Italy - Wallabies: the Italian view - Green and Gold Rugby

Italy – Wallabies: the Italian view

Italy – Wallabies: the Italian view

Italy comes short again in a Padua

Once again Italy isn’t capable to wrap up a win despite a good effort against the Wallabies. The final score punishes the wild boars’ efforts and isn’t a reflection of the game.

Italy out-manned the Wallabies scrum in the crucial moments of the first half when Australia was pushing against their try line, but was let down mainly by the line-out when O’Shea’s men went for the try instead of settle for easy 3 pointers.

Two controversial decision by referee Pascal Gauzere saw Italy on the wrong side of the decision and left some bitterness in the home side’s post match beers.

The game

Both teams were slow to get proceeding goings, apart a missed penalty by Toomua, the scoreboard remain fixed on 0-0 for 30 minutes.

The first half hour wasn’t boring despite this, with the crowd on their tows either for Italy’s attacking the Wallabies tryline or for them defending to the last man their own.

At the 13th minute scrumhalf Tebaldi intercepted the ball after a bad pass in the Wallabies lineout, but when he was running untouched towards the tryline, referee Gauzere blow his whistle interrupting the game.
If he wouldn’t have done so, the TMO may have allowed Italy’s try, as no evident infraction from the number 9.

Italian dominance was interrupted by a brilliant Wallaby try initiated by an in-form Samu Kerevi and concluded by last minute inclusion Marika Koroibete.

Italy felt the pinch and conceeded a second try to the Rebels’ winger after only 5 minutes.
Fortunately the second try awake the wild boars from their momentarly numbness and the home side finished the half on a high.

Captain Ghiraldini decided to go for the try with the clock winding down, but his men weren’t able to hold the ball in the maul following his throw from touch.

Embed from Getty Images

First half score: Italy 0 – Australia 14

The second half started with another controversial decision. Taniela Tupou scored a brilliant try, but his action was eased by a Pocock block on Lovotti, which was ruled uninfluential to much of protesting by the home crowd.

Italy was quick to get back at the visitors and Bellini scored an intercept try thanks to a Foley no-look pass.

The following 30 minutes saw Italy camping in the Wallabies half desperately searching another try, but Australia’s gallant defence denied them in multiple occasions.

Even when a man up, the wild boars weren’t able to break the Wallabies defence and the game ended in a bitter way with Will Genia try to seal the game at the 79th minute.

Sio’s yellow card also raised some eyebrows as his deliberate knock on was very close to the tryline and may have been deamed a penalty try in other occasions.

The wrap up

After a forgettable loss against Ireland in Chicago and a decent win against 6 Nation pretender Georgia, Italy showed improvement. As in Brisbane in 2017 O’Shea’s men put the Wallabies to the sword but weren’t able to made the game their, leaving Australia along England and New Zealand the only teams they never beat.

  • NickAJW

    Thanks for the write up, always good to see the ‘other side’ of the coin.

    I agree that the disallowed intercept try in the first half was a wrong call… it was definitely fine.

    Might be a good series of articles to get some other side perspective. Especially as this was a game many on this site (myself included) grudgingly wanted Australia to lose in the hope it would force Cheika to resign.

  • Straith

    That 2nd wallabies try where Toomua throws the cut out pass to korobeite, who passes to AAC, and then back to korobeite to score.
    That try is exactly what happens when your 10 plays eyes up rugby and what we have missed for the better half of 4 years with Foley.

    I guarantee if Foley was faced with this situation he would either run it or pass to Folau every time. It’s finally refreshing to see a 10 that knows how to play 10.

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen NSW

    Thanks for the write up and different perspective on the game. TBH I have never heard of Italy being called the Wild Boars, and just thought they were the Azzuri.

    My understanding is that we have just 5 tests between now and the RWC to get ourselves sorted out. I am wondering just how Cheika can do it, as at the moment we look like a boy scout troop lost in the woods and without a compass. I’d appreciate any thoughts that would give me hope.

  • formerflanker

    Thanks for you wonderful interpretation of the game.
    More please!

  • Greg

    Diego, molte grazie

    I read with a franco-italian accent as instructed and it was perfect and made me smile!

