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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s rugby news has the Wallabies staying grounded, Tolu Latu pays tribute, Luke Morahan scores a double for the Barbarians and no excuses for the All Blacks.


Wallabies Staying Grounded

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says the Wallabies won’t be getting carried away after dominating Wales at Cardiff.

The Wallabies are looking to complete a Grand Slam but they won’t be lured into any false confidence before their match with Scotland next week.

“I think it’s a good start, obviously, for us,” Cheika said of the win over Wales in Cardiff.

“We’ve said this from the very start so we’re not going to change our tune now and say ‘we’re in good shape’.

“We’re just going to try and take things a day at a time.”

Latu Pays Tribute

latu

Following his test debut, Tolu Latu has paid tribute to his mother Sharon who helped him achieve his goal of playing for the Wallabies.

“Putting on that jersey made all the sacrifices my family made [worth it]. My mum being a single parent sacrificed a lot and being a single child she had to put stuff aside for my Rugby, so putting on that jersey hit home,” Latu said.

“She used to work in factories, working long hours, not ideal for a single parent but she did what she had to do to make sure I had food on the table and I could go to my games on the weekend without worrying if I had boots, or food when I was a little kid.

“Growing up seeing that made me want to work hard and strive to make both of our futures better.”

Morahan Gets a Double

Western Force winger Luke Morahan has crossed for two tries for the Barbarians as they drew with 31-31 with South Africa.

The Springboks were lucky to escape with a draw after scoring two tries in the final 8 minutes of the match.

Morahan almost won it for the Baa-baas in injury time but he had the ball jolted from him on the South African tryline.

Waratahs winger Taqele Naiyaravovo also scored for the Baa-Baas.

No Excuses for AB’s

The All Blacks have refused to make excuses after their winning streak came to an end in Chicago where Ireland triumphed 40-29.

Ireland were leading 30-8 before the All Blacks caught up to bring the score to 29-33.

Unlike in 2013, the All Blacks did not steal the win and Ireland claimed their first ever victory over New Zealand.

“They thoroughly deserved the win and it makes up for the last time when they probably should’ve won too,” All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said.

“Losing George at the end made us very vulnerable and Ireland were good and smart enough to attack us where we were vulnerable, that took away the momentum,” he said.

  • Joe King

    Phipps does a good job up until about 55 mins, and then he’s spent. The Wallabies in general really need to work on the last 20 minutes of the game. Their catch-pass game looks really good up until the last 20 and then it comes undone a bit.

    • DK

      Test window starts this week, so Genia is back.

  • Joe King

    Full credit to NZ winning 18 straight. But so glad for Ireland. Couldn’t have thought of a better team to break their streak. It does make for a strange stat to go down in history. The record breaking NZ team is also the only NZ team to have ever lost to Ireland. To be fair though, they had some key players out. I’m sure they’ll bounce back.

    • Thoms

      “To be fair though, they had some key players out…”
      Like Sean O’Brien and Peter O’Mahoney etc?

      • Simon

        I’d rather be playing a team missing Kieran Read and Brodie Retallick than one missing Sean O’Brien. Just sayin’.

        • Thoms

          Because Just Sayin’ nullifies any response.

          Are either of those players more important to NZ than O’Brien is to Ireland? He was the one player the NZ press was aware of in the Irish side and a certain starter for the Lions next year.

        • Simon

          No, “just sayin'” means “just my opinion.”

          Is either of the IRB Player of the Year, and the All Blacks Captain more important to the ABs than Sean O’Brien is to Ireland, you mean?

          I’d say any and all of the following: the effect on the lineout (since they were missing four jumpers in total), the history, the current form of both teams, the fact Ireland actually won, and common bloody sense, would suggest yes.

          It was a fantastic performance by Ireland but they were playing significantly weakened ABs side, particularly when you add in the in-game injuries. I don’t for a moment think missing O’Brien was a bigger hindrance to Ireland than missing four of their top tall forwards was for the ABs. They started Kaino at lock fer God’s sake. And then lost both their centres and finished the match with a reserve flanker playing wing.

          The fact they still nearly pinched it at the death is actually pretty bloody depressing. Thankfully Ireland had the goods to come through with the win.

        • Thoms

          Mate I am not trying to diss Retallick or Read. World class players, but my point is that New Zealand have dozens of world class players. O’Brien is probably the only Irish player who has a legitimate shout of being good enough to get into any side in the world and also has personal accolades to boast.

        • Simon

          Actually I withdraw my statement – I had a brain fart (Monday morning!) and thought Read wasn’t playing. It was Retallick, Whitelock and Romano who weren’t playing. Read did play. My apologies.

