It's Bledisloe Time! - Green and Gold Rugby
All Blacks

It’s Bledisloe Time!

It’s Bledisloe Time!

Psst… Have you heard? There’s a Bledisloe Cup game on… This weekend… In Yokohama! Yeah, REALLY! They still play the third one even after we lose the first two.

The All Blacks are making all the right noises leading into this game, but I can’t help thinking they treat this game as a warm-up for their spring tour. I guess that’s one theory as to why we’ve won the last two of these dead rubbers. One thing is certain and that’s that those wins aren’t the norm and I’m guessing the All Blacks coaching staff aren’t happy about it. I’m expecting the Wallabies to face a team determined to correct a blip in their record and that could get ugly for us.

Adam Coleman and Michael Hooper warm up

Adam Coleman and Michael Hooper warm up

The Teams

When Hodge did his ankle the Wallabies lost their third 13 for the season. Samu Kerevi, the second 13 injured this year, is technically fit but hasn’t played a real game of rugby since June. The answer has been to move Israel Folau into his third position for the year and hope the patches hold until Kerevi gets some work under his belt. But in my very uninformed opinion, bigger problem lies in the last minute injury to Adam Coleman. His replacement, Rob Simmons, is a very good lock but just doesn’t have the presence of Coleman in attack or defence although it must be said that our lineout will probably improve. That by itself isn’t so bad but, the selection of Ned Hanagan, a similar player, at blindside flanker leaves the Wallaby forwards back five lacking any type of go forward

Australia

1. Scott Sio (51 Tests)
2. Folau Faingaa (5 Tests)
3. Allan Alaalatoa (29 Tests)
4. Izack Rodda (13 Tests)
5. Rob Simmons (90 Tests)
6. Ned Hanigan (17 Tests)
7. Michael Hooper (c) (87 Tests)
8. David Pocock (74 Tests)
9. Will Genia (96 Tests)
10. Bernard Foley (64 Tests)
11. Marika Koroibete (17 Tests)
12. Kurtley Beale (80 Tests)
13. Israel Folau (69 Tests)
14. Sefa Naivalu (7 Tests)
15. Dane Haylett-Petty (27 Tests)
Reserves
16. Tolu Latu (9 Tests)
17. Sekope Kepu (99 Tests)
18. Taniela Tupou (8 Tests)
19. Rory Arnold (18 Tests)
20. Jack Dempsey (6 Tests)
21. Pete Samu (7 Tests)
22. Nick Phipps (69 Tests)
23. Samu Kerevi (21 Tests)
24. Tom Banks (3 Tests)

New Zealand

1. Joe Moody
2. Codie Taylor
3. Owen Franks
4. Sam Whitelock
5. Scott Barrett
6. Liam Squire
7. Ardie Savea
8. Kieran Read
9. TJ Perenara
10. Beauden Barrett
11. Rieko Ioane
12. Sonny Bill Williams
13. Ryan Crotty
14. Ben Smith
15. Damian McKenzie
Reserves
16. Nathan Harris
17. Karl Tu’inukuafe
18. Nepo Laulala
19. Brodie Retallick
20. Matt Todd
21. Aaron Smith
22. Richie Mo’unga
23. Anton Lienert-Brown

 The Fearless Prediction

Look I’d love to be fearless but I’d rather be right. As I write this word is coming through of Mick Burn not being on tour. This, along with the disruptions in the forwards and the backs leaves me with no alternative than to predict an easy win for the All Blacks. I hope the Wallabies prove me wrong.

 

All Blacks by 20.

 

 

  • onlinesideline

    If Banks is ommitted in favour of a returning from injury Samu, Kerevi or Dempsey it would be hard to fathom. But it will probably happen as with both the flying fijians onboard, Cheika will think he has enough speed. But we could find ourselves exposed at the back with Damien Mackenzie able to find holes when our pick start to miss tackles just outside the ruck. He’s fast, faster than Izzy. The wingers need to know how to chuck a Ueeee and scurry back pronto as well as be on the front foot. I would put Banks on bench for sure. Thats a bloody fast back 3. Faster than a rat up a drainpipe. But they need need to be on their toes, like a mouse in a biology class, or a duck in a dooner factory. Ready for anything.

