 
Tuggeranong v Gungahlin

Royals have the bye.

Round Seven of the Coopers Premier Grade in Adelaide saw Onkaparinga beat Souths Suburbs 41-3, Old Collegians went down 19-22 to Burnside, and Brighton smash Woodville 38-10.

Round Eight Fixtures:

Onkaparinga v Old Collegians 
Woodville v Souths Suburbs 
Burnside v Brighton

And finally, we wrap up club corner in Western Australia. Round ten saw Joondalup fall 21-30 to Cottlesloe,  Nedlands grabbed an important away win over Perth Bayswater 15-47, Associates hammered UWA 34-3, ARKs went down to Kalamunda 26-43, Palmyra grabbed a vital 22-25 away win over Southern Lions, and Wanneroo went down at home 5-28 against Wests Scarborough.

Round Eleven Fixtures:

Palmyra v Coastal Cavaliers 
Wests Scarborough v Southern Lions
Cottesloe v UWA
Kalamunda v Joondalup
Nedlands v Wanneroo
Associates v Perth Bayswater

ARKs have the bye.

Enjoy your club rugby this weekend, and go the Wallabies!

Super Crossroads

ForceRebels3

These are interesting times for Super Rugby. Following the cutting of three teams last year, a plateauing of interest has many wondering about the future of the competition.

It’s a particularly interesting one if you are a Western Force supporter. While many Force fans still look upon the competition with disdain, Former All Black Jeremy Thrush believes that World Series Rugby could be exactly what Super Rugby needs to freshen up the competition.

Twiggy has plans to make WSR a competition that other clubs will want to join, and Thrush seems to echo his thoughts when he spoke to rugby.com.au. 

“I guess it’s [Super Rugby] at a little bit of a crossroads the way it’s going,” Thrush said.

“I feel it needs a bit of a freshen up somehow.

“I guess if we’re building this World Series Rugby here, and we can keep pushing it through, then maybe further down the line it (Super Rugby) might combine with what we’re doing here, which would be great.”

The Force will start their game against the Crusaders as heavy underdogs, but Thrush admitted that there are “chinks in any team’s armour,” and that the team is extremely motivated to try and knock over the Super Rugby champions.

In other crossroad news, George Smith will be heading over to England to join Bristol on a replacement contract at the end of this year. His contract with the Reds is due to run out at the end of the season. It was widely assumed Smith would retire at the end of the season, but he keeps chugging along.

Smith will head into his 19th straight year of professional rugby next year, only three years behind Brad Thorn‘s 22 year stint across league and union codes.

“I’m looking forward to coming back to the Premiership – a tough competition that I really enjoyed – and representing Bristol at Ashton Gate,” said Smith to Sports News.

Unsurprisingly, he’s no stranger to this competition, having already played for Wasps.

“I’ll be able to pass on some advice to the younger guys in the squad as well and I’ll be giving my all to the cause during my time at the club.”

Clarification plz

Screenshot_2

World Rugby has pissed off plenty of folks off over the course of this week, following the announcement that they had retracted the red card against Benjamin Fall in his side’s loss to the All Blacks over the weekend.

So notable the backlash has been, that the governing body has now been forced to issue a statement clarifying it’s decision-making process.

While defending Angus Gardner and the TMO for not having access to all camera angles on the field, World Rugby admitted that Fall was not guilty of foul play, as he was committed to competing for the ball but had already been hampered by  New Zealand centre Anton Lienert-Brown. The resulting mix-up left Beauden Barrett with concussion, which will see him miss this weekend’s test.

“In respect of the red card issued to Benjamin Fall during the New Zealand versus France match on June 16, the match official team followed the guideline correctly and made a decision based on the available camera angles,” the statement read. 

“Only during the subsequent review by an independent judicial panel, when additional camera angles were made available, was it determined that Benjamin Fall was knocked off balance immediately prior to the challenge and therefore the red card was dismissed.”

Ever since the card, the debate around whether a report system should be introduced into rugby has become increasingly vocal, with both Steven Hansen and Michael Cheika admitting that they would be open to the idea, although trials would be required first.

  • st saens

    Why don’t World Rugby just shut the f*** up.
    “referee was right, but sort of wrong” …aargh!
    “tackle below the nipples” …good lord!!

