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Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News

Friday’s Rugby News sees a less than enthusiastic Rugby Championship preview, club corner, the latest in the Wallaroos camp, Ashley-Cooper potentially coming home and the Stockman preparing to meet the best in the west.

Still need the therapy after last week? We have two podcasts that can help you immensely.


…Time and Time Again

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Photo Courtesy of Keith McInnes

Well bollocks. This time last week I poured my heart out. Guess pride comes before a fall.

It was a depressing weekend of footy last weekend. And now, it could be about to get worse.

Michael Cheika and the entire squad has been absolutely slammed on all fronts for the Wallabies performance last week. But this weekend, they head into a literal black abyss at Eden Park, a place where the green and gold haven’t won since 1986.

I wasn’t even to be born for another nine years the last time they won, and nothing in this squad convinces me that this is the week it’ll end. So I’ll take anything better than last week. An eighty minute performance. A match where we can say we left everything on the paddock. Anything.

And to be honest, these squads worry me:

WALLABIES Squad: Dane Haylett-Petty, Jack Maddocks, Reece Hodge, Kurtley Beale, Marika Koroibete, Bernard Foley, Will Genia, David Pocock, Michael Hooper (c), Lukhan Tui, Adam Coleman, Izack Rodda, Allan Alaalatoa, Tatafu Polota-Nau, Scott Sio. Reserves: Folau Faingaa, Tom Robertson, Sekope Kepu, Rob Simmons, Pete Samu, Nick Phipps, Matt Toomua, Tom Banks

ALL BLACKS Squad: Jordie Barrett, Ben Smith, Jack Goodhue, Ngani Laumape, Waisake Naholo, Beauden Barrett, Aaron Smith, Kieran Read (c), Sam Cane, Liam Squire, Sam Whitelock, Brodie Retallick, Owen Franks, Codie Taylor, Joe Moody. Reserves: Nathan Harris, Karl Tu’inukuafe, Ofa Tuungafasi, Scott Barrett, Ardie Savea, TJ Perenara, Damian McKenzie, Anton Lienert-Brown

What a place for Tom Banks and Folau Faingaa to potentially make their debuts. There is no harder place to debut. Good luck to them.

By my recollections, the last time the All Blacks lost at Eden Park in general was back in 1994. They’ve won pretty much every single game since then, with the exception of their draw last year against the British and Irish Lions.

I don’t think we’re going to win this. I doubt any Wallabies fans think we’re going to win this. And I’m done talking about this. All Blacks by 20.

In the murky wilderness of misery of the last week,  it’s been easy to forget about the other match in the Rugby Championship, which sees the Pumas host the Springboks in Mendoza.

The Boks were triumphant last week in their 34-21 win, but it is clear already that this Argentinean side under Mario Ledesma already looks much improved since their winless June series.

Add to that, Mendoza is a difficult place to win. Mendoza was the sight of the Pumas first ever draw against the Springboks in their first year of competing, and the Wallabies have also lost at this ground.

My predictions of this one still favour the Boks, as Ledesma still has plenty of chinks to iron out in this squad. But I think we’re going to have a close one. Boks by 5.

Club Corner

GPS win against UQ

Club corner is upon us once again, and ladies and gentleman, we have a winner! Or should I say, three winners!

Starting up at Ballymore, GPS picked up their first Hospital Challenge Cup in twenty-two years, knocking off favourites University of Queensland in front of a crowd of 6,000. The 23-16 scoreline was a classic display of finals footy, and served as fitting end to a impressive season (both in the quality of the footy and the growth of it’s profile) in Brisbane.

Down in Melbourne, the Melbourne Unicorns denied Harlequins a back-to-back title as well, getting revenge for their loss in the semi finals with a 22-16 win on a rainy afternoon. The crowd still turned out in force on the hill, and were treated to a spectacular game of footy between the old foes for the BLK Dewar Shield. 

And lastly, in the nation’s capital the John I Dent Cup was again contested between two bitter rivals in the Tuggeranong Vikings and the Canberra Royals at Viking Park. In a fantastic match, the Vikings knocked over the Royals to win 29-17. It has been recurring theme of every year it being a toss-up between the two sides but this year, the Vikings denied the Royals back-to-back premierships, which if won, would have been the first time the Royals would have completed such a feat in 26 years.

Not going to lie, it was really fun covering these seasons and I look forward to seeing the squads of these respective sides develop as they head into NRC pre-season.

However, the club footy doesn’t stop, with semi and quarterfinals a plenty across the country.

Starting in Sydney, the Intrust Super Shute Shield had some outstanding quarter finals matches. Starting off over at Sydney Uni, the Students knocked off a resilient Eastern Suburbs outfit 21-13, Warringah showed their premiership credentials with a 34-28 win over Manly at Rat Park, and Northern Suburbs defeated Eastwood 16-10 to be the other team to be knocked out of contention.

This weekend will be a backs against the wall scenario for the Marlins and the Rats, who will have to pull off a tough victory away from home to make it into the final.

Semi-Final Fixtures:

Sydney University v Manly
Northern Suburbs v Warringah

It’s also semi-finals week in South Australia, with the Coopers Premier Grade finals series kicking off. In the final regular season last week, Old Collegians knocked off Souths Suburbs 54-24, Woodville got hammered by Burnside 7-78 and Brighton defeated Onkaparinga 49-23.

However, while there have been a lot of lopsided games this season, the South Australian semi-finals should serve up an interesting series of games over the next three weeks. Hope fans in Adelaide get down to your local matches and show some support.

Semi-Final Fixtures:

Burnside v Brighton 
Onkaparinga v Old Collegians 

While it’s semi-finals time in New South Wales and South Australia, we do have one grand final on this weekend.

It’s the final week of club rugby time over in WA, with the Grand Final of the FMG Premiership Division approaching. Last weekend saw a massive upset, with minor premiers and favourites Nedlands being knocked off by the fourth place Kalamunda outfit 19-24, while Associates had to scratch tooth and nail for their win in a 27-24 win over Wests Scarborough. It was a genuinely enthralling semi-final series and hopefully will set the stage for an amazing match this weekend.

By my records, Kalamunda haven’t won the comp since 2008. Associates have had more success during this decade, but with UWA and Nedlands dominating the last few years, a win here would give a great opportunity to put a stamp on the growth in the club. Looks set for be a fantastic end to the club season in the West, so if you’re in Perth get along and show some support.

Grand Final Fixture:

Associates v Kalamunda 

And with that, another edition of club corner comes to an end. Hope those folks in Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne enjoy a nice weekend off before the start of the NRC, and for everyone else, get along and show some love to clubland. Peace out.