    • John Tynan

      That you, Badge?

      • onlinesideline

        No mate Badge went on holiday straight after the Bachelor finale to get some rest and recreation. Was off like a brides nighty.

    • Brumby Runner

      A game of millimetres for the Wallabies, but of multiple metres for the ABs. Could be the difference?

    • Jason

      I think Pete Samu should be the odd man out. But there are too many problems with this Wallabies team, and the selection that no amount of tinkering with the bench will fix it.

    • laurence king

      I read a comment that Larkham likes Banks a lot but Cheika isn’t enthused at all, so he gets on the team sheet but not much more. A pity really, as I think that he’s right up there in class and he’s got all the skills.

      • onlinesideline

        suppose by end of tour we will see where he really lies on this issue. I hope he tears it up and forces Cheika hand

        • laurence king

          This Spring tour could possibly be a make or break situation for Cheika. The way the Wallabies have been playing, the NH teams will all be scenting blood, and may well get it. I may be over reading the situation but it could end with Larkham as caretaker coach and Cheika stood down. I feel this is a possibility because when he is under pressure he always goes back to a reliance on the same players to carry out the same plan.

        • onlinesideline

          TBH I think that the only upside to the spring tour is that its basically only against 2 top sides not 3. The Scotland implosion last year was due to a number of issues but exhaustion was right up there, along with the deflated feeling for losing to Poms again, when they should have won. But in saying that both Wales and England are real threats. Wales are due to beat us. We have won a number of matches on the bell by 1 or 2 points over a long stretch of games. Things have to turn in their favour soon. Eddy is also desparate for success again too and he has the Brtish media on his tail which cant be pleasant. If we loose 2 of 3 matches I still don think RA have the innards to replace Cheika. They will wrap the season up and off to the beach with big sigh of relief season is over.

        • laurence king

          I think you have a good read on the situation, I feel like the gloomy robot i Hitchhikers guide. lol

        • Fatflanker

          I’ll be amazed if we don’t dominate the scrum against England given their injury list. Fat good it will do us when we are yet again pinned in our 22.

        • Unless the tour really implodes and the Wobs lose the lot, I think Cheika is now safe until after Japan next year.

          A loss to Wales is certainly on the cards. England I don’t know, they’re imploding too and they’ve lost a bunch of key players – they’re looking to steady the ship and it’s a tough call right now. But lose both of those and to Italy… ouch.

        • Custard Taht

          Cheika keeping his job regardless of the results, is the safest bet in the market….there is the immovable object, then there is Cheika.

        • Geoffro

          Seems like he must’ve caught himself a leprechaun in his time in Ireland,he’s certainly had the rub of the green in holding his job.

        • Probably, sadly, true.

        • Geoffro

          We got hammered by England and Scotland (FFS) last time over there and snuck Wales then the results this year.We’ve already had enough ouch.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think they’ll struggle against Wales and beat England and Italy. This will ensure THE PLAN is working and everyone will gain confidence that a win at WRC is going to happen

        • Brumby Runner

          They might as well try their hand at WRC (World Rally Championship) KRL because they’ll have Buckley’s of taking out the RWC (Rugby World Cup).

        • If that happens… Cheika will certainly claim it as a victory for THE PLAN. The administration will clap themselves on the back.

          This time next year a lot of fans in green and gold will be crying. It will be a question of do the Wobs make the quarter-finals (likely I think) or not, rather than how deep they go though.

        • Parker

          Eddie Jones will outmaneuvre Cheika every time.

        • Maybe

      • Brumby Runner

        Larkham liked Powell too, but Joe got effectively no time off the bench. Looks to be a similar situation.

      • Geoffro

        Maybe Bernie sees a bit of flyhalf potential in him whereas Cheika only has eyes for Foley.

