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Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News

Monday’s Rugby News sees us finally back in the winners circle, the latest round of NRC, the results from the Aon Uni Sevens and mindsets turning to Argentina.


Back in the Winners Circle

Hooper claims the Mandela Challenge Plate

Hooper claims the Mandela Challenge Plate

Ahhh, the four match losing streak finally comes to an end.

The Wallabies retained the Mandela Challenge Plate after a scrappy 23-18 win over the Springboks. 

While the game was far from the flashiest effort, the players overcame a disrupted lead up that saw David Pocock, Israel Folau and Adam Coleman ruled out, and showed plenty of old-fashioned grit and determination in the dying stages to bring it home.

Much of the success of it was, in all honesty, due to an outstanding performance by the Aussie Thor, Taniela Tupou, who more than earned his name after saving the Wallaby scrum from being continuously mauled by the Boks in the first half.

In the end, it was the boot of Matt Toomua and Reece Hodge that proved the difference, with two tries scored apiece.

The win was a much needed one for Michael Cheika, who has been under increased pressure over the last fortnight following another demolition at the hands of the All Blacks. 

While there is a long, long, LONG way to go before the team will be back to the side that made it to the 2015 World Cup Grand Final, this win will certain be a much-needed confidence booster for the side.

Cheik admitted that he took a gamble with the Beale-Toomua combo, but after Saturday’s performance, he said he was open to the possibility of using it again and bringing Bernard Foley in later to guide the team home.

“I definitely think they did a good job out there in some difficult circumstances,” Cheika said post-match. 

“We had some nice plays set up which just didn’t come off but that’s the first week they have played together.

“There is still plenty to do and we didn’t have a heap of attack going.

“But we had the forwards going forward in a few instances that were really important for us which created overlaps or kick opportunities.”

Cheik also responded to calls post-match for Tupou to become our run-on tighthead.

“It’s horses for courses like all things – we just see how we go,” Cheika elaborated.

“We have a guy like Keps who didn’t play today and that sets up a challenge now.

“With Taniela we have to remember that he has five caps.

“There is no hurry, no panic, just let him grow as a footballer.”

It’s interesting what combination Cheik will go with when the lads head to the Gold Coast next week for what might a worrying clash against a resilient Pumas. 

The men from South America made the All Blacks work for a tough 46-24 win in Nelson in the other match of the round, a scoreline which didn’t reflect how close the game was.

The Pumas scrum proved to be a resilient match for the All Blacks, and the visitors three impressive tries that saw the match turn into a see-sawing affair for the first sixty minutes. Then… well, you know what always happens after that.

The match sees the All Blacks go three for three. One more win against the Boks next week at home and the Championship trophy is theirs again. Yawn.

Spanish Whispers

Mick Byrne, Mario Ledesma & Michael Cheika oversee the scrum practice

Mick Byrne, Mario Ledesma & Michael Cheika oversee the scrum practice in the olden days

After Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus talked the talk all of last week, Michael Cheika came out pretty quickly after the Wallabies win over the weekend to emphasise that they’ll be no ‘mind games’ between him and his long time friend and former forwards coach, Mario Ledesma. 

Ledesma departed the Wallabies set up at the end of last year to help support the game in his home country of Argentina, and under his guidance, the Jaguares made it to the Super Rugby quarterfinals for the first time ever. His success saw him promoted to the coaching role of the Pumas, who are now also experiencing a resurgence in their performances.

Cheik has been pretty quiet on Ledesma’s rapid rise through the Argentine system, considering Ledesma worked with him for four years as his forwards coach for the Wallabies and Waratahs.

However, with the upcoming fixture this weekend, this topic of discussion was pretty unavoidable. And Cheik made it clear that he hopes both him and Ledesma will put aside the lip and let the rugby on the field do the talking.

“Without a doubt he has been a very important part in developing this team,” Cheika said to rugby.com.au.

“There is always going to be influence in us with him and him with us.

“But it’s a little bit different I think this week.

“You come up against guys you know in different times and there is always a bit of hedging and mind games and everything like that but not this week.

“We are too close – we are as good as family.

“He has done a great job this year with everything that has happened.

“In the small amount of times that he has had them he has really delivered.

“Once the whistle blows it will be war but it’s respect before then.”

Cheik admitted as well that he was not surprised that Ledesma has been able to utilise the talent in the Argentinean game to deliver immediate results.

“He brought a lot of new ideas and he was really passionate.” Cheika said of his time with Ledesma.

“He was a great balance between the Latin influence and the Anglo-Saxan influence.

“I think he can take that back the other way.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching his teams play since he has taken over there and I am looking forward to going up against each other.”

Demolition Derby

775205848PK005_NRC_Rd_2_Wes

It was well and truly raining tries over round two of the NRC, with 281 points scored over four games over the weekend.

Saturday was very much a demolition derby. Starting on sunny Fiji, in front of a monster crowd the Fijian Drua put on a masterclass, completely annihilating Brisbane City 66-5 and sending a dangerous message to the rest of the competition.

The Flying Fijians ran in ten tries to one, entertaining the 6,000 strong crowd at Lautoka and reinforcing their position at the top of the ladder.

Check out our Drua- City match review here. 

The second match of the round saw the Sydney Rays host the Canberra Vikings at Concord Oval in a match that showed how much having an extra week of prep can have. The Rays came into the game having suffered a very disrupted buildup, and lost one of their star players in Rob Simmons to the Wallabies the day of the match.

