Monday's Rugby News - Green and Gold Rugby
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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees the issues around neck rolling, cross code combinations, the Pumas strike back and the Premiership preview. 


Neck-Roll Issues

Legend

Legend

Wallabies flanker David Pocock admits he has concerns for his long-term health after another night of being heavily targeted in Auckland, rugby.com.au reports.

Poey was absolutely enormous on Saturday night, leading the tackle count with 18, pinching a few turnovers and 25 metres with the ball.

New Zealand clearly had a plan for the Wallabies star and went at lengths in an effort to stop his immovable body going over the ball.

Owen Franks was penalised for a neck roll in the first half and at several other breakdowns the same tactics were used and if seen, also justified a penalty.

His superior pilfering body position makes him almost impossible to clean out and hence leaves the opposition no choice but to either twist his body towards a side or lose the ball to Pocock.

The issue with such a rolling technique is it is inherently dangerous and when players get it wrong, the neck and head come under major concern.

Pocock was so stiff in his upper body and neck region that post match he had to turn his entire body to speak to reporters and still had limited movement almost a day after the match.

Now that can’t be good for anyone. Not even David Pocock, who eats bricks for breakfast.

“As a player, you feel that after games and it’s not something you want to think too much about,” Pocock said when asked about the severity of rolls and what risk they placed his future under.

“It’s pretty sore. I copped a knock and then a bit of a neck roll.”

“It’ll be sore but hopefully it’s nothing serious.”

This isn’t Pocock’s first issue with dangerous neck roles however.

“There were a few during Super,” Pocock said.

“It’s something the refs said they were going to really look at.”

“There’s been some penalties but I haven’t watched tonight’s game.”

“The Brumbies put in a few citing… where you try to get someone cited… and none were accepted as meeting the threshold.”

The Wallabies took the issue to the citing commissioners in June but decided not to do the same in the first Bledisloe match.

Coach Michael Cheika said there was an onus on his team to latch onto Pocock and provide some additional support in that space.

“We have in previous games, in the Irish series definitely,” he said.

“He’s there nearly all the time, so he becomes a target and they do whatever they can to get rid of him.”

If Pocock is continually isolated at the breakdown, he will continue to face the same treatment.

Cross Code Combination?

Charlotte Caslick and Georgie Friedrichs

Charlotte Caslick and Georgie Friedrichs

Australia’s Star Sevens player may be allowed to combine both rugby union and league commitments if they timing allows, according to High Performance boss Ben Whitaker.

At this point in time, all of the national squad plays Sevens exclusively but Whitaker is open to possibility to players playing multiple codes in certain situations.

The way the World Series circuit is formatted means it unlikely for players to be available for full-time positions in both sports but Whitaker is taking an ‘open-minded’ approach.

Rugby.com.au spoke to Whittake who had this to say on the issue.

“We’ve looked at whether girls can come in and out of our national program into then compete effectively in the World Series,” he said.

“Right now, it doesn’t work. Our World Series goes from October to late May/early June and whilst there’s only five or six tournaments in that time, it’s hard to then have girls coming in and out and it doesn’t necessarily work in with the other sports.”

“That’s the toughest thing at the moment. We’re open-minded but right now it’s just a bit difficult.”

Rugby AU have been mindful of trying to keep our stars in the game, even if that means sharing them after Aussie Sevens stars Caslick and Emma Tonegato were heavily linked with moves to the new NRLW league.

Australia’s Uni 7s competition plays host to players of different sports, something Whitaker said they wanted to encourage.

“I think, I can’t speak for the other sports, but I think what we’re really aiming to do is have our players playing a range of sports,” he said.

“We’ve got to try and find a way to see if we can give girls an opportunity from any sport to play.”

A smart approach.

Pumas Punch

pumas waratahs 2013

Pumas

I’ve decided not to talk about the Wallabies today, as a lot of us are still seething from the past two weeks.

Argentina however, are back in the winner’s circle, snapping a 11-match losing streak in the Rugby Championship upsetting South Africa 32-19 in Mendoza on Saturday.

The Pumas played some scintillating rugby and Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez was at the heart of it all, starring for the Pumas in the second-round match, scoring 17 first-half points as they took a 27-7 half-time lead at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas.

South Africa, who triumphed 34-21 when the teams clashed in Durban last weekend, dominated the second half but failed to convert the pressure into substantial points.

Ex-Wallabies scrum coach and New Argentinian head coach Mario Ledesma demanded more passion and gritty defence after last weekend’s loss and he received what he asked for in front of a typically vocal 27,460 crowd.

A man of many words, pre-game Ledesma said this about their South African opponents.

“They are by far the most physical side in world rugby”

“We must defend better in Mendoza”

Well said Mario.

The Pumas attack set the world on fire in the first half but it was their scramble defence which stood up to a dominant Springboks in the second.

South African coach Rassie Erasmus was utterly disgusted and spoke to foxsports.

“We played like a team that’s playing club rugby,” he said.

“I must point a finger at myself when we perform like this.”

“This puts us back quite a bit. I’m not going to stand here and lie to you.”

Ouch.

Premiership Begins

Newcastle Falcons v London Irish - Aviva Premiership

This weekend marks the start of another English Premiership season, with a host of big name coaches and players donning the boots as we get going.

In Bath, Todd Blackadder has a wonderfully talented side featuring English young guns Zach Mercer, Sam Underhill and Charlie Ewels and will be hoping they can take a trip to Twickenham at the end of the year.

The Bristol Bears were promoted from the Championship and are going to have to really work some magic to stay up, but the big name signing of Charlie Piutau should help there.

Exeter will be hoping to continue their dominance in the competition and look for their 4th trip to the big dance in as many years. Young flyhalf Joe Simmonds was gently moved into the role last season and should be set to take the competition by storm with such a settled side around him. Watch this space.

Gloucester have picked up some star attractions with Danny Cipriani, Jaco Kriel, Franco Mosert and Ruan Dreyer all joining their roster and former Lions coach Johan Ackermann will hopefully take the side back to Europe.

Underachieving is a tag easily slapped on the Stoop but Harlequins first time coach Paul Gustard will know the worth of Chris Robshaw, Danny Care, Kyle Sinckler, Nathan Earle and Mike Brown. They also have the extremely talented young flyhalf Marcus Smith to play with. Exciting.

Australian Matt O’Connor will leader Leicester into action will be hoping his all star backline including our own Matt Toomua will be able to fire.

The Newcastle Falcons will ask for more of the same under the leadership of Dean Richards after picking up 4th last year. Goneva picked up the Premiership Player of the Year award whilst Josh Matevesi and Sinoti Sinoti enjoyed breakthrough seasons and will be hoping for more.

Northhampton have brought in Hurricanes gun coach Chris Boyd to help lead them back to the top. Dylan Hartley remains a strong leader, Courtney Lawes an impact player, Dan Biggar an experienced 10 and a shiny new toy in Piers Francis. In his first year Boyd could be back on the road to glory.

If the Sale Sharks forward pack can hold themselves together, they should be a punch of fun to watch. Faf de Klerk, James O’Connor, Chris Ashton and Denny Solomona paint a pretty backline picture.

Saracens will looking to go back to back and one of the world best in Owen Farrell will lead the way.

The Wasps have added some New Zealand flavour in Lima Sopoaga and Brad Shields and will be hoping that will elevate them just a bit more to challenge Saracens and Exeter.