  • sambo6

    WE HAVE A PLAN STAN

    • Geoffro

      Or, ” here’s another nice mess I’ve gotten you into Ollie”

  • Jason

    Yeah, if this wasn’t on directly after the NRC Grand Final, I’d probably not bother to watch it.

  • Brumby Runner

    Simply cannot get excited about this game. I honestly think it is the weakest Wallaby team I’ve seen in the professional era. With the well known defensive deficiencies of Simmons, Hanigan, Hooper (when he charges out of the line), Genia (in cover defence), Foley, Beale, Folau and Koroibete, I won’t be at all surprised if the ABs put more than 50 on us.

    At least we should get to see DMac at his attacking best running back at this backline.

    • Mica

      Yep BB taking on the line after quick forward ball with DMac and Reiko inside and outside shoulder has defensive nightmare written all over it. More so when you consider the defensive channels they’ll be running into. Attitude for the wobbly defence is going to be massive. Let’s see if they can walk the talk. Go Wobs. Time to bring out the mongrel (and no that doesn’t mean cheap shots)

  • RF

    I always viewed 13 as the most complicated position in the game. Requiring tactical awareness, positioning, extremely high defensive skills and distribution.

    With all due respect to Folau, all areas where he is lacking.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Absolutely RF. Look maybe he has learnt since he was playing 13 at the Tahs, but considering after 6 years he still can’t kick or pass to the right I’m not confident he’ll have worked hard on the skills needed at 13 while he was at 15 or wing.

      • Geoffro

        His skillset is best suited to 15,fullstop.I think Naivalu or even Banks would have been a better fit.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Nah mate. At best he’s a good 14

        • Geoffro

          It’s a shame you say that as I don’t rate him as a winger at all.I’m a bit old fashioned and think the wingers should be the quickest guys on the park and if not they need to be very smart in all other aspects (like Smith).NMS is a smart player but his stocks have fallen since he’s lost pace after his injuries.All I can really say (again !) why the F isn’t Banks getting a chance.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think he’s fast enough to be wing. He’s certainly no slouch, but the main reasons I put him as a wing, and specifically a 14, rather than a 15 is because even after 6 years in the game as a professional player with nothing else to do but get better he still can’t pass to the right, he still can’t kick for shit, he still can’t position himself correctly in defence or attack, his tackling is still poor and these can all have less of an impact at 14. It also allows him to contest the high balls, gives him space to run (as long as Beale doesn’t crab too much) and allows him as much opportunity to inject himself into the game

        • Geoffro

          Haha,paints a dim picture really.Its a while since we’ve had a really good out and out winger,maybe Drew Mitchell but I’m harking back to Ben Tune,Lote Taquiri perhaps.Too often over the years guys like Roff,AAC,Latham,Rogers and Andrew Walkabout filling in. most of whom were better FB’s also.

        • 14 rather than 15 suits his skills, 15 probably suits his temperament though.

          At test level a 15 who can’t kick well is a beast of 30 years gone. I’m not saying they need to be a goal-kicker, they don’t even necessarily need to be have both of a really long kick or a really accurate kick, but they need one of those.

          If you have a 15 who can hoof it reliably long down the middle of the park and chase, to put everyone else back onside, plus the tackling, high ball skills and so on, that’s good. If you have someone who can reliably kick to touch, or kick down the sidelines if they catch the ball outside the 22, plus the other skills, that’s good too. Doing both well is even better.

          But not kicking well isn’t really a great option.

          That said, I think Folau likes the potential glory of inserting into the line and making the big hits and lining up the big aerial plays that he gets to make in the Wobs’ defensive “structure” at 15. (Ironically in an AB jersey he could still make those big aerial defensive plays as the defensive winger. But then he’d have a structure to work in. And probably not have any caps because I’d pick Smith over him every time.)

        • Geoffro

          You’re right on all counts,should have probly said temperament.Its not hard to see why he never made it in Aussie rules,he can’t kick and he’s a bit lazy.I’m a massive Ben Smith fan,he’s streets ahead of Folau.The other Izzy (Dagg) probably also-man ,that guy can hoof the ball.