    Interesting write up and great to have a different perspective on the game.

  • That was one one of the most embarrassing refereeing performances ever. In our favour luckily.

    For anyone who didn’t see the game, their number 9 intercepted Gordon’s pass from the back of a line out. Before he could touch it down, unapposed, the ref blew for offside. He placed the ball down anyway and asked for a TMO. The video showed he was completely onside.

    My reading of what happened next was that the ref realized that because he ineptly called the penalty before the ball was grounded, if the video evidence was accepted, then Australia would have grounds to claim they didn’t chase the scorer because of the incorrect call (even though no-one was within 10 meters) An utter shit-fest. So he bottled it, didn’t allow the TMO to decide and said the offside stands.

    The Tongan Thor try was a bit more difficult. He scored a brilliant try. Only problem was that earlier in the play there had been an accidental sheparding / block. It was one of those frustrating things where he totally deserved the try, but according to the laws it was a penalty the other way. Except the ref decided to ignore the laws, and give him the try anyway.

    I’m not sure who the ref was, but I’d fairly confidently say he won’t ever ref an international again. And his performance was such that you would joke, if he placed enough on Australia, he won’t ever need to again either.

    • BigNickHartman

      are you surprised to learn that he is French?

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate on that first intercept, for the 9 to be part of the line out he must be inside the 15m mark (end of the lineout). If he’s outside that then he’s off side. He can run past the end of the line out but can’t move until the ball has left the hookers hands.
      Unfortunately he was waiting in an off side position when the ball was thrown in so the call was correct.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Gracie Diego. Great write up. Pity I cant say that about the game. That was a complete and steaming pile of dog shit. My god that was disappointing. BL’s random point of shiteness:
    – I know I always say take the game out of the referumps hands. Well he certainly took the game out of Italy’s hands. He was appalling. Just like in Brisbane when we last played Italy, they have every right to feel aggrieved. That was appalling adjudication.
    – Whilst there were some skills deficiencies I really feel that their Irish coach that they are definitely building. Their skills, game plan are good. Their execution let them down at times. Their discipline has definitely improved. Kudos to the Azzuri.
    – Over to us. We were utter shite. That really was a demonstration of being poor in skills and execution. There were a couple of gleaming moments of light. But the rest was decidedly below par.
    – Foley we no is average at best as a 10. But proved he had no idea, and no right to be out there as a 12. Utter appalling. So much so that Cheika finally dragged his love child instead of Toomua. Foley needs to come back to Australia and rediscover “His love for the game”. I.E> be banished into the wilderness the same way as that other person that phrase was directed at.
    – Kerevi had some brilliant moments, and some poor moments. But in contact with the ball he was most pleasing.
    – Gordon had a reasonable game but his pass is still too high and loopy for my liking.
    – Thor looked good as a starter for once.
    – Pocock looked brilliant as always, until he was injured. I really hope he is ok.
    – Our scrum went to poo.
    – Our line out was intermittent.
    – Our attacking game was crap til Foley was dragged. He was uber compressing the attack.
    – Our droppsies returned mostly when we were in attacking positions.
    – Our useless kicking was still there but reduced from last week.
    If it wasn’t already clearly evident, our coaches are the problem. The structures of the team are unbalanced. Did anyone notice in the last 25 mins we had a 6-7-8 of Samu, Hooper, and Pocock. Wow talk about reducing your line out options. Until Pocock was injured.
    This was just a dog shit performance with dog shit selections and a dog shit game plan that couldn’t adapt. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Andy

      I think you’re wrong about AAC. He had quite a good game.

      • Bernie Chan

        He wasn’t bad..but is he a better option at this point than Maddocks, Banks or Naivalu? He can cover a number of positions but I don’t think he is a better winger option than those three young guys, and I worry that his selection is symptomatic of the Cheika mindset. A step backwards in terms of the RWC preparation IMHO.

        • Andy

          Fair call. Just stating he was good though and provided something to our backline we haven’t seen this year. Smart play and execution. We are really lacking that from 13-15. Ideally we wouldn’t need him to come back but the truth is no one has really been performing consistently and experience is lacking.