Crackin’ On

467627113.Wallaroo's training session 7th Feb 2014 AIS Canberra.

While last weekend was a depressing state of affairs for many Wallabies fans, there was one small glimmer of light that peeped through the clouds: the Wallaroos-Black Ferns match.

While the home side went down 11-31 in their first home game since 2008, there was a clear sense of improvement and newfound confidence in the girls that took to the field, and at times during the game they really troubled the Kiwis. Compared to two years ago when they lost 67-3, and the transformation of the squad is becoming more apparent, day by day.

If you haven’t had the chance to check out some of the highlights, some of the tries they served up were pretty special.

This weekend however will see the Wallaroos enter enemy territory, when they face their trans-Tasman rivals at Eden Park.

The girls will welcome back their World Cup centre Sarah Riordan, who returns from an ankle injury. This marks the only change in the Aussie outfit, with the Kiwis naming an unchanged side.

WALLAROOS Squad: Mahalia Murphy, Mhicca Carter, Atasi Lafai, Sarah Riordan, Samantha Treherne, Trilleen Pomare, Cobie-Jane Morgan, Grace Hamilton, Georgia O’Neill, Emily Chancellor, Rebecca Clough, Michelle Milward, Evelyn Horomia, Liz Patu (c), Emily Robinson. Reserves: Darryl Wickliffe, Melissa Fatu, Hana Ngaha, Alisha Hewett, Kiri Lingman, Fenella Hake, Crystal Maguire, Shanice Parker.

BLACK FERNS Squad: Selica Winiata, Renee Wickliffe, Stacey Waaka, Theresa Fitzpatrick, Alena Saili, Ruahei Demant, Kendra Cocksedge, Aroha Savage, Les Elder, Charmaine McMenamin, Charmaine Smith, Eloise Blackwell, Aldora Itunu/Leilani Perese, Fiao’o Faamausili (c), Phillipa Love. Reserves: Te Kura Ngata-Aerengamate, Cristo Tofa, Perese/Aleisha Nelson, Jackie Patea-Fereti, Linda Itunu, Kristina Sue, Krysten Cottrell, Chelsea Alley.

It’s tough coming up against the best side in the world, but unlike our mens team, I get a sense from the Wallaroos that every game they’ve played they’ve consistently found ways to improve. They keep getting better and better. If they keep this improvement up, it’s not going to be a case of if the wins start to come, but when. Honestly, it’s really refreshing to see that. And good on them for always turning up and having a red-hot go.

The Black Ferns will be pumped to play at Eden Park so I don’t see our girls breaking their duck against the Kiwis here. But hey, stranger things have happened. If they just keep trying and leave everything out on the paddock, we can’t ask for more than that. Black Ferns by 20.

In other news…

Adam Ashley-Cooper

Legendary Wallaby veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper is set to make a return to Australia, in a bid to have a crack at his fourth World Cup next year.

The 34 year old, 116 test veteran is eligible under Giteau’s Law to play in the squad, but his return to Australia’s shores would put him firmly in Michael Cheika‘s radar to be involved.

Currently, Ashley-Cooper has been plying his trade in Japan, but with their season finishing early to prepare for the World Cup, Cooper would be able to jump straight over to Australia, and two clubs are reportedly after his signature.

Firstly, the Western Force. According to Fox Sports, the WA club (with Twiggy’s cash in hand) can offer Cooper a superior financial deal to come over next year and play in the new World Series Rugby competition. With the Force also cleared by Rugby Australia, Ashley-Cooper would still be eligible for selection.

However, the second club is his beloved Waratahs, who have been more involved with Cheika’s preparations for the World Cup. The club is reportedly interested in getting AC’s signature, due to his experience and versatility that is needed at the club. In addition, with the departures of Taqele Naiyaravoro, Andrew Kellaway and Irae Simone, the Tahs might have a bit more money to play with to lure him over.

Ashley-Cooper hasn’t confirmed a move yet, however he made it no secret that he wanted to come back last year when he spoke to the Sunday Telegraph.

“I never made any decision to finish up,” Ashley-Cooper said.

“I am just kind of sitting there not out at the moment, waiting for the next innings.

“The fire is still burning there for sure, and there is obviously that 2019 World Cup down the track.

“To get to four World Cups, I reckon that would be a pretty special achievement and something I could be pretty proud of.

“But that’s a long way away.

“I realise there is a good depth of talent there at the moment so it is not like there is any guarantee of selection in a Wallaby squad.”

Should Ashley-Cooper get into the squad that has been tasked with getting back Bill, he will equal George Gregan‘s record of appearing at four World Cups.

And finally, for those folks in WA who are hoping to see a bit more of the Western Force before they take to the field at UWA Sports Park in the round two of the NRC, they have a match tonight at 6pm over at the Rockingham Rugby Club against the Australian Stockman’s Rugby Union team.

The Stockman have already grabbed a win under their belt on their WA tour, with them defeating the Force U/19 side 19-36 on Monday. This match should be an absolute cracker and it is in support of men’s mental health, so we hope fans in WA will get along and support a good cause, while also watching a fantastic game of footy.

For more information about the match, have a listen to our most recent ‘Dropped Kick-Off’ podcast (we’ve got another few of them in the pipeline too).

stockman

Enjoy your weekend of rugby guys, and go the Wallabies and Wallaroos. 

  • Who?

    Not confident going into Eden Park. But not sure we can do much worse than the second half of last week. Or the first half of Bledisloe 1 last year. Bledisloe 2, after a blowout in Bledisloe 1, has, it’s been pointed out to me, traditionally been closer. Given we’re talking Eden Park, I’m not sure that’ll be the case, but I figure we’re unlikely to ship too many more points than last week…
    Amazed to hear that Two Dads wants back. If we’re questioning whether Sauce is too old at 28, how do we think that Two Dads is going to be a good selection at 35?! AAC was a fantastic player and a great servant of the game, but with Kuridrani, Kerevi, Rona, Hodge, I don’t see that we actually need him…

    • Huw Tindall

      AAC was an excellent defender and positional player plus came up with tries in the big games. Would mind that right about now. Probably a tad old and off the pace now however.

      • Who?

        TK’s his equal as a defender (especially when you consider that AAC played in teams with significantly better defensive records, yet TK’s tackle rates are as good as anyone), and back when we used to give him the ball regularly, he also came up with clutch tries to win games. And he’s bigger, faster, and significantly younger.
        I was a big AAC fan, I’m just not confident when a back – especially an outside back, someone who needs to have pace – goes past 30.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I would be very surprised if he isn’t too old.