Finally Worcester will struggle unless they can keep star centre Ben Teo on the field and dynamic halfback Francois Hougaard.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Well Good Morning fellow GAGR’s! I don’t know about you lot, but not having the blog posted at all has forced me to be checking my computer every 15 mins or so, to see if has been posted. Hmmmm me thinks I might be slightly addicted, or extremely enthusiastic to post my response. Either way I am sure that I am not on my Pat Malone there. Anyway here are BL’s well considered points now after watching that game twice, and as there is no game report I am posting it in Monday’s news:
    – Firstly congrats to the AB’s, their game was clinical, brutal, and ruthlessly executed. They are not the best in the world for no reason. They adapt their game quickly when it doesn’t work. Their transition from Defence to attack on turnover is a sight of beauty. Just wonderful to watch.
    – Well my pre-game prediction of 50-13 turned out to be pretty close. Wished I had put some dosh on it. I would give up being right for a win anyway.
    – Congrats to the referump Wayne Barnes. I thought he had a pretty good game. Except for the neck rolls on Pocock I thought he was pretty good. Balanced, fair, great communicator. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind where he stood. A distinct stand out from Jaco of the Peypers last week.
    – As mentioned in the afore sub-paragraph. The neck rolls on Pocock are very concerning and need to be dealt with. I will be fundamentally disappointed if those, and any other committed by either side are not looked at harshly. It is a blight on the game. I hope it doesn’t take someone in a wheel chair to spur action on this one.
    – I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but Cheika has to go. Anyone would be an improvement. The selections need to change, the game plan needs to change. Fark that was a complete dog’s breakfast in the second half. Then Cheika’s press conference only confirmed what we all thought. He just doesn’t get it. Every question asked of him by the journalists was a relevant and fair question. His answers were churlish and childlike. Even his biggest fan girl Georgina Robinson got a serve, and her question was pretty much a Dorothy Dixer. #Assclowncheikamustgo
    – Pocock had a blinder! He was clearly head and shoulders above the rest. Why the hell he isn’t captain either. Because Wayne Barnes was talking to him more than Hooper. Willy G had a pretty good game also, with a pretty handing sniping try.
    – Whilst we are on the topic, Hooper was running around like Ricochet Rabbit, but he contributed very little, and was caught out of position regularly. And what is with Hooper receiving the Kick Off? That is just fucking stupid. Let a back take it and either return the kick with interest, or run it up and have the likes of Hooper supporting for the clean out. Not smart play. Whoever devised that plan is clearly devoid of intelligence.
    – Nice to see Hodge taking some of the kicks, but why not most of them. A number of Foley’s kicks were just shit house (as usual). All they do is create pressure on the team, because he either doesn’t find touch, or the distance is just sooooooooo poor that we are still inside our own half. WTF. Why is this still happening?
    – Our attacking play is absolutely one dimensional. Foley can not orchestrate an attack, which by the way is his principle role as a 10. For so long we have been tolerating his dross, that we are almost acceptant of the crap he trots out. If we have any hope of scoring, we need Toomua as 10, or fuck it bring in someone else who can at least set up an attack. Other than the try saving tackle, Foley’s defence was crap. His try set up only came through the fact that he fumbled the ball and managed to regather it, the AB thought he had dropped it and tapped the brakes. Slipping off tackles or being caught out of position. What he was doing loitering around between outside centre and the wing, I have no idea. Just appalling. However there is no pressure applied or allowed to be applied to his selection. Cheika has to own this! We will never penetrate the AB’s defence with lazy single passes that hospitalise the poor recipient. We need someone that can spin it wide quickly before the AB’s can re-orientate. Just like they were doing to us.
    – Speaking of appalling defence. Koroibete. What the fuck is this guy even doing in the team. What ever strengths this guy brings to the team it surely does not compensate for the numerous weaknesses. Cant tackle, cant defend, cant kick. Wow! Why is he in the squad again?
    – Kutly Beale had a shocker. His game play was all over the shop. His defence was almost as bad as Koroibete’s. 7 tackles made 6 missed. Bugger me with a fish fork!
    – At least our line out and scrum were back to relative normal. In fact, I thought we were dam unlucky not to get a penalty try or yellow card there on the try line. But alas.
    – In fact, I thought both teams were lucky not to get at least one yellow card. But like a lot of people I think cards have a tendency to ruin games. But I think the AB’s 14 versus anyone else’s 15 is bordering on a fair game. In our case maybe AB’s 13 versus wobs 15 might be fair.
    – Our defensive structures are just appalling, and the execution of the defensive patterns went to shit and never recovered. We missed 42 tackles. That is two more than last week. Fuck you thought might have been something we focussed on.We had players running in off the sideline trying to decimate AB’s players which totally screwed up the line. The pattern doesn’t work. Grey needs to go.
    – There is so much bad about this loss. I truly believe it is worse than last weeks. The coaching staff do not have the brains and understanding of the game to even execute simple concepts. They need serious assistance. I would firstly bring in Nicholas Bishop or Brian Smith as a Consultant, and then get some Grey beards around them (Bob Dwyer, Rod McQueen, Alan Jones). Michael Cheika can no longer be in charge of selections at all. Nothing. We have two weeks to the South Africa game. Luckily for us they got pantsed by the Argies, so we might have half a chance. But even a win against them will just be a band aid over a structural fault.
    Gents, I must admit I am finding this really, really disheartening. There are so many self evident faults, yet our coaching staff obviously don’t even believe that they are faults, or are so pig headed in believing that they are strengths (i.e. the Pooper), Foley’s kicking and attack. A basic game plan with our players playing proper positions, would be a vast improvement on what we are currently seeing. I genuinely don’t believe that it would beat the All Blacks, but it certainly would be more competitive that that dross we just dealt up, two matches in a row.
    Cheika must go!

    • Happyman

      I would love to know what our points allowed per test is since Nathan Grey took over the defence role. compared to the same number before.

      • Brisneyland Local

        A betting man would say pennies to a pound a hell of a lot more.

        • Happyman

          I would go with London to a brick

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah very true.

        • Parker

          Broken record time. Bring back Muggleton to fix our defence.

    • Human

      Well said BL. I would be depressed if not for the image of buggering someone with a fish fork…Mr Clyne is my target of choice today.

      • Happyman

        Mate go with John O’Neil he was the one who started the entire top down recruitment ignoring the grassroots.

        • Human

          Indeed, thankyou..I had purged him from my memory but do have a decent canteen of fish forks so will work on JON as well.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I think he is a good start. But I would definitely include the whole coaching set up!

        • Human

          I only have 12 forks.

        • Brisneyland Local

          they can be recycled!

        • disqus_NMX

          And left out in the rain to rust first.

        • Brisneyland Local

          A rusty fish fork.
          Now you are talking!

        • Brumby Runner

          Any chance of a few hooks finding their way on to the prongs?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yep, and a set of pliers to splay the fork prongs out at right angles.

    • HK Red

      For the second week in a row, Foley’s decided a good exit strategy is a bomb from inside our 22, for the 15 to regather. What the F is that all about??? It’s such a low percentage play. Didn’t work last week, didn’t work this week.

      • Brisneyland Local

        You can potentially (and I say that loosely) against lower ranked teams that dont have an aerial weapon. But against the AB’s is just plain lunacy!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Terrible idea against everybody.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I did say potentially, and not actually! ;-)

    • IIPA

      I think you’re too harsh on Foley except for his field kicking but otherwise hard to disagree with this f-bomb laden rant !

      • Brisneyland Local

        I thought I was being kind compared to some of the others sites that I read.

        • IIPA

          Indeed !
          Imagine if the The Roar didn’t moderate language.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I only occasionally read there. Never post. That place is a cess pit!

        • Missing Link

          All topics on the Roar end up in a discussion about which all black team is the greatest of all time. Wait until we play the Springboks on 8/9… the comment section will turn into a comparison between NZ vs AUS and AUS vs SA and how NZ will go against SA, then they’ll talk about 2009 being the last time SA beat them in NZ, then it will transgress into which AB team is the greatest of all time.

        • Happyman

          You forgot how any AB transgression is only payback for some slight in some game some time ago and how RMc is and always will be the greatest of all time.

        • Brisneyland Local

          There is a re-occurring theme there!

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          It was the 2015 one ;)

          And we managed to beat them once!

    • Keith Butler

      Can’t argue with any of your comments. Pocock was again awesome and Hooper pretty much anonymous. As I commented earlier we should have spent more time giving Poey at least some protection at the breakdown. Barnes, who I thought had a pretty good game, rightly penalised illegal clearouts 4 or 5 times.

      • Missing Link

        Agree, Barnes had a decent game, he had the balls to go back and check and disallow 2 NZ tries which were suspect. A lesser ref would have just put it down to “amazing all blacks whoaaa”

        Speaking of refs, nobody was happy with the TMO in June, who seemed to stick their nose into everything like an annoying younger sibling. So WR gave them a stern talking to, and now they’re anonymous? I honestly thought I’d hear a “Wayne, just checking for a neck roll on 7 Gold” a few times during the game … crickets

        We gone from an over reaching TMO to nothing, they should still interject in the name of foul play? surely?

        • Archie

          Yep. Where the hell was the TMO when BB got taken in a chokehold from Pocock as he scored his second try??

      • Brisneyland Local

        We just dont play smart! And that starts from the coach down.

    • disqus_NMX

      BL’s rant of the season! Don’t know why you don’t just post your own entire articles :)

      • Brisneyland Local

        Been thinking about it. But I dont think GAGR would let me!

        • disqus_NMX

          Of course they’d let ya! Bring it on.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Bet they dont!

        • disqus_NMX

          Why, what did you do to piss them off?

        • Brisneyland Local

          No idea!

        • disqus_NMX

          OK!!!

        • Patrick

          Thought we should drop Foley for QC :)

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Foley and Beale are both so far out of form. They’re so lateral on attack, not threatening the line, kicking very poorly and missing far too many tackles (Beale especially).

      For a long time the argument was that us fans had to put up with 10. Foley, 12. Beale because, despite their very poor defence and kicking, they contributed so much in attack. Well, the attack isn’t working, Foley usually isn’t playing as first receiver, he isn’t even goal kicking and their defence and tactical kicking is as poor as ever.

      Time to go back to basics. Get a 10 who can kick, pass, run and defend in the line, a 12 who can distribute, kick and defend at 12 and a 13 who will be our defensive lynchpin. Our attacking genius can come from our outside backs.