          Agree on Banks. He should be given a shot at 15 or wing.

        • Who?

          Glen Ella had exactly the same comments in the lead up. His comments overall were very, very interesting…

        • Bernie Chan

          Many have wondered why Ella hasn’t got any role with the Wallas after his successful stint with ENG…maybe because he disagrees with the current set up and selection policies…and says so?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah saw that. He dumped on Cheika a fair bit which was interesting!

        • He definitely was better than Maddocks and Naiavalu. Can’t say for Banks since he hasn’t been trialed.

      • Worryingly 34 year old AAC was probably our best back out there last night. At 35 you can’t see him playing in the World Cup.

        • Andy

          That’s true. A bit of an indictment on the current situation really

      • Brisneyland Local

        I have re-watched. I thought he was quiet in the first half better in the second. What blew me away was he actually passed the ball.

        • Andy

          I did notice that. He seems to have developed a bit of vision

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think those years of playing in Europe and Japan has taught him that he has too!

      • Aron

        That pass off by AAC in the first half for a try…. would have been botched by any other current Aussie winger.
        A two-handed pass, receiver well sighted, early enough delivery for trajectory not to be altered by tackler….it was an odd sight watching it executed by someone in a G&G jersey

    • Bernie Chan

      Meanwhile at Landsdowne Road, the Irish beat NZ 16-9…holding the Darkness tryless. Note that the #1 and #2 ranked sides in world rugby have an specialist openside playing at openside, a specialist blindside playing at blindside….and a specialist #8 playing at #8. It’s this odd thing called a ‘balanced backrow’….odd to Cheika that is…
      Did anyone doubt that Foley is a shit option at #12? Toomua is a bteer flyhlaf so Foley should not even be in the match day 23…However, will Cheika find a “reason” to dump Toomua and re-instate his love child combo of Foley-Beale…? Gordon was OK, but he has a very odd passing technique left-to-right, seemingly has a ‘hitch’ on his left-to-right delivery and the long pass is quite loopy… so why do we have scrumhalfs who have passing weaknesses on one side in International rugby? A failure of technique, but they somehow still get promoted up the ranks without these flaws corrected, like a flyhalf who can’t punt! I think Kerevi should be at #12…Even the commentator (BTW…big thank to our SBS for broadcasting the game!) was shocked that Izzy got run down so easily…
      Nuckles made some interesting comments about our lineout throwing and the flaws…lucky Italy had similar woes.
      More upside for the Azzuri than for the Wallas methinks, as they had long periods of dominance where only their composure and decision making let them down.
      The Ref was poor…love the Thor but his try should have been disallowed, and the Italy #9 seemed to score a legit try…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Agree completely. The ITalians were robbed. It was a referumping!

        • Bernie Chan

          BL…watching Hemsworth/Thor do his thing with ball-in-hand must have been like watching the Drua strut their stuff. The young lad will only get better methinks….so much upside if the current coaching clique doesn’t wreck him…

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep Agree. I am worried that the Cheika will fuck the carreer of a lot of them. Tell me Toomua isnt going to get the shits, when he keeps getting benched for that fucktard Foley.

        • Bernie Chan

          I’d laugh if I wasn’t so worried….we suck because Cheika has this madness and RA has given him carte blanche…our defence is friggin awful, yet Grey keeps his gig. Our attack is almost as bad…yet apparently Larkham has been anointed by Cheika to be his successor. The cattle might not be as good as that found in either NZ or SA, but the coaching is killing any prospect of success we have….but they serve a strong kool-aid as players keep repeating the “I believe…” mantra….

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep it is farked.

        • donktec

          that’s the real worry isn’t it. by the time MC leaves the building the damage will have been done. You’d have to think that with the selection we are seeing there are a number of players wondering what planet the team is on… to quote Aliens
          LG: “any questions?”
          PH: “how do i get out of this chickenshit outfit?”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold.

      • KF

        “the Italy #9 seemed to score a legit try…”
        Wrong – please check the rugby Law 18.33 – (section Offside at a Lineout)

        “Once the ball has been thrown, a lineout player may move beyond the 15-metre line. If the ball does not go beyond the 15-metre line, the player must immediately return to the lineout.”