          Was a class player for a long time, but he will be 35 by the RWC – it’s time to move on!

        • st saens

          Another Hoss term I believe…HP Sauce…Haylet-Petty

        • MattyP

          Haha. That is brilliant.

      • Mart

        Run him at 13 again for Tahs push Rona to wing. Could do a hell of a lot worse

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m not sure that bringing AAC back wil be anything but a retrograde step. To me it’ll be slap in the face for those players working hard to get into the team and will just encourage them to go off shore. While AAC was a very good player, I never really thought he was brilliant and yes he will have a lot of experience now I’m just not so sure his body will allow him to be as effective as he was.

      • 22DropOut

        I would select any player who is good enough regardless of age.

        Given his age and his absence from serious rugby, I am not sure if he is good enough. That said, if he has been playing at a lower level for a while it could prolong his career a little bit.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          That is true. But you also have to have a plan in pace to show people coming through that there is a place for them if they are good enough.

      • Happyman

        Agree AAC was world class but his time has passed.

        • muppet

          I’ve never seen “AAC” and “passed” in the same sentence before.
          (But love the guy. In my top 3)

        • Happyman

          Well now you have lol

    • Custard Taht

      I think we need to get a quote from his mum, about whether or not he is good to go for the Wallabies.

    • GO THE Q REDS

      I’ll take him in the extended training squad for experience ALL DAY. Something Brad Thorn needs to learn. .. .

    • juswal

      Wallaby Trivia question: what number did AAC wear in his Test debut?

      • Who?

        That’s a great question. I know he was eating a pie in the grandstand an hour before the game, but… My guess would be 22, but it could easily be another number.

      • Bobas

        I think he was no number for the last 2mins of a test match. Some perennially injured player went down in the warm ups.

        • juswal

          Yep, he wore a blank jersey. It’s the only one I’ve seen in a Test. Elton Flatley was the player who made way for him.

        • Who?

          I thought he might’ve done, but then thought, “Surely that wouldn’t be permitted in the modern, professional era!”

        • Bobas

          It’s an easy call, we used to have to flip jerseys all the time in bball when players had the same number, “foul, on the arm, gold no number.”

          Fast forward to 2018 and he’d get a card and the other team an apology from world rugby. In New Zealand, the only country where social media is growing [made up], they would be tweeting about it until the sheep came too.

  • Bakkies

    Beloved Waratahs hey. Some forget the public school educated AAC from the Central Coast was first identified and selected by the Brumbies.

    • Who?

      Wouldn’t surprise if AAC forgot it… Not sure he was there for the 04 Brumbies title, but he was obviously integral to the 14 Tahs title. And he spent his Tahs time with Drew.

      • Bakkies

        He was in the HPU at the time with Daniel Halangahu, Fainga’a twins, Sam Norton Knight and Tatafu Polata Nau.

        • Who?

          But he didn’t have the same bromance with those guys that he had with Drew. :-P

        • Bakkies

          Not sure if he had the same relationship with Gits to be honest.

  • OeildeNuit Nighteyes

    Je pense que l’Ausralie doit jouer petit : attaquer l’axe Smith/Barrett, beaucoup d’occupation au pied, des chandelles et jeu d’avant (au oins jusqu’à la soixantième).

    This gameplan in a shame but Cheika can’t do better with theses guys. He got them for 4 years and he did nothing. The backrow has no balance, we do not know what is the best 10/12/13, your fullback gives nothing in attack and always seems alone…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Mate thanks for making it bilingual. Am definitely not up for translating today! ;-)

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not quite. First sentence is about how the Wallabies need to attack the Smith/ Barrett line at least until the 60 minute mark.

        • Brisneyland Local

          It took me 10 mins to translate the last one. I stopped living in France and speaking French properly for over 15 years now. Too much for a Friday morning! Arghhhhhhh

        • Funk

          Google translate is your friend.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah its translations arent that good. Too many nuances with the french language.

        • Funk

          Definitely, but my grade 8 french and a snow season in Chamonix doesn’t really cut it for translating anything more than “bon jour je m’appelle Funk!” :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold. I lived there for a few years as a kid. Then worked there for 18 months. My French is generally pretty good. But is now becoming very rusty! NOt enough lovely French young ladies to try it out on! ;-)

        • juswal

          Isn’t it Funque over there?

        • Funk

          Not with my accent…

        • Patrick

          Happily for me, I do speak it :) For translations, deepl.com works a bit better.

        • Brisneyland Local

          PAtrick thanks for the tip! Appreciated.

        • Greg

          indeed…. keep it tight and attack the 9/10 channel.

        • Patrick

          For God’s sake indeed keep it tight. But that requires players who can make a metre in contact…

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I don’t agree Folau does nothing in attack. He was nominated for world rugby player of the year last year due to his try scoring record.

      I agree it’s sad that he doesn’t make more effort to get involved when the opposition does’t kick to him.

      Would he be better on the wing? Probably, in my opinion.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        In the last few games I’ve thought Folau looked very disinterested. He certainlyu doesn’t go looking for work and it seems if he’s not handed the ball on a plate he doesn’t want it. Absolutely Wing is a better position for him. yes he can score try’s and he’s scored some fantastic ones at times, he’s also exceptional under the high ball but I’m not sure he offers much more than that.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          He doesn’t seem to have the same enthusiasm as he did last year, does he?

        • OeildeNuit Nighteyes

          Folau always does the same move. He is easy to read and hard to tackle (like Ben Smith).

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But rather like Savea in his prime, it doesn’t matter if they know what he’s going to do, when Folau’s playing well they still struggle to stop him.

  • Kokonutcreme

    It’s easy to overlook the other RC game played last week. The Boks were a bit loose and wild in the first half. Came out of the blocks like the fast and the furious but with little control. Coach Erasmus is developing their gameplan to make them more of a running threat than defaulting to their traditional style of play. As expected there were inaccuracies and errors but once they settled down in the second half, their efforts in the second half clearly sapped the energy of the Pumas and holes were opening up.

    Eben Etzebeth doesn’t look like a player who’s been missing from the test arena, and had a strong game together with Marx, Louw, the Beast and Kitshoff. Marx had problems connecting with his jumpers but offers so much around the ground with his running and pilfering.

    The Boks wingers are among the fastest in the game and their express pace will be of concern to all opposition. Faf de Klerk is transformed following his seasons in UK, with his spark at the base and Willie le Roux at the back the Boks backline looks far more balanced and threatening.