      As soon as we have our players back I want to see

      10. Toomua
      11. Banks
      12. Hodge
      13. Kuridrani
      14. Beale
      15. Folau

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Not sure that Hodge would be a good 12. TBH I think he struggled a bit at 13 although his defence to catch Goodhue was great. For some reason Australia seems to approach the 12 position differently than most with the need for a playmaker and I’m not sure it’s always for the best. I’d also swap Beale and Folau as I think Folau is a better wing than FB and I think Beale could make more of the space at 15 than he would at wing.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          His best Super Rugby has been at 12, mate, and he is a good tackler. Hodge is not a playmaker, he is closer to Jean de Villiers than anything. About 193cm and over 100kg apparently (although they hadn’t updated his weight online recently).

          The reason he performed very averagely for the Rebels at 10 is because he isn’t a 10. He is a big guy who can can, pass, kick and defend. Basically, he is an all-rounder, which almost all the best 12s are. Really, 12 more than any other backline position is about having a balanced player who can do everything to a proficient level – especially defend.

          I think Kerevi will be better than him, but Kerevi is injured and his defence still needs work.

        • Missing Link

          I like Hodge at 12 but I don’t think shuffling the backline will make a difference, we would have still got pumped. In fact, Folau (arguably our most prodigious back) not playing made zero difference to the end result.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Folau is well out of form. Hasn’t had a good test since the first Irish one.

          And actually, I was rather proud of our forward pack in the test. Against the best pack in the world, and with our best tight-head injured, we at least had parity in the scrums.

          When you add Tupou and Arnold and take out Rodda and shift Alaalatoa to back-up LHP that is a very good forward pack.

          It was our backs and their incompetence in attack and defence that really lt us down.

        • Seaweed

          Yep, Folau is out of form. I also think, that for everything he brings, he is symptomatic of the way this team is run. Why did DHP have a good game? Because he’s a fullback, playing in position. Folau can play on the wing if we must play him, and I suppose we must. But can we at least have people who understand the position they’re playing? Instinctively? This also goes directly to your defence point. The best defenders at 12 at 13 are players who have played there for a long time. When the thing is broke, go back to basics.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I agree he’s not a 10. Happy for that then.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Plus by having Beale at 15 we would have a FB that can kick. Because despite of the time in AFL, Folau still cant kick well.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          But we will also have a fullback who drops every other high ball…

          Story of Beale’s career is being world class at some aspects of the game, but too poor in defensive to really be an inside centre and too poor under the high ball to be a world class fullback.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Unfortunately, other than Pocock that sums up most of our players! good at some stuff, shit at others!

        • mikado

          In fairness, that’s what most teams in the world have to contend with.

        • Parker

          Your perception seems stuck in the past. Beale’s high ball handling, when called on to do so, has been very much improved for quite a while.

        • Damo

          KRL, the reason we have to have a 12 playmaker is because our 10 plays like someone who was selected out of a Lego box. I appreciate DBDB’s comment above re Maddocks inexperience but his little chip in behind for I think Koirobete was accurate, quick thinking and above all instinctive. I just get this feeling there could be a very good #10 there waiting to be released. he can tackle as well.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah maybe. You certainly need some changes

        • Patrick

          ARE YOU ALL F*ç%EN INSANE????

          WE HAVE TRIED BEALE AT 15!!!! It was one of the most painful experiences of my whole life, what is wrong with you people???

      • Brisneyland Local

        I agree. We cant keep doing what we are doing!

      • Dud Roodt

        I thought 2 of the better performers for us on Saturday were DHP and Maddocks and they both get the cut?

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          I actually agree about DHP. However, he has lost too much speed/elusiveness on attack and he has never been a strong defender at all. Very weak in defence actually. To me his limitations and downsides outweigh the fact he has a big boot, is a decent ball-player and an okay attacker. I think those injuries have taken their toll.

          Maddocks just doesn’t look ready for this level to me. He’s being thrust in too young and he isn’t ready.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      On Fire BL. Can’t really argue against any of it although as I mentioned I thought Beale managed Luamape quite well initially. That backline has no attack in it though. Makes me wonder what the so called playmaker role actually is

      • Brisneyland Local

        To shuffle sideways and pass the ball to some poor other sod who is about to get creamed!

        • Parker

          Who, remember you asked me to point this out. Also above is a reference to Beale missing most of his tackles whereas KRL notes he contained Luamape “quite well initially”.

        • Who?

          Yeah, I’ve seen it a bit more since you raised it Parker. More in the last week than I’d noticed for a good while.

    • Andy

      I hope to Mary you didn’t write that on your phone otherwise the local screen repairer’s going to be cleaning up

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nope. I drafted it sitting on the couch with my laptop whilst watching the game over and over again. Absolutely soul destroying.

    • Bernie Chan

      Missed 42 tackles…? Didn’t know it was that high…What has Nathan Grey done to justify his position? His KPis must be very, very low targets… If players just defended their position at least most players would be position…instead players run around like headless chooks, and how can we counter attack if all we have are forwards one and two passes off the ruck while Foley and Beale are hiding out the back…and that must be either Grey or Cheika’s doing.

      • Brisneyland Local

        It is Grey’s doing but Cheika allows it.
        Grey probably doesnt have any KPI’s as Cheik Would have insisted on bringing him into the fold.

    • Johno Muzza

      Great article, Hooper is a bad captain and not a number 7 once he compared himself to Richie Mccaw, are you fucking serious.
      Hooper the mosy yellow carded test player and the most losses for a Wallabie captain.
      He runs all over the place and has very little effect on the game.
      Pollcock is a true no 7 but if he plays there Hooper wont get a game.
      But hes a Warrath so he will always get a game.
      Then there is Foley, the All Blacks always run at him because he is the weakest defender.
      In attack he has no vision but no worries because he is part of the Tahs.
      Foley wouldn’t get a game in a NZ Super rugby team.
      Chekia is a protected species but he needs to go.
      Raylene where are you.

      • Brisneyland Local

        MAkes for a pretty depressing scenario doesnt it.

  • Happyman

    New Zealand played well on Saturday and I think we need to acknowledge that they would have beaten any team in the world on Saturday. It does not mean we are shit we are not that bad. NZ clearly have an edge at 10 and the use of turnover ball. While we just don’t have a player of BB’s class in that position we are now at the point of having to move on from Foley.

    I admire the attention to detail of the Kiwi’s and the targeting of Pocock is exactly what any coach would have put into the mind of his players before the game. He is clearly our best player. My question still relates to how he is treated off the ball.

    I would be advocating the captain advising the ref that if he is not going to look after our players with the illegal stuff we will take matters into our own hand and he can yellow card all 15 of us.

    It appears to me that we are slaves to our pattern rather than using it to create space and then expressing ourselves when the space becomes available. How we play against the SAFAs will determine where our team actually lies MC seems to be a very emotional coach which I don’t mind but the downside from that is our standards seem to drop against teams that we should put away.

    • Ned Stevens

      Jeez ‘an edge at 10′ is the greatest understatement ever. A 3rd pick Super Rugby 10 from NZ would be better than any of ours

    • juswal

      I don’t mean to pick an issue with you, Happyman, but I don’t agree that ‘we need to acknowledge that they would have beaten any team in the world on Saturday’.

      The urgent problem is not our failure to beat New Zealand. It’s that we don’t come into Test matches (against any opposition) looking like a strong team that knows its offensive plan and can do its job in defence.

      We have to get competent and effective first. Only then can we start thinking about results.

      • Happyman

        Mate I think I am correct on the first point and you are correct on the second.

        Our offensive plan as I see it at the moment is to run NRL second man block plays behind the advantage line and nothing else. Our capacity to change what we do is not great. If you look at the Suncorp test last year we put some serious heat on the lineout and they adapted you going to one when they really needed the ball.

        Mate watch Shute Shield Premier Grade or Colts rugby and you see all of those things by guys who play all of the time. The higher you go the more overreached players who cannot think for themselves.

        • juswal

          Agree completely. Premier Grade is a pleasure to watch these days. Perhaps due to slightly lower levels of fitness and mobility at that level, there’s a bit more room on the field and the attacking play expands into the spaces.

    • idiot savant

      Did Hooper ask Barnes to do something about the neck rolls or illegal targeting of Pocock at any stage? I didnt see it but he may have.

      • Patrick

        Of course he didn’t.

  • Packy

    When Pocock bends over the tackled player at the ruck, you usually see 120kg of human missile dive straight at his lower back. It looks terrible. Any normal person would be crippled.

    • Who?