        Italian 9 was outside 15m and never returned although ball did not go beyond 15m.

        That is why ref whistled the penalty immediately.

        • Bernie Chan

          Fair enough…though that still applies if the scrumhalf has passed the ball? When is the lineout “over”…eg if the jumper catches the ball the lineout has a period where defenders can’t advance, but they can advance if the ball is tapped down.

        • KF

          Funnily enough – usually ref indicates that lineout is over (similar to “ruck”, “tackle”, “maul” or “ball is out” calls)

        • KF

          I am still looking for clear explanation in laws if Pocock was obstructing or not in the Tupou’s try – he did not move, so he was not actively engaging in protecting the path of the try scorer (like last week), and to be honest, Italian player hold on to Pocock and tried to milk it – also, in the same sequence of play, he was tackled by Italian numbers 6 and 8, passed the ball to Dempsey and got it before the actual try was scored. Based on the lose wording of the law 9.4 (“A player must not intentionally prevent an opponent from tackling or attempting to tackle the ball-carrier. “), appears that ref got it right as there was no obvious intention – i.e. moving – I believe that he is allowed to stand his ground.

        • Joanne Lewis
    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Maaate! Yep a pile of poos is a good description. TBH I thought AAC was better than expected but maybe I was aiming to low. There are a couple of points there that are quite Poignant for this time of the year.

      Personally I’d like to see Foley, Beale and Folau fucked off. They have been poor all year and last night just confirmed the sheer crap they dish out. Not sure what it is with Folau, maybe too much time talking to his invisible friend, but he really seems lost and uninterested.

      Not expecting anything from this to go into the team next week but pleased to rant.

      Irish were great. A well deserved result and looking good for next year.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Couldnt agree more.

      • Twoilms

        Yeah, but anyone who doesn’t support the Tah’s just want all the Tahs out of the team. Ironically, the game where we started with the fewest Tahs all year (3) coincided with our worst performance, being the loss at home to Argentina. the Tahs are also our best performing Super side.

        Maybe, just maybe, these players are being judged more on their colours than their performance (though Foley was terrible at 12).

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I don’t think so mate. Despite living in NSW I’m not a Tahs supporter, I think it’s a kiwi thing to support the Reds. However, I don’t see it as Tah bashing, it’s just that the four people usually criticised are Tah players who are performing very poorly. If the criticism was unwarranted then I’d agree with you but unfortunately it’s not.

        • Twoilms

          Its just blatant.

          Coleman and Rodda have presided over the worst Wallaby lineout in history, no calls for their head. No its somehow some tahs fault, no matter what.

          Anyway, it is what it is. At least the coaches see through it.

        • Who?

          Rodda doesn’t call, Coleman does. I put the blame on the throwers (their technique isn’t great) and the coaching decision that all calls will be made before forming up. It allows no flexibility, and the same callers as last year (Coleman, and occasionally Simmons) have a poorer record this year than last year.
          That said, I’ve been clear in my statements (and I’m not a Tah) that I believe Rodda has, for the most part, performed very poorly this year.

    • UTG

      Wow this is some tripe. No one is saying it was a performance to write home about but saying we were utter shite is some next level Soviet style revisionist histroy to shoehorn in another rant. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      In what world did AAC contribute nothing to the game? Instrumental in the first try, covered our arses on an Italian kick through, set up a try himself with a 30m run…

      And this rubbish about the referee stealing the game from Italy. It was 26-7, hardly like they were robbed of an 81st minute try to win the game. I’d be willing to lay down good money if the shoe was on the other foot there’d be a heap of handwringing going on about how we can’t afford to rely on the referee to win the game, we should never be in that position, Foley is shit, blah, blah.

      Relax man, you can be critical of Cheika’s performance as a coach and, even call for his replacement, without hoping the Wallabies lose to spite the coach and the selections you disagree with.

      • Brisneyland Local

        UTG not many people are going to agree with what you ahve just written.
        An yes it was utter shite.