  • Huw Tindall

    If we simplify out defence then we are a chance. Our attack is better than the AB’s off set piece. Let’s win it and put the hard word on them!’!

  • Kokonutcreme

    I haven’t seen any comments about this either here or anywhere else but there is a lot of test experience in the Wallabies match day squad. Add Coleman, Toomua, TPN, Kuridrani back into the mix and you’ll have one of the most capped Wallaby squads in history. There’s also a sprinkling of rookies gathering caps so that by the time of the RWC they’ll be in double figures.

    The Wallabies are not a bad side. I understand the pessimism and dismissal of their chances but there is a lot of ability in this team. Very solid front row with talented replacements to be injected, Simmons and Rodda complement their strengths, Hooper and Pocock are world class. Let that backline settle into a rhythm and they’re a very dangerous unit with a lot of pace.

    Cheika has got his starters and finishers in the forwards better balanced for this game. Tupou is better off the bench than starting, Kepu is just as damaging a runner and ball handler just like Latu and can also do their jobs at scrumtime. Latu still is inconsistent with his throwing, just like his opposite on the bench Nathan Harris.

    These three were pivotal in sparking the Wallaby comeback in Salta with their running and handling. Alaalatoa and Sio can play in open field much better than what we saw in Salta, and I expect it will be the Wallabies front rowers and Rodda doing the bulk of the ball carrying with the loose forwards waiting on the edges.

    If the All Blacks struggle to win possession it won’t matter who they’ve named to play on the park, they can lose this test.

    • disqus_NMX

      Absolutely correct that there is a lot of ability in this Wallabies team. And we do get to see snippets of it now and again. The problem is that all this talent is very very poorly coached. And there is now a critical mass of realisation from Aussie fans that this is the case, thus the constant pessimism. Throw in a new coach and the positivity and excitement will come back to life.

    • idiot savant

      Yeah I agree, The Wallabies really have nothing to lose in this game. They’re not expected to win so hopefully they can play without fear. I know it sounds implausible but the ABs, having been rattled by the Boks, just might get fearful themselves if they get behind in the latter stages. However it will take a better performance then the second half in Salta for the Wallabies to be ahead with 20 to go.

      And on the subject of fear, this game will be a test of whether or not the Salta second half performance of the Wallabies was a measure of how good they can be. Im still not convinced that the Pumas didnt just freeze up in fear of losing themselves in that second half.

      Im going to be cheering the boys on. If they win, it wont change my view of Cheika or the coaching, but it will show how talented the players are and make you wonder how they would perform if their heads weren’t full of complicated stuff.

      Go Boys! Play without fear.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        I like the conspiracy theory that the 2nd half of Salta was the Argies ensuring Cheika would remain coach through to RWC as they had more chance of winning at that tournament if he remained coach. Maybe the ABs will play along with that as well.

        • laurence king

          LOL, Hanson has been saying some nice things about Cheiks and the positives of longevity in coaching. It’s a sad state of affairs when opposing coaches want the Wallabies to stay just the way they are.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          It’s all part of the conspiracy mate

        • sambo6

          i blame robbie deans:)

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Absolutely it was the start of bringing the Wallabies down

        • Geoffro

          given the hot bloodedness of south american sports fans you’d have to have big balls as a player to willingly throw a matchThe derision from Kiwi rugby supporters is pretty bad also.I prefer the conspiracy where wallaby players conspire to go fuck you Cheik you’re an idiot we’ll do things our way.The Springboks supposedly coached themselves during the Divvy regime-go for it boys.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Love it mate

      • Brumby Runner

        They have nothing to lose? Does that mean they are excused if they lose?

        Aren’t they likely to have more reputation to lose? and more fans to discard along the way? I think they have a whole lot more to lose yet. (Hopefully the coach). But there should be no rationalising a poor performance because “they have nothing to lose”.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Big if mate

      • Geoffro

        Bloody big if.Why would they fail to win possession,they’ve only got to nullify Pocock and the jobs mostly done.