      You know, it’s funny how standards vary… When Bakkies Botha charged a ruck and broke a Lions’ arm (was it Adam Jones?) in 2009, he copped a massive fine and the laws about not charging the ruck were suddenly enforced again. We seem to have forgotten that the requirement is bind, then drive…

  • Brendan Hume

    The All Blacks play rugby like golf – they have the right club selections, minimise errors as much as possible and when they make errors they work doubly hard to correct them. All of this serves to place significant pressure on the opposition.
    I honestly can’t see what the Wallabies are trying to do to win the game against the All Blacks – in the golfing vernacular, it’s like our club selections are all wrong… Our forwards aren’t carrying effectively, our clean outs are not fast or accurate enough, our speed from the ruck is too slow, we don’t play at the line often enough… When we do put some of these things together, we look dangerous, but it requires a sustained effort.
    I also think we’re beaten in the head – in the Sydney test we were still very much in the game at about 60 mins – it was 26-13 after Maddocks scored, but it already looked like the Wallabies had merely scored a consolation try. It was a similar story at Eden Park – we weren’t out of it until about 55 mins. That’s the time we need to stand up.

    For all the talk, I wonder how many of the Wallabies actually believe they have what it takes as a team to beat this team in a series?

    • Ned Stevens

      Totally Agree

    • Brisneyland Local

      That and our Caddy is actually and Ice hockey player!

    • Human

      The AB’s were very very good in the second half.

  • Richard Patterson

    Well at a time of the year when AFL and NRL are ramping up for play-off’s, what a fizzer Rugby Union turned on in the past 8 days for the marginal Australian sports fan. The really disturbing statistic is that despite a dreadful 2017 Super Rugby competition and June series, the results show the Wallabies were more competitive last year in the Bledisloe Cup than they were in the just completed 2018 series. It certainly throws up more questions and answers. Or was this simply a case of too much unwarranted hype / expectation for this series?

    I believe there are 3 extremely disturbing takeaways for the Wallabies / Australian Rugby from this series:

    1. There is a Head Coach who simply is not learning. A Head Coach who says it’s not a job – but a “passion”, but consistently presents teams lacking the necessary rugby intelligence and skills to compete against the better teams. It does not change. It has not changed for 3 years now. Has it ever changed with Michael Cheika coached teams? History says no.

    2. There is a Captain and a leadership group that lack standards. Michael Hooper is an athletically gifted rugby player. An intelligent rugby player adept at situational rugby he is not. With the exception of David Pocock, there are no standards being set by senior players such as Hooper, Polota-Nau, Kepu, Genia, Foley and Beale. What I see is players secure in their place in the team — not driving standards for others to follow. Polota-Nau is just the latest guy to return from the UK/Europe to realise the standard of the Rugby Championship is too high for him. Genia is far too inconsistent. Coleman is simply not the player people want to believe he is (did any Wallaby have a worse Bledisloe Cup series?). Foley confirms his limitations at test level and Beale is a flat track bully who is clever against modest opposition – but exposed against quality opposition. Except David Pocock, I see no-one setting standards. I see no-one playing like they have genuine competition for their jersey. I consistently see a lot of “entitled” players who are made far too much of — and perform accordingly.

    3. Australia is paying the very big price of extremely poor state and national administration. The decision to expand to 5 professional franchises never built depth. It built a pool of players incapable of transitioning to test match players. Age group development has been disastrous – highlighted by the skill deficiencies of multiple Wallaby players. There is no improvement coming in the next 3-4 years.

    People can criticise the All Blacks and NZ Rugby all they want. But the single biggest difference between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is the gulf in rugby intelligence and the enormous difference in standards / environment / culture. With the possible exception of Brodie Retallick and Kieran Read every All Black feels pressure to live up to standards set by others and to repel competition for his position (however strong). Did Beauden Barrett explode into form because he felt like it — or because for the 1st time in 4 years, he felt pressure for his jersey? Are the All Blacks better conditioned because of superior sports science — or because standards demand them to be? Hansen and the coaching staff smarter — or do they feel challenged as “the hunted” to be constantly evolving and developing? Isn’t that sport at the VERY highest level?

    Australian rugby fans have every right to feel upset and angry. These past 2 weeks were a major setback — at a time when progress needed to be shown. The fact is there are inferior people in key positions. How willing is Castle and RA to accept that? How creative are they willing to be in engineering a fix — or is this a peel-the-layers-back 5-10 year turnaround? I fear neither the finances or the current state allow either.

    Oh – and of course Pocock is being targeted. The guy is like a seagull on a rock and without support will continue to be under assault. Where are you Lukhan Tui? That is your job!

    • Brisneyland Local

      RP, thanks for a very well considered contribution. You are another KRL. thanks, it is a pleasure to have you on the site.

      • Richard Patterson

        Ha – too kind BL. There are some very smart rugby minds on this site and it’s fun to try keeping up with them all.

        Little of what I wrote above I especially enjoyed. The facts are though that the same patterns keep repeating themselves and whilst there is hope a new dawn is emerging in Queensland a lot of the rest in Australian Rugby feels like a rinse and repeat from previous years. It’s a strategy of Hope — not a strategy tested and measured and built on Belief. In this era of sports science, analytics and skills training tools if you are not moving forward, you are moving backwards. Ask Ireland Rugby? Right now ask the Jaguares and/or the Pumas? Go ask Alabama football, the Golden State Warriors or the Crusaders in Christchurch. Then go ask England Rugby, or the Wallabies. Go ask German soccer right now. How about the North Queensland Cowboys?

        You will know better than any of us BL that discipline is about doing the things you have to do — when you don’t want to do them! Discipline is also about not doing the things you want to do, when the opportunity is there. I sense there is too much ill-discipline in Australian Rugby right now. The biggest threat to excellence is complacency. It’s a cancer that rots any team, organisation or sport is allowed to fester. Sadly, I see ill-discipline and complacency displayed throughout the Wallabies — starting with the Head Coach.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Concur. discipline also means not having to think about what is right and wrong things to do. It happens automatically. Slow is smooth and smooth is fast!

        • Richard Patterson

          Nice!!

        • Missing Link

          thanks for acknowledging me Richard :P

        • Richard Patterson

          Top of the list pal.

      • disqus_NMX

        Lately he’s a KRL, but has in the past been a bit of an Archie too. Respect for the improvement, Keep it up RP!

        • Happyman

          Calling him an Archie is a bit below the belt. Besides RP and KRL’s contributions contain actual sentences and as such I strongly suspect that alone would have contributed to them being kicked off Stuff.co.nz

    • juswal

      Ah, the New Zealander’s perspective on Australia’s failings. What a privilege.

      • John Tynan

        Bit harsh mate, I’d be happy to have my name on that post.

        • Happyman

          Agree mate not over the top. Fair and balanced in my view.

        • juswal

          He’s said the same thing, match after match. Disparaging the Australian coach, squad, certain players, national administration and system. It never changes

          As long as I’ve been reading GAGR, anyone’s view is welcome, even New Zealanders’ – but when it’s negative, and repeated, it’s tiresome and quickly becomes offensive.

          It’s time for Richard P. to stop sticking the same knife into the same holes.

        • Missing Link

          In Richard’s defence, he takes the time to put together a constructive response. I’d have a problem if he was posting “youz r shit ayye bro, your coach is a clown”

          I would like to know how NZ can make rugby exciting again. It’s not just Aus who are struggling against them, it’s everyone. Maybe they should actually back off a little instead of putting teams to the sword by the 50 minute mark. Give opposition fans some hope and their own fans a bit of nerves. some people are already commenting that RWC2019 is a non event and I’m inclined to believe them.

        • onlinesideline

          what do you suggest ML – that the kiwis field there 2nd XV. Its not up to the kiwis, its up to us. Kiwis do everythig to make rugby exciting. Cant blame them for being awesome. Rugby in OZ is dying.

        • Missing Link

          I know my suggestion can come across a bit daft and yes, I’m putting myself out there to have the piss taken out of me, but the All Blacks should just back off the intensity a little and not put teams to the sword with 30 minutes to go. I’m not asking them to lose on purpose, I’m not asking them to field a 2nd XV, tie their bootlaces together or anything like that but they can certainly stop laying the boot into teams like they do as it’s detrimental to the sport. You don’t hear much from the NH teams, but after they get smashed in November and NZ win their 3rd consecutive world cup, questions will be asked and hopefully something is done to equalise the sport. Rugby may be dying in OZ, but none of the other tier 1 nations are close to NZ.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          No way mate. Smash it up and force the necessary changes. To be honest I always believe that sometimes you have to let a system crash before it can be fixed and papering over the cracks only delays the crash and makes it worse. The main issue to me is the structure of the game here with the power plays between the states and the national union that is stopping the development of national pathways for the development of players, coaches, administrators and referees. The place is run on a network of old boys who look after their mates and continue to frustrate RA from making the necessary changes – and RA is just as bad at times.

          As much as it will hurt, maybe a RWC where you get knocked out in the Qtr’s is what it will take for these clowns to make up and make the changes necessary to move forward.

        • mikado

          In general I’d agree, but when Rugby Union is the minority code there’s a danger it won’t survive being smashed up.

          Ideally the powers that be would see the need for reform before anything cataclysmic happens.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I get your point and you’d hope so. I wonder how close we are here though

        • onlinesideline

          As Hoss says take a Bex and have a good lie down and we’ll review it in the morning, OK mate ?