    Pollard didn’t have his best day with his goalkicking but provides greater composure at 10 than Jantjes, then they can sub on a dynamo like Damien Willemse late in the game to exploit tiring defences.

    Will be a good gauge of their development this weekend as they’re always tough to beat at home but less so on the road.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The Boks are looking like they are heading in the right direction. I think Kolisi is proving a good captain and they are developing well. Not so sure going up tempo suits them and they could struggle doing that at times but looking good and will be dangerous

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        The Boks are still harmed by most of their most important players (except for Marx) being based overseas, and not being available for every match.

        Vermuelen, Faf, Willie aren’t available for all matches. Vermuelen isn’t playing in any of them in the RC.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that’s true but I think between Kolisi and Erasmus they are building a team that isn’t so reliant on those players. I think they’ll still struggle away from home but I think the games in South Africa this year are going to be a struggle.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Personally, I thought in June that they were totally reliant on those players. But I’ll be happy if alternatives can be found that means the Boks can flourish without them.

      • GO THE Q REDS

        Dare I say it but I wonder how long it’ll be before Whites are not allowed in the SA team. They’ve just passed the law to take farming land off white farmers with zero compensation. Poor country is a mess…… I don’t blame the player exodus at all.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Wow! I knew there were issues but didn’t know that one. That’s sad.

  • IIPA

    I’m going to make the extraordinary statement last week was closer than it looks. ABs jag a try from nothing at half time, Barrett gets a couple of lucky bounces as he soccers the ball to the tryline, Naholo’s late try comes also from a pass that went to ground it pops straight up. Oh and we gave up 11 set piece balls.

    If we can fix that last bit then game on…

    Ok I think that’s my daily allowance of positivity used before 8am.

    • disqus_NMX

      Yep, we will probably fix the line out, but fuck up something else to compensate. And will be playing against the ref again, as usual. Love your optimism, but I’m finding it hard to bash my way out of my pessimistic shell after last week :P

      • Brumby Runner

        I expect a better refereeing performance from Barnes than the one we got from Peyper (questionable scrum penalties, missed tackle by Naholo on Koroibete, missed YC for Naholo on Folau etc).

        However, there is little evidence to suggest that anything Barrett does has luck attached to it in large lumps. He is just so talented, he looks to be lucky, but imo every break he gets is down to his abilities.

        The try before half time last week was clearly predictable from the moment Foley took his pop gun 22m drop kick. Fielded by the ABs in an attacking area of the ground, with their structures in place to attack and a Wallaby mindset that they had got to half time with a lead. Nothing was stopping them then and won’t again if similar circumstances arise.

        Most of the second half tries were the result of the Wallabies giving up on the chase. The final result was not close and nor should it have been.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          You can rattle Barrett by keeping it tight and structured though. He is at his best in an open game and is least effective in a tight game.

        • Brumby Runner

          Probably true of all good attacking players though.

        • adastra32

          Sadly, the words “tight” and “structured” appear to be the antithesis of the Cheika Way?

        • John R

          They say that luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.

          If you apply that to the Nearlies (doff of the cap Hoss), and their freakish counter attack, they are the ‘luckiest’ team in the world…. the bastards!

        • mikado

          Yup, Gary Player luck.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’d say monthly not daily but go you mate. Always better to be positive life is just better that way

    • Missing Link

      You are spot on, all of their tries came from quick counter off a turnover, mainly a fumble or lineout turnover. We pushed them hard for 38 minutes asking questions around their line.

      If we can retain possession at scrums and lineouts, not turn it over allowing them quick counter, and we aren’t on the bad end of any silly ref decisions, we could go close

      • Andrew Luscombe

        I wouldn’t say their counters from turnovers are luck. They’ve been doing it for years. I’m pretty sure they train for the situation until it’s instinct for them to all put in 100% and look immediately for opportunity on the turnover. Maybe each individual turnover relies on some luck, but there’s going to be some over the length of a game, and no one makes better use of them. Do you think we can play a game without giving any up?

      • Patrick

        But we didn’t actually do the asking questions bit, not nearly enough.

        That said, I really do wonder how much that first scrum call counted against us, when I didn’t think it was right at all.

    • Adrian

      Bless you.
      You win my award this week IIPA

      • IIPA

        As someone else alluded to they score those sorts of tries too often to be plain dumb luck….

        But I think we are due a few lucky breaks and in Wayne Barnes might get a slightly more sympathetic ref.

        We’ll still need to play out of our skins.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, with the current despair going around I’m impressed you managed to put this out. Personally, while I think the Wallabies will step up this weekend I’m not so sure that they will manage to break the hoodoo of Eden Park. I think the first half last week was as much the ABs off their game as it was the Wallabies playing well. I think both teams made a lot of mistakes in the first half and I’m sure both teams will come out stronger this week. Last year the ABs were very flat in the 2nd game and I’m sure they learned from that and will be better this week.

    I think NZ will win but I think it’ll be closer and with the new players coming in and wanting to prove themselves I’m picking a good battle.

    • Happyman

      Mate I am sure that the Kiwi’s will win this week but I must confess it really shits me when the AB’s are held to a low score in the first half or god forbid actually lose an entire game Kiwi’s come up with the we were shit. Try giving the opposition some credit.

      Try this well played to the Aussies for really putting it to us for the first half. You intensity forced us into some uncharacteristic errors. We found out rhythm in the second half and scored some excellent tries from turnover.

      • Missing Link

        How to be an all black fan….

        The only reasons the All Blacks could ever lose are due to the following:
        – the team was poisoned
        – the ref was biased against us
        – we were playing our B/C/D team against a lower grade opposition

        In any of these situations, it is forbidden to mention the haka, the mana of the black jersey or Gilbert Enoka, and any conversation must be steered in the direction of “which all black team was the greatest of all time?”

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          There was a new one on the Roar the other week. Someone claimed that whenever the All Blacks played poorly it was the coaches purposefully making them play poor in order to put them under stress…

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Dickheads everywhere mate

        • Missing Link

          Yeah I know mate, it’s a select few. My mate’s a kiwi but has lived here for a while, he doesn’t see through a black eye patch anymore and loves an argument. Everytime he goes back he encounters the local know all at a bar who’s spouting their usual shit and he likes to call them on it. They can’t work out why a fellow kiwi isn’t beating their chest in sync.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I get the same at time mate

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, mate, absolutely not a majority. But the unpleasant minority are usually the loudest!