        • Kokonutcreme

          “Why would they fail to win possession”

          When the Wallabies beat us last year, what they did really well was deny us possession, they didn’t kick the ball to our back three but retained possession or kicked it out. The All Blacks don’t contest the breakdown as frequently as opposition teams, so once a team starts stringing together phases its just a case of sit back and watch for them to either make a mistake or we force a mistake through strong defence.

          The Wallabies were able to gain more metres per carry than the All Blacks for the first time out of three games and weren’t coughing up easy possession.

          The Wallabies defence were also winning the battle in contact and our big men weren’t carrying the ball over the advantage line or cleaning out effectively to provide quick ball for Smith and Sopoaga.

          It would still be a surprise for the Wallabies to win, however they often reserve their best performances against the All Blacks for the third test.

        • Geoffro

          They’ve failed to retain possession all year and have been flogged for it.If it were as simple as reverting to the formula that saw them down the AB’s last October why hasn’t it happened.There is something fundamentally wrong with the whole wallaby setup at the mo’ which isn’t going to be fixed by the coach or anyone else saying just go out and retain possession,string a few phases and wait for your chances.They still need a plan and Cheika has shown he’s run out of good ideas,key players are out of form and the whole thing has just gone stale.I don’t see a turnaround until we start blooding a few new players.This is not even the strongest side we’ve fielded so far this year and I don’t like their chances of retaining enough possession and especially getting anywhere near enough front foot ball to overcome what to me is a very strong opposition.

      • Kokonutcreme

        I’m not denying the size of the challenge ahead of the Wallabies, but they’re like that annoying piece of gum at the bottom of your shoe you’re desperately trying to scrape off on the footpath, but they just keep sticking to you.

  • Mart

    Can you imagine reading a team sheet of any other international team and seeing Simmons and Hannigan as starters?
    I like the backline, pity they’ll be playing off that pack. i feel for the Pooper they’ll being working their rings off

    • GO THE Q REDS

      Sad to say they aren’t the only ones we play regularly that fit that bill.. …

  • hippyb9

    What I find hard to understand is why Cheika persists with players who, objectively, have consistently been shown not to be international class. Of course, to reach that standard is not easy and there should be no personal criticism of players’ inability to do so. 3 examples – Hanigan, Koroibete and Phipps. All willing but, at the end of the day, unable to compete at the top level. Perhaps Cheika values effort over talent or potential. Hand in hand with that approach is his seeming reluctance to give real opportunities to players like Maddocks, Banks and Gordon.

    • Happyman

      Listened to something with Bob Dwyer the said they used to pick players who they thought could become world class. for mine Koroibete is not used well but is not a Rugby player., Hannigan just needs to grow into his frame he needs to be sent away for 6 months to do this. Phipps time has gone and MC just does not see what we all see I would have Gordan, Sorovi and McDermott as players who would be better in 12 months with the opportunity. I would even give Prior (Force) a run now kicks sticks at 90%

      • HK Red

        Mate I like it and I agree with that approach. Cheika lacks the ability to identify what will bring players up to that next level. “Go out there and get stuck in ya mongrel!” is nowhere near good enough. So while he’s picked some players with potential over the years, he’s then belligerently persisted with them, waiting for a miracle and let them die on the vine. Sorovi yes please. Korobiete still has a lot to offer, but needs some guidance. Sadly, it’s obvious that Cheika ain’t the coach to provide it and he’s cruelled more careers than he’s developed.

  • Damo

    I was about to write a critique of the selection. Then I thought, no, this game is really about how the wallabies play and less about who plays.
    The team selected is light on in creativity, organisation/leadership and rugby smarts. So, if ever there was a time to KISS this is it. 2nd half Salta. Confront physically, keep the ball or if you kick contest like your life depends on it. If it moves tackle it. Do not give Barrett and McKenzie anything to work with. Make them make the mistakes. it is possible. For god’s sake give our potent 11,13, 14 & 15 some space to work in- which means only go out there when the metres have been earned in the angry channels first. Michael Hooper, please stay close to Pocock until the attack has something to work with.
    Even if we don’t win in the end there are some real positives that can be taken from this game. Wouldn’t it be great to say after the game that the Wallabies did the simple things really well?