    • McWarren

      i’ve heard the AIB’s have now employed a plastic surgeon to have all their nipples lowered to waste level. Just a rumor but probably true, you know what their like. Hey KRL?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        They’re
        Hahahahahahahaha

        Damn right mate we’ll take everything we can

      • John Tynan

        I keep applying the “nipple” concept to my veteran’s rugby games and the physics of getting this dodgy back into a position to tackle with some of the moobs you see….

  • Dud Roodt

    Wallabies by 55

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Big call mate.

      • Greg

        I think he meant the socceroos!

      • Dud Roodt

        I actually reigned it in a bit. My first inkling was by 80, then I remembered Phipps is in for Genia.

  • Funk

    Pretty sure Rodda was already in the starting line up.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks for the write up Nick,

    I agree this game is going to be close. I thought the Irish stepped up a lot last week in the tactics they used more than anything, but I think the Wallabies made them look better with a flat approach to the game. I just didn’t think the intensity was there last week. If the Wallabies raise the intensity and if Cheika and co can come up with some smart tactics, with options for when things don’t work, then I think The Wallabies will win. However, if Schmidt pulls something else out of the bag and the Wallabies don’t match up then the Irish will win. Whatever happens I think it’s going to be a cracker. Got my ticket and will be there to see it unfold.
    Gee WR are showing how completely they can stuff things up. They put in place a stupid set of rules, sorry rule interpretations, to try and make a complex situation easy and then spin around up their own arse when it proves as unworkable as it was always going to be. So now they have referees who will question their own interpretation so they don’t get hung out to dry like Gardner was and coaches and players wondering what the hell they are meant to do. What a complete stuff up. I know that at my level it won’t matter so much but if I think both players had a chance at getting possession and are just going for the ball then as far as I’m concerned it’s a fair contest and if bad luck happens then it’s just that – bad luck. If a player is never going to be in a position to win the ball and their actions cause the opposition player an injury or to be put in a dangerous position then he/she will be penalised. Pretty simple but then as most people who read this site know, I’m a simple person.

    • Happyman

      KRL Ireland should be a great game it has been a tremendous series so far. Enjoy the occasion.
      Regarding WR they are trying to bring perfection to the imperfect and the over reliance on the TMO just leads to frustration by players, coaches and fans.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I agree really looking forward to this game. Pity the ABs is a bit of a dead rubber but with the newbies in and France looking to make a point it could be interesting

    • Sambo

      I just hope we’re not so 1 dimensional again as we’ve shown in the past. A bit of variation in attack will keep them guessing and could catch them out of position on our kick/chase.

  • Happyman

    Always nice to see the club corner section on the Friday feed but I am going to go full rant mode here.

    Rant mode on
    Once again the QRU has managed to shoot itself in the foot with there unbelivable stupidity.
    They have withdrawn all of the Reds players from the Hospital cup this week so that they can run some stupid internal trial tonight. WTF.
    This year they have done some good stuff in clubland but have managed to undo it with this myopic stupidity.
    They have not just pulled the starters out but all of the wider squad players that will not play for the Reds for the last three meaningless rounds.
    Premier rugby is getting down to the business end and once again the QRU treats the clubs with complete contempt.
    You are truly a useless bunch of fools and this only vindicates my not having season tickets this year.
    Rant mode off

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      That just beggars belief. What a stupid decision

    • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

      If the QRU decides to de-power the club competition, then vote with your feet. Despite how good the steak sandwiches are at Wests and Jeeps.

      Instead, may I recommend visiting Ballymore during next week when the cream of our local schools face off in the state schools trials. Two GPS teams, one from AIC and one combined state schools outfit, in a round-robin comp, with some games at night. I can’t wait.

      • Happyman

        It is precisely why I will be watching the Mighty Souths Magpies take on Brothers at Crosby tomorrow. The competition is fantastic in spite of the QRU not because of it. Some of the players who the Reds miss who are not in the pathway or on the radar of the Reds is embarrassing. It is almost like a sport in itself watching the ones they miss.
        Isi Naisarangi, Tom Banks, just to name two in the last two years.

        The school trials are well worth the watch I will probably get out to watch a game or two.

        • Braveheart81

          Both Naisarani and Banks were offered Reds contracts. They were just offered bigger contracts elsewhere.