While they did score three tries and showed moments of brilliance, the Vikings ran riot to record their first win, running out 17-54 winners.

Check out our Rays-Vikings review here. 

Sunday saw the two best matches of the round, with the first being played in front of a capacity crowd of over 4,000 in the west. The Western Force knocked over the NSW Country Eagles in front of their home fans, winning 54-28. The match sees the Force go two-for-two, and retain the Horan-Little Shield. 

However, the scoreline didn’t reflect how close the Eagles came to winning this, at one point trailing 35-28 with five minutes on the clock. Considering they only had a few training sessions under their belt, expect them to be a much-improved side at home in Mudgee next week.

And lastly, the match of the round saw an unbelievable game up in Townsville between QLD Country and Melbourne Rising. Country were heavy favourites to win this one, but the Rising looked a different side to the one that got pumped in Fiji, and actually were leading 12-14 at halftime.

The second half saw a good old-fashioned arm wrestle, and despite a late charge from the Rising at the death, the Townsville faithful were rewarded with Country coming from behind to win 29-28.

Check out our Country-Rising review here. 

The results from the weekend see the Drua, Force, Qld Country and Canberra Vikings hold the top four positions, with Brisbane City and the two NSW sides still to register a point.

The Rays shine

Mackenzie Sadler of University of Queensland see a gap

The Rays in their Harlequin Days

While the Sydney Rays mens side struggled in their first match of the NRC on the weekend, for the Womens team, it was the exact opposite.

In round two of the AON Uni Sevens down in Canberra, the Macquarie Uni side brushed aside the likes of favourites University of Queensland and Griffith University to win their first ever round of the competition, defeating Griffith in a convincing 26-0 win in the final.

The win is the first time a team other than UQ have won the gold medal match.

Round Two saw the return of multiple Wallaroos to many of the teams, and their inclusion was noticeable, with a dramatic increase in the quality of play.

With this win and their silver placing in Tasmania, Macquarie Uni take first place away from UQ on the overall leader board with three rounds to go. UQ drop to second, while their improved performance in this series sees Griffith University maintain third position.

Following the top three are Sydney University, University of Canberra, University of Tasmania, University of Adelaide, Bond University, University of New England and lastly, Melbourne Uni. 

The teams will now enjoy a week off before heading to University of Queensland in Brisbane for Round Three on September 22-23rd.

For the full match highlights of round two, click here. 

  • Huw Tindall

    Can we deacribe Argentina’s performances as a resurgence yet? They got spanked by England B in June and won against the saffas at home then played some flashy rugby last weekend but ultimately comfortably beaten by NZ. There are good signs but since RWC 2015 it’s been downhill until maybe this weekend and even calls to dump them from TRC. After this they’ll probably role us this weekend…..

    • Kiap

      Maybe not a resurgence, but definitely a step up for the Argies. Forget about the June stuff, IMO, that was under the old coach. It’s been chalk and cheese.

      • Huw Tindall

        Ah yeah forgot Ledesma was a late joiner to the national team. Whole season at the Jags.

      • Brumby Runner

        There seems to have been a distinct and immediate improvement with the appointment of Ledesma. Maybe changing coaches doesn’t have to be a matter that should scare us?

  • Bernie Chan

    Foley to guide the team home eh…? Bugger that…leave Toomua in charge…
    Wonder how many will show up for the game vs los Pumas…? Not sure playing it on the GC was a great idea…
    The Drua are awesome…if their pack maintains some semblance of a set-piece parity, look out…

    • Huw Tindall

      It’s a shame if they don’t as the Argies are playing a cracking brand of rugby right now!

      • Bernie Chan

        Too true…Argentina deserves more respect. They seem clearly the second best side in the RC…always had a good set piece, but (as you alluded to…) now also play well with ball-in-hand. I think the GC was a poor choice….

      • Bernie Chan

        Too true…Argentina deserves more respect. They seem clearly the second best side in the RC…always had a good set piece, but (as you alluded to…) now also play well with ball-in-hand. I think the GC was a poor choice….

        • Huw Tindall

          I don’t understand it. One week after Brisbane too. Give someome else a crack. Maybe even a double header NRC into Test. That’d be a brilliant day’s rugby.

        • Bernie Chan

          No one understands what is going through the minds at RA…Canberra, Melbourne, Central Coast…heaven forbid…Perth? The GC has long struggled to draw decent crowds in most codes let alone rugby.

        • Huw Tindall

          Drawing a long bow but at least Wallabies have a good record in Queensland! No flights to get on for once!

    • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

      Foley was invisible when he came on until he took that intercept. Surely his time is done. Even his cheer squad at the NSW propaganda machine that is the SMH have been lukewarm towards him recently.

      • Bernie Chan

        Yeh…I wonder what Cheika thinks he (Foley) adds to what Toomua already does. Toomua can do most of the tactical kicking and Hodge can take the place kicking duties. Toomua certainly a better defender, so it can’t be that….

  • Huw Tindall

    How is Thor’s neck today? More concerned about that than Poey’s neck or Izzy’s ankle. I’m not sure Tupou even has a neck. He looks like wide triangle from the shoulder’s up.