        • Missing Link

          OK just let me finish this stern lettet to Jacinda about rugby equality

        • Missing Link

          Ok just let me finish this stern letter to Jacinda about rugby equality

        • Parker

          No way. As a spectator I want to see the best possible play even if it”s coming from the team thrashing my side. I bet you don’t dilute your beer with water.

        • Richard Patterson

          I would ensure as many Australian School teams as possible schedule a 1 week tour of New Zealand. Play 3 games in 8 days in many of the real Rugby heartland districts of NZ. Bring 3 teams over and play their age/weight equivalents in 3 good NZ rugby schools. Engage in organised training scrimmages. Get fellas billeted with Kiwi families who eat, drink and live Rugby. I mean LIVE rugby!! Get them learning about rugby skills and development. I would get as many development coaches as possible enrolled on NZ Rugby coaching clinics and seminars. Learn skills based drills and techniques that get hammered into kids in NZ as young as 10-12 — irrespective of their position on the field.

        • Andy

          It’s a good suggestion. If we want long term fixes changing the head coach won’t do it. Not that this isn’t justifiable right now it’s just a separate point.

          RA needs to really invest in player development and coaching. As much as I’d hate to see my son idolising an All Black our junior rugby academies really need to be showing our young players more clips of your Beauden Barrett’s and Brodie Retallick’s rather than the Foleys and Coleman’s. Nothing wrong with idolising foreign players and still bleeding gold.

        • Parker

          Or we could annexe our smaller neighbour. Take over that fine country. Make them our Ukraine. Rename every beach Bondi. Put their rugby administrators in charge…oh but wait we’d have to get our government organized first wouldn’t we?

        • Dud Roodt

          Come on mate, the only thing worse than getting thumped by them would be to implement a mercy rule.

          For every try over 5 they drop a player?

        • Missing Link

          nah, they should all have their shoelaces tied together. Seriously, all they’d have to do is back off the intensity a little bit, it’s not hard to do just to ensure the result isn’t a blowout.

          Rugby has caught up but if we remember back to the mid nighties through to the mid 2000’s, there were many cricket scores posted against minnows which served nothing but to embarrass the sport. If I ever pull out a memorable game from the archive, it’s the Sydney Bled in 2000, 2001 Lions series, 1993 Bled, 2010 in HK … I don’t think I’ve ever re-watched our game against Namibia at RWC 2003

        • Dud Roodt

          Then you go down the path of the NFL where it’s considered bad form to run a score up. I don’t subscribe. I don’t want to see a team treat us with pity. That’s embarrassing.
          Also, if you back off and go half-hearted you seriously risk injury

        • Archie

          What so you’d seriously be happy with that would you? ‘Yay we did so well’ to only lose by a few (knowing they’d intentionally ‘backed off the intensity’). Happy days

        • Brisneyland Local

          Works for me!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Pfffft! We’d still win

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah I know! God it is low tide for us and a King tide for you!
          It makes the gulf even further!

        • Brisneyland Local

          Juswal, I say the same things, just less articulately then RP. You dont have a shot at me for it.
          Everything he has said there is 100% true. KRL has said the same things and you dont take shots at him.
          Having articulate Kiwi’s on this site that are not trolls is an excellent thing. we want to encourage good, constructive and accurate feedback like that. It promotes intellectual discussion. More of it please!

        • juswal

          You’re an Australian rugby fan, BL, posting on an Australia rugby fan site. Get stuck in, that’s what GAGR is for.

          I’ll read anything a Kiwi has to say, once. But once is enough. It’s not the negativity or even the personal sledges – it’s the repetition.

          Here’s what RP posted last week, a couple of hours after the first Test was over:

          “So for the 3rd time in 3 years, the Wallabies looked dreadfully prepared for Bledisloe I in Sydney. Short of the All Blacks serving up a mistake ridden performance, it once again remains unclear what Cheika’s strategy is to beat the All Blacks in this important contest. Once again the selection of Hooper and Pocock badly exposed their lack of lineout options. Once again we saw an over reliance of looping passes from Foley and/or Beale to the wide channels as the means to break down the All Blacks backline defence. Once again we saw a Wallaby side lacking the conditioning to go 80 minutes with the All Blacks. It was fodder.

          “There was very little difference to what the Wallabies served up tonight that they hadn’t had on full display trying to beat Ireland in June. In this age of sophisticated analytics, how Cheika and the Wallabies believed that would be a game plan that could beat the All Blacks is simply extraordinary. However, as long as Cheika displays the rather classless antics he continually chooses, he provides the All Blacks plenty of reason to play well – and to win! Tonight was just the latest episode. Once settled, the All Blacks looked organised and ruthless. Once again, against clever opposition the Wallabies looked amateur.”

          And here he is again, at the first opportunity (there was no Test review published over the weekend), putting the boot into Cheika and the team, and its tactics, and RA, and the state of the game in Australia, and stroking off over the contrast between our game and theirs.

          I don’t want to read it, again. You might say I should put up with it, or ignore it. I say that Richard should take it where it’s welcome, on a NZ fan site. And I’ll say the same thing I told Richard last week: this is not something that Australian sports fans do. We absolutely do not walk among overseas fans and tell them what their team’s faults are.

          I counselled KRL about his conduct last year. For a long time he took every opportunity to stick the knife into Kurtley Beale. As soon as anyone mentioned Beale, KRL would jump on with the same slurs and sledging. It went on for weeks. I pointed this out quite a few times, increasingly firmly – eventually he stopped, and I think later admitted that he had been partly wrong about Beale.

          Once again, it’s not the opinions that I find objectionable – it’s the repetition, and the sheer bad manners.

        • Brisneyland Local

          It is only repetition because we, and by that I mean RA, Our coaches and the Wallaby players do nothing about it. As for bad manners, up to you. But I have never found anything that these two have said to date to be bad. But offence is up to the individual.
          Cheers

        • juswal

          No, it’s repetition because he said it already, a week ago.

          Why would he need to come back to GAGR and say it all again?

          If you ever felt the need to go on a rugby fan site in another country and tell them what was wrong with their coach, squad and tactics, would once be enough? Or would you do it every week?

        • Brisneyland Local

          You do realise the RP lives in Australia!

        • Patrick

          Geeyz juswal let it go, I’ve been saying many of the same things for *years* on this site now. But I keep coming back to say them anyway, more fool me too :(

        • Seaweed

          A month or two back he wrote the best analysis I have read of why we are losing players overseas etc. + Australian rugby’s problems generally. He is constructive, insightful and knowledgable. There is no gloating and no jibes. Just information. Fine by me.

        • juswal

          Perhaps what he should do is submit an article to GAGR. Get it off his chest once and for all.

        • fatman

          Would you prefer he sugarcoat it & say everything is ok with Australian rugby. It’s not & hasn’t been for a long time but people believe Cheikas propaganda that it was the ref or a few things didn’t go our way or our systems are working but blah blah blah etc etc ad infinitum. Australian Rugby needs to own it’s problems before we can move forward.

        • juswal

          At risk of repeating myself, it’s the repetition.

        • Parker

          juswal. That’s because the holes have not been fixed. The same problems persist so you can’t fault the guy for pointing them out repeatedly. If the holes are fixed, the Wallabies will be better for it and there’ll be a bonus of RP having to say something different. The fault is not his.

      • Richard Patterson

        As always juswal, I appreciate you taking the time to provide some feedback. We are all Rugby fans my friend. Seriously think I enjoy watching the code as the laughing stock of the Australian sporting public.

    • Keith Butler

      Your last para- spot on. Aussies penalised 4 or 5 times quite rightly for taking out players well beyond the ball. Perhaps they would have been better employed giving Pocock a bit of protection.

      • Marcus

        Just to clarify what ‘protection’ can the other players give to Pocock at the breakdown? If i understand correctly, once another defending player joins the ruck, then the first defender can’t use his hands (ie, pilfer the ball). Maybe that’s why they aren’t piling in so quickly?

        • Who?

          Provided he doesn’t lose contact with the ball, the jackal can continue to hold the ball after the ruck is formed.

        • Keith Butler

          Honestly don’t know. Last laced up my boots nearly 30 years ago so I guess the laws have changed. Back then we were coached to drive/step over any player on the deck. Any oppos got a good shoeing if they didn’t move. Just think that Poeys supporting players could position themselves so that they prevent the opposition driving in from the side which although illegal is rarely penalised.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not quite mate. If he’s already on the ball he doesn’t have to release when other players join. He can’t reach in after they’ve joined however

    • Bernie Chan

      Heard Tim Horan saying the Wallabies “culture is second to none…”…but alas he is now a Foxsports pundit and they seem to act/speak more the Wallabies marketing machine. Regrettably, the so called great “culture” doesn’t seem to be improving the team, and they are not making forward progress…

      • Missing Link

        Foxsports is the propaganda arm of RA, no denying it

        • Bernie Chan

          Yeh…I loved Horan as a player (Lynagh-Horan-Little/Herbert…Campo out on the flank…distant memories…) but he is drinking from the kool aid container. That Wallaby kool aid must be powerful, as Mick Byrnes said the Wallas were on par with the ABs in skills…!