        • McWarren

          With Banks it was too little too late though BH. Instead the guru’s from Herston bought in a coke sniffing leagie. Banks wasn’t a flash in the pan, clubland knew how good he was as he left school.

        • Missing Link

          Please be more specific when using the term “coke sniffing leagie”. Trying to figure out which one you’re referring to :)

        • Braveheart81

          He was offered an EPS contract with the Reds and then offered a full contract with the Brumbies. I agree the Reds should have done better and prioritised him over other players. They have made plenty of poor recruitment decisions in recent years persisting with players who spent too long out injured and never reached their potential and missed out on better players coming through as a result.

          It was the same year though for Banks. If the Brumbies hadn’t offered a better contract he would have been a Red. Same with Naisarani.

      • Bakkies

        Don’t punish the individual clubs by not turning up. Give the QRU a gobful on Facebook and ring the head office.

  • Sambo

    Wallabies are paying $2.40 for the win… hopefully they can defy the pundits and instil some pride in the jersey and money in to the account

  • Brumby Runner

    Having watched all the Force games this year, I am very impressed with Fergus Lee-Warner at lock. He looks a very good prospect.

    Will be interesting also the keep an eye on young Fines-Leleiwasa. Very good reports coming out of Brisbane, and had been anticipating watching him with the Brumbies before he moved on.

  • Missing Link

    I can’t put this any simpler but Go Wallabies! Game day eve, must win, totally pumped for this!

    • McWarren

      Try this ML

      WALLABIES!!!! PUUUUMMMMPPEEDDDD!!!!!

      • Missing Link

        drinks will be drunk!

        • Moz

          Just as long as
          harsh word aren’t spoken
          promises aren’t broken,
          old wounds are opened,
          and then love (for the Wallabies) walk out the door…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Several mate

    • John_R

      Fuck yeah, up the boys!

  • Tomthusiasm

    I wonder if World Rugby have any extra camera angles from the grassy knoll in ’63. I’d be interested to see that.

    • McWarren

      You’d think it would be easy enough to prove their extra angles comment by releasing the footage? And if they did get extra angles how come they weren’t available to the ref on the night. Or do I smell a Kiwi conspiracy brewing?

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely a conspiracy mate. There were no additional views, they just put that in their as an excuse to change the ruling so that they could bring Gardner down and confuse everyone even more. WR is going on the theory that if they make it more confusing they can pretty much do what they want and no one will be able to challenege it.

        • Nutta

          Ahhh the opportunity of obfuscation…

  • bob

    What’s with these camera angles that they can’t show on TV, camera 7 and George Ayoubs “technology” surely if they Wana keep the fams happy Chuck im the extra HDMI cord or what ever and limk up all the cameras

    • HK Red

      I don’t get how they only discovered the interference by black 13 “during subsequent review”. You could see the knock and the stumble at the time they were reviewing it during the game. Maybe the TMO was only looking at the Fall/Barrett contact and not looking at the bigger picture……….lead up, intent, attention to the ball or other players, etc. Perhaps that’s the issue, the officials are reviewing these incidents with a too narrow a scope.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not interference mate. Black 13 ran a line and didn’t deviate so under the law the French 15 had to change his line

        • HK Red

          There was a quick look over the shoulder to the left, noticing Fall approaching, clearly happy to run a blocking line. Whether there was the most imperceptible of movements to ensure contact….who knows. The upshot is, both players contesting the ball, both players 100% focused on the ball, zero intent and sadly the game was ruined as a spectacle after the RC shown.

      • McWarren

        There was a lot of talk of how Fall kept his eye on the ball the whole time. So I reckon the refs were distracted with the eyes and whether he got off the ground.

        Not wanting to be cynical, but if eyes on the ball is a deciding factor shouldn’t they look for both players to be looking. I’m not suggesting Barrett wasn’t looking at the ball but, just for a minute, imagine he wasn’t, imagine he new full well that Fall had eyes for the ball only and all he had to do was get to Fall half a step before the he took off. Completely hypothetical but if we are looking to the eyes as an indicator of intent at a contest then shouldn’t both players be placed under scrutiny?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Mate Eyes on the ball isn’t a deciding factor. It essentially comes down to the referee’s opinion as to whether it was a fair challenge or not. Buit then on top of that you have all this interpretation about careless, injury, contact with head etc etc etc that just confuses the situation.