    • Bernie Chan

      Went and looked at the replay…agree with some former props that the driving over the top while Tupou was exposed was dangerous…

    • Bernie Chan

      Went and looked at the replay…agree with some former props that the driving over the top while Tupou was exposed was dangerous…

    • Brumby Runner

      I’ll be surprised if he makes the Argentina game, but with Ala’alatoa and Kepu, we are well served and in a good spot to give TT a rest.

  • Human

    Wayne Smith writes in The Australian today, that TT (‘Audi’, Hoss?) may be the quickest Wob over 40m. I agree, though Hoss’ Bastard might just beat him. This says more about our general lack of pace than anything. Though TT is a wonderful athlete he should not be the quickest in the team.

    • Alister Smith

      It may be measured when he is on his way to the buffet for breakfast…I’d back him over that distance in that situation.

    • nick51xx

      Who is bastard? I would’ve assumed DHP but believe he is Sauce?

      • John Tynan

        Banks. Banks are bastards.

      • Who?

        Banks, because they’re all… You get it.
        Human – TT – not bad. But arguably not the best known use of it? Could we go ‘Manx’..? As in, Isle of Man, home of the Tourist Trophy..?

        • Human

          Not bad but I will defer to Hoss on any of this

      • laurence king

        Banks – Hoss’ bastard child?

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Gold

      • Human

        It is a common refrain these days, particularly after the RC revelations but I think the phrase was first used when the Poisoner was touring the Southern Hemisphere in 1770 and his botanist was late returning from shore. “Where’s the bastard Banks?”, he allegedly muttered to no one in particular.

        • Who?

          How’d old mate Jimmy get the nickname ‘The Poisoner’..?
          Agree to defer to Hoss on nicknames. :-)

        • Human

          Every camp cook, I have ever known is called the Poisoner…behind his/her back anyway.

        • Who?

          Fair enough! I wondered, given it’s a Rugby thread, if it somehow tied back to the infamous Suzy…

        • Human

          Let’s not mention the war.
          To be fair, JC does not deserve the moniker

    • disqus_NMX

      Makes for entertaining reading, but I’d be surprised if it is even remotely true.

      • Human

        Possibly correct over 10-20 though

  • IIPA

    Argies scrum was in trouble on Sat and i think we’ll have the edge there. Elsewhere however they’ll present plenty of challenges. The game was closer than the score suggested and felt they were borderline crucified by the ref at the breakdown.But what a great game to watch it was. In contrast.

    On to the Wallabies and Springboks and both teams were God awful in all aspects except goal-line defence. It was probably one of our worst collective backline performances for a while so I’m not sure I get the early Toomua love although he was brain-explosion free and kicked for goal well. And yeah I get it was slippery and a new combo….
    If there aren’t half a dozen wingers in the NRC better than Koroibete I’ll eat Tupou’s shorts.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Only in trouble at times. They seemed to settle as the game went on. Depends on injuries and who Cheika picks

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        Argentina do this every year. They play well against the All Blacks in the first test, everyone (especially the Kiwis) start talking about how much better they are than the Wallabies and then the Wallabies beat Argentina 2-0 fairly comfortably. This was especially the case in 2016.

        The fact is that Argentina have been diabolical since the RWC. They have a better coach now but have won 1 out of 3 in the RC, and lost two comprehensively.

        We’ve lost to them once this millennia and that was when Foley missed easy kicks (geez, where have I heard that one before?).

        I think Argentina are an improved team and will present a strong challenge, but, really, we should win 2-0. If we lose either match then it reflects very poorly on Cheika. They’re a 5 to 8 ranked Super Rugby team playing internationals.

        • IIPA

          You’re right we’ve seen this before from Argentina, a stirring 60min against the ABs then a drop off in performance thereafter.

          But you are going full Serena with the hysteria from that point:

          Diabolical?
          A 5th to 8th ranked super team?

          Funnily enough we are starting to get to the point where club teams would push many top test nations. Sth Africa compared to the Lions is probably a case in point. Crusaders, Leinster etc…

          Either way if the Argies is beat us I hope you and the journos give them some credit

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          South Africa was only their second win against a tier 1 team since the RWC if I remember correctly (the other being South Africa in 2016). They lost to Wales B in Argentina at June. They’ve been atrocious since the RWC.

          The Crusaders wouldn’t get close to the All Blacks, Leinster wouldn’t push Ireland either (despite all their foreign stars) and the 2018 iteration of the Lions wouldn’t beat South Africa. Ackerman’s Lions might have beaten Coetzee’s Boks, but I think that says more about Coetzee.

        • IIPA

          I was more suggesting the Crusaders ( and Leinster ) might well beat the likes of the Wallabies and Boks.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          That I agree with. But I think that reflects more on the coaching of the Wallabies and the political situation of South Africa.

          I also don’t think you can compare the Jaguares (who lost to the Reds, amongst others) to Leinster or the Crusaders.

        • Greg

          :”going full Serena” – nice :-)

        • laurence king

          That could become a regularly used term like ‘off her tits’. lol

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          mate I agree they have looked like that in the past and you at 5 them at 9 you’d think it was a foregone conclusion. However, I think they’ve finally got a coach who can bring them out and make them competative for longer. His interview after the game was pretty telling and shows a coach who is on the way up. I think he’ll take the Argintina’s up the world ranking.

          I don’t think you’ll see the drop off you’ve seen in the past and they will be dangerous. Definitely more dangerous at home than away but still very dangerous.