        • Missing Link

          Oh I forgot about that one. Early on in RWC2015 when NZ had a case of the fumbles and I think they struggled for 50 minutes against Argentina, they were purposely putting pressure on themselves by deliberately playing poorly. That was further validated at the end of the tournament when they won.

        • Happyman

          My point exactly. I have a mate of mine who is a Kiwi and at this time of the year he is not worth speaking to. He just turns into a complete f$%kwit. My usual response is now planes go back every hour do us all a favour and be on one.

        • Archie

          If only Kiwis could be more like Aussies who never blame the referee…

        • Who?

          We’re much more consistent in our frustrations with referees. You may say that’s because we lose more…
          But we complain win, lose or draw, provided there’s cause for complaint. That consistency is important – because it’s not like there’s great depth of quality in refereeing. In a world where Jaco and Jackson can be considered worthy of Super Rugby semis, there’s a clear shortage of quality.

        • Archie

          Yep you’re consistent alright. Always the victim of referees ‘poor’ decisions. Nearly every match it’s just a process of trawling through and pinning up examples where you think you were hard done by… and ignoring (or simply never seeing) the examples where you got the run of the green. Watching with the group I was with (admittedly Kiwis) last weekend, everyone couldn’t believe an Aussie prop was not binned after consistent scrum infringement warnings, Hooper chasing down Goodhue and sliding in off his feet from the side, the Wallabies’ backline constantly offside in the second half, two steals at ruck time with a knee on the ground… all unpenalised, but none of these incidents seem to be recognised or even acknowledged. Go back to the Ireland series… ref was apparently shite, all through Super Rugby… ref was out to get you… I’m willing to bet Chieka has had a whinge/rant about the ref on almost every occasion you’ve lost. (Then after Scotland got screwed in the RWC QF Cheika came out in defence of the ref… go figure) From the fans even after the RWC final it was all about how Nigel Owens ‘has never liked Aus’… ‘we didn’t stand a chance’…

          Glass houses mate

        • Who?

          I noted that Jaco basically didn’t referee the breakdown. I said it was a mess, he didn’t ref it well. For both sides.

          The scrum infringements were varied in origin, and all are debatable. It’s a bit rough when a ref places all responsibility for keeping the scrum up on only one team – especially when, in the first few scrums, it was consistently the other team eating grass.
          In terms of the Ireland series, I was born there (Ireland). So I saw both sides. That last game, the ref just picked which team got the rub of the green. The first half, he had some SHOCKING decisions against Ireland, and I was honestly shocked he didn’t penalize Folau on the first kick off. The card on Stockdale was a farce, meanwhile there was a clear card against Australia which he chose to miss. Then, in the second half, Ireland got the rub of the green. He had shocking decisions both ways, and cost neither team the game.

          So perhaps it really might be that the quality of refereeing isn’t up to the mark..?

          Oh, and you don’t need to be quite so defensive of your team – not when they’re clearly the benchmark worldwide, rarely lose, etc… That’s when you need to take the opportunity to be the bigger man and not dignify complaints about cheating (and you’ll note, since Richie retired, there’s far fewer of them. Not saying they were right about Richie, but as a goat he was always going to cop it a bit more from opposition fans).

        • Archie

          Fair enough Who.

          Apologies for the rant. Hope you enjoy the game. I’ll be there… can’t wait

        • Who?

          No problem – I was trying to be a bit tongue in cheek with the original statement – pointing out you’ve generally got so many fewer losses needing an excuse… Whereas we need one literally every other week. :-(
          Any time you’ve got a winning team, you’ll be accused of playing outside the spirit of the game. The Aussie cricket team copped it non-stop during the early 00’s. It’s not worth engaging – just enjoy the winning. Especially on Saturday night – hope it’s entertaining (even if it isn’t close).

        • Archie

          And the Aussie league team… rediculously dominant :)

        • Who?

          Doesn’t count – like soccer, it’s not a real sport. ;-P

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I think it was a mix of both in the first half. Absolutely the Wallabies placed them under pressure and that played a big part in their mistakes. But even when they weren’t under pressure they still semed to have their timing off. I think that all teams suffer this at the start, no matter how much you train, or play another team, the first test of the series is always a combination of nerves and pressure and it affected both teams.

        I think part of the “we were shit” is because the ABs are driven to self analysis and to see what they need to do rather than focus on what the opposition did. After all you can control what you do, you can’t always control what the opposition does. Plan for a number of strategies/tactics depending on what turns up for sure, but focus on what you need to do with what you see in front of you.

      • Archie

        I’ve read a lot of Wallabies fans claim they deserved to win in Dunedin last year (and therefore deserved to win the Bledisloe)… can’t see how that’s any better. In fact given the ABs actually won that after being down early against two opportunistic tries… I’d say that claim is even worse

        • Happyman

          Your comment actually illustrates my point.

        • Hoss

          Or the winning try was from a blatant Read knock-on…………..and subsequent forward pass.

          Now you’ve done it, let me make a prediction about the next 10 posts to your thread

          ‘No it wasn’t’

          Yes it was

          No it wasnt, what about in 1997….

          Well yeah – remember Paul carozza

          Yeah well get Trevor Chapell into you

          What do you mean our pineapples taste like mushrooms

          Yeah, that’s the second time i got crabs.

        • Happyman

          Well said Hoss.

        • Archie

          Love it :)

    • Andy

      Hoping you are right. I’m having stomach rumbles just thinking of Laumape running at Beale and Foley

  • Brendan Hume

    Ruan and JP Smith are Wallabies eligible yes? Not sure why they haven’t been brought into the squad. They had really good seasons for the Reds when they had their opportunities and the Reds scrum was strong. Without trying to take too much from the props we have in the Wallaby squad, our scrums have struggled.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Agree. Whilst the Reds sucked ass at everything else. Their scrum was good, particularly that front row.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      I heard that they weren’t yet eligible…

    • John R

      I think they were on the brink of becoming eligible then took off overseas for a bit, and re-set the clock. Similar to Naisarani.

    • Missing Link

      Were both of them at the Reds? I only noticed one of them, or did one cut his hair to look even more like the other?

      Either way, I think we should select JP and start him at prop. At half time he swaps jersey with Ruan who is mysteriously loitering in the change rooms at half time Great plan! what could go wrong.

      • Brumby Runner

        Similar with the Arnolds.

    • Attizar

      JP was injured in the the semi finals of Brisbane club rugby 2 weeks ago. Not sure where he’s at with recovery. Ruan played last weekend in GPS grand final win so should be in good nick.