        • Bernie Chan

          And George Gregan doing no better…guess he is loathe to criticize the coaching as that group includes Larkham? Does George expect fans to not respond emotionally to the clueless rugby…?

  • Missing Link

    Been reading a lot about how our failure to defeat NZ is all about RA eating too many big lunches and not handing money out to grassroots rugby. I dare say that if this was in fact the problem, then why aren’t other countries competitive against NZ? Are all those other countries starving their grassroots rugby in favour of big lunches too? Is NZ the only team who are doing their bit? I doubt it. The grassroots funding argument is an excuse made simply to get more funding, it wont make a difference to the Wallabies, not now, not ever.

    The other waste of time arguments are drop player X for player Y, sack Cheika, what difference will it make. nothing.

    Where we are going wrong is we have become too structured and our fitness doesn’t match the All Blacks. I don’t know if they’re training harder than us, or there’s another explanation but one of Barret’s tries towards the end of the game, there was a shot of Ben Smith and Barret heading towards the line and Hodge giving chase. Hodge looks like his head is about to explode while the to ABs look like they’ve just come off the bench. how is there such a disparity in fitness between the 2 teams? Genia is also testament to this. We used to have a really good ability to scramble in defence, at least 2 tries scored against us on Saturday were soft as nobody scrambled to cover the hole, defenders were just jogging and gave up. There was no desire.

    What the Wallabies need to do is take those bibs with SS, F and whatever the hell garbage is on them and throw them in the bin. then they need to play rugby, trust their instincts, look up at the opposition and see what they’re doing and learn to react. I wasn’t happy with Deans towards the end of his stint, I don’t think he knew how to deal with players personally and he was ungraciously dumped by Pulver, but his concept of playing what’s in front of you was spot on. He had it right in 2010 when we beat NZ in HK and we also beat them in 2011 at Suncorp, have we ever been closer to matching them in the last 15 years, NO. Remember how NZ were so concerned with the Wallabies at that time, they had to abuse and spit on fans, they had to “villainise” Quade Cooper and constantly boo him every time he got the ball. We lost the Lions series in 2013 not by much, NZ could have also lost the Lions series last year by an equal amount, the Lions are nothing to sneeze at, yet Deans lost his job. Since then we have lost our way. McKenzie wasn’t there long enough to make a difference and Cheika is too fixated on one playing his brand of rugby.

    – We need our players at peak fitness
    – We need our players basic skillset to be near flawless (catch, pass, tackle, lineout, scrum)
    – We need our players defending on instinct, not a predefined system
    – We need our attack working on instinct and set piece when the need arises

    The biggest frustration was watching the Wallabies repeatedly kick the ball back to NZ in open space. I kept yelling at the TV “why are you giving them the ball when they are most lethal?” By the way, I was watching with some kiwi mates, even they are bored, they are beyond arrogance or rubbing it in, they are even sincerely applauding the Wallabies scoring tries because now that’s more exciting to watch. It’s an unpopular opinion, but NZ have monopolised the sport to the point where they are killing their own fans nervous anticipation, excitement, feeling of elation etc. All the things that make sport enjoyable to watch for fans. NZ winning has now been normalised and any wave of emotion associated with winning or losing has now been flushed out of All Black fans and therefore the game is boring as the result is a foregone conclusion. Sure, say it again “what do you except them to do, start losing?” It’s not my question to answer, but put it to the NZRU, as they should accept responsibility for the situation they’ve created.

    • Happyman

      Nice read ML I wonder why most people you talk to see the same problems but not the guys in the big chairs.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Because they are imbeciles!

        • Happyman

          Just checked the definition on Wiki you might be overselling them.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imbecile

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yes you are right.
          Calling RA imbeciles is an insult to all the real imbeciles out there!
          I apologise unreservedly!

      • Parker

        They’re in deep denial.

    • IIPA

      Missing Link… it felt like we kept kicking it back to them in part because of what you talked about at the top. Fitness. The forwards were not making metres most of the game mainly because their one out charges were starting from a flat footed base, Genia was slow to rucks, Hodge and Beale looked knackered most of the time.

      • laurence king

        I think many of our problems would be solved if all our players could tackle, some can’t. And as great as the big hits go, the ABs showed that they could be avoided by a few short passes. We have a 12 who is a poor tackler, a 10 who is a poor organiser and though the two of them are great in attack that doesn’t make up for their deficiencies in defence or for the stress it puts on the rest of the team. Our forwards seemed to have only two players who could bend the line in Tui and Coleman. Tupou, Arnold, and Timu need to get into the side quickly. The passing from the ruck was absolutely ponderous the other night, it was actually markedly quicker when Phipps came out (and I am not a fan). I think that we have the talent to take the game to the ABs but not with the current set-up.

        • Patrick

          I agree about the tackling. It needs to be a rule, you must be able to make 95% of your tackles in the defensive line or you get dropped.

          As for the ruck speed I think it was the fitness. Players were just not re-organising into anything looking like an attacking option in enough time so Genia had to wait for it. I bet if Rodda or Beale had been belting up and screaming for it they’d have got it. I was also really pissed off about that live, we slowed down our own attacks so often!!

          And the fitness, I wonder if it is just being more committed. Hooper and Pocock look like they can keep up just fine and they were each doing as much as any two other Aussies.

        • Brumby Runner

          It’s true that Hooper and Pocock keep going at the same pace and with the same endeavour as the ABs. One more effectively than the other it must be said. And at the end of the Super season, our teams had three of four wins against NZ sides. On the face of it, fitness is not the problem. I am wondering if some of the current players just don’t embrace the coach’s game plan.

        • Patrick

          If that is stopping them from hauling their arses upfield in a hurry when we are on a break then they are in the wrong business!

        • Alister Smith

          If we employed the 95% rule we would never have seen a Campese and probably not a QC or Foley. We certainly need to work better as a unit in defence though that allows us to reduce the potential workload of those more creative players who perhaps give away some size or are targeted in defence.

        • Patrick

          Yes but
          1) the game has changed since then. Mehrtens didn’t exactly tackle the house down either and no-one cared.
          2) if Foley or even QC were Campese-level we wouldn’t be having this discussion
          3) if the rest of the team was tackling consistently at 95%+ we would be able to fit in QC like we did before, and win games. the problem with Foley is that we get say 20% less errors but we get 40% less attack. This is made even worse by the fact that as a few other people have pointed out in the comments, attack is a great form of defence, for two reasons: first, if you are cutting them to ribbons in the attack, you are getting a lot of go-forward and they are having to run twice as far to reorganise and keep onside, second, you defend with a lot more aggression and energy knowing that all you need is one turnover and you might be in like Flynn.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      You raise a lot of good points about the team structure, training, tactics and processes. I still firmly believe the biggest issue facing the Wallabies is how do they make the good decisions in pressure situations that the ABs do so well. It’s not altogether that they haven’t got the skills because they manage to execute well where the pressure isn’t so intense so to me it’s how do they learn to keep the same skills when the pressure is on.

      I’m not sure you can blame the NZRFU for the Wallabies poor play mate. It’s up to Australia to learn to get better and continue to improve not for the NZRFU to do anything but keep the ABs going strong and let the rest of the world catch up.

      • Missing Link

        KRL – we are shit, there is no denying this. The trouble is no team will challenge NZ, ever. NZ have monopolised the game and you can put the onus on other teams catching up, but at the end of the day NZ have got themselves in a position where they cannot be caught up to, they cannot be displaced from no. 1 and if they lose RWC next year it will be due to some sort of anomaly.

        • Brisneyland Local

          By anomaly you mean choking?

        • Brisneyland Local
        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Hahahaha I loved the way we were apparently chokers becuase we got beaten on the day by a better team. The only one that was a real choke for me was when we lost in wales in the Qtr finals. Despite what ML says I still believe that if any of the top 4 or 5 teams play either side can win on the day depending on the bounce of the ball, a referee’s call, correct decisions under pressure etc etc. I think at the moment the bit stopping the wallabies is the “making good decisions under pressure” bit. All the try’s from the ABs came because someone mad an incorrect call at the wrong time and that’s what needs to change.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Mate please dont take the Wales game away from us, or the french semi in 99. they are the only things I have left to cling too!!!!
          Besides that It was more a joke at ML’s term anomaly. ;-)

        • Missing Link

          KRL, NZ will go undefeated this year, England and Ireland will be sent packing at home.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Not so sure on Ireland. Fuck I hope we smash England. Trouble is it’s a long year and the boys will be tired by the end of it. The good thing is that if we lose we raise their confidence to an unrealistic level so we can both smash them in Japan

        • Missing Link

          Ireland were lucky to win the series against us and they don’t have the depth of NZ. NZ will dispatch both England and Ireland easily. The wheels have fallen off Eddie Jones’ sweet chariot, well and truly.