        • Andy

          Mostly true. But hey, they are fantastic to watch. Their back 3 are old fashioned. Not big blokes but quick, great feet and skill. Like the Wallabies of the early 90’s.

        • mikado

          I completely agree DBTB. Every year Argentina has a gallant loss to NZ that gets everyone talking, and then they underwhelm for the rest of he year. I’ll be very surprised if Australia loses to Argentina this year.

    • laurence king

      Gareth (a new comment) said that he was on the pitch before the game and it was ‘soooooooooo slippery’, which might explain the quality of the game to some extent.

  • Kiwi rugby lover

    Thanks Nick, an ugly win but that’s so much better than an ugly loss. I think the backline needs tweaking, I’m still not sold on KB at 10. As I predicted he didn’t have the room he needs and his distribution skills are limited. If he’s left in close then swap with Toomua and go back to 12. I think Folau should come in for a straight swap with Koroibete who yet again proved that he doesn’t know enough about rugby to be playing at this level.

    The Argies were good in the weekend and I think they’ll be a real threat. Scrum was an issue early but they fixed that enough to keep in the game. I hope Topuo is ok and I won’t be surprised if there is a citing over that incident because I think you’ll need him.

    Good to see the NRC games going so well and getting the crowds in. I think it’s slowly starting to become the competition needed to lead into Super Rugby.

    • Brumby Runner

      I very much doubt there will be any citing KRL. I am more and more convinced that the citing commissioners are sleeping through the games this year.

    • John Tynan

      The Argies were really good, I thought. They would have won most games with the way they played on Saturday, it’s just the AB’s hit hard when they get their chances.

    • Happyman

      KRL I am going to suggest that the Wallabies need a new rule. No more than 1 ex league player in the back three. When you see DHP and Banks playing it looks much more threatening. Koroibete does some good things but still is a liability in defence I cannot even describe his cleanup or work over the ball.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        Mate I think it’s more that these people need more time to learn the game. It took SBW at least 3 years in both France and Canterbury before he was even looked at and even now he still isn’t 100% there. I feel sorry for Koroibete as I think he’s been thrown in the deep end with very little support and is now going to wear the brunt of it instead of the idiots who put him in that position.

      • Missing Link

        Koroibete killed it in league because there are 2 less defenders in the line which gave him more room to get up to speed. Part of the issue now is that his space gets shut down.

  • Bakkies

    Good win by Qld Country over the RA’s Chairman’s XV yesterday.

    • Missing Link

      you must be fun at parties :D

      • Bakkies

        That’s rich coming from you Cameron.

        • Missing Link

          I go to the best parties, we tip Dom Perignon and Hennessy XO down the drain just for shits … all funded by your grass roots money too

      • IIPA

        I actually got a chuckle from that team name though might have been a comment better placed you know like on the freaking actual match thread…..

        • Missing Link

          I must admit, the team name is funny if said in jest, but knowing Bakkies, there’s deep seated negativity attached to it.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Morning GAGR’s. Another Monday morning where we get to pick through the scraps of last weekends rugby carcass. What fun being carrion pickers! ;-) Hmmmm can we tell BL hasnt had his coffee yet?
    – The more I reflect on Sat nights game the more I am convinced that a draw would have been the most appropriate result. Neither team really deserved to win that dross of a match. I genuinely believe the Saffa’s were hard done by in the last 3-5 mins. But alas they or the Wallabies didnt do much to help themselves either.
    – Firstly we need to do something about our line out throwers. I am not sure how many we got called due to not thrown in straight, but was at least 3 in the game. And that is appalling.
    – TT needs to start. I think he has certainly done enough to displace the incumbent. I would like to see what the kid can do with 50-60 mins on the paddock.
    – Whilst we are on the topic of TT, that scrum incident is a really bad event. I can not believe that WR on SANZAR are doing nothing with this.
    – I am glad to see that the new 10/12 combo was tried. It definitely proved that the world doesnt end when Foley leaves the team. Infact it runs a little smoother. Personally I would play Toomua 10, and Beale 12, as Beale definitely needs the extra space. Foley coming on at the end, bar his intercept, was very much a passenger.
    – When Folau is fit, we should move him to the wing.
    – Hodge should be doing more of the kicking. that penalty was gold. Kicking for touch should be his bag too. Toomua is a much better in play kicker than Foley, but still if superboot Hodge was roosting it down the field we would be gaining so much more yardage.
    – Whilst we are on the topic of kicking. what the fuck is it with the incessant kicking it directly to the opposition. Jesus H Christ, I can still remember my U15’s coach screaming “kick it to where they arent or put it into touch!” I almost did a Hoss, but instead of flinging faeces at the tv I was going to be flinging it at the glass of the Corporate box. Not a good look fellow GAGR’s!
    – Gee the Drua were good on the weekend. the boys from Lautoka were vibering me like a bastard. I thought they were kidding til I logged to get the updates. What a marker in the sand that one is.
    Enough ramblings. Over to you GAGR’s!

    • David Creagh

      Not too much to argue with there BLL. It is even worse when we are kicking the ball directly to a Ben Smith, Jordie Barrett or Damien MacKenzie who cut us up and make more meters back than the kick achieved. Realistically there are only 30 people on the paddock so there should be plenty of bare grass.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yet it is a testament to our kickers that they pin point a back everytime! ;-)

        • Who?