    • Bakkies

      Shouldn’t be they both went abroad.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well GAGR’s I haven’t drunk the Cool Aid. I share very little confidence.
    BL’s prediction.
    The first 25 mins we will come out hard like last week, push hard. we will give away some crucial penalties and this week, because they are overamped and trying harder they will give away a yellow.
    At this point the Darkness will wake up from their usual first half malaise, turn the screws, select zone 5 burners, and torch us.
    AB’s 50 Wallas 13.

  • Missing Link

    This time each week is when doom and gloom, dissecting the game, where we went wrong all gets swept under the rug and I say “fuck yes, we can do this, bring on Eden Park, Go the Wallabies!”

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      The only way to be mate

  • Hoss

    Man seeking SWF, looks not important.

    Middle aged WASP, looks like a cross between Jabba the Hut & Sean Maloney, seeks SWF for casual physical encounters that end in mutual satisfaction.

    SWF must show adventurous spirit and try new & unusual combinations and be open to new frontiers.

    Ideally SWF to meet 10-12 times a year, during colder weather for 3-4 hour exhaustive experience that will leave all tittilated and spent.

    Open minded, you will understand i like to record the activities and discuss SWF online with like-minded souls.

    Happy to consider exclusive, long-term relationship if SWF can deliver on aforementioned expectations.

    Hoping to hook up and meet SWF this Saturday.

    Reply ‘Hoss i am in’ for more details.

    • Greg

      Hoss I am in… assuming you mean the Sydney Writers’ Festival (SWF)?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Pure Gold Greg!

      • Hoss

        Some Wallaby Fight.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Mate I am disappointed for you that there arent droves replying!I thought all of your requests were very considerate.

  • Hoss

    Word has it RA are flying in a batch of reserve taints to have on standby at Auckland District Hospital for after the game.

  • Brumby Runner

    Apart from being out of step with the remainder of the Aus rugby competitions, calendar-wise, the finals series in the Shute Shield leaves me wondering about the mental capacity of those who put it together. Six teams into the finals with the three winning teams and the highest placed loser in the first round progressing into the semis. The only side which is guaranteed a spot is the highest placed loser. In effect that means that either of the two top teams will make it regardless, but only one of them if they both lose (which I’m not sure but might have happened last year?). Not very satisfactory if your side finished 2, 3 or 4 and lost with one of the teams above you also losing.

    Why not give the top two sides a rest in week 1 and then both teams finishing 1 and 2 on the ladder are guaranteed of a semi final spot.

    • Andrew Luscombe

      Only because it’s one less game being played.

      I agree it’s a strange type of final 6. The top team is guaranteed a spot, because if they lose they are the highest loser. If the top team does lose, the field would be weaker on average, so what’s to stop them losing in the first week on purpose to make the 6th placed team get through instead of a 2nd-5th placed loser getting through – just their sportsmanship I guess.

  • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies
  • Greg

    btw everything seems to be clear in Canberra today!

  • John R

    Here we go, another week, another crack at the best in the business.

    With the hopes and dreams of last week back in storage for the year, I say with a clear mind, that the AB’s bench looks to be too strong for the humble Wallaby…

    But Banks will score a freakish individual try in the 81st minute, through sheer gas, stealing a win for the good guys. The laws of probability demand it!

    • Brisneyland Local

      You’ve been hanging out with Adrian havnt you!

      • John R

        His optimism is like a torch, nay, a beacon, in a sea of black jerseys and darkness!

        • Brisneyland Local

          An island of sanity in amongst an ocean of diarrhea

        • John R

          HAHA. Brilliant!

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have my moments.

  • andrewM

    Go the Bulls! From memory 2008 was also Kalamunda’s first and only premiership.

  • Hoss

    News on the Australian Website – Cheika has three further tests to retain job.

    Three losses and he may be gone.

    Had an interesting dinner with former National Chairman of Selectors last week – great guy and i sat there completely engaged (i had played against a young buck he & the panel picked from obscurity in the 90’s)

    Claims Chek is a really good coach but a shit selector.

    In other news also found out the sky is blue and pollies are self-interested turds.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Yeah I have to debate that dudes view. He is a good motivator. Poor selector, poor tactician! = Poor coach!

      • Hoss

        Your views are soooooo last Prime Minister mate.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Allegedly!

    • John R

      I reckon Cheika might actually be best suited in an exec role. Maybe taking over as head of high performance, with the coach reporting to him etc.

      • Hoss

        Good call.

        • John R

          A relative of mine works with him, and says he is a nightmare to deal with, but has complete faith in his long term vision.

          You look at the unified structures he is helping to implement etc. For mine anyway, all points to a job in a suit.

          G Robinson mentioned in her article that RA would never allow a coach to have carte blanche on selections again, after Cheika. He has shown he can have his mind changed, so hopefully he comes around to the idea of a selection panel…

        • Who?

          Which is hilarious, after they said they gave Link too much power!

        • John R

          Reckon that was spin for ‘we are poor and need to streamline the headcount, so can you please take on these additional responsibilities’

        • Who?

          Which is hilarious, after they said they gave Link too much power!

        • Hoss

          It will ultimately lead to his downfall, his blind spot at 10 & 7. He went ‘all in’ and it has backfired.

        • John R

          A relative of mine works with him, and says he is a nightmare to deal with, but has complete faith in his long term vision.

          You look at the unified structures he is helping to implement etc. For mine anyway, all points to a job in a suit.

          G Robinson mentioned in her article that RA would never allow a coach to have carte blanche on selections again, after Cheika. He has shown he can have his mind changed, so hopefully he comes around to the idea of a selection panel…

    • Missing Link

      The adage a great player doesn’t necessarily make a great coach. I have seen plenty of people at work who are highly intelligent and great at what they do become managers and fail. You could stretch this to Cheika, a great coach, poor selector.

      Seems to want to select Waratahs because he trusts them the most to execute “the gameplan”. Trouble is “the gameplan” has expired over the years and Cheika needs “gameplan 2.0″ and “gameplan 2.0″ may require players outside those he knows and trusts to execute it, but Cheika cannot identify that.

      • Hoss

        All true Link. It takes more than training hard and trying hard, it takes tactics and smarts and an evolving game with varying game plans.

        If it were just training and trying hard every team would be near enough equal.

        I said a few days back i will never pick against the Gold, however looking at the team picked i just dont see how we will be competetive with the Nearlies at Eden Park, let alone beat them. When fit Dempsey & Tupou certainly help, but until (not likely) we get a proper, balanced loosie set which means Pocock at 7, a big 6 (Dempsey) a large bodied, jumping 8 (Valentin, Naisarani) we simply wont win.