        • McWarren

          Fair enough ref.

        • HK Red

          Absolutely agree on that point. I’d raised earlier in the week, could you question whether Barrett was recklessly jumping into contact with a leading knee at opposition’s head height? I don’t for a second think that he was, but the question could be asked. I think the vast majority of rugby fans looked at the incident as a fair contest that ended up badly. It’s an athletic game with high impact contact, bumps and scrapes are going to happen. We need to accept that and play the game.

      • Braveheart81

        But you look at the replays they showed and the vast majority of them either only kicked in after the contact with Leinert-Brown or were from an angle that didn’t show it well. The second last replay was the best one to show the contact but by that point they’d pretty much missed it in my view.

        It’s a difficult situation. There are 7 or 8 cameras in the ground for a test match but it would be crazy for the TMO to look at every single angle. The producer trying to provide a replay to the TMO/Referee is probably looking for the best replay that shows the incident they are after (the collision between Fall and Barrett) not necessarily looking for other factors like the bump from ALB. The producer isn’t a referee.

        The TMO process is already taking too long. It’s certainly not viable that they review every single angle that exists or start looking at a longer period of footage as default. It’s difficult to know the best compromise because the TMO is vital to get rid of really bad decisions (or missed decisions) but it is clear that it is currently being used too much and decisions taking too long.

        One thing I think the NRL have done well this season is cut down the video referee time on try decisions. The referee makes a decision and the video looks to confirm or overturn it as quickly as possible. They need really decisive evidence to overturn something rather than watching a replay 10 times in super slo-mo to decide whether there was a knock on that could have still been called the other way.

        • HK Red

          Yeah the NRL are much more clinical and easily understood in these reviews.
          What I don’t like on these aerial contest decisions, they seem to come down to who jumps highest and/or who seems the most injured. Or at least that’s the way it appears to be policed these days.

        • Braveheart81

          I think that is oversimplifying it. If both players make a reasonable attempt to get off the ground and compete then it is play on. The problem is when one person arrives at the contest and makes a proper jump at it and then the second player is too late and barely gets off the ground.

          If two players are both in a good position to attempt to catch it, no one gets penalised.

          In the NZ/France situation Fall was way too late to that contest. He barely had time to jump whereas Barrett was there and at the height of his leap.

        • HK Red

          His timing was fine, his run/balance was interrupted somewhat negating his ability to leap as high as he could.
          I think we’ve all seen instances where the player that jumps a bit higher in the air, has ended up pivoting over the lower player and the lower player gets pinged. Neither player looking at the other on approach, just watching the ball and just because one guy doesn’t jump as high and then ends up being the fulcrum in the contest, receives the blame for the outcome. Look I don’t know that answer to the problem, but a fair contest shouldn’t end up with a penalty such as that.
          As far as no penalties in a fair contest, there have definitely been games where both compete fairly at same height, but for whatever reason one lands on his feet, the other on his head. Bloke that lands on his feet gets walked.

        • Braveheart81

          I still think Fall was well off the contest. If you can find me one where it is genuinely a close contest and the referee red cards a player who is slightly lower but competing well then I am all ears (and eyes).

        • HK Red

          Ha sorry, I’m not rain-man.
          With this very discussion though, we’re already implying that a player must jump for a ball, otherwise they have no right to be there. Where’s the rule demanding that players have to jump to catch a ball? There was an incident in last years SR final where Kwagga Smith came steaming in to catch a ball, you can see him tracking it, setting himself up and then suddenly he catches a flying hip in the face and nearly loses his head. He subsequently copped a 4 -week suspension due to “reckless play”. The whole incident was pretty ugly and luckily both players were okay. However, if Havili hadn’t jumped into Smith’s head, Smith would have caught the ball and it’s play on. Why was only Smith deemed “reckless”? Was it not equally reckless of Havili to jump with a leading knee/hip at head height? Not equally reckless of Havili to put himself into a vulnerable position with no care for his own or other players well-being?

        • Braveheart81

          And Kwagga Smith should be red carded every day of the week for that.

          There is no law that you have to jump for the ball but the law protecting the player in the air is 9.17 A player must not tackle, charge, pull, push or grasp an opponent whose feet are off the ground.

          Smith didn’t get to the contest first. The onus is on him to not take out the player in the air if he arrives late at the contest.