          It’s like Folau’s not the only one who was trained to kick in the AFL… ;-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Ha ha! Pity is Folau cant kick well either. You think after two years in the AFL he would have at least learnt to kick!

        • Who?

          He can – but he often does what they taught him in the AFL – kicks it to the man, not the space! :-P

        • Brisneyland Local

          I must admit I have really only seen him do chip kicks. That bloke should be able to roost it 60m plus down the field.

        • Adrian

          He can. One kick in Tah quarter final match. He got 60 at least

        • Brisneyland Local

          That is the thing that concerns me is that he is playing fullback and doesnt do it more often. To have an able boot and not use it is a sin! ha ha

    • Who?

      “the boys from Lautoka were vibering me”
      For those who aren’t aware of the electronic messaging service ‘Viber’, that might read really oddly…

      • Brisneyland Local

        Yeah thanks who. I must admit, upon re-reading that, it could come across as a little “Hows your father!”

    • laurence king

      In regards to Tupou, he deserves to start if his neck is OK but I do not actually mind Cheika bringing him on slowly, after all, if it’s done right he’s going to be holding up one side of the scrum for a long time.
      I would like to see Hoss’ Bastard child (couldn’t help that) in at fullback as I think that we are going to need his pace and his nouse as a fullback in defense or DHP and bring back Folau to the wing instead of Koriebete who seems lost more often than not of late. I had a thought that maybe Beale started at 10 because he was more acquainted with the plays and patterns and this game he may move more often to 10, is that likely?

      • Brisneyland Local

        Not sure. You could be right there. Because even as 12 in the two Bled’s he was often first receiver. Under Cheik’s 2 play maker theory those roles are often interchangeable. The most noticeable difference I saw however, was only having once weakness in defence. Toomua can defend like a bastard! Foley is a crap defender and has to be hidden. Beale is crap too in defending, so having one less weakness certainly sured our line.

        • laurence king

          Sorry, I meant Tomua moving to 10 more often, Beale to 12

        • Brisneyland Local

          All good.

    • Wallaby Dave

      Kicking has been terrible for ages! Such a difference when you see someone like Cronk in the NRL hit grass every time. Surely not that hard ?!!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Nope. I dont think it is an issue for them. It is an issue for “us”, but surely (dont call me shirley) if it was an issue for Cheika he would have beaten it out of them by now.

    • Happyman

      BL the lineout not straight is a fundamental skill error. Whenever I have coached at teenage levels I always tell my Hookers that there role before training is to stand five metres in from of the black dot and hit it ten times. then at ten metres five times. If you can hit the black dot on a crossbar then you know where to place the ball. It really speaks to a lack of attention to detail that has infected both Super and Test levels in Australia.

      – I watched the game on replay after a weekend away so wasn’t as emotionally involved. Both teams were evenly matched and it could have gone either way.

      – The scrum you guys were talking about was malicious and pretty grubby really not something I usually see from the beast.

      – Did not see the Drua game but the score was not what I expected. To me it sounded like the sort of day you can have playing islanders where when shit starts to stick you can end up just being a spectator.

      • Who?

        Honestly, I’m amazed Beast got up after the scrum before. Tupou used the same tactics on the previous scrum, but more effectively. As in, he held Beast’s jersey off him, held him up, minced him, then snapped his arm out and down. Beast didn’t expect it, and snapped down into the ground HARD. Jackson saw the arm movement in the second scrum, which is why Tupou was (fairly) penalized, but Beast’s decision to drive through at 90º after they’d both hit the ground was indeed dangerous play, worthy of reversing the penalty.

      • Kiwi rugby lover

        That lack of attention to detail and inability to learn and develop is what really bugs me. It’s almost like “I’m here now and because I’m good enough to get here I don’t need to keep getting better” It shits me to tears.

        • Happyman

          Agree mate for my two cents worth I see quite a few boys who are the next big thing. They get picked early and are not challenged for continual improvement. Other boys who progress through skill and hard work and dedication are not rewarded and lose interest or go overseas at a young age.
          I look at some of the Wallabies and super players who don’t progress and wonder if it is just a lack of skill development.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Or attitude

  • dsb

    Good review. I thought Genia deserved a mention he was spectacular in defence and attack and composed and I think positively influencing other players including very senior players. Don’t know but did I detect blue finger nails? Not sure but am colour blind. Good to watch some NRC as well!

    • Greg

      Dragging Hooper away from the ref when he was going off managed a poor situation.

      No idea what Hooper was saying but from the eye pointing it might have been something like “Are you blind”….. not a good look from the captain.

      • laurence king

        I think it’s an indication of the pressure he’s under

      • Brisneyland Local

        It is fucking appalling. But the die was cast on that one ages ago. Because the coach goes off his tits every time there is a perceived bad decision. Cheika has set the example, his captain follows it.

      • John Tynan

        Head pointing – he was very angrily saying “do I have to end up on my head for it to be a yellow?”

        Ummm…yes

    • John Tynan

      I read somewhere last year that the fingernail thing is his daughter helping him get ready for a game. Sounds like an awesome tradition, and a solid reminder of what you’re about when things get tough on the park.

      • dsb

        John, Thanks for that response it does sound logical & awesome and says something about the measure of the man. More power to people like that and in particular high profile sports people who are important role models. We need more of them!

  • John Tynan

    “With Taniela we have to remember that he has five caps.

    “There is no hurry, no panic, just let him grow as a footballer.”