        • moaning expat

          Well its up to the rest of us to get ourselves in the position to beat them. Im sorry but this thinking is madness and disingenuous. They are 4M people as well.
          Perhaps banning AFL and league would be a start..

      • moaning expat

        I couldnt agree more. blaming the NZRU for being so successful?? Baffling way to look at it.

        Its up to us and the rest of the worlds teams to sort ourselves out.

        • Missing Link

          Not if you apply identity politics to it

      • Alister Smith

        We played poorly but NZ’s quality forced many of our errors – it was difficult to watch as a Wallaby support but as a lover of rugby I will never tire of watching the All Blacks performing at the level they are and other teams are catching – games against the Irish and the English will be a great test and potentially fantastic games. I think we are capable of much better. I share your viewpoint on the strength of the All Blacks mind skills – discipline, focus and confidence in themselves and in each other are what I think are costing the Wallabies. Gilbert Enoka has been working on mind skills with the All Blacks since 2003-04 I think. They trust themselves and each other, they have laser like focus and they have discipline to work to the edge of the rules without going past the edge – for the most part.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Bang on mate. I just hope the Wallabies step up in QLD

    • idiot savant

      On the fitness issue, surely Mick Byrne is able to tell Cheika exactly what the AB training regimen is? He worked with them for years.

      • fatman

        He also said recently at an Advanced Coaching Seminar that the All Blacks are no better than us, I’d say two World Cups & sixteen Bledisloes in row tells us differently. Maybe this is the problem though, no-one wants to admit that there is a problem, if he is telling that to the players then they think the preparation they are doing is enough when quite clearly it’s not. We need to be working on the core skills of the game & it needs to be done at the beginning of a training session & the end when they are under duress & fatigued, only then can the skills improve to a point of possibly matching the All Blacks.

        • Bernie Chan

          It’s the extra strong Kool Aid I’m telling you…Mick Byrnes says our skills are as good as those of the ABs. Tim Horan says the “culture” is unmatched, George Gregan says calls for Cheika to be fired are “an emotional response” …Move along, nothing to see here. Everything is going to plan…not sure what that ‘plan’ is but it is going to plan. IMHO, Wallabies fans should be emotional about the way our team is going…

        • Johno Muzza

          George Gregan is a mate of Cheika and when Gregan said dont sack him then he is a joke.
          Sack Cheika and dont tell me there is not a coach in the world that cant replace him.

      • Parker

        Mick would also do well to teach us how to throw passes that look forward but never get pinged.

    • Straith

      Amen. Australia need to master eyes up rugby first before anything else. It saddens me that RA or the wallabies will never see this comment when its the solution to almost all their problems.

      • Parker

        And the number 10 most adept at playing eyes up and brain engaged is not playing for the REds.

    • Archie

      “ any wave of emotion associated with winning or losing has now been flushed out of All Black fans”

      … are you KIDDING???!! As someone who was in the thick of the sellout at Eden Park, I can tell you Kiwis are far from bored. They’d take 100-0 every day of the week. Get real mate.

      I’m one of them too… and sorry to burst your bubble but I’ll testify that watching your team execute that poetry in motion is brilliant and never gets old.

      Also sorry but your NZRFU blame claim is straight out of bizarro world. WTF would you recommend they do differently? It’s already the great underdog story… tiny nation, not cash rich at all… just continuously punching above their weight. Kind of the opposite to England.

      • Missing Link

        Stay humble bro

      • Missing Link

        Stay humble bro

    • 22DropOut

      Respectfully disagree with the premise.

      There is not one single thing wrong with the Wallabies, it is a perfect storm or multiple factors. Grassroots, management, conditioning, many things.

      Grass-roots is broken, this is ultimately reflected in the quality of test player we are producing. But the management of the team is also malfunctioning.

      I like Cheika and I rate him highly but unfortunately what we are seeing is consistent with the end of a manager’s reign.

  • IIPA

    Ok. Be positive I’m telling myself . Let’s look at some small wins on Saturday night:

    * Squire and Cane both tried to smash Pocock as he trucked the ball up off our line. Both came off well and truly second best.

    * Poey was immense.

    * Tui’s second wind had him charging hard til the end so at least that was nice to see.

    * Faingaa looked ok on debut. So did Banks but why Cheika left him on the line for so long God knows. Surely as soon as you are down two tries you put on your fastest, most elusive runner.

    * lineout and scrums were better. Sio and AA did the trick there but I thought all three starting front rowers were ponderous around the field and that gap they left for Squire to run into was embarrassing.

    * DHP was very good.

    And that’s about it….

    Oh and if you are paying the 7s girls enough Whittaker, don’t let them go and dabble in League in between. Why give their fledging comp a leg up?

    • idiot savant

      Yes scrum was much improved although it was amazing how Franks, when penalised and warned by Barnes, all of a sudden had the ability to hold the scrum up!

      • Keith Butler

        Ah props you’ve got to luv them. Masters of the dark arts. Me sir, pure as the driven snow.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        No different to every prop I’ve refereed ever

      • Patrick

        Yes that was amazing wasn’t it.

  • dsb

    Putting all our reasonable ‘seething’ aside can we ask what the Board and CE of RA think about the results and the performance of all involved in our National team. What are their strategies to turn around the ‘seething’ of fans and ensure that we don’t lose the fans? The ranks from the top to poorly performing staff and players seems to need thinning out. I have no problem in us losing games providing I’m convinced that we are genuinely trying to win!

    • Brisneyland Local

      DSB, here is your mistake in thinking the anyone from RA give a rats arse about the fans!

  • Dud Roodt

    Like BLL I think I refreshed the GAGR page 300 times on Saturday looking for a right up. Seriously admins – we don’t pay good money for this site to not get EXACTLY what we want, ok?!

    To be honest, I don’t even think we played that badly. We of course had the defensive lapses, and didn’t play amazingly, but I can’t point out anyone and say they had an absolute shocker.
    The Kiwis are just that. fucking. good. They are the best sporting team in the world. We’re just shit out of luck we play them 3 times a year.

    As everyone has said, I thought Pocock played amazingly. He really is a once in a generation player.

    I really think someone needs to light a fire up Tui. He comes good in the 2nd half, but what the fuck happens in that first 40mins?! If he ran the ball any more upright he’d be licking the back of his shoes.

    DHP was really great. And shows what he offers from the FB position with a 10m+ run up. I really think the Wallabies should look at moving Izzy to the wing.

    I truly believe that if we played any other team in the world the same way, we would either win, or come fucking close.

    It’s grossly unfair we have to play the ABs so often. perhaps we could do what the socceroos did and move into the Asian comp?

    • Brisneyland Local

      My old Grandpa, life long Wallabies fan, died at 99. He used to tell me, you only get better by playing people better than you.
      Problem is at the moment, pretty much everyone is better than us! ;-)

      • Ads

        Why aren’t we getting any fcking better then?! :)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Because we cant learn and adapt! then again maybe we are starting to like the beating, just like the Dad in the Christmas Kangaroo!
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gvr0YNJwE0c

        • Missing Link

          we have been completely and utterly demoralised as a rugby nation. losing is now in our psyche. it will take a lot of winning to turn this around and playing against NZ just further reinforces how we are losers, not winners.

      • Attizar

        By that way of thinking the ABS should have stopped improving as they haven’the played anyone better than them in a long time.

    • idiot savant

      Possibly GAGR management decided delay was the best way to discourage kiwi trolls. Or they were just too depressed. Either way it was justified!

    • Patrick

      Yep agree with Tui, bloody unbelievable sometimes watching him flop into tackles like that.

  • nick51xx

    I actually don’t think the ABs are inherently more fit than the Wobs (as many have argued) — rather, they are just 10x smarter with when/how they use their energy.

    This article does a good job of showing a classic example https://www.rugbypass.com/news/analysis-one-passage-play-sums-differences-blacks-wallabies, the other example being how the ABs never commit more than 2 or 3 players to a breakdown unless they’re absolutely confident they can turn it over.

    • Archie

      Yep agree. Surely fitness is easily emulated, especially with all the ex Kiwi coaches and trainers all around the globe

  • Hoss

    Good afternoon erstwhile ladies and gents

    Well 36 hours of melancholy constination and I have finally arisen from the foetal position.

    Firstly – thank you to the Nearlies for your edifying display. I had nearly forgotten the fact that I LOVE Rugby union. I love everything about it. The smarts, the physicality, the tactics, the fans, the camaraderie, I love Rugby. Thank you for reigniting my passion.

    I guess I can understand how the English felt about Bradman, the boxing world re Ali, basketball about Jordan, fairy ball re Man U sides and golf re Nicholas – as I can stand back and stand in awe of perhaps the greatest sporting tea of all time and the final salt in my gaping wounds, they are. Good bunch of guys, humble, likeable and best ever at what they do. Well played nc thank you.