        He has gone all in on Hooper & Foley and we are all the poorer for it. To a lesser extent the Blinkers extend to Coleman as well. I mean how many lineouts do you have to lose to be dropped / benched ?????? A 208cm 125 kg guy will be sitting in the grandstands this week – perhaps he should be wearing the match day kit.

        Where is the accountability ??????? Doesnt need to be voted off the island, but needs to know there is consequences !!

        The real shame for me and it really does anger me is that we will essentially end up wasting generational talents like Poey & KB for the sake of a mediocre 10 and playing perhaps our best ever 7 out of position because a coach wont admit his folly.

  • GO THE Q REDS

    I honestly see very little happening attack wise in this team. Apart from possible pure skill moments between Beale and Maddocks, there’s just too many new combos, playing out of position and all run by Bernard’s Foley’s. If we’re in for a chance in this game we need to keep their score very low and our forwards play well.

  • Adrian

    Some sort of law of averages suggests a win will occur at some stage. It’s about 1 game in 6 over the last 15 years I think. Given we won only 2 games ago, that suggests we need to wait until 2020,
    BUT
    Wins (by us) are always a surprise, and a win here at Auckland (of all places) would be a massive surprise. Plus, a win after a thrashing would surprise too.

    Suddenly we are looking good

    • juswal

      The operability of a law of averages depends on the Wallabies turning up fit with a smart game plan, solid defence, stable set piece and a good tactical kicker. We’ll never win without being good enough to actually compete.

  • Alister Smith

    2018 Australia 13–38
    New Zealand

    2017 Australia
    34–54 New Zealand

    2016 Australia
    8–42 New Zealand

    2015 Australia
    27–19 New Zealand

    2014 Australia 12–12 New Zealand

    2013 Australia
    29–47 New Zealand

    2012 Australia
    19–27 New Zealand

    2011 New Zealand
    30–14 Australia

    2010 Australia
    28–49 New Zealand

    2009 New Zealand
    22–16 Australia

    2008 Australia
    34–19 New Zealand

    2007 Australia
    20–15 New Zealand

    2006 New Zealand
    32–12 Australia

    2005 Australia
    13–30 New Zealand

    2004 New Zealand
    16–7 Australia

    2003 Australia
    21–50 New Zealand
    Above are the results in the first Bledisloe Match of each year since 2003. Certainly, purely based on the scores alone, last weekends blow out wasn’t our worst. On average we score around 20 points and they average 30. We’ve only won it 3 out of 16 years and in 5 years the ABs have put more than 40 points on us. Our best result was in 2008 (Robbie Deans first game as coach I think) and in 2015 (under Cheika). However, in 2015 the first Bledisloe was the third match of the rugby championship and we had already played and beaten South Africa and Argentina. The blow out in the first match of the Bledisloe series is not a new thing – it happened in 2003 and on at least 6 occasions in total if you include this year so is it just about Cheika or is it also about how we transition from Super to Test rugby, how our national structure supports or works against this.

    I think we are perhaps overly critical of this coach and previous coaches. There are many different ways to measure stats but we don’t have many coaches outside of 50-60% winning rates (Cheika is in danger of falling out of that range and McKenzie was at the base of it).

    Apart from the period from 1991 to 2001 (and a little bit in the mid 80s) Australia has rarely been dominant on the world scene. It’s just that for a lot of us, these were our formative years in rugby and we are conditioned to expecting this to be the norm.

    But this weekend is the weekend that we start the next Golden era of the Wallabies with a once in a generation win at Eden Park. It will be a victory that will see the All Blacks confidence challenged and begin an 18 month unravelling that will eventually see them dumped out in the quarter finals of the 2019 World Cup, leaving them sitting in the stands in Tokyo while the Wallabies hoist the trophy.

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      You also need to account for the relative quality of the All Black side, which undoubtedly peaked from 2011-15.

      The fact is that Cheika’s last three years have been three of the worst years ever in terms of the Bledisloe.

      I think we weren’t overly critical of previous coaches (except Deans, who as much i liked him, had lost his nerve but by 2012-13), but Cheika’s results against tier 1 opponents who aren’t the the All Blacks speak for themselves. Since Argentina lost access to their foreign players I wouldn’t call them tier 1, which means that the only tier 1 side we have over a 50% win ratio against is Wales.

      • Alister Smith

        Certainly can’t deny that the All Blacks side was at its best in the 2011-15 period but I’m not sure that its fallen too far away. Also Cheikas early results (excluding the first Nth Hemisphere tour where he had two weeks to prepare but including the 2015 world cup) were well ahead of his current results. I suppose my point wasn’t meant to be specific to either Cheika or Deans or any coach. I think you are justified re: points around recent performance and around the post 2016 record against non-All Black teams and certainly we haven’t improved at the rate that the Irish, the English and to a lesser degree perhaps the Scots (perhaps we are similar to Wales in that respect).
        I was more suggesting that we have only really had relatively short periods where we have been at the top of world rugby (or even in the top 2-3) and longer periods where we were just a good side (or a not so good side) – all through the amateur years. So were the Jones/Dwyer/MacQueen years the rule or the exception? Still I enjoy watching us win so I will be cheering hard on Saturday.

        • Who?

          Cheika’s early results weren’t really much different from his current results. He had a higher win/loss ratio in 2015, but he played in a RWC – always gives you a couple of easier wins.
          It’s true that, before 1980, we were really a second tier Rugby nation. But that’s nearly 40 years ago. Sure, most of the last 15 have been short of 91, 99 and 01, but most of that time we’ve been in the top 3, if not top 2 in the world. That’s acceptable, even if we weren’t beating the ABs as often as we’d like. We were still beating them as often as anyone else, as likely to beat them as anyone else. That’s no longer the case.
          I don’t see that we shouldn’t expect to be in the top few, that we shouldn’t expect to be capable of knocking off the ABs. Referring to ancient history – the game’s been professional more than half the time back to the ‘dark ages’ of our poor results – is referring to an irrelevance. There’s no reason why we have to revert to poor past performances, why we can’t do better.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          This is really the crucial difference between now and prior to Cheika taking over, aye?

    • Alister Smith

      Maybe at tad overly optimistic in retrospect

    • first time long time

      Against the top 8 countries Cheikas win rate is now low 30%s.
      McKenzies was 44% against the top 8.
      At this rate qtr finals are not a given next year!