    I have to agree. We tend to rush these things.

  • Missing Link

    Yay we finally won something, and I wore my Wallabies jersey proudly on Sunday, but I fear it’s a case of papering over the cracks.

    Beale was not the same without the extra space at 12, I think the Wallabies would have been better served with Toomua there, but there’s the conundrum of Toomua being a more valuable defender in the centres, so what do you do? Bring Foley back to 10, keep Toomua at 12 and shift Beale back to 15, pending Folau.

    Argentina played well against NZ and I fear they will beat us. I don’t know if NZ’s scrum has improved or the Argies have declined, hard to believe with Ledesma around but we need Tupou to start and destroy their scrum. We also need to work out a plan for Sanchez. Yes he’s a melodramatic diver but he’s also improved his game and a lot of Argentinian attack came off him, arguably would have him as Wallaby 10 over Foley!

    At the end of the day, we should just decide the game in a kick off between Bofelli and Hodge. longest kick wins :) How good is Hodge, just casually knocks it over from 50+m :) something we’ve been missing in the Wallabies.

    Also I think it’s time for Koroibete to have a rest, Cheika should use this game to start Banks and if Folau is back, bring him back through the bench. Samu was great, put in a solid shift and for some reason, Tui played better with Samu and Hooper around than with Hooper and Pocock, not sure if it was coincidence or Samu is doing something which is making it easier for Tui.

    • Brisneyland Local

      Samu had a pretty good game in my opinion as well. I thought Tui paired better with Samu, because you could hear Samu directing him.
      Samu seems to have a lot better understanding of positional play. Having come from he Dark Saders we shouldn’t be surprised by that!

      • Ed

        According to the players’ ratings on Foxsports, Samu was ranked below Hooper and Tui. Harsh as I thought he played better than that.

        On his positional play BL – you are spot on. Below is from Samu when he signed for us in June.
        “”Definitely being at Randwick – my lineout, scrum and defence wasn’t really one of my main focuses,” he said.
        “I just got better at it over there and I definitely think being over there has really helped my game.
        “It’s probably the biggest reason that I’ve been able to come back home.”

        • Brisneyland Local

          Yeah Fox Sports player ratings always have Hooper high. In fact Hooper outscored Toomua on their ratings and Beale got a 6. WTF?
          That interview with Samu says a lot doesnt it.

        • Missing Link

          Foxsports probably ask Hooper to rate the team :D

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well as we know no All Blacks would make the team!

        • Human

          …and nor should they, all very over-rated ;-)

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

        • Parker

          Overqualified

        • John Tynan

          The problem is he’s right, but not for the reasons he had in his mind.
          The fact they are All Blacks, they can never be in the Wallabies team.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure gold!

        • John Tynan

          That’s why they get access to (dah-dah-dah!!) The Inner Sanctum!!

        • Ed

          Yeah, Toomua was only MotM.
          This line on Hooper’s test had me going WTF?
          “His experience, composure and leadership were seen throughout the Test.”
          Is the “red mist” (as someone here referred to it yesterday) following the Snyman incident really how you want your captain to lead the side?

        • Brisneyland Local

          Well he is just following Cheika’s example.

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Mate, I agree with Beale not being the best 10 but there just aren’t bugger all choices here at the moment. He definitely needs to be further out. Funny how you have a balanced loose forward trio and they work well together, although in saying that I think Samu is more of a 6 than an 8 but those positions are more interchangeable than 7 & 6.
      I agree 100% on Koroibete he is a passenger for 95% of the game and still makes dumb mistakes because he instinctively thinks like league player not a rugby player.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Which is sad, because he grew up on union. Then got recruited to league. And they have filled him full of bad habits, so to speak!

    • Who?

      Don’t bring back Foley. How many ‘playmakers’ do we need?! It doesn’t work with the three of them out there, with Cheika thinking that Beale’s a playmaker, Foley trying to make play, Toomua being a playmaker… Who’s meant to run the ball? If you want Beale to 15, then bring in a 12 to replace him. Two designated playmakers is enough.
      And Koroibete doesn’t need a rest, he needs to be replaced, permanently, until he learns the game. How does anyone justify being run into touch by the man inside himself? He threw panic passes… Needs to learn the game. Bring in Naivalu! Start Banks, Naivalu on the bench.

      • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

        I’d start Banks and Naivalu. DHP is offering nothing. Did a shit kick, didn’t threaten with ball in hand. What is he there for? I like the bloke but injuries take their toll, and he has unfortunately had a lot of them in recent years.

        • Brumby Runner

          That’s precisely how I saw DHP in this game as well DB. Funny thing is that others thought he had a great game and some even voted for him in the Player of the Match thread.

        • D. Braithwaite’s The Brumbies

          Yeah, it baffles me.

          I think he is a bit of a crowd favourite because he seems like a good, honest bloke and is solid in every way. But I don’t think his performances on the field are good enough right now.

        • Brumby Runner

          He is certainly a favourite of mine too, but that doesn’t blind me to a poor performance like last weekend’s.

  • Gareth

    Enjoyed the win, i was on the field before the game and i was sooooo slippery. Ball was was hard to hang on to. Neither team will feel great but like all bok v wallaby games recently it was tough affair. The pumas will be a handful

    • laurence king

      Thankyou Gareth, that is interesting to know how slippery the conditions were

  • juswal

    Plenty of damnation for Koroibete in today’s comments – including a triple shot from Kiwi rubber glover, who seems to have found a new easy punching bag.