  • Greg

    Tragedy at riverview. I hope it is better than it sounds.All our thoughts are with the family and the player.

    https://www.smh.com.au/national/nsw/teen-rugby-player-seriously-injured-after-nasty-accident-during-training-20181026-p50c3m.html

    • Missing Link

      jesus, not another one. thought’s with Alex and his family

  • Khun Pugwash

    Might watch it, might not. Basically I don’t give a shit.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Hey Shane. Yeah I think a lot will depend on the ABs focus. Last couple of years I think they’ve been guilty of focussing north too early. If they switch on it might hurt. Can’t believe the only option at 13 is Folau. It beggars belief

    • I’m hoping they’re looking north but somehow think it can’t happen three years in a row. There are other decent 13 in Australia but none have the Cheika seal of approval.

  • sambo6

    isnt it disturbing to think that with the current selection policy…Ned Hanigan will have more wallaby caps than Mark Ella by the time to WC rolls around…..

  • Fatflanker

    It will be a minor miracle if we lose by less than 20. More positional confetti, as if Grey’s stupid defensive system isn’t hard enough on the players. We’re stuffed.

  • Who?

    Honestly, the gap between Coleman and Simmons around the park this year is way less than the gap between Folau’s defensive capabilities and Hodge’s, let alone TK’s. Coleman’s not been great around the park, and the lineout’s been terrible. Simmons makes his tackles (he’s slated for defensive frailties below, but he (along with Coleman) is actually one of our more consistent and accurate tacklers), and his ball carrying isn’t quite as critical when you’ve got front rowers of the type we’ve selected. All 6 are great runners. Rodda wants to run. And Simmons has good hands (those Tah forwards threw some great passes this year).
    Compare that with a backline that has five fullback/wingers – DHP, Koroibete, Naivalu, Folau and Beale – before getting to a 10 who wants to defend at fullback. Losing one of the few guys who could consistently make a front on tackle (Hodge) is huge. Then factor in that there’s no one in that list who I’d trust to coordinate defence at U12’s, and losing Hodge is much scarier… And it’s not like we gain much in attack, because Folau already runs in the 13 channel off Beale.

    • Ed

      Solid point on the Wallabies lose less with Simmons in for Coleman than the defensive issues with Folau at 13 instead of Hodge.

      Paul Cully’s article on Folau at 13, well I was waiting for a mention about defence but no, about the attack and keep it simple for Izzy. Cully is the only rugby journo at the SMH worthy of reading but this was like he had drunk the Kool-Aid too.

      It is almost as journos for Australian MSM cannot mention the defensive frailites of our 10-12-13 yet you could be sure an article on QC would more than likely not have mentioned it. An example here is from Fuxsports where they don’t question Cheika’s comments about SBW running at Beale and Foley:
      “He’s (Beale) not a big guy and he puts his body about because he loves playing for Australia and he loves these matches.

      “I’m sure when he’s presented with the challenge in going up against Williams, both himself and (Bernard) Foley — I know they’re little blokes — but they’ll be putting their bodies on the line because they do it every time.”

      They may do that but you still have plans to hide them in defence. Beale had the third worst average missed tackles a game in SR this year, Marika fifth and Foley 10th, with replacement Kerevi second. If our defensive players are poor, and add Grey’s defensive dance, it could go shite or they may play a blinder.

      • Geoffro

        Just be thankful Goodhue is out.In his current form he would have ripped these guys a new one.

      • Brumby Runner

        So, Beale puts his body about. Has quite a different connotation than someone putting their body on the line to make a tackle. As a coach with public speaking duties, he is an embarrassment.

    • Geoffro

      So we’ve got to a point in time which is different to a few years ago where the Wallaby backline was considered lethal if only the forwards could hold their own.Now the backs are a bit of a mish mash and we’re still hoping for the pack to hold it’s own.Looking for rabbit/hat.