        • HK Red

          How did he arrive at the contest late?
          Both players arrived underneath the ball at exactly the same time, hence the collision.

        • Braveheart81

          By the fact that Havili has already caught the ball and taken possession by the time Smith gets to a position where he could have caught the ball and would have only caught it if there wasn’t another player already there.

          You obviously disagree with the law but that is what it is. Smith will get red carded for that challenge again and again if it is repeated.

          It is a reckless challenge because he took no care for the safety of a player in the air who had made it to the drop of the ball first and caught it.

      • Patrick

        maybe the TMO was a f¦@#§n idiot, yes I agree.

  • HK Red

    Wow, the match day 23 named by Ireland bears an uncanny resemblance to the 23 that Australia only managed to beat on June 9th because they were “the 2nd string squad”.

  • Andrew H

    I’ve consulted my magic 8-ball, and I predict the following outcomes on the weekend-
    Fiji and Tonga will belt each other senseless but Fiji will get the upper hand in the end due to Tongan ill-discipline and then both teams will come together at the end, it will be a fantastic example of how rugby should be played.
    Japan will defeat Georgia by playing an up-tempo game.
    All Blacks beat France, and odds-on there will be contentious refereeing that will be a blight on the game.
    Tipping (and hoping) the Springboks will knock off England because I’m particularly upset with what England are doing to us in the criggit.
    USA vs Canada, dunno eh?
    If the Pumas put it together they’ll beat Scotland, but I’d imagine both teams are stinging after their recent results.
    As for the big one, if Phipps’ delivery is anything like last Saturday we will get absolutely pantsed. I really hope Powell gets out there early and plays like I think he’s capable of.
    If Pocock gets the assistance he needs he will turn in another blinder like the first game and it could be enough to tip the balance back to the men in gold.
    I’m sure I’m not alone in hoping Folau feels he has a point to prove after being so quiet last week and the contestable kicks are back. Not seen any word on how the meeting with the officials went through the week.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      USA over canada mate. They knocked off Scotland and are looking good this year.
      Not sure the Argies heads are in the right space at the moent and I think they’ll struggle this year. Scotland by not much.
      This time it’ll be an AB sent off but we’ll still win.

      I think the Wallabies will take this one BUT depends on so many factors as i think the teams are very close but just play differently.

      • Andrew H

        Fair call on CANvUSA KRL, the Eagles look alright this year. I just haven’t seen any of Canada so didn’t want to make a call.

    • Brumby Runner

      In test 2 the Irish simply blew (sometimes legally and sometimes from the side) Poey off the ball at the breakdown. So, what master stroke has been included in the game plan to counter this tactic? Certainly, nothing I can see in the team selections. Tui by all accounts is a strong carrier, an excellent tackler and a very good lineout exponent. I haven’t seen any suggestions that he can provide the extra grunt in rucks that Poey will need to assist him make the turnovers we will need if the Irish continue to play phase after phase and lock the ball up for something like 70% of the game.

      If we can’t establish dominance at the breakdown, and our kicking game is as woeful as it was in test 2, the Irish will have this on toast.

      • Adrian

        Na…our kicking game won’t be so woeful, our disclipine will be better, and we’ll do a bit better at the breakdown.

        Tui will work out better how to inject himself than Timu, because he’s a bit more experienced. He can genuinely do a bit of everything, including breakdowns, carrying, passing and lineout

        That’s enough to pick up the few points needed.

        • Adrian

          Which means Wallabies to win

  • Hoss

    I think Schmidt may have erred a fraction with his starting XV – i reckon Aki is an interesting choice at 12, in fact i reckon the Aussies must start favourites.

    Most important, exciting game in Oz Rugby since the Nigel Owen / All Black Benefit match of October 2015 .

    I feel like a 4 yo on Xmas Eve – Gold by 9.

    • McWarren

      It will be interesting if the Wobbles from game 1 and the Spuds from game 2 show up in game 3. My head says spuds by 10, my heart that really likes living in my house with my Irish family also says Eirann by 9.
      But for what it is worth. Go the WALLabi………shit she nearly heard me. Got to go.

      • Hoss

        Gold mate.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah not sure on Aki. He didn’t progress in NZ for some good reasons

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician, second rower. Still trying to make sense of the 21st century. Dropped a debut novel last year...

More in Rugby