          I still maintain that if I had to play a Barbarians-style team and could choose to remove Retallick and Read over the two Irishmen, I would do so. But I accept that missing O’B and O’M are much harder to replace for Ireland than Retallick and Whitelock in isolation are for the ABs. I still do think that the additional loss of Romano and the two centres meant the ABs were on the whole weakened more than Ireland. Enough said about it. :)

        • mikado

          Should add the Irish were also missing Iain Henderson, who is a beast either at lock or at 6.
          Also that they lost Murphy injured in-game.

        • Simon

          CJ Stander and Jamie Heaslip are not exactly chopped liver though. My first-choice Irish backrow would be Stander, O’Brien, Heaslip. It’s only O’Brien that’s really irreplaceable. Although they might have to find a way as there seems to be some doubt whether he will play again.

        • McWarren

          Disagree mate. Both O’Brien and O’Mahoney are more important to Ireland than Retallick and Whitelock are to NZ. Ireland’s lack of depth is well documented and NZ’s depth is well known. Just like Hansen says, no excuses, the AB’s have the depth to cover the loss of players, Ireland not so much.
          Well done to both teams for a cracking game.

        • Simon

          Even if that’s true, the question is more whether the loss of two key forwards for Ireland covers the loss of four key forwards for NZ and two backs in-game.

          Simple thought experiment – restore O’Brien and O’Mahony to Ireland, and restore Read, Retallick and Whitelock to ABs, and Crotty and Moala play out the game. Who wins?

          ABs for sure, for mine. But it doesn’t matter. What happened, happened and Ireland thoroughly deserved the win. I just wish we had got to play against that ABs team at least once this year!

        • Thoms

          “Simple thought experiment – restore O’Brien and O’Mahony to Ireland, and restore Read, Retallick and Whitelock to ABs, and Crotty and Moala play out the game. Who wins?”

          Last weekend I think Ireland would have won regardless, they were better organised and wanted it more.
          Next time they meet, with some of those players restored, you would of course expect the better team (NZ) to win.

        • Peter Morse

          And while you’re at it restore Brian O’Driscoll to the 2005 Lions series. If my auntie etc etc etc.

        • Simon

          As I said below, I retract my statement and blame Monday morning for the fact I thought Read was not playing, when he in fact was!

        • McWarren

          No worries Simon, sorry mate I didn’t see that.

        • Parker

          The All Blacks really missed Whitelock
          and Retallick. But what they missed more was a premissive ref who overlooks their routine “professionalism”. It was great to see this ref stand for no nonsense. For the most part he was impeccable and that contributed greatly to the high quality of the game.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Congratulations to Ireland and the wallabies, some smart rugby in both matches. Glad that no one is trying to make excuses. For me the big difference was that Ireland hit every ruck and maul with at least 5 players and completely outmuscled NZ. I was disappointed that the NZ game plan didn’t change to counter this and I really question whether Read has what it takes to be captain. Yeah a great player and obviously has respect but I feel his leadership went missing in this match. No reading of the game and no changing of tactics when it was obvious the game plan wasn’t working. I think he’s had an easy ride until now. Hopefully he learns from it.

    • Dud Roodt

      Hey KRL – well copped loss.
      I would temper your analysis of KR though – you lost one game…. one single game in 19 of the bastards.
      You don’t need to can your captain.
      Imagine if every team canned their captain every time they lost a single game?

      • Nick Gregory

        My dream is for the WBs to can Moore

        • Dud Roodt

          It is a constant wet dream of mine too.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Sorry mate I didn’t mean to say he should be changed just that he failed the team the first time he was put under pressure. I hope he learns from it

        • McWarren

          have you ever seen so many Aussies defending KR? I order it to stop and for regularly scheduled jealousy to resume, immediately!!!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha love it. That’s what’s so great about this site. The odd troll who we all read and laugh over but really a group of guys who love rugby and recognise the good in the game. Yeah we differ in our opinion but to me that’s what makes it so good.

    • Thoms

      Wouldn’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. NZ lost a game, first in 19, against one of the best sides in the world. They will learn from it and come back stronger.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Absolutely and I wouldn’t change Read at all, or take the captaincy away from him, I just hope he learnt from his experience as I think he failed to step up in the captaincy stakes at a time where it mattered.

    • Tomthusiasm

      Can’t blame Read, he doesn’t pick the team. The ABs looked stronger when the bench came on but Ireland didn’t go into their shell and defend their lead, they kept attacking. Pretty sure McCaw had a few losses along they way!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        It was about the tactics not the personnel. If a definition of stupid is doing the same thing and expecting a different result then……….
        To me it was obvious our plan of minimal numbers at the breakdown wasn’t winning but we persisted with this throughout the game and it was a big contributor to the loss..