  • skip

    My prediction is we’ll be much, much better, be only a score behind only only a chance to win after 35 mins then give away a yellow for a tackle less than Naholo’s or a red for something similar to his during which they’ll score 3 tries and that’ll be it

    • Archie

      Or… perhaps Kepu will hit the Kiwi no 10 with two high and dangerous tackles in quick succession, escape a card, and then Ben Smith will be yellow carded for a very soft and not dangerous ‘lifting’ tackle. With the ABs a man down, Australia will score all their tries for the match until they are playing against 15 again, then NZ will go on to win 34-17.

      • skip

        Yeah. That’s likely. Being excessively yellow carded is something that happens to NZ a lot.

        • Archie

          Agree. Stats show that pretty clearly. For example they were the most carded tier one nation last season.

          So yeah, valid assertion

        • skip

          It was just a joke, I didn’t expect you come out and say they are statistically serial cheaters :-D. Life is too short for this

  • OeildeNuit Nighteyes

    The game is at 9:35am in France. Hopefully my wife will sleep at this time…

    • Brisneyland Local

      Just pour her a larger glass of wine!

  • onlinesideline

    a replay of this game can now be viewed on http://www.bestgore.com

    • Hoss

      Don’t do it mate; it’s like a car crash, you can’t look, but you can’t look away

  • Bernie Chan

    Crikey…just got the score in Singapore! So what did we do well…? 40 points conceded…

    • onlinesideline

      We did well in training and Mick Byrne said we are on par with the ABs slills wise. So things are good. Ohhhhh sorry, the real world. Yeah the Wallabies just got prison raped, make that brazilian prison raped.

      We couldnt string 2 passes together without dropping the ball mate. Thats what happend.

      • Bernie Chan

        Ahhh…the chestnut “we’ve being going great guns at training..”.
        Bloody hell, we are in strife…

    • Hoss

      The anthem was good…….

      • Who?

        Sadly Hoss, I disagree… We didn’t even get that part right!!! Where on earth do the Kiwis find these horrible backing tracks/arrangements for our anthem?!

      • Habitual Offender

        final whistle was ok

  • Bernie Chan

    Crikey…just got the score in Singapore! So what did we do well…? 40 points conceded…

  • onlinesideline

    So our set peice was back to normal and yet same thing happens. Maybe out defense structures could be a wee bit of a problem ?

    • Hoss

      Hi mate – completely hammered and waiting for the review of the massacre At Jonesstown oval to be posted – I have 5000 words ready to go. Stay tuned.

      • onlinesideline

        mate address it to Cheika please – make it Churchillian
        liked a comment somewhere else “the TMO stopped more tries than what the Wallabies did”
        No words mate. I just watched the highlights. By the first try 12th minute, our forwards were out on their feet. This is not conditioning, this is structures and positioning. Virtually every try thereafter there were wallaby forwards everywhere in the backline gasping for breath and the ABs just cantored past them. Cheiks got to go mate. Hes a dead man walking.
        I feel really sorry for the boys. They are trying their guts out.
        How many bloody times have we in the last few years stood too flat and recieved these innane hi speed passes that just bounce off players shoulders, because they are too fast and too high or too low. Our atack is just soooo wrong.

        • Habitual Offender

          Wish Id never made that bet all those years ago.
          Really tired of wearing this black jersey…

      • Keith Butler

        Could be a long wait mate. Reviewers probably still recovering.my bottle of Tassie red didn’t last long.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Myprediction of AB’s 50 Wallas 13 was pretty damn close.

  • Human

    Last week I criticised the lack of endeavour…that was there this week, however the defence was a shambles. Some points for Chek: Congratulations for improving the set piece; Pocock deserves $6M per season; having a proper fullback makes a difference; Grace is wonderful but delays the release at the breakdown so we lose momentum; how did Koroibete manage in League, he cannot tackle; Chek, whatever you do, do not go near the dressing room at halftime, they were going okay until then; Nathan Grey – sorry mate, I am sure that your system is extraordinary but you are ahead of your time, please leave; and wtf is the idea leaving all that space out wide and having defenders spearing out of the line. If you thought that the 2011-2015 ABteam was good, look out for the 2018-2023 model.
    Barnes was good, I do not know why the Kiwis detest him.

    • Human

      I do not often rant, but had to this morning.

    • Keith Butler

      Scrum and line out a lot better this week. But as Kafer, I think, pointed out blitz defence if that’s what it was didn’t work and gave the ABs too much space out wide. If Ben Smith who was unmarked had taken that cross kick from Barrett it could have been another try. Pocock again the best for me but was targeted by the ABs at the ruck. Not clear to me whether it was legal or not. However, Aussies were penalised 4or 5 times for taking out an arriving player who had not joined the ruck and well played to Barnes for dealing with it. Big lumps better employed giving Pocock some protection imo. Was Hooper playing he was anonymous.

      • Who?

        If an Aussie 10 put in a cross kick in his own 22 – especially one that wasn’t cleanly received by his winger – he’d be pilloried for the next decade! :-P

        • first time long time

          Better than a shit bomb/turnover that Foley was delivering.
          I would have been happier with a shit cross field kick, at lest it would have shown some intent.
          Cheika will still pick the same numpties to do the same things and we will continue to lose against any decent team.
          Hoopers has been rushing out of the line for a few seasons now and it was targeted, but he kept doing it.
          Foley is just not up to it. Sure he set up a good try but the other 79min were shite.
          Who, I despair at what the next Springboks game will bring but I suspect Cheikas win rate against top 8 nations may drop below 30%.
          How is his position tenable????

  • Human

    …and something needs to be done about the neck rolls on Pocock…and anyone else who suffers them. Not pretty and pretty dangerous.

    • Archie

      And the neck rolls BY Pocock. Like the one he pulled on B.B. when he came from an offside position to unsuccessfully stop his try

      • Human

        You will note my point about “anyone else who suffers them”. That tackle should have been looked at, it was high but was not a neck roll…Pocock was careful not to grab BB’s chin or jaw. The same cannot be said of those trying to move Pocock…there should be multiple citing.

        • Archie

          Yep Pocock should get 1 week.

  • Bernie Chan

    Interesting contrast between the reactions/words of Cheika vs those of Erasmus…Eramus said something along the lines of “I must point the finger at myself when we perform like this. That puts us back quite a bit. I’m not going to stand here and lie to you.”
    Kudos to Ledesma and Los Pumas for the ‘upset’, but now the Wallabies are last in the standings in the RC…
    I think we’ll see massive reaction from the Boks when they play the Wallabies at Lang Park…hope we win but hardly confident.

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

Die-hard Brumbies/Country Eagles fan now based in Sydney. Author, anthropologist, musician and second-rower trying to kick start a writing career in an increasingly bonkers world...

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