        • UTG

          Well I wouldn’t expect many people to agree in this echo chamber, too much negativity. This site will implode if we manage to knock over them Poms. I can’t imagine the sorts of mental gymnastics that will be going on if Foley has a hand in it.

          I’m no more pleased with the state of Australian Rugby than any of you guys, I just think it’s not much chop trying to talk down any positives so as to maintain the rage against Cheika.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I wrote up in my post the many positives. I.E. Pocock, Thor, Gordon, genia etc etc. But I also wrote up the negatives, because they are real and self inflicted. Unless there is change there will be no change in results. My tip is we will get done by the soapdodgers by 8-12 Points. But amd prepared to revise that once team lists are announced.

        • UTG

          8-12 points I can agree with, there are some on here claiming 50+. I still think calling it utter shite is a misrepresentation, the average winning margin against Italy in the 6 nations was 20 points and we won by 19. Our team had what we’ll call some very experimental elements (Foley at 12) which cost us a few points.

          I think some will be surprised with how close we run England. Our defensive structures are crap against the unstructured SH attack but work quite well against NH teams as evidenced by the series against Ireland.

        • Brisneyland Local

          If Cheika goes experimental again I think our losing margin will increase. I think 19 points doesnt tell us how close that game actually was. That disallowed try, was an appalling referump decision. And the Thor obstruction we were pretty lucky to get away with.
          I think we will revert to playing deep against the Poms, which will cruel our already lack lustre attack. I am more worried about our discipline. If we infringe in our half that will be 3 points on the board pretty much everytime. And that is where we will be punished.

        • UTG

          I can’t see him going experimental again. We’re most like to see 10. Foley 12. Toomua 13. Kerevi although I wouldn’t mind 10. Toomua 12. Kerevi 13. AAC. Some may prefer Petaia at 13 but I don’t want to see one of our brightest talents thrown to the wolves in front of 60k at Twickenham. More than happy for him to come off the bench.

          If we start with Toomua and Kerevi I don’t think we’ll have problems with going too deep. Although I’d like to see our forwards running on a bit more of an angle, Thor did that well this week.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I was impressed with Thor this week.
          I agree with 10 Toomua 12 Kerevi 13 AAC / Pataia. That would be good to see.

        • disqus_NMX

          “I wouldn’t expect many people to agree in this echo chamber, too much negativity.”

          “I’m no more pleased with the state of Australian Rugby than any of you guys”

          Make up your mind mate.

        • UTG

          I’m not pleased with the results we’ve got this year but I don’t agree with the “everything is shite” revisionist crap that is being spread. Case in point, saying AAC added nothing or lamenting about our defence in the 3rd Bledislode when the defensive stats between the Wallabies and AB were dead equal.

    • Gottsy

      I wish I could disagree with anything you’ve said. We look directionless.
      Individually, put all the players in our squad (and at our disposal) up against those in ireland’s, and you aren’t really going to see a huge difference, except in the coaches box. One of these squads just struggled against Italy, and the other just beat the all blacks.

      • Brisneyland Local


    • Who?

      Our starting scrum was unfairly penalized (Italy were consistently hinging – that first penalty against us, the ‘retract and dive’ move the Italian THP pulled was incredible!), our replacement scrum with Ainsley was unsurprisingly appalling…
      The last 25 minutes, we would’ve had Samu/Hooper/Pocock, but BamBam was injured, so we actually had Samu/Hooper/Dempsey.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think there was a 5min window where we did have Samu, Hooper and Pocock on. Lucky we only had one line out in that window.

    • John Tynan

      Harsh on the scrum, I reckon. I thought he was about 180 degrees wrong on scrum penalties.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Scrums are always a bit of the penalty lottery. I thought some were fair and some were harsh. It didnt make up for the 2 howlers the Italians received.

  • Macca44

    An extremely arrogant coaching display by Cheika.