        • Tomthusiasm

          Fair point, it looked like the ABs were playing Mitre 10 Cup laws at times.

    • McWarren

      Well said KRL. I’ve wondered sometimes if Read was just getting an easy run due to the dominance of his team. I didn’t see the game in full but I imagine, if nothing else, the loss will teach Read a lesson or two about being a captain. The second game in Dublin must seem like an age away for him.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Yeah mate. I’m sure he will learn and come right, and I bet no one is hurting more than him right now, but he really didn’t step up. I think he got too caught up in the here and now rather than stepping back and thinking “what do we need to change?”. I’ve always thought that the ability to step back and go through that process in a game is what defines a great captain. Richie could do it, Fitzpatrick could do it. Umaga could do it. Mortlock and Eales were also able to do this. Admittedly all of them got better at it with experience and I’m sure Read will as well.

        • McWarren

          yeah I think Read was on a hiding to nothing taking over such a great team. When you lost, and it was bound to happen eventually, the questions were always going to asked. Lets see how he goes next time they are challenged, probably in Dublin.

        • Garry

          Richie? Richie who?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Really?

  • Missing Link

    2 unexpected results but I’m happy with both.

    I expected Wales to be much closer and I was surprised to see the Wallabies play as well in the first half that they did. Regardless of the results in the next few games – there are signs of improvement in the Wallabies skill execution and new players finding their feet.

    Bad luck NZ and well done Ireland. What a history making victory and bringing goliath to it’s knees. Round 2 in 2 weeks will be interesting to see if it matches this game in intensity and the result.

    • Thoms

      I expect the game in 2 weeks will NZ’s biggest of the year by a distance and they will win comfortably.

      They had a soft run in the Rugby Championship this year, that game will be a wake-up call for them. They will learn a lot.

      • ozrugbynut

        Sure nz will ramp it up, but i think ireland will do the same at home, and they will want to put a big marker down for the 6N and individually there will be players looking towards the Lions tour. Im expecting some brutal rugby. Nz have had a number of big blowout wins this year so i think it will be dificult to achieve the biggest of the year against. BTW your margins this year resulted from your last 20 to 30 mins, all sides were able to go with you for most of the way so im not sure i agree with your comment about a ‘soft’ run. You were particularly challenged by argie and by oz at some points two weeks ago.

        • Thoms

          Fair point.

          By “soft run”, I mean no disrespect but the circumstances of the games were favourable relatively speaking. In the Sydney Bledisloe the Wallabies were so far off the pace and unorganised that it wasn’t a contest. This is arguably the worst South African side of all time and NZ would be expected to win their home games comfortably, which they did. Of course you can only beat the team in front of you.

          Ireland is a formidable side. Best in Europe in my opinion and with England in Dublin for the 2017 6 Nations I fully expect and Irish championship. Also Ireland seems to have a golden generation coming through (Henshaw, Ringrose, Carbery, Van Der Flyer etc) which may surpass the 00’s generation of O’Connell, O’Driscoll, O’Gara etc.

        • mikado

          I completely agree that Ireland are formidable, especially as the IRFU effectively controls the provincial teams and can manage the workload of the elite players. I think there will be very little between Eng, Ire and Wal in the Six Nations. Wales are certain to be better than their showing vs Australia and have the best draw, so I think the final result will come down to points difference between Ire and Wal.

        • Parker

          Very impressed by Carbery on the
          weekend.

  • Thoms

    The worst thing that ever happens to great sides is a very long unbeaten run, you become unaware of problems with the team and don’t adequately address them on the training ground. Usually ends with a bump and not always a quick fix so can be accompanied by more defeats when weaknesses are known. Luckily for NZ they are so good that they should bounce back quickly.

    When is the last time that NZ conceded 40 points? Australia has never done it to them.

    Ultimately this will be good for them, they know they are not unbeatable and there is context behind their unbeaten run. Expect more urgency in training and a more formidable team in future.

    Anyway, Ireland were fantastic. Will be a cracking game in 2 weeks and the Australian game will be great too.

    • John Bands

      I think it comes down to complacency, plain and simple. It’s hard to maintain that 100% focus when you have just won eighteen and come up against a perceived weaker team. It’s not acceptable but it’s understandable. The other reason of course was Romano’s return home and the lack of faith the All Blacks selectors had in Scottt Barret to start him. You can’t lose four lineouts in the first half alone and hope to build any pressure. Moody should also give himself a big uppercut – gave away the first penalty of the game which gave Ireland an easy three points and gave away the yellow which led to twelve points being scored by Ireland during that ten minute period.