    Now having nearly choked on the above, the wallabies. I expected Saturdays result, I expected the result, the margin and the general malaise – so I viewed from the point of view of attitude improvement, tactics and ledership and what did we deliver on those fronts ?????

    NadA, nothing, zilch,zip, sweet FA – not a damn thing

    • Brisneyland Local

      As I have always said:
      “When you hit rock bottom, dont stop digging. Go and hire an excavator!”

      • Hoss

        Great opportunity comes mid great traversty.

        Has RA got the bottle ?

        New coach, a selection panel of three, new captain.

        The final nail in the coffin for me was the presser Cheika did at the airport on arrival home. Essentially ‘we did the same in 16 & 17 and finished the 4N well, I am sure we can do the same again’ – so that’s the breadth of vision we have, too match the previous years stellar piss-poor results. Had Saffaville bet the Pumas by 16+ we would have dropped to Sixth in IRB rankings and then a loss in Brisbane would have made us 7th, a record low since rankings were introduced. Hypothetical I know, but what is the mark that would see RA act ? We are so poor, so bereft of rugby smarts, so uncompetitive that We are surely at the tipping point ?

        • Brisneyland Local

          The point that the sponsorship dollars departing are higher then the pay out on Cheika’s contract! That is the tipping point!

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        You have to sometimes let the system crash so it can recover. The cracks have been there for years but have continually been papered over and now when the crash happens it’ll be bigger and hurt more because of that.

        • Brisneyland Local

          I 100% agree. I should have used my sarcasm emoticon next to it. ;-)

    • Patrick

      Indeed! I always thought Howard should be chairman of RA but maybe a transitional phase with Abbott will be what they deserve.

      • Brisneyland Local

        I was on a board with JWH. He is an excellent choice.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Thanks Hoss. Must have been shit to watch and write about. I just don’t get while the powers in Aus rugby can’t see this. WTF are they watching that this is allowed to keep happening

    • Greg

      If we get MR Abbot involved… we will probably find the team quits and all we have left is the coaching team and the board!! He and Alan Jones will then blame it on the Kiwis.

      • disqus_NMX

        And he’d probably give a knighthood to Cheika, regardless that he’s not already a prince.

    • Parker

      Hell no. Abbott was very mediocre rugby player at Uni.

      • Keith Butler

        Did some research on Abbott’s rugby career at Oxford. Dropped from the Uni team the week before the Varsity game at Twickers. No wonder he has a chip on his shoulder.

  • laurence king

    When compared with some other aspects of his game.

    • Johno Muzza

      Foley is the weak link in the team, and the All Blacks run at him all the time. His dfence is shit and he is a average attacker, another warrath Chekia favorite.

      • laurence king

        I would suggest that he is not the weak link, but rather, a weak link. The Pooper, for all it’s strengths, is a structural weakness that the ABs are able to take advantage of. What they add as a combination, the team loses in the line-out, the scrum and in tight at the advantage line imo. I think if Robertson was 10kgs heavier he would be world class, he’s not. We have two wingers (DHP and Banks) who are better fullbacks than the incumbent and he is a better winger, in fact he is the premier aerialist in world rugby and I would love to see him catching the ball above the opposition. But who is the player to put it there?

  • Archie

    What a fun night!! Sitting high up in the stands at Eden Park, the view was magnificent, the beer tasted better than usual, and for the first time as an ABs fan… even when it was close deep in to the first half, there were no nerves. Finally it seems I’ve accepted that the ABs will find a way to pull away in the second half. Perhaps it’s now happened too many times to write off as anomalous or only a trick you can pull on a team once in two weeks (because, you know, then they know what’s coming and prepare accordingly).

    At the pre-match function we were at – Phil Waugh, SBW, Scott Robertson and Shannon Frizzel spoke. Waugh (who was excellent and very entertaining) suggested that the Eden Park ‘factor’ was largely mental. I’m not so sure… if anything wouldn’t the Australia’s motivation peak for such an opportunity to create history?? Yet somehow this occasion becomes a mental burden?! I can’t figure it out. But Waugh would know so you’ve got to believe him.

    Apart from Mr mercurial (Mo’anga who?), I thought Ben Smith was excellent (like fine wine); Laumape started the game well looked after by the Aus defence, but eventually wore his defenders down and IMO had a significant hand in the momentum shift late in the first half.

    Got to give credit to Alan Alaalatoa, Genia and Pocock. In my view they were the best gold jerseys on the field. I like DHP but boy… it’s just not the same threat without Foulau.

    Was interesting listening to Polota Nau when he was asked by the media whether Cheika is still the right man for the job. The answer was ‘yes’ (of course – when is a player gonna slander the very person responsible for his inclusion in he team)… but his reason was ‘he just wants what’s best for the team’. On that basis, this blog site has many, many excellent candidates to take over as next Wallabies coach.

    I can see Hansen resting plenty of players in the Tokyo dead rubber, on the way to Europe. I hope he rings the changes for Argentina too… perhaps SBW, Crotty, Ioane back from injury

    • Missing Link

      Do you often attend random people’s funerals and yell out from the back, “he wasn’t a good man, he ws a c*#t”?

  • Andy

    Fair play to the AB’s I thought they were absolutely outstanding in all aspects. They are the complete team. I know we can look at their ability to put points on the board through tight play or on the counter but what separates them from the rest is their D. They are fully committed, physical and organised for 80 minutes every week. Just outstanding..

    For our boys, I thought certain aspects improved i.e. scrum/linout but we were just simply outclassed in virtually every position on the field.

    And I am a big believer that that best teams in modern rugby have all had 1 thing in common. Their defence is top notch. And ours still, is simply appalling and has been for a long time. Whether this is the coaching from all levels, I don’t know but it is what separates us from NZ, Ireland and the Poms at the moment.

    Seeing as our selections consistently include Beale, Foley, Kerevi, Koroibete, DHP and now Madcocks it’s clear that the team management do not consider this aspect of the game critical in our results improving. That or they firmly believe they can get better out of them. If it’s the latter, I’d be very interested to see how Nathan Grey is performing against his KPI’s….

    • idiot savant

      Good point about how top class teams value defence Andy.

      I think Cheika’s strategy is to value attack more highly (which is admirable) reasoning that to beat quality sides you have to be able to score points. So ordinary defenders like Foley, Beale, and Folau are chosen over better defenders and elaborate strategies are used to hide them in defence.

      Looking at state of origin league you could argue that it was attack that delivered Qld all those victories. Having attacking players was valued more highly by them. They too hid their 6 and 7 on the wing in defence. Whereas NSW and the Sydney comp has always valued defence more highly. However both sides did tend to defend stoutly for the first 30 minutes of each half and then strike when fatigue set in. Just like the ABs. So its a balancing act.

      The Wallaby defence was good against Ireland and good in the first halves of both AB tests. But their structure and their coaching around what to do and where to run on turnovers is clearly lacking. Nathan Grey was in charge of defence in 2016 when 45 tries were conceded and 2017 when 49 tries were conceded. These are the 2 worst years in the professional era by a long, long way (32 is next). If our key attackers continue their current form, surely its time to make defence a priority.

      • Andy

        Agree with everything you are saying. And I think you’ve highlighted one of the main issues that’s been instrinsic to our problems for the past decade nearly. That being , we can defend well for parts of the game but not the whole game. I think this applied to the Ireland series to a large extent as well. Good defence is not just about stopping tries it’s also about not giving penalties away in defence especially in your own half. The ABs and to a large extent Ireland and England (a year ago) use their defence as a form of attack. The AB’s drive you back and pressure you to making mistakes then they pounce. The other 2 draw penalties and convert them.

        We need to really start pressuring teams in D to force them to make errors and not score. Defensive pressure will lead to less points for them and more points for us. Sounds silly…

      • Patrick

        If that was his strategy he would pick QC…??

  • Brisneyland Local

    Gents, an interesting watch. Look inamongst that there is a 10 that can orchestrate an attack.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz3S3rTPxoE

    • nick51xx

      Watching all that dust being kicked up brings back painful memories of playing at Yoku Rd during the last drought. Nothing like scrubbing some dirt out of a congealed wound in the cold showers after a tough game…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah I had the same thoughts, but it was about games in Wagga Wagga!

  • Johno Muzza

    Can you believe it when Hooper said no All Black player is good enough to play in my team, my player’s arnt far off competing with them.
    Sack Hooper and Cheika, break that Warrath connection and get a coach or we are going to get smashed at the World Cup.

    • Who?

      Did you see the Australian Super Rugby Players’ Association player voted Super Rugby Team of the Year? Pack was: Sio – Fainga’a – Tupou – Arnold – Simmons – Cottrell – Pocock – Naisarani. No Hooper…

      • Patrick

        I’d be willing to give that pack a try, although I like Coleman and Rodda over Simmons.

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A self diagnosed rugby snuff who loves wet weather footy and still can't figure out how to put a photo up of myself

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