    Here’s my read on it;
    – if you didn’t see the game, don’t be confused by the score line… it was much closer to that and we could very easily have lost it
    – Italy were all over us for the first 30 minutes, crossing the line for two disallowed tries
    – we score two late tries in the first half followed by an early try in the second half
    – Cheika then declares an early victory and proceeded to make 3 non-forced changes 5 minutes after half time – Tupou (who has just scored a try), Folau-Faigaa (who had steadied our lineup performance to a 7-1 outcome in the first half) and Dempsey who had been solid in the first half. There were a few candidates begging to be dragged off like foley but he had another 20 minutes to play after this point
    – Within 5 minutes Italy had scored and it was now 21-7 and as Italy spent most of the 2nd half camped in our territory, it looked like they could easily get within striking distance.

    It was a singularly unimpressive performance by the Wallabies. I am sad to say that, with performances like that, I think we will be lucky to make it out of the pool stages of the WC next year

    • Geoffro

      Agreed,the Italians left a few points on the park too from not taking kickable pens.It really was a hard game to watch in all aspects with the poor refereeing,bad camerawork (the TMO also had his work cut out for him not only with bad referrals but the refs ineptitude) and the lack of any real quality play.I was dozing off a bit but wouldn’t have bothered rewinding even if I could.In years gone by I wouldn’t have stayed up for an Australia/Italy game because it would be a forgone conclusion but was curious whether we might go down and if a few contentious decisions had gone Italy’s way we may have.

      • John Tynan

        I second your comment on the camerawork – it was very hard to watch!

    • John Tynan

      Disagree with you on Dempsey’s impact – he looks like someone just coming back from an injury…

  • donktec

    thanks for the write-up Diego :-)

  • A Dingo Stole My Rugby

    So next week it’s Eddie Jones versus Michael Cheika. Two former Randwick team-mates, former NSW team-mates too, but neither good enough to play tests. Two journeyman players in their day, who have each had a couple of significant spikes in their coaching careers.

    But both are also way past their use-by dates in their current jobs.

    I’m finding it hard to care who wins, but then I remember that one of the teams is England. So yeah, that’s a no-brainer. Because as always, I support two teams – Australia, and whoever is playing the Soap Dodgers. Even though it might save Cheika’s job for now.

    As for last night, watching us squeak unconvincingly past a very poor Italy team, then seeing the NZ v IRE game, we are way off the pace, and are a worse team now than we were 12 months ago, and that spring tour was a disaster.

    Last night was like watching a schools first XV curtain raiser followed by a proper test match contest. With apologies to all schools teams out there.

  • Keith Butler

    One pile of NH shite v one pile of SH shite. Will probably now be a cracker ( not crapper).

  • Adrian

    Yes, well, no need to restate the obvious, so:

    Bookies were right with 18.5 start.

    Still irritating, because we fell somewhere between being beaten and thrashing them.

    Ref poor in crucial decisions, but good the rest of the the time…but that’s stating the obvious

    Rotating Foley, Toomua and Beale has brought out the worst of all 3 (IMO), and other than Toomua should probably start, I’m not sure about the others, and I’m not sure where.

    Despite the universal slagging of Foley, I thought the ball got to Kerevi pretty well. I thought Foley crabbing a bit, but Kerevi running straight was actually a plus. I don’t expect support on this point though.

    I thought Kerevi taking the ball at Pace was a lesson to everyone.

    Defence good, and somehow simpler, or am I imagining this?

    Korebette better under high ball than expected. He actually played well.

    I thought scrums were ok against a good pack, and I almost totally blame the ref! I don’t expect universal agreement on this either!

    Lineout good against a possibility poor lineout, but good practice.

    Overall good practice for Poms, but need to improve another 30%…which is possible if unlikely

    • Brisneyland Local

      Agree on all but Foley. I usually bag him. But today he was the worst I have ever seen. There are no new BL terms to describe how shite he was!

    • Who?

      Foley crabbing a bit and feeding Kerevi running straight would work so much better if it were all done at 10 and 12 rather than 12 and 13. Because Foley also did it to Folau, causing knock ons and passes to no one. He also ran far too flat in support, so when Kerevi was being tackled, he was often past Kerevi before the opportunity for an offload or a pop pass, and was never going to be in position to clean out (which is much easier going forward on a half break than when you’re retreating to cover a tackled player).
      Scrums, replacement front row issues were all down to Ainsley, starting front row was gipped by the ref. The Italians were hinging, and we were getting blamed for it.