    Koroibete has two formidable strengths: the first is getting over the line from ten metres out, and the second is pounding blokes in fair and legal tackles that sometimes put the victim on a stretcher.

    He’s looking less than useful lately because the Wallabies’ attack and defence plans leave him stranded. He’s given no room in attack because on set plays, Foley and Beale flipping inside balls in midfield, and on a break he’s got Beale and/or Folau crowding his wing. In defence he’s positioned 20 metres from the touchline and expected to cover counter-attack. He rushes out to try and hit someone because it’s his only chance to stop a three-man wave.

    Don’t blame the wing when the inside backs are failing and the full-back is taking his space.

    • Who?

      If there’s criticism of Koroibete, it’s not because he’s had no opportunities the last few games. It’s because he’s done dumb things. Amongst his few opportunities, he’s thrown 3 panic passes. He stayed on Maddocks’ outside, when Maddocks was corner flagging (what was the point of him being bundled into touch with Maddocks? He could’ve dropped back and looked to cut inside, looking to secure the breakdown or take a pop pass to dive and score). He can’t kick, so he gets caught in the backfield without options. He has clear issues with understanding of the game. This is the issue – he shouldn’t be working this out at the top level. So he should be allowed to learn at a lower level, under less public scrutiny, and we should have someone who doesn’t make those mistakes in his jersey.

      • juswal

        It seems that’s his chief job in offence: someone else runs into his space, is inevitably shoved towards touch, and dumps the ball to Koroibete whose job is to meet the cover defence. That’s not Test-grade attacking rugby.

        • Who?

          The only time I can recall when Koroibete was run into touch was when Maddocks ran him into touch, you can’t blame the inside backs when both the wingers end up on the same side of the field.
          I agree that having inside backs running out so much that there’s no space left for the wingers isn’t test grade attacking rugby. But that’s why I didn’t complain about Koroibete not having opportunity. The same thing happened to Kerevi in June. The same thing happened at the RWC – the only try we scored on the wing in the RWC was scored by… GITEAU!
          So, my criticisms are generally about decision making in the backfield (i.e. on kick return), and panic when he’s had the ball in the red zone (throwing two panic passes that were turned over against SA). In terms of defence, I didn’t see him do anything positive. Though I’m not complaining about that (because that’s better than him making stupid mistakes, like seeing cheese).
          The real question, though, is simple. Do we thinking that Koroibete is the best option on that wing at present? I don’t believe so. I don’t know that Maddocks is the best option for the other wing, either, but he’s not making mistakes the way that Koroibete is. If you’re running 5’s and 6’s on the player ratings (I haven’t seen one of those for a while), you don’t attract attention. But Koro’s made some mistakes lately which take his 5 rating (which would see me asking about it him, because I don’t see that he’s the best option, so you’ve got to prove me wrong) down to a 4 or perhaps even the odd 3. Which makes those of us on here ask more pressingly.

        • Brumby Runner

          Koroibete actually went into touch in front of Maddocks. That one instance illustrates with clarity that Koroibete doen not yet understand intricacies of rugby. I don’t think there was any real chance of Maddocks getting the ball away to him at any stage, so he should have been behind and outside Maddocks and supporting him to go forwards and in field in contact. It might not have resulted any differently, but at least he would have understood the situation and have done all he could to keep the play going forward.

          Clearly, Koroibete puts in massive hits when he times the run perfectly to contact the ball receiver just after the ball arrives. But it happens all to infrequently. If his timing is off, it is almost guaranteed that he’ll miss the tackle, often not making contact at all.

          And it’s been a while since he was sighted charging over the try line from 10m out. His inclination, when confronted by the defence, is to send a hail mary pass anywhere that more often than not results in turnover ball. He needs to learn a lot more about the game before he can be made into a consistently good standard test player.

    • Missing Link

      not denying what you’re saying juswal, but if you swapped Koroibete for Naholo, would Koroibete appear a much better player and would Naholo look bad, in your opinion?

    • Happyman

      Mate I have never bagged his attacks ibut you spend approx 50% of the time without the ball so defence important and while a good shot looks good if you are a winger a missed tackle tends to cost a bit more.

  • Brisneyland Local

    Praise the lord!

  • Geoffrey Collins

    It was a good hard game on the weekend from both teams and not much separating them at the end. The attendance must be a major concern for RA with Lang Park only half full though.

    • Bernie Chan

      I think there will be a lot of people worried about the attendance at the next RC game vs Argentina…being played on the Goldie, and the game has long struggled to attract a decent crowd on the GC. Sweet FA promotion of the game in the local SE Qld media too…Got an Argie mate who lives on the GC and he’s hardly heard a peep about the game…
      Hope iAUS v ARG does draw a decent crowd though, as los Pumas are playing good rugby….

      • Geoffrey Collins

        yes indeed, it should be a cracker fixture between Aus and the Argies, but yeah, Aus rugby really need to pull their digits out re- promotion of the game

  • Brisneyland Local

    OK GAGR’s, as you can tell it is a slow work day for me. So. The Betting odds are Wallas $1.27 vs Argies $1.90. That is pretty close.
    Two questions:

    1. What changes would we make to the squad if you were Cheika for the day (can be players outside the current squad as long as eligible)?
    2. What are our early score predictions for the game?