    • Missing Link

      First time in a long time I’ve seen a team beat NZ by playing expansive rugby as opposed to trying to restrict them to a low score, slowing down the game etc.

      Normally NZ will overrun any team in a points shootout, and depsite NZ coming back from a big deficit for a tense last 10 minutes, Ireland just kept coming!

      The Wallabies did well at Eden park and they should have beaten NZ with similar possession in the first half, we just couldn’t put points on the board whereas Ireland did. It just goes to show the pressure that comes with playing catch up. If we’d been 17-15 at the 44 minute mark after Speight’s try, we might have just maintained that pressure and forced mistakes.

  • The Jackal

    Because I love to live in the past.

    Can we send this on to Shaun Veldsman and Nigel Owens on what obstructing a player looks like ;)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bc029be2f175ba4e1d97ed324ddd9c7df861011edfff9dc3c199b558f1beee00.png

  • Adrian

    I haven’t seen the Wallabies game yet, but can anyone tell me if Timani took any lineout ball?

    • The Jackal

      Coleman 8
      Arnold 3
      Timani 1

      • jamie

        Ironic, because Arnold has about 3″ on Coleman

        • dru

          Arnold doesn’t call, Coleman does.

        • Peter Morse

          And Coleman jumps further back in the lineout, the most valuable ball.

    • ozrugbynut

      Faark it feels good to say we might have a decent row developing.. And it was great to see timanis massive trunks at the back of the scrum. Will be interesting to see how the scrum holds up against scotland particularly, ive got nothing but respect for them.

  • AB

    Total respect for Tolu Latu – great reflections on winning the wallabies jersey.
    BTW the news article totally plays down Taquele’s BaaBaa’s game – the big winger cops a fair bit of criticism so getting the official man of the match should be news worthy.

    It does seem unfortunate that we have 6 very talented Fijians competing for 1 or 2 wallabies spots at the moment. It would be great if there could be tier 2 availability for Fiji if these guys are not selected for the wallabies. I know that approach has problems but it would be great to get the pacific islands teams as competitive as they should be given their talent for the game…

  • McWarren

    Great wins for Ireland and Australia. The thing I took out of both games is just how important it is to take your opportunities, obviously I know. Ireland did it perfectly, the AB’s didn’t this weekend, the Wallabies also let a few go but still had too much for the Welsh. This is at the moment the Achilles heal of the Wallabies, we got away with it at Cardiff but that won’t happen at Landsdowne or Twickers. This whole season could be defined by our missed opportunities. Foley had an absolutely outstanding game but we need a better kicker. Whether that is at 10 or somewhere else. Perhaps we need to give Hodge some more responsibility in this area. Foley’s game could well have been looked on as a shocker if we’d had lost by a few points due to his kicking and that would have been doing him a disservice.
    Further on the Foley/Cooper debate. Isn’t great to have two viable options at 10. If Foley can maintain that sort of form then Quade is going to need him injured to get a look in. In saying that I thought Quade looked comfortable at the end of the game. He had no pressure obviously but he still looked alright.
    Why do we fade at the end of the game? Could it be that we try and shoe horn our best players into the starting 15 and are left with a subpar bench? I wonder if we would be a consistent 80 minute team if Pocock replaces Hooper and Frisby for Phipps, Latu for Moore at the 50 minute mark rather than the 65/70 minute mark.

  • Watched the Baabaa’s game (see the forum thread for the link). Morahan might have scored two but the absolute star on the night was Naiyaravoro. He was unstoppable every time he got the ball and he gave the saffer defence lessons they’ll never forget. Eventually they sent their blind side breakaway over to double-mark him because he was so dominant. The UK commentators gave the MOM to Big T and he absolutely deserved it.

    If he continues in this vein we will be asking which other winger do we select with him for the Wallabies, he was that good.

    PS: The Springbok performance was absolutely awful from one end of the park to the other. Apart from a dominant scrum and lineout they had nothing.

    • jamie

      Taqele works very well in a Barbarians style game, but he definitely has his shortcomings in a test match. His defence is questionable, as is his high ball and turning around (for a linebreak eg.)
      Definitely worth persisting with though, I think he’s a better ball runner than J Savea.

    • Mart

      I would have put those 2 on the Wallabies wings at the start of the year…

    • jamie

      Also: the Springbok team is terrible, but watch their 12. Johan Van Rensburg or something. Kid’s a freak: absolute giant.

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@Hughadams01

Wallabies, Waratahs and Northern Suburbs supporter. Twitter: @Hughadams01

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