      • Adrian

        Didn’t say he (Foley) played well at all, but I thought that somehow his crabbing running to a straight running Kerevi seemed to work

        • John Tynan

          Unfortunately a symptom of where we are at. What we are recognising, but un-used to seeing – is that someone running straight is effective!

    • John Tynan

      Foley with 3 errors/poor execution in the first 10 minutes – shanked bomb in the defensive 22 (40 seconds), stupid Kurtley grubber (2 min 40), then that ridiculous horizontal (not even diagonal!) run to crowd his two outside players in the tram tracks and stupid “flat” pass to no-one (~10min).
      It was obvious when he cruelled QC’s last run that Foley is not a 12.

  • whatwouldberniedo

    Is the scrum half allowed to position himself infield from the 15m line when setting up for a lineout? if so then the ref decision on the try was correct because he clearly was infield prior to the ball being thrown in.

  • skip

    Honestly, Twickers could be a bloodbath. We could ship 40 points and be lucky to score 10.

    • John Tynan

      10! That’s generous.

    • joy

      By a side that struggled against Japan!

  • Mica

    Just read up on the lineout laws after watching the game as I wasn’t sure about the offside line for the scrummie. Turns out it’s 2m from their lineout until the lineout is over, which is the point that Gordon releases the pass. If I have understood this law correctly then the ref may have been right as I think the Italian scrummie was pretty much in line with his lineout forwards at the point of release. Now I am not trying to impart any Aus bias or justification through this comment. I am genuinely trying to better understand some of nuances of the lesser known or adjudicated laws. So over to you my fellow rugby nuts. Hoping an experienced ref out there can shed any further commentary on this.

    • Mica

      Scratch this. Offside line is actually the ball for lineout players once it has touched a player or the ground. Didn’t know that either, but makes sense.

      • John Tynan

        oh sorry.

    • John Tynan

      Not once gordon passes….once it was slapped off the top

  • subfreq

    Still dumbfounded another Aussie match and I am none the wiser to the way we are trying play other than 7’s style with 15 players. My heart sank watching Itay turn over the ball when we were attacking in our 22.

    Hours later I am high in the stands in Dublin with the privilege of watching Ireland dictate structure, pressure and dominate NZ for 80 mins.

    Hammers home to me that the path we should be on is controlling structure and choosing when to run after we have applied enough pressure and manipulated the defence of the opponent.

    Build a team around Toomua at 10, ditch the 2nd five model, shift Samu to 12 and choose a strike runner at 13.

    • TouchFinderGeneral

      Admirably put, sir. Many predicted a decline in fortune at the end of the O’Driscoll/O’Connell era. Not a bit of it – all credit to the way Irish Rugby has been developed these last 20 yrs. Castle & Co should take note.

  • John Tynan

    Thanks Diego. The efforts on the day probably had Italy the moral winner, but no comfort in that! Italy had Australia far from comfortable for the duration of the match. The contrast was that you could see how Italy wanted to play, whereas the Wallabies….?
    Personally I didn’t see Tebaldi as offside, he left his position when the ball was slapped back off the top. It would have been interesting to see the effect of scoreboard pressure on an under-pressure Wallaby side and effectively debutante halfbacks game following that.
    I personally believe Gauzere got the scrum totally wrong, the times he rewarded Italy, I’m of the opinion that it was actually Italy folding under pressure – watch the resultant body positions and “first to blink” each time.

  • Nutta

    Cheers Diego.

    My opinion for what it’s worth:
    1. Tito’s intercept was a try. He was not off-side
    2. Tupo’s try was obstruction. That was not a fair try.
    3. Sio’s sinbin was incorrect.

    I thought your scrum was great. But the lineout killed your game.

    Grazie per il gioco (I think – sorry if I called you a donut!).


Diego Ghirardi is a rugby fanatic from Italy, living in Melbourne. Played on the wing, now mainly couch flanker or sideline halfback. Enjoys writing in broken English, which should be read in a Franco Cozzo accent to render it more original. In case you understand Italian, you can read his banters on or better not

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