    Over to you GAGR’s!

    • Happyman

      What is the over under

    • Greg

      How’s this

      Beale to 15
      Toomua to 10
      Pocock to 7
      Folau to 11/14
      Hooper to bench
      Foley to a rest

      ps – I make no claim to be a selector or a coach….. but it doesn’t feel right that most of my suggestions are just changes to positions.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Greg, I think that is a bloody good start.

      • Brumby Runner

        You clearly think we don’t need a 12. Prior to Toomua coming back we really didn’t play one in defence anyway.

        • Greg

          details, details :-)

    • John Tynan

      I don’t think the squad is too far off the mark TBH, more the balance.

      Sio
      FF
      Tupou
      Coleman
      Rodda
      Samu
      Timu
      Pocock (assuming fit)
      Genia
      Toomua
      Beale
      Hodge
      Sauce/Folau/Banks back 3

      BPA (TPN not cutting it)
      7A’s
      Kepu (still offers a bench role)
      Tui (lock/loosey)
      Hooper for energiser bunny
      Phipps (shocked me, too) mainly for cover defence ability.
      Maddocks
      Meakes? Need centre cover – no TK, SK. If lose a play maker, Toomua/Beale can cover each other. Lose two play makers, Hodge covers both.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Re Phipps I would bring Moses Sorovi in. He can defend like a bastard!

        • John Tynan

          I am all for Moses, as he is from my boy’s school and helped coach him a few years ago – lovely young man, fit and skilful, and as you say, not afraid. Just conscious of bringing him on too soon, and some physical things to get over in the transition to being a full-time professional sportsman.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Very true. I was hoping that they might start bringing him into the training squad now. Just to expose him to the team environment early. That way come next year it isnt a big step up. I love his physicality.

        • Brumby Runner

          Sorovi will probably be a big part of the future, but for mine he stays where he is atm for development and comes to the fore post RWC.

          I can’t see Tupou being fit for this test, and even if he is, I’d be resting him with AAT and Kepu to share the honours.

          I reckon the coaching staff (I think we can now see that they all have a say, not just Cheika) will stay with Beale and Toomua but might change up the structured plays to allow Toomua more time at 10 and Beale wider in the attack.

          Personally, I’d like to see Timu at 8 with Tui 6 and Pocock 7. Samu on the bench where he covers all three spots, possibly 6 better than 7 or 8.

          Can’t see Maddocks being discarded. Sure, he made mistakes but he in one of the few straight runners and will get better.

        • Brisneyland Local

          BR, yeah I would take him on the end of year tour. Just for training partnerships, and spare, spare spare cover. But I see what you mean about development.
          I hope Tupou is fit, watching him play was fantastic. But understand the need to rest him post that scrum incident, which was appalling by the way.
          I would like to see Samu get rewarded with another start, but as long as he remains in the squad I am happy.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Was that at St Peters?

        • John Tynan

          Yeah, all the more special because I don’t think we’d qualify as a renowned rugby nursery!

        • Brisneyland Local

          I have a few young kids working for me, that went to school there and said that Moses was in their year level or one above / below. Sounds like a really good school from what they have told me.

        • Happyman

          Plenty of good boys running around in AIC rugby that never get a look in due to a fairly strong GPS bias. Sorovi is a very good player and I think next year will be his. He seems to have gone past McDermoott this year.

        • Brisneyland Local

          Agree with both!

    • Adrian

      I think that there is a 50/50 chance we’ll get a quite different team, but one which Cheika thinks will still win.

      I’ll post my version of that later.

      For now, and assuming a conventional team, building on this one, MY conventional team is:

      Folau (swapping with Banks often)
      Banks (swapping with Folau often)
      Hodge
      Toomua (swapping with Beale often)
      Naivalu
      Beale (swapping with Toomua often)
      Genia
      Tui
      Pocock
      Samu
      Coleman
      Rodda
      Tuopu
      Latu
      Alaalatoa

      TPN
      Kepu
      Sio
      Arnold
      Hannigan
      Phipps
      Foley
      DHP

      Hooper rested

      • Brisneyland Local

        MAte I am thinking you might be pretty close there.

      • Missing Link

        Cheika MUST give some of the fringe players some game time, this is the opportunity to see he can find who the best of the rest are.

        I desperately want to see Banks light it up. Even if Folau is fit, bring him back via the bench, give hooper and koroibete a rest, and give Samu another crack because he earned it

  • John R

    Has anyone dubbed Adam Coleman – DADam Coleman?

    Guys? Hello? Is anyone there?

    https://media.giphy.com/media/qwJMG80aUfVKM/giphy.gif

    • Brisneyland Local

      Boom-tish!

      • John R

        I’ll be here all week!

    • John Tynan

      Assuming that was the “family matters”?

      • John R

        Yeah mate (great name btw), he is a new father now, a baby girl I’ve read.

        There’s probably a really solid Erkel gif to tie in with the Family Matters comment there as well!

      • Missing Link

        Well that’s good news! When I heard he pulled out due to family reasons, I was concerned that something bad happened. nonetheless congratulations to Adam!

        • Alister Smith

          If he had pulled out there wouldn’t have been any family reasons

        • Brisneyland Local

          Pure Gold!

        • Missing Link

          tip of the helmet, Alister, tip of the helmet … I meant to say hat sorry

Rugby
@Nick_Wasiliev

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

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