    • Brumby Runner

      Who, I think you are deliberately baiting me. Simmons a good tackler? He falls off as many tackles as he makes and when he sticks invariably the ball runner just makes more good metres with big Rob clinging on (even if it is the opposing No 9).

      • Who?

        If I were trolling you, I’d have answered you, rather than posting separately. I was deliberately trying add space.

        Simmons is an equal tackler to our other locks. He’s not a dominant tackler, generally, but he’s an effective and rangey tackler (especially by the standards of locks). Remember Bledisloe 1 in 2016? He and TK were dropped for the next Test, because they were the only 2 to tackle above 80% that game (Simmons was low 90’s, TK was 17 from 17).

        Here’s Fox’s stats for this year, filtered for locks and tackles.

        https://www.foxsports.com.au/rugby/super-rugby/stats/players?sortBy=tackles&position=lock

        Simmons and Rodda run roughly the same missed tackle rate, Hanigan (appearing there as a lock) and Staniforth slightly better, Rory Arnold a bit better, Coleman similar, Douglas better again. But tackle numbers are interesting – Hanigan and Douglas made a heap (140), Simmons 129, Arnold 120, Coleman under 100 for the season. So Rob’s not had his best season, but he’s not outside the numbers required to be picked for the Wallabies (i.e. Rodda).
        Simmons copped it for his ‘miss’ on Beaudy in Bledisloe II, but I maintain that was a structural flaw with Hooper and Kepu blitzing on the outside men, opening a vertical disconnection in the defensive line (the gap Barrett took was directly behind Kepu). A situation replicated between Tupou (blitzer) and Fainga’a (tackle ‘misser’) with Pollard for de Klerk’s try in PE.
        Simmons has long been the whipping boy for our tight five. It used to be Sharpie. Both were quick to ground ball carriers (seen as weak in the contact rather than providing quick ball), strong lineout operators, more about workrate than impact (i.e. more the Whitelock style than the Etzebeth style, whilst not claiming that either highly capped Wallaby lock was/is at the same level), though Simmons has a much better reputation than Sharpie had in the scrum. The whinging did decrease a little this year, with the change in jersey colour, but a few losses and it’s straight back to blaming him for all the failings in our pack. But I don’t believe we have nearly as many issues in our pack as in our backs and structures.

        • GO THE Q REDS

          Always impressed by others who form their opinions and comment on a player’s form based on actual facts… .NOT some whimsical feeling or perception!

  • Hoss

    Yawn.

    ‘Steve Hanson this, Brodie Retallick that, dead rubber, Cheika, Spanners, Selections blah blah blah blah blah’

    Let’s deal in facts. Cold, hard, irrefutable – boring as bat shit, facts, that upon conclusion, will leave only one result likely, a famous gold victory.

    Fact – the Wallabies remain unbeaten in Japan this decade
    Fact – their winning streak against the Nearies in Asia stretches 8 years – the longest unbeaten streak this century. Clearly the Wallabies have the wood on the Nearlies in Asia
    Fact – When Sour Mash is in the Wallabies side they are unbeaten
    Fact – over the last 12 months the Wallabies unbeaten streak v the Nearliea stretched from Oct 17 – July 18. The Nearliea is from August only.

    Solid, 100%, irrefutable FACTS.

    Wallabies 33 Nearliea 19.

    • Lies, Damned Lies and statistics! I like where you’re coming from Hoss

    • GO THE Q REDS

      “I like where you heads at!”

  • laurence king

    Well, what can I say, ‘Same Old Same Old’, will be written on Cheika’s tombstone.There is very little positive to take from that game. We have the players, both in and and outside the team, the problem is Cheika, he tried nothing and learnt less.
    If your defence plan is constantly to ‘rob Peter to pay Paul’, you’re gunna stung His coaching tenure is marked by hubris
    Banks, dying on the vine, the best fullback in the country, I really feel for the guy.

All Blacks
@Only1Sully

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to http://www.onesully.com.au

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